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We Were Not Ladies. We Were Women. is a feature-length audio documentary produced by Greg Boozell. It chronicles the story of Agnes Burns Wieck and her tumultuous year as president of the Illinois Women’s Auxiliary of the Progressive Miners of America.

In September 1932, thousands of Illinois miners split from the United Mine Workers of America to form a dissident union, the Progressive Miners of America. More than a factional dispute, the Illinois mine war would determine whether a union’s power could be wielded autocratically by its leaders, or if the miners union would be governed democratically by its members.

And under Agnes Burns Wieck’s leadership, the women of the coalfields would assert themselves as equal partners in the struggle.

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Permission Statement

This is an audio documentary provided for download by permission of the producer. Permission documentation is on file.


Merithew, C. W., expert commentator; Boozell, G., producer, director. We Were Not Ladies. We Were Women. Audio Documentary. Illinois: Mettle Pictures. 2015.

Audio file is 52.8 MB.

Interviews (in order of appearance):

  • Sean Burns, Organizer, Illinois Education Association
  • Caroline Waldron Merithew, Professor of History, University of Dayton
  • Dominic Bertinetti Jr.
  • Rosemary Feurer, Associate Professor of History, Northern Illinois University