From: Elizabeth Gurley Flynn

July 15, 1955

To: Miss Mary Kaufman

201 West 85th St. NYC-NY

Dear Mary:- Words cannot adequately convey what a pleasure your visit was and how satisfying. So many things to hear and questions to be answered! I had a letter from John [Abt] asking when I would like to see him. I'll write him next week but do tell him I'm very anxious, but after seeing you it can and should wait until he has finished his work on the briefs that he said must be done by August dates. By then, discussions among all of you or matters I raised will also be clarified. But whatever he does don't let him surprise me. I want to look and dress my best to see him. After all I don't see a good looking man everyday! It [is] slightly difficult, under pressures of many sorts, to write all my ideas for the letter you requested. But if I were writing it I would stress, as I said, fifty years of uninterrupted service to the American labor movement; noting early struggles for labor's right to organize, right to strike, right of women to join unions, etc. Devotion to cause of labor's rights- civil liberties, free speech, press and assemblage, Bill of Rights; known to thousands of workers in all parts of country and world because of identification with causes of Tom Mooney; Joe Hill; Sacco and Vanzetti etc. defense of Debs and others. Now at age 65 - a victim ( for the first time in prison) of the infamous Smith Act. Explain what it is and what "violations" are construed as - dissenting opinions of Justices Black and Douglas- possibly something on Hastie dissent and need for Supreme Court to take a second look. Prison means loss of personal liberty and opportunity to lead one's normal life - do one's work- be with friends and family. At age 65 (make this incidental not major) is this the reward of 50 years of social service to humanity? I want nothing said on health issue - does not rate of major importance in my case. Save it for cases where it is. Want a fight on principle. Not necessary for people to agree with my ideas to speak out for my freedom. Might quote some who already have- seamen on ship at Melbourne, Australia, good examples. Kathie [Flynn] has the data. Well these are some of my ideas. I think Herb could write the kind of letter I have in mind. Kathie reports great progress on the book- it is actually at the printers. That's good news only they should have kept Kathie and through her, kept me informed. However it's alright now. I'm sure we clarified the issues sufficiently. For a title either the one I had or "The Rebel Girl," occur to me. That's from Joe Hill's song to me. I read that Harry Sacher and Joe Sterabein are cited for contempt by the Senate Judiciary Committee on the Matusow matter and these are indictments in NY City. Am anxious to hear details. Do give my love and convey my concern to Harry- who is a heroic person. Of course I care about Joe too. Do you see Louis? If so tell him how I enjoyed the story of his present employment and that I think of him a great deal. He is my real favorite among my men friends, but only tell him, not the others! You looked so nice; we really saw in you all our dear friends outside, to whom please give my warmest regards. Tell your Mother and Father I think of them too and we'll have a wonderful reunion when I return home. I'll forget dieting, to enjoy Mom's wonderful cooking and Pop's coffee! All my love, Mary dear. Do write when you can. As ever your devoted friend and client, Elizabeth
Remember I feel fine and can take all fate has in store for me with a smile.

Elizabeth Gurley Flynn
11710W
 

Transcription of Letter From Elizabeth Gurley Flynn to Mary Kaufman
15 July 1955

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