La Lega Toscana di Protezione

Key Members in the Lega Toscana

La Lega Toscana di Protezione was an organization that provided an substantial amount of financial, social, and cultural support to all its members, of which there were 239 recorded in the first volume of minutes. The organization itself held events like dances, picnics, and private parties; gave generously to individuals in the League and other members of the Italian community, both locally and abroad; and supported a nucleus of Tuscan immigrants who had found a home in the Pittsburgh area.

In the seven years recorded in the volume of minutes under our scrutiny, the Tuscan League proved to be a truly instrumental component of the local Italians, and the primary interest in this portion of the research was to identify the trajectory of the League's role with its members, and how that role took shape through the span of time. Particularly, the underlying motivation behind this research was, Who was the Lega Toscana, and whom did they impact? In exploring the former, we wanted to tease out the organization's influential and impacting individuals, and in exploring the latter, we wanted to begin to understand the extent of this group's reach into the local Italian community.

Flow of Members Throughout the Years

There were 239 total individuals named throughout this first span of seven years, but the number of full members varied, at least slightly, through time. While not all the membership records in the volume are taken as absolute truth, we were able to identify general trends in membership through the recording of member acceptances and departures noted in the meeting minutes. Although there were at least some members who came and went silently throughout these years (most of whom travelled back to Italy for varied periods of time), the majority of official changes in membership status were documented during meetings. Unfortunately, the aggregated information on member flow is not available, since members were known to silently take leaves of absence for undetermined amounts of time. That said, there are still distinct patterns in the League's membership that are worth our attention. Below is a bar graph visualization that juxtaposes the two changes in membership status, acceptances and departures, throughout the volume.

Note: Click on any bar in the visualization to browse the names of departed or accepted members in the organization for the selected year.

