Forty years at El Paso, 1858-1898; recollections of war, politics, adventure, events, narratives, sketches, etc., by W. W. Mills. Page: 23 of 163
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FORTY YEARS AT EL PASO.
other enterprises on this frontier may be appreciated, I
must here state a fact which may seem strange to some of
my readers. At that time this whole frontier was in the
actual possession of savage Indians. The Americans
and Mexicans were secure only near the military posts,
or villages, or large settlements, and when they traveled
from place to place, they traveled in companies strong
enough for defense, or at night and by stealth, trusting to
Providence, or luck, each according to his faith.
The men who, for whatever reasons, had made their
way to this distant frontier, were nearly all men of character;
not all of good character, certainly, but of positive,
assertive individual character, with strong personality
and self-reliance. (The weaklings remained at home.)
Many of them were well bred and of more than ordinary
intelligence, and maintaining the manners of gentlemen.
Even the worst of these men are not to be classed with
the professional "toughs" and "thugs" who came later
with the railroads. They were neither assassins nor
thieves nor robbers. Vices? Plenty; but they were
not of the concealed or most degrading kinds. Violence?
Yes, but such acts were usually the result of
sudden anger or of a feeling that under the conditions
then existing each man must right his own wrongs or
they would never be righted. Their ideas of right and
wrong were peculiar, but they had such ideas nevertheless.
I knew a young man who was well liked and had
good prospects, who violated confidence and attempted to
betray his benefactor. The facts became known. Now,
if he had shot a man because he did not like him much,
anyhow, or if he had run away with his neighbor's wife,
his conduct might have been overlooked. But treachery?
Ingratitude? Never! He became the most despised man
in the community. The merchants and business men
Here’s what’s next.
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Mills, William W. Forty years at El Paso, 1858-1898; recollections of war, politics, adventure, events, narratives, sketches, etc., by W. W. Mills., book, 1901; Chicago. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6112/m1/23/?q=Forty%20Years%20at%20El%20Paso,%201858-1898:%20Recollections%20of%20War,%20Politics: accessed December 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .