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On Border Security…

Conservative Figures to Speak at a 3-day Border Security Rally This Weekend in McAllen I hadn’t planned to post again so soon after the last post, but I came across this and had to address it. “The ‘We Stand America’ rally is planned for Friday through Sunday and is being hosted by several conservative, anti-illegal … Continue reading “On Border Security…”

The Calm Before the Federal Storm

The late 1850s saw the Chinese government attempting to intervene in the treatment of Chinese immigrants in the Western states. American officials weren’t unresponsive, but the American consul in Kwangtung differentiated between the “coolie trade” and “voluntary emigration of Chinese adventurers.” He opined that regulations regarding voluntary labor could be addressed in future treaties, but … Continue reading “The Calm Before the Federal Storm”

Well, I am back

In many ways, I am like a toddler. I am cranky without a nap; I prefer to eat with my fingers. I eat rice with a spoon. I always yell “cow” when I see one from a car. Squirrels and shiny objects will always distract me. But mostly, I thrive on patterns and routine, all … Continue reading “Well, I am back”

A Brief Jeremiad

“The world is a vampireSent to drainSecret destroyersHold you up to the flamesAnd what do I getFor my pain?Betrayed desiresAnd a piece of the game.” “Despite all my rage I am still just a rat in a cageDespite all my rage I am still just a rat in a cageThen someone will say, “What is … Continue reading “A Brief Jeremiad”

California dips its big fat white toe into the nativist pool

            This is why history is so fascinating to me. The connections between people, events, or places is often surprising. When I first started looking at the men who patrolled the border with Mexico before the Border Patrol, I had no idea that the story would begin in earnest in California, more than 500 miles … Continue reading “California dips its big fat white toe into the nativist pool”

The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo

                So why all the hullabaloo about wanting the southern borderlands and much of the West anyway? Didn’t the U.S. already have enough land for everyone to become the yeoman farmer of Thomas Jefferson’s dreams? Probably, but as far-fetched as it may sound, the land owned by the United States and “acquired” from Native Americans … Continue reading “The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo”

Behind the Title

Defining America at the Border: The Line Riders of the Mexican Border District, 1892-1924 is the title of my dissertation, a title that historian David Wrobel had a strong hand in developing. I can’t use the same title for my book (rules is rules), but it is a title that perfectly sums up the overall … Continue reading “Behind the Title”


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