General Correspondence and Papers.
Collection III: Mary Anderson Papers; The reel begins with a few scattered items dating from 1918 to 1921. Among these are Anderson's letters of appointment to her wartime posts in the Army Ordnance Department and in the Labor Department's Women in Industry Service and her letter of credentials as a representative of the National Women's Trade Union League to the Paris Peace Conference. (There is no documentation here of her appointment in 1920 as head of the peacetime Women's Bureau.) In a letter of February 1922 to John M. Glenn, Anderson describes the wartime work of Mary Van Kleeck in the Ordnance Department and in the Department of Labor and her role as Van Kleeck's assistant.The main body of correspondence begins with 1922, during the Harding administration, and continues through most of the New Deal. Letters of 1922-24 between Anderson and Harriet Taylor Upton, an influential Ohio Republican, illustrate political cooperation for women's goals, with Upton securing an increased appropriation for the Women's Bureau and Anderson aiding Upton's bid for a seat in Congress. Several items in 1924 help document the negotiations between the American Federation of Labor and the National Women's Trade Union League over the Federation's proposed women's department. There is also discussion in 1924 of a new president for the NWTUL, in letters of Mary Van Kleeck, Elisabeth Christman, and others.The most persistent theme of this reel -- the defense of protective legislation for women against the aggressive campaign of the Woman's Party for an Equal Rights Amendment -- begins in 1923. Anderson discusses the topic at some length in correspondence with President M. Carey Thomas of Bryn Mawr (1924-25) and, more briefly, with Lady Astor of England (1925) and Lena Madesin Phillips of the National Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs (1937-38). There are references also to the Industrial Conference called by the Women's Bureau in 1926 and to the Bureau's subsequent investigation, directed by Mary Winslow, into the effect of labor legislation on employment opportunities for women, an investigation undertaken as a result of pressure from the Woman's Party. A lesser but recurrent theme is Anderson's various contacts with the International Labor Organization, culminating in her appointment as chairman of the U.S. delegation to its conference in 1933.Other topics on the reel include the occasional cooperation of the National Consumers' League with the Women's Bureau in support of protective legislation for women (see letters of Florence Kelley in 1925 and Mary Dewson in 1933); Josephine Roche of Colorado and her union coal mine (1929, 1930, 1933); brief references to the work of Katherine Philips Edson (1922, 1933) and Judge Florence E. Allen (1934, 1939); Anderson's relations during the New Deal years with Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins and with Eleanor Roosevelt; a conference of women's organizations, called by the NWTUL, to protest wage differentials between women and men in NRA codes (Anderson to Mrs. Roosevelt, February 1934); and Anderson's participation in Washington's pioneering Group Health Association (1938-39).There is considerable correspondence throughout the reel with Mary Van Kleeck. Other correspondents not already mentioned include John B. Andrews, the English labor leader Margaret Bondfield, Mabeth Hurd Paige of the Minnesota legislature, Cornelia Bryce Pinchot, Gifford Pinchot, Mary Winslow, and, in one or two letters each, Grace Abbott, Jane Addams, Fannia M. Cohn, Mary E. Dreier, Felix Frankfurter, Alice Henry, Kate Manicom of England, Kate F. O'Connor, Raymond Robins, and Ida M. Tarbell. A letter from Victor A. Olander in 1938 discusses the activities of Communists in labor unions.
National Women's Trade Union League Papers (Schlesinger Library).
