Volume 2, Article 4
FIRST IMPRESSIONS: ANGLO TRAVELERS AND THE ORIGINS OF EL PASO, TEXAS, 1846-1852
By: Mark Cioc-Ortega
El Paso del Norte was a thriving agricultural region on the Santa Fe-Chihuahua trail when the U.S.-Mexico War (1846-1848) and the 1849 gold rush turned it into a border town on the southern route to California. The diaries and letters of the Anglo-American soldiers, engineers, and gold seekers who passed through the area in the 1840s and 1850s document the emergence of a new political and economic landscape that helped define the pattern of Anglo-Mexican relations in the new town of El Paso, Texas (across the Rio Grande from El Paso del Norte), well into the next century.