Miners try to start a union

In May 1863, Comstock miners initiated efforts to form an association. The following year, the Storey County Miners’ League became the first sustained attempt at unionization of miners in the American West.

Organized during a local depression, the League called for a $4 minimum daily wage for underground work and demanded “closed shops,” insisting companies hire only union members. Mine owners crushed the incipient movement on the Comstock by blacklisting union members and relying on territorial governor James Nye to use military force.