Critical race theory is an ongoing national debate over what type of history is taught in America’s schools today. At the center of the debate is who writes America’s narrative. On one hand are the individuals that want to continue the narrative that American exceptionalism created a unique value system that made America into the powerhouse that it is today. While on the other side of the dispute are those that argue that American exceptionalism is nothing more than a myth. At the center of the raging debate is slavery.

El Paso is not an exception to the question of who teaches El Paso’s history. As readers observed in our article about the legacy of Tom Lea, there is a question of how Lea’s narrative has been distorted into a myth that is taught in El Paso’s schools today. In most Texas schools today, slavery usually merits only a short paragraph in the schoolbooks, suggesting that slavery was nothing more than a small episode in America’s history. The acceptable narrative of Texas’ history is that the Tejanos revolted against Mexican tyranny during the Texan war for independence. The key to the revolt was slavery but the sanitized version of Mexican tyranny is the narrative that school children are taught.

Children in Texas are rarely taught that México abolished slavery many years before America did. Instead, they are taught that the Tejanos liberated themselves from tyranny. Between 1835 and 1836, Texas rebelled against the Mexican state and became independent. In 1845, Texas became a state. Between 1861 and 1865, the United States became embroiled in the Civil War. Debated to this day is whether slavery was central to Texas independence and to the American Civil War.

As for Texas, Stephen F. Austin clearly laid out that Anglo values were behind the Texas revolution. In an 1836 letter, Austin wrote that the “The truth is we are fighting in Texas, for the cause of america [sic] — & american [sic] principals.” (emphasis in original) Austin added that the Texians “are purely American in birth, education, principals” (emphasis in original) making the argument that Austin believed that the Tejanos were fighting for the American way of life. Austin goes on to add in his letter that although “some of your city folks seem to think that the Texas war is to establish” slavery, that assertion is wrong as “slavery has nothing to do with the causes, or objects of this war”. (emphasis in original) [1] Austin clearly laid out the Anglo agenda for the Texas rebellion.

Austin’s argument that slavery had “nothing to do” with the Texas rebellion remains the common narrative today. However, the Texas Constitution (1824-1876) clearly makes the case that slavery was an issue for Texas. Article VIII of the Texas Constitution addresses slaves in the newly formed country. Texas allowed slavery until the 13th Amendment of the United States Constitution was ratified by Texas on February 18, 1870. Ratifying the constitutional amendment was a requirement for rejoining the United States as a state, after the Civil War.

Slavery was a factor in the Texas rebellion and remained so until the end of the Civil War.

Few, if any, El Pasoans recognize that El Paso was part of the Confederacy during America’s Civil War. Likewise, the issue of slavery in El Paso is very seldom discussed or acknowledged with many believing that there were no slaves in El Paso. As part of Texas, El Paso was part of the Confederate States. Slavery was present in El Paso, however not to the extent that slavery is commonly understood today.

Unlike the rural slaves found in plantations, there were also urban slaves that provided household services to their owners. It is the urban slaves that were in El Paso. The United States Census for 1860 gives us an indication of how many slaves existed in El Paso. According to the census, the population for the City of El Paso in 1860 consisted of 3,826 White residents. There were also 14 individuals that were classified as “Free Colored,” and 15 people that were classified as “slave”. Seven of the slaves were women and eight were men. Nine of the slaves were under the age of 15, including three that were classified as newborn, or under the age of one – two females and one male.

El Paso also had 196 individuals classified as “Indian” in 1860.

In total, according to the 1860 Census, El Paso County’s population was 4,036, of which 99% (3,976) were classified as “white”. Of those, 1,476 were not U.S. citizens. Who owned El Paso’s slaves is difficult to ascertain because few records exist. However, we do know that Simeon Hart owned two of the slaves, along with an unknown number of slave “children and grandchildren”. [2]

Simeon Hart is considered the first individual to bring manufacturing to El Paso with his mill.

It is clear by the 1860 Census that El Paso was not dependent on slaves as much as the rest of Texas. The question then becomes, were El Paso’s leaders pro-slavery or was El Paso’s membership in the Confederacy simply a consequence of being part of Texas? To glean some understanding of this we look to the Texas referendum to secede from the Union. Specifically, how did El Paso voters vote on seceding from the Union?

