Lowell Mill Girls



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During the first half of the nineteenth century, farm girls and young women from throughout New England were recruited to work in the textile factories in Lowell, Massachusetts.  Although the women were tightly controlled both in the factories and at home in company-supervised boarding houses, many managed to join organized demonstrations against their working conditions. In 1834, The Boston Transcript  published a disapproving account of one of these protests:

The number soon increased to nearly 800. A procession was formed, and they marched about the town, to the amusement of a mob of idlers and boys, and we are sorry to add, not altogether to the credit of Yankee girls....We are told that one of the leaders mounted a stump and made a flaming Mary Wollstonecraft speech on the rights of women and the iniquities of the 'monied aristocracy,' which produced a powerful effect on her auditors, and they determined to 'have their way if they died for it.'