What did Anglo miners learn from Mexican Americans during the 1800s?

In mining as in ranching, Mexican Americans knew more than the Anglo newcomers to the West and Southwest.

Mexican Americans taught Anglos how to use a bates, a flat-bottomed pan, to extract gold from streams and rivers; how to pulverize gold-bearing rocks with a tool called an arrastra; and how to use mercury to refine gold.

Group portraits of cowboys in the early twentieth century showed their ethnic and racial diversity. Many were Mexican, and many were black. Mexican cowboys introduced many of the basics of western ranching.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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