“My personal knowledge of Socialists extends over a period of six decades. My judgments have not been based upon second-hand information. As I have stated in earlier chapters, I early became acquainted with two opposing factions of Socialism in the old International Workingmen’s Association, the Marxian Socialists who understood that labor activity must rest upon the trade union as its foundation, and the Lassallean group which placed the emphasis on political activity. I have known Socialists who were personal students under Karl Marx – those who knew the movement from its source. Among there were F.A. Sorge, J.P. McDonnell, Conrad Karl, and Ferdinand Laurrell. Those who helped to lay the foundation for the American trade union movement came from both schools of thought and modified their philosophy and their practices in the work of developing the American trade union. I knew many of the men who served as the connecting links between the labor movement of Europe and the United States. Their education included Socialism. Among them were the following: Fred Bolte, George Steibeling, Henry Emrich, Alexander Jonas, Hugo Vogt, E. Grosse, Victor Drury, Hugo Miller, Carl Speyer, and Dr. Douai. I learned to appreciate these men as friends and to value their counsel. F.A. Sorge, perhaps more than any other one person, typified the movement to merge the European labor movement with that of the United States. After Sorge served as administrator for old International, he lived for many years in West Hoboken, a near neighbour to Carl Speyer who had also been active member in the International and had been active in pioneer work in the furniture makers’ organization. Sorge supported himself by teaching music and writing articles for German publications. He frequently applied to the Federation office for publications and materials for his articles on labor for European journals. A few times I visited him at his home” [Samuel Gompers, Seventy Years of Life and Labor. An Autobiography, 1925]

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