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Earl Browder Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: --
Date: 2001-01-01

Biographical History

Earl Russell Browder (1891-1973) was General Secretary of the Communist party of the United States during the height of its popularity, in the 1930s and 1940s and twice represented the Party as its candidate for President. Earl Browder was born on May 20, 1891, in Wichita, Kansas. He was the son of William Browder and Martha Jane Hankins Browder. His father was a teacher and farmer who was avidly Populist. Earl Browder had little formal education and went to work to help support the family. At the age of 15 Browder joined the Socialist party, but within a few years he moved on to the newly formed Syndicalist League of North America, led by William Z. Foster. He took courses in law and business and became manager of a cooperative store in Olathe, Kansas where he authored a manual on the principles of accounting for cooperatives. In 1917, Browder was convicted of espionage for speaking out against potential US involvement in World War I and following his release from prison continued to oppose the war and was again convicted and served a second sentence. Soon after he left prison in 1919, he joined the newly organized Communist party. He also went to work for Foster's Trade Union Educational League (TUEL) in New York City. In 1921 Browder and Foster represented the TUEL at the Red International of Labor Unions (RILU) in Moscow. Browder became a top aide to Foster. In 1926 Browder travelled to Moscow and then China as part of an international Communist labor delegation. Returning to the United States in 1929, Browder helped Foster become General Secretary of the party. When poor health forced Foster into semi-retirement in 1932, Browder succeeded to the party leadership. During the 15 years of his leadership, the Communist party grew from a membership of a few thousand to over 100,000 and gained both visibility and considerable respectability with Browder as its "face" and "voice". Browder was the Party's candidate for President in 1936 and 1940, both times with James W. Ford as his running mate. In 1940, Browder was convicted of passport fraud and sentenced to four years in federal prison in Atlanta but his sentence was commuted by President Roosevelt after 14 months. In the election of 1944, Browder supported Roosevelt's reelection and presided over the dissolution of the United States Communist Party and the formation of the Communist Political Association. In 1946, Browder and his brother William were both expelled from the international Communist Party. Following his expulsion, Earl Browder wrote and lectured and worked with Soviet publishers and authors to get their books published in the United States. Browder died in Princeton, NJ on June 27, 1973.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Earl Browder Papers consists of biographical material, correspondence-subject files, writings and memorabilia.

Biographical material comprises biographical sketches, obituaries and genealogical material.

Correspondence-subject files comprise approximately half the collection. Represented here are important individuals in the Communist and Socialist movements such as (Benjamin Davis, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, James W. Ford, William Z. Foster, Vito Marcantonio, Upton Sinclair, Norman Thomas and Mao Zedong). There are extensive transcipts of early Central Committee Plenum sessions (March, April 1930) and other early organizing meetings of the Communist Party USA and the TUEL. Correspondence with and reports about labor unions, other political parties ( American Labor Party, Henry Wallace's Progressive Party, Socialist Party), and organizations (International Labor Defense, National Council for Prevention of War ) are also well represented. Boxes 10 through 15 contain material directly relating to the Communist Party USA or to Communist parties in various countries including Canada, Cuba, Greece, Mexico, Peru, Poland, Spain and New Zealand. Also represented are a number of publications ( The Daily Worker, New Masses), publishers (Duke University Press, Haldeman-Julius Publications, Oxford University Press, OGIZ), and booksellers ( [Irving] Ephraim, O'Brien Antiquarian Bookseller), as well as educational institutions (Cornell University, New York University, Princeton University). Extensive legal files concerning Earl Browder's passport violation case (United States v. Earl Browder 22 USC 220) and Raissa Browder's deportation case (United States v. Raissa Berkmann Browder) are included. There is also family correspondence including letters to and from Earl Browder and his wife Raisa during Browder's time in jail. Correspondence of Browder's sons Felix, Andrew and William which is related to their own careers has been included in Memorabilia.

Writings contains articles (including letters to the editor), books and speeches, almost all on political topics relating to labor problems and/or Communism. Sample titles/topics include "The Communist Party and Civil Liberties in the United States," "How To Tell an Anti-Democrat and How To Beat Him," and "Cooperation with Communists." Of particular interest in this series are several versions of Browder's autobiography, which was never completed or published. There is a great deal of duplication of text among articles, speeches and pamphlets as Browder's speeches were often published in multiple forms.

