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Finding Aid File

Guide to the Jesús Colón Collection, BCMS.0048

Summary Information


    Brooklyn Public Library - Brooklyn Collection


    Colón , Jesús, 1901-1974


    Jesús Colón Collection




    1917-1969, bulk 1930-1965


    1.83 Linear feet , 1 legal size document box and 1 oversize flat box.


    Brooklyn Collection Morgue, Shelf 11.3



    Preferred Citation

    This collection should be cited as the Jesús Colón Collection, Brooklyn Public Library – Brooklyn Collection.


    Materials collected by Puerto Rican author, activist, and labor organizer Jesús Colón. Materials cover various labor, political and social organizations in New York.

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Biographical Note

Jesús Colón was born in 1901 in Cayey, Puerto Rico to a working class family. As a teenager he moved to San Juan, where he joined the city’s new Socialist Party and took on leadership roles in his high school’s journal and literary society. At sixteen he moved in Brooklyn, arriving aboard the S.S. Carolina to live with his older brother, Joaquin.

Colón faced difficulty finding employment in New York, working a number of odd jobs including dockworker and dishwasher. He earned his high school degree by attending night classes at Boys High School and took college courses at St. John’s University. During this time he became active in the New York Socialist Party, becoming a founding member of the Party’s Puerto Rican Committee.

By the late 1920s Colón was a regular contributor to various newspapers in both New York and Puerto Rico, occasionally writing under the pseudonyms Miquis Tiquis and Pericles Espada. Over the next decades he contributed articles and columns to papers such as Liberación, Vida Obrera, Gráfico, and  La Tribuna. By 1955 he was also contributing regular columns to the Communist publications  Daily Worker and the  Daily World.

In addition to opinion and news he also wrote poetry and short stories. His most recognized work, “A Puerto Rican in New York and Other Sketches” was published by Mainstream Publishers in 1961. The book is an autobiographical collection of short stories documenting his experience and observations as a Puerto Rican immigrant in New York. It’s recognized as one of the first English language books about the Puerto Rican experience by a Puerto Rican author.

Colón also worked as a political activist and labor organizer. He co-founded organizations such as La Liga Puertorriqueña e Hispana and Alianza Obrera Puertorriqueña and served as head of the Spanish speaking lodges of the International Workers Order. Colón ran for office several times, for assemblyman and for city council under the American Labor Party, and in 1969 for city comptroller under the Communist Party. Colón died in May 1974 in New York City.

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Scope and Contents

The bulk of the collection consists of material collected by Jesús Colón from the various political and labor organizations he was affiliated with. Fliers, invitations and event programs make up the majority of these materials. Newspapers with articles and columns contributed by Colón are also included.

A smaller portion of the collection includes group photographs at parties and rallies and a small portrait of Emilia Colón. Correspondence does not include personal notes, only items concerning various organizations and their members.

Items in this collection are in Spanish and English.

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This collection is arranged in four series by type:

Series I: Political and Social Organizations are arranged in folders alphabetically by organization, with items in each folder arranged chronologically whenever possible. Folders 10-12 contain miscellaneous items arranged by type. Oversize items from this series have been separated and housed in box 2.

Series II: Correspondence is arranged chronologically.

Series III: Newspapers are arranged alphabetically by publication title. La Voz de Puerto Rico has been separated and housed in box 1.

Series IV: Photographs are grouped by size and arranged chronologically whenever possible.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Brooklyn Public Library - Brooklyn Collection , 2018

10 Grand Army Plaza
Brooklyn, NY, 11238
[email protected]


This collection is located in the Brooklyn Collection at Brooklyn Public Library’s Central Branch at Grand Army Plaza. The collection may only be used in the library and is not available through interlibrary loan. Requests to view the collection must be made at least 48 hours in advance of visit.


While many items in the Brooklyn Collection are unrestricted, we do not own reproduction rights to all materials. Be aware of the several kinds of rights that might apply: copyright, licensing and trademarks. The researcher assumes all responsibility for copyright questions.


This collection was donated by Jesús Colón, circa 1965.

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Related Materials

Brooklyn Clipping Files- Hispanic Americans. Puerto Ricans

Colón, Jesús. A Puerto Rican in New York, and other sketches. Arno Press. 1975 [c1961]

Colon, Ramon. Carlos Tapia : a Puerto Rican hero in New York. Vantage Press. 1976

New York (N.Y.). Department of City Planning. Puerto Rican New Yorkers in 1990. 1994

Opie, Frederick Douglass. Upsetting the apple cart : Black-Latino coalitions in New York City from protest to public office. Columbia University Press. 2015

Related Materials Held at Other New York City Institutions:

Jesús Colón Papers at Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños, Hunter College, CUNY

Clara Colón Papers at Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños, Hunter College, CUNY

The Puerto Rican Oral History Project at the Brooklyn Historical Society

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Controlled Access Headings


  • Hispanic Americans--Newspapers
  • Hispanic Americans--Politics and government
  • Puerto Ricans--New York (State)--New York

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Collection Inventory

Series I: Political and Social Organizations, Box 1 

Folder 1: American Labor Party , circa 1935-1954 

Folder 2: Brooklyn Tenants, Welfare and Consumers Council , circa 1945 

Folder 3: Communist Party , circa 1953-1955 

Folder 4: Democratic Clubs , 1925-1940 

Folder 5: The Dutch Benevolent Association , 1932-1935 

Folder 6: Liga Puertorriqueña e Hispana , circa 1926-1940 

Folder 7: Sociedad Fraternal Cervantes , 1947-1950 

Folder 8: Unión Cívica Puertorriqueña , 1934 

Folder 9: Vanguardia Puertorriqueña and International Workers Order , circa 1938-1939 

Folder 10: Programs, Miscellaneous 1933-1964 

Folder 11: Invitations, Miscellaneous 1938-1964 

Folder 12: Fliers, Miscellaneous circa 1932-1964 

Box 2, Folder 7: Oversize Political and Social Organizations , circa 1935 

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Series II: Correspondence, Box 1 

Folder 13: Correspondence , circa 1934-1969 

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Series III: Newspapers, Box 2 

Folder 1: El Boletin , 1931 (Aug., Sept.) 

Folder 2: El Curioso , 1934 (Oct.) 

Folder 3: Frente Popular , 1939 (June) 

Folder 4: Liberación , 1917 (Oct.) 

Folder 5: La Nueva Voz , 1963 (Jan.) 

Folder 6: La Tribuna , 1929 (Nov.) 

Box 1, Folder 14: La Voz de Puerto Rico en E.E.U.U. , 1956 (July) 

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Series IV: Photographs 

Box 1, Folder 15: Colón, Emilia circa 1950 

Box 2, Folder 8: Banquets, Parties and Rallies circa 1934-1946 

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