Charles H. Kerr

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Publisher Charles H. Kerr (circa 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.[citation needed]


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.[citation needed]


Over the years, Kerr's company became a leading publisher of socialist, communist, anarchist, and Wobbly works.[citation needed]

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).[citation needed]

Kerr's version was widely circulated in the Little Red Songbook of the Industrial Workers of the World.[citation needed]

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]



  • "What Socialism Is," International Socialist Review, (1917)[3]


  • Unity songs resung (1884)[4]


  • The right to be lazy, and other studies (1907)[5]


  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. ^ Kerr, Charles H. (October 1917). "What Socialism Is". International Socialist Review: 197–200.
  4. ^ Charles H. Kerr, ed. (1885). Unity songs resung. Colegrove book company. Retrieved 14 December 2019.
  5. ^ Lafargue, Paul (1907). The right to be lazy, and other studies. Translated by Charles H. Kerr. C. H. Kerr & Company. Retrieved 14 December 2019.

Further reading[edit]

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

External links[edit]