Hand Drawn Southern Pacific Railroad Company Map Locating The Cattle Ranches of the California and Mexico Land and Cattle Company -- Mexican Revolution -- Cananea Strike & Massacre
Detailed manuscript map of part of Southern Arizona and Northern Sonora, focusing on the Ranches of the California and Mexico Land and Cattle Company, likely drawn about the same time as the Cananea Strike and Massacre and just before the Mexican Revolution.
The present map is from an archive of manuscript maps from the Southern Pacific Railroad.
The map extends from just north of Tombstone and Benson, Arizona to Magdalena in Sonora, locating dozens small towns and ranches along the border. The Cananea area of 12,000 hectares is shown in the south central part of the map. As described below, this would be one of the flashpoint preludes to the Mexican Revolution of 1910.
The primary focus of the map are the rail lines moving cattle from the region into Arizona, northward, to the connection with the Southern Pacific line including:
- Nogales Railroad
- Arizona & New Mexico Railroad
- Arizona & Southeastern Railroad
California and Mexico Land and Cattle Company
In the first decade of the 20th Century, the California and Mexico Land and Cattle Company owned four thousand acres of land in Sonora, Mexico, just a few miles south of Cochise County, Arizona. With the adjoining national land, they amassed over 30,000 head of cattle.
After realizing that there were significant thefts occuring, the operators, M.M. O'Gorman and Dick Gird, approached Colonel Emilio Kosterlitzsky, the commander of the Mexican Rurales (mounted police), in Sonora, and arranged to place Kosterlitzsky on the payroll in an amount equal to his salary from the Mexican Government, to insure safe passage of the cattle to the American markets.
Cananea Strike & Massacre
The Cananea Strike took place in the Mexican mining town of Cananea, Sonora, in June 1906. Although the workers were forced to return to their positions with no demand being met, the action was a key event in the general unrest that emerged during the final years of the regime of President Porfirio Díaz and that prefigured the Mexican Revolution of 1910.
By 1906, the Nogales-based Cananea Consolidated Copper Company had some 5,360 Mexican workers employed at its Cananea copper mines, earning three and a half pesos per day, while its 2,200 American workers were earning five pesos for the same job. Conditions in which the Mexican employees worked were deplorable. During the celebrations of Cinco de Mayo, the Mexican employees made public their complaints while the local authority applied martial law to avoid further conflicts.
On June 1, most of the Mexican miners went on strike. Led by Juan José Ríos, Manuel Macario Diéguez and Esteban Baca Calderón, their demands were the removal of one foreman named Luis, the pay of five pesos for eight hours' work, the employment quotas ensuring seventy-five percent of the jobs for Mexicans and twenty-five percent for foreigners, the deployment of responsible and respectful men to operate the cages and that all Mexican workers to be entitled to promotions, in accordance with their skills.
The company executives rejected all of the petitions and the workers decided to march and gather people from other towns in the municipality. The population supported the workers and the crowd numbered more than 3,000 people. While they were marching in front of the wood shop of the company, the American employees in charge of that department, the Metcalf brothers, threw water at them and then fired shots, killing three people.
The angry mob detained the brothers and lynched them by setting them on fire. When they approached the government building of the municipal president they were received by a 275-man American posse led by Arizona Rangers. Other workers were killed while the strike leaders were sent to prison.
Contemporary news reports in the New York Times on June 3, 1906, reported that on June 1, strikers destroyed a lumber mill and killed two brothers who were defending the mine. Eleven casualties were reported among the Mexican "rioters". Responding to a telegraphed plea from Colonel William Cornell Greene of the Greene Consolidated Copper Company, a posse of 275 volunteers from Bisbee, Douglas and Naco, Arizona, commanded by Captain Thomas H. Rynning of the Arizona Rangers, entered Mexico against the orders of Joseph Henry Kibbey, Governor of Arizona Territory, and at the invitation of Rafael Izabal, the Governor of Sonora, reinforced the Sonoran Rurales under Colonel Emilio Kosterlitsky (who was also on the payroll of the California and Mexico Land and Cattle Company, as noted above). Mexican troops were reported en route to the city. Four troops of the 5th Cavalry en route from Fort Huachuca were held at Naco, Arizona, on the border, on the orders of President William Howard Taft. According to Colonel Green the "trouble was incited by a Socialistic organization that has been formed by malcontents opposed to the Díaz government."
The incident became linked with the Río Blanco strike of January 1907, as two symbols of the Porfirio Díaz administration's corruption and civil repression. They became "household words for hundreds of thousands of Mexicans".