|To Millard Pettingill1
April 25, 1906.
M. F. Pettingill,
Lewiston, Mo. [Me.]
Dear Sir and Brother:
Yours of the 12th instant is at hand and contents noted.
Important duties here and others equally important out of Washington have prevented reply to your letter earlier; otherwise it would have received immediate attention.
In reply to your inquiry as to the position of the American Federation of Labor in regard to Congressman Charles Littlefield, let me say all organized workmen must, from his past record, regard him as a decided opponent. The officers and Legislative Committee of the American Federation of Labor have always found him lined up with the corporations and enemies of organized labor. He has vindictively and persistently opposed all measures in Congress seeking better conditions for the workers.
As a consequence, the American Federation of Labor, and in fact all intelligent workmen and sympathizers, should oppose the re-election of Congressman Littlefield. He should be defeated and replaced by a man who will legislate for all the people all the time. We are convinced that he can be defeated. In fact that end is already in sight. His complete political downfall will be secured if the workers of Maine combine with that purpose in view.
We have not yet arranged plans for a systematic line of action to encompass the defeat of Congressman Littlefield, but I can assure you an energetic movement against him will be prepared.
It will give me pleasure to keep you in touch with any line of action that we may adopt in the future. At present let me impress upon you the fact, that any honorable, intelligent action taken by organized labor in Lewiston, seeking the defeat of Congressman Littlefield, will receive the support of the American Federation of Labor.
I am thoroughly in sympathy with your idea of the sort of man who should be elected as a successor to Congressman Littlefield.
If necessary, you will be furnished with a detailed account of Mr. Littlefield's manifestations to the cause of labor.
I am enclosing you a copy of Labor's Bill [of] Grievances which you will find in perfect accord with your views on this matter.
Let the slogan go forth that we will stand by our friends and administer a stinging rebuke to men or parties who are either indifferent, negligent, or hostile, and, wherever opportunity affords, to secure the election of intelligent, honest, earnest trade unionists, with clear, unblemished, paid-up union cards in their possession.
Yours fraternally, Saml Gompers.
President, American Federation of Labor.
TLpS, reel 98, vol. 110, pp. 864-65, SG Letterbooks, DLC.
1. Millard F. Pettingill, a brick mason, was a member of Bricklayers', Masons', and Plasterers' International Union of America Maine local 1 of Lewiston and secretary-treasurer (1902-9) of the union's Maine State Council.