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William Seraile Papers

Identifier: LP000960

Scope and Content

The papers of Mr. Seraile relate to his research on Ben Fletcher (1890-1949), a black unionist and organizer of the International Workers of the World (I.W.W.) Ben Fletcher was arrested in 1918 by the Federal government for interfering with the war effort and subsequently convicted. After the war, numerous individual citizens and groups began to agitate for pardons for the incarcerated I.W.W. members who were regarded as political prisoners. The papers of Mr. Seraile consist primarily of legal briefs and petitions, correspondence, and memoranda relating to the efforts to secure pardons for Ben Fletcher and several other convicted wobblies. Fletcher was given a conditional pardon by President Harding in October, 1922 and subsequently granted a full pardon by President Roosevelt in 1933.

Contents: 1. Briefs, petitions, 1922 2. Clippings, Oct 1922 3. Correspondence, Dec 1921 - Oct 1922 4. Memoranda, Apr - Aug 1922 5. Seraile, William; biographical note 6. Seraile, William; correspondence, Apr - Je 1975


  • 1921 - 1922


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.


William Seraile, a specialist in Afro-American history with emphasis on the Civil War, Reconstruction, and Black Nationalism contributed articles to numerous scholarly journals. In the mid-eighties he was a member of the faculty of the Department of Black Studies of Herbert H. Lehman College, New York City.


.25 Linear Feet (1 MB)


A specialist in African-American history, William Seraile served on the faculty of the Department of Black Studies of Herbert H. Lehman College, New York City. Mr. Seraile’s papers primarily relate to his research on Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) organizer Ben Fletcher.


Material arranged in 6 folders.


The papers of William Seraile were placed in the Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs in September of 1979 by Mr. Seraile and were opened for research in October of 1986.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Walter P. Reuther Library in October, 1986.
Guide to the William Seraile 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