Jacob Coxey

Jacob Coxey

You have heard of the Continental Army, the Union and Confederate Armies, and the United States Army. But have you ever heard of Coxey's Army? Coxey's Army had only five hundred men, and it never fought a real battle.

Jacob Coxey, a Civil War veteran, former farmer, and religious man, owned sandstone quarries in Ohio. When declining business forced him to lay off about forty workers, he felt angry that the government could not help people hurt by the depression. So he organized a protest march.

On Easter Sunday in 1894, one hundred men began to march from Ohio to Washington. Crowds in every city met Coxey's army. But not nearly enough men joined the army to number the 100,000 men Coxey hoped for when they reached the national capital. By the time it entered Washington, Coxey's army had five hundred men. Coxey managed to present his ideas on a public works program to the House of Representatives, but nothing ever happened. Coxey was arrested for trespassing on the Capitol lawn.

Jacob Coxey returned to Ohio. He ran three times for Congress and twice for the presidency. But the only political office he ever won was mayor of Massillon Ohio.

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