The revolutionary process in Sonora involved a series of high-stakes clashes between Constitutionalist leaders and U.S. copper companies over the future of Mexico’s political economy. At issue were the special concessions, low taxes, and political influence granted to multinational companies by Porfirio Díaz, which had created a privileged position for foreign capital in Mexico. When the fighting stopped, the Constitutionalists had succeeded in reversing these policies and significantly increasing the power of the state.

In this struggle, the Constitutionalists benefited from the actions of copper miners, whose confrontation with the mines predated the outbreak of the Revolution. The miners launched a series of strikes that weakened the multinationals; they joined revolutionary armies in large numbers; and they formed political alliances with local and regional leaders.

The miners looked to Sonora’s rebel chiefs to help them gain a higher standard of living and a place in the political process. That support, however, was slow in coming. The Maderistas generally backed the copper companies in industrial disputes, and the Constitutionalists gave miners meaningful support only after 1915. Adolfo de la Huerta, as governor, finally led the way in articulating a strong philosophical and political commitment to labor reform by writing progressive labor legislation and intervening on the strikers’ behalf.

The miners’ most consistent and outspoken allies were municipal authorities and journalists radicalized by the confrontation between labor and capital. This was a dramatic departure from Porfirian times, when local officials were generally supportive of the foreign mining companies, and it indicates the grassroots political change that occurred during the Revolution.

The interaction between foreign capital, copper miners, and revolutionary leaders in Sonora reveals another important characteristic of the Mexican Revolution. The victorious Constitutionalists sought not to shut down or nationalize the foreign-owned mines but to gain control over the regional economy and to extract more taxes from the wealthy multinationals. In other words, they sought to shift the economic and political balance of power in favor of themselves and their allies. In this context, foreign enterprise was a key cause of regional discontent and a target for reform.

The revolutionaries’ clash with big business in Sonora supports those historians, such as Friedrich Katz and John Mason Hart, who have emphasized the importance of foreign capital in the revolutionary process. At the same time, the radicalism of local political leaders also supports Alan Knight’s argument that revolutionary activity was most intense at the municipal level.1 It appears that many of the main currents of the revolutionary process intersected at foreign-controlled company towns such as Cananea, Sonora, the location of Mexico’s largest copper mine and the focal point of this article.

The revolutionaries’ labor policies are more controversial. Ramón E. Ruiz, in a pioneering overview, argues that the Constitutionalists did not seriously pursue labor reforms and that they successfully co-opted the labor movement.2 Nevertheless, in Sonora the Constitutionalists supported the miners’ struggle against the multinationals after 1915 and earned their political support.

The miners’ role in the revolutionary process is also controversial. François-Xavier Guerra demonstrates that considerable violence and insurrection occurred around mining towns in northern Mexico during the year 1910-11, and he suggests that miners spearheaded the Revolution in its initial stages. Knight, however, casts doubt on the overall argument by showing inconsistency and imprecision in Guerra’s definition of terms and methodology, and argues elsewhere that workers had little impact on the course of the conflict.3

In a predominately agricultural nation undergoing land consolidation and population growth, it is not surprising that more peasants than workers took up arms. This does not mean, however, that workers were insignificant in the revolutionary process. Wage earners influenced the political and military outcome in certain regions and contributed to the success of revolutionary policies of national significance. In the case of Sonora, copper miners helped put workers’ grievances against capital on the national revolutionary agenda, pressured local Maderista leaders to take up arms against Victoriano Huerta, and supported the Constitutionalists’ nationalistic campaign against the privileged position of foreign interests.

The Coming of the Revolution in Sonora

According to Héctor Aguilar Camín, political discontent in Sonora was strongest among liberals in Guaymas, who formed a political club in 1908 to support the vice presidential candidacy of General Bernardo Reyes over that of the unpopular Sonoran power broker Ramón Corral. When President Díaz chose Corral as his running mate and heir apparent, the Guaymas liberals supported Francisco Maderos presidential candidacy and subsequent call to revolution.4

The Guaymas liberals included members of the middle and upper classes who had been excluded from office during the Porfiriato by the regional power brokers —Corral, General Luis Torres, and Rafael Izábal. Most liberals were not social progressives and did not care much about the plight of Indians and miners.5 Nor were they economically disadvantaged; for example, the early leader of the Maderista revolution in Sonora, José María Maytorena, was one of the state’s largest landowners.6

The origins of the Revolution in Sonora have also been linked to the disruptive impact of the copper industry and the famous strike at Cananea in 1906. Copper companies had transformed the economy of northwestern Mexico by creating infrastructures for industry and transportation, employment for thousands of workers, and new commercial opportunities for merchants. Nevertheless, the development of the mining economy was also intrinsically disruptive.7 Thousands of proletarians were crowded together in isolated places, forced to work long hours in dangerous jobs, and beset with myriad social, cultural, and financial conflicts. Add to this the dual pay scale by which foreign workers, principally skilled laborers from the United States, received much higher pay than Mexicans for the same work, and all that was needed to ignite labor conflict was an ideological spark. In the 1906 strike, that inspiration came from the Western Federation of Miners and the Partido Liberal Mexicano (PLM).

Management rejected the Mexican miners’ demands for higher wages and better treatment; and federal troops, the rural police (rurales), and the Arizona Rangers were summoned to force miners back to work at gunpoint. Although management proclaimed a great victory, the use of armed Americans to suppress Mexican miners created a national controversy and illustrated the power and independence that foreign firms had achieved in Mexico. The nationalist sentiments the intervention aroused among both conservatives and liberals motivated the Díaz government to seek greater regulatory powers over the mining industry, and foreshadowed the changes finally enacted in the 1917 Constitution.8

The Maderista Revolution, 1910-1913

The Maderistas, however, did not necessarily share the miners’ objectives. When Díaz resigned and the Porfirian governor, Alberto Cubillas, fled in May 1911, the state legislature appointed Carlos Randall, a Guaymas liberal, until José María Maytorena could be “elected” to the statehouse in July. The new regime’s political program called for free elections and constitutional guarantees, but otherwise substantially mirrored that of its predecessor. Article 8 of Francisco Madero’s Anti-Reelectionist platform guaranteed that mining, industry, and commerce would receive all the help required for development and prosperity, and Maytorena was careful to renew the economic concessions Díaz had granted to foreign companies. The new revolutionary governor, moreover, granted additional concessions to U.S. firms and did not carry out a land reform that, not coincidentally, could have worked against his own interests.9 Such reassurances of continuity, coupled with limited military encounters during 1910-11, contributed to the stability of copper exports during the first phase of the Revolution (see table 1).

The fall of Porfirio Díaz provided a political opening for miners, peasants, stevedores, and railroad workers in northern Mexico to agitate for higher wages and improved working conditions. In the mining camps, several strikes broke out during 1911-12.10 In May 1911, rebel leader Juan Cabral entered Cananea with great fanfare. He gained seven hundred new recruits for his army, organized elections for a new town council, and appointed Ignacio L. Pesqueira, scion of a prominent local family with ties to the foreign-owned mines, as municipal president. Cabral also received a contribution of 15,000 pesos from Dr. L. D. Ricketts, general manager of the Cananea Consolidated Copper Company, to support the cause. The U.S. consul believed that the passage of power had been conducted in an “orderly and legal” fashion.11

Maytorena attempted to consolidate his power by ordering the rebel forces to disband and relying on the federal army and bureaucracy, just as Madero would do on the national level. The rebel armies, however, remained intact, including a force of 470 under Prefect Benjamín Hill at Cananea. PLM members also continued to agitate for social and economic reform.12 Estebán Baca Calderón and Manuel Diéguez, PLM leaders of the 1906 strike, returned to Cananea in October 1911, just after being released from federal prison as part of an amnesty granted by Madero. The U.S. consul accused them of “creating discontent among the workmen and . . . arousing anti-American feeling.”13 They also may have had a hand in creating the recently formed Unión de Obreros de Cananea.14

The union took the lead in articulating miners’ grievances in October 1911. Union representatives expressed concern over the abusive behavior of two U.S. foremen and accused the company of curtailing hospital services, withholding wages, and forcing miners to work on Sundays. Management refused to negotiate.15 Municipal authorities therefore arrested the abusive foremen and held them under a 12,000-peso bond. This aggressive action in support of the miners angered management and the U.S. consul, and Maytorena wired Mexico City for three hundred federal troops to occupy the town.16 According to the U.S. consul, “the miners . . . believe that the fear of rioting will cause the company to accede to any demands they may make.”17

In the end, however, management persuaded the miners to withdraw their demands by shutting down the mine for five days and forcing them to contemplate the specter of unemployment and starvation.18 This action cost the company money in the short run, but it avoided making concessions to workers and establishing a dangerous political precedent.

In 1912 the Maderista leadership consolidated its political control over Sonora and intervened more aggressively to help curb discontented mine workers.19 Maderista prefect Hill increased supervision and intervened in July to prevent the outbreak of a strike over the length of the workday. Hill characterized the miners’ grievance as a “pretext” and announced that anyone striking “would be detained and punished according to the law.” The prefect also prohibited union meetings and forced two union officers to resign. The president of the union considered it a waste of time to complain to Maytorena and wrote instead to the secretary of government (Gobernación) in Mexico City that Hill was subverting the Constitution. Although a government report acknowledged unsafe conditions and abusive foremen, the miners’ grievances were largely ignored, and Hill subsequently allowed the union to meet only when his personal secretary was present.20

Cananea’s managers drew confidence both from the Maderistas’ military victories and from their willingness to control miners and the union. In 1912, management completed major renovations to the smelter, which transformed it into the world’s fourth-largest producer, and invested heavily in the exploitation of newly discovered copper deposits. Production reached record levels in May, and an output of 60 million pounds per month by 1913 was predicted.21

Still, Cananea’s labor problems would not go away. In December 1912, management fired six miners, and the other workers responded by shutting down most of the mine. Management blamed this reaction on the union, which it badly wanted to discredit and dissolve. It insisted that union membership stood only at 500, or about 10 percent of the work force.22 Nevertheless, 1,415 miners stayed out the first day of the shutdown, and many more refused to cross the picket line.23 The stakes quickly rose, moreover, when the union demanded a 20 percent increase in wages, a reduction in the workday from nine to eight hours, and official recognition. The union also threatened to call a “general strike” and to sack the company store for food and clothing.24

Despite the seriousness of the situation, management refused to discuss these demands and asked local and state authorities for support. Prefect Hill immediately warned strikers not to interfere with other workers.25 Acting Governor Ismael Padilla (in charge while Maytorena was in Mexico City) decided to intervene personally and negotiate a settlement. As it turned out, this played directly into the company’s hands.

