Mary Harris Jones - Background

Background

Mary Harris was born on the northside of Cork, Ireland, the daughter of a Roman Catholic tenant farmer, Richard Harris, and his wife, Ellen Cotter. Some recent materials list her birthday as August 1, 1837, although she claimed her birthdate to be May 1, 1830. Her claims to an earlier date may have been an appeal to her grandmotherly image. The date of May 1 was possibly chosen symbolically, to represent the national labor holiday and anniversary of the Haymarket affair.

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