Morris Hillquit Papers, 1886-1944

History of the Collection

For almost twenty years after Morris Hillquit's death in 1933 his personal papers remained in the possession of his widow, Mrs. Vera Hillquit. After Mrs. Hillquit's death in 1949, Nina Hillquit, the only surviving member of the family, kept the papers. In 1952, at the suggestion of Clifford L. Lord, director of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, and with the encouragement of Norman Thomas, national chairman of the Socialist Party of America, Miss Hillquit gave the bulk of her father's papers to the Society. At that time the collection consisted of correspondence, writings, scrapbooks, and a volume of sixtieth birthday greetings.

Miss Hillquit retained a few papers, mostly family correspondence, in order to complete a biography of her father. These materials, together with the manuscript of her unpublished biography, “Morris Hillquit, Pioneer of American Socialism,” and her biographical sketches of international socialist leaders, “Builders of World Socialism,” were given to the Society in 1962 by Mrs. Sylvia K. Angrist, cousin of Miss Hillquit and executrix of her estate. In 1968, Mrs. Angrist added a group of photographs of Morris Hillquit and his family to the collection. The most recent acquisitions, photocopies of the Hillquit correspondence from the Gorki Archives in Moscow, were given to the Society by S.S. Zimina, director of the Gorki Archives.

In 1969, the Wisconsin Historical Society, under the sponsorship of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, issued a microfilm publication of the Hillquit Papers.