Company officials met with the acting governor on the outskirts of town and apprised him of the situation before he had an opportunity to speak with union representatives. Management came away convinced that Padilla was on its side, and it agreed to grant strikers only two minor concessions. The company offered to reduce the workday by one-half hour and to improve the provision of potable water and wood, two last-minute demands it had already partly resolved. These concessions ended the conflict.26 The company subsequently took advantage of Padilla’s support to suppress the union movement. At the company’s request, Padilla arrested “three of the ringleaders” of the strike and sent them into exile. According to management, these men had best articulated the case against the company through their broadsides and speeches.

Calderón, the director of the schools at Buenavista, who is a friend of the mayor, socialist, and an all-around agitator, who has written most of the “excitatives,” etc; Maytoreno, a young man of 25, who has ambitions to be a labor leader, and who with his talk has been able to counteract whatever conservatism the union officials may have shown; and Ríos, Secretary to the Mayor, who came out on Saturday with a printed open letter to the Governor, recounting the ills of the workmen in Cananea.27

From the Maderistas’ perspective in January 1913, the political and military situation in Sonora looked good. Governor Maytorena and his allies controlled the state government; they could count on energetic prefects at the local level, such as Benjamín Hill, and talented military commanders like Alvaro Obregón. Sonora, moreover, had not seen many battles; the regional economy remained intact; tax revenues continued to flow into the statehouse; and unemployment was not a problem.28

This stability was shattered in February by Madero’s assassination and General Victoriano Huerta’s seizure of power. Most Maderista governors condemned the murder and refused to recognize Huerta. But U.S. consular officers throughout Mexico, guided by Ambassador Henry Lane Wilson, urged local leaders to reconsider. Sonora’s revolutionary elite, with close ties to U.S. enterprise and personal fortunes at stake, vacillated. Governor Maytorena, for example, chose to take a six-month leave of absence, a risky decision that weakened him politically. Maytorena was replaced by Ignacio Pesqueira, who, along with several other Maderista deputies, meekly informed the U.S. consul at Hermosillo that they would recognize Huerta if that was the decision of the majority of state governors29

Before they could take that ignominious step, however, Pesqueira and his allies received a shove in the other direction from Sonora’s miners. When news of Madera’s assassination reached the U.S.-owned copper mines at Pilares de Nacozari and Moctezuma, riotous mobs demanded Huerta’s arrest, and Prefect Pedro Bracamonte offered to send 420 armed miners to assist in the struggle against “military dictatorship.” To avoid similar developments at Cananea, 500 federal troops under the command of General Pedro Ojeda were dispatched to the mining center. This did not prevent Cananea’s radicals from denouncing the coup in a politically dangerous fashion. The municipal government had fallen under the control of labor activists Manuel Diéguez, Estebán Baca Calderón, and Juan José Ríos. Diéguez, now municipal president, distributed rifles to 50 political allies and posted them at strategic mine sites, then called a public meeting at the municipal palace to learn “the opinion of the people.” According to an eyewitness account cited by Aguilar Camín, the meeting was attended by miners, workers, and merchants who denounced “the recent crimes in Mexico” and demanded that the state government listen to their views. When news arrived that the army was on its way, they left the municipal palace and reassembled in the plaza until Diéguez told them to go home.

Shortly after receiving word of the miners’ militancy, Acting Governor Pesqueira urged the state legislature to denounce Huerta. He assured the legislators that it would not be necessary to ask Sonorans to participate in any military campaigns against Huerta, but merely to maintain the state’s political independence until changes could occur in Mexico City. More persuasive, however, may have been the advocacy of General Salvador Alvarado, who stormed into the legislature with a contingent of soldiers and announced, “If you recognize Huerta we will denounce both you and Huerta.”30

The Constitutionalist Revolution, 1913-1916

Sonora soon did join the Constitutionalist cause against Huerta, and Pesqueira began military preparations to oust the federal troops from the state. Among his more enlightened decisions was to name Alvaro Obregón head of the state government’s Sección de Guerra, bypassing more veteran but less talented generals. Pesqueira would use Obregón’s military prowess to promote his own political power and prestige in Sonora, much as the Constitutionalist leader, Venustiano Carranza, would later do on the national level.31

For Cananea’s miners, these political maneuvers initially meant nothing. Pesqueira had assured the U.S. consul at Hermosillo that U.S. business interests would be protected, and Prefect Hill was given special instructions to this effect.32 Cananea’s managers complained that disruptions in the regional communications network prevented the arrival of fuel and the shipment of copper, and they shut down the smelter and laid off nearly three thousand miners.33 Given miners’ recent display of militancy at the urging of municipal authorities, management must have been confident of Pesqueira’s support.

This confidence also stemmed from long-standing business ties between the Pesqueira family and the Cananea Consolidated Copper Company, as well as the perception that the acting governor desired to have political stability, full production, and the “dangerous classes” firmly under control. The workers, on the other hand, hoped that Pesqueira would support their cause, and in April 1913 they protested the shutdown and demanded the resignation of General Manager James Douglas. Douglas was informed by the local military commander that his safety could not be guaranteed, and he fled across the border.34

The protest served as the catalyst for the acting governor and the copper company to strike a deal: the multinational would pay its growing tax bill, and Pesqueira would dispatch a large contingent of troops to protect company property. The army and the company fed the unemployed miners and then packed them onto the next train out of town. Many of the displaced, rather than languish in the desert, chose to enlist in the Constitutionalist army.35 Within a month, the mines returned to production and one million dollars’ worth of copper was in transit across the border.36

Pesqueira and his compatriots understood that the Constitutionalist victory in Sonora depended on a steady flow of money to pay and maintain a well-equipped army. The most important sources of revenue were the taxes paid by the big copper companies and cattle confiscated from Huertista hacendados and sold across the border for $15 a head. The latter practice became a lucrative business for several up-and-coming Constitutionalists, including Roberto Pesqueira, Ignacio’s cousin and an attorney for the Cananea Consolidated Copper Company; Adolfo de la Huerta, a member of the Guaymas liberal elite and its political club; and Plutarco Elías Calles, comisario (police chief) of Agua Prieta — revolutionary entrepreneurs whom Aguilar Camín has called “brokers fronterizos.”37

Revenues from smuggling and taxes allowed General Obregón and others to create a professional army and defeat the federales in Sonora. This military victory, however, only intensified the jockeying for political power. José María Maytorena, having safely sat out the hostilities, announced in May 1913 that he was ready to resume his responsibilities as governor. Maytorena still had many supporters among the original Maderista elite, including many hacendados who wanted their cattle protected. He also benefited from a growing split between Obregón and Ignacio Pesqueira. Maytorena’s opposition included populists from Cananea, such as Estebán Baca Calderón, who characterized the governor in a public manifesto as “vacillating, perplexed and indecisive” and an accomplice of “professional cheats, arbitrary officials, venal judges, and servile magistrates.”38 Baca’s voice, however, carried little political weight in Sonora’s Constitutionalist movement.

The issue was temporarily resolved when Carranza, First Chief of the Constitutionalist movement, intervened and formally named Maytorena governor, Obregón head of the army in Sonora, and Pesqueira to a position in his cabinet. Maytorena acted quickly to solidify his political position by prohibiting the sale of real estate to foreigners (except the mining companies), establishing a special war tax against “enemies of the Revolution,” creating a customs bureau to regulate trade along the border, and inviting back to Sonora hacendados who had fled after losing their livestock.39

Nevertheless, Maytorena’s rivals would not go away. Obregón’s military victories in Sonora and Sinaloa made him indispensable to Carranza, and Calles’ administrative and financial skills made him a formidable opponent. Maytorena forced a confrontation by insisting that Carranza relieve Obregón of his command. When the First Chief refused, Maytorena made overtures to Pancho Villa, whose alliance with Carranza was unraveling.

