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Asturians in Arizona's Copper Mines- Los Mineros de Cobre

 
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Phylis



Joined: 21 Jul 2006
Posts: 14
Location: St Mary's College, Moraga CA

PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2006 4:55 pm    Post subject: Asturians in Arizona's Copper Mines- Los Mineros de Cobre Reply with quote

I am a new contributor to this forum. My interest is finding anyone who knows of Asturians connected to Arizona. The copper industry early in the last century really grew and in looking at many accounts, it seems Spaniards were present in the labor force.
Reviewing naturalization papers for mining areas several Spaniards there traced their home to the Asturian region. When I located this website it seemed a good place to start looking for additional information.
I've looked at some of the research available on West Virginia, but see nothing on Arizona.
My goal is to add more detailed knowledge to Arizona's history that will include information on the contributions of Spaniards.
Anyone who assists me would recieve recognition in any publications that come out of my work.
Muchas Gracias, Phylis
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Art
Site Admin


Joined: 17 Feb 2003
Posts: 4471
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2006 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It makes sense that Asturians would be involved in mining in Arizona.

As far back as the Celts, and possibly further, the Asturians were involved in mining and metalurgic work. There was a significant emigration from Asturias in the time period you're researching, in which young people left Asturias looking for better opportunities. You might enjoy reading Gavin Gonzalez's book Pinnick Kinnick Hill, which describes one family's immigrant experience:
Pinnick Kinnick Hill on Amazon


You're right: a search on "Arizona" in the forum shows that we have members with roots in Arizona, but no one has talked about Asturians involved in Arizona mining. As you've probably noticed, there were Asturian coal miners in WV. Also, Terechu has noted that Asturians arrived in Arizona early in the area's colonial period.


Last edited by Art on Tue Aug 29, 2006 3:35 am; edited 1 time in total
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Phylis



Joined: 21 Jul 2006
Posts: 14
Location: St Mary's College, Moraga CA

PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2006 2:15 pm    Post subject: Many questions on Arizona! Reply with quote

Thanks for your quick reply. I've many questions about Asturians and mining. I did get a bit on the Internet about the origins of mining in Asutrias. Of course Celts were known for their bronze work and copper mining in the British Isles. I'm Italo-Celtic on my mother's side. Did you know the city of Turin was derived from the Celtic trip there?
I've got an order in for the Pinnick Kinnick Hill book and previously read a summary of it. I also got an article from Goldenseal on mining in West Virginia.
Any idea on where Asturians fell as far as labor movements? Preliminary research in AZ shows them active in some strikes in the 1900s.
Were Asturians (like the Welsh) noted for specialized mining skills?

Many thanks, Phylis
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Art
Site Admin


Joined: 17 Feb 2003
Posts: 4471
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2006 1:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, the Asturians in WV were involved in organized labor to some degree and did have at least one successful strike (if we can trust the story in Pinnick Kinnick Hill).

You really should speak with Suronda about this. She's done some research into that. I'll email her to alert her to this thread. Another person is Tom Hidalgo. He probably wrote the Goldenseal article you have. He's fun to talk with, so I encourage you to contact him, too.

The Asturians in Asturias have a long history of labor union activity. If you look at any Asturian history of the early 20th century, I think you'd see a very high degree of union and other more political activity. It appears that the Fascists targeted them later because of this tendency to stand up for themselves.
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Phylis



Joined: 21 Jul 2006
Posts: 14
Location: St Mary's College, Moraga CA

PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2006 12:52 pm    Post subject: Asturians and Labor Activism Reply with quote

Thanks for the suggestions, I'll look for both of them on your email list. Reading the Tampa section forum, it seems Asturians there were involved in activism.
Looking forward for replies. Phylis
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Terechu
Moderator


Joined: 24 Jun 2003
Posts: 1557
Location: GIJON - ASTURIAS

PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 5:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I somehow missed this post, I must have been on vacation... Shocked

Phylis, it is very interesting that you should mention Asturians in copper mining in Arizona. I would certainly like to know more about it. While travelling in Arizona five years ago, we did go to Bisby to see the gigantic copper mine there and we visited the local museum. I must say that I saw no references to Asturians there, as the founding fathers in the late 1800's were mostly from Central and Eastern Europe (Germans, Poles, Czechs and Serbians). Bisby is well worth a visit, the museum has some amazing photographs showing a multi-ethnic and multi-racial society living in harmony.

