Lee, Algernon

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Algernon Lee was a socialist, educator and New York City alderman. After attending the University of Minnesota in the early 1890s, Lee worked as a political organizer for the Socialist Labor Party and served as editor of several socialist publications. In 1909 Lee became the Director of Education at the Rand School of Social Science. He held this position until his death in 1954. Lee was also an instructor in economics and American history at the Rand School. On the New York City Board of Aldermen from 1918 to 1921 as a Socialist Party representative, Lee supported various measures regarding municipal ownership of the transit system and decreases in municipal taxes. During World War I Lee, a pacifist, opposed the Board's decision to assist in the sale of war savings stamps, but he later joined the Board in working on behalf of Liberty Bond sales. In November 1919 Lee was re-elected to the Board of Aldermen, but was prevented from taking office until November of 1921 because of a fight over voting irregularies. During the mid 1930s Lee was actively involved in the factional disputes which resulted in the Socialist Party split. Unable to hold the various factions together during this turbulent period, Lee withdrew from the Socialist Party in 1936 and joined the Old Guard in establishing the Social Democratic Federation for which he served as the national chairman and honorary national chairman.

Lee also served on the New York State Executive Committee of the American Labor Party in the late 1930s but later quit after discovering that the organization was dominated by the Communist Party.

From the description of Papers, 1896-1954. (New York University). WorldCat record id: 83695356

For more than 50 years Algernon Lee was a leading figure in the major educational and political activities pertaining to American socialism. After attending the University of Minnesota in the early 1890s, Lee worked as a political organizer for the Socialist Labor Party and served as the editor of several socialist publications, including The Tocsin in Minneapolis and The Worker, The Daily Call, and The New Leader in New York City. In 1909, Lee became the Director of Education at the Rand School of Social Science. He held this position until his death in 1954. In addition to his administrative responsibilities, Lee was also an instructor in economics and American history at the Rand School.

Lee was a member of the New York City Board of Aldermen from 1918 to 1921. As a Socialist Party representative, Lee supported various measures regarding municipal ownership of the transit system and decreases in municipal taxes. During World War 1, Lee, a pacifist, opposed the Board's decision to assist in the sale of war savings stamps, but he later joined the Board in working on behalf of Library Bond sales.

In November 1919, Lee was re-elected to the Board of Aldermen, but was prevented from taking office because he was declared the loser in his race. The Board's committee on privileges investigated the situation and reported that although there had been no election fraud, there were certain "errors" in the vote count which made it appear as if Lee had been defeated in his re-election bid. Upon receiving the committee's report, Lee embarked on a fight to retain his seat on the Board. In November 1921, just two months before his term of office expired, Lee was finally allowed to take office. Lee also sued the City of New York for the $5,500 salary which he claimed was owed to him during this period. Eventually he won this suit with a favorable New York Supreme Court ruling,

Concerning other socialist experiences, Lee was a delegate to numerous Socialist Party national conventions and socialist international conferences. As a Socialist Party candidate, Lee ran unsuccessfully for president of the New York City Board of Aldermen, New York state senator, Mayor of New York City, and other offices. Lee also served one term as the national chairman of the Socialist Party following Morris Hillquit's death in 1933.

During the mid-1930s, Lee was actively involved in the factional disputes which resulted in the Socialist Party split. In 1934, he presided over a Socialist Party rally at Madison Square Garden in New York City which ended in a pitched battle between the Militants and the Old Guard. Unable to hold the various factions together during this turbulent period, Lee withdrew from the Socialist Party in 1936 and joined the Old Guard in establishing the Social Democratic Federation. Lee served as the national chairman and honorary national chairman of the Social Democratic Federation after it was organized. Lee also served on the New York State Executive Committee of the American Labor Party in the late 1930s, but later quit after discovering that the organization was dominated by Communist Party members.

