Mary Harris Jones (1830-1930) “Mother Jones” By Richard E. Noble
Mother Jones was born in 1830 and died in 1930 - but no one is quite sure. That she died in 1930 seems pretty sure but the exact date of her birth is cloudy to say the least. Even though she wrote her autobiography, her personal life remains a mystery.
She was “Mother” to the American Labor movement, especially miners, and in that capacity her activities are well known - among a certain interested minority.
I am coming to the conclusion that the labor movement in America and around the world is the key to understanding and consequently misunderstanding modern history.
From the traditional perspective Unions are bad. They have been violent, destructive to progress, against business and inventive entrepreneur-ship. Traditionally they have been controlled not by idealistic dreamers with utopian visions, but by malicious, self-serving gangsters.
Reading the history of the American labor movement gives another side of the story; unions are idealistic, humanitarian, protective of family values, promotional of the Social Good, courageous, persecuted and maligned, and totally dedicated to the plight of the common man.
The truth, as usual, is somewhere in-between.
Mother Jones was much involved in making labor history throughout her life. She organized her first labor strike at the age of forty-seven and went on from there to become known to the Establishment as the most dangerous woman in America.
If you see any pictures of Mother Jones, you would probably envision her as anybody’s grandmother - if you are Caucasian. If you are of another race, you will certainly see her, nevertheless, as somebody’s grandmother if not your own. She is a little old lady who dresses like a little old lady.
She married an Iron Molder and they had four children together. They all supposedly died in the Memphis yellow fever epidemic. Mother told this story in her autobiography - she didn’t mention her husband’s name or the names of her children.
She was obviously a secretive woman when it came to her personal life. But, in her role as outspoken reformer and anti-establishment figure, it is no wonder. She was called a whore, a tramp, a communist and every other such thing. If any records were available they probably would have accused her of wiping out her own family or purposely inflicting them with the yellow fever.
If you have ever spoken out or blown a whistle on any power structure, you know what I’m talking about. It is the same today as it was then. People who have never spoken out or gone public on anything really have no understanding of what it takes of an individual to do such a thing.
People are often of the opinion that reactionaries become rich and famous - they write a book or get paid by some unknown reactionary underground. The reality is that they more often become poor and abused and disappear into anonymity. I would recommend reading the life of Karl Marx, for example. Before you start, write down your present views of Karl Marx. When you are finished your research, write down your newly educated opinion. Then compare the two. I have performed this experiment hundreds of times myself. I find it continually fascinating. What really fascinates me is how I had such in depth opinions of various historical figures, before I ever did any serious reading at all. It is amazing.
I see these reformers in the early days of the labor movement as nothing but courageous, to say the least. And today, they are for the most part forgotten.
Mother Jones was known as a militant labor agitator. This means that she advocated strikes, walkouts, sit-ins and the like. Real militancy was usually left to the government, mill owners, and industrialists in general. This is not my opinion. This is a matter of record in the history books of the times, in the trials and legal proceedings, and in many of the most famous labor cases and inquisitions brought up and exposed before the general public.[click on Bread and Roses or Joe Hill – Search This Blog] Management thugs, corrupt Pinkerton agents, local militias, state and federal troops, management infiltrators and bomb throwers - often bought-and-paid-for by the bosses and industrialists and attributed to labor agitators.
When one reads about that labor movement period from the 1830s to the 1930s one can see in plain view what is going on today more subtly behind closed doors and in secret meetings around the world.
I predict that the labor movement is going to make a comeback around the world and maybe woman and grandmothers like Mother Jones will once again be a major part of it.
Books by Richard Edward Noble. Click on covers below for more info and purchasing instructions.
Classic Tragic Novel
Bloggin' Be My Life
"Bloggin' be My Life" contains a selection of some of my more popular Hobo Philosopher blogs.If you enjoy reading this blog, you should love Bloggin' Be My Life.
It's All About Love
It's All About Love is ... all about love. This is the 2nd book of poetry from The Bard From Chelmsford off Arlington. Every poem in this book comes with a prose introduction. If you enjoy poetry this is a simple choice. Have fun!
A Little Something
Traditional poetry from The Bard From Chelmsford Off Arlington with some poignant prose introductions. If you enjoy any type of poetry, you will enjoy this volume. Thanks.
Bits and Pieces
The Hobo Philosopher - My first book using the Hobo Philosopher brand. Featuring a variety of writing styles and ideas. Look for the Thoughtful Hobo on the cover.
A Baker's Dozen
The Hobo Philosopher: My Second book of Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction and Short Stories. All varieties of short stories - lots of laughs!
Cat Point - and Them Dang Oyster People
Cat Point is the sequel to "The Eastpointer." Both books contain humorous tales about life in a fishing community on the Florida Panhandle. Lots of laughs.
Won 1st Place award for humor in 2007 from Florida Press Association. More wit, wisdom and humor from the yet to be world famous author, R.E. Noble
A Summer with Charlie - Lawrence
Fiction - Salisbury Beach, Lawrence, Mass. Featured in Merrimack Valley Magazine July /Aug. issue 2010
Travel, Humor, Commentary on migrant farm work and illegal immigration still very pertinent today.
"Just Hangin' Out Ma"
Thank God for the Street Corners of Lawrence, Mass. Anecdotes and humorous escapades about growing up in an industrial mill town in the 40s,50s and 60s.
This is the sequel to "Just Hangin' Out, Ma"
That Old Gang of Mine
This is # 3 in my Lawrence Hometown series. The series is about growing up in the 40's, 50's and 60's in an industrial mill town. Sorta like a Huck Finn goes to vist Uncle Ralph, the bus driver, who lives in a big, rundown city. Lots of fun.
Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother
Classic tragic novel written from child's perspective. Deals with abuse, poverty, unemployment. Pulls no punches.
Noble Notes on Famous Folks
Humorous, satirical notes on everybody from Constantine to Bill Clinton. Inspiration: Willy Cuppy.
America on Strike
History - documented survey of labor strikes in America
Mein Kampf - An Analysis of Book One
Who are the American Nazis - the Liberals or the Conservatives?
MY NAME IS RICHARD EDWARD NOBLE. I AM A FREELANCE WRITER AND I HAVE PUBLISHED 12 BOOKS:"THE EASTPOINTER" - SELECTIONS FROM AWARD WINNING NEWSPAPER COLUMN - "A LITTLE SOMETHING" - POETRY WITH PROSE -"HONOR THY FATHER AND THY MOTHER" - A NOVEL ABOUT GROWING UP IN THE NEW ENGLAND MILL TOWN OF LAWRENCE, MASS, "HOBO-ING AMERICA" - A WORKINGMAN'S TOUR OF THE U.S.A. - "A SUMMER WITH CHARLIE" - THE STORY OF A YOUNG SAILOR'S LAST DAYS AT SALISBURY BEACH, "NOBLE NOTES ON FAMOUS FOLKS" - HUMOROUS ANECDOTES ON FAMOUS FOLKS IN HISTORY,
"AMERICA ON STRIKE" HISTORY BOOK - A SURVEY OF LABOR STRIKES IN AMERICA; "A BAKER'S DOZEN" A BOOK OF HUMOROUS SHORT STORIES; "JUST HANGIN' OUT, MA" - GROWING UP IN THE 40'S, 50'S AND 60'S IN LAWRENCE, MY HOMETOWN, "TENEMENT DWELLERS" - SEQUEL TO JUST HANGIN OUT, MA; MEIN KAMPF - ANALYSIS OF BOOK ONE - HISTORY. CAT POINT - AND THEM DANG OYSTER PEOPLE - SEQUEL TO THE EASTPOINTER
All 12 BOOKS ARE AVAILABLE ON AMAZON.COM, BARNES AND NOBLE AND OTHER INTERNET SOURCES OR FROM NOBLE PUBLISHING. ALL 12 OF MY BOOKS ARE NOW ON KINDLE AT BARGAIN PRICES TOO. IF YOU WOULD LIKE MORE INFORMATION ABOUT DISCOUNTS AND SPECIAL OFFERS E-MAIL ME. MY EMAIL IS ON MY PROFILE PAGE.