Two women in particular, Mary Harris “Mother” Jones and Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, earned stature as labor movement legends. Jones persists as an icon for contemporary champions of progressive causes. Separated in age by nearly six decades, both gained reputations for their “leather-lunged” and militant oratory, their disarming fearlessness, and their uncanny talent for captivating the minds and hearts of audiences regardless of sex or ethnicity. Some observers have linked the pair through what Marx termed “the feminine ferment” of the movement. “The fiery example of Mother Jones had one conspicuous follower,” note Lloyd Morris, “Elizabeth Gurley Flynn.”

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2008 Michigan State University Press. This book chapter first appeared in Rhetoric of Reform in the Nineteenth Century.

Edited by: Martha Solomon Watson

Please note that downloads of the chapter are for private/personal use only.

Purchase online at Michigan State University Press.