A worker’s memory of the strike
When it was announced that the wages were to be cut down, great indignation was
felt, and it was decided to strike or “turn out” en masse. This was done. The
mills were shut down, and the girls went from their several corporations in
procession to the grove on Chapel Hill, and listened to incendiary speeches
from some early labor reformers.
One of the girls stood on a pump and gave vent to the feelings of her companions
in a neat speech, declaring that it was their duty to resist all attempts at
cutting down the wages. This was the first time a woman had spoken in public in
Lowell, and the event caused surprise and consternation among her audience.
It is hardly necessary to say that, so far as practical results are concerned,
this strike did no good. The corporation would not come to terms. The girls
were soon tired of holding out, and they went back to their work at the reduced
rate of wages.
Harriet H. Robinson, 1885