It was her second outbound trip over the Atlantic for Europe in less than three months.  The German U-Boats were more menacing, for now that the United States was formally at war, everything afloat from an American port was considered a carrier of troops or munitions, no matter what national flag a vessel flew.

But this time Louise was not alone.  Jack was along to share her excitement, and the certainty that they would be witnessing tremendously-significant events, and she would, at last, achieve her goal of becoming an important journalist, while Jack would perhaps be able to regain his lost prestige as a great writer.

As accredited journalists they had a first class cabin, but as soon as they learned that the boat's steerage section was full of people who had once left Russia, and now that the hated czar was gone, were returning, they lost no time in joining them.

They spent all their time with these people who had come abroad with all their possessions in gunnysacks and parcels.  These were some of "the huddled masses yearning to breathe free," of Emma Lazarus's moving prose engraved on the Statue of Liberty, Jack told her.  They had fled Czarist Russia only a decade or two earlier to avoid compulsory military service, to avoid being sent to Siberia for raising their voices in protest, or to avoid perishing in police-encouraged pogroms against Jews.

A Utopian America had beckoned them then, and now that the despot Nicholas II was gone, Russia beckoned as brightly.  Russia, without a czar, promised an escape from American sweatshops, vermin-ridden tenements, and for Jews, an escape from the odious name "sheeny."  Louise was deeply moved and wrote about the people who were risking their lives to return to their homeland.

Hunted, beaten, mistreated before they fled to America, they had somehow maintained the greatest love for the land of their birth. . . It was along way back for these people.  We were held up a week in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on their account, while officers came aboard every morning and examined and reexamined them.  Pitiful incidents occurred.  There was an old woman who clung frantically to some letters from a dead son.  She secreted them in all sorts of strange places and brought down suspicion upon herself. There was a youth they decided to detain - he threw himself on the deck face down and sobbed like a child. They were all in a state of nervous terror.

(Louise and Jack appear to have agreed to completely separate their personal lives from the material intended for publication.  Thus Reed’s name appears only once in her “Six Red Months in Russia.”  In the original edition she dedicates the book “affectionately to that beloved vagabond, John Reed, and Reed, in his “Ten Days That Shook The World,” refers to her only twice:  When discussing the the charges of atrocities involving raping of members of the Women’s Death Battalion, he points out that Louise Bryant has interesting material in her book about the women-soldiers, and again when she barely escaped death during a deadly attack on Red Guards.  Nowhere is there any suggestion tht they were husband and wife, or even that they had come to Russia together.  Interestingly, and probably also the result of an agreement, her book opens with the simple statement, “When the news of the Russian revolution flared across the front pages of all the newspapers in the world, I made up my mind to go to Russia.  Early in August I left America on the Danish Steamer, ‘United States.’”)

The first thing Jack told her when they came aboard, wrote Louise in her notes, was that he had no intention of honoring his promise to the State Department, and that he would, in fact, attend the conference of socialists from all over the world when they met in Stockholm. Not only that, but he was carrying greetings and other material from American comrades to the meeting. He did not feel, said Louise, that a government, which could not exist without constantly practicing deception at home and intrigue abroad, had a right to exact any such pledge from one who was able to trace his ancestry to Patrick Henry.

When the British soldiers came to their cabin to double check their passports and perhaps search their room.  Jack was ready for them.  He had carefully hidden the material under the carpet, and, said Louise, two bottles of scotch and some glasses were sitting out invitingly.  "They toasted King George, President Wilson and President Poincare of France.  Then one of the marines remembered that Italy was also on their side, but nobody knew the name of their president, or even if they had one.  So they toasted Italy anyhow. By that time they had forgotten why they came and when they left the one who was in charge, bowed and winked at me as be backed out of the door."

Counting the week the ship was delayed at Halifax, it took the S.S. United States three weeks to reach Kristiania (now Oslo) in Norway.  At Kristiania they boarded a train for the trip across Norway, then north along the coast of Sweden and into Finland.  The endless evergreen forests rushing by their train windows were so like the forests of Oregon and Washington on the West Coast, Louise could have been traveling from Portland to Seattle, were it not for the Scandinavian faces she saw on station platforms and all about her.

On the train she had her first encounter with a lesbian.  The train was crowded, as were all trains in those hectic, feverish days of war and revolution.  They had become friendly with a Czarist courier returning home to an uncertain fate. "The only way we could get some rest was to take turns and sleep a little while on a bench in a compartment," said she.  "Jack and the courier would stand outside while I shared a bench with a woman passenger.  Then they would take their turn and we would stay in the corridor."  Louise stretched out on the long bench in the compartment, her feet touching those of the Norwegian girl sharing the bench with her.

She awakened with a start, and it was a moment before she realized she was not dreaming - someone was fondling her face, and a hand was pressing her thigh.  It was a woman - the Norwegian girl.  "What are you doing," screamed Louise.  Then she kicked at her and ran outside, shouting to Jack and the courier.  "What is that woman in there trying to do to me?"   When she told them what had happened, both of them - to her great amazement - roared with laughter.  Then Reed looked at her in the dim light of the corridor and said:  "Honey, that girl is a lesbian.  Have you never heard of a lesbian?"

"Yes, of course I have, but I thought, I thought. . . Oh, my God. . ."  The next day, said Louise, traveling through Norway, the girl sat gloomily looking out of the window without once glancing in their direction.

Louise caught her first glimpse of the soldiers of the new Russian revolutionary army at Tornio, a tiny town in Finland, just across the border from an equally tiny Swedish town called Haparanda.  Finland still belonged to Russia then.  The date was September 10, 1917.  "It was a cheerless, gray morning," she wrote.  "A steady drizzle added to the mournfulness of everything about the cluttered little station.  The soldiers of the revolution - great, blond giants, mostly workers and peasants, wore old dirt-colored uniforms from which everything that had to do with czardom had been removed.  They carried ugly-looking bayonets and called everyone by such endearing customary Russian names as 'little grandfather,' 'little mother' and 'precious one.'"

Thus she described her first impression of the new Russia.  And then came the bitter disappointment of those who had been dreaming they were returning to a land where the czar had been banished - and with him war and hunger and want - and that the cry "svoboda" (freedom) was being shouted from the rooftops.

"A tall, white-bearded patriarch, returning after a thirty-six year exile, was beside himself with excitement.  He rushed from one soldier to another.  'How are you my dears?  What town are you from?  Ah, I am so happy to be here again. . Do you know where Nikolayev is?'  The soldiers kept smiling   indulgently, but finally one spoke sternly to the old man:  'Listen, little grandfather, there is no time for reunions.'  The old man clutched the soldier's arm.  'What are you trying to tell me?  Is Russia not free?  What is there to look forward to now but to happiness and peace?'  'There is fighting and dying ahead, little grandfather; our land is full of traitors within and enemies without.'  The poor old man collapsed.  His dream of Utopia was shattered."

There was more, a good deal more.  One woman was hustled back across the border into Sweden because her papers were not in order, while her eighteen-year-old son was ordered to stay.  She screamed and pleaded and said she was born in Russia and knew nothing about papers and visas, but it was of no avail; she was carried across the border screaming and cursing.  The courier himself was questioned closely, his fate still uncertain.

Tornio reflected the confusion that prevailed all over Russia.  There were fantastic rumors and reports.  Each time the train stopped at a station and the passengers got off to stretch their cramped limbs and get hot water for the tea they constantly drank while traveling, the rumors and reports grew more and more frightening, and more bizarre.  They were not altogether new to Louise.  She had read them in the English language papers in Paris when she was there, and the New York papers ware full of rumors of atrocities, often presented in such a way as to make them sound like news.

But here, in a wartime atmosphere, they sounded ominous and dangerously near.  There were rumors that women had been mass-raped; rumors that at one place in Russian Asia, unmarried women had been nationalized the way everything else had been by the Bolsheviki; rumors that Kerensky had been assassinated; and rumors that Lenin had left his hiding place in Finland and was back in Petrograd ready to take over from the Provisional Government.

Because it was near the Swedish border, from where messages could be sent in code, Tornio was full of spies and secret agents, most of them British or French.  One Briton, his curiosity aroused by the sight of this handsome young pair of Americans waiting their turn to be examined before being permitted to enter Russia, managed to get them involved in conversation.

"But this is unbelievable.  You're not planning to take HER into that bloody country?"

"Why, of course," Reed told him, "Why not?  She's my wife and she wants to see for herself what is happening in that bloody country."

Louise gave the Briton one of her most radiant smiles:  "Yes, why not?  You know I may never again get a chance to see a real revolution."  

The Briton muttered a godspeed, shook his head and Left them.

At Tornio Louise also got her first taste of the disorder and chaos that is an inevitable part of a revolution. Before they were allowed to board the train for the capital, they had their passports and correspondent credentials examined again and again by men who appeared to be uncertain about what they were supposed to do.  Their baggage was also examined over and over again and most personal items like Louise's few cosmetics and even more personal things were confiscated.  Then, guarded by six bayonet-wielding soldiers, she was marched off to a shack where she found herself before a chunky Russian girl with bobbed hair and wearing soldier’s boots, who ordered her to undress.  It was dreadfully cold and Louise reluctantly took her clothes off - then the girl, without glancing at her - told her to put her clothes on again.  Naked, her teeth chattering, her clothes about her on the floor, Louise demanded to know why, she,an American citizen, was required to dress and undress without being searched.  The Russian girl Looked at Louise and said: "Chortznayet (the devil knows); all women have to do it when they come in here."

Outside the shack, Louise found Reed talking with a soldier. His face was clouded. "I want to show you something," he said, "It has just been posted." On the railroad station wall was an announcement in both Russian and French. It was dated two days earlier, September 3, and announced the declaration of martial law by Premier Kerensky:

"... General Kornilov dispatched to me. . .a demand to give him supreme military and civil power, saying that he will form a new government to rule the country.. the Provisional Government considered it necessary, for the salvation of the country, to take all measures to secure order and suppress all efforts to usurp the supreme power won by our citizens in the Revolution. . .The city of Petrograd and the Petrograd district are hereby declared under martial law by action of this telegram. . . I appeal to all to accomplish their duties in defending the nation.


   Premier Kerensky

This is the picture Alexander Kerensky gave Louise when she and Reed interviewed him.  He was still head of the revolutionary government but not too long after the interview he barely escaped to England as Vladimir Ilich Ulyanov, better known as Nicolai Lenin, took control of Russia.


It was an unusual interview, to say the least, details of which Greene found in Louise’s notes.  Kerensky was lying on his side on a couch in great pain because of a severe kidney ailment, and apologized for greeting them in that condition.  Reed, of course, knew all about kidney ailments.  Indeed, it was while he was in Johns Hopkins Hospital for kidney surgery a year earlier that O’Neill moved in with Louise in their apartment.

So there they were, reveals Louise, comparing notes on the respective kidney ailments, before turning to discussing Kerensky’s rapidly vanishing hopes for continuing the against Germany with the Allies and bring Socialism to Russia by democratic means, in the face of Lenin’s irresistible appeal to soldiers, workers and peasants with the cry: “End the war, take the factories and the land, we will make legal in due time.”

At the many stations where their Petrograd-bound train stopped, they heard more and more fantastic rumors and reports. "The scraps of conversation we caught sent shivers over us," wrote Louise.  "On one station platform, a pale, slight young man, standing beside me, suddenly blurted out: 'It was terrible ...I heard them screaming.'  Heard whom?  Heard whom? I asked anxiously.  'The officers!  The bright, pretty officers,' replied the young man in a whisper.  'They stamped on their faces with heavy boots, dragged them through the mud and threw them in the canal.... They killed fifty and I heard their screams.'"

In her first by-line dispatch from Russia, Louise said: "I have arrived on the crest of a counter-revolution.  The rumors are flying.  Petrograd is in a stage of siege.  Trenches are being dug outside the city.  What has happened since then?  We walked up and down the station platform under heavy guard, feeling Like prisoners."

They stood on the sidewalk in front of the Petrograd station, Reed wondering how they could get to the Angleterre Hotel where he had stayed with Boardman Robinson in 1915.  Then a young soldier, seeing a handsome American with a pretty woman, their baggage on the sidewalk, approached and asked: "Aftomobil, da?"  "Da, spasibo," said Reed in his limited Russian.

(Neither Louise nor Jack were linguists.  Louise had studied French at both the University of Nevada and the University of Oregon, and Jack had picked up enough Russian on his former trip to get by.  Fortunately, most literate Russians could speak French well, and some could also speak English.  In addition, by the time they arrived in Petrograd there were hundreds of Americans there ahead of them.  Most of these were radicals who had fled Russia a decade or so earlier to keep from being sent to Siberia for their activities, and now that the czar was gone, had returned to the place of their birth.  Hundreds of others, notably Jews, were returning as had those aboard the ship on which Louise and Jack had made the trip, and all were eager to be seen with and help this important American couple as a means of gaining favor for themselves in the new regime.)

As they whirled away from the noisy station, they were startled by the stillness of the city, the absence of anyone anywhere except sentries. "We were prepared for anything cut this," wrote Louise. The "aftomobil" crossed a curving bridge into the main part of the city and here too, nothing seemed to move. The young soldier, bubbling with enthusiasm, explained the stillness. The Kornilov counter-revolution was over and the city was back to normal, which was anything but the way Reed recalled it during the early morning czarist hours of 1915.

They were challenged by sentries now and then, but the soldier yelled something and without slowing roared on.  As the car stopped and they started for the hotel entrance, a strange thing suddenly happened - one of the many that never failed to surprise her when she was in Russia.  "Mysteriously, out of the darkness," wrote Louise, "the bells in all the churches began to boom over the -sleeping city, a sort of wild barbaric tango."  They could find no one, not even Jack's friend Bill Shatov was able to explain why the bells in all the churches should have suddenly broken the night stillness as they did at that particular moment.

At the Angleterre, the porter, annoyed at being awakened when it was not yet four in the morning, showed them their room on the third floor.  It was a huge, vaulted room all gold and mahogany, with old, blue draperies.  Most of the furniture was shrouded in white coverings.  In one corner was a huge bed and beyond that was an enormous bathtub cut out of solid granite.  Light was provided by a dazzling old-fashioned crystal candelabra.   "Only twenty-five rubles," said the porter.  It was bitterly cold in the room, and when Louise pulled back the drapes, she saw why.  The windows had been smashed by gunfire during the riots and hadn't been replaced.  Above the huge bed was a sign which declared that the speaking of German was strictly forbidden.

Clinging to Reed for warmth, it seemed to Louise that she had only just shut her eyes when there was a loud pounding on  the door and, before either of them could answer, the door opened  violently and a burly blond Russian entered and demanded to  know what they wanted done about their baggage.  It was a while before they realized he was talking German.  Reed pointed to the sign above the bed.  The Russian looked puzzled, and then said in German:  "We are not at war with the German language, only the Germans."  Russians, Louise soon learned, paid little attention to the signs, not even the ones on each table in restaurants:  "Just because a man must make his living by being a waiter, do not insult him by offering him tips."

"Why is he so blond?" Louise asked when the Russian porter was out of the room.  Reed grinned, and Louise knew the answer would be amusing but not very informative. "Because," said Reed, "He is a White Russian, and not the kind that live on the East Side in New York.  White Russians are always blond, that's why." Louise laughed and kissed him.

In the morning she yawned and said: "Let's not get up today, it's so terribly cold."  Reed pushed her gently away from him.  "There's a revolution outside, Mrs. R," and getting out of bed, Reed began to dress.  Louise sighed and followed him, her teeth chattering and her breath turning to vapor.

Louise could hardly contain her excitement at her first daylight sight of the magnificent city then called Petrograd.  Peter the Great began building it on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland in 1703.  He wanted to build a city that he could call "The Window of Europe," and to do this he brought together Europe's greatest designers, architects, painters, artisans, and ordered thousands of serfs brought from all over Russia to the cold swampy Neva Delta to do the building.  Few of the laborers survived the climate and working conditions.

Louise wrote in her first dispatch from the Russian capital:

Petrograd is impressive, vast and solid.  New York's high buildings have a sort of tall flimsiness about them that is not sinister; Petrograd looks as if it was built by a giant who had no regard for human life.  The rugged strength of Peter the Great is in all the broad streets, the mighty open spaces, the great canals curving through the city, and rows and rows of palaces and the immense facades of government buildings.  Even such exquisite bits of architecture as the graceful old spires of the old Admiralty building and the round, blue-green domes of the Turquoise Mosque cannot break the heaviness.

Built by the cruel willfulness of an autocrat, who had named it St. Petersburg, after himself, more than two centuries ago, this mighty city, by a peculiar irony. . . has become "Red" Petrograd.



Russia is a land of superlatives.  Its eight and a half million square miles cover more than one-half of Europe and a third of Asia - a full sixth of the earth's surface.  Only China and India have larger populations.  There are 150 nationalities and tribes.  There are white people and yellow-skinned Mongols.  The whites range from flaxen haired Russians and Estonians in north European Russia, to dark, fierce-looking people in the south and southeastern parts.  In the Caucasus there are even descendents of the Negro slaves brought from Africa when Czar Alexander II started freeing Russian serfs.  To cross Russia from one end to the other means crossing eleven of the earth's twenty-four time zones.  In the extreme north, the cold is so intense that mercury in ordinary thermometers freezes, while in the Kar Kum Desert of Russian Asia, it's so hot one doesn't dare touch anything with bare hands.

It has fantastic mountains, mighty rivers, every imaginable natural resource to sustain life, and is so vast that as late as the 1930's Russian scientists were finding tribes in some of Russia's remote areas living as man did a dozen or more centuries ago.

Russia was always a land of glittering palaces, magnificent cities, splendid museums, and the world's most ornate cathedrals. It could boast of having given the world giants in literature, music, dancing and painting.  But, at the same time, it was a land of tyrannical rulers, incredible poverty, the world's worst slums, the most superstition-ridden priests, the highest illiteracy and infant mortality rates, the deadliest "pogroms" in which thousands of Jews perished, the most ruthless repression, and what all of these inevitably add up to - riots and revolution.  Neither long prison terms, banishment for life to Siberian camps, nor the most primitive forms of torture could stop Russia's periodic revolutionary upheavals.  These were sometimes fomented by land owners, sometimes by the nobility, sometimes by underground socialist workers groups, and sometimes by Russian Intellectuals, as was, for example, the insurrection of December 26, 1825, in which Aleksandr Pushkin, the poet, was involved and miraculously escaped punishment.

World revulsion against what was happening inside Russia did not materialize, however, until "Bloody Sunday" - January 22, 1905.  On that day, thousands of men, women and children, many of them families of workers involved in long strikes, appeared before the Czar's Winter Palace in what was then still St. Petersburg.  They came there to petition the czar for reforms.  Ironically, they were not led by revolutionary agitators, but by a priest named Father Georgi Gapon, who had organized a workers' movement with the help of the czar's own secret police, in the hope of countering the revolutionary socialism that had begun to grip the country.

The troops of a panicky Czar Nicholas replied by opening fire and more than one thousand men, women and children were killed.

This was followed by such world-wide revulsion and chaos and revolution inside Russia, that the czar agreed to bring something new into Russian political life - the Duma, a mild version of the British parliament and, at the same time, agreed to freedom of public expression of grievances.  The second was a hoax - it gave the czar's secret police a chance to find out who the troublemakers were.  The Duma concession was an equally useless gesture.  The czar retained the power to dismiss a Duma if he disapproved its work, and even arrest the elected members.  He dismissed the first, second and third Dumas, and at the time that Jack and Louise were there, the fourth was in session.

The czar's concession ended, at least temporarily, internal Russian turmoil and violence.  But the restiveness triggered by the humiliating Russian defeat in the Russo-Japanese war continued to smolder.  It was, indeed, an element in creating the conditions that, among other things, brought on the strikes and the march on the winter Palace and the czar's panicky reaction.

By "bloody Sunday", also, Lenin, whose real name was Vladimir Ilich Uylanov, had become an element in the events that were racing toward a disastrous end for both the czar and capitalism in Russia.

Louise found her background and the prior events in her life helped her while trying to sort out the chaos that was Russia in 1917 - Wadsworth and Eugene Debs, Reed's reports on his life in Mexico with Pancho Villa and his peasant rebels, the Ludlow massacre.  Professor Howe at the University of Oregon, the horror stories of confrontations of the radical Wobblies (Industrial Workers of the World) with police in Oregon and Washington state.

Moreover, the Russian capital was full of Americans who had fled Russia a decade before - many of them well-informed on Russian history and the radical underground - and had now returned to the land of their birth before she, Jack and their steerage companions arrived.  These people were not only happy to act as interpreters, but also to provide helpful information about what had happened to bring on the Czar's collapse and the significant events that followed.  Among these were Bill Shatov and flaming red-haired wife, Anna, both of whom Reed met and knew well in New York.  Louise soon became aware that Bill Shatov's interest in her was inspired by something more than a desire to see she was well informed on revolutionary developments.  Sharp-eyed Anna, however, saw to it that opportunities for interludes of any sort did not present themselves, while war and revolution raged everywhere in Europe.

There were a good many others there, some of whom Louise had met in Greenwich Village, and they were all eager to help these prominent American journalists.  The Russians themselves, at each other's throats over the form the revolution should take, had one important thing in common:  All eagerly wanted their side "correctly" presented to the American public.

All of them, recently returned Americans and Russians alike, found pleasure in talking with Louise.  She listened intently, even though a great deal of what she heard was not new to her.

They were drinking tea from cups in which floated almost razor-thin slices of lemon.  Louise gave up trying to' drink hers as she had seen an elderly man on the train do - straining the tea through a small lump of sugar gripped between the teeth.  Bill Shatov was explaining that what had happened in March which brought on the abdication of Czar Nicholas was not really a revolution.  "You might say it was a revolution by default," he said. "There was no planning or plotting.  Everything fell apart and there it was.  The czar quit and the power to run the country was anybody's for the asking."  And to Louise: "Here, let me show you how to drink that.  What you do is you take a sip of tea and then a small bite of sugar."

Of all the czars and emperors the Russians ever had, none was as inept arid as autocratic, said Shatov, as was the last of the Romanovs, Nicholas II. He had a deep feeling of inferiority, which he attempted to overcome by bluster and decisions without thought of consequences.  The need to cover indecisiveness with a mask of self-confident resolution caused him, among other things, to depend oh advisors who, like himself, lacked the ability to grasp the deep significance of the many problems that Russia faced during the 23 years he ruled Russia.  His wife, Alexandra, did little to endear him to the Russian people, especially during the war years when Russia was fighting Germany.  Alexandra was born in Germany, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria of England.

The lives of Nicholas and Alexandra were complicated by the many attempts made on his life and the tragedy of their son, young Alexis, a victim of hemophilia, a rare disease in which the blood has difficulty coagulating.  This caused both of them, in their desperate attempts to save the boy, to depend on quacks and scoundrels who called themselves mystics.  And of these, none was a greater charlatan than one Siberian mystic who played a significant part in bringing about their downfall.  His name was Gregor Efimovich Rasputin, a name that suited him like a glove.  The Russian word "rasput'nyik" means one who is dissolute, lewd, vicious and shameless.

Born in the Siberian town of Tobolsk, he abandoned his wife and three children to become a wandering religious mystic and faith healer.  He soon developed a reputation among superstitious peasants that he had divine powers to perform miracles in healing.  Rasputin's contribution to the art of reasoning was in providing a unique definition of the word "sin" to justify his unorthodox behavior.  Sin, said he, is an offensive action committed by an individual who is sinfully inclined. To suggest that he, Rasputin, (his real sur name, by the way, was Novykh) was sinfully-inclined, was a preposterous assumption, for how can one possess an inclination to be sinful and, at the same time, possess divine power to perform miracles in healing.

In 1907 he turned up in what was at that time still called St. Petersburg, and Czar Nicholas and Alexandra invited him to the palace to try his healing art on young Alexis.  The boy's bleeding stopped.  Whether the cure was of a permanent nature will never be known, for Alexis, along with his parents and four sisters were murdered by the Bolsheviki in July of 1918.

Nicholas and Alexandra were overjoyed and vowed eternal gratitude to Rasputin for the miracle he had performed on the heir to the Russian throne.  Rasputin soon became a powerful element in the decision making process which affected the lives of Russia's millions.

Ultimately not only workers and peasants and merchants throughout the land, but also the nobility began to consider him a symbol of everything that was evil.

On the last day of December in 1916, he was lured to the palace of Prince Yussupov where he was murdered.  The Czar and his wife then infuriated the destitute, the starving - everyone in Russia - by providing Rasputin with one of the most magnificent funerals ever staged in Russia.

It was the straw that broke the camel's back.



By March of 1917, the Russians were in their fourth year of the war.  Victories had been few and the suffering great. On the 22nd of March, food riots in Petrograd began to take on all the appearance of a spontaneous insurrection.  Czar Nicholas, who had by that time made himself supreme commander of all of Russia's armed forces, ordered troops to shoot rioters, and looters.  They refused.  There followed complete anarchy.  By March 25, the Czar was a virtual prisoner in his Winter Palace.  On the 29th he announced his abdication, and with his abdication came an end to the rule of czars over Russia - the end of the three-hundred-year-old Romanov dynasty of czars.

With the Czar's abdication, the Fourth Duma asked one of its members, Prince Georgi Lvov, to organize Provisional Government.  He did, and named Kerensky his Minister of Justice.  In July of 1917, because nothing much had happened to alleviate the suffering of the Russian masses, a new crisis developed.  Prince Lvov then resigned, and Kerensky became the Prime Minister of the Provisional Government.

By this time, Russia was in deep trouble.  The workers, the peasants and the soldiers at the front had expected that with the end of the czar's rule there would be an end to the war; that great land reforms would be made and working conditions in the factories would be improved.  The Provisional Government had promised to call a Constituent Assembly that would launch the program of improvement.  Instead, the new government kept changing the date for calling the Assembly into session, with Kerensky insisting that Russia's first task was to help the Allies crush the Germans and then make domestic improvements.

(NOTE: Much of the background of the 1917 Revolution presented here does not come from traditional sources.  It is based on information that developed during the author's conversations with an older brother, who was himself involved in some of the events that proceeded the Revolution, while the family was still living in Russia.)

Abhorring violence, the brother became an underground Social Democrat while still in his early teen years, and joined the ranks of those who believed - as did Karl Marx himself at one time - that socialism, under certain circumstances, might possibly be achieved by parliamentary means.  He retained that belief until his death in Los Angeles at the age of 94, even though he was forced to flee Russia with the czar's police close on his heels.  He had made the mistake of believing the czar's promises after "Bloody Sunday" and voiced an opinion about capitalism.  He also provided details about Angleica Balabanova, whose role in the lives of Louise and Reed is discussed in the EPILOGUE.  He knew her when both were children.)

Troops began deserting the trenches by the hundreds and then thousands. Peasants started looting the great estates, killing the wealthy owners and taking over the land.  Above all the turmoil was the great cry of Lenin and his fellow insurrectionists who had returned from exile in Switzerland-"PEACE, LAND, BREAD. . .ALL POWER TO THE SOVIETS. . . .end the war and to hell with all capitalistic allies. . .take the land, we'll pass laws to make it all legal later. . .workers and peasants, stop producing for the profit of others, take and use that which you have produced!"  That was the substance of Lenin's advice to the millions of hungry, war-weary Russian workers and peasants.

On July 15, 1917, new food riots broke out in the Russian capital, reminiscent of those that preceded the collapse of the czar's government about four months earlier.  Lenin was not at all certain that the situation was, as yet, right for a revolution, but conditions were getting out of hand, and so he arc his fellow revolutionists decided to try and direct the riots into a full-blown revolution.  They failed.  Hundreds of Bolsheviki, including Trotsky and Stalin and Kamenev, who was Stalin's fellow-editor on Pravda, were imprisoned, and Lenin fled into hiding in Finland.

His full name was General Lvar Georgievich Kornilov.  Son of a Cossack father, he had by 1917, established a distinguished record that dated back to the Russo-Japanese war.  Shortly after the abortive July 18 insurrection and the jailing of the Bolsheviki leaders, Kerensky named Kornilov commander-in-chief of all Russian armed forces.  Be medalled, a passionate disciplinarian, a long sword dangling at his left side and a tall Cossack hat on his head, Kornilov decided the first thing he must do was restore the death penalty to stop the headlong rush of deserters from the trenches.  The feuding civilian Provisional Government refused him permission.

