‘The Socialist Party of New Jersey’ by State Secretary H.R. Kearns from Appeal to Reason. No. 398. July 18, 1903.

‘The Socialist Party of New Jersey’ by State Secretary H.R. Kearns from Appeal to Reason. No. 398. July 18, 1903.

I think that if the movement in New Jersey differs materially from that in other states, it is because of peculiar difficulties there, and not because of lack of interest or desire for growth. Out of the 21 counties in the state, Hudson is the best organized, has 18 branches and self-sustaining headquarters, a welldrilled corps of speakers and distributors of literature. The holding of branch and outdoor meetings is so regulated and systematized as to fairly entitle it to be called a continuous performance. Next in point of effective effort comes Bergan. The branches are few and far between and numerically small, but they are all workers. The work they have accomplished in the past year is out of all proportion to what could have reasonably been expected of them, and if they keep up this pace, Hudson will have to look to her laurels. Essex has a county organization and 9 branches. It is the best field for propaganda in the state, figuratively speaking; the soil is rich, but not well tilled, consequently the crops gathered are disappointingly small for so fertile a section. Morris is the most hotly contested section in the whole state. The masters have come to the realization of the need of action, and so they put every obstacle in the way and make it well nigh impossible for converts to our faith to earn their bread. Notwithstanding the awful odds, we have established 3 branches in the county and now have a resident deputy state organizer to give continuous battle and fortify every foothold gained. Atlantic, Sussex, Cumberland, Union, Passaic, Camden, and Mercer each have a county organization and are doing good work. These locals, with their branches, are thoroughly class-conscious, are harmonious and militant. It will be seen that we have an organization in 11 of the 21 counties. In several of the other counties we have comrades who affiliate as members at large.

New Jersey is a battlefield which does not admit of skirmishing, but entails a continuous fight with our entire force. Every foot of the territory must be fought for. While the odds are heavy, we have the inspiration and courage born of the knowledge that every man enrolled is a fighter and is eager for the fray. There will be no need to tell our sister states that we are coming! We’ll be found on every contested field in this struggle.

This article would be incomplete without mentioning the women who have come to see that political and economic equality of the sexes can be obtained through Socialism and have become class-conscious and embraced our faith are taking part in our councils and rendering most effective work in other ways.

Fraternally, H.R. Kearns.

The Appeal to Reason was among the most important and widely read left papers in the United States. With a weekly run of over 550,000 copies by 1910, it remains the largest socialist paper in US history. Founded by utopian socialist and Ruskin Colony leader Julius Wayland it was published privately in Girard, Kansas from 1895 until 1922. The paper came from the Midwestern populist tradition to become the leading national voice in support of the Socialist Party of America in 1901. A ‘popular’ paper, the Appeal was Eugene Debs main literary outlet and saw writings by Upton Sinclair, Jack London, Mary “Mother” Jones, Helen Keller and many others.

PDF of full issue:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s