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Newspaper Page Text
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ONE MAN'S OPINIONS
BY N. D. COCHRAN.
Mother Jones. I enjoyed a long
visit with "Mother" Jones the other
day; It was the first time I ever had
seen her. I have thought of our con
versation often since, and my impres
sion is that "Mother- Jones is really
the greatest labor leader I have ever
met the one with the clearest un
derstanding of the situation.
Before we meet people we have
read about we form impressions from
what we have read. I have watched
Mother Jones through newspaper ie
ports for many years and had loved
her for her sacrifices and for moth
erly love for all workers everywhere
I had pictured her in my Imagina
tion, but it was a poor picture, com
pared with the real Mother Jones in
spirit and the flesh. Nothing I had
ever imagined of her did her justice.
She told me she was 82 years old.
She doesn't look much over 60 and
she just came from a nine weeks'
imprisonment in a basement cell in
Colorado a cell vile enough to have
caused the death of a strong man
prisoner not long before.
I wish everybody could see Mother
Jones and know her. All of us kaow
something of mother love, when it
applies to a mother who loyes her
own children and -would die'for them.
Here is a mother who loves all work
ing men, women and children as if
they were in flesh and blood her own
children and she would dte for
That was the most appealing emo
tion in Mother Jones her love for
oppressed humanity. Like most good
lovers, she is a good hater, too. She
refers to state militiamen as "sewer
rats." She can show bitterness when
she talks of cowardly labor leaders
who haven't the courage to do any
thing but hold back the toiling thou
sands until they are licked.
But when she talks of the'workers
themselves the rank and file, the
miners, the engineers, firemen, brake
men then her eyes light up with a
real mother love.
She has the saving grace of humor.
Here is her comment on John Mit
chell walking down Fifth avenue,
New York, with Anne Morgan on one
arm and Mrs. Belmont on the other:
"See how the labor movement is get
And she has a sharp tongue in her
mouth. She calls the suffragists
"cats." She told Gov. Waite that if
he signed the bill giving women suf
frage hi Colorado he would set civili
zation back in that state fifty years.
And she will ask you to show her
what wpmen, with all the years they
have had the franchise in Colorado,
have donefor oppressed humanity.
In describing an interview she had
with Gov. Ammons of Colorado this
little old woman of 82 gave a micro
scopic impression of that small-soul-ed
imitation of a man by resorting to
a squeaky, tenor voice in imitation of
Gov. Ammons' part of the conversa
tion. You have heard men try to imitate
a woman's voice. Well, just imagine
the kind of man Gov. Ammons seem
ed to Mother Jones, when this little
old woman tried to disguise her femi
nine voice and make it sound less
than feminine when she imitated Am
mons. Mother Jones has been arrested
many times. She has been in numer
ous prisons. But she points with pride
to the fact that an of the arrests
have been made by militiamen, and
none by policemen or sheriffs. And
every arrest was for exercising the
right of free speech for speaking for
the working class. She never violated
Mother Jones has seen the state
soldiery and the private armies of
gunmen shoot down striking work
ingmen. She has seen all of the pow
er of the law thrown on the side of
capital against labor. She believes
that unless labor will submit to slav
ery must fight itself free.
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