Mary Harris "Mother" Jones (May 1, 1830 – 30 November 1930) was an Irish-American schoolteacher and dressmaker who became a prominent labor and community organizer. She then helped coordinate major strikes and co-founded the Industrial Workers of the World. (Click here for biography on biography.com, also "The History of Mother Jones" from Mother Jones magazine.)
Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living.
I'm not a humanitarian, I'm a hell-raiser.
My address is like my shoes. It travels with me. I abide where there is a fight against wrong.
I asked a man in prison once how he happened to be there and he said he had stolen a pair of shoes. I told him if he had stolen a railroad he would be a United States Senator.
No matter what the fight, don't be ladylike! God almighty made women and the Rockefeller gang of thieves made the ladies.
I will tell the truth wherever I please.
Sit down and read. Educate yourself for the coming conflicts.
A lady is the last thing on earth I want to be. Capitalists sidetrack the women into clubs and make ladies of them.
I am not afraid of the pen, or the scaffold, or the sword.
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!
Men's hearts are cold. They are indifferent. Not all the coal that is dug warms the world. It remains indifferent to the lives of those who risk their life and health down in the blackness of the earth; who crawl through dark, choking crevices with only a bit of lamp on their caps to light their silent way; whose backs are bent with toil, whose very bones ache, whose happiness is sleep, and whose peace is death.
There are no limits to which powers of privilege will not go to keep the workers in slavery.
The rank and file have let their servants become their masters and dictators... Provision should be made in all union constitutions for the recall of leaders. Big salaries should not be paid. Career hunters should be driven out, as well as leaders who use labor for political ends. These types are menaces to the advancement of labor.
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.
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.
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.
The miners lost because they had only the constitution. The other side had bayonets. In the end, bayonets always win.
Injustice boils in men's hearts as does steel in its cauldron, ready to pour forth, white hot, in the fullness of time.