Eugene V. Debs Collection
Dates: 1832-1973
Donors: Ned A. Bush, Sr. and Marguerite Debs Cooper
Accession Number: 780605
Description: One record storage box, one document case,
                            and one phonograph record


Eugene V. Debs was a five-time presidential candidate on the Socialist Party ticket, an advocate of industrial unionism, and a champion of the working class. Born in 1855 in Terre Haute, Indiana, Debs was introduced to the plight of the working man as a fireman on the railroad. He organized the first local lodge of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen in 1875, later becoming secretary-treasurer of the national organization and editor of its magazine. He was elected city clerk of Terre Haute in 1883 and member of the Indiana House in 1885.

Dissatisfied with the parochial nature of the established trade unions, Debs formed the American Railway Union in 1893. Although the A. R. U. led a successful strike against the Great Northern Railway in 1894, they were less successful later that year in their confrontation with the Pullman Car Company, a strike that earned Debs both national recognition and a jail sentence.

In 1897 Debs transformed the moribund American Railway Union into the Social Democratic Party of America (later the Socialist Party of America) and ran unsuccessfully for President on its ticket in 1900 and 1904. After helping found the International Workers of the World in 1905, Debs ran for President again in 1908 and 1912. Declining to run in 1916, he spent much of his time lecturing and writing for numerous Socialist publications. Debs' vehement opposition to U. S. entry into World War I secured him another jail term, imprisoned for violation of the Espionage Act. In 1920 from his Atlanta prison cell, Debs ran for President for the last time. Released in 1921 by President Warren Harding, Debs spent the rest of his life lecturing and writing. He died in Elmhurst, Illinois, in 1926.

Content and Scope of Collection

The miscellaneous materials that constitute this collection include three original documents concerning Debs' ancestry; pamphlets, booklets, newspaper clippings and other articles about Debs; booklets and articles about socialism; writings by Debs; and several photographs.

Some of the items in the collection are originals; others are photocopies of originals which are located at the Debs Museum in Terre Haute.

Series I:  Material about Eugene V, Debs





Document Case





Folder 1

Marriage certificate of Sebastian Bettrich and Francoise Wagner  (Manuscript in French)






Genealogy of Bettrich-Wagner family(Manuscript in French)






Death certificate of Victoire Mueller (Manuscript in French)





Record Storage Box





Folder 2

Souvenir volume: Golden Wedding Anniversary of Jean Daniel Debs and Marguerite Marie Bettrich (Debs' parents), Terre Haute, IN

Sept. 13, 1899




Folder 3

Article:  Hankins, John Erskine.  "Katherine Metzel Debs: A Reminiscence," The Kansas Magazine





Folder 4

Biographical essay on Debs by Anna Sherwood who attended Debs' funeral in 1926

Nov. 1926





Article:  Morris, Charles R.  "The Life Story of Eugene V. Debs," Terre Haute Advocate.

Dec. 19, 1969




Folder 5A

Pamphlets, booklets, leaflets:






Debs, Theodore.  "Sidelights:  Incidents in the Life of  Eugene V. Debs."






"Eugene Victor Debs (1855-1955)  The Centennial Year."  Published by the Debs Centennial Committee






Condo, Rev. Samuel S.  "Memorial Lecture on Eugene Victor Debs."





Folder 5B

Booklet:  Kopelin, Louis.  "The Life of Debs."  People's Pocket Series No. 69






Booklet:  Hurt, Walter.  "Eugene V. Debs: An Introduction."






Booklet:  Claessens, August.  "Eugene Victor Debs: A Tribute."





Folder 5C

Le Prade, Ruth, ed.  "Debs and the Poets."    (Introduction by Upton Sinclair) 






Hollingsworth, J. H.  "Eugene V. Debs: What His Neighbors Say of Him."  (2 copies)





Folder 5D

"The Heritage of Debs:  The Fight Against War."  Socialist Party National Headquarters






"Eugene V. Debs:  The Man and His Work"    (2 copies)






Welcome News: A Journal of A New Day (issue devoted to Debs)










Lake, H.S. Genevra.  "Poems of Justice, inscribed  to Eugene V. Debs and the Social Democrats of the World"








Swinton, John.  "1860-Lincoln; Debs-1895."








Riley, James Whitcomb.  "Two Hoosier Poems:  'Terry Hut' and 'Them Flowers' "








Cooke, Edmund Vance.  "Eugene"






Folder 6

Robert Hunter letter to Lincoln Steffens (copy)
  and script of Hunter's article about Debs -
  from Lincoln  Steffens Collection, Columbia
  University Libraries

July 6, 1908




Folder 7

Federal Bureau of Investigation files concerning Debs - requested from the U.S. Department of Justice by Ned Bush, Sr. (originals at Debs Museum)





Document Case





Series I:  Materials about Eugene V. Debs (continued)




Folder 8


Newspaper clippings about Debs' activities
  and his funeral (copies)







Record Storage Box (continued)





Folder 9

WTHI-TV tape (30 minutes) on Debs taped at the Debs House.  Broadcast on "Face to Face" television program January 24, 1976.  (Interviewer and narrator, Harry Frey; interviews with Shubert Sebree  and Ned A. Bush, Sr.)





