December 14, 2011

Too many words and not enough money…

Filed under: Uncategorized — carrite @ 10:01 am

Wednesday morning.

I spent more time than I’d like at Articles for Deletion this morning. Inspired by Wikimedia Foundation chief Sue Gardner, I’ve been trying to pick up the signs on who is a serious newcomer whose work is swept up in the AfD vortex and to help walk them through the process. The number of long-term editors at Wikipedia is in serious decline, and research seems to indicate that the Newbies are getting turned off by the highly-automated and impersonal deletion process.

It sounds like a simple thing to get around by writing a quick note, but in actuality it’s more like writing a 1,000 word essay every day. I did one yesterday and was able to harvest some content from that. Tomorrow I’ll have two old essays to mine, and so forth, so it should get easier over time. But it’s still a real time commitment.

My theory: the serious new content contributors can be spotted by the way that they try to footnote.

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I was up until 2 am last night looking at press photos for sale on ebay. One of the little-known consequences of the much-heralded “death of newspapers” is that a few very serious photo “morgues” have been sold to the market, and there are dealers breaking up this material piece-by-piece. I’m sure they’re getting rich at it, and good for them. There’s material going on the market now hailing from papers in Baltimore, Detroit, and Chicago. LOTS of material, I’m talking tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of images.

The prices range from about $10 to about $30 a shot for most images. The nice price is about $15 and rare images of some of the more popular figures — like Leon Trotsky, for instance — will bring $50 or $60.

Anyway, instead of running my usual search for COMMUNIS* or SOCIALIS*, I figured out last night that I could select my favorite photo dealer and search their inventory by date. I found a couple amazing things that I wouldn’t have otherwise: Chicago Federation of Labor leader John Fitzpatrick in 1919, when he was heading the Great Steel Strike, one of the American Legionaires that was wounded in the infamous 1919 Centralia Massacre of members of the IWW, a shot of Elizabeth Gurley Flynn in 1915, when she was a young organizer for the IWW… I also grabbed a picture of CPUSA leader Gus Hall from 1937, when he was a young CIO organizer.

Truly amazing shit.

I spent the limit and went to sleep.

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We’re having a new refrigerator delivered today. It’s really disrupting my ability to get serious about getting to work on the Ellen Dawson bio. It’s time to do that, regardless…


December 13, 2011


Filed under: Uncategorized — carrite @ 4:55 pm

Tuesday afternoon.

Well, I’m happy with how the Philip Van Patten turned out. Damned happy, actually. I found one itsy-bitsy little trivia bit in an obscure paperback on the history of the Socialist Labor Party mentioning that he wound up in Hot Springs, Arkansas, and that proved to be the clue that enabled me to find his “dates,” which had been eluding discovery.

Born Simon Philip Van Patten, Feb. 22, 1852 in Georgetown, Washington, DC. Died Sept. 21, 1918 in Hot Springs, Arkansas, where he had become a prominent architect.

There you have it.

I’m getting my brain ready to move on to Ellen Dawson now, I was just thumbing through the biography of her, which will be my primary source.  It looks like I’ve got a few books on Scottish radicalism that will come into play as well, as well as a monograph on the Gastonia Textile Strike of 1928. There’s another book or two on Gastonia that I need to track down, and I need to find the autobiography of Fred Beal in my books downtown (I’ve got about half my library in the basement of the shoe store due to space considerations).

This one will be my 138th new start on WP. I’m not going to get going until tomorrow morning though.

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Next on my dancecard, time to go spin some film. I want to get a couple pieces from the SLP press of 1890 — which is an altogether different beast than the SLP of the 1870s. I’ve got an account of the establishment of the fledgling Social Democracy of America cued up. If I bump into an obituary of Paul Grottkau, that’s a bonus, but I am not expecting to find one.


Back to the early SLP…

Filed under: Uncategorized — carrite @ 8:50 am

Tuesday morning.

Up at 8:00 am, a nice pretty, blue day — but cold as crap. Coffee, Wheaties, and a newspaper, yadda yadda yadda…

Well, short week this week, only three days to work before I’m back to the coal mine, and one of  them is already shot. I should be happy enough with yesterday’s output, I did want to put a definitive piece written by Philip Van Patten into the world after all, and the December 1879 NEC report that I typed up ran to damned near 6000 words, which is full day’s work for me. So that’s a big check mark off my “To Do” list.

I also scanned up and digitally edited the rare 1923 leaflet by Morris Hillquit that I got in the mail a couple days ago and posted that up to, which is another thing I wanted to accomplish.

But the bio on Van Patten himself hardly went anywhere. I played around with it a little and then moved along to other preoccupations of the day. So today I need to make some serious headway on that, with a view to finishing the thing up.

I’m not going to get into the Ellen Dawson piece at all today, if I have any extra time I will try to improve the already standing WP piece on the Lehr und Wehr Verein (Educational and Defense Society), the radical workers’ militia groups centered in Chicago. It’s very hard to do proper research on this institution without knowing German or having access to the Vorbote or the Arbeiter Zeitung, the two Chicago newspapers edited by Paul Grottkau and others that were supportive of the movement, but I can certainly take things from fair to good with an hour or two of work.

I did also find something cool when I was uploading stuff to yesterday, scans of a 10 volume set edited by John R. Commons and others entitled A Documentary History of American Industrial Society. I’d never even seen that listed in footnotes before. The introductory essays are good and while the content skews early, mostly the first half of the 1800s, it seems, volumes 9 and 10 do touch upon the National Labor Union and the Greenback movement, which is origins of my period of interest. I was pleased to find those and am sure they will come in handy as I continue to come to grips with the origins of the Marxist movement in America during the 1870s.

Now off to AfD and then to work…


December 12, 2011

Van Patten continued

Filed under: Uncategorized — carrite @ 4:37 pm

Monday afternoon.

Not the sort of intense writing that makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something today, but some progress on the Van Patten bio. More importantly, I’ve found what I’ve been seeking in terms of a lengthy piece by him that provides a glimpse at his ideas — a report of the NEC delivered to the Dec. 1879 Convention of the SLP. It’s fairly huge and I’ve spent quite a while typing already, with more to do.

There’s no way I’m going to get done with his bio today, so I’m gonna slide the Trotsky Bibliography project off the agenda for this week. Hopefully I will get Van Patten and Dawson both done this week.

A nice clear day, albeit with a cold breeze. I sat on the deck bundled up in my coat and typed while puffing a Cubao #2 (torpedo). My first Don Pepin Garcia cigar — obviously well crafted but a little too “subtle” (not to say “weak”) for my taste. It finally got interesting starting the last third.

A fairly huge mail haul today, so a list follows.

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Photographs Received:

* 1921 superpro press glossy of VP Calvin Coolidge and Warren G. Harding. Looks like a very official shot. Nice.

* 1930 press glossy of Young Pioneers at a summer camp in Farmington, MI giving the Pioneer salute (see the Ruthenberg graphic at the top of my header for that…) A little pencil marking to the image, but it should airbrush out okay. Another keeper.

* 1953 publicity glossy of anti-Communist writer Eugene Lyons. Not a very nice piece. I’ll probably donate it to University of Oregon after I make a scan, they’ve got the Lyons papers down there.

Books Received:

* Ernest Untermann, “The Militia Bill,” as Wayland’s Monthly No. 39. Girard, KS: Appeal to Reason, July 1903. Not listed in WorldCat.

* Fred D. Warren, “The Alton Steal: How It Was Made Possible by the Man Whose Policies the Republican Party Endorses,” as Wayland’s Monthly No. 98. Girard, KS: Appeal to Reason, June 1908. WorldCat lists 1 copy only, Lincoln Presidential Library in Illinois.

* A.W. Ricker, Socialism In Action: What Socialists Want. What Socialists are Accomplishing Where in Power. How Socialists Propose to Get Possession. St. Louis, MO: National Rip-Saw Publishing Co., May 1912. Edition of 10,000. WorldCat shows 6.