1919 1920 1921 1922 1923 1924 1925 10 20 30 40 50 60 10 20 30 40 50 60
Year Incoming Members Outgoing Members
1919 Romeo Maffei, Vergilio Danesi, Matteo Lunardini, Luigi Buchignani, Michele Paterni, Enrico DiRicco, Alberto Lucchese, Vincenzo Battistini, Jacopo Sodini, Modesto Zini, Antonio Mancini, Alfredo Pardini, Edualda Simi, Roberti Rossi, Leo Tambellini, Olindo Pacini, Aladino Lombardi, Morello Cappellini, Francesco Fontana, Olindo Pacini, Angelo Baldacci, Olinto Cinelli, Battista Zini, Giorgo Barsotti Federico Bartoletti, Giovanni Bianchini, Luigi Carmassi, Angelo Diodati, Enrico Davini, Filippo Marconi, Dino Barontini, Egidio Benedetti, Serafino DeSimo, Almando Fontana, Giuseppe Giuntoli, Guido Giuntoli, Andrea Pasquinelli, Orlando Serafini, Amilio Serafini, Carlo Marconi
Year Incoming Members Outgoing Members
1920 Ernesto Vannucci, Serafini Nicolai, Alfredo Vannucci, Cesare Zambellini, Marchetti Emilio, Renato Martinelli, Sam Bevilacqua, Pietro D’Arrigo, Cesare Paterni, Fioravanti Zini, Verghino Maffei, Alberto Serafini, Giacamo Maffei, Dante Maffei, Armando Cristofani, Adolfo Francesconi, L. Donato, Raffaele Ragglianti, Enrico Ragglianti, Guglielimo Zambellini, E Marchetti, Gino Roberto [ No dismissed members ]
Year Incoming Members Outgoing Members
1921 Giuseppe Bianchini, Francesco Poli, Orlando Francesconi, Bruno Maffei, Giuseppe Gianni, Carlo Marconi, Alberto Tambellini, Ottavio Giometti, Antonio Brigidini, Francesco Bianchini, Nello Meconi, Pietro Lunardini, Lorenzo Puccetti, Adriano Puccetti, Giovanni Coltelli, Alfredo Vannucci, Adolfo Andreini, Ettore Fontana, Giuseppe Deldebbio, Giuseppe Pacini, Martino Pasquinelli, Riccardo Mariani, Angelo Mungai, Nello Colombini, Eugenio Borelli, Pasmiro Ponzioni, Guglielmo Piccinini, Amus Olivieri, Silvio Michelucci, Giovanni Marsili, Giovanni Pasquinelli, Giuseppe Pasquali, Emilio Pasquinelli [ No dismissed members ]
Year Incoming Members Outgoing Members
1922 Angelo Barducci, Ernesto Vigano’, Alberto Tambelli- ni, Derio Chiocca, Carlo Pellegrini Arturo Benedetti, Roberto Bossi, Fortunato Santoni, Carlo Chiocca, Sam Paganucci, Lelio Tambellini
Year Incoming Members Outgoing Members
1923 Pietro Incrocci, Alberto Pollastrini, Michele Baccelli, Vittorio Andreini, Martino Barelli, Cesare Deldebbio, Giuseppe Checci, Giuseppe Francioni, Enemia De Santi, Dini Ezio Riccardo Mariani, Alberto Serafini, Amus Olivieri, Raffaele Ragghianti, Giuseppe Bianchini, Rinaldo Giu- glianetti, Angelo Tambellini, Romualdo Vigano’, Orlando Francesco- ni, Lorenzo Puccetti, Giovanni Giampaoli, il fratello Angelo Gam- bogi
Year Incoming Members Outgoing Members
1924 Diodati Ruggero, Aladino Frediani Frediani Aladino, Incrocci Pietro, Barsotti Giorgio, Pardini Americo, Serafini Alberto, Baldacci Angelo, Borelli Eugenio, Serafino Nicolai, Vincenzo Diodati, Mungai Angelo
Year Incoming Members Outgoing Members
1925 Vincenzo Buchigniani, Achille Lunardi, Ippolito Chiocchetti, Silvio Scarpellini, Ernesto Marsili, Corrado Roberti, Attilio Olivieri, Romeo Maffei, Vincenzo Matteucci, Giuseppe Benedetti, Orlando Francesconi, Gino Roberti, Rizieri Menchetti, Fausto Guidotti, Vincenzo Barsotti, Ferrante Barsotti, Giuseppe Barsotti, Milani Gino, Omero Casali, Ernesto Marsili, Orlando Frosini, Enrico Allegrini, Joseph Pasquine lli, Gilberto Baggiani, Pietro Bottari, Quinto Pasquinelli, Lorenzo Marchetti, Quinto Marchetti, Attilio Puccinelli, John Pasquinelli, Lorenzo Tambellini, Nello Belluomini, Giulio Paganelli, Modesto Marchetti, Vittorio Cortopassi, Tebaldo Tamburi, Alberto Poli, Remo Biagi, Nando Lucchesi, Giulio Tamburi, Ubaldo Baccelli, Carlo Biagini, Umberto Valdissera, Faust Lunardini, Giuseppe Puccinelli, Vincenzo Marraccini, Marello Cappellini, Casali Carlo, Ettore Guidotti, Nat Serafini, Romeo Franchini, Enrico De Luca, Gino Ghinacci, Pacini Olindo, Giuseppe Sodini, Giuseppe Tambellini, Dino Barontini, Giorgetti Pietro, Ragghianti Archise, Giuseppe Francesconi, Guglielmo Piccinini, Federigo Barsanti, Alfredo Tamburi, Alfredo Tamburi, Federigo Barsanti [ No dismissed members ]

As seen above, the Tuscan League saw a few distinct trends in regards to changes in membership status, in both positive and in negative ways. In the first three years of our recorded minutes, while the League was still rather young, the proportion of incoming to outgoing members was distinctly positive. Even in light of the loss of 17 members in 1919, member retention was ostensibly rather strong, with over 75 new members officially earning their membership. However, beginning in 1922, the trend began to see its first sharp change in trend; the organization saw neither many incoming or outgoing members in 1922. In 1923 and 1924, the League seemed to slip on its ability to effectively retain a consistent population. In the minute logs, the years between 1922 and 1924 are speckled with moments where the president or another officer discuss the need to uphold or improve morale in the organization. Although it's mentioned nowhere in the manuscript, the subtext suggests that the downward turn in memberships, sinking morale, and intermittent trips taken by members to Italy could have been influenced, at least in part, by the ascent of Fascism in Italy, which came to full fruition in March of 1922 when Benito Mussolini marched on Rome and assumed political control of the nation under the National Fascist Party. Then, 1925 sees a drastic turn in the membership statistics, with 65 members accepted into the League, and zero members taking their leave. Michele Simonetti, one of the most consistently influential members of the League in the scope of this volume, brought a veteran member's experience to the administration and seemed to have been driven to counteract the festering problem surrounding member retention.

