NEW MEXICO: AN HISTORICAL TIME LINE

This timeline was prepared by Don Bullis and published in New Mexico: A Biographical Dictionary 1540-1980, © 2008, Rio Grande Books.


INTRODUCTION



No time line can be complete. There are literally thousands of dates in New Mexico history that might be important to people interested in the subject, whether they be professional historians, hobby historians, or simply folks with a general interest. The relative importance of each entry, too, is subject to debate, but each has been included here because the author thought the event to be of some importance, or at least some interest, to the general reader. As the
Biographical Dictionary is updated for future editions, the Time Line will also be updated. Readers are invited to submit for consideration dates which they may deem appropriate.



9500 to 5500 BC

New Mexico was occupied by its first settlers. Their appearance in what is now the American Southwest may have been the result of a long migration from Asia. Spear points from this period survive. This is the Paleoindian Era which is divided into three broad periods:

Clovis, 9500 to 8900 BC, in which the people may have been hunter-gathers who hunted mammoth and mastodon.

Folsom, 8900 to 8000 BC, in which the people were hunters, primarily of extinct species of bison.

Plano, 8000 to 5500 BC, in which the people were hunter-gatherers, with focus on modern bison.


5500 BC to 400 AD

The Archaic Period during which New Mexico’s earliest settlers became less nomadic. They began growing crops and building pit houses. They also began using pottery and developed and used other tools.

400 to 1540

In modern parlance, this era is called the Ancestral Pueblo Period. It was previously it was called Anasazi Period. This was the time during which the ancestors of modern Pueblo Indian people occupied western and central New Mexico. These people developed an even more settled society and began living in communities, the remains of which are with us today. The name was changed because the Navajo word, anasazi, means “ancient enemies,” in reference to the Pueblo Indians.
Literature abundant


900 to 1300


The ancient ones constructed the large and multistoried dwellings at Chaco Canyon in northwestern New Mexico. One source reports that Pueblo Bonito there was completed by 1130 A.D. Four stories high, it contained about 700 rooms, and 33 kivas. Estimated population figures range from 1,200 to 3,000. It was abandoned by 1300.
Chávez, New Mexico, Past and Future
Roberts & Roberts, New Mexico


1300 to 1450

The so-called Regressive Pueblo Period during which the large dwelling
in Frijoles Canyon, near modern-day Los Alamos (now called Bandelier National Monument), was constructed.
Roberts & Roberts, New Mexico


1450 to 1540


The Pueblo Renaissance during which the decline associated with the Regressive Period was reversed and while building was not as extensive, there was a cultural rebirth that included advances in arts and crafts.


September 22, 1534


After being shipwrecked and living among Indians as a captive, Álvar Núñez—Cabeza de Vaca—(c. 1490-1557) escaped and began his trek from what is now east Texas to Culican in western Mexico, arriving there on April 1, 1536. He arrived in Mexico City on July 25, 1536. He was accompanied by two other Spaniards and a Moor, Estevánico. Álvar Núñez and his party were the first Europeans to visit “The Unknown Interior of America” and may have traversed southern New Mexico during his travels.
Covey, Cabeza de Vaca’s Adventures in the Unknown Interior of America

March 7, 1539


Fray Marcos de Niza departed San Miguel de Culiacan en route north into what is now Arizona and New Mexico. He was in search of the cities of gold that had been described by Cabeza de Vaca, and the Moorish slave, Estevánico, after 1536. Niza was accompanied by Estevánico and a military detachment.
Chávez, New Mexico Past and Future
Thrapp, Encyclopedia
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. I

c. May 23, 1539


The Moor, Estevánico, was killed by Zuñi Indians at the village of Hawaikúa in what is now western New Mexico. Historians have offered a number of reasons for the slaying. Fray Marcos de Niza advanced to within eyesight of several Zuñi villages (perhaps seven of them) before he returned to Mexico. He may have alleged that the villages were bade of gold, but that is not certain. Contemporary writers, Coronado and Castañada in particular, referred to Niza as the “lying monk.” Later writers, Twitchell in particular, point out that he reported what he thought he saw, and that he had no nothing to gain by lying.
Chávez, New Mexico Past and Future
Thrapp, Encyclopedia
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. I


1540


The Historic Pueblo Period began with contact between Spanish Europeans and the Pueblo Indian people.


February 22, 1540

Francisco Vázquez de Coronado set out from Compostela on the west coast of Mexico to search for the Seven Cities of Cibola; a search that led him into what is now Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. He and his troops and other expedition members spent the winters of 1540-41 and 1541-42 at Tiguex near the present-day town of Bernalillo.
Flint & Flint, Coronado


July 7, 1540


Francisco Vázquez de Coronado fought a battle against Zuñi Pueblo people at Hawaikúa, and was wounded, but survived.
Flint & Flint, Coronado
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. I


December 1540 to March 1541


The so-called Tiguex War between the indigenous Pueblo Indian people of north central New Mexico, near present day Bernalillo, and the newly-arrived Spaniards occurred. In reaction to Spanish excesses, the Pueblos killed some of the intruder’s horses. The Spaniards took a number of the Indians captive, and prepared to burn 50 of them at the stake. When the Indians became aware of the extreme punishment, they resisted, but to avail. The Spaniards had superior weapons and horses. Hundreds of Indians were killed by fire and by being driven into the freezing waters of the nearby Rio Grande or “by lancing and stabbing.” This event would have far-reaching effects on the Spaniards in New Mexico many generations.
Kessell, Spain in the Southwest
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. I


August 15, 1541

El Turco, “The Turk,” a Pawnee Indian living at Pecos Pueblo, who served as a guide for Coronado, was executed by garrote when the Spaniards learned that he had not led them to the cities of gold. He was accused of leading the explorers into the plains in the hope they would be become lost and die of starvation, or, failing that, they could be set upon and killed by Pecos Pueblo Indians.
Kessell, Spain in the Southwest
Thrapp, Encyclopedia


April 1542


Francisco Vázquez de Coronado departed from Tiguex, near the present town of Bernalillo, and returned to Mexico, arriving in the autumn of the same year.
Flint & Flint, Coronado
Kessell, Spain in the Southwest


May 1544


An investigation of Francisco Vázquez de Coronado and the management of his expedition to the north was initiated. He was charged with waging war against the Indians at Hawaikúa, setting dogs on the Pueblo chiefs at Tiguex, executing El Turco, and other offenses. On February 19, 1546, The Royal Audiencia at Mexico City ruled that the charges were not proven and Coronado was absolved any blame.
Flint & Flint, Coronado
Kessell, Spain in the Southwest


