1. In New York City on Dec. 9,1918 , Gompers spoke before members of the AFL committees on Reconstruction and Social Insurance and a number of other trade unionists on postwar reconstruction, proposals for social insurance programs, and the dangers of creating a political labor party. His full address was printed in the January 1919 American Federationist under the title "Political Labor Party--Reconstruction--Social Insurance" (26: 33-46); his remarks on the inadvisability of organizing a labor party, printed here, were also published separately as a pamphlet under the title Should a Political Labor Party Be Formed?

2. On Nov. 17, 1918, the Chicago Federation of Labor (FOL) voted to endorse the creation of a labor party and called on the Illinois State FOL to organize a branch of the party at the state level; the State FOL's annual convention approved the idea on Dec. 3. On Dec. 6 the Central Federated Union of Greater New York and Vicinity also voted in favor of organizing a labor party and called for a conference to initiate the undertaking. That meeting, held in January 1919, founded the American Labor Party of New York. In Illinois, a referendum of the State FOL's affiliates showed strong support for a party, and the founding convention of the Labor Party of Illinois was held in Springfield in April with Duncan McDonald, president of the State FOL, elected state party chairman. The founding convention of the Labor Party of the United States, better known as the National Labor party, was held in Chicago in November. (For William English Walling's confidential report on the convention, see Files of the Office of the President, Reference Material, reel 132, frames 66-79, AFL Records.)

3. The Progressive Labor party (PLP) was organized by socialists who had been expelled from Henry George's United Labor party in August 1887. Both parties ran slates of candidates in New York City's fall elections, but neither came close to matching George's total in 1886. Both the ULP and the PLP disintegrated following the election.

4. James Jay Coogan (1845-1915), a New York City furniture dealer and, later, a real estate merchant, declined nomination for mayor of New York in 1886 but was the unsuccessful United Labor party candidate for mayor in 1888.

5. Actually the trip Gompers refers to was in 1895.

6. Carl Legien (1861-1920), a woodcarver, was secretary of the Generalkommission der Gewerkschaften Deutschlands (General Commission of German Trade Unions from 1890 to 1920, and he was secretary of the International Federation of Trade Unions from 1903 to 1919. A member of the Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands (Social Democratic Party of Germany), Legien served as a socialist deputy in the Reichstag from 1893 to 1898 and from 1903 until his death. He was instrumental in integrating the concerns of the German trade union movement into the political program of the Sozialdemokratische Partei.

7. Johann Adolph von Elm (1857-1916), a cigarmaker and an active socialist and trade unionist was a founder of the Generalkommission der Gewerkschaften Deutschlands. From 1894 to 1907 he served as a member of the Reichstag representing the Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands (Social Democratic Party of Germany).

8. That is, the General Federation of Trade Unions of Great Britain and Ireland.

9. Charles William Bowerman (1851-1947), a London typographer, was secretary of the London Society of Compositors (1892-1906) and a member (1897-1923) and secretary (1911-23) of the Parliamentary Committee of the Trade Union Congress (in 1921 renamed the General Council). He served as a Labour member of Parliament from 1906 to 1931.

10. James Sexton (1856-1938) served as general secretary of the National Union of Dock Labourers in Great Britain and Ireland from 1894 to 1922. He also served as a member (1900-1905, 1907-8, 1909-21) and president (1904-5) of the Parliamentary Committee of the Trade Union Congress, as a member of the Liverpool city council (1905-30), and as a Labour member of Parliament (1918-31).

11. Arthur Henderson (1863-1935) was honorary president of the Friendly Society of Iron Founders (from 1920, the National Union of Foundry Workers) from 1913 to 1935 and general secretary of the Labour party from 1912 to 1934. He served as a Labour member of Parliament, with brief interruptions, from 1903 to 1935.

12. "Labor's Fourteen Points" were endorsed by the Chicago FOL on Nov. 17, 1918, and by the Illinois State FOL on Dec. 3. Drawn up by John Fitzpatrick, Edward Nockels, Frank Walsh, and Basil Manly, they called for recognition of the right to organize; industrial organization for the benefit of workers; the eight-hour day, forty-four-hour week, and minimum wage; an end to unemployment; equal pay for men and women for equal work; an end to profiteering and a reduction in the cost of living; participation of labor in determining educational policies and programs; continuation of soldiers' and sailors' insurance and the provision of government-sponsored life and accident insurance for all workers; taxes on large inheritances and war profits; nationalization of public utilities, transportation, and communication systems; restoration of free speech, press, and assembly; labor representation in all government departments and offices; worker representation in the military, at the peace conference, and in international tribunals; and an end to "autocracy, militarism and economic imperialism throughout the world" (New Majority, Jan. 4, 1919).

13. A reference to SG's address in New York City on the evening of Dec. 1, 1918, on the role of labor in the war effort.

14. In his speech, SG warned against the forces of reaction and "industrial autocracy" in the United States which, he said, were seeking to reduce wages and lengthen the workday (Files of the Office of the President, Speeches and Writings, reel 113, frame 430, AFL Records).

15. John Mitchell (1870-1919), president of the United Mine Workers of America from 1898 to 1908, served as an AFL vice-president from 1899 to 1913. He was later a member of the New York State Workmen's Compensation Commission (1914-15) and chairman of the New York State Industrial Commission (1915-19).

16. Frank Morrison (1859-1949), a printer by trade, served as secretary of the AFL from 1897 to 1935 and as secretary-treasurer from 1936 to 1939.

17. A reference to the death in October 1918 of Sadie Julia Gompers, the daughter of SG and Sophia Gompers.)