Morris Hillquit Papers, 1886-1944

Related Material

The Morris Hillquit Papers at the State Historical Society of Wisconsin constitute the major part of Morris Hillquit's personal collection; however, three other institutions have manuscript holdings which include important Hillquit papers. The official files of the Socialist Party of America at Duke University contain a substantial amount of correspondence and writings, representative of Hillquit's thirty years as an active politician, propagandist, and Socialist Party official. Many of Hillquit's published writings are available in the Socialist Party pamphlet and leaflet collection at Duke.

The Tamiment Library of the New York University Library system has a small Hillquit collection which consists largely of pamphlets, but also includes some correspondence and writings. The Tamiment Library also has Hillquit correspondence in the papers of other socialist leaders and organizations.

The files of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union at Union Headquarters in New York City contain manuscript materials that pertain to Hillquit's work as counsel for the union from 1914 to 1933.

The most important published source on Hillquit is his posthumous autobiography, Loose Leaves from a Busy Life (New York, 1934). Despite Hillquit's acknowledged position as a founder and leader of the Socialist Party, no definitive biography exists. Two unpublished biographies are useful. The first, “Morris Hillquit, Pioneer of American Socialism,” written by Hillquit's daughter Nina, is part of the Hillquit papers, and two slightly different drafts are present. The other is a Ph.D. dissertation written by Robert W. Iversen in 1951, “Morris Hillquit, American Social Democrat: A Study of the American Left from Haymarket to the New Deal,” at the State University of Iowa.