Records, 1903-1950. [microform]

ArchivalResource

Records, 1903-1950. [microform]

The records of the National Women's Trade Union League of America (NWTUL) span the lifetime of the organization from the first meeting in Boston in 1903 to the last bulletin of its official organ, LIFE AND LABOR, announcing the termination of the League's national charter in 1950. The records consist of correspondence, memoranda, speeches, clippings, notes, printed matter, and miscellaneous other items. The NWTUL's administrative operations are well documented in the headquarters records. Its policies and activities are recorded in the minutes of the Executive Board meetings and in the correspondence. Most of the letters and memoranda are from the various national League secretaries, particularly Elisabeth Christman, who held the position from 1921 to 1950. There is, as well, correspondence from various members of both the national and local Leagues, especially from the New York, Boston, and Chicago branches. Many of the local League members also served as officers and/or Executive Board members of the national League and are represented in the headquarters records. Included in this group are Margaret Dreier Robins, Mary Morton Kehew, Jane Addams, Rose Schneiderman, Mary Kenney O'Sullivan, Melinda Scott, Agnes Nestor, and Mary E. Dreier. Interspersed with the materials documenting the activities of the League are financial statements enumerating sources of income and costs of operation. The subject files as well as the headquarters records offer a major source of information concerning the League's goal of organizing women wage workers into trade unions. There is considerable material on the early history of the League in the historical data file. Many of the files on individual members contain biographical information, and the file on the American Federation of Labor sheds light on the League's relationship to that organization. Here and in the headquarters records is correspondence with Samuel Gompers, Frank Morrison, Frank Duffy, and Florence C. Thorne. Both series (headquarters records and subject files) contain documentation of the League's efforts to improve women's working conditions through supporting strikes, particularly in the garment industry, through the use of a training school to develop leadership among women of the working class, and through lobbying for the enactment of protective labor legislation. Issues such as the eight-hour day, a minimum wage, and the establishment of sanitary work areas were the focus of the League's early days. However, its interests broadened in later years to include federal aid to education, civil rights, price control, and social security. Correspondents include Ethel M. Smith, Eleanor Roosevelt, Sophonisba P. Breckinridge, Mary Anderson, Alice Henry, and Frances Perkins. The records of the NWTUL also contain proceedings for 10 of the 13 national conventions and mimeographed corrected copies of the proceedings of the three international congresses which the League sponsored.

11 linear ft. on 25 microfilm reels.

Information

SNAC Resource ID: 7918965

Cornell University Library

Related Entities

There are 24 Entities related to this resource.

Smith, Ethel M. (Ethel Marion), 1877-1951

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w66r2nx0 (person)

Ethel Marion Smith (1877–1951) was an American women’s rights activist and a union activist in the early 1920s. She participated in women’s organizations such as the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA) and the Women's Trade Union League (WTUL). She also worked with other union organizations such as the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE) and the American Federation of Labor (AFL). Ethel Smith spent her life promoting the idea of equal compensation for equal work regar...

Women's Trade Union League of Boston.

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6s8670w (corporateBody)

The Boston Women's Trade Union League was founded in 1904. Although it seldom had a paid secretary or a fully functioning headquarters, it aided strikers and worked with local unions on organizing campaigns. From the description of Records, 1923-1933 (inclusive). (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 122387472 ...

National Women's Trade Union League of America

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6r31s2g (corporateBody)

The National Women’s Trade Union League of America (NWTUL) was established in Boston, MA in 1903, at the convention of the American Federation of Labor. It was organized as a coalition of working-class women, professional reformers, and women from wealthy and prominent families. Its purpose was to “assist in the organization of women wage workers into trade unions and thereby to help them secure conditions necessary for healthful and efficient work and to obtain a just reward for such work.” ...

Breckinridge, Sophonisba P. (Sophonisba Preston), 1866-1948

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6vv2hsg (person)

Sophonisba Preston Breckinridge (April 1, 1866 – July 30, 1948) was an American activist, Progressive Era social reformer, social scientist and innovator in higher education. She was the first woman to earn a Ph.D. in political science and economics then the J.D. at the University of Chicago, and she was the first woman to pass the Kentucky bar. In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt sent her as a delegate to the 7th Pan-American Conference in Uruguay, making her the first woman to represent t...

Dreier, Mary E. (Mary Elisabeth), 1875-1963

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6qg9jgg (person)

Mary Dreier (September 26, 1875 - August 15, 1963) was a New York social reformer. Mary Elisabeth Dreier was born in New York city New York, on September 26, 1875. Her parents, Theodor Dreier, a successful businessman, and Dorthea Dreier, were both immigrants from Germany. Her mother's maiden name was Dreier and her parents were cousins from Bremen, Germany, where their ancestors were civic leaders and merchants. Theodor came to the United States in 1849 and became partner at the New York bra...

Gompers, Samuel, 1850-1924

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w66b7twc (person)

Samuel Gompers (1850-1924) was President of the American Federation of Labor and a member of the President's First Industrial Conference in 1919. He was a member of the President's Unemployment Conference in 1921. ...

