Borderline Americans: Racial Division and Labor War in the - download pdf or read online

By Katherine Benton-Cohen

ISBN-10: 0674032772

ISBN-13: 9780674032774

ISBN-10: 0674060539

ISBN-13: 9780674060531

“Are you an American, or are you not?” This was once the query Harry Wheeler, sheriff of Cochise County, Arizona, used to decide on his goals in a single of the main striking vigilante activities ever conducted on U.S. soil. And this is often the query on the center of Katherine Benton-Cohen’s provocative background, which ties that doubtless distant nook of the rustic to at least one of America’s significant matters: the historic construction of racial limitations.

It was once in Cochise County that the Earps and Clantons fought, Geronimo surrendered, and Wheeler led the notorious Bisbee Deportation, and it really is the place deepest militias patrol for undocumented migrants this present day. those dramatic occasions animate the wealthy tale of the Arizona borderlands, the place humans of approximately each nationality—drawn through “free” land or through jobs within the copper mines—grappled with questions of race and nationwide id. Benton-Cohen explores the day-by-day lives and moving racial obstacles among teams as disparate as Apache resistance combatants, chinese language retailers, Mexican-American homesteaders, Midwestern dry farmers, Mormon polygamists, Serbian miners, long island mine managers, and Anglo girls reformers.

Racial different types as soon as blurry grew sharper as business mining ruled the area. rules approximately domestic, relatives, paintings and wages, manhood and womanhood all formed how humans thought of race. Mexicans have been legally white, yet have been they appropriate marriage companions for “Americans”? Why have been Italian miners defined as dwelling “as no white guy can”? by way of exhibiting the a number of percentages for racial meanings in the USA, Benton-Cohen’s insightful and informative paintings demanding situations our assumptions approximately race and nationwide identification.

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Additional resources for Borderline Americans: Racial Division and Labor War in the Arizona Borderlands

Sample text

In 1852, the governor of Sonora made a last attempt to create a large land grant at Tres Alamos and to relocate at least a hundred families there. They never arrived. In 1854, the Gadsden Purchase turned over to the United States the strip of what is today New Mexico and Arizona south of the Gila River, including Tres Alamos and the rest of what would become Cochise County. In Washington, Democrats promoted the Purchase as a route for a southern transcontinental railroad, a sop for southern members of their party and an attempt to mute rising sectional con�flicts.

In the 1870s and 1880s, people with Spanish surnames bought one in four federal land parcels sold in what would become Cochise County. In the 1890s, even after an in�flux of Anglos to the county, Mexican Americans still accounted for one in seven public land purchases. Spanish-�surnamed individuals made up a similar proportion of successful homesteaders, and dozens more Mexican American landholders lived just over the county line. 24 A few, Grijalba especially, enjoyed considerable success as rancheros in the northern Mexican tradition.

Either as sole proprietors or as heirs of their husbands, several Â�women controlled a lot of property. In 1882, Anna Bonillas, a landowning widow and laundress, was one of the first people in Cochise County to buy public land. Mrs. Jesús Maldonado de Mejía, whose Â�inheritance of her husband’s homestead had been challenged, was especially tenacious. In addition to proving her right to that claim, in 1888 she patented her own homestead on the San Pedro. At the time of Maldonado’s death in€1907 she owned five horses, two hundred head of cattle, and 1,600 acres of land.

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Borderline Americans: Racial Division and Labor War in the Arizona Borderlands by Katherine Benton-Cohen


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