Appalachia, Boomer, Chicago, coal, Cork, Fred Bobbin, history, Ireland, Kansas City, Logan, Logan Banner, Maine, Mary Harris, Mother Jones, Mucklow, New England, Omaha, Oyster Bay, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Teddy Roosevelt, West Virginia
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this story dated February 14, 1913:
Life and History of “Mother” Jones
The woman who would lead West Virginia’s miners, and their wives and children to “Liberty” and “Freedom” (?) The woman who receives $5.00 a day and expenses to stir up strife among “unorganized” laborers.
Mary Harris, born in Cork, Ireland, 60 years ago, of respectable parentage and good antecedents; brought to New England at an early age, people settled in Maine; educated in common schools, taught a country school for several years. Married a prosperous farmer, and when widowed immediately allied herself with a labor movement then attracting attention in the East, claiming she wanted to elevate the laboring classes, educationally and socially. She began to associate with labor leaders and reformers at the time of the A.R.U. strike of 1894, since when she has kept pretty busy stirring things up. Has a record of never advocating peace nor arbitration, but being for strife and war. Was particularly prominent in the Pittsburg strike of 1895, Miners’ strike of ’97, Central Penn strike ’99 and ’00, the Coal strike in Philadelphia. During the latter strike she placed herself at the head of one hundred men, women and children and started with them on a march to Oyster Bay to interview President Roosevelt and demand his intervention in behalf of the strikers. She held daily meetings along the route, solicited subscriptions for the maintenance of her party, and finally land at Oyster Bay with a handful of her followers, but she did not see the President and the expedition ended there.
That is the record, so far as the labor movement is concerned, of the woman known from Maine to California as “Mother” Jones, labor agitator and leader. “Mother” Jones who is always to the front when there is strife, with her battle cry: “We’d rather fight than work,” “Mother” Jones who gets $5.00 per day and expenses so long as there is trouble brewing; who, since 1900 has received a salary from the mine workers’ organization, and who is said to be worth any five men as an agitator. But down in the —– office there is another record, one that reaches back to 1891, when “Mother” Jones was a well-known character, not only in the “red-light” district of Denver, but in Omaha, Kansas City, Chicago, and far-off San Francisco. That record covers many pages, but a few FACTS are all that are necessary to show the character of this petticoated reformer. They say of her:
A vulgar, heartless, vicious creature, with a fiery temper and a cold-blooded brutality rare even in the slums. An inmate of Jennie… [cropped]
Now what do you think of “Mother” Jones? The Banner printed her history four months ago–the only paper in the U.S. that dared print it. The Banner for first news.