1550


The Emperor of Spain, Carlos V (also known as Charles I, member of the house of Hapsburg) decreed that no further expeditions would be allowed into the Indian country of the New World—now the American southwest—until it could be determined that such an effort would do no injustice to the inhabitants.
Sálaz Márquez, New Mexico


September 22, 1554


Francisco Vázquez de Coronado died in Mexico City at the age of 44.
Flint & Flint, Coronado
McGovern, Chambers Biographical Dictionary


1573


Spanish King Felipe II (also Philip II, a Hapsburg), restated Spain’s doctrine of human rights in the Ordinances for New Discoveries. The word conquest was replaced with pacification.
Sálaz Márquez, New Mexico


June 6, 1581


The Fray Augustín Rodriguez and Captain Francisco Sánchez Chamuscado begin their expedition into New Mexico for the purpose of Catholic missionary work. Chamuscado returned to Mexico in early 1582, and the three churchmen, who elected to remain behind, were soon killed by Pueblo Indians.
Kessell, Spain in the Southwest
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. I


November 10, 1582


Antonio de Espejo and Fray Bernardino Beltrán set out from San Bartolomé, Mexico, en route north to learn the fate of Fray Augustín Rodríguez and the other churchmen—padres López and Santa María—who stayed behind near present-day Bernalillo when Chamuscado returned to Mexico earlier in the year. Perhaps Espejo only wanted to prove the martyrdom of the padres. The party returned to San Bartolomé on September 21, 1583.
Chávez, New Mexico Past and Future
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. I


July 27, 1590

Gaspar Castaño de Sosa began his expedition from Nuevo Leon into what is now New Mexico. He was accompanied by about 170 settlers. They reached Pecos Pueblo in December where they forced the residents into retreat and confiscated a large quantity of corn. Sosa visited 30 or so other pueblos.
Chávez, New Mexico Past and Future
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. I


January 1591


Gaspar Castaño de Sosa arrested by Captain Juan Morlete for entering New Mexico without a license, placed in chains and returned to Mexico along with all of his “settlers.” Sosa was condemned to serve as a galley slave and died en route to the Moluccas (the Spice Islands of modern Indonesia).
Kessell, Spain in the Southwest
Twitchell, Leading Facts


September 21, 1595


Juan de Oñate awarded a contract for the colonization of New Mexico by Viceroy Luis de Velasco, who represented King Felipe (Philip) II. Francisco de Urdiñola was Velasco’s first choice, but he was in jail, charged with murder, by the time the contract was let.
Chávez, New Mexico Past and Future
Kessell, Spain in the Southwest
Simmons, New Mexico
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. I


January 25, 1598


Juan de Oñate with a party of about 850 people departed from Santa Barbara in New Spain, traveling north into New Mexico.
Chávez, New Mexico Past and Future
Kessell, Spain in the Southwest
Simmons, New Mexico
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. I


April 30, 1598

Juan de Oñate reached the Rio Grande and there took possession of all the kingdoms and provinces of New Mexico in the name of King Felipe II.
Kessell, Spain in the Southwest
Simmons, New Mexico
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. I
Villagrá, Historia de la Nueva México, 1610


July 4, 1598

Juan de Oñate and his party reached a small pueblo called Okhe. He renamed the village San Juan de los Caballeros. This would mark the beginning of the Spanish Colonial period that would endure until 1821.
Chávez, New Mexico Past and Future
Kessell, Spain in the Southwest
Simmons, New Mexico
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. I
Villagrá, Historia de la Nueva México, 1610


August 11, 1598


Work began on the first Spanish irrigation ditch in New Mexico.
Four Hundred Years of Faith


September 8, 1598


Construction of New Mexico’s first church completed at San Juan and dedicated to San Juan Bautista. Franciscans were assigned to missions in seven pueblos the next day. Franciscan assigned to seven Pueblos.
Four-Hundred Years of Faith


1598 to 1608


Administration of Spanish Governor Juan de Oñate.
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006


December 4, 1598


Spanish troops under the command of Juan de Salvidar (Zaldivar) ambushed and assaulted at Acoma Pueblo with considerable loss of life, including that of Salvidar.
Chávez, New Mexico Past and Future
Kessell, Spain in the Southwest
Simmons, New Mexico
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. I
Villagrá, Historia de la Nueva México, 1610


January 22-24, 1599


The Battle of Acoma, during which the Spaniards defeated the people of Acoma Pueblo who were accused of killing Spanish soldiers the month before. This was the confrontation after which it was alleged that Juan de Oñate ordered the removal of the feet of captured Indian men. Many historians do not believe the punishment was carried out, although the Acomas were punished for their resistance to Spanish occupation.
Chávez, New Mexico Past and Future
Kessell, Spain in the Southwest
Simmons, New Mexico
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. I
Villagrá, Historia de la Nueva México, 1610


December 24, 1600


The new capital, San Gabriel de Yunque, established sometime before this date on the west bank of the Rio Grande, across from San Juan Pueblo.
Four-Hundred Years of Faith


June 23- November 24, 1601


Juan de Oñate searched for Quivara, during which he probably reached eastern Kansas. He probably followed the same approximate route traveled by Francisco de Coronado some 60 years earlier.
Chávez, New Mexico Past and Future
Kessell, Spain in the Southwest
Simmons, New Mexico
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. I
Villagrá, Historia de la Nueva México, 1610


April 2, 1602


María de Jesús de Agreda was born at Castile, Spain, and became a Franciscan nun at age 16. While she never left Spain in her physical life, she is reported to have made as many as 500 spiritual trips (bilocations) to New Spain where she spoke to nomadic Indian groups, each in its own language, urging them to convert to Christianity. She reported dreams of her visitations, beginning at age 18, and the Indians confirmed them. She died in 1665.
Chávez, New Mexico Past and Future
Kessell, Spain in the Southwest
Simmons, New Mexico
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. I
Villagrá, Historia de la Nueva México, 1610


April 16, 1605

New Mexico’s first governor, the Spaniard Juan de Oñate, visited what is now El Morro National Monument long enough to note his passing. He inscribed, in translation, “Passed by here the Adelantado Don Juan de Oñate, from the discovery of the Sea of the South,” and he dated it. This was the first entry by a European on what came to be called Inscription Rock.
Dodge, The Story of Inscription Rock
Robinson, El Malpais, Mt. Taylor, and The Zuni Mountains


August 24, 1607


Juan de Oñate resigned as the first Spanish colonial governor of New Mexico by means of a letter to Mexico City. Another source says that he resigned on February 1, 1608.
Four-Hundred Years of Faith
Kessell, Spain in the Southwest
Sálaz Márquez, New Mexico


1608 to 1610


Administration of Spanish Governor Cristóbal de Oñate.
New Mexico Blue Book 2005-2006


1610 to 1614


Administration of Spanish Governor Pedro de Peralta.
New Mexico Blue Book 2005-2006


1610


Santa Fe established as administrative capital of New Mexico by Governor Pedro de Peralta. The exact date is the subject of some debate, but historian Marc Simmons reports that construction began in the late spring. The complete name of the new seat of government is La Villa Real de la Santa Fe de San Francisco de Assisi, “The Royal City of the Holy Faith of St. Francis of Assisi.”
Four-Hundred Years of Faith
Insiders’ Guide to Santa Fe
Simmons, New Mexico

1610


Gaspar Pérez de Villagrá’s epic poem, Historia de la Nueva México, 1610, was published at Alcalá de Henares, Spain. This is generally considered the first history of New Mexico.
Four Hundred Years of Faith
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. I
Villagrá, Historia de la Nueva México, 1610, (1992 translation by Encinias, Rodríguez and Sánchez)



1614 to 1618


Administration of Spanish Governor Bernardino de Ceballos.
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006


May 13, 1614


Juan de Oñate is judged guilty of 12 charges filed against him, which related to his administration of New Mexico. They included the unjust hanging of two Acomas, great severity in battle and trial against the Acoma people, adultery, swearing falsely, and others. He was banished for life from New Mexico, and for four years from Mexico City, and assessed large fine.
Kessell, Spain in the Southwest
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. I


August 11, 1623


After years of appeal, including directly to the King in Spain, Juan de Oñate is exonerated of the previous charges, and reimbursed his monetary fine. He was also named Spain’s mine inspector.
Kessell, Spain in the Southwest
Thrapp, Encyclopedia


1618 to 1625


Administration of Spanish Governor Juan de Eulate. Historian France V. Scholes wrote of him, “[he was] a petulant, tactless, irreverent soldier whose actions were inspired by open contempt for the Church and its ministers and by an exaggerated conception of his own authority as representative of the royal Crown.”
Márquez Sálaz, New Mexico
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006


1625 to 1629


Administration of Spanish Governor Felipe Sotelo Ossorio.
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006


January 24, 1626


Fray Alonso de Benavides formally assumed the office of custos (regional supervisor) of New Mexico’s Franciscan missions. He brought with him the statue of Our Lady of the Assumption which became, popularly, La Conquistadora (later changed to Nuestra Señora de la Paz (Our Lady of Peace). Fray Benavides also represented the Holy Office of the Inquisition.
Four Hundred Years of Faith
Kessell, Spain in the Southwest
Simmons, New Mexico


June 3, 1626


New Mexico’s colonizer and first governor, Juan de Oñate, died while inspecting a mine in Spain.
Kessell, Spain in the Southwest
Thrapp, Encyclopedia


1629 to 1632


Administration of Spanish Governor Francisco Manuel de Silva Nieto.
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006


1630


The Memorial written by Fray Alonzo de Benavides about his New Mexico observations was presented to King Philip IV of Spain in Madrid. It was popular in Spain and Fray Alonzo became New Mexico’s first promoter.
Kessell, Spain in the Southwest
Márquez Sálaz, New Mexico
Simmons, New Mexico


1632 to 1635


Administration of Spanish Governor Francisco de la Mora y Ceballos. This governor was investigated for shipping horses, cows, sheep and goats to Mexico, thus depriving New Mexicans of breeding stock and food supplies.
Márquez Sálaz, New Mexico
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006


February 12, 1634


Fray Alonso de Benavides presented his Memorial, a report on the missions of New Mexico, to Pope Urban VIII. It offered a positive picture of Pueblo Indian conversions to Christianity.
Four Hundred Years of Faith
Kessell, Spain in the Southwest
Márquez Sálaz, New Mexico
Simmons, New Mexico

1635 to 1637


Administration of Spanish Governor Francisco Martínez de Baeza.
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006


1637 to 1641


Administration of Spanish Governor Luís de Rosas. Historian Marc Simmons describes him as a man who “…ruled New Mexico with an authoritarianism that bordered on tyranny.” Historian Joe Sando writes, “[Rosas] had a well-earned reputation for violence and corruption.” Rosas expelled the clergy from Santa Fe in 1640. He was arrested and placed under house arrest in 1641, He was murdered by a jealous husband the following year.
Kessell, Spain in the Southwest
Sálaz Márquez, New Mexico
Sando, Po’pay
Simmons, New Mexico)


1641


Administration of Spanish Governor Juan Flores de Sierra y Valdés. Governor Sierra y Valdes died soon after taking office.
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006
Sálaz Márquez, New Mexico


January 25, 1642


Former New Mexico Governor Luís de Rosas murdered by Nicolás Ortiz, husband of a woman who spent time with Rosas while he was under house arrest.
Sálaz Márquez, New Mexico


1641 to 1642


Administration of Spanish Governor Francisco Gómez.
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006


1642 to 1644


Administration of Spanish Governor Alonso de Pacheco de Heredia.
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006


July 21, 1643


After an investigation of Governor’s Rosas’ murder by Governor Alonso de Pacheco de Heredia, it was determined that eight men were responsible, including Nicolás Ortiz. All eight were beheaded on this date.
Sálaz Márquez, New Mexico


1644 to 1647


Administration of Spanish Governor Fernando de Argüello Carvajál. It was during this period that much religious persecution of the Indian people was reported; and which resulted in outbreaks against the Spanish. Retaliation against the Indians was harsh; many were imprisoned or flogged and in one case 40 men were hanged for refusal to join the Catholic Church. In another instance, the governor hanged 29 Jemez Pueblo men for treason, alleging they conspired with Apaches and Navajos to oppose the Spaniards. Sálaz Márquez, New Mexico
Sando, Po’Pay


1647 to 1649


Administration of Spanish Governor Luís de Guzmán y Figueroa.
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006


1649 to 1653


Administration of Spanish Governor Hernando de Ugarte y la Concha. It was during this administration, in 1650, that Apache Indians allegedly conspired with several Pueblo tribes to foment an uprising against the Spanish interlopers, and to drive them out. Nine of the leaders, from Jemez Pueblo, were hanged and others were sold into slavery.
Sálaz Márquez, New Mexico
Sando, Po’pay


1653 to 1656


Administration of Spanish Governor Juan de Samaniego y Xaca.
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006


1656 to 1659


Administration of Spanish Governor Juan Mansso de Contreras.
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006


1659 to 1661


Administration of Spanish Governor Bernardo López de Mendizábal. Governor Mendizábal is noted for commenting as he watched a Tesuque Pueblo dance, “Look there, this dance contains nothing more than this hu-hu-hu and these thieving friars say it is superstitious.” His attitude perpetuated the friction between the crown and the church in Spanish Colonial New Mexico. After he left office, he was convicted of illegal use of native labor and fined three thousand pesos.
Sálaz Márquez, New Mexico
Sando, Pueblo Profiles
Simmons, New Mexico


