Thomas F. Barton papers HLL.2019.005

Allison Ransom
Holt Labor Library at CSU Dominguez Hills
October 2019


Contributing Institution: Holt Labor Library at CSU Dominguez Hills
Title: Thomas F. Barton papers
Creator: Barton, Thomas F.
Identifier/Call Number: HLL.2019.005
Physical Description: 2.5 Linear Feet
Physical Description: 5 boxes
Date (inclusive): 1964-2015
Date (bulk): 2003-2005
Abstract: This collection includes the personal and professional papers of Thomas F. Barton, an anti-war activist and socialist who organized soldiers against the Vietnam and Iraq wars. It includes newsletters, articles, correspondence, meeting minutes and agendas that document Barton's involvement with various anti-war and socialist organizations, and the distribution, founding, and publishing of various anti-war newsletters.
Language of Material: Collection material is in English.

Content Description

The Thomas F. Barton Papers (1964-2015, bulk 2003-2005) contain correspondence, newsletters, press releases, articles, publications, meeting minutes, and agendas that chronicle Barton's involvement in the anti-Iraq War movement, the anti-Vietnam War movement, and various political organizations. Although active throughout the east coast, the papers primarily reflect Barton's activities that were based in New York City. Correspondence is primarily between Barton and members of organizations with whom he was involved, along with some correspondence between Barton and individuals directly impacted by the Iraq war. Files documenting the publishing of the Wildcatnewspaper, the distribution of the anti-Vietnam War Vietnam GI newsletter, and the founding and publishing of GI Special, later called Military Resistance, and Traveling Soldier are present in the papers. Also included are flyers, correspondence, and articles related to the organizing activities of various anti-war committees and organizations, including Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW), Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW), and Veterans for Peace (VFP), as well as socialist organizations such as the International Socialist Organization (ISO) and the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). Subject files comprising correspondence, articles, publications, and other documents regarding the Iraq War and anti-Iraq War movement, and political topics in China, El Salvador, North Korea, Palestine, and Serbia are present. One file of correspondence between Barton and various affiliates reflects the activities of the Wildcat group, and one file containing correspondence, articles, and newsletters that reflect New York City's District Council 37's organizing with the Greater Hospital Association of New York (1199) is present as well. The papers also contain single issues of War Times, Socialist Action, and The Richmond Defender : Monthly Newspaper of the Defenders for Freedom, Justice and Equality, among other publications.

Processing Information

Yahaira Santana and Allison Ransom processed the collection, and Allison Ransom wrote the finding aid, in 2019.

Preferred Citation

For information about citing archival material, see the Citations for Archival Material  guide, or consult the appropriate style manual.

Related Collections

Marjorie and Paul Colvin papers, HLL.2019.003; William and Beatrice Eisman papers, HLL.2019.004; Berta Green Langston papers, HLL.2019.005.
Thomas Barton Papers (MS 539). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.
Thomas Barton Papers, digital library, School of Library and Information Science, Simmons College.

Custodial History

The Thomas F. Barton Papers were donated to the Holt Labor Library in San Francisco, California around 2013, and were acquired by the Gerth Archives and Special Collections at California State University, Dominguez Hills, in 2019.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no access restrictions on this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director of Archives and Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical materials and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Arrangement

The papers are arranged in two series: Series I. Iraq War 2003-2015, undated; Series II. Vietnam War and Political Organizations, 1964-2005, undated.

Biographical / Historical

Thomas F. Barton was born in 1935 in Indiana. He was active in the Young People's Socialist League (YPSL), a chapter within the Socialist Party, during the 1950s and through the first half of the 1960s. During this time, he was also a member of the Student Peace Union, in which he assisted in organizing the anti-Vietnam War movement in Philadelphia, and an editor of the Young Socialist Review. Barton represented the Chicago Branch of the YPSL at its national convention in 1964, a year by which the chapter began to align more closely with Trotskyism. This ideological shift led to many changes within the organization that ultimately led to its dissolution.
Barton continued to participate in the peace movement throughout the 1960s and 1970s as the east-coast distributor of the anti-war Vietnam GI newsletter with fellow activist Jeff Sharlet, which was circulated to troops deployed in Vietnam as well as those in the Army Reserves in the United States. His participation with the newsletter laid the roots for his later anti-Iraq War activism. In 2003, Barton began publishing the anti-war Traveling Soldier newsletter which was distributed among soldiers deployed in Iraq, as well as Germany, Japan, and various military bases in the United States. Barton also established the Military Project, a committee that grew from the organizing efforts of Traveling Soldier that supported the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq and helped organize soldiers and civilians against the war. The Military Project also organized prisoners against the Iraq War into the Prisoners Against the War section of the committee. In the same year, Barton also began publishing the anti-war GI Special newsletter, later known as Military Resistance, an emailed newsletter that is still being published. The Military Project collaborated with various anti-Iraq War organizations and committees, including Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW), Veterans for Peace (VFP) and the Troops Out Now coalition, to advocate for the end of the Iraq War.
Barton remained active in the socialist and labor movements throughout his life. During the 1970s he published the pro-labor and anti-Vietnam War Wildcat newspaper, in association with the Wildcat group, which sought to organize industrial workers in various cities throughout the United States. He maintained membership in multiple socialist organizations throughout the 1970s and into the 2000s, including the American Socialist Organizing Committee, and published a newspaper of the same name. He was also a shop steward for Local 768, District Council 37, which organized against budget cuts to Medicaid and layoffs made within the Greater Hospital Association of New York (1199) in New York City.
Bibliography:
"Background on Thomas Barton." Thomas Barton Papers (MS 539). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.
Various items throughout the Thomas F. Barton papers, 1964-2015, bulk 2003-2005, HLL.2019.005, Gerth Archives and Special Collections, California State University, Dominguez Hills.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Iraq War, 2003-2011
United States -- History, Military -- 20th century
United States -- History, Military -- 21st century
Vietnam War, 1961-1975 -- United States
Iraq War, 2003-2011 -- Moral and ethical aspects
Veterans -- Political activity -- United States
Iraq War, 2003-2011 -- Protest movements -- United States
Families of military personnel -- Political activity -- United States -- History -- 21st century
Peace movements -- United States -- History -- 21st century
Socialism -- United States -- History -- 20th century

 

Iraq War Series I. 2003-2015, undated 2003-2005

Language of Material: English.

Scope and Contents

Series I. contains subject files comprising correspondence, newsletters articles, and publications regarding the Iraq War and the anti-war movement, as well as files documenting the founding and publishing of GI Special, later called Military Resistance, and Traveling Soldier. The files related to GI Special contain correspondence between Barton and individuals directly impacted by the Iraq war. Also included are minutes, agendas, and correspondence related to the establishment of the Military Project. Of note is correspondence between Barton and Stanley Howard, an incarcerated individual, regarding the Prisoners Against the War section of the Military Project. Correspondence, flyers, and newsletters reflecting the activities, events, and rallies organized by various anti-Iraq War organizations, such as Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW), Veterans for Peace (VFP), and Citizen Soldier, are also present.

Arrangement

Files are arranged alphabetically within each sub-series.
 

Subject Files 2003-2015, undated 2003-2005, undated

Language of Material: English.
box 1, folder 1

Abuse of Troops 2003

Language of Material: English.
box 1, folder 2

Anti-War Movement 2003-2005, undated

Language of Material: English.
box 1, folder 3

Anti-War Veterans 2003, undated

Language of Material: English.
box 1, folder 4

Army Gay Troops undated

Language of Material: English.
box 1, folder 5

Army-Iraq 2003-2005, undated

Language of Material: English.
box 1, folder 6

Army Times 2003

Language of Material: English.
box 1, folder 7

"Bush and White House/War" 2003, undated

Language of Material: English.
box 1, folder 8

"Cindy Sheehan's Texas Vigil," The Washington Spectator, vol. 31, no. 16 2005

Language of Material: English.
box 1, folder 9

Dahr Jamail Testimonial 2005

Language of Material: English.
box 1, folder 10

Family Resistance 2003

Language of Material: English.
box 1, folder 11

Iraq, First Invasion Reports 2003, undated

Language of Material: English.
box 1, folder 12

Iraq, Halliburton 2003

Language of Material: English.
box 1, folder 13

Iraq Resistance (including Worker Communist Party of Iraq) 2003-2005

Language of Material: English.
box 1, folder 14

Iraq Unions 2003-2005

Language of Material: English.
box 1, folder 15

Iraq Veterans Problems Including PTSD 2005

Language of Material: English.
box 1, folder 16

Iraq War, General 2003-2005

Language of Material: English.
box 1, folder 17

Labor Action Newsletter 2003

Language of Material: English.

