Update 2014-18:

May 4, 2014.   Three new files, two of which continue the story of the 1919 Left Wing split as it manifested itself in St. Louis, MO. Unable to win the day democratically at the meeting of August 18, William Brandt and the regular-dominated General Committee of the Socialist Party of St. Louis effectively split the party, initiating a new loyalty oath and establishing a new "temporary General Committee." Also included is a 1921 news article announcing the launch of Camp Tamiment, a socialist summer camp in New York.


Update 2014-17:
April 27, 2014.   Three new files, continuing investigation of the 1919 Left Wing split as it manifested itself in St. Louis, MO. Included is an important report by the Secretary of the Socialist Party of St. Louis [Local St. Louis, SPA] preferring charges against certain Left Wing members of the organization and seeking their removal from the party. The other two documents, detailing the meetings of the General Committee [City Central Committee] at which this report was delivered and decided reveal the surprising result: the defeat of Brandt's aggressive factional actions and a policy of official neutrality until the Left Wing debate could be decided at the forthcoming 1919 Emergency National Convention in Chicago.

Update 2014-16:
April 20, 2014.   Four new files, all dealing with the first phase of the 1919 Left Wing split as it manifested itself in St. Louis, MO. Of particular note is a lengthy document by party editor G.A. Hoehn that essentially served as a reply of the organization to the Left Wing Manifesto and official statement on the factional controversy. Also included are the minutes from three sessions of the General Committee, the delegated City Central Committee of the Socialist Party of St. Louis, which indicate that the Left Wing controversy in the city only erupted after the June 1919 convention of the Left Wing and suspensions and expulsions levied by the National Executive Committee that same month.



Update 2014-15:
April 13, 2014.   Five new files this week. The first is an early (1891) Q&A with Socialist Labor Party leader Daniel DeLeon in which he expounds upon the relationship between the Socialist and Anarchist movements. The other four date from 1921and deal with the SPA's short lived efforts to join the Comintern, the Kate O'Hare kidnapping incident, the political defection of journalist J. Louis Engdahl, and the esoteric factional politics of the Latvian Federation, respectively.


Update 2014-14:
April 6, 2014.   Five new files this week, all from the summer of 1921. Of greatest importance are two internal documents from the Department of Justice, including a massive 8,000 word extract of Warren G. Grimes' internal history of the underground Communist movement (1918-1921). Also included is a analysis of the situation at The Liberator magazine prior to its formal absorption by the Communist Party, Jim Oneal on the 1921 Socialist Party Convention, and news coverage of the kidnapping and forced deportation of Socialist activist Kate Richards O'Hare from the state of Idaho by American Legion thugs.


Update 2014-13:
March 30, 2014.   Nine new files. Leading off is the text of the first leaflet published by the Communist Labor Party of America in November 1919. The other 8 documents are from the first half of 1920, and deal with CLP-CPA unity discussions, the CLP's take on the Albany "trial" of the Socialist Assemblymen and the Labor Department's Ruling that CLP membership was not illegal per se, John Reed, and the government's efforts to repress the Communist movement using the legal system. Only one piece of Debsiana, a short bit called "The Power of the Press."


Update 2014-12:
March 23 2014.   A full bushel of 20 new files. Three main clusters of articles: a small group of mostly short news pieces about the little-known Sept. 4, 1918 bombing of the Chicago Federal Building in the aftermath of the great IWW trial; several articles on the factional machinations behind the 1924 Farmer-Labor Party convention and LaFollette for President efforts; and a sampling of material from 1926 including fisticuffs over a controversial article in The New Leader which drew an official denunciation of the "most complete and ignorant forgery" by Soviet leader Joseph Stalin. Debsiana includes a 1918 dance on capitalism's grave, a letter declining nomination as an Indiana Congressional candidate in 1918, a remembrance of Ohio pioneer socialist Allen Cook, and C.E. Ruthenberg's defense of the Communist decision to honor the recently-deceased Debs as a member of the revolutionary socialist pantheon. Also worthy of mention is an official obituary of former youth leader turned Daily Worker editor Harry Gannes from 1941.



Update 2014-11:
March 16, 2014.   A dozen new files. All of these are clustered in the first quarter of 1919, ground zero of the left wing movement that ultimately led to a split of the Socialist Party. In this vein, of particular interest is the publication here of the minutes of the first three sessions of the City Committee of the Left Wing Section of Local Greater New York, Socialist Party. Debsiana includes a de facto open letter by Debs calling for a general strike for the freedom of Tom Mooney if all other efforts failed and a letter to Debs from Ludwig Lore, publisher of The Class Struggle.  Also appearing here is material by Mary Marcy, Jack Carney, and C.E. Ruthenberg. Of final note is a short piece documenting the short-lived effort by Harry Wicks and others to establish a "Workers and Soldiers Council" in Portland, Oregon.


Update 2014-10:
March 9, 2014.   Fourteen new files. Two clusters of documents, the first from 1916 featuring debate over the Socialist Party's national platform, which included a militant anti-war minority plank that disavowed even defensive war. The second cluster, dating from 1922, focuses on the first national convention of the Young Workers League, youth section of the communist Workers Party of America. More Debsiana as well, per usual: on Prohibition, Preparedness, the 1916 SPA platform, and 1922 May Day greetings. Of final note, an obituary published at the time of the death of the father of Kate Richards O'Hare makes it clear that this prominent Socialist woman may be added to the list of famous "Red Diaper Babies."

