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Eugene Victor Debs

First Socialist candidate for President of the United StatesCreated by: Library Of CongressDated: 1912
The socialist party
Five times the Socialist Party of America's candidate for the President of the United States, Eugene Victor Debs (November 5, 1855 – October 20, 1926) was an American socialist, political activist, trade unionist, one of the founding members of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW).

Debs was born on November 5, 1855, in Terre Haute, Indiana, to Jean Daniel and Marguerite Mari Bettrich Debs, who immigrated to the United States from Colmar, Alsace, France. His father, who came from a prosperous family, owned a textile mill and meat market.

Early in his political career, Debs was a member of the Democratic Party. After he led what became the nationwide Pullman Strike, Debs was convicted of federal charges for defying a court injunction against the strike and served six months in prison. In prison, Debs read various works of socialist theory and emerged six months later as a committed adherent of the international socialist movement.

Debs was a founding member of the Social Democracy of America (1897), the Social Democratic Party of America (1898) and the Socialist Party of America (1901). Debs ran as a Socialist candidate for President of the United States five times, including 1900 (earning 0.6% of the popular vote), 1904 (3.0%), 1908 (2.8%), 1912 (6.0%) and 1920 (3.4%), the last time from a prison cell. He was also a candidate for United States Congress from his native state Indiana in 1916.

Debs was noted by many to be a charismatic speaker who sometimes called on the vocabulary of Christianity and much of the oratorical style of evangelism, even though he was generally disdainful of organized religion.

Debs's speech denouncing American participation in World War I led to his second arrest in 1918. He was convicted under the Sedition Act of 1918 and sentenced to a term of 10 years. President Warren G. Harding commuted his sentence in December 1921. Debs died in 1926, due to cardiovascular problems that developed during his time in prison.

There are at least two beers named after Debs, namely Debs' Red Ale and Eugene.
1893
1893
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1975
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1975
116 Media in collectionpage 1 of 2
The great railway strikes - scenes in and about Chicago / from sketches by G.A. Coffin.

The great railway strikes - scenes in and about Chicago / from sketche...

Three bust portraits showing George Pullman, Cushman K. Davis, and Eugene Debs; and four illustrations showing "blockade of railroad cars, applicants for appointments as deputies at the marshal's office, roundh... more

The vanguard of anarchy / W.A. Rogers.

The vanguard of anarchy / W.A. Rogers.

Caricature of Eugene Debs, wearing crown labelled "Debs Am. railway union", being carried in front of banner "anarchy", with Waite, Altgeld, Pennoyer, Peffer, and others. Illus. in: Harper's weekly, 1894 July 21. p. 673.

Eugene V. Debs

Eugene V. Debs

Head and shoulders, facing left. Illus. in: Harper's Weekly, 1894 July 14, p. 656, upper right. This record contains unverified, old data from caption card.

King Debs / W.A. Rogers.

King Debs / W.A. Rogers.

Caricature of Eugene Debs, wearing crown labelled "Deb's American railway union", seated on section of bridge "highway of trade", in body of water. Illus. in: Harper's weekly, 1894 July 14, p. 649.

Eugene V. Debs, half-length portrait

Eugene V. Debs, half-length portrait

Photo by Paley, 66869. This record contains unverified, old data from caption card. Caption card tracings: Shelf.

Eugene V. Debs

Eugene V. Debs

Portrait, half, facing right. This record contains unverified, old data from caption card.

Eugene Debs

Eugene Debs

Photograph shows scientist and inventor Frederick Gardner Cottrell (1877-1948). (Source: Flickr Commons project, 2017) Title from data provided by the Bain News Service on the negative. Forms part of: George Gr... more

Countess Warwick addressing socialists New York

Countess Warwick addressing socialists New York

Forms part of: George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress). Title from unverified data provided by the Bain News Service on the negatives or caption cards. General information about the George Grantha... more

Eugene Debs

Eugene Debs

Photograph shows scientist and inventor Frederick Gardner Cottrell (1877-1948). (Source: Flickr Commons project, 2017) Title from data provided by the Bain News Service on the negative. Forms part of: George Gr... more

E.V. Debs
Eugene Debs

Eugene Debs

Photograph shows scientist and inventor Frederick Gardner Cottrell (1877-1948). (Source: Flickr Commons project, 2017) Title from data provided by the Bain News Service on the negative. Forms part of: George Gr... more

