J. Louis Engdahl Papers (1885-1981, bulk 1912-1932)
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Contents List

   Container / Location    Title
 
Correspondence [series]:

The Correspondence series (2.5 linear feet) is comprised of handwritten and typed letters, greeting cards, postcards, and telegrams and is grouped into three subseries: J. Louis Engdahl's outgoing correspondence; Engdahl Family correspondence, comprised of letters written by his wife, daughter, sister-in-law and brother-in-law, and other relatives in the Engdahl, Levitin, and Rodriguez families; and Others, listed alphabetically by name. Ralph Korngold, Frank Hayes, and Ruth Benedict are among the correspondents. Most of the Engdahl Family correspondence is comprised of Pauline Levitin Engdahl's letters to Louis.

Included in the Others subseries are two folders of "Sympathy Letters," written to Pauline Levitin Engdahl at the time of her husband's death. Notable among these are letters from William L. Patterson, chairman of the International Labor Defense. Some of the letters in these folders also discuss memorial and financial arrangements. Included with the sympathy letters are an undated, unsigned poem, "A Monument to Love," and an empty envelope addressed to Pauline Levitin Engdahl and dated 1927. The association of these items to the rest of the materials in this grouping is unclear.

Engdahl's letters to his wife, especially, and also to his daughter, comprise most of the Correspondence series. They recount in detail Engdahl's daily activities, his hopes and fears, and his affection and longing for his loved ones during his time apart from them (long and frequent periods of separation being an unfortunate consequence of his life's work). In earlier correspondence, dating from the 'teens, Louis and Pauline Engdahl both comment frequently on Victor Berger and his work. Later letters deal primarily with Louis's work for the ILD on behalf of the Scottsboro defendants. One can trace, too, the evolution of J. Louis Engdahl's relationship with Pauline Levitin (Engdahl), from good friends and allies in a common cause, to sweethearts, and finally spouses.

 
Engdahl, J. Louis, outgoing [subseries]:
Box   1  
To Pauline Levitin Engdahl
Box   1  
 1912-May 1914 (17 folders)
Box   2  
 June 1914-1916 and  1919 (7 folders)

(May also include one item to Pauline's mother, 1916)

Box   2  
 1921-1932 and  undated (7 folders)
Box   2  
To Pauline Engdahl (daughter),  1920-1923 1925 1927-1928 1931-1932 and  undated (5 folders)
Box   3  
To Family (wife and daughter),  1916-1919 1921-1922 1926 and  undated (5 folders)
Box   3  
To Others, various,  1932

(includes a letter in support of Sophia Rodriguez's Soviet visa extension)

 
Engdahl Family, outgoing [subseries]:
 
Engdahl, Pauline Levitin

(mainly to Louis Engdahl; includes some correspondence from daughter Pauline and from Sophia)

 
To J. Louis Engdahl
Box   3  
 1913-February 1914 (7 folders)
Box   4  
 March 1914-1919 1921-1923 (17 folders)
 
Engdahl, Pauline(daughter)
Box   4  
To J. Louis Engdahl,  1919 1922- 1923 and  undated (2 folders)

(includes some correspondence to and from Pauline Levitin Engdahl)

Box   4  
To others,  undated

(to mother and other family?)

Box   5  
Rodriguez, William and Sophia Levitin Rodriguez [a.k.a. Sonia or Vera]
Box   5  
Outgoing,  1911 1917
Box   5  
Incoming,  1921

(re Debs' Freedom Conference and Miner's Convention)

Box   5  
Rodriguez Sophia Levitin,  1914-1922 and  undated

(May also include a letter from Sophia and Pauline's mother)

 
"Relatives"

(including Mrs. Levitin, mother of Pauline and Sonia; and [cousin or brother?] Emil)

Box   5  
"Auntie," to Pauline Engdahl,  1921
Box   5  
"Aunt Mania," to Pauline Engdahl,  undated
Box   5  
"L.W.," to J. Louis Engdahl, [1915 ?]
Box   5  
Engdahl, David E.,  1932 and  1966
Box   5  
"Grandma Levitin," [to Polly Engdahl?],  undated
Box   5  
"Lawrence," to grandmother,  undated
Box   5  
Levitin, Emil Z. [Pauline and Sophia's brother or perhaps cousin],  undated
Box   5  
Levitin, Mrs. [mother of Pauline and Sophia],  1914-1919

