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Jones, Motherlocked

(01 August 1837–30 November 1930)
  • Elliott J. Gorn

Extract

Jones, Mother (01 August 1837–30 November 1930), labor organizer, was born Mary Harris in Cork, Ireland, the daughter of Ellen Cotter and Richard Harris, a laborer. In her 1925 autobiography, Jones claimed to have been born on May Day, 1830, but this was part of her habit of exaggerating her longevity in the labor movement. Late in the 1840s her father fled the potato famine, and around 1852 the family joined him in Toronto, Canada, where he had gone to work on railroad construction. She often declared that before they migrated, her people had been active in the Irish resistance against England. Thus hard physical labor, exploitation, class consciousness, and political dissent were part of Mary Harris’s heritage....

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