Early Bisbee had its outpouring of poetry, too

Modern Bisbee is known for its poets. In the last quarter of the 20th century, the Bisbee Poetry Festival brought to town some of the finest poets in the country. Today, one is more likely to hear the “cowboy” poetry from neighboring Sierra Vista’s annual festival.

But more than a century ago, poetry was part of the culture as well, and many locally written poems were to be found in the pages of the Bisbee Daily Review, covering a broad range of themes.

Early-day Bisbee poetryMany were created by local literary talent, such as Ned White or Frank Aley, better known as Mescal. Some seemed to come from one-time sources among the citizenry. Continue reading

Not all Deportation stories are the same

For most of the men who were on the receiving end of the Bisbee Deportation, the stories were similar: rounded up at their residences or on picket duty, marched down to the Warren Ballpark, put into box or cattle cars and shipped by rail to New Mexico.

There were some stories that took different routes, including that of one Walford E. Holm, according to a story in the July 20 issue of the Arizona Labor Journal, a weekly (so its articles aren’t as timely) which provides a counterpoint of information to the Bisbee Daily Review.

Gov. Thomas E. Campbell

Gov. Thomas E. Campbell

The Deportation was on a Thursday, and by Saturday, Holm was in Phoenix addressing Gov. Thomas E. Campbell. In the company of others, including the editor of the Journal and a labor attorney, he told the governor of his experience with the events in Bisbee that week.

“To be brief,” the Journal reported, “nothing came of the visit to the governor” because he was “helpless” in the situation.

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Carranza’s relations with U.S. drove Villa’s strategy

I’ve been collecting stamps for most of my life. My grandmother started collecting during WWII and at some time, when visiting her in Louisiana, she let me see her collection and it was love at first sight.

When I was old enough to know how to care for them (I still have all of her stuff), she turned her stamps over to me and that became the basis for an ongoing affair.

Her collection focused on the war, and as I explored philately, I began to specialize in something that was dear to me — the American West. Over time, that expanded into a couple of other topic areas, the most recent being Mexico. Continue reading

Were there machine guns at the Deportation?

I was wrong!

I have been asked many times whether machine guns were present during the Bisbee Deportation. My answer has always been, “I have never seen any reference to them.” And I’ve read millions of words on the subject.

So, technically, I wasn’t wrong, I suppose, since I hedged my answer. But now, I have to change that response.

In my own defense, I have to say that I went through about a decade and a half of newspapers (and that is plural) in researching the story of the Deportation and other parts of the Epic of Bisbee. From about 1906 until 1921, over several lengthy periods, one can find articles about labor issues in Bisbee and the rest of the West.

With that many papers, it’s easy to miss something now and then. But this particular article I shouldn’t have missed. As I am editing All Women and Children Keep Off Streets Today and reviewing my sources, I found a mention today of machine guns. Continue reading