Grabow Incident Bibliography

The Grabow or Graybow Incident refers to the riot between the timber industry and union members in Merryville, LA on July 7, 1912.

Compiled October 2, 2003 by Kathie Bordelon. Updated March 1, 2013 by Pati Threatt. All locations refer to McNeese State University, Frazar Memorial Library. 
Materials in Archives and Special Collections Department do not circulate. Please direct inquiries to

Books | Journal articles | Photographs  |  Manuscripts  | Newspaper articles | Theses


Allen, Ruth A. East Texas Lumber Workers: An Economic and Social Picture, 1870-1950. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 1961, p. 174-175. Special/HD/8039/.L92/U52

Berry, Connie E. The Brotherhood of Timber Workers and the Grabow Incident in Southwest Louisiana. McNeese State University Thesis, 1976. (In Special Collections) Thesis/History/1976b

Conlin, Joseph Robert. Big Bill Haywood and the Radical Union Movement. New York: Syracuse University Press, 1969, p. 124-125. Special/HD/6509/.H3/C65

Dubofsky, Melvyn. We Shall Be All: A History of the Industrial Workers of the World. Chicago: Quadrangle Books, 1969, p. 216-217. Special/HD/8055/.I5/D8

Foner, Philip Sheldon. History of the Labor Movement in the United States. Volume 4: The Industrial Workers of the World, 1905-1917, (Chapter 10: The Southern Lumber Drive includes The Grabow Affair, pp. 245-250 and The Merryville Strike, pp. 250-255) New York: International Publishers, 1966.  Special/HD/6508/.F57/v.4

Haywood, William D. Bill Haywood’s Book: The Autobiography of William D. Haywood. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1983. (Reprint. Originally published: New York: International Publishers, 1929.) (Chapter XV: The Lawrence Strike contains information on the Graybow (sic) strike against the Long-Bell Lumber Company, pp. 239-253.)  Special/HD/6509/.H3/A32/1966

Industrial Workers of the World. The Lumber Industry and Its Workers. Chicago, IL: Industrial Workers of the World, 1922. (Chapter 10: Past Battles of the Lumber Workers - Section on "Rise and Fall of the Brotherhood of Timber Workers," pp. 76-83.) (Book out of print, photocopy of pages in Pamphlet File 325 A/B on Grabow.)

Jenson, Vernon H. Lumber and Labor. (Labor in Twentieth Century America). (Chapter 10: Southern Pine). New York: Farrar & Rinehart, Inc., 1945, p. 71-98.  Special/HD/8039/.L9/J4

Marshall, Freddie Ray. Labor in the South. (Series title: Harvard University Wertheim Publications in Industrial Relations) Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1967, p. 97.  Special/HD/6517/.A13/M3

Spero, Sterling D. And Abram L. Harris. The Black Worker. New York: Columbia University Press, 1931.  E/185.8/.S74/1968

Vance, Rupert Bayless. Human Geography of the South: A Study in Regional Resources and Human Adequacy. (Social Study Series) Chapel Hill, NC: North Carolina Press, 1935. Special/HC/107/.A13/V3/1932

*Pertinent pages from the books have been photocopied and placed in Grabow Bibliography Pamphlet File 325 A/B available in the Archives Office.

Journal Articles*

Becnel, Thomas. "Louisiana Senator Allen J. Ellender and IWW Leader Covington Hall: An Agrarian Dichotomy." Louisiana History XXIII (Summer 1982): 259-275.

Block, W. T. " ‘Leather Britches’ Smith and the Grabow Riot." [Unpublished].

Cook. Bernard A. "Covington Hall and Radical Rural Unionization in Louisiana." Louisiana History XVIII (Spring 1977): 227-238.

                Creel, George. "Feudal Towns of Texas." Harper’s Weekly, January 23, 1915: 76-78.

Fickle, James E. "The Louisiana-Texas Lumber War of 1911-1912." Louisiana History XVI (Winter 1975): 59-85.

Gray, James R. "The Brotherhood of Timber Workers 1910-1913: A Radical Response to Industrial Capitalism in the Southern U.S.A." Past and Present, 60: (August 1973): 161-200. [Accessible through JSTOR].

Haywood, William D. "Timber Workers and Timber Wolves." International Socialist Review, 13 (August 1912): 105-110.

                "The Labor Situation." The Lumber Trade Journal, May 15, 1912: 13-14.

                "The Labor Situation." The Lumber Trade Journal, June 1, 1912: 13.

"Lake Charles–No Basis for Reports of Labor Troubles; General Conditions Are Improved." The Lumber Trade Journal, May 15, 1912: 34.

McWhiney, Grady. "Louisiana Socialists: A Study in Rustic Radicalism." Journal of Southern History XX (August, 1954), pp. 315-336.

Morgan, George T. "No Compromise - No Recognition: John Henry Kirby, the Southern Lumber Operators’ Association, and Unionism in the Piney Woods, 1906-1916." Labor History 10 (Spring 1969): 193-204.

Reed, Merl E. "Lumberjacks and Longshoremen: The IWW in Louisiana." Labor History 13 (Winter 1972): 41-59.

Reed, Merl. E. "Notes and Documents: The IWW and Individual Freedom in Western Louisiana, 1913." Louisiana History X (Winter 1969): 61-69.

*Photocopies of these articles have been placed in Grabow Bibliography Pamphlet File 325 A/B available in the Archives Office.


Maude Reid Collection. McNeese State University Archives and Special Collections Department. Acc.#011, Series 3, Box 3. Folder on the Grabow Riot. Finding Aid: .

State Historical Society of Missouri at the University of Missouri - Columbia. Louisiana Central Lumber Company, Clarks, Louisiana, Records, 1901-1956 (C3660), folders 773-776. Finding Aid: . Photocopies of correspondence from this collection are located in the Grabow Bibliography Pamphlet File 325 A/B.


Photograph 1915. McNeese State University Archives and Special Collections Department. "Union Prisoners in Lake Charles Jail and the Big Dinner Given Them by the Ladies of DeRidder, La., July 28, 1912.

Newspaper articles

"Economics." The Crisis (New York, NY) February 1913: 164.

"Eight Lumber Mills Close Monday; Entire South to Fight Unionism." Daily (Times) Picayune (New Orleans, LA) July 20, 1911: 6.

"Four Killed in Riot; Militia Ordered Out." Daily (Times) Picayune (New Orleans, LA) July 8, 1912: 1 & 11.

"Grabow Defense Refused a Delay." Daily (Times) Picayune (New Orleans, LA) October 8, 1912: 15.

                "The Grabow Riot." Lake Charles American Press, October 23, 1962, p. 4.

"Historical Event: The Graybow (sic) Riot." Beauregard Daily News, DeRidder, LA, March 19, 1987, p. 8A.

                 Jones, Mike. "The Legend of Leather Britches Smith." Lake Charles American Press, May 23, 1993, p. 13.

                 "Leather Britches Smith: A Man Some Loved to Hate." Lake Charles American Press, March 31, 2002, p. B1.

                 "Murderous Thugs of Lumber Trust Kill Members of Brotherhood of Timber Workers, and Charge Crime to Union."                          
                      Industrial Solidarity,
July 20, 1912, p. 1.

                "Negro Workers! Don't Allow Yourselves to be Divided from Your Fellow Workers by the Vicious Lumber Trust."
                      Industrial Solidarity,
September 28, 1912, p. 1.

"Sawmills Will Start Work Again; Fight on Unionism to Spread." Daily (Times) Picayune (New Orleans, LA) November 1, 1911: 9.

Coverage for the trial for those indicted began in October 1912 and went to mid-November 1912 in the Lake Charles American Press.


McCord, Charles. "A Brief History of the Brotherhood of Timber Workers. " Master’s Thesis, University of Texas, 1958. Special/HD/5325/.L92/1912/G7

McWhiney, Grady. "The Socialist Vote in Louisiana, 1912." Master’s Thesis, Louisiana State University, 1951.

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