Hellraisers Journal: Bisbee Deportation Severely Scored by Report of President Wilson’s Mediation Commission

Don’t worry, Fellow Worker,
all we’re going to need
from now on is guts.
-Frank Little


Hellraisers Journal, Saturday December 1, 1917
Washington, District of Columbia – Bisbee Deportation “Wholly Illegal”

The deportation of the striking miners of Bisbee, Arizona, carried out last July by the sheriff of Cochise county and about 2,000 of his armed “deputies,” was “wholly illegal and without authority in law, either state or federal.” So says the recently released “Report of the Bisbee Deportations Made by the President’s Mediation Commission.” The Commission was chaired by Secretary of Labor William B. Wilson.

William B Wilson, Sec of Labor, LOC ab 1913

From the Duluth Labor World of December 1, 1917:


WASHINGTON. Nov. 29.—Severe criticism of the persons responsible for the deportation of 1,186 striking copper workers from Bisbee, Ariz., and the Warren mining district July 12, is contained in a report of President Wilson’s special labor commission made public Saturday by the president.

The deportation was carried out by the sheriff of Cochise county and about 2,000 armed men, “presuming to act as deputies under the sheriff’s authority,” the report said, and “was wholly illegal and without authority in law, either state or federal.”

After extensive investigation of the causes and circumstances surrounding the copper mine strike, the commission found that the deportations were planned by a number of Bisbee citizens, including officers of the Phelps-Dodge and Calumet & Arizona mining interests.

How much this report helps the deported miners, we are unable to say. We have found no evidence that the illegally deported miners have been allowed to return to their homes in Bisbee, Arizona. Nor have we heard of the arrests of the sheriff of Cochise county, nor of his deputized company gunthugs who kidnapped 1,186 striking copper miners, tore them from their homes and families, dumped them in the desert without food or water, and caused the death of Fellow Worker James H. Brew while committing their illegal round up.


The Labor World
(Duluth, Minnesota)
-Dec 1, 1917

William B Wilson, Sec of Labor, LOC ab 1913

See also:

Wiliam B Wilson

Tag: Bisbee Deportation of 1917

WE NEVER FORGET: FW James H. Brew who gave his life in freedom’s cause on July 12 1917 at Bisbee, Arizona

Official Bulletin
Committee on Public Information, 1917
Official Bulletin
Published Daily under Order of the President
-by the Committee on Public Information
-George Creel, Chairman
WDC, Nov 27, 1917
Report of President Wilson’s Mediation Commission On the Bisbee, Ariz., Deportations, Including Its Recommendations as Made On Findings of Facts

The Bisbee Deportation of 1917
A University of Arizona Web Exhibit
Official Reports
Department of Labor Office of the Secretary
Report of the Bisbee Deportations
Made by the President’s Mediation Commission
-to the President of the United States
November 6, 1917
Washington Government Printing Office, 1918