1. Samuel Gompers, "Labor's Service to Freedom," American Memory Historical Collections, Library of Congress; "American Labor's Position in Peace or in War," Mar. 12, 1917, in the Samuel Gompers Papers, Vol. 10.
2. See, for example, "Excerpts from the Minutes of a Meeting of the AFL Executive Council," Mar. 9, 1917, the Samuel Gompers Papers, Vol. 10. For a more general discussion see David Montgomery, The Fall of the House of Labor: The Workplace, the State, and American Labor Activism, 1865-1925 (Cambridge, 1987), Joseph A. McCartin, Labor's Great War: The Struggle for Industrial Democracy and the Origins of Modern American Labor Relations, 1912-1921 (Chapel Hill, N.C., 1997), and Elizabeth McKillen, Chicago Labor and the Quest for a Democratic Diplomacy, 1914-1924 (Ithaca, N.Y., 1995). Gompers quotation from "To the Executive Council of the AFL," Feb. 28, 1917, in the Samuel Gompers Papers, Vol. 10.
3. AFL, Proceedings, 1917, p. 3.
4. Bruce I. Bustard, "The Human Factor: Labor Administration and Industrial Manpower Mobilization during the First World War," Ph.D. diss., University of Iowa, 1984, pp. 69-70; Melvyn Dubofsky, The State and Labor in Modern America (Chapel Hill, N.C., 1994), p. 62. According to the U.S. Department of Labor there were nearly 3,800 strikes in 1916, over 4,400 in 1917, and over 3,300 in 1918, with 1.6 million strikers in 1916, 1.2 million in 1917, and about the same number in 1918 (Florence Peterson, "Strikes in the United States, 1880-1936," U.S. Department of Labor Bulletin 651 : 21, 35). AFL membership was 1,465,800 in 1903, 2,072,702 in 1916, and 2,726,478 in 1918 (AFL, Proceedings, 1919, p. 62).
5. According to Gompers, the AFL had seven women organizers on staff during the war (to D. S. Leighty, May 21, 1918, reel 235, vol. 247, p. 300, SG Letterbooks, DLC). For women war workers and their jobs, see Maurine Weiner Greenwald, Women, War, and Work: The Impact of World War I on Women Workers in the United States (Westport, Conn., 1980). According to a U.S. Department of Labor Women's Bureau survey, women constituted at least 20 percent of all workers manufacturing electrical machinery, airplanes, optical goods, leather and rubber products, as well as food, paper, and printed material, among others (Greenwald, Women, War, and Work, p. 21).
6. Franklin H. Martin, Digest of the Proceedings of the Council of National Defense during the World War, 73d Cong., 2d sess., 1934, S.Doc. 193, p. 40; Valerie Jean Conner, The National War Labor Board: Stability, Social Justice, and the Voluntary State in World War I (Chapel Hill, N.C., 1983), p. 23; AFL, Proceedings, 1917, pp. 81-88; AFL, Proceedings, 1918, pp.73-74; Bustard, "The Human Factor," p. 46; Speech of Samuel Gompers, May 15, 1917, Records of the Committee on Labor, RG 62, Records of the Council of National Defense, DNA.
7. "Personal Reminiscences of Samuel Gompers," Extract from Franklin Martin's diary, John Frey Papers, DLC. For Gompers' work on war-risk insurance and soldiers' and sailors' compensation, see Newton Baker to John Frey, Dec. 6, 1926, Frey Papers.
8. William Redfield to Robert Maisel, Aug. 14, 1917, Files of the Office of the President, General Correspondence, reel 87, frame 218, AFL Records; Martin, "Personal Reminiscences of Samuel Gompers"; Daniel Willard is quoted in Martin, Digest of Proceedings, pp. 55-56.
9. Martin, Digest of Proceedings, pp. 150-53, 240
10. [Ralph Easley] to Louis B. Schram, Oct. 9, 1917, Records of the Committee on Labor, RG 62, Records of the Council of National Defense, DNA.
11. Philip S. Foner, History of the Labor Movement in the United States, vol. 7, Labor and World War I, 1914-1918 (New York, 1987), pp. 112-14; Montgomery, Fall of the House of Labor, pp. 372-73; McKillen, Chicago Labor and Democratic Democracy, pp. 10-11.
12. Edward Nockels to William B. Rubin, Feb. 12, 1918, reel 92, frame 477, AFL Records.
13. "An Address at a Reception in Chicago Honoring the Members of the American Labor Mission to Europe," Nov. 8, 1918, in the Samuel Gompers Papers, Vol. 10.
14. Samuel Gompers, Seventy Years of Life and Labor: An Autobiography, 2 vols. (New York, 1925), 1: 478, 508.
15. John Alpine to James Duncan, Oct. 18, 1918, in the Samuel Gompers Papers, Vol. 10.
16."To Woodrow Wilson," Nov. 11, 1918, the Samuel Gompers Papers, Vol. 10; "An Address at a Reception in Chicago," the Samuel Gompers Papers, Vol. 10; ; "Labor and the War" in "Report of A.F. of L. Executive Council," AFL, Proceedings, 1917, p. 72; Gompers, Seventy Years, 2: 513.
Bernard Mannes Baruch (1870-1965), a financier, speculator, and, in his later years, advisor to Democratic political leaders, served from 1916 as a member of the Advisory Commission of the Council of National Defense, in charge of its division of raw materials, minerals, and metals. He also served on the War Industries Board, first, from July 1917, as its commissioner for raw materials, and then, from March 1918, as its chairman.
Edward N. Nockels, a member of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers 134 of Chicago, was secretary of the Chicago Federation of Labor from 1901 until his death in 1937.
William Cox Redfield (1858-1932) was the secretary of commerce (1913-19). He had previously served one term as a Democratic congressman from New York (1911-13).
John Spargo (1876-1966), a socialist reformer and writer, was a member of the national executive committee of the Socialist Party of America (SPA) before breaking with the party when the United States entered World War I.
Daniel Willard (1861-1942), president of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (1910-41), was a member of the Advisory Commission of the Council of National Defense (1916-18) and served as its chairman from March 1917 until October 1918, when he was commissioned for a short time as a colonel of engineers in the army. He also served briefly (November 1917-January 1918) as chairman of the War Industries Board.
Thomas Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) was president of Princeton University (1902-10), Democratic governor of New Jersey (1911-13), and president of the United States (1913-21).
The American Alliance for Labor and Democracy was launched in New York City on July 29, 1917, to encourage workers to support the war. It soon expanded from a local organization to one with a national focus, and on Aug. 15 it issued a circular calling on trade unionists throughout the country to organize local alliances to resist the "pro-German cause" and insure "the future liberty of every workingman" (Files of the Office of the President, General Correspondence, reel 87, frame 250, AFL Records). SG served as chairman of the Alliance and Robert Maisel as its director. The organization was financed largely by George Creel's Committee on Public Information.
The First American Conference for Democracy and Terms of Peace met in New York City, May 30-31, 1917. Attended by some four hundred pacifists and socialists, it called for peace without territorial annexations or punitive indemnities, advocated the repeal of conscription, and demanded that the United States make a separate peace with Germany in exchange for an end to unrestricted submarine warfare. The conference adopted resolutions leading to the establishment of the People's Council.
Col. Brice P. Disque (1879-1960), a career army officer, founded the Loyal Legion of Loggers and Lumbermen in November 1917 to stabilize labor relations and thereby increase spruce output in the Pacific Northwest.