Academic journal article World History Bulletin

Draft Dodging and Bootlegging on the Rio Grande Frontera (Laredo, Texas 1910-30)

Academic journal article World History Bulletin

Draft Dodging and Bootlegging on the Rio Grande Frontera (Laredo, Texas 1910-30)

Article excerpt

The following essay describes the experience, as handed down to me through oral history by my mother and aunt, of my grandfather Nicolas Ramirez, who was born in Laredo, Texas in 1895. As a young man Nicolas lived in the U.S. and Mexico, depending on opportunities. For most of his life, he owned and operated trucks for a living and transported agricultural (and other) products, taking his family from the Texas border to places as far north as Michigan following the annual harvests. As a U.S. born Mexican - American, he maintained relations with his extended family in Mexico. His father, for example, was born and raised in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico.

My grandfather dodged the "draft" twice. In the early 1910s, when he was living in northern Mexico, Nicolas returned to the U.S. when one of Mexico's revolutionary armies tried to force him into service. Around 1917, with U.S. government officials pushing Laredo locals to register for the draft for World War I, Nicolas made his way back across the border to Mexico. Some members of his family did not take advantage of the refuge offered by the border. His uncle Eugenio, for example, was drafted and served. …

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