Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The Deportation of the Lowell Miners, July 12, 1917

On this day in 1917 up to 1,300 striking miners, members of the IWW, were deported by a deputized mob from what is now Bisbee Arizona to Tres Hermanas in New Mexico.  A committee formed to back the deportation ruled the town for a few months thereafter.  In New Mexico, the Republican Governor pleaded with President Wilson for assistance and received the same.  The refugee miners were then housed in Columbus, New Mexico, lately the location of the famed raid that started off the Punitive Expedition, for a couple of months until their plight could be addressed.  A Federal Commission declared their forced relocation to be "wholly illegal and without authority in law, either State or Federal".

What a year and a half for Columbus. Small  border town, site of a major raid, giant Army camp, and now a refugee center in one of the worst labor abuses in American history.

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