El Paso Votes To Secede From The Union

Although there is some controversy over how votes were counted for the secession vote in 1861, in the case of El Paso, the two competing counts correlate. Of the 873 votes cast, only two votes were cast by El Pasoans against seceding from the Union. [3] Texans voted 75.8% to secede from the Union. By counties, the votes varied from a high of 100% In Brown, Fort Bend, Marion, Palo Pinto, Webb and Zapata counties to a low of 2.6% in Mason County (2 in favor, 75 opposed).

As readers can clearly observe, El Paso’s 99.8% was overwhelmingly in favor of seceding from the Union. There is some debate, however, over how invested El Pasoans were in the Civil War. Major battles seldom crossed west of the Mississippi River and even than less than five skirmishes were in Texas, all along the Gulf of Mexico. None were in El Paso. However, there were at least three battles in New Mexico. These were launched from Fort Bliss in El Paso.

In 1861, Henry Hopkins Sibley, a Louisiana native, convinced Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederate States, that he could raise a Texan army and attack California. Sibley’s plan was to march through New Mexico, Colorado and on to California. Sibley’s battles against Union forces near Santa Fe and near Socorro are nothing more than footnotes in America’s Civil War history books. [4]

Sibley’s Confederate army was made up of about 3,600 soldiers. Although a graduate of West Point, Sibley’s campaign in New Mexico was a disaster. But Sibley provides us an insight into El Paso’s support for the Confederate cause. Arriving in El Paso, after a long march from San Antonio, Sibley was expecting to be provisioned at Fort Bliss. What he found was El Paso’s secessionists were not able to provide the supplies Sibley’s army needed to continue the campaign into New Mexico. Nonetheless, Sibley left for Mesilla on January 15, 1862 intending to bolster his army with men and supplies along the way because he “thought the West was full of Southern sympathizers.” [5]

In the end, Sibley retreated to Texas losing 1,200 of his men in the process. [6] Sibley’s experience in El Paso suggests that, although there were Southern sympathizers in El Paso, they seemed not to be active enough to fully engage in the war. As readers will observe, the motive may have been simply about business opportunities.

El Paso And The Confederacy

There is little literature about El Paso’s leaders and their support for the Confederacy. Although El Paso voters overwhelming voted to secede from the Union, little about their motives and support for the cause exists.

In our previous article discussing the attempt to sanitize Tom Lea’s legacy we pointed out that Tom Lea’s grandfather, the father of the former mayor, was Thomas Calloway Lea I. The grandfather fought for the Confederacy. Another family member, P. J. G. Lea was killed during the Civil War by Union soldiers. [7] Other than that there is little literature about the Confederacy in El Paso.

Julian Lim argues, in a footnote in his dissertation, that El Paso’s pro-Southern support derived not from slavery, because there were so few, but because El Paso’s Anglo leaders believed that the Confederacy would establish a southern transcontinental route making El Paso a strategic location for a “continental crossroads” for the Confederate States. [8]

Lim’s argument is somewhat supported by Simeon Hart who established one of El Paso’s first Anglo settlements in 1850. [9] Hart’s Mill was the focal point for El Paso’s economy for many years. Hart, with the help of his father-in-law, Don Leonardo Siquieros of Chihuahua City established Hart’s Mill in El Paso to supply the U.S. Army with flour. [10]

Simeon Hart was “an ardent supporter of the Confederacy.” Hart was also “one of two secessionists appointed as commissioners of Texas.” After taking control of Fort Bliss, Hart provided supplies to the Confederate army until 1862, when the Union army took back control of the fort. [11]

At this point, we should note that México had outlawed slavery. As readers will see, México provided safe haven to escaping slaves. How Hart’s Mexican father-in-law felt about slavery is not known, but it was his Mexican flour that supplanted the deliveries made by Hart’s mill.

Although Hart was an ardent supporter of the Confederacy, his significant business in El Paso seems to have influenced the political decisions of the community at the time. On one hand, Hart was an ardent supporter of the Confederacy but this does not seem to have been the primary reason for his support for the cause. Instead, it seems that his business interests outweighed his ideology. This is likely how the rest of the El Paso community saw secession – a business opportunity. As readers will see, secession continues to be part of El Paso’s history, likely driven by businessmen looking to expand business opportunities.

In the case of Hart’s ideological support of the Confederacy as a business opportunity is further supported with the arrival of Henry Sibley’s Confederate army who found little in support for the Confederacy in El Paso on their way to the New Mexico battlegrounds.

Other evidence supports that business was a driving factor of El Paso’s multiple attempts to secede. We will explore that further down. However, 1899 a convention was held in El Paso to create a state. Josiah Frazer Crosby (C. F. Crosby), according to the Texas Historical Association was born in Charleston, South Carolina and moved to El Paso in 1852 for health reasons. Crosby was a “forceful advocate of secession” and joined the Confederate Army when the Civil War broke out. However, as readers will discover, in the 1899 convention to create a new state, Crosby argued that the proposal to create a state was driven by business interests. El Pasoans’ connections to slavery was not limited to long-time El Paso residents. More recent arrivals to El Paso, as demonstrated by Beto O’Rourke, shows that slavery was also part of El Paso’s newest leaders.

The Beto O’Rourke Slavery History

Most recently, presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke, who is running for govenor acknowledged that he and his wife’s ancestors were former slave owners. On July 14, 2019, O’Rourke posted on his Medium account that he “descended from people who owned slaves.” In his Rosa and Eliza post, O’Rourke wrote that his great-great-great grandfather, Andrew Cowan Jasper owned Rosa and Elize. O’Rourke adds that another ancestor, Frederick Williams “most likely owned slaves,” but he is unsure because he was uncertain if Williams was the same person as his ancestor. Nonetheless, O’Rourke wrote that “there’s enough circumstantial” information to suggest that Williams is his ancestor.

O’Rourke goes on to write that his wife’s ancestors also owned slaves and another was a member of the Confederate Army. Readers should note that O’Rourke acknowledges in his Medium missive that he “benefits from a system” that his “ancestors built to favor themselves at the expense of others.”

As we previously demonstrated, Tom Lea’s ancestors were also ardent Confederate supporters.

Although the Confederacy seems to have played a minor part in El Paso’s history and slavery was limited to less than 20 slaves, the 1861 vote to secede was not the last time El Paso leaders wanted to secede.

El Paso, The “Chronic Secessionist”

Although not voting again to secede from the United States, El Paso’s leaders regularly argued for seceding from Texas. El Pasoans often argue that Austin ignores El Paso. Others argued that El Paso belongs in New Mexico.

On March 16, 1899, a state convention was held at the El Paso Customs House. The purpose of the convention was “carving of a new state out of portions of west Texas[,] New Mexico and Arizona.” Several officials representing several communities were present at the convention. J.F. Crosby, representing El Paso said, “I am native born Texas [sic] and in the past have lived on sentiment, but the time has come when sentiment fails to satisfy me and if the creation of a new state is for the benefit of El Paso I favor it; if not, I am willing to live and die an old long horned Texan.” Crosby added that the call to create a new state was “a business proposition,” and that he believed “the business men” believed it as well. [12]

Two meetings, both controversial, were held that day for the convention. The morning meeting focused on organizing the afternoon meeting. An Executive Committee was organized after members who were not in favor of forming a new state “were requested to withdraw.” Several did. [13]

The afternoon session was called by the Executive Committee at 2:30 in the afternoon. When the rollcall by counties was called, only El Paso responded. There was also a “proxy” vote from Presidio County. The El Paso delegation included: J.F. Crosby, F.B. Sexton, F.W. Gallagher, Chas Davis, T.A. Falvey, P.F. Edwards, Dr. Yandell and Wm. H. Burges. Representing the El Paso County were W.M. Coldwell, Park W. Pitman and W. Kemp. Chas B. Patterson of Presidio was represented by proxy. Three votes were allocated, one for the city, one for the county and one for Presidio. [14]

