MichiganTech Home > Library > Archives > Tumult and Tragedy

  Introduction and Acknowlegements
  Progressive Era
  Early 20th Century Labor Relations
  Copper Country Place & Space
  Total Upheaval
  Long Memory
  Host/Visit This Exhibit

Links to explore this subject further:

An Interior Ellis Island- Setting the Scene



“I do not think it would be hard at this time to call a strike with a ‘Hurrah!’ from one end of the Copper Country to the other,”

Quincy Mining Company General Manager Charles Lawton
describing labor relations in the Copper Country, July 5, 1913

Today Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula seems like a peaceful, tree-covered land mass in the middle of Lake Superior, but in the summer, fall and winter of 1913 this place witnessed some of the most turbulent times in Michigan history. On July 23, 1913, growing labor tensions exploded in a district-wide strike that pitted worker against company, neighbor against neighbor and relative against relative. This was the tumult and tragedy of the Copper Country’s greatest upheaval, a 9-month conflict between the Western Federation of Miners (WFM) union and powerful copper companies.
Copper Country 1913

This map of the Keweenaw Peninsula shows the mineral bearing copper range, notable mines, major towns, and Western Federation of Miners (WFM) headquarters.

Front page of Truth, a newspaper funded by the Citizens’ Alliance to counter WFM media offerings. Truth
Miners Bulletin Miners’ Bulletin, the official newspaper of the WFM was printed in Hancock.
Strikers outside WFM headquarters in Calumet holding signs highlighting tensions in the Copper Country before, during and after the strike. Strikers outside WFM headquarters