Collection II: National Women's Trade Union League Papers, Schlesinger Library; The Historical Files, filmed on Reel 1, begin with a section of general material (frames 2-99). These are miscellaneous items, mostly in printed form. Many are newspaper or magazine reports of League activities; they thus reflect the extent to which the League gained public attention. The earliest items are: a clipping from a New York newspaper of 1905 (misdated as 1904); an Official Report for 1905-06, compiled by Gertrude Barnum in her capacity as national organizer and corresponding secretary; and two of Barnum's columns on working girls for the New York World. Others include a printed report of the New York sessions of the League's Interstate Conference of September 1908; an article from Charities and the Commons on the Boston and other sessions of the Conference; and a report of the League's first national convention, in 1909, written by Mary McDowell for the Survey. Later items include a leaflet of appreciation of Margaret Dreier Robins, printed at the time of her retirement from the national presidency in 1922, and a typed account by Mary Anderson, "My Mission to Paris in 1919" (5 pages, 1929). The section ends with a New York Times report of the National WTUL's decision in 1950 to disband, and Elisabeth Christman's correspondence with the Schlesinger Library (then the Women's Archives) about the disposition of its files.A group of three printed constitutions of the League (frames 100-123) is followed by a long section on the League's educational program (frames 124-417). Although a few other activities are mentioned, most of the material pertains to the League's training school for trade-union women, conducted in Chicago from 1914 to 1926 under the direction first of Emma Steghagen and then of Alice Henry. The section is divided into two parts: one of general material, such as announcements, forms, and descriptive matter, mostly undated; the other of more specific dated items. The latter include typed reports of the school, some with detailed supporting documents (1917, 1920, 1922, 1925, 1926); copies of lengthy reports by Margaret Dreier Robins to two of the school's benefactors, Mrs. Willard Straight (1916, 1918) and Florence Simms of the YWCA War Work Council (1920); announcements of other educational ventures, including a one-week course held at Brookwood Labor Institute in conjunction with the WTUL convention of 1924; and newspaper clippings.The next section, Anti-Red Attacks on the League and Other Women's Organizations, 1925-27 (frames 418-462), contains a news release by Ethel M. Smith for the WTUL and a lengthy memorial from the Woman Patriot Publishing Company, as printed in the Congressional Record (July 1926), opposing extension of the Sheppard-Towner Act for infancy and maternity care as part of a plot by "certain women's organizations" -- the WTUL and Mrs. Robins specifically included -- to introduce "straight imported communism" in bills "masked as 'welfare' and 'women's' measures." Clippings of countering articles by Carrie Chapman Catt and the Woman Citizen and a second attack by the Woman Patriot follow, as does a series of articles on the same theme from the Chicago Tribune. (For related episodes see the Mary Anderson Papers elsewhere in this microfilm edition, Reel 4, frames 188-395.)A section on the League's Southern campaign of 1927-32 (frames 463-589) contains somewhat miscellaneous documents on the planning and conduct of this attempt to publicize and mitigate the conditions of working women in Southern factories. Included are suggestions for the campaign by Mary Anderson, Mary N. Winslow, and Alice Henry; excerpts from minutes of the national executive board; statistics, bibliographies, and other reference material; a program of the League's Southern Industrial Conference, held at Greensboro, N.C., in March 1931; and the text of a speech given there by Mary Anderson. For material on another aspect of the campaign, the League's support of striking textile workers in Tennessee and Virginia, see Reel 4.A group of general League publications follows (frames 590-659), spanning the years 1909-44. The majority are informational brochures soliciting membership. Included are several editions of Margaret Dreier Robins' pamphlet Self-Government in the Workshop. Other League leaflets and pamphlets on particular topics may be found within the subject files on Reels 2-4.The final section of the reel (frames 666-736) is made up of miscellaneous printed and other items, mostly issued by the League. These include a tribute to Life and Labor by Louis D. Brandeis; programs of several League benefits; The Voice of Labor (1919), a booklet of verse by League members and others (including Leonora O'Reilly and Pauline Newman); and a leaflet on the outlawry of war.
General Papers and Correspondence.
Collection VII: Agnes Nestor Papers; The reel begins with an early diary (1900-01). It goes on to include scattered papers concerning the International Glove Workers Union, its Chicago locals, and the Eisendrath Company, and some material touching on the early years of the Women's Trade Union League of Chicago and the National WTUL. The latter part of the reel consists largely of papers pertaining to Nestor's appointment by President Wilson to the Commission on Vocational Education (1914) and to her work in 1917 on the Woman's Committee of the U.S. Council of National Defense. Correspondents on this reel include Mary McDowell and Margaret Dreier Robins of the WTUL and, more briefly, Jane Addams, Kate Barnard, and Henry Ford, who invites her to join the group on his peace ship of 1915.
O'Sullivan, Mary Kenney.
Mary Kenney O'Sullivan Autobiography; Boston Women's Trade Union League Collections; Women's Trade Union League of Chicago.
Collection VIII: Smaller collections from Schlesinger Library and University of Illinois at Chicago Circle.
Records of the New York Women's Trade Union League.
Minutes and Reports.
