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MSS 278

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Contact Infomation:

Special Collections

Michigan State University Libraries

100 Main Library

East Lansing, MI 48824

517.884.6471

E-mail:spc@mail.lib.msu.edu

URL: http://specialcollections.lib.msu.edu

Date Received:

Unknown

Date Processed:

07/07/2005

Acquisitions Information:

Unknown

Preferred Citation:

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: Box number, Folder number and/or title, Western Federation of Miners, MSS 278, Special Collections, MSU Libraries, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI

Copyright Notice:

Copyright is retained by the author of the items in this archive, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Usage Restrictions:

There are no restrictions on the access of this collection.

Photoduplication Restrictions:

Contact Special Collections

Collection Summary:

This collection of materials consists of correspondence, flyers, petitions, and ephemera about the Western Federation of Miners and affiliated local unions. Included is correspondence from WFM Secretary-Treasurer William D. Haywood, detailed letters concerning the Northern Michigan copper miners strike of 1913-1914, pamphlets requesting financial assistance to aid strikers around the country, leaflets listing delinquent and unfair workers, and flyers promoting the eight-hour work day. The time period of the collection is from 1902-1915.

Historical Background:

Western Federation of Miners (WFM) was a radical labor union formed in 1893 to defend miners from misuses of technology, promote safer working conditions, and improve pay. In 1905, WFM joined the International Workers of the World (IWW), with William “Big Bill” Haywood, Secretary-Treasurer of WFM, being a keynote speaker at the IWW founding convention. In 1906 Haywood and WFM President Charles Moyer were charged with the murder of former Idaho governor, Frank Steunenberg. Defended by Clarence Darrow, both men were acquitted in 1907. William Haywood’s career with WFM ends when he has a falling out with Charles Moyer. Due to factionalism within the IWW, WFM leaves in 1907. In 1911 WFM joins the American Federation of Labor (AFL). In 1913-1914 the WFM was actively involved in supporting striking copper miners in Calumet, Michigan. During this bloody strike Charles Moyer and other union leaders were assaulted and on Christmas Day over eighty children were killed in a fire. The union changed its name to International Mine, Mill, and Smelter Union (IMMSU) in 1916. While the Union saw lean years in the 1920’s, there was a renewed interest after the New Deal and the Union expanded its activities to the Eastern and Southern regions of the United States. In 1967, the waning Union merged into the Steelworkers Union.

Buhle, M., Buhle, P., Georgakas, D. Ed. (1990). Western federation of miners. In Encyclopedia of the Left. New York: Garland Publishing. (2005). Western federation of miners. In The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia. New York: Columbia University Press.

Processing Note:

The materials in this collection are listed in chronological order. Undated materials are listed at the end with N.D. following the description. This collection was processed by Jill Abood on July 7, 2005.

Arrangement:


Box Folder Description
1 1 Letter from John Hendrickson of WFM Mullan Miner’s Union No. 9 to J.B. McKee, of Pony, Mt. regarding the status of and dues owed by a former union member. July 14, 1902.
    Letter from John Hendrickson of WFM Mullan Miner’s Union No. 9 to J.B. McKee, of Pony, Mt. regarding the status of and dues owed by a former union member. July 14, 1902.
    Letter from Wm. Haywood to Thomas C. Davidson requesting per capita tax payment. October 24, 1902.
    Letter from Wm. Haywood to Thomas C. Davidson confirming check was received. November 8, 1902.
    Letter from Wm. Haywood to Thomas C. Davidson providing instructions on how stamps and membership cards are to be used. November 23, 1902.
    Letter from Wm. Haywood to all WFM unions regarding assessment levied for defense of union members in Telluride, Co. and for those on strike in California. December 30, 1902.
    Photocopies of correspondence between George W. Gallanar and the Amalgamated Association of Street Railway Employees of America, March-April 1903.
   
  1. Letter from Harry Know to G.W. Gallanar providing support and financial assistance for legal counsel. March 4, 1903.
  2. Letter from J.H. Bowling, Secretary-Treasurer of Amalgamated Association of Street Railway Employees of America, to G.W. Gallanar detailing enclosed money for legal counsel. March 5, 1903.
  3. Letter from G.W. Gallanar to members if WFM Local No. 131 asking for monetary support to cover his legal counsel for the charge of murder. April 10, 1903.
    Letter from Wm. Haywood to Thomas C. Davidson, Secretary of Pony Miners and Millman’s Union #131, calling attention to unpaid assessment dues levied by Executive Board. March 7, 1903.
    Letter from Wm. Haywood to Thomas C. Davidson confirming that payment of assessment was received. Receipt attached to letter. March 20, 1903.
    Letter from Hall of Stockton Federated Trades to “All Central Bodies and to All Union Men Irrespective of Affiliation” describing how The Raymond Glove Factory has been declared unfair by the Glove Makers Union and encourages the purchase of gloves with union label inside. March 25, 1903.
    Letter from Charles Moyer and Wm. Haywood to Officers and Members of  WFM Local Unions about the Eleventh Annual Convention scheduled for May 25th, 1903 in Denver, CO. April 6, 1903.
    Letter from Charles Moyer and Wm. Haywood to Officers and Members of  WFM Local Unions detailing the status of strikers in Colorado, California, and Nevada and that an increased assessment has been levied to support these striking unions. February 27, 1904.
    Letter from Charles Moyer and Wm. Haywood to Officers and Members of  WFM Local Unions regarding adopted resolutions authorizing a special assessment fee for the Twelfth Annual Convention. March 24, 1904.
    Letter from Charles Moyer and Wm. Haywood to Officers of WFM Local Unions instructing on the use of original and duplicate credential certificates. May 3,1904.
    Credential Certificates and Duplicate Certificates. Blank. 190-.
    Letter from WFM Delegates to Officers and Members detailing the installment  of the WFM in the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). July 8, 1905.
    Letter from the WFM to Local Unions to vote to ratify the action of the committee elected to attend the Chicago Convention. Votes to be recorded directly on the letter. August 25, 1905.
    Letters from Ernest Mills, Secretary-Treasurer of WFM to J.F. Milligan, Secretary of Pony Miners and Millman’s Union #131, acknowledging money received for due stamps, membership cards, warrant books, and delinquent notices.
   
  1. Letter with Receipt and Stamps Slip Attached. May 26, 1910.
  2. Letter with Receipt Attached. June 16, 1910.
  3. Letter with Password Slip Attached. July 12, 1910.
  4. Letter with Receipt and Stamps Slip Attached. July 15, 1910.
  5. Letter with Receipt and Stamps Slip Attached. August 22, 1910.
  6. Letter with Receipt and Stamps Slip Attached. November 10, 1910.
  7. Receipt Only. April 5, 1911.
  8. Letter with Receipt and Stamps Slip Attached. December 12, 1912.
    Letters from Ernest Mills to J.F. Milligan stating that communication from Local #131 expressing concern about dues will be forwarded to Executive Board for consideration. December 20, 1912.
    Letter to Officers and Members of the WFM about assessment stamps for assessment levied by Executive Board to aid union strikers in Porcupine, Ontario and Bingham, Utah. December 26, 1912.
    Flyer from South Porcupine Ontario listing union card members who violated their obligations by scabbing in mines during the strike of 1912-1913.
    Receipts of Assessment Dues from Office of Western Federation of Miners
   
  1. $19.00, May 8, 1913.
  2. $15.00, July 17, 1913.
    Letter from WFM President Charles Moyer to Officers and Members of Local Unions addressing the miners’ situations in Michigan and Missouri. Request for increased assessment fees. August 25, 1913.
    Letter from Charles Moyer informing Local Unions of increased levy due to continued support of striking copper miners in Michigan. Bottom portion of letter is copy of telegram from Moyer about assault inflicted upon him and Charles H. Tanner. December 27, 1913.
    Letter from The Illinois State Federation of Labor to All Organized Labor, Friends, and Sympathizers in Illinois, requesting support for the miners in Michigan. Provides information on the Christmas Eve fire that killed eighty children. December 30, 1913. 5 Copies.
    Letter from WFM Vice-President C.E. Mahoney and Secretary-Treasurer Ernest Mills, urging union members to contact Congress representatives and pay assessment dues. December 30, 1913.
    Blank copy of WFM Credential Certificate for Twenty-first Convention. Unsigned and Unstamped. 1914.
    Letter from WFM Executive Board to Officers and Members of Local Unions about the continued support needed for striking miners in Michigan. March 19, 1914.
    Letter from Chicago Federation of Labor Headquarters to Organized Labor and Friends regarding petition for pardon of Frank M. Ryan and other members of the International Association of Bridge and Structural Iron Workers. April 4, 1914.
    Letter from WFM Executive Board to Members of WFM Local Unions giving an update on the Michigan miners and their decision to end the strike. April 13, 1914.
    Letter from Executive Board of WFM to Local Unions asking for distribution of petitions to be sent to President Wilson asking for pardons for Frank Ryan and other International Association of Bridge and Structural Iron Workers associates. April 14, 1914.
    Petition for the pardon of International Association of Bridge and Structural Iron Workers.
    Flyer providing the names of men fined, expelled, and declared unfair workers. May 15, 1914. Two Copies.
    Letter from Solis Cigar Company to B.O. Pannell, Secretary of WFM Local #131, regarding advertisements placed in Miners Magazine. May 29, 1914. Envelope Attached.
    List of workers declared unfair by Union. June 15, 1914. Two Copies.
    Letter from Indiana Bituminous Coal Operators Association Publicity Committee to unknown recipient announcing the National First Aid and Mine Rescue Meet. July 28, 1914.
    Letter from the Rangell-Cline Defense Committee calling attention to case of working class men charged and imprisoned for killing a deputy sheriff. Envelope Attached, Postmark August 7, 1914.
    Letter from Department of the Interior Bureau of Miners giving details of 2nd Annual joint Mine Rescue and First Aid Contest in Terre Haute, Indiana. August 11, 1914.
    Letter from Arthur LeSueur, Vice-President of The People’s College, describing the college program and College Union, which provides correspondence courses. August 14, 1914.
    Letter from the universal Eight-Hour-Day League to Organized Labor regarding the ballot measure an eight-hour work day in Washington and the need for financial assistance. August 31, 1914.
    Flyer about the Eight-Hour Work Day Measure in Washington.
    Letter from WFM Vice-President to Local Unions providing information about the men arrested and charged with murder and conspiracy in the Michigan miners strike. September 10, 1914.
    Pamphlet titled “An Urgent Appeal for Financial Aid” from American Federation of Labor to affiliated members to provide support to union members in several locals across the nation. December 3, 1914.
    Letter from Porcupine Miners’ Union No. 145 to Labor Organizations requesting funds to assist after fire of their union hall. February 1, 1915.
    Flyer from French Gulch Miners’ Union No. 141 noting member put on scab list. N.D.
    Western Federation of Miners Official Ballots, No. 6424-6433 and 16252-16267. Blank. N.D.
    Slips of paper with the words “If you can use more petitions, notify us at once”. Chicago Federation of Labor. N.D.
    Last page of a letter from WFM Secretary-Treasurer Ernest Mills to unknown recipient. N.D.



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