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Jo Labadie and His Gift to Michigan

A Legacy for the Masses

Socialism and Karl Marx




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  Henry George (1839-1897) and the Single Tax Movement
  Knights of Labor
  Judson Grenell (1847-1930)
  Benjamin Ricketson Tucker (1854-1939)
  The Haymarket Affair

Later Relations to Labor Organizations

  Leon Czolgosz (1873-1901)

The Water Board Incident

  Bubbling Waters
  The Labadie Print Shop
  Later Years
  Agnes Inglis (1870-1952)
  Further Reading

Special Collections Library
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor

Despite his strong advocacy of the rights of labor, Jo Labadie's faith in the mainstream political parties certainly lasted at least until 1876, when he voted for the Democratic candidate for President, Samuel Tilden. It was soon after that he began to explore socialism.

Socialist doctrines flourished in the large working-class German community of Detroit, but its enthusiasts knew that to be an effective force they must attract English-speaking comrades. Led by curiosity to such a socialist meeting in 1877, Labadie soon became an ardent advocate of socialism, along with his close friend and long-time comrade, Judson Grenell. Together they produced the Detroit Socialist (1877-78) and helped formulate a mayoral ticket in 1878. As the Socialistic Tract Association, Labadie and Grenell, along with John Francis Bay, published a series of seven short essays about labor's rightful share in production and the kind of government they envisioned. Later, however, Labadie stated that his "Marxmanship" was never very keen. He belonged to other groups like the Greenbackers, and as an individualist anarchist he feared the concentrated power that would result from state control of production.





On the SLP: "The objection to the Socialist Labor party is its reverance for authority."

Cranky Notions, Cleveland Citizen, September 2, 1899