James MacNaughton

These telegrams were communicated back and forth from late July of 1913 until the end of the strike between James MacNaughton, then Second Vice President of the Calumet and Hecla Mining Company (C & H), Quincy Shaw, the president of the company.  The telegrams were sent via the Western Union Telegraph Company, written in code.  The two simply took a number of key words and replaced them with random words, so that the communications would not be made public. They were trying to keep as much of a lid on the strike as they possibly could by doing this.

Quincy Shaw, a financier from Boston, was confronted with a request to fund the Calumet Conglomerate (later to become C & H), founded by Edwin Hulbert.  After aquiring the mines from Hulbert he elected himself President, later turning the mines over to Rudolphe Agassiz, the son of his brother-in-law, Alexander Agassiz.

James MacNaughton began working for C & H in 1886 as a surveyor. He was then hired as Assistant Superintendant in 1890, and became General Manager in 1892.  Largely due to his hard work in ending the strike (relatively) peacefully, he was later elected Second Vice President, Vice President, and finally President of the C & H Mining Company.

The actual telegrams are organized into two sections, each running in chronological order, explaining a certain part of the strike.  The final section is a hand-written letter from Shaw to MacNaughton, thanking him for his hard work, and the first mention that the strike is beginning to end.

Special Thanks to Erik Nordberg

We wish to publicly thank Erik for allowing us access to these telegrams.  Not only access, but making the digital copies we needed to bring these few of the many telegrams to you.  Should anyone like to view these and many more original documents, visit the Michigan Technological University Archives & Copper Country Historical Collections, located on the campus of Michigan Tech.  These selections were taken from:

The Calumet and Hecla Mining Company Collection
Collection # MS-002
Box # 350

Miners' Strike Home