Red Special Across America (19-16)


The Socialist Party’s 1908 campaign train, the so-called “Red Special,” departed from Chicago on the morning of August 31. The rail effort would run continuously until its final termination in Debs’s hometown of Terre Haute, Indiana on November 2 — a total of 64 days in which speeches would be given across the northern tier of the United States and the Pacific coast, from New Hampshire to Southern California.

The concept for the party campaign train has been credited to National Secretary Mahlon Barnes (1866-1934), a former cigarmaker from Philadelphia who cut his teeth in the Socialist Labor Party before leaving as an active local leader of the anti-DeLeon split of 1899. The catchy name for the project — the “Red Special” — has been attributed to Algie Simons (1870-1950), editor of the Chicago Daily Socialist.


Debs and the Red Special Band, Pittsburgh, October 18.

The route of the Red Special was to be a two phase enterprise with its center in the Socialist Party’s headquarters city of Chicago. The party launched the train on August 31, committed to a tour of its western hotbed with a scheduled return date of September 25. Should sufficient funds be raised, a second run of the eastern states was also envisioned. The success of the tour led to frenetic fundraising to support this extension of the Red Special’s run, ensuring that Debs and his carefully selected set of stump orators and support staff would continue on an uninterrupted run that finally ended on the eve of election day.

The traveling party included Gene Debs; his closest adviser and personal secretary, brother Theodore Debs; press agent Otto McFeeley; Algie M. Simons, editor of the Chicago Daily Socialist; John C. Chase, the former Socialist mayor of Haverhill, Massachusetts; Colorado activist A.H. Floaten, in charge of literature distribution; Philadelphia cigarmakers’ union member Harry C. Parker, manager of the Philadelphia labor temple, the manager of the train; Charles Lapworth of London, present as a representative of the European press; and bandleader Christian Sorenson and a 15 piece Socialist Party band. (fn. “Debs Opened His Campaign Here,” Davenport Democrat and Leader, Sept. 1, 1908, p. 7). Also present was Debs’s friend from Terre Haute, attorney Stephen H. Reynolds, who worked as an alternative speaker, and W.W. Buchanan of Texas, a former abolitionist. (fn. “500 Hear Debs Flay Gompers,” Muscatine News-Tribune, Sept. 2, 1908, p. 4).

This cast of regular characters for the western leg of the tour would be regularly supplemented with additional temporary participants. Frequently, the Socialist candidate for governor of particular states would come along for the ride, joining Debs on the podium, such as candidates James H. Brower during the train’s Illinois stops and George Boomer in Washington. Other socialist worthies would ride along for sections of the route.

•          •          •          •          •

The Red Special would make short campaign speeches from the train at each of its scheduled stops, with a full mass meeting conducted every night in the various cities along the route. The full plan called for a thousand speeches to be delivered over a route stretching some 30,000 miles. (fn. “Debs Makes a Talk,” Wenatchee [WA] Daily World, Sept. 16, 1908.)

Simons-a-1902Prominent party editor A.M. Simons seems to have been selected for the mission for his oratorical prowess, serving as a warm-up speaker. Here is how one observer described him the day after his first speech, in a meeting held at the Grand Opera House in Davenport, Iowa (an industrial town along the Mississippi River on the western side of the Iowa-Illinois border):

Mr. Simons is one of the live wires that shows the argumentative speakers where they get off at. He is a spellbinder par excellence, and he rode around on cirrus clouds of eloquence, and enthused his audience over the way they had laid down their lives on a hundred thousand battlefields, without ever drawing down a paycheck for it. Mr. Simons aroused much applause by his denunciation of government by injunction. “The man who drew that weapon from its scabbard, and whetted it for the throat of the workingman,” declared Simons, “was William H. Taft. That gatling gun on paper, as it has been called, mows down the rights of labor, and laboring men will not forget it when they have a chance to shoot back with their ballots next November.” (fn. “Debs Opened His Campaign Here,” p. 7.)

