University of Texas Arlington

Eugene and Theodore Debs Papers:

A Guide

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Debs, Eugene V. (Eugene Victor), 1855-1926, and Debs, Theodore, 1864-1945.
Title: Eugene and Theodore Debs Papers
Dates: 1885-1975
Abstract: Eugene Debs was a prominent figure in national labor unions and the Socialist Party of America in the late 1890's and early 1900's and ran for President of the United States on the Socialist Party ticket several times from 1900 to 1920. This collection contains correspondence, photographs, a memorial button, and printed material that document Debs' life, writings, and legacy.
Identification: AR185
Extent: 3 folders (0.08 linear ft.)
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: Special Collections, The University of Texas at Arlington Libraries

Biographical Note

Eugene Victor Debs was born in 1855 in Terre Haute, Indiana and began working for the railroads, first as a painter and then as a fireman, at the age of 14. In 1875, Debs helped to organize a local lodge of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and became a significant figure in national labor unions and labor causes. He was also a prominent member of the Socialist Party of America and ran for President of the United States on the Socialist ticket in 1900, 1904, 1908, 1912, and 1920. In 1918, Debs was arrested for making a famous anti-war speech protesting World War I. He was convicted on war-time espionage charges for making the speech and was sentenced to a 10 year prison term, which he began serving in 1919. Debs received a pardon from President Harding in 1921 and was released from prison. He returned to Terra Haute, Indiana and remained active writing articles and making speeches until his death in 1926.

Scope and Contents

This collection contains correspondence, 1912-1944; photographs, 1893-1919; a memorial button, 1927; and printed material, 1974-1975. The correspondence, six original letters and typed copies of several unpublished letters, is from Eugene Debs and his brother, Theodore, and is addressed primarily to Frank Holl and C. F. Anderson. Also included are typed copies of Eugene Debs' poems, writings, and an article about him. The photographs are of Eugene Debs, Frank Holl, the Holl Range, and a room interior. The button commemorates the First Annual Debs Memorial. The printed material includes booklets on the Eugene V. Debs Foundation and home, and a bibliography of material about Debs and his writings that are located in the Vigo County Public Library in Terre Haute, Indiana.


Materials are arranged by document type in 3 folders. Correspondence is arranged in chronological order.



Open for research.

Index Terms

These materials are indexed under the following headings in the catalog of The University of Texas at Arlington Libraries. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons or places should search the catalog using these headings.
Debs, Eugene V. (Eugene Victor), 1855-1926--Archives.
Debs, Theodore, 1864-1945--Archives.
Socialist Party (U.S.)--History--Sources.
Labor unions--Organizing--History--Sources.
Presidential candidates--Biography--Sources.
Socialists--United States--History--Sources.
Socialists--United States--Photographs.
Alternate Titles
Texas Labor Archives

Administrative Information


Eugene and Theodore Debs Collection, AR185, Box Number, Folder Number, Special Collections, The University of Texas at Arlington Libraries.


Gift, 1968, 1969.

Administrative Information

Grant Support

The retrospective updating and conversion of this finding aid was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications & Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Special Collections "Documenting Democracy: Access to Historical Records" project, 2014-2015.

Container List

Box Folder
1 1 Correspondence, Eugene and Theodore Debs, F.X. Holl, and C.F. Anderson, 1904-1944
2 Photographs and button, 1893-1927
3 Bibliography, Printed material, 1974-1975, undated