Federated Press

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

This not the independent, research-based organization of Toronto, Canada, also called "Federated Press" that targets executives, lawyers, professionals.

In addition to providing weekly content to editors of the American labor press, the Federated press published a 12-page weekly newspaper available to subscribers and organized supporters.

The Federated Press was a left wing news service, established in 1920, that provided daily content to the radical and labor press in America, characterized widely from a mere "labor wire service"[1] or "a kind of left-wing AP"[2] to widely known for having "employed many Communist editors and correspondents,"[3] "so closely allied to the Communist party of America as to be regarded by the Communists as their official press association,"[4] or just "the Red's Federated Press."[5]


The People's Council of America, established in New York City in May 1917 and headed by Scott Nearing and Louis P. Lochner, produced a monthly publication called People's Council Bulletin, which featured international news with an emphasis on the doings of the peace movement. The editor of this publication was William E. Williams, press spokesman of the People's Council.[6] This bulletin proved the inspiration for the International Labor News Service, itself a news agency for the radical press, as octogenarian Scott Nearing recounted in his 1972 memoirs:

One day... a big, sturdy chap just past middle age came into our New York People's Council office and showed credentials from the Western Metal Miners. He had been reading our Bulletin and liked the material, especially that dealing with international affairs. 'If you will put this material into a regular news service,' he told us, 'our organization will help pay for it and circulate it. Here is our first contribution' and he put a $20 bill on the desk.[7]

In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a similar concept was being tested by Edward J. Costello, Managing Editor of Victor Berger's socialist daily, the Milwaukee Leader. This news service, called the Federated Press, was founded on January 3, 1920, and was intended to supply copy to labor and radical newspapers around the country. The two news agencies decided to join forces under the Federated Press banner, with Costello holding down the post of Managing Editor of the Service and Lochner acting as Business Manager. Nearing provided the service with regular installments of his writing. The service grew steadily and was ultimately mailing news releases and picture mats five days a week to some 150 labor and radical publications.[6][8] William Francis Dunne was another co-founder.[9]

In August 1920, conscientious objector and university instructor Carl Haessler was released from federal penitentiary after serving a two-year sentence. He took over the job of Managing Editor from Costello, who left the employment of the service. Haessler remained at this position until the service was terminated in the 1940s.[citation needed]

On February 4, 1922, a "Federated Press League" formed in Chicago to collect funds for the news service. Members of the league's executive board included: Robert M. Buck, Jack Carney, Arul Swabeck, Editor Feinburg, William Z. Foster (later CPUSA head), Carl Haessler, Mabel Search, Clark H. Getts, Louis P. Lochner, and Maude McCreery.[4]

In 1923 during the trial of communist leader C.E. Ruthenberg in St. Joseph, Michigan, the government prosecutor spent considerable effort while cross-examining Jay Lovestone in establishing links between the Communist Party and the Federated Press. The prosecutor attempted to prove that all funding for the Federated Press came only from "Communist sources." Lovestone held the position that the Communist Party had tried to influence the Federated Press but had never controlled it.[10] (In his 1952 memoir, Whittaker Chambers directly contradicts Lovestone by calling it the "communist-controlled news service of my Daily Worker days."[11])

Nearing continued to produce content for the Federated Press until 1943, when he was fired for his anti-war politics, which managing editor Haessler deemed to be "childish".[6]

The service was discontinued after the end of World War II, when the more conservative labor papers terminated their use of the service.


The Federated Press had its headquarters at 156 W. Washington Street in Chicago (where it shared offices with the ACLU, the Chicago Committee for Struggle Against War, the Acme News Syndicate, and the Institute for Mortuary Research). It had bureaus in New York, San Francisco, and Washington DC (where it shared offices with the Soviet official news agency TASS).[5]

The Federated Press had foreign bureaus in Berlin and Moscow.[4]


A major client of the Federated Press was the Communist Party USA, which subscribed to feed its newspaper the Daily Worker.[12]



Scott Nearing (here, 1915) was a co-founder of the Federated Press


  • William Francis Dunne (CPUSA leader)
  • Carl Haessler (Chicago Workers School)
  • Louis Lochner (Milwaukee Leader)
  • Scott Nearing[15]
  • Leland Olds


Bureau Chiefs:



Karla Kelling Sclater has stated:

The Federated Press has also been ignored in the historiography. A news-gathering cooperative, the Federated Press, which began in 1920, was the first news service that provided affiliated papers with international reports of interest to the working class. Jon Bekken states that the Federated Press survived into the early 1950s as the only independent news service that supplied information to 150 papers including newspapers in Germany, Russia and Australia. Labor, socialist, and other newspapers utilized the Federated Press. To date, only one unpublished master's thesis discusses Carl Haessler, one of the founders of the Federated Press wire service, and the Federated Press.[40]


The Federated Press published a Federated Press Bulletin, a weekly newspaper of which Haessler was associate editor.[41]

Bérmunkás (The Wage Worker), Hungarian language newspaper, was affiliated with the Federated Press.[42]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Guttenplan, D.D. (6 May 2009). "Red Harvest: The KGB in America". The Nation. The Nation Institute. Retrieved 23 December 2019.
  2. ^ a b Kazin, Michael (26 February 2013). "Sheryl Sandberg is No Betty Friedan". The New Republic. Retrieved 23 December 2019.
  3. ^ a b Stacy McCain, Robert (4 April 2011). "Fierce, Anti-Feminist, and In Your Face". The American Spectator. Retrieved 23 December 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d e Reds In America. Beckwith Press. 15 June 1925. pp. 45 (Howe), 46 (press association), 78 (press service), 79 (league), 120-122 (Berlin), 180 (Strong, Moscow), 274 (Coyle). Retrieved 23 December 2019.
  5. ^ a b c d e Dillingers, Elizabeth (1934). The Red Network (PDF). privately published. pp. 134 (HQ), 150-151 (summary), 151 (WDC offices), 156 (Palmer), 165 (press agency), 240 (Strong, Moscow). Retrieved 23 December 2019.
  6. ^ a b c Scott Nearing,The Making of a Radical: A Political Autobiography. New York: Harper Colophon Books, 1972; pg. 173.
  7. ^ Nearing erroneously recalls this event as having happened in 1921, that is, a date after the merger of the International Labor News Service with the Federated Press. Nearing,The Making of a Radical," pg. 173.
  8. ^ "Early American Marxism (14-10)". H-Labor. 9 March 2014. Retrieved 24 December 2019.
  9. ^ "Guide to the William Francis Dunne Papers TAM 145". New York University - Tamiment Library. 19 April 2018. Retrieved 24 December 2019.
  10. ^ Harrison, Caleb (30 April 1923). "C.E.R.'s Trial" (PDF). Workers Party of America News Service. Retrieved 24 December 2019.
  11. ^ a b Chambers, Whittaker (1952). Witness. Random House. pp. 218–229, 252–259, 547 (controlled). Retrieved 24 November 2018.
  12. ^ a b "Leland Olds, 1890-1960" (PDF). Gale Group. Retrieved 23 December 2019.
  13. ^ Fourth Report - Un-American Activities in California - 1948: Communist Front Organizations. Senate of the California Legislature. 1948. pp. 98 (Lincoln Bridge), 113–114 (organization). Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  14. ^ Guide to Subversive Organizations and Publications (And Appendixes) ... House Document No. 398. US GPO. 1962. pp. 73. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  15. ^ "Nearing, Scott (1883-1983)". Maine State Library. Retrieved 23 December 2019.
  16. ^ "In the Book and Literary World: I Change Worlds, By Anna Louise Strong". Jewish Telegraph Agency. 21 April 1935. Retrieved 24 December 2019.
  17. ^ Wapshott, Nicholas. The Sphinx: Franklin Roosevelt, the Isolationists, and the Road to World War II: Chapter Seventeen: "Over My Dead Body," footnote number 39 ("Abner Carroll Binder"). New York, New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2014.
  18. ^ Carroll, Joe (31 March 1923). "Foster Jury Given Radical Education" (PDF). Federated Press Bulletin. Retrieved 23 December 2019.
  19. ^ Carroll, Joe (7 April 1923). "Foster's Fate with Jury on Issue of Free Speech" (PDF). Federated Press Bulletin. Retrieved 23 December 2019.
  20. ^ "Horace B. Davis". Chicago Tribune. 3 July 1999. Retrieved 23 December 2019.
  21. ^ "Len and Caroline DeCaux Papers". Wayne State University - Walter P. Reuther Library. Retrieved 24 December 2019.
  22. ^ De Leon, Solon (1925). The American Labor Who's Who. New York: Hanford Press. p. 57.
  23. ^ Wald, Alan M. (2002). Exiles From a Future Time: The Forging of the Mid-Twentieth Century Literary Left. University of North Carolina Press. pp. 382 (fn71). ISBN 9780807853498. Retrieved 22 October 2018.
  24. ^ Gloria Garrett Samson, The American Fund for Public Service: Charles Garland and Radical Philanthropy, 1922-1941. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1996; pg. 167.
  25. ^ Theodore Draper, The Roots of American Communism, pg. 316
  26. ^ "Today in labor history: Birth and death of Betty Friedan". People's World. 4 February 2015. Retrieved 23 December 2019.
  27. ^ "John McCarthy obituary: US computer scientist who coined the term artificial intelligence". Guardian. 25 October 2015. Retrieved 23 December 2019.
  28. ^ "Travis K. Hedrick, 73; A Former Newsman, Dies". New York Times. 31 May 1977. Retrieved 24 December 2019.
  29. ^ "Hutchins, Grace (1885-1969)". Dictionary of Women Worldwide: 25,000 Women Through the Ages. Retrieved 24 December 2019.
  30. ^ "Southern Labor Archives: Stetson Kennedy: A guide to his papers: Stetson Kennedy - Biograph and Description of Papers". Oregon Encyclopedia. Retrieved 23 December 2019.
  31. ^ Eugene Lyons, Assignment in Utopia. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1937; pg. 21.
  32. ^ "Maud McCreery, Widely Known as Labor Leader, Dies". The Journal Times. April 11, 1938. p. 4. Retrieved June 14, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  33. ^ Maund, Alfred (1999). Alan M. Wald (ed.). The Big Boxcar. University of Illinois Press. Retrieved 24 December 2019.
  34. ^ Harvey O'Connor, Revolution in Seattle: A Memoir. New York: Monthly Review Press, 1964; dust jacket biography.
  35. ^ Buhle, Paul (2 November 2017). "The Very Strange Story of Ludwig Lore: A Chapter from US Socialist History:". Portside. Retrieved 23 December 2019.
  36. ^ "Federated Press". Smith College Libraries. Retrieved 23 December 2019.
  37. ^ "Jessie Lloyd O'Connor papers, 1909-1983". New York Public Library - Archives & Manuscripts. Retrieved 24 December 2019.
  38. ^ "Julia Ruuttila (1907-1991)". Oregon Encyclopedia. Retrieved 23 December 2019.
  39. ^ Solon DeLeon with Irma C. Hayssen and Grace Poole (eds.), The American Labor Who's Who. New York: Hanford Press, 1925; pg. 230.
  40. ^ Kelling Sclater, Karla. "The Labor and Radical Press, 1820-the Present: An Overview and Bibliography". University of Washington - Labor Press Project. Retrieved 24 December 2019.
  41. ^ "Proceedings of the League Convention," The Federated Press Bulletin, v. 2, no. 19 (Feb. 11, 1922), pg. 2. Cited by Tim Davenport, "Federated Press League: Organizational History," Early American Marxism website, Corvallis, OR.
  42. ^ Solon DeLeon and Nathan Fine (eds.), American Labor Press Directory. New York: Rand School of Social Science, 1925; pg. 11.

External links[edit]