(one 1914 letter to Sophia and Pauline appears to include a holograph will)

Box   5  
"Margaret," to "Aunt Polly,"  1933
Box   5  
Olin, Martha C., to Pauline L. Engdahl,  1915
Box   5  
Wedding announcement for Pauline Levitin,  1915
Box   5  
Unidentified, to Pauline Levitin Engdahl,  1937 and  undated
Box   5  
Miscellaneous,  1914- 1915 and  undated

([Some letters possibly from daughter Pauline]. Addressed variously to "Pussynyu," "Pussycat," and "Puzzuma," from "Monkeyface" and "Me."])

 
Others, outgoing [subseries]:
Box   5  
Benedict, Ruth,  1922
Box   5  
Branstetter, Otto, Socialist Party National Office, to [Sophia] Vera Rodriguez,  1921
Box   5  
Peluso, Edmond, Il Comunista ,  1922
Box   5  
Hayes, Frank J., UMWA, with manuscript, a biographical sketch of Hayes, by J.L. Engdahl
Box   5  
Korngold, Ralph,  1916
Box   5  
___, Jacob; Livingston, Rosen & Co.,  1915

(uncle of Sophia Rodriguez)

Box   5  
"Mac" [MacBride, ____?], to Pauline Engdahl,  1922 and  undated
Box   5  
Sympathy Letters to Engdahl family,  1932-1933

(Includes letters from William L. Patterson, International Labor Defense, and Pauline L. Engdahl's reply. Also includes poem "A Monument to Love," author unknown [possibly by JLE? and possibly goes with envelope from 1927 also in folder?]. Some correspondence re memorial and financial arrangements.)

Box   5  
Miscellaneous Others, scattered dates
 
Writings [series]:

(original manuscripts; see also Printed Material series)

The Writings series (0.5 linear feet) consists of articles and essays (mainly typescripts, but also manuscripts) written by Engdahl, as well as two typewritten drafts of a semi-autobiographical novel. Published versions of writings by Engdahl can be found in the Printed Material series. (Some published works were removed for separate cataloging and can be found by searching the library's online catalog.)

 
Articles and Essays [subseries]:
Box   13 (oversize)  
"Afterwords": manuscript, 3 pp.,  ca. 1908

(originally enclosed with Engdahl's essay "Reasons for It" in Minnesota Magazine in the Printed Material series; this is possibly a draft)

Box   5  
"A Little Child Shall Lead Them," 2 pp.,  1908
Box   5  
"Socialism Points Its Finger," West Virginia, 7 pp.,  undated

(re the West Virginia coal miners' strike of 1913)

 
Novel [subseries]:
 
The Struggle , or The Chosen Path , based on the Streetcar Strike
Box   5  
Chapters I (two versions), III, VII/First six chapters, 74 pp.: typescript,  undated
Box   5  
Chapters I -XII, plus "An Analysis of the Story," 113 pp.: typescript with handwritten insertions,  undated
 
Chicago Socialist Trial [series]:

The Chicago Socialist Trial series (1.5 linear feet) documents the trial (and related appeals) brought by the government against Victor L. Berger, J. Louis Engdahl, Adolph Germer, William F. Kruse, and Irwin St. John Tucker. The five men, all active members of the Socialist Party, were strongly and vociferously opposed to World War I. Beginning in 1918, these protests led to prosecution and conviction for sedition under the Espionage Act of 1917. The men appealed, on the grounds that they had received an unfair trial. (It was an open secret at the time that the defendants were on trial chiefly for their political orientation and their ethnicity--some of the defendants being of Germanic origin or descent. During the trial, the judge made clear his hostility towards German-Americans.) Their convictions were eventually overturned by the Supreme Court in 1921. Included are five volumes of typed transcripts of the original trial, a bound version of the brief for an appeal, and photocopies of subsequent accounts of the case.

