Hellraisers Journal: Bisbee Deportee, Attorney W. B. Cleary, Issues Statement from Hermanas, New Mexico

There are no limits to which
powers of privilege will not go
to keep the workers in slavery.
-Mother Jones
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Hellraisers Journal, Monday July 16, 1917
From Hermanas, New Mexico – W. B. Cleary Speaks

Bisbee Deportation Miners and Supporters July 12, 1917

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In a statement issued from Hermanas, New Mexico, where the miners and their supporters, deported from the Bisbee district of Arizona, were left stranded at 3 a. m. on July 13, Attorney W. B. Cleary said in part:

About 5 o’clock in the morning of the 12th a rounding-up of the men on strike began. The strikers were members of the I. W. W. and the International Union of Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers. Men from Bisbee, Lowell, Warren, and Douglas, and the county adjacent thereto, to the number of 2,200, mostly armed with rifles and revolvers and some with clubs, assisted in the work of the round-up. Some of the miners were treated without any show of violence by the men taking them from their homes, while in other instances the men were forced at the point of a gun to leave their homes, and in many instances their wives and families.

They were herded by gunmen with an automobile which carried a machine gun. This machine gun was trained on the miners….

The men were entrained on twenty-four cars waiting on a siding near the park. Cattle cars and box cars were used for this purpose. About noon the train was started toward New Mexico. On top of each car were a large number of armed guards and along the railroad track for miles the train was accompanied by automobiles with men holding guns fixed upon the railroad cars.

From The New York Times of July 14, 1917:

DEPORTED I.W.W.’S FED BY THE ARMY
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Gen. Bell, at El Paso, Rushes Supplies to
the 1,200 Men Driven from Arizona.
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TROOPS TO TAKE CHARCE
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Exiles Will Be Removed to Columbus Under Guard-
Wilson Condemns Deportations.
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HERMANAS, N. M., July 13.-Danger of starvation which today became very real for the 1,200 men who were deported from Bisbee, Ariz., yesterday, as members of the I. W. W., was abated with the arrival here of two cars of provisions from the United States Army base at El Paso. A truck load of supplies from Columbus also arrived tonight.

Acting under orders from Governor Lindsay, the deported men were placed under arrest tonight by Sheriff Simpson of Luna County, N. M., and District Attorney J. S. Vaughn. The officers have orders to take the 1,200 men to Columbus, where they will be held in restraint and fed at the State’s expense until final arrangements have been made for their disposition.

Governor Lindsay telegraphed the State and War Departments and President Wilson that he considered the refugees a national problem, and tonight he was awaiting a reply to his request that the State be relieved of responsibility for the charges thrust upon it by Arizona.

Apparently responsibility for the deportation was fixed today when General Superintendent F. B. King of the El Paso & Southwestern, declared in Douglas that Walter Douglas, a Vice President of that road, had instructed him to transport the men to Columbus. Douglas is a leading official of the Phelps-Dodge Corporation, which is heavily interested in Bisbee mines. The idea in taking them to that point was to force their care on to military authorities stationed there, King indicated.

Telegraph Office Swamped.

The situation here today was a queer one. The commander of the troops here confined his efforts to preserving order and carrying out the dictates of humanity in seeing that the deported horde did not suffer from hunger. The former Bisbee residents were left much to themselves, and those who had money besieged the little telegraph office with telegrams of protest to State officials, telegrams asking for aid, and telegrams notifying their families, some of them in Bisbee, that they were all right. The flood of messages made transmission of press dispatches difficult. Some were taken to Columbus for filing.

There was no attempt at violence and no disorder has been reported by any citizens of this town. Except a few who started afoot for Columbus or some other point within striking distance, most of them simply made the best of their lot and waited for action by county, State or Federal officials. Their attitude was one of restraint, rather than apathy.

Attorney W. B. Cleary, Manager AZ Gov Hunt Campaign 1916

W. B. Cleary, Bisbee attorney, and well known labor advocate, who was deported with the others, has taken unofficial charge of the party. He has counseled that the deported men make the best of the situation. Cleary issued the following statement tonight:

There were 1,286 men deported from Bisbee yesterday [July 12]. With few exceptions they were all underground miners, the others being small business men of the Warren district, which includes Bisbee, Lowell, and Warren. The men were on a strike for better conditions, particularly for two men on a machine, which, is the custom in most mining districts. The men also asked discontinuance of the physical examination which every man is obliged to submit to before obtaining a job and which has been used as a basis of blacklist. Under its guise men who are physically able have been refused work because of their political affiliations and principles.

Demanded $6 a Day.

Another demand was for a six dollar wage per day as a minimum, six dollars today not having any more purchasing power than three dollars and fifty cents had when miners received that sum, and copper was selling at 14 and 15 cents a pound.

The strike on the part of the miners was most peaceful. In the neighborhood of ninety percent of the underground workers went out. The police records show far fewer arrests during the time of the strike than during ordinary times.

About 5 o’clock in the morning of the 12th a rounding-up of the men on strike began. The strikers were members of the I. W. W. and the International Union of Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers. Men from Bisbee, Lowell. Warren, and Douglas, and the county adjacent thereto, to the number of 2,200, mostly armed with rifles and revolvers and some with clubs, assisted in the work of the round-up. Some of the miners were treated without any show of violence by the men taking them from their homes, while in other instances the men were forced at the point of a gun to leave their homes, and in many instances their wives and families.

They were herded by gunmen with an automobile which carried a machine gun. This machine gun was trained on the miners. There was no resistance on the part of the miners, so far as I observed. After the first shock was off the men seemed to take their plight good-naturedly.