1661 to 1664


Administration of Spanish Governor Diego Dionisio de Peñalosa Briceño. A native of Peru, Governor Peñalosa exacerbated the dispute between church and state in Spanish Colonial New Mexico, and while visiting in Mexico City, he was arrested and charged with 230 counts of misfeasance in office. His reputation ruined, he fled to England, then France. He called himself the Count of Santa Fe, and he consorted with Robert LaSalle in a plan to establish a French settlement in Spanish Texas. The plan failed.
Chávez, New Mexico
Twitchell, Leading Facts


1664


Administration of Spanish Governor Tomé Domínguez de Mendoza.
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006


1664 to 1665


Administration of Spanish Governor Juan Durán de Miranda.
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006


1665 to 1668


Administration of Spanish Governor Fernando de Villanueva.
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006


1666-1670


New Mexico suffered a severe drought which resulted in near-famine conditions.


1668 to 1671


Administration of Spanish Governor Juan de Medrano y Mesía. During this administration, Apache Indians conducted a series of raids on the Pueblos of southern New Mexico, along with those at Salinas. They also attacked commerce on the Camino Real (the Royal Road).
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006
Sálaz Márquez, New Mexico


1671 to 1675


Administration of Spanish Governor Juan Durán de Miranda. During his term, Apaches attacked Zuñi Pueblo and killed many people. They burned the village and looted what was left. Padre Avila y Ayala was among those killed.
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006
Sálaz Márquez, New Mexico


1675 to 1677


Administration of Spanish Governor Juan Francisco de Treviño.
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006


1677 to 1683


Administration of Spanish Governor Antonio de Otermín. Governor de Otermín had the misfortune to be in office when the Pueblo Indians of New Mexico revolted (see August 10, 1680).
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006


August 10, 1680


The Pueblo Revolt began on the Feast Day of San Lorenzo. The Spanish abandoned Santa Fe on August 21, leaving New Mexico to the Pueblo people until re-conquest in 1692.
New Mexico Blue Book, 2003-2004
Sando, Po’pay
Simmons, New Mexico


November 1, 1681


Governor Antonio de Otermín began an attempt to reoccupy New Mexico, and he reached Isleta a month later. He also sent patrols to several Pueblos and determined that his force was too small to succeed in reconquest.
Chávez, New Mexico
Simmons, New Mexico
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. I


1683 to 1686


Administration of Spanish Governor Domingo Jironza Pétriz de Cruzate
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006


1686 to 1689


Administration of Spanish Governor Pedro Reneros de Posada.
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006


1689 to 1691


Administration of Spanish Governor of Domingo Jironza Pétriz de Cruzate.
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006


Note: Neither of the Spanish governors appointed between 1683 and 1691 governed from Santa Fe, although Governor Cruzate made an unsuccessful attempt at reconquest during his second term.


1691 to 1697


Administration of Spanish Governor Diego de Vargas Zapata y Lujan
Ponce de Léon.
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006


August 16, 1692


Diego de Vargas began his march north for the reconquest of New Mexico by the Spanish, who had been expelled by Pueblo Indians in 1680. With him were 50 soldiers, ten armed citizens, 100 Pueblo Indians, and, of course, three Franciscan Friars.
Kessell, Spain in the Southwest
Simmons, New Mexico
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. I


September 11, 1692


Governor Diego de Vargas recaptured Santa Fe for the Spanish. He marched unopposed into the Capital. He visited a number of other Pueblos before he returned to El Paso in December of the same year.
New Mexico Blue Book, 2003-2004
Simmons, New Mexico
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. I


December 16, 1693


Diego de Vargas re-colonized New Mexico with 70 families, 100 soldiers and 17 Franciscans. Some of the Pueblos had reconsidered their acquiescence to the Spaniards (they feared they would be punished for the 1680 rebellion), and De Vargas was obliged to retake Santa Fe by force of arms.
Kessell, Spain in the Southwest
Simmons, New Mexico
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. I


June 4, 1696


A final revolt against Spanish rule by the Pueblos of Taos, Picurís, Cochití Santo Domingo, Jémez, and others which resulted in the deaths of five missionaries and 21 soldiers. The rebelling Pueblos are not all subdued until December 1696. Several Pueblo governors were hanged for participating.
Kessell, Spain in the Southwest
Simmons, New Mexico
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. I


1697 to 1703


Administration of Spanish Governor Pedro Rodríguez Cubero. In collusion with the cabildo (council) at Santa Fe, Cubero brought charges against his predecessor, Diego de Vargas, accusing him of mismanagement which resulted in the 1696 rebellion, embezzlement, cruelty to Indians, and other things. De Vargas was imprisoned for three years before officials in Mexico City ordered his release. By 1703 he had been exonerated of all charges and re-appointed governor. As he marched north, Governor Cubero fled, claiming he had business to attend elsewhere.
Ellis, New Mexico, Past & Present
Simmons, New Mexico
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. I


1703 to 1704


Administration of Spanish Governor of Diego de Vargas Zapata y Lujan Ponce de Léon. In the spring of 1704, as he led a military expedition against Apache Indians, de Vargas became ill and was taken to the town of Bernalillo where he died on April 8, perhaps of dysentery. He was interred At Santa Fe.
Kessell, Spain in the Southwest
Simmons, New Mexico


1704 to 1705


Administration of Spanish Governor Juan Páez Hurtado.
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006


1705 to 1707


Administration of Spanish Governor Francisco Cuervo y Valdés. He expressed his attitude about New Mexico when he wrote to King Philip V in 1705, “I have never seen so much want, misery, and backwardness in my life. I suspect this land was better off before the Spanish came.” He is credited with founding Albuquerque the following year. It was Cuervo y Valdés who first mentioned that Comanche Indians were making their presence known in northern New Mexico.
Julyan, Place Names
Kessell, Spain in the Southwest
Simmons, Hispanic Albuquerque


April 23, 1706


Alburquerque founded by Governor Francisco Cuervo y Valdés. The villa along the Rio Grande between Isleta and Bernalillo was named for Don Francisco Fernández de la Cueva Enríquez, Duke of Alburquerque.
Julyan, Place Names
Simmons, Hispanic Albuquerque
Kessell, Spain in the Southwest


1707 to 1712


Administration of Spanish Governor Jose Chacón Medina Salazar y Villaseñor, Marqués de la Penuela. Chacón purchased his position, which was not an unusual way to receive such an appointment. In 1709, he waged a vigorous war against the Navajo, in which, according to Twitchell, he was victorious. It was Chacón who made a grant of land to Captain Francisco Montes Vigil called the Alameda tract, north of Alburquerque, in 1710.
Julyan, Place Names
Simmons, Hispanic Albuquerque
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. I


September 16, 1712


The Santa Fe Fiesta was established to honor the re-establishment of Christianity in New Mexico, which came with the reconquest of 1692.
New Mexico Blue Book, 2003-2004
Four Hundred Years of Faith

1712 to 1715


Administration of Spanish Governor Juan Ignacio Flores Mogollón. Raids on New Mexico’s northern Pueblos by Utes and Navajos in 1713 required the governor to take military action. He was charged with malfeasance in office, but not tried, in absentia, until long after he had left office. He was assessed costs, but court officials were not able to find him.
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. I


1715 to 1717


Administration of Spanish Governor Félix Martínez. According to Twitchell, “He was a man of very quarrelsome disposition….” After Martínez left office, Pecos Pueblo people were obliged to sue him for work they had done in “cutting, dressing, and hauling more than 2,000 wooden planks to be used for construction purposes.” A judge order Martínez to pay up. He visited Inscription Rock in 1716.
Dodge, Inscription Rock
Sálaz Márquez, New Mexico
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. I


1717


The brief administration of Spanish Governor Juan Paéz Hurtado. When the Viceroy ordered Governor Félix Martínez to return to Mexico City, he turned the government at Santa Fe over to Captain Hurtado, who assumed the governor’s chair on January 20, 1717. He governed until late in the year when Governor Antonio Valverde y Cossio assumed the office.
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. I


1717 to 1722


Administration of Spanish Governor Antonio Valverde y Cossio. In 1719, Governor Valverde led an offensive against Ute and Comanche Indians. His troops amounted to more than 100 Spaniard and 30 or so Indian auxiliaries.
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. I


August 13, 1720


Pedro de Villasur, New Mexico’s Lieutenant Governor under Governor Antonio Valverde y Cossio (1717-1722), was killed, along with nearly 50 other soldiers and Indian auxiliaries, when Pawnee Indians attacked his camp on the North Platte River in what is now northern Colorado.
Sálaz –Márquez, New Mexico
Thrapp, Encyclopedia
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. I


March 2, 1722


Some historians report that for a short time, Juan de Estrada y Austria served as acting governor of Spanish Colonial New Mexico. Twitchell suggests that it was unlikely. Estrada did, however, preside over the trial of Governor Juan Ignacio Flores Mogollón.
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. I


1722 to 1731


Administration of Spanish Governor Juan Domingo de Bustamante. It was during Governor Bustamante’s term of office that trade with the French in Louisiana was forbidden by royal decree. The edict was issued after word reached Madrid that some New Mexicans had made sizable purchases in the French territory. Bustamante also regulated trade with non Christian Indian tribes.
Kessell, Spain in the Southwest
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. I


1731 to 1736


Administration of Spanish Governor Gervasio Cruzat y Góngora. In 1732, Governor Cruzat ordered that Apache Indians captured by the Spanish or Pueblo Indians could not be sold into slavery. According to Twitchell, not much else of note occurred during his five year term.
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006
Sálaz Márquez, New Mexico
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. I


1735


Juan Bautista de Anza was born at Fronteras, Sonora. Historian Marc Simmons describes Anza as a frontiersman comparable to Daniel Boone, Davy Crockett or Kit Carson. He served as Governor of New Mexico from 1778 to 1788. Anza died on December 19, 1788.
Simmons, New Mexico
Thrapp, Encyclopedia


1736 to 1739


Administration of Spanish Governor Enrique de Olavide y Micheleña. During this administration, the Comanches made their presence felt. Using French guns, they displaced the Apache of northeastern New Mexico, and attacked Spanish frontier communities. They also attacked Pecos Pueblo.
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006
Sálaz Márquez, New Mexico
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. I


1739 to 1743


Administration of Spanish Governor Gaspar Domingo de Mendoza. Nothing momentous occurred during this administration, and the governor left office with no complaints pending against him , although the Franciscans had complained that he had not aided the missionaries to the extent that might have.
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. I



1739


French traders, Paul and Pierre Mallet, visited Santa Fe, and were well received by Spanish population. Governor Mendoza, with instructions from Mexico City, however, reminded the citizenry that commercial intercourse with foreigners was forbidden. The Mallet brothers returned to the New Orleans.
Simmons, New Mexico
Kessell, Spain in the Southwest



1743 to 1749


Administration of Spanish Governor Joachín Codallos y Rabál. The governor learned 1743 that the people of Taos Pueblo were consorting with Comanche Indians and providing them with information concerning the movements of Spanish military units. Governor Codallos ordered the practice halted, upon pain of death.
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006
Sálaz Márquez, New Mexico
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. I



1746- 1748


The Pueblo of Sandia is reestablished along the Rio Grande near the town of Bernalillo. The village was abandoned in 1692 as the Spanish marched north to recapture New Mexico in the wake of the Pueblo Revolt 12 years earlier.
Ferguson, The Acculturation of Sandia Pueblo
Julyan, Place Names


1749 to 1754


Administration of Spanish Governor Tomás Veles Cachupín. Governor Veles Cachupín was aggressive in fighting Comanches, and won a victory in which more than 100 Indians were killed. Peace between Spanish and Comanche existed during the remainder of the Veles Cachupín administration.
Kessell, Spain in the Southwest
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. I


1754 to 1760


Administration of Spanish Governor Francisco Antonio Marín del Valle. Near the end of this administration, Comanches attacked the town of Taos and killed many Spaniards and carried off 50 or so women, with a loss of nearly 50 Indians. Retaliation occurred under the administration of Governor Manuel Portillo Urrisola.
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. I


1760


Administration of Spanish Governor Mateo Antonio de Mendoza.
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006


1760 to 1762


Administration of Spanish Governor Manuel del Portillo y Urrisola. In retaliation for a raid on Taos under an earlier administration, Governor Portillo y Urrisola led an expedition against the Comanches in which, by his account, 400 Indians were killed.
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. I


1762 to 1767


Administration of Spanish Governor Tomás Veles Cachupín. During his second administration, he continued to maintain peaceful relations with the Comanches, and he unsuccessfully encouraged his successor to do the same.
Kessell, Spain in the Southwest
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. I


1767 to 1778


Administration of Spanish Governor Pedro Fermín de Mendinueta. Governor Mendinueta did not choose to follow the advice offered by his predecessor, and Indian raids reached all-time numbers, and from Utes, Apaches, and Navajos, as well as the Comanches. Attacks were even made on the outskirts of Santa Fe. The situation was so bad, one historian opined, that Spain’s New Mexico colony was threatened with extinction.
Kessell, Spain in the Southwest
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. I

c. 1776


Famed Navajo chief Narbona was born in the Navajo homeland. He believed in peace between his people and the Whiteman. At a meeting with Colonel John M. Washington in 1849, where a treaty was to be negotiated, a dispute arose over a horse race, and Narbona was killed by U. S. Army artillery fire.
Thrapp, Encyclopedia


March 28, 1776


Juan Bautista de Anza reached what became San Francisco, California. Two years later he became governor of Spanish Colonial New Mexico. He served until 1788.

