The Chicago Women's Trade Union League (CWTUL), inaugurated at Hull House in 1904, had its roots in the 1900 stockyard strike of Irish women, the short-lived Maud Gonne Club, and Local 183 of the Amalgamated Meat Cutters, the first women's union in the stockyards. Mary E. McDowell, head resident of the University of Chicago Settlement and advisor to Local 183, served as CWTUL's first president from 1904 to 1907. The working-class leadership of the Chicago branch — unlike its better-known counterpart in New York — was “old immigrant” (primarily Irish Catholic but also including Germans and Scandinavians) with a distinct culture that derived from its ethnic makeup and its settlement-house attachments. In “The Irish Girls' Rising,” Suellen Hoy explores these developments and highlights CWTUL's significance in building the women's labor movement in Chicago at the turn of the twentieth century.

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