Simon Philip Van Patten
22FEB1852 - 21SEP1918
Simon Philip Van Patten (1852-1918), known by his middle name of
"Philip," was an American socialist political activist prominent during the
latter half of the 1870s and the first half of the 1880s. Van Patten is best
remembered for being named the first Corresponding Secretary of the
Workingmen's Party of the United States in 1876 and for heading it and its
successor organization, the Socialist Labor Party of America, for the next
six years. In 1883 Van Patten mysteriously disappeared in New York City,
with his friends reporting him as a potential suicide to law enforcement
authorities. He later turned up in later years as an architect in Hot Springs,
AR, however, having abandoned his radical politics in favor of stable
Early American Socialist / Later: Architect
"The party's fortunes were not improved by the sudden disappearance of
its disheartened leader, the brilliant but erratic Philip Van Patten, who left
behind a note intimating suicide, only to re-surface some years later as a
prosperous architect in Hot Springs, Arkansas".
Of substance was the fact that Philip received a mail from his sister, Sarah
(V.P.) Ellsworth who wanted him to immediately go to Costa Rica to
rescue his father.  He did that, which in that era took awhile, and he lost
interest in suicide.