Colored National Labor Union (1869)

481 9th St NW
Washington, DC, US

Category: Labor Organizations - historic

Used in the following map:

DC Labor Map

(W side of 9th between E & F; now a freeway; closest site is L'Enfant Plaza) At this site -- Union League Hall -- in December, 1869, a national convention of black workers met in Union League Hall and founded the CNLU. Over several days, the 159 delegates elected Baltimore caulker Isaac Myers president, adopted a broad platform covering relations between labor and capital, education, and other issues, and developed plans to build the organization. The need for a separate organization of black workers was underscored by their exclusion from existing trade unions, including that of Lewis H. Douglass (son of Frederick Douglass) from the Printers Union. The following year the CNLU made the weekly "New National Era" its national publication and named Frederick Douglass (see 43, 48) as editor. (CNLU duration and impact?)
- Breier Volume 1, pages 541 & Dubois (J Garlock)