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Jessie McDonald (?–?)

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Jessie McDonald (or MacDonald) (?-?), Socialist and political activist 

Birth: details unknown. Death: details unknown. 

  • “Comrade Mrs Jessie McDonald” was a member of the Melbourne branch of the Australasian Socialist Party by 1912, when she proposed to deliver an address on the “the Evolution of the God”.
  • Prominent socialist public speaker during World War I.
  • Committed advocate of class struggle and trenchant opponent of socialist women forming alliances with feminist organisations.
  • Opponent of racist ideas and advocate of birth control. Regarded eugenics as worthy of attention as “a necessary science for human welfare”.
  • In 1919 she spoke at a meeting of the ASP Women’s League with Bella Lavender and Adela Walsh.
  • Author of ‘Australia and the Political Power of its Working Class’ in International Socialist Review, June 1916, and The Love Story of Karl Marx: A Human Document of Biography and Inspiration (pamphlet, 1920).

Joy Damousi, Socialist Women in Australia, c.1890-c.1918, Ph.D thesis, ANU, 1987; information from J. Damousi, 1991; Neville Kirk, Transnational radicalism and the Connected Lives of Tom Mann and Robert Samuel Ross, OUP 2027, pp 195-196.

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Citation details

'McDonald, Jessie (?–?)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 19 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • MacDonald, Jessie
Political Activism