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Re: [MexicanRevolution] Re: The Kidnapping of Luis Terrazas son

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  • S E Keays
    Hello, Any suggestions of how my go about finding information on the property my grandparents had, purchased somewhere around 1906-07, about 25 kilometers from
    Message 1 of 5 , Aug 3, 2002
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      Hello,
       
      Any suggestions of how my go about finding information on the property my grandparents had, purchased somewhere around 1906-07, about 25 kilometers from Cuidad Juarez?
       
      Thanks very much,
       
      Sharon
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: S E Keays
      Sent: Friday, August 02, 2002 8:14 AM
      Subject: Re: [MexicanRevolution] Re: The Kidnapping of Luis Terrazas son

      Hi John,
       
      Clearly, you are an historian.  Thank you again for your fine information. I had family in Mexico during the Revolution -- my grandparents, Richard and Dora Keays.  And I am trying find out (nearly 100 years later) what actually happened.  Their home was approx. 25 kilometers from Cuidad Juarez which my grandfather named Casa Alta.  At one point my grandmother was kidnapped and held for ransom but the young son of some the local people (he had just joined with the insurgents) whom my grandmother had previously invited to be schooled along with her step children, rescued her.  Later on, near the end of the stay there, my grandfather was shot while out herding cattle.  The ones who shot him were hired guns from either the Hearst ranch or from the Terrazas ranch.  It is possible that they mistook him for a cattle rustler, but I don't think so.  At the very end it was Francisco Villa who gave them safe passage out of Mexico, at my grandmother's request, while my grandfather was still ailing from the near fatal gun shot wounds.
       
      This is the project I am working on, piecing together the real story of their lives there.  And the myths of major players in the Revolution are at least equal to the myths in my family about what occurred.  I do have some of my grandmother's notes.  And my cousin has the bank book which was in grandfather's pocket at the time he was shot.  Apparently that was what saved his life, because it slowed down the bullet, preventing it from going all the way through the heart.
       
      Okay, John.  Thank you again.  I do have Katz's book which just arrived day before yesterday so that will be my weekend's task, of plowing through those 800+ pages!
       
      Best regards,
      Sharon Keays
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Friday, August 02, 2002 2:14 AM
      Subject: [MexicanRevolution] Re: The Kidnapping of Luis Terrazas son

      Hi, Sharon;
      No doubt Villa's capture and imprisonment of Luis Terrazas Jr. is the
      same incident.  And Todd Jagger is a photographer whose work in
      illustrating scenes along El Camino Real is superb.  However, I think
      that he has taken the stuff of legend (grown out of hearsay and
      rumor) to romanticize his accompanying text.  He really isn't a
      historian, but a colorful story won't hurt a colorful picture. 
      Trouble is, that is kind of how history can get distorted.  I don't
      think there were really ears, fingers or other body parts delivered
      for ransom money, but that doesn't mean there weren't those
      rumors...apparently there were plenty of those.
      So I will say that, despite the fact that the air was rife with
      stories and rumors that Villa was torturing the younger Terrazas
      (Villa did admit to U.S. agent George Carothers that he had
      been "slightly tortured", but that the perpetrators had been
      reprimanded) he was, for the most part, treating his prisoner well.
      That is because Villa, pragmatic as ever, understood the real value
      of his captive.  Manuel Machado Jr. in his book, CENTAUR OF THE
      NORTH, tells of how Villa borrowed a bit of cowboy logic in reference
      to his captive by saying "When the calf is tied, the cow doesn't
      wander very far", meaning that by holding Luis Sr.'s son, he could
      manipulate the wealthy land and cattle baron to further his (Villa's)
      purposes.  The manipulations included:
      1.) Keeping the elder Terrazas from giving financial assistance to
      the Huerta government.
      2.) Using the THREAT of physical harm or execution of the captive son
      to extort ransom money from the father.
      3.) To maneuver the old hacendado into signing papers giving Villa
      the legal right to control the vast Terrazas cattle empire,
      especially in regards to the disposition of the great herds.  By
      controlling Terrazas, Villa would be aiding the Revolution
      financially and ideologically.
      That is because the elder Terrazas was a very wealthy and powerful
      man.  However, the ramifications of the incident reached far beyond
      the Chihuahua City jail.  The Terrazas family had many powerful
      friends, including the venerable old Texas cattle baron Charlie
      Goodnight and New Mexico Senator Albert B. Fall, both of whom wielded
      their not inconsiderable power in high places to help keep the
      pressure on Villa to protect the younger Terrazas and hopefully
      settle things and get him released.  Of course, the economics of it
      all made it something of an international matter, with Washington
      putting pressure on Carranza to try to keep Villa in line.
      Now I could go on telling more, but I think the point is made that
      the stories of Luis Terrazas Jr.'s dismemberment for ransom money are
      in the realm of myth.
      By the way, the younger Terrazas had been temporarily "freed" by
      Villa in 1914.  However, Villa recaptured him in shortly afterwards,
      and Luis Jr. was only able to escape his imprisonment in the latter
      days of 1915, when Villa's control of Chihuahua was collapsing.
      For more information check out Machado's book and Katz's LIFE & TIMES
      OF PANCHO VILLA.
      Best regards, John "Smokey" Koelsch    

      --- In MexicanRevolution@y..., "S E Keays" <sekeays@b...> wrote:
      > Thanks very much!
      >
      > Now, is this same incident (same son) as Todd Jagger describes in
      his article entitled "Ruined Franscian Mission, Laguna Encinillas, El
      Camino Real, Chichuahua" where he states: "During the Revolution, his
      son was kidnapped by the revolutionaries and ransom demanded for his
      return. Sr. Terrazas paid the ransom and he got an ear in return,
      along with another ransom demand. This was paid and he recieved a
      finger with another demand. This scenario was played out for at least
      five transactions."
      >
      >
      >   ----- Original Message -----
      >   From: phluidradiation
      >   To: MexicanRevolution@y...
      >   Sent: Wednesday, July 31, 2002 10:18 PM
      >   Subject: [MexicanRevolution] Re: The Kidnapping of Luis Terrazas
      son
      >
      >
      >   Luis Terrazas son was Luis Terrazs Jr. He was kidnapped by Villa
      and
      >   held as a pawn against Terrazas Sr. Villa had occupied Sr's
      hacienda
      >   so if Sr. sold that hacienda to the Americans, that hacienda
      would
      >   have to be turned over otherwise Villa would get in trouble. By
      >   holding Jr. he held the hacienda. Also when the Banco Minero
      >   was "robbed", the "robbers" or actually owners I think, hid the
      gold
      >   in one of the pillars of the bank. Luis Jr. knew this and Villa
      used
      >   him to eventually get the gold. Villa held him for a long time
      and
      >   finally let him go, but shortly after his release, he died with
      his
      >   family in the U.S.
      >
      >   By the way, thanks to all for books and help so far. It seems
      there
      >   are only a certain amount of credible books until they all start
      >   repeating.
      >
      >
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