Pancho Villa, of peasant heritage, was the leader of a successful Mexican Revolutionary Army in the North. He shocked the United States when in 1916 he raided Columbus, N.M., killing 18 Americans. Reasons for the raid are disputed. Following the raid, Gen. John J. Pershing, with a young Lt. George S. Patton Jr., unsuccessfully pursued Villa for a year with 10,000 soldiers. The campaign, however, prepared the Army for World War I. Villa was assassinated in 1923 by unknown Mexicans.

This poster was used by Villa in the border town of Juarez to encourage Americans with special skills in warfare to join his army in 1916. Specifically, it calls for “dynamiters, machine gunners, railroaders” to join Villa in exchange for weekly payments in gold.

This “Object of the Month” posting was written by collector Abe Hays. Mr. Hays’ Spirit of the West Collection is comprised of approximately 1,200 rare artifacts.

PHOTO: The “Ride with Pancho Villa” poster, located in the “Outlaws, Gangs & Gunfighters” display, can be found in the A.P. Hays Spirit of the West Collection.