Scope and Contents

Volume 1, Number 2.
box 1, folder 18

Mark Twain, "War Prayer" 2003

Language of Material: English.
box 1, folder 19

Military Rights undated

Language of Material: English.
box 1, folder 20

Occupation and Misinformation 2003

Language of Material: English.
box 1, folder 21

Oil 2003-2005

Language of Material: English.
box 1, folder 22

"Order of Battle" 2015, undated

Language of Material: English.

Scope and Contents

Contains one photocopy of the cove page of Turning the Tide Vol. 28, No. 4, October-December 2015, and a newsletter from Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW).
box 1, folder 23

Pentagon 2005

Language of Material: English.
box 1, folder 24

Pentagon Conflicts 2003

Language of Material: English.
box 1, folder 25

Troop Organizing, Class 2003, undated

Language of Material: English.
box 2, folder 1

Troops Resistance 2003-2005, undated

Language of Material: English.
box 2, folder 2

"Urban Warfare" 2003

Language of Material: English.

Scope and Contents

Contains article titled "US May Face Cruel Laws of Urban Combat," by Alfred W. McCoy, Boston Globe, accessed on www.truthout.org.
box 2, folder 3

War Times Issue no. 9 2003

Language of Material: English.
 

Newsletters 2003-2005, undated

Language of Material: English.
box 2, folder 4

GI Special: Correspondence 2003-2005

Language of Material: English.
box 2, folder 5

GI Special: Early 2003

Language of Material: English.
box 2, folder 6

GI Special: Publicized 2004, undated

Language of Material: English.
box 2, folder 7

Traveling Soldier: "Binh" [correspondence] 2002-2004, undated

Language of Material: English.
box 2, folder 8

Traveling Soldier: "Binh," [Ralph] Nader undated

Language of Material: English.
box 2, folder 9

Traveling Soldier: Mailing List 2005

Language of Material: English.
box 2, folder 10

Traveling Soldier: Originals 2003-2005

Language of Material: English.

Scope and Contents

Contains issues number 1-9, 11.
 

Organizations and Events 2003-2006, undated

Language of Material: English.
box 2, folder 11

"Bring them home now!" Coordinating Committee undated

Language of Material: English.
box 2, folder 12

Brooklyn Parents for Peace 2005

Language of Material: English.
box 2, folder 13

Campus Anti-War Network (CAN) 2005, undated

Language of Material: English.
box 2, folder 14

Citizen Soldier 2003-2005, undated

Language of Material: English.
box 2, folder 15

Fayetteville [North Carolina] March and Rally 2005, undated

Language of Material: English.
box 2, folder 16

Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO) 2003-2004

Language of Material: English.
box 2, folder 17

Gold Star Mothers for Peace 2005, undated

Language of Material: English.
box 2, folder 18

Harass the Brass 2003

Language of Material: English.
box 2, folder 19

Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) 2003-2005, undated

Language of Material: English.
box 2, folder 20

Kevin Benderman Defense 2005, undated

Language of Material: English.
box 2, folder 21

Memorial Day NYC 2005

Language of Material: English.
box 2, folder 22

Military Families Speak Out (MFSO) 2003

Language of Material: English.
box 2, folder 23

Military Law Task Force 2004

Language of Material: English.

Scope and Contents

Contains On Watch : the official publication of the MLTF. Vol. XVIII, No. 1, Winter 2004.
box 2, folder 24

New York City Labor Against the War (NYC LAW) 2004-2005, undated

Language of Material: English.
box 2, folder 25

Occupation: Dreamland film 2005

Language of Material: English.
box 2, folder 26

Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) 2003-2005, undated

Language of Material: English.
box 2, folder 27

Support Network for Armed Forces Union (SNAFU) 2004

Language of Material: English.
box 2, folder 28

The Theatre of War: A Documentary Film Series, City University of New York (CUNY) undated

Language of Material: English.
box 2, folder 29

Troops Out Now Coalition undated

Language of Material: English.
box 2, folder 30

United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ) 2005, undated

Language of Material: English.
box 2, folder 31

Veterans Against the Iraq War 2003, undated

Language of Material: English.
box 3, folder 1

Veterans Call to Conscience 2003

Language of Material: English.
box 3, folder 2

Veterans for Commonsense 2003-2005

Language of Material: English.
box 3, folder 3

Veterans for Peace (VFP) 2003-2005, undated

Language of Material: English.
box 3, folder 4

War's Registers League (WRL) 2005-2006, undated

Language of Material: English.
box 3, folder 5

Worker's World Party 2000-2004

Language of Material: English.