Update 2014-09:
March 2, 2014.   Fourteen new files, the bulk of which center on the year 1915. Of particular interest is a piece on C.E. Russell's Nov. 29, 1915 endorsement of Woodrow Wilson's "Preparedness" efforts and the effective scuttling of his own likely nomination as the Socialist Party's 1916 Presidential nominee resulting from this contrarian perspective on war and militarism. Another dose of Debsiana is included, including four published articles and a letter. Other matters touched include pro and con pieces over whether to hold a 1916 Socialist National Convention, a 1926 article by Workers Party Executive Secretary C.E. Ruthenberg condemning the Socialist NEC for its attempt to undercut grass roots united front efforts between Socialists and Communists, and a 1937 article on the expulsion of the Trotskyist faction from the Young People's Socialist League.


Update 2014-08:
Feb. 23, 2014.   A full bushel of 20 new files, the big majority dealing with various aspects of the understudied 1934-38 party crisis of the Socialist Party of America.

In brief: the radical Declaration of Principles adopted by the 1934 National Convention marked a shift in power from the "Old Guard" faction that had ruled the SPA throughout the 1920s to a new more radical younger generation. In December 1935 the factional growling between the Old Guard and the Militant/Thomasite alliance through their rival newspapers, the New York Leader and the Socialist Call, erupted into a formal split of the New York organization. This battle was ultimately decided by the National Executive Committee of the SPA in favor of the insurgent alliance against the Old Guard. Excluded from the SPA, the Old Guard of New York briefly called themselves the "People's Party" before moving to formal membership and active participation in the American Labor Party. During the first half of 1937 the Old Guard also joined forces with the state Socialist Parties of Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Maryland, the Jewish Socialist Verband, and other disgruntled elements around the country in forming a rival national organization to the SPA called the Social Democratic Federation.

Meanwhile within the SPA the departure of the Old Guard did not end the faction fight but rather started another round of political warfare. The New York Militants, led by Jack Altman and Max Delson, and the bloc of university- and pacifism-oriented individuals around Norman Thomas and Harry Laidler moved to oust the organized Trotskyist faction of Jim Cannon and Max Shachtman, who had entered earlier as part of the SPA's move towards an "all-inclusive party." This communist faction was ultimately expelled over the objections of the left social democratic "Clarity" faction of Herbert Zam and Gus Tyler in Aug. 1937. The now-more-conservative SPA then attempted to themselves follow the rival SDF into the New York ALP in 1938, a plan actually supported by the SDF but opposed by the CPUSA, who successfully thwarted this effort. Despite a basic commonality of ideological perspectives between the Old Guard SDF and the Thomasite SPA, reunification efforts failed until 1957, when the remaining remnants of the two organizations finally again joined forces.



Update 2014-07:
Feb. 16, 2014.   Ten new files. Primary attention this week is on the establishment of the Social Democratic Federation of the United States of America, the Old Guard faction's parallel national organization to the Socialist Party of America that was established in 1937 and eventually reunified with a much-more-conservative Socialist Party in 1957. The understudied SDF was a true federation of largely autonomous state and local groups, some of which retained their historic party names and ran candidates under their own colors (Socialist Party of Pennsylvania, Socialist Party of Connecticut), while others like the Social Democratic Federation of New York eschewed their own direct activity in favor of participation in the union-controlled American Labor Party. Files relate to a Eastern regional preconvention, the founding national convention at the end of May 1937, and documents adopted there. Also included are two files relating to the socialist colony movement in Washington state from 1899 and James P. Cannon's published 1926 remembrance of the recently deceased Eugene V. Debs.


Update 2014-06:

Feb. 9, 2014.   I'm snowed in this week, so it's a full bushel of 20 new files. Seven Debs pieces, including another 1895 jailhouse interview that finally answers the question how the last convention of the American Railway Union could transform itself into the first convention of the Social Democracy of America so seamlessly; an excellent early history of the Socialist press in St. Louis; an account of the first American effort at using film as a vehicle for Socialist propaganda (1909); and the usual miscellany including an anti-Boy Scouts piece directed at kids, a news report of a KKK horsewhipping of an anti-war activist, political polemics, etc. Also features two pieces relating to the formation of the Social Democratic Federation in 1937.


Update 2014-05:
Feb. 2, 2014.   Five more additions this week, including two pieces by Josephine Kaneko of the Chicago monthly magazine The Socialist Women on the shortcomings of the Socialist Party on the so-called "Woman Problem." Also appearing is another internal history of the utopian socialist Equality Colony of rural Washington, a scanned reproduction of a revelatory letter by the editor of the monthly magazine of the Loyal Legion of Loggers and Lumbermen, and Jacob Bentall's rather excessive tribute to Gene Debs in which the imprisoned socialist leader is likened to Socrates, Jesus Christ, Galileo, and Lincoln.

Update 2014-04:
Jan. 26, 2014.   Seven new files. First is a self-critical 1899 internal history of the Equality Colony, located in rural western Washington state. A series of three connected pieces on the first convention of the Socialist Party of Missouri -- which was very nearly held in a big top tent -- follows. A piece on the underpayment of dues to the early Socialist Party follows, followed by two more pieces by Eugene Debs, one a utopian religious piece and the other a lengthy stern criticism of a Montana miners' feud that had ended in the bombing of a union hall.


