Edward Henry Harriman, Railroad Magnate, and Wife

Edward Harriman was one of most powerful railroad magnates in the country. President Theodore Roosevelt had been having a dispute with Harriman and he angrily released a letter to the press in which he said Harriman was "at least as undesirable a citizen as Debs, or Moyer, or Haywood." Labor seized on this incident, condemning Roosevelt for publicly criticizing two men on trial who would be executed if convicted. Before Roosevelt released the letter to the press he read parts of the letter to members of the United States Supreme Court during the traditional meeting with the president just prior to the start of the fall term of the Court. At this time, the Court had on its schedule three days later the oral arguments in the case of Pettibone v. Nichols, the appeal from the Idaho Supreme Court and federal district courts which had denied Haywood, Pettibone and Moyer habeas corpus relief from their removal to Idaho. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USZ62-97597