* Karl F.M. Sandberg, The New Rebellion. Chicago: Karl Sandberg, n.d. [1913]. With inserts. WorldCat shows 9 copies.

* Morris Hillquit, The Story of the British Labor Party. Chicago: Socialist Party, n.d. [1929]. Leaflet. WorldCat lists 1 copy only, at the Institute of Social History, Amsterdam. They date it as 1924, my copy has a rubber stamp dated 1929.

* Communist League of Struggle, The Struggle for Communism: The Position of the Internationalist-Communists of the United States. New York: Communist League of Struggle (Internationalist-Communist), Jan. 1935. Ultra rare 8.5 x 11 mimeographed document, printed cover. WorldCat shows 5 copies, 3 of which in the USA.

* Jessie Wallace Hughan, New Leagues for Old: Blueprints or Foundations? New York: Plowshares Press, n.d. [1945]. Her last pamphlet.

* Charles Jackson [pseudonym?], A Practical Program to Kill Jim Crow. Second, Enlarged Edition. New York: Pioneer Publishers, Dec. 1945. With insert.

New week, new topics…

Filed under: Uncategorized — carrite @ 9:47 am

Monday morning.

Socialist Labor Party Executive Secretary Philip Van Patten, c. 1880.

Out of bed at 8:45, showered, made coffee, crunched Wheaties, glanced at the Oregonian. I actually remembered to do the garbage today, who says I can’t learn? I’m chomping at the bit to really get after it this week.

On Saturday evening I made my 137th start, Philip Van Patten, best known as the head of the Socialist Labor Party, the dominant socialist organization in the United States, from 1876 until he abruptly quit in 1883. I don’t know either birth or death dates for Van Patten, which makes this a rather unusual bio to be writing. Closely related to this fact, I’m not aware of a single biography having been done on him anywhere in any form. So this one is going to be plowing a new field to some extent.

There are no shortage of sources on him, mind you. He was a fairly enormous figure in radical history for his little 7-1/2 year interval and it is nearly impossible to write about the history of Socialism in America in these years without mentioning him.

The “book” on Van Patten — not that there are books on Van Patten — is that he was a “Lassallean” rather than a Marxist. That is, it is intimated that he believed in the use of elections as a vehicle for the achievement of socialism alone, believing the trade union movement to be essentially irrelevant in the long run due to the inherent nature of capitalism to pay only wages sufficient for a worker’s survival and reproduction. Short term wage victories by unions were illusory, the Lassalleans thought, ultimately the competitive system would batter down and eliminate whatever transitory wage  gains had been won.

The Marxists, on the other hand, were the trade union people — willing to delay participation in elections in favor of building a united working class movement through the trade unions. Only when the working class movement had achieved sufficient size to exert itself electorally without being laughed off the stage would participation in political campaigns be desirable, the Marxists felt.

I’ve already got material showing belying this stereotype of Van Patten as a “Lassallean.” It is fully documented that he was one of the two or three primary leaders of the Chicago railroad strike movement of 1877 — events which lead to the killing of something like 18 strikers by the state militia and in the dispersal of two “mass meetings” of the Socialist Labor Party (attended by thousands) by truncheon-wielding Chicago cops.

Not so Lassallean, eh?

The real story is that Van Patten was opposed to the Lehr und Wehr Verein. These were armed workers militia units that trained and paraded with rifles in hand, pledged to defend the working class from similar violence by the capitalist class and their lackeys in government that wielded the guns of the National Guard against strikers. Van Patten was committed to elections rather than armed insurrection, making him a Democrat rather than a Revolutionary. The Anarchists, consequently, hated his guts. As did, it seems, our friend from last week, Paul Grottkau, who made nice with the Anarchists in an attempt to cleanse the SLP of Van Patten and his pals.

In the end, the SLP essentially melted down in 1883, its ranks falling to fewer than 1500 members, and Van Patten gave up the ship. He packed up his library, hinted that he was thinking about suicide, may well have even left a suicide note — and he moved to another city (Washington, DC???) where he became a government functionary.

And radicals have been pissing on his grave ever since.

