Update 13-26: Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013.
"13,000 Cheer Hillquit in Mail Ban Protest: Socialists Overflow Madison Square Garden at Big Meeting: Hisses for Burleson and Mayor Mitchel." (NY Tribune) [event of Oct. 14, 1917] In response to Postmaster General Albert Burleson's move against the Socialist daily press, based in New York City, a mass protest meeting was called for the evening of October 14, 1917. The event proved a massive success, with 13,000 people packing the arena and an estimated 8,000 more lined up two abreast, snaking around for many blocks outside. Keynote speaker Morris Hillquit, Socialist candidate for mayor and the attorney who would shortly be representing the New York Call before the Post Office Department, was met by a massive ovation lasting 14 minutes, with the audience standing on chairs, stomping their feet, waving red banners, and chanting. This article from the mainstream daily New York Tribune includes extensive verbatim coverage of Hillquit's Madison Garden speech. Hillquit states that the judge, jury, and executioner at the Post Office had already predetermined the fate of the New York Call and that the forthcoming hearing on the topic was a "farce." "The so-called espionage law, whose provisions are invoked to cover the autocratic ukase of the Postmaster General, was enacted to prevent active and forcible obstruction of the conduct of the war and willful aid to the enemy," Hillquit declares: "It was never intended as an instrument for the suppression of political views on war or peace or the stifling of criticism of government policies." Following the mass meeting an estimated 3,000 protesters marched to the Union League Club and to two of the city's most posh hotels, chanting "Down with capitalists, give us free press!" The demonstrators were forcibly disbursed by soldiers, the article indicates.
"Hillquit Wins Irish Cheers in Pacifist Appeal: In Drive for Irish-American Votes He Attacks Mitchel as Militarist." (NY Tribune) [event of Oct. 25, 1917] Although his effort was ultimately undermined by the presence of Tammany Hall Democrat John Hylan in the race, Irish-Americans figured large as part of the electoral coalition sought by Socialist Party mayoral candidate Morris Hillquit in the heated 1917 New York race. Hillquit was harshly critical of the pro-war cheerleading of Fusion Republican Mayor John Mitchel as well as Hylan's effort to dodge the war issue through "vague and meaningless patriotic sentiments." Hillquit brought the largely Irish-American crowd at Terrace Hall to their feet in a thunderous ovation when he declared that Socialists "would hail a democratic revolution in Germany as we hailed the movement for a democratic revolution in Ireland." His position on the war was unflinching, with his declaration "We want peace! We are opposed to war!" being met with the chanting of "We want peace!" by the anti-British and thus anti-war ethnic Irish crowd.
"14,000 Cheer Hillquit and Early Peace: Monster Meeting Held in Madison Square Garden for Socialist." (NY Tribune) [event of Oct. 31, 1917] Enthusiastic Socialist supporters once again packed Madison Square Garden on October 31 to hear the words of anti-war mayoral candidate Morris Hillquit. "The meeting was marked by the frequency and fervor of the interrupting enthusiasm," according to the journalist from the mainstream New York Tribune, with Hillquit the recipient of a thunderous 16-minute standing ovation when he entered the building. Coercive efforts of the Department of Justice are noted, with half a dozen federal agents demonstratively walking down the aisle and standing under the platform while Hillquit supporter Dudley Field Malone was speaking. An extensive extract of Hillquit's speech is included, in which he hammered his opponents for the diversionary personal attacks of the campaign, "while the whole world is on fire, and the most stirring issues of local, national, and international import are agitating the minds of all thinking persons." Hillquit declares that the Socialists' bold debate of the war and other matters had "lifted this campaign from the mire of personal abuse to the higher level of a dignified and serious political and social contest" and "broken the unreasoning, un-American mob spirit." "No power of reaction and oppression will ever again be able to resurrect the deadly spirit in New York after this election," Hillquit naively declares.
"Sinclair Defends Socialist Papers: In Open Letter to President Denounces Barring Them from the Mails." (NY Tribune) [event of Oct. 31, 1917] While some prominent pro-war "Ex-Socialists" such as Algie Simons, John Spargo, Henry Slobodin, William English Walling, and Graham Phelps-Stokes did everything they could to defame and sabotage their former comrades, California author Upton Sinclair seems to have taken a different tact. On October 31 the pro-war novelist unveiled a public letter he had written to Woodrow Wilson protesting the administration's suppression of the left wing press. Sinclair characterizes Postmaster-General Burleson as "a person of such pitiful and childish ignorance concerning modern movements that it is simply a calamity that in this crisis he should be the person to decide what may or may not be uttered by our radical press." Sinclair singles out the "disgraceful" treatment afforded The Masses and asks Wilson "how can we advocate democracy for foreign peoples, while we suppress it among our own? What good does it do us to fight for freedom abroad if, in the meantime, we are losing it at home?" Sinclair notes that the anti-democratic actions of the administration will effectively undercut Wilson's message to the German people, degrading Wilson's "preaching of democracy" into a perceived political "snare."