Memorabilia includes address books, artwork, clippings about Browder from a wide range of publications, financial material, and photographs of Browder, both personal (family and friends) and political (Communist International 7th World Congress). Also included in Memorabilia are postcards which Browder brought back or sent to his sons for their postcard albums, printed material, a number of sound recordings, and travel souvenirs.

Arrangement of the Collection

Biographical material, Correspondence-subject files and Memorabilia are arranged alphabetically by topic or subject. Writings are subdivided by type; within that, articles and speeches are arranged chronologically while books are alphabetical by title.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Related Material

A number of published items were sent to Rare Books for cataloging. Please refer to the Classic Catalog and search on "Gift of Earl Browder" to locate these items. In addition, Rare Books has substantial cataloged holdings of Communist publications such as the New Masses, Communist International and Bolʹshevik. Please refer to the Classic Catalog for these items as well.

All audiorecordings have been digitized.

Subject Headings


Adamic, Louis, 1899-1951.
Adams, Josephine Truslow.
Agapov, B. N. (Boris Nikolaevich)
Albizu Campos, Pedro, 1891-1965.
Alter, Victor, 1890-1941.
Alvarez del Vayo, Julio, 1891-
Amter, I. (Israel), 1881-
Anderson, Clinton Presba, 1895-1975.
Angell, Norman, 1874-1967.
Arze, José Antonio, 1904-1955.
Baldwin, Roger N. (Roger Nash), 1884-1981.
Baruch, Bernard M. (Bernard Mannes), 1870-1965.
Bassols, Narciso.
Bedacht, Max, 1883-1972.
Beneŝ, Edvard, 1884-1948.
Beria, L. P. (Lavrentĭ Pavlovich), 1899-1953.
Berti, Giuseppe, 1901-
Bessie, Alvah Cecil, 1904-1985.
Bethune, Norman.
Biddle, Francis, 1886-1968.
Billings, Warren K., 1893-1972.
Bliven, Bruce, 1889-1977.
Bloor, Ella Reeve, 1862-1951.
Blossom, F. A. (Frederick Augustus), 1878-
Boudin, Louis B. (Louis Boudianoff), 1874-1952.
Bransten, Richard, 1906-1955.
Bridges, Harry, 1901-1990.
Browder, Andrew.
Browder, Earl, 1891-1973.
Browder, Felix E.
Browder, Raissa.
Browder, William.
Brown, William Montgomery, 1855-1937.
Budenz, Louis F. (Louis Francis), 1891-1972.
Cacchione, Peter V., 1897-1947.
Celler, Emanuel, 1888-1981.
Cerf, Bennett, 1898-1971.
Chambers, Whittaker.
Chen, Jiageng, 1874-1961.
Corretjer, Juan Antonio.
Coughlin, Charles E. (Charles Edward), 1891-1979.
Cousins, Norman.
Curran, Edward Lodge, b. 1898.
Dana, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1881-1950.
Darcy, Samuel, 1905-
Davis, Benjamin J. (Benjamin Jefferson), 1903-1964.
Debs, Eugene V. (Eugene Victor), 1855-1926.
Dedijer, Stevan.
Dennis, Eugene, 1905-1961.
Dirksen, Everett McKinley.
Douglas, Paul H. (Paul Howard), 1892-1976.
Dowling, Lyle.
Draper, Theodore, 1912-2006.
Dreiser, Theodore, 1871-1945.
Drinan, Robert F.
Dubinsky, David, 1892-1982.
Duclos, Jacques, 1896-1975.
Dutt, R. Palme (Rajani Palme), 1896-1974.
Dvorine, Israel, 1900-1989.
Eastman, Max, 1883-1969.
Eden, Anthony, Earl of Avon, 1897-1977.
Efries, Joseph.
Ehrlich, Henryk, 1882-1942.
Einstein, Albert, 1879-1955.
Field, Frederick V. (Frederick Vanderbilt), 1905-2000.
Field, Marshall, 1893-1956.
Flynn, Elizabeth Gurley.
Ford, James W., 1893-1957.
Foster, William Z., 1881-1961.
Frank, Waldo David, 1889-1967.
Freeman, Joseph, 1897-1965.
Gallagher, Leo.
Ganley, Nat, 1903-1969.
Gantt, W. Horsley (William Horsley), 1892-1980.
Garlin, Sender.
Gauvreau, Emile, 1891-1956.
Gold, Mike.
Goldman, Marcus I. (Marcus Isaac), 1881-
Green, Gil, 1906-
Gropper, William, 1897-1977.
Hall, Gus.
Heller, A. A. (Abraham Aaron), 1874-
Herndon, Angelo, 1913-1997.
Hoffa, James R. (James Riddle), 1913-
Houphouët-Boigny, Félix, 1905-1993.
Hsieh, Tehyi, b. 1884.
Hunt, R. N. Carew (Robert Nigel Carew)
Hutchins, Grace, 1885-1969.
Ibárruri, Dolores, 1895-1989.
Jacobi, Lotte, 1896-1990.
Jaffe, Philip J. (Philip Jacob), 1895-1980.
Jiménez Malaret, René.
Jordan, Virgil, 1892-1965.
Kalinin, M. I. (Mikhail Ivanovich), 1875-1946.
Keating, Kenneth B. (Kenneth Barnard), 1900-1975.
Kennan, George F. (George Frost), 1904-2005.
Kennedy, Robert F., 1925-1968.
Kent, Rockwell, 1882-1971.
Kohlberg, Alfred, 1887-1960.
Kōtoku, Shūsui, 1871-1911.
Lachatañeré, R. (Rómulo)
Lamont, Corliss, 1902-1995.
Lampe, Alfred, 1900-1943.
Lange, Oskar, 1904-1965.
Lannon, Albert Vetere, 1938-
Lash, Joseph P., 1909-1987.
Laski, Harold Joseph, 1893-1950.
Law, Richard, 1901-1980.
Lazarsfeld, Paul F., 1901-1976.
Le Sueur, Meridel.
Lefkowitz, Louis J.
Lehman, Herbert H. (Herbert Henry), 1878-1963.
Levine, Isaac Don, 1892-1981.
Li, Lisan, 1899-1967.
Libby, Frederick J. (Frederick Joseph), 1874-1970.
Lieber, Maxim, 1897-1993.
Lindbergh, Charles A. (Charles Augustus), 1902-1974.
Lipset, Seymour Martin.
Little, Herbert S. (Herbert Satterthwaite), 1902-1972.
Lloyd, William Bross, 1908-
Lombardo Toledano, Vicente, 1894-1968.
Lovestone, Jay.
Luce, Clare Boothe, 1903-1987.
Lumpkin, Katharine Du Pre, 1897-1988.
Lunacharsky, Anatoly Vasilievich, 1875-1933.
Lyons, Eugene, 1898-1985.
MacDermot, Niall.
Magil, A. B. (Abraham Bernard), 1905-
Mann, Tom, 1856-1941.
Mao, Zedong, 1893-1976.
Marcantonio, Vito, 1902-1954.
Marinello, Juan, 1898-1977.
Marty, André.
Maverick, Maury, 1895-1954.
McClure, Wallace, 1890-
McCormick, Anne O'Hare, 1880-1954.
McNaboe, John J., 1893-1954.
McWilliams, Carey, 1905-1980.
Merriman, Robert Hale.
Minor, Robert S.
Mitchell, Broadus, 1892-1988.
Mooney, Tom.
Morris, R. J. (Robert John)
Mostel, Zero, 1915-1977.
Mowrer, Edgar Ansel, 1892-1977.
Murphy, Frank, 1890-1949.
Nance, Ellwood C. (Ellwood Cecil), 1900-
Nearing, Scott, 1883-1983.
Ney, Lew.
Nobile, Umberto, 1885-1978.
North, Joseph.
O'Sheel, Shaemas, 1886-1954.
Pass, Joseph.
Pegler, J. Westbrook (James Westbrook), 1894-1969.
Pesenti, Antonio.
Pollitt, Harry.
Powell, Adam Clayton, Jr., 1908-1972.
Preveden, Francis Ralph, 1890-1959.
Quill, Mike, 1905-1966.
Rabello, Manoel.
Rajk, László, 1909-1949.
Rautenstrauch, Walter, 1880-1951.
Reid, Helen Rogers, 1882-1970.
Revyuk, Emil.
Rico, Dan, 1912-1985.
Riesel, Victor.
Robb, Roger.
Robeson, Eslanda Goode, 1896-1965.
Robeson, Paul, 1898-1976.
Rochester, Anna.
Rogge, O. John (Oetje John), 1903-1981.
Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962.
Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano), 1882-1945.
Rossiter, Clinton, 1917-1970.
Roumain, Jacques, 1907-1944.
Rudensky, Red, 1898-
Russell, Richard B. (Richard Brevard), 1897-1971.
Rutledge, Wiley, Jr., 1894-1949.
Saltonstall, Leverett, 1892-1979.
Sayre, John Nevin, 1884-1977.
Schafer, John Charles, 1893-1962.
Schlesinger, Arthur M., Jr., (Arthur Meier), 1917-2007.
Schuyler, George S. (George Samuel), 1895-1977.
Seipp, Conrad, 1920-
Shub, Anatole.
Sinclair, Upton, 1878-1968.
Slochower, Harry, 1900-1991.
Smith, Gerald L. K. (Gerald Lyman Kenneth), 1898-1976.
Smith, Vern Ralph, 1892-
Snow, Sinclair.
Sokolsky, George E. (George Ephraim), 1893-1962.
Song, Qingling, 1893-1981.
Spivak, Lawrence E. (Lawrence Edmund), 1900-1994.
Stachel, Jack.
Stalin, Joseph, 1878-1953.
Starobin, Joseph R. (Joseph Robert), 1913-1976.
Stern, Carl S. (Carl Samuel)
Stettinius, Edward R., Jr. (Edward Reilly), 1900-1949.
Stone, I. F. (Isidor Feinstein), 1907-1989.
Strachey, John, 1901-1963.
Strong, Anna Louise, 1885-1970.
Struik, Dirk J. (Dirk Jan), 1894-2000.
Tarasov-Rodionov, A. (Aleksandr), 1885-
Telford, Shirley, 1925-
Thomas, Norman, 1884-1968.
Thye, Edward John, 1896-1969.
Tito, Josip Broz, 1892-1980.
Toohey, Patrick, 1911-1982.
Trachtenberg, Alexander, 1884-1966.
Tresca, Carlo, 1879-1943.
Trimble, South.
Truman, Harry S., 1884-1972.
Villard, Oswald Garrison, 1872-1949.
Wallace, Henry A. (Henry Agard), 1888-1965.
Welles, Sumner, 1892-1961.
Wicks, Harry, 1905-1989.
Wilder, Isabel, 1900-1995.
Willkie, Wendell L. (Wendell Lewis), 1892-1944.
Wilson, Earl, 1907-1987.
Winchell, Walter, 1897-1972.
Windsor, Edward, Duke of, 1894-1972.
Wolfe, Bertram David, 1896-1977.
Yarborough, Ralph Webster, 1903-1996.
Young, Art, 1866-1943.
Zhdanov, Andrei Andreevich.
Zhou, Enlai, 1898-1976.
Ćopić, Vladimir, 1891-1939.