After discussions over whether those in favor of creating a new state had been treated unfairly, the motion offered by Coldwell was adopted. Coldwell’s motion resolved “that it is neither practical, expedient nor desirable to state [sic] a new state or territory out of territory detached from Texas[,] New Mexico and Arizona, and that as there is not a full representation from the counties invited to send delegates that this meeting adjourn sine die,” without a date to reconvene the convention. [15]

The secession movement continued in 1938 when El Paso “and much of that vicinity” wanted to be annexed by New Mexico. However, the movement did not seem to get much traction. [16] El Paso’s desire to secede was viewed by Texas “with decidedly coolness,” but for some the argument was “convincing” because “El Paso is a metropolis more for New Mexicans than for Texas”. It has been often argued that the city “is consistently neglected by the Texas legislature.” [17]

In 1935, then New Mexico governor Clyde Tingley wanted “to see El Paso in New Mexico.” While some El Pasoans wanted El Paso in New Mexico, according to the El Paso Times, that year, “most New Mexicans” wanted to see El Paso as part of their state. The secede movement led to the discussion of what it would take to move El Paso into New Mexico. In addition to the referendum in El Paso and the necessary legislation required at the federal and state legislatures and the Supreme Court weighing in there was also the issue of the “tradition” of being Texan. [18]

Joseph Bennis, an attorney, suggested that the biggest issue over seceding from Texas was that El Pasoans were “traditionally Texas.” Bennis added that although El Paso is “way out here on the state’s frontier and often ignored, still our background is Texas and many persons would hesitate to make the change.” [19]

The 1938 secession movement was started by Edgar D. Park. Park proposed taking a triangle-shaped slice of Texas about 150 miles wide by 50 miles deep and annexing it to New Mexico. [20] Review of newspaper archives of the time show that Park was a land developer, selling and renting housing in El Paso. Interestingly, at least one New Mexican newspaper letter writer living in Socorro “vigorously opposed” Park’s secession idea because “this rotten idea” would “kill” El Paso’s “leading industry,” liquor sales. According to the letter writer, who dubbed themselves “a wet New Mexican,” his state had “a Sunday closing law,” and his “only recourse” for the weekends was El Paso. [21]

When Park announced his proposal to move El Paso into New Mexico by referendum, he argued that “all this talk about loyalty to Texas has no bearing” on his proposition. Park added that in addition to bringing “national recognition” to El Paso, the city “would have some voice in politics.” Park argued that El Pasoans “speak the language of the southwest, the same language of New Mexico and Arizona,” adding that the “rest of Texas doesn’t understand” the language of the southwest. [22]

The seceding from Texas did not end in 1938. It was brought up again in 1944, this time by the city’s chamber of commerce. A. J. Zimmerman, the chamber’s secretary argued that El Paso should move to New Mexico because the “desert metropolis is stuck on the extreme edge of Texas, and as Texas is too busy and too large to pay attention” to El Paso. Zimmerman added that “in New Mexico El Paso would get the recognition” the city deserves. Jim White, who labeled El Paso “a chronic secessionist,” said that if El Paso were to secede it would “be satisfactory to most” El Pasoans. [23]

It’s not just El Paso that wants to secede from Texas, but Texas officials have threatened to secede from the Union many times. In 2009, Rick Perry threatened to secede and several secession movements continue to rise regularly. Most recently, Ted Cruz (R-TX) argued that Texas should secede “if Democrats ‘fundamentally’ destroy the U.S. but added that ‘he is not ready to give up on America,’” according to The Hill. [24]

Was El Paso An Underground Railroad?

There has been some discussion about whether slaves escaped through El Paso. As readers likely know, the Underground Railroad was a network of safe houses and routes that allowed escaping slaves to make it to the free states or to Canada. As México had outlawed slavery, there has also been some discussion about whether escaping slaves traveled through Texas on their way to México.

There is evidence showing that México was a haven for runaway slaves, although not as abundant as the documentation that exists for the Underground Railroad. However, most of the slaves that made it to México were from Texas and some from Louisiana. It is estimated that about 4,000 slaves escaped through Texas into México. It was the Texas Latinos, with some help from Germans living in Texas that have been credited with helping the slaves as they made their way towards México. [25]

Likely the best account of the slaves reaching México for freedom comes from the contemporaneous writings of Frederick Law Olmsted. Architect of the Capital, a government entity, serves “as the builder and steward of the landmark buildings and grounds of Capitol Hill.” According to the agency’s website, Olmsted is “regarded as the founder of American landscape architecture.” He designed the landscape for notable landmarks, including the U.S. Capitol.