Folder 10

"The Man from Terre Haute and His Cause"  (audiotape, 55 minutes in length)





Folder 11

Biographical information from the clippings scrapbook of Theodore Debs:

1894-1897; 1932






p. 1

“Mr. Debs' Reception”

May 4, 1894






p. 2

“Mr. Debs's Stirring Speech”

May 4, 1894






p. 3

“President Eugene Debs, President
  of the American Railway Union”







p. 4

“The Central Figure of the Great
  Railroad Strike as Viewed by
  Nym Crinkle”

July 1, 1894






p. 5

“Man about Town”

July 7, 1894






p. 6

“Debs and Sovereign Send a Joint
  Protest against Interference of
  Federal Troops”

July 8, 1894






p. 7

“Debs Deplores the Riots”

July 8, 1894







“Debs Proclamation”

July 8, 1894







“Movement will Render 100,000
  Work Benches in Chicago Idle”

July 11, 1894






p. 8

“Letters and Papers Seized at
  Union's Headquarters”

July 11, 1894





Folder 11

Scrapbook (continued)







p. 9

“Prison Life is Still His Choice”

July 19, 1894







“Pres. Debs Appeals for Order”

July 10, 1894







“Meeting at Ogden's Grove”

July 21, 1894






p. 10

“As Debs Tells The Story”

July 21, 1894






p. 11

“His Views on Political Issues”

Nov. 1, 1894






p. 12

“Debs and Erwin”

Jan. 6, 1895






p. 13

“Strike Leader Compelled to do
  His Organizing on the Quiet”







p. 13-

“Experience Has Convinced Him
  That a Strike Can Not Win
  Against U.S.”







pp. 14-

“He Believes There Will Not Be
  Another Strike, Although the
  Cause is Strong”

March 15, 1895






pp. 15-

“Debs Still Here [in Spokane]

March 16, 1895







“[Ownership} by the Government
  Advocated by the ARU Leader”

March 16, 1895






p. 17

“Labor Agitators Are Improving
  Their Minds by Study and Debate
  During Their Imprisonment at
  Woodstock [, Illinois]

July 1, 1895






p. 18

“The Coming Working Man”

July 13, 1895






p. 19

“Prison and Pardon”

Aug. 15, 1895






p. 20

“Received with Enthusiasm, Welcome
  to Debs”

Nov. 23, 1895







“A Tribute to E. V. Debs from

Jan. 1, 1896







Reception in Birmingham, Alabama

March 16, 1896






p. 21

Articles on Debs lecture, personality
  and his visit to the South







p. 22

Articles on Debs lecture, personality
  and his visit to the South







p. 23

“Debs in New Orleans”

May 26, 1896






p. 26

“Mr. Debs at Springfield”







p. 27

“Incidents, Sidelights in Life of  Debs

Dec. 29, 1932




Folder 12

Biographical information - Newspaper clippings





Folder 13

Publications about Debs and his work:







"Debs at Canton - Extracts from his speech."
  Labor Defender.  p. 205

Dec. 1926







"The Revolutionary Heritage of Eugene Victor  Debs." James P. Cannon.  Labor Defender.   p. 210

Dec. 1926







"Debs - Lover of Men." John Haynes Holmes.  Unity.  p. 165

Nov. 15, 1926







"Gene Debs:  The Life of a Man Unafraid."  The  Call, Debs Supplement.  p. 1

Nov. 1942







"What Labor's Battle Taught Me."  Eugene V.  Debs.  The Call.  p. 2

Nov. 1942







"Who Was This  Man Debs?"  Norman Thomas.
  The Call.  p. 3








"Gene Debs'  Heritage to Us All."  Harry  Fleischman.  The Call.  p. 3

Nov. 1942







"Gene Debs:  One of America's Greatest."  Oswald Garrison Villard.  The Call.  p. 4

Nov. 1942







"As I Remember Gene Debs."  Jessie Wallace  Hughan.  The Call.  p. 4

Nov. 1942





Folder 14A

Articles about Debs by Bernard J. Brommel:







"Advocate of Industrial Unionism"







"Debs and Negro Rights"








"Debs's Cooperative Commonwealth Plan for Workers"








"Eugene V. Debs:  The Agitator as Speaker"  (published)








"Eugene V. Debs:  The Agitator as Speaker"  (unpublished)








"Eugene V. Debs:  Blue-Denim Spokesman"






Folder 14B

Speeches, articles, brochures:








"1855 - Eugene V. Debs - 1926."  (Speech by
  Ned A. Bush, Sr.)








"A Short Course on the Life of Eugene Victor Debs" (brochure)








"Debs the Socialist" (paper for Short Course by  Shubert Sebree)








"Debs, The Unpurchasable" (Speech by Ned A.  Bush, Sr.)








"I Remember Gene." (Remarks of Martin H.  Miller)








"Anniversary Memorial Service."  Ned A. Bush,  Sr.








