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Guide to the Thomas Stamm Papers TAM.081

Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
2nd Floor
New York, NY 10012
(212) 998-2596

Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives

Collection processed by Giana Ricci

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on January 06, 2022
English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

 Edited by Anna Björnsson McCormick to remove unconfirmed biographical information.  , January 2022

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Stamm, Thomas
Source - dnr: Stamm, May
Title: Thomas Stamm Papers
Dates [inclusive]: 1934-1979
Abstract: Thomas Stamm [1904-1980s] was a U.S. Trotskyist and one-time member of the Political Committee of the Workers Party who, along with Hugo Oehler, founded the Revolutionary Workers League. This small collection consists of one record box of material generated and collected by Thomas Stamm during the course of his personal research, writing, and involvement with the Revolutionary Workers League.
Quantity: 1 Linear Feet in 1 record box
Location: Materials are located at the Tamiment Library.
Language: Materials are in English
Call Phrase: TAM.081

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Historical/Biographical Note

Thomas Stamm [1904-1980s] was a U.S. Trotskyist and one-time member of the Political Committee of the Workers Party who opposed the Party's 1935 decision to attempt to enter the Socialist Party of the United States in an attempt to broaden its influence. With Hugo Oehler, he formed the Revolutionary Workers League (RWL). In 1937, the group renounced Trotskyism, but while Oehler concluded that Trotsky had split with Marxism in 1934, Stamm held that Trotsky had degenerated in 1928, and the two split. Oehler retained the majority of the group, but Stamm set up a rival organization of the same name. This was some times known as RWL Revolt after its periodical, which ran Vol. I #1 March 26 1938 to Vol II #14 January 7, 1940.

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Scope and Content Note

This small collection consists of one record box of material generated and collected by Thomas Stamm during the course of his personal research, writing, and involvement with the Revolutionary Workers League. The majority of the collection consists of correspondence between Thomas Stamm and other individuals such as Max Schachtman, Carl Cowl, James T. Farrell, Meyer Shapiro, Robert J. Alexander and Edward Oehler. Copies of publications such as Fighting Worker,  Ahora, Political Notes, and the  Marxist Worker are interspersed throughout the collection. There are four folders (53-56) that pertain specifically to Stamm's interest in the Trotsky assassination, although this topic may be present in other areas of the collection. There are 4 unidentified tapes on magnetic reels labeled 1-4 and accompanied by a typed transcript of a "tape 2" which may be the tape 2 that is present in this collection. Personal material related to Thomas Stamm exists in the form of his diary at the start of the collection. There are also many published and unpublished manuscripts and articles by Thomas Stamm, some of which are undated, although a possible date range could be ascertained by examining surrounding and related material in the collection.


The order in which these materials were sent to the Tamiment Library has been maintained.

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Access Points

Subject Names

  • Stamm, Thomas
  • Stamm, May
  • Oehler, Hugo

Subject Organizations

  • Revolutionary Workers League of the U.S.

Subject Topics

  • Trotskyism -- United States.
  • Trotskyists -- United States.

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Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Access

Materials are open without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

The Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner 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 1934-1979, are expected to enter the public domain in 2060.

Preferred Citation

Identification of item, date; Thomas Stamm Papers; TAM 081; box number; folder number; Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, New York University.

Audiovisual Access Policies and Procedures

Audiovisual materials have not been preserved and may not be available to researchers. Materials not yet digitized will need to have access copies made before they can be used. To request an access copy, or if you are unsure if an item has been digitized, please contact tamiment.wagner@nyu.edu with the collection name, collection number, and a description of the item(s) requested. A staff member will respond to you with further information.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by May Stamm, 1980. The accession number associated with this gift is 1980.013

Processing Information

At the time of accessioning, materials were moved into archival housing, and a collection-level finding aid with preliminary inventory was created to describe these materials. No physical processing or arrangement was done at this time. In 2015, the materials were rehoused for preservation reasons and a folder-level finding aid was created.


No materials were separated from this collection.

