Salt Warriors: Insurgency on the Rio Grande
The El Paso Salt War of 1877 has gone down in history as the spontaneous “action of a mindless rabble,” but as author Paul Cool deftly demonstrates, the episode was actually an insurgency, “the product of a deliberate, community-based decision squarely in the tradition of the American nation’s original fight for self-government.”
The Paseņos (local Mexican Americans) had held common ownership of the immense salt lakes at the base of the Guadalupe Mountains since the time of Spanish rule. They believed their title was confirmed in the treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo. However, to the American businessmen who saw in the white expanse a cash crop that could make them rich in the years following the American Civil War, ownership appeared up for grabs. After years of struggle among Anglo politicians and speculators eager to seize the lakes, an Austin banker staked a legal claim in 1877, and his son-in-law, Charles Howard, started to enforce it. Cool chronicles the ensuing popular uprising that disrupted established governmental authority in El Paso for twelve weeks.
Unique features of this pioneering book include the author’s employment of previously untapped sources and the first thorough and systematic use of familiar ones, notably the government report El Paso Troubles in Texas, to create this detailed study of the war. First-person accounts from reports and newspaper items create a landmark day-by-day account of the San Elizario battle, including the location of the Texas Ranger positions.
This fast-paced account not only corrects the record of this historical episode but will also resonate in the context of today’s racial and ethnic tensions along the U.S.-Mexico border.
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American Anglo Antonio Apaches armed arrest arrived Atkinson Austin Barela Blacker Blair Borrajo Bourgade Captain Garcia Cardis's colonel command December December 22 El Paso County election Ellis EPC Archives February fight fired force Fort Bliss Fountain Frontier Galveston Governor Granillo Grant County Grant County Herald Hatch horses Hubbard hundred Indians insurgents January John Joseph Magoffin Juarez Judge killed Kinney leaders Lieutenant Magoffin Major Jones March Mathews McBride McDaniels Mejia Mesilla Mexican Mexican citizens Mexico miles military Mills Montes murder November October officer orders party Pasefios Pasenos Paso County Paso del Norte Paso Salt Paso's Pope to Sheridan Ranger quarters Records reported returned river Rucker Salcido salineros salt lakes Salt War San Elizario Schutz Sergeant Sheriff Kerber shot side Silver City Socorro soldiers Sonnichsen Special Files Steele Tays to Jones Tays's Texans Texas Rangers town troops trouble U.S. Army valley Ysleta Zimpelman
Page 341 - Report of the United States and Mexican boundary survey, by William H. Emory. 2 vols. 1857-1859. I. Military Science. French-English military technical dictionary, by Cornelius De Witt Wilcox. 1903. W. 2. Money. International Monetary Conference, Paris. 1878. 5".