1913-1914 Strike In The Michigan Copper Mining District
Thurner, Arthur W. Rebels on the Range: The Michigan Copper Miner's Strike of
1913-1914. Lake Linden, Mich.: J.H. Forster Press, 1984. 314 pages,
maps, photographs, bibliography and footnotes
Comprehensive treatment of the district's most significant labor dispute.
Meticulously researched, drawing on newspaper accounts, union records,
government documents and other manuscript material. Extensive analysis of the
strike, providing detailed timeline of pre-strike organizing, events during
strike period, and aftermath from the union failure. Also examines the
relationships existing between workers and Michigan mining companies, as well
as the often tenuous links between the local union with the Western
Federation?s Denver executive.
Lankton, Larry D. Cradle to Grave: Life, and Work and Death at the Lake Superior
Copper Mines . New York: Oxford University Press, 1991. 319 pages,
photographs, bibliography and footnotes.
Scholarly social and economic study of the development of copper mining in
Upper Michigan, considered by many to be the "standard" history of the area.
Includes valuable sections on social conditions and paternalistic practices of
Lake copper companies which precluded large-scale labor organization in the
district. Chapter on the 1913-1914 strike is concise and well-researched.
Preceding chapter includes valuable analysis of labor organization in the
district pre-dating the arrival of the Western Federation of Miners.
United States Department of Labor. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Michigan Copper
District Strike. Bulletin No. 139. Washington, 1914. Originally
published as Senate Document 381, Washington, 1914. 183 pages.
Investigative report published by the then newly-created Department of Labor on
the conditions of work and causes of the strike. Detailed statistics gathered
by special investigator Walter B. Palmer through questionnaires submitted to
operating mines in the Michigan copper district in August/September 1913. Very
valuable statistics on wages, hours, working conditions, corporate benefits to
employees, as well as detailed narrative of events leading up to the strike and
violence encountered in the early months of the labor struggle.
Committee of the Copper Country Commercial Club. Strike Investigation.
Copper Country Commercial Club (printed in Chicago), 1913. 85 pages,
Investigative report presented to Michigan Governor Woodbridge Ferris in
support of company position during strike. Written by pro-company businessman?s
club and obviously slanted toward supporting their platform. Borrows
statistical details gathered for DOL report (above) on the many housing, work
and community benefits provided to workers by companies in the district ?
benefits the companies claimed offset union claims of lower wages and harsher
working conditions. Photographs of company housing and community buildings.
Includes photographs of company housing and other company-provided benefits.
Dyer, Francis John. "The Truth About the Copper Strike" National Magazine
Vol. 40, no.2, May 1914.
Contemporary article, written in support of the company position, which
appeared just before the strike ended. A little sensational at points, Dyer
does manage to provide an outsiders? perspective on the strike, the role of
outside labor organizers, and the working conditions of miners in Michigan.
United State Congress, House of Representatives. Committee on Mines and Mining. Conditions
in Copper Mines of Michigan; hearings before subcommittee pursuant to House
Resolution 387. 63rd Congress, 2nd Session, 1914.
Testimony given in special sessions before House subcommittee investigating
events of the strike. Sessions were conducted in February 1914 at Hancock City
Hall. Voluminous and detailed testimony of more than one hundred individuals ?
including miners and their families ? with direct involvement in the strike.
Stanley, Jerry. Big Annie of Calumet: A True Story of the Industrial Revolution.
New York: Crown Publishers, 1996. 102 pages, photographs, bibliographic note.
Recent rehash of the strike era, focusing on Michigan?s Anne Clemenc, housewife
turned labor union agitator. Designed to bring the story of mine working
conditions and labor unrest to a level understandable to younger readers,
Stanley?s book manages to provide a concise, readable overview of the salient
points of the strike era. Places the strike against a background of the
American industrial revolution and technological developments like the one-man
drill that threatened traditional working methods. Written with a sympathetic
pro-union voice, but the broad brush strokes obscure more complex analysis.
Many photographs enhance the book?s value as a general introduction to the
Return to Subject Guides