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Discovering the SouthOne Man's Travels through a Changing America in the 1930s$
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Jennifer Ritterhouse

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781469630946

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469630946.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 22 September 2021

As Furious as the Last Horseman of a Legion of the Bitter-End

As Furious as the Last Horseman of a Legion of the Bitter-End

Birmingham, Alabama

(p.203) Chapter Eight As Furious as the Last Horseman of a Legion of the Bitter-End
Discovering the South

Jennifer Ritterhouse

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter centers on Daniels's interviews with Birmingham industrialist Charles F. DeBardeleben and labor organizer William Mitch of the United Mine Workers (UMW) and Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO). DeBardeleben's biography begins with his grandfather, Daniel Pratt, and his father, Henry Fairchild DeBardeleben. Both were industrialists whose investments in coal, iron, and steel contributed to the development of Birmingham. Charles F. DeBardeleben followed in his father's footsteps as a staunch antiunionist. He claimed to be a paternalist yet used fences and armed guards to isolate his workers, resulting in a deadly shooting at the Acmar mine of his Alabama Fuel and Iron Company in 1935. Meanwhile, the passage of the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) in 1933 facilitated the growth of the CIO, and William Mitch's efforts to cultivate interracial unionism in Birmingham in the 1930s were largely successful. The chapter concludes by noting that DeBardeleben's alleged fascist ties are difficult to document and seem less significant than his anticommunist rhetoric and switch to the Republican Party, both of which provide an early glimpse of tactics recalcitrant white southerners would employ to prevent social and racial change in the post-World War II years.

Keywords:   Charles F. DeBardeleben, William Mitch, United Mine Workers on America (UMW), Daniel Pratt, Henry Fairchild DeBardeleben, Alabama Fuel and Iron Company, National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA), Interracial unionism, Birmingham, Alabama, anticommunism

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