Charles H. Kerr

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Publisher Charles H. Kerr as he appeared in 1895

Charles Hope Kerr (April 23, 1860 – June 1, 1944),[1] a son of abolitionists, was a vegetarian and Unitarian in 1886 when he established Charles H. Kerr & Co. in Chicago. Over the years, his company became a leading publisher of socialist, anarchist, and Wobbly works. Kerr was noted for his translation from the French of the radical workers' anthem, "The Internationale;" his version became the English words sung in the United States (although a different, anonymous English translation is sung in Britain and Ireland). Kerr's version was widely circulated in the Little Red Songbook of the Industrial Workers of the World.

Kerr was active in partisan politics as well. He was on the National Campaign Committee of the Social Democratic Party of America and later the Socialist Party of America. He was on the executive committee of the Socialist Party of Chicago, including a brief stint as treasurer. He was secretary of the Socialist Party of Illinois in 1902.[2]

Early life[edit]

Charles' father, Alexander Kerr was born in Fetterangus, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. He was the son of George and Helen Legge Kerr. When he was about seven the family emigrated first to Canada, and then three years later in 1838 to Illinois, in the United States of America.


  1. The International Socialist Review (ISR), 1900[3]
  2. The Militant Proletariat,[4]


  1. ^ Charles H. Kerr & Co., Encyclopedia of Chicago
  2. ^ We Called Each Other Comrade: Charles H. Kerr & Company, Radical Publishers. PM Press. 2011-07-01. pp. 21–. ISBN 9781604865721.
  3. ^ "The History of the Charles H. Kerr Co".
  4. ^ Lewis, Austin. "The Militant Proletariat".

Further reading[edit]

  • H.L. Green, "Charles H. Kerr," The Free Thought Magazine [Chicago], vol. 14, no. 1 (Jan. 1896), pp. 1, 48-50.
  • Allen Ruff, "We Called Each Other Comrade": Charles H. Kerr & Company, Radical Publishers. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1997.


  • "What Socialism Is," International Socialist Review, vol. 18, no. 4 (October 1917), pp. 197–200.

External links[edit]