National Geographic : 1920 Jul
THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE years engaged in running "yellow con traband" from the Mexican west coast, using speedy motor-boats and landing their hidden passengers as far north as Oakland. As much as $600 a head is sometimes collected on these smuggled immigrants. BORDER TURMOIL HAS BROUGHT FORTUNES TO MANY The ill winds that have wasted Mexico have enriched many residents of Amer ican border towns. Hundreds of wealthy Mexican families have removed to the border States, depositing their wealth in our banks and business industries. Banks in certain Yankee border towns have paid as high as from 80 per cent to 200 per cent dividends. Sensational profits have been made on quick cattle deals and fluctuations in Mexican ex change. Much money was made and lost, too, in the time of the "bilunbiques," or fiat money, issued by various factions during the early' years of the Mexican revolu tion. Some of this paper money, origi nally supposed to be worth two for one (two pesos to one American dollar), finally fell in price until it was quoted at 50 for I, Ioo for I, and even I.OOO for I. A tale is told of a poor long-haired In dian at Agua Prieta who went crazy in a barber-shop trying to figure out how many billumbiques it would cost him to pay for a hair cut! Mexican Government purchasing agents come in a constant stream to these fron tier towns to buy supplies. They bring suit-cases of money and buy by the car load-buy not only animals, uniforms, provisions, motors, vehicles, harness. guns, ammunition, etc., but they also buy school supplies, machinery, tools, and furniture for use in various government owned institutions. In towns like Calexico, El Paso, and Nogales, certain shrewd Americans (mostly born in Poland and Syria), who were mere peddlers or "shoe-string" mer chants ten years ago, now own handsome homes, send their children to fashionable schools in the East, and motor out to the California beaches each summer with their almost incredible, but highly de lighted, wives. Border brokers make cash advances to speculative traders, who go into Mexico and buy herds of cattle, cargoes of gar banzos and tomatoes, hides and ores. These imports become ready money, once they reach the American side of the line, and the handsome margin of profit stays in the border towns. No part of the United States has seen more prosperity in the last decade than some of these small border ports of entry. Commission agents, customs brokers, import and export houses, and mining and plantation machinery agents thrive here. The regions of Arizona and New Mexico that crowd against the line are not in themselves particularly rich excent in minerals; vet some firms here handle tremendous volumes of goods each year, most of which is sold in Mexico. Nogales and Douglas have trebled their populations in the past decade, and thou sands of Mexicans have moved across the line, increasing the already high per centage of Mexicans residing in our border States. TO THE MEMBERS OF THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES of the National Geographic Society calls attention to the increase in dues for all members elected after July I, 1920. This increase has become necessary owing to unprecedented increases in everything pertaining to publication since January Ist; for example, of 50 per cent in the cost of printing, and of 88 per cent in the cost of the special quality of paper upon which THE GEOGRAPHIC is printed, and which cannot be cheapened without materially impair ing the clarity and beauty of illustrations which have made your magazine unique in periodical literature. As noted on the Recommendation for Membership blank, the annual membership dues in the United States are now $3.00; annual member ship abroad, $4.0o; Canada, $3.50; life membership, $50.00 .