Author's Note: I'm not sure how accurate this is. I wanted to capture the thoughts of a young, mill girl working before child labour laws were put into action.

All We Have

~A Story of A Mill Girl~

Do not prevent me from working. Yes, I am aware that this job is dangerous and not suitable for a child my age. Yes, I know that I should be at school and not at this mill.

But you see, this is all I have, all we have.

Mamma cannot work because she is blind. Daddy cannot work because frostbite took his legs many years ago. I have no brothers or sisters. It is just me as the sole provider.

The government is trying to tell me that I cannot provide for my family. Where will our food come from? Where will the rent money come from? How will we not be thrown out into the streets? So many questions with so few answers.

I ask you, no I beg of you. Do not take away my job. It is all we have.


January 1905 by Katherine Boling