Before becoming famous for his landscape architecture, Olmsted traveled through Texas on horseback documenting his first-hand encounters with the individuals he met in pre-Civil War Texas. His 1853 book, Journey Through Texas provides us a firsthand account of the slaves he encountered during his journey through Texas.

Olmsted describes how he encountered two slaves while visiting Piedras Negras, a Mexican city south of Eagle Pass. One former slave agreed to talk to Olmsted. Olmsted writes that the former slave was born in Virginia, adding that he wanted to see Virginia again “if he could be free.” The former slave earned “a dollar very easily, by his trade, every day” working as a mechanic in México. Olmsted adds that the former slave told him he could speak “Spanish fluently” and had traveled “extensively in Mexico.” [26]

Slaves “were constantly” arriving in Piedras Negras, the former slave told Olmsted, adding that in the last three months, the former slave had counted forty slaves. The former slave added that “a great many more” made it to México “further down the river.” [27] Olmsted confirmed that at least some German Texans helped the runaway slaves on their way to México. [28]

Escaping slaves to México was significant enough for Texas officials that they attempted to raise reward funds from slave owners to use as rewards for each slave returned from México. Because there was no treaty allowing for the return of slaves between the United States and México, men were organized to go to México and kidnap the former slaves to return them to their owners. Olmsted writes that Mexicans came to the rescue of at least one slave that was being kidnapped by slave bounty hunters. On another occasion, “a company of rangers under Callahan” had invaded México on the pretext of a reconnaissance mission against the Indians, but that “the Mexicans rallied with the Indians” and drove back the rangers where “with a contemptible piece of spiteful retaliation,” sacked and burned Piedras Negras. The rangers were looking for runaway slaves to take back to the U.S. [29]

Although little literature about escaping slaves making their way to México exists, there is enough work to show that between 3,000 to 5,000 slaves made it to freedom in México. Unlike the Underground Railroad, there were no organized networks sheltering and organizing escaping slaves. Instead, they walked south towards freedom. Along the way they were helped by abolitionists living in the borderlands and by Mexican laborers. [30]

So frequent were the Mexican laborers helping the escaping slaves that Texas enacted a law that prohibited “Mexicans and enslaved persons” to be “found together or to collaborate or even speak to each other.” [31]

However, research shows that El Paso was not a destination for escaping slaves, instead most of the slaves made their way to México through Brazoria, Galveston or San Antonio. [32]

Antebellum El Paso

Historical records about El Paso prior to the Civil War are difficult to use in attempting to understand the secession vote in 1861 and who cast the votes because of the way ethnicity was addressed at the time. There was not a Mexican American designation in the 1860 census and newspaper reports of the period did not distinguish between Anglo and Mexican residents living in the community at the time. Using surnames as indicators is not possible because Simeon Hart, as an example, was married to a Mexican woman. Their children, although Mexican American, would have carried the Anglo name Hart.

One newspaper account from 1956 argues that there were only “50 Anglo” residents in El Paso in 1860, prior to the Texas vote to secede and the start of the Civil War. The El Paso Herald Post used W. W. Mill’s book; Forty Years at El Paso to create a roster of antebellum Anglo residents in El Paso. [33]

According to the newspaper, the following were the Anglo residents, and their known affiliation, in El Paso in 1860:

