This website is devoted to the life of Jacob Coxey (1854-1951), the first march on Washington by “Coxey’s Army” in the spring of 1894, and the origins of political protest in the United States.
I have always admired what Jacob Coxey stood (and marched) for: a concern for the condition of the country’s unemployed, the belief that the banking industry possessed too much power, and a conviction that citizens had the right to voice their demands in the nation’s capital. But there’s an additional connection between us. As it turns out, Jacob Coxey is my great-great grandfather.
I say “as it turns out” because for much of my life, I did not know this. I knew that I was in some way related to him, but this was always mentioned in somewhat vague terms. About fifteen years ago, I found out the reason for this: the parents of one of the descendents between Jacob Coxey and me were, um, not married.
Once I heard this from a family member, I needed to find out if this was true. A check of birth records verified the lineage.
Would Jacob Coxey acknowledge me as his great-great grandson? I’d like to think so. For much of my life, I have worked on social justice issues with a particular interest in inequality. Perhaps, with his Theosophist leanings, he would see me as channeling my “inner Jacob Coxey.” He died five years before I was born; I wish I could have met him.
For a number of years, I have been identifying resources of interest, related to Jacob Coxey, his life, and his march on Washington. Lately, with the development of the Occupy Wall Street movement, comparisons have been made between Coxey’s march and this protest. That has motivated me to start this website. If you have any resources that would be of help to me in this effort, I would like to hear from you. You can contact me at “jeff at coxeysarmy dot org.” Thank you.