SIXTEEN TONS
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A Novel about the Coal Miners and their families.
Sixteen Tons carries the reader down into the dark, dirty and dangerous coal mines of the early 1900s, as Italian immigrant Antonio Vacca and his sons encounter cave-ins and the deadly black damp deep below the earth’s surface. The dangers above ground are equally hazardous. The miner's and their families battle gun thugs and greedy coal companies at Virden, Ludlow and Matewan in an epic struggle to form a union and make the mines a safer place to work.

Historian Kevin Corley has fashioned a unique novel by basing the story and even many of the character's words, on interviews he did of working class people who lived through this violent era. Sixteen Tons offers an honest, accurate portrait of those men who struggled to make a living in the toughest industry below the face of the earth. The dramatic events in the novel are all the more moving and inspiring, given their foundation among real individuals who walked through history.
To discover more working class authors from Hard Ball Press or to purchase a copy of Sixteen Tons,
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Photos Courtesy of 
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
(Boch Collection)


Periodicals

Buhl, Paul. “Italian-American Radicals and the Labor Movement, 1905
-1930.” Journal of Radical History Review 17 (Spring, 1978):122.

Editorial. Nation 135, 24 August 1932:155.

Taylorville Breeze-Courier, 18 August 1932:1.

Union Coal Miner, 5 April 1932.


Unpublished Materials

Booth, Stephanie E. “Christian County Mine Wars. 1932-1935”
(unpublished paper available at Taylorville Public Library, 1977): 16.

Booth, Stephanie E. “Gerry Allard: Miner’s Advocate” 
(unpublished Master’s Thesis. Illinois State University. 1972): 12.

Lenstra, Noah "The African-American mining experience in Illinois from 1800to 1920"
(unpublished paper available at www.ideals.illinois.edu/handle/2142/9578 )


Books

Angle, Paul and Simon, John  Bloody Williamson County
Prairie State Books 1952

Bodnar, John. The Transplanted: A History of Immigrants in Urban
America. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, 1944.

Broverman, Helen B. and Drennon, Dorothy D., Ed. History of Christian
County, State of Illinois. Illinois Sesquicentennial Edition.Jacksonville, Illinois: Prod. Press, Inc., 1968.

Doody, Scott Herrin Massacre
Dick's Chicken Snack Productions 2013

Gorn, Elliott Mother Jones: The Most Dangerous Woman in America
Hill & Wong New York, NY 1951

Fetherling, Dale. Mother Jones: The Miner’s Angel. Carbondale, Illinois:
Southern Illinois University Press, 1974.

Hudson, Harriet Dufresne. The Progressive Miners of America, 1932-1946.
 Chicago: The University of Chicago, 1950.

Krohe, James, Jr. Midnight at Noon, A History of Coal Mining in
Sangamon County. Springfield, Illinois: Sangamon County Historical
Society, 1975.

Oblinger, Carl Divided KIngdom
The Illinois State Historical Society, 1991

Pensoneau, Taylor Brothers Notorius The Sheltons
Downstate Publications, New Berlin, IL. 2002

Shogan, Robert The Battle of Blair Mountain
Westview Books 2004

Young, Dallas. A History of the Progressive Miners of America, 1932-
1940. Urbana, Illinois: University of Illinois, 1940.

BE SURE TO VISIT THE MOTHER JONES MUSEUM AT: http://motherjonesmuseum.org/
ALSO, VISIT GREG BOOZELL'S WEB SITE AT:  http://minewar.org/

SPECIAL MENTION TO THE FOLLOWING WONDERFUL PEOPLE
WHO MADE THE NOVEL SIXTEEN TONS POSSIBLE
All interviews are available at
http://library.uis.edu/archives/collections/oral/projects.html

Ahlberg, Merle. Mine boss. Taylorville, Illinois
Interview, June 1986.

Allison, Duke. Coal miner. Taylorville, Illinois.
Interview, July 1986.

