The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 68, July 1964 - April, 1965

ook Reicaws
The Legal Heritage of El Paso. By J. Morgan Broaddus. El Paso
(Texas Western College Press), 1963. Pp. viii+25o. Bibliog-
raphy, notes, illustrations. $6.oo.
New York, New Orleans, San Antonio, and San Francisco are
sometimes classified as the most colorful American cities from a
cultural and historical standpoint. Except for size, it seems that
Santa Fe and El Paso would have to be included in the list. The
long history of the Pass of the North on the road from Mexico
City to Santa Fe is intriguing and unique. Things happened
there which could not have happened, or at least did not happen,
anywhere else. The pass has at times been under Spanish, Mex-
ican, Texan, New Mexican territorial (United States), and Con-
federate jurisdictions, and sometimes under one or more at the
same time. Law and order finally came, but its arrival was slow
and somewhat torturous. In certain respects the annual social
banquet of the El Paso Bar Association, established in 1940 and
renowned among the lawyers of Texas, is in the true El Paso
historical tradition.
J. Morgan Broaddus' volume consists of two parts. The first
136 pages relate to the general history of El Paso with particular
reference to the lawyers, judges, and the development of legal
processes in the area. The remaining portion of the book deals
primarily with the history of the El Paso Bar Association. The
general reader may find the first portion the more interesting as
the second part relates rather strictly to the personnel and activi-
ties of the legal profession.
In the preface it is stated that many frontier anecdotes have
been omitted as the purpose of the volume is to trace the devel-
opment of the legal institutions in the El Paso area. These omis-
sions are to be regretted, although considering the scope of the
work, they may have been necessary. In this area where legal
developments extend from the time of the Spanish and Mexican
alcalde to the present modern system of trial and appellate courts,
however, colorful incidents and unique legal procedures must

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 68, July 1964 - April, 1965. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101198/. Accessed July 10, 2014.