Corporate Bodies

American Civil Liberties Union.
American Committee for Protection of Foreign Born.
American Federation of Labor.
American Federation of Teachers.
American Labor Party.
American Labor Party. -- Progressive Committee.
American League Against War and Fascism.
American Legion.
American Negro Labor Congress.
Associated Press.
Columbia Broadcasting System, inc.
Columbia University.
Communist International.
Communist Party (Algeria)
Communist Party (Argentina)
Communist Party (Austria)
Communist Party (Bolivia)
Communist Party (Brazil)
Communist Party (Chile)
Communist Party (China)
Communist Party (Colombia)
Communist Party (Costa Rica)
Communist Party (Cuba)
Communist Party (Czechoslovakia)
Communist Party (France)
Communist Party (Germany)
Communist Party (Great Britain)
Communist Party (Greece)
Communist Party (Haiti)
Communist Party (Honduras)
Communist Party (Hungary)
Communist Party (India)
Communist Party (Ireland)
Communist Party (Italy)
Communist Party (Mexico)
Communist Party (Morocco)
Communist Party (New Zealand)
Communist Party (Peru)
Communist Party (Poland)
Communist Party (Puerto Rico)
Communist Party (South Africa)
Communist Party (Spain)
Communist Party (Uruguay)
Communist Party (Venezuela)
Communist Party (Yugoslavia)
Communist Party U.S.A. (Opposition)
Communist Party of Australia.
Communist Party of Canada.
Communist Party of the Philippines (1930- )
Communist Party of the United States of America.
Communist Paty (Soviet Union)
Communist Political Association.
Congress of Industrial Organizations (U.S.)
Farmer-Labor Party (Minn.)
Fund for the Republic.
Haldeman-Julius Company.
Imperial War Museum (Great Britain)
Industrial Workers of the World.
International Fellowship of Reconciliation.
International Labor Defense.
League for Industrial Democracy.
League of American Writers.
Liberal Party of New York State.
Library of Congress.
McGraw-Hill Book Company
National Council for Prevention of War (U.S.)
National Emergency Civil Liberties Committee (U.S.)
National Federation for Constitutional Liberties.
National Lawyers Guild.
National Maritime Union of America.
National Religion and Labor Foundation (U.S.)
National Sharecroppers' Fund (U.S.).
National Women's Trade Union League of America.
Oxford University Press.
Philosophical library.
Princeton University.
Progressive Party (U.S. : 1948)
Reconstruction Finance Corporation.
Red International of Labor Unions.
Republican National Committee (U.S.)
Revolutionary Workers League.
Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party.
Rutgers University.
Socialist Party of the United States of America.
Socialist Workers Party.
Southern Conference for Human Welfare.
Town Hall, Inc.
Trade Union Educational League (U.S.)
Trade Union Unity League (U.S.)
Transport Workers Union of America.
Unión Nacional Sinarquista (Mexico)
United States Civil Service Commission.
United States Information Agency.
United States. -- Congress. -- House.
United States. -- Congress. -- Senate.
United States. -- Department of Agriculture.
United States. -- Department of Justice.
United States. -- Department of State.
United States. -- Federal Security Agency.
United States. -- National War Labor Board (1942-1945)
United States. -- Office of War Information.
United States. -- Office of War Mobilization.
United States. -- Post Office Dept.
United States. -- Superintendent of Documents.
United States. -- Works Progress Administration.
United States. Army.
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.
Workers Library Publishers.
Workers Party of America.
Workers' Defense League.
World Jewish Congress.

