Talk:Bisbee Deportation

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I just created this page. More to come later. There is a great wealth of info at 21:04, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

Some books with good coverage of the deportation, at least from the IWW perspective are Rebel Voices, edited boy J Kornbbluh and History of the Labor Movement in the US Vol. 4 - The Industrial Workers of the World by Phillip S. Foner. I was planning on expanding the information here within the next few weeks so I look forward to working on this with you.Joseph_Lapp 23:41, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

Photos for the article[edit]

I am in possession of a photo of, and a cartoon about the Bisbee Deportation, which come from the Walter P. Reuther Library, and i have obtained emailed permission to use same on Wikipedia. I am currently exploring licensing issues, with a view to clearing title to meet Wikipedia's preferences/requirements. Richard Myers (talk) 03:51, 4 January 2008 (UTC)


What this entry really needs is proper citations. Most of the notes cite entire books and lack any page references. Page numbers would help anyone trying to work with this entry. - Bmclaughlin9 (talk) 03:18, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

Three years later and the refs are still improper. Carrite (talk) 01:30, 14 April 2013 (UTC)
You can't fix them? I see people complaining, but no one contributing. - Tim1965 (talk) 13:22, 15 April 2013 (UTC)

Mischaracterization of the Holding in US v. Wheeler[edit]

This section mischaracterizes the holding in US v. Wheeler by eliminating the "private infringement" aspect: The Justice Department appealed, but in United States v. Wheeler, 254 U.S. 281 (1920), Chief Justice Edward Douglass White ruled for an 8-to-1 majority that no federal law protected freedom of movement. Protecting citizens' right to movement was a state function, White argued, and could be enforced solely in state court.[2][3][4][5][18]

White's whole point was that there was no federal cause of action against infringement by private actors of a possible right of movement. I think White would take great exception to the current mis-characterization of his opinion here.

The "private actor" aspect can be easily added to this sentence to make it correct: Chief Justice Edward Douglass White ruled for an 8-to-1 majority that no federal law protected freedom of movement from infringement by private actors.

Truthfully reporting facts, including the proper and accurate characterization of U.S. Supreme Court precedents, is part of what wikipedia is about, isn't it? I spent an hour last night reading US v. White and the case that confined it to its facts (but did not overrule it, contrary to wiki), US. v. Guest, and it seems quite clear that the PRIVATE ACTOR portion of the infringement was what the SCOTUS opinion was based on. Back then, if some private party prevented you from moving, there was a tortious act; that meant State, not federal law. If you disagree, let's talk about it. But otherwise, the edit should be incorporated. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sullyicious (talkcontribs) 01:51, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

  • It's not about what you or I think, or how we read the case. Find a citation that more correctly interprets the case, change the text, and add the cite. - Tim1965 (talk) 13:40, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

I agree with Sullyicious' reading and think a clearer account/characterization of the holding of Wheeler is what's required, not just a phrase. The citations for Wheeler are mostly to very high level "non-legal" summaries (Jensen, Foner, Dubofsky) except for the cite for Pratt, which is to the entire volume! I'll see what I can come up with. As for Guest, the entry is clearly wrong. Guest was about the use of public facilities and the right to engage in interstate travel. The only mention of Wheeler in Guest is a footnote that explains why the lower court was wrong to rely on Wheeler in deciding Guest when the facts and rights at issue were fundamentally different. It's hard to come up with a citation for its irrelevance.

Bmclaughlin9 (talk) 16:10, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

  • Again, I'm all for it! Find the cites, change the text, we're there! - Tim1965 (talk) 23:10, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

I've done what I can. There's related misinformation under Freedom of movement under United States law. Guest turns on statutory interpretation not constitutional interpretation, so the notion that Guest overturns Wheeler is not tenable, esp. when Justice Stewart says Wheeler is unrelated. (Guest establishes a reading of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.) There are all sorts of interesting issues here, but we're a long way from the Bisbee Deportations. For Bisbee, all that really matters is what the Court said in Wheeler, not the later jurisprudence. That's why I demoted the stuff about Guest to a footnote. Bmclaughlin9 (talk) 00:19, 23 April 2010 (UTC)

Train Trip Towns Seem Out Of Order[edit]

Article states: "The train stopped 10 miles (16 km) east of Douglas to take on water, some of which was provided to the deportees on the packed cars. Two machine guns guarded the train from nearby hilltops, while another 200 armed men patrolled the tracks. The train continued to Columbus, New Mexico (about 175 miles (282 km) away), arriving at about 9:30 p.m. The train slowly traveled another 20 miles (32 km) to Hermanas, not stopping until 3:00 a.m."

