"Mother Jones Put Out of Mine Town," 1914; "Our Strike in Colorado," 1914

National Guard.jpg

Colorado National Guard of federal troops, c. 1913

Courtesy of the Library of Congress

     Jones’ movements in Colorado soon became restricted both figuratively and literally. Colorado National Guard General John Chase, who took advantage of some of Jones’ prolonged absence from the state, decided to ban Jones from Trinidad, a town in the southern part of the state and a center of labor discontent. This was not a popular move with local labor leaders, as evidenced in the first article, which states that the ban "caused much anger on the part of the strikers and strike-leaders tonight, and there were many urgent requests sent to Denver that she return to Trinidad at once, assuring her protection from any number of troops or citizens."

In typical Mother Jones-style, she ignored the ban and entered Trinidad on January 4, 1914, where she was promptly detained and sent to Denver. Eight days later, on Jan. 12, Jones would sneak back into Trinidad. This time, however, she was placed under house arrest for nine weeks at a Catholic hospital in the town, where she railed not only against the military officials but also the sisters in charge of the hospital (click here for more on this issue).

Jones-mine town article.pdf

"Mother Jones Put Out of Mine Town"

United Mine Workers of America attorneys presented her case to the Colorado Supreme Court, which agreed to hear it on March 16th; Jones was released the day before the hearing and told not to return. Again, however, Jones ignored this order and attempted to return to Trinidad March 22nd. She was arrested on the train and jailed for 26 more days. As before, she was released only after her case before the Colorado Supreme Court was imminent. After her release, she left for Washington D.C. to testify in Congress on the strike. Jones, therefore, was most likely not in the state when one of the worst incidents of labor violence in American history occurred.

 

Questions

As you read these documents, reflect on the following questions:

1. Why was Jones prohibited from entering Trinidad?

2. In the second article, who or whom did the writer hold responsible for Jones' incarceration?

Strike Colorado article.pdf

"Our Strike in Colorado"