This was part of a set speech to a big crowd in an auditorium setting; the Red Special tour also made extensive use of short whistle stops with bursts of energy and oration. The flavor of one such depot stop was captured by an Iowa newspaper reporter:

Eugene V. Debs, socialist candidate for the presidency of the United States, visited Iowa City in his special train yesterday and spoke to a small crowd at the depot yesterday [Sept. 1] at noon. Debs is accompanied by a band, which marched up town and back and furnished some excellent music, and by a complete corps of agents, both men and women, who canvassed the crowd with socialistic literature and “souvenir” pictures of Debs which they offered for sale to pay the expenses of the “Special.” * * *

Mr. Debs was introduced by editor A.M. Simons of the [Chicago Daily Socialist]… Simons is a small man with a thin face covered with a thick growth of dark whiskers…. Simons, as did the main speaker also, stood beside the baggage car upon a stool and delivered his speech above a large bust portrait in colors of Mr. Debs.

Mr. Debs started his talk, his voice was very husky and he could be heard with difficulty… * * *

Debs is a large man with a very bald head. He was dressed in laboring clothes, wearing a blue shirt. He speaks earnestly and that the man has at least some effectiveness is shown by his leadership. (fn. “Debs Visits the City,” Iowa City Citizen, vol. 18, no. 94 (Sept. 2, 1908), p. 8.)

Although the Red Special has attained legendary status as part of the history of the American left, this blog marks the first time that the entire schedule has been committed to machine-searchable type on the internet.

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Aug. 31, 1908 (M) — DAVENPORT, IA evening at Grand Opera House

Chicago: Leave 9:15 am
Joliet, IL: In 10:15 am, out 10:45 am (spoke)
Ottawa, IL: In 11:45 am, out 12:30 pm (spoke)
Spring Valley, IL: In 1:00 pm, out 1:30 pm (spoke)
Davenport, IA: Arrive 3:30

Sept. 1 (U) — DES MOINES, IA evening at the Auditorium, crowd of 2,000

Davenport: Leave 8:00 am
Muscatine, IA: In 8:45 am, out 9:15 am (spoke to about 100)
Iowa City, IA: In 11:45, out 12:15 pm (spoke at the depot at noon, band marched)
Grinnell, IA: In 2:00 pm, out 2:30 pm
Newton, IA: In 3:05 pm, out 3:35 pm
Des Moines, IA: Arrive 4:35 pm

Sept. 2 (W) — KANSAS CITY, MO evening at Convention Hall, crowd 2,500 to 3,000

Des Moines: Leave 6:00 am
Creston, IA: In 9:40 am, out 10:10 am (spoke)
Corning, IA: In 10:50 am, out 11:20 am (spoke)
Clarinda, IA: In 12:20 pm, out 1:00 pm (spoke)
Burlington Junction, MO: In 1:45 pm, out 2:15 pm (spoke)

Also made unscheduled speaking stops at Valisca, Hepburn, Skidmore, Mound City, Bigelow, and Amazonia

Kansas City, MO: Arrive 3:30 pm

Photo of the Socialist Party's Red Special, St. Joseph, MO (Euge

The Red Special at the St. Joseph, MO whistle-stop, Sept. 3, 1908

Sept. 3 (H) — OMAHA, NE to 3,000 people. With A.M. Simons and J.W. Walker of Hastings, SP candidate for governor

Kansas City: Leave 9:00 am
Leavenworth, KS: In 10:00 am, out 11:00 am
St. Joseph, MO: In 1:30 pm, out 2:00 pm (spoke, crowd of 800)
Omaha, NE: Arrive 6:40 pm

Sept. 4 (F) — DENVER, CO evening meeting scheduled

Omaha: Leave 2:00 am
North Platte, NE: In 10:10 am, out 10:45 am
Denver, CO: Arrive 6:30 pm

Sept. 5 (Sa) — LEADVILLE, CO evening meeting scheduled

Denver: Leave 7:00 am
Salida, CO: in 3:15 pm, out 3:45 pm
Leadville, CO: Arrive 6:20 pm — leave after meeting, 8:00 pm


Debs with a young admirer, Glenwood Springs, CO, September 6.