Associated Titles

Daily worker.
New masses.
Pravda (Moscow, Russia)


Authors and publishers -- Soviet Union.
Authors and publishers -- United States.
Birobidzhan (Russia)
Communism -- Algeria.
Communism -- Argentina.
Communism -- Australia.
Communism -- Austria.
Communism -- Bolivia.
Communism -- Brazil.
Communism -- Canada.
Communism -- Chile.
Communism -- China.
Communism -- Colombia.
Communism -- Costa Rica.
Communism -- Cuba.
Communism -- Czechoslovakia.
Communism -- France.
Communism -- Germany.
Communism -- Great Britain.
Communism -- Greece.
Communism -- Haiti.
Communism -- Honduras.
Communism -- Hungary.
Communism -- India.
Communism -- Ireland.
Communism -- Italy.
Communism -- Mexico.
Communism -- Morocco.
Communism -- New Zealand.
Communism -- Peru.
Communism -- Philippines.
Communism -- Poland.
Communism -- Puerto Rico.
Communism -- South Africa.
Communism -- Soviet Union.
Communism -- Spain.
Communism -- United States.
Communism -- Uruguay.
Communism -- Venezuela.
Communism -- Yugoslavia.
Labor movement.
Labor unions -- United States.
Politics and culture.
Publishers and publishing -- Soviet Union.
Publishers and publishing -- United States.
Working class.


Algeria -- Politics and government.
Argentina -- Politics and government.
Australia -- Politics and government.
Austria -- Politics and government.
Bolivia -- Politics and government.
Brazil -- Politics and government.
Canada -- Politics and government.
Chile -- Politics and government.
China -- Politics and government.
Colombia -- Politics and government.
Costa Rica -- Politics and government.
Cuba -- Politics and government.
Czechoslovakia -- Politics and government.
France -- Politics and government.
Germany -- Politics and government.
Great Britain -- Politics and government.
Greece -- Politics and government.
Haiti -- Politics and government.
Honduras -- Politics and government.
Hungary -- Politics and government.
India -- Politics and government.
Ireland -- Politics and government.
Italy -- Politics and government.
Mexico -- Politics and government.
Morocco -- Politics and government.
New Zealand -- Politics and government.
Peru -- Politics and government.
Philippines -- Politics and government.
Poland -- Politics and government.
Puerto Rico -- Politics and government.
South Africa -- Politics and government.
Soviet Union -- Politics and government.
Spain -- History -- Civil War, 1936-1939.
Spain -- Politics and government.
United States -- History -- 20th century.
United States -- Intellectual life -- 20th century.
United States -- Politics and government.
Uruguay -- Politics and government.
Venezuela -- Politics and government.
Yugoslavia -- Politics and government.

Genres and Forms

Art originals.
Art reproductions.
Autobiographies (literary works)
Calendars (documents)
Color photographs.
Financial records.
Government publications.
Legal documents.
Maps (documents)
Reviews (documents)
Sound recordings.
Speeches (documents)

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Earl Browder Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Table of Contents


Biographical material

Correspondence-subject files




Note on alternate formats:

All audiorecordings have been digitized.