An immigrant woman’s life from the Pale of Settlement To the Wobblies
Matilda Rabinowitz (1887–1963) immigrated to the United States from Ukraine at the age of thirteen. Radicalized by her experience in sweatshops, she became an organizer for Industrial Workers of the World from 1912 to 1914. “Big Bill” Haywood (a member with Elizabeth Gurley Flynn of Mabel Dodge’s salon) once wrote, “a book could be written about Matilda,” but her memoir was intended as a private story for her grandchildren, Robbin Légère Henderson among them. Henderson’s drawings illustrate Rabinowitz’s life in the Pale of Settlement, the journey to America, political awakening, work as an organizer, a turbulent romance, and her struggle to support herself and her child.