Maytorena’s political vacillation was, of course, a dangerous development for the First Chief. Sonora was a lucrative source of revenue, and the additional income would make Villa even more difficult to control. Obregón’s presence was required outside Sonora to defeat Huerta, which made it improbable that Maytorena could be ousted through force alone. After considerable haggling between Calles (as Carranza’s agent) and Maytorena ended in a stalemate, Carranza successfully declared a truce until Huerta could be defeated.40

While these political machinations were unfolding in early 1914, labor conflict at Cananea culminated in a general strike in July. The problems had begun in April, when Callista officials, who controlled the Cananea area, expelled several labor leaders on the unlikely pretext of their being Huertistas. Angry miners went out en masse and forced a shutdown, as well as the expulsion of all U.S. employees. The mines were left under the care of trusted Mexican staff for nearly a month until management could return under government protection.41

Trouble returned two months later, however, when the union protested three new company policies: the creation of an employment office to screen new hires (and develop blacklists), an increase in hospital dues, and the company store’s refusal to sell goods at reasonably low prices. Management denied any wrongdoing and accused nonemployees of attempting to take advantage of services reserved for miners. The union, clearly outraged by this high-handed response, threatened a general strike if the company did not agree to seven demands: an eight-hour day, a 20 percent salary increase, a 20 percent reduction in the price of goods, salary advances on demand, reorganization of hospital services, indemnification of workers injured on the job, and formal recognition of the union.42

Once again, municipal authorities supported the workers and their union. Manuel Diéguez, the labor activist and municipal president of 1913, had joined the Constitutionalist army (with three thousand displaced miners in tow) and had risen to the rank of colonel under General Obregón.43 His successor, however, proved equally supportive of the miners. This municipal president placed the superintendent of the Cananea Consolidated Copper Company under house arrest and ordered him to resolve the strikers’ demands. James Douglas, Cananea’s general manager, however, apprised of recent developments by the prefect of Arizpe, rejected the union’s demands and threatened to shut down the mine and the company store.44 A stalemate resulted, and more than 2,500 miners went out on strike and shut down the mine.45

The impasse persisted for 20 days. The union protested the Arizpe prefect’s pro-company position and forced the regional police station to close.46 The company, however, had won in the past by refusing to negotiate and waiting for the timely intervention of state authorities. Cananea was then under the jurisdiction of Calles, now a colonel in the Constitutionalist army, who impatiently followed events from his headquarters in Agua Prieta. Governor Maytorena, whose stand-in, Padilla, had suppressed the 1912 strike, issued a statement encouraging miners “to demand their rights.” He succeeded in gaining seven hundred new recruits for his army and forcing Calles to intervene.47 Calles gave the strikers the choice of returning to work or joining his army, the same choice General Torres, the federal army commander, had given the strikers in 1906.48

Most of the miners returned to work, but they faced a gauntlet of hundreds of disappointed women, who lined the streets and pelted them with rocks and insults. These were the strikers’ wives and girlfriends, who disagreed with their men’s decision to end the strike. This courageous demonstration lasted the entire day before the protesters were arrested, imprisoned, and “admonished” by troops. Fourteen union leaders were subsequently detained by Calles, who ordered their photographs sent to mine sites throughout Sonora. Beaten but unbroken, Cananea’s radical miners burned two mine shafts, stalling a return to full production for another month.49

This strike was significant for several reasons. First, it showed that the Unión de Obreros was clearly gaining strength. This time, more than 2,500 miners went out, compared with 1,400 the year before. Second, the women’s demonstration in support of the strike provides a snapshot of female radicalism in the Mexican labor movement. Third, Calles showed the limits of his support for miners, and Maytorena indicated support for the strikers, perhaps as a tactic to gain recruits for his army.

At this juncture, mine operators in Sonora enjoyed the backing of most revolutionary leaders, and companies had suffered less in comparison with their counterparts in the battle-torn areas of Chihuahua, Durango, and other northern states. For example, in July 1913, ASARCO, another U.S.-owned company, complained to U.S. Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan that it had been forced to close down all but its Aguascalientes plant and that revolutionaries had raided mine sites, killed company employees, and taken money, machinery, food, and other supplies at gunpoint. Company vice presidents, who earlier had spoken directly with President Woodrow Wilson, asked Bryan to “warn” Huerta and other revolutionary leaders to respect the lives and property of foreigners in Mexico.50

The military situation in Sonora was about to heat up, too. In August 1914, negotiations between Maytorena, Obregón, and Villa failed, and in November the Convention of Aguascalientes, which had tenuously held together the major revolutionary factions, fell apart. Fighting erupted between Maytorena, on one side, and Calles and Hill, who occupied the border area around Naco and Agua Prieta. The political stakes increased, moreover, when Maytorena formally broke with the Constitutionalists and allied himself with Villa and Emiliano Zapata.

Fighting along the border also drew U.S. attention after 71 Americans were mistakenly hit by gunfire from the Mexican side. General Hugh Scott, the U.S. Army chief of staff, was dispatched to the region with five thousand troops to mediate. In January 1915, Villa, Maytorena, and Calles agreed to evacuate Naco and make it a neutral port of entry.51

Cananea’s managers had no intention of paying taxes to Maytorena, and they ordered a shutdown.52 They also refused Maytorena’s request for a loan.53 Nevertheless, the governor raised cash by selling several thousand head of cattle across the border, which he had presumably confiscated from rival hacendados.54

Cananea’s shutdown predictably caused extreme hardship for the miners and their families. Management admitted that “it is almost impossible for these people to buy enough to live on even when they are working” and considered reducing food prices, but still insisted on making a profit on all sales.55 The day after Christmas, it increased the price of beef.56

Conditions in the region worsened in 1915 as marauding armies stripped the countryside of livestock and crops. For example, the Cananea Cattle Company, a 750,000-acre ranch owned by the copper company that stretched from the mines to the border, reported the theft of nearly 6,000 head of cattle, more than 37,000 kilos of dressed beef, 640 horses, and some 13,400 bales of hay over the course of the Revolution, with particularly heavy losses after 1914.57 Revolutionary commanders, moreover, refused to allow the shipment of goods and material into areas controlled by rivals, and village-level agricultural production was significantly reduced as farm animals were confiscated. Agriculture was also damaged by severe rains in late 1914, which washed away crops and delayed new planting. Under such conditions, tax revenues fell by an estimated 75 percent, with mine taxes down by 92 percent. This was bad news for Maytorena.58

The situation in Cananea grew increasingly unpleasant. More than 3,000 miners had left town, including 700 to 800 union members who had joined up with Maytorena.59 Of the 12,000 people who remained, 2,000 to 2,500 were “destitute,” and thousands more “eked out a bare existence” by working placer gold deposits, hunting, or hauling wood. Predictably, women and children suffered most. Food prices were “five to ten times” higher than in 1912, and a longtime resident concluded, “I have seen evidence of more suffering in Cananea than I have ever witnessed before.”60

Life was made even more uncomfortable by the behavior of Maytorena’s troops. Complaining that they had not been paid, more than a thousand Yaqui Indians deserted Maytorena’s ranks and caused havoc throughout the countryside as they made their way south. More than three hundred of them descended on Cananea, got drunk on mescal, and found themselves herded into jail by troops.61 According to company officials, Maytorena’s officers behaved just as badly. The four generals in Cananea, as well as the prefect, were drunk most of the time, and the prefect threatened to execute any American found carrying Constitutionalist currency. General Francisco Morales, in a reflective mood, confessed to company manager Charles L. Montague that revolutionary leaders “have become so accustomed to robbing and murdering that they think nothing of it.” He also admitted that “when a country has fallen so low as to make generals out of men like himself, Acosta, Trujillo, and Urbalejo [the Yaqui general], and appoint to important civil positions such men as Zepeda [prefect of Cananea] and Mariscal [mayor of Cananea], it is about time for someone to take a hand and instruct them.”62

The morale of Maytorena’s forces continued to fade as news arrived of Pancho Villa’s devastating defeats at the hands of Alvaro Obregón at Celaya. After the United States extended de facto recognition to Venustiano Carranza in October 1915, General Calles, dug in at Agua Prieta, began receiving reinforcements and supplies via Douglas, Arizona. Governor Maytorena, always one to see the handwriting on the wall, left the country for the safety of Washington, D.C., to lobby for the Villistas.63

The fighting in Sonora, however, was not over yet. Pancho Villa crossed into the state with 14,000 men and began a bloody campaign. The flamboyant Villa attacked Agua Prieta for two days but failed to dislodge the heavily reinforced Calles. Short on supplies, Villa chose to fall back and restock his army in Cananea.64

Villa sent an advance guard of 150 under a Colonel Beltrán to occupy the town, then followed with several thousand troops. Villa initially demanded $25,000, wagonloads of flour, several hundred horses, and 1,500 head of cattle. Forty soldiers under General José Rodríguez broke into the Mercantile Bank and forced the general manager to open the safe at gunpoint. In all, they took 50,000 silver pesos from the bank and 43,000 silver pesos from the company. They also looted local stores, took livestock valued at 138,909.54 silver pesos, raped several women, kidnapped two surgeons, and killed a U.S. engineer. Villa departed from Cananea on November 20, 1915, two days before Constitutionalist forces under General Obregón arrived.65

The new supplies did not turn the military tide in Villa’s favor. He failed to take Hermosillo and fought a disorganized retreat back to Chihuahua, losing encounters at Naco and Nogales to Obregón’s army. By the end of 1915, the Constitutionalists were in control of Sonora and General Calles had been named military governor.66

The Constitutionalist Revolution, 1916-1920

U.S. officials and businessmen viewed Calles’ appointment with mixed feelings. The U.S. consul at Nogales, Frederick Simpich, called the general anti-American and accused him of sanctioning “numerous depredations” against U.S. citizens and their property.67 Villa’s defeat, on the other hand, was welcomed, and the largest railroads and mines, including Cananea and Nacozari, planned to resume operations.68 The Constitutionalist victory began an era of decisive confrontation between the revolutionary government, the copper companies, and the mine workers, with important implications for Mexico’s future. Two issues in particular shaped the political economy of the period from 1916 to 1920: revolutionary tax policies and ongoing labor conflict.

The debate over taxes became particularly contentious with Carranza’s March 1915 decree dramatically increasing rates on mineral exports and land owned by mining companies. According to the copper producers, this violated the Mexican constitution as well as the concessions granted to companies during the Porfiriato. The mining companies also complained that the revolutionaries cost them money by interrupting production, stealing supplies, and commandeering railways.

Decrees that increased taxes were indicators of an emerging revolutionary agenda. On one level, the Constitutionalists simply needed funds, and the mining companies were the most obvious source of extra revenue. Unilateral tax increases, however, along with decrees abolishing company stores and creating state labor tribunals, were also Carrancista attempts to gain more control over the export economy and the foreign corporations.

