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International Workers Order Records

Call Number

TAM.001

Dates

1930-1956, inclusive
; 1945-1951, bulk

Creator

International Workers Order
Goldsmith, William (Role: Donor)

Extent

1 Linear Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials

English .

Abstract

The International Workers Order (IWO), a Communist-affiliated, ethnically organized fraternal order, was founded in 1930 following a split from the Workmen's Circle. At its peak, shortly after World War II, the IWO had almost 200,000 members and provided low-cost health and life insurance, medical and dental clinics, and supported foreign-language newspapers, cultural and educational activities. The IWO was put on the Attorney General's list of subversive organizations in 1947 which ultimately led to the liquidation of the IWO in 1954. The material documents the political activities of the IWO and several of its constituent groups, notably the Jewish Peoples Fraternal Order (including Yiddish-language material), the New York State Department of Insurance case against the IWO, and the Ingram Case, a 1940's court case in which a black woman and her two sons were sentenced to death for the murder of a white man.

Historical/Biographical Note

The International Workers Order (IWO), a Communist-affiliated, ethnically organized fraternal order, was founded in 1930 following a split from the Workmen's Circle, the Jewish labor fraternal order. Max Bedacht, the IWO general secretary from 1932-1946, also served on the Communist Party's Political Bureau. At its peak, shortly after World War II, the IWO had almost 200,000 members, including 50,000 in the Jewish Peoples Fraternal Order. The IWO provided low-cost health and life insurance, medical and dental clinics, and the individual sections supported foreign-language newspapers, and a range of cultural and educational activities and institutions, including children's camps and cultural schools. The placement of the IWO on the Attorney General's list of subversive organizations in 1947 was the first of a series of events that led to the liquidation of the IWO in 1954, after it had lost its tax exempt status and insurance charter.

Arrangement

The files are grouped into one series.

Folders are arranged alphabetically by subject/author heading.

Scope and Content Note

The records contain clippings, correspondence, ephemera, legal documents, manuscripts, minutes, press releases, printed materials, and reports, arranged alphabetically. The material documents the political activities of the IWO and several of its constituent groups, notably the Jewish Peoples Fraternal Order (including Yiddish-language material), the New York State Department of Insurance case against the IWO, and the Ingram Case, a 1940's court case in which a black woman and her two sons were sentenced to death for the murder of a white man. IWO leaders represented include Max Bedacht (general secretary), Walter B. Garland, and Sam Milgrom (executive secretary). There is also an unpublished manuscript, "Jewish People's Fraternal Order of the International Workers Order" (1950, 35 pp.), by Lucy S. Davidowitz (later known as Lucy S. Dawidowicz), a critical history focusing on the JPFO's relationship with the Communist movement. Several photographs were removed to the library's Nonprint collection.

Conditions Governing Access

Materials are open without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

The Tamiment Library has no information about copyright ownership for this collection and is not authorized to grant permission to publish or reproduce materials from it. Materials in this collection, which were created in 1930 to 1956, are expected to enter the public domain in 2077.

Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:

Identification of item, date; Collection name; Collection number; box number; folder number;
Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012, New York University Libraries.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by William Goldsmith, 1960. The accession number associated with this gift is 1960.002

Related Material at the Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives

NOTE: The bulk of the records of the IWO, 52 linear feet, 1927-1956, are held by Cornell University's Kheel Center (Labor-Management Documentation & Archives) in Ithaca, New York.

About this Guide

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on 2023-08-20 16:45:01 -0400.
Language: Description is in English.

Edition of this Guide

This version was derived from IWO Guide.wpd

Repository

Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives

Series I

American Slav Committee of Greater New York and Vicinity; May 23, 1942, 1942, inclusive

Box: 1, Folder: 1 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)

Bedacht, Max: Draft Report of the General Secretary; August 29, 1946, 1946, inclusive

Box: 1, Folder: 2 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)

Board of Directors Meeting; November 1949, 1949, inclusive

Box: 1, Folder: 3 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)

Carpatho-Russian National Society, 1943-1949, inclusive

Box: 1, Folder: 4 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)

Cervantes Society Mutualista Obrera Puertorriquena, 1949-1950, inclusive

Box: 1, Folder: 5 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)

Circulars, 1947-1951, inclusive

Box: 1, Folder: 6 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)

Correspondence, 1948-1950, inclusive

Box: 1, Folder: 7 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)

Davidowitz, Lucy S.: "Jewish People's Fraternal Order of the International Workers Order" (unpublished ts, 35 pp., and related documents); November 1950, 1950, inclusive

