The Shoeleather History Project

Stories from Hartford's Grassroots

Red Emma

One of the most dangerous women in America spoke in Hartford on February 12, 1913. “Red Emma” Goldman talked about love and marriage, a subject that was as revolutionary as … Continue reading

May 10, 2013 · Leave a comment

Solidarity and 75 cents

It started out as a dispute over seventy-five cents and ended up as a test of wills between hundreds of Hartford construction workers and their employer. Decades before working people … Continue reading

May 6, 2013 · Leave a comment

Hobo Life

On the Big Rock Candy Mountain  /All the cops have wooden legs/ The bulldogs all have rubber teeth/ And the hens lay soft boiled eggs… The original hobo’s version of this … Continue reading

May 4, 2013 · Leave a comment

The Shameful Legacy of Sam Colt

Some Hartford people are pretty desperate for heroes. What other explanation could there be for the recent attempts to glorify gunmaker Samuel Colt?  His 19th century factory is now a … Continue reading

May 3, 2013 · 3 Comments

Factory Girls Strike for Their Health

The factory owner demanded sixty hours a week from the young women employed at the Government Envelope Works on South Ann Street. But apparently this was not enough for the … Continue reading

May 2, 2013 · Leave a comment

Sand Hogs

We might drive over the Bulkeley Bridge every day, but we seldom think about the sweat and toil it took to produce the link between Hartford and East Hartford. Even … Continue reading

May 2, 2013 · Leave a comment

Sam Clemens, Union Man

He is best known for his American classics Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, but Hartford resident Samuel Clemens– alias Mark Twain– was also a staunch advocate and … Continue reading

April 18, 2013 · Leave a comment

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The Shoeleather History Project