Monday, March 18, 2013

Undocumented Founders

By Robert H.

So I just got linked to this post from over a year ago, pointing out that a lot of our ancestors were illegal migrants (people started illegally settling unclaimed land on the frontier well before the government started giving it away for free).

But this doesn't go nearly far enough!  Americans have a long and proud heritage of illegal migration/immigration, and it should be recorded.  The stuff I can think of off the top of my head:

1. Before America banned Mexicans from migrating to Texas, Mexico banned Americans.  Freaked out by all the yanquis moving in up North, President Bustamente banned American emigrants from settling in Tejas in 1830.  This did not work, and by the time the ban was rescinded thousands of anglos had illegally settled in el estado de la estrella solitaria.  No doubt their descendants fight tirelessly on behalf of undocumented workers to this day.

2. Boomer Sooner.

3. In 1763, Britain banned American settlement West of the Appalachians, declaring the whole region an Indian territory.  Needless to say, this did not stick, on the one hand because the King kept carving out exceptions and on the other hand because anyone with a mind to move West simply ignored the ban, emigrating joyfully and illegally into the vast, unpeopled wilderness  some miffed Native American's back yard.

4.  America abolished the importation of slaves in 1807.  Nevertheless, between 1810 and 1851, about 50,000 African slaves "immigrated" to the US.  By 1865, most of these illegal immigrants had been granted amnesty.

What have I missed?

P.S. Apologies for not blogging Friday and for waiting so late to blog today.  Work has been busy, but I'll try to stick to weekdaily blogging.

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