According to William Meyers, Villa attempted a similar strategy in Chihuahua, but his military setbacks weakened him politically and forced him to moderate tax increases and to withdraw a proposed mining reform. In the end, Villa succeeded only in raising popular consciousness in Chihuahua against foreign capital.69 His reputation as a reformer suffered further following his depredations in Sonora.

Back in Sonora, Cananea’s managers tried to blunt Carranza’s reforms through lobbying and protest. They fought to retain the concessions granted under Díaz, and argued that the First Chief’s tax policies would force all mining companies to end exploration and reduce production. The firm paid Juan N. Amador, Carranzas sub-secretary of government, to make its case.70 Amador spoke with Carranza and arranged interviews between company secretary George Young, Secretary of Government Rafael Zubarán, and Treasury Secretary Luis Cabrera. The results of these discussions, however, were disappointing. Cabrera granted the company an extension to pay current and overdue taxes, but only until October 31; and he gave the clear impression that all concessions granted under Díaz would be annulled. Company president W. D. Thornton believed that the firm was “morally bound” to pay the new taxes, although he still retained Amador and Alfonso Arriaga, attorney for the National Railways and an influential Carrancista, to lobby the cabinet.71

Secretary Young was only slightly more successful with General Calles. The general agreed to return to prerevolutionary state tax schedules.72 Seven months later, however, he issued a decree that annulled state and municipal tax exemptions granted to companies under Díaz. The stated purpose was to increase the wealthy’s share of the tax burden and to help the common people.73 In May 1916, Calles also threatened to confiscate land owned by foreigners along the border, specifically accusing the mining companies of illegally acquiring property and smuggling cattle into the United States.74 That same month, the general committed one million dollars to upgrade public education, a pet program of this former schoolteacher.75 Calles also began confiscating the property of the Porfirian elite, Maytorena, and his followers.76

The big mining companies were now angry over higher taxes, the loss of concessions, forced shutdowns at a time of high mineral prices, and the ineffectiveness of U.S. policy in Mexico. Cananea’s chief attorney, Delbert J. Haff of Kansas City, complained bitterly about President Wilson’s failure in Mexico.

You know Mr. Wilson well enough to know, I should think, that we will crawl out some way and that there is no use in our thinking about danger from intervention. He will take anything. He has always done what Carranza told him to do and he will continue to do it.77

The company clearly wanted a more aggressive U.S. policy toward Carranza but had little faith in Wilson. Ironically, Haff concluded that the best security lay in paying the higher taxes.

Of course, regarding mining taxes we will be protected in paying these taxes because the present government is a de facto government according to the recognition of the United States government, and whether it stands or falls, any payment of taxes made to it will protect the properties.78

One month later, Cananea paid its mining taxes.79 Following Haff’s advice, the company also paid its higher municipal and property taxes.80

During the negotiations, Cananea’s management commented that the Mexicans displayed a contradictory attitude toward the company, which was probably mirrored wherever U.S. business predominated in Mexico. On the one hand, unemployed workmen and local officials were “anxious” for the mine to return to full production and reportedly lacked “confidence” that their compatriots could run the plant. The locals, however, also expressed great animosity toward the United States because of the historical behavior of U.S. companies and their government. In the words of George Young, the company secretary,

I found the municipal authorities more friendly and reasonable than for some time back . . . [and] our workmen are very anxious to have us come back.. . . We were told that while the great majority of the Mexicans in Cananea were very friendly toward the American residents of the place and wished to see them back, they were still very bitter toward the American nation and were expressing regret that it seemed to be impossible to draw them [the Americans] into a fight; that they, the Mexicans, were bound to have it [the fight] yet even if it should be necessary to attack the Americans on their own soil.81

This attitude indicates deep-seated resentment of U.S. economic, political, and military influence in Mexico. Nevertheless, Cananea officials attributed it to frustration and bravado and did not appear particularly concerned. Their confidence stemmed from the realization, equally apparent to the Mexicans, that U.S. mining companies and other foreign enterprises provided Mexican nationals with thousands of jobs, and therefore could not be shut down or taken over without causing widespread economic hardship. This awareness explains why revolutionary leaders did not attempt to nationalize foreign industries but sought instead to alter the balance of power by increasing taxes and cancelling the special concessions granted by Díaz.

Not surprisingly, the companies resisted these changes and asked the U. S. government for assistance. They wanted compensation for the lost revenues and higher taxes and, ideally, a return to prerevolutionary business practices. The letter from Cananea attorney Haff suggests that businessmen had seriously discussed the possibility of a U.S. military intervention to protect their interests, but doubted that Wilson would agree to it (or conduct it effectively). Wilson supported capitalism and wished other nations to emulate the United States. In 1912, however, he had campaigned against the big corporations and pledged that he would not commit troops to rescue them from difficult situations. Wilson’s record shows that he was not opposed to military intervention—he intervened in Latin America more than his predecessors Roosevelt and Taft—but that his motives were political and ideological, rooted in his peculiar vision of limited democracy as opposed to the “dollar diplomacy” of the Republicans. He therefore occupied Veracruz in 1914 to overthrow the dictator Huerta, and sent General Pershing into Chihuahua in 1916 to punish Villa for attacking Columbus, New Mexico.82

Uncertain of military assistance, U.S. business interests in Mexico appealed to the U.S. government to pressure Carranza into lowering taxes and respecting U.S. property rights. Their efforts intensified in September 1916, when Carranza issued a decree that threatened to confiscate mines operating at less than full capacity. That same month, representatives from 45 major firms, including Cananea, ASARCO, and Phelps-Dodge, assembled in New York City and collaborated on a lengthy document that outlined their principal charges against Mexico for presentation to Secretary of State Robert Lansing and the American-Mexican Claims Commission.

The companies stated that they could not resume normal production unless they were guaranteed protection of life and property; transportation for product, equipment, and food; a fair system of taxation; a “dependable, healthy, and efficient” labor force; a normal business climate, as recognized in “the civilized world”; and a stable currency. The report included dramatic quotations from mine managers describing commandeering of railroads, theft of supplies and equipment, kidnappings and murders of staff, and extortion. The companies were particularly concerned over tax increases, which they considered illegal.

State export taxes on minerals had risen from the prerevolutionary rate of 1.8 percent to the new rates of between 2.4 and 3.0 percent (see table 2). Moreover, the land or pertenencia tax skyrocketed. From 1891 to 1905, companies paid a flat rate of 10 pesos per hectare, which changed in 1906 to a varying rate of 6 pesos per hectare for the first 25 hectares and 3 pesos per hectare thereafter. Under Carranza, however, the new rates punished companies for owning large amounts of land (see table 3).

The big mining companies characteristically owned large tracts of land for prospecting, controlling water and timber supplies, and raising cattle for food and export. They protested that the new tax forestalled development of reserves and forced them to sell land. Carranza countered that divestment of land would create opportunities for small-scale developers. In theory, this would have been true for enterprising silver and gold miners, who could profitably work small digs, but not for industrial metal producers, who required extensive reserves and expensive equipment. Certainly, the creation of a handful of new, native copper companies would not have changed the structure of the mining industry. Carranza was undoubtedly more concerned with financing his movement and gaining leverage over the foreign mining companies.

Regardless of the First Chief’s intentions, the companies’ main concerns were their larger tax bills and their uncertain future. In August 1916, Cananea’s managers complained that they had paid $1,621,042.15 in new taxes to Carranza and Villa. Other companies faced similar expenses. Managers were also outraged over Carrancista decrees that abolished special concessions, outlawed company stores, suspended the Constitution, called for new municipal elections, circulated worthless paper currency, canceled transactions and contracts written during the Huerta regime, and otherwise disrupted their business.

The companies feared that the upcoming constitutional convention would “ratify all of these radical decrees and confirm them by alleged constitutional enactment, thereby rendering the condition of foreign enterprises in Mexico more difficult, and leaving them almost wholly without protection.” They asked the American-Mexican Claims Commission to obtain assurances from the Mexican government of “the future status and rights” of U.S. enterprises operating in Mexico. The companies concluded that “without such assurances, understanding, and effective measures, industry must remain idle, irritation between the two nations continue, and Mexico be denied the aid in the development of improved social and economic conditions which many owners and managers of American-Mexican enterprises stand ready to accord her.” In addition to this challenge, the companies asked Secretary of State Lansing to file a diplomatic protest over revolutionary taxes and decrees.83

A diplomatic protest would have been tame in comparison to a military intervention. But the prospect of an invasion to protect U.S. businesses, always a long shot, faded even further as the United States prepared to enter World War I. Carranza, moreover, displayed a stubborn resolve and did not bend to U.S. pressure. When the constitutional convention opened in Querétaro, delegates more progressive than the First Chief, including 1906 Cananea strike leader Estebán Baca Calderón, wrote the antibusiness decrees into the new constitution promulgated in 1917. Article 27 empowered the government to expropriate businesses “for the welfare of the nation,” and declared that mineral resources were state property and could not be sold.84

The legal framework was therefore in place to transform Mexico. But Carranza’s immediate objectives were to secure more tax revenues from the big corporations and to create a centralized state under his leadership. Nevertheless, considerable opportunity remained for political compromise, dealmaking, and patronage; mining companies needed to maneuver in the new political context.

Along with their struggle over higher taxes and property rights, mine managers stubbornly resisted attempts to erode their traditional dominance over labor. They had benefited from state support during the Porfiriato, and it remained unclear what position the revolutionaries would take on labor issues. In Sonora, the Maderista and Constitutionalist leadership had, as a rule, supported management in disputes with labor before 1915. After Villa’s defeat, however, the Constitutionalists sought to solidify their political control by forging an alliance with the emerging mining proletariat. This policy reflected an ideological commitment to workers as well as a recognition that miners could be used as leverage against the foreign mining companies.

