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History of immigration-Period of residence in the United States of foreign-born employees-Racial classification of employees at the present time-Reasons for the employment of immigrants-[Text Tables 72 and 73 and General Table 52].


Immigration to the Michigan copper range started in 1844 with the arrival of the Cornishmen, who preceded other foreign races in the successful operations of Lake Superior copper mines. The Cornishmen, having been miners before their immigration, carried on their work successfully and in many cases made large fortunes. Their descendants are now living in the region and are as thoroughly Americanized as the native American. The Cornishmen were followed by the Finns, who also have made great progress in the district. They for the most part occupy laboring positions, however, and have not been so successful as were the early Cornishmen. The other races, the Magyars, Scandinavians, North Italians, and Poles, which have been in the community only a few years, are working merely as laboring men and are making little progress beyond that position in life. The racial movements to the copper region as well as the present racial composition of the population may be best seen from the history of immigration to the principal localities. For this reason the racial movements to a number of representative communities are submitted below.


Mohawk, as can be seen from the map," is located in Keweenaw County, about 20 miles north of Houghton on the northern peninsula of Michigan. It is connected with Houghton and the other towns of the peninsula by an electric railway, and also by the Copper Range and Keweenaw steam roads. Ten years ago the shaft now operated by the local mining company was opened and, proving successful, led to the building up of the present community. Before that time the site now occupied by the town was nothing but a wilderness, as is now a large part of the country north of it. With the successful opening of the copper vein at this point there was an influx of employees, consisting principally of Finns, English (Cornish), North Italians, and representatives of different Austrian races. These people secured employment at the shaft, and by making their homes near the plant they have built up a town. At the present time the population is about 3,000. One mining company conducts all the operations in this community, and is the only industry offering general employment. As a result the entire community and its activities center around the copper-mining industry.

a See Chapter I.

The population of Mohawk by races at the present time is estimated to be as follows:

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At the time the shaft was opened at Mohawk the earliest laborers to come in were, as elsewhere throughout the region, Cornishmen and Finns. Some of the Cornishmen had drifted into the lumber business in southern Michigan, and at the time of the opening of the mining shafts on the northern peninsula they went there in search of work. The Cornishmen were experienced miners and they were gladly received by the mining company. About 1901 the North Italians began coming to the town in small numbers and they continued until about three years ago. The so-called "Austrians" were the next to arrive; they commenced coming in 1902 or 1903, and were mostly of the Slovak and Polish races. All of these peoples were employed in the mining industry. They rented houses from the company and have become residents of the community. There being no other industries, the immigrants have been employed in the mining industry exclusively.


Wolverine is located in Houghton County on the northern peninsula of Michigan, and is 2 miles northeast of Calumet on the electric line and also on the Copper Range steam road. Mining is the only industry in the community and furnishes employment for 450 men. The shaft of the mining company was developed eight years ago and before that time this community was nothing more than a wilderness. With the opening of the Wolverine shaft there was an influx of population, which has steadily increased until, at the present time, the estimated population of the locality is placed at 1,500 people, apportioned by races as follows:

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The first immigrants to come to the village were the Cornishmen. At the beginning of mining operations in 1901 they came in large numbers from other mines in the region where the wages were not as high as those offered in the new community. In 1902 or 1903 about 200 Finns sought work in the mines, and since that time about 200 more have arrived. The Finns who came to the community at that time had mostly lived in the copper country south of Houghton, and were attracted to this community by high wages. In 1905 the first Italians arrived and since that time they have steadily drifted in, until they number about 150 at the present time. The Magyars, of whom about 100 are in the community at present, have come the past two years.


