Johnson, Mark A.
Brudney, Edward; Hutton, T. R. C.
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Place of Publication
The decades surrounding the turn of the twentieth century were a time of immense upheaval as the United States went through an intensive process of industrialization, ensuing waves of economic instability, and large-scale human migration. In response, many activists and reformers emerged, particularly in the world of civil rights and labor organizing. William R. Riley and Richard L. Davis, who were both coal miners and organizers within the United Mine Workers of America, worked at the intersection of both of these worlds during that time period. This research deals with the writings of these two men in depth, seeking to define their unique perspectives and strategies as activists, rather than making them part of broad generalizations. Both of these little-known historical figures have to varying degrees been represented by many historians as exemplars of radicalism within the American working class which can be contrasted against the supposedly conservative, accommodationist role of the Black leader Booker T. Washington, during roughly the same time period. By evaluating these two smaller figures, as well as their historiographical roles, this research complicates that narrative a bit, and forces us to reconsider the ways that we divide radicals from conservatives, elitists from populists, and progressives from reactionaries.
B. A.; An honors thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Bachelor of Arts.
Riley, William R.--Influence; Davis, Richard L. (Richard Lorenzo), 1862-1900--Influence; United Mine Workers of America
Hannah, Jameson, "William R. Riley, Richard L. Davis, the United Mine Workers, and the negotiation of race and class in Southern Appalachia" (2023). Honors Theses.