Raid and Reconciliation


Raid and Reconciliation

Pancho Villa, Modernization, and Violence in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands

Brandon Morgan

292 pages
11 photographs, 2 illustrations, 3 maps, index


August 2024


$65.00 Pre-order

About the Book

Around the turn of the twentieth century, the formation of the U.S.-Mexico border through the rise of capitalism brought new forms of violence, this time codified in law, land surveys, and capitalist land and resource regimes—the markers of modernity and progress that were the hallmarks of Gilded Age America and Porfirian Mexico. Military units, settlers, and boosters dispossessed Southern Apache peoples of their homelands and attempted to erase the histories of Mexican colonists in the Lower Mimbres Valley region. As a result, people of multiple racial and national identities came together to forge new border communities.

In Raid and Reconciliation Brandon Morgan examines the story of Pancho Villa’s 1916 raid on Columbus, New Mexico—an event that has been referenced in various histories of the border and the Mexican Revolution but not contextualized on its own—and shows that violence was integral to the modern capitalist development that shaped the border. Raid and Reconciliation provides new insights into the Mexican Revolution and sheds light on the connections between violence and modernization. Lessons from this border story resonate in today’s debates over migration, race, and what it means to be an American.

Author Bio

Brandon Morgan is a history instructor and an associate dean in the School of Liberal Arts at Central New Mexico Community College.


Raid and Reconciliation addresses the critical issue of violence in the borderlands by drawing our attention to a cross-border region that hasn’t received much historical attention. . . . Despite the great interest in the borderlands, few historians have done the research, the thinking, and the writing necessary to draw both sides of the border into one story so effectively.”—Samuel Brunk, author of The Posthumous Career of Emiliano Zapata: Myth, Memory, and Mexico’s Twentieth Century

“Many borderlands histories focus mainly on the U.S. side, but Raid and Reconciliation demonstrates an excellent knowledge of Mexican history. This truly transnational approach offers a significant contribution to the literature and serves as a model for similar research.”—Jeffrey P. Shepherd, author of Guadalupe Mountains National Park: An Environmental History of the Southwest Borderlands

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Introduction: The Lower Mimbres Valley and Landscapes of Violence
1. “From That Place Comes Only Evil”: Chihene Dispossession in the New Mexico–Chihuahua Borderlands
2. Silver Spikes and Failed Dreams: The Violence of Capitalist Accumulation
3. Los Pronunciados de Tomóchic: Palomas Customs House Raid, 1893
4. Solidifying the Border and Straddling the Line: Development and Resistance
5. The Second Founding of Columbus: Place Myth and Revolution
6. Protector and Aggressor: Pancho Villa’s Complicated Relationship with Columbus
7. Raid and Reconciliation: (Re)Creating a Multicultural Community
Epilogue: Pancho Villa and the Legacy of Violence in the Lower Mimbres Valley

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