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S. A. DEWITT
Samuel Aaron DeWitt (1891-1963) was a socialist politician and writer. In 1919, he was elected to represent the Bronx in the New York Legislature. In January 1920, he and four other newly elected legislators were famously refused their seats due to their Socialist Party affiliation. DeWitt ran for office many more times, but was never elected again. He was very involved in leftist magazine publishing, both editing and appearing in socialist publications over the course of his career. He was for many years good friends with Upton Sinclair, himself famous for his early muckraking journalism and longtime Socialist agitation. DeWitt was a poet and published many books over the course of his lifetime. Frank Shay published his Iron Monger: A Book of Poems, from the bookshop in 1921. Several of his later books were published by the Parnassus Press, founded by Lew Ney.
A photograph of S. A. DeWitt and other ousted Socialist legislators in the New York Journal American newspaper, January 24, 1920.
The years 1919-20 encompassed the first "Red Scare" in the United States, when reaction against a growing American radical population led to reactionary events such as the one that made DeWitt and his colleagues temporarily famous. Their ouster was widely reported and discussed in the press.