Historical Archaeology

, Volume 47, Issue 3, pp 109–123 | Cite as

Rewriting Narratives of Labor Violence: A Transnational Perspective of the Lattimer Massacre

  • Michael P. Roller


The Lattimer Massacre transpired over the course of five minutes in September of 1897. Following the event, the public has contested its meaning for more than a century. Two major narratives have framed the importance of the event in academic and popular discourse. Within labor history, the significance of the event lies in its role in inspiring a coalition between new immigrants and native-born miners. Within the narrative of immigrant social history, it is about the assertion of ethnic identity within American pluralism. From contemporary perspective, there is a risk of overlooking important lessons in this history in disarticulating these processes. In their infancy at the time of the massacre, ideologies of racialization and national belonging are central to many contemporary debates about border control, government entitlement, and globalized economy. The Lattimer Massacre Project, begun in 2009, is a multidisciplinary exploration of the event and the uses of its memory.


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Copyright information

© Society for Historical Archaeology 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael P. Roller
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA

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