Jones, Mother, 1837-1930

Alternative names
Birth 1837-08-01
Death 1930-11-29

Biographical notes:

Mary Harris, reportedly born May 1, 1830, but more likely born in 1836, in Cork, Ireland, was an active participant in the labor movement in the United States for nearly sixty years. Before acquiring the name "Mother" Jones and perceived as the "Miners' Angel," Mary Harris had taught in Catholic schools in Michigan and Tennessee, had married George Jones and had four children. By 1867, Jones had lost her family to a yellow fever epidemic in Memphis, Tennessee. By the 1870s, "Mother" Jones began her long involvement in the labor struggle, by participating in various strikes such as the Pittsburgh Labor Riots (1877), the Western Virginia Anthracite Coal Strike (1902), and the Colorado Coal Field and Arizona Copper Field organization movements. She also led the Children Textile Workers March from Philadelphia to Teddy Roosevelt's home in Oyster Bay, Long Island (1902). Mother Jones was affiliated with the Knights of Labor and a lifelong friend of Terence V. Powderly. She was an official labor organizer for the United Mine Workers. Up to her death on November 30, 1930 in Maryland, Mother Jones spoke out against labor injustice and for the protection of "her boys." Mother Jones is buried in the United Mine Workers Cemetery in Mount Olive, Illinois.

From the description of The Mother Jones papers. 1900-1932. (Catholic University of America). WorldCat record id: 175296753

Mother Jones, union activist, was born Mary Harris in Ireland, immigrated to the United States, lost her husband and children to typhoid in 1867, and joined the labor movement. She helped found the International Workers of the World (IWW) in 1905 and was particularly associated with the United Mine Workers and the Socialist Party of America. She gained prominence while organizing men, women, and children which contributed to long-sought reforms in child-labor and mine safety. She was active into the 1920s and published The Autobiography of Mother Jones in 1925. She died 30 November 1930 in Silver Spring, Maryland.

From the description of Mother Jones letters to Mrs. Conroy concerning strike involvement in Colorado, 1911. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 236170077


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Ark ID:


  • Women labor leaders--Correspondence
  • Labor movement--History
  • Labor unions--Organizing--20th century


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  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)