Update 13-16: Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013.

"The Child of My Soul," by J.A. Wayland [Jan. 9, 1904]  Julius Wayland, publisher of the Appeal to Reason, recalls the launch of his first paper in 1893, The Coming Nation, and celebrates the weekly's return to his control. Initiated with a circulation target of 10,000, Wayland reveals than in little more than a year the paper's circulation had grown to 65,000, generating sufficient cash for the launch of a socialist cooperative community in Ruskin, Tennessee. Soon after moving his paper to Ruskin in July 1894, Wayland grew disaffected with his project, leaving the paper behind in July 1895. Wayland had moved to Kansas City to start a new paper, the Appeal to Reason, while his former publication had suffered a series of editors and a decline in fortunes, ending in its death in Georgia. The paper had been purchased by Fred Warren and another former employee of the Appeal and been resurrected editorially, if not financially, in Missouri. Now it was returning to Girard, filling founder Wayland with "a delight and relief that I have not felt for years." The Coming Nation was merged with the Appeal as a back page title at this time.

"The Socialist Lecture Van in America," by G.H. Lockwood [Feb. 13, 1904]  Touring agitator Guy H. Lockwood provides a short history of the use of custom "Socialist Lecture Vans" in the United States. According to Lockwood, the idea was launched in the US by Cleveland doctor C.W. Wooldridge, who had a wagon constructed in the winter of 1896 which would allow mobile socialist speech making. A small ad in Julius Wayland's weekly The Coming Nation put him in touch with Lockwood, who had been living in rural California. Wooldridge's wife feel ill and he was forced to abandon the project, but Lockwood carried on, traveling to Ruskin Colony in Tennessee before heading out in the spring for Chicago, where he attended the inaugural convention of the Social Democratic Party of America. Soon after he married, and he and his wife traveled the southern Appalachian states and the Midwest region for the next four years, eking out an existence selling books and pamphlets while camping in the wagon. Lockwood had gone on to become State Secretary of the Socialist Party of Minnesota, which he persuaded to replicate the van project. In this article, Lockwood is attempting to hype sales of Appeal to Reason subscription cards in a contest for a propaganda wagon produced by Appeal publisher Wayland.

Night Riders in Gallup, by Louis Coleman [May 1935]  Large file. Graphic pdf of a pamphlet published by International Labor Defense (ILD), issued following the May 2, 1935 kidnapping of high CPUSA functionary Robert Minor and ILD lawyer David Levinson in Gallup, New Mexico. Chapter one relates the story of the kidnapping, in which black-hooded vigilantes took Minor and Levinson at gunpoint from an automobile. The pair were beaten and threatened with murder. Chapters 2 and 3 tell the backstory, beginning with an August 1933 strike of coal miners against the Gallup-American Coal Company. Blacklistings and evictions of strike leaders ensued, which resulted in a gun battle in which two strikers were killed and two sheriff's deputies were wounded. A mass arrest of 200 followed, bringing the ILD into the case, the outline of which appears as chapters 4 and 5. Basic scan by Marty Goodman, Riazanov Digital Archive Project.

"Building the Social Democratic Party," by Emil Seidel [1944]  Short excerpt from a previously unpublished memoir by the first Socialist Mayor of Milwaukee, Emil Seidel. Seidel tells the tale of his membership in Branch 1 of the Social Democratic Party of America, where the Pennsylvania-born but culturally German Seidel came into contact with socialists of "purely native stock" such as Frederic Heath for the first time. The SDP grew in Milwaukee and expanded its branch structure to parallel the city's electoral wards; Seidel consequently moved from Branch 1 to the 20th Ward Branch. He relates the story of bringing in the silver-tongued orator F.G.R. Gordon as a stump speaker. Gordon is remembered as a great influence in Seidel's own development into one of Milwaukee socialism's most effective stump speakers, despite Gordon's later being discredited for falsifying statistics. An anecdote about the 1900 Debs campaign is related.


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