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Aldino Felicani Sacco-Vanzetti Collection

Overview

Abstract

Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti Correspondence and Writings

Sacco-Vanzetti Defense Committee Records

New Trial League Records

Fred Moore Papers

Defense Attorneys' Correspondence

Aldino Felicani Correspondence and Related Material

Trial Transcripts, Motions, and Affidavits

Manuscripts and Printed Material

Audio-Visual, Memorabilia, Photographs and Posters

Additional Financial Reocrds


Aldino Felicani Sacco-Vanzetti Collection, 1915-1977 | Boston Public Library Archival and Manuscript Finding Aid Database

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Collection Overview

Title: Aldino Felicani Sacco-Vanzetti Collection, 1915-1977Add to your cart.View associated digital content.

Predominant Dates: 1920-1927

Collection Identifier: MS 2030

Primary Creator: Aldino Felicani, 1891-1967

Other Creators: Sacco-Vanzetti Defense Committee

Extent: 36.0 Cubic Feet

Arrangement:

Arranged in ten series:

1. Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti Correspondence and Writings

2. Defense Committee Records

3. New Trial League Records

4. Fred Moore Papers

5. Defense Attorneys’ Correspondence

6. Aldino Felicani Correspondence and Related Material

7. Legal Records

8. Manuscripts and Printed Material

9. Memorabilia, Photographs and Broadsides

10. Additional Financial Records

Subjects: Anarchists, Anarchists -- United States -- 20th century, Associations, institutions, etc. -- Accounting., Baldwin, Roger Nash, 1884-1981., Debs, Eugene V. (Eugene Victor), 1855-1926., Demonstrations -- United States -- 20th century., Dos Passos, John, 1896-1970., Eastman, Max, 1883-1969., Evans, Elizabeth Glendower, 1856-1937., Felicani, Aldino, 1891-1967., Flynn, Elizabeth Gurley., Frankfurter, Felix, 1882-1965., Fuller, Alvan T. (Alvan Tufts), 1878-1958., Immigrants' writings, American., Massachusetts. Supreme Judicial Court., Millay, Edna St. Vincent, 1892-1950., Propaganda -- United States -- 20th century., Radicalism -- United States -- History -- 20th century., Sacco, Nicola, 1891-1927., Sacco-Vanzetti Defense Committee. Records and correspondence., Sacco-Vanzetti Trial, Dedham, Mass., 1921, Thayer, Webster, 1857-1933., Tresca, Carlo, 1879-1943., Trials (Murder) -- Massachusetts -- 20th century., Upton, Sinclair, 1878-1968., Vanzetti, Bartolomeo, 1888-1927.

Languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish;Castilian

Abstract

This collection dates from 1914-1967 (bulk 1920-1927) and documents the efforts of the Sacco-Vanzetti Defense Committee to free Nicola Sacco (1891-1927) and Bartolomeo Vanzetti (1888-1927) from prison after they were found guilty of the murders of Frederick Parmenter and Alessandro Berardelli on July 14, 1920. In particular, the collection documents the committee's fundraising and propaganda campaigns and Fred  Moore's investigation and defense strategies. In addition, the roles of Elizabeth Glendower Evans and Elizabeth Gurley Flynn had in the defense and Aldino Felicani’s creation of the Sacco and Vanzetti Memorial Committee are also documented. Moreover, such subjects as anarchy and anarchists, Italian immigrant radicalism, and political activism are included. The collection contains correspondence, meeting minutes, trial notebooks, financial records, legal documents, photographs, and scrapbooks. Broadsides, the armbands mourners wore at the funeral, Sacco and Vanzetti’s commingled ashes and their death masks are also included.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Aldino Felicani Sacco-Vanzetti Collection spans the years 1914-1967, with the bulk dating from 1920-1927. The collection documents the efforts and activities of the Sacco-Vanzetti Defense Committee to free Nicola Sacco (1891-1927) and Bartolomeo Vanzetti (1888-1927) from prison for the murders of Frederick Parmenter and Alessandro Berardelli, which were committed on April 15, 1920 in Braintree, Massachusetts. In particular, the collection documents the committee's propaganda campaign, Fred Moore's investigation and defense strategies, post-trial proceedings, and the execution of the two men. The efforts, financial and otherwise, made by labor unions, defense organizations, and individuals on behalf of Sacco and Vanzetti are also documented. In addition, Sacco and Vanzetti’s thoughts regarding the guilty verdict and their impending execution are included.

Both Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti wrote more than 200 letters while they were in jail, many of which share common themes, particularly their innocence, the emotional and physical effects of long term imprisonment, and the injustice of the legal system. The letters the two men exchanged between themselves contain news about friends and family, their loyalty to their comrades, and words of support and encouragement. Each man also wrote several letters to members and friends of the committee extending their gratitude for the work that was being done on their behalf, others speaking directly to the historical significance of their fight, and still others that call for mass protests and demonstrations.

Throughout his correspondence, Sacco focuses primarily on the visits from his wife Rose and children Dante and Ines, and how they rejuvenated his spirits. In his letters to Mrs. Jack Cerise, Elizabeth Glendower Evans, and Aldino Felicani, Sacco explains the reasons for his hunger strike, his distrust of Fred Moore, and his conviction that his death will help create a better future for the working class.

Vanzetti corresponded with a number of people including Aldino Felicani, Elizabeth Glendower Evans, his sister Luigia, the Brini family, Alice Stone Blackwell, Roger N. Baldwin, and Eugene and Theodore Debs. The majority of the letters are reflections on the social, political, and religious literature was reading such as Bible, The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, and Why Men Fight by Bertrand Russell.  In other letters, Vanzetti writes about Dedham and Braintree trials and the post-trial procedures, and the active role he played in his defense.

While in prison, Vanzetti wrote 54 essays, articles, autobiographical pieces, and editorials in which espressed his ideas about justice, freedom, the bias of the press, and the life experiences that influenced his decision to become an anarchist. Among these writings are “The Story of a Proletarian Life” and “Memories of My Mother’s Life”. In several essays, Vanzetti put forth his arguments for the necessity of a new trial. These include “What I Would Say to the Jurors in My Defense”, and “What I would Have Said to Thayer, Had He Given Me the Chance”.

The correspondence of the Sacco-Vanzetti Defense Committee documents the efforts and activities generated by the committee, particularly in the areas of fundraising, disseminating propaganda, publicity, and organizing meetings and demonstrations. In addition, the committee’s relationship with the legal defense team, especially Fred Moore and William Thompson, is documented. The participation of labor unions and civil rights organizations, such as the United Mine Workers, the International Labor Defense, the Sons of Italy, and the American Civil Liberties Union is included. Letters written by Mary Donovan, Selma Maximon, and Elizabeth Gurley Flynn report on the organizing that was being done in cities throughout the country, while correspondence from Eugene V. Debs, Eugene Lyons, and Roger Baldwin provide insight into the case from a few of the American radicals who were sympathetic to Sacco and Vanzetti. The letters from Italian anarchists Carlo Tresca and Felice Guadagni are among those that refute the guilty verdict on the basis of political discrimination. Moreover, the efforts of several committees that were established while the men were in jail and after the execution such as the Sacco-Vanzetti Memorial Committee (which was made up of members of the Sacco-Vanzetti Defense Committee), the Committee for the Vindication of Sacco and Vanzetti, and the Citizens National Committee for Sacco and Vanzetti are also documented.

Meeting minutes of the Executive Committee date from 1924-1927 and provide rare insight into how the committee operated. The majority the entries are comprised of interactions between the Sacco-Vanzetti Defense Committee and the New Trial League and its response to Sacco and Vanzetti’s opinions about who should be in handling their defense. Other subjects include reports from field organizers, publicity arrangements, and fundraising matters.

One of the primary responsibilities of the committee was to keep the names of Sacco and Vanzetti from slipping into the back pages of the newspapers. They did this by constantly publishing and disseminating the facts of the crime, the trial, and subsequent post-trial proceedings. Some of the subjects covered in the publications are the trial and guilty verdict, the failure of the judicial process, the inequality of law in Massachusetts, and Judge William Thayer’s ability to conduct a fair trial. Elizabeth Glendower Evans, John Dos Passos, Eugene Lyons, and Upton Sinclair were among the contributing writers for the press releases, the official Sacco-Vanzetti Defense Committee Bulletin, and the “News Service” bulletins. Many untitled and unpublished articles by John Nicholas Beffel, Eugene Lyons, and Sinclair Lewis are also included.

