Alfred James

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Marble Springs 2.0 screenshot of Alfred James

What we know

1857 - 1894
A river surveyor and bridge engineer, Alfred came out West with his wife, Allison, in the spring of 1894. The Silver Panic of 1893 had obliterated the economy, and Alfred was unable to find work. Too penniless to afford a ticket back East, both Alfred and his wife died of starvation in the winter of 1894.

Sources of information
Wages and the Ballot, Mary Dean Adams, Late Investigator for Inter-Municipal Research Committee and State Immigration Committee, 1909. Issued by The New York State Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage, 29 West 39th Street, New York City.


by Marion Albrecht

When Allison took her fool notion,
there was nothing to stop her.

She had to be out in the West
where the women were winning
her glorious fight—the vote
vanquishing the gin once and for all.

Alfred pleaded with her, saying
The panic was on out here
and besides, there was no work for
a river surveyor in the riverless West.

There is always work for the god-fearing
she replied. Especially in the godless West.

So she packed and they went,
taking the train out just as far as
his last dollars would take them.
This is far enough, she said.

And behold, there was no work1.
no food.
no rest.
Even for the god-fearing.





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Matthew Cole

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