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Guide to the Eugene V. (Eugene Victor) Debs Photographs PHOTOS 004

Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
10th Floor
New York, NY 10012
(212) 998-2630

Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives

Collection processed by Processed by Mary Allison Farley, ca. 1986-1988

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on August 29, 2018
Description is in English. using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Debs, Eugene V. (Eugene Victor), 1855-1926
Source - dnr: Cooper, Marguerite Debs
Source - dnr: De Ford, Miriam Allen, 1888-1975
Title: Eugene V. Debs Photographs
Dates [inclusive]: circa 1895 - 1923
Abstract: Eugene V. Debs was a founder and five-time presidential candidate of the Socialist Party (U.S.), last in 1920, while he was imprisoned for his opposition to World War I. The collection contains photographic prints and cartoons, including images of his 1921 release from prison, and his funeral in Terre Haute Indiana.
Quantity: 0.25 Linear Feet
Call Phrase: PHOTOS 004

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Historical/Biographical Note

Eugene Victor Debs (1855-1926) was born in Terre Haute, Indiana to Jean Daniel and Marguerite Marie Debs. He married Katherine Metzel in 1885. During the 1870s he served as an official of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen (BLF) and editor of Locomotive Fireman's Magazine. He resigned from the BLF in 1892 to begin organizing the American Railway Union (ARU). He was arrested in 1894 for his activities in a strike against the Pullman Palace Car Company and sentenced to six months in prison. He became a socialist shortly after serving his first prison sentence and was instrumental in forming the Social Democratic Party. In 1918 he was sentenced to ten years in prison as a result of his activities against American involvement in World War I. He was pardoned by President Warren G. Harding in 1921. Debs ran for President of the United States on the Socialist Party ticket in 1900, 1904, 1908, 1912, and 1920.

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Scope and Content Note

The collection includes 65 photoprints (black & white; 5 x 7) cartoons and reproductions of drawings, arranged in broad subject categories. The bulk of the images are portraits. There are 11 shots of Debs in prison and emerging from prison, 1920-1921; five views of Debs speaking; seven views of Debs with other people (including Victor Berger and James O'Neal); six family images including his wife, Katherine Metzel Debs, images from his funeral in Terre Haute, Indiana, and eight reproductions of Debs' cartoons, drawings, plaques and sculptures.


Arranged topically.

The files are grouped into 1 series.

Missing Title

  1. Inventory

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Access Points

Subject Names

  • Oneal, James, 1875-1962 -- |v Portraits
  • Katherine Metzel, 1857-1936--Portraits.
  • Berger, Victor L., 1860-1929 -- |v Portraits
  • Debs, Eugene V. (Eugene Victor), 1855-1926 -- |v Portraits
  • Cooper, Marguerite Debs
  • De Ford, Miriam Allen, 1888-1975
  • Friedman, Frances

Document Type

  • Caricatures and cartoons.
  • Photographic prints.

Subject Organizations

  • Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen--Pictorial works.
  • American Railway Union -- |v Pictorial works
  • Socialist Party (U.S.) -- |v Pictorial works

Subject Topics

  • Socialists -- United States.

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Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Access

Materials are open without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives has no information about copyright ownership for this collection and is not authorized to grant permission to publish or reproduce materials from it. Materials in this collection, which were created in circa 1895 - 1923, are expected to enter the public domain in year.

Preferred Citation

Identification of item, date; Eugene V. Debs Photographs; PHOTOS 004; box number; folder number; Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, New York University.

Related Material at the Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives

General Photograph Collection (Photographs 001)

Eugene V. Debs Papers (Tamiment 020)

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Eugene V. Debs Photographs were separated from the Eugene V. (Eugene Victor) Debs Papers. Marguerite Debs Cooper first donated a collection of her father's papers to the Rand School Library in 1947. In 1963, collections owned by the Rand School were transferred from the People's Educational Camp Society's to Tamiment Institute Library. The Eugene V. Debs Papers were collected by Tamiment Library staff over a number of years, and derive from a variety of sources. The accession number associated with this collection is 1950.240. In 1997 Frances Friedman donated one black and white image of Eugene Debs speaking in Canton Ohio. The accession number associated with this item. is NPA.1997.002.

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Container List


Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Folder: 1 Portraits
Folder: 2 American Railway Union; Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen
Folder: 3 Prison
Box: OS002 Folder : 1 (Access cd)
Folder: 4 Speaking
Folder: 5 Debs, et al
Folder: 6 Family and Home
Folder: 7 Drawings and Cartoons
Folder: 8 Funeral (Labor Temple: Terre Haute, Indiana)

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