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Voice 1846 04 24
 
VOICE OF INDUSTRY
APRIL 24, 1846

To The Female Labor Reform Association in Manchester

Sister Operatives:

As I am now in the "city of Spindles," out of employment, I have taken the liberty to occupy a few of your leisure moments in addressing the members of your Association, and pardon me for giving you few brief hints of my own experiences as a factory operative, before proceeding to make some remarks upon the glorious cause in which you are so arduously engaged.  It would be useless to attempt to portray the hardships and privations which are daily endured, for all that have toiled within the factory walls, and must be well acquainted with the present system of labor which can be properly termed slavery.

I am a peasant's daughter, and my lot has been cast in the society of the humble laborer.  I was drawn from the home of my childhood at an early age, and necessity obliged me to seek employment in the Factory. . .I have heard with the deeper interest, of your flourishing Association of which you are members, and it rejoices my heart to see so many of you contending for your rights, and making efforts to elevate the condition of your fellow brethren, and raising them from their oppressed and degraded condition, and seeing rights restored which god and Nature designed them to enjoy.  Do you possess the principles of Christianity?  Then do not remain silent; but seek to ameliorate the condition of every fellow being, engage laboriously and earnestly in the work, until you see your desires accomplished.  Let the proud aristocracy who has tyrannized over your rights with oppressive severity, see that there is ambition and enterprise among the "spindles," and show a determination to have your plans fully executed.  Use prudence and discretion in all your ways; act independently and no longer be a slave to petty tyrants, who, if they have an opportunity will encroach upon your privileges.

Some say that "Capital will take good care of labor," but don't believe it, don't trust them.  Is it not plain, that they are trying to deceive the public, by telling them that your task I easy and pleasant, and that there is no need of reform?  Too many are destitute of feeling and sympathy, and it is a great pity that they are not obliged to toil one year, and then they would be glad to see the "Ten Hour Petition" brought before the Legislature.  This is plain, but true language.

Probably you meet with many faithless and indifferent ones.  If you have a spark of philanthropy burning within your bosom, show them the errors of their ways; make them understand it; tell them that it is though the influence of the laboring community that these things are to be accomplished. . .

Read and patronize the Voice, and circulate the "Ten Hour Petition" among all classes, and may God strengthen you in your efforts: may you continue on in courage and perseverance until oppression and servitude may be entirely extinguished form our land, and thus, do honor to yourselves, and good to your country.

A Lowell Factory Girl

 

 
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