Hermanas is not to be found on Google Maps, possibly because there is nothing there now but some corrals, the railroad tracks long ago having been disassembled and carted away. State highway maps show Hermanas, and a signpost for Hermanas still stands at the southern end of the road named Hermanas Grade at the intersection with NM Highway 9.

Having visited all these towns myself, it seems to me that coming from Douglas, you go through Hermanas en route to Columbus. To go to Columbus then Hermanas would be back-tracking. Unless somebody else fixes this first, I will check cited sources and try to make sense of it.

Megapod (talk) 13:54, 12 July 2013 (UTC)

OK, got it. Train was sent to Columbus, then was sent back to Hermanas. According to link below, "When the train arrived in Columbus at 9:30 p.m., Mayor R.W. Elliott, Trustees White and Walker and Marshal Wright informed El Paso and Southwestern Railroad superintendent F.B. King that the Wobblies were "undesirables." If he insisted on unloading them, King and the trains' guards, estimated to number 250 at the time, would be arrested. After protesting that he was under orders, King, confronted with jail, changed his mind and ordered the train back to Hermanas, about 20 miles to the west. There, the 23 box and cattle cars were backed onto a siding and decoupled; the train's engine went on to El Paso."

See: for the rest of the story.

Megapod (talk) 17:56, 2 May 2014 (UTC)

Racial discrimination was a factor[edit]

What part of the following did you not relate to Institutional racism?

Discrimination against Mexican American workers by European-American supervisors was routine and extensive.

That quote is from the article...

The quote says "workers" not miners", and it says "in the region" but doesn't say whether racism was practiced at Bisbee. There is nothing in the article to say that there were any Mexican American miners working at the Phelps Dodge mine at Bisbee. Given the extreme racism in the region at the time, I suspect that miners were not integrated; that is, Mexican American miners did not work alongside white miners. Some mines might be all-Mexican American; others were whites-only. It's possible that non-mining, grunt-work jobs (such as hauling water, hauling timber, handling mine waste, etc.) were handled by Mexican Americans while whites worked the mines. But we'd need a citation that says this. Then we'd need a citation that says these workers were unionized, and struck in support of the miners, and that they, too, were included in the deportation. So, as you can see, there'd be some citations needed before we could say with certainty that there was a racist element to the event. - Tim1965 (talk) 16:39, 12 July 2015 (UTC)

Part of what the wobblies were supporting was the rights of the Mexican-American laborers, who were not given the jobs the whites were, but were relegated to the construction jobs. This was a time when mexicans of all flavors were discriminated against, and that the train out went to New Mexico, don't you see the relevance of that tactic? "The Industrial Workers of the World was founded in Chicago in June 1905. It was a melding of western miners, lumbermen and migrant farmworkers with industrial workers of the east. It also was an alliance of socialist and anarchist groups who opposed capitalism. The Western Federation of Miners was the most important of the original organizers. There were other unions and a strong socialist component. Individuals involved, among others, were Eugene V. Debs (future Socialist candidate for president of the United States), William D. "Big Bill" Haywood, "Mother" Jones (after whom the progressive magazine today is named) and Daniel DeLeon. Later, Mabel Dodge Luhan, the future Taos, NM, arts maven, joined."

Why do you discriminate between 'workers' in the text and 'miners' which was the title of the job?? Robco311 (talk) 20:29, 12 July 2015 (UTC)

Also, you are trying to key on the wobblies as the initiaters of the labor dispute. Labor disputes are initiated by the people that are affected by people trying to rob them of rightful wages. You can't work next to someone who makes more than you for the same job without getting pissed off. That is true no matter when it occurs, whether in 1931 or 2015. This is the source of all labor disputes. Using the forces of 'Law and Order' under "Color of Law" by saying that the central government has passed laws making your complaint of being robbed to be 'Illegal' is the definition of ... shite, where am I going here... back to... Institutional Racism.

That the forces of Law & Order claimed that the Posses had the right to round up 'Citizens', 'undesirables' and persons complaining about working conditions, (which was later proved false) and without actual legal right to kidnap and remove such persons to an undisclosed location, which was later proved under province of Law to be ILLEGAL, makes the Bisbee and Jerome removals of mexican workers to be a racist intervention by an armed posse a vigilante action and as such, actionable under US Law for reparations.

