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Mexican American Voices: A Documentary Reader, 2nd Edition

Mexican American Voices: A Documentary Reader, 2nd Edition

Steven Mintz (Editor)

ISBN: 978-1-405-18259-1 May 2009 Wiley-Blackwell 256 Pages


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This short, comprehensive collection of primary documents provides an indispensable introduction to Mexican American history and culture.
  • Includes over 90 carefully chosen selections, with a succinct introduction and comprehensive headnotes that identify the major issues raised by the documents
  • Emphasizes key themes in US history, from immigration and geographical expansion to urbanization, industrialization, and civil rights struggles
  • Includes a 'visual history' chapter of images that supplement the documents, as well as an extensive bibliography
Series Editors' Preface.



Chapter 1: The United States' Spanish Heritage.

1 Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, Exploring New Spain's Northern Frontier, 1542.

2 Francisco Vázquez de Coronado, The Spanish Borderlands, 1540–42.

3 Don Antonio de Otermin, Resistance and Accommodation in New Mexico, 1680.

4 Captain F. W. Beechey, Missionary Activity in New Spain's Northern Frontier, 1831.

5 California's Mission System.

Pablo Tac, Life on a California Mission, 1835.

Eulalia Pérez, Duties of a Housekeeper, 1823.

6 Junípero Serra: Saint or Emissary of Empire?

Junípero Serra, The Importance of Laborers in the Missions, 1775.

Junípero Serra, On the Lenient Treatment of Indians, 1775.

7 Pedro Bautista Pino, Description of the Province of New Mexico, 1812.

Chapter 2: From Spanish to Mexican Rule.

1 James Josiah Webb, The Consequences of Mexican Independence, 1844–7.

2 Miguel Ramos de Arizpe, Anglo-American Settlement in Texas, 1812.

3 José María Sánchez, Mounting Mexican Fears about the Influx of Anglo-Americans into Texas, 1828.

4 A Member of the Tejano Elite Favors Anglo-American Immigration into Texas, 1830.

5 Narcisco Dúran, The Secularization of the California Missions, 1833.

6 Guadalupe Vallejo, A Californio Condemns the Intrusion of Anglo-Americans into California, 1890.

Chapter 3: From Mexican to Anglo Rule in Texas.

1 General Manuel de Mier y Terán, Mexican Concern

Deepens over the Influx of Anglo-Americans into Texas, 1828.

2 Slavery in Texas: Pro and Con.

Juan Nepomuceno Seguín, Promotion of the Expansion of Slavery, 1825.

José María Tornel, Denunciation of the Expansion of Slavery, 1837

3 Stephen F. Austin, Speech to Justify a War for Independence by Texas, 1836.

4 Juan Nepomuceno Seguín, A Tejano Leader Calls on Mexicans in Texas to Support the Texas Revolution, 1836.

5 The Battle of the Alamo.

Antonio López de Santa Anna, Perspective on the Battle of the Alamo, 1837.

Vicente Filisola, Perspective on Santa Anna's Strategy, 1849.

6 Juan Nepomuceno Segun, The Fate of Tejanos, 1858.

7 Comisión Pesquisadora de la Frontera del Norte, A Mexican Report Describes the Mistreatment of Mexicans and Mexican Americans in Texas, 1873.

Chapter 4: The Mexican War.

1 Manifest Destiny.

John L. O'Sullivan Promotes His Idea of "Manifest Destiny," 1845.

José María Tomel y Mendívil Critiques "Manifest Destiny," 1837.

2 James Knox Polk, The War Commences, 1846.

3 Ramon Alcaraz, A Controversial War, 1850.

4 Juan Bautista Vigil y Alarid, Resistance, 1846.

5 The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.

Article IX, 1848.

Article X, 1848.

6 Mexico Debates the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.

Manuel Crescencio Rejon Denounces the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, 1848.

Bernardo Couto Defends the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, 1848.

Chapter 5: Legacies of Conquest.

1 Hutchings' California Magazine, Land Loss in California, 1857.

2 Antonio María Pico, A Loss of Land and Power, 1859.

3 Hispano Commercial Club of Las Vegas, Land Loss in New Mexico, 1890.

4 New Mexico Statehood.

Harper's Weekly, Reaction to Senate Passage of a Statehood Bill for New Mexico, 1876.

New Mexico Constitution, 1912.

5 Resistance to Conquest.

Juan Nepomuceno Cortina, A Proclamation to the Inhabitants of the State of Texas, 1859.

Juan Nepomuceno Cortina Pledges Resistance to Intimidation and the Seizure of Land, 1859.

6 El Corrido de Juan Cortina, Songs of Resistance and Pride, ca. Late Nineteenth Century.

7 Tiburcio Vásquez, Resistance in California, 1874.

8 John Rollin Ridge, Legend Making: An Account of Joaquı´n Murieta, 1854.

Chapter 6: Visual History.

