Karsner, David, 1889-1941

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David Fulton Karsner (1889-1941) was an American journalist and biographer. After working on newspapers in Chicago, Philadelphia and New York City, he became managing editor of the socialist newspaper The New York Call. He wrote books about his associate Eugene V. Debs, the socialist leader and presidential candidate, and biographies of Andrew Jackson and others.

From the guide to the David Fulton Karsner papers, 1912-1929, (The New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division.)

David Fulton Karsner (1889-1941) was an American journalist and biographer.

After working on newspapers in Chicago, Philadelphia and New York City, he became managing editor of the socialist newspaper The New York Call. He wrote books about his associate Eugene V. Debs, the socialist leader and presidential candidate, and biographies of Andrew Jackson and others.

From the description of David Fulton Karsner papers, 1912-1929. (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 122580757

David Fulton Karsner (1889-1941), socialist activist, author and newspaperman, was born in Baltimore, Maryland. Educated at the McDonough School in Baltimore, Karsner began his journalistic career in Chicago by 1907. There he developed an interest in socialism through his association with Upton Sinclair, and became acquainted with Clarence Darrow, Carl Sandburg, Jack London and other notable leftists. In 1911 Karsner relocated East and worked for a number of newspapers, including the New York Tribune, the Philadelphia Ledger and the New York Daily News . He served as Sunday editor and then managing editor of the Socialist Party's newspaper, The New York Call . In 1918, the Call assigned Karsner to cover the trial, United States of America v. William D. Haywood, et al., in which 166 members of the Industrial Workers of the World were charged and convicted of impeding the war effort under the 1917 Espionage Act. The case was tried in the District Court of the United States, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division in Chicago.

Karsner married Rose Greenberg, a Romanian-born Socialist with whom he had a daughter, Walta (named for Walt Whitman). After the marriage dissolved, Karsner married Esther Eberson. (Rose would later marry James P. Cannon, the leader of U.S. Trotskyism.)

Karsner wrote numerous biographies, including two volumes on the socialist leader and five-time presidential candidate, Eugene V. Debs, who became a close friend. Karsner collaborated with the aging Debs on his only published book, Walls and Bars, a prison memoir.

When he died of a heart attack at age 51 on February 20, 1941, Karsner was employed as a copyreader on the New York Post .

Among Karsner's works are: Debs: His Authorized Life and Letters from Woodstock Prison to Atlanta (1919); Horace Traubel: His Life and Work (1919); Talks with Debs in Terre Haute (and Letters from Lindlahr) (1922); Sixteen Authors to One (1928); Andrew Jackson: The Gentle Savage (1929);and Silver Dollar: The Story of the Tabors (1932).

From the guide to the David Karsner Papers, 1918-1930, (Tamiment Library / Wagner Archives)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Dreiser, Theodore, 1871-1945. Letter to David Fulton Karsner. New York, NY. 1917 Dec. 16. University of Iowa Libraries
referencedIn Dreiser, Theodore, 1871-1945. [Papers], 1910-1936. Indiana State Library - ISL
referencedIn New York (State). Legislature. Joint Legislative Committee to Investigate Seditious Activities. Suspected radical propaganda file, [ca. 1890-1919]. New York State Archives
referencedIn Gandy, Lewis C. Letter, 1933. American Primers
creatorOf Traubel, Horace, 1858-1919. Walt Whitman's world typescript, [1925] / by Horace Traubel. Arranged and edited, with an introduction by David karsner...Preface by Leon Bazalgette. The University of Tulsa, McFarlin Library
creatorOf David Fulton Karsner papers, 1912-1929 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Dreiser, Theodore, 1871-1945. Letters, 1897-1926. American Primers
referencedIn Horace Traubel and Anne Montgomerie Traubel Papers, 1824-1979, (bulk 1883-1947) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
creatorOf Karsner, David, 1889-1941. Correspondence with Theodore Dreiser, 1919-1926. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
creatorOf Karsner, David, 1889-1941. Correspondence with Theodore Dreiser, 1914-1919. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
creatorOf O'Neill, Eugene, 1888-1953. [Letter] 1920 July 18, Provincetown, Mass. [to] David Karsner / Eugene O'Neill. Amherst College Library
referencedIn Masters, Edgar Lee, 1868-1950. Edgar Lee Masters papers, 1926-1941. Library of Congress
creatorOf Karsner, David, 1889-1941. David Fulton Karsner papers, 1912-1929. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf David Karsner Papers, 1918-1930 Tamiment Library / Wagner Archives
creatorOf Dreiser, Theodore, 1871-1945. Theodore Dreiser letters, 1909-1943. Pennsylvania State University Libraries
referencedIn Traubel, Horace, 1858-1919. Horace Traubel and Anne Montgomerie Traubel papers, 1824-1979 (bulk 1883-1947). Library of Congress
creatorOf Beall, Jack. Correspondence : with Theodore Dreiser, 1926-1938. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Baldwin, Roger Nash, 1884-1981 person
associatedWith Debs, Eugene V. (Eugene Victor), 1855-1926. person
associatedWith Debs, Kathryn M person
associatedWith Debs, Kathryn M. person
associatedWith Debs, Theodore, 1864-1945. person
associatedWith Dreiser, Theodore, 1871-1945. person
associatedWith Embree, A. S. person
associatedWith Gandy, Lewis C. person
associatedWith Haywood, Big Bill, 1869-1928 person
associatedWith Industrial Workers of the World. corporateBody
associatedWith Industrial Workers of the World. General Defense Committee . corporateBody
correspondedWith Masters, Edgar Lee, 1868-1950. person
associatedWith New York call. corporateBody
associatedWith New York (State). Legislature. Joint Legislative Committee to Investigate Seditious Activities. corporateBody
associatedWith O'Neill, Eugene, 1888-1953. person
correspondedWith Traubel, Anne Montgomerie, 1864-1954 person
correspondedWith Traubel, Horace, 1858-1919. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Subject
Trials (Espionage)--United States
Prisoners--Correspondence
Socialism
Trials (treason)
Journalism, Socialist--United States
Radicalism
Occupation
Journalists
Biographers
Editors
Function

Person

Birth 1889

Death 1941

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