Coxey's Army

Coxey's Army was a group of unemployed American workers, led by the populist reformer Jacob Coxey, who marched on Washington D.C in 1894. Officially named the Commonweal of Christ, its nickname came from its leader and was more enduring. It was the first significant popular protest in Washington D.C. in U.S. history, and the expression "Enough food to feed Coxey's Army" originates from this march.

The purpose of the march was to protest the unemployment caused by the Panic of 1893 and to lobby for the government to create jobs building roads and other public works improvements. The march originated with 100 men in Massillon, Ohio on March 25, 1894. Various groups from around the country gathered to join the march, and its number had grown to 500 with more on the way from further west when it reached Washington on May 1, 1894. Coxey and other leaders of the insurrection were almost immediately arrested for walking on the grass, and the rest of the men scattered.

Among the marchers was Jack London, before he gained fame as a novelist.


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