Among the goals of the Knights of Labor were to standardize the 8-hour workday, end child labor, terminate convict contract labor, have equal pay for equal work, have equal pay for men and women and have compensation for job-related injuries. The Knights of Labor also sought better factory working conditions and a graduated income tax.
The Knights of Labor was founded in 1869 as the Noble and Holy Order Knights of Labor in Philadelphia. The group was patterned after Freemasonry and its membership were made up of nine tailors. After 10 years, under the leadership of Rev. Terence Powderly who took the reins from Uriah Stevens, the Knights of Labor became the largest and most important labor organizations in the United States.