International Working Men’s Association

The Minute Book of the General Council
November 1864

Central Council Meeting

November 1, 1864

The minutes are in Cremer’s hand on pp. 8-9 of the Minute Book.

Mr. G. Odger in the chair.

The minutes of the former meeting were confirmed, as read, on the proposal of Lubez, seconded by Eccarius.

The following were elected on the Central Council:

Mr. Side proposed by Whitlock, seconded by Cremer;

Mr. Pfander proposed by Marx, seconded by Eccarius;

Mr. Lessner proposed by Marx, seconded by Eccarius;

Mr. Jung proposed by Nusperli, seconded by Lubez;

Mr. Dick proposed by Blackmore, seconded by Carter;

Mr. Merriman proposed by Dell, seconded by Blackmore;

Mr. Grossmith proposed by Dell, seconded by Blackmore;

Mr. Dupont proposed by Lubez, seconded by Carter.

Dr. Marx then read the Preamble, Address and Rules which the Sub-Committee had definitely agreed on and which they recommended to the Central Council for adoption.

Mr. Whitlock thought some explanation (in the form of a footnote) should be given as to the terms “nitrogen” and “carbon.”

Messrs. Carter, Grossmith and others spoke in favour of the Address.

Mr. Whitlock proposed, Mr. Carter seconded: That the Address do pass as read.

As an amendment Mr. Worley proposed and Mr. Wheeler seconded: That the word “profitmongers” be erased.

For amendment — 11, for resolution — 10. The amendment being carried, the word “profitmongers” was struck out and the Address was unanimously agreed to.

Dr. Marx then read the Preamble, and on the motion of Mr. Wheeler, seconded by Blackmore, it was carried unanimously.

The Rules were then discussed, and on the proposition of Mr. Dell, seconded by Whitlock, the Preamble, Address and Rules were unanimously agreed to.

Mr. Wheeler then proposed and Mr. Dell seconded that the thanks of the Central Council be given to Dr. Marx, Mr. Weston and M. Le Lubez for their exertions and the production of so admirable an address.[14] Carried unanimously.

The question of printing the Rules was adjourned to the next meeting.

The Council then adjourned to November 8th.

J. G. Eccarius, Vice-President
W. R. Cremer, Honorary General Secretary

Central Council Meeting

November 8, 1864

The heading and date are written in Cremer’s hand; further, on pp. 9-10 of the Minute Book, the minutes are in an unknown hand.

Mr. Eccarius in the chair.

The minutes of the previous meeting on the motion of Mr. Fox, seconded by Mr. Holtorp, were confirmed.

The Secretary [Cremer] read a letter from Professor Beesly respectfully declining to serve on the Committee, also from M. Talandier thanking the Committee for electing him a member and wishing to know if he could remain a member without taking part in or attending the meetings, as the distance he lived from London would prevent him doing so.

A letter was also read from M.Bocquet asking the same question.

The following were then elected on the Central Council:

Mr. George Lochner proposed by Marx, seconded by Carter;

Mr. William Kaub proposed by Marx, seconded by Carter;

Mr. Bolleter proposed by Holtorp, seconded by Fontana;

Mr. Austin Holyoake proposed by Mr. Fox, seconded by Weston.

Dr. Marx proposed, Mr. Jung seconded, that any person not being able to attend the meetings cannot be a member of this Council.

Dr. Marx called attention to the reports in the Morning Star and Bee-Hive of the last meeting and complained that in such reports one of the fundamental principles of the Association, viz., truth, had been violated; he also complained of the Address having been published without the sanction of the Committee.[15]

The Secretary explained that he had nothing to do with the reports, at which he was very much surprised; he believed Mr. Hartwell had supplied the reports in question.

To obviate the recurrence of such erroneous reports Dr. Marx proposed, Mr. Fontana seconded:

That the Secretary purchase a manifold writer and for the future all reports for the press be sent through the Secretary.

Mr. Aldovrandi proposed and Mr. Carter seconded:

That Dr. Marx be requested to correct the typographical errors in the Address and that 500 copies of the Address, Programme[16] and Rules be printed. Carried unanimously.

Mr. Dick proposed, Dr. Marx seconded, that the question of cards be left till the next meeting.

Mr. Morgan proposed, Mr. Weston seconded:

That all members be summoned to the next meeting and that those who do not attend or apologise for their absence be considered as wishing to withdraw from the Council. Carried unanimously.

