The Knights of Labor movement spread across Canada in the 1880s. Its membership included craft workers and general labourers, men and women, English and French, black and white. Its supporters' belief in the nobility of all workers - those who served as "Knights in the country's service" - was paramount, as witnessed in the articles, editorials, poems and songs that appeared in the organization's newspaper, The Palladium of Labor.

Uprouse ye now; brave brother band,
With honest heart and working hand;
We are but few, toil-tried and true,
Yet hearts beat high to dare and do!

No trade's strict rules divide us here
For all can come, all may draw near;
And, carpenter or printer, he
Will brother to a molder be!

The rugged-muscled workingman,
With sooty and callous hand,
Is near of kin to him who fain
Must drive the awl or shove the plain.

We fight, but bear no bloody brand!
We fight to curb oppressor's hand!
We fight, that smiles of love may glow
On lips where curses quiver now!

With ballot keen, let each a blow
Strike for the right! wrong t'will o'erthrow!
Firm fixed of will, each voting day
We'll test its power our foes to slay!

O! there be hearts to ache to see
The day-dawn of our victory!
Eyes full of heartbreak with us plead,
And watchers weep and martyrs bleed!

Work, brothers mine! work heart and brain,
We'll win the golden age again!
And love's millenial world shall rise
In happy hearts and blessed eyes!
Hurrah! hurrah! true knights are we,
In labor's lordly chivalry!

Palladium of Labor, November 1883

Knights of Labor procession in Hamilton

"The hope of Labor lies in organization. Organization means protection from long hours of toil and low wages. It means protection from the wiles of scheming monopolists. It means protection from ignorance. Individually, we can do nothing; united we are a power."

Palladium of Labor, October 1884

Link to the Social Progress Gallery