He decided that if Russia was to be saved, it must have a military dictatorship, with himself as dictator.  A great many other generals and most upper-rank officers hailed his decision.  When Kerensky received an ultimatum from Kornilov, he fired his.  Kornilov refused to be fired and was soon marching on Petrograd with hundreds of Cossacks and other troops loyal to him.  Word of Kornilov's ultimatum to Kerensky, it will be recalled, reached tiny Tornio on the border of Finland with Sweden, the day that Louise and Jack Seed set foot on Russian soil.

The Kornilov counter-revolution collapsed, but it was at this point, wrote Louise, that Kerensky made his great mistake in assuming that the real threat to his democratic form of socialism for Russia was in General Kornilov. Lenin was, after all, a socialist, a willful and misguided one to be sure, but still a socialist, thought Kerensky, and when it came time for manning barricades against reactionary forces he would surely be there.  And so he made his fatal error: He called upon everyone, including the Bolsheviki, to defend Petrograd when Kornilov and his troops appeared on the outskirts of the city, and he freed from prison Trotsky and most of the other Bolsheviki who had been there since their arrest during the July attempt to overthrow the Provisional Government.

With all leading Kerensky opponents out of prison and Lenin's mighty cry. . ."PEACE...LAND...BREAD" on every available wall, said Louise, events began snowballing everywhere in Russia. In Poland, in White Russia, and other large sections of the country, the nationalists - mostly owners of property - were demanding autonomy and were refusing to obey orders from Kerensky's Provisional Government in Petrograd.  The Finns declared themselves an independent state and demanded Petrograd withdraw Russian soldiers from Finland.  Siberia and other large areas of Russia were talking about creating their own Constituent Assemblies and negotiating with the Germans for peace terms.

The desertion of soldiers increased at a terrifying rate.  Most of the deserters wandered aimlessly about Russia, many returning to their villages to join in setting fire to large estates and murdering their owners.  Moscow and Odessa were torn by strikes and transportation was paralyzed.

Trotsky was at the head of the most powerful of the soviets, the Soviet of Petrograd Workers.  Rank and file soldiers of the huge 20,000-man Petrograd garrison had formed a revolutionary committee.  Lenin was still in hiding in Finland.  His wife, Nadyezhda Krypskaya (“Nadyezhda” means “Hope”), a revolutionary schoolteacher, brought messages and new propaganda leaflets to   flood Petrograd.  She was one of the very few who knew where he was hiding in Finland, and made nightly trips to see him and return while it was still dark.

While Trotsky was publicly denying planning an insurrection to take over the Provisional Government's power to control Russia, Lenin's message to his fellow-Bolsheviki made it clear that they might as well forget their cry, "All power to the Soviets," without an insurrection and violence.

The crisis kept deepening and finally came to a head with a call by Lenin's followers for a Petrograd convocation of an All-Russian Congress of Soviets for "the purpose of taking over the power to rule Russia. This was the showdown. Kerensky supporters were furious, outraged. They were going to stop the convocation, by violent means if necessary.

(The Russian word “soviet” means “council,” a group of people formed to act in the interest of others.  In Russia, during the revolution that followed “Bloody Sunday” in 1905, and particularly after the czar’s abdication in 1917, they came to represent groups of workers, soldiers, peasants – everyone involved in the nation’s economic life.  There were also “soviets” to represent villages, districts, towns, cities, provinces and so on. As such, the “soviets” represented the often-conflicting economic and political views of all segments of Russian society, except for priests, monks and employers of labor for profit.  The various soviets from throughout the country were woven together into national federations somewhat in the manner of the individual local of the American Federation of Labor, and all of the soviets were bound together into an All-Russian Congress of Soviets.)

Following the call by the Lenin people to meet in Petrograd, a tremendous campaign got under way to influence elections of delegates throughout the country, with threats and predictions of disastrous consequences if Lenin's Bolsheviki took control, and, of course, promises of putting the revolution back on the track to achieve genuine socialism for Russia and a better life for all.

Louise, by the way, used the old Julian calendar dates - then still in effect in Russia.  Thus, the call for the All Russian Congress of Soviets for November 7th is October 25th in all reports - 13 days before today's universally-used Gregorian calendar.

Who were all these men and women, many of whom Louise came to know and write about, and whose words and actions have so affected today's world?  What did they want?  What did they stand for?  What did they achieve?



We don't want people," said Lenin, "who are revolutionists in their spare time.  We want people who are willing to give all of their lives to revolution, We don't want people who suddenly find it convenient to become Reds. They are like radishes, red on the outside but always white inside."

Two years before "Bloody Sunday" of 1905, underground revolutionary leaders from inside Russia, and those who managed to escape or were exiled, met for two important conferences - one in London and the other in Brussels, Belgium.

All of them called themselves Social Democrats. They were, however, divided into two groups with radically divergent views on how best to achieve the goal of replacing capitalism in Russia with socialism.  The purpose of the conference was to reconcile the views and form a united front.

Lenin had one plan for achieving the goal, and had not the slightest intention of reconciling it or moderating it or qualifying his readiness to give his life in order to achieve it.  Julius Martov and Grigori Plekhanov, who represented the other view, were equally adamant.  The conflict was irreconcilable, but not hard to understand.

MARTOV-PLSKJLAKOV: The revolution we're talking about has no precedent in history. It is not a political revolution in which only the people who govern are replaced. It is the world's first social revolution in which the factories, the mines, the forests, the railroads - the facilities for the production and distribution of everything necessary for the survival of a people, will be taken away from their private owners and become socially-owned.  Our millions of landless peasants and most of our workers, with a rate of illiteracy unequalled in any civilized land, their minds drugged by ignorant, superstitious priests, are utterly unequipped to participate in a revolution aimed at replacing capitalism with socialism.  They know nothing of socialism. The dream of every landless peasant is to change his status from being landless to landowner. . .the dream of every serf, freed only four decades ago, and now the owner of several tiny scattered strips of Land, is to become owner of a few more strips of land. . .the dream of most workers is to become bosses.  We cannot expect the support of these people unless they know what they are supporting. The process must be slow and gradual and by education and not through violence. All must participate, even the bourgeoisie.  Only thus will the people be ready to govern and operate the economy when the inevitable day comes - the many conflicts and contradictions that are built into the very makeup of capitalism will bring about its collapse.

LENIN:  You are living in a dream world that is utterly unrelated to life in Russia or anywhere else in this capitalistic world.  Education and parliaments are tolerated only so long as they work to perpetuate capitalism and not change it in any way.  You are all socialists and most of you are members of well-to-do, even wealthy families, and you are well educated.  Now tell me Comrades, where did you become educated in socialism?  Was it at school or from books smuggled into prison to you?  They will never let the people become educated in socialism.  They will pack them off to the Peter and Paul Fortress prison in the middle of the Neva River or to Siberia if they even breathe the word, "socialism."  What is implicit in the words "social revolution" is the confiscation of private property.  You cannot achieve that without violence because under no circumstances will they relinquish their hold on it. You will never achieve socialism by sitting around in parliaments and talking about and arguing over each step that needs to be taken, the way a bunch of old women do while sewing a bridal gown for a neighborhood daughter.  The American Revolution and others succeeded only because capitalism remained sacred.  The first thing they will do in an attempt to save capitalism when the inevitable day you speak of arrives, is destroy all parliamentary procedures you have built up and with it all forms of education which helped in the building.  What we need to have ready on that inevitable day for taking control, and perhaps giving capitalism a final push over the brink, is not a lot of people sitting around and arguing about what steps to take. . .what we need to have ready is carefully picked and tested, thoroughly dedicated, rigidly-disciplined men and women willing to die for socialism.  What we do not need is meddling by the bourgeoisie etc. . .etc. . .

The split dividing the Social Democrats was wider than ever by the time the conferences ended.  Both sides continued calling themselves Social Democrats, but the Lenin followers soon became known as Bolshevik! (the plural for bolshevik) from the Russian word, "bolshinstvo" for majority.  This was despite the fact that there were far fewer Lenin people at the conference than Martov-Plekhanov followers.  The latter became known as Menshiviki from the word "menshinstvo" for minority.

None at the conferences could anticipate that a disastrous war would play a more important part in the collapse of Russian capitalism than its built-in conflicts and contradictions. Neither could Lenin anticipate that a dozen and a half years later he would be talking to a pretty American brunette and saying for publication in American newspapers: "We must admit that we are now a bourgeois state," while explaining why he had been forced to make concessions to Capitalism.

November 7, 1917 (by the new calendar) is when it all happened.

The delegates to the All-Russian Congress of Soviets began trickling into Petrograd slowly on November 2nd, although they were not scheduled to begin the necessary preliminaries until the November 5th sessions. They were to be held in Smolny Institute, before the czar's abdication the country's most exclusive and most luxurious school for the daughters of the wealthiest families.  All attempts by the Kerensky people to keep the Congress from meeting failed, despite Kerensky's repeated insistence that only his Provisional Government had the right to call the Soviets into session and that Lenin's call was entirely illegal.

Lenin himself had, by that time, returned from his hiding place in Finland, disguised as an old peasant woman. "What we need, Comrades," he told his fellow-revolutionaries, "is a 'fait accompli.'  When the delegates are all in their places we want to be able to say to them: 'Here is the power to rule; what are you going to do with it?'"

He knew that on November 5, the delegates would still be drifting into Petrograd from the far corners of Russia and that there might not be a quorum on hand. On November 6th the delegates would be organizing and wrangling among themselves over the old question of how to bring about socialism in Russia. He therefore decided on November 7th as the crucial day for action.  On that day he not only wanted to have the delegates all ready to act, but also wanted to have his Bolsheviki Red Guards in control of the Czar's Winter Palace, the symbol of political power during czarist days and now the place where Kerensky and his Provisional Government were established.

Arrival of the first delegates to the Congress in Petrograd was the signal for the start of street skirmishes.  These were between the troops from the Petrograd barracks and the workers' Red Guards on the one hand, and Cossacks loyal to Kerensky's Provisional Government, supported by the Junkers - sons of Russian aristocrats training to be officers.  On Kerensky's side also were some two hundred and fifty members of the Women's Death Battalion who, along with the Junkers, were guarding the Winter Palace.

The skirmishes had grown more and more deadly, and by November 5th centered about control of the many bridges over the Neva River, so as to divide the main part of Petrograd from the slums on the industrial side where the workers Red Guards lived.  As quickly as the Cossacks and Junkers raised the bridges to keep Red Guards and mobs from crossing, the Red Guards drove them off and lowered them.

Louise and Reed, brandishing their passes from both sides, rushed from one scene of action to another.  They buttonholed everyone in sight, demanding:  "Chto delayetsah? Chto delayetsah?"  (What’s happening? What’s going on here?) They rushed from the Smolny institute to the Tauride Palace where members of the Fourth Duma were still in session.  No one seemed able to say anything more than repeat the wildest rumors.  Several times they were forced to duck behind smashed and burned trucks to avoid stray sniper bullets.

They returned to the Smolny Institute where there was incredible confusion.  To their question, "What's happening?" they received the same reply:  "Chort znayet."  (The devil knows.)  It was late when, completely exhausted, they returned to their hotel room and stumbled into bed.

During the night, while they were asleep, a detachment of soldiers and Red Guards occupied the Telegraph Agency.  Half an hour later, the Red Guards took control of the Post Office.  At five in the morning, they took over the Telephone Exchange, then the State Bank, and by 10 a.m. on November 6th, the Red Guards and revolutionary soldiers had the winter Palace surrounded.

Louise and Jack awakened late and returned to the Smolny Institute. Then, unaware that Kerensky was by that time on his way to the Front to plead with soldiers to stand by him, they caught a ride on a truck loaded with soldiers on their way to the Winter Palace.  Here, the Red Guards, unable to read their passes, refused to let them by.  "We saw one group of soldiers who seemed to be confused about what they were supposed to be doing," wrote Louise. "We rushed up to them and Jack waved his passport with its impressive red seals and, shouting in English, 'Official business, official business,' we rushed by them."

Before Kerensky's door they found a young officer pacing restlessly and biting the end of his waxed mustache. He shook his head when Reed said they wanted to see Kerensky. "It is absolutely forbidden," said the officer.  And then he added: "In fact, he is not here. He is gone to the Front. And, you know, an odd thing happened. His motorcar ran out of fuel and he had to go through the enemy lines to get some."

They spent three hours in the Palace wandering from one once-magnificent room to another and talking with the Junkers who were most friendly and very unhappy. "Once," wrote Louise, "While we were quietly chatting, a shot rang out, and in a moment there was the wildest confusion; Junkers hurried in every direction. Through the front windows we could see people running and falling flat on their faces.  We waited but no troops appeared and there was no more firing, while the Junkers were still standing with their guns in their hands, a solitary figure emerged, a little man dressed in ordinary citizen's clothes, carrying a huge camera.  He proceeded across the Square until he reached a point where he would be a good target for both sides and there, with great deliberation, he began to adjust his tripod and take pictures of the women soldiers who were busy turning the winter supply of wood into a flimsy barricade before the main entrance."

Back at the Smolny Institute, the All-Russian Congress of Soviets was now busy.  Above the tumult in the huge auditorium the sound of a cannon could be heard, as the revolutionary Cronstadt sailors from the battleship Aurora of the Baltic Fleet, anchored on the Neva River, bombarded the Winter Palace.  (The Cronstadt sailors, who played a key role in Lenin’s takeover of Russian power in those historic days, were violently suppressed, and hundreds were killed only two years later when they rebelled against the Lenin people.)

At night, Louise and Jack decided to leave the Smolny Institute to see again what was happening at the Winter Palace.  A huge motor truck was just leaving Smolny Institute. “We hailed it," said Louise, "and climbed aboard. We found we had several Cronstadt sailors and soldiers and a man from the Wild Division, wearing his picturesque, long, black cape, as company.  They warned us that we would, in all likelihood, be killed, and asked me to remove my yellow hatband as there would be a lot of sniping.

"The mission was to distribute leaflets all over town, especially along the Nevsky Prospekt.  The leaflets were piled high on the floor of the truck along with guns and ammunition.  As we rattled along the wide, dim-lit streets, we scattered the leaflets to the eager crowds.  People scrambled and fought for copies."

The leaflets said:

"Citizens! The Provisional Government has been deposed. State Power has passed into the organ of the Petrograd Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies.'"

At a point where the Ekaterina Canal crosses the Nevsky Prospekt they were stopped by soldiers who informed them that they could go no further.  They continued afoot to the winter Palace, an occasional sniper's bullet striking the cobblestones in front of them.

They were a short distance from the Palace when they heard a shout: "The Junkers want to surrender."  They heard some commands, and silence again. A dark mass began to move forward, the only sounds, the shuffling of feet and clanking of arms.  A few bullets whistled by them as they joined the moving mass of Red Guards, but it was not possible to tell from which direction they came.  In another few minutes they were out of the shadows and in the light streaming from the windows and open doors of the Palace. "Every window was lit up as if for a fete," said Louise, "and we could see people moving about inside." Then with a great shout, the Red Guards, with Louise and Reed crushed among them, leaped over the firewood barricade and into a great vaulted room, and they were stumbling over the piles of rifles that had been thrown down by the Junkers.

Their closest brush with death came shortly after they had left the main body of Red Guards and began wandering through the many rooms of the Palace. When they reached the room where they had talked with the Junkers they suddenly saw that they were being followed by a group of Red Guards.  In another minute or two they were stopped and were surrounded, with the leader, a huge factory worker, demanding to know what they were doing there.  They produced their passes. Louise's read:

Military Revolutionary Committee of the Petrograd of Workers and Soldiers Deputies gives Tovarishcha Louise Bryant free passage through the city.

The huge soldier, unable to read, brushed these aside contemptuously and said, "Bah, bumagi (Papers)," and the group began to crowd around them muttering "Provocateurs, looters, Kornilovisti."  Then, as the muttering grew more and more ominous and the Red Guards pressed closer, they saw an officer shouldering his way toward them.  There followed the longest ten minutes of Louise's life, as the officer, arguing with the Red Guards that he was a commissar of the Military Revolutionary Committee, managed to get them to move off, still muttering ugly threats.  When they were gone, the officer, shaky and wiping his sweating face, led them by a side door out of the Palace.  "You are foreigners. . .this is very dangerous. . . you nave narrowly escaped being shot."

November 7th.  The All-Russian Congress of Soviets was fully organized and waiting for Lenin's appearance and the official opening of the session.  It had been scheduled to start at one in the afternoon, but it was almost nine at night when the packed auditorium was shaken by a great roar as the Presidium - the body made up of representatives of all groups taking part in a congress or convention - entered the huge auditorium.  With them was Lenin, whom many of the delegates had never seen before in person.  "Lenin," wrote Louise, "is not easy to describe. He is sheer intellect - absorbed, cold, unattractive, impatient. In appearance, he is short with a snub nose, little eyes and a wide mouth. He wore pants much too big for him.  His power lay in his ability to explain complicated problems in the most simple terms. . ."

Lenin waited patiently until the wild ovation was over and then said in a matter-of-fact voice: "Comrades, let us proceed with the construction of the Socialist Order."  Wild with excitement, Louise joined in the great roar that greeted his words.

There was absolute pandemonium.  A giant standing beside her, caked mud from the trenches on his tunic, was sobbing, women, with their arms around strangers, were screaming the words of revolutionary songs - the huge hall was a bedlam of noise and motion, while an unsmiling Lenin continued waiting and watching.

Finally it subsided sufficiently for Lenin to say:  "The first thing is the adoption of practical measures to realize peace. . .we shall offer peace to the belligerent countries. . .no annexations, no indemnities, and the right of self-determination for all nations."

It lasted for hours; Lenin spoke on and on, referring to notes he had taken from his coat pocket.  ". . .all private ownership of land is abolished immediately without compensation. . . until the meeting of the Constituent Assembly, a provisional Workers and Peasants Government is formed, which shall be named the Council of the People's Commissars. . ."

And then the Commissars:  President of the Council: Vladimir Ulyanov (Lenin). . . Interior: A. I. Rykov. . . Foreign Affairs: L. D. Bronstein (Trotsky). . . and so on, until, finally:  Chairman for Nationalities, Y. J. Djugashvili (Stalin).

(“djugashvili” is the word for steel in the Soviet Republic of Georgia, where Stalin was born.  The Russian word for steel is “stal,” with the L pronounced as the two Ls in million.  The Russian dictator called himself “the man of steel.”)

Louise described what happened that night as "something tremendous, . . . for some the beginning of chaos and darkness . . . for others the dawn of a new day. . ."

For Russia, it was the beginning of great suffering, starvation and death, which finally compelled Lenin to adopt some capitalistic methods to keep the nation from collapsing.  Kerensky's Provisional Government refused to stay overthrown.  The rich peasants (kooluks) and estate owners refused to give up their lands and the factory owners wanted no part of workers' committees in running their plants.  The generals and admirals and monarchists wanted Russia to be ruled by neither the Germans nor the Bolsheviki, but if they had to make a choice they would rather have the Germans.  A surprising number of the Soviets of Workers and the Soviets of Peasants rejected the new order pro-claimed by Lenin, insisting it was premature - too radical.

In Finland, in Siberia, in the Ukraine and in a score of other sections of Russia, White Guards began forming, led by generals with famous names - Kaledin, Kolchuk, Denikin and Kornilov, who had escaped from prison.  Thousands of Cossacks and Junkers joined their ranks. . .The troops in many garrisons  split three ways - some supporting the Bolsheviki, some insisting on remaining neutral and deserting, the rest, including the officers, joining the White Guards.

Contrary to rumors that Kerensky had been killed, he was very much alive, and before a month had passed, had organized a large army of Cossacks and other loyal to the Provisional Government and was marching toward Petrograd.  Bitter battles were fought at Gatchina, a short distance south and west of Petrograd; at Tzarskoe Selo (now Pushkin), and in scores of other places throughout Russia.

Outside of Russia, the November 7 proclamation of Lenin's "Dictatorship of the Proletariat" brought strange developments.  Involved in World War One were sixteen nations.  Twelve were actively involved on the side of the Allies and four - Germany, Austria-Hungry, Turkey and Bulgaria - made up the Central Powers.  The Allies and the Central Powers--waging a war in which millions of people were killed, other millions wounded, and still other millions never accounted for--found something in common - the "Bolsheviki Menace" - which had to be crushed at all costs.

British, French, Japanese and American troops were in Russia by the spring of 1918, the Americans ostensibly to see that the munitions the United States had provided to the czar's armies did not fall into the hands of the Bolsheviki. The Allied nations provided financial help to the counter-revolutionary leaders, while German armies marched deep into Russia to impose a humiliating peace on the Bolsheviki - the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk.



A Brush with Death:  There were few places in the world worse to be in the winter of 1917 than Petrograd.  Located at the 60th parallel in a line with the southern tip of Greenland, the mercury frequently dips as far as thirty below zero, and rarely goes beyond fifteen or twenty above.  Both food and fuel were hard to find.  Exhausted at the end of each day, the bitter cold forced Louise and Jack to sleep either fully or partially clothed.  Sex became a rarity, and neither seemed to care much.

"You having fun. Princess?" asked Reed one night.

"Please!  No bourgeois titles," warned Louise.

"We're alone; why not?" demanded Reed.

"All right," said Louise.  "I don't call what happened today much fun."

It wasn't.  In a dispatch to the Philadelphia Public Ledger she described it:

As we turned the corner of Gogol Street and St. Isaac's Square, sniper firing from rooftops started.  A man dropped dead in front of the German Embassy building.  We ran to the courtyard of the Angleterre Hotel and through the chinks in the fence watched the ridiculously padded-Russian izvoschiki (cabmen) whipping up their horses to get clear of the Square. The dead man's companion was on his knees beside his friend's corpse.  He was shaking his fist in the direction from where the sniping came and yelling:  "Provocateurs! Hooligans! Kornilovisti!"

As soon as it became clear there would be no more sniper fire, we came out. We could hear gunfire in the distance.  It came from where we were going, the telephone exchange building.  The Junkers had retaken it from the Red Guards, but now we were across the street, where we were soon joined by a crowd of civilians.  Nobody seemed to know what to do next.

Suddenly we saw an armored car in the distance, clattering down the street in our direction.  We found ourselves crammed against a huge archway with securely locked iron gates.  We hoped the car would go by, but directly in front of the crowd, it stopped with a jerk.  Its destination was obviously the telephone building, but we had no way of knowing if they were enemies or friends until it stopped in front of us and its guns began spouting bullets at us.  The first to drop was a shabbily dressed worker.  He sank silently, a pool of blood quickly spreading all around him. The thing I remember is that no one in the crowd screamed although more than a dozen died.

I remember two little street urchins.  One whimpered pitifully when he was shot and then died.  The other died instantly, dropping at our feet, an inanimate bundle of rags, his pinched little face covered with his own warm blood.  I remember an old peasant woman who kept crossing herself as she whispered prayer after prayer.  A man in a shabby fur coat kept saying over and over again:  "I am so tired of the revolution."

The hopelessness of our position was just beginning to sink in on me when six giant sailors with the Red Guards, with a great shout, ran right into the fire. They reached the armored car and thrust their bayonets inside again and again.  The terrible cries of the victims rose above the shouting and then suddenly everything was sickeningly quiet. They dragged the dead men out of the car and laid them face up on the cobbles. Only the driver of the armored car was still alive.  He was begging for mercy and our interpreter screamed:  "For the love of God, let him go!"  They did.

The Americans: The only place in Petrograd where Louise and Jack were not welcome was the American Embassy.  Ambassador David Rowland Francis, former Governor of Missouri, had been provided by the State Department with a record of Reed's radical activities in the United States.  Particularly reprehensible to him was Reed's stand on the war and his appearance before a congressional committee to protest President Wilson's demand for conscription.  As for Louise, the American Embassy considered her a woman whose urge to be where things were happening made her a Bolsheviki dupe.

Few in the Wilson administration, at home or abroad, shed tears at the abdication of Czar Nicholas.  His tyrannical rule, his ineptness, his violent reaction to the most modest demands for reform, his association with the dissolute mystic monk, Rasputin, made him an embarrassment to a nation professedly in a war to save democracy.  But Kerensky and most of the groupings of Menshiviki were determined to stay in the war, while Lenin and his Bolsheviki were for ending it no matter what the cost.  While it was Ambassador Francis who induced Wilson to recognize the Kerensky government - the first nation in the world to do so - he remained hostile to any form of socialism, including Kerensky's modest plans for bringing it about in Russia.  As for Lenin and his Bolsheviki, he was violently hostile to "those anarchists."

Louise described the Ambassador as ". . .without much doubt, one of the crudest and stupidest ambassadors that was ever sent abroad.  He never knew anything about Russia, he never tried to find out, and when Jack told him that this was a real revolution, he wouldn't believe it.  He kept sending messages to the State Department saying that Lenin was some kind of a socialist or anarchist and of no particular importance.  He entertained at the embassy all sorts of Czarist Russians. . .and he sat with his German mistress (Ambassador Francis was 67 years old in 1917) and often drank to the overthrow of the Kerensky regime, the very government he had asked America to recognize."

(Actually, until the United States entered the war, Ambassador Francis represented also, the interests of Germany and Austria with whom Russia was at war, and concentrated on seeing that the soldier prisoners of those two countries were not mistreated.  Moreover, despite Louise’s indictment, before he ended his ambassadorship, he pleaded that the United States government adopt a conciliatory course in its relationship with the Bolsheviki, abhorrent though their form of government might be.)

Louise came to know two other important Americans who were officially in Petrograd at the time.  Both, representatives of the American National Red Cross, became deeply involved in the struggle between Kerensky's Menshiviki regime and the Bolsheviki for control of Russia.  Of the two, Louise became an admirer of Raymond Robbins, one of the few important men in American public life to recognize early that, as between the Bolsheviki and the Menshiviki, it was inevitable that the Russian masses would go with the Bolsheviki.

To William Boyce Thompson, Robbins' associate, however, she developed an antipathy, even though, like Robbins, he was with the Red Cross mission sent to alleviate the wide distress among the victims of war and revolution.  A multi-millionaire known as the Montana Copper King, Thompson was convinced that Kerensky was the man best equipped to rule Russia because of his determination to see the world saved from German militarism.  He spent a million dollars of his own money to establish newspapers, publish pamphlets, and send speakers to factories and farms to convince the people that their best interests lay in supporting Kerensky.

Leon Trotsky:  Louise was with Louis Browne, the correspondent for the Chicago Daily News and New York Globe, when they interviewed Trotsky. 

"He seemed far less relaxed than when I first saw him in New York," she reported.  "The revolution, at the time he lived in New York, was still a dream and he did not have on his shoulders the tremendous responsibilities he now had as Commissar of Foreign Affairs - the Number Two man in the government.  He and his wife live in the attic of the Smolny Institute, a one-room apartment with two cots, a cheap dresser and three wooden chairs."

He was slight of build, wore thick glasses, had a high forehead, a thick black mustache and a tiny goat-like beard.  He impressed her tremendously.

Trotsky, said Louise, was an internationalist.  He did not make nationality or economic or social status a condition for salvation.  Along with Lenin, he insisted that Marxism was the way to salvation for the property less and exploited, whether they lived in New York, London, Brazil, Bucharest or on the wrong side of the Neva River in Petrograd.  To him, that is what the Marx-Engels cry, "Workers of the world, unite," meant.

He believed with equal fervor that a socialist nation could not exist as an island surrounded by capitalist countries, because capitalism, by its very nature, must keep expanding in order to survive.  This was in sharp conflict with Stalin's view of "one state socialism."

It was a vision, however, that began to fade as the workers of Europe, in one country after another, rejected the Lenin-Trotsky appeal for the overthrow of capitalism.

Kerensky:  She talked with him only three days before he fled from the Czar's Winter Palace where he had been living.  She was with Jack Reed and an Associated Press man and wrote two versions of the interview, one published in American newspapers, and the other - a most unorthodox version - for what was to have been the story of her life with John Reed.

In the newspaper-published version, Louise wrote:

"He was a sick man and in great pain. He had to take morphine and brandy constantly to stay alive.  We entered the beautiful little library of Nicholas II.  Kerensky lay on a couch with his face buried in his arms, as if he had suddenly been taken ill and was completely exhausted.  I had time to note some of the Czar's favorite books. . .various classics and a whole set of Jack London in English."

"I had a tremendous respect for Kerensky," she said. "He tried so passionately to hold Russia together, and what man could have accomplished that - at that hour?. . .He attempted to carry the whole weight of the nation on his frail shoulders, keep up a front against the Germans, keep down the warring factions at home. Faster and faster grew the whirlwind. Kerensky lost his balance and fell headlong. . ."

It was perhaps Kerensky’s key role, in the great Russian drama which she was attempting to portray for the readers of her articles in American papers, that kept her from reporting lighter aspects of the interview. In any event, in the unpublished version she reported that when they introduced themselves to

Kerensky he apologized for not getting up from the couch, saying that he was in great pain because of a kidney infection.  Jack Reed was sympathetic, informing Kerensky of his own kidney problem. "There they were," wrote Louise in her notes, "talking about their aches and pains their kidneys created for them, like a couple of old women, while outside events were developing that would change the world."

"The women Maria Spiridonova looks as though she came from New England. Her puritanical plain black clothes with a chaste little white collar, and a certain air of refinement and severity, seem to belong to New England rather than to mad, turbulent Russia,  But she is a true daughter of Russia and of the revolution."

Thus Louise described one of the great women martyrs of the Russian revolution.  There were others, and talking with them of their achievements, bolstered her determination to fight harder than ever for women's political rights in her own country.

"Her early history as a revolutionist," said Louise, "is exceptional even to the Russians who have grown used to great martyrs.  She was nineteen when she killed Lupjenovsky, the governor of Tambov.  He had a dark record.  He went from village to village, taking an insane delight in torturing people.  When peasants were unable to pay their taxes, he made them stand in line for hours in the cold and then ordered them publicly flogged.  He ordered his Cossacks to commit the worst outrages against the peasants, especially the women."

"Marie Spiridonova decided to kill him.  One afternoon she saw him in the railway station.  The first shot she fired over his head to clear the crowd, the next she aimed straight at his heart.  Lupjenovsky dropped dead."

"First the Cossacks beat her; then threw her naked into a cold cell. They came back and demanded names of her comrades. She refused to speak, so bunches of her long, beautiful hair were pulled out, and then she was burned with cigarettes.  For two nights she was passed around among the Cossacks like a bottle of vodka.  They sentenced her to death and then changed the sentence to life imprisonment.  She was sent to Siberia.  When the revolution broke out eleven years later, she was freed."

"I asked her how she managed to keep from losing her mind during the eleven years in Siberia.  She smiled:  'I learned languages.  You see, it is a purely mechanical business and therefore a wonderful soother of nerves.  It is like a game in which one gets deeply interested.  I learned to speak English and French.'"

"I wanted to know why more women did not hold public office since Russia is now the only place in the world where there is absolute sex equality. Spiridonova said: 'You know, before the revolution, as many women as men went to

Siberia; some years there were even more women than men. . . but going to Siberia is a different matter from holding public office.  It needs temperament and not training to be a martyr.  But in politics, men accept positions because they are elected and not necessarily because they are fitted for them.  I think women are more conscientious.  Men are used to over-looking their consciences - women are not.'"

Alexandra Kollontay:  "Before she was appointed the first Minister of Welfare by the Bolshevik regime, she had written a dozen books on sociology, with special emphasis on mothers and children.  (She also became the world’s first woman ambassador in 1927 when she was named the Soviet Union’s ambassador to Mexico.)  I saw her often, first as a correspondent, and then as a friend.  One day she confided to me that there were many things Lenin did with which she disagreed - some even distressed her.  But in the struggle for freedom against the reactionaries she would never desert the proletariat and its champions, even if they made every mistake on the calendar."

"One day when I came to see her, a long line of old people were outside her door waiting to see her.  They had come as a delegation from an old people's home to thank her for having removed those who had been supervising them so that they could now make their own decisions.  'They now elect their own officers and have their own political fights. . .they even decide what should be on the menus,'" said Alexandra Kollontay proudly.  I said, but what can the menus consist of in these days when so little is available?  She laughed: 'Surely, you must understand that there is a great deal of satisfaction in deciding for yourself whether you want thick cabbage soup or thin cabbage soup.'"

Tamara Karsavina:  (She was the brilliant Russian dancer, successor to Anna Pavlova as premiere danseuse at the Imperial Opera House in 1910.) "She was the most beautiful dancer in the world.  I saw her dance in those meager days for an amazing audience - an audience in rags, an audience that had gone with- out food to buy the cheap little tickets."

"When she came on, it was as hushed as death.  And how she danced!  And how they followed her!  Russians know dancing as the. Italians know their opera.  'Bravo! Bravo!' came from several hundred throats.  And when she finished, they would not let her go - again and again and again she had to come back until she was wilted like a tired butterfly.  Twenty, thirty times she returned, bowing, smiling, pirouetting, until we lost count. . .when it was over at last, the people filed out into the damp winter night, pulling their thin overcoats about them."



Among her weirdest experiences, certainly among her most unusual in those strange and unusual days in Russia, was her meeting with Somerset Maugham, the British author and playwright whose sensational book, "Of Human Bondage" had come out only two years earlier.  When Maugham turned up in Petrograd a month or so after the Lenin takeover, he made it a point to look up John Reed, whose articles about Pancho Villa and his bandit-rebels had interested him.  He invited John and Louise to have lunch with him.

He seemed particularly interested in Reed's background, his parents and grandparents, and his conversion to radicalism, and asked if it was true that

Reed was not only collecting material for a book about the revolution, but that he had also become active in the Bolsheviki propaganda division.  Reed said he was, that he planned to write not only an account of the revolution itself, but a series of books about it.

"An odd thing about Mr. Maugham," wrote Louise in her notes about the meeting, "was that he was fond of playing pranks and said the most preposterous things.  Every now and them, through-out lunch, he would turn to me, glance about mysteriously and in a low voice say: 'You won't of course, reveal that you had lunch with a British Secret Agent, will you?'  I laughed.  Of course not, I said.  It was so ridiculous.  It couldn't have been funnier if he'd said he was an ambassador of the Pope and was in Petrograd to convince Lenin that religion was not the opium of the masses. Or again: 'You will forgive me if I make an occasional note on this leaflet in secret code?' Jack was enjoying Mr. Maugham's attempt to pretend he was a secret agent as much as I was."

"For a long time after Mr. Maugham's marvelous book came out in which he revealed that he really was a Secret Agent, I continued to wonder if he was not still enjoying himself by trying to convince his hundreds of thousands of readers that the world's unlikeliest secret agent really was a secret agent. But why did he question Jack so closely about what the men with whom he was working were saying, and about Jack's views on socialism?"  (She did not know at the time that Maugham’s novels were often based on his personal experiences, in the way O”Neill’s plays were – twenty-seven years later he would publish “The Razor’s Edge” based on their own lives.)



She was a pretty 18-year-old member of the Women's Death Battalion. Women soldiers were not an unusual feature of Russian military life - What was unusual was the reason women were given when urged to join the army.

Too late they discovered that they were not there to fight.  They were there to shame the men into fighting when their enthusiasm flagged.

"Look at you," the officers would say, "Bozhe moi!  Why even a woman can do better than you slovenly hulks. . . a woman who knows nothing but how to sweep the floor and cook borsch can march better than you can."

When Anna learned the truth, wrote Louise, she was bitterly disappointed and disillusioned.  In the end, however, when conditions became desperate for the Kerensky forces, it was Anna Shub and her companions, along with the young Junkers and Cossacks, who were left to defend the Czar's Winter Palace.  When it was all over, the Bolsheviki disarmed them and sent them home "to put on skirts and stay where we belonged," said Anna. Because they had been defending the palace against the Bolsheviki, they were considered enemies of the revolution.

"I am a Jew," said Anna, "I come from within the Pale."  (The Pale was a wide strip of land along the western border of Czarist Russia, from the Black Sea to the Baltic, beyond which few Jews were allowed to live.  It was created by Catherine the Great to keep Jews from recently-conquered, adjoining Poland from crowding into areas already full of Jews and forcing them to spread out.)

"Liberty is dearer than life to me. Then they wanted us to join the Cossacks to fight the Revolution."

"I left home, I left everything because I thought the poor soldiers of Russia were tired after fighting for so many years, but when I arrived in Petrograd I began to see the truth - we were supposed to be shaming the soldiers."

She gave Louise a photograph of herself in uniform on which was written:

"To friends in America from a volunteer of the First Petrograd Battalion. Anna Shub."



"I make haste to laugh at everything, for fear of being obliged to weep."

Beaumarchais in "The Barber of Seville."

The Kornilov counter-revolution, with its significant impact on the outcome of the Revolution, ended, said Louise, almost like a scene from a comic opera. But not before she had confirmed the report of the slaughter of officers by the distraught young man, while they were en route to Petrograd by train.

As the danger of attack on Petrograd by the Kornilov forces at the gates of the city grew real, Kerensky gave orders to his officers to have the troops in the barracks take up defensive positions.  However, the officers, members of aristocratic families and wealthy property owners, and haters of everything that smacked of socialism, were secretly hoping that Kornilov would succeed in ridding the country of Kerensky and everything he represented.  So they kept silent about the orders.  "The soldiers," wrote Louise - "nearly all peasants and workers - grew suspicious.  First they mumbled, then the mumbling became a roar when they learned about the officers' betrayal of Kerensky's orders.  Rage and revenge swept them away. In quick, wild anger they dealt out terrible punishment.  Details of the massacre were exceedingly ugly."

How did it all end? Well, first, there was great confusion. All were for the Revolution. Everyone wanted to save it.  But from whom?  Except for the Cossacks, who cared little whom they were fighting, so long as they were allowed to fight, Kornilov had convinced his rank and file troops that they were saving he Revolution from Lenin, who was a tool of the Germans; the Women's Death Battalion, with many of whose members Louise had talked, were on Kerensky's side or more or less the same reason.  And the Bolsheviki, of course, wanted to make certain that the Revolution would not be used by Kerensky to help factory owners and big land owners retain their power and go on exploiting them.

So with Kornilov forces at the gates of Petrograd, the Bolsheviki leaders, many of whom had been released from prison by Karensky to help crush Kornilov, sent their best propagandists to mingle with the Kornilov troops. “Why have you come to destroy the Revolution, little brothers?" asked the propagandists.  "Destroy the Revolution!" exclaimed the Kornilov troops. "Why we were told that it is you who are destroying it."

"Come Into the city with us," said the propagandists, "and we will prove to you that you have been deceived, and that what you are doing will bring back the czar."  Thus was the Kornilov counter-revolution crushed without a shot being fired.

Bessie Beatty, a reporter for the San Francisco Bulletin, told Louise of a harrowing experience at the Hotel Astoria in Petrograd, where she had been staying.  Bessie had heard a great deal about the brutality of the Cossacks and their wild impulsive attacks on women, while she was still in America. Therefore, she had good reason to be alarmed when she heard a sharp knock on the door to her room, which flew open at once, and a tall Cossack stepped in and quickly closed it behind him.

He stared at her for a few seconds, took a green sash from his pocket and began to approach her.  She recognized it as her own, which she must have dropped at dinner.  It was not a good time to start looking up Russian words in her dictionary.  It occurred to her, however, that many Russians spoke French.

"Merci-pou-cette," she murmured, pointing to her waist.

The Cossack continued his slow walk toward her.  She stepped back in alarm, with the Cossack following.  Then he reached out for her, and she closed her eyes.  She felt his fingers circling her waist, and the sash tightening. 

She opened her eyes.  He was smiling and said in English:  "Ah, then it is true.  American women do not wear corsets.  I will tell my comrades they were wrong."  He continued smiling as he backed toward the door.

"Russians," said Louise, "have trouble being secretive.  Some in the diplomatic field can be subtle, but even these were amazingly naive and uncomplicated in these hectic days of the Revolution.  I came one afternoon to the Hotel Europe with a close associate of Trotsky and to my great surprise, saw standing in the Lobby, an officer who was an aide of Kerensky's.  It was a time when Kerensky was organizing troops to march against the Bolsheviki and this officer had absolutely no business there."

"I first met him at the Winter Palace where he spent a good deal of time in 'Babushka's' apartment."  (This was Katherine Breshkovsky, who became known as the “Grandmother of the Revolution.”)  O came to know him quite well. He was, like all Russian officers of the old type, rather dandified and a little too immaculate and perfumed to please an American.  But he was a Georgian and, like most of his race, so exceptionally handsome with his black eyes and olive skin that you had to forgive his over fastidiousness."

"But now he was a changed man. He wore a coat too small and trousers too large, and his waxed, pointed mustache was grayed at the ends. He had on the most amazing, tattered cap. It was with difficulty that I stared right through him and passed on, fearing that I might give him away if I addressed him."

"My Bolshevik friend and I climbed the wide stairs and walked along the corridor. Near the end of the corridor, my young Georgian officer friend caught up with us.  He was all out of breath.  'Mademoiselle,’ he exclaimed, taking both my hands, 'did you not recognize me? I am in disguise.'"

"In vain I tried to silence him by winks and cold stares. He was lonesome and glad to see a friend.  He blurted out startling information. 'Kerensky will be here tomorrow with eighty thousand Cossacks.  He will take all the Bolsheviki  leaders and string them up along the streets.'"

"I felt dreadfully responsible for the trouble he was getting himself into in front of an associate of Trotsky's. Oh, please don't talk about it", I said.

"We could not get rid of him until he had unburdened himself of everything he knew about Kerensky.  When we were out on the street again, I asked my Bolshevik friend:  What are you going to do?  And he said:  'Have him arrested, of course.'  I sighed with relief; the practice in those very early days of the revolution was to put dissidents in the Peter and Paul Fortress, and then release them on a promise they would never again voice opposition to the

Bolsheviki and would go out and find a job."

"Vladimir Antonov, the first Bolshevik Minister of War, looks like a poet. 

His face is delicate, his hair is long and bushy, and he usually wears a bow tie, but to military men he is an extraordinarily clever strategist."

"Some of the most ridiculous things happened to Antonov just after the Bolsheviki came into power.  One day, shortly after the Bolsheviki took power, I went to the Smolny Institute with Alexander Gomberg, a Russian from America. 

Antonov was in the courtyard preparing to go to Pulkova, just outside of

Petrograd, where the Red Guards were digging trenches to hold the front against Kerensky and his Cossacks.  We asked Antonov if we could go along.  When we were ready to start, we found there was not nearly enough room.  Two officers and a courier besides the Minister of War had to be tucked into a one-seated car. 

They decided that they didn't need any guests, but just as the car began to move, Gomberg jumped onto the running board and I was left behind.  When he returned the next day, tired, muddy and bedraggled, he had an amazing story to report.  On the outskirts of Petrograd, the overloaded automobile broke down and had to be abandoned.  Minister of War, Vladimir Antonov, and the others were most despondent, when along came a large car with a soldier at the wheel.  Antonov stopped him.  'I am sorry,' he told the soldier, 'as Minister of War, I will have to requisition your car mine seems to be finished.'"

"'You can't have this car,' said the soldier. 'I am on my way to get supplies for the First Machine Gun Regiment. They don't need any more men, they need bullets.'"

"Antonov looked severe and said: 'But I am the Minister of War. '"

"The soldier swore joyfully. 'Why you're the very man I need.  Here, sign this order for supplies.'"

"Antonov had no pencil and borrowed one from Gomberg.  'And now,' said he to the soldier, 'I'll take the car.'  The soldier grinned and the car was off toward Smolny before they could catch their breath."

"They finally got a car from a frightened wealthy speculator.  Then, as they passed a little store, the War Minister discovered that he hadn't eaten anything for thirty hours, but none of the Russians had money.  Gomberg made the purchases two salt herring and half a loaf of black bread.  Alexander Gomberg, despite his services to the new Proletarian government of Mother Russia, was abandoned along a muddy front.  A farmer heading for Petrograd brought him to town in a heavy rain.  'It's a great story,' he told me, 'and if I had ever worked on any part of an American newspaper except in the advertising department, I would write it up myself.'"


DOSVIDA'NYA   (Till We Meet Again)

Early In 1918, Lenin decided to move the Russian capital back to Moscow where it had been for centuries before Peter the Great built St. Petersburg.

Lenin, at the same time, discarded the name Bolshevik and adopted Communist for those loyal to his Marxist theories, because the document outlining them bore the title, "Communist Manifesto."

All this occurred about the time Jack received a cable from Max Eastman in America with news that both he and Reed had been indicted on conspiracy charges because of their anti-war articles published in the Masses. Both he and Louise decided to return to America, Jack insisting he had a duty to stand by Eastman and others who may be in trouble with the government.

In the meantime, word came that Moscow, the scene of some of the fiercest and deadliest fighting, had been cleared of enemy forces and was controlled by the Lenin troops.  They decided to visit Moscow before starting the trip home.

In what is perhaps her most moving article, she describes the dramatic burial of five hundred men killed in the fighting in one huge grave:

We went to Moscow on the first train that entered the city after the Bolsheviki had taken control in six days of fierce fighting. It was difficult to find a place to sleep, I wandered from hotel to hotel.  The stolid, bewhiskered clerks made the usual comments: "Yes, I have a large room on the top floor, but there are no panes in the windows.  I hope the barishna (miss) will not object.”

It was twenty-five degrees below zero so we continued our search. After about two hours we found a room at the national Hotel.  The cracked window looked out over the Kremlin and the Red Square.  Night had already fallen. Out of the darkness loomed a long mysterious row of fires. After a skimpy dinner, we went to investigate them.

As we came closer" a strange sight unfolded before us.  A huge trench, many hundreds of feet in length, was being carved out of the frozen ground. The tall figures of soldiers, the smaller and more gaunt figures of factory workers, cast distorted silhouettes across the snow as they bent over their gruesome task.

A young student who read over our passes explained what they were doing. "They are digging the brotherhood grave," he said, "for the last martyrs of the revolution."

We stayed there nearly all night. It was terrifyingly still and lonesome.  There was no sound but the clatter of spades and the sputter of torches; there were no stars and the darkness hung down heavily.

About two o'clock we went with the student to the Soviet, which had headquarters in a large building only a few blocks away. It hummed with preparations for the funeral on the morrow.  All night Long women and girls were sewing miles and miles of red cloth, cutting and trimming and fashioning it into banners for the procession.  They sewed with stern, set faces.  Perhaps women knitting under the guillotine wore some such expressions. . .

We went back to Red Square.  The trench by this time had become deep and long, and the mounds beside it had grown into hills.  About five o'clock; we climbed stiffly over the edge and straggled wearily to the hotel.  The gaping hole was ready to receive five hundred bodies.

We drank our tea and ate our black bread at the hotel and got back to the Soviet at seven-thirty.  The procession began at eight.  From early morning we stood on a mound of newly turned earth watching an immense sea of people pouring through the white, arched gateway of the old Tartar City - flooding all the Red Square.  It was bitter cold.  Our feet froze to the ground and our hands ached under our gloves.  But the spectacle before us was so magnificent that we for-got everything else.

In the gateway, out by the house of the Romanovs, the crowd passed endlessly in one huge, interminable funeral procession.  Slowly, rhythmically, they moved along like a great operatic pageant symbolizing the long, bitter struggle of the masses throughout the vast, intricate fabric of history.

Fine looking young giants of soldiers, wearing towering grey shapkas (fur hats), bore the rough, wooden coffins, stained red as if in blood.  After them came girls with shawls over their heads and round peasant faces, holding large wreaths of artificial flowers.  Then there were bent old men and bent old women and little children.  There were cavalry regiments and military bands and people carrying enormous banners that floated out in long, red waves over the heads of the crowd.

Great banners had been suspended from the top of the wall and reached down to the earth.  On all the banners were inscriptions about the revolution and the hopes of the workers.  Above the high red wall the golden domes of the four old churches inside the Kremlin shone out dizzily against the pale sky.  The dark Bell Tower and the house of Boris Godunov seemed to be frowning.  All the churches and all the shrines were closed.  How impressive it was.  No ceremony, no priests; everything was simple and so real!

Women all around began to sob and one near me tried to hurl herself after a coffin as it was being lowered.  Her thin coat of civilization dropping from her in a moment. She forgot the revolution, forgot the future of mankind, remembered only her lost one.  With all her frenzied strength she fought the friends who tried to restrain her.  Crying out the name of the man in the coffin, she screamed, bit and scratched like a wounded animal until she was finally carried away moaning and half unconscious.  Tears rolled down the faces of the big soldiers.

Twilight began to settle, softening everything.  The sky grew warmer and the snow took on a rosy tint.  All the wreaths had been hung in the trees and they swayed back and forth like strange multi-colored fruit.  It was seven o'clock when the last coffin was lowered and the dirt began to be shoveled in.

Even before the cable from Max Eastman and the decision that both should return home, Louise had begun trying to develop a plan for a trip to the United States.  To Reed she said she believed she could do a great deal for the new revolutionary government of Russia by lecturing about her experiences to American audiences and urging them to work for nonintervention by the United States in Russian affairs.

But that was not the real reason for her eagerness to return to America.

It was a report John Ransome, a free-lance journalist from San Francisco, had brought her upon his arrival in Petrograd about Eugene O'Neill and Agnes Boulton, who resembled her so closely, said Ransome, that many thought she had left Reed and returned to 0'Neill.

It was a blow she was not prepared for, and it left her depressed, angry, frustrated and miserable.  She had frequently thought about poor Gene, since she left him in New London and mentally always saw him in the way he appeared then - a man in desperate need of her, yearning for her and pleading that she stay with him.  She sometimes felt a revival of the original feelings that had inspired their affair, and at these times she wished that she had not left so abruptly - without a word. It must have hurt him terribly.

When she got the news and found he had not been yearning for her. . . in fact he was making love to someone else who lay beside him nightly in bed. How could they! How dared they?

She soon convinced herself that she still loved O'Neill, and that his new "infatuation" was merely a poor attempt to console himself in her absence.

She was sure once she could talk to him and explain that she really did love him that Agnes Bolton would quickly be dispatched.

She was quite pleased and relieved when Reed agreed that since the conspiracy trial was not due to start until April or May and since he had to finish collecting material for his book, it would be best if she left as soon as possible, and he would follow in a few weeks.  This would give her the necessary time to straighten things out with Gene. It was perfect.

As time drew near for her departure, Reed worried more and more about the hazards involved in her traveling alone, particularly across Finland which had by then become a hotbed of White Guard and German intrigue and violence.  Louise lightly dismissed his fears. Her chief worry was mostly making certain she did not again go through the experience on the way into Russia when nearly every one of her personal, even intimate, items were confiscated. This time she had precious souvenirs, including a silver Caucasian dagger a young Junker in the Czar's winter Palace had given her; also a ring with the Czar's inscription;

"God, King and Lady," whom another of the young officers had begged her to accept.  There was also a provocative, feminine Cossack costume a Madame Yudeshavski had given her in Petrograd when Louise had said she wished she had one like it to wear In America.

A friend of Reed's, Dr. Zaikind, the assistant to Foreign Minister Trotsky, solved the problem of getting her personal belongings through Finland and at least into Sweden.  "I will make you a Russian courier," he said brightly. 

And he added, "I think that being a courier for the Russian government might prove very interesting for a newspaper reporter."  It certainly did.  Among other things, it became an important issue when she appeared before United States Senators who accused her of returning home as an official representative of the Bolshevik government to agitate for nonintervention. She was, they insisted, no different than any other foreign agent in the United States and should be treated as such.  And her photograph in American newspapers in a dashing Cossack costume, while America was at war in Europe, did little to endear her to American patriots.

Raymond Robbins of the Red Cross tried to talk them out of returning to the United States at this particular time.  He told them of the difficulties the American embassy encountered trying to get a clear picture of Bolshevik thinking. They -Louise and Jack - said Robbins, were among the few Americans whom Lenin and Trotsky felt they could trust.  And even though they were not very popular at the American embassy, by staying, said Robbins, they could perform a service both to the United States and Russia, since the Russians were most eager for an understanding with the Wilson administration.

"One morning," wrote Louise, "we were still in bed, reluctant to leave a warm bed for a very cold room, when there was a knock on the door and Raymond Robbins entered.  Again he talked about the danger we faced if we returned to the United States at this time.  Finding our minds made up, he sighed and left."

"When we got up, we found a large number of bills on the small table where Robbins had been sitting.  Jack was furious.  He could see complications in taking money from an American official. 'Take this back to him at once,' he shouted. 'Sure he meant well, but doesn't he realize what this can do to us?' -

When I saw Robbins and handed him back the: money, he looked at me sadly and said:  'I have so much more than I need and I know how badly you will need it when you get back to America.'"

"Then he offered to do everything possible to smooth the many difficulties involved in leaving Russia and getting to America."

On January 20, l9l8, Raymond Robbins wrote a letter on American Red Cross Stationery:

Major Breckenridge, U.S.M.C.

Naval Attaché, American Legation

Christiana, Norway

Dear Major Breckenridge:

This letter will introduce to your consideration, Mrs. John Reed - resident of New York City.  Mrs. Reed has urgent business in the United States and has left  here without assurance of transportation on the first boat leaving Christiana for the United States.

She and her husband have been helpful in the work we have been doing in Petrograd and I commend her to such special consideration as may be possible for you.  Any courtesies and assistance in the matter of transportation that you may be able to secure for Mrs. Reed will be greatly appreciated by me.

With kindest regards and best wishes,

   Faithfully yours,

   Raymond Robbins, lieutenant Colonel,

   Commanding the American Red Cross in Russia.


When she came to say goodbye to Assistant Foreign Minister Zaikind, he gave her a letter to the Bolshevik minister in Stockholm. "If you see anything exciting on the way, you might tell him," said Zaikind.  "So you expect anything to happen?" asked Louise, "Well, the Red Guards are still in power in Finland," he replied, "but we are not sure how long they can hold out. Keep your eyes open anyway."

She returned to America over the same route she and Reed used for their trip to Russia, but great changes had taken place in Finland.  Germans and White Guards were everywhere, arrogant and contemptuous of Bolsheviki.  When she reached Stockholm, she learned that only hours after her train left Tammerfors in Finland (now Tampere) the Germans had staged a mass execution of Bolsheviki members of the Red Army.  "If I had been a few hours later, in leaving Petrograd," she wrote, "carrying papers from the Bolsheviki, I would have probably shared their unhappy fate."

At Tornio, on the Finnish border with Sweden, where she had caught her first glimpse of the new revolutionary Russian army, it was terribly cold and everything was frozen.  There were only White Guards and Germans at the little railroad station. They eyed her suspiciously, but the official diplomatic stickers on her baggage kept them at a reasonable distance.  She was allowed to get into a sleigh pulled by a pair of small reindeer and she was soon in Happaranda on the Swedish side.

At Stockholm she had trouble locating the Bolshevik minister.  The Provisional Government's representatives were still housed in the old czarist Embassy in Stockholm, and when she asked for directions to the Bolshevik minister she received hostile stares and sometimes frightened looks. Only when she found the American legation did she get the information she needed.  She was told that the Bolshevik office was only a block away.  The Bolshevik Consul, who proved to be a musician, greeted her warmly. He had heard about Reed and Louise and their sympathetic feeling toward the Bolshsviki.  His assistant was a doctor of philosophy.

"You must be very tired after your long journey," said the assistant Consul.  "Just down the street is a quiet little tea shop and the most delicious Swedish pastries, 'We will go there and talk.’”

Louise was indeed tired and shaken. Seated at a table in the little teashop, she said, "I looked out and saw the slow-moving barges going up and down the canals.  Yes, I was homesick for America, but I thought of the German advance into Russia and my heart ached. Suddenly I wanted to go back to Petrograd. . . to Jack. . . Then I heard the doctor of philosophy say: 'If you care for Swedish art, there is an interesting showing of Anders Zorn at the National Gallery.'"



Agnes Boulton, with whom Eugene O'Neill first lived and then married, bore a remarkable resemblance to Louise Bryant.  She was his second wife and gave birth to two of his children; a boy, Shane, and a daughter, Oona, who became Charlie Chaplin's wife.

Were it not for a voice that was slightly huskier, a mole on the lower right cheek and the absence of Louise's Celtic facial coloring, Agnes might have been Louise's identical twin.  And as John Ransome, the San Francisco journalist, told her, a lot of people in the Village, seeing Agnes with O'Neill thought that Louise had returned from Russia to be with him.

When Agnes' husband died, he left her a debt-ridden farm in the Connecticut Valley overlooking the Housatonic River and a small child.  She began to augment her income by writing and providing room and board for a few New Yorkers who found her farm a wonderful place to spend a relaxing summer vacation.  It was in this way that she met Mary Pyne and her poet husband, Harry Kemp.  In this way, also, she met the operator of a Greenwich Village restaurant, whom everyone knew only as Christine.  

In October of 1917, she decided to go to New York to try her hand at writing, now that she knew Christine.  It was not her first trip to New York.  She had made one trip in connection with the sale of her article to the Evening World, and in 1916 she was there on the picket line of a dairy farmers' milk strike. It was on this trip that an Evening World reporter recognized the picket sign carrier as the author of the article, and made a great to-do in the paper about a beautiful woman from Connecticut who was a dairy farmer doubling as a writer.

It was all there on page two; her picture, big headlines, everything. . .

"No money in milk cows," says woman dairy farmer who has made a brave fight. . . 

Now in New York to help her fellow dairy farmers win a strike for higher prices, the beautiful young widow farmer has supported herself, her baby and a herd of cows by her pen. . . "

In her book about her life with O'Neill, Agnes recalled that when she first met him she showed him the newspaper clipping; he read it and feigned horror: 

"Good God! Dairy farmer . . .brave fight. .  .supported a child and herd of cows. . .I don't believe it.  A waitress, yes; even a ribbon clerk. . . but a dairy farmer, milking cows and sticking pitchforks into manure;  How could you possibly let them print such a thing?"

"I'll have you know," Agnes said indignantly, "this write-up got me eleven proposals of marriage, and one farmer came to my home to show me his bankbook. 

Another man wrote me that he was a widower and knew I was a fine woman, and that I would be good to his children because I reminded him of Abraham Lincoln."

"It must be your mole," grinned O'Neill, "it's in the same place his was."

She had little money when she left Connecticut for New York.  Her parents had agreed to look after the farm and take care of the baby.  She had told them she would return in the spring and make arrangements for moving to New York if she found something to do as a writer.  If she didn't, she would return and try to make the farm pay its way.

When she arrived in New York, she took a room at the Brevoort, but it was seven the following evening before she could reach Christine by telephone at her restaurant.  "It's too noisy here," said Christine, "I'll close the place and we'll meet at the Hell Hole."  Agnes asked what the Hell Hole was and where it was. Christine laughed:  "It's the back room of the Golden Swan, dearie; everybody knows where the Hell Hole is on Fourth and Sixth Avenue.  I'll meet you there at ten-thirty."

She arrived at the Golden Swan early and waited uneasily in the darkened Hell Hole off the main bar.  The place smelled of stale beer and tobacco.  She was grateful no one else seemed to be around and no waiter came to ask her to order a drink. Then, as her eyes became accustomed to the dark, she noticed him staring at her from where he was sitting, motionless, in the far corner.  She saw that he was wearing what looked like a seaman's sweater under his jacket, and as he kept staring at her she became uneasy.  There was something both sad and cruel in the way he looked at her.  She had a vague and troubled feeling that they may have met before.  He reminded her of some one or something she could not quite identify.

Then Christine came in and embraced her. Christine, thoroughly Danish, tall and voluptuous, with a great pile of red-gold hair, called O'Neill and introduced Agnes. "This Is Gene O'Neill," said Christine. Long after 0'Neill's death, Agnes still remembered how pleasant the name sounded to her when pronounced by Christine with a Danish accent. Then his brother Jamie came and Agnes saw at once that Christine was in Love with him. When the two men left and went into the main car, Christine told Agnes that their father gave each of them fifteen dollars a week, and Gene had run out of money so that it was Jamie's turn to do the lending.

"Keep clear of Jamie," warned Christine, "He's a wild one. He tries to make love to every woman he meets, so look out, dearie."  Christine sighed: "What a man!  He's crude and cruel and foul-mouthed. But you hardly mind when he's making love to you."

Gene walked her to her hotel that night. It was cold and he had only a light topcoat. At the steps she held out her hand to say goodnight, but he wanted to go on talking. Finally she told him she wanted to go in because she was cold.  He hesitated, and then startled her with: "I want to spend every night of my life with you - every night of my life."  He turned and began walking away.

She lay awake a long time wondering about this strange man and what he had said only a few hours after meeting her for the first time.  It was, she knew, not an unusual thing for men to say what he had to women with whom they wanted to go to bed.  But she had the strange feeling that if she had invited him to come up to her room, he would not have accepted.

It was not long before everyone who had known about O'Neill's infatuation with Louise Bryant saw the remarkable way that Agnes resembled Louise and the effect that she had on O'Neill.  A few days after they had met, Christine telephoned her to say that she was planning a party at her apartment Saturday night. She added that some people would be there who might be able to help her with her writing career, and then said: "Gene will be there; do come, dearie." Agnes said she would.

O'Neill arrived almost two hours after the party had gotten under way. He was drunk and seemed to have forgotten all about Agnes, as he began concentrating his attention mostly on Nina Moise, the least attractive, but perhaps the most talented of the women at the party.  O'Neill had become greatly attached to her. She was, by this time, the producer at the McDougal Street Theater, and it was to her apartment that O'Neill came to talk despairingly about Louise after she left for Russia with John Reed.

Agnes felt depressed and out of place. Christine was busy mixing punch, occasionally taking a drink from a pint bottle of brandy. Suddenly - years later she said she was unaware of what she was doing - Agnes walked across the room, drew O'Neill's attention away from Nina and said: "Hello, remember me? I'm the one with whom you wanted to spend the rest of your life."

O'Neill stared at her and tried to smile. Then he said: "It's a cold night - a good night for a party.  Ah,the iceman cometh." He staggered away, and at the door Agnes saw him take a flask from his hip pocket and take a long drink, -he gave a loud laugh as though he wanted to draw everyone's attention to himself, and began to walk carefully across the room.  At the fake fireplace mantel he grabbed a chair, mounted it, turned toward the room where all were watching him in silence, and in a thick, dramatic voice declaimed:

Turn back the universe

  And give me yesterday.

   Turn back………

He carefully turned to face the clock on the wall above the mantel, opened the glass cover and began twisting the long hand, and as the small hand followed, he again spoke:

  Turn back the universe

    And give me yesterday………

He stepped from the chair and managed to stagger his way out of the room. Agnes looked about her for Christine.  She became aware that these people whom she'd just met, smiled when she caught them staring at her.  Then she heard Susan Glaspell say to Mary Pyne: "It's your friend from Connecticut. He sees Louise in her. I think right up to the last moment poor Gene hoped she would turn to him and not leave for Russia with Jack, don't you? Poor Gene. How he must be suffering."

MARY PYNE: "This exhibition to impress us - this 'Turn back the clock and give me yesterday' When a man makes a gesture like that to convince others that he is still in love with a woman, it's safe to say he dramatizing his love, not feeling it."

SUSAN: "Whatever it is, I hope Louise leaves him alone when, and if, she gets back from Russia."

As the days passed, Agnes heard a great deal about Louise Bryant: how attractive she was, how talented, how distressed O'Neill had been to find himself in love with the wife of one of his best friends. She saw a snapshot of Louise, her long legs in tight riding breeches spread apart, her hands deep in the pockets of a smart jacket, an impish grin on her face, leaning against a shingled, weather-beaten wall, a gamin cap rakishly on her head.  Agnes Boulton, not yet certain if she was in love with O'Neill, both envied and hated this woman. She had a famous and exciting and adventurous husband, with whom she'd gone to a new world - why couldn't she have left O'Neill alone?

She continued seeing him. Not once did he try to Make love to her or even hint that he was interested in making love.  He drank a great deal and talked about writing and about revolutions and of how he would die only when the last bullet had been used up.

One piercingly cold night as they walked along the sidewalks of Washington Square, she said: "This must be the way it is in Russia." He stopped and glared at her, his face reflecting hate.

It was a week before Christmas.  They had just finished dinner at Christine's restaurant. O'Neill suddenly announced that a friend of his who had an apartment had given him the key while he was out of town, and he asked if she would go there with him. She agreed.

It was a weird, nightmarish experience for the beautiful woman dairy farmer from Connecticut.  When they reached the apartment they found it was so cold that the gas was frozen, and only a can of Sterno was available for making a cup of coffee.  Then O'Neill's friend turned up unexpectedly with a quart of whiskey.  Both began drinking.  By two in the morning, Agnes, thoroughly miserable and nauseated by the whiskey she had been drinking in an attempt to keep warm, made her way to the bedroom and fell asleep on top of the evil- smelling bedcover. She awakened while it was still dark. O'Neill was asleep beside her, his topcoat covering her and only the edge over his own body. She moved closer to him and again fell into a stupor.

When she again awakened, it was daylight.  O'Neill was still sleeping and breathing heavily.  The vapor her breath made in the cold room reminded her of the farm in Connecticut, her baby and parents, and the cows and the white clouds their breath made on cold winter mornings.  Crawling out of bed and into the living room, she found that O'Neill's friend had vanished.  In the bathroom she adjusted her hair with her hands, picked up her handbag in the living room and started for the front door.  She heard his voice: Where in hell are you going?"

O'Neill was standing by the bedroom door. He was furious. He unleashed a string of obscene seaman's oaths that stunned her. She bit her lip to keep the tears back and slammed the door. At the Brevoort, she bathed, tried in vain to sleep, and spent the rest of the day and night trying to decide what to do. In the morning she came downstairs to inform the clerk that she was leaving New York and returning to Connecticut.  But before she could say anything the clerk handed her a thick envelope.  Back in her room, she opened it and found a penciled George Middleton poem:

I am only a dream that sings

In a strange large place,

And beats with Impotent wings

Against God's face.

No more than a dream that sings

In the streets of space;

Ah, would that my soul had wings,

Or a resting place.

And with it was a typed copy of his "Moon of the Caribees." As she read the manuscript she saw a sensitive, unhappy, confused man in search of an indefinable something.  She knew he would be at the Hell Hole waiting for her.

"Louise Bryant," wrote Agnes Boulton, "became only a dream for me that sings in the streets of space."

They had two wonderful, idyllic months in Provincetown. Silent and buried in the snow, the place did not even remotely resemble the raucous, tourist-cluttered resort it was in the summer. They moved into the apartment above John Francis' general merchandise store where O'Neill had lived with Terry Carlin briefly when they first came to Provincetown in the summer of 1916. He tapered off on his drinking and seemed determined to make her happy.  They began working and making progress on "Beyond the Horizon," which was to win O'Neill another Pulitzer award.  (Here, as in "Strange Interlude," O'Neill also drew heavily on his affair with Louise.  He has two friends who are as close to each other as brothers might be.  Both are in love with the same girl, and she alternates her affections, first favoring one and then the other.)

Agnes had never known such peace and contentment. One afternoon there was a knock at the door and Laurence Lytton, who lived in the apartment next to theirs, said he didn't quite know how to say it, but he had something to tell them.  He looked - recalled Agnes - like something the Dutch painter, Frans Hals, might have produced on canvas.  He was so embarrassed both she and O'Neill had trouble keeping from laughing.  Then it was her turn to blush furiously. Lytton found words to say he couldn't help but hear them talking at night because the walls were so paper-thin.  Agnes realized with a shock that he must have heard them making love.  O'Neill grinned.  Lytton said his girl friend, Alice Uhlman, thought Agnes and O'Neill ought to get married.  Agnes looked at O'Neill.  He continued grinning.  Agnes Boulton became Mrs. Eugene O'Neill in January of 1918 with Laurence Lytton and Agnes Uhlman as witnesses.

The first letter from Louise arrived on February 20th. Years later Agnes recalled with what she described as "dreadful clarity" that the letter was from New York and had been written only a day or two after Louise arrived from Russia on the Norwegian steamer Bergenfjord.  When John Francis brought it and gave it to O'Neill, he recognized the handwriting on the envelope.  He read it slowly, and then he handed it to Agnes.

She remembered that when she finished reading, her throat was dry and she was trembling.  It was a most passionate letter, designed to overwhelm O'Neill.  Louise wrote that she had left Jack Reed in Russia and crossed three thousand miles of frozen steppes to be with Gene - her lover.  She must see him.  She filled page after page with a passionate declaration of love for him - a love, she said, that could not - would not die; a love that was unchangeable, eternal.  She knew at last that it was a mistake to have gone off to Russia with Jack instead of staying with him.  She knew, wrote Louise, that he had met a woman who closely resembled her, and she deeply regretted the hurt and loneliness she must have caused him to look for her image in someone else.  Her leaving was all a mistake.  But there was no use trying to explain how she felt about it all in a letter.  She must see him in person.  "It was all my fault. . .I love you, I love you, I love you. . .," she echoed Jack's words to Mabel Dodge.

Agnes' heart sank as she watched indecision and confusion mirrored in his face.  Finally he said - it was almost a moan: "I must see her.  I have to explain.  I can't leave it like this. - I can't do this to her. . .I. . .I. . ."

"You want to see her?  You want to see this woman?"

"I should tell her in person that it's all over.  She traveled three thousand miles. . ."

"And don't forget those frozen Russian steppes," broke in Agnes bitterly.    (Steppes are the vast plains in Russia with settlements located many miles apart.)  Suddenly she thought that Mary Pyne was right when she came to her and tried to warn her that O'Neill was the kind of man who had to experience torture   to be creative, to be able to write.  "I could see him recalling," wrote Agnes, "all the dark passionate travail of their love."

She said:  "How can you do this?  She loves John Reed.

She chose to go with him, not to stay with you."

"You don't understand.  She told me herself that there was never any physical relationship between them."

"Oh, you fool.  You poor naive fool."  Then she realized that she was saying the wrong things to him in his present state of mind. But even as she watched O'Neill and wondered what she ought to do, there was a knock at the door.  It was the postmaster with a special delivery letter.

"I don't want to read it," said O'Neill as he took the letter, "She's crazy."  But he did read it, and when he finished reading it, he said:  "I must see her.  I owe her an explanation."

Agnes began to weep and O'Neill looked at her as if he was seeing her for the first time.  "I am not going to drink - I won't get involved with her - I just want to tell her that I have you and that it's all over between us."  It was incredible, simply incredible, thought Agnes.  He was trying to convince her that he was willing to stop work on "Beyond the Horizon", take a long trip to New York, just to convince Louise Bryant that he no longer loved her because he now had her, Agnes Boulton.  It made no sense at all - and it frightened her.

The letters from New York continued arriving, sometimes twice a day, each more insistent than the one before.  In one she hinted that she had talked to Reed before she left Russia about her love for O'Neill, and Reed was so involved in the Russian revolution and so eager to have her do whatever would make her happy that he had agreed that she should return to the United States.  And this was what she wanted to talk to him about.  O'Neill began to work furiously on "Beyond the Horizon", but Agnes felt he was throwing himself into his work only to get the play finished so that he would have an excuse for going to New York.  Then he began to spend hours framing replies to Louise's letters.  He would write something and tear it up and repeat this time and time again.  They were the best things that O'Neill ever wrote, declared Agnes.  She was in agony as she read them.  They reviewed his love affair with Louise and the torture this meant for the three of them - for him, for Louise and for John Reed.  There was such romance and Irish beauty in them that her heart would seem to stop beating as she read them.  "For," said Agnes, "I had thought that our love had erased this wild longing and restless desire he had once felt for Louise."

Finally, seeing no other way out, Agnes Boulton made the suggestion that he write and tell Louise that he could not come to New York but would meet her and talk with her someplace between Provincetown and New York - say Fall River.  This, thought Agnes, would keep O'Neill away only one day from Provincetown.  She also thought that perhaps, just perhaps, Louise would become annoyed at his suggestion she travel half-way to meet him and refuse to do so.

Louise was not annoyed, she was absolutely furious.  She replied that she was bitterly disappointed, not because she was not going to get a chance to see him - but in him personally.  What sort of a man was he!  How dare he play so lightly with her feelings?  Realizing that she was defeated, she went on to scold him.  Here she was participating in sensational world events, playing a part in shaping civilization and he had the nerve to suggest that she drop everything and take time to travel to Fall River just for his convenience.  She added that John Reed was on his way home from Russia.

Agnes was torn between relief and pleasure that O'Neill was not going to see Louise, and distress as she watched the man she loved suffer and wilt as he read Louise's last letter to him.

One evening in the fall of 1924, when she was the wife of William C. Bullitt, Louise brought out a pack of letters and handed them to him, one by one.  As he read each one and handed it back, she threw each letter onto the burning logs in the fireplace.

"He certainly was in love with you," said Bullitt when the last letter had been burned.



Louise was devastated.  She felt that she had been victimized, humiliated and betrayed by this man who had told her he could not live without her, and would wait for her to the end of time.  And then he had the temerity to reject her for a pale carbon copy.  Had he not told her that although he had been involved with many women, he did not know what sex really was until she came along?  It was the first time that a man had truly rejected her.  It would have been no consolation had anyone suggested to her that it happens all the time.

Then the latent masochism that enables humans to enjoy wallowing in self-pity, took over and she tortured herself at night by visualizing Agnes Boulton in bed with O'Neill, and O'Neill responding to her caresses and passionately clinging to her.  She had weird dreams.  She was lost and when she asked a policeman for help he turned and walked away.  She was a child again and saw her mother beckoning to come to her, but Mrs. Bryant kept moving away, and no matter how fast she walked or ran she could not reach her.

Fortunately, it did not last and before long Louise was telling friends that O'Neill had literally camped on her door-step, pleading with her - but she had been firm; her duty was to her husband whose life was in constant peril, three thousand miles away, and she was certainly too involved in world-shaking events herself to have time to trifle with playwrights, particularly those who drank as heavily as O'Neill did.

There was another reason she was able to clear her mind so quickly and easily of O'Neill.  There were so many things-she had put off doing since she had returned.  There were the articles she had sent to America to be published, which now had to be assembled for her book, "Six Red Months In Russia." Radical groups wanted her to address meetings where they might get first-hand information about what was going on in Russia - information they were certainly not getting from the newspapers.  Women fighting for an amendment to the Constitution that would give them the political rights men have, were eager to learn more about the Russian women who had been beaten, tortured and raped in czarist prisons, and were now in important posts helping to build a mighty new nation.

But above and beyond everything else, overshadowing all other considerations was the fearful realization that Jack was on his way home to face conspiracy charges, and that there was a  possibility he would be convicted and nave to spend many years in a federal prison.

When the skimpy cable had arrived in Petrograd with word that Reed had been indicted, there were few details and nothing at all to suggest the tremendous impact of the Bolshevik takeover on the American people.  Customary war hysteria was rapidly moving the nation toward mass paranoia - the name Lenin began to stand for something more sinister than Kaiser Wilhelm.

She recalled the morning in Petrograd when Raymond Robbins turned up while she and Reed were still in bed and pleaded with them not to return to the United States at that particular time.  He must have learned at the embassy, she thought, but could not tell them, that there were powerful people back home, in and out of government, who considered John Reed a traitor and a menace.  She felt a sudden surge of warmth for this gentle man of the Red Cross.  He had tried to impress on American government representatives in Russia, his conviction that Lenin and his Bolsneviki would be around for a long time; that she and Reed were among the very few Americans Lenin trusted and could be helpful in bringing about some sort of an understanding between the two governments. There were other Americans in Russia, but only Raymond Robbins seemed to recognize the dynamics of Russian history.

Max Eastman had met her when the steamer, "Bergenfjord," docked on February l8th. He had taken her to his sister Crystal's apartment to stay until she could make other arrangements.  Both Eastman and his sister were intensely busy, for - despite suppression of The Masses and the indictments - they had just finished putting final touches to the successor of The Masses, The Liberator, the first issue of which was due off the presses on the first of March.

Reed had cabled that he was Leaving Russia and, barring something unexpected, was due to reach the United States about the middle of March. The trial on the Indictments was now scheduled to start on April 15th, and feeling certain that Reed would not want to live at their place in Croton while the trial was under way, she rented a dingy apartment on Patchin Place, a short narrow street in the Village, that was no more than a break In the north side of West Tenth, between Sixth Avenue and Greenwich Avenue.

It was not much of a place, but it was furnished and outside, in front of the building, was a scrawny ailanthus which she promptly adopted and began nursing back to health, as she did with the sickly geranium she found in their Provincetown cottage two years earlier.

Then something unexpected happened to Reed while he was en-route home.  The American consul in Norway refused to give him the visa he needed to continue the journey. Hs was thus forced to stay in Norway two months, and miss being present with those indicted when the trial got under way.

The reason John Reed was held up two months in Norway, while Louise was frantically trying to get him home, would surely win first prize in any contest to find the most bizarre unpublished incident in the administration of an American president.  And no one would believe it, if it were not for Louise's testimony before a Congressional Committee a year later.

During the two months he was held up in Norway, said Louise, only one of the many letters he had written to her was allowed to reach her.  But it was during that time that George Creel, one of the men close to President Wilson - he was head of the propaganda department called The Committee of Public Information and the man who had once offered Reed a job - sought her help and that of Lincoln Steffens.  Creel, she said, wanted Reed is go back to Petrograd and try to convince Lenin and Trotsky of President Wilson's sincerity, and urge them not to sign the treaty of Brest-Litovsk with Germany, for this would free me German armies in the East to fight the allies in the West.  

Two cablegrams then reached Reed on the same day. The first signed Steffens-Louise Bryant, said: "Don't return (home) await instructions."  The other: "Trotsky making epochal blunder doubting Wilson literal sincerity.  Am certain President will do whatever he asks other nations to do.  If you can and will change Trotsky's and Lenin's attitudes you can render historical international service." It was signed "Steffens."

(There was a reason for the sudden decision of radicals to help a President, who had justified the Palmer raids.  It was based on the belief that the only hope the "have-nots" in capitalist countries to win concessions from the "haves" was in survival of socialism in Russia.  Fear of the "Red disease" spreading to their own countries would be the incentive, the radicals were convinced.  The Brest-Litovsk Treaty would so weaken socialism in Russia, the incentive would be gone.  Moreover, President Wilson's fourteen-point plan for world peace, and hints that he would recognize the Lenin regime if they did not capitulate to the Germans, as Russia's best hope, they felt, for saving the revolution.  In Russia, itself, there was a division among the Bolshevik leaders, with Lenin insisting that the plight of Russia was so desperate the masses could not be aroused to continue the fight.  And, anyway, none of them trusted Wilson or any of the other allied leaders.  They all dreaded the consequences of the German demands at Brest-Litovsk, but Lenin's view prevailed - the Russians chose what they considered the lesser of two evils.  John Reed held Lenin's view, but he cabled Steffens that he would return to Petrograd and talk to Lenin and Trotsky if radical American leaders like Eugene Debs asked him. . .Wilson could go to hell.  In the meantime, the Germans began an invasion of Russia, and the Russians signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, which was not abrogated until the end of World War Two.)

For a while, Louise clung to the hope that Reed's return to Russia to talk with Lenin and Trotsky would bring results that would cause the American government to drop charges against him.  When the newspapers reported that the Brest-Litovsk treaty was signed and Reed was still being refused a visa to return home, there was only the one letter in which he told her of his great longing for her and of his isolation.

As the date for the trial drew nearer, and conditions for war protesters, radicals and other dissenters and no conformers grew worse, Louise began to fear for Reed's very Life.  To the usual aversion Americans always have had for war protesters and radicals, there was suddenly added the word, "Bolshevik-sympathizer".  For while the sympathizers saw the Bolshevik takeover as the dawn of a new day for the world and America  (slogans like "Why Not Here?" were beginning to appear on the West Coast), to most Americans, the words Bolsheviki and Communists came to stand for everything that was evil.

Incredibly sensational reports and magazine articles fanned the nation's violent reaction to the Bolshevik takeover in Russia.  Some, such as those relating to the murder of the Czar and his family in July of 1917, were true.  Others were sheer fabrications.  Edgar Lloyd Hampton, for instance, in an article in the Saturday Evening Post, declared that Lenin and Trotsky, on their way to Russia, stopped in Seattle, and not only planned the general strike which occurred there early in 1919, but that the strike was to be the signal for a great rising of the American proletariat and the takeover of the American government.

(Neither Lenin nor Trotsky, of course, had ever been in Seattle.  But the strike, itself, limited though it was to Seattle, gained such nation-wide attention and notoriety for the state of Washington, that two decades later James A. Farley, the postmaster general, toasted the state at a banquet with, "To the forty-seven states and the Soviet of Washington.")

Louise talked with Max Eastman and all the others indicted with Reed for their work with The Masses. They were indicted under the Espionage Act, which Congress had passed and President Wilson had signed shortly after the United States entered the war. The Act, plus some amendments enacted the same year, were so broad that it became a federal offense to address an audience which contained draft-age men, or even to write and publish anything that might possibly influence the thinking of those involved in building ships or manufacturing munitions. When Eastman protested to President Wilson, a former president of Princeton and a brilliant exponent of democratic principles, the President replied:  ". . .I think that a time of war must be regarded as wholly exceptional and that it is legitimate to regard things which would in ordinary circumstances be very innocent, as very dangerous to the public welfare. . .

Cordially and sincerely yours, Woodrow Wilson."

So flimsy was the case against The Masses as a magazine busy spreading sedition that, even with the nation well in the grip of mass paranoia, the best the federal government was able to do was get two deadlocked juries after two trials.

Jack had finally been given a visa to leave Norway, but was not present at the first trial.  The jury deliberated four days after hearing an eloquent appeal by Prosecutor Barnes for conviction.  "A war", said he "is a time when a nation's life is at stake.  The freedoms the defendants claim as their birth-right will be no more if we are vanquished by a mortal enemy." Then Socialist Norris Hilquit for the defendants: "Constitutional rights are not a gift.  Countless thousands paid for them with their lives.  War or no war, constitutional rights taken away and given back are never again the vivifying force they were before when they expressed the soul of a nation.  They become just a gift to be given and to be taken away. ..."

It was noon, Monday, April 28, 1918.  As the jury was reporting that it was hopelessly deadlocked, the ship bringing John Reed home was clearing customs in New York harbor.



Less than three years had passed since the day that Louise caught her first glimpse of New York, and with the passage of that brief period of their "Lives went every trace of the care free abandon with which they greeted each day as they awoke, and the anticipated excitement at night as they climbed into what Reed had described as "our scandalous and sinfully voluptuous bed."

They now lived skimpily in their thoroughly disorganized Patchin Place apartment.  Newspaper clippings, manuscripts, typewriter and carbon paper littered the living room floor.  A flattop desk was full of dusty newspapers.  A smudged coffeepot and a few cups and saucers were on a small table.  Cracked dishes were piled on a shelf above a two-burner gasp-ate. In the bedroom there was a cot in addition to a single bed.  The bed usually showed the speed with which Louise made it up; the cot was always mussed, with a few pillows scattered on its surface. Both in the living room and bedroom were ashtrays full of cigarette butts. Reed smoked chain fashion.

When summer came, they divided their time between their Patchin Place apartment and their home in Croton, but it was at Patchin Place that Louise with Reed's help finished her "Six Red Months in Russia."  Proceeds from sale of the book, plus a small advance that Reed got from Boni and Liveright for "Ten Days That Shook the World" took care of their living expenses.  A fee for a lecture on Russia occasionally augmented this - both of them remained greatly in demand - but in most cases there was no fee, and Reed continued to wear his threadbare suit and borrow a quarter for coffee before or after lecturing for a comrade.

Boni and Liveright made the advance on royalties even though the government has confiscated all his notes and other material he had collected in Russia for the book.  This was done in April when Reed's ship reached the United States from Norway, and it was not until the early part of August that his papers were released and he was able to start writing.

