Records from the American Federation of Labor Letterbooks
(also known as the Letterpress Copybooks of Samuel Gompers)
The original copybooks are at the Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, but this guide is keyed to the microfilm edition which is available at the LC, and at the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, Pennsylvania State University, the University of Maryland, College Park, and the University of N. Carolina, Chapel Hill. Page numbers are listed first.
56 SG to Hough, 12-5-13, immigrants who will not conform to American methods.
351 SG to Myers, 12-19-13, Immigration bill, literacy test
363, SG to Morales, 12-19-13,.Mexicans and Americans should be in the same Federal Labor Union, sinces there are not enough of either for two unions.
618 SG to Alliman, 12-29-13, contains text of anti-immigration resolution with reference to literacy tests
618 SG to Editor, 3-17-15, re: Victor Berger's vote to sustain veto of Immigration bill, and SG's view of literacy test
171 Jose de Diego to SG, 4-8-14, on American citizenship and colonialism;SG to de Diego, 4-15-14, 178
693 SG to Smith, 5-1-14, AFL immigration policies
277 SG to Smith, 6-19-14, re: immigration bill [Smith's response, p. 367]
992 SG to Phillips, 8-5-14, Re: NCF Immigration Program; sounds like it supports industrial unionism
206 SG to Knapp, 8-10-14, immigrant assimilation in schools and dialects;
553 SG to Scharrenburg, 10-28-14, asks him to hold off on Asiatic question during war [elaborates, 10-28-14, p. 565
275 SG to Kirkpatrick, 12-4-14, Literacy test/immigration bill
547 SG to Ellsworth, 12-15-14, on immigration
980 SG to Harris, 1-27-15, immigration bill
119 Morrison to Tobin, 1-29-15, letterwriting/lobbying campaign to pass immigration bill over Wilson's veto [similar letters to many others all signed by Morrison]
Check expose reference 138 SG to Burnett, 1-29-152, immigration bill [this also refers to expose’, apparently published in Newsletter, ca. 1-30; nb, Newsletter article is reproduced on AFL Records, Reel 13, 505]
189 SG to Duncan, 1-30-15, more on immigration bill
194[SG to Burnett, 1-30-15, more on immigration bill
353 SG to Doremus, 2-2-15, immigration bill but repeats much of what is in SG to Burnett, 1-29-15, 138
361 RL Guard to SG, 2-3-15, immigration bill
451 Morrison to SG, 2-4-15, immigration bill lost by 4 votes
847 Massimino Moccio to SG, 3-2-15, Italian-American citizen complains about aliens who won't become citizens and get public work [SG replyr follows]
879 Myers to SG, 2-11-15, on his letter to Burnett and immigration of the unfit. [SG to Myers, p.877, and SG to Wilson, 878, provides some context; also note, reel193, SG to Myers, 5-3-15, 761, thanks Myers for info re: Mexican authorities sending cripples to U.S.]
420 SG to Fowler, 4-20-15, immigration
127 SG to Hamilton, 7-8-15, Japanese, immigration
685 SG to Quinlavan, 2-21-16, immigration, wages, steel industry
826 SG to Griffith, 3-15-16, article re: immigration
904 SG to Rickert, 3-18-16, Polish workers in Buffalo, IWW (see also, 962; 982)
502 SG to Cortez, 6-19-16, re: Mexicans in Colorado (see also, SG to Hamilton, 6-19-16, 499)
936 SG to Ollie James, 7-7-16, urges passage of immigration bill (sent to others)
587 SG to Hamilton, 7-21-16, Mexican workers in Colorado; also Industrial Commission
193 SG to French, 8-3-16, organizing Mexicans in Arizona
1010 SG to Pettipiece, 9-16-16, organizing Chinese; see also Pettipiece to SG, 9-8-16, 996, organizing Chinese (he sends it to Scharrenberg, 995)
906 SG to Pollak, 3-22-17, immigration
374 Lewis to SG, 5-24-17, relaxation of immigration laws (SG action, 373; Wilson's reply, 681
279 SG to Creel, 6-20-17, publication of news that alien labor is prohibited.(see also, 337)
504 Bryant to SG, 7-19-17, German-Amerericans dismissed from job on the docks
871 SG to Wilson, 8-3-17, protests bringing in illiterate Mexican agricultural workers under guise of labor shortange (notes that Burnett Immigration law passed over veto)
200 SG to Midyette, 11-7-17, explanation of literacy test (debate letter)
GET PAGE SG to Jonath, 12-19-17, re: Austria-Hungary subjects and U.S. policies toward them and Germans
556, Bauer et al to SG, 11-15-17, aliens, members of IAM, arrested and detained for duration of war without a hearing [SG sends it on, 555; more, 753, 754; reel 230, 97]
924 SG to Olander, 1-26-18, misrepresentation of bonafide labor movement by radicals to workmen of non English speaking countries. [reply, 2-9-18, VF]
616 Bernheim to SG, 2-5-18, danger of aliens in NYC [he sends it on, 615; replies, 618]
814 Colvin to SG, 1-25-18, on pro-German aliens [sent to W.B. Wilson, 813]
960 SG to Lane, 5-2-18, endorses federal aid for education of foreign born [context explained. 961]
257 SG to Hudson, 5-20-18, native born and naturalized citizens should be given preference in hiring.
SG to Baruch, 8-8-18, 656, American Alliance for Labor and Democracy Spanish/English newpaper in San Antonio [goes out to others]
SG to Evans, 12-30-18, 432, Mexicans will demand union wages when they are organized
210 SG to Larger, 1-4-23, re: attempts to break down immigration safeguards; how things work in Europe
296 SG to Golden, 9-4-20, re: Lawrence, IWW; why does the AFL ignore these workers?
913 SG to Salamon, 1-27-21, a little touchy on the immigrant question!
924, SG to Greenwood, 8-18-21, AFL favors health exams for immigrantss at point of immigration
97 SG to Hines, 3-4-21, on organized workers, immigration
861, SG to Hart, 3-23-21, Mexicans and packing house workers in Texas
262, SG to Valentine, 7-14-21, more on Hawaii and Chinese coolies
64 SG to Davis, 7-28-21, re:Mexican laborers (see 62 SG to Idar, 7-28-21, for context)
955 Gamble to SG, 9-27-21, Mexican painters discriminating against gringoes [sends it to Hedrick, 954 replies, 956
299 SG to Whittemore Corp. 10-12-21, coolies don’t use shoe polish
544 SG to Denure, 11-5-21, Americanization, underpaid teachers, failure of school administrators in Washington, D.C.
62 SG to Schooley, 11-22-21, more on coolies – he prefers Filipinos and Puerto Ricanss
86 SG to Mather, 11-22-21, typical immigration letter that incorporates the coolie issue
214 SG to Shelpp, 11-25-21, clear statement on Anti Asian (including Japanese) position,
389 SG to Wright, 12-20-21, one big union of Japanese and white on Hawaii? He links this to coolie issue. [There are lettters fromWright on reel 30, 2285; 2362, Roberts memo to SG re: OBU idea – lots on Hawaiian issue on this reel. Wright is identified reel 268, 122]
513 SG to Nelson, 12-23-21, a pretty frank expression of his views on immigration; notes efforts to cut off immigration entirely.
482 Berres to SG, 3-1-22, re: aliens, white men, and Panama Canal
507 SG to Davis, 3-4-22, Japanese RR mechanics causing dissension among whites and Mexicans.
49 SG to Colt, 3-16-22, re: immigration bill [goes to others too, 51-68]
645 SG to Davis, 4-26-22, Mexicans taking Maintenance of Way jobs in New Mexico [information comes from M.Ws Lynch, 642]
9 Idar to SG, 7-27-22, Idar is a special organizer and generally deals with Mexican and Pan American Labor Federation issues. Calles, RR strike, efforts to keep imported labor out[sent to RR Dept]
95 Yoshio Nishimura to SG, 7-22-22, re: Japanese RRworkers in Utah and shop crafts efforts to keep them out; notes that capitalists are more democratic when it comes to race. Says Japanese admitted to UMW in 1907 [checks with Green for advice, 94]
366 SG to Fink, 8-8-22, anti immigration despite the fact that he is an immigrant – go to Australia or South Africa he says.
