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Labor Movement: The Problem of To-day (Boston, 1887) and Professor R. T. Ely in his The Labor Movement in America (New York, 1886) also treat at some length of the workingmen's parties of 1827 to 1833.
A brief summary of this period entitled "Labor Organizations and Labor Politics, 1827-1837," based in part on the material used by the writer, was published by Professor John R. Commons in the Quarterly Journal of Economics, 1907, XXI, 323–329. A discussion of the working class origins of the public school system in America, also based in part upon this material, is contained in Frank Tracy Carlton, Economic Influences upon Educational Progress in the United States, 1820-1850, University of Wisconsin, Bulletin, Economics and Political Science Series, Vol. IV, No. 1 (Madison, 1908). The Webbs' History of Trade Unionism (London, 1911) Chap. II, 102-161, deals with the contemporary movement in England, and offers a valuable historical perspective.
By far the most valuable sources of information for this period have been the few existing files of papers published during these years. The newspapers and periodicals may be roughly divided into two classes, those which were sympathetic and those which were hostile towards the labour movement. Among the sympathetic papers the most important were the Baltimore Republican, the Morning Herald1 and the Evening Post of New York, the Pennsylvanian and the Public Ledger of Philadelphia, the Boston Transcript, and the Washingtonian of Washington, D. C. The chief papers opposed to the labour movement during this period were the New York Journal of Commerce, the Philadelphia National Gazette, the Boston Courier, the Albany Argus, and the United States Telegraph of Washington. Other general papers which from time to time printed labour news were Niles' Weekly Register, of Baltimore; the American Sentinel, the Freeman's Journal, the Democratic Press, the Free Trade Advocate, Poulson's American Daily Advertiser, the Pennsylvania Inquirer, the Philadelphia Gazette, the United States Gazette, and the Banner of
1 This was a predecessor, published in 1830, of the Herald, started by James Gordon Bennett in 1835.
2 The Boston Transcript was favourable
to the labour movement until 1864, when it changed its attitude as the result of a printers' strike,
the Constitution, of Philadelphia; the American, the Commer cial Advertiser, the Morning Courier and New York Enquirer, and the Mercury, of New York; the Independent Chronicle and Boston Patriot, the Chronicle, the Columbian Centinel, the Daily Advertiser and Patriot, the People's Magazine, and the New England Weekly Review, of Boston; the Mercury and Journal, of Lowell; the Troy Farmer's Register; and the Rochester Craftsman and Examiner. The amount of attention given to the movement by the contemporary press proves that it loomed large in the everyday life of the times.
More or less complete files of ten labour papers which appeared during this period have been located and examined. Of these six belong exclusively to the years of political activity before 1832; one was published during these years and also during the later trade union movement; and three of lesser importance - The Co-operator, of Utica, 1832-1833, the State Herald; the Manufacturers' and Mechanics' Advocate, of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, 1831-1833, and the Working Men's Shield of Cincinnati, 1832-1833,- belong to the period just after the political movement had disappeared. The New York Anti-Auctioneer, 1828, was a campaign sheet published by a political organisation of master mechanics.
The first distinctly labour paper ever published in the United States, and perhaps the first in the world, was the Journeyman Mechanics' Advocate, started in Philadelphia in June or July, 1827. It appears, however, to have been short lived, and the first labour paper of which any numbers are now in existence is the Mechanics' Free Press, which was first published on January 12, 1828, in Philadelphia. Even this antedated by two years the first issue of a similar journal in England. The earliest number preserved is dated April 12, 1828, and the latest April 3, 1831, when a change of management was announced. The paper was still in existence as late as October, 1831, but it was then said to have "become degenerate."
The most important of the labour papers published during the political movement, of which files have been preserved, was
June 20, 1827.
4 Webb, History of Trade Unionism in England, 107.
5 New York Working Man's Advocate, Oct. 8, 1831.
The Working Man's Advocate, of New York, the first number of which was issued on October 31, 1829, and which was edited from that date until 1836 by George H. Evans, the prominent land reformer. During 1830 a daily edition was published under the title New York Daily Sentinel, and a semi-weekly, a few numbers of which are preserved, under the title New York Daily Sentinel and Working Man's Advocate.
The Delaware Free Press, published at Wilmington, Delaware, during 1830 and perhaps later, was in part a free-thought publication and in part an organ of the workingmen's political movement of that State. It quoted from labour papers in other sections and was in turn quoted by them.
The other four labour papers published during the political period of which copies have been found are the Working Man's Gazette of Woodstock, Vermont, 1830-1831, a small weekly; the Mechanics' Press of Utica, 1829-1830; the Farmers', Mechanics' and Workingmen's Advocate of Albany, 1830-1831, and the New York Free Enquirer, 1828-1835,6 The latter, though primarily a free-thought publication, also distinctly championed the workingmen's party, as did both of its chief editors during its early years, Frances Wright and Robert Dale Owen.