  1. J. F. Crosby: district judge (Confederate),
  2. Simeon Hart: mill owner and contractor (Confederate),
  3. Henry J. Cuniffe: merchant and United States Consul at Juárez. (Union),
  4. H. S. Gillett: merchant (Confederate),
  5. J. S. Gillett: merchant (Confederate),
  6. Phil Herbert: lawyer (Confederate),
  7. James W. Magoffin: settler at Fort Bliss (Confederate),
  8. Joseph Magoffin: son of James (Confederate),
  9. Sam Magoffin: killed in the war (Confederate),
  10. Anson Mills: engineer (Union),
  11. W. W. Mills: United States Consul at Chihuahua (Union),
  12. Emmett Mills: killed in the Indian skirmishes in Arizona in 1861 (Union),
  13. Samuel Schutz: merchant (Union),
  14. Joseph Schutz: merchant (Union),
  15. George H. Giddings: manager San Antonio Mail Co.,
  16. H. C. Hall: agent San Antonio Mail Co.,
  17. Henry Skillman: frontiersman killed in the war. (Confederate),
  18. Brad Daily: scout and spy (Union),
  19. Hugh Stephenson: mine owner and merchant,
  20. Uncle Billy Smith: described as the patriarch of the valley,
  21. Vicente St. Vrain: merchant (Union),
  22. A. B. O’Bannon: deputy collector customs (Confederate),
  23. William Morton: district attorney (Confederate),
  24. Charles Merritt: manager Hart’s mill,
  25. Henry C. Cook: lawyer (Confederate),
  26. B. S. Dowell: postmaster (Confederate),
  27. Nim Dowell: killed by Confederates in Texas (Union),
  28. Fred Percy: described as an English gentleman (Confederate),
  29. Rufus Doane: county surveyor,
  30. Billy Watts: sheriff,
  31. Emilio Deuchesne: merchant (Union),
  32. Russ Howard: lawyer (Confederate),
  33. A. B. Rohman: merchant,
  34. R. L. Robertson: agent Overland Mail Company (Union),
  35. Dr. Nangle: agent San Antonio Mail Company (Union),
  36. James Buchanan: merchant,
  37. Charles Richardson: (Confederate)
  38. D. R. Diffendorffer: merchant,
  39. F. R. Diffendorffer: merchant,
  40. G. W. Gillock: justice of the peace and hotel keeper,
  41. J. E. Terry: stage company,
  42. Charles Music: merchant,
  43. Andrew Hornick,
  44. H. McWard,
  45. George Lyle,
  46. Tibbits,
  47. Milby,
  48. David Knox,
  49. Bill Conklin,
  50. Tom Miller. [34]

According to the newspaper account, there were “About a dozen U.S. Army officers that lived at Ft. Bliss, and several “prominent” Mexicans. [35]

Reviewing online Civil War records, we identified the following El Pasoans who served in the Confederate Army:

  1. John C. Coldwell: Entered the Confederate Army in 1861 and served 4 years.
  2. Payton Forbes Edwards: Entered the Confederate Army in 1861. Edwards surrendered in 1865.
  3. Joseph Magoffin: Entered the Confederate Army in 1861, served until the close of the war.
  4. W. B. Merchant: Entered the Confederate Army in 1861, served until the close of the war.
  5. James T. Newsome: Entered the Confederate Army in 1864 at the age of 17.
  6. Henry F. Stacy: Entered the Confederate Army in 1861.

Slavery Today

Unfortunately slavery remains an issue today in the form of human trafficking across the nation. Instead of government-authorized human bondage, today’s slaves are abused by criminal gangs. El Paso is no exception to this.

According to a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) press release on August 8, 2016, Olga Sandra Murra was convicted on four counts, two involving “forced labor”. According to the court records, Murra, a U.S. citizen, moved to El Paso in 1997 and kept two undocumented immigrant women as slaves. Murra forced the women to work for her home cleaning business, cleaning three to four homes per day for seven days a week. Murra took the money the women made cleaning the homes by threatening them that immigration officials would take them away and bury them in the desert. In addition to making them work at her home cleaning business, Mura also made the women work at a McDonalds and at a Walmart, again, taking all the money they earned.

Murra was sentenced to six years in federal prison in 2017.

As readers observed, although slavery was not prominent in El Paso, it existed nonetheless. Although not as prominent as in the rest of Texas, the historical record shows that El Paso’s leaders were not only in support of seceding from the Union, but also joined the Confederate Army.

El Pasoans tend to believe that the community has been inclusive and progressive but as our upcoming articles will show that belief is not supported by the historical record. This is especially true for the El Paso Democratic Party as readers will learn in our upcoming article.