Other projects for the week: a compilation of the second batch of 22 pdf files from the FBI’s Morris Childs/Operation SOLO archive dump into a massive file uploaded to, expansion of the bio of Ellen Dawson, a start on the Leon Trotsky Bibliography thing… I’ve got my film reader cued up with a piece by DeLeon’s SLP on the establishment of the Debs Social Democratic Party (1898), and want to go treasure hunting for another piece or two by Van Patten.

Busy week, time to get to work…

December 11, 2011

EAM New Files (11-15)

Filed under: Uncategorized — carrite @ 12:03 pm

Early American Marxism website — New Files

Update 11-15: Sunday, December 11, 2011.

Here are 11 more new files posted this week to the Early American Marxism website.
All files are freely accessible and may be used non-commercially by any interested individual.
For links to all of these files, visit
Thanks for your interest,
Tim Davenport
Early American Marxism website
Corvallis, OR

  NEW PUBLICATIONS 11-15 * DEC. 11, 2011.

(1) “Statement of Purpose of the Social Democracy of America.” [December 1897]  
Early advertisement of the Social Democracy of America, a pioneer American socialist organization chaired by Eugene Debs which continued forward the work of the American Railroad Union. The group declares for itself a mission to “conquer capitalism by making use of our political liberty and by taking possession of the public power, so that we may put an end to the present barbarous struggle, by the abolition of capitalism, the restoration of the land, and of all the means of production, transportation, and distribution, to the people as a collective body, and by the substitution of the co-operative commonwealth for the present state of planless production, industrial war, and social disorder… For such purpose one of the States of the Union, to be hereafter determined, shall be selected for the concentration of our supporters and the introduction of co-operative industry, and then gradually extending the sphere of our operations until the National Co-operative Commonwealth shall be established.”

(2) “Socialist Held on $20,000 Bail Under Spy Act: State Secretary of Washington Jailed After Giving Evidence in Case.” (NY Call) [event of April 30, 1918]  
This article in the New York Call details the arrest of Emil Herman, State Secretary of the Socialist Party of Washington, for alleged violation of the Espionage Act committed on April 1, 1918. A raid on the office of the SPW had resulted in the confiscation of about 700 pieces of literature, as well as 7 cases full of correspondence files, receipt books, and other party records. Herman was jailed on the eve of May Day, pending payment of a $20,000 bond. “No inkling was given of what the authorities intend to rely on; nor does the defendant know,” the news story in The Call remarks.

(3) “Party Officials to Confer on New Program: Socialist Referendum on Current Issues Would Be Dangerous Now, Says Committee.” (NY Call) [May 10, 1918]  
With arrests of Socialists under the terms of the so-called Espionage Act being made nationwide by law enforcement authorities, spurred on by the Wilson Administration, party leaders decided that discretion was the better part of valor and opined that it was “impossible to have a free and frank discussion of the problems involved” in a proposed referendum on the party’s war policy put forward by Local Cook County, Illinois. All referendums on the question of the war were consequently being ruled out, in favor of the annual joint conference of the State Secretaries, the NEC, and other national officials that was specified in the new party convention. The NEC attempts to set aside internal debate in favor of what it perceived as a decisive election campaign in the fall of 1918 in its statement to the party membership reproduced here.

(4) “Bolshevism Revealed.” (leaflet of the Anti-Sabotage League) [February 22, 1919 ]  (graphic pdf, 1.9 megs) 
Four page leaflet first published February 22, 1919 by the Boston News Bureau. Reprinted by the Anti-Sabotage League of Rochester, NY. This short propaganda leaflet deals with the so-called “nationalization of women” practiced by the newly established Soviet regime of Soviet Russia in the city of Vladimir, which is (comically) asserted to have decreed that “Any girl having reached her eighteenth year and not having married is obliged, subject to the most severe penalty, to register at the Bureau of Free Love of the Commissariat of Surveillance. Having registered at the Bureau of Free Love, she has the right to choose from among the men between the ages of 19 and 50 a cohabitant husband….” Also included is text of a decree on the nationalization of women purportedly passed by the Soviet of the city of Saratov. Very rare item by an early anti-Communist organization, only two copies showing in OCLC WorldCat as of December 2011. Parallel file uploaded to

(5) “A Year of the League,” by Charles Krumbein [Feb. 1923]  
Recap of the events of the first year of existence of William Z. Foster’s Trade Union Educational League by one of his co-thinkers. Krumbein sets readers straight about the actual birth date of the organization, noting that “Although the Trade Union Educational League was organized in November 1920, it is really only a year old, because previous to the launching of The Labor Herald in March 1922, it consisted of little more than a few scattered groups throughout the country.” Krumbein sees real progress for TUEL in its advocacy of a Labor Party, affiliation with the Red International of Labor Unions (Profintern), and in advancing the slogan of Amalgamation as a mechanism to achieve industrial unionism. Krumbein notes the integration of the radical movement into the existing union structure had been instrumental in helping cure the “infantile sickness of dual unionism.” Krumbein notes the coordinated efforts of Samuel Gompers and his “lackeys” to attempt to “discredit the League in the eyes of the rank and file by painting it red and denouncing it as a Russian conspiracy against the labor movement.” Circulation of The Labor Herald needs to be quadrupled to 50,000 copies per month, Krumbein opines.

(6) “Ruthenberg Opens Testimony in His Defense,” by Jay Lovestone [Morning, April 26, 1923] 
Report of preliminaries of the Ruthenberg trial for alleged violation of the Michigan Criminal Syndicalism law by the Communist Party leader’s right hand man, Jay Lovestone. This account of Ruthenberg’s testimony provides extensive detail about the Communist leaders educational, political, an employment history — his having attended a Lutheran parochial school and business college, having started his work career sanding picture moldings in a frame factory before moving to clerical tasks, and having come to Socialism in 1907 before joining the Socialist Party of America in 1909.

(7) “Ruthenberg Permitted to State Teachings of Communist Party,” by Jay Lovestone [Afternoon, April 26, 1923]  
Lovestone documents extensive maneuvering between the prosecution and the defense to limit Ruthenberg’s testimony as to the overriding principles of the Communist Party of America — a shift in strategy from that followed in the just concluded trial of William Z. Foster, which resulted in a hung jury. Lovestone indicates that the prosecution spent 45 minutes attempting to rule all such testimony out of bounds, which lead defense attorney Frank P. Walsh successfully countered by arguing that such testimony went to the heart of the intent of Ruthenberg’s participation at the ill-fated August 1922 gathering in Bridgman, Michigan. Lovestone quotes Ruthenberg as testifying that “the Communist Party does not advocate and teach the use of force,” but rather it would be the capitalist class that would ultimately resort to force in an effort to maintain their privileged position.

(8) “The Ruthenberg Trial,” by Caleb Harrison [Morning, April 27, 1923]  
Press release of the Workers Party’s Caleb Harrison detailing the morning of the second day of defense testimony in the Michigan trial of C.E. Ruthenberg. Harrison notes that the session was dominated by legal wrangling between prosecution and defense over the admissibility of a party document supported by Ruthenberg calling for the elimination of the underground party in favor of an open organization. The matter had been deferred on a technicality and Ruthenberg was temporarily removed from the stand in favor of 25 year old Jay Lovestone, who noted that since June 1921 he had been an employee of the Communist Party in a variety of capacities up to and including that of Executive Secretary. The proficiency of chief defense counsel Frank P. Walsh is remarked upon by Harrison, who notes that “when it comes to a struggle over law points, practically every big legal question in the case [had] been ruled in favor of the defense.”

(9) “The Ruthenberg Trial,” by Caleb Harrison [Afternoon, April 27, 1923]  
A Workers Party view of the afternoon session of the second day of defense testimony in the Criminal Syndicalism trial of party leader C.E. Ruthenberg for participation in the August 1922 Bridgman Convention of the CPA. Reports from the convention read into evidence “gave the listeners the impression of widespread activities by the Communist Party in every field of working class organization; but nowhere was there a suggestion that the Communist Party had carried on activities violating the Criminal Syndicalist Law of the state of Michigan or any other state,” Harrison notes. The defense had repeatedly explained to the jury that “the Communist Party was not an underground, illegal organization because it was engaged in illegal work, but because raids and persecutions directed against it had obliged it to exist in an illegalized state in order to carry on its work,” Harrison says.

(10) “C.E.R.’s Trial,” by Caleb Harrison [Morning, April 30, 1923] 
Continued coverage of the Ruthenberg trial, entering the third day of presentation of the defense. Harrison notes the manner in which the prosecution pumped witness Jay Lovestone for information during their cross-examination of him, attempting to learn the relationship between the Communist Party and the Federated Press and to prove that the American Communist Party’s move to the legal Workers Party of America organization was a policy conceived by and directed by Moscow. Lovestone insisted under oath that “the call for the convention for the organization of the Workers Party had been issued long before any instructions had been received, and that the advice received from the Communist International had merely confirmed action already taken by the Central Executive Committee of the Party,” Harrison reports.

(11) “The Negro Problem is Important,” by Otto E. Huiswoud [April 30, 1923]  
Short piece by top black Communist Otto Huiswoud directed to a sympathetic party audience and distributed through the Workers Party of America News Service. Huiswoud notes that the one-tenth of the American population of African ethnic extraction are the “most ruthlessly exploited of any working class group.” Huiswoud’s analysis is simple and clear: “Disappointed and disillusioned by the constant failures of the political reformers to secure any redress of their wrongs, many Negroes are turning to radical movements and are acting as a haven for the masses. They are at present race-conscious. It is the duty of the revolutionists to turn this race-consciousness into class-consciousness.” This conversion is particularly critical for Caucasian revolutionaries, Huiswoud indicates, since “just as they are used by the ruling class today as strikebreakers, so will they be used in the future to crush any revolutionary attempt on the part of the white workers.”


* Paul Grottkau (1846-1898) German-American radical activist:
* Ida Crouch-Hazlett (c. 1870-1941) American Socialist Party organizer:
* Ruth Shipley (1885-1966) US State Department passport official:


Discussion uber das Thema: “Anarchismus oder Communismus?” (Debate on the Topic: Anarchy or Communism?)
A debate between Paul Grottkau and Johann Most, Chicago, May 24, 1884. (in German):

December 10, 2011

Books are great.

Filed under: Uncategorized — carrite @ 7:02 pm

Saturday evening.

I survived another day of work. We kicked butt today, sold lots of stuff — which is what we’re trying to do.

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Got some stuff in the mail from the UK today, one of the big radical booksellers in London. The thing by Eleanor Marx and her asshole husband is a first edition. Swan Sonnenschein was pretty much the first real Marxist publisher in the UK. They put out 20 or 25 volumes in a uniform binding in the 1890s, scarce as hen’s teeth but not highly collected, so the prices remain modest.

The Malone is a big bucks pamphlet, a very rare early CPGB title. Malone did prison time for a speech — on the floor of parliament, I think — in which he minimized the problem of “a few Churchills” hanging by the neck from telegraph poles in a revolution, which was regarded as seditious in “democratic” Britain. Off the top of my head, he sat for six months…

“You have the right / to free speech / as long as you’re not dumb enough to actually try it,” Joe Strummer sang…

OCLC lists three copies of the Malone: one at the University of Alberta, another at the British Library in Wetherby, West Yorkshire, and a third at the International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam — which is where the 2nd International’s archive is housed. That makes mine the only copy in the USA by my count. I’ll try to scan it up and release it to the public domain this week.

Books Received:

* The Communist International “No. 1” — Has a CPGB address inside front cover, which makes this a 1921 or so reprint edition of 1919 stuff.

* C.J.L. Malone, “What Are a Few Churchills—?”: C.J. L. Malone, MP’s Defence of His Famous Albert Hall Speech. London: Communist Party of Great Britain, Jan. 1921.

* Ernest Belfort Bax, The Religion of Socialism, Being Essays in Modern Socialist Criticism. Third Edition. London: Swan Sonnenschein & Co., 1891.

