Teach PA History
The Most Dangerous Woman in America? The Mock Trial of Mary Harris "Mother" Jones

1. If not chosen for homework, students can write a letter about Mother Jones from a specific perspective. They can choose to write from the perspective of a MINER, LABOR LEADER, BOSS, GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL, or CHILD WORKER and include at least three themes from the trial. SeeStudent Worksheet 4-Letter About Mother Jones. 2. Students can draw a symbol of Mother Jones as she should be remembered in history in Student Worksheet 5-Drawing Mother Jones. How would a miner or child depict Mother Jones? What about a lawyer or steel mill owner? Should Mother Jones be remembered as an "angel" or as a "dangerous woman?" See assessment rubrics for grading guidelines. 3. Students can compile their "letters to the editor" and/or drawings to create a "newspaper" that reports on the mock trial they just performed. There can be one class newspaper or multiple papers within a class. The newspaper can print letters that praise or condemn Jones's work. 4. Students can analyze a political cartoon originally published in the Philadelphia Evening Telegram entitled, "Strenuous Situation in Oyster Bay." This cartoon pokes fun at Theodore Roosevelt evading Mother Jones at the end of her 100-mile March of the Mill Children. Mother Jones is chasing Theodore Roosevelt at his summer home. The cartoon can be found at Mother Jones - South Florida,0, 5. Students can interview union members and leaders today and ask how their experiences compare/contrast to the experiences of industrial workers in the 1900s and Mother Jones. 6. Students can study part or the entire six-page letter Mother Jones wrote to labor leader John Mitchell to investigate what her days were like. An image of the letter in Mother Jones'script and a transcription are available. Mother Jones to John Mitchell, Montgomery West Virginia, May 6, 1902.

Field Trips

Eckley Miners Village
2 Eckley Main Street Weatherly, PA 18255 Phone: (570) 636-2070

Eckley Miners Village is an example of a company-owned patch town. See how workers lived by touring the village. Examples of buildings at Eckley's include: the owner's house, a worker's house, doctor's office, church, company store, breaker, etc. The website also provides video footage from a school field trip of a tour guide explaining some of these buildings. When describing the breaker, he mentions that children 8 or 9 years old were working the breaker. He then mentions the various jobs that children would receive working their way up to becoming a miner.

Pennsylvania Anthracite Heritage Museum
Bald Mountain Road Scranton, Pennsylvania 18504 Phone: (570) 963-4804

To get an understanding of the people for whom Mother Jones fought to improve their working conditions, visit this museum. Group tours are available. To schedule a tour, contact Ruth Cummings at (570) 963-4804.

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