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View Diary: Class and Labor: When Singing Hymns for the Union was a Crime (55 comments)

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  •  Great diary (5+ / 0-)

      My grandparents came from Italy in 1898 to the Southern Colorado Coal fields. The mines of Berwind Canyon were of the same quality as coal mines throughout American at the time - brutal, dangerous work at bare subsistance wages. Ludlow, site of the Ludlow massacre, was at the mouth of the canyon.
      My grandfather and father's stories of life and labor in the mines and the Southern Coal Field Wars of 1913 made me a union defender and a Democrat at an early age. I also formed a strong distrust of corporate enities.

    The only shame in ignorance is taking pride in it.

    by carver on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 07:49:40 PM PDT

    •  Italian Immigrants! (4+ / 0-)

      were one of the biggest and most influential ethnic groups in Rossiter. Not all were miners. A lot were very skillful stone masons. their beautiful work can be seen to this day, a century later. Also I ran across the story of one Italian immigrant who became a lawyer and went on to help the Rossiter miners get there black lung benefits. He charged almost nothing for his work so a bunch of big lawyers in a nearby town took him to court - and lost! I love these stories!

      By the way, someone should do a diary on Ludlow. I'd love to learn more about it. My area of research has been in Northern Appalachia only.
      How about you?

      •  Ludlow diary (0+ / 0-)

        I have not written much on the So. Colorado coal fields; however, I might persuade my cousin to do a diary as he has done quite a bit of research on the area, with emphasis on Tolleberg, Berwind and Tabasco ( of which, only building foundations are left ).  My daughter wrote a paper on the union activity during the 1913-14 strike, so I might twist her arm.  My wife is writing a novel based on my great grand mother's journey with her two daugthers from Cansano, Italy to Berwind, Colorado but she hasn't got Granny out of Italy yet.
        Ludlow was not a town as such.  It was a rail station and switch yard, post office, general store and saloon - and that was pretty much it.  It was located at the convergence of two canyons, Berwind to the east and Hastings to the west.  Coal mines ran up both canyons. The tent city, that was located about a quarter mile west of the Ludlow station, was where the striking miners and thier families were living after they had been evicted from their company owned houses and company land (the union rented the land from the owner of the farm).  
        The attack by the Colorado National Guard and mine company "security" people on the camp initiated the 10 day Coalfield War. At the Ludlow camp,  there were twenty killed in that attack, 7 adults and 13 children (all under 9). Almost 100 were killed in the next 10 days.
              The event did not get national attention at the time as it occured when the U.S.Marines were landing at Vera Cruz.

        The only shame in ignorance is taking pride in it.

        by carver on Fri Jun 22, 2007 at 03:37:51 PM PDT

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