Historical Marker: March of the Mill Children - 100th Anniversary
In 1903, several hundred child textile mill workers, led by labor activist Mary Harris "Mother" Jones (1837-1930), marched from Philadelphia to Oyster Bay, New York, in a protest against child labor. The president at the time was Theodore Roosevelt, whose home outside of Washington D.C. was in Oyster Bay. On their way to New York, Jones asked the mayor if she could give a speech about higher education here at Princeton. He agreed but Jones took it upon herself to talk about the dangerous, deplorable working conditions child workers were subjected to. The march did not have an immediate impact but it did bring the issue to the forefront and in 1906, New Jersey passed a law prohibiting children from working in mills before they reached 14 years of age. The marker was placed here in 2003.
Backstory and Context
Cordery, Simon. Mother Jones: Raising Cain and Consciousness. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2010.