John Deitz makes his case, 1906

Letter of John F. Deitz, Sept. 3, 1906


In this long letter to the Milwaukee Journal, John Deitz responds to a late-August 1906 letter by Mississippi River Logging Company official T.J. Connor (given here). For background on the Cameron Dam controversy that prompted the exchange, see the Deitz entry in the Dictionary of Wisconsin History.

Deitz opens with a lengthy transcript of the deed that he claims gave him legal right to control the Cameron Dam. At the top of page 4, he explains why he believes that even his adversaries knew he legally owned the dam, then provides several pages of quotes from their correspondence with him. At the bottom of page 8 he resumes his argument by providing further evidence of their dealings with him. In between the quotations from documents, Deitz reveals the rhetorical skills and colorful personality that helped him become a national celebrity, the archetypical "common man" supposedly taking on the Goliath of the Weyerhauser syndicate. Four years later the conflict erupted into violence, a deputy was killed, Deitz was convicted of murder, and the lumber company took over the Cameron Dam.




Related Topics: Mining, Logging, and Agriculture
The Progressive Era
Logging and Forest Products
Progressivism and the Wisconsin Idea
Creator: Deitz, John F.
Pub Data: Digitized from the original manuscript in the Alfred Eugene Roese Correspondence, 1904-1909 (Northland SC 36) at the History Center and Archives, Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center (29270 County Highway G, Ashland, WI 54806).
Citation: Deitz, John F. Letter to the editor of the Milwaukee Journal, Sept. 3, 1906. In the Alfred Eugene Roese Correspondence, 1904-1909 (Northland SC 36) at the History Center and Archives, Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center, Ashland, WI. Online facsimile at:  http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/turningpoints/search.asp?id=1699; Visited on: 11/28/2014
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