Hellraisers Journal: Mother Jones Speaks on Struggle & Socialism: The Day of the People Is Dawning.

You ought to be out raising hell. This is the fighting age.
Put on your fighting clothes.
-Mother Jones

Wednesday January 24, 1906
From the Reading Times: Mother Jones Speaks to Large Gathering on Socialism

A large crowd gathered in Reading, Pennsylvania, Monday evening to hear Mother Jones speak. Tuesday's Reading Times reported the event:



Mother Jones, Mar 11, 1905, AtR.png

The main room of the Court House was scarce large enough to accommodate the crowd of citizens who gathered there last evening to hear "Mother" Jones expound her theories of socialism. The meeting was held under the auspices of Local Reading, of the Socialist party, and, although the meeting was announced for 8 o'clock, half an hour before that time men and women began to gather and before the hour of opening, every seat in the auditorium was taken and as many were standing as could crowd into the aisles. The space within the bar was also filled with men and women.

As the clock struck the hour of 8, T. J. Netheary, who presided during the session, called the gathering to order and briefly stated the purpose of the meeting. He felt highly honored by so large and intelligent an audience having gathered to hear live issues discussed. The meeting, he said, was being held under the auspices of Socialists, who had met to give vent to the opinions held by millions of people today. Socialism is the same the world over, and represents the only philosophy which, if put into practice, will bring relief to down-trodden mankind. To attain liberty and freedom is the goal of all well thinking people. The only difference is in the method to reach this end. The Socialist is not a pessimist, but verily believes the dawn is coming and is striving heartily to hasten that day.

The chairman introduced as the first speaker, Perry Vize, who made a plea for the support of the Socialist paper. The great daily papers, he said, are controlled by money interests and all news is distorted to suit that class. If the working men want to have the facts as they really exist, they must read a paper which is published by working men.


Following this plea, the chairman introduced "Mother" Jones, who was received with general applause as she rose to speak. Her address was earnest, eloquent and, at times, deeply impressive, as she pictured the suffering, and dire distress of the laboring class, brought about, she said, by the present system of social economy under which the world is operating. One of the greatest contest which the world has ever seen, she said, is now being waged and the day of the people is dawning. While this meeting was being held to celebrate the first anniversary of the Russian massacre when hundreds of men and women were shot down because they dared to approach near the Czar with a petition asking for relief from terrible wrongs, yet, she said, conditions existed in this country equally as bloody and unbearable.

No other nation in the world, she said, would have permitted such an occurrence as that during the recent strike of Pennsylvania coal miners, when 21 human beings were shot down in cold blood because they rebelled against the rule of the tyrant, and to the disgrace of Pennsylvania's manhood, the man who led in this assault was afterward honored by an election as factory inspector.

Lattimer Massacre, Sept 10, 1897, Locomotive Firemen's Magazine, Nov.png
Massacre of Marching Miners by Sheriff Martin at Lattimer, PA, on Sept 10, 1897

The labor problem was not of modern time, but has existed ever since society was formed. Today, however, the world is face to face with a new condition and every country on the face of the earth is called upon to meet it.

The speaker discussed the conditions in the West and South and in graphic terms described the scenes of poverty and destitution which she witnessed in her recent visit to these laboring centres. The men are crying for bread, while the proprietors and moneyed interests are grinding them down to the worst forms of slavery. The war is on and will be carried to a final conclusion, when the shackles of the slaves will be broken and the common brotherhood of a man is recognized.

The conflict, she said, will not end until the last capitalist has surrendered the last dollar which dos not belong to him and every man will receive the just reward of his wages and nothing more; until the present system of economy is overthrown and the true and grand principles of humanity are put into practice.

The struggling masses in Russia, she said, need the substantial sympathy of their fellow workingmen the world over, and she pleaded that the friends present would give their hard earned cash for the support of this cause.

As she spoke ushers went through the audience with collection plates to receive the contributions. The amount realized was not announced.

The speaker closed with an impassioned appeal to the mothers and sisters to rally to the support of the laborers and hasten the day when the present system of government shall be overthrown and the new and better system inaugurated, and all men become truly brothers.


[Photographs added.]


Reading Times
Reading, Pennsylvania
-Jan 23, 1906

Mother Jones, Appeal to Reason, Mar 11, 1905
Lattimer Massacre, Sept 10, 1897, Locomotive Firemen's Magazine, Nov
Lattimer Massacre, PA, Sept 10, 1897, Plaque with Names

See also:

Bloody Sunday

1905 Russian Revolution

"The Lattimer Massacre"
-by Kenneth C. Wolensky
Historic Pennsylvania Leaflet No. 15
Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 1997
To read: https://archive.org/stream/LattimerMassacreLeaflet/Lattimer-Massacre-His...


The Lattimer Massacre, September 10, 1897
Lattimer Massacre, Sept 10, 1897, Plaque with Names.png

Lattimer Massacre - Van Wagner

0 users have voted.