Mary E. Marcy

MaryMarcy

Mary Edna (Tobias) Marcy, born 1877 in Belleville Illinois, championed the early IWW through her editorship of the leading radical journal of the day, the International Socialist Review. Orphaned at a young age, Marcy began her working life as a teen. At the age of 19, she was fired from a job for wearing a button supporting William Jennings Bryant’s presidential bid. Clarence Darrow heard of her dismissal and found her a job working for the president of the University of Chicago. She took advantage of the opportunity to enroll in classes tuition-free. In 1901, she married Leslie H. Marcy, and in 1903 they joined the Socialist Party. She assumed the managing editorship of the Review in 1909, and under her, it became “the fighting magazine of the working class.” Bill Haywood, Arturo Giovannnitti, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn and other Wobblies found a home in its pages. She regularly featured IWW activities and strikes and her 11 page account of the “Battle for Bread at Lawrence” is one of the most comprehensive contemporary reports of the strike. Women’s agitation was a consistent feature of articles under Marcy’s watch, though her own writings on women have been deemed controversial

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