Guide to the Sara Wernon Sloan Papers
undated, circa 1974, 1981-1987


Processed by Kora Welsh

Jewish Heritage Center at NEHGS

99-101 Newbury St.

Boston, MA 02116



© 2019  Jewish Heritage Center at NEHGS, Boston, MA. All Rights Reserved.
Electronic finding aid was encoded in EAD by Lindsay Sprechman in June 2015. Description is in English.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Sloan, Sara Wernon
Title: Sara Wernon Sloan Papers
Dates:undated, circa 1974, 1981-1987
Abstract: Born in 1888 in Odessa, Sara (Buminowitz) Wernon Sloan immigrated to the United States at the age of ten with her mother and siblings. She became a garment worker and wrote of her experiences working in New York City. This collection contains typed manuscripts of her memoirs written in the 1970s and also includes related correspondence, in which various readers of the memoirs describe their impressions.
Languages: The collection is in English.
Quantity: .25 linear feet (1 half-manuscript box)
Identification: P-640
Repository: American Jewish Historical Society
Location: Located in AJHS Boston, MA
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Biographical Note
Example from a handwritten portion of Sara Wernon Sloan's memoirs.

Example from a handwritten portion of Sara Wernon Sloan's memoirs.

Sara (Buminowitz) Wernon Sloan was born in 1888 in Odessa, then a part of the Russian Empire, and now located in the Ukraine. When she was ten years old, she immigrated to the United States with her mother and siblings. Her father had previously settled in New York City. Her family lived in the Lower East Side, where she was given the surname Binion and her parents set up a bakery. Sara left school at age 11 to work in her parents’ bakery, and after a few years, went to work sewing for an underwear shop. In her teens, Sara also worked for Newmark Bros. and Salzman, and she became active in the unionization of garment workers and socialist politics. She was a member of a union of underwear garment workers, and was elected their secretary. Sara also belonged to the Socialist Party of the 2nd Assembly District. During this time, Sara met A.F.L. organizer Ben Wernon.

When Sara and Ben decided to marry against the wishes of Sara’s father, they moved to New Haven, Connecticut and briefly operated an underwear shop. The shop was unsuccessful, and Sara and Ben moved to Boston, and then Revere. They had three children, Herman, Irving, and Esther. Failing to find steady work, the family moved back New York City. The financial strain appeared to cause the deterioration in Ben Wernon’s mental health, and he was committed to Manhattan State Hospital, where he died around 1915.

Sara owned a candy store and a dry goods store before managing a summer camp in the Catskills. She later reentered the garment industry and found work at a dress shop. Sara married Nathan Sloan (Slominsky) in 1920, and had another daughter, Helen.


Material from the collection.

USA Bureau of the Census. Fifteenth Census of the United States, 1930, Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1930, T626, 2667 rolls.


1888 Sara Wernon Sloan (SWS) is born, as Sara Buminowitz, in Odessa, Russian Empire (now Ukraine).
1898 SWS immigrates to the United States, arrives in New York City, and lives in the Lower East Side.
circa 1908 SWS marries Ben Wernon.
1909 Herman (Hyman) Wernon is born.
1910 Irving Wernon is born.
February 1914 Esther Wernon is born.
circa 1915 Ben Wernon dies in Manhattan State Hospital (Central Islip State Hospital).
1920 SWS marries Nathan Sloan (Slominsky).
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Scope and Content Note

The Sara Wernon Sloan papers contain typed manuscripts of memoirs she wrote in the 1970s, describing her experiences as an immigrant in New York City and as a garment worker. Her account includes her participation in political movements and unionization, as well as her first marriage to Ben Wernon. The collection also includes correspondence related to these memoirs, in which various readers of the memoirs describe their impressions.

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This collection is arranged into a single series:

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Access and Use

Access Restrictions

The collection is open to all researchers by permission of the Director of Collections and Engagement of the American Jewish Historical Society, except items that are restricted due to their fragility.

Use Restrictions

Information concerning the literary rights may be obtained from the Director of Library and Archives of the American Jewish Historical Society. Users must apply in writing for permission to quote, reproduce or otherwise publish manuscript materials found in this collection. For more information contact:
American Jewish Historical Society, Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY, 10011

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Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:
Identification of item, date (if known); Sara Wernon Sloan Papers; P-640; box number; folder number; Jewish Heritage Center at NEHGS.

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Acquisition Information

Donated by Dr. Rudolph Binion in 1991.

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Access Points

Click on a subject to search that term in the Center's catalog. Return to the Top of Page

Container List

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Series I: Sara Wernon Sloan Papers,  undated, circa 1974, 1981-1987

In English.
Box 1, Folders 1-4.
Scope and Content:

See Collection Scope and Content Note.

11Correspondence Regarding Memoirs and Family History1981-1987request_box
12Memoirs Icirca 1974request_box
13Memoirs IIundatedrequest_box
14Memoirs IIIcirca 1974request_box
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