July 12, 1917




(Associated Press Leased Wire)

PHOENIX, July 12. – The entire town of Bisbee has suspended business and the Citizens’ Protective League, numbering 1,500, fully armed, ahs rounded up 1,000 members of the Industrial Workers of the World, have searched them and have loaded them in fright and cattle cars for deportation.

      Assistant Attorney General Whitney stated that he had been advised that two men had been killed at Bisbee.  One of these was Deputy Sheriff McRae, and the other was one of the strikers.  Details of the killing were lacking, but it is understood that they killed each other, both opening fire simultaneously.

      A message from Douglas says the I.W.W. train, consisting of 27 cars, passed through there this afternoon on the way to Columbus, N.M., where they will be interned in a camp supervised by federal officials.

      The work of deporting the I.W.W members, who are regarded as the disturbing element in Bisbee, is was gone-about in a systematic manner.  The Citizens’ Protective League, which is doing the work, is an organization consisting of citizens, business men, mine operators and miners not officiated with the I.W.W.  It is stated that practically all of the _____ of the organization have been deputized by the sheriff.

      All business in Bisbee is suspended for the day, all shops being closed, and no mining operations attempted.  The members of the Protective League had determined to make this the “unfinished business” and set about to see that it is accomplished before nightfall.  Every member of the organization is armed, although there has been no report from Bisbee up to this time that the arms have been used except to make a demonstration.


      Apparently appreciating the fact that they were greatly outnumbered and were unable to cope with the organization those members of the I.W.W. who did not escape from town, were rounded up in the city baseball park.  There a strong guard was kept surrounding the park and as fast as the men were brought in they were searched for weapons and the little red cards showing their membership in the I.W.W. organization.

      It is understood that not a great many weapons were found, but nearly every man carried his red card, which he regards as his “Liberty Bond.” 

      Nearby on a siding, cattle and box cars were standing and the men were taken from the ball park to the cars where other guards saw to it that they remained in the cars.


      The work was begun at night, a number of citizens from Douglas and other points coming to assist.  Everything had been planned thoroughly and it was determined that there should be no mistakes made.

      Business men and miners who want to work had determined that the entire industry of the cap should no longer be tied up by an organization expressing the determination announced by leaders that the situation in the entire state will have to be settled to their satisfaction before work will be permitted in any camps.

      As a result, before nightfall tonight, the Citizens’ Protective League, announces that there will be nothing remaining in Bisbee with the mark of the I.W.W. upon it.  The “cleanup,” it is announced, will be most thorough.


      At noon today, hearing that the twenty-four carloads of I.W.W. agitators being deported from Bisbee might be shipped to Tucson, Mayor O. C. Parker, head of the local defense committee; Rye Miles, Sheriff; Dr. A. G. Schnabel, chairman of the local committee on exterior defense, and Tom K. Richey, captain of the home guard, met and sent out formal warning that the I.W.W.’s would not be permitted to unload either in the city limits of Tucson or within the confines of the county.  Mayor Parker, speaking for the city, said that under no circumstances would they be permitted to unload in Tucson, and Sheriff Miles, speaking for the county authorities, said that they would not be permitted to unload anywhere in the county, and that if an attempt was made to unload them, he would deport them to the county line from which they came.

      Sheriff Miles was advised at noon that the special was being routed to New Mexico, but every precaution has been taken in the event that any of the I.W.W. agitators should come this way, and the Home Guard is ready to mobilize on short notice to carry out the orders of the Mayor and Sheriff, who are in a position to ascertain immediately if any trains bearing these undesirables are moved in the direction of Tucson.

      L.E. smith, secretary of the defense committee, at noon today telephoned every member of the home guard and rifle club to be ready to report on short notice.  Tucson has over two hundred men, fully equipped with rifles and ammunition, ready to report for service at a moment’s notice.

      A telephone message from Douglas received here this morning said that 300 citizens of that place, heavily armed and with three machine guns, left for Bisbee early this morning in autos to assist in the I.W.W. round-up there.  Twenty-five freight and cattle cars also have been sent to deport the I.W.W. members.  Railroad officials would not indicate the destination of the train.

      A long distance telephone message from Bisbee this afternoon at 1:30 o’clock stated that the train had left there with 1193 people on it bound for some point in New Mexico.  Included in the above number are three women, who were sent out on account of their sympathy for the I.W.W. and their outspoken expression of it, and Attorney W.B. Cleary.


      The message stated that Cleary was not taken from his automobile but was found in one of the buildings for the Copper Queen mining company and tried to make political capital out of it, but Campbell came back so the I.W.W. men there.

      Cleary, the message stated, had been outspoken in his opposition to the course being pursued by the sheriff and the citizens and his deportation was agreed upon.

