University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the Labor Movement in Texas Collection, 1845-1954

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Allen, Ruth Alice, 1889-1979
Title: Labor Movement in Texas Collection
Dates: 1845-1954
Abstract: Documents resulting from research begun in 1936 by Economics Professor Ruth Allen (1889-1979) into the history of organized labor in Texas.
Accession No.: 1946
Extent: 4 ft. 7 in
Language: Materials are written in English.
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History,The University of Texas at Austin

Historical Note

The collection was created as a result of the research of Ruth Alice Allen, University of Texas professor of economics, 1923-1959, who was a pioneer in researching the history of labor in Texas and the economic status of women. Allen died in 1979.

Source: Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "Allen, Ruth Alice," (accessed October 15, 2009).

Scope and Contents

Documents include correspondence, transcripts, newspaper clippings, newsletters, notes, interviews and manuscripts resulting from research begun in 1936 under Bureau of Research in Social Sciences, University of Texas, by Economics Professor Ruth Allen (1889-1979) into the history of organized labor in Texas. The bulk of the collection covers three industries: railroad, with an emphasis on the 1886 Southwest Rail Strike and leader Martin Irons; longshore, predominantly early union organizing in Galveston, Gulf Coast strikes (1885-1939), and maritime organizations; and oil, including the organizing of Houston-area refineries. The papers also document the organizing of paper industry workers in Pasadena by United Mine Workers of America and of clothing workers in Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio by International Ladies Garment Workers' Union; the Knights of Labor in Texas, Kansas, and Missouri; coal miners' strike in Thurber; Mexican-American pecan-shellers and clothing workers; and Texas 1930s political turmoil around labor issues.

The collection is organized in two series: Research Materials, Ruth Allen and Subject Classified Files, Labor. The latter is divided into four subseries: Occupations, Labor Groups, Cities, and Political Affairs. The papers are arranged by amount, then chronologically or alphabetically.

Source: Kielman, Chester V., comp. and ed., The University of Texas Archives. Austin: University of Texas, 1967, p. 213.


Access Restrictions

Unrestricted access.

Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Allen, Ruth Alice, 1889-1979--Archives.
Irons, Martin, 1827-1900
Subjects (Organizations)
International Association of Oil Field, Gas Well, and Refinery Workers of America.
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union.
International Longshoremen's Association.
Knights of Labor.
Oil Workers International Union.
United Mine Workers of America.
Cowboys--Texas, West.
Mexican Americans--Texas--Economic conditions.
Oil industry workers--Texas.
Railroads--United States--Employees--History--19th century.
Strikes and lockouts--Texas--History--19th century.
Strikes and lockouts--Texas--History--20th century.
Trade-unions, Black--Texas.
Trade-unions--Clothing workers--Texas.
Trade-unions--Paper industry workers--Texas.
Trade-unions--Petroleum workers--Texas.
Trade-unions--Social aspects--Texas.
Workers' monuments--Texas.
Galveston (Tex.)
Houston (Tex.)
Texas--Economic conditions.

Related Material

See also Ruth Alice Allen Papers, 1943-1946, 1971, 1973.

Separated Material

Some material from this collection was routed to the Texas Newspaper Collection and the Texas History Collection for more appropriate disposition.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Labor Movement in Texas Collection, 1845-1954, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

Detailed Description of the Papers


Research Material, Ruth Allen:

2E301 Correspondence:
Alvin Scaff, 1936-1937
General, 1936-1947
El Paso Public Library newspaper references, 1883-1935
Student papers, 1936
Progress reports, 1937 and undated
Summary, 1940
Notes and lists, undated


Subject classified files on labor:

2E301 Occupations:
Railroad workers:
Martin Irons and Southwest Strike of 1886:
Martin Irons:
General correspondence (includes Ameringer, Parmley, and Widner letters), 1936-1940
Leads in Texas on Irons, 1936-1937, notes, undated
Fred Barr, correspondence, 1937-1941
E. T. Behrens, correspondence, 1938-1940
F. X. Holl:
Correspondence, 1937-1941
Ephemera, 1888, 1933
2E302 James Irons:
Correspondence, 1937-1940
Notes, undated
Charles W. Maier:
Correspondence, 1937-1940
Essay, undated
Missouri Historical Society, correspondence, 1937-1940
T. V. Powderly:
Correspondence, 1938-1940
Writings, 1886-1891
Correspondence, 1938-1939
Court records, 1886-1895
Wade Shurtleff:
Correspondence, 1940
Railway Clerk, 1935
C. W. Woodman:
Correspondence, 1937-1941
Letter book, 1910-1913
Writings by Irons, undated
Newspaper reports:
General, 1886
Missouri newspapers, 1886
New York Times, 1886
Notes, undated
Death tributes, 1900-1911
Southwest Strike, 1886:
Correspondence, 1938-1939
G. A. Hoehn:
Correspondence, 1940
Program, 1937
History, 1940
2.325/D35c Newspaper reports:
Clippings, negative photostats, 1882-1889
2E302 General topics, 1884-1886
2E303 General topics, 1884-1886
Attempt at arbitration, 1886
W. E. Farmer, 1886
Jay Gould, 1882-1886
C. A. Hall case, 1886
Law and Order Leagues, 1886
The Nation, 1886
Strikers, 1886
Wire-tapping case, 1886
Related works:
Transcripts, 1886-1938
Magazine article, 1914
Adjutant General's report, 1886
J. S. Hogg, correspondence, 1889-1890
Notes, undated
Court cases:
Correspondence, 1939-1940
Court records, 1886-1889
Newspaper reports, 1886
Dallas, Texas:
Correspondence, 1939
Court records, 1886-1887
Newspaper reports, 1886
Jefferson, Texas:
Correspondence, 1938-1940
Resolution, 1885
Newspaper reports, 1886
Palestine, Texas:
Correspondence, 1938-1941
Newspaper reports, 1886
Waco, Murray and Anthony vs. the State of Texas, newspaper reports, court records, 1886
Railroad Brotherhoods:
Letter ("L. & N. R. R. vs. J. J. Hogan"), 1894
Notes, 1934
Newspaper clippings, 1938-1939
History, undated
Longshore workers:
Correspondence, 1936-1941
2E304 Union organizing, 1866-1910:
Lists, notes, undated
Manuscript drafts, undated:
Negro Longshoremen:
Speech, 1935
Essay, 1936
Manuscript draft, undated
Strike of 1885:
Chronology (1885-1935), undated
Manuscript draft, undated
Mallory Line Strike of 1898:
Newspaper reports, 1898
Manuscript drafts, undated
Galveston Strike of 1917, notes, undated
Galveston Coastwise Strike of 1920, notes, undated
Strike of 1930-1931, notes, undated
Strike of 1934:
Proceedings, 1934
Notes, undated
Strike of 1935, notes, draft, undated
Corpus Christi Dock Strike of 1935, depositions, 1935
National Maritime Union "shell" strike of 1937, newspaper clippings, 1937
National Maritime Union Strike of 1939:
Letter, 1941
Newspaper clippings, February-May, 1939
2E305 Newspaper clippings, June 1939
Conditions of work, 1892-1936, notes, undated
Sabine District, 1897-1937:
Newspaper references, 1937
Notes, manuscript drafts, undated
Galveston Dock and Marine Council jurisdictional dispute, 1913-1920, notes, undated
Port Arthur and Texas City lockout, 1914-1915, manuscript draft, undated
"Longshoremen in Texas, 1914-1923," essay, notes, undated
Open Port Bill of 1920:
Statutes, 1925
Notes, 1936
Houston standard of living study, 1932-1933:
Notebooks, 1932-1933
Lists, 1932, 1936
2E306 Newspaper clippings, 1937-1939
International Longshoremen's Association (I.L.A.):
District conventions:
Minutes, 1911-1930
Program, 1937
Women and the I.L.A., 1931-1936:
Interview, 1936
Notes, undated
Racial conflicts:
Interviews, ca. 1936
Notes, undated
Interviews, 1936
Notes, undated
Leaflet, 1935
List and notes, undated
Local 1350 controversy:
Correspondence, 1938
Newspaper clippings, 1938
National Labor Relations Board (N.L.R.B.) ruling, 1940
International Seamen's Union:
Contract, 1934
Report, leaflets, bulletin, 1936
Marine Engineers' Beneficial Association:
Printed material, 1935-1936
Newspaper reports, 1936
N.L.R.B. rulings, 1936, 1940
National Maritime Union:
Constitution, 1936
N.L.R.B. rulings, 1937-1940
Newsletters, 1939
2.325/D35c The Pilot, March 31, 1939
2E306 Ship Channel Progressive Committee:
Leaflets, 1936
Newsletters ( Ship Channel)
April-May 1936
2E307 June 1936-April 1937
Marine Transport Workers, Industrial Workers of the World:
Newsletters, 1935-1936
2.325/D35c Flyer, "Industrial Union Manifesto," undated
2E307 Maritime Federation:
Constitution, undated:
Interviews, notes, 1936
Communist activity:
Newsletters ( Red Trade Unionist), 1935-1936
Bulletins, 1936
C.I.O. Maritime Committee, brochures, 1937 and undated
Maritime Labor Board:
Correspondence, 1940-1941
Reports, 1940
International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union (Pacific Coast), court records, 1940-1941
2E308 Oil workers:
Correspondence, 1936-1941
Contract, 1936
