Life in Laredo: A Documentary History from the Laredo Archives

Life in Laredo: A Documentary History from the Laredo Archives

Life in Laredo: A Documentary History from the Laredo Archives

Life in Laredo: A Documentary History from the Laredo Archives


Based on documents from the Laredo Archives, Life in Laredo shows the evolution and development of daily life in a town under the flags of Spain, Mexico, and the United States. Isolated on the northern frontier of New Spain and often forgotten by authorities far away, the people of Laredo became as "grand" as the river that flowed by their town and left an enduring legacy in a world of challenges and changes. Because of its documentary nature, Life in Laredo offers insights into the nitty-gritty of the comings and goings of its early citizens not to be found elsewhere.

Robert D. Wood, S.M., presents the first one hundred years of history and culture in Laredo up to the mid-nineteenth century, illuminating--with primary source evidence--the citizens' beliefs, cultural values, efforts to make a living, political seesawing, petty quarreling, and constant struggles against local Indians. He also details rebellious military and invading foreigners among the early settlers and later townspeople.

Scholars and students of Texas and Mexican American history, as well as the Laredoans celebrating the 250th anniversary (in 2005) of Laredo's founding, will welcome this volume.


For several years I toyed with the idea of writing a history of Laredo, but meanwhile decided to publish a few volumes of the documents that I thought might be more useful. I am grateful to the Webb County Heritage Foundation for their award recognizing these efforts. the present history is the result of some stimulation sparked by Dr. Roberto Calderón of the University of North Texas who was looking for something special to celebrate in 2005 the 250 anniversary of the founding of Laredo. I hope this work will be of interest and satisfaction to all Laredoans, a number of whom have shared their friendship with me for many years, and a source of new information for all who are interested in the unique history of a place that has been part of Spain, Mexico, and the United States.

The history of Laredo is certainly not unknown. Several works have already been written. in addition to The Story of Laredo in nine volumes, there are period or topical works and monographs by Kathleen Da Camara, Rogelia García, Stan Green, María Guerra, Gilberto Hinojosa, Jerry Thompson, and J. B. Wilkinson, to name a few. I have cited some of these works where additional information was needed. What makes this history special is that except for a few sources, mainly in Chapter 1, all of the information comes directly from the Laredo . . .

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