Mr. Cremer gave notice of his intention of calling the attention of the Committee to the advisability of providing a home for the Association.

The meeting then adjourned.

J. G. Eccarius, Vice-President
W. Cremer, Honorary General Secretary

Central Council Meeting

November 15, 1864

The minutes are in an unknown hand on pp. 11-12 of the Minute Book.

Mr. Eccarius in the chair.

The minutes of the former meeting having been read, were confirmed on the motion of Mr. Weston, seconded by Whitlock.

The Secretary [Cremer] read letters from several members apologising for their non-attendance.

A long discussion took place regarding absent members of the Council who reside too far away to allow them to attend its meetings.

A resolution proposed by Mr. Whitlock, seconded by Mr. Dick, to elect them corresponding members of the Committee was ultimately withdrawn with the understanding that as the present Committee was merely provisional in its character that all who had been elected on it should remain, but that no new member should be elected who resided at such a distance as to preclude him from attending the meetings.

Mr. Cremer then proposed, M. Le Lubez seconded:

That 1,000 [copies of the] Address and Rules be printed. Carried unanimously.

Mr. Dick proposed that the design for the cards be referred to the Sub-Committee and that 1,000 be printed.

A long discussion then took place with regard to the terms on which organised bodies should be received into the Association, and ultimately on the motion of Dr. Marx, seconded by Mr. Blackmore, the question was adjourned to the next meeting.

Mr. Cremer then brought forward a plan to provide a home for the Association which was agreed to be referred to the Sub-Committee.

The Secretary then stated that as he had only accepted office till the Rules had been framed and adopted, and such having been done, he now tendered his resignation.

The meeting having refused to accept the resignation, Mr. Blackmore proposed, Mr. Whitlock seconded:

That Mr. Cremer be requested still to continue office till after the assembling of the congress. Carried unanimously.

Mr. Cremer would have preferred that the meeting had elected another but he would accept it on the condition, viz., that it was to be an honorary position.[17]

Mr. Weston proposed, Mr. Longmaid seconded, a vote of thanks to the Bee-Hive for the insertion of the Address, Rules, etc.[18] Carried unanimously.

Mr. Dick proposed, Mr. Whitlock seconded, that M. Le Lubez be elected assistant secretary. Carried unanimously.

The meeting then adjourned to November 22nd.

J. G. Eccarius, Vice-President
W. Cremer, Honorary General Secretary

Central Council Meeting

November 22, 1864

The minutes are in an unknown hand on pp. 12-14 of the Minute Book.

Mr. Eccarius in the chair.

The minutes of the former meeting having been read, were confirmed on the motion of Dr. Marx, seconded by Mr. Dell.

The following were then elected on the Central Council:

Mr. Buckley proposed by Dell, seconded by Shaw;

Mr. Lake proposed by Dell, seconded by Shaw;

M. Solustri proposed by Fontana, seconded by Setacci;

L. Otto proposed by Eccarius, seconded by Dr. Marx.

Some correspondence was then read from Major Wolff and Mr. Joshua Wood.

Mr. Dick proposed, Mr. Dell seconded:

That the Bee-Hive be made the organ of the Association. Carried unanimously.

Mr. Cremer then brought forward his motion regarding a home for the Association and he proposed that three trustees be elected to take a home for the Association. Carried unanimously.

The following were then elected as trustees:

Mr. G. Wheeler proposed by Mr. Dell, seconded by Mr. Fontana;

Mr. W. Dell proposed by Dr. Marx, seconded by Mr. Fox;

Mr. Weston proposed by Jung, seconded by Lubez.

Mr. Morgan then proposed and Mr. Dick seconded:

That the Sub-Committee be empowered to take suitable premises as a home for the Association and that the members of the Council be recommended to give to the trustees a small personal guarantee securing them against any loss. Carried unanimously.

The following members of the Committee then gave guarantees for the following sums:

 . s. d.
Dr. Marx2   0 0
Mr. Cremer0 10 0
Fox0 10 0
Eccarius0 10 0
Holtorp0 10 0
Rybczinski0 10 0
Bolleter0 10 0
Lessner0 10 0
Otto0 10 0
Morgan0 10 0
 . s. d.
Mr. Kaub0 10 0
Dick0 10 0
Howell0   5 0
Leroux0 10 0
Lama0 10 0
Setacci0 10 0
Carter0 10 0
Fontana2   0 0
Jung1   0 0
Lubez1   0 0

Dr. Marx proposed, Mr. Wheeler seconded:

That organised bodies of working men be invited to join this Association in their co-operative capacity, the amount of their contributions to be left to their means and discretion.

Dr. Marx proposed, Mr. Wheeler seconded:

That societies joining this Association shall have the power to elect a representative to sit on the Central Council, the Council reserving to itself the power to accept or reject such delegates.[19] Carried unanimously.

The following were then elected as vice-presidents of the Central Council:

Mr. Eccarius proposed by Mr. Dell, seconded by Dr. Marx;

Mr. Setacci proposed by Mr. Wheeler, seconded by Fontana.

The following were also elected as deputies to visit organised bodies of workmen:

Mr. Jung proposed by Mr. Lubez, seconded by Dr. Marx;

Kaub proposed by Jung, seconded by Fox;

Fontana proposed by Wheeler, seconded by Lubez; Morgan proposed by Jung, seconded by Lubez;

Lubez proposed by Wheeler, seconded by Fontana;

Howell proposed by Wheeler, seconded by Lubez;

Weston proposed by Jung, seconded by Eccarius.

Dr. Marx proposed, Mr. Howell seconded:

That Mr. L. Otto be authorised to correspond in the name of this Association with the friends of progress in Spain. Carried unanimously.

Mr. Dick proposed, Mr. Howell seconded:

That an address of congratulation on the re-election of Mr. Lincoln be presented by this Council to the people of America and that the Sub-Committee do prepare the same. Carried unanimously.

Mr. Wheeler then proposed, Mr. Fontana seconded, that Messrs. Carter and Howell be added to the Sub-Committee. Carried unanimously.

The meeting then adjourned to the Bath.

J. G. Eccarius, Vice-President
W., Cremer, Honorary General Secretary

Central Council Meeting

November 29, 1864

The beginning of the minutes is in an unknown hand on p. 15 of the Minute Book.

The President [Odger] in the chair.

The minutes of the former meeting having been read, Mr. Eccarius proposed, Lessner seconded their confirmation. Carried unanimously.

The following were then added to the Council:

Mr. D. Cornelius, Mr. Thos. Smales, and Mr. Petersen on the motion of Mr. Eccarius, seconded by Mr. Lessner;

Mr. Alexander Schantzenbach proposed by Holtorp, seconded by Rybczinski;

Dr. G. Bagnagatti proposed by Fontana, seconded by Lama; [From here on the minutes are in Cremer’s hand.]

Mr. Hopkin Williams proposed by Mr. Weston, seconded by Mr. Fox.

The following resolution was then proposed by Dr. Marx, seconded by Mr. Fontana, and carried unanimously:

That no one be elected on the Central Council who has not previously paid his annual subscription as a member of this Association.

Dr. Marx then brought up the report of the Sub-Committee, also a draft of the address which had been drawn up for presentation to the people of America congratulating them on their having re-elected Abraham Lincoln as President. The address is as follows and was unanimously agreed to: [Here a clipping from The Bee-Hive Newspaper, No. 169, January 7, 1865, carrying the text of the address, is pasted into the Minute Book]

“TO ABRAHAM LINCOLN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

“Sir, — We congratulate the American people upon your re-election by a large majority. If resistance to the Slave Power was the reserved watchword of your first election, the triumphant war-cry of your re-election is Death to Slavery.

“From the commencement of the Titanic-American strife the working men of Europe felt instinctively that the star-spangled banner carried the destiny of their class. The contest for the territories which opened the dire epopee, was it not to decide whether the virgin soil of immense tracts should be wedded to the labour of the emigrant or prostituted by the tramp of the slavedriver?