Calumet is situated in Houghton County, on the northern peninsula of Michigan. The only industry in the community is the plant of a copper mining company which is reputed to be the largest in the world, and which offers employment to approximately 4,500 men. This plant began operations about twelve years ago. Until that time there had been no inhabitants in the present community. With the opening of this very resourceful mine, however, there was an influx of population, largely foreign, which has developed the community into a city of 20,000 inhabitants. Calumet is a modern city with conveniences such as a street-car system, electric lights, waterworks, paved streets, etc. The residences of the working people are espe cially comfortable and commodious. The town is locally divided into two sections: (1) The section in which the executive and skilled employees of the mining company and the tradespeople live and (2) the business section around the mine. This section is called Red Jacket, and in it a large majority of the immigrants live. The estimated population of Calumet is divided according to race as follows:

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American, White


When mining operations were first started in the vicinity of Calumet about ten years ago the first race that came into the community in any noticeable numbers was the Finns. Very few of these early Finns had come direct from their native land, most of them having lived formerly in Wisconsin and southern Michigan who, when they heard of the splendid opportunities for work in the opening of the new copper country, migrated to the northern peninsula of Michigan, a great many of them settling at Calumet. The Cornishmen were the next race of immigrants to come into the community, but only a few persons of that race were employed in Calumet at the beginning. Through the letters of the first of the Cornishmen to their homes and to their countrymen in other parts of the United States a decided immigration occurred about the years 1899 and 1900. Polish immigration and that of other races from Austria-Hungary began about five years ago, or in 1904. Very few of these immigrants came to the community directly from their native land, but most of them had lived and worked elsewhere in the United States. The history of Italian immigration to the community is in no manner settled or definite. The Italians have drifted into the community gradually, and not in large numbers at any one time.


Located 5 miles southwest of Calumet are two mines, around which has grown a community called Frenchtown. This locality is nothing more than a small mining camp and is located on the outskirts of Hancock. It is of about ten years' growth, the shaft at this point

having been erected during 1900. There are approximately 300 employees, and it is estimated that the total population is 1,200 persons.

The estimated present population of the community is as follows, according to races:

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When the mining shafts were opened, in 1900, the first race to be employed was the Finnish. Most of these people had lived farther south, in Wisconsin and in southern Michigan, and did not come into the copper country until the opening of this particular shaft. Few of them had previous experience at mining, but they proved adaptable and soon developed into valuable miners. The Magyars, of whom about 220 are in the community, were the next to arrive. They, like the Finns, had no training in mining, but they were found to be satisfactory workers and are now meeting with success in the lower occupations. The Cornishmen came to the community at about the same time as the Finns, but, unlike the Finns and the Magyars, they had had experience in mining and soon became foremen and bosses.



The character of recent and past immigration to the mines may be seen from the following table, which shows by race the percentage of foreign-born male employees who had been in the United States each specified number of years. The period of residence in the United States and in the copper-mining district, however, are not identical. As a matter of fact, the greater number of foreign-born employees had worked elsewhere in this country before coming to the Lake Superior region.

TABLE 72.-Per cent of foreign-born male employees in the United States each specified number of years, by race.


[By years in the United States is meant years since first arrival in the United States. No deduction is made for time spent abroad. This table includes only races with 40 or more males reporting The total, however, is for all foreign-born.]

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Of the total number of male employees, 44.9 per cent have been in the United States less than five years; 20.9 per cent have been here five to nine years. The proportion of foreign-born employees who have been in this country twenty years or over is greater than the proportion who have been here ten to nineteen years. The most recent arrivals are the Lithuanians, 90 per cent of whom have been here less than five years. More than 50 per cent of the Croatians, North Italians, Magyars, and Slovenians have been here under five years. The employees of longest residence in the United States are the Germans, 85 per cent of whom have been here twenty years or over. In addition, from 58.5 per cent to 73.3 per cent of the Norwegians, Canadians other than French, and the French Canadians have been here at least twenty years.


The following table shows the number and percentage of male employees of each race for whom information was secured. The distribution of the races is believed to be representative of the total number of mine workers in the district:

TABLE 73.-Male employees for whom information was secured, by general nativity and

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Of the total number of male employees for whom information is presented in the above table, 80.8 per cent are foreign-born, 16.6 per cent are native-born of foreign father, and 2.6 per cent are nativeborn-of native father. Information was secured for a greater propor

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