Bellaver, John. Coal miner. Witt, Illinois.
Interviews done by Carl Oblinger in April, 1985

Boch, Frank. Coal miner. Hewittville, Illinois.
Interviews, June and July, 1986

Boch, Fritz. Coal miner. Hewittville, Illinois.
Interviews, June and July, 1986

Borgononi, Frank (Pete). Coal miner. Bulpitt, Illinois.
Interview, June 1986.

Clark, Marion. School Teacher. Taylorville, Illinois
Interview, January 1986

Corby, Maragret Leitch. Moweaqua, Illinois
Inteview, 1994 by Debbie Springer

Craggs, Joe, Sr. Coal miner and former Vice President of Peabody
Coal Company. Taylorville, Illinois. Interviews, July 1986.

Cox, Kenneth. Coal miner. Taylorville, Illiois
Interview, June 1986

Dixon, Paul (Stormy). Coal miner and former member of three-man
pit committee. Taylorville, Illinois. Interviews, July 1986.

Dougherty, Lena. Wife of coal miner. Bulpitt, Illinois.
Interview, July 1986.

Engs, Conkey. Daughter of coal miner. Taylorville, Illinois.
Interview, July 1986.

Flesher, Maurice. Coal miner. Taylorville, Illinois
Interview by Carl Oblinger 1985

Gilpin, Perry. Coal miner. Kincaid, Illinois.
Interview, July 1986.

Gobel, Augustine. Coal miner. Kincaid, Illinois.
Interviews, June and July 1885.

Groh, August. Coal miner. Pawnee, Illinois
Interview, June 1985

Henry, Elizabeth. School teacher. Taylorville, Illinois.
Telephone interview, August 1985.

Klein, Otto. Coal miner. Taylorville, Illinois.
Interview, July 1986.

Lake, Jesse. Coal miner. Taylorville, Illinois.
Interview, July 1986.

Lambert, Cuthbert. Coal miner. Taylorville, Illinois.
Interview, July 1986.

Lidster, Stuart. Coal miner. Taylorville, Illinois.
Interviews, July and August 1985.

Miller, Ada. Storeowner in Langley. Taylorville, Illinois.
Interview, June 1986.

Morris, Albert. Coal miner. Taylorville, Illinois
Interview, 1985

Mosey, George. Mine manager. Kincaid, Illinois.
Interviews, July and August 1986.

Morrison, Mary. Daughter and wife of coal miners. Kincaid, Illinois.
Interviews, July and August 1985.

Olive, Edwin. Coal miner. Taylorville, Illinois.
Interview, July 1986.

Ozanic, Joseph, Sr. Former PM of A President. Interviews done by Bobbi
Herndon and Nick Cherniavsky for Sangamon State University.

Perry, Bob. Coal miner. Pana, Illinois.
Interview, July 1986.

Ridley, Bill. Coal miner and his wife Ola . Taylorville, Illinois
Interviews, 1985

Rohrer, Allen. Principal of Taylorville Junior High
Interview, March 1986

Roscoe, Tom. Coal miner. Witt, Illinois
Interview by Carl Oblinger, 1985

Sarver, Bruce. Curator of the Moweaqua Coal Mine Museum.
Moweaqua, Illinois. Letter dated December 6, 1987.

Sexson, John. Coal miner. Kincaid, Illinois
Interview by Carl Oblinger and Kevin Corley, 1985

Smorato, Lotsi. Moweaqua, Illinois
Interview 1994 by Debbie Springer

Taylor, Sam. Attorney. Taylorville, Illinois
Interview, 1986

Van Hooser, Donald. Coal miner. Taylorville, Illinois.
Interview, July 1986.

Wattelet, Louis. Coal miner. Stonington, Illinois
Interview, 1986

Wise, Alvin Amuel Coal miner and his wife Evelyn. Tovey, Illinois.
Interview, June 1986.

Wittka, John. Coal miner. Taylorville, Illinois.
Interview, June 1986.