Forty years at El Paso, 1858-1898; recollections of war, politics, adventure, events, narratives, sketches, etc., by W. W. Mills. Page: 24 of 163
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FORTY YEARS AT EL PASO.
were certainly an exceptional class. Honorable, highly
intelligent, charitable and gentlemanly. I could name a
dozen gentlemen who were here even as far back as the
"sixties," from which list I believe any President might
have selected an able cabinet. Not all of these were of
my own race; and yet, even these did not hold themselves
entirely aloof from the other classes. The times
did not favor or permit such exclusiveness.
Common trials and dangers united the two races as
one family, and the fact that one man was a Mexican
and another an American was seldom mentioned, and I
believe as seldom thought about. Each manw was es-.teemed
at his real worth, and I think our estimates of
each other's characters were generally more correct than
in more artificial societies.
Spanish was the language of the country, but many
of our Mexican friends spoke English well, and often
conversations, and even sentences, were amusingly and
expressively made up of a blending of words or phrases
of both languages.
\,T-o the traveler, who had spent weeks crossing the
dry and desert plains, this valley, with the grateful
humidity of the atmosphere, the refreshing verdure, the
perfume of the flowering shrubs, the rustling of the
leaves of the cottonwood trees, and their cool shade, and
in the spring or summer, the bloom of the many fruit
trees, or the waving of grain fields, were all like a sight
or breath of the Promised Land!
The people, the peasantry, were content and happy.
To them, with their simple wants, it was a land of plenty.
The failure of water in the Rio Grande has sadly changed
all this. It may be said that this valley and the things
here described were not in themselves beautiful, but only
appeared so by contrast with the barren country over
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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/m1/24/?q=Forty%20Years%20at%20El%20Paso,%201858-1898:%20Recollections%20of%20War,%20Politics: accessed December 15, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .