Levi D. Slamm

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Levi D. Slamm (1812 – October 6, 1862, Mamaroneck, New York) was an American labor leader, the editor of the Daily Plebeian,[1] a radical Democrat[2] and a leader of New York City's Locofocos.[3]

Slamm was born in New York City,[4] the son of a Revolutionary War veteran and a grocer.[5] Slamm followed in his father's profession but eventually became a locksmith.[6] As a young man in 1830, Slamm sailed aboard the Corvo from Boston under Capt. Jeremiah Spalding in August, together with Samuel Colt, the firearms inventor,[7] and apparently they became fast friends.[8] When the economic troubles of the 1830s began, he joined the Locofocos and soon became one of the most influential, in part through his publication of the radical periodical the Daily Plebeian.[9] The New York Herald nicknamed the Locofocos "Slamm, Bang, and Company" in reference to Levi and another party leader, Henry Bangs.[10] In 1838, together with Locofocos Alexander Ming Jr. and Charles Ferris, Slamm struck a deal with the Tammany Hall General Committee to adopt the entire Locofoco's radical Declaration of Rights,[2] thus uniting the two halves of New York's Democratic Party that had been in schism since 1835.

Following this success, Slamm was appointed to be a purser in the United States Navy. Soon after his naval appointment Slamm married Jane E. Morsell in December, 1846. He died as a result of injuries received while boarding a ship in Montevideo.[11]


  1. ^ Parker, Hershel (1996) Herman Melville: A Biography, Volume 1, 1819-1851 Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD, p.377, ISBN 0-8018-5428-8
  2. ^ a b Earle, Jonathan Halperin (2004) Jacksonian Antislavery and the Politics of Free Soil, 1824-1854 University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, NC, USA, p. 25, ISBN 0-8078-2888-2
  3. ^ Grimsted, David (1998) American Mobbing, 1828-1861: Toward Civil War Oxford University Press, Cary, NC, USA, p, 214, ISBN 0-19-511707-7
  4. ^ Pessen, Edward (1967). Most Uncommon Jacksonians: The Radical Leaders of the Early Labor Movement. Albany, New York: State University of New York Press. p. 94. OCLC 233395.
  5. ^ Folsom, Franklin (1991) Impatient armies of the poor: the story of collective action of the unemployed, 1808-1942 University Press of Colorado, Niwot, Colorado, p. 45, ISBN 0-87081-184-3
  6. ^ Adams, Peter (2005). The Bowery Boys: Street Corner Radicals And The Politics Of Rebellion. Westport, Connecticut: Praeger. p. 71. ISBN 978-0-275-98538-7.
  7. ^ Sam Colt's Own Record, ed. John E. Parsons, 1949, p. 5 Not found in GoogleBook search of book.
  8. ^ Slamm received a presentation inscribed cased Model 1851 Navy revolver from Colt. Book of Colt Engraving, R. L. Wilson Not found in GoogleBook search of book.
  9. ^ Merk, Frederick; Merk, Lois Bannister (1963). Manifest Destiny and Mission in American History: A Reinterpretation. New York: Knopf. p. 36. OCLC 421355.
  10. ^ Joshua R. Greenberg, Advocating The Man: Masculinity, Organized Labor, and the Household in New York, 1800-1840 (New York: Columbia University Press, 2008), 192.
  11. ^ Appletons' annual cyclopaedia and register of important events of the year: 1862. New York: D. Appleton & Company. 1863. p. 677.


  • Fink, Gary M. (ed.) (1974) "Levi D. Slamm" Biographical Dictionary of American Labor Leaders Greenwood Press, Westport, CT, ISBN 0-8371-7643-3
  • Fink, Gary M. (ed.) (1984) "Levi D. Slamm" Biographical Dictionary of American Labor Greenwood Press, Westport, CT, ISBN 0-313-22865-5