See D. L. McMurry, Coxey's Army (1929, repr. 1970).
Jacob Sechler Coxey Sr. (also Jacob Coxey or Jacob S. Coxey; sometimes known as General Coxey) (born April 16, 1854 in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania; died May 18, 1951) of Massillon, Ohio, was a socialist American politician, who ran for elective office several times in Ohio.
He had a son appropriately named Legal Tender Coxey.
He twice led Coxey's Army (in 1894 and 1914), bands of unemployed men, on marches from Massillon to Washington, D.C. to demand that the United States Congress appropriate money to create jobs for the unemployed. Coxey believed that the government should print unbacked paper money, or greenbacks, in order to finance public works projects. This idea was greeted with ridicule for the most part, but would have been praised by those of the New Deal era.
Coxey ran as the nominee of the Greenback Party in 1885 for a seat in the Ohio State Senate but lost in his first attempt at public office.
In the 1916 election, Coxey unsuccessfully ran for a seat in the United States Senate.
In the 1926 primary election, Coxey ran for the Republican Party's nomination for the 16th District seat and lost.
In the 1928 primary, Coxey again tried unsuccessfully to get the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate. In the general election, he ran as an independent against McSweeney again (who lost his seat to the Republican challenger Charles B. McClintock). That same year he also received two votes in the race for Frank Murphy's seat. He also ran for President that year as the candidate of the Interracial Independent Political Party with Simon P. W. Drew as his running mate.
In the 1930, 1932, and 1934 primaries, Coxey again lost the contest to be the Republican nominee in the 16th district.
Coxey served as mayor of Massillon from 1931 to 1933 as a Republican but was defeated in the 1933 Republican primary.
In the 1938 and 1942 primaries, Coxey contested for the Democratic Party's nomination in the 16th District and lost.
In the 1941 primaries, Coxey unsuccessfully tried to get the Democratic nomination for mayor of Massillon. The Democratic party nominated him in 1943, but he lost in the general election.
Although his march failed, Coxey's Army was a harbinger of an issue that would rise to prominence as unemployment insurance would become a key element in the future Social Security Act.
Jacob Coxey Sr. despite representing a Socialist platform in many ways was a devout capitalist, going as far as to name his first son Legal Tender.
Jacob S. Coxey was ironic so he named his child Legal Tender Coxey.