1778


Administration of Spanish Governor Francisco Treból Navarro. This governor’s term lasted only a few months.
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. I


1778 to 1788


Administration of Spanish Governor Juan Bautista de Anza. Anza “subjugated and forged peace treaties with most of the hostile tribes in the province (New Mexico).” Historian Marc Simmons compares Anza, as a frontiersman, with Daniel Boone, Davy Crocket and Kit Carson. He identified the site for the presidio that became San Francisco, California in 1776.
Jack August, New Mexico Historical Review, April 1981
Kessell, Spain in the Southwest
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006
Simmons, Spanish Government in New Mexico
Simmons, New Mexico


September 3, 1779


Comanche chief Cuerno Verde “Green Horn” was killed in a battle with Spanish troops under the command of Juan Bautista de Anza in southeastern Colorado. Also killed were Cuerno Verde’s son and several sub-chiefs. The loss of this battle led to a peace which lasted for a number of years.
Kessell, Spain in the Southwest
Simmons, New Mexico
Thrapp, Encyclopedia


November 10, 1787 to 1793


Administration of Mexican Governor Fernando Simón Ignacio de la Concha (1744-after 1794). Other sources give his term of office as 1788-1793, and one states that he didn’t arrive in Santa Fe until 1789. Governor Concha, following in the footsteps of Governor Anza, and through careful diplomacy, maintained peace with Comanches, Utes, Navajos and several bands of the Apache during his entire term in office. Suffering ill health and near-blindness, he left New Mexico in 1793 and never returned.
Jack August, New Mexico Historical Review, April 1981
New Mexico Blue Book
Simmons, New Mexico


1780-1781


A smallpox epidemic swept across New Mexico killing more than 5,000 people, or about 25 percent of the population. No one knows how many people were afflicted and did not die.
Bancroft, History of Arizona and New Mexico
Kessell, Spain in the Southwest
Simmons, Spanish Pathways


May 21-October 6, 1792


Pedro (Pierre) Vial, José Vicente Villanueva and Vicente Espinosa made was is considered by many the first trek across the Great Plains, from Santa Fe, New Mexico, to St. Louis (in what is now Missouri). They returned the following year. Part of the Santa Fe Trail, opened in 1821, followed the route established by Vial. Note: Vial was a Frenchman in the employ of the Spanish government.
Chávez, New Mexico
Sálaz Márquez, New Mexico
Thrapp, Encyclopedia


January 16, 1793


Antonio José Martinez was born at Abiquiú. He was baptized four days later. Padre Martinez, churchman, educator, and politician, was one of the most important men in Mexican and American New Mexico for more than 40 years before his death in 1867.
Chávez, But Time and Chance
Padre Juan Romero, “Begetting the Mexican American: Padre Martínez and the 1847 Rebellion,” Seeds of Struggle
Simmons, New Mexico
Steele, Archbishop Lamy
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II


November 19, 1793


At some time just before this date, noted Comanche chief, Ecueracapa (Leather Jacket) died of wounds suffered in battle with Pawnees. The Comanches held a council on this date to replace him, and named Encaguane as successor.
Thrapp, Encyclopedia



1794 to 1805


Administration of Spanish Governor Fernando Chacón. Governor Chacón reported New Mexico’s population at more than 35,000, one third of which were Pueblo Indians. Commerce was completely dependent upon caravans traveling from Santa Fe to points south in Mexico, and back again. Governor Chacón also reported that farming methods were somewhat backwards, and he requested manuals to improve that situation.
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006
Sálaz Márquez, New Mexico


September 16, 1804


Hundreds of Navajo Indians attacked the village of Cebolleta (Seboyeta) in what is now eastern Cibolla County, near Mt. Taylor. The village, established in 1800, served as a base from which Spanish raids against the Navajos could be organized. A siege lasted for several days, during which Doña Antonia Romero saved the day by killing a warrior who had breached the walls and was attempting to open the main gate. The Navajos withdrew after suffering numerous casualties: more than 20 dead and another 40 or so wounded. The Spanish also suffered several casualties.
Peña, Memories of Cibola
Simmons, Little Lion of the Southwest


1805 to 1808


Administration of Spanish Governor Joaquín del Real Alencaster. The governor was bent on enforcing government rules and regulations, especially those having to do with trade between Spaniards and Comanches. Efforts along those lines, however, led to riots when a couple of citizens were arrested and confined at Santa Fe. It was Governor Real Alencaster who received Zebulon Pike after the American’s incursion into Spanish territory in the early 19
th century.
Hart & Hulbert, The Southwestern Journals of Zebulon Pike, 1806-1807)
Kessell, Spain in the Southwest
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. I


July 15, 1806


Zebulon Montgomery Pike (1779-1813) departed from Belle Fontaine, near St. Louis, Missouri, and began a trek which would take him into what became the states of Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas and Louisiana. He was accompanied 21 soldiers, an interpreter and a surgeon. He was among the earliest Americans to visit Spanish Santa Fe.
Hart & Hulbert, The Southwest Journals of Zebulon Pike 1806-1807
Kessell, Spain in the Southwest
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. I


February 26, 1807


Zebulon Montgomery Pike (1779-1813) and his soldiers were captured by 100 or so Spanish troops on the Rio Conejo, well inside Spanish territory. They were conducted to Santa Fe.
Hart & Hulbert, The Southwest Journals of Zebulon Pike 1806-1807
Kessell, Spain in the Southwest
Simmons, New Mexico
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. I


March 5, 1807


Zebulon Montgomery Pike (1779-1813) and his troops arrived in Santa Fe, New Mexico. They were subsequently escorted to Chihuahua where they were freed.
Hart & Hulbert, The Southwest Journals of Zebulon Pike 1806-1807
Kessell, Spain in the Southwest
Marc Simmons, “Trail Dust,” Santa Fe New Mexican, April 14, 2007)
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. I


July 1, 1807


Zebulon Montgomery Pike (1779-1813) reached Louisiana after his release by Spanish authorities at Chihuahua.
Hart & Hulbert, The Southwest Journals of Zebulon Pike 1806-1807
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. I


