International Working Men’s Association

The Minute Book of the General Council
February 1868

Council Meeting
February 4

[The Minutes are in Eccarius’s hand on p. 130 of the Minute Book]

Citizen Lessner in the chair.

In the absence of the Secretary Citizen Shaw acted as secretary.

Citizen Dupont payed 2 contribution for the Marseilles branch for 1867.

Jung stated that he had seen in the papers that the Geneva strike was over.

The Secretary of the Day Working Bookbinders had replied that his society could entertain no deputation as there were two on already and a monthly meeting could grant five pounds.

Members present: Huleck and Mrs. [Huleck], Jung, Dupont, Shaw, Lessner, Maurice.

Chairman [Unsigned]
J. George Eccarius, Secretary

Council Meeting
February 11

The Minutes are in Eccarius’s hand on pp. 130-31 of the Minute Book]

Citizen Shaw in the chair.

The Minutes of the two last meetings were read and confirmed.


Citizen Jung read a letter from Geneva stating that the strike was over not altogether to the satisfaction of the men, but considering the unfavourable season they might have fared worse. The letter from London had not given much encouragement, but they thanked the Council for the steps that [had] been taken. Almost all the trades societies had now joined, and newspapers had been established in several places. They would soon send money.[246]

Belgium. The members hold. numerous meetings about co-operation, universal suffrage, and to organise opposition to the law of conscription and agitate for the abolition of the standing army. New sections have been established at Liege, Verviers, and amongst the miners of Borinage. The finances are in an unsatisfactory state; they have much expense, but have no doubt that they will be able to pay their contribution. They have also received a letter from Guillaume of Locle announcing that the compte rendu is at last ready, but will cost two francs.[247]

France. Citizen Dupont read a letter stating that the inquiry before the juge d’instruction was not yet ended. There had been but four domiciliary visits, this was not enough for the prosecution,[248] so the police had summoned all the members of the Committee, including one who had never accepted and never attended. The judge was of opinion that English names on the Council list of the I.W.A. were men of straw, that it was only the revolutionary refugees who gave instructions to their friends how to act. It was a secret society with a public platform. The Paris members sought to obtain the control over the French workmen for revolutionary purposes. Rothschild has received notice to quit. In default of any punishable offence the accused expect to be punished for their sentiments.

The Marseilles branch consists of 280 members.

Citizen Jung was instructed to send the translations of the circulars to Switzerland and to instruct the German Secretary of Geneva [Becker] to get them published in as many papers as he could.[249]

It was further agreed that Citizen Dupont have the questions on the circular and some Congress resolutions printed for transmission to France.[250]

Citizen Lawrence gave notice that on that day fortnight he would move some resolutions respecting credit institutions for the working class.[251]

The Council then adjourned to Tuesday, February 18.

Members present: Dupont, Eccarius, Huleck, Mrs. Huleck, Hales, Jung, Lessner, Lawrence, Neal, Maurice, Shaw.

R, Shaw, Chairman
J. George Eccarius, Secretary

Council Meeting
February 18

[The Minutes are in Eccarius’s hand on p. 132 of the Minute Book]

Citizen Shaw in the chair.

The Minutes of the previous meeting were read and confirmed.


The Chaux-de-Fonds section has formed co-operative stores under the title of La Prevoyante and asks for the addresses of British manufacturers of shirtings, muslins, and other stuffs for women’s dresses, and Coullery adds that we should send patterns. All purchases made with ready money. Coullery wants to know whether London is asleep.

The Secretary [Eccarius] was instructed to communicate the substance of the letter to Rochdale Pioneers’ Co-operative Society.[252]

Belgium. The government wants 2,000 more soldiers and requires several millions for war purposes; the section has protested.

It was agreed that Maurice be paid 1 on account of rent.

Nomination. Mrs. Morgan nominated by Citizen Shaw, seconded by Citizen Huleck.

Citizen Williamsen, by Citizen Huleck, seconded by Citizen Morgan.

On account of the tailors’ general meeting[253] the Council adjourned to Wednesday, February 26.

Members present: Buckley, Dupont, Eccarius, Jung, Mrs. Huleck, Huleck, Maurice, Morgan, Lawrence, Neal, Shaw.


Council Meeting
February 26

[The Minutes are in Eccarius’s hand on pp. 132-33 of the Minute Book]

Citizen Shaw in the chair.

The Minutes of the previous meeting were read and confirmed.

Mrs. Morgan and Citizen Williamsen were admitted as members without a dissentient.

Citizen Milner presented credentials as delegate of the National Reform League and paid 2s. 6d. as the second half of the annual contribution for 1867. The delegate was admitted by unanimous vote.


A letter [was read] from the West End boot-closers, answering the questions[254] and offering to pay the first quarter’s contribution, but it must be fetched.

Mr. P. Shorrocks writes from Manchester that the workpeople in that town have little faith in London, but he will endeavour to get adhesion to the International and information for the report.

Report of Deputations

Citizen Huleck had an interview with the N. W. branch of the boot-makers, but the meeting was not numerous enough to decide the question of affiliation. Has no doubt they will join.

Citizen Jung was well received by the City Women’s Men. They joined, are 400 strong, and will send a delegate.

Citizen Lawrence had received a letter from the Corresponding Secretary of the International Tailors’ Union of America, in which the readiness is announced to enter into a tailors’ union extending throughout the world; the London tailors on the previous night had endorsed the sentiment and instructed their secretary to continue the correspondence[255]; and Citizen Lawrence thinks if the most important passages of that letter be made known on the Continent it may induce other trades to follow.

Citizen Jung desires to hear the letter before any action is taken.

Citizen Lawrence gives notice that we call the attention of the Council to the subject at the next meeting.

The American Secretary [Shaw] was instructed to write to Mr. Jessup at New York with a view to obtain information for the report.

The Council adjourned at 10:30.

Members present: Eccarius, Huleck, Mrs. Huleck, Jung, Lessner, Lawrence, Milner, Mrs. Morgan, Morgan, Maurice, Shaw.

H. Jung, Chairman
J. George Eccarius, Secretary