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David Burbank's sister, Elizabeth Burbank Hyde, donated his papers to the Western Historical Manuscript Collection on May 19, 1987. David Burbank attended St. Louis University's School of Commerce and Finance, graduated as a diesel engine mechanic from Hemphill Diesel Engineering School in St. Louis in 1935 and the Berlitz School of Languages in 1936. He joined the AFL as a member of the Metal Stamping and Assemblers Union in 1933. Burbank maintained an active interest in labor history, socialism and union organizing. In 1935 he edited Gas House Worker, the daily strike bulletin published by the St. Louis Gas House Workers in its strike against Laclede Gas (see collection 239.)
In the early 1930s Burbank worked at the Missouri Botanical Garden. He joined the library staff at Washington University in 1956 and was promoted to Acquisitions Supervisor in 1966. During this period, he completed work on a book documenting what happened in St. Louis during the week of the U. S. general strike in July 1877. The events in St. Louis remain particularly interesting to historians because of the extent to which the city became ruled by the socialist-led striking workers (see also collection 320.) A Microcard publication based on Burbank's research, entitled City of Little Bread: The St. Louis General Strike of 1877, appeared in 1957. Burbank published an abridged version of this publication, entitled Reign of the Rabble, as a book in 1966. It asserted that the St. Louis strike was the first true American general strike, examining the character of the labor and socialist movements of the 1870s, the emergence of blacks as an element of industrial society, and the social attitudes of the St. Louis upper class and the press. Choice described the book as "a lively, but prejudiced and simplistic analysis, interesting, with vital information for the labor historian." Burbank's knowledge of locale as a St. Louis native and his experience as a labor organizer contribute to the book's importance as a chronicle of the 1877 general strike.
David Burbank died in April 1987.
SCOPE AND CONTENT
The Burbank papers primarily contain correspondence and research materials for his book, Reign of the Rabble, an account of the St. Louis general strike in 1877. The collection also includes Burbank's personal papers as well as newsletters and literature he collected from regional labor and socialist organizations. The collection is divided into three series: 1. Personal Papers, 1932-1957, folders 1-18; 2.Reign of the Rabble Research, 1950-1966, folders 19-86; and 3. Regional Political Literature, 1932-1955, folders 87-104. Burbank's papers included issues of Our America, Labor Age, Socialist Appeal, nationally published literature on socialism, communism and anarchism; books by Lenin and Trotsky; IWW pamphlets and Socialist Party literature, all published between 1928 and 1936. This material was given to the Thomas Jefferson Library's Acquisitions Department.
SERIES 1 - PERSONAL PAPERS, 1932-1957, FOLDERS 1-18
Includes Burbank's educational certificates and enrollment agreements; membership books and withdrawal cards from the AFL and the United Office and Professional Workers of America, 1933 and 1941; correspondence and newsclippings on a gift Burbank made to the St. Louis Art Museum in 1942; correspondence and newsletters on Interlingua, an artificial international language like Esperanto that Burbank studied as a hobby from the 1930s to the 1950s; letters he wrote on labor-related topics to the editors of the Post-Dispatch and Progressive magazine; letters-to-editor and position papers by H.D. Coleman, Burbank's associate in the Independent Socialist League; and newsclippings Burbank collected on New Harmony, Indiana and the Shakers.
SERIES 2 - REIGN OF THE RABBLE RESEARCH, 1950-1966, FOLDERS 19-86
Reign of the Rabble condenses information from Burbank's 1957 Microcard publication, City of Little Bread: The St. Louis General Strike of 1877. Series 2 includes a draft of City of Little Bread with additions and corrections, Burbank's correspondence with libraries, researchers and surviving strike participants. The series also contains minutes, memorials, journals and historical sketches from unions involved with the strike, including the International Furniture Workers, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Engineers, Cabinet Makers' Union Local 12, the Terminal Railroad Association, the Cigar Maker's International Union and the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen; and an issue of Labor Age with an article on a 1931 convention of rank and file members of a coal mining union held in St. Louis . The series also includes the declaration of principles of the Workingman's Party, a German socialist group involved with the strike, and microfilm copies of the naturalization papers of Albert Currlin, the Workingman's Party's leading spokesman. The bulk of the Reign of the Rabble series contains the note cards used by Burbank for his book research in 1954. Burbank divided the cards into five packages, only one of which he labeled "used".