Sick Compensation to Lega Members

One of the primary functions of the Tuscan Protection League as evidenced in the minutes was a means of some level of financial security for its members, both as a type of welfare service for active members who fall ill and are ostensibly too unwell to work, and as a source of financial assistance for funerary costs of deceased members. Of the two, the former was a much more common occurence within the bounds of the minutes, while the latter did account for four different transactions between the Tuscan League and family of deceased members, which amounted to about $600. While there were other forms of payment given to members in the form of reimbursement for purchase of goods for the group or for a group-sponsored event, or even, as the later years show, as a stipend to individuals who serve on the executive board, this particular graph focuses only on sick compensation to members of the Lega Toscana.

One of the most notable conditions in the application process of a new member was the presentation of a certification of good health by a medical doctor, which was then verified by the Health Officers, who were responsible for ensuring that all the requisites for membership were met regarding individual health. While specifics regarding these requisites were never explicated in the minutes, this medical clearance likely played such a substantial role because of the offered welfare stipends for unwell members. The parameters regarding these compensations were never deliberated until 1921, a year in which five members all received over $50 in compensation. In December of that year, Michele Simonetti was awarded $56 in for a surgical procedure. After that point, the decided maximum compensation amount permitted at one time was $50. However, the fluid and circumstantial governance of the Lega comes into view when both Enrico Sandroni and Benedetto Pardini are both granted $60 in sick compensation in 1925. While the Lega Toscana had policies set in place for a number of issues, of which maximum compensations were one, the organization showed either a willful decision to forego the policy, or (since the larger sums were granted years after the policy was put into effect) the Lega could have simply forgotten about them.

Below is a line graph visualization that shows the outward flow of money to members for sick compensation only. Given the time constraints of this research, the organization's use of its finances could not be more closely scrutinized.

1919 1920 1921 1922 1923 1924 1925 January February March April May June July August September October November December $40 $80 $120 $160 $200 $240 $280 $320 $360 $400 $440

Member Activity in the Lega

Member activity, in a general sense, was the component of the research that permitted the highest potential of exploration. Across the entire Tuscan League, of which there were 239 people identified as members throughout the years, those who showed agency in the context of the volume of minutes is much smaller. Less than 50% of the 239 members -- 114, to be exact -- were truly considered active members at least for one moment in time in the organization. The parameters that were set to define member agency were rather rigid; only those who were evidenced to have served on a committee, participated in a proposal, served as an officer, or received money from or gave money to the Lega were considered as active members. With these considerations in place, just under 50% of the individuals in the organization participated within the bounds of the minutes themselves.

The League's primary expenditure of energy was oriented in the events that they held, both annual and special events. Every year, they organized a summer picnic and winter ball, both of which were exhaustively planned beforehand with committees that included dozens of members at a time. The minutes reveal that these were well-attended events as well, with a formidable turnout of the League's members. Even though many did not participate regularly in the monthly precedings, the large summer and winter events were extremely popular for all affiliates of the Tuscan League. Other committees included regolamento committees, which were reponsible for revisiting or revising current organizational policies; investigazione committees, which were charged with exploratory or investigative work that preceded an event (like finding locales or drafting committee timelines); other event-based committees like the banchetto or intrattenimento committees, which either planned small celebrations or evening socials; with other committees that were formed to fulfill a specific purpose then disbanded, like the parata (Columbus Day parade) committee or the stendardo (League flag and banner) committee. Some of these committees, like the regolamento and investigazione, were always disbanded after a month, while most of the other committees met for at least two months before dissolving.

The visualization just below is a heatmap that shows the distribution of member activity across the span of time. The columns each represent one individual who, at any point in the volume, recorded at least one unit of activity -- that is, an individual who served on a committee, participated in a proposal, gave or received money, or acted as an officer at any single point in time. As is the case with a conventional heat map, the darker the color of the cell, the more active a member was on that given date. Note that the black lines that surround a given table cell indicate that the person in question was an officer at that point in time.

Note: In clicking on a table cell inside the heat map, the member and activity information will appear in the table that sits just below the graph. The name of each member is their full last name, followed immediately by one to three of the first letters of their first name.