The first important step in this process was Provisional Governor Adolfo de la Huerta’s decree of October 1916, which created labor councils to arbitrate disputes and draft labor legislation. De la Huerta’s language was threatening to management and promising to workers. He declared that “one of the principal causes of the Revolution” was the “unjust distribution of profits by producing enterprises,” which had turned working men into “veritable slaves of the capitalists (national as well as foreign).” Therefore, “the proletariat is dignified and lifted by the Revolution, placing it in a position of defense against oppressive capitalism.” Indeed, the Revolution sought nothing less than the “redemption of the working classes.”85

Behind the strident rhetoric, however, lay a practical, immediate objective; namely, to end the disruptive labor strikes that cost the government tax revenues and created potentially explosive political situations. According to de la Huerta, with the Constitutionalist victory the working man’s worries were over.

That inasmuch as the triumph of the Social Revolution, headed by Citizen Venustiano Carranza, has brought about the accomplished fact that the proletariat problem has now become one under the State’s control, the working man should not, under the present order of things, have recourse any more to the system of strikes, which, since the Constitutionalist Party is the genuine representative of the working men and the supporter of their just demands, becomes unnecessary.86

To demonstrate his sincerity, de la Huerta established labor councils composed of elected worker representatives (based on one representative per thousand workers), which would meet in the state capital and play a prominent role in labor issues. Specifically, the labor councils determined the amount of indemnities employers had to pay injured workers, suggested solutions to labor conflicts, recommended labor legislation to the state congress or governor, and testified before the congress when labor laws were being discussed. It should be noted, however, that most of the council’s powers were advisory in nature, and most of the authority rested with the government.

De la Huerta’s decree also established temporary rules until new labor laws could be passed. These included the eight-hour day, a minimum wage of 1.5 pesos per day, a minimum age of 14 for workers, standardized work contracts, and indemnification for accidents suffered on the job.87 De la Huerta subsequently decreed additional labor regulations in March 1917, based on the recommendations of the labor council, which were compatible with those enacted in the new national constitution.88

Miners had seemingly achieved, with one flourish of the pen, what they had struggled for since 1906. In effect, the Constitutionalist government was attempting to insert itself as the essential intermediary between labor and capital. But although miners—with a consciousness raised by strikes and revolution—would insist on immediate compliance, enforcement of the decree would be difficult, for two reasons. First, the Constitutionalists were still consolidating their military victory and organizing a government. Second, management would resist new regulations that undermined its authority and increased its expenditures.

By May the battle lines were forming. Miners at the El Tigre mine struck over wages and received the support of the state government and General Calles.89 And at Cananea, municipal authorities, railroad workers, and miners in the Cananea-Duluth mine protested violations of the decree to the labor tribunal, the governor, and the municipal president.90

At Cananea the most contentious issue became the miners’ demand to dismiss six foremen. The miners complained that the foremen required too much work, used abusive language, and, in the case of foreigners, spoke little Spanish. An offending Mexican foreman was briefly imprisoned by the municipal president, and de la Huerta personally demanded the dismissal of two foreign overseers. Management bristled over these outside intrusions and, on June 22, 1917, three months after the dispute began, suspended operations.91 The shutdown deprived the de la Huerta government of important tax revenues and, because of widespread unemployment, raised the specter of social unrest.

De la Huerta accused management of disrupting the social order and threatened to take control of the mine and its hospital. The governor believed that the real cause for the conflict was management’s anger over federal tax increases, and he proposed to discuss this issue with company representatives. In the meantime, he insisted that the mines remain open so that miners could survive.92

Reopening the mine, however, proved difficult. De la Huerta asked the manager of the neighboring Democrata mine, Hoffman, to run Cananea until a settlement could be reached. Hoffman explained, however, that this would require some 2.1 million pesos to meet payroll, transportation, and tax obligations —money he did not have. In addition, he faced the likelihood that the copper he produced would be confiscated by U.S. authorities as soon as it crossed the border. As a result, the mines remained closed until December 1917.93

The shutdown was no victory for labor, management, or the state. Miners went without work for six months, management lost substantial income, and the state lost tax revenues. Management probably decided to reopen because of rising copper prices and pressure from Washington to increase production following U.S. entry into World War I.

For his part, General Calles was also increasingly concerned with political and economic stabilization. Foreign firms as well as Mexican workers would have to recognize the supreme authority of the revolutionary government. Calles supported the strikers at the El Tigre mine, but eventually grew impatient and negotiated a settlement that compromised most of their demands. That same year he deported IWW (Industrial Workers of the World) organizers for enlisting miners at Nacozari. The following year, Lázaro Gutiérrez de Lara, vice president of the Arizona Federation of Labor and a 1906 strike leader at Cananea, was shot, apparently with Calles’ knowledge, in the town of Sáric.94

It was also Calles who ordered and directed the brutal military campaign against the politically recalcitrant Yaqui Indians between 1916 and 1919. One of the principal generals in that genocidal war was Manuel Diéguez, the former labor leader from Cananea, who stated, after his victory at El Alamito, “All the Yaqui prisoners taken with arms in hand were immediately executed, proving that the only good Yaqui is a dead Yaqui.”95

Throughout 1918, a series of small labor conflicts periodically disrupted production at Cananea.96 By the end of the year, tension was mounting as large numbers of miners protested low wages and high prices and a variety of labor organizations re-emerged, including the Unión Industrial de Trabajadores Asalariados de Cananea, the Sociedad Mutualista Aquiles Serdan, the Fraternal de Mecánicos, and the Unión Mercantil de Cananea.97 The situation reached a flashpoint when management, in response to falling copper prices, reduced the size of the work force from 4,500 to 3,000 in January 1919.98

The Sonoran revolutionary elite expressed alarm over potential social and political unrest at the hands of unemployed miners. Viewing events from Mexico City, Adolfo de la Huerta accused the company of purposely undermining his electoral campaign for governor, and blamed company secretary George Young for the 1917 shutdown. In an interview with de la Huerta, company attorney Haff defended Young as “the best friend de la Huerta had in the country” and promised that the company would remain neutral during the elections. Haff blamed rumors of another impending shutdown on “some Bolsheviki or IWW agents who were anxious to stir up trouble,” which was a clever ruse to focus anger on radical outsiders. According to Haff, de la Huerta expressed “pleasure and great good will” with these assurances and explanations.99

The interview cleared the air, and it illustrates the postrevolutionary political fencing between foreign interests and the Sonoran leadership. Haff, who played an important role in this process, was particularly well connected in Mexico City political circles. Following his meeting with de la Huerta, he attended a tea concert organized by Acting Treasury Minister Rafael Nieto and, seated next to Gobernación Minister Aguirre Berlanga and the U.S. ambassador’s wife, enjoyed a performance by cellist Pablo Casals.100 Meanwhile, de la Huerta returned to Sonora and took the liberty of publishing and distributing a flyer announcing that the Cananea mines supported his candidacy and did not plan additional layoffs. Neither of these statements had been authorized by management, however, which preferred to keep political deals confidential.101 The company published a statement that flatly contradicted de la Huerta. It announced that, in response to falling copper prices, the work force would be reduced, employment would be available on a day-to-day basis, no compensation would be paid for early dismissals, and the mine might have to close.102

Management’s public defiance embarrassed de la Huerta and demonstrated its determination to resist political bullying. Nevertheless, the company cooperated with de la Huerta when it stood to gain. For example, it secretly contributed money to his campaign, while rejecting his opponent’s request for funds on the grounds that the company never mixed in politics. Shortly thereafter, state officials reciprocated by shipping two hundred recently laid-off miners from Cananea to Naco on the international border, where they could cross illegally into the United States.103

Such cooperation indicated the mutual concern of management and the Constitutionalists over the potential social unrest that widespread unemployment could cause. Indeed, public order soon unraveled in Cananea, with unpleasant results for the company and the government. The trouble began with a fire at the company-owned post office. Much as in modern-day riots, a great crowd formed at the fire scene and, taking advantage of the chaos, started breaking into stores and carrying off merchandise. The looters prevented firemen from putting out the flames, and the police, hopelessly outnumbered, could only watch in frustration. Laid-off miners and their families took the food and clothing they needed and showed no respect for the company or the new political order.

Even more disturbing for the firm, however, was the dramatic robbery of the company-owned bank a few months later. On May 9 at about 1:30 A.M., 20 men broke into the Cananea jail, shot the chief of police and four officers, and freed the prisoners. They proceeded to the home of the bank’s cashier, forced him to open the bank’s vault, and walked away with $47,500 in gold and silver coin. As a crowd of townspeople gathered around them, the robbers shouted, “the money belongs to the people,” and threw handfuls of gold coins into the crowd. The bank robbers next helped themselves to clothing, food, and horses before departing the town “in a leisurely way” around daybreak. Management concluded that these were local men, for two reasons: they arrived on foot, and they left behind hats bearing the trademark of a local store.104

Managers were concerned that the robbery might be the sign of a growing radicalism among locals. “Radical Bolsheviki speeches” made during the recent political campaign called for the socialization of private property and the looting of the bank, and such statements may have encouraged the break-ins and influenced public reaction to the robberies. The most tangible evidence of motive, however, was a note left by the thieves, stating, “for the support of the cause of Beltrán” —the Villista colonel who had robbed the bank some years earlier. Company officials believed that some of the same men had been involved this time. They did not think, however, that the robbers were Villistas or Beltranistas, because neither faction had been heard from in the region for some time. The reference to Beltrán, however, prompted the Constitutionalist government to dispatch three hundred troops to Cananea to catch the thieves. The force quickly captured three suspects and, dispensing with formalities, carried out a summary execution. Most of the bandits, however, as well as the loot, remained at large when the troops departed. Fifty soldiers stayed behind as a temporary garrison, which management hoped would become permanent.105