Sept. 6 (Su) — GRAND JUNCTION, CO evening meeting scheduled

Glenwood Springs, CO: In 11:15 am, out 11:45 am
Grand Junction, CO: Arrive 2:45 pm — leave after meeting, 12:05 am

Sept. 7 (M) — SALT LAKE CITY, UT labor day meeting scheduled

Ogden, UT: In noon, out 2:00 pm
Salt Lake City, UT: Arrive 3:00 pm — leave after meeting, 10:00 pm

Sept. 8 (U) — SAN BERNARDINO, CA evening meeting scheduled

Las Vegas, NV: In 10:00 am, out 10:30 am
San Bernardino, CA: Arrive 7:30 pm

Sept. 9 (W) — SAN DIEGO, CA evening meeting scheduled

San Bernardino: Leave 8:00 am
Riverside CA: In 9:35 am, out 10:05 am
San Diego, CA: Arrive 4:05 pm

Sept. 10 (H) — LOS ANGELES, CA evening meeting

San Diego: Leave 10:00 am
Oceanside, CA: In 11:40 am, out 12:10 pm
Orange, CA: In 2:10 pm, out 2:30 pm
Pasadena, CA; In 4:15 pm, out 5:15 pm
Los Angeles, CA: Arrive 6:00 pm — leave after meeting, 1:00 am

Sept. 11 (F) — SAN FRANCISCO, CA evening meeting scheduled

San Luis Obispo, CA: In 8:25 am, out 9:00 am
San Jose, CA: In 3:30 pm, out 4:00 pm
San Francisco, CA: Arrive 6:00 pm

Sept. 12 (Sa) — SACRAMENTO, CA evening meeting scheduled

San Francisco: Leave 11:00 am
Oakland, CA: In 11:35 am, out 1:00 pm
Stockton, CA: In 4:00 pm, out 4:30 pm
Sacramento, CA: Arrive 6:30 pm — leave after meeting, 10:00 pm

Sept. 13 (Su) — GRANTS PASS, OR evening meeting scheduled

Ashland, OR: In 1:00 pm, out 1:30 pm
Medford, OR: In 3:00 pm, out 3:30 pm
Grants Pass, OR: In 4:30 pm — leave after meeting, 2:00 am

Sept. 14 (M) — PORTLAND, OR evening meeting at Exposition Building

Roseburg, OR: In 7:00 am, out 7:30 am
Eugene, OR: In 10:30 am, out 11:00 am
Albany, OR: In 12:35 am, out 1:05 pm
Salem, OR: In 2:05 pm, out 2:35 pm
Woodburn, OR: In 3:23 pm, out 3:55 pm
Oregon City, OR: In 4:35 pm, out 5:05 pm
Portland, OR: Arrive 6:00 pm (Debs got to the evening meeting at 9:00 pm)

Sept. 15 (U) — SEATTLE evening meeting, EVERETT night meeting scheduled

Portland: Leave 8:00 am
Centralia, WA: In 11:45 am, out 12:15 pm
Tacoma, WA: In 2:40 pm, out 3:40 pm
Seattle, WA: Arrive 4:50 pm — leave after meeting, 10:45 pm
Everett, WA: Arrive 11:55 pm — leave after meeting, 2:00 am

Sept. 16 (W) — SPOKANE, WA evening meeting scheduled

Harrington, WA: In 1:00 pm, out 1:30 pm
Spokane, WA: Arrive 3:30 pm — leave after meeting, 3:00 am

Sept. 17 (H) — BUTTE, MT evening meeting scheduled

Wardner, ID: In 7:00 am, out 7:30 am
Wallace, ID: In 8:35 am, out 9:05 am
Mullan, ID: In 9:35 am, no departure time listed
Missoula, MT: In 3:20 pm, out 3:45 pm
Butte, MT: Arrive 7:40 pm — leave after meeting, 11:30 pm

Sept. 18 (F) — ***travel day, no evening meeting scheduled***

Billings, MT: In 9:00 am, out 9:30 am
Sheridan, WY: In 2:45 pm, out 3:45 pm

Sept. 19 (Sa) — PIERRE, SD evening meeting scheduled

Deadwood, SD: In 4:30 am, out 12:10 pm
Rapid City, SD: In 2:10, out 2:30
Pierre, SD: Arrive 9:00 pm — leave after meeting, 11:00 pm

Sept. 20 (Su) — ST. PAUL, MN evening meeting scheduled

New Ulm, MN: In 11:00 am, out 11:30 am
Mankato, MN: In 12:35 pm, out 1:05 pm
St. Paul, MN: Arrive 4:25

Sept. 21 (M) — DULUTH, MN evening meeting scheduled

St. Paul: Leave 8:00 am
Duluth: Arrive 2:00 pm

Sept. 22 (U) — HANCOCK, MI (UP) evening meeting scheduled

Duluth: Leave 4:00 am
Hancock, MI: Arrive 7:00 pm

Sept. 23 (W) — GREEN BAY, WI evening meeting scheduled

Hancock: Leave 3:00 am
Escanaba, MI (UP): In 10:00 am, out 10:20 am
Green Bay, WI: Arrive 2:20 pm

