Who We Are
Mother Jones Museum is the website of the Mother Jones Heritage Project, a 501-c-3 non-profit. We are guided by the philosophy of Mother Jones, whose base was in Chicago, but who went everywhere, a national and global figure who influenced workers to organize and fight for justice.
Our project originated in 2014, inspired by the Cork Spirit of Mother Jones Festival. This website originated in 2008, as a project to revive Mother Jones and the early history of the activist labor movement. Our website has been a main factor in the revival of knowledge about Mother Jones.
What We Do
We have successfully partnered with dozens of groups to grow knowledge of Mother Jones and the wider history. Our current major project is a statue to Mother Jones in the city of Chicago. (see statue page on this site)
Mother Jones on the Road
We take Mother Jones on the road with traveling exhibits. We have erected historical markers to Mother Jones and other figures of the early labor movement in Illinois, and are currently working on projects to do so in Missouri and Indiana.
Check out our museum’s guided walking tours of Mother Jones Monument/Union Miners Cemetery in Mt. Olive, Illinois. These are great for student and labor tours of this sacred site of memory!
We also have walking tours of Virden, Illinois, where one of the great mine wars of the 19th century took place.
Museum Exhibit Projects
Coming Soon: a major exhibit at St. Louis Public Library
Looking for the Mt. Olive, IL Museum?
From 2014-2017 we launched the small Mt. Olive, Illinois Museum, producing 39 exhibits that focused on Mother Jones, and were the main base for fundraising for that museum. In 2018, the city took over control of the museum, and removed our exhibits; their emphasis moved to the local history in respect to Mother Jones. For those who donated to that cause when we were involved, please note that all of those original exhibits we created with your funding have been moved to other places and are still educating the public. We are considering other permanent locations for a museum, a place that will not restrain interpretation.
The Mother Jones Heritage Project collaborates with a network of partners to collect, interpret, and preserve the legacy of labor activist Mary Harris “Mother” Jones. In addition, we profile the stories of the ordinary people who shaped their communities into a challenge to the existing social order based on inequality in the past, with the aim of thinking about the relevance to the world we have inherited.
Board of Directors, Mother Jones Heritage Project:
Rosemary Feurer — labor historian, Northern Illinois University
Margaret Fulkerson — Working Women’s History Project
Elliott Gorn — Loyola University, author Mother Jones: America’s Most Dangerous Woman
Emily LaBarbera Twarog — University of Illinois
David Rathke– Eugene Debs Foundation
Saul Schniderman — AFSCME; Secretary, Labor Heritage Foundation
Stephanie Seawell Fortado – University of Illinois
Judy Simpson — Illinois Labor History Society
Academic Advisory Board, Mother Jones Heritage Project
Simon Cordery -author, Mother Jones: Raising Cain and Consciousness, Western Illlinois Univeristy
Priscilla Long– author, Where the Sun Never Shines
Thomas Andrews, historian, author Killing For Coal, professor, University of Colorado, Boulder
Bucky Halker — Folksinger and Historian, Company of Folk
Greg Boozell — Journalist, filmmaker