James P. Cannon Papers, 1919-1975

Summary Information

Title: James P. Cannon Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1919-1975

  • Cannon, James Patrick, 1890-1974
Call Number: Mss 839; Micro 2033

Quantity: 24.2 c.f. (61 archives boxes) and 65 reels of microfilm (35mm)

Archival Locations:
Wisconsin Historical Society (Map)

Papers of James P. Cannon, a writer, historian, founder of the Socialist Workers Party, and leader of the world Trotskyist movement. Included is biographical material primarily related to his early experiences in the Industrial Workers of the World and the Communist Party; correspondence; bibliographies and draft versions of speeches and writings; minutes, leaflets, position statements, and other collected documents of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) and its forerunners such as the Communist League of America; and papers of his wife Rose Karsner who was also active in the party. The correspondence includes personal and family letters, some of which were written during his imprisonment for violations of the Smith Act, and many exchanges with Farrell Dobbs and other leaders of the SWP and leaders of other American leftist parties such as A.J. Muste of the American Workers Party, Max Shachtman and James Burnham of the Workers Party, and Norman Thomas and Eugene V. Debs of the Socialist Party. Extensive records concern the Fourth International; the activities of Trotskyist organizations in England, France, and other countries; relations with Leon Trotsky and Natalia Sedova during their residence in Mexico; the factional doctrines of Michel Pablo, Hugo Oehler, and Bert Cochran; and disputes within the radical movement over the coming of World War II. The entire collection is also available on microfilm.


There is a restriction on use of this material; see the Administrative/Restriction Information portion of this finding aid for details.

Language: English

URL to cite for this finding aid: http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/wiarchives.uw-whs-mss00839
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