Hourwich, Isaac A. Collection.

Collection Number: 6036/019

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


DESCRIPTIVE SUMMARY

Title:
Hourwich, Isaac A. Collection., 1897-1917
Collection Number:
6036/019
Creator:
YIVO Institute for Jewish Research Hourwich, Issac
Quantity:
2.5 linear ft.
Forms of Material:
Articles, reprints, pamphlets, correspondence, photographs.
Repository:
Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library
Abstract:
This collection consists of photocopies of those portions of the Isaac Hourwich papers at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research that relate to his work with the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union.
Language:
Collection material in English


ILGWU ORGANIZATIONAL HISTORY

Founded in 1900 by local union delegates representing about 2,000 members in cities in the northeastern United States, the ILGWU grew in geographical scope, membership size, political influence to become one of the most powerful forces in American organized labor by mid-century. Representing workers in the women's garment industry, the ILGWU worked to improve working and living conditions of its members through collective bargaining agreements, training programs, health care facilities, cooperative housing, educational opportunities, and other efforts. In 1995, the ILGWU merged with the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union (ACTWU) to form the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees (UNITE).

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE

Isaac A. Hourwich was born on April 27, 1860 in Russia to a middle-class family, which afforded him the opportunity to attain an education. In response to his activity with a revolutionary Socialist circle in St. Petersburg, Hourwich was imprisoned in Siberia. After his release, he studied law, earning his legal degree and was admitted to the Russian bar in 1887, wherein he practiced law in Minsk. During this time, Hourwich maintained an involvement in radical political movements, and in 1890, fled Russia leaving behind a wife and four children.
After immigrating to the United States and settling in New York, Hourwich found himself involved with the Russian Workers Society for Self-Education (later the Russian Social Democratic Society), which was composed mainly of Jewish immigrants from Minsk. Hourwich divorced his first wife and remarried and had five children. He earned a Ph.D. in economics from Columbia University where he was also a fellow from 1891-1892. Throughout his career, Hourwich also served as a lecturer at the University of Chicago and George Washington University. He continued to practice law, serving as the lawyer for the United Brotherhood between 1897 and 1899. In New York City, Hourwich founded the first party branch of the Social Democratic Party.
In 1900, Hourwich moved to Washington, D.C. and worked for the U.S. government, including as a statistician and expert on mining for the Census Bureau until 1913. Knowing little Yiddish, Hourwich wrote essays in the Yiddish press about American politics and economics. At this point, Hourwich returned briefly to Russia where he ran an unsuccessful campaign for a seat in the second Duma in Minsk as a nominee for a new Democratic People's Party.
In January of 1913, the ILGWU appointed Hourwich to the position of Chief Clerk of the Cloak and Skirt Makers' Union. In his new post, Hourwich sought to reform the Protocol of Peace, a system set up by Louis Brandeis to resolve conflicts in the garment industry between workers and manufacturers without arbitration. His attempt to amend the protocol bothered the Cloak, Suit and Skirt Manufacturers' Association and put him out of favor with the International office. While the union sought to force Hourwich from his position, he instead decided to seek reappointment. A struggle emerged between Hourwich and the workers and locals that supported him and the International. This became known as the "Hourwich Affair" and concluded with Hourwich's resignation in 1914.
Hourwich visited the Soviet Union in 1922 and continued to remain current and informed of the country's government and politics, yet opposed to the Soviet regime. In the U.S., he maintained a commitment to Socialism and was involved with the Socialist Democratic Party, but supported Theodore Roosevelt in 1912 and ran for Congress on Roosevelt's Progressive Party ticket. He continued to write for Yiddish papers, regardless of political affiliation. In 1917, Hourwich helped organize the American Jewish Congress and became active in the Zionist movement. Hourwich died on July 9, 1924.

COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

The collection consists solely of photocopies of original documents held at the archives of the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research located at the Center for Jewish History in New York City. The collection "Papers of Isaac A. Hourwich (1860- 1924)" dates from 1882-1924 and is identified as RG 587. The complete finding aid appears on the Center for Jewish History website. Material that is reproduced for the Kheel Center comes from Series II: Jewish Labor Movement, 1897-1919, and pertains to Hourwich's involvement with the ILGWU and the garment industry. It includes minutes of meetings and hearings, arbitration proceedings, reports, correspondence as it relates to the ILGWU, Hourwich's tenure as Chief Clerk of the Cloak and Skirt Makers' Union, the controversies and his resignation.
SUBJECTS

Names:
Hourwich, Isaac A. -- (Isaac Aaronovich), -- 1860-1924.
Yivo Institute for Jewish Research -- Archives.
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union -- Archives.

