Ohio State nav bar


Clarence Darrow in defence of the United Mine Workers of America, Philadelphia, February 13, 1903.

I scarcely know what to say in opening this case. We have spent a long time in examining this evidence and bringing it before this tribunal. It was the result of a long and bitter strife, a strife in which men on both sides were turned into wild beasts and forgot that common sympathy and common humanity which, after all, are common to all men when they are approached from the human standpoint and the human side. This hearing, coming after this long and bitter siege, looked to me from afar as if it would be bitter, too. I felt as I came here and felt as I was coming here that I would do all in my power to make the feeling less bitter than it was. I felt that I did not wish to go away from this region and feel that I had helped to stir up dissension rather than cure it, helped increase this feeling of bitterness and hatred between two rival parties, instead of bringing them closer together, so that they might live together in that peace and harmony in which it was meant that all men should dwell together on earth.

But I find myself just at the closing in a position where I have to take very good care that all my good resolutions do not go for naught, and I shall take the best care I can. I have listened for nearly three days to the arguments of counsel for the operators, not all arguments, much that is argument, much that is vituperation, much that is abuse, much that is bitterness, much that is hatred, much that should not have been spoken here, much that could not have come from a brain which sees widely and largely and understands fully the acts of men.