Beeville Riot: Inter-Ethnic Conflict in Texas During the Late 19th Century

Written by Jae Jones

The occurred due to white farmers forcing workers off jobs and giving the work to Mexican laborers.

There were many Mexican people who had migrated to central and eastern Texas by the 1880s and 1890s. These people were a dream to farmers and businessmen; they could get the labor they wanted at a very low cost. quickly began to compete with African Americans and unskilled white people for employment. People who had already had jobs and those who were struggling to find work and make ends meet didn’t accept the change well.

White business owners fueled the fire between African Americans and Mexicans by hiring the Hispanic workers more frequently and for lower wages. The amount of these workers increased fiercely in the area during the 1890s. In 1894, some Black people, with the help of white allies, stormed the homes of Mexicans. They threw rocks, beat them, and demanded they leave the area or suffer greater consequences.

At least three Mexicans were seriously injured. Most whites sided with the Mexicans, who were viewed as more reliable, better workers, and less antagonistic. Black people were furious. Many were being replaced by Mexican workers and they were no longer able to provide for their families. The Beeville Bee newspaper noted that the Mexicans were more peaceful, not as unruly, more industrious, and less expensive to hire.



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About the author

Jae Jones

Jae Jones has been writing professionally for over 10 years. She holds a degree in Business Administration, and enjoys writing on various topics.

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