SERIES 3 - REGIONAL POLITICAL LITERATURE 1932-1955, FOLDERS 87-104
Burbank collected literature from several socialist and labor groups in St. Louis and surrounding areas. This series includes newsletters and publications of the ADVANCE Co-operative Publishing House, the Community of Correspondence in Elletsville, Indiana; union bulletins of Crown Can employees; issues of the organ of the Militant Left-Wing Miners of America, entitled The Fighting Miner, published in Springfield, Illinois in the 1930s; the Labor Historians Bulletin, published in Champaign-Urbana, 1953-1955; and CIO organizing fliers in southeast Missouri, 1942. The series also includes issues of the Worker's Party Bulletin and Forum, published by the Independent Socialist League.
BOX 1 (045257)
SERIES 1 - PERSONAL PAPERS, 1932-1957
1. American Federation of Labor, Membership Book and Withdrawal Card, 1933, 1941
2. Art Museum, Gift, 1942, 1955
3. Bottle Cap and Can Workers' Union, Local 22520, 1941
4 CIO Industrial Union Council, May Day Flier, 1934
5. Educational Papers, 1932-1938
6 Interlinqua Correspondence, 1932-1938
7 Interlinqua Correspondence, 1940-1951
8 Interlinqua Correspondence, 1954-1957
9. Interlinqua Newsletters, 1952-1956
10. Letters to the Editor from David Burbank, 1937-1956
11. Letters to the Editor, H.D. Coleman, 1948-1951
12. New Harmony Newsclipping, nd.
13. Newsclippings, 1933-1950
14. Notes and Newsclippings, nd.
15. Position Papers, H.D. Coleman, nd.
16. Shakers, Newsclippings, nd.
17. Survey of Organizations and Mutual Benefit Societies, nd.
18. United Office and Professional Workers of America, Membership and Withdrawal Cards, 1941
SERIES 2 - REIGN OF THE RABBLE RESEARCH, 1950-1966
19. Additions and Corrections, City of Little Bread, 1957
20. Adjutant General's Report to the General Assembly, 1977-78
21. Beecher-Tilton Case, The New Yorker, June 5, 1954
22. Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Engineers, 1943
23. Condensed Bibliography of 1877 strike.
24. Correspondence, 1950
25. Correspondence, 1950
26. Correspondence, 1951
27. Correspondence, 1951
28. Correspondence, 1952
29. Correspondence, 1952-1953
30. Correspondence, 1952
31. Correspondence, with Wilfred Crook, 1953-1954
32. Correspondence, 1953-1954
33. Correspondence, 1953-1954
34. Correspondence, 1954
35. Correspondence, 1954
36. Correspondence, 1954
37. The Great Southwest Strike, by Ruth A. Allen, St. Louis Reference, Correspondence, 1953
38. "The`Great Uprising' of 1877", by Dr. Bernard Mandel, Cigar Makers Official Journal, December 1953; Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen Historical Sketch, 1953
39. Hayes Memorial Library, 1877 Correspondence
40. R.B. Hayes, Scrapbook Descriptions
41. International Furniture Workers, Minutes, St. Louis References, 1877, from the Labadie Collection, University of Michigan, Correspondence 1953
42. Labor Age, May 1931
43. Naturalization Papers of Albert Currlin, 1922
44. Newsclippings, 1879, 1877, 1879, 1937, 1952
45. Notebook, nd.
46. Notes, nd.
BOX 2 (045258)
47. Notes, nd.
48. Proclamation, 1877
49. Personal Reminiscences of Strike, Correspondence, 1953
50. Radical Union Ticket, 1865
51. Schurz Papers Copies, 1877-1878
52. 75th Anniversary, Historical Sketch of Cabinet Makers Union No. 12, 1947
53. Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis-Its Origin, Development, Facilities and Service, nd.