Echoes of the Citizenship Period are also found in the labour press of the succeeding trade union period, in The Man, 1834 1835, and the National Trades' Union, 1834-1836, of New York; the National Laborer, 1836-1837, and the Radical Reformer and Working Man's Advocate, 1835, of Philadelphia.
But the labour papers of this period which have been preserved are few in comparison with those which have been lost. From various sources a list has been secured of seventy-four labour or professedly labour papers supposed to have been issued between 1827 and 1837, i.e., during the political period and the ensuing trade union period. Of these, twenty-two may be considered as doubtful, that is, either as established papers which took up the workingmen's cause only by way of temporary protest or as mere imposters designed to divide the workingmen. Fifty-two true labour papers, however, one or
6 The Free Enquirer contained labour news only during 1829-1832.
more numbers of which are positively known to have been issued, are completely lost. This list includes all of the labour papers published at Boston, Baltimore, and Washington. It includes, moreover, papers published in all parts of the country, from New York to Cincinnati and from Portland, Maine, to Charleston, South Carolina.
A helpful source of information was a collection of scrapbooks of newspaper clippings made between 1828 and 1839 by Mathew Carey, the father of the economist and the first American investigator and ardent champion of working women. This collection is preserved in the Ridgway Branch of the Library Company in Philadelphia under the general title Carey's Excerpta, Select Excerpta or Scraps. Unfortunately these clippings are undated and are not even labelled with the names of the papers from which they were taken.
PUBLIC DOCUMENTS, BOOKS AND PAMPHLETS.
Address of the Association of Mechanics and Other Working Men of the City of Washington to the Operatives throughout the United States (Washington, printed at the office of the National Journal by Wm. Duncan, 1830).
Address of the General Executive Committee of the Mechanics and Other Working Men of the City of New York, read at a General Meeting of Working Men held at West Chester House, Bowery (New York, 1830).
Address of the Majority of the General Executive Committee of the Mechanics and Other Working Men of the City of New York (New York, 1830).
Beard, C. A. Economic Origins of Jeffersonian Democracy (New
Bourne, W. O. History of the Public School Society of the City of New York (New York, 1879).
Bradford, Alden. Biographical Notices of Distinguished Men in New England (Boston, 1842).
Commons, J. R. "Junior Republic," American Journal of Sociology, November, 1897, and January, 1898.
Evans, F. W. Autobiography of a Shaker (Mount Lebanon, New
Gilbert, Amos. Memoirs of Frances Wright (Cincinnati, 1855). Greeley, H. Recollections of a Busy Life (New York, 1868). Luther, Seth. An Address to the Working Men of New England (Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1832).
McMaster, J. B. The Acquisition of Political, Social and Industrial Rights of Man in America (Cleveland, 1903). Massachusetts Bureau of Statistics of Labor, Eleventh Annual
Report, "Strikes in Massachusetts" (Boston, 1880). Montgomery, James A. Practical Detail of the Cotton Manufacture of the United States of America (New York, 1840). Owen, Robert Dale. Threading My Way (New York, 1874). Paine, Thomas. Agrarian Justice as Opposed to Agrarian Law
and to Agrarian Monopoly (London, 1797). Pennsylvania Acts of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth, "6 Militia Law of 1822," (Harrisburg, 1822). Pierce, F. C. Foster Genealogy (Chicago, 1899).
Political Essays, October 1, 1831, by the New York Association for
eighth Annual Reports of the Trustees (1832-1833). Proceedings of a Meeting of Mechanics and Other Working Men Held at New York on December 29, 1829 (New York, 1830).
Proceedings of the Working Men's Convention (Boston, 1833). Proceedings of the Working Men's State Convention at Salina, New York (Auburn, New York, 1830).
Report on the Production and Manufacture of Cotton, by the Convention of the Friends of Domestic Industry (New York, 1832).
Richardson, James D. A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents, 1789-1897 (Vols. II and III, Washington, 1896).
Secrist, H. "The Anti-Auction Movement of 1828," Annals of Wisconsin Academy, Vol. XVII, No. 2.
Sharpless, Isaac. Two Centuries of Pennsylvania History (Philadelphia, 1909).
Skidmore, Thomas. The Rights of Man to Property (New York, 1829).
Sumner, H. L. "History of Women in Industry in the United States," Sen. Doc., 61st Cong. 2d sess. No. 645 (Washington, 1910).
Thorpe, F. N. The Federal and State Constitutions (Washington,
To the Working Men of New England (Boston, Aug. 11, 1832). Trumbull, Levi R. A History of Industrial Paterson (Paterson, New Jersey, 1882).
United States Bureau of Labor. Report on Condition of Woman and Child Wage Earners, Vol. IX.
United States Census, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1910.