Socialist Meeting Union Sq, 5108

Socialist Meeting Union Sq, 5108

Title from unverified data provided by the Bain News Service on the negatives or caption cards. Forms part of: George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress). General information about the George Grantha... more

Socialist Frost addressing a street crowd, Union Sq., Oct. 1608

Socialist Frost addressing a street crowd, Union Sq., Oct. 1608

Forms part of: George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress). Title from unverified data provided by the Bain News Service on the negatives or caption cards. General information about the George Grantha... more

DEBS, EUGENE V

DEBS, EUGENE V

Title from unverified caption data received with the Harris & Ewing Collection. Date span based on active dates of Harris & Ewing, Inc. Portrait series. Gift; Harris & Ewing, Inc. 1955. General information abou... more

Socialists meeting in Union Square, New York

Socialists meeting in Union Square, New York

Forms part of: George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress). Title from unverified data provided by the Bain News Service on the negatives or caption cards. General information about the George Grantha... more

101608, Socialist Frost Speaks in Union Sq

101608, Socialist Frost Speaks in Union Sq

Title from unverified data provided by the Bain News Service on the negatives or caption cards. Forms part of: George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress). General information about the George Grantha... more

Loaf of bread float carried in Socialist Parade, New York

Loaf of bread float carried in Socialist Parade, New York

Forms part of: George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress). Title from unverified data provided by the Bain News Service on the negatives or caption cards. General information about the George Grantha... more

[Eugene Victor Debs, three-quarter length portrait, seated, facing slightly left]

[Eugene Victor Debs, three-quarter length portrait, seated, facing sli...

H111644 U.S. Copyright Office. Copyright by Wilshire's magazine.

Socalist women in Los Angeles jail

Socalist women in Los Angeles jail

Mrs. Cloudesley Johns, English socialist, wtih three Los Angeles women. Title and other information transcribed from caption card and item. George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress). LOT subdivision... more

Socialists meeting in Union Square, New York

Socialists meeting in Union Square, New York

Forms part of: George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress). Title from unverified data provided by the Bain News Service on the negatives or caption cards. General information about the George Grantha... more

Socialist parade in Union Square, New York

Socialist parade in Union Square, New York

Forms part of: George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress). Title from unverified data provided by the Bain News Service on the negatives or caption cards. General information about the George Grantha... more

The lost child / Ehrhart.

The lost child / Ehrhart.

Illustration shows six policemen labeled "Chafin, Taft, Debs, Watson, Hisgen, [and] Bryan" gathering around a young boy labeled "Reactionary Voter" standing on "Radical Ave.", who appears confused by all the po... more

Loaf of bread float carried in Socialist Parade, New York

Loaf of bread float carried in Socialist Parade, New York

Forms part of: George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress). Title from unverified data provided by the Bain News Service on the negatives or caption cards. General information about the George Grantha... more

Socialist parade in Union Square, New York

Socialist parade in Union Square, New York

Forms part of: George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress). Title from unverified data provided by the Bain News Service on the negatives or caption cards. General information about the George Grantha... more

Socialist Meeting Union Sq., 5108

Socialist Meeting Union Sq., 5108

Title from unverified data provided by the Bain News Service on the negatives or caption cards. Forms part of: George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress). General information about the George Grantha... more

[Eugene V. Debs, seated at desk]

[Eugene V. Debs, seated at desk]

Photo copyrighted by F.K.D. This record contains unverified, old data from caption card.

Socialists in Union Sq

Socialists in Union Sq

Forms part of: George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress). Title from unverified data provided by the Bain News Service on the negatives or caption cards. General information about the George Grantha... more

Socialists, Union Sq

Socialists, Union Sq

Forms part of: George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress). Title from unverified data provided by the Bain News Service on the negatives or caption cards. General information about the George Grantha... more

Socialists, Union Sq

Socialists, Union Sq

Forms part of: George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress). Title from unverified data provided by the Bain News Service on the negatives or caption cards. General information about the George Grantha... more

Eugene V. Debs

Eugene V. Debs

Photo by Harris & Ewing Co. This record contains unverified, old data from caption card. Caption card tracings: Shelf.

Eugene V. Debs making a speech

Eugene V. Debs making a speech

Photo shows Eugene V. Debs making a speech from a stage on which several other men, women, and a young girl are seated behind him; also shows 48-star American flags hanging at the back of the stage and along th... more

[Eugene Victor Debs, half-length portrait, facing left]

[Eugene Victor Debs, half-length portrait, facing left]

J171819 U.S. Copyright Office. Copyright by Holloway.