501, SG to Ruiz, 8-8-22, re: thanks for urging Mexicans not to immigrate as strikebreakers. [also sent to Moreno][Spanish translation follows, 503]
926, Idar to SG, 8-19-22, Mexican labors help during strike
18 SG to Snyder, 10-30-22, immigration
351 Idar to SG, 11-5-22, IATSE local kicking out Mexican-Americans [350 sends it on; more, 352; 517, IATSE to investigate]
899 SG to Canafax, 12-23-22, KKK, AFL and foreign born.
263 SG to Canafax, 1-5-23, re: Mr. Minor, a KKK member, and his views of “foreign” strike agitators
350 SG to Caldwell, 1–8-23, his view of Russian Aid Society for unemployed Russian immigrants; SG thinks they should take their chances with others here for general, not special relief.
478 SG to Perkins, 1-12-23, re: unrestricted immigration; notes that if common labor were wiped out machines would be invented and machine tenders would get same wage as skilled mechanics
606 SG to Short, 1-16-23, re: attacks on immigration laws from steel, meat packing industries, etc. Wants Filene to send a letter [see also, 52 SG to Tigh, 1-3-23, House committee on immigration hearing on amending immigration laws to permit influx of workers; Steel interests are active; more, 207]
207 SG to Byrnes, 2-1-23, more on immigration legislation
484 Polladino to SG, 2-7-23, laundry workers have signed an agreement with Chinese laundry and this laundry owner is opposed; passes it on, 483; more 947; SG reply, 951]
171 SG to Greer. 1-30-23, more on congressional efforts to open immigration
622 SG to Johnson, 2-15-23, more on immigration bill
951 SG to Palladino [not Polladino as previously] 2-27-23, Laundry Workers don’t discriminate against any but Chinese
456 SG to SOL Davis, 4-30-23, re: Mexican immigrants and Bethlehem Steel [Thackery’s letter follows]
903 SG to Idar, 5-17-23, organizing Mexican RR workers [more, 312]
333 SG to Sullivan, 6-4-23, since “chinaman” in question is U.S. born citizen, he is eligible for union membership.
446 SG to Gerber, 5-21-23, re: immigration
500 SG to Editor, Erie Pa – First page illegible; apparently deals with his being an immigrant and his war record
546 SG to Duffy, 7-28-23, immigration and Americanization
942 SG to Hutcheson, 8-11-23, furniture manufacturers claim a shortage of skilled cabinet makers to get around immigration laws [more, Reel 293, 156;
178 O’Connell to SG, nd, ca 8-17-23, the other side of immigration restriction – UGW worker cannot get his family in and needs help
241 Gurghian to SG, 8-15-23, plight of Armenian immigrants – and the other side of immigration restriction.
942 SG to Oppendahl, 9-18-23, good statement on immigration laws and corporate “jokers.” Wants quota based on 1890 not 1910 census since “this would permit desirable immigration from Northern and Western Europe.” [Sent to many others]
824 SG to Davis, 11-7-23, U.S. is admitting immigrants over the quota[letters referred to follow; reply, Reel 295, 463]
294 Minutes of Legislative Meeting – opposition to registering aliens even if (theoretically) it makes it easier to deport them, beginning on page that follows 294 (and precedes 295). They say it will help open shoppers intimidate alien workers.
461 SG to Herman, 11-21-23, another anti immigration letter
497 SG to Secretary of Labor Davis, 12-19-23, more on immigration, notes editorial in Jan American Federationist re: enrollment of aliens
509 SG to Sen. Harrison, 12-20-23, immigration; alien registration issue. Says it’s “essentially Prussian”“Registration . . .would mean that we were to presume them potentially evil-doers and lawbreakers.”
133 SG to Hooker, 2-18-24, more on immigration restriction, specifically the Johnson bill and whether it is better to have families here or immigrant breadwinner sending money home. On the great “mongrel” nations like Babylon, Assyria, Greece and Rome “It is true they were great at one time, but where are they now? They are where the U.S. would be if we continue to permit excessive immigration.”
359 SG to Grace, 3-6-24, more on Johnson immigration bill and race issue.
887 SG to JLL, 3-27-24, re: Mexican and Canadian immigrants [quotas do not apply to them; very hard to read]
53 SG to Baroff, 3-31-24, re: immigration; cannot accept penalizing of any race or nation; more on Jews here than usual
728 Moore to SG, 8-19-24, notes that thanks to new immigration law he can’t easily go from Canada to Carpenters’ convention [more, Reel 300, 96]
594 SG to Renkel, 10-16-24, Japanese are different, not inferior.
699 SG to Macrum, 10-29-24, AFL lobbied for Bureau of Immigration funds to strengthen patrols along Mexican border