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Conference to Mark Centennial of Bisbee Deportation

March 21, 2017 / Ninth Circuit Public Information Office

Historians and legal scholars are being invited to submit proposals for papers examining the circumstances of the Bisbee Deportation, an infamous chapter in Arizona history. Selected papers will be presented this fall during a conference at the James E. Rogers School of Law at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

This year marks the centennial of the Bisbee Deportation, which occurred on June 12, 1917. The incident involved the forcible removal of more than 1,000 Arizona mine workers. Rounded up by a citizens’ posse, the miners were marched to waiting railroad cattle cars and transported to the New Mexico desert, where they were left stranded.

The event occurred at the intersection of unique historical factors: the presence of U.S. Army troops along the Arizona-Mexico border in reaction to cross-border raids by the Mexican revolutionary Francisco “Pancho” Villa; the tightly-contested (and later overturned) Arizona election of 1916; the run-up to America’s entry into World War I and the need for copper for the war effort; and the presence of the militant International Workers of the World (IWW) and concern over German influence in Mexico exacerbated by a notorious communication between their foreign ministers.

The deportation was unsanctioned by any court order or warrant and all civil and criminal efforts to hold those responsible failed. Players in the surrounding saga included one of Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders, who became one of the most decorated heroes of WWI; a legendary Arizona lawman; the CEO of the largest mining company in North America; an Arizona governor instrumental in the drafting of the Arizona Constitution; and a future Supreme Court Justice dispatched by President Wilson to investigate the events.

Date & Location  of Conference:  Saturday, October 21, 2017 at the University of Arizona, James E. Rogers College of Law, Tucson, Arizona

Sponsors: The Ninth Judicial Circuit Historical Society (NJCHS); The University of Arizona’s College of Law and its Department of History

Call for Papers:  Historians, legal scholars and others are invited to submit proposals for papers addressing the events surrounding the deportation, with a view toward presentations at the Conference and possible inclusion in Western Legal History, a publication of the NJCHS.

Submission Details:  Written proposals, in Word or PDF format and not to exceed 500 words in length, must be submitted by June 1, 2017, and addressed to: Robyn Lipsky, NJCHS Executive Director at: njchs.executivedirector@gmail.com.

Notification: Authors of accepted proposals will be notified before July 12, 2017, and invited to attend and participate in Conference discussion panels. Papers should be completed by October 14, 2017, for distribution to other panelists.

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