Sept. 24 (H) — MANITOWOC, WI evening meeting scheduled

Green Bay: Leave 9:00 am
Appleton, WI: In 10 am, out 10:30 am
Manitowoc, WI: Arrive 1:00 pm — leave after meeting, no time listed

•          •          •          •          •


Sept. 25, 1908 (F) — INDIANAPOLIS evening meeting scheduled

Chicago: In 6:00 am, out 10:00 am
Kankakee, IL: In 11:30 am, out noon
Lafayette, IN: In 3:00 pm, out 3:30 pm
Indianapolis, IN: Arrive 5:30

Sept. 26 (Sa) — VANDALIA, IN evening meeting scheduled

Indianapolis: Leave 8:00 am
Kokomo, IN: In 9:40 am, out 10:10 am
Logansport, IN: In 11:10 am, out 11:40 am
South Bend, IN: Arrive 2:45 pm

Sept. 27 (Su) — DETROIT, MI evening meeting scheduled

South Bend: Leave 9:00 am
Marcellus, MI: In 10:00 am, out 10:30 am
Battle Creek, MI: In 11:45 am, out 12:45 am
Albion, MI: In 1:25 pm, out 1:55 pm
Jackson, MI: In 2:35, out 3:05
Detroit: Arrive 5:00 pm

Sept. 28 (M) — TOLEDO, OH at Memorial Hall

Detroit: Leave 9:30 am
Wyandotte, MI: in 9:55 am, out 10:15 am
Trenton, MI: In 10:55 am, out 11:25 am
Monroe, MI: In noon, out 12:30 pm
Toledo, OH: Arrive 4:45 pm.

Sept. 29 (U) — CLEVELAND, OH evening meeting scheduled

Toledo: Leave 8:00 am
Bowling Green, OH: In 8:40 am, out 9:40 am
Findlay, OH: In 10:30 am, out 11:00 am
Fostoria, OH: In 11:30 am, out noon
Fremont, OH: In 12:30 pm, out 1:00 pm
Sandusky, OH: In 1:40 pm, out 2:10 pm
Elyria, OH: In 3:00 pm, leave by trolley
Lorain, OH: In 3:45 pm, out 4:45 pm
Elyria, OH: In 5:10 pm, out 5:30 pm
Cleveland: Arrive 6:45 pm

Sept. 30 (W) — ERIE, PA evening meeting scheduled

Cleveland: Leave 9:45 am
Painesville, OH: In 10:00 am, out 10:20 am
Geneva, OH: In 10:50, out 11:30 am
Ashtabula, OH: In 11:45 am, out 12:50 pm
Conneaut, OH: In 1:10 pm, out 1:40 pm
Girard, OH: In 1:55 pm, out 2:45 pm
Erie, PA: Arrive 3:05 pm

Oct. 1 (H) — BUFFALO, NY

Erie: Leave 9:00 am
Westfield, PA: In 9:40 am, out 10:30 am
Dunkirk, PA: In 10:50 am, out 1:30 pm
Silver Creek, PA: In 1:45 pm, out 2:20 pm
Buffalo, NY: Arrive 4:20 pm

Oct. 2 (F) — ROCHESTER, NY evening meeting scheduled

Buffalo: Leave 9:30 am
Lockport, NY: In 10:35 am, out 11:00 am
Medina, NY: In 11:30 am, out 11:50 am
Albion, NY: In 12:10 pm, out 12:40 pm
Rochester, NY: Arrive 4:40 pm

Oct. 3 (Sa) — SYRACUSE, NY evening meeting scheduled

Rochester: Leave 8:00 am
Geneva, NY: In 9:45 am, out 10:30 am
Waterloo, NY: In 10:45, out 11:15 am
Auburn, NY: In Noon, out 1:30 pm
Syracuse, NY: Arrive 2:20 pm

Oct. 4 (Su) — NEW YORK CITY afternoon meeting at the Hippodrome (with Morris Hillquit); second afternoon meeting at the American Theater.

