Guide to the Elaine Leeder Collection of Rose Pesotta Papers

Collection Number: 5928

Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library

Contact Information:
Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives
Martin P. Catherwood Library
227 Ives Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853
(607) 255-3183> kheel_center@cornell.edu
http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/library/kheel-center
Compiled by:
Kheel Staff, November 18, 2005
EAD encoding:
Randall Miles, August 03, 2015

© 2015 Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library


DESCRIPTIVE SUMMARY

Title:
Elaine Leeder Collection of Rose Pesotta Papers, 1912-1961
Collection Number:
5928
Creator:
Pesotta, Rose Leeder, Elaine
Quantity:
2 linear ft.
Forms of Material:
Papers, correspondence,photographs, videotapes, motion pictures (visual works).
Repository:
Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library
Abstract:
Correspondence, publications, photographs, and videotapes of Rose Pesotta, organizer for the International Ladies Garment Workers Union.
Language:
Collection material in English


BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE

Born Rakhel Peisoty in Derazhnia, Ukraine in 1896 to grain merchants, Pesotta was well educated and influenced by the Narodnaya Volya (People's Will), and eventually adopted anarchist views.
Pesotta emigrated to New York City at the age of 17 (1913), and found employment in a shirtwaist factory, she joined the ILGWU very soon after. The ILGWU was a union that represented mostly Jewish and Latina female garment workers. She was elected to the all male executive board of ILGWU Local 25 in 1920. Pesotta went to Brookwood Labor College for two years in the 1920s.
In 1933 the union sent her to Los Angeles to organize the garment workers there. The organizing of the Mexican immigrant garment workers lead to the Los Angeles Garment workers Strike of 1933. As a result of this success, she was made vice-president of the union in 1934.
In 1944, she resigned from the executive board of the union in protest of the fact that, despite 85% of the union's memebership were women, she was the sole female executive member.
Rose Pesotta died in 1965.
1896 Born in Derazhnya, Russia, November 20
1909-12 Attended Rosalia Davidoffs private girls' School
1913 Arrived in USA with her grandmother
1914 Joined Local 25, ILGWU
1914-24 Worked as a seamstress
1919 Theodore Kushnarev deported to Russia
Father dies in Derazhnya
1922 Attended Bryn Mawr summer school
Researched Sacco Vanzetti case for Local 25
1924-26 Attended Brookwood Labor College
1926-33 Worked as a seamstress in NYC
1930 Attended Wisconsin summer school
1933 Organized in Los Angeles for ILGWU
1934 Elected Vice-President of ILGWU
Sent to Puerto Rico to organize seamstresses
1935 Organized in Seattle
Organized in Buffalo
1936 Organized rubber workers in Akron
Began involvement with Powers Hapgood
Organized in Montreal
1937 Organized auto workers in Flint for CIO
Returned to Montreal to organize
Reelected to second term as vice president
Slashed by razor during Cleveland Knitting Mill Strike
1942 Vacation in Mexico
1944 Resigned as ILGWU vice president
Published "Bread Upon the Waters"
1945 Worked for Anti-Defamation League of the B'nai B'rith
1946 Traveled to Norway, Sweden, Poland
Resigned from ADL and returned to New York City as a seamstress
1949 Worked as Midwest regional director for the American Trade Union Council of the Histadrut
Death of Powers Hapgood
1950 Visited Europe and Israel
1955 Married Albert Martin (Frank Lopez)
1958 Published "Days of Our Lives"
1965 Died in Miami, Florida on December 6

SUBJECTS

Names:
Pesotta, Rose, 1896-
Leeder, Elaine J.
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union.
B'nai B'rith. Anti-defamation League.

Subjects:
Labor disputes -- United States.
Labor unions -- United States.
Labor movement -- United States.
Working class -- United States.

Form and Genre Terms:
Papers
Correspondence
Photographs
Videotapes
Motion pictures (visual works)


INFORMATION FOR USERS

Access Restrictions:
Access to the collections in the Kheel Center is restricted. Please contact a reference archivist for access to these materials.
Restrictions on Use:
This collection must be used in keeping with the Kheel Center Information Sheet and Procedures for Document Use.
Cite As:
Elaine Leeder Collection of Rose Pesotta Papers #5928. Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library.

SERIES LIST

Series I. Correspondence
Series II. Poland-Norway-Sweden
Series III. Publications and Manuscripts
Sub-Series A. Drafts of manuscripts
Sub-Series B. Pamphlets and Articles
Sub-Series C. Broadsides, Leaflets, Announcements
Sub-Series D. Newspaper clippings
Series IV. Address File
Series V. Miscellaneous

