Excluding Texas + Cali, were there U.S. settlers in Mexico in the early 19th century?

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
20,186
SoCal
#1
Excluding Texas + California, were there American settlers in Mexico in the early 19th century?

If so, where exactly did they settle, what were their numbers, and what were their occupations?

Basically, the context of this question is that I know that some Americans settled in both Texas and California back when they were still a part of Mexico--thus making possible both the 1836 Texan War of Independence and the 1846 Bear Flag Revolt--and was thus wondering if any other parts of Mexico likewise had American settlers in the early 19th century.
 

mark87

Ad Honorem
Jan 2014
2,058
Santiago de Chile
#2
The Mexican cession also included New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, parts of Colorado, Utah, even Wyoming I believe. There were Mormons in Utah (then still part of Mexico legally) before the cession. There were fur trappers and mountain men running all around these states before 1848 also, many of them Americans.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mormon_Trail Mormons
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,080
Dispargum
#3
When Brigham Young made the decision (circa 1844) to move the Mormons to Utah, then called Upper California, Utah was part of Mexico. However, by the time the Mormons began to arrive in any significant numbers, Santa Fe and coastal California had been occupied by US forces (1846) thereby ensuring that Utah would also soon be annexed by the US.

Fur trappers and mountain men are your best bets for Americans living in Mexico outside of Texas and California. Also Santa Fe Trail traders. Bent's Fort was built in southeast Colorado in 1833 as an Indian trading post. It's on the north bank of the Arkansas River which was the border at that time, so it's technically not in Mexico. Fort Laramie, in southeast Wyoming, was a similar Indian trading post also built in the 1830s, but that is well inside the US. I doubt as many as 100 Americans lived at or near Bent's Fort. They were mostly engaged in the Indian trade. Some of them probably farmed or ranched to provide food for the others.
 
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Likes: Kotromanic
Apr 2010
1,030
evergreen state, USA
#4
According to what I gathered over time, there was a Mormon settlement down in Mexico proper; Chihuahua I think. I don't know if there are still some Mormons down there. Then there were Germans. Following along with the news of the last Mexican Grizzly spots (they are now extinct), I recall a German rancher in Sonora or etc. that claimed to have them on his spread. But later it was said they were probably just brown-colored Black Bears.
 

Edratman

Forum Staff
Feb 2009
6,667
Eastern PA
#5
It is unlikely that there were many Americans that tried to settle south of the current American-Mexican border because virtually all of northern Mexico is desert, either the Sonoran or Chichuahuan desert. I imagine that virtually all of the good land south of the deserts was under title.

There were far too many choices north of Mexican territory that was unencumbered by legal niceties.
 
Apr 2010
1,030
evergreen state, USA
#6
According to what I gathered over time, there was a Mormon settlement down in Mexico proper; Chihuahua I think. I don't know if there are still some Mormons down there. Then there were Germans. Following along with the news of the last Mexican Grizzly spots (they are now extinct), I recall a German rancher in Sonora or etc. that claimed to have them on his spread. But later it was said they were probably just brown-colored Black Bears.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mormon_colonies_in_Mexico

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mexican_grizzly_bear
 
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royal744

Ad Honoris
Jul 2013
10,494
San Antonio, Tx
#7
The Mexican cession also included New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, parts of Colorado, Utah, even Wyoming I believe. There were Mormons in Utah (then still part of Mexico legally) before the cession. There were fur trappers and mountain men running all around these states before 1848 also, many of them Americans.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mormon_Trail Mormons
And there are still Mormons from the US living in Mexico. The Romneys for example.
 
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royal744

Ad Honoris
Jul 2013
10,494
San Antonio, Tx
#8
According to what I gathered over time, there was a Mormon settlement down in Mexico proper; Chihuahua I think. I don't know if there are still some Mormons down there. Then there were Germans. Following along with the news of the last Mexican Grizzly spots (they are now extinct), I recall a German rancher in Sonora or etc. that claimed to have them on his spread. But later it was said they were probably just brown-colored Black Bears.
The Mormons in Chihuahua are still there.
 
Apr 2017
482
the coast
#9
Charles Bent, first civilian governor of the US New Mexico Territory, had been living in Taos at the time the Mexican-American War broke out. I think he'd been involved in the fur trade in N.M before that.
 
Oct 2014
1,252
California
#10
Yes, several American (sailors, miners, ranchers) settled in Baja California (Lower California) in the 1800s. I will try and give you names and dates of some. Blue eyes and blond hair are still seen in remote ranches and fish camps in Baja. German's also... many jumped ship when WWI broke out... but that is early 1900s.