Public disorder, along with the presence of radical trade unionists and socialist politicians, intensified company managers’ efforts at social control. Company spies infiltrated the work force with orders to attend union meetings and pass along information, and mine managers on both sides of the border exchanged data on union organizing activities. For example, management at Morenci, Arizona, learned that IWW representatives from the area were organizing miners at Cananea. IWW advance men had called a meeting at Cananea and appealed to Mexican miners to desert the Mexican Federation of Labor (an affiliate of the American Federation of Labor) and join their union. The IWW criticized the MFL-AFL as a political organization pledged to work within the system, and it characterized its own union as an economic organization pledged to serve the proletariat: “Our object is simply to cooperate more effectively and advance together over the road of Liberty and Progress toward the emancipation of all the producers of wealth.”106

The IWW was not the only progressive voice in the community. An opposition newspaper, El Tiempo, had criticized the company for some time, and its editor, Julián S. González, introduced a new semiweekly titled Revolución in 1919. In its first issue, González wrote an editorial accusing Cananea of making scandalously high profits during World War I while keeping miners’ wages at subsistence levels. The editorial included specific information on the price of copper, wages, and food prices, and concluded that “the exploitation of the poor workmen by the Companies has the character of robbery— robbery perpetrated under the august protection of the law.” Privately, management complained that González had failed to compute various company expenditures, but it did not deny wartime profiteering.107

González had also announced his candidacy for municipal president of Cananea under the banner of the Socialist Workers’ Party. His platform included the establishment of a night school, strict compliance by authorities with labor legislation, introduction of the referendum and the initiative, protection of Mexican merchants (including elimination of taxes on itinerant vendors), and strict compliance with hygiene laws.108

Although it is difficult to judge the extent of González’ support, the office of municipal president had been occupied by opponents of the company throughout the Revolution. González appears to have been independent of any major revolutionary faction, although he obviously agreed with the progressive labor legislation passed since 1917. In ideological terms, González had much in common with the IWW, the PLM, and other radical voices active in the region since the turn of the century.

In 1919, the most progressive voice in Sonora’s Constitutionalist movement belonged to Adolfo de la Huerta. During the campaign he gained the endorsement of the Unión Industrial de Trabajadores Asalariados de Cananea, the largest and most influential union at the mine. This organization spoke of “destroying the bourgeoisie . . . and becoming owners of the integral product of our own labor . . . to achieve the emancipation of the proletariat. . .” The Unión Industrial considered de la Huerta a “radical socialist” and expected him to defend its interests against the copper companies.109

The Cananea Consolidated Copper Company understood, however, that some Constitutionalist leaders were more progressive on labor issues than others. Management therefore appealed to General Calles for support, because he had shown impatience with striking miners in the past and did not share de la Huerta’s association with the labor tribunals. Management sent Calles copies of the Unión Industrial’s radical statements and claimed (without proof) that the union planned to “sabotage” the mine.110 Calles publicly forbade “agitators” from holding public meetings in industrial centers.111 He agreed to meet with company official L. D. Ricketts, who hoped to dissuade the general from enforcing labor legislation.112

Management also attempted to influence Calles by loaning him large sums of money. The general already owed the company $18,000, and he now requested an additional $30,000. The timing of the loan was important: Calles had just resigned from President Carranza’s cabinet to head Sonora’s military, and management anticipated that the loan would buy it influence on “land and labor questions.”113

There were no guarantees, however, that Calles would do Cananea’s bidding. He had received money from the copper companies in the past and had reciprocated by reducing their state taxes. But he had never deviated far from national policy or surrendered his political independence. It was unlikely that he would take aggressive action against the union now, unless a lengthy strike were to paralyze production and stop the flow of taxes. In late 1919, Calles needed funds to keep the Sonoran army in line and muster support for General Alvaro Obregón’s impending power struggle with Carranza.

As military commander, Calles wielded considerable influence; but the state’s chief political officer was Adolfo de la Huerta, who became governor on September 1, 1919, the same date that Julián S. González assumed office as municipal president of Cananea. The copper company conceded that “the labor movement has made some progress” and anticipated that de la Huerta would “strongly support the radical labor laws.”114

A test came two months later when the municipal president, at the union’s request, expelled a nonunion miner from the Puertecitos camp. Management viewed this as an attempt to form a union shop, and it asked the governor to intervene and reinstate the miner. When he refused, management shut down the camp and suggested that, because of falling copper prices, the entire mine could close.115

The proposed layoffs ignited intense debate between management and workers, which demonstrated how things had changed since the Revolution. Hostilities reached a flashpoint when the company attempted to reassign several laid-off smelter workers to lower-paying jobs underground. El Tiempo editorialized against the plan and urged workers to protest directly to the governor. R. B. Armenta, the governor’s representative and a union member, characterized the confrontation as “a conflict . . . between the proletariat and . . . the reptiles who wallow in the mire of Wall Street. . .” Municipal and union officials invoked the 1917 Constitution against company managers in a public meeting.116

The leaders of the rally told the angry miners that Article 123 of the 1917 Constitution gave the municipal president the right to intervene in labor disputes and required the company to pay Mexican and U.S. foremen equal wages. Each reference to the new constitution was greeted by thunderous applause from the miners, who felt empowered by the document and by the support of revolutionary leaders.117

Governor de la Huerta intervened and attempted to prevent an impasse. In conversations with managers, he disavowed Armenta’s strident attacks on the company but urged compliance with workers’ demands. Managers believed that they could deal with de la Huerta but not with local radicals. Privately, they expressed the desire to shut down El Tiempo, imprison local leftists, and run the town. But foreign managers no longer enjoyed that type of political power in Mexico, and local radicals and miners, whose struggle had begun at the turn of the century, continued to agitate into the 1920s.118

Final Note

The history of strike activity at Cananea shows how miners’ grievances with U.S. copper companies merged with revolutionary objectives. After a period of chilly relations with the Maderistas, who opposed significant economic and social change, miners found political supporters among the Constitutionalists, notably Adolfo de la Huerta. After 1915 de la Huerta and his allies wrote a series of pro-labor laws, including provisions for the eight-hour day, a minimum wage, and restrictions on child labor. They also created labor tribunals charged with proposing legislation and adjudicating disputes. Subsequent decrees abolished company stores and addressed other worker grievances. The pro-worker decrees came with a flourish of radical rhetoric designed to convince miners that the Constitutionalists were their saviors. These measures sought to improve miners’ working and living conditions, as well as to incorporate miners into the Constitutionalist movement.

This political association was possible because Constitutionalist leaders and copper miners shared a common adversary in the U.S. mining companies. Venustiano Carranza’s stubborn defiance of U.S. policy in Mexico, often mentioned with regard to the Pershing incursion, was equally resolute in eroding the privileged position of foreign capital in his country. Carranza withstood the multinationals’ intensive lobbying campaign against his policies and succeeded in increasing their taxes, ending their special concessions, and decreasing their political influence. The linking of anti-imperialist policies with the copper miners’ movement, in a pivotal region that was home to future presidents Obregón, de la Huerta, and Calles, is an important feature of the Mexican Revolution.

The author thanks Mark D. Szuchman and two anonymous reviewers for their detailed comments on an earlier version of this essay. He also acknowledges the valuable assistance of the staffs of the Arizona Historical Society, the National Archives, the Centro Regional de Sonora, the Compañía Minera de Cananea, S.A., and Peter Steere of the University of Arizona Library.


Friedrich Katz placed the Revolution in an international context in The Secret War in Mexico (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1981). John Mason Hart, Revolutionary Mexico: The Coming and Process of the Mexican Revolution (Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1987), focuses on the disruptiveness of massive U.S. investment. Alan Knight, in The Mexican Revolution, 2 vols. (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1987), develops the notion of the locally based “serrano revolution” at some length.


Ramón E. Ruiz, Labor and the Ambivalent Revolutionaries: Mexico, 1911-1923 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1976).


François-Xavier Guerra, “La Révolution Mexicaine: d’abord une révolution minière?” Annales E.S.C. 36 (1981), 785-814; Alan Knight, “La Révolution Mexicaine: révolution minièreou révolution serrano?” ibid. 38:2 (1983), 449-59; idem, “The Working Class and the Mexican Revolution, c. 1900-1920” Journal of Latin American Studies 16 (1984), 51-79.


Héctor Aguilar Camín, La frontera nómada (Mexico City: Siglo Veintiuno, 197 7), 83-88.


Ibid., 85, 95.


Antonio Rivera, La revolución en Sonora (Mexico City: Imprenta Arana, 1969), 380.


Juan Luis Sariego, Enclaves y minerales en el norte de México (Mexico City: CIESAS, 1988). This detailed and valuable study of Cananea’s miners is based primarily on company records found at the mine site, and is guided by dependency theory. My essay is based on a larger sample of company records located in Cananea, Hermosillo, Arizona, and Montana, as well as the reports of U.S. consuls, the Mexican-American Claims Commission, and other sources. In addition, my focus is on the interaction between government, labor, and foreign capital in the context of the Mexican Revolution. Although Sariego is also concerned with these issues, his emphasis is on the mine as enclave.


Michael J. Gonzales, “United States Copper Companies, the State, and Labour Conflict in Mexico, 1900 to 1910,” Journal of Latin American Studies 26 (Oct. 1994), 651-81. For general discussions of labor conflict during the Porfiriato, see Rodney Anderson, Outcasts in Their Own Land. (DeKalb: Northern Illinois Univ. Press, 1976); Jonathan C. Brown, “Foreign and Native-Born Workers in Porfirian Mexico,” American Historical Review 98:3 (June 1993) 786-818.


Susan M. Deeds, “José María Maytorena and the Mexican Revolution in Sonora,” part 1, Arizona and the West 18:1 (Spring 1976), 24-32.