The men were entrained on twenty-four cars waiting on a siding near the park. Cattle cars and box cars were used for this purpose. About noon the train was started toward New Mexico. On top of each car were a large number of armed guards and along the railroad track for miles the train was accompanied by automobiles with men holding guns fixed upon the railroad cars.

Many of the cars had sufficient water during the trip, but in a number of them the water supply gave out between 3 and 4 o’clock in the afternoon. On the way to Columbus when the train was stopped the guards, 186 in number, would permit the men to leave the train and go to other cars to get a drink water, but on the return trip from Columbus this permission was not accorded.

We arrived at Columbus between 9:30 and 10 o’clock last night [July 12] and left about midnight, arriving at Hermanas about 3 o’clock this morning [July 13]. During the ride back the men in the car I was in had no water from the time we left Columbus until we reached Hermanas. This was a box car which was over-crowded, making it impossible for all of the men to sit down on the floor at the same time. Many were forced to stand hours at a time, letting the weaker men sit.

When we arrived at Hermanas we were not allowed the privilege of leaving the train and shots were fired from the roofs of the cars for the purpose of intimidating us.

While many of the men, it is true, are members of what is known as the I. W. W., nevertheless they are law-abiding and peaceful.

Many who have lived in Bisbee for years-some for as long as fifteen years and have their wives and families there now-are very anxious to return.

Among the men deported are property owners, Bisbee business men. Liberty bond subscribers between the ages of 21 and 30, who have registered under the recent selective draft law, and others who are reservists under the military law passed in June, 1916.

[Photograph and emphasis added.]

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SOURCE
The New York Times
(New York, New York)
-July 14, 1917
https://www.newspapers.com/image/20385972
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=990CE2DA133BE03ABC4C52DFB166838C609EDE&legacy=true

Note: “International Union of Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers”
was adopted as the organization’s new name by the Western Federation of Miners at the 1916 convention. The former WFM had voted to join the A. F. of L in 1911.
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn78000395/1916-12-30/ed-1/seq-1/
(Search: western federation of miners)
https://books.google.com/books?id=iAhYwQT6q1kC

IMAGES
Bisbee Deportation Miners and Supporters July 12, 1917
http://www.library.arizona.edu/exhibits/bisbee/primarysources/photographs/deportation.html
Attorney W. B. Cleary, Manager AZ Gov Hunt Campaign 1916
(Photo most likely taken in 1916 when W. B. Cleary was the manager of the Hunt Campaign in Southern Arizona.)
http://azmemory.azlibrary.gov/cdm/ref/collection/histphotos/id/15535

See also:

W. B. Cleary bio up to 1901 with photo and signature.
https://archive.org/stream/portraitbioarizo00chaprich#page/108/mode/2up

Graham Guardian of Safford AZ of August 18, 1916
(Cleary manager of Gov Hunt campaign is So AZ)
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn95060914/1916-08-18/ed-1/seq-1/

Governor Hunt of Arizona
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_W._P._Hunt

The Bisbee Deportation of 1917
A University of Arizona Web Exhibit
http://www.library.arizona.edu/exhibits/bisbee/history/index.html

The Deportees, Click on “Detailed Report” for names of the men deported:
http://www.library.arizona.edu/exhibits/bisbee/deportees/index.html

Recollections
http://www.library.arizona.edu/exhibits/bisbee/primarysources/recollections/index.html
“STILL ON STRIKE!” by Fred Watson
http://www.library.arizona.edu/exhibits/bisbee/docs/jahwats.html

…..They got me out of bed looking down a double-barrelled shotgun and I don’t believe one of them was a citizen. I believe Tommy Madden was, but the others–I have my doubts. I don’t think Joe Holt was a citizen. I wouldn’t swear to that but I went to school with him. They got me down to the street. I had a pair of pants and my shirt and underwear on, and I had sense enough to grab my wallet that was in my good clothes. I wasn’t even broke.

And incidentally my brother-in-law that used to have a profitable business–furniture business (the Allen block up there is named after him)–he was the captain of the gunmen. Got me out of bed. Remember that he held out, him and Mrs. Hoy that was editor of the Bisbee Ore, they held out to the last minute. Charley Allen, my brother-in-law, and Mrs. Hoy told them, “We’ve been making our living off these people for thirty years, and you’re going to run them out of town!”

They said, “Charley, you either go along with us or you go out. There’s no alternative.”

You either put a white rag around your arm or you left town.

I saw more guns here in Bisbee than any town I ever was in in my life. They never talked anything else but guns between here and Tombstone.

When we were going into the boxcars, around by the chute, there was three of us there and we were all tool nippers on the Shattuck–three of us. Old Joe Walker was there. “Where you going?” he said.

“Joe, I don’t know, but we’re going.”

In the boxcar I was in, there was nothing but sheep dung. Whether there was any bread and water in the others (I know very well there wasn’t) I don’t know. I can’t vouch for the rest of them. The boxcar I was in had nothing and I never saw any sandwiches. The first thing I ate was a piece of hardtack and a drink of water, and I vomited it right back. [Reports of food and water in the cars], that was a big farce. No water.

I stayed there in the camp for six weeks, till it broke up. You never saw a bunch of men in your life stay together like we did. The Army didn’t know what the hell to do. They didn’t know what to do with us. They told us we were free to go, anywhere. And we told them. We said, “We’re not going anywhere but to Bisbee. That’s where we came from. We never committed any crime. That’s where we’re going back to. That’s where we want to go, so you can take us back there.”…..


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