George Howell Papers on Microfilm

Collection Number: 5423 mf

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


DESCRIPTIVE SUMMARY

Title:
George Howell Papers on Microfilm, 1864-1910
Collection Number:
5423 mf
Creator:
Howell, George
Quantity:
25 microfilm reels
Forms of Material:
Papers (documents), microfilm.
Repository:
Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library
Abstract:
Autobiography, diaries, and correspondence of George Howell; also included are minutes of the IWMA, papers of the Trades Union Congress, and news clippings.
Language:
Collection material in English


BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE

George Howell was born in Wrington, Somerset, the oldest of eight children of a builder and contractor. During the week he worked twelve hours a day as a mortar-boy, and at one point he was a bricklayer, but, dedicated his Sundays to reading.
Howell didn't enjoy working as a builder so he got a job as an apprentice shoemaker. While working at this he was introduced to radical newspapers including the Northern Star and the Red Republican. As a result he joined the Chartist movement in 1848.
Howell relocated to London in 1854 where he returned to bricklaying, because he was unable to find work as a shoemaker. He continued to attend radical political meetings and through these meetings he met several prominent people, including Karl Marx, George Holyoake, Charles Bradlaugh and Frederic Harrison. Howell joined the Operative Bricklayers' Society (a New Model Trade Union) in 1859, and was a major part in leading a strike in support of a nine-hour working day. Because of his work with the union he became one of the foremost New Model unionists, along with Robert Applegarth and George Potter, but ended up blacklisted by employers for five years.
In 1861 he was elected, along with Potter and Applegarth to the executive of the London Trades Council (LTC). He also became full-time secretary of the Reform League in 1865 after a campaign for universal suffrage. Howell organised demonstrations in London in 1866 and 1867, and was a big influence on the campaign behind the 1867 Reform Act. Even with all of this, he was still not happy with the scale of reform and continued to campaign for universal suffrage.
Howell was appointed secretary of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) in 1871, and was a regular contributor to the journal the Bee-Hive and published several books in the 1870s.
He tried unsuccessfully to become a part of parliament at Aylesbury in the general elections of 1868 and 1874 and at Stafford in a by- election in 1881. Howell was finally successful in 1885 as Lib-Lab candidate for Bethnal Green North East, London. He helped to pass the Merchant Shipping Act 1894, while in Parliament, and was successful in defending his seat in 1886 and 1892, but, lost his seat in 1895 to the Conservative Mancherjee Bhownagree.
Due to poor health he retired from public life . His old friend Robert Applegarth and the TUC raised a 1650 testimonial to buy him an annuity before his death in 1911.

COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

Autobiography, diaries, and correspondence of George Howell; also included are minutes of the IWMA, papers of the Trades Union Congress, and news clippings. Papers are noteworthy relative to American radicalism because of his work as Council of the International Workingmen's Association and his association with prominent American leaders. Originals at the Bishopgate Institute in London. Materials were filmed on behalf of the Society for the Study of Labour and Radical History.
SUBJECTS

Names:
Howell, George, 1833-1910

Form and Genre Terms:
Papers (documents)
Microfilm.


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:
George Howell Papers on Microfilm #5423 mf. Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library.

CONTAINER LIST

Container
Description
Date
Reel 1
positive
Reel 2
positive
Reel 3 1866-1869
positive
Reel 4
positive
Reel 5
positive
Reel 6
positive
Reel 7
positive
Reel 8
positive
Reel 9 1864-1908
positive
Reel 10 1864-1908
positive
Reel 11
positive
Reel 12
positive
Reel 13
positive
Reel 14
positive
Reel 15
positive
Reel 16
positive
Reel 17
positive
Reel 18
positive
Reel 19
positive
Reel 20 1867-1906
positive
Reel 21
positive
Reel 22
positive
Reel 23
positive
Reel 24 1909-1910
positive
Reel 25
positive