As a general rule of thumb I adore writing biographies to learn about how streets, stores, schools and such got their names in San Miguel de Allende. Recently I stumbled upon a mid-century ex-pat that though there aren’t many details available he had an interesting life in San Miguel de Allende and one worth sharing with you.
Jaime “Jim” Morris was a tall, African-American gentleman that arrived to San Miguel de Allende in the mid-1960s. His origins vary according to those that recall him, including Chicago and Minnesota. Jaime stated he left the United States to avoid racism though I’m baffled as to why he’d come to Mexico for that. I’d of flown to France and followed entertainer, Josephine Baker’s, lead on Europe being where a dark-skinned person had better opportunities in the 1900s.
Having been a journalist and police office in the North, Jaime taught English here at various private schools, wrote for several newspapers and volunteered as a police officer. At the time San Miguel de Allende only had about ten officers with the jail located off the jardin for many lads to sleep one off then sweep the jardin in the morning as their punishment.
Jaime galloped into town from his home in San Rafael near the Santa Cruz chapel on Insurgentes (then considered back of beyond) on his own horse wearing his own uniform from a US police force. Given he was a volunteer, his only weapon was his whistle and imposing size. You could tell when he was on-duty by the horse standing outside the jardin’s jail.
Known as a snappy dresser always, when not on duty, in a suit, hat and sunglasses while carrying a leather briefcase filled with books and writings. Jaime impressed a Maria Rodriguez whom he married and they had a daughter named Julia.
Jaime was also a talker and frequently found himself on the local radio station.
Jaime died in either the late 1970s or very early 1980s and he is remembered by many Mexicans dearly. When the cemetery opens back up again I’ll scout around to see if he is buried there.
I found no photos or additional information on Jaime “Jim” Morris so if you know more please comment or contact the author at Toone.Joseph@yahoo.com and thanks so much to those that already have!
by Joseph Toone
- TripAdvisor’s top tour guide in San Miguel de Allende with History and Culture Walking Tours and Joseph Toone Tours.
- Amazon’s best selling author of the San Miguel de Allende’s Secrets book series on making your adventures around town unique.
- Creator of the Maria Dolls coloring book helping indigenous doll makers.