[Ads-l] high-jacks, one negative result, 1915

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Fri Nov 6 21:25:21 UTC 2020

Thanks for carefully double checking leads, Stephen. I have not been
exploring this topic, but here is "high jacks" with the pertinent
sense in November 1915.

Date: November 19, 1915
Newspaper: Detroit Times
Newspaper Location: Detroit, Michigan
Article: Hoboes Go South With Fall
Author: A "Workin' Stiff"
Quote Page 7, Column 3
Database: GenealogyBank

[Begin excerpt - check for OCR errors]
Four cities of the Middle west owe much of their wealth to the Kansas
harvest and the harvest hands. When the "stiff" has made his stake,
providing he successfully escapes the hundreds of "high-jacks" and
"stick-up men" that hold up and rob whole train loads of men, and
manages to deafen his ears to the siren calls of the men who are out
each year to harvest the harvesters by means of poker and crap games,
he "blows” for Kansas City, St. Joseph, Omaha or Sioux City, Ia.
[End excerpt]

While searching I came across an odd expression: "cut up high jacks"
"cutting up high jacks" "kicking up high jacks". Not sure what it
means or if it is relevant. Perhaps it means "caused a ruckus".

"cut up high Jacks" Sep 6, 1879
"cut up high jacks" Jun 21, 1888
"kicking up high jacks" Nov 22, 1903


On Fri, Nov 6, 2020 at 9:28 AM Stephen Goranson <goranson at duke.edu> wrote:
> In History of Labor in the United States, 1896-1932, vol. 4, Labor Movements, by Selig Perlman and Philip Talt (1935) 286-7:
> A far more serious menace to the harvest hand’s earnings were the “high-jacks,” or hold-up men, bootleggers, and “tin-horn” gamblers [p. 387], who preyed on them while on the train and in the “jungles,” their resting places between jobs. [Footnote 4:
> Ibid. {that is, Solidarity}, July 10, 1915]
> For the record, I have received a scan of that Solidarity issue (no. 287, 4 pages). It does discuss this menace, but without, unless I missed it, the term "high-jacks," though that term is surely found in Wobbly reports later, and at least potentially earlier.
> I don't know if anyone other than Jerry Cohen is on this case, but let me know if you'd like a pdf. Limited time offer. While supplies last, etc.
> Stephen Goranson
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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