Ginny Savage Ayers, author of the book Never Justice, Never Peace: Mother Jones and the Miner Rebellion at Paint and Cabin Creeks, will speak at Shepherd University on Wednesday, September 19, at 7 p.m. in the Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education auditorium.
The event, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by Shepherd’s Lifelong Learning program, Center for Appalachian Studies and Communities, the Byrd Center, and Four Seasons Books.
Ayers is the daughter of Lon Savage, who wrote Thunder in the Mountains: The West Virginia Mine War, 1920–21.
When Savage died, he left behind an incomplete book manuscript about a lesser-known Mother Jones crusade in Kanawha County. Ayers drew on Savage’s notes and files, as well as her own original research, to complete “Never Justice, Never Peace”—the first book-length account of the Paint Creek–Cabin Creek Strike of 1912–13.
The book offers a narrative history of the strike that weaves together threads about organizer Mother Jones, the United Mine Workers of America, politicians, coal companies, and Baldwin-Felts Detective Agency guards with the experiences of everyday men and women. The result is an in-depth treatment that brings to light an unjustly neglected—and notably violent—chapter of labor history.
Ginny Savage Ayers received a B.S. in biology from Virginia Tech and an M.S. in microbiology from North Carolina State University.
For 18 years she was employed as a research microbiologist at the Colorado State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory before relocating with her family in 2002 to Maryville, Tennessee.
She has taught courses in biology and environmental ethics as an adjunct instructor at Maryville College, and during this time started working to complete the manuscript on the Paint Creek and Cabin Creek strike started by her father.