Hugh De Lacy (politician)

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Hugh De Lacy

Emerson Hugh De Lacy, known as Hugh De Lacy, (May 9, 1910 – August 19, 1986), an American politician, served as a member of the United States House of Representatives from 1945 to 1947. He represented the First Congressional District of Washington as a Democrat.

De Lacy was elected to the Seattle City Council in 1937.[1] He was subsequently elected as President of the Washington Commonwealth Federation, a left-wing pressure group within the Washington State Democratic Party that was controlled by the Communist Party USA.[2] According to historian of American Communism Harvey Klehr, De Lacy was a secret member of the Communist Party USA at the time of his 1937 election.[1]

De Lacy's party membership was first publicly revealed by the former Executive Secretary of the Washington Commonwealth Federation, Howard Costigan, who declared in sworn testimony delivered to the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1954 that he had sat with De Lacy on the governing bureau of the Seattle district of the CPUSA from 1937 to 1939.[3]

De Lacy was elected to the United States Congress in 1944, replacing fellow Democrat Warren G. Magnuson who had retired from the House to run (successfully) for United States Senate.

De Lacy's time in the nation's capital was short-lived, however, as he was defeated by Republican Homer Jones in the ensuing election of 1946.

DeLacy, along with Woody Guthrie, and Pete Seeger introduced the word "Hootenanny" as a musical term, to the world.[4]


  1. ^ a b Harvey Klehr, The Heyday of American Communism: The Depression Decade. New York: Basic Books, 1984; pg. 256.
  2. ^ Paul de Graaf, "Washington Commonwealth Federation," in Mari Jo Buhle, Paul Buhle, and Dan Georgakas (eds.), Encyclopedia of the American Left. First Edition. New York: Garland Publishing, 1990; pg. 820.
  3. ^ "Testimony of Howard Costigan," Investigation of Communist Activities in the Pacific Northwest Area — Part 1: Hearings Before the Committee on Un-American Activities, House of Representatives, Eighty-Third Congress, Second Session; October 3, 1952; March 16, May 28, June 2 and 9, 1954. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1954; pg. 5987.
  4. ^

Further reading[edit]


United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Warren G. Magnuson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Washington's 1st congressional district

Succeeded by
Homer Jones