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Finding Aid to the Morris R. Evenson Papers, 1942-1988(Bulk, 1960-1987)
larc.ms.0044  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
The Morris R. Evenson Papers contain biographical material, personal correspondence, and writings, as well as records of the International Brotherhood of Painters & Allied Trades (IBPAT) Bay Area Local Unions (including correspondence, election records, news clippings, and administrative and legal documents). The collection documents Evenson's roles as IBPAT Local 4's Business Representative and Recording Secretary and his work to amalgamate separate Painters' locals in San Francisco. Union events, particularly the IBPAT hearing of Local 4 official Dow Wilson, Wilson's assassination in 1966, the subsequent murder trial of Carl Black and Max Ward, and the administration of the Bay Area Painters Trust Funds, are also documented. The collection includes copies of The Rank and File Voice (1986-1987), The Bay Area Painters News (1965-1970), THE VOICE of Painters, Tapers and Paperhangers (1970-1987), convention proceedings from the California State Conference of Painters (1956-1965), publications of the IBPAT, and a cloth banner from Local 1158 of the Brotherhood of Painters, Decorators, and Paperhangers.
Background
Morris R. Evenson was born in Wisconsin in 1920, but spent his childhood school years in St. Paul, Minnesota. He dropped out of school in the ninth grade. Later he wrote, "It took both his hands to count the unions he had been a member of--Teamos, Seamen, Electrical (Workers) in a radio factory, a busboy in the Culinary Workers, a switchman in the Railroad Brotherhood, a coffin maker in the Carpenters Union, and a plastic molder in the Machinists..." in addition to the Painters Union (Evenson). He claimed that it was his life as a merchant seaman in the National Maritime Union (NMU) which continued his education, teaching him about unions and different political points of view. It was as a merchant seaman in the NMU that he served his country during World War II. By 1948, Evenson had identified himself with the "left-wingers" in the Union, and became a victim of the purge of communists and their sympathizers by NMU President Joseph Curran. He was in New Orleans when he was expelled from the NMU. Evenson moved to San Francisco in 1948 and, in 1952, joined the Painters Union Local 1158.Dow Wilson's life had many parallels with Evenson's. He was born in 1926 in St. Paul, Minnesota. Like Evenson, his formal education ended in the ninth grade. In 1942, at age 16, he also went to sea as a member of the National Maritime Union. Like Evenson, he was charged by the NMU leadership of being a communist; however, he successfully fought the charges while acting as his own attorney. Wilson left the NMU in the early 1950s, became a house painter and a member of Painters Union Local 19 in San Francisco. Wilson and Evenson had known about each other in the NMU, but did not meet until they became union brothers in the San Francisco Painters locals. Wilson was elected a business representative in Local 19 and was also in the caucus working for the amalgamation of the two painters locals. When the amalgamated local was chartered, Wilson was elected the first Local 4 Recording Secretary- the Local's most important officer.
Extent
3.5 cubic ft. (9 cartons)
Restrictions
Copyright has not been assigned to the Labor Archives and Research Center. All requests for permission to publish or quote from materials must be submitted in writing to the Director of the Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Labor Archives and Research Center as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.
Availability
Collection is open for research.