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Frances PerkinsFrances Perkins
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had been textile strikes and attempts at organisation in the southern textile factories for many years past, going way back into the early twenties. Gastonia means something in people's minds. There had been an effort to organize at Gastonia. It had resulted in a sort of general melee in which a number of people got killed and injured. It was an altogether unpleasant and unfortunate affair. The state police had been called in. The detail of it doesn't stick in my mind too well, because, of course, I had no responsibility for this early strike, but I knew it as a newspaper reader knows about those things, and knew that there had undoubtedly been interference from the outside, both to aid the employers, and to aid the workers. In New York City they certainly took up general collections to help the workers. My memory is that Bill Haywood had some finger in those strikes that went on around Gastonia, but that doesn't mean that they were not legitimate, or that there wasn't a real grievance back of them.

I say this only because it explains a certain amount of the tension and antagonism which existed with regard to textile organization among the mill owners, and the apprehension, and at the same time the excited approval, of the textile workers toward an organizing drive.

At any rate, Gorman, with some others, rather

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