Eugene V Debs

Five-time candidate for U.S. President, tireless advocate for the laborer, jailed for his convictions,  union leader, letter writer extraordinaire, Eugene V Debs casts a giant shadow from the Gilded Age to the Progressive Era. His influence resonates in this day and age – Senator Bernie Sanders is a great admirer of Debs; so much so that he wrote and directed a 1979 documentary about the union leader.

There is a great deal of primary source information available on Debs. The Debs Collection at Indiana State University contains a plethora of source material: summaries of over 5200 letters written to and by Debs; a very large selection of pamphlets, many of them digitized; photos of Debs; and access to National Archives records pertaining to Debs.

Many of his writings can be found online, including some of his speeches as well as appreciations of him. The Eugene V. Debs Internet Archive also allows access to speeches and articles by Debs; it is another worthwhile place to investigate. The Eugene V. Debs Foundation has many photos of Debs taken at various stages of his life and provides a virtual tour of his house; the house, by the way, is designated as a National Historic Landmark. In addition, Chronicling America from the Library of Congress has thousands of newspaper articles on him; here are hundreds on him from The Labor World alone.

Secondary information can be found at: Eugene V. Debs, Presidential Contender (C-SPAN); Eugene Debs (PBS); Eugene V. Debs (History Today); Eugene V. Debs (Encyclopedia Britannica); and Fellow Worker Eugene V Debs (Industrial Workers of the World).

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