DEBS, EUGENE V

DEBS, EUGENE V

Title from unverified caption data received with the Harris & Ewing Collection. Gift; Harris & Ewing, Inc. 1955. General information about the Harris & Ewing Collection is available at http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pn... more

Eugene Victor Debs, 1855-1926

Eugene Victor Debs, 1855-1926

Head and shoulders, facing left. J171820 U.S. Copyright Office Photo copyrighted by Holloway. This record contains unverified, old data from caption card. Caption card tracings: Photog. Index; PI; Shelf.

Sam'l De Witt

Sam'l De Witt

Photograph shows politician Samuel Aaron "Sam" DeWitt (1891-1963), a member of the Socialist Party of America who served as a New York State Legislator until he was expelled in 1920. (Source: Flickr Commons pr... more

Allan L. Benson

Allan L. Benson

Photograph shows newspaper editor and author Allan Louis Benson (1871-1940) who was the Socialist Party of America candidate for president in 1916. (Source: Flickr Commons project, 2013) Title from data provide... more

Arthur E. Reimer

Arthur E. Reimer

Photograph shows Arthur E. Reimer, the Socialist Labor Party of America candidate for president. (Source: Flickr Commons project, 2014) Title and date from data provided by the Bain News Service on the negative... more

Sam'l Orr

Sam'l Orr

Photograph shows politician Samuel Orr (1890-1981) who was a member of the Socialist Party of America and one of five legislators expelled from the New York State Assembly in 1920. (Source: Flickr Commons proje... more

Berger, Victor

Berger, Victor

Title from unverified data provided by the National Photo Company on the negatives or negative sleeves. Caption from caption list: Victor Berger snaped [i.e., snapped] as he left the Capitol today after being r... more

Alderman Beckerman

Alderman Beckerman

Photograph shows politician Abraham Beckerman (1890-1964) who served as New York Cityy Alderman from 1918 to 1922 and was a member of the Socialist Party of America. (Source: Flickr Commons project, 2017) Title... more

J.G. Soltis

J.G. Soltis

Photograph shows J.F. Saltis from Minnesota who was a delegate to the 1920 Convention of the Socialist Party of America in New York City, May 8-14, 1920. (Source: Flickr Commons project, 2017) Title from data p... more

Aug. Claesens

Aug. Claesens

Photograph shows politician August "Gus" Claessens (1885?-1954) who was a member of the Socialist Party of America and one of five legislators expelled from the New York State Assembly in 1920. (Source: Flickr ... more

Socialist group, White House

Socialist group, White House

Title from unverified data provided by the National Photo Company on the negatives or negative sleeves. Date from caption list. Caption from caption list: Socialist delegation which is in Washington urging Exec... more

Oscar Ammesinger i.e. Ameringer

Oscar Ammesinger i.e. Ameringer

Photograph shows Oscar Ameringer (1870-1943) who was a delegate from Wisconsin to the 1920 convention of the Socialist Party of America, held in New York City May 8-14, 1920. (Source: Flickr Commons project, 20... more

J.A. Hagel

J.A. Hagel

Photographs shows Johan Hagel, a delegate from Oklahoma to the 1920 Convention of the Socialist Party of America. The convention was held May 8-14, 1920, in New York City. (Source: Flickr Commons project, 2017)... more

Telegram from Atty. Gen. Daugherty to Warden, Atlanta Penitentiary, regarding the commutation by Pres. Harding of Eugene Debs sentence

Telegram from Atty. Gen. Daugherty to Warden, Atlanta Penitentiary, re...

Title and other information transcribed from caption card and item. In album: Washington, D.C., Sept. 1919 to Dec. 1921, v. 3, Herbert E. French, National Photo Company. National Photo Company Collection (Libra... more

Eugene V. Debs, 5 times Socialist candidate for President, set free from prison on Christmas Day

Eugene V. Debs, 5 times Socialist candidate for President, set free fr...