Syracuse, NY: Leave 5:00 am
Schenectady, NY: In 8:00 am, out 8:30 am
Poughkeepsie, NY: In 11:45, out noon
New York City: Arrive 2:00 pm

Oct. 5 (M) — BOSTON, MA evening meeting scheduled

New York City: Leave 6:00 am
Danbury, CT: In 8:00 am, out 8:30 am
Waterbury, CT: In 9:30 am, out 10:00 am
Westfield, CT: In 11:40 am, out 12:10 pm
Springfield, MA: In 12:30 pm, out 2:40 pm (arrived 90 minutes late)
Worcester, MA: In 3:50 pm, out 4:20 pm
Natick, MA: In 5:05 pm, out 5:40 pm
Boston: Arrive 6:20

Oct. 6 (U) — CONCORD, NH evening meeting scheduled

Boston: Leave 9:05 am
Lowell, MA: In 9:45 am, out 10:25 am
Nashua, NH: In 10:50 am, out 11:25 am
Manchester, NH: In 11:55 am, out 1:55 pm
Concord: Arrive 2:25 pm

Oct. 7 (W) — PROVIDENCE, RI evening meeting scheduled

Concord: Leave 9:00 am
Lawrence, MA: In 10:20 am, out 11:02 am
Haverhill, MA: In 11:45 am, out 1:15 pm
Lowell, MA: In 1:50 pm, out 1:55 pm
Walpole, MA: In 2:55 pm, out 3:25 pm
Franklin, MA: In 3:35 pm,out 4:05 pm
Providence: Arrive 5:05 pm

Oct. 8 (H) — NEW HAVEN, CT evening meeting scheduled

Providence: Leave 8:55 am
Plainfield, CT: In 9:45 am, out 10:10 am
Willimantic, CT: In 10:40 am, out 11:40 am
Manchester, NH: in 11:55 am, out 12:30 pm
Hartford, CT: In 1:00 pm, out 2:30 pm
New Britain, CT: In 2:48 pm, out 3:20 pm
Meriden, CT: In 3:38 pm, out 4:08 pm
New Haven, CT: Arrive 4:35 pm

Oct. 9 (F) — BRIDGEPORT, CT evening meeting scheduled

New Haven: Leave 11:45 am
Woodmont, CT: In noon, out 12:30 pm
Milford, CT: In 12:40 pm, out 1:10 pm
Stratford, CT: In 1:20 pm, out 1:50 pm
Bridgeport, CT: Arrive 2:00 pm

Oct. 10 (Sa) — TRENTON, NJ evening meeting scheduled

Bridgeport: Leave 8:00 am
Stamford, CT: In 8:35 am, out 9:10 am
Port Chester, NY: In 9:25 am, out 9:55 am
New Rochelle, NY: In 10:10, out 10:40 am
New York City: In 11:15 am, out 11:20 am
Jersey City, NJ (by ferry): In 4:20 pm, out 4:25 pm
Trenton, NJ: Arrive 6:15 pm

Oct. 11 (Su) — CAMDEN, NJ evening meeting scheduled

Trenton: Leave 10:00 am
Philadelphia, PA: In noon, no departure time specified
Camden, NJ (close proximity to Philadelphia): No arrival time specified

Oct. 12 (M) — NEWARK, NJ evening meeting scheduled

Philadelphia: Leave 8:00 am
Jenkintown, PA: In 8:30 am, out 9:00 am
Hopewell, NJ: In 9:45 am, out 10:15 am
Bound Brook, NJ: In 10:40, out 11:20 am
Plainfield, NJ: In 11:35 am, out 12:30 pm
Elizabeth, NJ: In 12:55 pm, out 1:45 pm
Newark, NJ: Arrive 2:25 pm

Oct. 13 (U) — BROOKLYN, NY evening meeting (short excerpt as To The People of the East Side leaflet)

Newark: Leave 1:00 pm
Jersey City, NJ: In 1:30, no departure time specified
Brooklyn, NY (close proximity to Jersey City): No arrival time specified

Oct. 14 (W) — JERSEY CITY, NJ evening meeting scheduled

******* NO TRAVEL ON THIS DATE ******

Oct. 15 (H) — READING, PA evening meeting scheduled

Jersey City: Leave 5:50 am
Bethlehem, PA: In 8:00 am, out 8:30 am
Catasauqua, PA: in 8:50 am, out 9:20 am
Mauch Chunk, PA: In 10:10 am, out 10:50 am
Lansford, PA: In 11:15 am, out 11:45 am
Tamaqua, PA: In noon, out 12:30 pm
Schuylkill, PA: In 1:05 pm, out 2:25 pm
Hamburg, PA: In 2:50 pm, out 3:20 pm
Reading, PA: Arrive 3:50