1 Norman H. Reed, The Mission, Santa Barbara, Cal., ca. 1890.

2 William Redmond Ryan, Een Waterplaats in Neder Californie, 1850.

3 Edward W. Clay, Houston, Santa Anna, and Cos, 1836.

4 Storming of Chapultepec in Mexico, Sept. 13th, 1847, ca. 1848.

5 S. Lee Perkins, Things as They Are, 1849.

6 C.E.H. Bonwill, Cortina, 1864.

7 George Grantham Bain, Mexican Emigrating to U.S., Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, ca. 1912.

8 Cinco de Mayo, Mogollon, N.M., ca. 1914.

9 Pearl Idelia Ellis, A Cooking Class of Mexican Girls, 1929.

10 Dorothea Lange, Some of the Carrot Pickers in the Coachella Valley, 1937.

11 Russell Lee, Mexican Women Pecan Shellers at Work, Union Plant, San Antonio, Texas, 1939.

12 Russell Lee, Interior of Mexican Home, San Antonio, Texas, 1939.

13 New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper, Frank Tellez, Full-Length Portrait, Standing, Facing Right, Wearing Hat and Zoot Suit, 1943.

14 Paul Davis and Richard Hess, Viva Chávez, Viva la Causa, Viva la Huelga, 1968.

Chapter 7: Aguantar: Enduring and Challenging Fate with Bravery and Style.

1 Archbishop Lamy, Roman Catholic Church, 1866.

2 Las Vegas Daily Optic, The White Caps Spell Out Their Position, 1890.

3 Plan de San Diego, 1915.

4 LULAC, Community Institutions, 1929.

5 Governor C.C. Young's Fact-Finding Committee, Labor Activism, 1930.

6 Frank C. McDonald, Conflict between Farm Workers and Growers in California, 1940.

Chapter 8: North from Mexico.

1 Samuel Bryan, Mexican Americans and Southwestern Growth, 1912.

2 John Box, Immigration Restriction, 1928.

3 Ernesto Galarza, A Defense of Immigration from Mexico, 1929.

4 Merton E. Hill, Americanization, 1931.

5 Mistreatment of Mexican Immigrants.

Antonio Gomez, Mexican Consulate, 1920.

Six Unknown Mexicans, Mexican Consulate, 1920.

6 Enrique Santibonez, Mistreatment of Mexican Immigrants by the Border Patrol, 1930.

7 Mexican Consulate, Repatriados, 1932.

8 Carey McWilliams, A Denunciation of the Repatriation Program, 1933.

9 President's Commission on Migratory Labor, the Bracero Program and Undocumented Workers, 1951.

10 A Migratory Farm Worker Testifies Before Congress, 1951.

11 George Stith, Operation Wetback, 1952.

12 Juanita Garcia, The Plight of Migrant Farm Workers, 1952.

Chapter 9: La Causa.

1 Delgado v. Bastrop, LULAC and the American GI Forum Challenge School Segregation, 1948.

2 Citizens' Committee for the Defense of Mexican-American Youth, The Sleepy Lagoon Case, 1942.

3 Governor's Citizen's Committee Report on Los Angeles Riots, The Zoot Suit Riots, 1943.

4 Carlos E. Castañeda, Discrimination against Mexican Americans in War Industries, 1945.

5 The Méndez Case: Brown v. Board of Education for Mexican Americans, 1946.

6 The Felix Longoria Case: A Symbol of Discrimination, 1948.

7 American GI Forum of Texas and the Texas State Federation of Labor, Recommendations on the Bracero Program, 1953.

8 Hernandez v. Texas, The Supreme Court Overturns the Exclusion of Mexican Americans from Juries, 1954.

Chapter 10: Chicanismo.

1 César Chávez, US Senate Testimony on Farm Workers' Unions, 1979.

2 Dolores Huerta, Proclamation of the Delano Grape Workers, 1969.

3 Henry B. Gonzalez, A New Militancy, 1969.

4 José Angel Gutiérrez, The "Sleeping Giant" Awakes, 1969.

5 Reies López Tijerina, Recovering Lost Lands, 1969.

6 Rúben Salazar, The National Chicano Moratorium, 1970.

7 Vilma S. Martínez, The Struggle Continues, 1975.

8 Mexican American Legal Defense Fund, Myths about Immigrants, 2008.

9 San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez: Educational Inequality, 1973.

10 Plyer v. Doe: Assimilation, Separation, or a Third Way? 1982.

11 MEChA, "El Plan de Santa Barbara," 1969.

Appendix I. Mexican Americans in American Popular Culture.

Appendix II. A Bibliography of Mexican American History.


  • A short, comprehensive look at Mexican American history through primary documents
  • Includes over 90 carefully chosen selections, with a succinct introduction and comprehensive headnotes that identify the major issues raised by the documents
  • Emphasizes key themes in U.S. history, from immigration and geographical expansion to urbanization, industrialization, and civil rights struggles
  • Includes a 'visual history' chapter of images that supplement the documents, as well as an extensive bibliography