The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 87, July 1983 - April, 1984 Page: 2
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2 Southwestern Historical Quarterly
little community of El Paso del Norte into a bustling, brawling fron-
tier crossroads. It has been described as "the last place to rest, purchase
supplies, ask directions, secure passports," and refresh dehydrated
bodies with generous allotments of "Pass whiskey." The gold rush
brought in everything from the desert-discharged soldiers, outlaws,
wife deserters, debtors, and El Paso's first Anglo female resident.
Known as "the Great Western," this six-foot amazon, who possessed
more than adequate physical endowments, was "as generous with her
affections" as she was handy with a gun.2
By late 1849 five Anglo-American settlements had been founded,
roughly a mile or two apart, along the left bank of the Rio Grande.
The first and northernmost was Frontera, established in 1848 by T.
Frank White, who built a trading post there to reap profits from the
old Chihuahua-Santa Fe trade, coupled with the new traffic of gold
seekers passing through on their way to California. The four other
settlements, founded by the end of 1849, were El Molino, the flour
mill of Mexican War veteran Simeon Hart; the mercantile store of
Benjamin Franklin Coons, located on the ranch that he purchased
from Juan Maria Ponce de Le6n; Magoffinsville, east of Coons's prop-
erty, where James Wiley Magoffin entertained in his traditional ele-
gant manner; and the property of Hugh Stephenson, which was later
Moreover, the old Mexican settlements of Ysleta, Socorro, and San
Elizario on the Island were declared to be within the jurisdiction of
the United States. In accordance with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hi-
dalgo, which stated that the international boundary should follow
"the deepest channel," American officials in 1848 ruled that the
southern channel was the deepest one and that therefore Ysleta, Socor-
ro, and San Elizario were in United States territory. Mexican protests
In 1848 T. Frank White of Frontera was appointed prefect by
Colonel John M. Washington, military governor of New Mexico, and
in November of that year White was directed to extend his jurisdic-
tion over the territory north and east of the river, which had formerly
2Ferol Egan, The El Dorado Trail: The Story of the Gold Rush Routes across Mexico
(New York, 1971), 114, 115 (2nd quotation), 116 (1st quotation), 122 (3rd quotation), 123,
124; C. L. Sonnichsen, Pass of the North: Four Centuries on the Rio Grande (El Paso,
Tex., 1968), 126.
3Timmons, "The El Paso Area in the Mexican Period," 26; Rex W. Strickland, Six
Who Came to El Paso: Pioneers of the 184o's (El Paso, Tex., 1963), lo-13, 26-29, 34-37.
4Timmons, "The El Paso Area in the Mexican Period," 24 (2nd quotation), 26-27.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 87, July 1983 - April, 1984, periodical, 1983/1984; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117150/m1/22/: accessed November 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.