  1. Reichstein, Andreas. “The Austin-Leaming Correspondence, 1828-1836.” The Southwestern Historical Quarterly 88, no. 3 (1985), 281-282.
  2. Feit, Rachel, Heather Stettler and Cherise Bell. AmaTerra Environmental, Inc. El Paso del Norte: A Cultural Landscape History of the Oñate Crossing on the Camino Real de Tierra Adentro 1598-1893, Ciudad Juárez, Mexico and El Paso, Texas U.S.A. National Park Service, National Trails Intermountain Region, Contract GS10F03226N, August 2018, 34.
  3. Timmons, Joe T., “The Referendum in Texas on the Ordinance of Secession, February 23, 1861: The Vote.” (East Texas Historical Journal: Vol 11, Issue 2, Article 6), 15.
  4. Steven Almond, “How the west was LOST, Quixotic general lost battles with bottle, land,” El Paso Times, January 14, 1991, 1C.
  5. Almond, “How the west was LOST,” 1C.
  6. Almond, “How the west was LOST,” 3C.
  7. Julian Lin, “The ‘Future Immense’: Race And Immigration In The Multiracial U.S.-Mexico Borderlands, 1880-1936” (PhD diss, Cornell University, August 2013), 76.
  8. “Funeral Set For Tom Lea,” El Paso Herald Post, August 3, 1945, 1.
  9. Feit, Rachel. El Paso del Norte: A Cultural Landscape History of the Oñate, 3.
  10. Feit, Rachel. El Paso del Norte: A Cultural Landscape History of the Oñate, 30.
  11. Feit, Rachel. El Paso del Norte: A Cultural Landscape History of the Oñate, 34-35.
  12. “New State Convention,” El Paso Daily Herald,” March 16, 1899, 1.
  13. “New State Convention,” 1.
  14. “New State Convention,” 1.
  15. “New State Convention,” 1.
  16. Byron C. Utecht, “Hankamer Will Press Land Measure,” Fort Worth Telegram, November 30, 1938, 6.
  17. “Views From Other Newspapers; Another Texas Secession,” The Shreveport Journal, November 28, 1938, 6.
  18. “Hard Fight Seen If El Paso Should Attempt To Join N.M.,” El Paso Times, May 15, 1935, 1.
  19. “Hard Fight Seen,” 1.
  20. “El Paso Secession From Texas Sought,” The San Berandino County, October 17, 1938, 2.
  21. “’Dry Law’ Raises Opposition To Include El Paso In N.M.,” El Paso Times, October 11, 1938, 5.
  22. “Plebiscite Proposed To Join El Paso Area To New Mexico,” El Paso Times, October 5, 1938, 2.
  23. Otto Bordenkircher, “Vignettes, Comment & Jottings From the Texas Press, More About Secession,” Fort Worth Telegram, April 9, 1944, 8.
  24. Sarakshi Rai, “Ted Cruz wants Texas to secede if ‘things become hopeless’ in the US,” The Hill, November 8, 2021,
  25. Martin Kohn, “Statement: South to Freedom, The Underground Railroad also led to Mexico,” HUMANITIES, March/April 2013, Vol 34, Issue 2.
  26. Frederick Law Olmsted, Journey Through Texas (Dix, Edwards & Co., New York, 1857), 323-324.
  27. Olmsted, Journey Through Texas, 324.
  28. Olmsted, Journey Through Texas, 329.
  29. Olmsted, Journey Through Texas, 331-334.
  30. John Burnett, “A Chapter In U.S. History Often Ignored: The Flight Of Runaway Slaves To Mexico,” NPR, February 28, 2021,
  31. Burnett, “A Chapter In U.S. History Often Ignored.”
  32. Burnett, “A Chapter In U.S. History Often Ignored.”
  33. “Pre-Civil War El Paso Had 50 Anglo Residents,” El Paso Herald Post, April 28, 1956, Section G, Page 13.
  34. “Pre-Civil War El Paso Had 50 Anglo Residents,” 13.
  35. “Pre-Civil War El Paso Had 50 Anglo Residents,” 13.

Martin Paredes

Martín Paredes is a Mexican immigrant who built his business on the U.S.-Mexican border. As an immigrant, Martín brings the perspective of someone who sees México as a native through the experience...