* W.H. Dawson, German Socialism and Ferdinand Lassalle. London: Swan Sonnenschein & Co., 1891.

* Edward and Eleanor Marx Aveling, The Working-Class Movement in America. London: Swan Sonnenschein & Co., 1891.

More than you need to know about Voice of Labor…

Filed under: Uncategorized — carrite @ 8:45 am

Saturday morning.

Content of an email sent by me to our little circle relating to a discussion of the relationship, if any, of two different runs of a publication called Voice of Labor.

Very interesting, David.

Cover of Voice of Labor, December 16, 1921

Cover of Voice of Labor, issue of December 16, 1921

I’ve gotta go mine coal today, so I’ll go grab the only-somewhat-reliable Goldwater…
Goldwater lists:
285. Voice of Labor, New York. v. 1, no. 1 to v. 2, no. 2. August 15, 1919 to July 10, 1920.
First published by the “Labor Committee of the National Left Wing” (of the Socialist Party), and edited by John Reed and Ben Gitlow, this became the organ of the Communist Labor Party until the spring of 1920. The United Communist Party published the last few issues.
286. Voice of Labor, Chicago. vol. 10, no. 504 to vol. 12, no. 7. July 8, 1921 to December 31, 1923.
This mid-Western weekly paper took the numbering of its predecessors, the Swedish Social-Demokraten, the New World (one issue), and New Age (March 25 to July 1, 1921). But with the new name, it took a markedly radical direction, with William Z. (sometimes listed as C.) Foster, John Beffel, and other editors. These came first from radical trade unions, then from the Communists. It became the Farmer-Labor Voice (publication #73).
Note: I have film with Social-Demokraten and New World/New Age (ex-Wisconsin, I think), as well as Voice of Labor #285 (NYPL) and #286 (not sure where that came from, need to check. Illinois Historical Society?).
I do NOT have Farmer-Labor Voice.
Here is Goldwater on that:
73. Farmer-Labor Voice, Chicago. v. 12, no. 8 to v. 13, no. 21. January 15 to August 1, 1924.
This semi-monthly, which continued the number of Voice of Labor (publication #286), was the “official organ of the Federated Farmer-Labor Party,” which William Z. Foster was now liquidating into the Workers (Communist) Party. The last issue announced, “With the present issue, publication of the Farmer-Labor Voice will be discontinued, and its subscribers will receive in place of it the Daily Worker (publication #63) for a period of one month.” Its first number was called vol. 1, no. 8 in error. The final issues were edited by Joseph Manley, Foster’s son-in law.
An aside: Manley later joined up with the Ruthenberg faction and died at a young age in an accident on the job. He was an ironworker — a construction worker.

December 9, 2011

What I Do

Filed under: Uncategorized — carrite @ 10:33 pm

Friday night.

Well, readership of this blog, after spiking at 16 or something on Day 1, has achieved a comfortable and easy-to-maintain level of 1.33 unique visitors per day since then, which is just about right.

Today I got up earlier, clowned around in Articles for Deletion a bit, went to work, played with dogs, sold a few shoes, ate a burrito, wrote some checks, sold a couple more shoes, played with dogs, went home, ate some more food, and watched TV.

Rinse and repeat.

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People sometimes ask me what I do. I’m a historian.

University profs have to teach Western Civ to vacant-eyed frat boys and sororitistas to make their research possible, I sell shoes to grannies.

Same difference.

I do my work in the public domain, they publish stuff in journals nobody ever reads.

We all make our choices.

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I haven’t been doing a proper job of recording books and photos received, so I’ll start.

Books Received.

* Thomas Brady, Historical Basis of Socialism in Ireland. New York: National Executive Committee of the Socialist Labor Party, 1919.

* James Fintan Lalor, The Rights of Ireland and The Faith of a Fellon. Intro. by James Connolly. New York: The Donnelly Press, n.d. [c. 1920].

* James Connolly, Labor, Nationality, and Religion. New York: James Connolly Socialist Club, 1918.

