The Lusk Committee
L0030. Industrial Workers of the World Seized Files, 1918- 1919. 1.2 cubic feet.
Arrangement: Alphabetical by subject.
The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) was an obvious target for the committee and for other bodies investigating suspected radical activity during the "Red Scare" period. Founded in 1905 by trade unions and leading American socialists, the IWW sought the elimination of the wage system and the overthrow of the entire capitalist system. The philosophies of the IWW appealed directly to unskilled, migrant, and immigrant workers who had little control over or influence in government or other avenues of power in society. As the chief advocate of revolutionary industrial unionism, the IWW came under close scrutiny by the committee.
This series consists of files seized by the committee during a raid on the IWW New York City headquarters on June 21, 1919 as part of its efforts to gather information and evidence about radical groups and individuals. The records relate to organizational, recruitment, and fund raising activities of the IWW throughout New York City, the State, and the nation. Records include correspondence, articles, texts of articles and speeches, circulars, lists of meetings, bulletins, financial reports, applications for membership (with date, membership card number, name, address, and occupation of applicant, though many are incomplete), minutes of meetings (including the minutes of the May 1919 national IWW meeting), lists of individuals and organizations (mostly unions) affiliated with the IWW, and lists of names and addresses of IWW contributors. Anti-IWW material is also found.
The records include correspondence, articles, and receipts pertaining to IWW publications The Labor Defender and The Rebel Worker. The series also includes reports, minutes, and other records relating to activity of the Construction Workers Union, the Marine Transport Workers Union, and the Metal and Machinery Workers Union.
Finding Aids:Folder list.