We include some selected publications, songs, music, theatre which relate to Mother Jones. There is much much more and if we have not included something you consider relevant please contact us.
- Gorn, Elliott J. (2002). Mother Jones: The Most Dangerous Woman in America. New York: Hill and Wang.
This publication tells the story of Mary Harris, Mother Jones, from her time in Cork from 1837 to her death in Maryland in 1930. It rescued the life and achievements of this amazing US labour leader, who had slipped through the cracks of history. The book is an honest, human, readable and very scholarly work, meticulously researched and detailed and presented in such a way as to give everyone access to all his available sources. (87 pages of source references) If you want to experience the full life of Mother Jones, an emigrant from Ireland, and learn of her role in the people’s history of America, this book is essential reading.
- Fetherling, Dale. Mother Jones, the Miners’ Angel: A Portrait (1974) Southern Illinois University Press
- Jones, Mary Harris (1925). The Autobiography of Mother Jones. Chicago: Charles H. Kerr & Co.
- Cordery, Simon. (2010). Mother Jones: Raising Cain and Consciousness. University of New Mexico Press.
- Foner, Philip S. (1983) (Editor) Mother Jones Speaks, Collected Writings and Speeches. Published by Monad Press, New York, for the Anchor Foundation.
- Steel, Edward M, (1988). (Editor). The Speeches and Writings of Mother Jones. University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburg.
- Steel, Edward M, (1985). (Editor) The Correspondence of Mother Jones. University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburg.
- Steel, Edward M, JR (1995) (Editor) The Court-Martial of Mother Jones. The University Press of Kentucky, Lexington.
- Orear, Leslie F. (2002) (Editor). Mother Jones and the Union Cemetery, Mount Olive, Illinois. The Illinois Labour History Society in collaboration with Charles H Kerr Publishing Company, Chicago.
- Atkinson, Linda. (1978). Mother Jones…The Most Dangerous Woman In America. Crown Publishers, Inc., New York.
- Wake, Dorothy L. (2001). Mother Jones…Revolutionary Leader of Labor and Social Reform. Xlibris Corporation.
- Ruby, Lois. (2012). Strike! Mother Jones & the Colorado Coal Field War. Filter Press, LLC Palmer Lake, Colorado.
- Currie, Stephen. (1997) We Have Marched Together…..The Working Children’s Crusade. Lerner Publications Company, Minneapolis.
- Gay, Kathlyn. (2006) American Workers. Mother Jones. Morgan Reynolds Publishing, Greensboro, North Carolina.
- Hawxhurst, Joan C. (1994) American Troublemakers series, Mother Jones: Labor Crusader. Raintree Steck-Vaughan Publishers, Austin, Texas.
- Gorn, E. (2014). Mother Jones: Ireland to North America to Ireland. American Journal of Irish Studies, 11, 11-30. http://www.jstor.org/stable/43234377 The Fifteenth Ernie O’Malley Lecture 2013. Published by Glucksman Ireland House, New York University.
- Feurer, Rosemary. (2012) Mother Jones: A Global History of Struggle and Remembrance from Cork, Ireland to Illinois. Illinois Heritage. Available on www.motherjonesmuseum.org
- McFarland, C. K. “CRUSADE FOR CHILD LABORERS: “MOTHER” JONES AND THE MARCH OF THE MILL CHILDREN.” Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies 38, no. 3 (1971): 283-96. http://www.jstor.org/stable/27771950.
There are hundreds of articles relating to Mother Jones and the period in American labour history in which she worked. Reference to many of them can be found in Elliott Gorn’s comprehensive reference section. For what is available on wider American labour and working class history a visit to www.labourhistorylinks.org edited by Rosemary Feurer is worthwhile.
For an educational account of the life of Mother Jones visit www.sparknotes.com which provides a concise account in ten sections along with notes and notes for teachers. This website is owned by Barnes & Noble.
8.2 Mother Jones is Remembered in Song, Story and Theatre.
Mother Jones is fondly remembered in so many songs associated with the mining communities in Appalachia America and in recent times in a growing number of songs in Ireland. Singers such as Nimrod Workman, a former miner, sang of Mother Jones’ Will, and spoke proudly of the toughness and radicalism of Mother Jones.
Sarah Ogan Gunning and Hazel Dickens from mining areas sang of the terrible working conditions and health problems such as black lung disease being experience by the families, friends and neighbours in the coalmines.
“We will have to join a union,
They will help you find a way
How to get a better living
And for your work get better pay.”From Dreadful Memories by Sarah Ogan Gunning (Come All You Coal Miners, 1973 Rounder records).
Carl Sandburg in the American Songbag 1927 suggests that the she in “She’ll Be Coming Round the Mountain, When She Comes” relates to Mother Jones arriving in remote Appalachian coal mines to organise the union.
The Appalachian Redneck historian Dale Hawkins goes further and states that the mining families sang it in the key of G when it was safe for Mother Jones and union miners to appear and in the key of D when there was present danger from the armed mine guards.
After her death in 1930, Gene Autry, the Texas singing cowboy, recorded “The Death of Mother Jones” on 25th February 1931.
“Sprinkle Coal Dust On My Grave”, written in 1933 by Orville J. Jenks a UMWA miner from Welch, West Virginia. (Collected by UMWA Folklorist, George Korson).
Utah Phillips performed “The Charge of Mother Jones” from his album Making Speech Free. Utah Phillips and Ani Difranco performed “The Most Dangerous Woman” from their album Fellow Workers.
In his 2010 album, Abocurragh, Andy Irvine, Irish folksinger and songwriter performed “The Spirit of Mother Jones”.
Ed Pickford, the folksinger from Shiney Row in Co Durham has written and recorded “Mother Jones – No More Deaths for Dollars.”
‘Miners’ Angel’, a tribute to Mother Jones is a CD compilation of songs related to Mother Jones and mining was released with proceeds going to the Mother Jones museum. The wonderful compilation includes some 35 tracks and is available from minersangel.com and motherjonesmuseum.org
“Welcome Mother Jones” written by Jenkin D. Reese in 1902 and sung to Mother Jones when she visited Mahaska in Iowa in 1902. Also sung while Mother Jones was organising the New River Field Strikes in 1902. It appears in Blair Pathways, a Musical Exploration of America’s Largest Labour Uprising, and a CD of some 20 tracks relating to the mining strikes in West Virginia. http://www.blairpathways.com
“Mother Jones in Heaven” is a musical written by Si Kahn, singer, songwriter and trade union/environmental activist. Si performed in a concert, along with the late Anne Feeney, at the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival in 2014.
“Can’t Scare Me…the Story of Mother Jones”, a one-woman play written and performed by Kaiulani Lee. It has been performed in Colorado, Cambodia and Bangladesh. Kaiulani performed the play at the Firkin Theatre in Shandon on Friday evening 31st July 2015.
Victory at Arnot is a musical work for a chamber group and narrator by composer, Eleanor Aversa. It tells the story of how Mother Jones achieved victory in the coal miners’ strike in 1899-1900 in Arnot, Pennsylvania, and celebrates the role of women and the power of non-violent resistance.
Mother Jones and the Children’s Crusade was a musical based on her work in Pennsylvania in 2014 and was performed at the New York Musical Theatre Festival in New York City.
Come All You Coal Miners, recorded at An Appalachian Music Workshop at Highlander Centre, October 1972. Songs by Nimrod Workman, Sarah Gunning, George Tucker, Hazel Dickens. Rounder Records 4005.
8.3 Cork Songs of Mother Jones.
“Children of Mother Jones” was written and recorded by the late Pete Duffy and sang for the first time by Pete at the 2014 Spirit of Mother Jones Festival on 30th July.
“The Ballad of Mother Jones”, written and sung by Therese MacCarthaigh on 31st July 2012 for the Cork Singers’ Club at the first Mother Jones Festival.
“Mother Jones…A True Cork Rebel” written and sung by Richard T Cooke for the 2020 Spirit of Mother Jones Festival.
“Mine Workers’ Angel” written and sung by John Murphy at the 2019 Spirit of Mother Jones Festival.
“Mother Jones” written and sung by Karan Casey at the 2017 Spirit of Mother Jones Festival.
Mother Jones America’s Most Dangerous Woman, 2007. Rosemary Feurer and Laura Vazquez. (www.motherjonesmuseum.org)
Mother Jones and Her Children, 2014. Frameworks Films and the Cork Mother Jones Committee.
The Mine Wars, 2016. Director Randall MacLowry. www.pbs.org American Experience. It tells the story of struggle of the miners in West Virginia 1920/21. Among those interviewed is James Green whose book The Devil in Here in These Hills features.
Hell Raisers Journal, http://www.weneverforget.org
8.5 Plays and Novels and even a Magazine.
Gilbert, Ronnie. (1993.) Ronnie Gilbert on Mother Jones…Face to Face with the Most Dangerous Woman in America. Conari Press, Berkeley.
Heidish, Marcy. (2010) A Novel. A Dangerous Women…Mother Jones, An Unsung American Heroine. Dolan & Associates.
Ash, Jerry. (2013) Hellraiser. Mother Jones: An Historical Novel. APS Publishing, Sun City Centre, Florida.
Long, Priscilla. (1976) Mother Jones, Woman Organiser And Her Relations With Miners’ Wives, Working Women And The Suffrage Movement. South End Press, Boston.
A radical bi-monthly magazine and news website has been published in the USA since February 1976. It is named after Mother Jones and originally had a quote, a reference to and an image of Mother Jones located close the opening pages. During the early 70/ 80s editions, it stated “Sit down and read, educate yourself for the coming conflicts” – Mary Harris Mother Jones (1830? – 1930) Orator, Union Organiser and Hell-Raiser.”
This gradually disappeared beginning with the Mother Jones image and quote in November 1986 edition and there is no reference to Mother Jones in the modern print editions. There is a mention online under More About Us FAQs.
It is a non-profit magazine published by the Foundation For National Progress. It publishes articles and comment on politics, environmental issues, crime and justice and seeks the truth, fairness and justice in accordance with the aims of Mother Jones. The magazine operates a news website http://www.motherjones.com, which reports on many of these issues.
8.6 For Younger Readers.
- Kraft, Betsy Harvey. (1995) Mother Jones…One Woman’s Fight for Labor. Clarion Books, New York.
- Winter, Jonah. & Carpenter, Nancy. (2020) Mother Jones and Her Army of Mill Children. Schwartz & Wade Books, New York.
- Kulling, Monica, Writer. Sala, Felicita, Illustrator. (2016) On Our Way to Oyster Bay….Mother Jones And her March For Children’s Rights. CitizenKid.
- Colman, Penny. Mother Jones and the March of the Mill Children. (1994) The Millbrook Press, Brookfield, Connecticut.
- Koestler-Grack, Rachel A. (2004) The Story of Mother Jones. Chelsea Clubhouse, Philadelphia.
8.7 Further Reading:
- Green, James. (2015). The Devil Is Here in These Hills (Virginia’s Coal Miners and Their Battle for Freedom). Atlantic Monthly Press, New York.
This account of the bloody Appalachian Coal Wars presents the definitive account of a period in American history which is not taught in schools or is even generally understood. Yet this is the real history of the many Irish who emigrated along with other nationalities to the new world. It is public history at its best as it tells the true story of the exploitation and suppression of working people and yet it brilliantly tells the story of an extraordinary solidarity and the power of the trade union movement.
James Green spoke in Cork at the 2014 Spirit of Mother Jones Festival.
- Bricklin, Julia. (2018) Polly Pry, The Woman Who Wrote the West. The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, Inc.
- Crowley, John. Smyth, William J. Murphy, Mike. (2012). Atlas Of The Great Irish Famine. Cork University Press, Cork.
- O’Mahony, Michelle. (2005) Famine in Cork City. Mercier Press, Cork.
- Fink, Walter H. (1914). The Ludlow Massacre UMWA.
- Ō Murchadha, Diarmuid (1993) Gaelic Land Tenure in County Cork: Uibh Laoghaire in the Seventeenth Century, from Cork History & Society, Geography Publications, editors Patrick O’Flanagan and Cornelius G. Buttimer.
- Brown, Kevin. (2013) Passage To The World, The Emigrant Experience 1807-1940. Seaforth Publishing.
- Walsh, Tom. Essays in the History of Irish Education,The National System of Education 1831-2000, edited by Brendan Walsh. Palgrave MacMillan UK 2016. National University of Maynooth.
- Cross, Ira B. (1931) Frank Roney, Irish Rebel & California Labor Leader, An Autobiography. University of California Press.
- “Slums, Factories and Child Labour – Florence Kelley 1859-1932” Mother Jones Cork Website
- “The Radical Irish Diaspora – Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, the Rebel Girl” Mother Jones Cork Website
Concluded for the moment. March 2021.