Collection IV: Records of the New York Women's Trade Union League; This reel, the first installment of Series 1, made up of the New York WTUL's unpublished minutes and reports, begins with a notebook containing longhand minutes of League meetings from Jan. 13 through July 28, 1905. Typed minutes for two meetings have been inserted in their chronological place, and all subsequent minutes are typed. The notebook includes meetings of what was then called the executive committee (after December 1905, the executive board) and of "open" or general membership meetings. The former predominate, and continue to do so through 1907. Monthly reports of the secretary begin in July 1906, evidently inaugurated by Helen Marot; they are usually accompanied by a list of the League's expenses for the preceding month. In 1908 the records assume the pattern they will follow for the rest of the series: minutes of general meetings (now held nearly once a month) and of executive board meetings (during this busy period of League history, often called twice a month); monthly secretary's reports; and occasional other items, such as reports by the president (at this point, Mary Dreier), by the strike council (beginning in December 1910), and by League committees on legislation and other topics.These early years were active ones for the New York WTUL, and the minutes and reports reflect the vitality of the young organization. Much useful material is present on the League's organizing efforts, its relations with the city's women workers; and its relations with local trade unions, particularly the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. Material, however, on some key events -- the shirtwaist makers' strike of 1909, the cloakmakers' strike of 1910, and the Triangle Fire of 1911 -- is disappointingly thin.
Robins, Margaret Dreier.
Biographical and Personal Material -- Dreier Family, Margaret Dreier Robins.
Collection I: Margaret Dreier Robins Papers, University of Florida Libraries; The reel begins with the first segment of Series 1, on the Dreier family. An initial section (frames 1-31) contains genealogical and other data on the family's German forebears, a biographical sketch of Johann Caspar Theodor Dreier, Margaret's father, and the names and birth dates of his children and grandchildren. The next section (frames 32-61) includes MDR's own typed memories of her father and mother. Sections follow (frames 62-379) pertaining to her sisters Dorothea, Katherine, and Mary and other Dreier relatives. Most items are miscellaneous printed memorabilia. Two legal documents, however, cast light on the family's economic status: a statement of the distribution of Dorothea Dreier's share of the trust fund set up for the Dreier children by their father (frames 50-58), and a detailed account of the estate she herself left at her death in 1923 (frames 84-165). The material on Mary Dreier (frames 205-307) includes typed and handwritten notes on her visit to England in 1919 as one of ten members of an Industrial Commission representing American women's groups. It also includes a selection of her poems and verse.Frame 380 marks the start of the second segment of Series 1, dealing with Margaret Dreier Robins; this segment continues through Reels 2 and 3. It begins with a section of general biographical material (frames 380-449): typed and printed biographical sketches and a few tributes, including one in 1925 by Mayor William E. Dever of Chicago. A group of miscellaneous personal items follows (frames 450-503), of which the most interesting are a feature story about Margaret Dreier from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle of Mar. 28, 1905; two modest newspaper stories and one flashy one about her wedding, on June 21, 1905, to Raymond Robins; and a typed copy of a letter by Mary Dreier describing the wedding ceremony. Of lesser interest are a group of membership cards and receipts for contributions (frames 504-522) and two autograph books (frames 523-556), one dating from the International Congress of Working Women in 1919. A bound volume of letters gathered together on the occasion of MDR's retirement as president of the National Women's Trade Union League in 1922 (frames 557-696) conveys the warm esteem in which she was held. The writers include not only League members and associates but also labor leaders like Andrew Furuseth and John Fitzpatrick (a long and informative letter), settlement house friends (Lillian Wald, Ellen Gates Starr, and, more perfunctorily, Jane Addams), and persons as varied as John B. Andrews, Alice Stone Blackwell, Louis D. Brandeis, Katherine Philips Edson, Zona Gale, and Harriet Taylor Upton. A section on the Robinses' silver wedding anniversary of 1930 (frames 697-753), consisting of letters and telegrams of congratulations and the script of a dramatic sketch written by Mary Dreier, concludes the personal memorabilia.The next part of this segment of Series 1, which continues onto Reel 2, concerns MDR's writings and speeches. A miscellaneous group of programs of speaking engagements (frames 754-779) is followed by a group of early essays and drafts (frames 780-828), two dated before 1900, the others undated but dealing with the same theme, "Democracy." The other writings that complete the reel (frames 829-897) date largely from 1903 to World War I; they are arranged chronologically.
