International Workingmen’s Association Documents

From the Minute Book of the General Council


This collection contains abstracts from the minutes.
See General Council Minutes, 1864-1866, for the complete minutes for that period.
See General Council Minutes, October 1871-August 1872, in 8Mb PDF.

Source: MECW, Volume 20-21;
First published: in Russian, in Generalny Sovet Pervogo Internatsionala. 1864-1866 and 1866-1868, 1961 and 1963.

The Minutes of the weekly (apart from extraordinary) meetings of the International’s leading body – the General Council (originally known as the Committee, elected by the inaugural meeting of September 28, 1864, then the Provisional Central Committee or Council or simply the Central Council)during its residence in London from 1864 to 1872 made up five Minute Books. They were usually kept by persons who were active as the Council’s Secretary at the given moment. Some Minutes have been preserved as rough copies written on separate sheets of paper and pasted onto the corresponding pages of the Minute Book. Sometimes newspaper cuttings containing the printed report of a certain meeting were pasted into the Minute Book. As a rule, the Minutes of the previous meeting were read and confirmed at the beginning of each meeting.

The first Minute Book covers the period from October 5, 1864 to August 21, 1866 and the records in it are very brief. The second book contains the Minutes from September 18, 1866 to September 1, 1868. Here, as in the subsequent books, the records are more detailed.

This section contains extracts from the first and second Minute Books of the General Council showing the most important aspects of Marx’s activity in it, including his speeches, the brief summaries of which become understandable only in the context of the corresponding passage in the Minutes. The more detailed extant records of his speeches for the given period are published as separate documents.

This document was published in English for the first time in the collection, Founding of the First International, 1935.

All the materials from the Minute Book of the General Council included here were published in English for the first time in ‘The General Council of the First International. 1864-1866 and 1866-1868, 1962 and 1964.


September 18
September 25
October 2
October 9
November 6
November 20
November 27
December 18


April 16, 1867
April 23, 1867
September 24, 1867
October 8, 1867
October 22, 1867