Scope and Contents

Contains flyers and correspondence regarding the history of the Party and the Party's position on labor.
 

Military Project 2003-2005, undated

Language of Material: English.
box 3, folder 6

Agendas 2005

Language of Material: English.
box 3, folder 7

[Alan] Stolzer Plays 2005, undated

Language of Material: English.
box 3, folder 8

Baquba 2004

Language of Material: English.
box 3, folder 9

Basic Pack 2004, undated

Language of Material: English.
box 3, folder 10

Binh Proposal [organizing proposal] undated

Language of Material: English.
box 3, folder 11

Contributions 2004, undated

Language of Material: English.
box 3, folder 12

Correspondence 2005, undated

Language of Material: English.
box 3, folder 13

Film Resources 2005

Language of Material: English.
box 3, folder 14

Flyers and Handouts 2005

Language of Material: English.
box 3, folder 15

Founding Sign-On 2005

Language of Material: English.
box 3, folder 16

Lawyers 2005

Language of Material: English.
box 3, folder 17

Military Contacts 2005, undated

Language of Material: English.
box 3, folder 18

Minutes 2005

Language of Material: English.
box 3, folder 19

New York National Guard 2005

Language of Material: English.
box 3, folder 20

NYC Reserves undated

Language of Material: English.
box 3, folder 21

Originals 2004, undated

Language of Material: English.
box 3, folder 22

Pre-Committee 2004, undated

Language of Material: English.
box 3, folder 23

Prisoners Against the War 2005

Language of Material: English.
box 3, folder 24

Reports 2005

Language of Material: English.
box 3, folder 25

Rochester 2005

Language of Material: English.
box 3, folder 26

Stanley Howard [correspondence] 2003-2005

Language of Material: English.
box 3, folder 27

Theory undated

Language of Material: English.
box 3, folder 28

Veterans for Peace (VFP) response 2005

Language of Material: English.
 

Vietnam War and Political Organizations Series II. 1964-2005, undated

Language of Material: English.

Scope and Contents

Series II. contains correspondence, articles, and publications that reflect Thomas F. Barton's involvement with the anti-Vietnam War protest movement, and in particular his role as publisher of the Wildcat newspaper and the east-coast distributor of Vietnam GI. Also included are convention documents, newsletters, and correspondence reflecting the activities of various socialist organizations, including the International Socialist Organization (ISO) and the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), as well as publications from organizations such as the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP). One file comprising correspondence, articles, and newsletters documenting New York City's District Council 37's organizing activities is also present.

Arrangement

Files are arranged alphabetically within each sub-series.
 

Vietnam War Protest Movement 1968-2005, undated 1968-1985

Language of Material: English.
box 3, folder 29

Anti-Vietnam War films 2005, undated

Language of Material: English.

Scope and Contents

Contains correspondence and one flyer regarding the films Sir no Sir, and We Gotta Get Out of This Place!
box 4, folder 1

Knutson Vietnam [Wildcat] 1968-1970, 1985, undated

Language of Material: English.
box 4, folder 2

Movement for a Democratic Military 1970

Language of Material: English.

Scope and Contents

Contains one article titled "Cops Attack Anti-War G.I.s : Police smash in door, bust peaceful meeting," re-printed from the Los Angeles Free Press February 13, 1970.
box 4, folder 3

Revolutionary Defeatism [The Politics of Military Defeatism] undated

Language of Material: English.
box 4, folder 4

Vietnam GI 1968-1970, 2004, undated

Language of Material: English.

Scope and Contents

Contains Vietnam GI newsletter, June, 1969, among other newsletters and articles.
box 4, folder 5

Vietnam GI: 1980's 1985-1986, undated

Language of Material: English.
box 4, folder 6

Vietnam GI: Chicago Correspondence 1968-1970, undated

Language of Material: English.
box 4, folder 7

Vietnam GI: Contact Committee 1968-1969, undated

Language of Material: English.
box 4, folder 8

Vietnam GI: Content undated

Language of Material: English.

Scope and Contents

Contains one post-it note.
box 4, folder 9

Vietnam GI: Other Newspapers and Pamphlets 1970-1973, undated

Language of Material: English.
box 4, folder 10

Vietnam Troops and Veterans News Clippings 1967-1978, 2005, undated

Language of Material: English.
box 4, folder 11

Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) 1971, 1985, undated

Language of Material: English.
box 4, folder 12

Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) 2003-2004, undated

Language of Material: English.
box 4, folder 13

Vietnam Veterans Against the War: Anti-Imperialist (VVAW-AI) 2005

Language of Material: English.

