Mary Heaton Vorse or Mary Heaton Vorse O'Brien (1874–1966) was an American journalist, labor activist, and novelist. Vorse was outspoken and active in peace and social justice causes, such as women's suffrage, civil rights, pacifism (specifically including opposition to World War I), socialism, child labor, infant mortality, labor disputes, and affordable housing.

Mary Heaton Vorse was born October 11, 1874 in New York City. She was raised in prosperity in Amherst, Massachusetts in a 24-room house, tended by nurses and housemaids. The money in her family came from her mother's side, her mother having married a wealthy shipping magnate and liquor merchant more than 20 years her senior when she was a young woman of 18. Her mother had been widowed at age 37 and had soon married again to Mary's father, Hiram Heaton.

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Mary Heaton Vorse Poems

Mary Heaton Vorse Quotes

... no one knows anything about a strike until he has seen it break down into its component parts of human beings.
Mary Heaton Vorse (1874-1966), U.S. journalist and labor activist. A Footnote to Folly, ch. 23 (1935).
Before Lawrence, I had known a good deal about labor, but I had not felt about it. I had not got angry. In Lawrence I got angry. I wanted to do something about it.
Mary Heaton Vorse (1874-1966), U.S. journalist and labor activist. A Footnote to Folly, ch. 2 (1935). On the personal radicalizing effect of the 1912 Lawrence, Massachusetts millworkers' strike. Vorse went on to become an important radical writer.
In the end we will listen to the voice of the machines. We will have to. There is no choice. We will not go back to tallow dips while the great shining wheels are there to bring us light.
Mary Heaton Vorse (1874-1966), U.S. journalist and labor activist. A Footnote to Folly, ch. 25 (1935).

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