Skip to main content Skip to main navigation

Peter V. Cacchione Papers

Call Number



1936-1947, inclusive
; 1944-1947, bulk


Cacchione, Peter V., 1897-1947
Cacchione, Dorothy (Role: Donor)


6 Linear Feet in ten manuscript boxes and one oversized flat box.

Language of Materials

English .


Peter V. Cacchione was a labor leader, communist and New York City councilman. He took advantage of New York City's proportional representation system, and ran (unsuccessfully) for city council on the Communist Party ticket in 1937 and 1939. He was elected in 1941, 1943 and 1945 and served until his death in 1947. The collection includes his correspondence, speeches, wiritings, clippings, etc. from 1936-1947. Researchers must use microfilm (R-7823), except for series V, Scrapbooks.

Historical/Biographical Note

Peter V. Cacchione (November 1, 1897 - November 6, 1947) was a labor leader, communist and New York City councilman. He was born of immigrant parents in Syracuse, New York in 1897, and grew up in Sayre, Pennsylvania. After graduating from high school in 1915 he worked as a railroad trainman and repairman, and at other blue-collar jobs. In 1932 he moved to New York, where he joined the progressive movement and in 1935 was elected National Commander of the Workers' Ex-Servicemen's League. In 1936 he became chairman of the Communist Party in the Bronx.

After moving to Brooklyn, he took advantage of New York City's newly instituted proportional representation system and ran (unsuccessfully) for city council on the Communist Party ticket in 1937 and 1939. He was elected in 1941, reelected in 1943 and 1945, and served until his death in 1947, two days after proportional representation was repealed. The New York City Council refused to seat the Communist Party's choice to serve the remaining fourteen months of Cacchione's term, his campaign manager (and biographer) Simon W. Gerson.


Simon W. Gerson. Pete: the Story of Peter V. Cacchione, New York's First Communist Councilman, New York: International Publishers, 1976.


Organized into five series: I. Correspondence; II. Speeches and Writings; III. Topical Files; IV. City Council; V. Scrapbooks (not microfilmed).

Folders are arranged alphabetically within each series.

Scope and Content Note

The Correspondence series, arranged chronologically, includes John Cashmore, Luther Hill, Paul O'Dwyer, Michael J. Quill, Leo Rayfield, Nathan Sobel, Andrew Sommer, Henry Stimson, Harry S. Truman, Robert F. Wagner, Henry A. Wallace, and Walter Wilson.

The Speeches and Writings series contains It Happened at City Hall (Cacchione's Daily Workercolumn) and other articles, radio addresses, news releases, two unpublished Cacchione play typescripts, "Builders of America" and "Pageant for Columbus Day," and two book-length unpublished typescripts "What is Public Speaking?" and "A Few Simple Hints to Speakers," which are notable (especially the latter) for their use of 'how-to' examples based on numerous accounts of contemporary political issues, many at the grassroots level and ephemeral in nature.

The Topical Files series (arranged alphabetically) contains multiple files on discrimination, electoral campaigns (PVC, others), the five cent (bus and subway) fare, housing, proportional representation, resolutions (City Council and other) wartime price controls, and individual files on other local issues, and on Cacchione's 1947 national speaking tour.

The City Council series largely consists of PVC-issued Budget Questionnaire forms completed by officials of several hundred New York State cities, towns, and villages, and various documents and ephemera.

The last series consists of scrapbooks and loose material removed from scrapbooks (not microfilmed) documenting Cacchione's political career from 1939 to 1945.

Conditions Governing Access

Materials are open without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright (or related rights to publicity and privacy) for materials in this collection, created by Peter V. Cacchione was not transferred to New York University. Permission to use materials must be secured from the copyright holder.

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 Dorothy Cacchione, 1978. The accession number associated with this gift is 1978.012.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Due to the fragile nature of the original materials, researchers must use the microfilmed version, with the exception of Series V: Scrapbooks. The microfilm call number is Film R-7823, Reels 1-4.

Collection processed by

Phyllis Klein

About this Guide

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on 2023-08-20 16:49:29 -0400.
Language: Description is in English.

Processing Information

In 2014, clippings from scrapbooks were re-foldered. Additional description for the scrapbooks was added to the finding aid.

Edition of this Guide

This version was derived from Cacchione Guide.wpd

Note Statement

Finding Aid


Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
2nd Floor
New York, NY 10012