Sex became almost a passionless ritual; often leaving her depressed and frustrated as she recalled what it had been only a short time ago.  But she was becoming bound to him in deeper, quieter ways.  Revolution was now his passion. He had become more serious, often worried and deeply depressed.  A Letter from his mother, again threatening suicide because he was "besmirching the name Reed" while his brother Harry was fighting in Europe, left him so despondent, so pathetic, she was overwhelmed with a yearning to console him.  She knew she would never again leave him.  And when, during the trying weeks and months that followed, she heard reports of an affair Reed had with Edna St. Vincent Millay, she recalled dark-eyed Anne Calahan - how she had frozen with anger at the sight of her walking naked, a lighted candle in her hand, reciting poetry - she brooded only a few days.  When Reed returned from Philadelphia, where he had again been arrested, she embraced him and said how happy she was that he was home.  And this time she knew that she really meant it.

The years Louise Bryant was most active, 1917 through the early 1920s, were perhaps the most tumultuous and the worst in American history for those attempting to bring about changes in the political status quo of women and any sort of changes in other phases of the American Way of Life.  Louise was deeply involved in both the drive to change the political status of women and that of bringing improved conditions for workers through unions.

The man leading the drive to keep things as they were was a close friend of Woodrow Wilson's - Alexander Mitchell Palmer - a power in the Democratic Party.  His chief assistant was J. Edgar Hoover, head of the recently created department that would later become known as the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

(The year 1920 also saw the founding of the American Civil Liberties Union by a Princeton-trained sociologist, Roger Nash Baldwin, who had himself been imprisoned for making anti-war speeches.)

    Mitchell Palmer was a Quaker, as had been all members of both sides of his family for many generations. Because he was a Quaker and didn't believe in war, he turned down Presidents Wilson's offer to become Secretary of War.  (There has not been a Department of War in the United States since 1947, when the Department of Defense was created by congress, and it, along with the Navy Department and the Air Force, became units of the newly-created Defense Department.)

Peace-loving Quaker or no.  Palmer made a clear distinction between external and internal enemies of America, and readily accepted Wilson's offer to become Attorney General with almost religious fervor.  Some Newspaper columnists, however, did not see the distinction quite as clearly.  When he began referring to himself as the "Fighting Quaker," they began referring to him (among themselves) as the "Quaking Fighter."

Attorney General Palmer had a big job on his hands.  The nation had begun to polarize with America's involvement in the war, and the polarization became more widespread instead of better when the war came to an end in November of 1918.  The law, with new and tougher amendments, under which Reed, Eastman, Debs, Baldwin and so many others were indicted, with some being imprisoned, was still on the books.  Palmer, by a unique form of reasoning, kept on enforcing it long after the shooting in Europe ended.  The Senate, reasoned Palmer, had not yet gotten around to voting on the terms of the peace treaty, therefore, he was legally allowed to use his wartime powers to smash, among other things, the big strikes that had begun in many industries.

Palmer genuinely believed he was justified in doing what he did.  Throughout the country, government officials and business executives were receiving packages by mail that proved to be time bombs.  Palmer's own home was damaged by a bomb, and near the remains of a man who had been blown to pieces was found a radical magazine advocating bombing tactics.

In many places, notably in the West Coast states of Oregon and Washington, there came into existence Councils of Workers, Soldiers and Sailors, organized on the Russian Soviet pattern.  The newspapers were full of reports that the Bolsheviki were shipping gold by the trunk load to America to foment a revolution.  Letters to the editors and editorials demanded action, and they got it.

Mitchell Palmer whipped things to a frenzy with public statements, reminding the millions of Americans who had bought war bonds, the owners of farms, and those with savings accounts in banks, that what he called "America's red hordes" intended to take all of this away from them. His campaign, which became known as the "Palmer Red Scare Raids," resulted in the arrests of thousands - most of whom had to be released for want of even flimsy proof that they were a threat to the nation - and the deportation of those who had not taken out citizenship papers.  Among the first deportees were the anarchists Emma Goldman and her lover, Alexander ("Sasha") Berkman.

In Washington, a Senate committee turned its attention to the spread of radicalism in the United States.  This was the Overman Committee, named after its chairman. Senator Lee Slater Overman, Democrat of North Carolina.  The committee was formed while the war was still raging in Europe to investigate German propaganda, there having developed a conviction that wealthy German brewers were helping the Kaiser.  But by early 1919, the investigation of Germans no longer made headlines.  The new Attorney General then noticed that many of those who had once been pro-German were now pro-Bolshevik.  He took careful note of the 1917 Kerensky charges that Lenin was an agent of the Germans, and it became easy for him to get full Senate approval for the Overman Committee to start investigating anything that he equated with Bolshevism.  The other members of the committee were Senators King, Wolcott, Nelson and Sterling.  The War Department assigned Major Lowry Humes to help the committee get all the "facts", and it soon went to work.

The committee members were intrigued almost immediately by the testimony of friendly witnesses.  A. E. Stevenson of New York, a member of the New York Mayor's committee of National Defense and a special agent for the Department of Justice, told them about marriage and divorce in Russia under the new government.  "All one has to do," said Mr. Stevenson, "is appear before a commissar with a woman, or vice versa, and say he wants to be considered married, and he is.  If one of them wants to get divorced, all he or she has to do is say he or she wants to be divorced and he or she is."

"You mean," asked Senator Overman, "a man can have as many wives as he wants?"

"Yes," replied the witness, "but not all at once.  He must have them in rotation."

SENATOR NELSON:  "You mean a man can get a divorce when he gets tired of his wife, and get another wife?"

    STEVENSON: "Precisely."

SENATOR OVERMAN:  "Do they teach free love?"

    STEVENSON: "They do."

MAJOR HUMES:  "Polygamy is recognized, is it?"

    STEVENSON: "I do not know. I have not studied their social order as fully as that, and I cannot say with certainty about polygamy."

On Sunday, February 2, 1919, Louise was one of the two main speakers at a big rally at Poll's Theater in the nation's capital.  The advertisements in the newspapers said she would tell "the truth about Russia."  The place was packed.  Several congressmen attended and brought down upon their heads abuse from both Representatives and Senators on the floors of both Houses, to say nothing of the newspapers.  It was the presence of Congressmen at the meeting to hear Louise which prompted the New York Times a week later to devote four full columns of space to the event, substituting for the usual writer's byline the words BY ONE WHO WAS THERE.  The headlines: "Bolsheviki Are Busy In The United States.  A Sample of Their Methods and Distortions of Fact at Washington Meeting Attended by Congressmen."

As the furor over members of Congress listening to a Bolshevist mounted. Senator Overman's committee stepped up its investigation.

The committee called more witnesses, all of them violently opposed to the Bolshevist regime in Russia.  With the exception of a commercial attaché to the United States embassy in Russia and "Babushka" Breshkovskaya, who was in the United States at that time, none of them seemed to know anything about Russia other than that Lenin and his followers were "anarchist atheists."  (Babushka, which means "little grandmother," came from a family of Russian noblemen and was one of the early advocates of the use of violence to overthrow the czar.  Louise had interviewed her in 1917 in Russia and described her as a charming old woman whom everybody loved.  Soon after the Bolsheviki came into power she became violently anti-Lenin and was forced to flee Russia, coming first to the United States and then moving to Czechoslovakia, where she died in 1934.)

B. Dennis, a professor at Northwestern University, told the committee: "Now I don't know Mr. Williams or Mr. Reed, but I have read their stuff.  I have also read the book by John Williams' wife."  (He meant Albert Phys Williams - and the book he read was not Mrs. Williams" - it was Louise Bryant's "Six Red Months in Russia.")

The Reverend George Simonds read the infamous Jewish Protocols to show that the pogroms against Jews in Russia during the Czar's years may, after all, have been justified. He said he had it on good authority that the Bolsheviks "rape and ravish and despoil women at will."  "Babushka" Breshkovskaya's testimony made big headlines.  She made a bitter attack on Lenin and Trotsky, declaring that they were bringing into existence the very things the revolution was supposed to end. They were abolishing freedom of expression.

Big headlines, with columns upon columns of space, were devoted by the newspapers to the commercial attaché.  Dr. W. C. Huntington, who was in Russia for more than a year. He described atrocities, told the committee of the slaughter of whole families in their cellars, read into the record a long order he said was by M. Petrovsk, the commissar for home affairs, which provided explicit instructions for killing all those opposed to the Lenin-Trotsky regime, and a great deal more.

SENATOR OVERMAN: "Why do they hate us so?"

      HUNTINGTON: "For two principal reasons. First because we do not have a Soviet government in this country, and secondly, because we went into the war."

"It seems to me," remarked Senator Overman, apropos of nothing that was germane at the moment, "this man Gorky is a most immoral man."

(Maxim Gorky, the noted Russian writer, who was living with a beautiful actress, had, as a matter of fact, by this time turned against the bolshevist regime because of the violent methods it was using to suppress opposition.)

As this went on, and few with any knowledge of Russia were called to testify, Louise, John Reed, Albert Rhys Williams and Raymond Robbins of the Red Cross asked to be heard. Senator Overman finally announced that they would be heard, and on February 2nd, Louise appeared as the first "unfriendly witness" of the Overman Committee.

Louise looked radiant. In a fashionable dark suit, gunmetal stockings and a large, floppy hat, she looked utterly out of place in a Senate hearing room. "But," said the Portland Oregonian correspondent in a special dispatch, "it soon became clear from the way she responded to questions that this was a brilliant individual.  She looked her questioner squarely in the eye and, in the language of the national game, 'never muffed a ball.'"

She smiled at the men at the press table, and they smiled back. All papers in the country covered the hearings, Nevada papers especially recalling Louise's days as an agitator on the University of Nevada campus at Reno.  The -New York Times devoted more space to testimony that Louise was an agitator on the Nevada university campus and that while she was defending the Bolshevik!,  two of her brothers were fighting in Europe, than to any other  phase of the hearings.   The incorruptible members of the Fourth Estate strove, and in most cases succeeded, in separating the beautiful woman from the defense she was making of a system they abhorred.

The first question she was asked, before the oath was administered, was by Senator King of Utah:  "Do you believe in God, in Christ, in the sanctity of an oath and in a hereafter?" 

"I thought," smiled Louise, "I was here to talk about Russia."

SENATOR OVERMAN:  One who doesn't believe in a Supreme Being can't attach much importance to an oath."

       LOUISE: "I understand." She winked at the reporters at the press table and said: "Let the record show that there is a God."

Major Humes took over.  He wanted to know about her fist husband, Dr. Trullinger.  A shadow crossed Louise's face.  Sue hesitated, then smiled and said again: "I thought you wanted to know something about Russia."

"We need to know something about the character of the person we are questioning so as to be able to decide how much credence we can attach to the answers."

Louise informed Major Hume that she and Dr. Trullinger were divorced in 1916 and that seemed to satisfy the committee.

The first demonstration by the audience came shortly after that. Senator Nelson asked her: "Were you in Washington at the time when demonstrations were staged before the White House?"

      LOUISE: "I still don't understand what that has to do with the truth about what's going on in Russia. But I was in Washington and I was in the demonstration."

SENATOR OVERMAN:  "Did you participate in the burning of President Wilson in effigy?"

      LOUISE:  "I did, and I went on a hunger strike."

SENATOR OVERMAN: "So you mean by that that you went to jail?"

      LOUISE: "I didn't go to jail. I was dragged into a patrol wagon and was hauled off to jail.  And I went hunger Strike."

SENATOR OVERMAN: "A hunger strike?"

      LOUISE: "Yes, a hunger strike. You see, if you go without food and become weak, the authorities let you out.  They don't want you to die in jail."

It was then that cheers and jeers broke out among members of the audience and Senator Overman ordered the hearing room cleared of everyone except members of the press and witnesses.  As the audience was being hustled out of the room, two women shouted as with one voice: "Please, Senator, may we remain.  We didn't shout or applaud."

"No," said Senator Overman, "everyone must get out of the hearing room."


SENATOR OVSRMAN: "No, you may not."

MALE VOICE:  "But I am the husband of the witness. I am John Reed."

SENATOR OVERMAN: "All right, you may remain."

Reporting this remarkable scene (demonstrations at Congressional hearings were rare at that time), the news dispatches said the people excluded held a protest meeting in the corridor and as a result all were allowed to return, to be excluded again shortly thereafter for staging another demonstration.

Despite interruptions and sharp questioning by Major Humes and by Senator Overman and the other senators, Louise managed to provide them with a great deal of what she said was the truth about Russia.

She painted a bleak picture of Russia before the Revolution; the repression, the autocratic behavior of the czar and czarista under the influence of Rasputin and the war.  She told them of her talks with Kerensky, Trotsky and others. She denied the many news reports of atrocities.

She insisted that neither she nor her husband, John Reed, favored a Bolshevik-type government for the United States, but that it was the best thing that could have happened for the Russians in Russia.  "I believe," said Louise, "in self-determination."  And if that's what the Russians wanted - and she was certain that it was - she did not want to see her own country's leaders talk about the rights of nations to self-determination and then interfering in the Russian revolution.

Asked about the Bolsheviki grab of private property without compensation, she replied:

"They requisitioned the banks, just as Benjamin Franklin requisitioned his majesty's post office funds here."

About Madame Breshkovskaya, Louise said:  "I know Babushka well.  We had so many talks over tea in Petrograd and she gave me her autographed photograph.  She was one of the early revolutionists and believed in violence against the Czar's government. But things did not turn out as she sincerely believed they should turn out," adding sadly: "Babushka is an old woman with a magnificent past and a pitiful present."

"Are you," asked Major Humes, "a proletarian?"

"I must be," smiled Louise, "I am poor and sometimes have to go hungry."

MAJOR HUMES:  "Did you see people starving in the streets?"

      LOUISE:  "No, I didn't."

MAJOR HUMES:  "Then you found things not so bad as painted, is that what you are telling us?"

     LOUISE:  "I found conditions in Russia about the same as they were in France when I was there."

MAJOR HUMES:  "You say you don't want to see this nation intervene in Russian affairs.  Do you then think it is all right for the Bolshevik government to stir up a revolution in the United States?"

At this question, she rose slightly from her chair, remained silent for several seconds, and then said passionately:  "Revolutions, sir, are not like commodities that are exported from one country to another. They are created by conditions within a country. The Russian Czars made the Bolshevik revolution possible. If there is ever a revolution in this, my country, it will not be created by the Wobblies or the anarchists or anyone else. It will be the result of the sort of repression now sweeping this country, and by those of this country's leaders who want to see the repression go on."

(There are numerous explanations for the use of the word, Wobblies, for members of the revolutionary labor group Industrial Workers of the World, better known as the I.W.W.s.  The one generally accepted, however, is that a Chinese owner of a small restaurant in Seattle, whose patrons were mostly I.W.W.s referred to them as "wobelyou, wobelyous.")


Louise wrote Frank Harris, the author - he had not yet written at that time, the sensational, banned-in-Boston book, "My Life and Loves:"

I have been testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee and I want you to know any impressions of that unpleasant experience.. .

I found myself at a long table, at which sat six men with cold eyes and harsh angry voices.  They were my countrymen, but they were also my enemies.  Their hate was naked and ugly, the flame of it burned away  the mist before my eyes and I came away with the old, vague fears suddenly turned into vivid realities. . .

The men I write about are old men - not so old in years as in obsolete thoughts. They have determined to fight for a world as it was before the Great War - and that world no longer exists.  They had decided to crush unmercifully all defenders of change.  Each aged senator, chewing his everlasting cigar, sees in himself a Marquise de Lantenac - a  man of the hour.

I have never been afraid of intelligent conversation, but I am afraid of ignorance, ignorance is cruel and intolerant.  One cannot reason with it. When I went before the Committee I was full of hope. Here in America, I said to myself, we can surely get together. . .the breach is not so wide, there need be no violence. But; I was wrong, there will be. Our conservatives will see to that. It is idle to plead with such men; they will bring the house down on their own heads. They will destroy themselves and thousands of others. How many centuries ago Sophocles wrote:  'Woe for the doom of a dark soul!'

I could understand their hostility toward those of us who frankly confessed that we are socialists and against capitalism. But their madness ran beyond bounds when they scorned the staunch defender of his own class, the denouncer of socialism, Raymond Robbins.

Raymond Robbins is a man with a conscience. He has been a devout preacher, which is a grave matter because he reckons with God. . . He is sometimes weak and undetermined, but he does not lie. If they could only have understood, those old men, that he, more than any of the people who told them the things they wanted to hear, was their sincere friend and champion.  They would have thanked him and not Simonds who wants them to plunge the world into another war more terrible than any we have yet faced.

The truth is, It is stupid of me, or of anyone else, to go humbly before a Committee Investigating Bolshevism with the naive purpose of explaining.  These senators have shut their eyes, their ears, their hearts. . . .When Senator Overman (told) the audience that Maxim Gorky is one of the most immoral men in the world, I realized nothing could touch them. Art means nothing to them. Why should love and life?"


WOMEN'S LIB - The Tough Years

Many of the women today, who talk about a member of their sex becoming president of the United States, and who appear in public or on television wearing provocatively-skimpy apparel, have either forgotten or have never bothered to find out, what was involved in getting laws passed for the simple, basic right to vote.

Back in the 18th century, Mary Wollstoncroft, the mother-in-law of the great English poet, Percy Bysshe Shelley, wrote a book, "The Vindication of the Rights of Women," containing everything that had ever been written before and since, about the rights of women to be considered equal to men in both the political and economic life of a nation.  In 1792, when the book was published, it was received with sneers, ridicule and suggestions that the author belonged in a lunatic asylum.  Not too surprisingly, most women agreed.  There were, after all, still places in the world - and there still are today -where women were required to cover their faces and wear loose, ugly, sack-like clothes so as not to arouse men erotically outside the bedroom  (Mary Wollstoncroft's daughter, the wife of poet, Shelly, wrote the horror story, "Frankenstein.")

"Everything is going to change, except the way people think," said Albert Einstein sadly, when long-dreamed nuclear energy became a reality.  So it is not surprising that more than a century after Mary Wollstoncroft's book was published, England, the world's first and greatest democracy, should be the land where women had the toughest struggle to win the right to vote, with the United States not far behind.

In England, for instance, the British Liberal Party called a mass meeting in Manchester in 1905 at which Sir Edward Grey was to outline what the Liberals would do if they were elected.  It was at this meeting that Christabel Pankhurst and Annie Kenney had the temerity to get up and ask what, Sir Edward and his Party had in mind for the women who had been campaigning for political rights.  "Troublemakers, troublemakers. . .throw them out," screamed everybody.  A pair of husky males grabbed them, kicked them down the stairs and threw them out.  "We will now go on with the meeting," said Sir Edward.

Outside, Mrs. Pankhurst and Mrs. Kenney tried to address the crowd that had collected.  They were arrested for obstructing the sidewalk and fined.  They chose to go to jail.

This was the last straw.  A great many women had, by that time, become involved in the women's struggle, and it became clear to them that they would get nowhere by appealing to the humane side of men or by signing petitions.  They adopted the technique of violence.  They began smashing windows and destroying private and public property.  Sent to prison, they staged hunger strikes.  The authorities tried to feed them forcibly, and when this didn't work, they were paroled, but not for very long - only until they were  enough to be dragged back to prison to serve out their sentences.  Emily Davison, a militant protester, threw herself in front of the horses at a Derby race in 1913 and was killed trying to dramatize the crusade.

Every known trick in the parliamentary book, and some that were not in the book, was used to stall proposals to let women vote.  The reached its lowest and meanest point the same year Emily died.  The Prime Minister, Herbert Asquith, announced a measure in Parliament to reform the voting laws and said he would accept women's suffrage amendments.   The amendments came to think and fast, and some were so ludicrous, the whole voting reform plan was dropped.  It wasn't until 1928 that English women got full voting rights.

So much for the proud British boast the "Britons never shall be slaves."

In the United States masculine determination to keep women where they would be most useful - in the kitchen and bedroom - never showed up better than immediately after the Civil War, fought to free the Negro slaves.  Among the most vigorous and vocal opponents to Negro slavery were Sarah and Angelina Grimke, Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Stanton, Lucy Stone and Susan Anthony along with many other great women.  But when the war had been fought and won, the Amendments to the Constitution spoke only of rights for the freed slaves.  The women, who had been campaigning for political rights since 1840, found their pleas falling upon deaf ears.  It would have been little consolation to them had they been clairvoyant enough to know that, even with legislation, nobody would pay much attention to the Amendments barring Negro discrimination for another hundred years.

And that is how things stood when Louise Bryant, upon returning from Russia in 1918, joined the most militant group of American suffragettes - The National Women's Party.  Her articles in the papers about women martyrs in the Russian upheaval made her a popular speaker at meetings of women.  Louise bore down hard on the ineffectiveness of appealing to what used to be called "men's finer instincts" or an orderly process in attempting to make major changes involving governments.  "What can be more orderly, more legal," she would ask, "than urging Congress to submit to the states, a Constitutional amendment?  Why are we being denied permits to parade for a constitutional cause?  If the authorities are afraid of riots, why do they arrest us and not the hoodlums who do the rioting?"

Two other groups of women were involved in the political rights campaign, both of them opposed to the militancy of the group Louise Bryant had joined.  One - the National Women's Suffrage Association - described by the New York Times as "the more gentle branch of suffragettes," believed that Congress could be talked into doing the right thing and submitting a Constitutional Amendment to the states for ratification.  Another group, perhaps the largest, insisted that it was not a matter for the federal government. They wanted the issue handled by the individual states, some of which had already begun doing that.

 On February 10, 1919, John Reed, in New York, dashed off a telegram to his wife who had been arrested for taking part in a Washington D. C. demonstration.

"Take good care of yourself in jail. Am proud of you. Jack"

Four days later, a letter in care of the National Women's Party, Jackson Place, Washington D. C.

". . . I got your little note today. It gave me a shock and made me mad. Why did you do it? You promised you wouldn't go on any more hunger strikes."

Reed had learned of her arrest along with other suffragettes from the New York Times under the headlines: "SUFFRAGISTS Burn Wilson in Effigy. MANY LOCKED UP. POLICE STOP DEMONSTRATIONS BEFORE WHITE HOUSE ON EVE OF AMENDMENT VOTE.  VIOLENT SPEECHES MADE."

"Police", said the dispatch from Washington, "were reluctant to give a list of all who had been arrested. However, those known to be in durance (A rarely-used word for imprisonment which reporters sometimes threw in to show they were erudite despite their paltry salaries) from New York include Mrs. H. 0. Havemeyer, Miss Cora Weeks, Miss Louise Bryant, Miss Edith Ainge, Miss Amy Gungling, Miss Lucy Burns and Mrs. Chevler.  Estimates of the number of women arrested range from forty to sixty-five, and estimates of the size of the demonstration vary, but all agree it was the most impressive the militant National Women's Party had staged so far."

It was only one of the scores the militant women were staging throughout the United States the night before the Senate was to vote again on an amendment to grant women the right to vote.  A reading of newspapers for 1919 makes hard-to-believe reading today.  Women battled police, broke picket signs over the heads of the guardians of the law, boycotted merchants whose wives didn't join the crusade, went on hunger strikes, chained themselves to telephone poles to make it difficult for police to haul them off to jail before they had finished their speeches, laughed when they were spat upon by male hoodlums.  Louise, herself, glowed with pleasure when her companions described her as "the girl who leaves the best set of teeth marks on wrists of policemen."

The target of the demonstrations on the eve of the Senate's vote on the 19th Amendment to the Constitution - it again lost, this time by one vote - was President Woodrow Wilson.  He had finally become converted to the cause of women's political rights, but the militants felt he wasn't doing enough to assure passage of the amendment.  He had, as a matter of fact, sent telegrams to key senators urging approval of the amendment, but the women said it was too little and too late.  He was the head of the Democratic Party and they wanted him to put pressure, real pressure, on Southern Senators who had nightmares in which long lines of Negro women were voting against them.  They had managed to keep Negro men from voting despite the 14th and 15th Amendments, but these crazy militant women - who could tell what they might not do?  

"The effigy of President Wilson, which looked like a huge doll stuffed with straw and was slightly over two feet in height," said the New York Times, "was dropped into the flames by Miss Sue White. . . there was a good deal of confusion as the district police, the military police and the Boy Scouts, who assisted in the roundup of the women, were getting busy. . . Miss White made   the following statement before she was pushed into the police patrol wagon: 'We burn not the effigy of the President of a free people, but the leader of an autocratic party organization whose tyrannical power holds millions of women in political slavery. . . Mr. Wilson, as the leader of his party, has forgotten, or else he never knew, the spirit of true democracy. . . We feel that this protest will shock Mr. Wilson and his followers and put into action the principle that those who submit to authority shall have a voice in their government.'  And Mrs. Havemeyer of New York fought off those who were dragging her to the patrol   wagon long enough to yell:  'Every government in the world has enfranchised its women.  In Russia, in Hungary, in Austria - in Germany thirty-four women are now sitting in the new Reichstag.  We women of America are here today to voice our deep indignation that while America is devoting its energies to establishing   democracy in Europe, American women remain deprived of a voice in their government.'"

NEW YORK-Carrying banners on which were inscribed, "Mr. President, How Long Must Women Wait for Suffrage?"  "An Autocrat at Home is a Poor Champion of Democracy Abroad,"200 militant suffragettes attempted to stage a demonstration at Broadway and Fortieth Street against President Wilson.  For more than two   hours a cordon of police had its hands full trying to keep them from crashing through the lines.  Time after time they attacked the patrolmen and civilians with their banners and fingernails only to be repulsed by the police.

WASHINGTON-While the Senate debated the Suffrage amendment before defeating it, the galleries were packed with women, which gave the Senate chamber the appearance of a style show.  The women wore the latest and showiest apparel and the most colorful millinery.  The ushers were careful to separate the militants, who burned President Wilson in effigy, from the less belligerent   suffragists.  The anti-suffragists were allotted a gallery by themselves.  Senator Wadsworth of New York, whose wife is a member of the anti-suffragists, voted against the amendment.

PHILADELPHIA-Miss Louise Bryant, wife of well-known Bolshevist propagandist, John Reed, was arrested here yesterday and charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct after she refused police orders to end a street corner lecture on the subject of women1s suffrage.  The disorderly conduct charge was added when she allegedly addressed the police in unprintable   language.

WASHINGTON-Police put an end to a foot race in Lafayette Square tonight between angry crowds of men and three torch-bearing sentinels of the militant National Women's Party by arresting the women.  They refused to furnish bail.  A statement by the party's headquarters said:  "Our liberty fires are a symbol of our contempt for words unsupported by deeds. We will not sit in silence while the President presents himself to the people of Europe as the representative of a free people, when the American women are not free, and he is chiefly responsible for it."

WASHINGTON-Senator Jones of New Mexico today announced plans o introduce a resolution which would confer the right of franchise upon women, but only to a number in each state that does not exceed the number of men voting.

(The 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, giving women the right to vote, was finally passed by the House on May 21, 1919, and the Senate on June 4, 1919.  It then went to the states for ratification.)

WASHINGTON-There is every indication that from now on the warfare between women suffragists and anti-suffragists over ratification of the Federal suffrage amendment will be carried on with more regressiveness by both sides. With adoption of the amendment by Congress the battleground has shifted to the states. Both sides have moved their headquarters from here to New York.

WASHINGTON-The militant suffragettes represented by the National Women's Party tonight announced plans for a "Prison Special" train to tour the country and whip up support in the states for ratification of the Federal Suffrage Amendment. The women who will make up the contingent aboard what they call the "Democracy Limited" are those who have served jail terms for picketing. They intend to wear costumes resembling those they wore in jail, but rail authorities rejected their demand to have the train painted to resemble a prison.

ATLANTA-The Federal suffrage amendment was defeated in both houses of the Georgia General Assembly today.  Not only was the bill defeated in both houses, but a move to have the matter submitted to a vote by the people at the next white primary was voted down.  Senator Rigsdale declared that if the bill passed "it would mean that the American race would be degraded and wiped off the face of the earth."

