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The labor argus. [volume] : (Charleston, W. Va.) 1906-1915
Place of publication:
Charleston, W. Va.
Geographic coverage:
  • Charleston, Kanawha, West Virginia  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
[publisher not identified]
Dates of publication:
  • Began May 24, 1906.
  • Ceased in 1915?
  • English
  • Charleston (W. Va.)--Newspapers.
  • Socialism--United States--Periodicals.
  • Socialism.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01123637
  • United States.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01204155
  • West Virginia--Charleston.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01213401
  • Working class--United States--Periodicals.
  • Working class.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01180418
  • "Official organ of the Socialist Party."
  • "Published in the interest of the great majority -- the working class."
  • "Vote the Socialist ticket and free your class from wage slavery."
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Description based on: Vol. 7, no. 9 (Jan. 2, 1913)=w. no. 348; title from caption.
  • Editor: C.H. Boswell.
  • Merged with: Socialist and labor star (Huntington, W. Va.), to form: The Argus-star (non-extant).
sn 85059855
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The labor argus. [volume] May 24, 1906 , Image 1


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The Labor Argus

Beginning publication in the spring of 1906, the Charleston [West Virginia] Labor Argus offered organized labor a platform in West Virginia's public affairs. Published by Frank Snyder, the Argus hoped to foster "more cordial relations between employee and employer, rather than to foment discord between these two classes." Published weekly, the paper fluctuated in size over the span of its existence, although it usually comprised four to six pages.

Labor issues dominated the Labor Argus' columns. Snyder strongly supported the United Mine Workers of America, and the Argus kept readers abreast of union news. Moreover, as Frederick Barkey's Working Class Radicals: The Socialist Party in West Virginia illuminates, the Argus owned a political independent streak. The newspaper bypassed Republican and Democratic rhetoric and supported laborers' attempts to organize themselves politically. The Argus proved critical of mine owners, the oppressive mine "guard" system, and those who failed to condemn violent or unsafe labor practices. For just this reason, the Argus occasionally feuded with the Charleston News and Mail and refused to back the candidacy of Republican Howard Taft in the 1908 presidential election, instead supporting Democrat William Jennings Bryan. Beyond labor issues, the Argus also covered national news and during its first year devoted significant space to literary pieces as well.

In 1911, the paper came under the leadership of new editor Charles H. Boswell and the Socialist Party. Promising to remold the Labor Argus into a "red hot radical revolutionary rag," the paper shifted its political center further left and fully embraced socialism and the Socialist Party. Similar to other Socialist papers, the Argus often ran articles exploring the tenets of socialism, socialism's relationship with religion, and the platform of the Socialist Party. The revamped Labor Argus continued its hardline support of laborers; the Argus criticized the first settlement of the Paint Creek labor strike in 1913, despite both the governor's and United Mine Workers' support for the deal. This criticism led to a search of the Argus' Charleston office by state authorities in April 1913 and a temporary confiscation of its equipment.

Despite the setback, however, the Charleston Labor Argus continued publication for another year and half. At the start of 1915, recognizing their mutual readership, the Charleston Labor Argus merged with the Socialist Labor Star of Huntington, West Virginia, to form the Argus Star with offices in both Charleston and Huntington.

Provided by: West Virginia University