Aguilar Camín, La frontera nómada, 161-67; Alexander Dye, U.S. Consul at Nogales, to Secretary of State, Oct. 23, 1911, National Archives (NA), Washington, D.C., decimal file (dec.) 812.5045/24, micro. M-274, reel 167.


Dye to Secretary of State, Oct. 23, 1911.


Aguilar Camín, La frontera nómada, 163-67.


Dye to Secretary of State, Oct. 23, 1911.


George Young, Secretary, Cananea Consolidated Copper Company, to Señor Don José M. Maytorena, Constitutional Governor of the State of Sonora, n.d., Arizona Historical Society, Tucson, Cananea Papers (hereafter AHS-CP), MS 1032, box 1. This letter was drafted (but not mailed) at the request of James Douglas, general manager, who provided Maytorena with the information contained in the letter. See Douglas’ note at the bottom of the letter cited here.




Telegram, Dye to Secretary of State, Oct. 19, 1911, NA, dec. 812.5045/25, M-274, reel 167.


Dye to Secretary of State, Oct. 18, 1911, NA, dec. 812.5045/26, M-274, reel 167.


Mexican Mining Journal 13:5 (Nov. 1911), 36.


Young, Cananea, to Sr. Cirilo Ramírez, Hermosillo, Feb. 14, 1912, AHS-CP, MS 1032, box 2.


Aguilar Camín, La frontera nómada, 240-41.


Mexican Mining Journal 15:1 (July 1912), 45, 16:2 (Oct. 1912), 49.


Young, Cananea, to Ramírez, Hermosillo, Dec. 12, 1912, AHS-CP, MS 1032, box 1; Young to Ramírez, Dec. 13, 1912, ibid.


Young, Cananea, to L. D. Ricketts, New York City, Dec. 23, 1912, in U.S. Consul to Secretary of State, NA, dec. 812.5045/49, M-274, reel 167.


Young to Ramírez, Dec. 13, 1912.


Ibid.; Young to Ricketts, Dec. 23, 1912.


Young to Ricketts, Dec. 23, 1912. According to evidence cited by Jonathan Brown, the company also agreed to end a premium system that rewarded good attendance. See “Foreign and Native-Born Workers,” 808, n. 73. Brown’s source is an interview given by a former company employee in 1918. Because the surviving internal company correspondence makes no mention of this concession, the employee may have been mistaken about the timing of this reform. Ricketts instituted the premium system in 1907 as part of an effort to improve attendance and productivity. See Gonzales, “United States Copper Companies, the State, and Labour Conflict,” 678.


Young to Ricketts, Dec. 23, 1912.


Aguilar Camín, La frontera nómada, 260-61.




Ibid., 280-87.


Ibid., 294.


Ibid., 289.


Engineering and Mining Journal 95:13 (Mar. 24, 1913), 684, 95:14 (Apr. 5, 1913), 732; James Douglas, General Manager, Cananea, to Dr. Ancil Martin, Phoenix, Apr. 19, 1913, AHS-CP, MS 1032, box 2.


Douglas’ account is printed in Engineering and Mining Journal 95:17 (Apr. 26, 1913), 868.


Aguilar Camín, La frontera nómada, 316-17.


Engineering and Mining Journal 95:19 (May 10, 1913), 976.


Aguilar Camín, La frontera nómada, 316-32. Numerous references to Roberto Pesqueira’s role as attorney and adviser to the Cananea company appear in the company correspondence. (The symbol $ denotes dollars except where noted.)


Quoted in Aguilar Camín, La frontera nómada, 341-61.


Ibid., 363-67.


Ibid., 384-407.


Engineering and Mining Journal, 97:17 (Apr. 25, 1914), 884, 97:18 (May 2, 1914), 928, 97:22 (May 30, 1914), 1126.


“Reporte oficial del Prefecto Político de Arizpe, Sonora, Federico Platt, al Gobernador del Estado, relativo al paro general que tuvo lugar en La Cananea Consolidated Copper Company, S.A., en julio de 1914,” in Sonora: textos de su historia, no. 3, comp. Mario Cuevas Arámburu (Hermosillo: Imprenta del Gobierno del Estado de Sonora, 1989), 323-32. Sariego reprints the prefect’s report but does not discuss it or introduce additional evidence. Enclaves y minerales, 143-48.


Aguilar Camín, La frontera nómada, 361, 383. Cananea officials reported that Diéguez joined the Revolution to fight against Huerta. See United States of America on behalf of Mary Greene Wiswall, et al. v. The United Mexican States, NA, Suitland, Md., General Claims Commission, Record Group (RG) 76, agency 1149. Diéguez may also have been motivated by his opposition to Maytorena, who then controlled Cananea.


“Reporte oficial del Prefecto Político de Arizpe.”


Report of company officials, in Engineering and Mining Journal 98:4 (July 25, 1914), 188.


“Reporte oficial del Prefecto Político de Arizpe.”


Aguilar Camín, La frontera nómada, 407.


Report of company officials, in Engineering and Mining Journal, 98:4 (July 25, 1914), 188.


“Reporte oficial del Prefecto Político de Arizpe”; Engineering and Mining Journal, 98:5 (Aug. 1, 1914), 232, 98:7 (Aug. 15, 1914), 327.


Edward Rush and S. W. Eccles, Vice Presidents, American Smelting and Refining Co., to the Hon. William J. Bryan, Secretary of State, July 15, 1913, NA, Suitland, Md., General Claims Commission, U.S. and Mexico, RG 76, agency 435.


Deeds, “José María Maytorena,” 140-44.


Engineering and Mining Journal, 99:25 (June 19, 1915), 1098.


George Kingdom, Genl. Supt., Douglas, Ariz., to F. D. Hamilton, Cananea, Nov. 9, 1914, AHS-CP, MS 1032, box 2.


Kingdom, Douglas, Ariz., to Ricketts, Butte, Mont., Dec. 8, 1914, AHS-CP, MS 1032, box 2.


Kingdom, Douglas, Ariz., to R. A. Armstrong, Supt., Mercantile Dept., Cananea, Nov. 9, 1914, AHS-CP, MS 1032, box 2.


Kingdom to Armstrong, Dec. 26, 1914, ibid.


U.S. v. United Mexican States.


Frederick Simpich, U.S. Consul at Nogales, to Secretary of State, Apr. 6, 1915, NA, dec. 812/14551-15025, M-274, reel 44.


Kingdom, Douglas, Ariz., to J. W. Allen, Treasurer, New York City, Jan. 18, 1915, AHS-CP, MS 1032, box 2.


Simpich to Secretary of State, Apr. 6, 1915.


“Weekly Report of Conditions Along the Mexican Border,” Mar. 13, 1915, NA, dec. 812.00/14659, M-274, reel 44


“Weekly Report of General Conditions Along the Mexican Border,” Apr. 10,1915, NA, dec. 812.00/14899, M-274, reel 44; Charles L. Montague, Acting Sub-Consul at Cananea, to Simpich, Nogales, Apr. 13, 1915, NA, dec. 812.00/14909, M-274, reel 44.


Deeds, “José María Maytorena,” 145. On Calles’ growing strength even before U.S, recognition of Carranza, see Kingdom, Cananea, to Ricketts, Globe, Ariz., Feb. 4, 1915, AHS-CP, MS 1032, box 2.


C. E. Wiswall, Cananea, to Mrs. R. F. Torrance, Albuquerque, June 24, 1949, AHS, Robert Torrance Papers, MS 1033, box 1, fol. 27. Wiswall married William Greene’s widow and ran her huge cattle ranch adjacent to the mines. He was an eyewitness to Villa’s incursion into the region. See also Simpich, Nogales, to Secretary of State, Nov. 4, 1915; and Charles L. Montague, U.S. Sub-Consul at Cananea, to the Hon. Frederick Simpich, Nov. 22, 1915; in U.S. v. United Mexican States.


Simpich to Secretary of State, Nov. 4, 1915; Montague to Simpich, Nov. 22, 1915; Engineering and Mining Journal, 100:18 (Oct. 30, 1915), 739; Young, Warren, Ariz., to the Hon. D[elbert] J. Haff, Kansas City, Mo., Nov. 16, 1915, AHS-CP, MS 1032, box 2; U.S. v. United Mexican States.


Deeds, “José María Maytorena,” 145.


Frederick Simpich, “Brief Summary of Conditions in the Border Towns of Mexico since about June 1, 1915 to Date [Dec. 16, 1915],’’ NA, Suitland, Md., General Claims Commission of U.S. and Mexico, RG 76, agency nos. 433-35.


Simpich, Nogales, to Secretary of State, Dec. 14, 1915, NA, dec. 812.00/17031, M-274, reel 50; Engineering and Mining Journal 100:25 (Dec. 18, 1915), 1028.


William K. Meyers, “Pancho Villa and the Multinationals: United States Mining Interests in Villista Mexico, 1913-1915,” Journal of Latin American Studies 23:2 (May 1991), 339-63. Meyers does not discuss Villa’s impact on Sonora. Cananea’s executives, however, protested to the State Department about Villa’s attempts to increase taxes, and the Villistas appeared to back down. See John D. Ryan, Vice President, Greene Cananea Copper Company, New York City, to Secretary of State, Washington, D.C., Apr. 12, 1915, and Robert Lansing, Counselor, State Department, Washington, D.C., to Ryan, New York City, June 7, 1915, NA, Center for Research Libraries, Chicago, dec. 812.63/114, M-274, reel 210.


Haff, Kansas City[?], to Señor Lie. Juan N. Amador, El Paso, Apr. 23, 1915, AHS-CP, MS 1032, box 2.


Young, Cananea, to Ricketts, Warren, Ariz., July 8, 1915, AHS-CP, MS 1032, box 2.


