Theses and Dissertations - UTB/UTPA

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Roberto M. Salmon

Second Advisor

Dr. Paul R. Henggeler

Third Advisor

Dr. Kelly F. Himmel


In the years leading up to the American Civil War, northeastern Mexico became a destination for fugitive slaves and African American freemen seeking refuge from the oppressive conditions caused by the expansion of the slave-based cotton economy in the southern United States and Texas. The geographic position of Matamoros, as well as social, economic and political changes in Mexico and the United States, made it one of the main destinations for African American emigrants leaving the Texas and other parts of the United States. This thesis examines the factors that caused different elements of African American fugitives slaves and freemen to seek refuge in Matamoros. It describes their journey to northeastern Mexico and the conditions they found there.


Copyright 2004 John C. Gassner. All Rights Reserved.

Granting Institution

University of Texas-Pan American