CONTAINER LIST

Date
Description
Container
Arranged in alphabetical order.
1943
American Labor Education Service
Box 1 Folder 1
Form letter from treasurer asking for support.
1954
Bercovici, Henri
Box 1 Folder 2
Personal correspondence to "Albert and Rose."
1958
Cypress, S.
Box 1 Folder 3
1 letter-untranslated.
1955
DeLeon, Solon
Box 1 Folder 4
Holiday greetings.
1953
Farber, Litt.
Box 1 Folder 5
Personal.
1950
Fields, Sally
Box 1 Folder 6
Personal correspondence on Joint Board; Millinery Workers letterhead
1940-1949
Hapwood, Powers
Box 1 Folder 7
Personal and business correspondence. Dicsusses John L. Lewis broadcast, the CIO, FDR, Ford Strike (1941), organizing prudential agents, Carlo Tresca murder, UAW membership, work on family farm and many other topics. Closes one letter (1940) "my Rose of Akron and Flint." Also includes four page tribute by Rose Pesotta after his death in 1949 and newspaper clippings
1940-1949
Hapwood, Powers
Box 1 Folder 8
1940-1949
Hapwood, Powers
Box 1 Folder 9
1940-1949
Hapwood, Powers
Box 1 Folder 10
1940-1949
Hapwood, Powers
Box 1 Folder 11
1935-1943
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union
Box 1 Folder 12
Includes greeting card and miscellaneous
1958-1959
Jewish Labor Committee
Box 1 Folder 13
Miscellaneous
1951
Kroportkin, S.
Box 1 Folder 14
Personal
1912-1925
Kushnarev, Theodore
Box 1 Folder 15
Personal love letters to Rose after his deportment to Russia
1912-1926
Kushnarev, Theodore
Box 1 Folder 16
1912-1927
Kushnarev, Theodore
Box 1 Folder 17
1912-1928
Kushnarev, Theodore
Box 1 Folder 18
1946-1959
Miscellaneous
Box 1 Folder 19
1959
Panken, Jacob
Box 1 Folder 20
Miscellaneous
Randolph, A. Philip
Box 1 Folder 21
Ticket - "Salute to A.P. Randolph," n.d.
1959
Rubin, Milton
Box 1 Folder 22
Memo from Pesotta with biographical information
1952
Saks, Hesh
Box 1 Folder 23
Personal
1951
Siegel, Sophie
Box 1 Folder 24
Personal
1956
Spivak, Joseph
Box 1 Folder 25
Personal
1954-1957
Thomas, Norman
Box 1 Folder 26
Note of thanks for her financial support; letter from Thomas requesting additional biographical information in order to write an introduction for her book (1957).
1954
Wohl, Paul
Box 1 Folder 27
Greeting card
1955
Wolk, Morton
Box 1 Folder 28
Greeting card
Rose Pesotta traveled to Poland, Norway and Sweden in 1946. She was invited by the Norwegian Labour Party to addres an International Labor Institute on the labor and social situation in the U.S. She visited Poland to see the effects of World War II. This series includes correspondence, manuscripts, notes and related pamphlets.
1946-1948
Correspondence
Box 1 Folder 29
Notes
Box 1 Folder 30
Includes index cards with notes and addresses
Pamphlets
Box 1 Folder 31
Pamphlets
Box 1 Folder 32
Includes outline of chapter heads for book
Box 1 Folder 33
3 pages Anti-Semitism in Russia; 3 pages Prologue; 1 page David and his family
Untitled manuscript which describes her trips abroad
Box 1 Folder 34
75 pages
Manuscript describing effects of the war in Norway, Sweden, and Poland.
Box 1 Folder 35
13 pages
"Flying to Poland" (4 pages); "Stockholm, Sweden" (5 pages); "Norwegian Labor Movement."
Box 1 Folder 36
Journals describing her trips to Warsaw, children's camps, Majdanek Death Camp, and Lodz
Box 1 Folder 37
Notes on Poland, Sweden and Norway
Box 1 Folder 38
5 pages description of her travels; 10 pages describing her visit to Norway and other manuscript drafts
Draft essay by Pesotta entitled "Nacht on Nebel" (Night and Fog)
Box 1 Folder 39
22 pages
Rose Pesotta's writings
Includes drafts and notes for chapters about Russia and Lenin
Box 1 Folder 40
Index cards containing research notes for her various writing projects
Box 1 Folder 41
Publications by others. Arranged alphabetically
A-D
Box 1 Folder 42
Beals, Carlton, "Rifle, Rule in Cuba"; Cox, James, "Hitler's Hatchet Man!" Dressmakers' Voice, December 1934; and others
F-K
Box 1 Folder 43
ILGWU, "The Communist Plague in Our Unions"
L-P
Box 1 Folder 44
Nash, Al, "The Shop Steward System"
Q-Z
Box 1 Folder 45
Articles by Walter Reuther; article by Sidney Solomon
National Negro Conference; New York State Young Communist League; International Labor Defense and others
Box 1 Folder 46
Communist Party; Cloakmakers No. 70; and others
Box 1 Folder 47
Communist Party; Young Communist League; ILGWU Joint Board Cloak, Skirt, Dressmakers; Local 22
Box 1 Folder 48
Needle Trades Workers Industrial Union
Box 1 Folder 49
ILGWU Locals 48-89; ILGWU General Strike Committee; Joint Board Cloak and Dressmakers; American Labor Party; Communist Party; Furriers Progressive League; Unemployed Citizens League; National Committee of the Left Whing Groups of the ILGWU: and others
Box 1 Folder 50
1927-1961
Clippings
Box 1 Folder 51
Includes index and business cards with addresses
Address file
Box 1 Folder 52
Address file
Box 1 Folder 53
Address file
Box 1 Folder 54
Address file
Box 1 Folder 55
Address file
Box 1 Folder 56
Address file
Box 1 Folder 57
Address file
Box 1 Folder 58
Miscellaneous
Box 1 Folder 59
Includes Pesotta's insurance cards, membership cards, identification and business cards
Scrapbook
Box 7