In the wake of the violent labor disputes in Colorado’s two-year Coalfield War, a young woman and single mother resolved to change the status quo for girls working for Capitol Hill’s elite matrons in 1916. Despite tremendous opposition from hard-boiled Industrial Workers of the World men and Capitol Hill’s civic leaders, Jane Street persisted in organizing one of the poorest-paid and least-respected groups of women—a “latter-day Joan of Arc”—as one Colorado historian describes her. By 1917, with the advent of America’s entry into World War I and the country’s subsequent Red Scare, the Bureau of Investigation branded Jane Street an enemy to the people. Was Jane Street an activist, who appeared out of nowhere to organize an ahead-of-its-time labor union of domestic workers, or was she a revolutionist, intent on upsetting world order?
Join Jane Little Botkin, author of The Girl Who Dared to Defy: Jane Street and Denver’s Rebel Maids on April 17th, 2021 at 1:30 PM MST.