54. Workingmen's Party, Declaration of Principles, 1877
55. Workingman's Party, Notes, nd.
56. Research Notes, Used, 1954
57. Research Notes, Used, 1954
58. Research, Notes, Used, 1954
59. Research, Notes, Used, 1954
60. Research Notes, Package 1, 1954
61. Research Notes, Package 1, 1954
62. Research Notes, Package 1, 1954
63. Research Notes, Package 1, 1954
64. Research Notes, Package 1, 1954
65. Research Notes, Package 2, 1954
66. Research Notes, Package 2, 1954
67. Research Notes, Package 2, 1954
68. Research Notes, Package 3, 1954
69. Research Notes, Package 3, 1954
70. Research Notes, Package 3, 1954
71. Research Notes, Package 3, 1954
72. Research Notes, Package 4, 1954
73. Research Notes, Package 4, 1954
74. Research Notes, Package 4, 1954
75. Research Notes, Package 5, 1954
76. Research Notes, Package 5, 1954
BOX 3 (045259)
77. Research Notes, 1955
78. Research Notes, 1955
79. Research Notes, 1955
80. Research Notes, 1951-1953
81. Research Notes, 1951-1953
82. Research Notes, 1951-1953
83. Research Notes, 1951-1953
84. Research Notes, 1951-1953
85. Research Notes, 1951-1953
86. David Burbank. Reign of the Rabble, The St. Louis General Strike of 1877. New York: Augustus M. Kelley, 1966. (1 copy)
SERIES 3 - REGIONAL POLITICAL LITERATURE, 1932-1955
87. Advance from Capitalism to Socialism (St. Louis), 1932
88. The American Freeman (Girard, Kansas), February, 1932
89. Bulletin of Workers' Party, 1948-1949
90. Bulletin of Workers' Party, nd.
91. The Case of Dave Reed and Jack Batteulo, (Maryville, IL and Wilsonville, IL), nd.
92. Community of Correspondence, (Ellettsville, IN), 1952
93. Crown Can Union Bulletin (St. Louis), 1941
94. The Fighting Miner (Springfield, IL), 1933
95. The Fighting Miner (Springfield, IL)
96. The Fighting Miner (Springfield, IL), 1934
97. First Annual Report of the Illinois Women's Auxiliary Progressive Miners of America/Springfield, IL),1933
98. Flier for David Lewis meeting at the Union Hall Workers, nd.
99. Forum, Independent Socialist League, 1949-1950
100. Forum, Independent Socialist League, nd.
101. Labor Historians Bulletin (Champaign, IL), 1953-1955
103. Missouri Peace Actionist, nd.
104. St. Louis CIO Organizing Fliers in Southeast Missouri, 1942
Advance From Capitalism to Socialism, f. 87
The American Freeman, f. 88
Arbeiter Zeitung, f. 5, 6, 11
Battuello, Jack, f. 91
Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Engineers, f. 4
Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, f. 12
Bulletin of the Workers Party, f. 89
Burbank, David, f. 1-104
Cabinet Makers' Union, f. 27
Cigar Makers' International Union, f. 15
City of Little Bread, f.1
Coal Miners, f. 19
The Communist, f. 6, 10
Community of Correspondence, f. 92
Congress of Industrial Organizations, f. 104
Crown Can Company, f. 93
Currlin, Albert, f. 6, 7, 10, 20, 21
Ellettsville, Indiana, f. 92
Fighting Miner, f. 94-96
Forum, f. 99, 100
General Strike of 1877, f. 19-86
Hayes, R.B., f. 17
Icarian Community, f. 6, 10
Illinois Women's Auxiliary, Progressive Miners of America (Springfield, IL), f. 97
Independent Socialist League, f. 99, 100
International Furniture Workers, f. 18
International Ladies' Garment Workers, f. 98
Labor, f. 1-104
Labor Historians Bulletin, f. 102
Longley, Alcander, f. 6, 10
May Day, f. 21
Midwest Almagamated Union Label Committee, f. 6
Militant Left Wing Miners of America, (Springfield, IL). f. 99-96
Mining, f. 94-97
Missouri Peace Actionist, f. 103
Molders and Foundry Workers, Locals 10 and 59, f. 8
Radical Union, f. 23
Railroad Strike of 1877, f. 19-86
Reed, Dave, f. 91
Reign of the Rabble, f. 19-86
Socialism, f. 1-104
Southeast, Missouri, f. 104
St. Louis Typographical Union No. 8, f. 12
Strikes, f. 1-104
Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis, f. 28
Thomas, Norman f. 87
Unemployed Citizens' League, f. 87
Workers' Party, f. 89
Workingmen's Party, f. 23, 30
STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF MISSOURI RESEARCH CENTER-ST. LOUIS
ROOM 222, THOMAS JEFFERSON LIBRARY
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI-ST. LOUIS
8001 NATURAL BRIDGE ROAD
ST. LOUIS, MO 63121
FAX: (314) 516-5853