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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Vesta and Sam Finley, July 22, 1975. Interview H-0267. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

National union leaders

Sam briefly describes the various national union leaders who came to Marion and the impressions they made on the local union members.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Vesta and Sam Finley, July 22, 1975. Interview H-0267. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

MARY FREDERICKSON:
You said that the organizers came in and told people that there were better conditions, and how they shouldn't be living like that. But you said the people went out and sought organizers, tried to get an organizer to come in here and form a union.
SAM FINLEY:
They just kept tightening down on people. And Roy Price, and Lee and another fellow, Ashton, talked to a man over there at the labor camper. And he couldn't help us much, but he told us where to go to find this union organizer, Alfred Hoffman. There was a strike at that time in Elizabethtown, Tenn. We went over there to find out what to do, and he come back with us, and started to organize. Well, they took in anybody that wanted to join-that was always done. But he did it.
MARY FREDERICKSON:
What was Alfred Hoffman like? What kind of guy was he?
SAM FINLEY:
Well, whatever he thought, that's what he said. He didn't care who it is. He was all fire in making speeches; he weighed about three hundred pounds.
VESTA FINLEY:
[laughter] They called him Papa Hoffman.
SAM FINLEY:
faster than anybody I ever saw.
VESTA FINLEY:
[laughter] But he was a good speaker.
SAM FINLEY:
He was good at making speeches.