New York: Citizens' Committee to Free Earl Browder, 1941-1942. 115 staplebound typescript documents on Committee letterhead; folio (35.5cm.). Usual wear from handling, some tears along edges not affecting text; all about Very Good or better.
Nearly daily (and in some cases, more often than daily) press releases dated December 1, 1941 to March 24, 1942 regarding pleas made to president Franklin D. Roosevelt for the release of Communist Party leader and anti-Fascist Earl Browder. Browder, at the time of his imprisonment, was the General Secretary of the National Committee of the CPUSA. With the signing of the Molotov-Rippentrop Pact of 1939, Browder fell considerably from favor with the Roosevelt administration. That same year the House Special Committee of Un-American Activities began an investigation of trips abroad Browder had made under an assumed name in the 1920s, eventually indicting him for passport fraud. He was convicted in the spring of 1941, and by the Christmas season of the same year had inspired the bed-ridden Tom Mooney to chair this Defense Committee with the aide of Elizabeth Gurley Flinn, Louis Weinstock, and Robert W. Dunn. This collection of press releases displays the consistently growing support displayed across the country from clergymen, labor union factions, and literary figures such as W.E.B. DuBois, Richard Wright, Dashiell Hammett, and Rockwell Kent. Although Mooney died on March 6th of 1942, his title as Chairman remains on the letterhead for the entirety of the archive.
Among the supporters of the cause are the International Union of Mine, Mill, and Smelter Workers; ship crews of the S.S. Craigsmere and Gatun; the Newark, N.J., Industrial Union Council; officers of Hearn's Department Store; Milwaukee, Wis. County Industrial Union Council; the International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union; the Butte Miners Union; the General Executive Board of the International Fur and Leather Workers Union; the United Christian Council for Democracy; the Greater New York Industrial Union Council; the United Automobile Workers of America; the Executive Board of the Chicago Steel Workers Organizing Committe; the AFL International Hod Carriers Building and Common Laborers Union; the United Match Workers; the Executive Board of the AFL International Jewelry Workers Union; the Capitol District Industrial Union Council; the Western Maryland Industrial Union Council; the Chicago Joint Committee Czechoslovak Organizations; the Cascade County Trades and Labor Assembly of Montana; The Boston Joint Board of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America; and the Westchester Industrial Union Council. Indeed, "More than one million organized workers have already through their local and central labor bodies, CIO and AFL, forwarded resolutions to President Roosevelt requesting in the name of justice to free Earl Browder from prison."