I just know that there are descendants of Asturian soldiers and seamen, who established themselves in Arizona and New Mexico back in the 16th Century, when the territory was part of Mexico and belonged to the Spanish crown, because I met a couple of them who told me so.
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Phylis, es muy interesante que menciones a los asturianos en relación con la minería del cobre en ARizona. Durante unas vacaciones en Arizona hace cinco años, fuimos a Bisby a ver la gigantesca mina de cobre y también estuvimos en el museo local. Debo decir que no ví ninguna mención de asturianos, ya que este pueblo lo fundaron a finales del siglo XIX emigrantes de Europa central y del este (alemanes, polacos, checos y serbios). Bisby merece la pena una visita, el museo tiene fotos asombrosas de una sociedad multiétnica y multirracial conviviendo en armonía.
Yo sé que hay descendientes de soldados y marinos asturianos que se establecieron en ARizona y Nuevo México en el siglo XVI, cuando ese territorio era parte de México y pertenecía a la corona de España. Lo sé porque conocí a un par de ellos que me lo contaron.
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Bob
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Joined: 24 Feb 2003
Posts: 1725
Location: Connecticut and Massachusetts

PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 5:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know much about the organized labor movement in Spelter, West Virginia, but I do know that the asturianos there took care of one another. When someone was hurt or sick and unable to work in the zinc factory, he had no income. The other workers would all chip in to support the family until he had recovered. If you didn't contribute, you could be ostracized or worse (I recall a family tale of a broken arm inflicted on someone who did not contribute, so that he would know what it was like to be unable to work.). These were hard men who cared about each other and their families. You could violate community standards only at your peril.

I don't know whether each contributed what he thought he could afford, or whether a fixed amount was expected. In my family, when one of the six brothers died, the others passed around an envelope and each put in cash for the widow. It was always presented as a gift from the surviving brothers as a group, and no one knew how much anyone had contributed other than himself.
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Phylis



Joined: 21 Jul 2006
Posts: 14
Location: St Mary's College, Moraga CA

PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 3:53 pm    Post subject: Spaniards in Arizona Reply with quote

Dear Terechu, Thanks for your interest.
Actually Bisbee was a "white man's town" where Mexicans were openly discriminated against and not allowed to work as miners. I've only found a few references to those there I'm guessing were Spaniards. They may have avoided this District. They were found in Jerome, Ray, Miami, and Globe.
The Mining District of Clifton/ Morenci/Metcalf was where Spanish miners and merchants were a very visible part of the population; this was originally a "Mexican Camp" not a "white man's" town. There were a few there from Asturias that I can document, and probably many that were also from there. I'm guessing there were also miners from Huelva since Rio Tinto was a copper mining area. In Sept we got to visit Rio Tinto and it was very interesting, with the museum showing a history back to Romans.
My current work on Arizona includes what are called EuroLatins (Italians and Spaniards) and Mexicans as labor activists @ 1900-1925.
I look forward to hearing from more people on your list.
Cordially, Phylis
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Carlos
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Joined: 18 Oct 2003
Posts: 528
Location: Xixón

PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Phylis, perhaps this picture will be interesting for you. It was painted by Avilés' artist Nicolás Soria in 1924 and his title is La Huelga (the strike):



Greetings Cool
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Phylis



Joined: 21 Jul 2006
Posts: 14
Location: St Mary's College, Moraga CA

PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 7:38 pm    Post subject: 1924 Strike Reply with quote

What a compelling picture. Part of what I'm researching is the strike efforts of the Spanish, Italian and Mexicans. Many unions did not reach out to immigrant miners and in 1916 when the "Latins" were successful in Arizona a Mexican miner was pleased to say that they'd proved union organizers wrong, they could unite and fight. So much is behind the U.S. historical actions of immigrants...they did not come here as blank slates, but brought their own heritage of activism.
Phylis
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Terechu
Moderator


