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Mary Harris “Mother” Jones. Early Life. My name is Mary Harris Jones. I was born August 1 st , 1837. I was born on the north side of Cork, Ireland. My parents were Richard Harris, a Roman Catholic tenant farmer and Ellen Cotter. I had a brother named William Richard Harris.

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early life
Early Life
  • My name is Mary Harris Jones.
  • I was born August 1st, 1837.
  • I was born on the north side of Cork, Ireland.
  • My parents were Richard Harris, a Roman Catholic tenant farmer and Ellen Cotter.
  • I had a brother named William Richard Harris.
getting to america
Getting to America
  • In 1841, my family and I immigrated to Canada.
  • I received a Catholic education in Toronto before moving to The United States with my family.
a new life
A New Life
  • Once in The United States, I became a teacher in a covenant in Monroe, Michigan.
  • I grew tired of my job though,(After only working for about 8 months) so I moved to Chicago.
  • Later I moved to Memphis.
  • While in Memphis, I married George E. Jones and opened a dress shop.
  • Within a week, in 1867, during the Yellow Fever epidemic in Memphis, Tennessee, I lost my husband and our four children who were all under the age of five.
  • After the deaths of my family, I returned to Chicago to start another dressmaking business.
  • Four years after returning to Chicago, I lost my home, possessions, and shop in the Great Chicago Fire.
starting in the unions
Starting in The Unions
  • After my losses, I joined the Knights of Labor, a labor movement.
  • Once the Knights were no more, I joined the United Mine Workers, where I led strikes.
  • I was an active union organizer and educator in strikes.
  • In Pennsylvania in 1901, those who were employed in the silk mills went on strike. I encouraged and helped to unify them.
  • In 1912, in West Virginia, I spoke and organized a shooting war between the United Mine Workers members an the private army of the mine owners in the Paint Creek-Cabin Creek strike.
  • I also helped organize coal miners in Colorado, which later resulted in long-sought reforms for the miners.
the children s crusade
The Children’s Crusade
  • In 1903, I organized the Children’s Crusade, where children who were working in mills and mines marched to the home of Theodore Roosevelt.(The events here are described in detail in the book Kids on Strike!)
  • Though I was denied a meeting with the president, I brought child labor to the forefront of the public agenda.
jail time
Jail Time
  • I was arrested on February 13, 1913 and accused of conspiring to commit murder for my organizing of a shooting war at the Paint Creek-Cabin Creek strike. I was sentenced to 20 years, but was out after 85 days due to pneumonia.
  • I was arrested wile organizing coal miners in Colorado and served some time.
  • In 1924, I was in court once again facing charges of libel, slander, and sedition.
public image
Public Image
  • I am known as an effective and charismatic speaker.
  • I told stories in my speeches that were humorous, witty, and passionate.
  • By the time that I was 60, I accepted the role as “Mother” Jones. I was first called “Mother Jones” in print in 1897.
  • I became known as, “the most dangerous woman in America.”
my beliefs
My Beliefs
  • I strongly oppose women taking an active role in politics, because I believe that the neglect of motherhood is the main cause of juvenile delinquency.
  • I fought child labor my whole life.
  • I strongly believe that, "working men deserved a wage that would allow women to stay home to care for their kids."
later years
Later Years
  • I remained an organizer for UMW into 1920s and spoke on union affairs almost until my death.
  • In 1925, I released a book The Autobiography of Mother Jones.
  • In my later years, I lived with my friends, Walter and Lillie May Burgess, in Adelphi, Maryland. It was here that I celebrated my self-proclaimed 100th birthday.
  • I died at the age of 93 on November 30th, 1930.
  • I am buried in the Union Miners Cemetery in Mount Olive, Illinois, with “my boys.” (Miners killed in strike-related violence.)