Skip to Main Content

Mother Jones: Topics in Chronicling America

Mother Jones was a union organizer known for her activism and ability to organize labor against mine owners. This guide provides access to material related to "Mother Jones" in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.


"Mother Jones receiving her daily mail from one of the guards at her military prison in West Virginia." April 21, 1913. The Day Book (Chicago, IL), Image 28. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers.

Irish born Mary Harris Jones, known as “Mother” Jones, was a constant presence in the labor movement in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Jones once testified before Congress that she lived “where the big thieves are wringing their dollars out of the blood and bone of my poor, miserable people.” As the “angel of miners,” she witnessed many major labor events including the Ludlow Massacre and the March of the Mill Children. Read more about it!

The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.

The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.


1894-1897 Jones becomes known as an activist during the Pullman strikes.
July 1897 She visits President McKinley to advocate on behalf of S.D. Worden in connection to his murder conviction during the Pullman Strikes.
August 1897 Jones travels to Alleghany County, Pennsylvania to support coal strikers there.
1901-1902 Jones supports striking silk workers in Scranton, Pennsylvania and Paterson, New Jersey.
1902 Jones is arrested in West Virginia.
July 1903 Jones organizes and marches from Pennsylvania to New York with striking mill children to call attention to their plight.
1904 Jones joins strikers in Colorado, Utah, New York, and Chicago.
1907 Jones supports striking telegram workers and encourages women to desert sweethearts who return to work before the strike is over.
1912-1913 Jones returns to West Virginia and in February 1913, she is arrested on complicity in murder charges. After being released, she joins strikers in Colorado and condemns the suffrage movement
1914-1916 While in Colorado, she witnesses the Ludlow Massacre, orchestrated by John D. Rockefeller Jr.
1916 Jones and Rockefeller Jr. both appeal for clemency for a life inmate imprisoned as a result of the Ludlow Massacre.
1918 Jones tells union members in West Virginia to keep digging for the war effort.
1919 Jones is arrested while speaking to steel workers in Homestead, PA.
1922 Jones is in Mingo County, West Virginia in the events that would lead up to the Battle of Blair Mountain