      At this time Bisbee is perfectly quiet and should U.S. troops arrive on the scene there will be nothing for them to do.  It is announced that all of the mines will resume operations tomorrow with about 50 per cent of the force at work.

      The entire affair was conducted by the sheriff of the county and it is announced that the roundup is 100 per cent.  Peace officers and mine officials do not expect a return of the men.  They are out of Bisbee and it is expected that they will be shunted back and forth between New Mexico and Arizona as was the case with the deported men from Jerome who finally landed in Kingman, but none of whom has returned to Jerome.

      W.B. Cleary, better known as “Windy Bill” for years served as attorney for the Western Federation of Miners in Bisbee. He has been one of the principal supporters in the state of former; appointed as strike conciliator by the president. It was Cleary who spied out Tom Campbell eating a sandwich in a picketed restaurant in Bisbee last October and tried to make political capital out of it, but Campbell came back to strong at Cleary that he won many votes by his refusal to be intimidated by pickets. Cleary formerly resided in Phoenix. He stumped the state for prohibition and at one time bitterly denounced Bishop Granjon from a soap box in Tucson.

Whitney Wires Wheeler About Bisbee Situation

      PHOENIX, Ariz., July 12. – Assistant Attorney General L. B. Whitney has wired the following to Sheriff H. C. Wheeler at Bisbee:

      “Kindly wire this office immediately details leading up to deportation now taking place in Bisbee. State by what authority of law you are acting. State fully what violations, if any, took place prior to decision to deport strikers.”

      Further details of “round-up” are to the effect that the 1,500 members of the Citizens’ Protective league were all sworn in as deputies by the sheriff and that they then proceeded to make a house-to-house canvass of the entire district. Every man found, who refused to go to work, was taken from his home, or where-ever he happened to be located, and escorted under guard to the ball park, where they were herded together, under guard.

Attorney Reported Caught.

      It was stated here today that Attorney W. B. Cleary, who sent the telegram to Former Governor Hunt at Globe, was among those caught in the dragnet. Cleary, is is said, was in his automobile on his way to Douglas when his car was stopped by a number of the newly sworn in deputies, who were unacquainted with him, and he was made to fall in the ranks and was marched to the ball park with the others.

      Governor Campbell has telegraphed the sheriff and county attorney at Bisbee asking them by what authority of law the deportations are taking place and to advise him fully as to what has taken place at Bisbee. Up to a late hour the governor had received no official information from Bisbee. The governor has wired to General Parker at Fort Sam Houston informing him of the situation at Bisbee and requesting that General Green be notified and instructed to have troops in readiness to proceed to Bisbee.

      “The situation is such,” stated Governor Campbell today, “that it is almost impossible for the state to handle it. The state has no troops at its command, the guard being in service of the United States. It would be impracticable for me, at this time, to declare martial law, as I have no troops to enforce martial law.

      “The situation is one for the federal government to handle and I have notified the federal authorities. I am awaiting a reply to my notifications and in the meantime am unable to do anything further from this end.”

Proclamation by Sheriff.

      The following proclamation was posted by the sheriff:

      “I have formed a sheriffs’ posse of 1,200 men in Bisbee and 1,000 men in Douglas, all loyal Americans, for the purpose of arresting on the charges of vagrancy, treason, and of being disturbers of the peace of Cochise county all those strange men who have congregated here from other parts and sections for the purpose of harassing and intimidating all men who desire to pursue their daily toil.

      “I am continually told of threats and insults heaped upon the working men of this district by so-called strikers who are strange to these parts, yet who presume to dictate the manner of life of the people of this district. Appeals to patriotism do not move them nor do appeals to reason. At a time when our country needs her every resource, these strangers persist in keeping from her the precious metal production of this entire district.

Threats at Homes.

      “Today I heard threats to the effect that homes would be destroyed because the heads of families insisted upon their rights as Americans to work for themselves, their families and their country.

      “Other threats have been and are being daily made. Men have been assaulted and brutally beaten and, only toady I heard the mayor of Bisbee threatened and his request ignored.

      “We cannot longer stand nor tolerate such conditions. This is no labor trouble. We are sure of that, but is a direct attempt to embarrass the government of the United States. I, therefore, call upon all loyal Americans to aid me in peaceably arresting these disturbers of national and local peace. Let no shot be fired throughout the day, unless in necessary self defense and I hereby give warning that each and every leader of so-called strikers will be held personally responsible for any injury inflicted upon any of deputies, while in the performance of their duty as deputies of my office, for whose acts I in turn, assume full responsibility as sheriff of this county.

      “All arrested persons will be treated humanely and their cases examined with justice and care. I hope no resistance will be made for I desire no bloodshed. However, I am determine, if resistance is made, it shall be effectively overcome.

                  “Harry C. Wheeler.”