Hellraisers Journal, Sunday October 13, 1907
Remembering Mother Jones in West Virginia in 1902
With the recent passing of Judge John Jay Jackson, the Old Injunction Judge, who was the bane of the United Mine Workers of America during their struggles in West Virginia back in 1902, we recall how Mother Jones earned her reputation as a “dangerous woman.” Dangerous she was then, and is yet today, to those seeking to keep the miners beat down and their union broken, but in the coal camps across the nation, where men labor for long hours at low pay, she is known as “The Miners’ Angel.”
According to some accounts, during the trial of July 24th of that year, the United States Attorney pointed his finger at her and declared:
There sits the most dangerous woman in America. She comes into a State where peace and prosperity reign. She crooks her finger-twenty thousand contented working men lay down their tools and walk out.
The Worker of July 27, 1902 reported the story:
THE TRIAL OF MOTHER JONES.
Federal District Attorney Declares Her
a Dangerous Woman.
Decision Not Yet Given as The Worker goes to Press–
Vigorous Effort to Imprison or Banish
Brave Woman from West Virginia.
Tuesday, July 24, was the day set for Judge Jackson of the United State court at Parkersburg, W. Va., to give his decision in the cases of Mother Jones, Thos. Haggerty, and eleven other organizers of the United Mine Workers, under arrest for having violated an infamous injunction which forbids them to hold miners’ meetings anywhere within sight of the mine properties, to march on the public roads in the vicinity, or, as a correspondent of The Worker put it, to do anything except eat and drink-and the West Virginia miners don’t get a chance to eat too much, with or with-[out?] injunctions.
Reese Blizzard, United States District Attorney, conducted the prosecution. He is counted a very able lawyer and he used all his powers to carry his point-or, rather, to carry the point for the mine owners. His closing speech occupied four hours.
Cannot Understand Her.
Mother Jones is obviously considered the most dangerous offender. The “Operators” and their tools cannot understand this wonderful little woman, who is content to labor incessantly, to go hungry and cold sometimes, to endure all manner of hardships and insults and dangers, to go to prison, if need be, in order to carry on her work of organizing and educating and inspiring the miners, and whom the strongest men among the mine workers treat with such confidence and such perfect respect.
“A Dangerous Woman.”
The press reports say that Blizzard called attention to the fact that Mother Jones was especially dangerous owing to the fact that her influence among the miners is almost unlimited and that, also by reason of her powerful intellect she is an instrument of great harm. The miners, he said, are receiving good wages and their condition is satisfactory, but, according to the testimony of this woman, she has come into this state with the express intention of getting eight or nine thousand miners to throw down their tools and quit work that they may help the two or three hundred who were dissatisfied with their condition and had quit the service of their employers.
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