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1 The Collision Of Cultures
2 Britain And Its Colonies
3 Colonial Ways Of Life
4 The Imperial Perspective
5 From Empire To Independence
6 The American Revolution
7 Shaping A Federal Union
8 The Federalist Era
9 The Early Republic
10 Nationalism And Sectionalism
11 The Jacksonian Impulse
12 The Dynamics Of Growth
13 An American Renaissance: Religion, Romanticism, And Reform
14 Manifest Destiny
15 The Old South
16 The Crisis Of Union
17 The War Of The Union
18 Reconstruction: North And South
19 New Frontiers: South And West
20 Big Business And Organized Labor
21 The Emergence Of Urban America
22 Gilded-age Politics And Agrarian Revolt
23 An American Empire
24 The Progressive Era
25 America And The Great War
26 The Modern Temper
27 Republican Resurgence And Decline
28 New Deal America
29 From Isolation To Global War
30 The Second World War
31 The Fair Deal And Containment
32 Through The Picture Window: Society And Culture, 19451960
33 Conflict And Deadlock: The Eisenhower Years
34 New Frontiers: Politics And Social Change In The 1960s
35 Rebellion And Reaction In The 1960s And 1970s
36 A Conservative Insurgency
37 Triumph And Tragedy: America At The Turn Of The Century

Letter from a Lowell Operative (1834)

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We learn, by the latest accounts, that the Yankee girls at Lowell are doing themselves much credit by their determined resistance of the attempt of their taskmasters to visit punishment upon them for the sins of Bankism.5 The run upon the Lowell Banks still continued, and the Banks had been obliged to send to Boston for specie. The following is some account of the proceedings of the factory ladies.

THE TURN OUT AT LOWELL. - We are informed by a gentleman from Lowell, that our account of the "Turn out" amongst the female operatives was far from being exaggerated. The disturbance continued through Saturday. Many of the operatives had left Lowell for their homes, and others had returned to their mills. The following proclamation, declaration, manifesto, or whatever the reader pleases to call it, was circulated at Lowell on Saturday:

Issued by the Ladies who were lately employed in the Factories at Lowell to their associates, they having left their former employment in consequence of the proposed reduction in their wages of from 12 to 25 per cent, to take effect on the first of March.


Our present object is to have union and exertion, and we remain in possession of our own unquestionable rights. We circulate this paper, wishing to obtain the names of all who imbibe the spirit of our patriotic ancestors, who preferred privation to bondage, and parted with all that renders life desirable-and even life itself-to procure independence for their children. Their oppressing hand of avarice would enslave us; and to gain their object, they very gravely tell us of the pressure of the times; this we are already sensible of, and deplore it. If any are in want of assistance, the Ladies will be compassionate, and assist them; but we prefer to have the disposing of our charities in our own hands; and as we are free, we would remain in possession of what kind Providence has bestowed upon us, and remain daughters of freeman still.

All who patronize this effort, we wish to have discontinue their I labors until terms of reconciliation are made.

Resolved, That we will not go back into the mills to work unless our wages are continued to us as they have been.

Resolved, That none of us will go back unless they receive us all as one.

Resolved, That if any have not money enough to carry them home, that they shall be supplied.

Let oppression shrug her shoulders,

And a haughty tyrant frown,

And little upstart Ignorance

In mockery look down.

Yet I value not the feeble threats

Of Tories in disguise,

While the flag of Independence

Oer our noble nation flies.

Reference : America: A Narrative History, 6th Edition, Chapter 13; Inventing America, Chapter 13; Give Me Liberty, Chapter 12

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