 
United States vs. Berger et al.: typed transcripts,  1918 (5 volumes)
Box   6  
Volumes I- IV
Box   7  
Volume V
 
Berger et al. vs. U.S., [ca. 1918-1921]
Box   7  
The Case of the Chicago Socialists : Brief for Plaintiffs in Error: printed and bound brief. [Chicago: Hawkins & Loomis Co., law printers, 1919.] United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, October Term, A.D. 1918.
Box   7  
"Photocopies from Federal Reporter Supreme Court Record," Circuit Court of Appeals, [No. 460, Argued December 9, 1920. Decided January 31, 1921] and No.  2710 April 26, 1921.
 
Scottsboro Trial [series]:

The Scottsboro Trial series (0.25 linear feet) is made up primarily of clippings, but also photographs, correspondence, and writings, relating to Engdahl's work and travels on behalf of the Scottsboro defense effort. Included are two speeches in Norwegian that may have been written by Engdahl and possibly also by Ada Wright (at least, they are attributed to Engdahl and to Ada Wright in their titles). Other documents relating to the Scottsboro case can be found scattered throughout the collection, particularly in the Correspondence series.

 
Writings [subseries]:
Box   8  
"Ada Wrights Tal.,"  undated

(speech in Norwegian; by Engdahl or Wright?)

Box   8  
"J. Louis Engdahl tal. med Scottsboronegrernas mor.,"  undated

(speech in Norwegian; by Engdahl?)

 
Photographs
Box   8  
Ada Wright, with envelope,  undated

(possibly a commercially printed postcard?)

Box   8  
Miscellaneous: photographic postcards,  1932 and  undated (2 items)
 
Publications (serials and pamphlets)
Box   8  
"Redt de 7 negers van scottsboro," Roode Hulp (Amsterdam), No. 6,  June 1932
 
Clippings
Box   8  
Various,  1932-1937 and  undated
 
Oversize

(stored in boxes 12 and 14, oversize)

Box   8  
"Pours les Noirs de Scottsboro" ["For the Blacks of Scottsboro"], La Défense , pp. 1-2,  July 29, 1932
Box   8  
"Libérons les nègres de Scottsboro: Eda Wright, mère de deux des jeune nègres, est à Paris," ["Let Us Free the Negroes of Scottsboro. Eda Wright, Mother of Two of the Young Negroes, Is in Paris"], La Défense , pp. 1-2,  June 3, 1932

("Eda Wright" is actually Ada Wright)

Box   8  
"Moren som kjemper for sine to gutters liv. Hvordan en amerikansk cherif lager voldteksaker. Ada Wright taler på Rådhusplassen ikveld," Ny Tid , p. 1 & 4,  July 11, 1932 (2 copies)

(Norwegian; approximate translation of beginning of title, "Mother thus fights for the lives of her two sons.")

 
Photographs and Artwork [series]:

The Photographs and Artwork series (0.25 linear feet) is divided into two subseries, Photographs and Artwork. Most of the photographs in the series come from Engdahl's trip to West Virginia (where he joined Eugene Debs and Mother Jones) to support and document the coal miners' strike of 1913. They consist of snapshots, as well as some portraits and some commercial postcards. (There are also photographs taken by Engdahl, or someone close to him that were printed onto postcard stock; it is not always clear which postcards were commercially produced and which were taken by Engdahl or his associates). Photographs of members of the Engdahl, Levitin, and Rodriguez families are present, as well as a few photographs of various official personages and functions, including a group photograph featuring Eugene Debs. In addition, there is a presentation album from the Soviet Union that appears also to contain some of Engdahl's personal photographs.

Artwork consists of a portrait, in ink, of Engdahl by Social Realist artist Mitchell Siporin.

 
Photographs [subseries]:
Box   8  
"Striking Miners, Eskdale, Cabin Creek, West Virginia,  May 1913 etc.,"  1912-1913 1926 (58 photos and 2 envelopes)

(and environs; includes some accompanying postcards; also some other subjects from J.L. Engdahl's travels)

Box   8  
Engdahl and Levitin families,  1913-1925 and  undated ( (15 photos)
Box   8  
Rodriguez family: William E. Rodriguez and Sophia Levitin Rodriguez,  ca. 1910-1929 and  undated (12 photos)
Box   8  
"Debs Photo": group photograph with Eugene Debs,  undated

(on verso, illegible; resembling "Zcal boscrein deep Dly Soc."?)

