Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Guide to the Thomas J. Mooney Collection, 1917-1918
Consult repository  
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (55.54 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Related Collections

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Thomas J. Mooney Collection,
    Date (inclusive): 1917-1918
    Creator: Mooney, Thomas J., 1882-1942
    Extent: 5 linear inches
    Repository: Henry Madden Library (California State University, Fresno).

    Sanoian Special Collections Library.
    Fresno, California
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information

    Access Restrictions

    The collection is open for research.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Thomas J. Mooney Collection, Sanoian Special Collections Library, California State University, Fresno.


    Known worldwide as the scapegoat of anti-unionists, Thomas Joseph Mooney was falsely accused for bombing the Preparedness Day Parade in San Francisco on July 16, 1916. Mooney, a Socialist union activist and organizer, had previously been involved in an ugly strike against the Pacific Gas and Electric Company. This put him under immediate suspicion for the bombing even though it was later proved that he was no where near the actual bomb site during the parade. Mooney's wife, Rena, Warren Billings, Israel Weinberg, and Edward Nolan were also tried for the bombing but only Billings and Mooney were convicted. Mooney received the death sentence in 1917 and spent the next twenty-two years in prison despite outrage from around the world and evidence that many of the witnesses who testified against him had committed perjury, especially F.C. Oxman.
    Culbert Olson, governor of California, officially pardoned Thomas Mooney in 1939.

    Scope and Content

    The Thomas J. Mooney collection measures 5 linear inches and dates from 1917 to 1918. The collection centers around the trials and is comprised of mostly legal documents.
    The letter is written by Webb, the Attorney General of State of California after his discovery of F.C. Oxman's perjury. He also stated that Mooney had been tried at a time when there was widespread prejudice against and suspicion of socialists because of previous industrial conflicts. The report by District Attorney C.M. Fickert outlines what he believes to be the factors that led to the conviction of Mooney and Billings, men whom he believed to be innocent.

    Related Collections

    • Title: Elmer Austin Benson Papers,
      Date: 1931-1963

      Minnesota Historical Society

      Banker, politician. U.S. Senator, and Governor of Minnesota with papers relating to Benson's support of the pardon for Thomas Mooney.
    • Title: John Frederick Finerty Papers,
      Date: 1910-1961

      University of Oregon Library

      Lawyer, with files for cases involving Thomas Mooney.
    • Title: Joseph Labadie Collection

      University of Michigan, Library, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections

      Contains material on Thomas Mooney.
    • Title: Thomas J. Mooney Collection,
      Date: 1916-1935

      University of California, Los Angeles, Research Library, Special Collections
    • Title: Thomas J. Mooney Collection

      University of California, Berkeley, Bancroft Library
    • Title: Tom Mooney Collection

      New College of California, Holt Labor Library