Update 2014-03:
Jan. 19, 2014.   Seven new files, mainly dealing with the Socialist Party of Missouri featuring  Constitutions of Local St. Louis of the Social Democratic Party (1900) and its successor the Socialist Party (1901) and an account of the state party's 1908 convention. Also includes documentation of the Springfield Social Democratic Party's organizational proposals leading to the founding convention of the Socialist Party in the summer of 1901. Finally, another piece by Eugene Debs, hammering conservative Catholic officials for their opposition to women's suffrage.


Update 2014-02:
Jan. 12, 2014.   Eleven new files, 9 of which relate to the turn of the century Debsian Socialist Party. Of lasting import are two new pieces relating to Gene Debs -- text of an 1895 jailhouse interview and the complete speech that launched his first Presidential campaign in 1900. A lengthy propaganda article by SPA Executive Secretary Leon Greenbaum is also reprinted for the first time in 113 years. Also important are two documents created from obscure Appeal to Reason articles, one quantifying the paper's subscriber numbers by state and another listing hundreds of Socialist Party locals and their secretaries. Concluding the week's material is a 1937 letter from left socialist Gus Tyler to a comrade who had turned to Trotskyism, warning of inevitable factionalism, political impotence, and organizational disintegration if he continued to follow his current course.


Update 2014-01:
Jan. 5, 2014.   Five files this week, three of which relate to Anthony Bimba, Communist newspaper editor who was hauled before a Brockton, MA court and tried for blasphemy early in 1926. Also included is a new tablet-friendly layout of Kate Richards O'Hare's racist 1912 screed, "'Nigger' Equality" and a brief note by Garland Fund namesake Charles Garland to cartoonist Art Young.

Update 2013-31:
Dec. 22, 2013.   Two rare files, one very short and one very long. The first is a previously unpublished note from January 1919 by John Reed to a Socialist correspondent. The note seems to indicate that Reed had as yet no plans to turn his Russian journalism from The Liberator into the book which would become his magnum opus, Ten Days That Shook the World. . The second is full text of a 6500 word mimeographed pamphlet by the National Committee of the Unemployed Councils of the USA, one of the most important (and understudied) mass organizations of the Communist Party USA during the Third Period.


Update 2013-30:
Dec. 15, 2013.   Just two files, both from 1925. Jay Lovestone takes to the pages of the weekend magazine section of The Daily Worker with some Q-and-A to explain the forthcoming reorganization of the Communist Party USA. A second piece makes note of the launch of a new Communist-sponsored organization for black workers, the American Negro Labor Congress.


Update 2013-29:
Dec. 8, 2013.   Six new files. The first four date from 1925 and deal largely with the reorganization of the Workers Party of America on the basis of shop nuclei -- an effort which had the effect of undermining the foreign language federations upon which the American communist movement had been built historically. Also included is an attack on William Green of the AF of L by Jay Lovestone, a 1932 critique of the Socialist Party by the Proletarian Party of America, and full text of a rare 1936 pamphlet by Morris Childs, then then Illinois District Organizer of the CPUSA and later becoming the highest ranking FBI mole in the CPUSA as the principal of Operation SOLO.


Update 2013-28:
Dec. 1, 2013.   Five new files. A short anti-war piece by Socialist Party leader Gene Debs from 1917 opens this week's material. Also included are three more graphic pdfs of full issues of The Proletarian from 1921 and another of an ultra-rare polemic pamphlet from 1931 offering a glimpse at the Third Period factional warfare between the Communists and Socialists in the Finnish Cooperative movement in the Upper Midwest.

Update 2013-27:
Nov. 24, 2013.   Four new files. Graphic pdfs of rare 1917 leaflet by SPA Executive Secretary Adolph Germer and the first issue of The Proletarian from 1921. In addition three are two pieces from the Trotskyist press recounting the split of the Young People's Socialist League organization at its 9th National Convention in September 1937.


Update 2013-26:
Nov. 17, 2013.   Thirteen new files. Text files here deal with the 1917 effort of Socialist Morris Hillquit to win election as Mayor of New York City on an unflinching anti-war platform. Included are details of two Madison Square Garden "monster meetings" and other events in the raucous campaign, all published by the mainstream New York Tribune.  Five issues of the monthly publication are also presented in full as graphic pdfs, as well as a pdf of one of the earliest known leaflets of the Communist Party of America (issued by its Local Greater New York).


Update 2013-25:
Nov. 10, 2013.   Eleven new files. The bulk of the text files deal with the interplay between the Socialist movement and the government during World War I, including most notably an interview with Postmaster General Albert Burleson and a lengthy and eloquent defense of the editorial content of the New York Call and the right of political dissent by Socialist leader Morris Hillquit in a hearing before the Post Office Department. Also included are four more full issues of The Proletarian, the official monthly organ of the Socialist Party of Michigan/Proletarian University faction which was shortly part of the Communist Party of America.


Update 2013-24:
Nov. 3, 2013.   Twenty-five new files from several subject clusters: a plethora of short pieces dealing with the various permutations of anti-Socialist repression during World War I; four pdf issues of The Proletarian, official organ of the Socialist Party of Michigan/Proletarian University group associated with the CPA; ongoing coverage of the Socialist Party of America's seminal 1921 National Convention; popular magazine articles by Socialist Party regular James Oneal about the early Communist movement and the SPA during the war; and a 1948 attack piece on the internal regime of the Socialist Labor Party of America.