Joined: 24 Jun 2003
Posts: 1557
Location: GIJON - ASTURIAS

PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 3:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bisbee! I had forgotten the spelling Confused As you say, it might have been a white man's mine and the names I saw in the museum were certainly all from Central and Eastern Europe, mostly people from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, but I also saw photos of black families, well dressed and prosperous looking. Then again, they may have been tradesmen and not employed by the mining companies. As to Asturians, I definitely didn't see anything, but museum exhibits only reflect what curators consider important.
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Bisbee! Se me había olvidado cómo se escribía Confused Como tú dices, puede que haya sido una mina de blancos, ya que los nombres que ví en el museo eran ciertamente de la Europa central y oriental, mayormente gente del Imperio Austro-húngaro. Sin embargo también ví fotos de familias negras bien vestidas y de aspecto próspero. Claro que pueden haber sido artesanos y no empleados de las compáñías mineras. En cuanto a Asturianos, desdeluego yo no vi nada, pero también es cierto que los museus sólo exhiben lo que sus directores consideran importante.
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Terechu
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Joined: 24 Jun 2003
Posts: 1557
Location: GIJON - ASTURIAS

PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2006 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bob wrote:
I don't know much about the organized labor movement in Spelter, West Virginia, but I do know that the asturianos there took care of one another. When someone was hurt or sick and unable to work in the zinc factory, he had no income. The other workers would all chip in to support the family until he had recovered. If you didn't contribute, you could be ostracized or worse (I recall a family tale of a broken arm inflicted on someone who did not contribute, so that he would know what it was like to be unable to work.). These were hard men who cared about each other and their families. You could violate community standards only at your peril.

I don't know whether each contributed what he thought he could afford, or whether a fixed amount was expected. In my family, when one of the six brothers died, the others passed around an envelope and each put in cash for the widow. It was always presented as a gift from the surviving brothers as a group, and no one knew how much anyone had contributed other than himself.


The "colectas" among Asturian miners' families were an unwritten law until the 70's more or less, when the Seguridad Social took over and every worker was entitled to paid sick leave and could draw unemployment when fired from the job. As Bob says, whenever someone was sick and couldn't work, or had been fired or "suspended" for a period of time (castigado sin empleo y sueldo) his coworkers passed an envelope around on payday and everyone put in what they could afford.

It's one of the things that make up close-knit communities and that people miss most when these communities disperse and their elders die.
It has happened in Spelter and Zeising and it is happening in Asturias. As a coalminer's granddaughter I miss that kind of community life as much as Ron and all his mates in Spelter. Days that won't return.
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Las colectas entre las familias mineras de Asturias fueron una ley no escrita por lo menos hasta los 70 más o menos, cuando ya la Seguridad Social se hizo cargo y los trabajadores tuvieron derecho a cobrar estando de baja o recibir compensación por desempleo cuando perdían el trabajo. Como Bob bien dice, cuando alguien enfermaba y no podia trabajar, o le habían echado del trabajo o castigado temporalmente sin empleo y sueldo, sus compañeros pasaban un sobre el día de paga y cada cual metía dentro lo que podía.
Esta es una de esas cosas que crean comunidades unidas y que la gente echa más de menos cuando estas comunidades se dispersan y mueren los más viejos. Paró en Spelter y Zeising y está pasando en Asturias. Como nieta de minero también echo mucho en falta esa vida comunitaria, igual que Ron y sus compañeros de Spelter. Tiempos que no volverán.
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Ron Gonzalez



Joined: 25 Nov 2004
Posts: 377

PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 7:42 pm    Post subject: Asturian Worker Reply with quote

While looking through some of my fathers papers today I came across a card that I wiil share with you. its post marked Dec ,30 1940 330pm

US DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
Immigration and Naturalization Service
Pittsburg, Pa

Sir: This is to acknowledge receipt of money order in the sum of Two Dollars and Fifty Cents ($2.50) , accomppanied by application for a certificate of your arrival in the United States.

If you find it neccessary to make inquiry about your application be sure to bring this receipt with you , or , if you write , be sure to give the number appearing in the upper right-hand coner hereof.


DISTRICT DIRECTOR


DO NOT LOSE OR DESTROY THIS RECEIPT NOR GIVE IT TO ANYONE
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