These came from a seller in Scandinavia, via eBay.

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Looks like I have a 3 off – 3 work – 1 off week ahead of me. AA needs to get ready for a sale, so I took her off the schedule, more or less, which costs me a day. She’ll be down there every day anyway. She needs a hobby.

I’ve got my topics picked for next week. For Wikipedia I want to start with a biography of Philip Van Patten and then take on a big piece called Leon Trotsky Bibliography.

The latter  may be a bigger chunk than I can chew, we’ll see. I spotted something in the WP New Articles queue last night on Trotsky’s The Permanent Revolution. As you can see, it sucks. It’s also one of Trotsky’s lesser works, despite the big-sounding title (Trotsky being known for the theory of Permanent Revolution, which was actually the innovation of Parvus). Results and Prospects was actually the first big Trotsky work on the topic. That’s esoteric trivia, of course, but it still sort of……….. what’s the word? ………… something that undercuts the value of this page.

This is a page that COULD be made into an article that would survive an AFD challenge, but it would be a hell of a lot of work to do that and if I’m gonna dump two days, it should be something rather more important, I think. Thus, getting a Trotsky Bibliography up strikes me as being a better use of my time.

The problem here is that the published Trotsky bibliographies — I have two of them and there might be a third out there — are MASSIVE. I’m guessing 1000 pages or something, two thick volumes each. I should check that. Sinclair is about 1,350 pages and Lubitz more or less the same size. How to distill that into something of manageable size?

It’s a tricky question.

And, with that thought, dear 1.33 readers, I bid you good night.

December 8, 2011

Too Much Information, pt. 4A

Filed under: Uncategorized — carrite @ 10:17 pm

Thursday night.

Well, I spent my day on Paul Grottkau and it came out damned nicely. There’s still information to be added on his last 10 years — unfortunately he died in June 1898, right when the Social Democracy of America was splitting between colonizers on the one hand and Victor Berger and Gene Debs’ electorally-oriented Social Democratic Party on the other. It doesn’t look like there was an obit run in The Social Democrat for him, which was controlled by the colonizers at the time of his death. And the Berger group’s paper, as nearly as I can tell, didn’t start until July.

So while I know the death date, it’s not turning up anything good.

I didn’t get a chance to check The People, the official organ of Daniel DeLeon’s Socialist Labor Party of America, but DDL pretty much thought that anyone who wasn’t with him was scum. So I doubt there’s anything good there.

I learned a lot today about Grottkau. They had a May Day demonstration in Milwaukee that he lead (on a Saturday) that turned into a general strike. The Governor called out the National Guard, who fired warning shots on Tuesday and fired into the crowd on Wednesday morning, killing 5, 6, or 7 people, depending on who’s count you trust. It’s remembered to history as the Bay View Massacre.

Through the same logic that the authorities used to kill Parsons, Spies, & Co. in retaliation for the Haymarket bombing, Grottkau was hauled before the bar and convicted of riot, sentenced to a year of hard labor. He only served 6 weeks of he term before being released. Supposedly he ran a campaign for Mayor of Milwaukee during this time, anticipating Gene Debs’ 1920 Presidential campaign from Atlanta Federal Penitentiary.


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I spent the better part of an hour typing up an interesting piece by Laurence Gronlund criticizing Berger for splitting the organization — only to discover that I had already typed it up a few years ago. These things happen, I think I’ve published something like 2200 documents, maybe more. I need to remember to check.

NFL game tonight, Browns at Steelers. If there were a hell, Satan would have that game on an infinite loop. Boring.

I washed the dog and am trying to get psyched up to go sell shoes to grannies tomorrow. My “two wasted days” begins. It’s not a bad job, really it isn’t, and I’ve learned that if I put too many “off” days in a row, my productivity goes down. There needs to be a little deadline pressure in my life. Monday I hit the ground running, Tuesday I flag, Wednesday I try to come back strong, and if I’m lucky I have a good Thursday. If I get anything at all done on Friday or Saturday, that’s a plus. Sunday I do my web site update.

Rinse and repeat.

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