From the guide to the Algernon Lee Papers, Bulk, 1896-1954, 1861-1954, (Bulk 1896-1954), (Tamiment Library / Wagner Archives)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Tamiment/Wagner Moving Images Collection, Bulk, 1950-1969, 1920-1967, (Bulk 1950-1969) Tamiment Library / Wagner Archives
referencedIn James Oneal Papers, 1907-1962 Tamiment Library / Wagner Archives
referencedIn Rand School of Social Science Records, 1905-1962 Tamiment Library / Wagner Archives
referencedIn George D. Herron Papers, 1905-1922 Tamiment Library / Wagner Archives
referencedIn Tamiment Library. Tamiment Library manuscript files collection relating to individuals and organizations associated with radicalism, the labor movement, and progressive social action in the United States, 1950-2001 (bulk 1910-1965). Churchill County Museum
creatorOf Algernon Lee Papers, Bulk, 1896-1954, 1861-1954, (Bulk 1896-1954) Tamiment Library / Wagner Archives
referencedIn Tamiment Library Manuscript Files, Bulk, 1910-1965, 1749-1988 Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive
referencedIn Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives Labor and Radicalism Photograph Collection, Bulk, 1940-1965, 1860-1985 Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive
referencedIn Socialist Aldermen Papers, 1917-1920 Tamiment Library / Wagner Archives
referencedIn American Socialist Society. Records, 1905-1955. Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
referencedIn Baruch Charney Vladeck Papers, Bulk, 1920-1938, 1906-1958 Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive
referencedIn Herron, George Davis, 1862-1925. Papers, 1905-1922. Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
referencedIn International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. President's Office. ILGWU. Benjamin Schlesinger papers, 1914-1923. Cornell University Library
referencedIn Charles Solomon Photographs, 1935-1960 Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive
referencedIn Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives,. Tamiment Library general photograph collection [graphic]. Churchill County Museum
referencedIn Social Democratic Federation of America. Records, 1933-1956. Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
creatorOf Lee, Algernon. Papers, 1896-1954. Churchill County Museum
referencedIn Sergius Ingerman Photographs, 1880-1940 Tamiment Library / Wagner Archives
referencedIn Ingerman, Sergius, 1868-1943. Sergius Ingerman photographs [graphic] : 1890-1930. New-York Historical Society
referencedIn Social Democratic Federation of America Records, 1933-1956 Tamiment Library / Wagner Archives
referencedIn Baruch Charney Vladeck Papers, Bulk, 1920-1938, 1906-1958 Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive
referencedIn International Ladies Garment Workers Union. Benjamin Schlesinger, President. Records, 1914-1923. Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library
referencedIn Workingmen's Co-operative Publishing Association Records, Bulk, 1908-1915, 1906-1920 Tamiment Library / Wagner Archives
referencedIn Socialist Party of New York State Records, 1906-1912 Tamiment Library / Wagner Archives
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith American Socialist Society. corporateBody
associatedWith Benjamin Schlesinger. person
associatedWith Berber, Julius. person
associatedWith Berger, Victor L., 1860-1929. person
associatedWith Bohn, William E. person
associatedWith Bohn, Wm. E. (William Edward), b. 1877. person
associatedWith Debs, Eugene V. (Eugene Victor), 1855-1926. person
associatedWith Debs, Theodore, 1864-1945. person
associatedWith Emerson, Jane. person
associatedWith Emerson, Jane. person
associatedWith Gerber, Adolph. person
associatedWith Gerber, Julius, 1862-1916 person
associatedWith Ghent, William J. (William James), 1866-1942. person
associatedWith Herron, George Davis, 1862-1925. person
associatedWith Hillquit, Morris, 1869-1933. person
associatedWith Ingerman, Sergius, 1868-1943. person
associatedWith International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. President's Office. corporateBody
associatedWith Kautsky, Karl, 1854-1938. person
associatedWith Laidler, Harry W. (Harry Wellington), 1884-1970. person
associatedWith Lee, James. person
associatedWith Lee, James. person
associatedWith Lewis, Lena Morrow. person
associatedWith London, Meyer, 1871-1926. person
associatedWith Mailly, William, 1871-1912. person
associatedWith Maurer, James H. person
associatedWith Maurer, James H. person
associatedWith New leader (New York, N.Y. : 1924). corporateBody
associatedWith Oneal, James, b. 1875. person
associatedWith Rand School of Social Science. corporateBody
associatedWith Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives. corporateBody
associatedWith Russell, Charles Edward, 1860-1941. person
associatedWith Sinclair, Upton, 1878-1968. person
associatedWith Social Democratic Federation of America. corporateBody
associatedWith Socialist Party of New York. corporateBody
associatedWith Socialist Party (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith Solomon, Charles, 1889-1963 person
associatedWith Tamiment Library. corporateBody
associatedWith Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, corporateBody
associatedWith Thomas, Norman, 1884-1968. person
associatedWith United States Labor Party. corporateBody
associatedWith Vladeck, B. (Baruch), 1886-1938. person
associatedWith Waldman, Louis. person
associatedWith Waldman, Louis, b. 1892 person
associatedWith WEVD (Radio station) New York, N.Y. corporateBody
associatedWith Workingmen's Co-operative Publishng Association. corporateBody
associatedWith Workmen's Circle/Arbeter Ring. corporateBody
associatedWith Workmen's Circle (U.S.). corporateBody
associatedWith World's end. corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
United States |x History |x Civil War, 1861-1865 |v Personal narratives.
Subject
Right and left (Political science)
World War, 1939-1945--Public opinion
Socialism
Socialism--United States
Occupation
Function

Person

Active 1896

Active 1954

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