The Bookshelf, The Parlor, The Young Texas Reader, and the Monthly

The Texas Bookshelf is different from the The Texas Parlor, . The Texas Parlor carries "general" bookish information and non-book information and even different Texana news and notes of use to the bibliographically challenged and other nosey folks intersted in historical, literary, and cultural observations. Will's Texana Monthly may carry material from either blog, but extends itself beyond those, especially for longer compilations or treatments. The Monthly, the Bookshelf and the Parlor are all companions. So, is the Young Texas Reader which specialized on books and such things for the youngest to the teenagers.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

River Has Never Divided Us - Morgenthaler

The River Has Never Divided Us: A Border History of La Junta de los Rios (Jack and Doris Smothers Series in Texas History, Life, and Culture, No. 13)The River Has Never Divided Us:  A Border History of La Junta de los Rios.  By Jefferson Morgenthaler. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2004. 355 pages, 42 photos, 8 maps, chapter notes and back notes, bibliography, index, ISBN 978-0-292-70283-7. $22.95.
"No other history of the area has approached the broad interpretation of this book as it weaves this intensive study of La Junta so closely into the international trends and events taking place in Texas, Mexico, and the United States. . . . The writing is witty, bold and enticing." - —Andres Tijerina, author of Tejano Empire: Life on the South Texas Ranchos


Down on the border, near Ojinaga and Presidio, a Mexican River, the Rio Conchos, flows down from Chihuahua and joins, above the Big Bend, with the Rio Grande and there life has persisted in a harsh environment – for hundreds of years.  Jefferson Morgenthaler, and lawyer, communications consultant, and publisher, has built upon his academic investigation to give us the story of the more recent times of the 1800's forward toward the end of the Mexican Revolution for the surrounding 20 to 30 miles.

He first draws your attention to the death of Esquivel Hernandez at the hands of U.S. Marines in 1997.  Then Morgenthaler backgrounds readers in the Chihuahua Desert, plateaus,  mountains, canyons, streams, and early native life, Cabeza de Vaca, and Spanish efforts at settlement.  Then the Americans came.

You have Doniphan's Expedition, land transfers, Ben Leaton, Jay Hayes, Lt. Whiting drawing the line, the 49ers on their way to California, and the Scalp Hunters like James Kirker.

There was smuggling, then as now, and lots of silver.  Railroads arrived and the spread of ranches and military posts increased.  Greed and murder laced with revenge.  There was Ortega's Rebellion, followed by Orozco and Huerta, and Pancho Villa, chased by Black Jack Pershing.  Smuggling revived with liquor contraband, and drugs would derive from there.

Morgenthaler uses many sources, many of which are primary, and his interesting narrative of discovery is yours for the purchase.

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