Friday, April 15, 2016

Junta Patriotica de Florence

I have written about the Liga Protectora Latina and their work in 1913-1916 Arizona in previous blog posts. It appears there were earlier Mexican American mutual aid societies before 1900 operating in southern Arizona. One such society was the Junta Patriotica de Florence. In July 1893, Jesus Olivas was part of this group, planning a celebration for Mexican Independence Day in Florence.
El Fronterizo, 15 Jul 1893

Even earlier, Jesus Olivas served as Second Secretary for the organization in 1890. The news clipping below is from 27 July 1890:


By 1895, Jesus was active in establishing a chapter of the Sociedad Alizanza Hispano-Americana in Florence:
El Fronterizo, 23 Feb 1895.
The AHA was a large mutual aid society, which grew from a small number of lodges in Arizona to over 88 by 1919 with 4000 members from California to Texas. This group certainly influenced Liga Protectora Latina, which my 2nd-great-grandfather Vicente Campuzano was active in from 1913-1916. Mutualista societies like the Sociedad Alizana Hispano-Americana offered low-cost insurance, provided death benefits for members, organized charitable events and social activities. They reached a peak of over 17000 members by 1939 and became associated with the civil rights movement. Arizona State University has an archive featuring the AHA collection (see https://laborrightsarecivilrights.wordpress.com/collections/alianza/). It is great to see Jesus was involved in this organization and used his musical talents to support charitable causes.

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