AIN’T NO COPPERHEADS HERE

AINT NO COPPERHEADS HERE.  On a break while playing at the Red Dog Saloon, I was chattin’ up the big Irish lad behind the bar. He revealed that he knew nothing about local history. I went home thinkin’, here’s a chance to get it right from the beginning, to educate a youngster in the struggles of labor. Never mind all the cowboys that the chamber of commerce imported to swagger up and down the board walk with guns and get their pictures taken with tourists. Here’s a chance to talk about the real thing. A copperhead was the Civil War equivalent of a blue dog democrat–a “liberal” who’d sell out to the plantation owners. The first western mining union was created just south of Virginia City in adjacent Gold Hill when the Irish muckers convinced the Cornish miners to stand with them for $4.50/day based on shared risk. Every man who went down in the hole took the same chance.