On August 26, 1920, when enough states had acted favorably and the right of women to vote became a part of the Federal Constitution, Louise was not there to celebrate.  She was running the Allied blockade of Russia to be with John Reed.  Before returning home, she saw his ashes buried near the spot by the Kremlin Wall where only three years earlier she had seen five hundred revolutionists buried in one huge grave.



Reed had begun planning a trip to Portland to see his mother, and perhaps a speaking tour in west coast cities at about the time the Overman Committee began its investigation of Bolshevism.  (The Bolsheviki in Russia had by this time begun calling themselves Communists.)  The question he and Louise hadn't settled was whether she should accompany him. He wanted her to go along, but she had no great enthusiasm about returning to Portland where Paul Trullinger was still living, still unmarried.  She also had mixed feelings about returning to a section of the country where her family was living.  She was certain the newspaper headlines describing her as a Bolshevist and revolutionist must have grieved her mother and Sheridan Bryant and her sister Barbara.  She had heard that her brothers, Floyd and Bill, were still in Europe as Army officers, and that Lou Parnell was somewhere in California.  She knew there would be no happy family reunion and for that reason hesitated about joining Reed.

What prompted Reed to want to make the trip, in addition to his desire to see his mother, was the rapid growth of radicalism on the West Coast, particularly in Oregon.  Although it was spreading everywhere, despite the most repressive measures, it was in Portland, where he was born that the first Council of Workers, Soldiers and Sailors was formed.  Similar councils were active elsewhere on the West Coast, one of the most powerful having been organized in Tacoma, Washington.  The councils proclaimed the bankruptcy of capitalism and saw not far off the Socialist Soviet Republic of the United States.  The federal government's answer was more repression. The newspapers led the crusade against everyone they considered un-American, their most venomous attacks being leveled at the militant Wobblies, who had shaken up the timber and shipping industries and were in the forefront of all radical moves on the West Coast.  A news dispatch from Seattle, published in the Chicago Tribune and reprinted in the New York Times, dated February 10, 1919, declared:

"The first federal blow against the wave of anarchism already launched on the Pacific Coast came to light yesterday when fifty-four labor agitators passed through Chicago in two heavily guarded tourist sleepers bound for immediate deportation from an Atlantic port.

"A motley company of I.W.W. trouble-makers, bearded fanatics, and red flag supporters huddled in crowded berths and propaganda-strewed compartments of the prison train, which slipped in and out of the city so silently that few were aware of its existence.  As far as is known, no movement of this kind has ever been attempted by the federal government before, and the train blazed a trail that immigration authorities agree will entirely solve the greatest danger of an industrial unrest during the reconstruction period.

"The (government's) move seemed to take the wind out of the sails of the labor agitators.  Only one man rebelled when told of Uncle Sam's decision to rid the country of his presence.  He got out a writ of habeas corpus against the deportation, which was promptly quashed by a Federal judge in Spokane.  The courts have opened every facility and given every co-operation in this work."

Alas for the prediction that this method of handling radicals would "entirely solve the greatest danger of an industrial unrest."  West Coast labor unrest continued to grow, particularly on the water fronts of every west coast city, and in the timber industry, and finally reached the editorial departments of newspapers.

Reed felt he owed it to his comrades on the West Coast to appear and tell them that what was happening in Oregon, Washington and California was happening throughout the world --workers were beginning a struggle to end exploitation.  Then a letter arrived from Reed's mother.  She told how she longed to see him, but she advised against coming to Portland.  "They throw I.W.W. men in jail without any reason," she pleaded, and again begged him to discontinue his agitation for changes in America.  Reed was depressed, and annoyed that his mother thought that only in Portland were they arresting I.W.W. members without reason.

As Louise watched John Reed, torn between love for his mother and a desire not to bring her more grief, and a feeling that he must help his comrades on the West Coast, she reached a quick decision.

"Let me go on a West Coast lecture tour...  I will tell people about the dreadful Overman Committee hearings and about Russia and stir up enthusiasm against intervention by this country in the Russian revolution.  And I will see your mother and explain."

Reed looked glum.  He knew how distasteful it would be for Louise to return to Portland, but there seemed no other way out of his dilemma and he agreed.

She reached the West Coast and began her speaking tour in March.  She addressed huge crowds in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Tacoma, Portland, Spokane, Salt Lake City, Butte (Montana) and, on her way home, spoke in Minneapolis, Chicago, and St. Louis.  In some places she was sponsored by the newly formed soviet-type councils; in others, by Labor Councils and official Socialist organizations.  Invariably the groups sponsoring her had trouble getting a hall large enough to accommodate the crowds that wanted to hear her and had to settle  for small auditoriums or labor temples.

She was unable to follow any sort of a regular schedule because of this difficulty in obtaining a hall.  In Portland, the Oregonian reported that the Labor Council had made it clear it was in no way connected with her appearance in the city.  And police reminded the owners of a private hall that the Criminal Syndicalism Act made them responsible for what Louise might say during the lecture.  It took a week before Louise could finally wire John Reed jubilantly:  'Got city auditorium.  Will write about mother.  I love you."

On April 5, the San Francisco Call reported:

"Refused permission to speak in Berkeley by Major Samuel Irving, Mrs. John Reed, writer and lecturer, denied today she is a Bolshevik and said she intends to speak on the mistake of intervention in Russia.  Mrs. Reed, otherwise known as Louise Bryant, will speak tonight at the Dreamland Rink under the direction of the Socialist Party of San Francisco.

"Mrs. Reed was to have spoken at the Burbank School Auditorium in Berkeley.  Mayor Irving, in denying permission, said he would not allow her to speak because he considered 'Any Bolshevik at this time an emissary of Germany bent on stirring up trouble.'"

Not too surprisingly, it was this opposition, the publicity of difficulty in getting places for her to speak, which packed whatever halls could finally be obtained.  In Tacoma, the News-Tribune carried a slashing editorial attacking her appearance in the city on March 22, 1919.  Result:  more than three thousand people packed a hall built to accommodate fifteen hundred.  The Labor Advocate said:

"The truth about Russia was given to 3,200 Tacomans able to jam their way into Tahoma Hall to hear Louise Bryant, famous war correspondent of the Philadelphia Public Ledger.  This girlish, pretty young woman, with her hair banged in Russian fashion, spoke for two hours and a half, telling what happened in the Russian revolution.  Then she answered questions and showed by her ready wit and instant answers that the Senate Judiciary Committee had 'some' job when it tried to break down her story."

Louise herself wrote Reed:  "Last night's meeting in Tacoma was the best yet.  They had a fairly large hall-holding about l500--and they decided they could get in twice as many if they removed the seats.  So from 7 until 10 they stood there, packed like sardines."

The regular commercial daily newspapers, which gave wide publicity to the attacks on her while sponsors were being denied halls and auditoriums, rarely covered the meetings themselves.  In Seattle, she asked Anna Louise , the Seattle schoolteacher who died in Communist China in 1971, to mail to Reed newspaper clippings about the lecture.  Miss  smiled:  "There won't be any unless there is a riot or a raid and a lot of us are dragged off to jail."

After each meeting she wrote long letters to Reed, often while on a train en route to fill a new speaking date.  She described what happened at each meeting and always ended by telling him how lonely she was, how she missed him, how she wished she was with him.  "Take care of the crocuses.... Is the Patchin ailanthus going to live? ...I am going to get a big seed catalogue when I get home and plant and plant and plant."  On the train from Tacoma to Portland, after describing the remarkable success of the meeting, she said:  "I dread returning to that hateful city.  I will stay at the Multnomah."  Afterward she told him about the friendly way his mother greeted her and with what love she spoke of both him and his brother Harry.

April 11, 1919 = On the train between S.F. and Los Angeles:

"Old dearest,

The last hours in San Francisco sped along because I had so many people to see and so little time for each one.  It was wonderful weather.  All the flower stands were alive with bright color and every day I was here about six bouquets arrived for me at the hotel.  I have cancelled the date at San Diego so that I can speak in Salt Lake....Everyone spoke so affectionately of you and sends you their best wishes....  I've written every day so if you don't get the letters you will know that they are being intercepted.  It is impossible to get enough of my books, they sell so fast.  I'm so glad your book is out.  I'll see that it is announced at every single meeting.  Well, my dear old love, I must close for now."



"... I speak in Salt Lake tomorrow, Friday, and then at a great protest meeting in Detroit on Sunday...Los Angeles completely enveloped me.  We had a huge meeting there yesterday.  I started to speak by saying:  'Today Eugene Debs is on his way to prison.'  To my happy amazement my whole audience broke into tears.  It was an emotional audience.  They are so suppressed that at one moment they shout and then they weep.  The audience went wild and donated $1,200.  They threw money all over the stage."

In Spokane she had been stricken with influenza which was at its height throughout the country at that time.  The Seattle Union Record spoke of her in glowing terms:  "She brushes away easily all reference to her recent illness.  Yet Louise Bryant has had an attack of the 'Flu' in the midst of her lecture tour, has lectured while the flames of fever mounted higher, and after going to bed delirious and the doctor expected her to 'cash in' has arisen after three days and gone on lecturing."

She had only hinted to Reed that she was not feeling well, but his reaction was even swifter than when she wrote of her "tummy illness" while he was in Johns Hopkins three years earlier.


TELEGRAM:  "Croton on Hudson, N.Y. March 18, 1919 - Louise Bryan t- Davenport - Hotel Spokane, Wash.  

"Do not hesitate send for me if at all serious.  Can now afford to leave immediately.  Have your doctor wire me.  Jack "  


"Don't tempt fate...stop speaking and come home. If not enough money wire and will send some. Jack."

Reassured she was better. Reed wrote and again urged her not to risk her health and to come home.

Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y.   March 25, 1919:

"... And did you know that President Wilson had sent Lincoln Steffens, Bill Bullitt and two or three of that sort on a destroyer to investigate the Soviets.  Now you go slow.  Cut out the rest of your dates.  Jack."

Croton-on-Hudson  March 28, 1919:

"...sent you a copy of the Liberator with your testimony and the cartoon of you.  Am sending a copy of Pearson's with your story in it.  Hurry home.  Many things happening here.  Jack" 

Her talks always concerned appeals for nonintervention by the United States in the affairs of Russia.  She hammered away at the point that President Wilson always had stressed self-determination for nations, and what sort of self-determination was interference in the affairs of the Bolsheviki who, she insisted, had the support of the vast majority of Russians?

Once or twice she delighted her large audiences by appearing in her provocative Cossack costume.  In Butte, she brought her audience of mostly Finnish-born copper miners roaring to their feet when she exclaimed:  "It is not the young who make the wars in which they is the old men with frozen minds and frozen hearts because they want to keep "world as it is in their own frozen images."

But when she returned to New York and reviewed her tour with John Reed she told him that she felt she had not achieved much.  "It was," said she, "like preaching in a church filled with people who had already hit the trail of salvation."

Reed nodded.  But there was no way out--only the perilous road ahead was open.



If Reed was beginning to feel, when Louise returned to New York in May of 1519, some doubt if the American radical movement could ever be built into an organization powerful enough to topple capitalism, the enthusiasm with which he continued to work for its toppling gave no sign of it. He plunged deeper and deeper into his crusade at a most difficult and dangerous time.

The year 1919 was one in which the campaign against dissenters - be they radical - Wobblies, mild socialists, violent anarchists, run-of-the-mill labor leaders, or, for that matter, just doubters of any of the accepted moral and social values - reached its most devastating point.  America in 1919 was no place for faint-hearted liberals.

It was a time of grave crisis for organized labor.  With the end of the war, labor lost its wartime poster-splattered image of a husky worker in overalls, a heavy hammer in his hand, marching beside a handsome soldier, the eyes of both proudly gazing at Old Glory carried by the soldier.  Wartime plants were closing their doors, unemployment increased, and those workers still on the job were either striking or threatening to strike to protect the gains they had made in wages and working conditions during the war years, which began in 1914 with munitions orders from the Allies.

Employers, with the help of Attorney-General Mitchell Palmer, fought back with court injunctions.  Thousands of other-wise sane Americans read their newspapers and began to equate major strikes in the coal and steel industries as threats to the nation's very existence. But the strikes spread and began to develop into violent confrontations between strikers and police trying to protect strike-breakers. When the strike fever hit the Boston Police Department, and the city was left unprotected, the word spread rapidly that it was the beginning of a Bolshevik insurrection in America.  A sour-faced Massachusetts governor by the name of Calvin Coolidge smashed the police strike with state troops and became an overnight hero.  He was elected President of the United States.

It was not difficult for Mitchell Palmer and the coal and steel tycoons to convince the American people that the strikes were Bolshevist-inspired.  Eugene Debs was supporting them; one of the steel industry union organizers was the radical William Z. Poster; and giving the strikers his support was that most radical of radicals, John Reed.  Even the head of the American Federation of Labor, Samuel Gompers, the darling of Woodrow Wilson's wartime supporters, found himself threatened with prison by the Attorney-General if he didn't order the coal miners back to work.

But the strikes continued to spread.  Riots became more violent; attacks by the Ku Klux Klan on Jews, Negroes and Catholics increased; the circulation of Henry Ford's violently anti-Semitic, "Dearborn Independent," rose fantastically; mobs, with police standing idly by, broke up protest meetings; Mitchell Palmer stepped up his drive against aliens; John Reed's father's associate in the Oregon timber and land frauds, detective William J. Burns, along with J. Edgar Hoover, became active in the Department of Justice; bombings by mail increased; and for the first time in American labor history, informers began infiltrating unions, some managing to become union leaders and advocating violence to help in the job of union-smashing.

As the drive against everything believed to be anti-the-American-way-of-life became more and more furious, the established Socialist Party in the United States began its own campaign to rid itself of the Bolshevik Communist label. The leaders began to expel extremist locals throughout the country.

Large numbers of those expelled from the established Socialist Party then began talking of forming a new and more militant organization.  Reed was not, at that time, among them.  He continued to believe that the hard-shell, old-fashioned leaders of the established Socialist Party could be ousted and the party taken over by activists who would then convert it into the sort of an organization Lenin had In mind when he said:  "We do not want part-time members who will devote their spare evenings to socialism ... we want people willing to devote the whole of their lives to socialism."

John Reed's dream of capturing control of the established Party and converting it into a revolutionary organization, however, ended in late August of 1919.  At one of the strangest and stormiest special conventions American Socialists ever held, the regulars threw out John Reed and his militant followers, not figuratively but literally, with the help of the police.  The established and conservative Socialist Party of America was at last free of its radicals, but not of its un-American label.  A socialist was a socialist to most Americans, whether he was revolutionary like John Reed or a mild believer in the democratic process like Morris Hilquit, who had defended those indicted in the Masses trial case.

The upshot of all this was that, in addition to the regular socialists, there were now two groups of extremists: the first made up of those who were ousted shortly after the Bolsheviki took power in Russia because they wanted immediate revolutionary action, and who soon organized themselves into what became known as the Communist Party.  The second group of extremists - John Reed and his followers - organized themselves into a group called the Communist Labor Party, this because Reed remained convinced that if socialism was ever going to replace capitalism in America, it would have to be achieved by the workers themselves.

All of this occurred in August of 1919. Reed still believed, as Trotsky did, that socialism could not last long except on a world-wide basis.  He felt, therefore, that a Communist Party in the United States needed the approval of the Communist International in Russia, where it all began. Moreover, he was certain that his Communist Labor Party would get that approval since he had the inside track with the Russian leaders.

A month later he was on his way to Russia on a journey from which he was destined never to return. He had a fake passport.  He was now Jim Gormley, a ship's boiler stocker.

He spent the very last night he would ever spend in New York with Louise Bryant in their dingy apartment on Patchin Place.

It was a long, hazardous trip into Russia, most of it by underground.  He was nearly captured on several occasions and narrowly escaped death a half-dozen times.  He wrote to Louise from secret hiding places, but only a few letters managed to reach her by underground channels.

I have thought about my honey so much I am nearly crazy to see her. . . from now on we must never again be separated. This is a grim business. There are Hungarians here and Finns and Russians, and Letts who tell of the most terrible adventures.  They have performed prodigious feats of heroism going/back and forth from Russia.  Others have been shot most brutally.  The White Terror blows out of the East, and its breath is like ice.  There used to be a refuge for revolutionaries, but there is none anywhere in the whole world.  Conditions are now even worse than during the war, for all countries are terrified of Bolshevism. . . I am in good health . . . let mother know that I am well. Good night, my dearest. I'll be back before Christmas. .."

So involved had John Reed become in radicalism and so accustomed to having Louise around when he was in trouble that he failed to notice that she had been ailing for months before he left for Russia.  The hunger strikes, the attack of influenza on the West Coast, lack of nourishing food, lectures, and arrests! And she now found herself alone and without funds.  She said good-bye to him in their apartment.  He was going to Russia as Jim Gormley and he didn't dare let her go with him to see him board his ship.

The newspapers continued reporting developments:

December 21, 1919--both the Communist Party and the Communist Labor Party outlawed.

December 24, 1919--Hundreds more aliens deported on The SS Buford.  Ten thousand socialists and other radicals arrested in raids authorized by Attorney General Mitchell Palmer.

January 21, 1920--William Brose Lloyd, wealthy radical; John Reed, Bolshevist propagandist, and 36 other members of the Communist Labor Party indicted in Chicago on charges of plotting to overthrow the American government.

In Moscow, Russian communist leaders had just worked out a plan for merging the two communist groups in America, which pleased Reed.  Then he learned that he had again been indicted.  As he had done in 1918 when he was indicted for his part in publication of the Masses, he made plans for immediate return to America.  But how?  The Allies had blockaded Russia.  He tried twice, first unsuccessfully through Latvia.  The second time, hidden in a bunker of a Finnish ship bound for Sweden, he was captured at Abo (now the great Finnish port of Turku).  He was held on a charge of smuggling.  Finnish authorities insisted that they found a great quantity of jewels in his possession, as well as Communist propaganda and letters to revolutionary leaders throughout the world.

Louise's frantic appeals to Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby got her nowhere.  She had no word from John Reed and was forced to depend on New York Times headlines: JOHN REED CUAGHT IN COAL BUNKER ON SHIP IN FINNISH PORT WITH FALSE PASSPORTS. . . JOHN REED IN JAIL IN ABO, FINLAND. . . .STATE DEPARTMENT TELLS ABOUT BOLSHEVIK REED'S ACTIVITIES ABROAD. . . REPORT JOHN REED PUT TO DEATH. . .RED AGENT EXECUTED BY FINNS. . . .REPORTED EXECUTION OF REED DENIED. . .

In his prison cell in Abo, Finland, John Reed was writing poetry.  Louise found it among his possessions after his death.

White and slim my lover

Birch-tree in the shade

Mountain pools her fearless eyes

Innocent all-answering

Were I blinded to the spring

Happy thrill would in me rise

Smiling half-afraid

At the nearness of her.

All my weak endeavor

Lay I at her feet

Like a moth from overseas

Let my longing lightly rest

On her flower petal breast

Til the red dawn set me free

To be with my sweet

Ever and forever. ...

It was a bizarre situation.  To avoid international complications that might follow the arrest of an American citizen, the Finns charged him with smuggling.  This gave the American State Department an out, since the charge was strictly something for the Finns to handle.  To Louise's many frantic appeals, the State Department finally replied that it would arrange for a lawyer to see him in prison, providing she would pay all expenses. This came after Louise had appealed to everyone she knew, including Bernard Baruch, the American financier, who told the State Department: "I don't care who he is. He is an American citizen and he needs help."

In Finland, Reed learned of Louise's frantic efforts to get him out of prison, no matter by what steps had to be taken. He managed to get a letter smuggled out of the country for her:

. . . Now, honey, I want you please not to influence the American government on my behalf. I mean this very seriously. I want the case decided on its merits . . . and I hate to ask you this, but will you try to get my father's watch out of the pawnshop?

(The watch bequeathed to him by his father in his handwritten will, appears to have become a symbol of his ties to the past and to all the human virtues his gentle father stood for.  Pawned for a few dollars, it often fed him and Louise when they were broke, and it have him a mysterious feeling of security when he wore it.

At this point Lenin acted.  He offered to trade for Reed, two Finnish professors who were being held as spies. "You can nave the whole college faculty," he told the Finns, "in exchange for Comrade Reed."  Still no action. Louise was in agony.  The letters from Reed suddenly began coming regularly. His condition was rapidly deteriorating, but he continued to lie.  "Never felt better in my life," he wrote. "... Have quit  smoking . . . still not a whisper ... it is dreadful to wait day after day after three months . . . Don't forget interest on the Croton place mortgage is due August 1st ... I have nothing to do, nothing to read .. . Did you get father's watch out of hock? ..."      And then: "I'm leaving. This is my last letter to my dear honey from this place.  Wait for news from me, dearest."

Finally on August 7th, a cable: "Passport to come home refused. . . . Can you come to Russia?"

Louise answered with a one-word cable: "Yes."



The year from Reed's departure from New York until she received the cable asking her to join him in Russia, was among the most difficult periods of her life. For income she had only the small royalties from "Six Red Months in Russia." Reed had finished work on "Ten Days That Shook the World" before he left, but there was no income as yet from it.

Alone and ailing in New York - she had not fully recovered from the hunger strikes in jail - with few of their intimate friends left in the Village, and no one to advise her what to do next in her efforts to help Reed, she turned to Andrew Dasburg, the impressionist artist and close friend of John Reed, who was living in Woodstock, in New York's Catskills.  (The Art Students League of New York had, some fifteen years earlier, launched Woodstock toward eminence as a colony for painters, writers, actors and musicians - everyone who refused to conform to traditional rules for expressing their form of art, and Dasburg, recognized today as one of America's important early impressionists, spent his most creative years there.)

She began making frequent trips to Woodstock, and since both Reed and Louise were well-known in the colony, a good many nonconformist eyebrows were raised when Louise, with Reed in Russia, kept turning up in Woodstock and was constantly seen in the company of Dasburg.

Came a day when she returned to New York from Woodstock with a definite plan to run the Allied blockade of Russia to be with Reed.  And she would do it by having the journey financed by a man who, like herself, was a non-traditionalist - the maverick of journalism, William Randolph Hearst, even though his antipathy to radicals like John Reed and Louise Bryant was well-known.

William Randolph Hearst had revolutionized journalism by not only throwing overboard traditional journalistic methods of publishing reports of events that had actually happened - he arranged to have them happen.

EXAMPLE:  When reporter James Creelman and photographer Frederick Remington, were sent by Hearst to Cuba to report and take pictures of atrocities the Spaniards were supposed to be perpetrating against the Cuban native rebels - he had been clamoring for American intervention - photographer Remington, upon arrival in Cuba, wired:

TO R. Hearst  - Journal New York

Everything quiet.  No trouble here.  There will be no war.  Wish to return.


Hearst replied at once:

Remington - Havana,

Please remain.  You furnish the pictures,

I'll furnish the war.


(This was revealed during Congressional hearings on America's role in the Spanish-American war.)

In Russia, the new communist regime, facing mountainous problems - imports cut off by the Allied blockade; counter-revolutions financed by the Allies; rebellious peasant land owners called "koolaks" rejecting collectivization; shortages of everything; and trying to reconstruct the nation on a revolutionary set of untried principles - had expelled all American correspondents.  (Even two years later, by which time Louise was no longer a secret correspondent and was listed as an American representative of International News Service, the communists allowed only two other Americans to report news from Russia.  Both J.P. Howe and H.L. Rennick represented the Associated Press.  The New York Times depended for its news on a Britisher, Walther Duranty, and the Chicago Daily News and New York Globe on another Britisher, Richard McKenzie.) 

So even though the Hearst newspapers had labeled Reed "a menace to American values" and Louise herself "a beautiful dupe of the communists," she had far less difficulty than she had expected to get finances for a journey to Russia past the Allied blockade. She was, after all, not only the only American journalist whom the Russians would admit into the country, but she was also someone to whom Lenin, Trotsky and many others in high places would talk.  The understanding was that whatever stories she would be able to send from Russia and bring back with her, would not carry her byline.  The stories would be distributed to Hearst newspapers in America by the Hearst-owned International News Service, INS.  (INS merged with United Press some four decades later and today's UPI.)

As she had promised him, Louise kept Andrew Dasburg informed:   

Grand Hotel Royal

Stockholm den Aug. 12, 1920

My dear, nice Andrew:   

I arrived in Gothenburg at nine in the evening and left at ten last night. Arrived in Stockholm and eight this morning and left at five. What a rush after 12 days at sea. I had to change my route, so that it will take at least 12 more days before I reach Petrograd. I will go all the way  to Murmansk, across Norway first and then up around the coast by devious and different routes. The sea trip seemed endless. . .I am writing this from the smelly middle of a third class compartment - the only thing I could get. It is already cold here.  I remember how I used to ache all winter in Russia.  So I bought a cheap fur coat and it nearly broke me - Hearst or the devil will somehow have to bring me back home.

When the Woodstock and Washington Square sleuths find that I am gone it is best to say that I ran away without a passport and say I worked my way over.  Say I went disguised as a boy, if you wish. It will at least put them on the wrong track.

(It is this report, spread by Dasburg as she had requested, that has prompted nearly all biographers to say that she went to Russia disguised as a boy sailor.)

When she finally reached Moscow, Jack was not there. He was attending a conference of communist leaders at Baku, a port on the Caspian Sea. It had been cleared of counter-revolutionaries only six months earlier.

She had little trouble letting him know that she had arrived in Moscow.


A letter to Max Eastman.

Moscow, Nov. 14, 1920

Dear Max:

I knew that you would want details and a story for the Liberator - but I did not have the strength or the courage. . . Jack's death and my strenuous underground trip to Russia and the weeks of horror in the typhus hospital have broken me.  At the funeral I suffered a severe heart attack. ..

All that I went through now seems part of a dream. I find it impossible to believe that Jack is dead and that he will not come into my room at any moment.

Jack was ill twenty days. During only two nights, when he was calmer, did I even lie down.  Spotted typhus is beyond description - one wastes away to nothing before your eyes. But I must tell you how I found Jack after my illegal journey across the world.  When I reached Moscow he was in Baku at the Oriental Congress.  Civil war raged in the Ukraine. A military wire that I was in Moscow reached him and he came back on an armored train.  On the morning of September 15th he came into my room. A month later he was dead.  We had only one week together before he took- to his bed, and we were terribly happy to find each other. I found him older and sadder and grown strangely gentle and aesthetic.  His clothes were rags. He was so impressed with the suffering around him that he would take nothing for himself. The effects of the terrible experience in the Finnish jail were all too apparent. He told me of his cell, dark, cold and wet. Three months of solitary confinement and only raw fish to eat. Sometimes he was delirious and imagined me dead.  Some of the times he expected to die himself and wrote a little verse:

Thinking and dreaming

Day and night and day

Yet cannot think one bitter thought away -

That we have lost each other You and I .....

But (before he took to his bed) walking in the park, under the birch trees, and talking through brief, happy nights, death and separation seemed very far away.  Together we visited Lenin, Trotsky, Kamenev, Enver Pasha, Bela Kun. . .we saw the ballet and Prince Igor and visited the old and the new galleries.

He was consumed with a desire to go home.  Early in his sickness I told him that going home only meant prison.  He looked at me and said, "My dear little honey, I would do anything I could for you, but don't ask me to be a coward."  I was hurt and burst into tears and said I would go with him any where - to prison, to death, anywhere to be with him.  He smiled happily and held my hand.  I feel I now have no right to be alive.

Of the illness I can scarcely write. . . there was so much pain.  He fought for his life.  The old peasant nurses used to slip out to the chapel and pray and light a candle for him.  He was delirious in the hideous way typhus patients can be.  "You know how it is when you go to Venice," he would say, "you ask 'is this Venice?' just to hear the answer.

. . .Did you know this water is full of little songs?" Then he would imagine wonderful adventures involving both of us in which we were always very brave.

Five days before he died, his right side was paralyzed and he could not speak.  And so we watched each other silently each hour of the day and night. When he died I just stayed there talking with him and holding his hand.

From the California poet, Sara Bard Field:

. . .I wanted to put my arms about you and hold you close for I shall always think of you as my own little girl.  So many memories of you crowd in upon me as I write. . . I think of you coming to me at the Multnomah with the tremulous, wistful story of your love for Jack, of your heartache over all it would mean to the other boy who loved you, of your insatiable need to feel your wings against the world. How I understood and responded.  Had I not trod the same path, so bitter and yet so luring that no suffering could make one turn back. . .Then came the black days for you and my heart has been wrung by your agony.  I did not know how to reach you.  Now Steffens is here and we have talked much of you and he has given me your address.  Erskine, too, sends his love.  How terrible your loss.  Jack, so beautiful, so brave, so brilliant. . .1 send you all my love, and tears, too.

Reed was thirty-three years old when he died, a hero of the world's first proletarian revolution.  His ashes were buried in the Kremlin Wall, a long way from the lavish estate of his wealthy capitalist grandparents overlooking Portland, Oregon.


Reed Funeral

Nothing Louise Bryant ever wrote matches in poignancy the moving description of her last minutes at John Reed’s deathbed in Moscow in October of 1920, a victim of typhus, at the age of thirty-three.   “Have you ever stared into the white eyes of death,” she asks Max Eastman in a long letter detailing their last days together and the dreadful realization she had been clinging to Reed’s hand long after he had passed away.  Here she is at Reed’s funeral.


Early in May of 1921, a little more than six months after Reed's death, Louise left Moscow for America.  At Riga, the capital of Latvia, one of the three Baltic States, she was intercepted by a United States Commissioner, just as Reed was in Norway two years earlier by an American representative of the State Department.  And, more or less, for the same reason.

The State Department, this time headed by Charles Evans Hughes, realizing she was the only American journalist, whom Lenin and Trotsky trusted, wanted to know what she might have learned from them, since so little credible information was available anywhere about what was really happening inside the Soviet Union.

The report of the Commissioner's interview, an impressive diplomatic document of four 17 X 11 inch pages, initialed by a half dozen officials who had read it, was buried on June 7, 1921, along with other government documents marked CLASSIFIED, and was not declassified until March 23, 1960.

It contained nothing at all that might have been considered a threat to national security, beyond what Lenin had told her.  And this might have been considered a "threat" by the new Warren G. Harding administration, since .it did not seem to square at that time with U.S. policy toward the communist regime.

Lenin had expressed eagerness for trade relations with the United States.  He told her that "America is the country we must trade with.  Even if we could trust Japan, she has nothing to give us; even if we could trade with Germany, she cannot give us what we want.  We want machinery, etc., from America. America has the things we need and we have the raw materials it needs."

On religion, she told the Commissioner: "The head of the Russian church seems content. He says the church has needed shaking up for a long time." The Russian clergy, however, became incensed when the Bolsneviki placed on the facades of all churches signs reading: 'Religion is the Opium of the People,' and would not permit them to place beside these signs others which say 'Religion is the way of Salvation for the People.'"

Zinoview is not at all popular in Russia and is not really a big man.  (This may have been a subjective judgment.  Grigori Zinoview was a close friend of Lenin's.  As president of the Communist International, it was he with whom Reed had to deal while seeking approval for the more radical communist group he had organized in America.  They disagreed over what the relationship should be between Reed's group and American socialists.

No matter what hardships Russia experienced, said Louise, children remained precious and received top priority.

The Russian people had a warmer feeling for Americans than for the French, English or anyone else.  A Russian schoolteacher told her she knew all about America because "that's where they make the wonderful sewing machines."

Louise, with a great deal of material in her possession for Hearst newspaper articles, appears to have been careful to provide the Commissioner with very little information, especially the interviews with Soviet leaders, many of whom she had also talked with at the height of the Revolution in 1917.

Upon her return to America, "secret correspondent" Louise Bryant and the material she had brought back for publication, posed a serious problem for the Hearst people.  Published articles about people and events that were shaping the world, would never be credible to readers, unless they appeared in the papers under the byline of someone who could unquestionably have had access to those who had been interviewed.

Louise happened to be the only one who qualified.  She had written a book about the Revolution and had made big headlines.  Thus came about the metamorphosis of "a beautiful dupe of the communists" to a roving correspondent for the International News Service, an honor with which went an excellent salary and an unlimited expense account.

The articles and interviews dealt mostly with the great changes that had occurred in Russia since the 1917 Revolution.  By 1920, the ranks of the revolutionary proletariat, said Louise, had thinned out almost to the vanishing point.  They were killed by the thousands in the counter-revolutions.  And they had died bravely and uncomplainingly, in the belief that capitalism was about to dissolve and that their deaths would bring about a new and brighter world in which production on the basis of need, instead of profit, would provide a better life for everyone.  But the assurances both Lenin and Trotsky had given her in 1917 that the Bolshevik Revolution would ignite revolutions throughout the world failed to materialize.  And now Lenin had told her about the necessity to retreat:  "We have to face the fact that we have become a petty bourgeois state."

In the middle of May in 1922, the Hearst people sent her to Europe.  She went to France, where she covered a number of insignificant events - then she was asked to cover the Greco-Turkish war, during which, among other things, she interviewed Mustafa Kemal Pasha, who became the first president of the Turkish Republic.  She was then sent to Italy, where she obtained from Mussolini the first interview he had given any correspondent.

News item in Hearst and other papers serviced by International News Service:

PARIS - Louise Bryant, correspondent for International News Service, embarked for the United States today after completing a difficult and dangerous mission that enabled her to send some of the finest "beats" since the War.  The American woman, traveling alone, has ventured throughout Russia and the Caucasus in search of news.  She is the only woman ever to have visited Mustafa Kemal Pasha and his native home in Angora. 

Louise Bryant reported the conflict between Greeks and the Turks in Asia Minor, and she capped her work when she obtained a 3,000-word interview with Premier Mussolini, the first interview the Italian dictator had given to anyone, detailing his view on world affairs.

Louise did not stay long in New York, only long enough to tie up loose ends involved in ending her career as a correspondent for International News Service.  She returned to Paris, where she had become deeply involved with Bill Bullitt.

She was on the Hearst payroll for two and a half years, the first year secretly, the remainder as an acknowledged correspondent with her name over the articles she wrote.

When she returned to America after Reed's death, she was alone, bewildered and without funds.  Seeing herself with a bleak future and few alternatives, she reluctantly decided to accept the Hearst offer.

She was nearing her thirty-sixth birthday, had become almost completely alienated from her family and was troubled by a feeling that she had betrayed Reed in going to work for the Hearst people in the first place, even though it was in order to be with him and he was in no shape to be critical by the time she arrived.  Her writing soon became dull and uninspired.

She decided she must try to get out of journalism, perhaps get married and have a child while there still was time.  The interview with Mussolini, strengthened her resolve to find a way out.

She was surprised and pleased when she answered the ringing telephone and heard Bill Bullitt's voice.  He was in Paris, he said, and having read her Mussolini article wondered if she would mind talking to him about it.  She told him she didn't like Mussolini, but would be delighted if he came up to talk with her.  He agreed to see her at noon the next day.

She recalled the first time she met him four years ago. He was at that time still an important member of the Woodrow Wilson administration, and she had accompanied Jack to Washington, because all of Jack's notes for his planned book about the Bolsheviki takeover of Russia had been confiscated by the government when he arrived to face trial on the conspiracy charge.  He wanted Bullitt to try to get the material released so that he might begin writing.

After assuring Reed he would do his best to get the government red tape unraveled, Bullitt looked at her and said:  "I've been reading your articles on Russia in the Philadelphia Ledger.  ("Six Red Months in Russia" is actually a collection of the Ledger articles.)  You know, I once had an ambition to be a newspaperman and got a job at $10 a week on the Ledger."  Then he began chiding her in a friendly fashion for her involvement in suffragette activities that frequently turned to violence followed by hunger strikes.  What did she think all this would accomplish, he wondered.

I am not at all certain what all this will accomplish," she had replied.  "What I am certain of is that we're tired of having idiotic men make all the laws which control our lives, I do not think anyone could have said it better than Sarah Bernhardt:  'It is ridiculous that my chauffeur has the right to vote and I haven't.'"

When he came into the room, he seemed somewhat ill at ease, and, as if he had rehearsed what he would say, he greeted her with, "Well, now that women have joined idiotic men in making the laws which control our lives, do you think the world is a better place?"

Louise laughed:  "No, all we wanted and all we got by the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was the right for idiotic women to join idiotic men in making the laws - that's what equality means, you know."

Bullitt told her that he was in "diplomatic exile," that he had quarreled with Woodrow Wilson's top confident.  Col. House, while the Democrats were still in control, and had, for several years, been a sort of "good will ambassador" in Europe for the Famous Players-Lasky Corporation.  But he remained interested in world affairs and was eager to learn from her all she could tell him about Mussolini, aside from what she had written about him for publication.

First, however, he wanted to know something about her association with the Hearst newspapers.  (Hearst newspapers were often called "the Yellow Press" because of their sensational headlines and emphasis on crime and scandal.) Louise reluctantly told him a few of the details that made it necessary for her to accept a Hearst offer of employment, and then:  "The Mussolini assignment was the last straw.  I'm going to resign."

She told him that Mussolini was a repulsive monster, who had the sort of contempt for people which nauseated her.  He referred to the Italian people as "the masses" and listening to him talking about "the masses" brought up a mental picture of an overfed early nineteenth century American plantation owner talking about his slaves.

Mussolini, said Louise,, wanted to see "the masses" comfort-able, have jobs, schools, providing they did not get involved in the decision-making process. What they needed, according to Mussolini, was a powerful leader who knew what was best for them.

Bullitt was intensely interested in what she had to say.  She said she asked Mussolini why he, the editor of the socialist paper "Avanti," turned to fascism, and discovered, said Louise, “that he was, among other things, also a liar.”

Mussolini told her it was because of the way the German socialists reacted to the Kaiser's call for all-out support of the war against the allies in 1914. For years, said Mussolini, they shouted their slogans, "workers of the world unite, cast off your chains," "end the rule of capitalist exploiters" and so on and on.

But at the sound of the bugle, the waving of the flag, the German socialists led the pell-mell rush to arms. . . they forgot their slogans and began shouting, along with everyone else "Deutchland uber alles."

That was when the paper "Avanti" began urging Italian support for the allies.  But he was lying, said Louise.  The truth is the Italian socialists fired him when they suspected he had been bribed by the French to use the paper to gain Italy's support for the Allies.  (When he became dictator he retaliated with a series of atrocities aimed at Italian workers.)

He was sitting next to her when he asked her if she would care to talk to him about Jack Reed and his last days with her.  His question acted as an electrifying catalyst. She suddenly realized how lonely she had been and how desperately she needed to feel wanted.  A wave of desire overwhelmed her and she began to sob.

He began to visit her more and more often and she began to see in him the strength and direction she had so unsuccessfully been seeking until now to ease the pain and emptiness that Jack's death had left behind.  As their involvement deepened, and the anticipation of each night together grew in passionate intensity, she pulled out of her despair and her daydreams and romantic images took control of her thinking.  She began to build for herself an exciting, secure and happy life with Bullitt.

Based on wishful-thinking, the future she was creating would be, she was certain, a continuation of the exciting life she had been living, but in a different context.  She would again meet important people, but this time as Mrs. Bullitt, their equal, and not as a journalist by special appointment. She would be able to participate in discussions with them and become known not only as the attractive wife of a world-famous diplomat, but also as an intelligent woman, well-informed on important matters.

She was not unaware, moreover, of the practical dilemmas her new life would resolve.  She was thirty-eight years old and time was running out for her to have a child - a boy who would constantly remind her of her years with Reed.

Equally important, it would help her become reconciled with her mother.  A telegram with news that she had married a man of distinction would surely please her mother and Sheridan.

They were married secretly in Paris on December 10, 1923, after Ernesta Drinker, the daughter of a former Lehigh University president, divorced him.

Bullitt, born in 1891, did not know that she was six years older than he was.  Nor, for that matter, did he know much of anything else about her background.

What he did know was that she was more than six months pregnant on December 10, 1923.



William Christian Bullitt's background and temperament, if nothing else, made the chances practically zero for a lasting marriage with Louise Bryant. It is impossible to imagine a sharper contrast in the environments in which each was born and lived, and in their personalities and sense of values.

Louise, the granddaughter of Irish and German refugees from hunger and tyranny in Europe, and Bullitt a member of a distinguished American family, with a history that goes back to the seventeenth century.

The first of Bill Bullitt's ancestors to reach American shores was Benjamin Boulet, who came from France to settle in Maryland in 1655.  He anglicized his name to Bullitt because aliens were at that time barred by English law from holding land in the colonies.

As the years passed, descendants began to settle in Virginia, Kentucky, and in the other colonies; and everywhere they were patriots, soldiers, statesmen, framers of constitutions, historians.  Supreme Court justices, authors, capitalists and philanthropists.  Branches of the Bullitt family tree became interwoven with the names of other early American families such as Scott, Fry, Christian, Dixon and Harrison.

There was, for instance, Susan Bullitt Dixon who wrote a history, "The Missouri Compromise and Its Repeal," which the New York Times described as one of the great contributions to the history of America.  There was an earlier ancestor, Joshua Fry, who commanded the colonial forces.  When he died the command was taken over by Lieutenant Colonel George Washington. There were scores of others.  Indeed, somewhere in the history of nearly every family that goes back to early American there is a Bullitt, a Fry, a Harrison, a Christian-all related in some way to William Christian Bullitt, the third husband of Louise Bryant, whose own father was a track-laying laborer for America's first transcontinental railroad.

As for Bill himself, he was one of the Philadelphia Bullitts.  His grandfather, John Christian Bullitt, came from Kentucky in 1849 to practice law, and very soon became one of Pennsylvania's important civic and political leaders.

His father was also a Philadelphia lawyer and political leader, whose great wealth came from America's coal and railroad industries.  Bill was tall, handsome, urbane, with a disarming smile, and excellent credentials as an intellectual and a liberal in politics.  He was also very wealthy.  "His uncles and aunts keep dying and leaving Bill their fortunes," wrote Lincoln Steffens.

His antecedents on his mother's side (she was his father's second wife) were also distinguished Americans.  She was a Jewess, whose maiden name was Louise Gross Horowitz.  Her grandfather, Dr. Samuel Gross, a famous surgeon, is memorialized in Washington for his important contribution to the science of medicine.

Bullitt was universally admired for his skill in the diplomatic world, and an important member not only of the Woodrow Wilson administration, but also that of Franklin Roosevelt's.

But along with his effervescence, eloquence, charm, and other admirable qualities, Bullitt was egocentric, demanding, never willing to budge from what he had determined was right.

All of this was best illustrated by the problem Sigmund Freud faced with him when they decided to write jointly a psychological study of Woodrow Wilson.  Publication was held up for years while they argued over who would contribute what to the book's contents.  In his capacity as a friend of the family, Freud later tried without success to halt or slow the deepening of Louise's paranoid schizophrenia.

But all of Bullitt's diplomatic know-how, his ability to discuss brilliantly ways to reconcile conflicts among nations, did not help when it came to converting irrepressible Louise Bryant into a charming hostess at elaborate receptions.

No one knew anything about the secret marriage, except Lincoln Steffens, the close friend of Louise and Jack Reed, as well as Bullitt.  But Steffens did not know when they were married.  He knew only when their child was born, because he was there.  The exact date of the marriage is in Bullitt's secret divorce testimony.

Near the end of February in 1924, less than three months after the marriage, Steffens wrote to his sister in California about Louise's and Bullitt's reaction to the birth of their first and only child.

Louise Bryant has been having a baby.  They were married last year, telling nobody.  While I was in London Louise kept writing that I must come over; she couldn't have the baby without me, and Billy wanted me there too.  And the baby was due.  Well, I lingered and yet when I did come the baby didn't, and it was only Sunday night that it was born.  And it was my baby theoretically.  Billy wanted a boy, so did Louise; I preferred a girl.  They said that if it was a boy they would keep it, if it was a girl, I should have it.  When the labor pains began Billy phoned me.  But it was not until the next morning that the baby was born, and it was a girl.  Billy phoned me and said that it was not merely a girl; it was a terrible, dominant female.  It came out kicking Louise; it made a mad, bawling face at Billy, grabbed the doctor's instrument and threw it on the floor.

"I shall have nothing to do with it," said Billy.  "I am afraid of it.  You can have it.  All I ask of you as a 'parent', is to keep it off the streets.  But I doubt that you can even do that.   It will do whatever it wants to do. I saw it the next day, and it is a pretty child, a bit red yet, but handsomer than any newborn baby I have ever seen.

If medals were awarded to the best and most dedicated husband during a wife's pregnancy, Bill Bullitt would have won hands down for the almost uxorious attention he lavished on Louise.  "He hovered over her like a mother hen," said Ella Winter, Lincoln Steffens' wife.  She described Louise as "the pregnantest woman I have ever seen, looking radiantly happy in her maternity gown which must have been fashioned for a Persian queen."

One day Bullitt came home, wrote Ella, and found Steffens reading to Louise.  He kissed Louise and sat down beside her.  Suddenly he jumped from his place beside her, his face white with anger.  He realized Steff was reading from James Joyce's - at that time a very controversial book - "Ulysses".  "How dare you read books unfit to print in my home.  What effect do you think stuff like that will have on my unborn child?"

As the weeks and months rolled by, it remained, at least outwardly, a most glamorous life for Louise Bryant who, during the Russian Revolution, often had to satisfy her hunger with a cucumber and a piece of herring, in America sometimes pawn Reed's father's watch to pay the rent for their Patchin Place apartment.  Now there was wealth, there were servants, there was a special nurse for the baby, a house at Rue 44 Victor Hugo with a special studio where she could write and paint.

But during the night, in her dreams, her years with Jack would intrude.  He would upbraid her and accuse her of betraying everything he stood for.  "What has happened to you, my little sweetheart?" he would say. "Have you forgotten the Irish poets and writers who battled British troops with a sword in one hand and a copy of Sophocles in the other about whom you used to write articles for the Masses?   Why did you bring a girl child into the world?  Don't you remember our last days together when we reproached ourselves for not having found time to have a child?  And you broke down and cried and said you had always wanted a son who would be named John and be like me."

"But Jack," she would plead, "I've come to love Anne. I didn't really at first, and was disappointed because it wasn't a boy.  Anne is such a sweet child, and so clever.  One day we were taking a walk and met Dr. Freud, who was lecturing in Paris.  And we stopped to chat with him.  Then Dr. Freud asked Anne, 'Do you love your mother?', 'Yes, I love my mother,' replied Anne. 'And your father, Anne, do you love your father,' asked Dr. Freud.  'Oh, my father is God,' said Anne.  Dr. Freud turned to me, Jack, and said: 'That child is very articulate. You know, I have developed a theory that male children's first love is their mother, and females' the father.  But this is the first time a child has confirmed my theory.'  Then Dr. Freud laughed and said: 'You know, if we could find a newborn infant who could tell us if it felt any pain while being born, we could solve a lot of problems.'"

Louise would awaken and stare at the ceiling tired, confused and depressed.  Jack had accused his "dear little sweetheart" of betraying him, the phrase Russian employ to express affection, respect, sympathy.  "Tears will not bring her back to life, little grandmother," says a doctor to a grief-stricken grandmother.

It was true that only a few days before his death they had talked about their failure to have found time to have a child, but Jack was by that time a gaunt, human skeleton and his greatest concern was the welfare of his mother in Oregon.  Her own thoughts were often on a child by Jack - thoughts she carefully avoided confiding to him, fearing it would compel her to end her career and participation in events that were shaping the world.

She decided she would talk with Dr. Freud about her dreams. She had interviewed him for the Hearst newspapers and was beginning to see more and more of him because of Bill Bullitt's and Freud's joint interest in a book about Woodrow Wilson.  What troubled her was that all her dreams seemed to leave her tired, frustrated and depressed and a vague feeling of insecurity about what she was, what she is and what she will become.  Bill Bullitt, the millionaire diplomat, whose name was dropped from the Social Register when it became known he had married the widow of a communist - a radical in her own right - remained a solicitous and devoted husband and father.  When she decided that what she needed was travel, they began to travel, even though she had already been to most of the places and talked with, and written about, kings and dictators and other world leaders.  Their schedule: Boulogne, Madrid, Riviera, Egypt, Greece, Turkey, Philadelphia, Paris, Vienna, Budapest, Constantinople; and then Paris again, Vienna again; - and much more of the same.

They had a home in Paris, another in Philadelphia and a summer farm home in Conway, Massachusetts.  They were in France - at Boulogne - when she received word of her mother's death in Central California.  The shock not only depressed her and deepened her feeling of guilt about her mother, it also increased her need to turn away from the realities of the real world and seek refuge in a self-created world of fantasy and illusion.

Her mother, despite their long estrangement and the apparent lack of maternal warmth in the irregular correspondence that had begun between them in the fall of 1922, had never forgotten that of her five children she had borne, it was Louise who kept fresh her memory of Hugh Mohan, the only man she had ever loved passionately and without reservation.  She had hinted several times that she would like to see Louise again. . .Perhaps if she and her husband had occasion to be on the West Coast? . . .

Louise had planned to suggest to Bullitt a possible trip to California, but there were the deceptions she had created about her past - that she was raised in Nevada by her grandfather, a disinherited British nobleman, that she was distantly related to Oscar Wilde.  So she had put off the day of asking him for a time when circumstances would make it possible for her to go alone.  She felt terribly guilty that she had betrayed her mother, causing her and poor Sheridan so much pain and agony.  Those dreadful headlines in the Reno papers: LOCAL WOMAN DEFENDS BOISHEVIKS/ LOUISE BRYANT IN RED PROBE.

Threats and other forms of harassment finally forced them to abandon their home and move to the eastern division point of the railroad at Marysville, near Sacramento in California. There in Marysville Louise's mother, whose reconciliation Louise had sought by marrying a man of distinction, died. Louise Bryant Bullitt was listed among those survived her.



As the days and weeks passed, life with Bullitt became more and more difficult. She discovered that his strength, which had initially drawn her to him, also made him overbearing and that what he expected of her was not an attractive, well informed wife who would participate as an equal in significant discussions with important people, but a charming hostess who would smile graciously and unobtrusively at guests as they arrived for receptions. She caught him glancing at her disapprovingly if her laugh rose above the level of others.  She began to find dressing for receptions a nuisance, the receptions themselves boring, the people loathsome. She discovered that compared with living with multi-millionaire Bullitt, her dull life with her first husband Paul Trullinger in Portland was almost exciting.  

“How wonderful to be free, to be able to do just what you want and do it when you want," she had said to herself on reading John Reed's article in a magazine on a streetcar in Portland before she met him.  Now he was gone and ahead of her lay a bleak, desolate future.  She soon came close to despising Bill Bullitt - his wealth, his arrogance, his determination to convert her into a millionaire's wife able to entertain important people.  Who was he?  Where did his wealth come from?  Did his money not come from the tortured lives of the railroad workers Eugene Debs fought for, and the miners for whom Big Bill Haywood had gone to prison?  Were these people, with whom she was being forced to associate, not the same people who supported the blockade of Russia so that medical supplies could not reach Jack when he was dying?

The slide to disaster began with quarrels, frequently reprimands by Bullitt about her behavior which he considered undignified for the wife of one in his position.  Louise found herself helpless, intimidated, insecure, frustrated and unable to articulate the emotional turmoil his words were creating in her.

He spoke slowly and precisely, never altering his professor style manner of presentation, as though he was explaining the merits of the Treaty of Versailles to Col. House.  If she tried to argue, to explain and broke down and began sobbing, he approached her, put his arms around her and tried to console her.

But alone in her room, she brooded and reenacted the quarrel. Here she knew exactly what she should have said to him and what she should have done.  Here she was the winner, for here wouldn't he have to admit her greatness, her achievements, her involvement in historically significant events, her ability to win the respect and admiration of world leaders. . .compare all that, Bill Bullitt, with having displeased an over-dressed bitch at a reception.

She began turning to this self-created world in her mind, where she was always the winner, more and more often and remaining there for increasingly lengthening periods.  When Bullitt, in despair, turned to Sigmund Freud for help, Freud called it "schizophrenia".

A time came when Bullitt became "real" as she mentally argued with him. Then she would demand to know why he never used four-letter words. Jack, she would inform him, always used four-letter words.  

The scenario could have been written by Robert Louis Stevenson and entitled Doctor Jekyll and Mrs. Hyde.

As her schizophrenia deepened, she became wary not only of Bullitt, but also of everyone else who was deeply concerned about her.  She would try to convince all of them of her importance.  She found herself surrounded by "enemies".  A servant with a tray was Bullitt with a gun.  This was "paranoia", said Freud. Bullitt told him that in periods when fantasy seemed to have completely replaced reality, she would suddenly come into a room naked without regard to who was present.  This Freud called "exhibitionism" - a very primitive form of behavior with erotic connotations.  

With Freud's help, Bullitt realized that Louise was a sick woman.  He might as well blame her for having terminal cancer as for the spells during which fantasy replaced reality.

Freud had by that time begun modifying the theory that bringing to the surface the causes for mental problems will end them.  Helping Louise, said Freud, would be somewhat like trying to put a scrambled egg together. "There are so many things we don't know and may never know. I myself have not been able to determine why I never fail to bring my mother a potted plant on her birthday, but invariably forget a wedding anniversary gift for Mrs. Freud. I also do not understand why I am afraid to cross a street at an intersection with a crowd." Neither could he explain why a beautiful, intelligent, articulate individual should suddenly begin to alternate between quoting Byron and Shelley and hurling the vilest invective at another equally brilliant, articulate individual, then accuse him of attempting to kill her.

In 1925 she suffered an attack of elephantitis and was forced to wear clothes to cover as much as possible the hideous appearance of her skin and to take drugs to which she soon became addicted.  By 1926 she was drinking heavily.

Then in 1929, the news broke in all the papers:

PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 4, AP--William C. Bullitt, diplomat, author and newspaperman, filed suit today for divorce from Mrs. Anne Louise Moen Bryant Reed Bullitt, charging her with "personal indignities. . ." The couple were married in 1923 and have one daughter, Anne Moen Bullitt.  Aspects of the case were concealed even to the present whereabouts of both parties.

And, in 1930:

PHILADELPHIA, March 24, AP-William C. Bullitt, author and diplomatic agent during the World War, received a divorce in common pleas court here today from Mrs. Anne Louise Moen Bullitt, whom he charged with "general indignities" in his suit filed last December.  No other details were available. They were married in 1923 and have one daughter.  Mr. Bullitt, who is managing editor of Famous Players-Lasky Corporation, was married in 1916 to Ernesta Drinker, and they were divorced in 1923.

Little wonder that "no other details were available." Bullitt's petition for a divorce was heard behind closed doors by Francis Biddle, who became Franklin Roosevelt's Attorney-General in 1941.  Because of the nature of the case and the people who were involved, Biddle suggested that the records be impounded when he recommended to the full Court of Common Pleas No. 5 of Philadelphia County that the divorce be granted.  The records remain impounded.  (The Philadelphia legal firm of Wexler, Wesiman and Forman, however, was able to obtain permission for a summary of the transcript for the author.)


From the records of Case No. 1527, December Term for 1929:

The parties, William C. Bullitt and Anne Louise Moen Bullitt, were married in Paris on December 10, 1923.  They traveled extensively, usually together, over the next five years.  The parties separated in early November of 1929, and did not see each other after that date.  The Master's Hearing was held on February 2, 1930, attended by Bullitt, his attorney, an attorney for Mrs. Bullitt, and four witnesses called by Bullitt.  Mrs. Bullitt, did not appear at the hearing.  Upon recommendation of the Master, the Court granted a Final Decree of Divorce on March 24, 1930.

The legal grounds for the divorce were 'indignities to the person,' which renders one's condition intolerable and life burdensome.

Bullitt testified:  Mrs. Bullitt began drinking in the winter of 1926-27, and as her drinking became heavy, her hostility toward him increased.

During the winter of 1927, at the house of Lawrence Langley, he noted this incident: 'A pianist began to play, and when the hostess asked her to stop talking, she stood up and called out that it was an insult to intelligent people to have a pianist interrupt their conversation, and she stalked out of the house in a rage.'

As time went on, Louise drank even more frequently.  She stopped occasionally on his request, but started drinking again soon afterwards.  Bullitt pointed out that she was charming when sober, but very irritable when drunk.

