Treasure Island

Quotations From MOTHER JONES

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  • 1.
    We are told that every American boy has the chance of being president. I tell you that these little boys in the iron cages would sell their chance any day for good square meals and a chance to play.
    Mother Jones (1830-1930), U.S. labor organizer. The Autobiography of Mother Jones, ch. 10 (1925). Addressing a crowd at a wild animal show at Coney Island, New York, in 1903. She was accompanied by striking child textile workers from Kensington, Pennsylvania, whom she had locked in empty iron animal cages to make a symbolic point.
  • 2.
    Your organization is not a praying institution. It's a fighting institution. It's an educational institution right along industrial lines. Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living!
    Mother Jones (1830-1930), U.S. labor organizer. The Autobiography of Mother Jones, ch. 6 (1925). Commanding members of a miners' union in the Fairmont district of West Virginia to leave the church where they were meeting and gather instead in the fields.
  • 3.
    Some day the workers will take possession of your city hall, and when we do, no child will be sacrificed on the altar of profit!
    Mother Jones (1830-1930), U.S. labor organizer. The Autobiography of Mother Jones, ch. 10 (1903). Shouted outside City Hall in Independence Park, Philadelphia, while leading a 1903 demonstration of child textile workers from Kensington, Pennsylvania; 75,000 Kensington textile workers were on strike, of whom 10,000 were children.

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  • 4.
    The miners lost because they had only the constitution. The other side had bayonets. In the end, bayonets always win.
    Mother Jones (1830-1930), U.S. labor organizer. The Autobiography of Mother Jones, ch. 22 (1925). Commenting on the failed Colorado miners' strike while addressing a 1915 mass meeting in Cooper Union, New York City.

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  • 5.
    If they want to hang me, let them. And on the scaffold I will shout "Freedom for the working class!"
    Mother Jones (1830-1930), U.S. labor organizer. The Autobiography of Mother Jones, ch. 27 (1925). From a 1916 address to a mass meeting of the wives of the striking streetcarmen in New York City.

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  • 6.
    All the average human being asks is something he can call a home; a family that is fed and warm; and now and then a little happiness; once in a long while an extravagance.
    Mother Jones (1830-1930), U.S. labor organizer. The Autobiography of Mother Jones, ch. 27 (1925).

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  • 7.
    I have never had a vote, and I have raised hell all over this country. You don't need a vote to raise hell! You need convictions and a voice!
    Mother Jones (1830-1930), U.S. labor organizer. The Autobiography of Mother Jones, ch. 22 (1925). From a 1915 address to a dinner assemblage of 500 women, most of them suffragists. Five years later, the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution would take effect, granting women the vote.
  • 8.
    I believe that no man who holds a leader's position should ever accept favors from either side. He is then committed to show favors. A leader must stand alone.
    Mother Jones (1830-1930), U.S. labor organizer. The Autobiography of Mother Jones, ch. 11 (1925).

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  • 9.
    ...I learned in the early part of my career that labor must bear the cross for others' sins, must be the vicarious sufferer for the wrongs that others do.
    Mother Jones (1830-1930), U.S. labor organizer. The Autobiography of Mother Jones, ch. 1 (1925).
  • 10.
    ... there are no limits to which powers of privilege will not go to keep the workers in slavery.
    Mother Jones (1830-1930), U.S. labor organizer. The Autobiography of Mother Jones, ch. 3 (1925).
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