The other important function of the committee was fundraising. Among the several expenses that were incurred over the years were attorney and court fees, the costs of the pre-trial investigation, and the contributions made to Sacco’s family. Other expenses, such as daily operating expenses, salaries of office workers, and fees for expert witness testimonies were paid for by contributions made by union members, individuals, and groups from all over the country, including other Sacco-Vanzetti organizations. For seven years, the committee sent out circular letters requesting donations, sold publications, held mass meetings where hats were passed, and received aid from The American Fund for Public Service, Inc., International Labor Defense, and the Workers Defense Union.

Fred Moore’s correspondence from leaders of the labor movement, radicals, and the progressive press documents the steps he took in transforming the trial from a local matter to an international cause. In addition, it documents his defense strategies, his relationship with Sacco and Vanzetti and the committee, and his resignation. Some of the topics discussed throughout are meeting arrangements, the activities unions and defense organizations were doing on behalf of Sacco and Vanzetti, and the relationships between the New York and Boston Sacco-Vanzetti defense committees.

Moore’s correspondence also includes the in-depth investigation Eugene Lyons (Morris Gebelow) undertook in Italy to find the Italian consulate employee Sacco said he had spoken with on the afternoon the crime occurred, the active role Elizabeth Gurley Flynn had in making decisions for the  committee and for providing the perspective of the American Civil Liberties Union on the case, and Sacco and Vanzetti’s active monitoring of the status of the case. The letters from the field staff, particularly Selma Maximon and Matilda Robbins, document their efforts to organize support with groups in New York and with other sympathizers throughout the United States.

From the beginning of his position as defense counsel to the time he resigned, Moore compiled twelve notebooks containing material he gathered from his investigation of the robbery and murder. The notebooks contain the results of his investigations such as the personal histories of Frank Silva, Jacob Luban, and other known criminals, and further questioning of several witnesses, among them Anna De Falco and Ruth Johnson. Also documented is the history of the get-away car, Vanzetti’s account of his treatment during his years in prison, and the cause of Frederick Parmenter and Alexander Berardelli’s deaths. In addition, testimonies from eyewitnesses, police, and character witnesses, the backgrounds and work histories of Sacco and Vanzetti, and an analysis of witness testimonies in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Bartolomeo Vanzetti trial are recorded.

After Moore’s resignation in late 1924, William Thompson was named chief counsel. Consequently, the majority of the defense attorney’s correspondence, which dates from 1921-1956, is Thompson’s. The correspondence reflects the state of the case prior to Judge Thayer’s denial of the motions for a new trial in October 1921, the strategies Thompson wanted to implement as the options for a new trial became fewer, and the question of James McArney’s representation of Nicola Sacco. Also included are summaries of his conversations with Vanzetti, the procedures necessary to bring the case to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, and the dynamics between Thompson and the committee.

Aldino Felicani’s correspondence dates from 1914-1967 and documents his efforts to prove Sacco and Vanzetti’s innocence both while they were alive and after their deaths. The majority of his correspondence from 1914-1920 is in Italian and contains letters from several anarchists, among them Tomaso Concordia, Norman Thomas di Giovaini, Carlo Tresca, and Erasmo S. Abate. Also included is correspondence from Elizabeth Gurley Flynn. After 1920, Felicani's correspondence reflects his position as treasurer of the committee, his role in the defense of Sacco and Vanzetti, and his formation of the Sacco-Vanzetti Memorial Committee. Moreover, his efforts publish to two magazines, The Lantern and Countercurrents, are documented. Much of the later correspondence with former Committee members, particularly Mary Donovan and Hapgood Powers, Creighton Hill, and Jackson Gardner provide details into their personal lives and careers in later years. Other important correspondents include Vincenzia Vanzetti, who kept Felicani up with the news from Villafalletto and the efforts there to clear Vanzetti’s name, Roger Baldwin of the American Civil Liberties Union, and the authors of the books, television and movie scripts written about Sacco and Vanzetti. The letters and newspaper clippings in this series are not translated.

Interspersed with Felicani's correspondence are several documents which contribute to the history of the committee and Felicani’s role in it. These documents include a piece Felicani wrote about Luigia Vanzetti after her death, which is the only documentation that exists in the collection specifically about her (in Italian), the history of Gutzon Borglum’s memorial sculpture, and the legal document giving Felicani power of attorney by Luigia Vanzetti, which gives explicit instructions concerning the dispersal of Bartolomeo’s ashes. Other notable papers are Felicani’s essays “In the Shadow of the Chair” and “Gardner Jackson: a Memoir of the Sacco-Vanzetti Days” because they chronicle the last hours of Sacco and Vanzetti and the ceremony at Forest Hills Cemetery.

The trial transcripts of the proceedings of Commonwealth of Massachusetts v Bartolomeo Vanzetti, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts v Nicolo Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, are also contained in the collection. Other legal records include the post-trial motions and supplementary motions, appeals, and responses to motions. Subjects cover the prosecution’s claim against Sacco and Vanzetti, the crime, Sacco and Vanzetti’s histories and characters, and the evidence. The legal records in this series are not complete. Included in the Manuscripts and Printed Material series are poems by Babbette Deutsch, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Carl Sandberg, and the majority of Upton Sinclair’s book, Boston. In addition, the series contains post-execution newspaper clippings from Italy, television scripts, and essays.

The trial of Sacco and Vanzetti, their deaths, and funeral are documented through photographs, newspaper clippings and press releases, arm bands, and original art work. Also contained in the series are a number of broadsides from unions and Sacco- Vanzetti defense organizations in Europe and South America, which represent the international response to the plight of the two men. Among these groups are the Comité de Ágication Pro Libertad de Sacco y Vanzetti (Argentina), Le CalVarie de Sacco et de Vanzetti (France), Irish Labour Protest Meeting Against Judicial Murder (Ireland), and the Comitato Pro Ribilitazione di Bartolomeo Vanzetti (Italy). In addition, cartoons from the Daily Worker provide political commentary from the communist perspective, while those from the Boston Post report on the big moments of the trial. The series also contains three scrapbooks: two consisting of newspaper clippings and press releases and one of photographs. The newspaper scrapbooks document the entire history of the trial through the 1960s. The “Publicity” scrapbook includes both clippings from both the mainstream press and the committee’s press. Among the subjects documented in the photograph scrapbook are the crime scene, Sacco and Vanzetti when they are first arrested, and Vanzetti’s fish cart. The loose photographs cover such events as the removal of Sacco and Vanzetti’s bodies from the Charlestown jail, the funeral procession through the North End and Scollay Square, and visits to the jail by Rose Sacco and her children, Mary Donovan, and Luigia Vanzetti.  Additional photographs document the public and personal reactions to the trial and execution of the anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti.  Of note are the photographs that show the public demonstrations and protests that occurred during this time around Boston and in New York, emphasizing police action at these events.  Also included are photographs of their supporters, such as Edna St. Vincent Millay, Jean Longuet, and Madame Séverine, as well as their family members and attorneys.

Collection Historical Note

Chronology:

1920

April 15 - Frederick Parmenter and Alessandro Berardelli are robbed and murdered in South Braintree, Massachusetts.

May 5 -  Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti are arrested for murder and are interviewed by District Attorney Katzmann.

May 9 - Aldino Feliciani and others establish the Sacco-Vanzetti Defense Committee.

Jun 11-August 31 - Indictment, trial, conviction, and sentencing of Vanzetti for December 24, 1919 attempted holdup in Bridgewater, Massachusetts. Fred Moore is hired to defend Sacco and Vanzetti.

September 11 - Sacco and Vanzetti are indicted for murders of Parmenter and Berardelli.

1921

May 31-July 14 - Sacco and Vanzetti trial is heard in Dedham Supreme Court. Both men are convicted of first degree murder.

November 5-8 - Motion for new trial on the weight of the evidence and 1st Supplementary Motion (Ripley) are filed.

December 24 - Motion for new trial is denied by Judge Thayer.

1922-1923

May - Lawyers file six more motions for new trials over eighteen month period.

1924

April 7 - New Trial League is formed by members of the Sacco-Vanzetti Defense Committee.

August 27 - Fred Moore submits formal resignation to the committee.

October 1 - All motions are denied by Judge Thayer.

November 8 - Fred Moore files legal notice of withdrawal as defense counsel.

November 20 - William Thompson assumes responsibility for the defense of Sacco and Vanzetti.

1925

November 18 - Confession of Celestino Madeiros (Carlos Medeiros) for the Braintree  murders.

1926

May 12-26 - Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts affirms conviction of Sacco and Vanzetti. Denies 1st, 2nd, and 5th Supplementary Motions. Thomson files 7th Supplementary Motion (Medeiros).

October 23 - Medeiros motion is denied by Judge Thayer.

1927

April 5 - Supreme Judicial Court affirms denial of Medeiros motion.

April 8 - Sacco and Vanzetti receive death sentence.

May 3 - Sacco and Vanzetti petition Governor Fuller for clemency.

June 1 - Governor Fuller appoints Lowell Committee for clemency investigation.

August 3 - Governor Fuller denies clemency.

August 6-8 - Motion for new trial based on judge's prejudice filed. Judge Motion is denied by Judge Thayer.

August 23 - Sacco and Vanzetti are executed. The Citizens National Committee is formed in order to prevent the execution and create national interest in the case. Sacco-Vanzetti National League (formerly the Citizens National Committee) is established tokeep the memory of Sacco and Vanzetti alive.

1957

25th anniversary of the execution of Sacco  and Vanzetti.

1967

Aldino Felicani dies.

1977

Governor Michael Dukakis issues proclamation calling for the removal of “any stigma from [Sacco and Vanzetti’s] names . . .”

Historical Note:

On April 15, 1920,  paymaster Frederick Parmenter and security guard Alessandro Berardelli were robbed and murdered at the Slater-Morrill Shoe Company factory in Braintree, Massachusetts. On May 5, Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti -- two Italian immigrants and anarchists -- were arrested for the crime. On May 9, Aldino Felicani, a friend of Vanzetti’s, along with other Italian radicals, established the Sacco-Vanzetti Defense Committee in Boston’s North End. On September 11, 1920, Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were charged with robbing and murdering Parmenter and Berardelli.  Prior to their arrests, Felicani published l'agitazione, a small newspaper that, after the arrest, became the Committee’s official organ. Felicani also acted as the committee's treasurer and chief publicist. More importantly; however, Felicani was the liaision between a group of Italian anarchists and a team of increasingly conservative lawyers.

The purpose of the Sacco-Vanzetti Defense Committee was two-fold: to keep the names of Sacco and Vanzetti in the public consciousness and to free them from jail. They did this by raising money to pay for the men’s legal expenses and publishing and disseminating news items which refuted every aspect of prosecution’s case. Fundraising efforts included sending subscription lists to labor unions and other progressive organizations, selling publications, and holding meetings featuring well known labor leaders. Over the years, radicals, civil rights leaders, and activists such as Joseph Ettor, Frank Lopez, Mary Donovan, Jackson Gardner, Hapgood Powers, Selma Maximon, Elizabeth Glendower Evans, and Creighton Hill all worked for the cause.

In August 1920, at the urging of Italian anarchist Carlo Tresca and American Civil Liberties Union founder Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, the committee hired labor attorney Fred Moore to lead the defense team of William G. Thompson and Thomas and James McAnarney. Other lawyers who represented Sacco and Vanzetti were Arthur D. Hill, who was retained to make final arguments, and Herbert Ehermann.

Fred Moore, who had a role in the Lawrence mills strike 0f 1912 (Bread and Roses strike), based part of his defense strategy on transforming a local criminal trial into an international cause. His connections with prominent socialist and labor leaders enabled him to enlist the help of many liberal, radical, and progressive organizations in the country. The United Mine Workers, International Ladies Garment Union, and the International Workers of the World were a few of many unions whose membership contributed substantially to the defense of the two men. Financial backing from such progressive organizations as the International Labor Defense Office and the American Fund for Public Service made it possible for the committee to do its work. The American Civil Liberties Union, the New England Civil Liberties Union, and the League for Democratic Control were among the the civil rights organizations that were active in the movement to free Sacco and Vanzetti.

In addition to these organizations, Moore enlisted the help of writers and intellectuals such as John Dos Passos, Eugene Lyons, and Upton Sinclair, who wrote articles and stories for The Nation, The New Republic, and The Federated Press Service, thereby keeping Sacco and Vanzetti headlines in the radical press for seven years. In addition, John Dos Passos and Upton Sinclair also wrote novels about the case. Moore also brought the case to the attention of prominent socialist leaders such as Eugene V. Debs, who became an important figure in the campaign to free the two men. Given the amount of publicity that Moore generated together with the fact that Sacco and Vanzetti were immigrants, it did not take long for laborers and leftist organizations throughout Europe and South America to form their own Sacco and Vanzetti defense committees.

On July 14, 1921 Sacco and Vanzetti were found guilty of robbery and murder. From November 1921-November 1923, Moore and the defense team filed seven motions for new trials. In the summer of 1924, the New Trial League was formed by Committee members Elizabeth Glendower Evans, Selma Maximon, John S. Codman, and John Van Vaerenwyck. The sole purpose of this group was to raise money for a new trial. On October 1, 1924, Judge Thayer denied all motions for a new trial. The New Trial League disbanded shortly after and gave the money it collected to the Sacco-Vanzetti Defense Committee.

For the next three years, the committee continued to raise money and publish its manifestos, and Fred Moore continued to investigate leads. One such investigation occurred in Italy, where he sent Eugene Lyons (Morris Gebelow) to examine the customs agent who spoke to Sacco on the day of the murder. Fred Moore resigned his position in 1924 and William Thompson became chief counsel. Thompson made numerous attempts to overturn the verdict, including filing a motion for a new trial in light of the confession to the murders by convicted criminal Celestino Madeiros in May 1926. The death sentence, which was handed down on April 9, 1927, met with world-wide protest causing Governor Alvan T. Fuller to postpone the executions and establish an advisory committee, the Lowell Committee, to investigate the possibility of clemency.

The failure of the Lowell Committee to recommend clemency resulted in demonstrations all over the world, and although Fuller granted a ten day stay during which time several more appeals were made on behalf of the men, nothing could be done. Sacco and Vanzetti were executed on August 23, 1927 in the Charlestown State Prision in Charlestown, Massachusetts. On August 28, 1927, the funeral service for Sacco and Vanzetti was held in Boston’s Forest Hills Cemetary. Mary Donovan gave the eulogy.

Soon after the funeral, Aldino Felicani along with Creighton Hill, Hapgood Powers, Mary Donovan, and Gardner Jackson established the Sacco-Vanzetti Memorial Committee. The purpose of memorial committee was similar to that of the defense committee: to keep the names of Sacco and Vanzetti from fading from public memory. They did this by organizing memorial meetings to commorate the anniversaries of the executions. In addition, they made plans for Freedom House, a memorial building they wanted to be constructed in Boston near the Massachusetts State House. In order to pay for the building, Gardner Jackson approached sculptor Gutzon Borglum to make a bas relief of Sacco and Vanzetti, which they hoped would produce enough subscriptions to underwrite the cost of the project. At the first memorial meeting on August 23, 1928, the plaster rendering of the sculpture was unveiled. Considered part of the Felicani collection, the rendering was installed in the entrance way of the Rare Books Department of the Boston Public Library in 1979.

Although the Freedom House was never built, the memorial committee continued to work to clear the men’s names by holding anniversary meetings, publishing articles and memoirs, and appearing at speaking engagements. In addition, Felicani published two magazines - The Lantern, which was inspired by Sacco and Vanzetti and the anti-fascist Countercurrents.

To mark the fiftieth anniversary of their deaths, Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis issued a proclamation which stated that Sacco and Vanzetti’s trial was prejudiced against them because of their ethnicity and political beliefs and that given the limited scope of the appellate review, they should have been granted another trial. Because of this, Chapter 341 of the Acts of 1939 was adopted, which permitted the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court to order a new trial both because the verdict was contrary to the law and because “it was against the weight of the evidence, contradicted by newly discovered evidence” and also “for any other reason that justice may require.” Finally, Governor Dukakis declared August 23, 1977 to be “Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti Memorial Day.” As of 2009, there has been no public memorial dedicated to Sacco and Vanzetti.

Subject/Index Terms

Anarchists
Anarchists -- United States -- 20th century
Associations, institutions, etc. -- Accounting.
Baldwin, Roger Nash, 1884-1981.
Debs, Eugene V. (Eugene Victor), 1855-1926.
Demonstrations -- United States -- 20th century.
Dos Passos, John, 1896-1970.
Eastman, Max, 1883-1969.
Evans, Elizabeth Glendower, 1856-1937.
Felicani, Aldino, 1891-1967.
Flynn, Elizabeth Gurley.
Frankfurter, Felix, 1882-1965.
Fuller, Alvan T. (Alvan Tufts), 1878-1958.
Immigrants' writings, American.
Massachusetts. Supreme Judicial Court.
Millay, Edna St. Vincent, 1892-1950.
Propaganda -- United States -- 20th century.
Radicalism -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
Sacco, Nicola, 1891-1927.
Sacco-Vanzetti Defense Committee. Records and correspondence.
Sacco-Vanzetti Trial, Dedham, Mass., 1921
Thayer, Webster, 1857-1933.
Tresca, Carlo, 1879-1943.
Trials (Murder) -- Massachusetts -- 20th century.
Upton, Sinclair, 1878-1968.
Vanzetti, Bartolomeo, 1888-1927.

