Lucia R. Maxwell

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Lucia Ramsey Maxwell was the publisher of The Red Juggernaut and was a librarian for the War Department’s Chemical Warfare Service. She developed the famed Spider Web Chart based upon War Department files showing the interconnections of socialists and pacifists in women's clubs and peace organizations leading back to the new Bolshevik regime in Moscow. The chart identified fifteen women’s organizations and twenty-nine women leaders. The Chemical Warfare Service was headed by Brigadier General Amos A. Fries which had become something of a collection agency of information on radicals in America.[1]

Spider Web Chart

The chart was first distributed by Lucia Maxwell personally from her home and office in May 1923. It was later republished in Henry Ford’s Dearborn Independent in March 1924 which at the time had an estimated half million readers. She sent the chart to President Warren G. Harding and individuals at the Justice Department including Attorney General Harry M. Daugherty and his special assistant at the time J. Edgar Hoover.[2] Hoover thanked Maxwell for her "magnificent piece of work."[3]

The women’s groups protested and persuaded the Secretary of War, John Weeks, to withdraw and destroy all copies of the chart. However by the time Secretary Weeks acted major damage was already done to the peace movement. Lucia Maxwell claimed the chart was her property and vowed to create a new expanded copyright version.[4]

Later anticommunist and conspiracy theorists would develop their own charts showing the relationships among radical organizations and individuals. The succeeding charts were often color-coded with red lines denoting radicals, pink-progressives and yellow-pacifists.[5] In 1927 Charles Norman Fay of Cambridge, Massachusetts did his own update of the chart.


Lucia Maxwell distributed the spider web chart with one of her poems attached at the end.

Miss Bolsheviki
Miss Bolsheviki has come to town,
With a Russian cap and a German gown,
In women's clubs she's sure to be found,
For she's come to disarm AMERICA.
She sits in judgment on Capitol Hill,
And watches the appropriation bill
And without her O.K., it passes --- NIL
For she's there to disarm AMERICA.
She uses the movie and lyceum too,
And later text-books to suit her view,
She prates propaganda from pulpit and pew,
For she's bound to disarm AMERICA.
The male of the specie has a different plan,
He uses the bomb and the fire brand,
and incites class hatred wherever he can
While she's busy disarming AMERICA.
His special stunt is arousing the mob.
To expropriate and hate and kill and rob,
While she's working on her political job,

Early life and associations

Lucia Ramsey was born in Macon county Alabama to Lucius Curren Ramsey and Martha Rebecca (Shaw) Ramsey. She married Joseph Kerr Maxwell. She obtained a bachelors degree in education from Methodist Women’s College (now Huntingdon College) in Montgomery, Alabama and was a member of the Seventh Day Adventist Church.[7]

Lucia Maxwell was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). She was also chair of the Patriotic Committee of the League of American Pen Women.[8]


  • The Red Fog with Bonnie Busch, The National Patriotic League, (1929)
  • The Red Juggernaut (1932) 218 pages text
  • Red Wings, political tract


  1. A Room at a Time: How Women Entered Party Politics, By Jo Freeman, page 146
  2. Negative Intelligence: The Army and the American Left, 1917-1941, By Roy Talbert, page 218
  3. Un-American womanhood: antiradicalism, antifeminism, and the first Red Scare, By Kim E. Nielsen, page 77
  4. Un-American womanhood: antiradicalism, antifeminism, and the first Red Scare, By Kim E. Nielsen, page 78
  5. The Grounding of Modern Feminism, by Nancy F. Cott, page 250
  6. The Spider Web Chart, by Jo Freeman
  7. American women: the official who's who among the women of the nation, Volume 2, page 434
  8. Negative Intelligence: The Army and the American Left, 1917-1941, By Roy Talbert, page 218

See also