Collection VI: Rose Schneiderman Papers; Except for a restricted group of letters from Pauline Newman (see Description of the Collection) and a few letters in the Special Topics series on Reel 2, this reel includes the entire correspondence portion of the Rose Schneiderman Papers. It consists of letters (plus occasional telegrams and postcards) written to Schneiderman, with carbon copies of some of her replies. The correspondence falls into three main groups: 1909-14, 1915-64, and undated.The first group (frames 1-366) is the fullest and most useful. Although personal rather than official in nature, it includes some forty letters touching upon the affairs of the Women's Trade Union League, from such correspondents as Alice Bean, Josephine Casey, Mary Dreier, Stella Franklin, Alice Henry, Helen Marot, Agnes Nestor, and Leonora O'Reilly. Schneiderman's participation in the suffrage movement finds reflection in scattered letters from Alva E. Belmont, Harriot Stanton Blatch, Inez Milholland, Anna Howard Shaw, and Harriet Taylor Upton. Upton's letter of July 17, 1912, and one from M.A. Sherwood, July 15, testify warmly to Schneiderman's effectiveness in the Ohio suffrage campaign of that year. A few letters, especially those of Joseph E. Cohen, touch upon socialist matters. Other correspondents include the labor leaders John Dyche and Hugh Frayne and Florence Simms of the YWCA.Correspondence in the second group, 1915-64 (frames 367-785), is much more diffuse and has more of the character of personal memorabilia. With three exceptions, each year is represented by no more than half a dozen items; some years are skipped altogether. The exceptions are large clusters of letters and telegrams sent on three occasions: in 1937, at the time of Schneiderman's appointment as State Secretary of Labor; in 1943, in observance of the twenty-fifth anniversary of her presidency of the New York Women's Trade Union League; and in 1949, when she retired from that post. Correspondents in this portion of the reel include Margaret Dreier Robins (see especially June 24, 1922, June 14, 1943, and Schneiderman's reply of July 7, 1943), Mary Dreier, Leonora O'Reilly, Elisabeth Christman (including several letters in 1950 describing the closing down of the National WTUL headquarters), Frances Perkins, the English labor leader Margaret Bondfield, Franklin D. Roosevelt (several letters during his governorship), and Eleanor Roosevelt. On trade union affairs, Schneiderman in a letter of Feb. 6, 1916, to Benjamin Schlesinger submits her resignation as an ILGWU organizer. (See also her letter to Abe Baroff, Dec. 1, 1916, on Reel 2, Part I, frames 262-263.) A letter from Max Zaritsky, June 7, 1934, announces her election to the general executive board of her own union, the United Hatters, Cap and Millinery Workers. Several letters in 1938-39 concern the National Women's Committee for a Leon Blum Colony in Palestine, of which Schneiderman was chairman.The undated letters (frames 786-914) are arranged in a rough chronological sequence as suggested by the content. Included are a few letters from WTUL figures, including Mary Dreier, Mabel Gillespie, and Melinda Scott.Undated items for a particular year are included with the correspondence for that year, either before or after the dated items.
Women's Trade Union League.
Convention Proceedings; Convention Handbooks and Programs.
Collection IX: Women's Trade Union League Publications; Although the National Women's Trade Union League was founded in the fall of 1903, it took six years for its basic organizational structure to evolve. The final step was the holding of the first national convention in the fall of 1909. Delegates attended from the four local Leagues then in existence and from several affiliated trade unions and city labor councils, along with a few individual members. A shorthand reporter kept a record of the proceedings. From the typed transcript, two members of the national staff -- Alice Henry, editor of the League's department in the monthly Union Labor Advocate of Chicago, and Stella M. Franklin, the office secretary -- complied an abridged "Report of Proceedings" which was printed and distributed.Thus began the published Proceedings of the National WTUL; they were to continue for eleven more conventions. For two decades, conventions met regularly at two-year intervals, save for extra years between 1919 and 1922 and between 1926 and 1929. There-after, declining membership and finances limited the League to only two more conventions before it disbanded in 1950. The first part of Reel 1 contains a full set of the published Proceedings, comprising the following years: 1909, 1911, 1913, 1915, 1917, 1919, 1922, 1924, 1926, 1929, 1936, and 1947.Somewhat confusingly, the League chose to call the 1909 convention its "Second Biennial Convention," counting as the first convention a small League meeting held at Norfolk, Virginia, in November 1907 during that year's convention of the American Federation of Labor. This was actually one of a series of "National Meetings" or "National Conferences" that were held during the League's early years to tend to such matters as revising the constitution and electing officers. The 1907 conference consisted of the three national officers, three other prominent League members (Mary Dreier, Agnes Nestor, and Helen Marot), and three women trade unionists from the AF of L; it was in no sense a convention. Subsequent meetings in this series, beginning in June 1908, were called executive board meetings. (See National WTUL Records, Library of Congress, Reel 1.)In addition to the published Proceedings, the original stenographic transcripts survive for all but two of the League's conventions (1917 and 1926); they can be found in the National WTUL Records at the Library of Congress, as microfilmed in conjunction with the present edition (see Reels 20-25). The shorthand reporters did not secure the texts of most reports presented to the convention, such as the reports of the local Leagues, but the verbatim records they kept of discussion on the floor usefully supplement the printed Proceedings. In a few cases also, they record deliberations which took place in executive session, such as those in 1915 and 1924 concerning the League's negotiations with the American Federation of Labor.In contrast to the Proceedings, the WTUL followed no regular pattern of issuing programs or handbooks for its conventions. The two Handbooks (1909 and 1911) and the four Official Programs (1922, 1924, 1926, and 1929) that are filmed on the latter part of this reel are apparently the only ones that were published.All items on the reel are from the holdings of the Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe College.