Closeup as he left the Federal Peniteniary at Atlanta, Ga.; head and shoulders, facing right. Photoprint copyrighted by Underwood & Underwood. No. S/282,151/FC. This record contains unverified data from caption... more

Eugene Debs, left

Eugene Debs, left

Title devised by Library staff. Date based on date of negatives in same range. Gift; Harris & Ewing, Inc. 1955. General information about the Harris & Ewing Collection is available at http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp... more

Group; Eugene Debs, center

Group; Eugene Debs, center

Title devised by Library staff. Date based on date of negatives in same range. Gift; Harris & Ewing, Inc. 1955. General information about the Harris & Ewing Collection is available at http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp... more

Eugene Debs

Eugene Debs

Title devised by Library staff. Date based on date of negatives in same range. Gift; Harris & Ewing, Inc. 1955. General information about the Harris & Ewing Collection is available at http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp... more

[Eugene Victor Debs, 1855-1926, full-length portrait, standing, holding hat in air, facing left, outside of Federal Penitentiary, Atlanta, Ga.]

[Eugene Victor Debs, 1855-1926, full-length portrait, standing, holdin...

Copyrighted by Underwood & Underwood, N.Y. This record contains unverified, old data from caption card. Caption card tracings: PI; Shelf.

Eugene Debs leaving White House, 122621

Eugene Debs leaving White House, 122621

Title from unverified data provided by the National Photo Company on the negatives or negative sleeves. General information about the National Photo Company collection is available at http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp... more

Eugene Debs

Eugene Debs

Title from unverified data provided by the National Photo Company on the negatives or negative sleeves. Date from negatives in same range. General information about the National Photo Company collection is avai... more

Rep. Victor Berger, Bertha Hale White & Eugene V. Debs, 121324

Rep. Victor Berger, Bertha Hale White & Eugene V. Debs, 121324

Title from unverified data provided by the National Photo Company on the negative or negative sleeve. Gift; Herbert A. French; 1947. General information about the National Photo Company collection is available ... more

Rep. Victor Berger, Bertha Hale White & Eugene V. Debs, 121324

Rep. Victor Berger, Bertha Hale White & Eugene V. Debs, 121324

Title from unverified data provided by the National Photo Company on the negative or negative sleeve. Date from unverified data provided by the National Photo Company on the negative or negative sleeve for LC-F... more

Rep. Victor Berger, Bertha Hale White & Eugene V. Debs, 121324

Rep. Victor Berger, Bertha Hale White & Eugene V. Debs, 121324

Title from unverified data provided by the National Photo Company on the negative or negative sleeve. Date from unverified data provided by the National Photo Company on the negative or negative sleeve for LC-F... more

Executive Com. of Socialist Natl. Party at semi-annual meet., 121324

Executive Com. of Socialist Natl. Party at semi-annual meet., 121324

Title from unverified data provided by the National Photo Company on the negative or negative sleeve. Gift; Herbert A. French; 1947. General information about the National Photo Company collection is available ... more

Before Dies Committee. Washington, D.C., Dec. 1. The Dies Committee Investigating un-American activities today questioned Joseph P. Lash, Executive Secretary of the American Students' Union, and Miss Agnes Reynolds, College Secretary of the Union. Lash testified that he was a member of the Socialist Party from 1929 to 1937. He said he resigned because he believed that the Socialist Party was subordinating the interests of the people of a whole to the interests of factional strife

Before Dies Committee. Washington, D.C., Dec. 1. The Dies Committee In...

Title from unverified caption data received with the Harris & Ewing Collection. Gift; Harris & Ewing, Inc. 1955. General information about the Harris & Ewing Collection is available at http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pn... more

Finland Minister arrives for Soviet reception. Washington, D.C., Nov. 7. Finland's Minister Hjalmar J. Procope, was in a gay mood as he waved to photographers on his arrival at the Soviet Embassy today for the reception in celebration of 22nd anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution

Finland Minister arrives for Soviet reception. Washington, D.C., Nov. ...

Title from unverified caption data received with the Harris & Ewing Collection. Gift; Harris & Ewing, Inc. 1955. General information about the Harris & Ewing Collection is available at http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pn... more

Socialist Norman Thomas at peace rally. Washington, D.C., June 8. 1,100 people crowded into an antiwar mass meeting held here last night. Condemnation of 'war hysteria' and defense policies were voiced by leaders of congressional, labor, student, and women's groups. Norman Thomas, socialist candidate for Presidency, urged the establishment of camps in this country to care for European refugees. He warned against 'hysterical armament economics - unnecessary for the protection of our homes' - and declared American civil liberties had already been infringed upon by 'war hysteria'

Socialist Norman Thomas at peace rally. Washington, D.C., June 8. 1,10...

Gift; Harris & Ewing, Inc. 1955. General information about the Harris & Ewing Collection is available at http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.hec Temp. note: Batch six.

Socialism is that social system under which the necessaries of production are owned, controlled, and administered by the people ..

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