Jay Fox Papers, 1910-1951

Overview of the Collection

Fox, Jay
Jay Fox Papers
1910-1951 (inclusive)
1 container., (.5 linear feet of shelf space.), (100 items.)
Collection Number
Cage 172
Correspondence, drafts, notes, membership cards and certificates, newspaper clippings and published material by or about Jay Fox.
Washington State University Libraries' Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections (MASC)
Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections
Terrell Library Suite 12
Pullman, WA
Telephone: 509-335-6691
Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Jay Fox, trade unionist, syndicalist, communist and anarchist, lived more than fifty years in the small farming community of Home, Washington on Puget Sound. Fox, born in 1870, took part in the Haymarket riot while still in his teens. After an active career as a union organizer, which brought him to the Pacific Northwest, he joined the anarchist Mutual Home Colony Association, usually know as the Home Colony. For an interesting view of the life and activities at the colony see Stewart Holbrook's Anarchists at Home (American Scholar, 15 (Autumn 1946) 425-438). For a more thorough account of colony's experiences, and a brief biography of Jay Fox, see Charles P. LeWarne's chapter on the Home Colony in his Communitarian Experiments in Western Washington, 1885-1915 (Unpublished dissertation, University of Washington, 1969).

At Home, Fox served as editor of The Agitator, the colony newspaper, a successor to those previously suppressed by the U.S. Post Office. During this period his editorial defense of colonists who were arrested for nude bathing brought him into the public eye when he was prosecuted for "encouraging or advocating disrespect for the law." Although an isolated rural area, Home had considerable contact with scores of radical political and social thinkers, including Emma Goldman, James F. Morton, Elbert Hubbard and Fox's old friend from union organizing days, William Z. Foster. His death, in 1961, was within months of Fosters.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The papers consist of correspondence, drafts, notes, membership cards and certificates, newspaper clippings, broadsides and pamphlets by or about Fox. His manuscript autobiography entitled Syndicalism: its growth and decay described by Terry Pettus ( Sixty-four years a union man. Our World, a weekly publication of The Daily People's World (February 16, 1951) 4-7), is not among these papers and no other record of it has been found. Some of the books, pamphlets and newspapers acquired by the WSU Library from Douglas Owens may have once been a part of the Home Colony Library, but only the one indicated here has any notation of ownership.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Preferred Citation

[Item Description]. Cage 172, Jay Fox Papers . Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries, Pullman, WA.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Acquisition Information

The papers of American radical Jay Fox were purchased by Washington State University Library as part of a collection of radical books and pamphlets from Douglas Owens in 1971.


The activities of Theodore Schroeder and the Free Speech League, predecessor to the American Civil Liberties Union, in Fox's behalf are documented in the Schroeder Papers at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale (NUCMC 71-1877).

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Container(s) Description Dates
1 Dialectic
2 Bunker Hill
3 [The youth of Home]
4 Man and his machine by Jay Fox
4 Postcards from Marcus Graham to Jay Fox, re: editorial changes to his article submitted to Man!
2 items.
March 1934
5 The voyage of Columb' [a poem]
6 Letter, Ernest Lister, Washington State Governor, to A. B. Bell, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, Pierce County, re: pardon for Jay Fox.
July 22, 1915
7 Letter, J. G. Brown, President, International Union of Shingle Weavers, Sawmill Workers and Woodsmen, "to whom it may concern," certifying that Jay Fox is a union representative
March 17, 1914
7 Organizer certificates from the American Federation of Labor, signed by Samuel Gompers.
3 items.
1914, 1915, 1917
8 The nude and the prudes by J. F.[Clipping from Home Agitator, which lead to Fox's arrest]
1 item, tearsheet.
9 Letters to Jack Lumber [a series of editorial articles by Fox in The Timberworker, some with annotations and corrections].
approx. 30 items, clippings.
10 Letter, Jay Fox, to the Editor of the [Tacoma?] Ledger: "The problem of the surplus,
1 item, clipping.
May 26, 1932.
11 History of the Eight-Hour Day by Jay Fox, Chicago Labor News
1 item, clipping.
September 15, 1916
12 I was at Haymarket by Jay Fox, Our World [supplement to People's World]
1 item, clipping.
April 27, 1951
13 Miscellaneous papers. Includes carbon of a letter to the Circulation Manager of the Tacoma News Tribune, undated; bank statement, December 1929; blank letterheads of The Plumb Plan League and The International Trade Union League, undated.
7 items.
14 Writings: stories, letters, articles by David Fox? [some may be drafts of Jay Fox]
16 items.
15 Marked article: "The Fool" by L. Augustine Motler, The Link
1 item, clipping.
May 1912
15 Clipped poems and package wrapping addressed to Mrs. Cora Fox.
4 items.
16 Membership and business cards of Jay Fox
8 items.
17 Handbills and programs of Jay Fox's speeches
7 items (two with manuscript notes for speech)
18 I.W.W. handbills
5 items (plus concessionaire tickets)
19 Invitation to Home reunion picnic, Los Angeles
1 item.
August 1944
20 Photograph: Free speech demonstration, Vancouver, B. C. postcard, J. H. to M. Salsnes [in Swedish?]
1 item.
January 28, 1912
20 Photograph: Rioting in Butte, postcard
1 item.
20 Photograph: Storefront "Lovell Local 1001, I.W.W.
1 item.
20 Photograph: Portrait of Jay Fox
1 item.
20 Photograph: Spring art photograph
1 item.
21 Sixty-four years a union man [a biography of Jay Fox] by Terry Pettus. Our World
1 item, clipping.
February 16, 195l
22 Fox, Jay. Roosevelt, Czolgosz and anarchy by Jay Fox and Communism by Henry Addis. N.Y., Published by the New York Anarchists,
23 Fox, Jay. Trade unionism and anarchism, a letter to a brother unionist, by Jay Fox. Chicago, Social Science Press
24 [Schroeder, Theodore]. The free speech case of Jay Fox. N. Y., Free Speech League. Also includes "Intellectual hospitality" by Theodore Schroeder and "Advocating murder" by Sir Leslie Stephen.
April 1912
25 Wakeman, Thaddeus Burr. Addresses of Thaddeus Burr Wakeman at and in reference to the first Monist Congress at Hamburg, in September 1911. Cos Cob, Conn., Toussaint Farm. Cover inscription: Home, Washington Library with compliments of Libby Culbertson Macdonald. Oct. 7th, 1914.

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Labor unions -- Washington (State)--Officials and employees

Personal Names

  • Fox, Jay, 1870-1961 --Archives (creator)

Geographical Names

  • Home (Wash.)--History--Sources


  • Anarchists--United States--Biography