Oct. 16 (F) — BALTIMORE, MD evening meeting scheduled

Reading: Leave 8:00 am
Birdsboro, PA: In 8:20 am, out 8:55 am
Coatesville, PA: In 10:15 am, out 10:45 pm
Lenape, DE: In 11:35 am, out 12:10 pm
Wilmington, DE: In 1:25 pm, out 2:30 pm
Newark, NJ: In 2:55 pm, out 3;25 pm
Baltimore, MD: Arrive 5:00 pm

Oct. 17 (Sa) — McKEESPORT, PA evening meeting scheduled

Baltimore: Leave 6:00 am
Cumberland, MD: In 11:15 am, out 11:45 am
Connellsville, PA: In 2:45 pm, out 3:15 pm
McKeesport: Arrive 4:25

Oct. 18 (Su) — PITTSBURGH, PA Two massive meetings at the Bijou Theatre, afternoon and night. An overflow meeting attempted to be held at the waterfront was broken up by police.

McKeesport: Leave 11:50 am
Braddock, PA: In noon, out 1:00 pm
Glenwood, PA: in 1:40 pm, out 2:40 pm
Pittsburgh: Arrive 2:25

Oct. 19 (M) — COLUMBUS, OH evening meeting scheduled

Pittsburgh PA: Leave 7:00 am
Finleyville, PA: In 7:45 am, out 8:15 am
Washington, PA: In 8: 45 am, out 9:15 am
Claysville, PA: In 9:35 am, out 10:05 am
Wheeling, OH: In 10:30 am, out 11:30
Lore City, OH: In 1:30 pm, out 2:00 pm
Cambridge, OH: In 2:15 pm, out 2:45 pm
Zanesville, OH: In 3:45 pm, out 4:15 pm
Newark, OH: In 5:40 pm, out 6:00 pm
Columbus: Arrive 7:00 pm

Oct. 20 (U) — CINCINNATI, OH evening meeting scheduled

Columbus: Leave 9:00 am
Springfield, OH: In 10:25 am, out 11:55 am
Dayton, OH: In 12:35 pm, out 2:35 pm
Middletown, OH: In 3:05 pm, out 3:35 pm
Cincinnati, OH: Arrive 4:55 pm

Oct. 21 (W) — LOUISVILLE, KY evening meeting scheduled

Cincinnati: Leave 9:00 am
Lawrenceburg, IN: In 9:35 am, out 10:05 am
Aurora, IN: In 10:15 am, out 10:45 am
Osgood, IN: In 11:45 am, out 12:15 pm
North Vernon, IN: In 1:00 pm, out 1:30 pm
Nabb, IN: In 2:15 pm, out 2:45 pm
Charlestown, IN: In 3:10 pm, out 3:40 pm
New Albany, IN: In 4:10 pm, out 4:40 pm
Louisville, KY: Arrive 4:55 pm

Oct. 22 (H) — EVANSVILLE, IN evening meeting scheduled

Louisville: Leave 6:00 am
Seymour, IN: In 8:15 am, out 8:45
Medora, IN: In 9:15 am, out 9:45 am
Mitchell, IN: In 10:25 am, out 10:55 am
Loogootee, IN: In noon, out 12:30 pm
Washington, IN: In 1:00 pm, out 1:30 pm
Petersburg, IN: In 2:15 pm, out 2:45 pm
Glezen (Hosmer): In 3:00 pm, out 3:30 pm
Oakland City, IN: in 3:45 pm, out 4:15 pm
Evansville: Arrive 5:30 pm

Oct. 23 (F) — ST. LOUIS, MO evening meeting scheduled

Evansville: Leave 7:00 am
Fort Branch: In 7:30 am, out 8:00 am
Princeton: In 8:20 am, out 8:50 am
Vincennes, IN: In 9:40 am, out 10:10 am
Olney, IL: In 10:50 am, out 11:05 am
Noble, IL: In 11:15 am, out 11:30 am
Flora, IL: In 11:55 am, out 12:10 pm
Salem, IL: In 1:00 pm, out 1:15 pm
Sandoval, IL: In 1:35 pm, out 1:50 pm
Carlyle, IL: In 2:20 pm, out 2:35 pm
Breese, IL: In 2:55 pm, out 3:10 pm
Lebanon, IL: In 3:50 pm, out 4:05 pm
O’Fallon, IL: In 4:15, out 4:30 pm
Caseyville, IL: In 4:45 pm, out 5:00 pm
East St. Louis, IL: In 5:20 pm, out 5:35 pm
St. Louis: Arrive 5:55

