Jewish Merchant Territorial NM


Growing up in Central, Texas USA had its charms and pleasures, but many of the white men in San Angelo and the surrounding region were hopeless racists against the black culture. Many of them were good family men who just did not know any better.

I remember the fun carnivals down on the Concho River that were sometimes marred with ugly scenes of white families distancing themselves from the few black families that bravely ventured to the Saturday night amusement parks.  The kids got along just fine and played in the same sandboxes per Martin Luther King Junior whose dream was in a far away place in the 1940s.

I picked up a book on Public Education in New Mexico by Mondragon and Stapleton. It appeared to have been a textbook as may yellowed out highlights were visible. One of the Social Conscience passages spoke of a Jew named Nathan Bibo who was a merchant in the New Mexico territory. Now Nate was definitely down their to sell his wares and make a profit off of the Indians.

However, Bibo had a big heart and stood up for the Indian population through the army and various government agencies. This impressed me as those same San Angelo rednecks were fond of the phrase “Jew them down” when trying to negotiate a lower price. In fairness, Jews do have a ┬áreputation of being acquisitive and penurious to a fault.

Thanks to the librarian at the college in Potales, NM for making me aware of a book that comprehensively covered the various aspects of Indian education in territorial NM.


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