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Published in The Appeal to Reason [Girard, KS], whole no. 398 (July 18, 1903), pp. 2-5. - page 12 / 14





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Reports of State Secretaries, Socialist Party of America [1903]

South Dakota Socialists.

Comrade Debs was the first candidate that the South Dakota comrades had the honor of casting a vote for. They gave him 170 votes and for a time after that the party made very slow progress, on account of the inactivity of the members. Men were timid in ex- pressing themselves, and the doctrine was talked of by a few on the quite. But as time passed, the comrades became bolder and began the spreading of Socialist literature, which resulted in the organization of 3 lo- cals, which were not affiliated with the Socialist Party. Local Sioux Falls was the first to become affiliated with the general movement, and received its charter from the National Committee at St. Louis. This local now has 40 members. Through its influence, Aberdeen, Clark, Madison, and Oneida locals were induced to go into the national part , all of which resulted in a state convention at Aberdeen on Aug. 28, 1902. Here we perfected a state organization, and placed a full ticket in the field, composed of some of the best men in the state. As a result of the straightforwardness of the nominees, our vote was 2,838, which we consid- ered fair for the first roundup. The people of South Dakota are now aware of the existence of a Socialist Party in their midst. In Aberdeen the comrades suc- ceeded in preventing the city lighting from going into the hands of a private company. In Sioux Falls the ban- ner local had the honor of electing the first Socialist to a seat in the city council. It was somewhat of a sur- prise to the Republicans to see a radical Socialist elected, but they will find that Comrade John O. Johnson will fill the place OK and keep them thinking of what is to come in the near future. We have 15 locals organized in 2 counties. We are coming, Father Abraham. Watch us grow.

Bonham, Tex., and on July 4th of that year, the first Socialist State Convention was held at Dallas, Tex., and a full state ticket nominated, for which, in round numbers, 1,800 votes were cast at the election held in November. Thus was launched the Socialist movement in the “Lone Star” state. The limited resources of the State Committee forbade the sending of speakers and organizers to but a very small part of the state. Conse- quently the growth of the movement has been brought about largely through the work of the Socialist press.

I feel safe in saying that had all the votes cast for the Socialist state ticket at the election last November been fairly counted and returned, we would have had at least 7,000 instead of 5,000 votes as returned by the State Canvassing Board. This, too, 28 months after our first appearance in the political arena. With these facts before us, it can be readily seen that the Texan is ripe for conversion, and but to have the principles of Socialism truthfully presented to him, to become its ardent advocate. The class struggle is not so clearly discerned by the proletariat of the South as of the North, because the industrial development here has not advance to the stage it has reached in the other localities, and the all-pervading spirit of class-con- sciousness to be found among the comrades of the manufacturing centers has not taken hold upon the wage-worker and producer of Dixie, and consequently he is not — even though he is a party member — so enthusiastic as his Northern brother. However, 32 lo- cals have been chartered in Texas, with applications for several more charters. Inquiries concerning orga- nization are being received every da , and the move- ment bids fair to rival the states where the “logic of events” has forced a more rapid growth. This senti- ment, if properly directed, will go far toward raising the 2,000,000 votes for the Socialist ticket in 1904.

W.A. Williams, Secretary, State Committee.

E.B. Latham, State Secretary of Texas.

How We Stand in Texas.

Socialists in Utah.

In May 1900, a small advertisement appeared in the Socialist papers then circulating in Texas, re- questing all Socialist sympathizers in the state to send their names and addresses to the Farmer’s Review,

The cooperative idea has been strongly advocated and practiced in Utah by the pioneers, as a matter of necessity owing to the barren country and the poverty of the people. And it has been, to a good extent,

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