ERIC Number: ED348187
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991
Reference Count: N/A
The First Mexican American Fictional Hero.
Nicholl, James R.
This paper describes the appearance of the first Mexican-American fictional hero in American literature. In 1878 a book entitled, "Live Boys; or, Charley and Nasho in Texas" was published in Boston; the book described the adventures of a Mexican-American hero called Nasho from the Southwestern United States. The author was Thomas Pilgrim, a young Austin (Texas) lawyer originally from Gonzales, Texas. A sequel to the book was also published and entitled "Live Boys in the Black Hills or the Young Texan Gold Hunters." The first novel involved an authentic description of a cow trail drive from Texas to Kansas. The Chicano boy, Ygnacio de Garapitas (Nasho), was a native of the Texas side of the lower Rio Grande river valley. More knowledgeable than most adult Anglo-American men about Indians and outdoor lore, Nasho in both novels often demonstrates his wisdom, as well as his skill and bravery, in a variety of challenging situations. The first novel also features the hunting adventures of Nasho and his Anglo companion Charley and describes the boys' visit to the great 1876 Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia and their return trip to central Texas via Kansas and the Indian Territory. The author used Nasho to break a 19th-century American literary tradition of portraying Mexicans and Mexican Americans as cowardly. This paper provides excerpts from both novels. Pilgrim never completed an anticipated third novel; readers are left to surmise what other adventures happened in the life of Nasho, most likely the first Mexican-American fictional hero. (LP)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Historical Materials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Cowboys; Heroes; Live Boys in the Black Hills; Live Boys or Charley and Nasho in Texas
Note: A revision of an unpublished paper originally presented at the Annual Meeting of the Western Literature Association (Ft. Worth, TX, October 1985).