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Container List

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 1 Thomas Stamm diary
Jan 18, 1949-Mar 21, 1949
Box: 1 Folder : 2 Correspondence
Box: 1 Folder : 3 Correspondence
Box: 1 Folder : 4 Correspondence and notes
Box: 1 Folder : 5 Correspondence
Box: 1 Folder : 6 Correspondence with Carl Cowl
Box: 1 Folder : 7 Letter from Irving to Tom
Sep 26, 1944
Box: 1 Folder : 8 Correspondence with Hank Ross (Marsh)
Box: 1 Folder : 9 Correspondence with Max Shachtman, James T. Farrell, Meyer Shpairo
Box: 1 Folder : 10 Correspondence with John Poulos re: William Krehm and Louis Basky
Box: 1 Folder : 11 Letters from Jackson Mayers (Drake) from Europe
Box: 1 Folder : 12 Letter to Thomas Stamm from Robert J. Alexander
Feb 22, 1951
Box: 1 Folder : 13 Correspondence with Robert Pitcoff
Box: 1 Folder : 14 Correspondence with Florence [Hazel Korn]
Box: 1 Folder : 15 Thomas Stamm and others correspondence with Edward Oler [Oehler]
Box: 1 Folder : 16 Letter to George Novack and Atrocious History manuscript
Dec 3, 1969
Box: 1 Folder : 17 Correspondence with Barbara West (SWP archivist) and letter from Jack Barnes (SWP National Secretary) to Tamiment
Box: 1 Folder : 18 Correspondence re: labor encyclopedia
Box: 1 Folder : 19 Correspondence re: communists in the book publishing field
Box: 1 Folder : 20 Correspondence with Esquire and  Where is Your Lantern Dwight MacDonald? manuscript
Mar 27, 1965-Oct 4, 1965
Box: 1 Folder : 21 Letter to Marxist Worker
Sep 26, 1979
Box: 1 Folder : 22 Pathfinder press letter to Thomas Stamm
Mar 14, 1979
Box: 1 Folder : 23 Correspondence with U.S. General Services Administration re: Warren Commission transcripts
Box: 1 Folder : 24 Thomas Stamm memorial speech to Lou Bobroff
Box: 1 Folder : 25 Italy is Desperately Hungry by Jack Armor and Thomas Stamm, clipping of article by Olive Karen and other manuscripts
1946, undated
Box: 1 Folder : 26 Manuscript on Stalinism [author unknown]
Box: 1 Folder : 27 "Who Wrote Stalin's Book" by Thomas Stamm, submitted to New Yorker
Box: 1 Folder : 28 Articles for encyclopedia
Box: 1 Folder : 29 Notes and unfinished miscellaneous material
1940, undated
Box: 1 Folder : 30 Excerpt from letter Louis Breier to Munsey Gleaton, re: AWP-CLA forthcoming merger
Oct 30, 1934
Box: 1 Folder : 31 Los Angeles Conference on Revolutionary Regroupment
Jul 1977
Box: 1 Folder : 32 Letter to Larry Lawson, Spartacist League on situation in RWL; The Logic of Ideas
1936-1937, 1976
Box: 1 Folder : 33 Data on unions
Box: 1 Folder : 34 Material re: Ed Welsh
1942, 1979
Box: 1 Folder : 35 Excerpts from a letter on workers control of production
Box: 1 Folder : 36 Notes on Fifth Convention of RWL; Minutes of final conference RWL
Jan 18-19, 1941, May 30, 1941
Box: 1 Folder : 37 1946 negotiations with RWL material
Box: 1 Folder : 38 Fighting Worker, clippings on unity, "Four Elements," "Origins"
1945, 1977
Box: 1 Folder : 39 State Labor Relations Board case: Thomas Stamm v. Sinram Brothers
Box: 1 Folder : 40 Research report on the irreconciliability of captialism and communism and supplemental research material
Box: 1 Folder : 41 "Report by Your Organizer," Sid Lens
Jan 5, 1946
Box: 1 Folder : 42 Unpublished article written for Detroit suburban newspaper by McGruff?
Box: 1 Folder : 43 The Jewish Labor Committee [historical paper on the organization]
Box: 1 Folder : 44 "One Small Step Forward" statement by Jim and Grace Lee Boggs and Freddie and Lyman Paine
Box: 1 Folder : 45 Financial standing of Budd Co., war years profits
1936-1939, 1941-1944
Box: 1 Folder : 46 Political Notes vol. 1 no.3
Aug 6, 1945
Box: 1 Folder : 47 Detroit Newsletter
Box: 1 Folder : 48 Schematic outline of chapter 2 of "The Thesis Argument: by Joseph L. Morse
Box: 1 Folder : 49 The Four Elements
Box: 1 Folder : 50 The Democratic Manifesto (5 copies)
Box: 1 Folder : 51 4 tapes [untitled]
Box: 1 Folder : 52 Transcript of tape 2 [possibly from tape 2 in Folder 51]
Box: 1 Folder : 53 Material on Healy's accusations against Novak and Hanson regarding Trotsky assassination
Box: 1 Folder : 54 Copy from Ahora issue #465 re: Siqueiro's involvement in Trotsky assassination attempt
Box: 1 Folder : 55-56 Correspondence re: Trotsky assassination
Box: 1 Folder : 57 Miscellaneous leaflets, brochures, xerox copies and notes
1945, undated
Box: 1 Folder : 58 Clippings
1937, 1941, 1951, 1978, undated
Box: 1 Folder : 59 Paris Commune post cards

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