Skip to main content

Marianna Wells Papers

 Collection
Identifier: LP001025
The papers of Marianna Wells reflect her association with both the UAW, especially with Local 3, and the Socialist Party. The UAW portion consists largely of general correspondence and Local 3 election materials, with some information about Local 3 strikes, its Trim Shop and other locals. The Socialist Party documents are more diverse, with materials on conventions, platforms, membership and publications from the National Office and financial and membership' data and correspondence from the Detroit local.

Important Subjects: Blacks; Reuther, Walter P.; Communism; Socialist Party, U.S.A.; Democratic Socialist Federation; Thomas, Norman; Dodge Main, UAW Local 3; UAW Convention, 1946; Gosser, Richard; "Unity Convention", 1972; March on Washington, August 1963; Young People's Socialist League

Important correspondents: Harrington, Michael; Selden, Dave; Reuther, Victor; Suall, Irwin; Reuther, Walter P.; Weckler, Herman L

Series Description: Series I, UAW, 1942-1963: Correspondence, election and convention materials, newspapers, clippings, flyers and bulletins. Data from the 1946 International convention, unemployment and election and other materials from Dodge Main Local 3 are included.

Series II, Socialist Party, 1950-1976: Correspondence, convention, platform, financial and membership materials, newspapers, bulletins and publications from the National Office, and correspondence, bank statements and dues and membership data from the Detroit local. There is some information on the 1963 March on Washington and the 1972 national "Unity Convention".

Dates

  • 1942 - 1978
  • Majority of material found within 1948 - 1972

Creator

Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.

Access

Collection is open for research.

Use

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

Extent

2 Linear Feet (4 MB)

Overview

Marianna Wells was an active member of United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 50 and Local 3 and served as treasurer of the Detroit local of the Socialist Party. Ms. Wells' papers reflect her involvement with the UAW, particularly concerning Local 3, and document the affairs of the Socialist Party. Michael Harrington, Norman Thomas, The Unity Convention, and The Young People's Socialist League are among important subjects addressed in the collection.

History

Marianna Wells was born in New York in 1921 and received a degree in social psychology from Northwestern University. She became a welder at the Ford Willow Run Bomber Plant during World War II, joining UAW Local 50, and was a delegate from the local to the 1946 UAW convention in Atlantic City.

After the war, the bomber plant closed down and she took a job at the Dodge Main plant where she worked intermittently for fifteen years. She ran for various offices in UAW Local 3 and as a delegate to the state CIO convention. By 1950 she was working in the Dodge Main Trim Shop (Department 99) where she became their only female trimmer.

By early 1959 she was married to Charles Wells, and they joined the Socialist Party. She became the treasurer of the Detroit local of the Socialist Party in February 1962, and was an active member of the local, serving as its secretary for part of 1972. Also in 1972 Wells was one of four local delegates to the national Socialist Party convention in New York City. It was at this "Unity Convention" that the Socialist Party and the Democratic Socialist Federation merged after a split of thirty-five years. Wells did not entirely approve of the arrangements for the merger, however, and she resigned as treasurer of the Detroit local in early 1973.

After leaving Dodge Main Wells became an occupational therapist at Children's Hospital of Michigan. She retained active union membership until her retirement and remains a member of the Socialist Party (Democratic Socialists of America). Divorced from Wells, she was living in Shelby Township, Michigan, in 1984.

Arrangement of the Records

Arranged in 2 series - Series 1 (Boxes 1-2), and Series 2 Bboxes 2-4). Folders are arranged alphabetically.

Acquisition

The papers of Marianna Schaupp Wells were placed in the Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs by Mrs. Wells in November of 1980 and 1981.

Transfers

Two badges for the 1946 UAW convention and the F.D.R Leadership Training Institute and a cloth insignia from the UAW "Bomber Local" have been placed in the Archives Audiovisual Collection. Duplicates of UAW and Socialist Party pamphlets, flyers and election materials and 3 copies of Hammer and Tongs (1964 and 1966) have been transferred to the Archives Library. In addition incomplete runs of The Propeller (Ford UAW Local 50), 1943-1944; Union Democracy in Action, January 1962- August 1970; and Union Democracy Review, 1974-1978, have also been placed in the Library, along with several contracts, constitutions, proceedings and other pamphlets. Duplicates of UAW and Socialist Party pamphlets, flyers and election materials and 3 copies of Hammer and Tongs (1964 and 1966) have been transferred to the Archives Library. In addition incomplete runs of The Propeller (Ford UAW Local 50), 1943-1944; Union Democracy in Action, January 1962-August 1970; and Union Democracy Review, 1974-1978, have also been placed in the Library, along with several contracts, constitutions, proceedings and other pamphlets.

Processing History

Finding aid written by Walter P. Reuther Library in December 1984.
Title
Guide to the Marianna Wells Papers
Status
completed
Author
Processed by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Date
1984-12
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

Contact:
5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA