Home / Politics / What political activist organized the famous "March of the Mill Children" from Philadelphia to President Theodore Roosevelt's summer home in 1903?
What political activist organized the famous "March of the Mill Children" from Philadelphia to President Theodore Roosevelt's summer home in 1903?
MARY HARRIS JONES
In 1903, Mary Harris Jones organized the famous "March of the Mill Children" to demand an end of child labor. Mother Jones (as she came to be called) and several dozen children, some of them crippled by machinery in the textile mills, marched from Philadelphia to President Theodore Roosevelt's summer home on Long Island. She wrote, "I went to Kensington, Pennsylvania, where seventy-five thousand textile workers were on strike. Of this number at least ten thousand were little children. The workers were striking for more pay and shorter hours. Every day little children came into the Union Headquarters, some with their hands off, some with the thumb missing, some with their fingers off at the knuckle. They were stooped little things, round shouldered and skinny.... I asked some of the parents if they would let me have their little boys and girls for a week or ten days, promising to bring them back safe and sound.... a few men and women went with me.... One little fellow had a drum and another had a fife.... We carried banners that said: "We want time to play."" When the children reached Roosevelt's house, he refused to see them. But their march had drawn national attention to the problem of child labor.
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