"T.R., Heckled, Tells of His Sons Now Fighting in France." (NY Tribune) [event of Nov. 1, 1917] New York City's rowdy municipal politics of 1917 even touched former President and nationalist icon Theodore Roosevelt, who was heckled during a Madison Garden speech on behalf of Mayor John Mitchel, an enthusiastic supporter of the war. When interrupted and challenged by an opponent of the war as to why Roosevelt did not himself go over and fight, the ex-President noted that he had tried to go but been rejected, but had nonetheless sent four of his sons to the conflict. Roosevelt takes up his "100% Americanism" them, declaring that "there can’t be permitted any fifty-fifty loyalty" to other nations. "The man who loves another country as much as he loves this doesn’t love this at all," Roosevelt declares. "If any man says that he is a good American, but he is a good some-other-countrian also, send him back to the other country. He is out of place in this." Roosevelt intimates that Democratic candidate John F. Hylan is "even less worthy" for being motivated to less than full support of the war by hatred of Britain.
"Anthem Quiets Socialists." (NY Tribune) [event of Nov. 2, 1917] Short excerpt from an article in the pro-war New York Tribune documenting the raucous reception received by a representative of ultra-patriotic incumbent Mayor John Purroy Mitchel at a campaign meeting in a Hillquit-friendly section of Harlem. When a Mitchel surrogate mentioned the name of Socialist Hillquit as "the candidate of retreat and surrender," supporters in the crowd began to cheer loudly, preventing the speaker from continuing. The scene was repeated four or five times, causing he meeting chairman to shout, "Down with the traitors! They are not voters. They don’t know what American free speech means." Only the band striking up the national anthem brought order to the meeting, with the speaker able to continue after this brief patriotic interlude.
"Hillquit Sees Blow to Militarism in Big Socialist Vote: Defeated Candidate Asserts His Party Must Now Be Reckoned With." (NY Tribune) [statement of Nov. 6, 1917] The 1917 election was won handily by Tammany Hall Democrat John Hylan, with Socialist Morris Hillquit narrowly trailing Fusion Republican incumbent mayor John Mitchel for second place. While disappointing to Socialists that the race was not closer, the campaign nevertheless represented the strongest showing by the party in a citywide election -- with more than 145,000 voters (more than 20% of the total) giving their electoral endorsement to the anti-war Hillquit campaign. This article reproduces Hillquit's statement to the press in the aftermath of his defeat. Hillquit counts himself as "highly gratified with the results," citing a 500% gain in the number of Socialist votes cast -- a result which had "established the Socialist Party as an important and prominent factor in the politics of the city." Hillquit takes particular satisfaction with the poor showing of incumbent mayor John Purroy Mitchel, an outspoken and "fire-eating" nationalist and war supporter. "The citizens of New York have repudiated that policy in no uncertain manner," Hillquit notes.
The Proletarian, vol. 1, no. 1 [May 1918] (Graphic pdf, large file, 3.3 megs.) Best extant copy (extensive chipping with loss) of the first issue of the official organ of the Socialist Party of Michigan/Proletarian University faction headed by John Keracher. Editorial Committee: "The Policy of this Publication"; "The Political Activities of the British Labor Movement"; "The Month's Events Reviewed"; "Working Class Education"; "Should Socialist Women Fight for Suffrage?"; "The Nationalist Party -- A New Factor in American Politics"; "Scientific Socialism -- The Theoretical Expression of the Proletarian Movement"; "The Political War in Wisconsin."
"Boycott the Elections! Proclamation of the Communist Party of America, Local Greater New York." [c. Oct. 1919] (Graphic pdf, small file) One of the first leaflets issued by the Communist Party of America following its formation in the summer of 1919, this by its "Local Greater New York" organization. The Left Wing Section of the Socialist Party had become the Communist Party of America in August, the leaflet states, but many of its members had already entered the primary elections against Socialist Party Regulars, some winning. Resignation was impossible after the primary date; thus, some Communists would be appearing on the New York ballot under the Socialist Party's arm-and-torch logo. These candidates "DO NOT WANT YOUR VOTES!" the leaflet proclaims. Instead, the CPA calls for a boycott of the elections by the working class. Participation in the "blind alley of capitalist elections" would be merely a diversion of the revolutionary energy of the proletariat, the leaflet asserts. "Workers, the United States seems to be on the verge of a revolutionary crisis," according to the leaflet. The CPA's task is said to be the unification of mass strikes of the workers and developing them into "political strikes," thereby challenging the "very power of the capitalist state itself," the leaflet explains. A short ad at the bottom announces that the official organ of Local Greater New York, CPA, "The Communist World," is available "at all newsstands" weekly (sic.) for a nickel.
The Proletarian, vol. 2, no. 9/10 [Jan.-Feb. 1920] (Graphic pdf, large file, 2.5 megs.) Full issue of the official magazine of the Socialist Party of Michigan/Proletarian University faction headed by John Keracher. This issue contains: Cover art by Breit [V.M. Breitmayer]; "Spartacan Sparks"; Dennis E. Batt: "A Year Gone By"; "Czarism in America" [Palmer Raids]; "The Collapse" [Coal Strike]; "John O'Groats" [Keracher?]: "Syndicalist Flaws"; "Freak Strikes and Unions"; "Notice" [On CPA severing connection with Proletarian University and Clubs]; Murray Murphy: "Sidelights on Historical Materialism"; John Keracher: "International Notes" (Russia, Germany, England, Japan); Frederick Engels: "A Retrospect"; "The Socialist Forum."
The Proletarian, vol. 3, no. 1 [October 1920] (Graphic pdf, large file, 2.4 megs.) Full issue of the official magazine of the Proletarian Party of America. This issue contains: Cover art by Breit [V.M. Breitmayer]; "The Editor's Corner" (Medical Relief for Soviet Russia, Where Iron Is, There is the Fatherland); John Keracher: "American Political Parties"; Murray Murphy: "A Note on Unity"; "Lenin to Pankhurst"; "Soviet Russia"; A.J. MacGregor: "Those Opportunistic Bolsheviks"; "Announcement!" (forthcoming content); John Keracher: "International Notes" (Great Britain, Turkey, Italy); "Casting Shadows Before"; "The Marxian Law of Value" (Pt. 1); "Manifesto and Program" (adopted at the organization convention of the Proletarian Party of America, June 27-28, 1920).
The Proletarian, vol. 3, no. 2 [November 1920] (Graphic pdf, large file, 2.4 megs.) Full issue of the official magazine of the Proletarian Party of America. This issue contains: Cover art by Breit [V.M. Breitmayer]; "The Editor's Corner" (C.M O'Brien arrest, Yugoslavia); Dennis E. Batt: "In Triumph Still Waves" (Soviet Russia); Franc Conner: "The Return to Supernaturalism"; "Lenin's Letter to the Austrian Communists"; A.J. MacGregor: "The Return to Normal"; Ern Reen: "Lenin vs. Kautsky" (Pt. 1); (Book Review) "The Great Steel Strike, by William Z. Foster"; John Keracher: "International Notes" (Italy, Poland, Ireland, India); "The Marxian Law of Value" (Pt. 2); Frederick Engels: "A Retrospect" (Pt. 2).
The Proletarian, vol. 3, no. 3 [December 1920] (Graphic pdf, large file, 2.2 megs.) Full issue of the official magazine of the Proletarian Party of America. This issue contains: Cover art by Breit [V.M. Breitmayer]; "The Editor's Corner" (White terror in Hungary); John Keracher: "Oil is King"; A.J. MacGregor: "The Political Horizon"; J. Kiishila: "Berger on Socialism"; Murray Murphy: "Bertrand Russell on Bolshevik Theory"; (Book Review) "The Labor Revolt in India, by Basanta Koomar Roy"; John Keracher: "International Notes" (Russia, France, Egypt, Great Britain, Germany); "Our Pilgrim Fathers"; "Soviet Medical Relief"; A.C.: "Class Nature of Politics"; "The Marxian Law of Value" (Pt. 3); "Karl Marx Tried and Acquitted for Inciting People to Armed Resistance"; "Books Received"; Ern Reen: "Lenin vs. Kautsky" (Pt. 2); Slater: "Veblenism and Marxism" (Thorstein Veblen).