Update 2013-23:
Oct. 27, 2013.   Eight new files on sundry topics this week. From 1917 comes contemporary newspaper documentation of a mass raid in Greater New York City involving the arrest of "suspected enemy aliens" in conjunction with the war effort. Two other pieces deal with the Sept. 28 arrests of Big Bill Haywood the leadership of the Industrial Workers of the World -- arrests that would end in the mass trial of the 166 before Judge Landis in Chicago. Two more pieces provide details of moves to luxurious new facilities by the Rand School of Social Science and the Finnish branch of Local New York, Socialist Party. Also included are two official appeals from early 1946 by ousted CPUSA General Secretary Earl Browder attempting to avoid expulsion.


Update 2013-22:
Oct. 20, 2013.   Four new files. Editor of the Socialist Party's national weekly newspaper, The American Socialist, writes in the New York Call about that publication's demise at the hands of Postmaster General Albert Burleson. The Call also provides extensive coverage to the kick off of Morris Hillquit's 1917 campaign for Mayor of New York, an event which featured 20,000 people packing Madison Square Garden to hear Hillquit, Socialist Party attorney Seymour Stedman, and several other candidates on the party's 1917 ticket. Also included is text of a letter from jailed Left Wing Socialist Joseph Coldwell to William Kruse about the forthcoming 1921 Socialist Party National Convention and the Call's reporting on the opening day of the same.



Update 2013-21:
Oct. 13, 2013.   Six new files, four of which relate to the Sept. 5, 1917 coordinated mass raids against the national headquarters of the IWW and the Socialist Party as well as more than two dozen local offices of the IWW. Of the other two files, the most important is an excerpt from the 1948 memoir of IWW activist Ralph Chaplin detailing the secret 2nd National Convention of the United Communist Party, held at a farmhouse outside Kingston, New York. Chaplin's account is by far the best extant of this little-studied secret conclave.


Update 2013-20:
Oct. 6, 2013.   Nine new files. The first is a pdf of a rare pamphlet containing Morris Hillquit's report to the 1907 Stuttgart congress of the Second International. The other 8 files relate to the September 5, 1917 coordinated mass raids by the US Department of Justice and local law enforcement authorities against headquarters buildings and offices of the Industrial Workers of the World and the Socialist Party.  News reports are included from the conservative Los Angeles Times and the Socialist New York Call and Seattle Daily Call, along with public statements by Socialist leaders Morris Hillquit and Victor Berger.


Update 2013-19:
Sept. 29, 2013.   Three new files. The first, an anti-war piece by Irish radical Jack Carney, reprints an uncensored letter from a cousin in the British trenches to his mother at home. Two additional pieces expand our understanding of the Workers Party of America's strategy and tactics in the complex 1924 American political environment. The first of these pieces is an appeal by William Z. Foster for specific Comintern directives to the American Party; the other, a lengthy Comintern analysis of the American political situation is remarkable for its even-handed analysis of the ongoing factional war.


Update 2013-18:
Sept. 22, 2013.   Three new files, including a short note from Jack Reed to Jack Carney written during the Second Masses Trial of 1918, a first-hand report of the 2nd Annual Convention of Marcus Garvey's Universal Negro Improvement Association in New York City, and African Blood Brotherhood activist Wilfred Domingo's reaction to the same.


Update 2013-17:
Sept. 15, 2013.   Nine highly esoteric files from the year 1924. These deal for the most part with the strategy and tactics of the Workers Party of America towards the broad Farmer-Labor movements in Chicago and Minnesota, the Federated Farmer-Labor Party, and the prospective Third Party anticipated to emerge around the candidacy of Robert M. LaFollette. Patient specialists will find William Z. Foster's 10,000 word speech of April 29 to the American Commission of ECCI to be a more or less definite statement of party strategy on these matters and a means of illuminating one of the most confused and confusing subjects in Ted Draper's second volume of CPUSA history.


Update 2013-16:
Sept. 8, 2013.  Milwaukee Socialist Mayor Emil Seidel relates anecdotes about the pioneer social democratic movement in that city. Barnstorming SPA orator Guy Lockwood writes of the history of the "socialist propaganda van" in America. An editorial by Appeal to Reason  publisher Julius Augustus Wayland clarifies the connection between the first and second incarnations of The Coming Nation. Finally, a complete pdf of a 1935 International Labor Defense pamphlet detailing the kidnapping of Communist Party leader Robert Minor and ILD lawyer David Levinson in connection with a case resulting from a 1933 New Mexico strike completes the quartet of new files.


Update 2013-15:
Sept. 1, 2013.  Five more new files, three of which relate to the 1921 faction fight within the Socialist Party, culminating at the group's June 1921 National Convention in Detroit. Also included are memoir pieces by SP organizer Kate Richards O'Hare and Socialist mayor of Milwaukee Emil Seidel on their entry into the Socialist movement.


Update 2013-14:
Aug. 25, 2013.  An eclectic mix of five new files this week, including a 1903 introduction to socialism by International Socialist Review publisher Charles H. Kerr; Theresa Malkiel giving feminist props to the delegates to the 1910 "National Congress" of the Socialist Party of America, a factional letter to the New York Call by Executive Secretary Otto Branstetter of Oklahoma, a party regular; a newly formatted edition of the published convention call for formation of the Workers Party of America, legal communist organization of 1921; and text of a rare leaflet published by the ultra-left Communist Party of America formed by the Central Caucus faction in 1922 attacking the Workers Party of America.




Update 2013-13:
Aug. 18, 2013.  Highly esoteric material on the impossibilist socialist-turned-left communist Proletarian Party of America (PPA). First a relinking of an article on the origins of the PPA written by me in 2010. This is followed by the first republication of 5 of the 8 known specimens of a previously unreported internal discussion bulletin of the PPA, featuring financial statements and the inner-party debate leading up to the September 1933 party convention, which was marked by the suspension and split of about two dozen members based in Local Detroit -- one of 11 active and 19 total primary party units. These issues of Proletarian Bulletin are courtesy of the collection of Holt Labor Library, San Francisco; basic digitization by Martin Goodman of Riazanov Digital Archive Project; additional digital editing by Tim Davenport.


Update 2013-12:
Aug. 11, 2013.  Five new files are uploaded this week, including the first republication of two lengthy 1902 speeches by Gene Debs and three bits by Socialist Party regulars from June 1921 on the new left wing in the SPA and the prospective fight between the two ideological groups at the forthcoming party convention.



Update 2013-11:
Aug. 4, 2013.  Half a dozen more new files, including a compact and easy-to-print issue no. 2 of The Liberator and five pieces from the Socialist Party circa 1909-10. Among the latter are Theresa Malkiel on the relationship between women's rights and the SPA, Texas activist W.J. Bell on the danger of centralized authority, a possibly apocryphal story about Albert Parsons' months on the lam in Wisconsin related by Ralph Korngold, a history of the Finnish Socialist Federation, and a detailed report on American farming by the SPA's leading agricultural expert, A.M. Simons.


Update 2013-10:
July 28, 2013.   Five new files, four of which date from 1910. These include an upbeat piece by former Haverhill, MA mayor John C. Chase on the possibilities of Socialist municipal administration and a foreshadowing of the 1923-24 Labor Party fiasco in which Chicago Federation of Labor chief John Fitzpatrick breaks discipline and refuses to abandon the Gompers old parties-driven political strategy in favor of advocating a labor party. In addition there is an early piece by C.E. Ruthenberg on Socialist horizons in Cleveland and an exposition of the ideological divide in the American Socialist movement by the Left Wing State Secretary of the Socialist Party of Michigan.


Update 2013-09:
July 21, 2013.   The complete first issue of The Liberator highlights the nine new files this week. Also included are a long news report of a Social Revolutionary (Anarchist) demonstration in Chicago where the black flag made its first appearance in America, a speech by Eugene Debs, 1910 Socialist platforms for the Oklahoma state and Duluth, MN city organizations, a hagiographic biography of SP Executive Secretary Will Mailly by George Herron, a 1938 Trotskyist pamphlet by Albert Goldman, and more.


Update 2013-08:
July 14, 2013.   A dozen new files: three from Albert R. Parson's Chicago Social Revolutionary (Anarchist) newspaper The Alarm on the benefits of dynamite as a tool of social change, one on the 1901 socialist training school established in Girard, Kansas by Walter Thomas Mills with the support of Appeal to Reason publisher Julius Wayland, and the complete 8-issue run of The Young Worker, official organ of the Young Workers League of America for its debut year of 1922.


Update 2013-07:
July 7, 2013.  Another 15 files, including material from the 1900 Social Democratic Party campaign of Eugene Debs for President and a complete run of issues of The Western Comrade for 1916, with content dealing almost exclusively with the Llano del Rio, California cooperative colony.


Update 2013-06:
June 30, 2013.  An eclectic mix of 15 files, including some interesting stuff. A segregationist piece by the editor of the Appeal to Reason, Julius Wayland; material from the 1900 Debs for President campaign, including an SDP platform and campaign biography; graphic pdf of the first SPA constitution; Acrimonious Debs-Foster correspondence from 1924 (not included in the 3 volume collection of Debs letters); the story of the origin of the Blue Shirted Socialist Militants of 1933; detail on the resignation or expulsion of Upton Sinclair; and considerable content on the death of SPA party leader Morris Hillquit.


Update 2013-05:

June 23, 2013.   Eleven new files, evenly divided between transcriptions from the Spokane weekly newspaper of the IWW from 1910 (heavy in William Z. Foster material) and material relating to the Socialist Party's 1932 national convention, which marked the first national appearance of the so-called Militant Faction (heavy in material on Morris Hillquit and Jim Oneal).



Update 2013-04:

June 16, 2013.   Another passel of material from 1915, including a complete run of Job Harriman's The Western Comrade -- the definitive source of information on the California Llano del Rio Socialist Colony. Also included are freestanding articles by Socialist leaders Eugene V. Debs (2), Kate Richards O'Hare, Morris Hillquit, Carl D. Thompson, and Job Harriman. The final item is a graphic pdf of the 1936 Communist Party Election Platform, including the Wisconsin and California variants of the final pages of the document.


Update 2013-03:


June 9, 2013.  Three files from the year 1915. The first two of these deal with the ongoing factional struggle in the Socialist Party of Washington, dominated by a Left Wing faction and split by its Right Wing, with the ultra-moderate National Executive Committee of the Socialist Party attempting to resolve the dispute in favor of the latter. Of particular note is a debate between Left Wing former State Secretary of the SPW Frans Bostrom and the moderate former State Secretary of the Socialist Party of Oregon, C.W. Barzee. Also included is a lengthy and literate essay on the European war by Masses editor Max Eastman.



Update 2013-02:

June 2, 2013.  The first 19 issues of The Western Socialist (a complete run for 1913-1914), a monthly magazine published in Los Angeles by so-called "Constructive Socialists," including most notably Emanuel Julius, later of "Little Blue Book" fame. In 1914 the publication was sold to Job Harriman who made it the propaganda arm of his Llano del Rio Cooperative Colony in Los Angeles County. Also included are two pieces on the turbulent American socialist movement of 1919 published by adherents of the impossibilist Socialist Party of Great Britain, providing an orthodox Marxist critique of the Left Wing Section of the Socialist Party of America.



