In his 1978 talk to the Western History Association, Rodman Paul could
lament that certain groups within the mine labor force were still ignored, such
as Spanish-speaking miners and the Irish. Tracing such groups might require
knowledge of foreign languages to interpret the as-yet untapped letters, diaries,
and newspaper produced by Mexicans, Germans, Swedes, and other non-Englishspeaking residents of the mining camps.
Finally, the flurry of activity into Western mine labor radicalism needs to be
directed away from the tantalizing stories of dynamite and deportations to the
inner workings of the miners' unions. What stresses and strains were present?
How did the lust for gold--present on the American frontiers at least since Columbus' journey to the first frontier--translate into an agenda for a local union
in the Rockies?
The rich lodes still remain to be worked.
The 1606 charter and the Franklin statement are quoted in T. A. Rickard, A History
of American Mining ( New York: McGraw-Hill, 1932; reprint 1966), p. 2. Smith quote
is from John Esten Cooke, Virginia: A History of the People ( Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1888), pp. 41-42. "Pot-boilers" quote is from Rodman W. Paul, "Mining Frontiers as
a Measure of Western Historical Writing", Pacific Historical Review 33 ( February 1964): 28.
Norwegian quoted in Theodore C. Blegen, ed., Land of Their Choice--The Immigrants Write Home ( Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1955), p. 224.
John Walton Caughey, Gold Is the Cornerstone ( Berkeley: University of California
Press, 1948); Rodman W. Paul, California Gold: The Beginning of Mining in the Far
West ( Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1947); Donald Dale Jackson, Gold
Dust ( New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1980).
J. S. Holliday, The World Rushed In--The California Gold Rush Experience
( New York: Simon and Schuster, 1981); John D. Unruh Jr., The Plains Across: The
Overland Emigrants and the Trans-Mississippi West, 1840-1860 ( Urbana: University
of Illinois Press, 1979); Walker D. Wyman, ed., California Emigrant Letters--The
Forty-Niners Write Home ( New York: Bookman Associates, 1952); Jay Monaghan, Chile, Peru, and the California Gold Rush of 1849 ( Berkeley: University of California
William J. Trimble, The Mining Advance into the Inland Empire ( Madison: University of Wisconsin Bulletin No. 638, 1914; reprint 1972); D. E. Livingston-Little, An
Economic History of North Idaho, 1800-1900 ( Los Angeles: Journal of the West, 1965).
Lord Eliot, Comstock Mining and Miners ( Washington, D.C.: Government Printing
Office, 1883; reprint, Berkeley, Calif.: Howell-North, 1959); Dan DeQuille, The Big
Bonanza ( Hartford, Conn.: American Publishing Co., 1876; reprint, New York: Alfred
A. Knopf, 1947); Charles Howard Shinn, The Story of the Mine ( New York: D. Appleton
and Company, 1910).
Grant H. Smith, The History of the Comstock Lode--1850-1920 ( Reno: Nevada
State Bureau of Mines and Mackay School of Mines, 1943; sixth printing 1966).