1808


Administration of Spanish Governor Alberto Maynez. Twitchell reported that Maynez may not have actually served as governor, but “merely acted as such….” Kessell agrees that he was acting governor, on a couple of occasions between 1808 and 1816.
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2007
Kessell, Spain in the Southwest
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. I


1808 to 1814


Administration of Spanish Governor José Manrique. Governor Manrique served at the time when unrest in the New World against Spanish rule began (September 16, 1810).
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2007
Sálaz Márquez, New Mexico


December 24, 1809


Frontiersman and soldier Christopher Houston “Kit” Carson was born near Richmond, Kentucky. He died on May 23, 1868.
Thrapp, Encyclopedia
(Many other sources of information available)


August 11, 1810


Pedro Bautista Pino of Santa Fe was chosen by los ricos to represent New Mexico at the cortes, or parliament, in Spain. This was an effort at democracy that came too late. Two years later, Pino published a book titled A Concise and Candid Exposition on the Province of New Mexico. Pino was sincere in his effort to improve the quality of life in New Mexico, but nothing came of his efforts. Spain was in no position to help because ties to New World colonies were on the brink of revolution.
Kessell, Spain in the Southwest
Simmons, New Mexico


September 16, 1810


The Mexican revolution against Spanish rule, led by Padre Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, began at the village of Dolores, in Guanajuato. His cry was, “Long live our Lady of Guadalupe, death to bad government and Spanish authorities.” While he enjoyed some early successes, he was captured on March 21, and executed on July 31, 1811. The seeds of the revolution against Spain, however, had been planted. Hidalgo County, New Mexico, is said to be named for Padre Hidalgo.
Chambers, Dictionary of World History
Julyan, Place Names
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. I


May 1813


William Frederick Milton Arny was born in Washington, D. C. He succeeded Kit Carson as Indian agent at Taos and served as Territorial Secretary of New Mexico. He died on September 18, 1881 and was buried at Santa Fe.
Arny, Indian Agent in New Mexico, Wm. Arny’s Journal, 1870
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II


1814 to 1816


Administration of Acting Spanish Governor Alberto Maynez.
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. I


October 11, 1814


Jean Baptiste Lamy, the first bishop and archbishop of Santa Fe, was born in France.
Chávez, But Time and Change
Horgan, Lamy of Santa Fe
Steele, Archbishop Lamy


October 15, 1815


Padre José Maunel Gallegos was born at Abuquiú, in what was then Spanish colonial New Mexico. He served as parish priest for Albuquerque from 1845 until 1852 when Bishop Jean Baptiste Lamy removed him.
Chávez y Chávez, Wake for a Fat Vicar
Horgan, Lamy of Santa Fe


1816 to 1818


Administration of Spanish Governor Pedro Maria de Allande.
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006
Sálaz Márquez, New Mexico


1818 to 1821


Administration of Spanish Governor Facundo Melgares. This was the final gubernatorial administration of New Mexico under Spanish rule.
Kessell, Spain in the Southwest
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006
Sálaz Márquez, New Mexico


October 18, 1818


Manuel Antonio Chaves, known as the Little Lion of the Southwest, was born at Atrisco, near Albuquerque. A man of many parts, and the survivor of many adventures, New Mexico observer Charles Lummis wrote of him: “[he was] a courtly Spanish gentleman, brave as a lion, tender as a woman, spotless of honor, and modest as heroic.” He was also the father of New Mexico’s first Superintendent of Schools, Amado Chaves.
Alberts, The Battle of Glorieta
Julyan, The Place Names of New Mexico
Peña, Memories of Cíbola
Simmons, The Little Lion of the Southwest
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II
Twitchell, Old Santa Fe


June 1819


David Meriwether, who would become Governor of New Mexico in 1853, set out on a trading mission with villages in Spanish New Mexico, accompanied by a band of Pawnee Indians. He was captured and kept in Santa Fe for many months before he was released and allowed to fend for himself as he travelled east, toward the American settlements. He arrived in Council Bluffs, Iowa, in March 1821.
Meriwether, My Life in the Mountains
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II


October 14, 1819


Samuel Beach Axtell was born in Franklin County, Ohio. He served as Territorial Governor of New Mexico from 1875-1878, during the early days of the Lincoln County War. He also served as chief justice of the New Mexico Supreme Court from 1882-1885. He died in New Jersey in 1891.
Lamar, The Far Southwest
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II)


September 11, 1821


In Santa Fe, Governor Facundo Melgares acknowledged the independence of Mexico from Spain, based on orders he had received from his superior, General Alejo Garcia Conde, in late August.
Kessell, Spain in the Southwest


September 27, 1821


Mexico gained complete independence from Spain when Augustin de Iturbide captured Mexico City. Note: Roberts & Roberts cite the date as September 21.
Kessell, Spain in the Southwest
Roberts & Roberts, New Mexico


November 16, 1821


William Becknell, considered by Twitchell as the “Father of the Santa Fe Trail” trade route, and his companions, arrived in Santa Fe for the first time with pack animals loaded with trade goods from Missouri (see May 21-October 6, 1792). Governor Melgares, welcomed the visitors.
Duffus, The Santa Fe Trail
Kessell, Spain in the Southwest
Simmons, On the Santa Fe Trail
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II


April 27, 1822


A Mexican provisional deputation resolved that ayuntamientos, town councils, should complete the formation of primary public schools, “according to the circumstances of each community.” This was New Mexico’s first public school law.
Mondragon & Stapleton, Public Education in New Mexico


July 25, 1822


(Some sources report that he became Emperor on May 18.) Agustín de Iturbide (1873-1824) had himself crowned as the emperor of Mexico, Agustín I. His reign lasted less than a year before he was overthrown and he fled to Italy. The Mexican government paid him a generous pension to stay in Europe, and actually proscribed him from returning to Mexico. He returned, however, in 1824, in an effort to resume power. He landed on July 14 and was soon arrested. Iturbide was executed by firing squad, for violating his proscription, on July 19, 1824. He said, moments before his death, “Mexicans, in this last moment of my life I recommend to you the love of your country, and the observance of our holy religion. I die having come to aid you; and depart happy because I die among you. I die with honor, not as a traitor….” The power-struggles in Mexico City did not bode well for the administration of New Mexico, many miles to the north.
Chambers, Dictionary of World History
Kessell, Spain in the Southwest
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II


1822


Administration of New Mexico’s first governor under the rule of an independent Mexico, Governor Francisco Xavier Cháves. He was a native New Mexican, born at Belen. His administration was short (two months), but he was the patriarch of a family which included two governors and four congressmen.
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006
Sálaz Márquez, New Mexico
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II