Am I the only one here that see's the complaints of the editors complaining to be racist in their tone? (Racism is decidely that when the efforts to deny its existence increases) In saying that, 2 editors are contesting that assertion of racism being the driving force behind the deportation. Before anyone getting their noses any further out of whack: see Detroit Copper Mining Company of Arizona which phelps dodge bought in 1881. Under history, see how the company employed mostly mexican miners, who were paid half what white miners earned, to keep the Arizona costs low and stay in business. the company sold out in 81 and dodge had controlling interest. Nothing changed in the operation there or at any other mines phelps dodge ran in arizona. See in Bisbee deportation where in Aftermath the sheriff stated that his goal was removing aliens and enemies of my government. (80% mexicans and 20% wobblies). Put in context of 1915 summer repatriation from Texas to mexico and most small towns emptying of mexicans all along the border during 1916-17, and the sheriff's deputies threatened lynching of the miners who returned, who ever heard of white men threatening other whites with such a crime in the segregated south? If there's any doubt that this was based on racism you'll have to show where I'm wrong. see User megapods [[1]] above this section; desert exposure, which calls the wobblies "mostly mexican" two paragraphs below the song lyrics. For a map see El Paso and Southwestern Railroad Robco311 (talk) 14:16, 13 July 2015 (UTC)

What I see is a violation of WP:CITE. Wikipedia requires us to not rely on our own feelings, ideologies, thoughts, or assumptions, but rather to rely solely on what published, unbiased sources say. None of the sources say "Mexicans" or "Mexican Americans" were among those rounded up. If you can find a source that says that, by all means add the information to the text and use an inline citation to support the sentence. Relying on an inference about regional conditions, or the half-assed claims of the employer or sheriff (who would have said anything to justify their illegal actions), or by claiming that later events colored prior events, is not following the guidelines of WP:CITE. I don't have to show you where you are wrong; I merely have to show you that there is no evidence (yet) which says Mexicans or Mexican Americans were rounded up as part of the Bisbee deportation. Find that evidence in a published, unbiased source. Follow Wikipedia's rules. - Tim1965 (talk) 16:02, 13 July 2015 (UTC)

@Tim1965: that's what I'm saying, the cite is "desert exposure" by megapods right above is just that, a cite for an article stating mexican miners worked for phelps and constituted most of the wobblies. The info is also in the other wiki's I listed above. You're right that racism was extensive in the region, but in the context of 'miners', Phelps Dodge had just seen a boost in income due to wartime earnings, but still choose to keep the Mexican Miners, yes, Mexican Miners. They were half-paid and were complaining about the wages and working conditions, so the company in collusion with the sheriff cooked up a half-baked scheme to get rid of them under color of law. By claiming that they were interfering with the war effort by striking, the company tested out the plan at Jerome, arizona before doing the same thing at Bisbee. When the cattle cars from Bisbee were met in Columbus with New Mexico Lawmen and turned back under threat of arresting everybody (Posse and Wobblies), they doubled back to Las Hermanas and uncoupled the engine and skedaddled.

Just because the article doesn't cite or even mention the racism that was at play doesn't mean it didn't exist. Some editors have gotten that curious bug that seems to infect keyboards that if there is no article to cite then it doesn't belong in the article. Facts are strange, and tend to get out from under the nails that keep them hidden. This is one of those facts. The miners were being screwed by the company, which was newly flush and it decided to kill two birds at once. Get rid of the mexican labor force and keep their wages as a bonus, and rehire good americans at a real wage of which there were plenty to choose from. Which citation would you like to see next? The numbers of actual miners (426 IWW) in the 1200 was 807, the rest were mexican townsfolk in the company town caught in the dragnet of lists and mexican faces, many non-miners included businessmen and professionals.

FYI, I don't use my own feelings, ideologies, thoughts, or assumptions in any of these articles. Everything comes from having read it somewhere, I don't really have any original thoughts. Robco311 (talk) 19:18, 13 July 2015 (UTC)

Apologies, I had to research the White lynchings and was proved wrong by the facts of the west. Quite a few states did in fact lynch more white people than black. In the West these greater number of white lynchings was due to political reasons not racial reasons. California, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming lynched more whites than blacks. In the south it was a response to freed blacks having 'too much freedom', but in the west it was for murder and thieving cattle. I still stand firm that the miners striking were mainly mexican, and am returning to my research now.... Robco311 (talk) 00:18, 14 July 2015 (UTC)

Dropping this as further research proved I was correct, and there are many cites to that effect. In the 1950's El Palomino[1] was vindicated by the US Supremes and the History of Phoenix, Az puts the Chicanos squarely in the first threads of Az. Phelps dodge took over all the mines by 1921 and the strife while covered elsewhere as 'labor unrest', in the history of mexican-american miners in Az it is covered in the 'racism shown to them by mine supervisors' by deficient wages, inequality of labor distribution and disparate treatment from anglo miners. In addition, they handled the mules, some of which never came above ground ever, and as a 24 hr operation the mines ran 10-12hr shifts was a greater part of the complaints against the co. Many of the homeowners removed were shop owners and professionals who serviced the mexican economy and whom didn't denounce the wobblies in the kangaroo courts and at makeshift patriotism tests administered by the deputies before being sent to the baseball stadium prior to the deportations. Any who then did were among those allowed to leave and stay in town.[2][3][4][5]