Guide to the Jay Fox Papers 1910-1951
Cage 172

Summary Information

Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries
Fox, Jay
Jay Fox Papers
Cage 172
Date [inclusive]
100.0 items.
General Physical Description note
.5 linear feet of shelf space.
Correspondence, drafts, notes, membership cards and certificates, newspaper clippings and published material by or about Jay Fox.

Preferred Citation note

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

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Biographical/Historical note

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see Charles P. LeWarne's chapter on the Home Colony in his  Communitarian Experiments in Western Washington, 1885-1915 (Unpublished dissertation, University of Washington, 1969).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.

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Scope and Contents note

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.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries © 1976
Terrell Library
P.O. Box 645610
Pullman, WA, 99164-5610

Conditions Governing Access note

This collection is open for research use.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

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.

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Controlled Access Headings

Geographic Name(s)

  • Home (Wash.)--History--Sources


  • Anarchists--United States--Biography

Personal Name(s)

  • Fox, Jay, 1870-1961 --Archives


  • Government and Politics
  • Labor History
  • Labor unions -- Washington (State)--Officials and employees
  • Washington (State)

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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).

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Collection Inventory


Dialectic undated   3 l. ms., 2 clippings.


Bunker Hill undated   7 l. ms. (on Montana hotel stationery).


[The youth of Home] undated   3 l. ms.


Man and his machine by Jay Fox 1934   2 l. typescript.


Postcards from Marcus Graham to Jay Fox, re: editorial changes to his article submitted to Man! March 1934   2.0 items.


The voyage of Columb' [a poem] undated   1 l. typescript.


Letter, Ernest Lister, Washington State Governor, to A. B. Bell, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, Pierce County, re: pardon for Jay Fox. July 22, 1915   1 l. typescript (carbon)


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   1 l. typescript signed.


Organizer certificates from the American Federation of Labor, signed by Samuel Gompers. 1914 1915 1917   3.0 items.


The nude and the prudes by J. F.[Clipping from Home Agitator, which lead to Fox's arrest] 1910   1.0 item, tearsheet.


Letters to Jack Lumber [a series of editorial articles by Fox in The Timberworker, some with annotations and corrections]. 1914   approx. 30 items, clippings.


Letter, Jay Fox, to the Editor of the [Tacoma?] Ledger: "The problem of the surplus, May 26, 1932.   1.0 item, clipping.


History of the Eight-Hour Day by Jay Fox, Chicago Labor News September 15, 1916   1.0 item, clipping.


I was at Haymarket by Jay Fox, Our World [supplement to People's World] April 27, 1951   1.0 item, clipping.


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. 1914-1929   7.0 items.


Writings: stories, letters, articles by David Fox? [some may be drafts of Jay Fox] 1910   16 items.


Marked article: "The Fool" by L. Augustine Motler, The Link May 1912   1.0 item, clipping.


Clipped poems and package wrapping addressed to Mrs. Cora Fox. undated   4.0 items.


Membership and business cards of Jay Fox 1905-1919   8.0 items.


Handbills and programs of Jay Fox's speeches 1902-1923   7 items (two with manuscript notes for speech)


I.W.W. handbills 1917-1960   5 items (plus concessionaire tickets)


Invitation to Home reunion picnic, Los Angeles August 1944   1.0 item.


Photograph: Free speech demonstration, Vancouver, B. C. postcard, J. H. to M. Salsnes [in Swedish?] January 28, 1912   1.0 item.


Photograph: Rioting in Butte, postcard undated   1.0 item.


Photograph: Storefront "Lovell Local 1001, I.W.W. undated   1.0 item.


Photograph: Portrait of Jay Fox 1950   1.0 item.


Photograph: Spring art photograph 1910   1.0 item.


Sixty-four years a union man [a biography of Jay Fox] by Terry Pettus. Our World February 16, 195l   1.0 item, clipping.


Fox, Jay. Roosevelt, Czolgosz and anarchy by Jay Fox and Communism by Henry Addis. N.Y., Published by the New York Anarchists, undated   15 p.


Fox, Jay. Trade unionism and anarchism, a letter to a brother unionist, by Jay Fox. Chicago, Social Science Press 1908   16 p front., port.


[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   10 p.


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. 1913.   58 p. front., port.