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Carl Person Papers

Identifier: LP000230
Important Subjects are: 1911-1915 Illinois Central and Harriman Lines Person Trail

Among the correspondents are: Woodrow Wilson

Description of Series Box 1, 1911-1915: Strike - hearing proceedings, financial statements, circulars, membership lists, affidavits, correspondence, mailing lists, notes, and mats for Strike Bulletin.

Box 2: Person Trial - proceedings, pleas of Frank Comerford, testimony of witnesses, notes, telegrams, and clippings.

Box 3: Person vs. International Association of Machinists - Box correspondence, credential, "railroad workers srike" orders, The Lizard's Trail orders, and IAM constitution.

Box 4: Personal Items and Miscellaneous - The Lizard's Trail, poultry netting machine drawings, certificates to practice before U. S. court.

Box 5: Strike Bulletin mailing lists

Box 6-7: Bound Volumes of the Journal of the International. Association of Machinists (1910-1915) and the Boilermakers' Journal (1913, 1914).

Box 8: Duplicates, "The Person Case"

Box 9: Photographs

Box 10: Photographs

Box 11: Oversize strike bulletins


  • 1910 - 1920


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. Restrictions: Researchers may encounter records of a sensitive nature – personnel files, case records and those involving investigations, legal and other private matters. Privacy laws and restrictions imposed by the Library prohibit the use of names and other personal information which might identify an individual, except with written permission from the Director and/or the donor.


5 Linear Feet ((10 MB), 1 OS folder)


Affidavits, correspondence, notes, proceedings, membership lists, and miscellaneous materials relating to the strike against the Illinois Central and Harriman Lines (1911-15); testimony, notes, proceedings, correspondence, and clippings pertaining to Mr. Person's trial for killing a strike-breaker (1914); correspondence, credentials, and other items pertaining to Mr. Person's expulsion from the International Association of Machinists (1916-20); strike bulletins; photographs; and memorabilia. The materials were collected by Mr. Person, who served as strike secretary during the 1911-15 Illinois Central Strike and as writer, editor, and distributor of the weekly strike bulletins. The U.S. Commission on Industrial Relations and strike-breaking are discussed. Among the correspondents are Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, Carlo Tresca, and Woodrow Wilson.


Carl Emil Person was born in Kronedergs Lane, Sweden in 1882. The Person family came to Illinois about 1890. At the age of 10 Mr. Person and his older brother began working in a starch factory. At 18 Mr. Person began working in railroad shops. During the September 1911 to June 1915 strike against the Illinois Central and Harriman Lines Mr. Person worked as strike secretary. He wrote and distributed weekly strike bulletins. In December 1913 Person was attacked by a strikebreaker. Mr. Person killed his assailant setting a precedent for the times. Person was acquitted on the grounds of self defense. After the strike was ended by top officers of the union involved, Person was expelled from the International Association of Machinists for his protest against the action of the officers. The Lizard's Trail by Mr. Person gives his side of this dispute. In June 1919 Person received his bachelor of Law Degree from the Chicago Law School. On April 2, 1927 he was admitted before the U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals as a qualified attorney.


Materials grouped by subject.


The papers of Carl Person were deposited with the Labor History Archives in May 1967 by Mr. Person.


Photographs have been placed in the Archives' Audiovisual Department.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by CC and JSH in May 1968.


Guide to the Carl Person Papers
Processed by CC and JSH.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA