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Nelson, Elba Chase, 1889-1967



  • Existence: 1889 - 1967

Elba Chase Nelson was born Elba Korb in Latvia in 1889. She came to the United States in 1903. As a young women, she and her husband were active in labor union politics in Massachusetts. Both were members of the Socialist Party of that state before moving to New Hampshire in 1915. Later, in the 1920s, they became members of the Communist Party, working for the rights and welfare of the farmers and industrial workers of the nation. In 1933, after her husband's death Nelson was chosen to take his place as Party Secretary for the state of New Hampshire. She ran for Governor on the Communist ticket in 1934, 1938 and 1940. In 1937, she married Charles I. Nelson and both remained interested in the causes of labor and peace and continued to work for both. In 1946, Nelson became a candidate for the Governor's Council. In 1953, she was subpoenaed by the Wyman Commission to answer questions about subversive activities. She was also called before the MacCarthy Committee. In 1961, with the revision of the Party doctrine under Joseph Stalin, Nelson left both the Party and the secretaryship. She remained affiliated with the Chinese and Albanian Communist parties until her death in 1967.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Elba Nelson papers

Identifier: MS-70
Overview Elba Chase Nelson (1889-1967), Communist activist. The collection contains papers relating to her activities as a member of the Communist Party of New Hampshire, her bid for governor, her involvement in the Farmers' March, Washington, D.C., in 1936 and in the Peace Pilgrimage, Washington, D.C., in 1951. Legal papers concerning her appearance before Louis C. Wyman, Attorney General of the State of New Hampshire are also included.