Because freedom can't protect itself
In 1902, my great grandfather, John HAddow, was thrown into prison without due process for being a National Organizer. He later received a pardon signed by President Roosevelt. Here is a poem he wrote while in prison:
City Jail, Lynchburg, Va., April 14, 1902
While lying on my cot last night
Within a convict's cell,
I do not think I was asleep,
But still I can not tell,
When all at once a light appeared
Which dimmed the shadow of the night,
And there before my vision reared
An angel pure and bright.
Good morning, sir, I've come to see
The prisoners in this jail,
To scan the features of each one
And hear their woeful tale;
But when I came within thy cell,
And looked upon thy face,
I could not find a trace of crime,
Then, why in such a place?
I turned upon my humble cot
And gazed upon the scene;
An angel stood within my cell
That looked to me supreme;
And in a tone so soft and sweet
She whispered in my ear
My name is justice and I'd like
To know why you are here?
Why I am here, dear maid, I said?
In tones that seemed to surprise her,
Just let me say, be not afraid,
I am a National Organizer.
For talking to my fellow-man,
To raise them from their lowly station,
The Federal Judge said 'twas a crime,
Six months in jail is your probation.
She raised her hand above her head,
And swore by all that was eternal,
Go into dungeon's dark infernal,
No more to raise its hydra head
Against the sons of men.
I turned to her and kindly said
Amen, amen, amen.
Farewell, she said, be not afraid,
Your courage we adore,
Altho' within these prison walls
We know you suffer sore.
Your cause is just, and rule it must,
No matter what they say;
I awoke from my slumber
And the vision flew away.
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