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What wages did O’Donnell earn? Why didn’t he work more? How did he ac

count for his poverty? To what extent did O’Donnell possess freedom to nego

tiate for better wages and working conditions?


 O’Donnell requested “some remedy to . . . help us poor people.” What remedies

did he appear to favor? What remedies might have improved his prospects of



 Why did he believe the employers were doing “everything . . . that they pos

sibly can to crush down the poor people”? How might employers have



. How representative do you think O’Donnell and his family were of working

class Americans in the late nineteenth century?