Scope and Contents

Contains Storm Warning! Issue no. 50.
 

Socialist Organizations 1993-2005, undated 2003-2005

Language of Material: English.
box 4, folder 14

"Becker" ["Democrats, Republicans and U.S. Hegemony" by Richard Becker] 2004

Language of Material: English.

Scope and Contents

Contains Socialism and Liberation : magazine of the party for socialism and liberation. Volume 1, No. 1, August 2004
box 4, folder 15

Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) 1993, undated

Language of Material: English.
box 5, folder 1

International Socialist Organization (ISO) 2003-2005, undated

Language of Material: English.
box 5, folder 2

International Socialist Organization (ISO) Anti-War 2003-2005, undated

Language of Material: English.
box 5, folder 3

International Socialist Organization (ISO) Discussion Bulletin, no. 1-2 2003

Language of Material: English.
box 5, folder 4

League for the Revolutionary Party (LRP) 2003

Language of Material: English.
box 5, folder 5

Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) 2003

Language of Material: English.

Scope and Contents

Contains "Special Issue" [of the] Revolutionary Worker, Vol. 25, No. 11.
box 5, folder 6

Socialist Publications 1964, undated

Language of Material: English.

Scope and Contents

Contains form letters to subscribers of The American Socialist, as well as a manuscript of "the first chapter for a pamphlet now in the process of being printed for the Young People's Socialist League; by David Komatsu and Scott Spencer, Chicago YSPL."
box 5, folder 7

Socialist Workers Party - UK (SWP- UK) 2004-2005

Language of Material: English.
box 5, folder 8

"Split in the AFL-CIO?" Socialist Action 2005

Language of Material: English.
box 5, folder 9

World Socialist Web Site 2005

Language of Material: English.

Scope and Contents

Contains statement of the Students for Social Equality titled "Hurricane disaster shows the failure of the profit system."
 

Military and Political Subject Files 1964-2005, undated 2003-2005

Language of Material: English.
box 5, folder 10

American Friends Service Committee 1964

Language of Material: English.
box 5, folder 11

Base Locator 2005

Language of Material: English.

Scope and Contents

Contains 2006 Guide to Military Installations Worldwide : More than 650 bases, posts, stations and more. Military Times Media Group, November 2005.
box 5, folder 12

"Black revolts 1960s" 1967

Language of Material: English.

Scope and Contents

Contains "Negro Revolt Echoes to the Ugly Crack of Sniper Fire," Life Vol. 63, No. 4, July 28, 1967.
box 5, folder 13

Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES) 2005

Language of Material: English.
box 5, folder 14

China 1999-2004, undated

Language of Material: English.
box 5, folder 15

"District Council 37" [American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)] 1996, 2001-2003

Language of Material: English.
box 5, folder 16

Dollar Crisis 2003, undated

Language of Material: English.
box 5, folder 17

"Drugs" [Drug Policy Alliance] 2005

Language of Material: English.
box 5, folder 18

Max Watts correspondence 1975, 1990, 2003-2004

Language of Material: English.
box 5, folder 19

Military Video Collection catalog undated

Language of Material: English.
box 5, folder 20

Million Worker March 2005, undated

Language of Material: English.
box 5, folder 21

North Korea 2003

Language of Material: English.
box 5, folder 22

Palestine 2003

Language of Material: English.
box 5, folder 23

"[Ralph] Nader 2000" 2000, undated

Language of Material: English.
box 5, folder 24

Serbia 1999, undated

Language of Material: English.
box 5, folder 25

Solidarity Now 2005

Language of Material: English.
box 5, folder 26

"The Mexican War" by Thomas Corwin, book chapter undated

Language of Material: English.
box 5, folder 27

The Other Israel undated

Language of Material: English.

Scope and Contents

Contains one flyer regarding the publication, which compiled analysis and reports regarding the efforts of the Israeli Peace Movement.
box 5, folder 28

The Richmond Defender : Monthly Newspaper of the Defenders for Freedom, Justice and Equality, Vol. 1, No. 2 2005

Language of Material: English.
box 5, folder 29

US- Europe 2003

Language of Material: English.

Scope and Contents

Contains corresponde
box 5, folder 30

World Trade Organization (WTO) 1999-2000, undated

Language of Material: English.