Thomas Skimore (1790–1832)—carpenter, teacher, scientist, writer, and printer—was a leader and theorist of the early American labor movement.
His "Rights of Man to Property" (1829) called for the organization of the propertyless and near-propertyless to displace the existing government with a popular convention that would: expropriate the great fortunes of the day; harness the power of the developing industries for the common good; and establish a social and economic democracy.
An early champion of equality for Indigenous people, Blacks, and women, he fearlessly defied the prejudices of his (and our) day. Excluded from the Workingmen's Party he had helped to found, Skidmore began, in 1830, his own group of "original Workingmen," the first organization in American history with the avowed goal of a workers' revolution.
Amos Gilbert's biography of 1834, annotated with the results of new research, provides vital insights into a long-neglected forerunner of American labor militancy and into the struggles he pioneered. This hand pocket edition is introduced, annotated, and edited by Mark A. Lause, with "Appended Selections" from Skidmore's "Rights of Man to Property!".