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A Warning to Potential Seditionists

Washington Avenue, still a dirt street, with a streetcar coming down the center - utility wires overhead
Washington Avenue in the 19-teens – enlarge - Click to enlarge

Many American citizens objected to our involvement in World War I. They regarded it as a European dispute and saw no reason for us to be drawn into the fray. The federal government was determined to quell anti-war talk, so they enacted the Espionage Act of 1917, followed by the Sedition Act of 1918.

political cartoon showing Uncle Same with a man-wolf on a leash in one hand and a collection of traitors in the other
Courtesy - Library of Congress - Surveillance and Censorship

107 Years Ago
The July 5, 1917 Colorado Transcript reported that Nick Druckes of Golden had been arrested by soldiers for making “treasonable utterances.” He was fortunate: after a night in jail, he was taken before the Adjutant General, given a “severe lecture” and set free.

The Transcript commented “Druckes probably meant no harm and did not realize the gravity of his offense, but his arrest will probably serve as a warning to certain others who have been inclined to make unpatriotic remarks.”

Thanks to the Golden History Museum for providing the online cache of historic Transcripts, and to the Golden Transcript for documenting our history since 1866!