1828 - - - - - 1869
Born - Armagh, Pa. November 26, 1828
Died - Philadelphia, Pa. July 27, 1869
America's First National Labor Leader.
Founder, National Union of Iron Moulders,
July 5, 1859
Founder, National Labor Union, 1866,
Father of the 8 hour day Campaign in the United States. Lived to see it enacted into law for Federal Employees in 1869.
Sylvis will always be remembered for these simple lines penned in 1863 -
"I love this Union cause. I hold it more dear than I do my family or my life. I am willing to devote to it all that I am or have or hope for in this World."
His death was mourned by workers through-out the World. This stanza of a poem entitled The Fallen Hero is testimony to the respect for Sylvis held by his peers.
"Let every heart sincere,
in memory let fall
a heartfelt sympathetic tear
upon his humble pall:
our simple tribute to the mind
that has no equal left behind."