Administrative Information

Repository: Boston Public Library Archival and Manuscript Finding Aid Database

Access Restrictions: Collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions:

Items in this collection may be subject to copyright restrictions. The Boston Public Library does not hold copyright on the material in this collection. Researchers are responsible for identifying and contacting the persons or organizations that hold copyright.

When reproducing material from this collection please include the credit line "Courtesy of the Trustees of the Boston Public Library/Rare Books."

Technical Access Note: Researchers are unable to view 16mm films and VHS recordings.

Acquisition Method: The Aldino Felicani Sacco-Vanzetti Defense Committee Records were donated to the Boston Public Library by Aneto and Arthur Felicani, March 1979 .

Preferred Citation: Aldino Felicani Sacco-Vanzetti Collection, MS 2030. Rare Books and Manuscripts Department, Boston Public Library. Courtesy of the Trustees of the Boston Public Library.

Processing Information: This collection was processed in two phases. In phase one, the correspondence and writings of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were processed. In addition, the majority of correspondence of the Sacco and Vanzetti Defense Committee, Fred Moore's correspondence, Aldino Felicani's correspondence, and the loose photographs were also processed. This material was arranged in the early 1980s by the staff of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Department. No changes were made in the original order of the material. The remainder of the unprocessed material consisted of the papers the New Trial League, defense attorneys' correspondence, financial records and remaining correspondence of the Sacco-Vanzetti Defense Committee, trial transcripts and pre-trial investigation files, Fred Moore's trial notebooks, manuscripts and printed material. Broadsides, artwork, and memorabilia were also integrated into the collection. The second phase was completed by the staff of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Department in 2009.

Finding Aid Revision History: Updated by Kimberly Reynolds, October 2009

Other Note:

Collection material in English, French, Italian, and Spanish. English translations of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti’s letters are available.

Location Guide:

1. Sacco and Vanzetti Correspondence and Manuscripts - Boxes: 1-5

2. Defense Committee Records - Boxes: 6-30, 71-72, Map Case 3

3. New Trial League Records - Boxes: 31

4. Fred Moore Papers - Boxes: 32-47, 72

5. Defense Team Correspondence - Boxes: 48

6. Aldino Felicani Correspondence and Related Material - Boxes: 49-53, 61

7. Trial Transcripts, Motions, and Affidavits - Boxes: 53-58

8. Manuscripts and Printed Material - Boxes: 59-60

9. Memorabilia and Photographs - Boxes: 61-66, Vault, Map Case 3, Vertical File


Box and Folder Listing


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[Series 1: Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti Correspondence and Writings, 1916-1928],
[Series 2: Sacco-Vanzetti Defense Committee Records, 1914-1967],
[Series 3: New Trial League Records, 1924],
[Series 4: Fred Moore Papers, 1919-1924],
[Series 5: Defense Attorneys' Correspondence, 1921-1956],
[Series 6: Aldino Felicani Correspondence and Related Material, 1914-1967],
[Series 7: Trial Transcripts, Motions, and Affidavits, 1921-1927],
[Series 8: Manuscripts and Printed Material, n.d., 1920-1963],
[Series 9: Audio-Visual, Memorabilia, Photographs and Posters, n.d., 1920-1959, 2006],
[Series 10: Additional Financial Reocrds],
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Series 10: Additional Financial ReocrdsAdd to your cart.
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Includes Financial statement from 1920-1925. 2 s. (2 p.)
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Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti Correspondence and Writings, 1916-1928],
[Series 2: Sacco-Vanzetti Defense Committee Records, 1914-1967],
[Series 3: New Trial League Records, 1924],
[Series 4: Fred Moore Papers, 1919-1924],
[Series 5: Defense Attorneys' Correspondence, 1921-1956],
[Series 6: Aldino Felicani Correspondence and Related Material, 1914-1967],
[Series 7: Trial Transcripts, Motions, and Affidavits, 1921-1927],
[Series 8: Manuscripts and Printed Material, n.d., 1920-1963],
[Series 9: Audio-Visual, Memorabilia, Photographs and Posters, n.d., 1920-1959, 2006],
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