Form and Genre Terms:
Records


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:
Hourwich, Isaac A. Collection. #6036/019. Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library.

RELATED MATERIALS

Related Collections:
5780: ILGWU records

CONTAINER LIST

Container
Description
Date
Box 1 Folder 1 1897-1914
Includes: papers of incorporation of the Independent Childrens' Jacket Makers Union of New York, 1897; papers of incorporation of the Federated Hebrew Trade Unions of Greater New York, 1897; contract and promisory notes of the United Hebrew Brotherhood of Cloakmakers Local 1, 1898-1899; letter of Jacob Shinbrot (Yiddish), incomplete, 1914; RG #587, folder 26
Box 1 Folder 2 1913
February 1, 1913, typed, 59 pgs.; RG #587, folder 27
Box 1 Folder 3 1913
Includes: Cloak, Suit and Skirt Industry, January 27, 1913, typed, 26 pgs.; Stenographic minutes of the Joint Board of the Cloak and Skirt Makers' Unions of New York and the Cloak, Suit, and Skirt Manufacturers' Protective Association, July 8, 1913, 2 pgs. (missing); RG #587, folder 28
Box 1 Folder 4 1913
Includes: Operator No. 3 against S. Marcus, 18 pgs.; Presser Gordon against Jaffe and Katz, 16 pgs.; In the matter of the dispute between Jaffe and Katz and the Employees of the Cloth Operating Department, 13 pgs. RG #587, folder 29
Box 1 Folder 5 1913
August 3-6, 1913, 2 volumes, typed, 1500 pgs., volume 1; RG #587, folder 30
Box 1 Folder 6 1913
August 3-6, 1913, 2 volumes, typed, 1500 pgs., volume 1; RG #587, folder 30
Box 1 Folder 7 1913
August 3-6, 1913, 2 volumes, typed, 1500 pgs., volume 1; RG #587, folder 30
Box 1 Folder 8 1913
August 3-6, 1913, 2 volumes, typed, 1500 pgs., volume 1; RG #587,folder 30
Box 1 Folder 9 1913
August 3-6, 1913, 2 volumes, typed, 1500 pgs., volume 1; RG #587, folder 30
Box 1 Folder 10 1913
August 3-6, 1913, 2 volumes, typed, 1500 pgs., volume 1; RG #587, folder 30
Box 2 Folder 1 1913
August 3-6, 1913, 2 volumes, typed, 1500 pgs., volume 2; RG #587, folder 31
Box 2 Folder 2 1913
August 3-6, 1913, 2 volumes, typed, 1500 pgs., volume 2; RG #587, folder 31
Box 2 Folder 3 1913
August 3-6, 1913, 2 volumes, typed, 1500 pgs., volume 2; RG #587, folder 31
Box 2 Folder 4 1913
August 3-6, 1913, 2 volumes, typed, 1500 pgs., volume 2; RG #587, folder 31
Box 2 Folder 5 1913
August 3-6, 1913, 2 volumes, typed, 1500 pgs., volume 2; RG #587, folder 31
Box 2 Folder 6 1913
August 13, 1913, typed, 87 pgs.; RG #587, folder 32
Box 2 Folder 7 1913
Exhibit E, September 10, 1913; RG #587, folder 33
Box 2 Folder 8 1913
In the matter of B. Schnall, September 5, 1913, typed, 73 pgs.; RG #587, folder 34
Box 3 Folder 1 1913
Includes: report on the Schnall Case, September 3, 1913, typed, 106 pgs.; decision in the Schnall Case. October 1, 1913, typed, 2 pgs.; letter of Hourwich to Meyer London, 1913; RG #587, folder 35
Box 3 Folder 2 1913
October 4, 1913, 12 pgs.; RG #587, folder 37
Box 3 Folder 3 1913
October 12-13, 1913, 392 pgs.; RG #587, folder 38
Box 3 Folder 4 1913
October 12-13, 1913, 392 pgs.; RG #587, folder 38
Box 3 Folder 5 1913
October 12-13, 1913, 392 pgs.; RG #587, folder 38
Box 3 Folder 6 1913-1914
Includes: minutes of the meeting of the Court of Honor, convened to consider charges against Hourwich by Bisno, March 7, 1914, 16 pgs.; 2 letters of Hourwich to Bisno, June 14 and July 21, 1913; RG #587, folder 39
Box 3 Folder 7 1912-1914
Includes: especially the Joint Board of the Cloak and Skirt Makers' Union, including materials on the "Hourwich Affair"; correspondence, memoranda, resolutions, manuscripts pages, and an article (English, Yiddish); RG #587, folder 40
Box 3 Folder 8 1912-1914
Includes: especially the Joint Board of the Cloak and Skirt Makers' Union, including materials on the "Hourwich Affair"; correspondence, memoranda, resolutions, manuscripts pages, and an article (English, Yiddish); RG #587, folder 40
Box 4 Folder 1
Regarding the Manufacturers' Association's demand for Hourwich's resignation, including Hourwich's resignation itself; RG #587, folder 44
Box 4 Folder 2
Includes: telegram from Mrs. J. Borden Harriman, Commissioner, to Hourwich; discussion on the question of differences between the manufacturers and workers in the Cloak, Suit, Waist Industry, January 15-17, 1914, stenographic report, typed, 3 volumes, 506 pgs.; RG #587, folder 45
Box 4 Folder 3
Includes: telegram from Mrs. J. Borden Harriman, Commissioner, to Hourwich; discussion on the question of differences between the manufacturers and workers in the Cloak, Suit, Waist Industry, January 15-17, 1914, stenographic report, typed, 3 volumes, 506 pgs.; RG #587, folder 45
Box 4 Folder 4
Includes: telegram from Mrs. J. Borden Harriman, Commissioner, to Hourwich; discussion on the question of differences between the manufacturers and workers in the Cloak, Suit, Waist Industry, January 15-17, 1914, stenographic report, typed, 3 volumes, 506 pgs.; RG #587, folder 45
Box 4 Folder 5
Includes: telegram from Mrs. J. Borden Harriman, Commissioner, to Hourwich; discussion on the question of differences between the manufacturers and workers in the Cloak, Suit, Waist Industry, January 15-17, 1914, stenographic report, typed, 3 volumes, 506 pgs.; RG #587, folder 45
Box 4 Folder 6
Selected by the representatives of the Cloak and Skirt Makers' Unions of New York, and the Cloak, Suit, and Skirt Manufacturers' Protective Association, January 18, 23, and 24, 1914, stenographic report, typed, 2 volumes, 87 pgs.; RG #587, folder 46
Box 4 Folder 7
Includes: memorandum presented to the Board of Arbitration pertaining to wage increases, typed, 31 pgs.; loose pages from minutes of arbitration proceedings; letter on pricemaking from Williams, Impartial Chairman to Hillman and Lezinsky, Chief Clerks of the Cloakmakers' Protocol; letter from the union committee appointed to the Arbitration Board, to the Joint Board; RG #587, folder 47
Box 4 Folder 8
Terms of settlement of the controversy, correspondence, briefs, pamphlets, clippings (English, Yiddish); Report and recommendations, July 23, 1915, typed, 6 pgs.; RG #587, folder 48
Box 4 Folder 9
Terms of settlement of the controversy, correspondence, briefs, pamphlets, clippings (English, Yiddish); Report and recommendations, July 23, 1915, typed, 6 pgs.; RG #587, folder 49
Box 4 Folder 10
Terms of settlement of the controversy, correspondence, briefs, pamphlets, clippings (English, Yiddish); Report and recommendations, July 23, 1915, typed, 6 pgs.; RG #587, folder 50
Box 4 Folder 11
4 statements by a certified public accountant for an audit of the local, typed, 23 pgs.; RG #587, folder 56
Box 5 Folder 1
Includes: articles about the Protocol of Peace by Hourwich in The New Review, June 15 and July 15, 1915; articles by Ab. Baroff and Isadore Epstein in The Ladies' Garment Worker, June 1913; issues of The Ladies' Garment Worker, July and October, 1913 and January and March, 1914; RG #587, folder 58
Box 5 Folder 2
Includes: articles about the Protocol of Peace by Hourwich in The New Review, June 15 and July 15, 1915; articles by Ab. Baroff and Isadore Epstein in The Ladies' Garment Worker, June 1913; issues of The Ladies' Garment Worker, July and October, 1913 and January and March, 1914; RG #587, folder 58
Box 5 Folder 3
Includes: articles about the Protocol of Peace by Hourwich in The New Review, June 15 and July 15, 1915; articles by Ab. Baroff and Isadore Epstein in The Ladies' Garment Worker, June 1913; issues of The Ladies' Garment Worker, July and October, 1913 and January and March, 1914; RG #587, folder 58