Telegram, Young, Naco, Ariz., to Haff, Kansas City, Aug. 24, 1915, AHS-CP, MS 1032, box 2.


General Plutarco Elías Calles, Governor and Military Commander of the State, Decree No. 39, Mar. 27, 1916, Hermosillo, in Simpich, Nogales, to Secretary of State, Washington, D.C., Apr. 12, 1916, NA, Center for Research Libraries, Chicago, dec. 812.602/24, M-274, reel 204. In January the Carrancista governor of Aguascalientes, where ASARCO owned a major smelter, also issued a decree annulling special concessions granted to companies. Gaston Schmutz, U.S. Consul, to Secretary of State, Jan. 26, 1916, NA, Center for Research Libraries, Chicago, dec. 812.602/23, M-274, reel 204.


[First name unknown] Weeks, Mexico City, to U.S. Consul Danciger, Kansas City, May 18, 1916, AHS-CP, MS 1032, box 2. This letter shows that Cananea, almost undoubtedly through its chief legal counsel, Haff of Kansas City, had access to selected State Department correspondence. Calles himself, of course, had profited from cattle smuggling along the border.


Weeks, Mexico City, to Danciger, Kansas City, May 20, 1916, AHS-CP, MS 1032, box 2.


Aguilar Camín, La frontera nómada, 429.


Haff, Kansas City, to Young, Warren, Ariz., July 5, 1916, AHS-CP, MS 1032, box 2.




Assistant Secretary, Cananea, to Young, Los Angeles, Aug. 8, 1916, AHS-CP, MS 1032, box 1.


Young, Warren, Ariz., to Haff, Kansas City, July 11, 1916, AHS-CP, MS 1032, box 2.




For a detailed discussion of Wilson’s foreign policy in Mexico, see Katz, Secret War.


“Conference of the American-Mexican Mining and Smelting Interests,” New York City, Sept. 25, 1916, and “The Effect of the Revolution in Mexico on American-Mexican Mining Interests,” part 2, Sept. 1916, both AHS-CP, MS 1032, box 5; George Young, Secretary, “Statement of the Cananea Consolidated Copper Company, S.A.,” re: “How the Company has been Affected by Mexican Revolutionary Conditions, Taxation, etc.,” presented before the “Honorable Members of the Mexican-American International Commission,” Sept. 28,1916, New York City, Cananea Papers, Centro Regional de Sonora, Hermosillo, reel 4.


For the relationship of political developments and foreign policy, see Katz, Secret War. On Article 27, see Knight, Mexican Revolution, 2:470.


Provisional Governor Adolfo de la Huerta, printed notice, Hemosillo, Oct. 12, 1916, Cananea Company Archive (CCA), 1916 Documental 0038.






Sonora’s labor regulations included double pay for overtime, one day off per week, provision of a safe working environment, appointment of government safety inspectors, equal wages for natives and foreigners, hiring preferences for natives over foreigners (when qualifications were equal), foreigners’ knowledge of Spanish, cash wages (as opposed to goods or tokens), and provision of medical care by Spanish-speaking physicians and pharmacists. For their part, workers were instructed to be punctual, hardworking, respectful, and obedient to company rules. Adolfo de la Huerta, Decree No. 71, Oct. 10, 1916, Occidental College, Los Angeles, Special Collections, Labor Issues, Edward Doheny Research Fund, file I-K. The decree included only very brief mention of the agricultural sector, which underscores the regime’s concern over the more lucrative, volatile, and controversial mining sector.


At El Tigre, management claimed that it could not raise wages because of tax increases and miners’ relative unproductiveness. These arguments were rejected by General Calles, who had taken a direct interest in the strike. See W. D. King, Douglas, Ariz., to Young, Cananea, May 14, 1917, AHS-CP, MS 1032, box 2.


Young to Presidente Municipal, June 9, 1917, CCA, 1917 Documental 0020; Statement by S. Ramírez Sandi, President of the Labor Commission of the State, to Mariano Urrea, Municipal President of Cananea, June 8, 1917, CCA, 1917 Documental, 0004.


Ramírez Sandi to Urrea; Young, Cananea, to C. E. Mills, President of Cananea Consolidated Copper Co., Miami, Ariz., Mar. 14, 1917, CCA, 1917 Documental 0005; Young to Mills, Mar. 15, 1917, ibid.; Young to Mills, Mar. 16, 1917, ibid.; Young to Governor the State of Sonora, Mar. 12, 1917, ibid.; The Secretary [Young] to Municipal President, May [n.d.] 1917, ibid.; Acting Gnl. Supt. to Charles H. Bates, [n.p.] Dec. 3, 1917, CCA, 1918 Documental 0083.


Adolfo de la Huerta, Hermosillo, to U.S. Consul at Nogales, June 24, 1917, AHS-CP, MS 1032, box 2.


General Manager of the Democrata Mine [Hoffman] to Mariano Urrea, Municipal President, June 26, 1917, CCA, 1917 Documental 0001; George Kingdom[?], Long Beach, Calif., to C. E. Mills, Miami, Ariz., June 29, 1917, CCA, 1917 Documental 00005; Engineering and Mining Journal 104:20 (Nov. 17, 1917), 882, 104:24 (Dec. 15, 1917), 1045.


Aguilar Camín, La frontera nómada, 439-40.


“Todos los prisioneros yaquis cogidos con las armas en la mano fueron fusilados inmediatamente, comprobando que el mejor yaqui es el yaqui muerto.” Ibid., 440.


Acting Gnl. Supt., Cananea, to Mills, Miami, Ariz., Jan. 17, 1918, CCA, 1918 Documental 0219; Feb. 2, 1918, ibid.; Apr. 4, 1918, CCA, 1918 Documental 0205.


Memorandum on labor unrest, CCA, 1918 Documental 0218; Aviso, CCA, 1918 Documental 0123.


Gnl. Supt., Cananea, to Ricketts, New York City, Jan. 20, 1919, CCA, 1919 Documental 0132.


Haff to Young, Jan. 19, 1919, AHS-CP, MS 1032, box 2.




Aviso, “Conferencia entre el Sr. Adolfo de la Huerta y el Gerente Gral. de la compañía de las 4-C,” Mar. 18, 1919, AHS-CP, MS 1032, box 5.


Cananea Consolidated Copper Co., S.A., “Aviso a Nuestros Empleados y Operarios,” El Superintendente General T. Evans, Mar. 28, 1919, AHS-CP, MS 1032, box 5.


Gnl. Supt. to Ricketts, May 12, 1919, 1919 Documental 0127.


Young, Cananea, to Haff, Mexico City, May 23, 1919, AHS-CP, MS 1032, box 2.


Ibid.; Gnl. Supt., Cananea, to Ricketts, New York City, May 12, 1919, CCA, 1919 Documental 0127.


A. Drozda, General Manager, Globe Inspection Co., Los Angeles, to Mr. T. Evans, Gnl. Supt., Cananea, June 20,1919, CCA, 1919 Documental 0062; “Extract from report of Field Inspector stationed at Morenci, under date of June 17th [1919],” CCA, 1919 Documental 0062. For the AFL’s conservative influence on the Mexican labor movement, including the Confederación Regional Obrera Mexicana (CROM), see Gregg Andrews, Shoulder to Shoulder? The American Federation of Labor, the United States, and the Mexican Revolution, 1910-2924 (Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1991).


Young, Cananea, to J. W. Allen, Treasurer, New York City, May 23, 1919, AHS-CP, MS 1032, box 1, which contains quotations from González’ editorial.


Julián S. González, public announcement, “¡Compromiso Solemne!” Aug. 23, 1919, AHS, Torrance Papers, MS 1033, box 5.


Public notice: “Obreros Cananenses,” Buenavista, Cananea, Sept. 19, 1919, APIS, Torrance Papers, MS 1033, box 5.


Young, Cananea, to Sr. Grab P. Elías Calles, Hermosillo, June 28, 1919, CCA, 1919 Documental 0148.


M. W. Mitchell, Cananea, to Ricketts, Warren, Ariz., June 24, 1919, CCA, 1919 Documental 0132.


Ricketts, Warren, Ariz., to Evans, Cananea, Aug. 11, 1919, CCA, 1919 Documental 0127.


Gnl. Supt., Cananea, to Ricketts, Warren, Ariz., Sept. 17, 1919, CCA, 1919 Documental 0131.




Acting Gnl. Supt. to Ricketts, Oct. 16, 1919, Gnl. Supt. to Ricketts, Nov. 6, 1919, Gnl. Supt. to Ricketts, Nov. 26, 1919, all in CCA, 1919 Documental 0131.


R. B. Armenta, El Tiempo (Cananea), Dec. 8, 1919, clipping included in letter, Gnl. Supt. to Ricketts, New York City, Dec. 26, 1919, CCA, 1919 Documental 0128.


El Tiempo, Nov. 27, 1919, CCA, 1919 Documental 0044; Adolfo de la Huerta, Hermosillo, to Young, Cananea, Dec. 5, 1919, AHS-CP, MS 1032, box 2; El Tiempo, Dec. 8, 1919, CCA, 1919 Documental 0128; Memorandum of meeting, C. L. M. [Charles L. Montague], Cananea, to Evans, Canaea, Dec. 18, 1919, CCA, 1919 Documental 0006; Gnl. Supt., Cananea, to Ricketts, New York City, Dec. 26, 1919, CCA, 1919 Documental 0128.


Gnl. Supt. to Ricketts, Dec. 26,1919; Aviso, T. Evans, Feb. 4, 1920, CCA, 1920 Documental 0039; El Tiempo, Mar. 17, 18, 1920, in CCA, 1920 Documental 0092; Petition signed by 127 workers denouncing two U.S. foremen, dated Sept. 5, 1920, CCA, 1920 Documental 0041.