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Nat Ganley and Saul Wellman Papers

Identifier: LP000308

Scope and Content

The Ganley-Wellman Collection contains clippings, reports, speeches, lecture notes, and election material relating to the Communist Party of Michigan, Detroit, and the national organization—mostly in the 1940s. The college lecture material deals with the relationship between labor and Communism and Marxist-Leninist theory on dialectical materialism and political economy.

Important subjects in the collection: Communist Party in WWII Labor and Communism African-Americans and Communism Smith Act


  • 1945 - 1953


Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.


Collection is open for research.


Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials.


Nat Ganley, born Nathan Kaplan in 1919, was an active Communist most of his life, serving early in the Communist youth movement and in the 194 0s on the National Committee of the Communist Party. Ganley was active in the labor movement too, helping to organize the National Textile Workers in New England; later in Detroit he helped found UAW Local 155 and edited its newspaper. He used the name Ganley upon moving to Detroit in 1934 hoping to hide his identity from area employers. He was convicted in 1954 for violation of the Smith Act but a U.S. appeals court later overturned the ruling upon a rehearing ordered by the U.S. Supreme Court. Ganley died in 1969. Saul Wellman, Ganley's friend, also was active in the Michigan Communist Party. Wellman, a Spanish Civil War veteran, worked to promote Communism within Detroit auto plants. He, too, was tried under the Smith Act. Wellman remained active in left-wing politics in Detroit into the 1970s.


2 Linear Feet (4 MB)


Nat Ganley and Saul Wellman were both active in the Communist Party, particularly in Michigan, and were both tried under the Smith Act. Their papers, consist of clippings, reports, speeches, lecture notes, and election materials, relating primarily to Communist Party conventions, committee meetings, anti-left legislation, the House Un-American Activities Committee, the Taft-Hartley Act, and the relationships between African Americans and labor and communism and labor.


Arranged in 1 series – Series 1 (Boxes 1-4). Folders are arranged alphabetically.


The papers of Nat Ganley and Saul Wellman were placed in the Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs in 1969 and were opened for research in 1993.

Related Materials

Nat Ganley Papers, Saul Wellman Book Collection

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Walter P. Reuther Libraryin 1993.
Guide to the Nat Ganley and Saul Wellman Papers
Processed by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA