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Vincent Saint John

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Title: Vincent Saint John  
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Subject: Steve Adams (Western Federation of Miners), James E. Wadham, Free speech fights, Industrial Workers of the World leaders, Industrial Workers of the World
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Vincent Saint John

Vincent Saint John
Born 1876 (1876)
Newport, Kentucky
Died Did not recognize date. Try slightly modifying the date in the first parameter.
San Francisco
Resting place Oakland, California
Occupation Miner, Labor leader
Parent(s) Silas St. John and "Mary" Cecilia Magee

Vincent Saint John (1876 – 1929) was an American labor leader and prominent Wobbly, among the most influential radical labor leaders of the 20th century.


St. John was born in Newport, Kentucky and was the only son of New York native Silas St. John and Irish immigrant Marian "Mary" Cecilia Magee. He had a sister two years younger named Helen.

The family moved frequently, Silas going wherever he could to find employment as a clerk or bookkeeper. St. John worked as a

He was shadowed by Pinkertons hired by the Mine Operators' Association, stalked by gunmen, had a price on his head, was arrested and charged with crimes he never committed, and was condemned by the anti-labor press as a "murderer."

Bulkeley Wells, a Telluride mining company president and manager who was "born to privilege... [and was] convinced laborers were beneath him," was intent upon hanging St. John. Wells conspired with others, including Pinkerton manager James McParland, to accuse the head of the WFM local of conducting a "reign of terror" — and in particular, of murdering William J. Barney, a mine guard who had left his post. There was one significant complicating factor: Barney was not dead, but had merely failed to notify anyone that he had left.[1]

In November 1907 St. John was shot in Industrial Workers of the World and in 1908–1914 he led that union as the General Secretary. In January 1915 he retired to a small copper claim in New Mexico, but was later arrested for a May 1918 mass trial as the federal government brought sweeping indictments against 101 IWW members.[2] St. John was not a member at that time, nor had he committed any crime, but the blanket indictments of hundreds of Wobblies brought blanket convictions, and St. John was sentenced to federal prison at Leavenworth. He was freed by President Warren G. Harding in 1923.[3]

Vincent St. John died in San Francisco 1929 and is buried in Oakland, California.


  1. ^ Martin, MaryJoy (2004). The Corpse On Boomerang Road, Telluride's War On Labor 1899-1908. Western Reflections Publishing Company. pp. 11–24, 231.  
  2. ^ Goldstein, Robert Justin (2001).  
  3. ^ "Two War Offenders Freed From Prison" (PDF). New York Times (June 28). 1922. Retrieved 2008-10-18. 
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