MA 11


1887, undated


0.42 linear feet (1 document case)


The Farmers Alliance was an organized agrarian economic movement amongst U.S. farmers that flourished in the 1880s. Despite its failure, it is regarded as the precursor to the United States Populist Party, which grew out of the ashes of the Alliance in 1892. This collection is composed of an address and proceeding from December 1887 convention of the South Dakota Farmers Alliance.

Historical Note

In Chicago, Milton George, the editor of the Western Rural, had been denouncing railroads as discriminatory and a menace to the nation. He organized what became known as the National Farmers' Alliance. In February 1881, farmers in Yankton County obtained a charter for the first alliance in Dakota Territory. Spurred by a drop in wheat prices in 1884, the number of territorial alliances grew and mass meetings in Clark, Huron, Mellette and Redfield were soon denouncing railroads and demanding their regulation. In January 1885, a territorial railroad commission was created, although vigorous opposition left the new agency without any power to establish freight rates.

In February 1885, alliance delegates from 11 counties in Dakota gathered in Huron to form the Dakota Farmers' Alliance, affiliated with the National Farmers' Alliance. The movement grew rapidly and by mid-summer the number of local alliances in the territory had tripled.

Content Notes

The South Dakota Farmers Alliance Records consists of an address of President Loucks, proceedings from a convention in 1887, and an advertisement for A Book for Farmers.

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South Dakota State University Archives and Special Collections, Hilton M. Briggs Library, Brookings, South Dakota.


Copyright restrictions apply in different ways to different materials. Many of the documents and other historical materials in the Archives are in the public domain and may be reproduced and used in any way. There are other materials in the Archive carrying a copyright interest and must be used according to the provisions of Title 17 of the U.S. Code. The Archive issues a warning concerning copyright restrictions to every researcher who requests copies of documents. Although the copyright law is under constant redefinition in the courts, it is ultimately the responsibility of the researcher to properly use copyrighted material.