In addition to manuscripts and documents generated by Morris Evenson himself, the collection contains a large amount of originals
or copies of the Bay Area Painters Union records covering the years when Evenson was an official and during his retirement.
These were documents which Evenson felt were important enough to copy and keep. The attached Series Description sets forth
the arrangement of the Collection.
Evenson was born in Wisconsin in 1920, but spent his childhood school years in St. Paul, Minnesota. He dropped out of school
in the ninth grade. Later he wrote, "It took both his hands to count the unions he had been a member of--Teamos, Seamen, Electrical
(Workers) in a radio factory, a busboy in the Culinary Workers, a switchman in the Railroad Brotherhood, a coffin maker in
the Carpenters Union, and a plastic molder in the Machinists..."
1 and the Painters Union. He claimed that it was his life as a merchant seaman in the National Maritime Union (NMU) which continued
his education, teaching him about unions and different political points of view.
2 It was as a merchant seaman in the NMU that he served his country during World War II. By 1948, Evenson had identified himself
with the "left-wingers" in the Union, and became a victim of the purge of communists and their sympathizers by NMU President
Joseph Curran. He was in New Orleans when he was "brought up on charges and expelled" from the union.
3 Evenson moved to San Francisco in 1948 and, in 1952, joined the Painters Union Local 1158. 1. Morris Evenson, The Brotherhood of Blood, p. 28Dow Wilson's life had many parallels with Evenson. He was born in 1926 in St. Paul, Minnesota. Like Evenson, his formal education
ended in the ninth grade. In 1942, at age 16, he also went to sea as a member of the National Maritime Union. Like Evenson,
he was charged by the NMU leadership of being a communist; however, he successfully fought the charges while acting as his
own attorney. Wilson left the NMU in the early 1950s, became a house painter and a member of Painters Union Local 19 in San
Francisco. Wilson and Evenson had known about each other in the NMU, but did not meet until they became union brothers in
the San Francisco Painters locals. Wilson was elected a business representative in Local 19 and was also in the caucus working
for the amalgamation of the two painters locals. When the amalgamated local was chartered, Wilson was elected the first Local
4 Recording Secretary--the Local's most important officer.
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to the Director of the Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf
of the Labor Archives & Research Center as the owner of the physical items and is not intended
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obtained by the reader.