EPUB Big Annie of Calumet
There's very little of Big Annie in this book. It is a brief but solid history of the industrial revolution written as a primer. Lot of pictures, which is excellent, although the quality could be enhanced. Good coverage of the 1913-1914 strike. I did learn something new. Waddell-Mahon was a company that specialized in strike breaking. James O'Donnell, billed elsewhere on the NY company Waddell-Mahon letterhead as Supt. Special Officers, has his smiling mug in the book. We learn about the role of Judge Patrick O'Brien during the 1913-1914 miners' strike (his father died in the mines) and Governor Woodbridge Ferris, and Sheriff Cruse. And the business organization coerced into supporting C&H wearing white buttons with the eerie label CITIZENS ALLIANCE. These, along with 6'2" Big Annie, are all fascinating characters. The bad guys are enticingly nasty: James McNaughton, the GM of the Calumet & Hecla Mining Company, who said the miners could eat grass before he'd budge on their demands. The rich guys from the east who made the mines, enslaved the miners, and took their money out of Michigan to fund the Boston Symphony and start Harvard. The triggering event: C&H replaced the two-man drill with the one-man drill, dubbed The Widow Maker. There are other books that cover the copper mining subject well - I was hoping for a better story about Annie Clemenc, but all she does in this book is carry the flag and quote the same quotes. We need an historical fiction book about Big Annie and the Italian Hall Disaster. It's amazing that someone hasn't written it yet. During the copper mining boom, Calumet was as cosmopolitan as San Francisco or Boston. Clarence Darrow represented copper miners. Mother Jones marched in Calumet. And there were 99 bars in the city proper in 1913. Combine that number with Italians, Irish, Russians, Croatians, Serbs, Poles, Greeks, Jews, Swedes, Hungarians, Austrians, Germans, Armenians, Turks, Chinese, Cornishmen, Finns. Add 500 children marching with signs like "Papa is striking for US!" And 3,000 armed men sent to dissuade the strikers. Murder in Seeberville. Union prez Moyer shot, beaten and dragged to a Chicago-bound train, and no one prosecuted. 73 people - most children - perishing in the Italian Hall Disaster on Christmas Eve. Buried together to avoid internment on mining company land. Everyone - every one - turned down the C&H blood money offered afterward. And the personal Big Annie story going on behind the front lines. Reporter Frank Shavs. There are incredible stories still to be told!
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