Conducts research and collects data on the global history of labour, workers, and labour relations

Anarchist Cigar Makers

19 June 1894
Vicente Martínez Ybor Cigar Factory, 1893

The immigrant-populated cigar manufacturing town of Ybor City, Tampa, Florida was founded in the 1880s. Circular migration developed between Havana and Ybor City - migration of not only workers but also anarchists and anarchist Spanish-language publications. The workers who could not read or purchase these papers could hear the lector (reader) in the cigar factory read aloud articles while stripping, sorting or rolling leaf into cigars. An anarchist press emerged in Tampa when El Esclavo (The Slave) began an almost weekly run from June 1894 to March 1898.

Read more? Kirk Shaffer, 'Tropical Libertarians: anarchist movements and networks in the Caribbean....' in: Anarchism and Syndicalism in the Colonial and Postcolonial World, 1879-1940 (Leiden 2010)