Interviews, notes, 1936-1938
Reports, 1939
Leaflet, undated
Arthur J. Mandell:
Correspondence, 1937-1939
Newspaper clippings, 1938
Newspaper reports:
Transcripts, 1917-1938
Newspaper clippings, 1937-1939
N.L.R.B. cases
Newspaper clippings, 1937-1938
Rulings, 1938-1940
Clothing workers:
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union (I.L.G.W.U.):
Interviews, notes, 1936
Newsletters, 1936-1937
N.L.R.B. rulings, 1936, 1940
Brochures and leaflets, 1936-1940
Speech, 1940
2.325/D35c Brochure, I.L.G.W.U. Educational Department
2E308 Newspaper clippings, 1936-1941
Hatters, Cap and Millinery Workers vs. Dallas Millinery Manufacturers, newspaper clippings, 1937
Mine workers:
United Mine Workers of America (U.M.W.A.):
Correspondence (includes Gomer Gower letters), 1937-1941
Newspaper reports, 1903-1910
Notes, undated
Thurber Miners' Strike:
Newspaper reports, 1903-1940
2.325/D35c Articles, United Mine Workers' Journal, September-October, 1903
2E309 Granite Workers, Capitol Syndicate case:
Correspondence, 1938-1939
Newspaper reports, 1885-1894
Court records, 1885-1886
Manuscript, Chapters in the History of Organized Labor in Texas, Chapter V.
Paper workers, U.M.W.A. District 50:
Newsletters, ca. 1940
Flyers, 1941
2.325/D35c Broadside, "Statement by Bill Reedy," undated,
(2 copies)
2E309 Automobile workers, Ford anti-union activities:
Newspaper clippings, 1937-1938
2.325/D35c Newspaper, Rockford UAW-CIO Advocator, January 1, 1949
2E309 Cowboys:
Correspondence, 1938-1942
Newspaper reports, 1883-1886
Notes and essay, undated
Farm workers, report, 1949
Hotel and restaurant workers, newspaper clippings, 1939-1940
Shrimp workers:
Newspaper clippings, 1938-1939
Notes, undated
Typographical workers, newspaper clippings, 1938-1939
Labor Groups:
American Federation of Labor (A.F.L.):
Letter, 1937
List, 1938
Newspaper clippings, 1938-1939
Constitution, 1941
Congress of Industrial Organizations (C.I.O.):
Newspaper clippings, 1938
Speech, 1940
2.325/D35c News sheet, Federal Organizer, vol. 1, no. 3, September 17, 1937
2E309 Mexican-American workers:
Correspondence, 1932-1940
Interviews, 1936
Newspaper clippings, 1937-1939
Press release, 1940
Narratives and notes, undated
Texas Knights of Labor:
Newspaper reports, 1885-1896
Interview, 1938
2E189 Texas State Federation of Labor:
Constitution, 1937
Membership list, undated
Newspaper reports:
Transcripts, 1889-1892
Clippings, 1937-1939
Convention materials, 1903-1949
Interviews and notes, 1936
Form letters, circulars, brochures, 1936-1949
2.325/D35c Report, Credential Committee, 40th convention, May 17, 1937
2.325/OD11 Poster, "1946 Political Bulletin"
2E189 Workers' Alliance:
Newspaper clippings, 1937-1938
Flyers, undated
Newspaper reports:
Transcripts, 1884-1886
Clippings, 1938
Chronology (1889-1936), undated
Interview, ca. 1936
Newspaper clippings, 1937-1938
Dallas Exposition:
Correspondence, 1948
Study, newspaper clipping, 1938
Fort Worth, newspaper clippings, 1937-1938
Interview, ca. 1936
Newspaper reports:
Transcripts, 1886-1898
Clippings, 1939
Harlingen, newspaper clippings, 1938-1939
Civil Service, newspaper clippings, 1938-1939
Harris County Association for Industrial Peace, newsletter, 1941
Letter, 1940
Newspaper clippings, 1937-1940
San Antonio:
Correspondence, 1940
Newspaper clippings, 1938
Department of Labor ruling, 1939
Political Affairs:
Child labor law, bulletins, 1941-1943
Firemen's Pay Law, newspaper clippings, 1938-1939
Labor and politics, miscellaneous issues:
Newspaper clippings, 1937-1939, 1954
Newsletters, 1941-1944
2E94 Labor bills in Texas Legislature, abstracts, 1845-1904
National Labor Relations Act, movement for revision:
Newspaper clippings, 1938-1939
Form letter, 1939
Open shop movement:
Correspondence, 1949
2.325/D35c Financial records, Open Shop Association of Beaumont, 1919-1926
Article, "A Strike Against Strikes," Saturday Evening Post, January 24, 1920
2E94 Notes, undated
Citizens' organizations, notes, undated
Todes' photostats, 1920 and undated
Newspaper clippings, 1937-1949
San Antonio, by-laws, 1919
Sherman, correspondence and narrative, 1940
Poll tax:
Brochures, 1942 and undated
Leaflets, 1943 and undated
Form letters, undated
2.325/D35c Broadside, "Statement of One Hundred Southern Women," August 26, 1940
2E94 Public opinion:
Editorials, 1937-1938
Articles, Sam Barton, 1940 and undated
Regulation of trade unions:
Correspondence, 1938-1939
Form letters, 1936
Pamphlets, 1937
Articles, 1938-1939 and undated
Relief and labor, newspaper clippings, 1938-1939
Sit-down strikes, newspaper clippings, 1937-1938
Texas Labor Legislative Board:
Membership list, 1889-1908
Statutes, 1925
Newspaper clippings, 1938-1941
Welfare capitalism, newspaper clippings, 1937-1938
Workers' defense organizations:
Form letter, 1936
Newspaper clippings, 1937-1939
Brochure, undated
Fragile materials
(photocopies in original locations)