Box   13 (oversize)  
J.L. Engdahl, Mariya H. Ulyanova, Moscow, and editorial staff of Pravda ,  1927 (2 photographs)

(caption reads "Moscow, 1927 J.L.E. -- visit to the editorial staff of 'Pravda,' here he's with the editor of 'Pravda' Mariya H. Ulyanova [Lenin's oldest sister]")

Box   13 (oversize)  
Presentation album, "To Comrades and Brothers from the Workers and Peasants of the Soviet Union on the 10-th Anniversary of the October Revolution" [1927]

(some personal photographs appear to be included)

Box   13 (oversize)  
North West Young Peoples Socialist League,  1918
 
Artwork [subseries]:
Box   13 (oversize)  
Siporin, Mitchell. Portrait of J. Louis Engdahl, ink on board,  1932
 
Personal and Memorabilia [series]:

The Personal and Memorabilia series (0.5 linear feet) is comprised of a variety Engdahl's personal documents and artifacts, such as baptismal and death certificates and various party and trade union membership cards. The few delegate's badges likely belonged to Engdahl, too. A small number of Pauline Levitin Engdahl's and Sophia Levitin Rodriguez's effects are here as well.

 
J. Louis Engdahl
 
General (2 folders and 1 oversize folder)
Box   13 (oversize)  
Baptismal certificate,  May 28, 1885
Box   8  
Socialist Picnic announcement, Socialist Party of Cook County,  1913

(William Rodriguez a featured speaker)

Box   8  
Working cards, Chicago Typographical Union,  1914- 1915
Box   8  
Primary election certificate, State of Illinois: J. Louis Engdahl for Socialist Party candidate for Congress,  October 16, 1916
Box   13 (oversize)  
Workmen's Circle membership certificate,  February 1, 1917
Box   8  
Title page to Frank Harris's My Life and Loves , inscribed by the author to "McBride,"  1922
Box   8  
Death certificate,  1932

(in Russian with accompanying letter in German/in Russian and German?)

 
Socialist Party membership materials
Box   8  
Membership card, Socialist Party,  1909- 1912
Box   8  
Membership card, Young Peoples' Socialist League, City of Chicago,  1910- 1911
Box   8  
Constitution of the Socialist Party of Cook County, Ill.,  1910
Box   8  
National Constitution of the Socialist Party,  1912
 
Badges (Engdahl's?)
Box   10 (outsize)  
No. 12, 23rd Annual Convention, U.M.W. of America [United Mine Workers of America], Springfield, Ill.,  1912
Box   10 (outsize)  
Delegate's badge, U.M.W. of American,  undated
Box   10 (outsize)  
Delegate's badge, 33rd Annual Convention of A.F. of L. [American Federation of Labor], Seattle, Wash.,  November 1913
 
Pauline Levitin Engdahl
Box   8  
Transcript, Chicago Music School, issued  ca. 1933
Box   8  
Savings Department order, Continental Illinois National Bank and Trust Company of Chicago, blank,  undated
Box   8  
Sophia Levitin Rodriguez,  undated
 
Printed Material [series]:

The Printed Material series (1 linear foot) is made up of serials, pamphlets, flyers, leaflets, clippings and the like relating to Engdahl or to causes important to him or his circle. Material is divided first by type (Publications; Pamphlets; Flyers and Leaflets; then Clippings, and finally; Posters) and then by authorship: by Engdahl or by others. (Some publications were removed from the collection and are cataloged separately.) Of primary interest to the researcher will be articles (clippings and in whole publications) which Engdahl wrote mainly for the Socialist Party and Communist Party presses. Some of the material dates to a period well after Engdahl's death, it was likely collected by Pauline Levitin Engdahl or another close family member (unfortunately, exact provenance is uncertain).

