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Frank Little

Page history last edited by Marcella Walter 3 years ago

Frank Little was an American labor who was lynched  in Butte, Montana , for his union and anti-war activities. He joined the Industrial Workers of the World in 1906, organizing miners, lumberjacks, and oil field workers.  He spent his life standing up for what he believed and facing incredible opposition and conflict—free speech, the right of workers to organize for safer and better conditions, opposition to war.  Thousands lined the route of his funeral procession, which was followed by 3500 more persons.  He was buried in Butte's Mountain View Cemetery. His grave marker reads "Slain by capitalist interests for organizing and inspiring his fellow men."   As students explore his life and the causes he championed, they can examine whether compromise would have been an effective strategy and whether he and others employed it and, if so, what form it took.


Secondary Sources:


Fritz, Harry;  Murphy, Mary;  Swartout, Robert.  Montana Legacy: Essays on History, People, and Place. Helena: Montana Historical Society, 2002.


Hammett, Dashiell.  Red Harvest.  Many editions available.


Hellman, Scoundrel Time. Many editions available.


Malone, Michael P. The Battle for Butte: Mining and Politics on the Western Frontier, 1864-1906. Montana Historical Society, 1997.


Montana the Magazine of Western History.  Use this searching page to find articles on Frank Little, socialism, and the Industrial Workers of the World.  http://svcalt.mt.gov/his/magazine/ReferenceIndex.asp  Or, when you are at the Montana Historical Society, use the library reference materials.


Stead, ArnoldAlways on Strike: Frank Little and the Western Wobblies. Chicago: Haymarket Press. 2014.



Primary Sources:


Primary and Secondary Sources on the Web:


Baumler, Ellen.  Soundcloud presentation on Frank Little.  https://soundcloud.com/montana-historical-society/murder-of-frank-little


Carroll, Rory. "The mysterious lynching of Frank Little: activist who fought inequality and lost". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Limited. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/sep/21/mysterious-lynching-of-frank-little-equality-activist


Everett, George.  “When Toil Meant Trouble:  Butte’s Labor Heritage.” 



Pauli, Hunter.  “Who Killed Frank Little.”  Montana Standard,  August 1, 2016.  http://mtstandard.com/crime-and-courts/who-killed-frank-little-dozens-fingered-over-the-past-years/article_5325e96e-0ad1-5136-bb74-6be091a42d7a.html


Richards, Paul.  “Frank Little and the Speculator Mine Disaster.” Video clip from the 1917 film “Perch of the Devil.”  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0zVuy0m66E



Vertical Files at the Montana Historical Society:


Industrial Workers of the World (2 folders)

  • Articles

Little, Frank


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