Columbus, NM: A Study in the Creation of a Border Place Myth, 1888-1916
Brandon Morgan, PhD Candidate, University of New Mexico
Thursday, October 11, 4pm
Gen. Francisco “Pancho” Villa’s raid on Columbus in the early morning hours of 9 March 1916 put the small New Mexican village on the national (and international) map, and the front pages of many newspapers. Although best remembered for Villa’s attack, Columbus had been the project of a decade’s worth of promotion and development. The Columbus & Western New Mexico Town-site Company touted the village as a booming locale that would soon rival El Paso. The company was attempting to create a place myth, a story contrived to overcome negative stereotypes in order to aid development. This talk argues that from 1888 to 1916 developers attempted to construct a place myth around Columbus to frame it as the pinnacle of white American settlement along the Mexican border, until it was ultimately derailed by the Mexican Revolution.
Lecture is free and open to the public.
Place: Nason House (1070 University Ave. Directly across from FedEx/Kinko’s)–New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New Mexico
Refreshments will be served