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Historical Profile: Kate Mullany

Prepared by Jack Urso, Technology Integrationist for the Virtual Learning Training Center.

Task: Review the information below about a local historical figure and answer the study questions.

Objective: Students will be able to explain the historical contribution of Kate Mullany.

Kate Mullany (1845-1906) was one of the many thousand of Irish immigrants to have settled in the Capital District during the19th century. She started the first women's labor union in the United States. The home she lived in at 350 8th St., in Troy, NY, (see picture at left) has been designated as a National Historical Monument.

Kate Mullany's story is typical of the many Europeans who immigrated to the United States, working long hours at hard labor to earn little money.

But why would we dedicate the home of a little-known person as a historical monument? Read on!



Task 1: Remember, a good student of history reads from many sources in order to get an accurate picture of the real events behind the story.

Follow the links below to read the articles about Kate Mullany:

Biographical Facts:

Life Narrative:

The Collar Laundry Union:

Historical Monument:

New York State Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton's remarks at the dedication of the Kate Mullany House:

Use the following links to find out the definitions of unfamiliar terms:

Task 2: Study Questions. The answers can be found in the links above.

1) How old was Mullany when she first formed the Collar Laundry Union?

2) How much did Kate Mullany earn per week for her work and how long did she have to work for it every day? Compare her work and wages to your weekly allowance or pay for an after-school job you might have.

3) What was the name of the woman who helped Mullany form the Collar Laundry Union?

4) How did Mullany advance the ideal of equality between men and women in the workplace?