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Country: United States
City: Everett, Wash.
Issues of this title available in Elephind: 85
Items (articles and/or pages) from this title available in Elephind: 341
Earliest Date: 1 July 1915
Latest Date: 27 September 1917
The Commonwealth, an Everett, Washington, Socialist weekly, found itself deep in debt after only three years of publication. Business manager Katherine Hodgins was able to make the paper economically viable enough to pay its current bills and retire some of its debt after she took over leadership in January 1914, but debt collectors confiscated the Commonwealth's assets at the end of March. Encouraged by Hodgins' ultimately unsuccessful efforts, the Socialists of Snohomish County decided to launch a new paper, the Washington Socialist. This paper lasted until June 1915, when it was renamed the Northwest Worker. Frequent name changes reflected continued financial pressures and the attempt to broaden the geographic reach of the paper, thereby increasing subscription income. Maynard Shipley served as editor until April 1916 when Henry W. Watts took over his duties. To reflect the new interest in cooperatives, the paper changed its name to Co-operative News in October 1917. The leadership, ownership, and content of the papers were generally consistent from title to title. They served as promotional and educational instruments for the Socialist Party, reporting on national, state and local party events and issues. Peter Husby, an attorney who had previously contributed the "Free Legal Advice" column, was the last person to serve as editor.
Important events covered by these papers include wars in Mexico and Europe, labor strife in the West, and elections. In August 1914 a Socialist (James M. Salter) was elected Commissioner of Public Works, the highest office ever held by a Socialist in Everett. The “Everett Massacre,” an armed confrontation between local authorities and members of the Industrial Workers of the World, took place on November 5, 1916, and was covered in the Northwest Worker. Notably absent from the paper were reports of internal strife within the Socialist Party, which editor Shipley felt would divide the radical community.
The Co-operative News was published until at least June 1918. The last surviving issues are filled with predictions of newspaper’s impending doom based on the government’s suppression of Socialist and radical publications taking place throughout the nation under the authority of the federal Espionage Act of 1917, as amended in April 1918.
Provided by: Washington State Library; Olympia, WA