Update 2013-01:


May 26, 2013.   A group of seven new files dealing with Eugene V. Debs' American Railway Union and the ill-fated Pullman Strike of 1894 as well as one piece on Edward Bellamy's Nationalist movement of the same era. Includes text of a massive Debs speech to the 1st National Convention of the ARU, reprinted for the first time in nearly 120 years.



Update 2012-30:


July 2012-May 2013.   (Back after a book project on the Lovestone group.)    Fourteen new files running the gamut of early 20th Century political radicalism: a report of a forthcoming, Russian Federation convention, Ruthenberg obituary, Proletarian Party 10 year history, material on the CPUSA changing dues collection systems in 1929-30, an obituary of CPA founding member and Proletarian Party activist Al Renner... Pot luck.



Update 2012-27/28/29:

July 15, 2012.   Two more files, both from 1924 -- an endorsement of the Foster-Gitlow ticket with harsh words for the Socialists by former Socialist Party of America National Executive Secretary Walter Lanfersiek and a piece by James P. Cannon announcing a forthcoming industrial registration of the Workers Party of America's membership, paving the way for Comintern-determined structural reorganization.


Update 2012-26:

June 24, 2012.  Nine more files, dealing for the most part with the Social Patriotic Right wing that abandoned the Socialist Party for the Social Democratic League in 1917-18. Includes the letters of resignation of John Spargo and Allan Benson, as well as an apologetic for his pro-war views by Socialist Congressman Meyer London. Also included are 1921 documents relating to the affairs of the Yugoslav Federation of the SPA and the party's effort to strip the federations of the ability to directly sell dues stamps at that time.


Update 2012-25:

June 17, 2012.  Nine files from the spring of 1921. An eclectic mix of content, including a Comintern pronouncement, Special Agent reports of the Bureau of Investigation, a factional letter of the CPA, internal publications and a public leaflet and sticker of the CLP, and a polemic statement of a member of the SPA against members of the new Left Wing in that party.


Update 2012-24:

June 10, 2012.   Ten more files, the bulk of which relate to Socialist Party factional politics from June and July 1919. Included is the full text of a lengthy statement of position by the leadership of the Finnish Federation, the party's largest, condemning the party's NEC and giving critical support to the Left Wing Section. Also includes Earl Browder's 1945 speech in his defense following the publication of the Duclos letter.


Update 2012-23:

June 3, 2012.  Four additional files, these dealing with the factional struggle in the American Communist movement in the spring of 1921 -- two relating to the "Adams" and "Flat" affair in the United Communist Party and two relating to the protests of the Communist Party of America at being forced by Comintern ultimatum to conduct a unity convention with the much smaller UCP on the basis of equal sized delegations.


Update 2012-22:

May 27, 2012.  Eight more files, these from the spring of 1919 when the organized Left Wing Section of the Socialist Party was gaining critical mass and provoking a reaction from the Regulars who controlled the party apparatus. Includes news stories about the opening of Ludwig Martens' Russian Soviet Government Bureau, on funding the future Lusk Committee, and a piece by John Reed on government deportation of radicals.


Update 2012-21:

May 20, 2012.  Another 15 new files, consisting for the most part of correspondence and interviews gathered by Oakley C. Johnson and his wife, Ann Rivington, in 1940 for a planned biograph of Communist Party leader C.E. Ruthenberg, who died early in 1927 at the age of 44. Included is memoir material from Israel Amter, Anna Damon (CER's 4th and final female companion), Charles Dirba, Bill Dunne, M. Golos (not to be confused with Jacob "Red" Golos), Rachel Ragozin (CER's 2nd female companion, 1920-22), Rose Ruthenberg (CER's first female companion and wife), Alfred Wagenknecht, Will Weinstone, Morris Wolf. Also includes a 1958 letter from Dutch Communist S.J. Rutgers congratulating Oakley Johnson on the publication of his book.


Update 2012-20:

May 13, 2012.  Sixteen more new files, including key selections from the correspondence between American Communist leader C.E. Ruthenberg and his girlfriend, Rachele Ragozin. Also includes a very rare leaflet of the Labor Defense Committee, a legal defense organization formed in the aftermath of the 1922 Bridgman raid which was a forerunner of the Communist Party's International Labor Defense organization.


Update 2012-19:

May 6, 2012.   A huge pile of new material, 20 files in all. Included are two anti-war declarations of the SPA, including a last ditch statement of the NEC made prior to American entry into the war and the St. Louis resolution. Documents are presented revealing for the first time the role of C.E. Ruthenberg's wife Rose as the de facto treasurer of the underground CPA. A large set of internal letters between the CPA and the UCP attempting to set terms for a December 1920 unity convention is also included here, as is oral testimony of childhood friends of C.E. Ruthenberg collected by Oakley C. Johnson circa 1940 for the biography later published by him.


Update 2012-18:

April 29, 2012.   Five new files from 1921 -- including an undercover report of a James P. Cannon meeting in Pittsburgh, communications between heads of the Military Intelligence Division and the Bureau of Investigation, a membership bulletin of the underground UCP, and a BoI background summary of the erratic spy Albert Bailin.


Update 2012-17:

April 22, 2012.  Seven more new files -- several dealing with the political situation in the Socialist Party following the Communist split of 1919, others dealing with the unity efforts of the Communist Unity Committee in the spring of 1921 to forge unity between the rival Communist Party of America and United Communist Party. Also includes 1921 constitution of the Federated Press League, a membership organization established as the fundraising apparatus for the left wing news service of the same name.


