Gabriel Edmonston was the General President of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of American from 1881-1882, a member of the FOTLU Legislative Committee from 1882-1886, and Treasurer of the AFL from 1886-1888. The collection contains about 250 items, primarily correspondence but also flyers, circulars and pamphlets. Correspondence from Peter J. McGuire and Samuel Gompers is included.
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Gabriel Edmonston was the General President of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of American from 1881-1882, a member of the FOTLU Legislative Committee from 1882-1886, and Treasurer of the AFL from 1886-1888. The collection contains about 250 items, primarily correspondence but also flyers, circulars and pamphlets. The letters dating from the early 1880's are mainly from Peter J. McGuire, General Secretary of the Carpenters from 1881 to 1901 and an officer of the AFL from 1886 to 1900. Concerned principally with the struggle to establish the carpenters' union and a national federation of trade unions, the letters from this period deal with local carpenters' disputes, the activities of the Knights of Labor, and McGuire's evaluations of Samuel Gompers' first years as AFL President. The letters dating from the late 1880's and 1890's are primarily from Gompers, and focus on Edmonston's roles as Treasurer of the AFL, lobbyist in Washington, D.C., and leader in the labor movement in the capital; also included is personal correspondence relating to Gompers' family. The few twentieth-century documents in the collection consist of personal items and material related to the carpenters' union.
These records were received by the George Meany Memorial Archives sometime before 1984. The George Meany Memorial Archives transferred these records as part of a major transfer of their archive and library holdings to the University of Maryland Libraries in 2013.
Archives staff at the George Meany Memorial Archives initially processed these records in 1984. The University of Maryland Libraries received the records and the finding aid in 2013. In 2017, Bria Parker exported and cleaned the finding aid contents from the Eloquent Systems database using OpenRefine, and finally transformed the finding aids into Encoded Archival Description (EAD) using a series of programmatic scripts. The finding aid was ingested into ArchivesSpace in 2017, at which point Jennifer Eidson updated the descriptive content for accuracy. Revisions include changes to biographical/historical notes, scope and content notes, and the creation of new collection numbers. Jennifer Eidson also enhanced custodial histories and re-wrote collection titles to better conform to archival standards.