International Working Men’s Association

The Minute Book of the General Council
February 1866

Meeting of Central Council
February 6

The minutes are on pp. 105-06 of the Minute Book. The first Part is in an unknown hand.

Citizen Shaw in the chair, Citizen Fox Secretary pro tem.

The Secretary read a letter from the Reform League requesting the Council to send a deputation to the forthcoming conference.

The appointment of a deputation was postponed until the next meeting of the Council.

Citizen Dupont read a letter from Lyons, containing amongst other information the following: that the proceeds from the sale of 250 cards had been disbursed in the following manner, viz., £1.19.0 for printing, 2s. 8d. for postage, a check sent to the Central Council for £8.0.0. leaving the sum of 1s. 8d. to stand to the credit of the branch.

Citizen Jung read extracts from the 2nd number of the International journal published in Geneva containing the Address and Rules of the Association for the first time in the French language[166]; also that 54 new members had joined the branch up to the 3rd January; that the members of the society there had tendered for, and obtained, the contract for certain parish works to the amount of from £800 to £1,000; also that the members of the society had called a public meeting to review the late revision of the Federal Constitution.

Citizen Jung read from the bulletin of the Paris Journal L'Association that in December last a congress of working men (representing 40 corporations) was held at Barcelona.[167] They were unanimous in favour of a federal union between their members. The centre of the union will be in Barcelona. The newspaper El Obrero[168] was appointed the official organ of the Association.

It was moved by Citizen Jung and seconded by Citizen Dupont [from here on the minutes are in Cremer’s hand] that correspondence be opened with the president of the Barcelona Congress.

Citizen Dupont was invited and undertook to take upon himself this labour.

Citizen Marx being absent from illness, Citizen Weston as the seconder of the motion for. the discussion on the objects of the Association said he was unwilling to open the discussion in the absence of the mover and accordingly proposed that the discussion be deferred until Citizen Marx be able to attend.

A motion to that effect was carried unanimously.

Answer to Citizen Vésinier

Citizen Weston moved and Carter seconded:

That whereas the Standing Committee had not met to revise Jung’s answer to Vésinier and as it was stated there was no immediate probability of their assembling for that purpose, Jung’s answer be forthwith transmitted to the Echo de Verviers. Carried unanimously.

The Council then adjourned.


Meeting of the Central Council
February 13,1866

The minutes are in Cremer’s hand on p. 107 of the Minute Book.

Vice-President Eccarius in the chair.

The minutes of the former meeting were read and confirmed.

First question: The appointment of delegates to the forthcoming Reform Conference.

Cremer proposed and Weston seconded that six delegates be elected.

A long discussion took place as to the policy to be pursued at the conference.[169]

Citizens Shaw, Fox, Carter, Williams, Jung, Lessner, were elected as delegates to attend the conference.

Citizen Dupont nominated Citizen Ortiga as a member of the Central Council.

Jung read a letter from Duhamel, our Lisieux correspondent, stating they were not making much progress as they, the members, had been threatened by their employers with being discharged if they belonged to the Association. Duhamel replied that his opinions were those of the Association and he should persevere. He had also been threatened by the local attorney-general and the Justice of the Peace; to them he gave the same answer as he did to employers. They had no money at present but he hoped soon to be able to send some. Jung gave report of his and Citizen Dupont’s delegation to the trades meeting at the Bell Inn, Old Bailey. He believed they had succeeded in doing good and making propaganda for the Association.

Cremer confirmed Citizen Jung’s statement as to the good impression which Citizens Dupont and Jung had produced at the meeting.

The same testimony was borne [out] by Citizens Fox and Eccarius. [170]

Lessner and Fox proposed:

That Citizens Dupont and Jung be requested to attend the adjourned meeting to be held on Wednesday, the 21st January. [Error. Should read: February 21] Carried unanimously.

The Council then adjourned.


Meeting of Central Council
February 20, 1866

The minutes are in Cremer’s hand on p. 108 of the Minute Book.

Vice-President Eccarius in the chair.

The minutes of the former meeting were read and confirmed.

Citizen Fox brought under notice the treatment of the Irish state prisoners in Pentonville prison. Pope Hennessy had recently called attention to the matter in a letter which appeared in the Pall Mall Gazette,[171] and the Lancet had also denounced the system as tending to insanity.[172] He thought that a deputation ought to wait on Sir G. Grey for the purpose of procuring a better mode of treatment for these unfortunate men. Citizen Fox read a letter from Mrs. O'Donovan Rossa thanking Citizen Fox for his exertions on behalf of Irish liberty.[173]

A long discussion took place on the question taken part in by Citizens Lubez, Bordage, Cremer, Howell, Weston, Eccarius and Dell.

Citizen Fox having replied to all objectors proposed the following resolution:

That Sir George Grey be asked to receive a deputation from this Council to request him to mitigate the treatment now inflicted on the Irish state prisoners in Pentonville prison.

Citizen Weston seconded the resolution which was carried unanimously.

Citizen Howell proposed, Citizen Lessner seconded:

That members of the Central Council be written to informing them that their subscriptions for 1866 are due and requesting them to pay immediately. Carried unanimously.

Election of Ortiga

Citizen Dupont proposed and Citizen Jung seconded that Citizen Ortiga be elected a member of the Central Council. Carried unanimously.

Citizen Kaub’s Loan

Citizen Dell proposed, Cremer seconded, that Kaub’s loan to the Council be paid. Carried unanimously.

Auditing the Accounts

Citizen Shaw proposed, Citizen Jung seconded, that the accounts be audited forthwith. Carried unanimously.

The Council then adjourned. [The last line was written in Fox’s hand after the minutes were read at the Council’s next meeting]

Confirmed as amended.


Tuesday, February 27

No heading. The minutes are in Fox’s hand on p. 109 of the Minute Book.

Citizen Shaw in the chair.

The minutes of the previous meeting were read and confirmed.

Citizen Dupont proposed Citizen Lafargue as a member of the Central Council.

Citizen Longuet read a letter from our Paris correspondents in reply to Vésinier’s charge of Bonapartism, published in the Espiègle of Brussels.[174]

Citizen Jung brought forward a letter from General Paz in reply to Marshal Forey’s observation in the French Senate[175] which had been published in the Morning Advertiser and desired the Council to send it to the Commonwealth with a request that it be republished.

Citizen Fox objected and thought it best simply to submit it to the editor’s discretion without recommendation of any kind.

This suggestion was adopted and a letter was written to the editor of the Commonwealth[176] enclosing a copy of Paz’s letter.

A long conversation on the affairs of Mexico then ensued and the Council then adjourned.