Sunday, March 11, 2012

Women's History Month No. 12

"Wall Street owns the country. When I get through with the silk-hatted easterners, they will know that the Kansas prairies are on fire!"

"We are for humanity against the corporations - for perishing flesh and blood against the moneybags!"

Mary Eliz. Lease (1850 ~ 1933)

Man oh man, read a little bit about THIS Populist stemwinder, the "Patrick Henry in Petticoats," maestra of the soapbox back in the 1890's, a not-so-very-Gilded Age for the nation's farmers, miners, and factory workers, when, as now, the land's riches were mostly in the hands of a wealthy, controlling few.
Here's how I wrote about Mrs. Lease in my 2003 book, Rabble Rousers:
"Mary's thoughts spun right along with the political tornado that was spinning across the land: Farmers and workers were forming unions – why not a third political party? A People's Party that would fight for a more honest government, one that would see [that] people got what they needed to live decent lives."

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