International Working Men’s Association

The Minute Book of the General Council
October 1865

Meeting of Central Council
October 3, 1865

The minutes are in Cremer’s hand on pp. 73-74 of the Minute Book.

The President in the chair.

The minutes of the former meeting were read and confirmed.

The Secretary read a letter from Citizen Jung stating his inability to attend the Council meeting as he had an attack of ophthalmia.

The Council expressed a hope that he soon be with them again.

Letter read purporting to be a letter from the editor of the Bee-Hive but as no name was attached to it, the Council passed to the next business.

A letter was also read from Madame Jeanne Deroin. The letter had been addressed to the conference but had been delayed.

The Secretary stated he had received applications for the Address and Rules from the Hearth Rug Weavers’ and Gilders’ Societies.

Morgan gave report of visit to Boot-Closers. It was very late before the deputation were admitted but the members of the society apologised for having kept the deputation waiting and he had no doubt but that at their next monthly meeting the society would join the Association.

The question as to the publication of the doings at the conference was then discussed.

Citizen Carter and Lubez proposed that Citizen Marx be requested to compile the report of the conference proceedings.[133] Carried unanimously.

Citizen Carter and Lubez proposed that a copy be sent to Citizen De Paepe in Belgium and that he be requested to publish it in pamphlet form. Carried unanimously.

Citizen Dupont reported that a friend of his, Citizen Coraz, was about to start for New York and he suggested that Citizen Coraz should [take with him] (as he was willing to do) 500 cards of membership and [copies of the] Address. Citizen Dupont also gave notice of his intention to propose Citizen Coraz as the correspondent of the Association in New York.

A discussion took place as to the late soirée, the numbers attending it and the tickets taken at the doors. An explanation having been given, the subject [was] dropped.

Several friends came and took their cards of membership.

Citizen Bordage nominated Citizen H. Johnson as a member of the Central Council.

The meeting then adjourned till October 10th.

JOHN WESTON, Chairman pro tern.

Meeting of the Central Council
October 10, 1865

The minutes are in Cremer’s hand on pp. 74-75 of the Minute Book.

Citizen Weston in the chair.

The minutes of the previous meeting were read and confirmed.

Citizen Johnson on the propositions of Citizens Bordage and Dell was elected a member of the Central Council. Citizen Louis Oborski proposed by Bobczynski and Marx.

Citizen Bobczynski said that as the Polish Association was at present constituted they could not well join the International Working Men’s Association but they wished to take part in it and to send representatives to the Central Council. He also stated that they expected to be able to effect the opening of branches in Belgium, France and Italy. He had been deputed to ask if the Association would co-operate with the Polish Association to celebrate the revolution of 29th November.

The question was adjourned till the next sitting.

The position of Citizen Lewis, the nominal corresponding secretary for America, and his relation to the Central Council was then discussed and the Secretary was ordered to write to him informing him that if he did not attend to the duties of his office that his election would be after the present month considered void.

Citizen Cremer called attention to the Council meetings and gave notice of a proposition at the next Council meeting to adjourn the sittings for a month. He thought we had too many movements in hand to work any of them effectively unless we met less frequently. He thought all our energies ought to be directed to establish the Workman’s Advocate, for without an organ the Association could never make any great headway. He would therefore suggest that for the next two or three months the main energies of the Council should be directed to the thorough establishment of the paper.

A discussion took place in reference to the Polish corresponding secretary.

The General Secretary said he did not know that Citizen Holtorp had ever done anything as a secretary. He thought his position as Polish secretaryship existed only in name.

Several members of the Council expressed similar views, after which the Council adjourned till October 17th.

J. CARTER, President pro tem.

Meeting of the Central Council
October 17, 1865

The minutes are in Cremer’s hand on pp. 76-77 of the Minute Book.

The President and Vice-President [Odger and Eccarius] being absent, Citizen Carter was voted to the chair.

The minutes of the last meeting were read and confirmed.

Citizen Holtorp in reference to some remarks contained in the minutes of the last meeting, explained that his reasons for not having brought any correspondence to the Central Council was that it had chiefly been of a private character, but if the Central Council thought he had neglected his duty he was quite willing to resign and to propose Citizen Bobczynski in his stead who had large connections in Galicia.

Citizen Bobczynski thought it would be better to allow the Poles to elect their secretary.

Citizen Lubez thought Citizen Holtorp had mistaken the views of the Council with reference to his having neglected his duties.

The subject [was] then dropped with the understanding that the Polish Association should recommend to the Central Council one of their members as secretary.

Citizen Col. Oborski was elected a member of the Central Council on the proposition of Citizens Bobczynski and Marx.

The following were nominated as members of the Central Council by Citizen Bobczynski: Citizen Zabicki, Citizen Werecki, Citizen Krynski.

Citizen Lessner notified to the Council the resignation of Citizen Bolleter as a member of the Council.

Citizen Bobczynski stated that the Polish Association had decided to celebrate the Revolution of November 29 and a deputation of Poles was present to ask if the International Working Men’s Association would assist in the celebration.

Citizen Lubez feared it might detract from our prestige if we were so often engaging in demonstrations with regard to Poland.

Citizen Fox thought we ought to celebrate the insurrection every year. He differed from Lubez. He thought the taking up [of] the Polish cause had already done the Association good: it had brought us a number of Poles.

After a lengthy discussion the following resolution was adopted, proposed by Citizens Dell and Lessner:

That a deputation be appointed to wait on the Polish League[134] to ascertain if they are prepared to co-operate with us in the demonstration on behalf of the Polish Revolution of November 29th.

Citizens Dell, Odger and Eccarius were appointed as the deputation.

Citizens Fox and Marx proposed that if the celebration be determined on, that the Standing Committee shall transact all the business in connection therewith. Carried unanimously.

The General Secretary called attention to the fact that some weeks ago he had announced his intention of resigning. He could no longer with justice to himself perform the duties. He would thank the Council to name his successor. He had asked Citizen Lubez to accept the office.

Citizen Lubez was sorry to be compelled to refuse.

Other members of the Council were appealed to but all declined; but some of them asked Citizen Cremer if he could not longer continue the office.

Citizen Cremer replied that to him it was a question of necessity: he had sacrificed so much during the past twelve months that it was for him impossible to sacrifice any more. But he would consent to hold the office till the present pecuniary liabilities were discharged.

It was then agreed by resolution to adjourn for a fortnight.

The Council then adjourned to October 31st.


Tuesday, October 31

No heading. The minutes are in a schoolboy hand on pp. 77-78 of the Minute Book. For lack of space the latter part of the minutes is written between the minutes of January 2 and 9, 1866, on pp. 98-99 of the Minute Book.

Citizen Dell was voted into the chair.

The minutes of the last meeting were read and confirmed without alteration.

Celebration of November 29

Citizen Dell gave a report of the meeting of the deputation to Mr. Edmond Beales. Mr. Beales thought all public demonstrations, at the present time, inopportune, but the British League for the Independence of Poland would nevertheless co-operate with the International in celebrating the insurrection of January 23, but the League would not take part in any celebration of the insurrection of 1830.

Citizen Fox asked to repeat what he had said at the previous meeting, that the insurrection of November 29th was made by the Poles in favour of Europe contrary to their own former plan which led them to wait for the revolution in Germany reaching them and enabling them to fight out their own independence. But when the czar wanted to invade Western Europe, the Poles being intended to act as a vanguard against France and Belgium, they turned round on Russia before their own time and acted as a shield to the former.

Le Lubez repeated a few of the things which he said at the last meeting. He thought that this Association ought to occupy itself with resolving social problems and the extinction of pauperism.

Citizen Carter said that the question was a simple one: would we help the Poles to celebrate the anniversary of the most unselfish, the most republican movement that ever took place in Poland.

On the motion of Citizen Fox, it was resolved: “That the question of the celebration of November 29 stand over until we hear the wishes of our Polish members.”

Courrier International

Citizen Fox read an article from the International Courier (French side) criticising the doings of the conference and declaring that every political association of working men was, under present circumstances, a conspiracy. [135]

The sense of the article and the spirit in which it was written were thought by the meeting to be highly inimical to the Association.

Here the following is noted in the Minute Book:
"For conclusion see pages between the minutes of January 2 and January 9, 1866.”

On the motion of Citizen Cremer it was resolved to insert an advertisement of the International Association in the Workman’s Advocate on the terms of paying the price of setting.

On the motion of the same, it was resolved that the members of the Council should be written to and informed that henceforth they would only receive notice of the sittings of the Central Council through the Workman’s Advocate.[136]

Citizen Morgan stated that the deputation to the BootClosers did not attend as they were detained till late at another meeting in Chelsea.

Citizens Werecki and Krynski were unanimously elected members of the Central Council.

Citizen Zabicki was objected by Citizen Le Lubez, and the question of this election was accordingly adjourned.

The Secretary then made a financial statement. He stated that the Association was £12 in debt; that M. Dujonquoy of the New York Hotel was the principal creditor to the extent of £8.11s.8d., that he was pressing for payment; that the Association was also indebted to Citizen Jung and to a printer named Kelly and to Citizen Kaub. Per contra that many outstanding accounts were due to the Association for tickets sold at our two soirées. Citizen Cremer also thought that money ought to be forthcoming from France, as the Central Council had sent over there so many cards and [copies of the] Address and received back only £4.

The meeting then adjourned to that day fortnight.