Introduction: Porvenir, Texas (03:33)
The Texas border region has a legacy. The farming village is on the banks of the Rio Grande River. Juan Flores cares for goats; Henry Warren teaches the Hispanic population to read and write.
Border Frontier History (03:24)
Texas claims independence from Mexico in 1836 and loses half its territory during the Mexican-American war. The Mexican Revolution forces hundreds to flee north. The San Diego Plan advocates killing all Anglo men over age 15; President Wilson sends in the National Guard and Cavalry.
Border Wars (03:03)
President Wilson supports Venustiano Carranza as president of Mexico. Pancho Villa conducts raids on small border towns in Texas. A history of racism, bigotry, and violence polarizes Mexican and Anglo citizens.
Land Competition (02:55)
Attorneys, land promoters, and developers encourage Anglo citizens to stake land claims. Small ranchers are forced to trade land to pay delinquent taxes or become dispossessed through title disputes. Many Mexican farmers cannot file for their property.
Acts of Brutality (03:34)
The Texas Rangers justify deaths by calling those who were killed Mexican bandits. Captain James Monroe Fox believes in frontier justice. Robert Runyon photographs four corpses with Fox in the background.
Porvenir Massacre (03:25)
Texas Rangers, led by Captain Fox, execute 15 unarmed Mexican American boys and men on January 28, 1918. Juan Flores is removed from the group; he suffers from PTSD. His family does not understand his fear.
Massacre Location (04:09)
David Keller searches for the site using a metal detector. Villa's bandits raid Brite Ranch on Christmas Day and hang Mickey Welch. Mexican Americans in Porvenir are seen wearing clothes from the ranch.
Chico Cano (02:56)
Chico evades capture by the Texas Rangers and achieves folk hero status in the border region. In retaliation, Anglo cowboys execute two workers and all of Cano's cattle. Flores informs Warren about the Porvenir Massacre.
Documenting the Massacre (04:30)
Hear excerpts from Warren's narrative about the Porvenir Massacre. Warren is married to Tiburcio Jaques' daughter. Soldiers help load corpses into a cart for burial in a mass grave at the Pilares Mission in Chihuahua.
Archeological Site (04:57)
Keller recovers 20 artifacts including cartridge casings, bullet fragments, and bullets. He suspects soldiers from the U.S. Cavalry helped execute the men from Porvenir. Survivors leave the area but try to bring the assailants to justice. Captain Fox lies to his superior officer.
Justice for Brutality (03:52)
J.T. Canales accuses the Texas Rangers of atrocities in House Bill #5; defense lawyers insist Canales undergo interrogation about his motives. Frank Hamer stalks Canales. The committee finds the Rangers guilty, but no legal consequences follow.
After the Porvenir Massacre (05:07)
Flores' mother cannot forget the events and commits suicide in 1935. The International Court of Appeals decides not to hear the case. Warren relocates to Arizona and picks cotton.
Story of Provenir (04:10)
Descendants gather to honor those killed during the massacre. Family members seek closure. Many people attend a memorial held at the Texas State Capital.
Provenir Legacy (04:46)
There is no justification for the massacre. Individuals need to recognize the event was an act of racism. The Texas Historical Commission approves a marker to commemorate the site.
Credits: Porvenir, Texas (01:17)
Credits: Porvenir, Texas
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