“When an oligarchy of 300,000 slave-holders dared to inscribe for the first time in the annals of the world ‘slavery’ on the banner of Armed Revolt when on the very spots where hardly a century ago the idea of one great Democratic Republic had first sprung up, whence the first Declaration of the Rights of Man was issued, and the first impulse given to the European revolution of the eighteenth century; when on those very spots counter-revolution, with systematic thoroughness, gloried in rescinding ‘the ideas entertained at the time of the formation of the old constitution’, and maintained ‘slavery to be a beneficent institution’, indeed, the old solution of the great problem of ‘the relation of capital to labour’, and cynically proclaimed property in man ‘the corner-stone of the new edifice’, then the working classes of Europe understood at once, even before the fanatic partisanship of the upper classes for the Confederate gentry had given its dismal warning, that the slave-holders’ rebellion was to sound the tocsin for a general holy crusade of property against labour, and that for the men of labour, with their hopes for the future, even their past conquests were at stake in that tremendous conflict on the other side of the Atlantic. Everywhere they bore therefore patiently the hardships imposed upon them by the cotton crisis, opposed enthusiastically the pro-slavery intervention — importunities of their betters — and, from most parts of Europe, contributed their quota of blood to the good cause.

“While the working men, the true political powers of the North, allowed slavery to defile their own republic, while before the Negro, mastered and sold without his concurrence, they boasted it the highest prerogative of the white-skinned labourer to sell himself and choose his own master, they were unable to attain the true freedom of labour, or to support their European brethren in their struggle for emancipation; but this barrier to progress has been swept off by the red sea of civil war.

“The working men of Europe feel sure that, as the American War of Independence initiated a new era of ascendancy for the middle class, so the American Anti-Slavery War will do for the working classes. They consider it an earnest of the epoch to come that it fell to the lot of Abraham Lincoln, the single-minded son of the working class, to lead his country through the matchless struggle for the rescue of an enchained race and the reconstruction of a social world.

“Signed, on behalf of the International Working Men’s Association, the Central Council:

Longmaid, Worley, Whitlock, Fox, Blackmore, Hartwell, Pidgeon, Lucraft, Weston, Dell, Nieass, Shaw, Lake, Buckley, Osborne, Howell, Carter, Wheeler, Stainsby, Morgan, Grossmith, Dick, Denoual, Jourdain, Morrissot, Leroux, Bordage, Bocquet, Talandier, Dupont, L. Wolff, Aldovrandi, Lama, Solustri, Nusperli, Eccarius, Wolff, Lessner, Pfander, Lochner, Kaub, Bolleter, Rybczinski, Hansen, Schantzenbach, Smales, Cornelius, Petersen, Otto, Bagnagatti, Setacci; George Odger, President of Council; P. V. Lubez, Corresponding Secretary for France; Karl Marx, Corresponding Secretary for Germany; G. P. Fontana, Corresponding Secretary for Italy; J. E. Holtorp, Corresponding Secretary for Poland, — H. F. Jung, Corresponding Secretary for Switzerland; William R. Cremer, Honorary General Secretary. 18, Greek Street, Soho.”

The newspaper clipping ends here. Further, on p. 16 of the Minute Book, the minutes are in Cremer’s hand

A long discussion then took place as to the mode of presenting the address and the propriety of having a M.P.

with the deputation; this was strongly opposed by many members who said working men should rely on themselves and not seek for extraneous aid.

The Secretary stated he had corresponded with the American Minister and he, the Secretary, had no doubt that if Mr. Adams was asked that he would appoint a time to receive the deputation.

It was then proposed by Whitlock, seconded by Eccarius, and carried unanimously:

That the Secretary correspond with the United States Minister asking him to appoint a time for receiving the deputation, such deputation to consist of the members of the Central Council.

Further, on pp. 16-17 of the Minute Book, the minutes are in an unknown hand.

Mr. Wheeler proposed, Le Lubez seconded:

That the names of all those who are present be appended to the address, also those who are absent and are willing to endorse the views set forth in the address.[20]

Question of members’ cards. Mr. Lubez proposed, Mr. Lama seconded:

That 1,000 cards be printed and that 1d. each be charged for them. Carried unanimously.

Mr. Fox then brought forward the following resolution which was seconded by Mr. Wheeler, spoken to by Mr., Holtorp,21 and unanimously adopted:

Resolved that the Polish war of independence was made in the general interests of the peoples of Europe; that in

its defeat the cause of civilisation and human progress suffered a severe shock; 2nd, that Poland has an unimpeachable claim upon the leading nations of Europe to contribute by every necessary means towards the restoration of her national sovereignty.

Mr. Fox also proposed that an address from the British section of the Central Council be drawn up and presented to the Polish people. It was referred to the Sub-Committee to prepare such address.

The meeting then adjourned till December 13th.

J. G. Eccarius, Vice-President
W. Cremer, Honorary General Secretary