The Publications subseries consists mainly of newspapers and journals containing pieces written by Engdahl. While a student at the University of Minnesota, Engdahl published fiction and essays in the school literary magazine, Minnesota Magazine . Also included in this subseries are several pieces on the Bread Trust from The Coming Nation , as well as Sonia (Sophia) Rodriguez's book, Russia's Five Year Plan .

The distinction between "pamphlet" and "flyer" or "leaflet" has been made primarily based on size, and there are other miscellaneous paper materials as well (such as a small tag from a strikers' tag day); thus, the researcher would do well to examine both subseries in tandem.

The Clippings subseries is made up of articles by Engdahl, articles about Engdahl by others, and articles on other figures in the progressive movements, such as William and Sophia Rodriguez, and Art Young and Max Eastman. There is also a substantial file of obituaries and memorials for J. Louis Engdahl. Some of the articles are attributed to Engdahl based on original folder headings or labels on envelopes in which they were mailed, even though he is not cited as the author within the news clipping. (Some of these may be articles edited by Engdahl.)

One large poster, in Russian and English, comprises the Posters subseries.

 
Publications [subseries]:

(whole publications, mostly serials)

 
Engdahl
 
The Coming Nation
 
"Saving the Nation's Bread": series on the Bread Trust (2 folders)
Box   12 (oversize)  
pp. 5-6,  January 11, 1913
Box   12 (oversize)  
pp. 2, 11, 16,  January 18, 1913
Box   12 (oversize)  
pp. 8-9, 12,  January 25, 1913
Box   12 (oversize)  
pp. 9-10,  February 1, 1913
Box   12 (oversize)  
pp. 8-9,  February 8, 1913
Box   12 (oversize)  
pp. 9-11,  February 15, 1913
Box   12 (oversize)  
"The Day-Fly," pp. 8, 11,  April 12, 1913
 
Socialist Party Press newspapers, various, scattered dates (1 folder)

(VERY BRITTLE. Please see curator regarding access)

Box   14 (oversize)  
Daily Worker . "The Exceptional Laws," p. 4,  March 7, 1930
 
Minnesota Magazine , University of Minnesota (6 folders)
Box   9  
"The Run of the Big Head," pp., 158-168, vol. 12 no. 5,  February 1906
Box   9  
"Reasons for It," pp. 325-326, vol. 12 no. 9,  June 1906

(handwritten enclosure [an early draft?], "Afterwords," removed and filed in Writings series)

Box   9  
"Professional for a Night: A Tale of College Journalism," pp. 2-12, vol. 13 no. 1,  October 1906
Box   9  
"The Meeting of the Ways," pp. 44-52, vol. 13 no. 2,  November 1906
Box   9  
"The Hermit Apparition," pp. 229-234, vol. 13 no. 7,  April 1907
Box   9  
"The Find," pp. 96-106, vol. 12 no. 3,  December 1905

(with handwritten corrections, by Engdahl?)

 
The Western Comrade
Box   9  
"The Underground War, " pp. 230-232, Vol. 1 No. 7,  October 1913
 
Others (3 folders and 2 oversize folders)
Box   14 (oversize)  
American Guardian , Vol. 12 No. 39,  May 22, 1931 Vol. 13 No. 48,  August 5, 1932
Box   12 (oversize)  
Civil Rights News , Vol. 4 No. 3,  July 1940
Box   12 (oversize)  
Commonwealth College Fortnightly , Vol. 8 No. 11,  August 1, 1932
Box   9  
Connolly, James. Socialism Made Easy : cover only,  undated
Box   9  
Ocean Press , Voyage 69, West No. 1,  December 17, 1937
Box   9  
Anti-Fascist News Bulletin , Vol. 1 No. 2,  December 22, 1933
Box   9  
The Kourier (Atlanta, Ga.). Official Organ of the Ku Klux Klan. Vol. 8, No. 11-0,  October 1932

(re Communism)

Box   9  
Rodriguez, Sonia. Russia's Five Year Plan . Chicago: M.M. Cole, 1932.

