Event—Scholarly Seminars

David Marquis, College of William and Mary


Organizing in the Jim Crow Timber Fields, David Marquis

Chapter three of my dissertation, “Clear-cut Blues: Violence, Culture, and Labor in the Jim Crow Piney Woods, 1880-1925.” The early chapters discuss the development of the southern timber industry and workers’ lives. This chapter focuses on the Industrial Workers of the World and the Brotherhood of Timber Workers. I argue that environmental and working conditions made the slow road to reform unobtainable. Instead these union members risked their lives because the BTW/IWW fought for systemic, revolutionary change and not a temporary amelioration of conditions in the form of privileges bestowed by a benevolent, or temporarily conciliatory employer or government.

Respondents: Jane Dailey, University of Chicago & Benjamin H. Johnson, Loyola University Chicago