Browse Exhibits (3 total)

Cecil Rhodes' Final Project: A Profile of Kimberley and the Compounds

Like Clifton-Morenci, Kimberley was (and remains) situated on the frontier, far removed from the populated cities of Cape Town to the southwest and Johannesburg to the northeast.  The area was once contested territory, bordering between the Boer Republics and Cape Colony, and during the 124 day Siege of Kimberley, the continual shell shots, food rations, and severed telegraph lines gave the town an even deeper sense of isolation and frontier ruggedness.   But Rhodes and De Beers had always maintained a level of control over the town and its people that could not be matched in copper mining regions of the American southwest.  The company shaped their own versions of community and working life and maintained unprecedented levels of control over its employees.  Kenilworth became Rhodes idyllic vision of what a community could look like – filled with orchards, gardens, and wide avenues.  Rhodes envisioned and executed a different plan for his African employees, and once inside the compound, men’s freedoms were severely restricted.  Rhodes and De Beers could not, however, control the community that flourished inside the compound walls.  Men bonded with family in common rituals and developed new relationships playing sports, attending church, or reading the paper.  As men struggled to make sense of their position as workers, migrants, and ultimately, citizens, these bonds became important elements of their battles. Chapter 2 - Sixteen Tons

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When a Frontier Becomes a Town: A Profile of Clifton-Morenci

Situated approximately 150 miles from Mexico, Clifton-Morenci was a border town in more ways than one. In the remote mountains, it bordered between frontier and civilization.  In 1900, Arizona was still nearly a decade away from statehood, and early Clifton-Morenci was littered with stories of gun fights, battles with the Apache, outlaws, prostitutes, and gambling halls.  These stories helped to shape the towns’ legacy - one that continues to give the area frontier credibility over more touristy areas like nearby Tombstone.  Yet, by the turn-of-the-twentieth century, the community and companies that shaped the town were transforming Clifton-Morenci’s frontier into towns where families came to live and businesses grew.  Chapter 1, Sixteen Tons

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A Company of Workers, A Country of Citizens

For the workers and residents of Kimberley and Clifton-Morenci, citizenship embodied notions of opportunity and privilege in a town that offered little freedoms from the everyday strains of mine work.  Although legal citizeship was defined according to federal laws and governed at the national level, community members continually redefined and shaped these precedents according to changing social and economic conditions at the local level (community, municipality, industry).  Residents defined "cultural citizenship" for themselves and others despite legal precidents.  Citizenship represented more than just one's legal status.  The term also suggested that one had the ability and rationality to maintain autonomy and freedom.  In the process, cultural citizenship ties helped to establish stronger worker agency.  Chapter 4, Sixteen Tons

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