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Arthur A. Quinn Papers (1901-1960)

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: MSS- 0132

Scope and Contents

Items in this collection were donated by the grandson of Arthur A. Quinn and represent a small sample of the materials that Arthur A. Quinn created during his lifetime. This collection includes a mix of newsclippings, original documents and correspondence of Arthur A. Quinn and colleagues, and correspondence of his mother, Jane Quinn.


  • 1901 - 1960

Conditions Governing Access

All materials available in this collection (unless otherwise noted) are the property of the Monsignor William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center and Seton Hall University, which reserves the right to limit access to or reproduction of these materials. Reproduction of materials or content is subject to United States copyright restrictions and may be subject to federal or state privacy regulations. Permission to publish exact reproductions must be obtained from the Director of the Archives and Special Collections Center.

Conditions Governing Use

No restrictions

Biographical / Historical

Arthur A. Quinn was born in Philadelphia on May 13, 1866, one of nine children of Irish immigrants; his mother, Jane, was born in Kiliglass, County of Sligo and his father, Terrence, was born in County Tyrone. The family moved to Perth Amboy in 1874.

He started his career as a carpenter, which funneled into his labor advocacy. He is credited with organizing the second union founded in Perth Amboy: The Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America. He served 20 terms as President of the New Jersey Federation of Labor (1912-1933), during which time he supported creating a fund for “old age relief,” dissolution of sweat shops, investigating wages paid to women and children, the creation of unemployment insurance, and creating a five day work week with a six-hour work day. He also served as President and founding member of the Union National Bank, which opened in February 1925, and allowed Union workers to keep accounts separate from their bosses.

His entrance into politics started in 1913, when he was elected to the New Jersey State Assembly in 1913, serving one term representing Middlesex County. He later served in the NJ State Senate from 1929-1933, where he wrote legislation in support of unemployment insurance and other similar issues. He defeated Russell Watson in a special election to fill the seat vacated by Republican Morgan Larsen, who had left the senate to become Governor. He was the Democratic whip, served on the Committee on Banks and Insurance, and was active in the Advisory Committee on Employment Problems. In 1933, he was endorsed by the New Jersey Federation of Labor to be the Democratic nominee for Governor.

Following his tenure in the State Senate, Quinn was appointed to serve as Controller for Customs in the Port of New York, a position in which he served until 1951. He served as Chairman of the New Jersey State Housing Authority in 1937 and was active in the Democratic party through the rest of his life. He died February 2, 1957, at the age of 90.

Works Consulted

"ARTHUR A. QUINN DIES: FORMER JERSEY LEGISATOR, 90, WAS LABOR LEADER IN STATE." New York Times (1923-Current File), Feb 03, 1957. "CUSTOMS COLLECTOR." New York Times (1923-Current File), Jun 30, 1937. "MRS. JANE QUINN_ 100, DIES: PERTH AMBOY WOMAN MOTHER OF." New York Times (1923-Current File), Nov 28, 1936. "Jesey Labor to Ask Old Age Relief." New York Times (1923-Current File), Sep 15, 1930. "November 7, 1912 (Page 4 of 16)." Philadelphia Inquirer (1860-1934), Nov 07, 1912. "QUINN BACKED IN JERSEY.: STATE LABOR GROUP ENDORSES HIM AS NOMINEE FOR GOVERNOR." New York Times (1923-Current File), Sep 13, 1933. "Quinn to Head N.J. Labor Body." Wall Street Journal (1923 - Current File), Sep 08, 1932. "Labor Leader: Arthur Quinn was a Middlesex senator, state AFL president." New Jersey Globe, Sep 05, 2022. Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES. "A.A. QUINN NAMED TO CUSTOMS POST: JERSEY LABOR LEADER IS PICKED BY ROOSEVELT FOR CONTROLLER OF THE SERVICE HERE. H.L. HOPKINS CONFIRMED E.L. DAVIS IS NOMINATED FOR TRADE COMMISSIONER -- H.A. DOO- LITTLE TO FOREIGN SERVICE." New York Times (1923-Current File), May 21, 1933.


.4 Linear Feet (One document case containing 44 folders and a boxed book.)

Language of Materials


Preservica Internal URL

Preservica Public URL

Arthur A. Quinn Papers
Sheridan Sayles
2021 August 20
Language of description
Script of description
  • TypeCollection

Repository Details

Part of the The Monsignor Field Archives & Special Collection Center Repository

Archives, Walsh Library
400 South Orange Ave
South Orange NJ 07079 US