"Betrayal in the West Virginia Coal Fields:   Eugene V. Debs and the Socialist Party of America, 1912-1914."  David A. Corbin






Folder 15

Synopsis of play:  'Gene Debs:  Victor! by Charles B. Millholland (play available at Debs Museum)





Folder 16

Script:  "Conscience of America - The Years Between" by Arthur Holch, presented by DIRECTIONS as broadcast on ABC Television Network (copy)

Feb. 1, 1976





Publicity materials and reviews regarding broadcast:




Letter to Ned Bush from Arthur Holch








Feature entitled "The American Spirit"
  concerning the importance of Debs in
  "Conscience of America - The Years Between"








Letter from a viewer








Review article - Christian Science Monitor

Jan. 29, 1976







Letter about jail house doors in Woodstock, IL








" 'Directions' Looks at Dissent, Debs."  Review
  article from Terre Haute Tribune-Star, TV  Entertainment Preview section

Jan. 31, 1976









Series II: Correspondence





Record Storage Box





Folder 1


  Letters to Debs from Theodore Dreiser (copies)







  Letters from Debs to James Whitcomb Riley (copies)




                                     Letters from Debs to Samuel Huston (copies)




                                     Letters from Theodore Debs






Series III: Materials Written by Eugene V. Debs





Record Storage Box





Folder 1

“More Park” (Response to the toast “More Park” by
  Debs at the park's dedication)

June 1888





"Riley the Hoosier Poet and Interpreter," Pearson's


March 1917





"Recollections of Ingersoll,"  Pearson's Magazine

April 1917





"The Old Umbrella Mender,"  The Coming Nation

March 1, 1913




Folder 2

Political and social tracts: 







National Platform Socialist Party (party literature)








"To the Woman Voter" (party literature)
















"Watch Your Leaders, Says Debs to Workers"








"Eugene V. Debs - The Voice of Labor:  Extracts from his Address to the Jury at his Trial in Cleveland, Ohio."






Folder 3

  Envelope 1

Booklets, pamphlets:








"Tribute of Love to His Father and Mother"

















"Childhood"  (2 copies)








Comments by Eugene V. Debs on:  "The  Catholic Church and Socialism by Father Thomas McGrady."  Wayland's Monthly

Dec. 1907





Folder 3

  Envelope 2



"The Negro Workers"









"Debs and the War:  His Canton Speech and His  Trial in the Federal Court at Cleveland."

Sept. 1918





Folder 4

  Envelope 1

Booklets, pamphlets:

         "Debs' Address to the Jury and Statement to the          Court"








"Riley, Nye & Field - Personal Notes and   Recollections"  (2 copies)






Folder 4

  Scrapbook pages


Loose sheets with "Sacco and Vanzetti, An  Appeal to American Labor"; reviews of Upton Sinclair's The Jungle and The Brass Check  with statements by Debs








Series IV:  Photographs





Record Storage Box





Folder 1

  Envelope 1

Portrait of Eugene V. Debs as a young man

  (H. T. Biel, photographer)






Folder 1

  Envelope 2

Debs home





Folder 1

  Envelope 3


The Bedford (locomotive)







Series V:  The Eugene V. Debs Foundation





Record Storage Box





Folder 1

Newspaper clippings from Terre Haute newspapers  that chronicle the historic background of the Foundation and record special occasions





Folder 2

Newspapers clippings





Folder 3

Flyers and brochures about Debs home from the Debs  Foundation






Series VI:  Materials About Organized Labor and Socialism





Record Storage Box





Folder 1

The Bulletin

March 20, 1920




Folder 2

Clippings - "Review of Labor's Efforts in State for  Betterment of Conditions"  (Debs is not mentioned in these clippings)

Oct. 25, 1925




Folder 3

Campaign literature (copies)





Folder 4

Article about Norman Thomas in SR  (Debs is mentioned in this article)

April 12, 1969




Folder 5

Descriptions of phonograph records featuring Joe  Glazer (copies)





Phonograph Record Box




Folder 6

Phonograph record "C" - Union Train, Joe Glazer,  Collector Records  (LP record album)








Series VI:  Materials About Organized Labor and Socialism




Record Storage Box





Folder 7

  Envelope 1

Leaflets, booklets:

  "Mother Jones"












  "Social Democracy"






  "Socialist Party Platform"





Folder 7

  Envelope 2


"Constitution of the American Railway Union"






"A Quarter-Century of Solidarity - A History of
  Local 662, United Auto Workers"  (AFL-CIO;   Anderson, Indiana)





Document Case





Folder 8

"The Voice of Debs."  Library Bulletin (of the Tamiment Institute Library)

Nov. 1961





"The Personal Library of Eugene V. Debs."  Library Bulletin (of the Tamiment Institute Library)

Dec. 1961





Labor songs (words only)





Series VII: Newspapers





Map Drawer 10

American Appeal (Commemorative
  edition on 1-year anniversary of Debs' death)

Oct. 15, 1927





Journal de Colmar (French newspaper
  mentions Debs' role in 1894 Pullman strike)

July ?, 1894





The New World: Lincoln Phifer's Paper-Magazine
(Has “Woman” essay by Debs)

August 1916






June 1919