Perkins, Frances, 1880-1965

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6xm951b (person)

Frances Perkins (born Fannie Coralie Perkins; April 10, 1880 – May 14, 1965) was an American sociologist and workers-rights advocate who served as the U.S. Secretary of Labor from 1933 to 1945, the longest serving in that position, and the first woman appointed to the U.S. Cabinet. As a loyal supporter of her friend, Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR), she helped pull the labor movement into the New Deal coalition. She and Interior Secretary Harold L. Ickes were the only original members of the Rooseve...

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6c649b1 (person)

Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was the longest-serving First Lady throughout her husband President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s four terms in office (1933-1945). She was an American politician, diplomat, and activist who later served as a United Nations spokeswoman. A shy, awkward child, starved for recognition and love, Eleanor Roosevelt grew into a woman with great sensitivity to the underprivileged of all creeds, races, and nations. Her constant work to improve their lot made her one of the most loved–...

Scott, Melinda.

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6058hd5 (person)

O'Sullivan, Mary Kenney, 1864-1943

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6mw3kgt (person)

O'Sullivan, labor organizer, factory worker and inspector, became the first woman general organizer of the American Federation of Labor in 1892, was one of the founders of the National Women's Trade Union League in 1903, and was an inspector for the Massachusetts Board of Labor and Industries, 1914-1929. She was also active in the prohibition and women's suffrage movements, and in the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. For further information see Notable American Women (1971). ...

Henry, Alice, 1857-1943

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6s18dzv (person)

An Australian journalist and feminist. On the staff of the Australasian and the Argus, Melbourne 1884-1905. Lectured on Proportional Representation and Woman's Suffrage. Worked in America 1905-1933. Became Office Secretary of the Chicago Branch of the National Women's Trade Union League of America and remained associated with it till 1928. Edited Life and Labor, a monthly magazine 1914-1918. From the description of Papers of Alice Henry [manuscript]. 1873-1943. (Libraries Australia)....

Thorne, Florence Calvert

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6sr02f6 (person)

Director of research. From the description of Reminiscences of Florence Calvert Thorne : oral history, 1957. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 309734588 ...

American Federation of Labor

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w67697mf (corporateBody)

Labor organization. From the description of American Federation of Labor records, 1883-1925. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 70980267 ...

Schneiderman, Rose, 1882-1972

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6010r6z (person)

Rose Schneiderman (April 6, 1882 – August 11, 1972) was a Polish-born American socialist and feminist, and one of the most prominent female labor union leaders. As a member of the New York Women's Trade Union League, she drew attention to unsafe workplace conditions, following the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire of 1911, and as a suffragist she helped to pass the New York state referendum of 1917 that gave women the right to vote. Schneiderman was also a founding member of the American Civil Li...

Robins, Margaret Dreier 1868-1945

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6t7397p (person)

Women's rights leader and social activist. Margaret Dreier Robins was born in 1868 in Brooklyn, New York. She left New York in 1925 and moved to Florida with her husband Raymond Robins. The Robins' resided at a large estate called Chinsegut Hill near the town of Brooksville. Margaret was a founder and leader of the National Women's Trade Union League and an outspoken crusader for equal rights for women in the workplace. She and her husband were also active in politics and campaigned for candidat...

Christman, Elisabeth.

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6d80d1q (person)

Women's Trade Union League of New York

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w66b33b0 (corporateBody)

The Women's Trade Union League of New York was one of the three original locals leagues established in the months following the formation of the National Women's Trade Union League (WTUL) in 1903. It was formally organized in February 1904. The WTUL of New York was founded by William English Walling and Mary Kenney O'Sullivan, who worked to recruit Margaret and Mary Dreier, Leonora O'Reilly, Pauline Newman, Clara Lemlich, Alice Bean, and Hilda Svenson, among others. The League served as a kind o...

Duffy, Frank, 1861-1955.

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6x13x8f (person)

Anderson, Mary, 1872-1964

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6cc1cx2 (person)

Anderson, Director of the Women's Bureau of the U.S. Department of Labor for 25 years, had emigrated from Sweden at 16. She worked for 18 years as a machine operator in shoe factories, was active in the Boot and Shoe Workers Union, and organized women workers for the National Women's Trade Union League before her appointment as assistant director of the Women in Industry Service in 1918. Anderson became director in 1919 and remained in that position (the Women in Industry Service became the Wome...

Women's Trade Union League of Chicago

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6z65qgf (corporateBody)

Kehew, Mary Morton Kimball, 1859-1918.

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6tq73w2 (person)

Addams, Jane, 1860-1935

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w62b8xj8 (person)

Social reformer; founder of Hull House settlement, Chicago. From the description of Letter: Hull-House, Chicago, to Louis J. Keller, Chicago, 1912 May 13. (Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library). WorldCat record id: 26496308 From the description of Letter: Hull-House, Chicago, to Paul M. Angle, Springfield, Ill., 1932 June 24. (Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library). WorldCat record id: 26496294 Founder of Hull House in Chicago. From the description of Cor...

Morrison, Frank,$d1859-1949.

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6dv97w4 (person)

Nestor, Agnes, 1880-1948.

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w67w7514 (person)