(photograph of Sonia Rodriguez pasted in)

Box   9  
Spanish Youth Condemned . Youth Campaign. United American Spanish Aid committee: New York City,  undated
 
The Western Comrade
Box   9  
Sandburg, Carl. "What Happened March 4," pp. 20-21, Vol. 1 No. 1,  April 13, 1913

(re Victor Berger)

Box   9  
Vol. 1 No. 9,  December 1913
 
Pamphlets [subseries]:

(see also cataloged material)

 
Engdahl, J. Louis (2 folders)
Box   9  
Saving the Nation's Bread ,  undated
Box   9  
The Tenth Year: the Story of the Rise and Achievements of the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics . New York: The Workers Library Publishers,  1927
 
Others (1 folder)
Box   9  
Brown, Harrison. Hitler's Greatest Crime . Chicago: Chicago Committee for the Defense of Human Rights Against Naziism.,  undated
Box   9  
Marcantonio, Vito. International Labor Defense. War Conscription Civil Liberties ,  1940
 
Flyers and Leaflets [subseries]:
 
Engdahl, J. Louis (1 folder)
Box   9  
Greet the Newly Born Millions . Socialist Party Press Service. Children's Day Editions,  undated (2 copies)
Box   9  
A Political Party for Labor . National Committee of the Trade Union Educational League,  ca. 1922

(original folder heading adds "written by Engdahl")

Box   9  
Trade Unions and the Present Social Crisis . National Office of the Socialist Party,  undated
 
Others (2 folders)
Box   9  
American Federation of Labor fliers: general and J.J. McNamara items,  1911 and  undated (11 items)
Box   9  
"An Appeal of the Communist Party to the Socialist Workers,"  undated

(original folder heading states "1930s")

Box   9  
Bureau of Information, Spanish Consulate, Chicago, Illinois. Refugees in Government Spain ,  July 22, 1938
Box   9  
Debs, Eugene V. Woman , undated.

(Leaflet or proof?)

Box   9  
Labor and Socialist Political Action Rally, February 17, [1935]

(original folder heading adds "N. Thomas")

Box   9  
May Day leaflets,  1923 and  undated (2 items)
Box   9  
National Emergency Conference for Democratic Rights. "A Warning to America,"  ca. 1940
Box   9  
Shoe Workers' Strike Tag Day: tag, Milwaukee, Wisc.,  February 21, 1914
Box   9  
Thomas, E. Chicago Committee to Aid Victims of German Fascism. Statement on the Leipzig Fire Trial ,  December 28, 1933
Box   9  
UOPWA [United Office and Professional Workers Association of the Congress of Industrial Organizations]. Credentials Report ,  undated
Box   9  
"The Un- American Poll Tax," Congressional Record ,  1940
Box   9  
United American Spanish Aid Committee. Mexico Opens Its Doors to the Spanish People... ,  undated

(original folder heading states "1930s")

Box   9  
The Workers' Daily Press Association. "Help Build the Debs' Monument," with corrections by Engdahl,  undated
 
Clippings [subseries]:

(some stored in boxes 12 and 14, oversize)

Box   9  
Articles by Engdahl,  1913-1914 1932 (2 folders and 2 oversize folders)

(some stored in boxes 12 and 14, oversize)

Box   9  
About Engdahl, scattered dates (1 folder and1 oversize folder)

(some stored in boxes 12 and 14, oversize)

Box   9  
Obituaries and Memorials (Engdahl),  1932-1933 (2 folders and 1 oversize folder)

(some in box 12, oversize)

Box   9  
Re the Rodriguezes,  1915-1981 and  undated (2 folders)
Box   9  
On Art Young and Max Eastman,  1913 (1 folder and one oversize folder)

(some in box 12, oversize)

Box   9  
Miscellaneous,  1913- 1927 and  undated (1 folder and 1 oversize folder)

(some in box 12, oversize)

Box   9  
Fragments,  undated

(extremely brittle)

 
Posters [subseries]:
Portfolio   1 (oversize)  
"An Evening of the English Language," Students Section of the USSR Society for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries, in Russian and English. Includes talk by Louis Engdahl. Saturday, June 2, n.y. [mostly likely  1928 or 1929]

(Buhr Flat File Case.)