I would like to thank Brian Shovers and Anthony Beltramo, who provided invaluable information during my research.
1. Names such as Spanish Creek, Spanish Peaks, and Spanish Lake are generally attributed to those Spanish fur traders and trappers who arrived then, and they indicate an early Hispanic presence. Nevertheless, historians have debated whether or not these names were indeed given by early Spanish-speaking residents of Montana. See Beltramo’s Profile of a State: Montanaâ for details on how Congressman James A. Ashley, of Ohio, suggested the name from Latin. Regardless of who named Montana, what is clear is the presence early on in the state of what Jack Holterman calls Spanish pioneers. His studies, found in the archives of the Montana Historical Society, revisit the origins of these first Spanish pioneers and convincingly demonstrate that the early Spanish-speaking population to arrive in Montana came from all over; that is, they were New Mexicans, Californios, Mexicans, South Americans, and Spaniards, for example.
2. Andrews, 1929, 17.
3. Mercier, 1995.
4. 2005 U.S. Census Bureau Fact Sheet.
5. 2000 U.S. Census Bureau Fact Sheet.
6. During 1985 Patricia Nelson conducted the Migrant Farmworkers’ Oral History Project, which comprises 28 oral interviews with Latino migrant workers from all over Montana. The interviews shed light on the work conditions, families, housing, education, employers, wages, language difficulties,â among other issues, that these workers faced across the state as they harvested sugar beets, cherries, and cucumbers. See Montana Historical Society Archives (OH 634).
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