Update 2012-16:

April 15, 2012.  Another dozen new files -- the bulk deals with the fluid state within the Socialist Party in the September 1919 aftermath of the party split. Also included is a piece on the forthcoming Great Steel Strike of 1919, another on a change of federal prison wardens related to the scandalous treatment of Washington state radical Hulet Wells, and several pieces on the 1921 party unification efforts of the Communist Unity Committee of America.


Update 2012-15:

April 8, 2012.  Seven more files -- two of which conclude the serialized exposť on Post Office spying which appeared in the pages of the New York Call. Other pieces deal with the primary election battle between Socialist Party Regulars and a Left Wing slate in the Sept. 2, 1919 party primary and the machinations of the Regulars in the Socialist Party of Missouri. Two pieces from 1934 by Haim Kantorovich and an official announcement of the Dec. 1934 formation of the WPUS conclude the material.

Update 2012-14:

April 1, 2012.  Five new files -- three of which continue the serialized exposť on Post Office Department spying in the American radical and liberal movement which appeared in the pages of the New York Call. Also included is a Feb. 1, 1921 internal bulletin of the United Communist Party and a factional document by a pro-internal democracy organized faction inside the rival Communist Party of America.
 

Update 2012-13:

March 25, 2012.  Eight additional files, concentrating mostly upon a serialized exposť on Post Office Department Espionage which appeared in the pages of the New York Call in the middle of August 1919 (providing context for the Peterson-Nuorteva-Fraina Affair of 1920). Also includes a piece on the Lithuanian-American Communist Party opposition of 1931 and a short explanation by British Communist J.T. Murphy on why he left the CPGB.


Update 2012-12:

March 18, 2012.  Nine more documents, featuring a spread of news reports documenting dissent in various Communist Party language federations over the systematic 1931 campaign to liquidate their semi-autonomous publications and sundry assets to pave the way for integration into the International Workers Order. Also constitutions for the Federated Press League, YWL, and an autobiography of former Christian Socialist-turned-Communist Oppositionist Jacob O. Bentall.


Update 2012-11:

March 11, 2012.  Nine more documents, including the Debs v. Untermann debate on the Socialist Party's platform on Asian immigration, Frederic Heath on the history of the labor movement in Milwaukee, several pieces of Debsiana -- including 1911 articles on the danger of opportunism and the McNamara Bomb Case -- and text of a rare dissident IWW leaflet from 1925.


Update 2012-10:

March 4, 2012.  Six additional files, mainly dealing with the 1921 effort to unite the American Communist movement, but also including a history of the Socialist Party newspaper in Buffalo, New York and Gene Debs' rather surprising take on the pivotal 1922 Railway Shopmen's Strike.


Update 2012-09:

February 26, 2012.  Three files: a piece by Edward Bellamy on the writing of the utopian novel Looking Backward, a mimeographed letter detailing the factional fisticuffs between the Soviet Russia Medical Relief Committee and the upstart American Red Star League, and a piece of Debsiana from 1922.


Update 2012-08:

February 19, 2012.  Eight more files, including the first republication in nine decades of 3 published articles by Socialist leader Eugene V. Debs and 5 documents detailing the structure and early affairs of William Z. Foster's Trade Union Educational League.


Update 2012-07:

February 12, 2012.  Eleven more files, all but one of which hailing from the year 1922. Rich in Debsiana, including detail on Debs' prison release, recovery, and first activities back on the political field. Also includes material by Pat Quinlan on James Connolly, Joseph Sharts on the WPA, and Hal Ware on the Friends of Soviet Russia's practical agricultural efforts there.


Update 2012-06:


February 5, 2012.  Seven files, several of which deal with Patrick Quinlan, Irish-American IWW and Socialist Party activist who was named a delegate of the Irish Labour Party to the 2nd World Congress of the Comintern in 1920. Also an official IWW critique of the Profintern's founding congress by that organization's delegate and testimony of George R. Lunn to the NY Legislatures Judiciary Committee in January 1920.


Update 2012-05:

January 29, 2012.   Four more files, including a couple Wobbly pieces as well as two from January 1921 dealing with the proposed merger of the Communist Party of America with the United Communist Party.


Update 2012-04:

January 22, 2012.   A total of 6 files, including an excerpt from the memoirs of Haymarket martyr August Spies,  a lengthy piece from the SLP's factional war of the late 1890s, IWW pieces on Direct Action, and the 1913 Seattle "Potlatch Riot" and Fruitland, California "Hops Riot," among other fare.


Update 2012-03:

January 15, 2012.   A total of 4 files, dealing with the so-called Wheatland Hop Riot of 1913, the Lusk Committee's December 1919 raid against the Communist Party of America in Buffalo, New York, and unity negotiations between the United Communist Party and the CPA in the fall of 1920.


Update 2012-02:

January 8, 2012.   A total of 3 files, including a new edition of C.E. Ruthenberg's longest published work and a massive analysis of the internal situation in the Socialist Party in the summer of 1937 by the Trotskyist faction inside that party.


Update 2012-01:

January 1, 2012.   A total of 8 files, dealing largely with the dealings of the Lithuanian Socialist Federation. Also included are two pieces by Alexander Bilan, one of five members of the first National Executive Committee of the Communist Labor Party of America.


