|To William Taylor1
September 6, 1906.
Mr. W. S. Taylor,
563 Harrison Ave., Kankakee, Ill.
Dear Sir and Brother:
Your favor of September 2nd2 to hand and contents noted.
In reply would say, that I believe that it is to the best interests of our movement that our members and friends who live in Congressman Cannon's district should be the best judge as to who they should vote for. It is not necessary for me to say to you that there is no greater enemy to organized labor in the present Congress than this same Mr. Cannon. He has been openly charged on the floor of Congress in making up the committees, so that no measures could pass that did not have his favorable endorsement. You, of course, are aware of his position as to our Anti-Injunction Bill, the Compulsory Pilotage Bill, and also our Eight Hour Bill. At the present time he is in the state of Maine doing his utmost to re-elect a man to Congress, who has at every opportunity gone out of his way to oppose any and all labor measures that had been advocated there.
I am aware that the Socialists in that district have named a union miner3 for Congress. Our position is and has been that wherever it was possible, to elect a man to the halls of Congress who is a union man, with a union card in his pocket. If you have a copy of the Congressional Record at hand, you will find on perusing it that there are many members in the present Congress, many of whom have invariably opposed our measures, that were elected by very small pluralities, and had our members and friends presented a united instead of a divided front, the result would have been different. Every honorable effort should be made by our members and friends to get together and use their united forces for the purpose of defeating this open and avowed enemy of Labor, Uncle Joe Cannon.4
With kind regards, I am,
Fraternally yours, Saml Gompers.
President American Federation of Labor.
TLpS, reel 103, vol. 115, pp. 280-81, SG Letterbooks, DLC.
1. William S. Taylor was a member of United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America 496 of Kankakee, Ill.
2. Taylor to SG, Sept. 2, 1906, Files of the Office of the President, General Correspondence, reel 62, frames 132-34, AFL Records.
3. John H. Walker of Danville, Ill., was president of United Mine Workers of America District 12. (See glossary.)
4. The Socialist Party nominated Walker to oppose Joseph Cannon, and the Democratic party nominated Charles G. Taylor. The Danville Trades and Labor Council and the Illinois State Federation of Labor both endorsed Walker, and the AFL sent several organizers to assist him during the campaign, but Cannon won reelection.