The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 34, July 1930 - April, 1931 Page: 82
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
northeast, east, southeast, south and southwest, and in this move-
ment three races participated practically simultaneously. The
coming of white Americans, who established the first settlement
which survived, has already been detailed. Three-fourths of the
Americans of Dimmit County in 1870 were Texans, and most of
the rest were from the Old South. From the first this group has
been dominant socially, economically and politically. With the
first whites came a few slaves, but the number of Negroes has
always remained very small. The attempted settlement by Town-
send before the war failed, and those who moved west through the
county after the war did not stop on the ranches, but went on to
Mexicans, some of whom had come to the county earlier as mus-
tang hunters or had grazed their cattle when not prevented by In-
dians, came in larger numbers and as permanent residents after
security was established by the American settlers. They came
principally from Coahuila, the adjacent State south of the Rio
Grande, but also from as far southeast as Matamoras and Cerralvo,
Nuevo Leon. In the records of marriages between 1884 and 1909
of Mexicans resident in Dimmit County, some of the towns appear-
ing frequently as "place of baptism" are Monclova, Nava, Zaragoza
and Saltillo in Mexico, and Laredo, San Antonio, Hidalgo, Pear-
sall and Palafox in Texas. However, practically all of those bap-
tized in Texas and, therefore, presumably born there, were mar-
ried since the turn of the century, indicating that Texas-Mexicans
were more important in the secondary waves of immigrants and
numerically unimportant in the first.
The early Mexicans came as vaqueros, working for others, as
owners of herds of cattle, and as land owners. El Sauz ranch
house, which stands in ruins close to Dimmit County, is said to
have been built by Nicolas Sanchez, a descendant of the founders
of Laredo. A few came from East Texas, and at least one was a
veteran of the war of Texan Independence on the Texan side.,
Some who came to Dimmit County were escaped peons, who fled
from debt bondage. Once on the United States side of the river,
with the aid of Americans who liked them, or of other Mexicans,
"Data from Matrimoniorum registrum ecolesiae at Asherton, and from
the recollections of early settlers. The memory of the latter was stimu-
lated by reference to the names of the twenty-odd Mexicans who appear
as landowners on the Land Office map of the county.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 34, July 1930 - April, 1931, periodical, 1931; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101091/m1/92/: accessed March 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.