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Published in The Appeal to Reason [Girard, KS], whole no. 398 (July 18, 1903), pp. 2-5. - page 4 / 14





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

1901, as a direct result of the National Unity Conven- tion of Indianapolis in July of the same year. Prior to that there were two parties in the field, the Socialist Labor, dating from the middle-’80s, and the Social Democratic Party, dating from 1891. Immediately af- ter this convention preparations were made to carry the work of agitation and organization into the state, which sadly needed attention since but few organiza- tions survived the disastrous war of factions which started with the split in the SLP of 1899.

Little by little the organization was pushed out into the various industrial centers, until today most of the larger cities are in line for the organization. Some of them developed into very active locals, well able to take care of themselves. However, as an actual factor in the field of politics, it is only the groundwork upon which the future party will have to be built.

At present there are 42 locals in the state, with 48 branches in Chicago — a total of 90 organizations. During the first half of the present year, the state com- mittee has paid the national organization $440.00 as dues, using to date 8,600 due stamps. The number of due stamps bought so far this year shows an average paid up membership of 1,433.

It is now the intention of the state committee to organize every county in the state as strongly in pro- portion as Cook County and with this end in view the services of Comrade John Collins, one of the ablest agitators in the whole movement, were secured. He will put in his whole time now to organize and agitate and with the active financial support of the member- ship, such as this undertaking well deserves, there is no reason why Illinois should not be at the head of the list of active states in the union.

With the exception of Cook County (Chicago), the first Socialist ticket appeared in 1896, when we polled 985 votes out of a total of 1,086,262 votes in the state. At the next election in 1898 we raised our vote to 4,527, which in 1900 went up to 9,897 for the Socialist ticket headed by Debs and Harriman.

James S. Smith State Secretary.

Socialist Movement in Indiana.

No better demonstration could be had of the value of organization than was shown in the campaign of 1902, which was begun early in the year when an organizer was sent out by the state committee to pio- neer through the state. Gradually the few Socialists scattered over the state were got together and where enough of them could be found to form locals were at once attached to the state organization, which enabled the state committee to reach over a larger area than could have been done otherwise. This, together with the agitation caused by the coal strike, gave us the grati- fying result of 20,167 votes, or about 2-1/2% of the total vote in the state.

While still a long way off from being able to elect our candidates on the state ticket, in Chicago we broke the ice last spring, when we elected our alder- manic candidate in the 33rd Ward, Comrade William Johnson, who is very likely to be followed by another next year.

In Cook County we have perhaps the best orga-

nization of any county in the country. Indeed, 60% of the strength of the state is in the count , where the comrades own and publish a weekly paper, The Chi- cago Socialist, our state organ.

The Socialist Party of Indiana is rapidly forging to the front as one of the best states in the union. There are 38 active locals of the party organized and this number will certainly be doubled before winter. In the state elections last year surprising gains were made in various parts of the state, which alarmed the capitalist press, who are unable to account for the desertion of their parties by those whom they have succeeded in deluding for many years. Three large cities, Evansville, Ft. Wayne, and Indianapolis, polled upwards of a thou- sand votes each and substantial gains were made at other points. The comrades at Evansville assure us that they will send a few workingmen down to the state- house at Indianapolis in the next election for a visit to last as long as the legislature is in session. A plan of agitation for the summer months has been adopted similar to that which prevails in Michigan and indica- tions point to the most active campaign work this sum- mer that has ever been inaugurated. The plan enables the state organization to send speakers to all parts of the state at a cost of $1.25 for each meeting and appli- cations for enrollment under this plan are coming in by every mail from cities and towns in all parts of the

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