Oct. 24 (Sa) —DECATUR, IL evening meeting scheduled

St. Louis: Leave 9:00 am
Granite City, IL: In 9:30 am, out 10:00 am
Stauton, IL: In 10:40 am, out 11:10 am
Mt. Olive, IL: In 11:20 am, out 11:50 am
Litchfield, IL: In noon, out 1:00 pm
Raymond, IL: In 1:20 pm, out 1:50 pm
Morrisonville, IL: In 2:10 pm, out 2:40 pm
Taylorville, IL: In 3:00 pm, out 3:30 pm
Blue Mound, IL: In 3:55 pm, out 4:25 pm
Decatur, IL: Arrive 4:55 pm

Oct. 25 (Su) — SPRINGFIELD afternoon, JACKSONVILLE, IL evening meetings scheduled

Decatur: Leave 10:00 am
Illiopolis, IL: In 10:25 am, out 10:55 am
Dawson, IL: In 11:15 am, out 11:45 am
Riverton, IL: In 11:55 am, out 12:25 pm
Springfield, IL: Arrive 12:45 pm — leave after meeting, 5:00 pm
Berlin, IL: In 5:40 pm, out 6:10 pm
Jacksonville, IL: Arrive 6:30 pm

Oct. 26 (M) — HANNIBAL, MO evening meeting scheduled

Jacksonville: Leave 10:00 am
Chapin, IL: In 10:15 am, out 10:45 am
Bluffs, IL: In 11:05 am, out 11:55 am
Griggsville, IL: in 12:05 pm, out 1:05 pm
Baylis, IL: In 1:30 pm, out 2:00 pm
Barry, IL: In 2:20 pm, out 2:50 pm
Hull, IL: In 3:10 pm, out 3:40 pm
Hannibal, MO: Arrive 4:05 pm

Oct. 27 (U) — GALESBURG, IL evening meeting scheduled

Hannibal: Leave 7:00 am
Paris, IL: In 8:15 am, out 8:45 am
Moberly: In 9:45 am, out 10:15 am
Macon, IL: In 11:00 am, out 11:30 am
LaPlata, IL: In 12:15 pm, out 12:50 pm
Fort Madison, IA: In 3:15 pm, out 3:45 pm
Dallas City, IL: In 4:00 pm, out 4:38 pm
Stronghurst, IL: In 4:05 pm, out 5:25 pm
Galesburg, IL: Arrive 6:20 pm

Oct. 28 (W) — STREATOR, IL evening meeting scheduled

Galesburg: Leave 9:35 am
Williamsfield, IL: In 10:05, out 10:35 am
Princeville, IL: In 10:55 am, out 11:25 am
Chillicothe, IL: In noon, out 1:00 pm
Toluca, IL: In 1:40 pm, out 2:10 pm
Ancona, IL: In 2:50 pm, out 3:00 pm
Streator, IL: Arrive 3:15 pm

Oct. 29 (H) — JOLIET, IL evening meeting scheduled

Streator: Leave 9:00 am
Kernan, IL: In 9:10 am, out 9:40 am
Ransom, IL: In 9:50 am, out 10:20 am
Kinsman, IL: In 10:30 am, out 11:00 am
Verona, IL: In 11:10 am, out 11:40 am
Mazon, IL: In 11:50 am, out 12:30 pm
Coal City, IL: In 1:10 pm, out 2:10 pm
Lorenzo, IL: In 2:20 pm, out 2:50 pm
Drummond, IL: In 3:05 pm, out 3:35 pm
Plaines, IL: In 3:50 pm, out 4:20 pm
Joliet, IL: Arrive 4:30 pm — leave after meeting for Chicago
Chicago: Arrive 11:45 pm

Oct. 30 (F) — MILWAUKEE, WI three evening meetings scheduled — Pabst Theater, West Side Turn Hall, Freie Gemeinde Hall

Chicago: Leave 8:00 am
Woodstock, IL: In 9:00 am, out 9:30 am
Harvard, WI: In 9:50 am, out 10:10 am

