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It’s hard to believe my LHIP summer is finishing already…and therefore I have to start thinking about wrapping up my research. Although I didn’t find exactly what I was searching for in the case of the 1918 salmon fishing season in Alaska, where 11 Mexican cannery workers were arrested, my research will serve as a guide for further inquiry. I was hoping to find documents and other data from the Mexican National Archives and other sources that weren’t biased or blatantly racist against the Mexican workers who claimed they were being exploited and abused. Unfortunately, the various sources I looked through did not yield the expected results, but can at least serve as “negative data” for future reference. Researchers would be able to look at my reports and know where dead ends could lay and then pursue other avenues.
Interestingly, while doing research in the San Francisco Public Library’s microfilm collection I found a few articles from 1931 claiming continued abuse of workers in canneries in Alaska. I was pointed to these articles from another article in our possession that was trying really hard to discredit the very articles I found.
It is important to note that over ten years later these allegations against canneries persisted. Although persistence of claims does not determine truth, researchers can work to piece together the various fragments and threads of evidence.