Box: 1, Folder: 8 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)

Du Sable Lodge (Illinois), 1948, inclusive

Box: 1, Folder: 9 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)

Education Department Accession Book, undated, inclusive

Box: 1, Folder: 10 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)

Garibaldi American Fraternal Society, 1948-1951, inclusive

Box: 1, Folder: 11 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)

General Council Meeting Minutes; 15-16 Sep 1945, 1945, inclusive

Box: 1, Folder: 12 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)

General Council Meeting Minutes; 16-17 Mar 1946, 1946, inclusive

Box: 1, Folder: 13 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)

General Council Meeting Minutes; 7-8 Sep 1946, 1946, inclusive

Box: 1, Folder: 14 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)

General Council Meeting: Report by the General Secretary; February 1945, 1945, inclusive

Box: 1, Folder: 15 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)

General Council Meeting: Report by Sam Milgrom on Developments of the Drive to Build the Order in the Negro Community; September 16, 1945, 1945, inclusive

Box: 1, Folder: 16 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)

General Council Meeting: Reports; 1-2 Mar 1947, 1947, inclusive

Box: 1, Folder: 17 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)

General Council Meeting: Reports; 3-4 Feb 1951, 1951, inclusive

Box: 1, Folder: 18 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)

Goldsmith, William: Correspondence re: IWO Study (for Fund for the Republic), 1956, inclusive

Box: 1, Folder: 19 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)

Hellenic-American Brotherhood, 1948, inclusive

Box: 1, Folder: 20 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)

Ingram Case: Clippings, Ephemera, undated , 1948, inclusive

Box: 1, Folder: 21 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)

Ingram Case: Contributions, 1948-1949, inclusive

Box: 1, Folder: 22 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)

Ingram Case: Family Correspondence, 1948, inclusive

Box: 1, Folder: 23 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)

Ingram Case: Ingram Children's Education & Welfare Fund, 1948-1949, inclusive

Box: 1, Folder: 24 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)

Ingram Case: Legal Matters, NAACP, 1948-1949, inclusive

Box: 1, Folder: 25 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)

Ingram Case: News Releases, Statements, 1949-1950, inclusive

Box: 1, Folder: 26 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)

Ingram Case: Tour Arrangements, 1948, inclusive

Box: 1, Folder: 27 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)

Internal Documents (IWO), undated, inclusive

Box: 1, Folder: 28 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)

Jewish Peoples Fraternal Order: Correspondence, 1947-1950, inclusive

Box: 1, Folder: 29 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)

Jewish Peoples Fraternal Order: Internal Documents, Statements, etc. (many in Yiddish), ca.1948-1951, inclusive

Box: 1, Folder: 30 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)

Jewish Peoples Fraternal Order: Press Releases, 1947-1951, inclusive

Box: 1, Folder: 31 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)

Milgrom, Sam: Correspondence, 1947-1950, inclusive

Box: 1, Folder: 32 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)

New York State Insurance Dept. vs IWO: Briefs, undated , 1951, inclusive

Box: 1, Folder: 33 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)

New York State Insurance Dept. vs IWO: Legal Documents, Miscellaneous, 1947-1951, inclusive

Box: 1, Folder: 34 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)

New York State Insurance Dept. vs IWO: Rank & File Testimony, undated, inclusive

Box: 1, Folder: 35 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)

New York State Insurance Dept. vs IWO: Report on Examination of the IWO; April 21, 1950, 1950, inclusive

Box: 1, Folder: 36 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)

Polonia Society, 1945-1949, inclusive

Box: 1, Folder: 37 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)

Resident Board Meeting: Minutes; June 8, 1949, 1949, inclusive

Box: 1, Folder: 38 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)

Resolutions, undated , 1949, inclusive

Box: 1, Folder: 39 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)

Russian Section, 1937-1951, inclusive

Box: 1, Folder: 40 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)

Serbian-American Federation, 1939-1947, inclusive

Box: 1, Folder: 41 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)

Slovak Workers Society, 1947-1951, inclusive

Box: 1, Folder: 42 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)

Statements (Miscellaneous), 1931-1937, inclusive

Box: 1, Folder: 43 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)

Ukranian-American Fraternal Union, 1949-1950, inclusive

Box: 1, Folder: 44 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)

Workmen's Circle, Break from: Text of Declaration, 1930, inclusive

Box: 1, Folder: 45 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)
Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
2nd Floor
New York, NY 10012