Life in Laredo
A Documentary History from the Laredo Archives
Texas History
6 x 9, 232 pp.
12 b&w illus. 1 map.
Pub Date: 02/23/2004
Al Filo: Mexican American Studies Series
  cloth
Price:        $24.95 s

978-1-57441-173-7

Published by University of North Texas Press

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Webb County Heritage Foundation Jim Parish Award, 2004

Life in Laredo

A Documentary History from the Laredo Archives

By Robert D. Wood S.M.

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.

Brother Robert D. Wood, S.M., was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and joined the Society of Mary (Marianists) in 1945. He received his Ph.D. from the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru in 1967, with a specialty in Latin American History. He is currently in charge of the archives at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, where the Laredo Archives are housed. He has taught and held various administrative positions in Marianist high schools and universities in the United States, Canada, Japan, Peru, and Mexico.

The author of eight books on religion, history, and archaeology, Wood also has privately published six volumes of documents from the Laredo Archives, along with an index volume. He has translated several other works from Spanish to English for publication and contributed more than thirty articles to various journals and magazines.

What Readers Are Saying:

“Although there have been a number of books on the history of Laredo, this particular study is far more thorough than any previous work. Life in Laredo is imaginatively organized, exceptionally well researched, and well written. No individual knows the Laredo Archives as well as Robert Wood, and his knowledge and understanding are readily evident. This book will be of interest to anyone studying the history of the Texas-Mexico border, Texas colonial history, or just Texas history in general.” --Jerry D. Thompson, author of A Wild and Vivid Land: An Illus


Based on documents from the Laredo Archives, Life in Laredo reveals the down-to-earth daily life and history of Laredo and its citizens for their first one hundred years under the flags of Spain, Mexico, Texas, and the United States. 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. “Imaginatively organized, exceptionally well researched, and well written.” --Jerry D. Thompson, author of Laredo: A Pictorial History

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