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Download Crossing the Rio Grande: An Immigrant's Life in the 1880s by Luis G. Gomez, Guadalupe Valdez, Thomas H. Kreneck PDF

By Luis G. Gomez, Guadalupe Valdez, Thomas H. Kreneck

Although they're one of the most crucial resources of the historical past of the yankee Southwest, the lives of normal immigrants from Mexico have hardly ever been recorded. knowledgeable and hardworking, Luis G. Gómez got here to Texas from Mexico as a tender guy within the mid-1880s. He made his method round a lot of South Texas, discovering paintings at the railroad and in different companies, gazing the folks and methods of the zone and committing them to reminiscence for later transcription. From the instant he crossed the Rio Grande at Matamoros-Brownsville, Gómez sought his fortune in a chain of contracting operations that created the infrastructure to assist advance the Texas economy—clearing land, slicing wooden, construction roads, laying tune, developing bridges, and quarrying rock. Gómez describes Mexican customs within the usa, comparable to courtship and marriage, kinfolk with Anglo employers, spiritual practices, and the easy domestic gatherings that sustained these Mexican Texans who settled in city components like Houston, remoted from predominantly Mexican South Texas. Few of the 150,000 immigrants within the final 1/2 the 19th century left written files in their studies, yet Gómez wrote his memoir and had it privately released in Spanish in 1935. Crossing the Rio Grande offers an English version of that memoir, translated by means of the author’s grandson, Guadalupe Valdez Jr., with the help of Javier Villarreal, a professor of Spanish at Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi. An creation through Thomas H. Kreneck explainss the book’s price to scholarship and describes what has been discovered of the booklet historical past of the unique Spanish-language quantity. Valdez’s reviews supply a lucid and interesting photograph of his grandfather’s later lifestyles and his gentlemanly personality. This captivating little quantity offers a useful account of a comparatively undocumented interval in Mexican Texans’ heritage. virtually unknown to these outdoor his family members, this narrative has now been “recovered,” edited through Valdez and Kreneck, and made on hand to a much broader, public.

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Extra info for Crossing the Rio Grande: An Immigrant's Life in the 1880s

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That is, he looked like another person. He was now wearing a nice suit and looked like a distinguished gentleman. His suit was jet black with stripes of silver threads embedded in the cloth; they could barely be seen in the background of that fine suit, which was quite becoming to him. He was wearing an extremely white shirt made out of fine linen, silk socks, and expensive charcoal-black shoes. His hands were covered with skintight gloves made of fine leather. I noted that around his wrists were black straps made from otter skin with a bright furry trim that looked nice; their laps were secured with a pressed button protruding through a gold-covered eyelet.

The black lady, who was at her side, was churning butter in a clay butter maker that was very popular in those days among the North American families. When the Anglo lady saw me, she got up from her chair so fast I thought she had a spring under her. ” I immediately spoke to her in Spanish and asked for the man of the house. She answered in English that he had just left a moment ago, but she was sure he would return soon. I learned that this lady understood some Spanish because I would address her in Spanish, and she would answer in English.

The 375 getones [a 36 M I S M E M O R I A S (My Memories) slang term for dollars such as “smackeroos” or “bucks”] that I carried in my pocket in check-times were beginning to squirm like a reptile after winter when it begins to come out of hibernation and look for the summer sun to get warm. After I made myself comfortable, the first thing I did was to review my valuable papers, examining them meticulously to see whether everything was intact. I checked for issued dates on them and how long I had had them in my possession, and I found out to my surprise that I had kept them in my pocket for a year.

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