Update 2011-17:

December 25, 2011.  A total of 7 new files from 1918, with particular emphasis on the conviction and sentencing of Socialist Party stalwart Rose Pastor Stokes on three counts of violating the so-called Espionage Act. Also included are two pieces by Jim Oneal, and one each by Abraham Cahan and future CP leader C.E. Ruthenberg.


Update 2011-16:

December 18, 2011.  A total of 7 files, including a definitive political statement by one of the the understudied American Marxists of the 1870s and 1880s, Philip Van Patten, two acid criticisms of Gene Debs' Social Democracy of America by the DeLeon-dominated SLP, and sundry material from early 1924.


Update 2011-15:

December 11, 2011.  A total of 11 files, heavy in the Workers' Party's press coverage of the March 1923 Ruthenberg trial for alleged violation of the Michigan state Criminal Syndicalism Law. Also includes an early statement of principles of the Social Democracy of America (1897), a recap of the first year of the Trade Union Educational League, and a piece by top black Communist leader Otto Huiswoud.


Update 2011-14:

December 4, 2011.  A total of 7 files, including Jessie Hughan Wallace against militarism, Gene Debs for Socialist Sunday Schools, and a lengthy defense by a conservative Finnish Federationist of that group's ban of the pro-IWW rival weekly, Socialisti. Also includes documents on the 1923 Ruthenberg trial, the 1939 Soviet-Nazi pact, and Joseph Zack Kornfeder's testimony before the Dies Committee.


Update 2011-13:

November 27, 2011.  A total of 7 files from 1923, predominantly dealing with the trials of William Z. Foster and C.E. Ruthenberg in St. Joseph, Michigan for their participation in the "unlawful" August 1922 convention of the underground Communist Party of America in Bridgman, Michigan.


Update 2011-12:

November 20, 2011.  A total of 4 files dealing with the Socialist Party of Washington, an open letter from William Z. Foster to John Fitzpatrick of the Chicago Federation of Labor, and the deportation case of Joseph Zack Kornfeder.


Update 2011-11:

November 13, 2011.  A total of 8 files dealing with the early years of the Socialist Labor Party, origins of the Proletarian Party of America, the 1929 Lovestone split, the International Unemployment Day of March 1930, and the 1932 Socialist Party convention.


Update 2011-10:

November 6, 2011.  A total of 7 files dealing with the radical movement in the Socialist Party during the 1912/1913 interval as well as the Socialist movement in 1930.


Update 2011-09:

October 30, 2011.  A total of 12 files dealing with the internal decision-making of the Wilson administration, the Workers Party of America's call for a general strike amidst the railroad shopmen's strike of the summer of 1922, and a report by C.E. Ruthenberg on the founding convention of the Conference for Progressive Political Action.


Update 2011-08:


October 23, 2011.  A total of 11 files, including a number of glimpses at the earliest days of the Socialist Labor Party late in the 1870s and early in the 1880s, the keynote speech of Gene Debs to the founding convention of the Social Democracy of America in 1897, as well as material on the Communist Party of America and the Proletarian Party of America from the early 1920s.


Update 2011-07:


October 16, 2011.  A total of 9 files, including a piece by German-American socialist pioneer Adolf Douai,  an account of the 1900 Social Democratic Party convention that nominated Debs and Harriman of the two SDP organizations, as well as documents relating to the activities of the United Communist Party, the expulsion of Max Cohen from the CPA, and activities of the unified Communist Party of America in 1921.


Update 2011-06:


October 9, 2011.  A total of 16 files, including a participants' account of the Socialist Party's "Red Special" campaign train of 1908, published documents of the Communist Labor Party, negotiations for a unity convention between the CLP and the rival CPA, and a 1921 Bureau of Investigation internal report on the activities of British Intelligence in America.

Update 2011-05:

October 2, 2011.  A total of 10 files, including a 1906 Hillquit speech, a 1911 public speech before black Ohio citizens on the race question, leaflets of the CPA and UCP on the 1920 election, and various documents by the UCP and the Bureau of Investigation from 1920 .


Update 2011-04:


September 25, 2011.  A total of 21 files, dealing with the Left/Right factional struggle in the Socialist Party of Washington, aspects of the Socialist Party in the year 1911, and confidential membership bulletins and sundry other documents of the United Communist Party. Also included are leaflets of the anti-radical American Defense Society and the speeches of Otto Huiswoud and Claude McKay to the 4th World Congress of the Communist International in 1922.

Update 2011-03:

September 18, 2011.  A total of 22 files, dealing with the early history of the Socialist Party of Washington, matters relating to the Left Wing Section of the Socialist Party in 1919, machinations of the Justice and Labor Departments during the 1919-20 deportation debates, documents of the early Communist Party of America and Communist Labor Party of America, the April 1920 Ruthenberg split of the CPA, the 1920 Socialist Party Convention, as well as the 2nd Convention of the old Communist Party of America.


Update 2011-02:


September 11, 2011.  A total of 22 files, dealing with the last years of the Social Democratic Party of America, the Socialist Party split, sundry critiques of the Communist Party of America, and detail on J. Edgar Hoover's November 7, 1919 operation against the Union of Russian Workers, and the 5th Enlarged Plenum of ECCI on the American Question of 1925.

Update 2011-01:

September 4, 2011.  A total of 14 files, relating to the Finnish Socialist Federation, the Zimmerwald Left, the YPSL, the SPA during World War I, the IWW, Justice Department surveillance of radicals and repression in the so-called "Palmer Raids" of 1920, as well as the founding conventions of the CPA and CLP.