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Oscar Ameringer Papers

Identifier: LP000469

Scope and Content

The papers deposited by Mr. Basen consist primarily of copies of articles by Oscar Ameringer and his wife Freda Hogan Ameringer. The papers deposited by Mr. Green include copies of letters relating primarily to the publication of Oscar Ameringers autobiography If You Don't Weaken in 1940, copies of reviews of the book, plus copies of pages of a few manuscripts. The contents of some of the manuscripts appear in Ameringer's autobiography.

Among the Correspondents are: Meta Berger Georgia Lloyd McAlister Coleman William Lloyd Eugene Debs Emil Ludwig Theodore Debs Severino Polio John Dewey Morris Rubin Judah Drob Carl Sandburg Charles W. Erwin Norman Thomas Clayton Fountan Oswald Garrison Villard Carl Haessler Henry A. Wallace Covington Hall Art Young

Series Description: Series 1 Correspondence Series 2: Articles and Pamphlets by Oscar Ameringer Series 3: Articles about Oscar Ameringer Series 4: Miscellaneous Socialist Literature Series 5: Autobiography Materials


  • 1909 - 1970
  • Majority of material found within 1909 - 1943


Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.


Collection is open for research.


Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials.


Oscar Ameringer was born near Laupheim, Germany on August 4, 1870. In 1886, he emigrated to the United States and settled first in Cincinnati. Employed later as a writer for the Columbus (Ohio) Labor World, he became a noted advocate of Socialist causes. Activities as a politician, labor organizer and journalist brought him for extended periods to Louisiana, Oklahoma and Wisconsin before 1920. After 1920, Ameringer made his permanent home in Oklahoma City, where he edited a daily paper, The Oklahoma Leader, for three years and thereafter a semi-monthly, The American Guardian. From 1921 to 1931, he also edited and published The Illinois Miner of Springfield, Illinois. In 1940, Ameringer published his autobiography, If_ You Don't Weaken (New York: Henry Holt and Co.) The book is available in both the Archives and General Library collections. He died in Oklahoma City on November 5, 1943.


.75 Linear Feet (2 MB)


Correspondence, clippings, photographs, speeches, and pamphlets of Mr. Ameringer, editor of the Illinois Miner, the Oklahoma Leader, and American Guardian. The papers consist of correspondence with friends within the labor and socialist movements and writings on issues affecting the labor movement. Among the correspondents are McAlister Coleman, Eugene Debs, John Dewey, Charles Ervin, Covington Hall, Carl Sandburg, Norman Thomas, Oswald Garrison Villard, and Henry Wallace.


Arranged in 5 series – Series 1 (Box 1), Series 2 (Box 1) Series 3 (Box 1), Series 4 (Box 1), and Series 5 (Box 2). Folders are arranged alphabetically (Series 2-5) and chronologically (Series 1).


The papers of Oscar Ameringer were placed in the Archives of Labor History and Urban Affairs in February of 1972 by Mrs. Oscar Ameringer and were opened for research in February of 1973. Additional papers of Oscar Ameringer were placed in the collection in August of 1983 by James R. Green. These papers were opened for research in November of 1989.


16 photographs of Ameringer's family, friends and associates, including; Carl Sandburg, Eugene Debs, Victor Berger and McAlister Coleman, have been placed in The Archives Audio-Visual Collections. Numerous Socialist and Populist pamphlets donated by Mrs. Ameringer have been placed in the Archives Library.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Walter P. Reuther Library in February 1973, with additional materials opened in November 1989.
Guide to the Oscar Ameringer Papers
Processed by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA