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Wed Feb 13, 2013, 05:51 AM

Mother Jones arrested in Charleston 100 years ago

Arrest focused national attention on Paint Creek mine war

CHARLESTON, W.Va.-- One hundred years ago Wednesday, labor crusader Mary Jones, better known as Mother Jones, alighted from a Kanawha & Michigan passenger train from Smithers, and began walking toward the state Capitol building, then located in downtown Charleston.

The white-haired firebrand, accompanied by a committee of Smithers-area miners, was carrying a petition to Gov. William Glasscock calling for the end of martial law and the removal of state National Guard troops from Paint Creek and the Upper Kanawha Valley. There, a bloody coalfield unionization struggle was underway, with no end in sight.

After a series of violent confrontations between striking miners and detectives hired by mine operators during the previous summer, Glasscock had placed the Paint Creek coalfields under martial law in September 1912, and sent National Guard troops into the area to enforce it. The troops seized arms and ammunition from both sides, and by Nov. 15, martial law was lifted.

Coal operators began sending in replacement workers by the trainload, and in short order, those trains came under attack by the miners they displaced. Coal company detectives, meanwhile, evicted striking miners from company-owned homes and broke up union meeting. Martial law was imposed for a second time on Nov. 15, 1912, and lifted again on Jan. 10.


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Reply Mother Jones arrested in Charleston 100 years ago (Original post)
Lasher Feb 2013 OP
Staph Feb 2013 #1
Lasher Feb 2013 #2

Response to Lasher (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 09:58 AM

1. She was one seriously gutsy lady!

Aside from all the other things she did in her lifetime, consider this:

When she started that walk from Smithers to the state Capitol, she was 75 years old. And the distance -- 28 miles! I want to be like Mother Jones when I grow up.

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Response to Staph (Reply #1)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 08:27 PM

2. I first learned about her 35 years ago from an old coal miner.

I believe it was his father who attended a rally where she stirred up all the miners, characteristically cursing like a sailor.

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