In this podcast episode, historian Joey DeFrancesco tells the story of the first factory strike in US history when in 1824, young women and girls working in the mills in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, organised themselves and walked out, winning better conditions. Joey also explains how the development of capitalist industry in the north was dependent on the labour of enslaved people in the south.

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More information
The episode graphic is detail from a painting of the strike by Christine Ashley, called the turnout of 1824.
This is the preserved mill today:

This journal article has more information on the strike: Pawtucket village and the strike of 1824: the origins of class conflict in Rhode Island – Gary Kulik 

Check out Joey’s short history of the dispute here on Jacobin

DeFrancesco Headshot.png
Joey DeFrancesco

You can also connect with Joey on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook

Huge thanks to our patreon supporters for making this podcast possible.
Special thanks to Daniel Denvir of The Dig podcast for bringing this dispute to our attention and connecting us with Joey.
This episode was edited by Jesse French
Our theme tune is Bella Ciao, thanks for permission to use it from Dischi del Sole. You can purchase it here: Or stream it here:

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One thought on “E32: The Pawtucket mill strike

  1. wonderful story. I live in Pawtucketts’s twin town Belper UK, a World Heritage Site because of the mills here and along the Derwent Valley and this podcast helps us to see the big picture of Belper’s place in Labour history

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