Although Coxey's Army was only one of more than forty different armies ...
Although Coxey's Army was only one of more than forty different armies of the unemployed that headed for Washington, D.C., in 1894 to seek relief from their plight, it was by far the best known. Its leader was the colorful Jacob S. Coxey, a wealthy Populist who owned a sand quarry, bred horses, and wore hand-tailored suits. The publicity that preceded the arrival of the "armies" apparently frightened authorities. Fifteen hundred soldiers were stationed in Washington to meet the army; thousands more were available in Baltimore, Annapolis, and Philadelphia in anticipation of further trouble. But the army that arrived on May 1, 1894, numbered only 500. When Coxey tried to speak at the U.S. Capitol, police arrested him for walking on the grass. Fifty years to the day later, in 1944, Coxey finally delivered this speech from the steps of the U.S. Congress.
- U.S. History
- Material Type:
- Primary Source
- American Social History Project / Center for History Media and Learning
- Provider Set:
- Many Pasts (CHNM/ASHP)
- Center for History and New Media/American Social History Project