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The MuralThe 360 Degree View

Judge Josiah F. Crosby

Born in 1829, in Charleston, South Carolina, Crosby was an El Paso judge, legislator, and secessionist leader. The desert air brought him to El Paso, as he believed that the dryness would improve his ailing health. After the Mexican-American War in the 1850’s, the land that is today’s El Paso became a part of the United States. Crosby was one of a group of men that bought the plot of land known as Franklin (or Coon’s Rancho, after owner Benjamin Franklin Coons). This plot of land became today’s El Paso.

Crosby was also a delegate from Texas to the Charleston convention that met on April 23, 1860, to select the Democratic presidential candidate. This representation identified his allegiance to the Southern cause in the imminent outbreak of the Civil War. After the Union victory in 1865, a Union judge in New Mexico ordered the seizure of property belonging to Confederate sympathizers in El Paso. Facing paucity, Crosby used his political and judicial skills to fight the ruling in the New Mexico Supreme Court- and won his property back! He died January 3, 1904, and was buried in Concordia Cemetery.

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critical thinking
Crosby was one of the founding fathers of the American city of El Paso. What do you think he would think of El Paso today?

Related Links:

Texas Handbook

Read More, Learn More:

J. Morgan Broaddus, The Legal Heritage of El Paso (El Paso: Texas Western College Press, 1963).

Sonnichsen, C. L. 1968. Pass of the North: Four Centuries on the Rio Grande, University of El Paso: Texas Western Press.