Diaries and Notebooks, Volumes 1-16 (1895-1909); Volumes 17-27 and unnumbered (1910-1925 and undated).
1895-1909; 1910-1925 and undated
Collection V: Leonora O'Reilly Papers; The diaries and notebooks on these two reels comprise Series 1 of the Leonora O'Reilly Papers. They vary considerably in coverage and depth. An intense and far from methodical person, O'Reilly was never a steady or consistent diarist. Whether using a good-sized blank notebook or a printed pocket diary, she would occasionally record her activities and thoughts in some detail, but more commonly make brief or allusive jottings; at times she let days or weeks go by without an entry. Yet there is at least some representation for all but two of the years from 1895 through 1912 and for three years in the 1920's.Reel 1 begins with two volumes that are part notebook, part diary. The first starts with an 18-page essay of 1895 describing O'Reilly's impressions of Boston and Concord, Massachusetts, during a summer visit with her friend and patron, Louise S.W. Perkins. Diary entries for Jan. 1-3, 1896, and a brief character sketch complete the volume. Volume 2 has several literary essays cast in the form of letters to "Dear Honor," a name she used for her friend Annie W. Winsor. The longest essay, dated Nov. 11, 1896, describes political meetings she attended during the Bryan campaign and records her weekly schedule of factory work and evening classes. The volume also includes scattered diary entries for 1897 and 1898; they include some mention of her organizing work for a women's local of the garment workers' union, a local which she founded in association with residents at Lillian Wald's Nurses' Settlement. These two years are more fully covered, along with part of 1899, in succeeding appointment books and diaries (Volumes 3-7).The remaining volumes on the reel (8-16) are mostly diaries, covering 1900, part of February 1902, most of 1903-05, January-March 1906, and most of 1909. Volume 9 (1902) is incomplete, breaking off in mid-entry; it also includes an essay on "Religious Conformity." Volume 15 contains a few diary entries for October 1907, a few clippings and programs, and notes for speeches on trade unionism and woman suffrage (two in January 1908, the others undated).Reel 2 begins with two notebook diaries (Volumes 17 and 17.1) that run from May 24 to Sept. 9, 1910; they are mostly concerned with two strikes (one of Brooklyn jute workers) which O'Reilly was aiding on behalf of the New York Women's Trade Union League. A diary for 1911 follows, and a set of notes, in diary form, on a convention of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union in June 1912. The remaining three diaries (Volumes 20-22) are for 1920, 1922, and 1923-24; the last, a printed volume, contains entries for both years, usually clearly distinguished. Stray leaves elsewhere in the collection suggest that O'Reilly kept diaries for 1913 and 1915 which no longer survive.The rest of Reel 2 consists of notebooks. These include a variety of material: notes on reading, paragraphs working out some of O'Reilly's thoughts on social questions, outline notes for lectures, and occasional mounted clippings. The topics include Vocational Education (Volume 23, c. 1914); Women, Eugenics, and Birth Control (Volume 24, c. 1916); "Theory of the Labor Movement" (Volumes 25 and 27), "Labor Movement and Life" (Volume 26), "Notes on Sweat Shops [and] Trade Unions" (unnumbered volume, c. 1897), and a sheaf of notes on European and world history (unnumbered, c. 1925), drawn at least in part from H.G. Wells's Outline of History.As a general rule, blank pages in both diaries and notebooks have not been filmed, nor have the introductory tables and reference matter sometimes found in printed diaries.The original diaries and notebooks are in many cases fragile. For this edition, the negative of an earlier microfilm has been used, with some additions and corrections. Unlike the rest of the collection, it was filmed at a reduction ratio of 12, rather than 14, and without frame numbers.