Beloit, WI speaking stop mentioned in Social Democratic Herald of Oct. 31, 1908

Janesville, WI: In 11:00 am, out 12:10 pm
Madison, WI: Arrive 1:10 pm — afternoon speech at Gymnasium building — out 4:00 pm
Waukesha, WI: In 5:50 pm, out 6:20 pm
Milwaukee, WI: Arrive 7:00 pm

Oct. 31 (Sa) — RACINE, WII evening meeting scheduled

Sheboygan: Side trip on regular train
Milwaukee: Leave 5:00 pm
Racine: Arrive 5:35 pm

Nov. 1 (Su) — CHICAGO afternoon meeting scheduled

Racine: Leave 9:30 am
Kenosha, WI: In 9:45 am, out 10:15 am
Waukegan, IL: In 10:40 am, out 11:00 am
Chicago: Arrive noon.

Nov. 2 (M) — ***final day: no evening meeting***

Chicago: Leave 9:00 am
Chicago Heights, IL: In 9:55 am, out 10:25 am
Momence, IL: In 11:00 am, out 11:30 am
Watseka, IL: In 12:10 pm, out 12:40 pm
Hoopeston, IL: In 1:10 pm, out 1:40 pm
Danville, IL: In 2:15 pm, out 2:45 pm
Cayuga, IN: In 3:10 pm, out 3:25 pm
Clinton, IN: In 4:00 pm, out 4:30 pm
Terre Haute, IN: Arrive 4:55 pm


[Note: This page will be periodically updated as additional information becomes available. Last update: June 23, 2019.]


†- A participant’s memoir of the Red Special’s journey was written by Charles Lapworth and published in the December 1908 issue of the International Socialist Review, available here as a downloadable file.



The official deadline for Eugene V. Debs Selected Works: Volume 4 is October 15, 2019. I’m setting a soft deadline of August 4 to finish the document compilation phase of the project. This means there are now 6 more Sundays after today to get the core content section of the book assembled, with a limit for publication of approximately 260,000 words.

  • “I Shall Soon Be Off for Idaho: Letter to Stephen M. Reynolds in Terre Haute” (April 27, 1908) — 297 words
  • “The Demonstration Was a Great One: Letter to Morris Hillquit” (May 21, 1908) — 477 words
  • “Progress by Prohibition” [excerpt] (March 1, 1908) — 609 words
  • “An Evening in Girard: An Informal Speech Among Friends Following the 1908 Socialist Convention” (May 21, 1908) — 2,210 words
  • “We Will Have 5,000 Open Air Speakers: Statement to the Press” (June 1, 1908) — 795 words
  • “Vigorous War on the Socialist Press Forthcoming” (June 6, 1908) — 805 words
  • “No Negro Question Outside the Class Question: An Open Letter to J. Milton Waldron, President of the National Negro American Political League” (June 30, 1908) — 2,448 words
  • “What the Matter Is In America and What to Do About It: An Interview by Lincoln Steffens” (July 12, 1908) — 9,478 words
  • “Unity and Victory: Speech to the Kansas State Convention of the American Federation of Labor, Pittsburg, Kansas” (Aug. 12, 1908) — 7,144 words
  • “Samuel Gompers a Cowardly Falsifier: Statement to the Press” (Sept. 4, 1908) — 692 words
  • “‘Equality of Reward’: Theodore Roosevelt and the Socialist Movement” (Sept. 5, 1908) — 3,941 words
  • “The More I Think, The Hotter My Blood Becomes: Letter to Fred D. Warren in Girard, Kansas” (Feb. 5, 1910) — 550 words

Word count: 198,967 in the can + 29,444 this week +/- amendments = 228,630 words total.

David Walters will be running all of this material up on Marxists Internet Archive in coming days.

To find it, please visit the Eugene V. Debs Internet Archive



Here’s the microfilm that I’ve scanned this fortnight, available for free download. Bear in mind that there is generally a short delay between completion of the scanning and its appearance on MIA. Thanks are due to David Walters for getting this material into an accessible format.

The Weekly People — 1907, 1908, 1909 (Jan.-June)

Seattle Socialist — 1906, 1907, 1908, 1909, 1910 (publication terminates)

About carrite

Independent scholar from Corvallis, Oregon with a strong interest in early 20th century political history.
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