Aspirations and Anxieties: New England Workers and the Mechanized Factory System, 1815-1850

By David A. Zonderman | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 3
Harmony and Antagonism: Workers, Managers, and the Social Relations of Production

Charles and Sarah Metcalf traveled to Lowell, Massachusetts, in the spring of 1841. Soon after their arrival, Charles wrote to their parents in Winthrop, Maine, about their prospects for working and living in the "city of spindles." He also advised them about sending another sibling, Mary, in search of employment.

I should be glad to have her come but I wish her to know what to expect should she come. I wish not to discourage her or you. She would probably find some place to work if not immediately, soon but whether she would like it or not I dont know. In the 1st place she would find theres no place like Home, every one here is wrapped up in self and looks out for No.1. She would find her patience taxed to the utmost. I was going to say she would find few very few to care for her in her troubles except relations and none to sympathize like parents. There can be no I cants here. If she has fortitude, patience, and perseverance . . . and wishes very much to come and you think it best I say come and we will do the best we can for her. She must leave home . . . sometime, and perhaps this is as good as any and the lesson though a hard one will be a good [one]. 1

The Metcalfs, like so many of their fellow operatives, had come from a small rural community. They had probably never seen anything like the sheer mass of humanity that filled a city such as Lowell. Within the factories and on the streets outside, the burgeoning industrial population was indeed a force to be reckoned with. Charles Metcalf's astute observations captured the anomie many operatives felt in their new industrial and urban environments. One of the authors of the Lowell Female Labor Reform Association's "Factory Tracts" painted an even more disturbing picture of the factory labor force.

. . . [T]hrown into company with all sorts and descriptions of mind, dispositions and intellects, without counselor or friend to advise -- far away from a watchful mother's tender care, or father's kind instruction -- surrounded on all sides with the vain ostentation of fashion, vanity and light frivolity -- beset with temptations with out, and the carnal prosperities of nature within, what must, what will be the natural, rational result?

-97-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Aspirations and Anxieties: New England Workers and the Mechanized Factory System, 1815-1850
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 357

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.