During a visit to their summer home in Conway, Massachusetts in 1927, she was drinking worse than ever before, and told Bullitt she hated him for attempting to stop her. She said he 'should love her whether she was drunk or not.' By autumn, upon their return to Paris, he claimed she refused to perform any household duties.

By January of 1928, she had gotten herself into a very nervous condition about her drinking and left the house (the first of many departures).   After searching throughout Paris for her, Bullitt found her and convinced her to return home.  However, this incident had no effect on her drinking habits.  "The Bullitts were invited by an American friend, Mr. McAlmon, to attend an evening reception at the home of a French author.  When Bullitt noticed the particular pairing of people there, he decided it was a party for homosexuals and lesbians and requested Louise to leave.  She refused, but he left anyway and returned home.  Louise arrived home at 5:00 a.m. accompanied by McAlmon, Miss LeGalliene and Miss Ledoux.  All four were thoroughly drunk and subjected Bullitt to' a rude exhibition for half an hour. This appeared to be the beginning of an apparently close relationship between Louise Bullitt and Miss LeGalliene.

In June of 1928, the chairman of the Regatta Committee invited the Bullitts to the Harvard-Yale Regatta.  As the varsity race began, Louise, who had been drinking heavily, stood up and started to fall overboard (they were sitting on the Chairman's yacht).  Bullitt said he caught her and stopped her.  He testified: 'She cursed me, saying that she had a right to fall overboard if she wanted to; that I was trying to restrict "her liberty in every possible way.' This exhibition of behavior was performed before thousands of people. Bullitt testified that when they reached their hotel she called him 'a dirty little Philadelphia Jew whose only idea was to persecute her; that I was a miserable bourgeois and could not appreciate an artist like herself and could not appreciate her thoughts or anything she felt about life, and that she could not endure being near me any longer;. . . She took her clothes off and rushed through the hotel stark naked.'  Bullitt ran after her and carried her back to the room, although she was cursing and struggling with him.  She fell into a drunken sleep, and when she awoke she renewed her attack upon him, claiming she hated him for disapproving of her drinking and wanting to live her own life exactly as she chose.  "During that summer, she began drinking at all hours of the day, and drank herself into a stupor two or three times a day.

While on board the DeGrasse, returning to France, the Bullitts were drinking in the smoking room with the other passengers.  When the others left to observe a passing ship, Louise seized every other glass and drank all the dregs.  Bullitt remonstrated with her, but she got angry and said he was restricting her personal freedom.

During their stay in Paris, Louise occasionally stopped drinking, but her abstinence was always temporary.   About November 15, 1928, she left their house and obtained a room at the Hotel Ansonia.  Afterwards, she only spent the night at Bullitt's house when she was sick or drunk.  During this time, she saw Miss LeGalliene very often and tried unsuccessfully to convince Bullitt of the virtuous character of her 'friend'.

One night at dinner with the Duke and Duchess DeRichelieu, Louise was drinking heavily and conspicuously flirting with the Duke.  Bullitt testified that he admonished her about such shocking behavior.  She responded that "I was just a horrible petty bourgeois who was trying to turn her into a respectable bourgeois wife, which she did not intend to be, and she would go on drinking as she wished.'

She returned to the house when Bullitt was seriously ill with the flu, but she was drunk, hostile and paid no attention to him.   She refused to take care of him, and left with Miss LeGalliene.  

The Bullitts went together to the Riviera to help him recuperate from the flu.  But Louise constantly drank, remained in another room with Miss LeGalliene and kept him up at night with their drunken conversation.  One day at lunch she was drunk and speaking very loudly. 'She was furious at Bullitt's disapproval and called him a swine and repeated the discourse about his bourgeois values and background. Despite his pleas, she finally left Paris with Miss LeGalliene.  

Bullitt testified Louise borrowed $1,000 from him on the pretext that she was helping her brother in California.  However, he later discovered that the money was given to Miss Ledoux who had been "unfaithful" and had gotten pregnant.  

Bullitt testified that the most damaging effect of her conduct was on their baby.  Neither mother nor child was capable of staying with each other for any length of time without pushing themselves into a very nervous condition.  Having left Louise at home one day, Bullitt testified he returned to find that his wife had put the whole household through a terrible experience (apparently due to her drinking and hostility).

On their return to New York, Dr. Lorber advised them that Louise should enter a sanitarium to take a drink cure, and should be placed in the hands of a neurologist.  While the doctor was visiting Bullitt, Louise entered the room totally naked.  She adamantly refused the doctor's care.

Bullitt said he came to Philadelphia, but returned immediately upon hearing that Louise had taken an overdose of sleeping pills.  After this suicide attempt, she was placed in a neurological hospital, but she refused to remain there or go home with Bullitt.  

Although the parties apparently never discussed any agreement about a separation or divorce, they finally separated in November, 1929.  

Four witnesses were called by Mr. Bullitt: Ferdinand Hommet (chauffeur), Alfred Mijon (butler), Louise Mijon (cook), and Hortense DeJean.   All four confirmed Bullitt's testimony about Louise's continuous drinking, her disrespect for him, the damaging impact on the child, and her association with Miss LeGalliene.

Bullitt was granted custody of their daughter Anne. He  agreed to provide support funds for Louise during her lifetime.

Her secret marriage to Philadelphia millionaire-diplomat William C. Bullitt was a disaster.  They were separated in November of 1929 and divorced a year later.  She deteriorated rapidly.  Not even Sigmund Freud, with whom Bullitt had collaborated on a book about Woodrow Wilson, could slow her deepening paranoia and schizophrenia.  She shuttled from Paris to New York frequently spending a great deal of time brooding in the apartment she and Reed had occupied, and on one occasion was arrested for brawling in a saloon.  This is Louise Bryant a few years before she died in 1936 in Paris at the age of fifty-one.



Nineteen-thirty!  The great Depression!  Climbing unemployment statistics.  Lengthening breadlines. . . President Herbert Hoover, as have all presidents, had pledged "to end poverty in America", and, as all presidents had done, had not forgotten to add, "with the help of God."   But despite his assurances and those of the nation's top bankers and economists that there was nothing to worry about, the stock market collapsed in November 1929, and the just-around-the-corner Hoover-Coolidge prosperity vanished.

Then Herbert Hoover, whom Louise's brother, Floyd, had accompanied on his mission of mercy to help feed starving Europeans, found himself faced with the problem of feeding his own starving countrymen.  Jobless Americans were selling apples on street corners; homeless Americans were building shelters out of cardboard and other scraps in colonies they called Hoovervilles: and in the Virginias, coal miners were starving while in the Dakotas wheat farmers were burning grain to keep from freezing to death.  Banks were closing on every hand, tokens instead of money began to appear, and ruined executives were committing suicide.

It was another troubled, turbulent period in American history.  But this time no one could blame the anarchists, communists, socialists or agitators.  Capitalism found itself on the brink of collapse, without anyone who could really be blamed.  It brought in its wake a revolution - through the democratic process, however, with the election of Franklin Roosevelt as President, and social legislation that changed the face of America.

Louise, who, as a socialist, used to argue that revolutions - where only the leaders are changed - do nothing to remove the causes for future depressions and wars, was by this time in no shape to argue with anyone about anything.

Bullitt had made provision for her support, but his attorneys doled out the money in a way that would hopefully keep her from using it for liquor and drugs.  It was "prohibition time" in America.  Bootleggers were the only ones doing "business as usual," and a bottle of whiskey cost anywhere from six to ten dollars.  All that the attempt to keep her from spending Bullitt's money on alcohol and drugs achieved was to reduce what she spent on necessities.

When she and Bullitt separated, she moved into her and Jack's old apartment on Patchin Place.  There she would spend hours brooding, pacing the floor, trying to write, lying on the bed and sobbing.  At times when she had money she could usually be found in a Village "speakeasy", where she would frequently become quarrelsome and would have to be taken home by someone who recognized her.  She would plead with the good "Samaritan" to stay and talk with her because she was so lonely.

One of the Villagers, Mary Ellen Boyden, who found Louise in a speakeasy, reported:  "She was drunk and had a black eye,"  "I took her to her apartment.  She could talk about nothing else except how she had loved John Reed."

She began to depend more and more on drugs to escape reality.  Art Young, the cartoonist who was by then in his middle sixties, wrote:  "Poor, poor Louise, she is heading toward suicide along the dreadful road of drugs."

Schizophrenia and paranoia made reality merge with fantasy.  Incidents in the life of Jack Reed became twisted versions of her own childhood.  The great estate of his wealthy grandparents overlooking Portland became a wonderful ranch in Nevada where she lived with an imaginary dignified grandfather, and Irish-English nobleman, who had been disinherited by his parents.  She believed--as she wrote in the unfinished story of her life with Reed--that she was in Mexico, recklessly riding horses and dancing with handsome Mexican men while John Reed himself was with Pancho Villa.  She insisted that it was she and not Reed who got publishers interested in O'Neill's articles.

During "normal" days she spent many hours in the library.  Here bitter-sweet memories surfaced as she leafed through Ibsen, Shaw and Sheridan.  But when she attempted to talk with others about her reading, schizophrenia often intruded and listeners would sometimes be startled to discover she had changed the subject in the middle of a sentence without them being aware of it:  "I think the social changes in England in the nineteenth. . .I said Bill why did you try to strangle me.  Who put you up to it.  Was it Steff and Jack's mother?  Why do they hate me?"

She became an embarrassment to her friends who began to avoid her.  Any suggestion that she take hold of herself, perhaps enter a sanatorium, infuriated her and sent her home to brood in her imaginary world where her critics were vanquished easily by her sound reasoning.

She moved to Paris and found a place to live at 84 Rue d'Assas.  She tried to recapture her enthusiasm and interest in living with letters to Reed's mother in Portland, informing her of her plans to start work on her book about John Reed.  A great many articles had appeared in newspapers and magazines throughout the world about Reed, but no full-length book.  Among those who were trying to collect material for a Reed biography were John Dos Passos and Mike Gold.  Reed's mother refused to cooperate, especially with Mike Gold.  He had, according to Max Eastman, vanished from the staff of the Masses when Reed was active on the magazine, taking with him what cash he could lay his hands on.  Later he turned up as the author of a successful book, oddly entitled "Jews Without Money."  Mrs. Reed feared he would use John's name for propaganda purposes.  She protested in vain to everyone she knew about the use that was being made of her son's life and death by John Reed Clubs, which were springing up everywhere.

She wanted Louise to write the book about John, and enthusiastically began collecting material, shedding tears as she found herself looking at pictures of him and her other son, Harry, while they were children on her parents' Cedar Hill estate, and reading again his early poems and affectionate letters home.

As the days passed, Mrs. Reed began to notice an alarming change in Louise's "Dear Muz" letters.  She had known nothing about her daughter-in-law's problems, and had no way of knowing that the letters were a clear indication that Louise's schizophrenia and paranoia were deepening.  She was bewildered and puzzled and wrote letters to Paris pleading for explanations. . . ."Why do you ask if the postman killed our dog?" and. . . ."What in the world makes you ask if Jack was really born in Portland?"

Interspersed would be rational letters.  Mrs. Reed's confusion and bewilderment grew when Louise's letters suddenly began informing her that Bullitt had treated her shabbily, refusing to let her have their daughter Anne, or even to see her.

Mrs. Reed wrote:

. . .There are so many things I do not understand about your situation.  You write as if you had no money except for what you earn.  Surely you were provided for under the divorce, were you not?  And about Anne?  Does it mean they have taken her away from you?  Your letters are dear, but so very vague.

I dare not write down my sense of outrage about the way Bill is behaving.  It all seems so impossible - as if no person with any sanity at all could do these things.  Where is Bill?  How do they conceal that he is off his head?

. . .I thought you got alimony or a settlement, did you not?  I still do not understand how they could take Anne away from you.

Sad, depressed and alarmed, Mrs. Reed wrote that she did not think she would be able to raise the money for a trip to Paris.  Then she asked that Louise not include her name in the book, and finally tried to make clear that she wanted to see the proofs before the book was published.

Louise, however, kept doggedly at the task of trying to induce important people to help her with what she insisted would be a most important contribution to literature and history--the story of her life with John Reed.  All found a  way out of helping.  Some said it brusquely, some gently, but it all came out NO.

One of the gentlest and most sympathetic of Reed's friends was Bob Hallowell, the painter from Denver, Colorado, a founder and for a time publisher of the New Republic.  He tried to, and did, convince Louise to cooperate with Granville Hicks, who had begun writing what is now recognized by all, except those trying to demonstrate that he repented his radicalism before he died, an excellent biography about John Reed.

But, as the Reed biography by Hicks shows, she gave him little information about herself, and she continued making notes and plans for a book about her life with Reed until the day she died.

Americans who came to Paris during the years 1934 and 1935 to study music or painting, or just as tourists, saw her when they visited a bistro on Rue Jacob called "La Quatrienne Republique."   "That," they were told, "Is the wife of Ambassador Bullitt who is in Russia."  No one believed it - a shabbily dressed woman, fondling a pernod, her eyes glued to the table top.  She spoke to no one, but occasionally pulled a notebook from her handbag and wrote something rapidly.

Her letters during those two years - her last - ranged from complete clarity to incoherence.  From the Hotel Raspail where she was now living, she wrote to Art Young:

I always imagined that it was morbid to write a last will and testament but Bill got me over that idea about eight years ago when we walked into the Gerard Trust Co. in Philadelphia where I was introduced to Mr. Tuttle.  We went inside his small office and I made my will this way:  "I leave everything to my husband, William C. Bullitt."  That's all.  They explained that Bill's will was similar.  I suppose he has changed it in favor of Anne.

Mine troubles me now for this reason:  There is no use in fooling myself into believing that I am not in failing health. . . Don't think I am bitter or afraid to die.  Ernest Dowson (Ernest Christopher Dowson, the nineteenth-century English lyric poet) wrote, "I am not sad but only tired of everything that I ever desired."  I feel like that.  To me death means peace.  But I have in my unpaid studio letters, books, paintings given me by the most famous people of our time.  I have my own books and manuscripts which I think Anne should have.

In this case I must make another will.  It must be a will so that if I die here, or somewhere else, suddenly, someone will take charge of things here.  Perhaps Bill will see that I get buried decently - also for the sake of Anne.

In sharp contrast was an almost illegible letter about Fred Boyd, a close friend of Reed's.

. . .He was a conceited little cockney whom Jack  picked up abroad to be his secretary because Jack said he was a perfect machine.  Boyd amused him because he had never touched good wine. . .The last chapter of Boyd is this:  When he heard I was having difficulty with Bill, he hurried to him to offer his services (for a certain sum, of course).  He told Bill that I had lived with Reed before marriage, which he already knew.  And since I had done the same with Bill it was entirely silly.  Then he started on a series of fantastic lies such as that I was a descendant of Benedict Arnold whereas it was Aaron Burr.  A year later I saw Bill in Paris.  We had dinner together.  He said, for heaven's sake don't try to cooperate with Boyd in a biography (sic) of Jack.  I said I had no such intention.  He said Boyd told him so and then he told me the rest.

Her statements and exaggerations grew more fantastic. The strangest was a revelation to Reed's friends - assertion that John Reed was in reality an agent of the American government in Russia.

Her restless sleep became a series of nightmares.  She was in Vienna, talking with her old friend Sigmund Freud; Nazi storm troopers walked right through the walls into her bedroom and stood there, heiling Hitler.

One night she awoke sobbing and, rushing to the window, leaped outside.  She was taken to the hospital but was forced to leave before her foot was completely healed because of lack of funds.  One who heard of her financial plight was Raymond Robbins.  He sent her five hundred dollars.  "He is so rich," wrote Louise, "when I started paying him back, he cried."

She began going downhill faster and faster.  Fantasy became more dominant than reality.  A month before she died, Louise wrote from Paris to Art Young:

. . .Maybe I feel like Benjamin Franklin or dear Thomas Paine wandering these streets these days with war clouds floating over us which none of us accept.  Sometimes I think of the promise I made to Jack when he was dying not to do away with myself.  So now I go armed.  No more broken feet.  No more hospitals without good reason.

And only a week before she died after collapsing while walking up the stairs to her room at the Hotel Raspail, he received a postcard from Louise.  It was from 50 Rue Vavin where she had rented a small studio.

I suppose in the end life gets all of us.  It nearly has got me now - getting myself and my friends out of jail - living under curious conditions – but never minding much.  Know always that I send my love to you across the stars.  If you get there before I do - or later - tell Jack Reed I love him.




It was a simple graveside Protestant funeral service.  A cold drizzle fell on the casket and the dozen or so people surrounding the grave.  There was a minister, a handful of the tenants who lived in the small Left Bank where the woman being buried had also lived, two mortuary attendants and about a dozen strangers whose homes were near the cemetery, and who, for want of something better to do, usually followed funeral processions through the gates.

The minister was from the church that catered to the spiritual needs of those Americans living in Paris during the mid nineteen-thirties. Among them were some who continued clinging to the notion that the Latin Quarter was still the romantic place the Ernest Hemingways and Gertrude Steins and Sherwood Andersons had made it seem more than a decade earlier.

From his prayer book, protected from the rain by his umbrella, the minister read a verse from the Psalms, another from Isaiah, and then, since he had been told very little about the deceased, he spoke briefly about the uncertainty and impermanence of mortal life.  During the benediction, the mourners, mostly Catholics and understanding little of what the minister had said in English, crossed themselves and all followed the minister to the cemetery gates. Two laborers, who had been leaning nearby on their shovels, finished filling and smoothing the grave and, after erecting a temporary marker, they also left.

There were no flowers and no messages of condolence.  Louise Bryant died alone and forgotten.

The many who knew her when she was involved in historically significant events, did not learn about her death until four days later, when a brief Associated Press dispatch reported it in the newspapers.

PARIS, Jan. 9-(AP) Louise Bryant, 41, (she was actually 51) widow of John Reed, American who became a Soviet hero, and the divorced wife of William C. Bullitt, died at a private hospital on the Left Bank Monday, it was learned today.

Miss Bryant, a native of San Francisco, collapsed while climbing the stairs of a hotel. Since her divorce she had been living quietly in Paris.

The death of the well-known communist, who made a reputation as a journalist in Moscow in 1920, was kept secret four days while arrangements were made through New York for her funeral in Paris.

The item's skimpiness must surely have been written the way Ambassador Bullitt wanted it written - without identifying him beyond his name and saying as little as possible about his ties to Louise Bryant, the mother of Bullitt's only child, who had been living as a recluse in Paris, while he was America's first ambassador to the Soviet Union.

Ironically, at the time Louise died, Bullitt was in the headlines with the news that he had given up his post in Moscow and was moving into the French embassy in Paris.  He had become disillusioned with Stalin's administration in the Soviet Union and its dangerous implications for Europe, and before he died in 1967, he was one of the nation's leading Russophobes urging preemptive action against the Soviet Union.

The year 1936 also saw her brother, Floyd Sherman Bryant, the Rhodes Scholar and associate of Herbert Hoover in European famine relief work, become manager of exploration for the Standard Oil of California.  Four years later he was elected to the Board of Directors, and in 1942 he became a vice-president of the giant oil corporation.  In 1956, the brother of Louise Bryant, who took the radical road to a lonely death, became an Assistant to the Secretary of Defense.  He died in 1965 while visiting a daughter in San Francisco.

The few still alive in the seventies who recalled Louise's mother, remembered her as a lady who was always timid, gentle and devoted to her family.  When she died on May 4, 1924, the weekly Tribune-Register of Roseville said: "Mrs. Bryant was a highly cultured woman, a true mother, a noble woman, a devoted friend, whose life was a beautiful example of all that was good and wonderful."

Sheridan Bryant, the Southern Pacific Railroad conductor, who occasionally allowed Louise to sit in the caboose cupola of freight trains as they slowly struggled up grades through the magnificent mountains dividing California and Nevada, died in 1957 at the age of 93.  He had been blind for a long time and living in a Sacramento nursing home.  He and Louise's mother are buried side by side in the Oddfellows Cemetery in Sacramento, with identical markers over their graves - "Mother Bryant" and "Dad Bryant."

Permanently war-crippled Bill Bryant, who died in 1944, was buried in the West Los Angeles cemetery of the Veterans Administration.  Her sister Barbara, at whose wedding Louise was a bridesmaid, accompanied her husband to Alaska during the last days of the gold rush.  When he died, she returned to Sacramento where she died in 1951.  The only Mohan in the family, Lou Parnell, became known as the "Scrappy Irishman" in Central California.  Five feet, seven inches tall and weighing only 130 pounds, he was at various times, a baseball player, a prizefighter and a Democratic politician.  He died in 1950, a victim of cancer.

Eugene O'Neill's reaction to the news of Louise's death was reported to have been one of shock.  Lincoln Steffens, who was 70 and near death, was similarly affected.  He passed away that fall.  Contacted by the New York Times, Ella Winter recalled, among other things, that Louise was "the pregnantest woman" she ever saw.

In Portland, Fred Lockley wrote a long story for the Oregon Journal about John Reed, who died 16 years earlier, and about the Portland high society mountain climb and the article he wrote for Louise to help her get a job on the Oregonian.  Her byline over the Lockley story didn't help her get a job, but it so impressed Reed he spread the word far and wide that Louise was a brilliant journalist.

The Oregonian, in turn, carried a story about the days when radicals marched through the streets of Portland yelling slogans "down with the banks" and "free the Wobblies," even though neither Louise nor Reed ever participated in the parades.

Commented Mrs. C. H. Crichton, an aunt of Paul Trullinger, in 1972:  "We were all shocked when Paul married her.  Today I think all that was wrong with Louise, was that she was born many years ahead of her time."

Several former women friends of Reed issued disparaging statements.  For instance, Nina Faubion, the daughter of United States Senator Harry Lane, told Oregonian reporter Harold Hughes that she considered Louise Bryant "a brain picker who picked the brains of everyone with whom she came in contact."  She added that Louise "always managed to give the impression, both in conversation and in writing, that she was a person given to deep thought."  Actually, insisted Nina, she was nothing of the sort, and she knew for a fact, that Jack was disappointed in her. "He began dragging an anchor when he became involved with her."

"However," commented reporter Hughes at the end of the article, "it was Louise, who was at Jack's side when he died of typhus in the Marinsky Hospital in Moscow - a long way from Portland, Oregon.

Unfortunately, everything that has been written about her in the four decades since her death is based mostly on the years that began in the fall of 1915 when she met John Reed, until his death in 1920.  She has thus been described - out of context of her entire life - as a self-aggrandizer, an opportunist, pretentious and a below-average writer.

Her death did not even create the furor John Reed's did with reports he had expressed regret and sorrow over his role in the Bolshevik takeover of Russia.  As a matter of fact, Louise was also entitled to the dubious repentance honor - if, indeed, either she or Reed really did repent.

Reed's repentance is based on what three American radicals had to say.  They were:  Emma Goldman, the anarchist who took care of dying Reed until Louise arrived in Moscow; Ben Gitlow, a one-time candidate for Vice-President of the United States on the communist ticket, and Anna Louise , the Seattle schoolteacher, an activist during the Pacific Northwest Wobbly crisis in the first and second decade of this century.

All three were dedicated socialists and enthusiastic supporters of Lenin's campaign to replace capitalism in Russia with socialism, the basic tenet of which is abolition of private ownership of natural resources and the facilities for converting these into commodities.

What appalled and horrified the Goldman-Gitlow- trio was the ruthless suppression of all dissent and opposition, especially the murderous purge of many who had played an important part in bringing the new regime into existence.

Among the many others who were disillusioned for the same reason was an unusual woman named Angelica Balabanova, and it was she who wrote about Louise's repentance.

Angelica was one of the many young people in Russia from wealthy, often influential, families who were influenced by the Marx-Engels analysis of the way capitalism works, and, as a result, became members of the underground Social Democrats. Her father, a successful merchant, was one of the relatively few wealthy Jews in Czarist Russia.  She was one of sixteen children.

Angelica left her home in the Ukrainian part of Southwest Russia because, she wrote, she was disgusted at the pleasure her father got from the servile, boot-licking attention he received from the servants.  In Rome, she soon found herself an associate of Benito Mussolini in the editing of the socialist paper AVANTI.  She described him as "a lazy, cowardly braggart."  (Louise learned a great deal about Mussolini from Angelica long before she interviewed him.) Angelica's association with Mussolini occurred before 1914, when the Italian socialists took the editorship of AVANTI away from him in a dispute over his decision to support the Allies in World War One.  They said the French had bribed him to do that.  A decade later, Angelica said that had she suspected he would turn out to be the monster he became, she would have gladly poisoned him.

Angelica was among the first Russians to become a close friend of both Louise and John Reed when they arrived in Moscow in 1917.

Angelica and Louise met in Paris not long before Louise died.  Here is Angelica's version of the first meeting and what followed:

"As soon as Louise returned to Paris, she got in touch with me.  I scarcely recognized her.  She was now separated from her second husband, William C. Bullitt, and had been ill for more than a year.  I would not have believed anyone could change so, not only in appearance, but in her manner of speaking, her voice and tone.  Only at intervals when I continued to see her was she the old Louise I had known with Jack.  Whenever we met she spoke of him with deep sadness, of his disappointment in Russia, his illness and death.

"'Oh, Angelica,' she would say in these moments of lucidity and confidence, 'don't leave me, I feel so lonely.  Why did I have to lose Jack?  Why did we both have to lose our faith?' Shortly after this I heard of her death."

Poor, poor Louise!  She was also by this time telling Reed's friends that Jack was really an agent for the United States government in Russia, and how she fought off attempts by Bill Bullitt to strangle her.



First thing one discovers undertaking research, is that people who select library work for a career, have one thing in common - they love books and the contents of books and are eager to share their knowledge with others.  Everywhere, from the elaborate libraries on the University of California and Harvard campuses and the artistic marvel in Reno, Nevada, to the small library in Bridgeport, California, personnel was courteous, cooperative and enthusiastic.

This is not to underestimate the contributions of the many others who helped, some becoming almost as enthusiastically involved in locating material for reconstructing the life of Louise Bryant as was the author, himself.

We therefore wish to acknowledge gratefully the help received from library personnel, in addition to those already mentioned, as follows:  The University of Washington and City of Seattle; the Tacoma Public Library and University of Puget Sound; The State of Washington Library in Olympia; Portland-Multnomah Library; Marysville, California Library; California State and Sacramento City Libraries; San Francisco City Library; Ventura and Santa Barbara, California Libraries; Los Angeles City Library; Libraries in Syracuse, New York and Chicago; University of Nevada and University of Oregon Libraries, Olympia and Lacey Libraries in Washington state, and personnel in the National Archives in Washington, D.C.

Others who provided valuable help included:

The American Pro Cathedral Church of the Holy Trinity in Paris; The Episcopal Dioceses of San Francisco and Reno, Nevada; Dr. Martin Schmitt, University of Oregon curator; the late John Reddy of Reader's Digest; Kendra Morberg, Mrs. Gladys McKenzie Hug and Mrs. Keith Powell, Louise's fellow students at University of Oregon; Miriam Van Waters, Framingham, Massachusetts, University of Oregon campus magazine editor; Carl R. White, Island I County, Washington school superintendent; Mrs. C. D. Crichton of Portland, cousin of Paul Trullinger; Wallie Warren of Reno; John Reed of Washington D. C. (Jack's nephew); Arthur Spencer of the Oregon Historical Society; L. S. Geraldson of Auburn, California; Philip Earl of Nevada Historical Society; personnel in vital statistics department at Sacramento; Senator Frank Church of Idaho; Public Relations Department, Standard Oil Company of California; Kylie Masterson of North Hollywood, California; Paul 0. Anderson and Robert Merry pf the Tacoma,  Washington, News Tribune; Stuart Delaney of Olympia, Washington; and Mrs. Louise Feldenheimer of Portland.

The Cossack costume was a gift from a wealthy Russian woman whom Louise interviewed.  She was far less concerned, said Louise, about the property she was about to lose than she was about what the Revolution was doing to the servants.  They were leaving her, and those who stayed insisted on calling her “tovarishcha”, comrade.



Return to Index