Mother Jones fearlessly questioned corporate rule and earned the title “the grandmother of all agitators.” She is a figure who lives on because the issues she raised are still of concern to us, still relevant in the twenty-first century.
The photo below is one republished in many newspapers in various forms in the days after the battle. The miners had lined the tracks at Virden for days. The photo here was taken an hour before the train arrived. Among those who lined the tracks at Virden waiting for the trainloads of strike breakers were African-American union miners from Illinois, including seven from the Virden UMWA local. At least 1/2 the men who were massed were unarmed and most of the miners had only pistols and shotguns. But there was a battery of arms stored away, and it's likely that in the course of the battle they were located and deployed.