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with them from their fatherland and which they developed here to suit the altered circumstances of their lives.

The Finnish-American Labor Movement: The history of this movement appears at first glance as a haphazard chronicle of confusing and chance events where the political compass has pointed in every direction. A closer examination serves to convince even an outsider, however, that everything has had its purpose and that the labor movement has had considerable merit.

Many of the labor leaders in the United States have been immigrants, with Samuel Gompers born in London, Matthew Woll coming from Luxembourg, Sidney Hillman from Lithuania, to mention but a few. It is clear that men like these brought with them to the new continent their European labor movement principles and practices.

The Finns, of course, were by no means the first to begin the labor movement in the United States. The Socialist Labor Party had been created under the leadership of Daniel de Leon in 1876, and ten years later the American Federation of Labor was born. In 1881, the Noble Order of the Knights of Labor appeared before the public for the first time, after having functioned as a secret organization since 1869.7 And to come specifically to developments in Minnesota, the first symptoms of an organized labor movement can be traced back to 1858, when the printers in St. Paul began a local labor organization.

However, before the turn of the century there were already three Finnish-American labor societies, in Calumet, Michigan; Brooklyn, New York; and Fitchburg, Massachusetts. Of these, the "Saima" in Fitchburg and the "Imatra" in Brooklyn were to play significant roles in the early history of the movement. The leading personalities included Dr. A. F. Tanner, who came to the United States in 1899, who had already made himself a student of the labor movement before his arrival and who became an apostle of this movement the moment he arrived here; Matti Kurikka, who was to found his own idealistic socialist community of Sointula in Canada; Martin Hendrickson, Vihtori Kosonen, Alex Halonen, Kaapro Murros, Moses Hahl and Alfred Hautamäki, as well as Eetu Salin and Taavi Tainio, who were to make themselves known as newspapermen. In the early period of the socialist movement in Minnesota the following names appear: Matti Herneshuhta (Huhta), John Sairio, Ida Pasanen, Axel Ohrn, John Viinikainen, Edward Grondahl and Henry Wuopio.

7. Saposs, David J. Left Wing Unionism. New York, 1926. pp 9-32


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