This year, Boots of Popculture Looking Land, Julie of Paper Doll School, and Miss Missy of Miss. Missy’s Paper Dolls are all collaborating on a paper doll series. Each month, we design a dress for a shared doll.
Each month has a different theme. This month’s theme was to draw a dress inspired by a personal hero. I chose Mother Jones, the famous labor organizer.
Mary Harris Jones “Mother Jones” was born in Ireland in 1837 and died in Maryland in 1930. At one point, she was labeled the most dangerous woman in America for her work organizing miners.
She lost her husband and four children to yellow fever in 1867. Just four years later, she lost her business, a dress shop, in the Chicago Fire of 1871. So, she began working as an organizer for many labor groups including United Mine Workers of America, then known as just the United Mine Workers.
In her 60s, she became known as Mother Jones, an image she cultivated by wearing black and dressing in out of date fashions.
I don’t agree with all of her views though. She was opposed to women’s suffrage and thought women shouldn’t work. She was also a bit of a publicity hound, but people are people. No one is perfect.
One of Mother Jone’s most famous quotes is, “Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living.”
I didn’t want to draw a literal 1890’s dress for my paper doll, so instead I created this victorian inspired dress (which should be black if you want it to really be a Mother Jone’s look) and gave her a protest sign of her own. Also, I doubt Mother Jones would approve of exposed knees, so I would suggest coloring her legs like she’s wearing tights.
I have no desire to discuss politics on this blog, but one thing I will say is this- the rights workers have today in the US like the 40 hour work week, no child labor, sick leave and overtime would not exist without the work of labor unions in the early part of the 20th century. Never forget that people literally died for these rights and we should be grateful for them.
So, pray for the dead, as Mother Jones would say, and fight like hell for the living.
Need a doll to wear this stylish outfit? Grab the Doll here.