‘The Great Turn-Out’ is Paris library ‘World in Your Library’ Oct. 1 topic

SOUTH PARIS — The Paris Public Library will be hosting the third installment of a “World in Your Library” program at 10 a.m. Tuesdsay, Oct. 1, at the Deering Memorial Community Center, 39 Main St., next door to the library. This discussion is, “The Great Turn Out: Factory Girls and Maine’s First Labor Strike” and will be presented by Elizabeth DeWolfe.
In 1841, nearly 500 female factory workers walked out of Saco’s York Manufacturing Company and paraded up Main Street, chanting and singing. They gathered in a local church, formed a committee and sent the factory owner a document articulating their complaints about wages, housing and paternalistic rules.
The illustrated talk will explore the life of New England “factory girls,” the opportunities mill work brought and the challenges of this difficult labor. It will examine the tense days that followed the turn-out and how a strike in one Maine town connected to national agitation for women’s rights, including suffrage.
DeWolfe is a professor of history at the University of New England, and is the award-winning author of several works of history, including “The Murder of Mary Bean and Other Stories,” about the short life and tragic death of a New England textile operative. DeWolfe’s research focuses on the stories of ordinary women whose lives would otherwise be forgotten and she brings her archives-based research into the classroom in courses on women’s history, historical research methods, and American culture.
The presentation concludes a three-month program of speakers sponsored by the Maine Humanities Council at area libraries. For more information, call 207-743-6994.