Home » Arizona » Bisbee

James W. Loewen (1942-2021)

We mourn the loss of our friend and colleague and remain committed to the work he began.

Bisbee

Arizona

Basic Information

Type of Place
Independent City or Town
Metro Area
Politics c. 1860?
Don’t Know
Unions, Organized Labor?
Strong

Sundown Town Status

Confirmed Sundown Town?
Probable
Was there an ordinance?
Perhaps, Some Oral Evidence
Sign?
Perhaps, Some Oral Evidence
Year of Greatest Interest
1917
Still Sundown?
Surely Not

Census Information

The available census data from 1860 to the present
Total White Black Asian Native Hispanic Other BHshld
1860
1870
1880
1890
1900
1910
1920
1930
1940
1950
1960
1970
1980
1990
2000 6,090 5,123 28 30 74 2,094 674
2010
2020

Method of Exclusion

  • Police or Other Official Action

Main Ethnic Group(s)

  • Unknown

Group(s) Excluded

  • Asian
  • Hispanic

Comments

According to Katherine Benton-Cohen, an Assistant Professor of History at Louisiana State University, Bisbee had a reputation as a white man’s camp, which lasted until at least 1929, when an ad touting Bisbee in the Arizona Labor Journal called it “the last stand of the white miner.” She said that Bisbee excluded blacks, who in some ways were treated better than Mexicans and Chinese. However, Chinese were not allowed to live in Bisbee at all, and Mexicans were formally excluded from the best mining jobs in the town.

Benton-Cohen also said that according to local white residents, Mexicans did not live in Bisbee. However, she says that this simply wasn’t true because there were a lot of Mexicans living within the Bisbee city limits. There was also a large Mexican settlement known as Tintown right outside the town.

Bisbee is a copper mining town, and had a strong union presence in the early 1990s. According to historical record, on July 12, 1917, 1,000 striking miners were deported from Bisbee. The racial makeup of the strikers is unknown, but may have included black or Mexican miners.