1822 to 1823


Administration of Mexican Governor José Antonio Viscarra. Some sources indicate that Viscarra was the first governor under Mexican rule, but the New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006, shows him as second to Francisco Xavier Chaves. A military man, Viscarra took aggressive action against the Navajos of western New Mexico (see June 18, 1823).
Sálaz Márquez, New Mexico
Thrapp, Encyclopedia
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II


June 18, 1823


New Mexico Governor, José Antonio Viscarra, a military man by training and experience, led a force of 1,500 men against the Navajos of western New Mexico. The effort took 74 days, and resulted in the deaths of 33 Navajos, including eight women. About 30 others were captured, and an unspecified amount of livestock was confiscated. The incursion reached Canyon de Chelly in what is now eastern Arizona.
Sálaz Márquez, New Mexico
Thrapp, Encyclopedia
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II


June 29, 1823


As a result of a public resolution, both the church and the Santa Fe city government adopted St. Francis of Assisi as patron of the capital city.
Four Hundred Years of Faith


1823 to 1825


Administration of Mexican Governor Bartolomé Baca.
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II


January 31, 1824


Prior to this date, New Mexico was one of the Provincias Internas (Internal Provinces) of Mexico. On this date, New Mexico was joined to the provinces of Chihuahua and Durango, which created Estado Interno del Norte. This was not a popular arrangement. See July 6, 1824.
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II


July 6, 1824


New Mexico became a territory of Mexico. Chihuahua and Durango became states of the Republic of Mexico.
Sálaz Márquez, New Mexico
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II


May 19, 1826


Father Sebastian Alvarez opened the College of Santa Fe.
Mandragón & Stapleton, Public Education


July 23, 1826


Padre Antonio José Martinez installed as pastor at Taos. He opened his school there in the same year. This marked the beginning of a distinguished, and controversial, career.
Chávez, But Time and Change
Mandragón & Stapleton, Public Education


1825 to 1827


Administration of Mexican Governor Antonio Narbona.
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006


April 10, 1827


Lewis “Lew” Wallace, who would become New Mexico Territorial Governor (1878-1881) was born in Indiana.
Thrapp, Encyclopedia
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II


1827 to 1829


First administration of Mexican Governor Manuel Armijo. Twitchell wrote, “A regular price was paid for the scalp or ears of the hostiles [Indians], and it was customary, during the time of Manuel Armijo to decorate the walls of the executive office ….with these barbarous trophies….”
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006
Thrapp, Encyclopedia
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II


August 5, 1828


Baronet Antoine Francois Vasquez died of cholera. He accompanied the Zebulon Pike party as an interpreter, and reached Santa Fe in 1807. He later served as an officer in the U. S. Army.
Thrapp, Encyclopedia


1829 to 1832


Administration of Mexican Governor José Antonio Chaves.
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006


November 19, 1830


Saturnino Baca was born in Valencia County. He would go on in life to distinguish himself at the Battle of Valverde (February 21, 1962) during the Civil War. He also served in the Territorial Legislature from Socorro and as sheriff (1875-1876) and probate judge of Lincoln County in the days leading up to the Lincoln County War.
Ball, Desert Lawmen


1832 to 1833


Administration of Mexican Governor Santiago Abreú. Four years after he left office, he became a victim of the Chimayó Rebellion of 1837. His execution by insurgents was most brutal: he was literally dismembered before he was allowed to die (August 10, 1837).
Simmons, New Mexico
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II


1833 to 1835


Administration of Mexican Governor Francisco Sarracino. It is noteworthy that during Governor Sarracino’s administration, military forces sent into the field were made up of about ten percent regular army personnel, and the remainder volunteers. They were more often than not armed with bows and arrows, while their Indian foes were acquiring guns.
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006
Sálaz Márquez, New Mexico


1835 to 1837


Administration of Mexican Governor Albino Pérez. Certainly the most hated gubernatorial administration during the 25 years of Mexican rule of New Mexico (1821-1846). Governor Pérez was, first of all, a Mexican army officer, and not a New Mexican, and that did not sit well with established political insiders. He was also fond of Santa Fe’s gaming tables, and is reported to have participated in illicit romantic trysts. Most of all, though, he attempted to impose taxes on people who had not previously been taxed. The Chimayó Rebellion of 1837 was the result (See August 3, 8, 9, and 10).
Chávez, New Mexico
Horgan, Great River
Marc Simmons, “Rebellion makes quick work of ‘outside governor’,” Santa Fe New Mexican, March 11, 2006
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II



November 1835


Padre Antonio José Martinez began publication of pamphlets and school books on a press that had been moved to Taos.
Chávez, New Mexico
Hemp, Taos Landmarks & Legends


December 3, 1836


New Mexico was made a Department of Mexico. This change in status was one of the causes of the Chimayo Rebellion of the following year (August 3, 1837).
Keleher, The Maxwell Land Grant
Sálaz Márquez, New Mexico

August 3, 1837


The Chimayo Rebellion began when insurgents marched on the jail at La Cañada and released Alcalde Juan José Esquibel, who had been arrested by the minions of Governor Albino Pérez. (Note: the Chimayó Rebellion was a part of widespread opposition to the Mexico City Administration of Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna.)
Chávez, New Mexico
Jenkins & Schroeder, A Brief History of New Mexico
Roberts & Roberts, New Mexico
Twitchell, Leading Facts


August 8, 1837


The militia under the command of Governor Albino Pérez was defeated by rebels near San Ildefonso Pueblo and the governor fled the field and returned to Santa Fe.
Roberts & Roberts, New Mexico
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II


August 9, 1837


Pueblo Indians, who were a part of the rebellion against Governor Albino Pérez, captured the governor and beheaded him and used his head as a football.
Roberts & Roberts, New Mexico
Simmons, New Mexico
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II


August 10, 1837


Rebel forces elected José Angel Gonzáles as governor to replace the assassinated governor, Albino Pérez.
Roberts & Roberts, New Mexico
Sálaz Márquez, New Mexico
Simmons, New Mexico
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II


1837 to 1844


Second administration of Mexican Governor Manuel Armijo. He replaced the slain Albino Pérez.
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II


December 3, 1837


New Mexico was made a department of Mexico.
New Mexico Blue Book, 2003-2004


January 27, 1838


Mexican troops under the command of Governor Manuel Armijo marched first on La Cañada and then on Santa Cruz where they defeated the remaining insurgents thus ending the Chimayó Rebellion. José Angel Gonzáles was executed, as Twitchell writes, “without the least form of a trial.”
Sálaz Márquez, New Mexico
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II


August 21, 1839


Jean Baptiste Lamy, who would become bishop and archbishop of Santa Fe (see November 24, 1850) first arrived in the United States at Long Island, New York.
Horgan, Lamy of Santa Fe


September 2, 1840 (some sources report 1841)


The killer who called himself a “Shootist,” Clay Allison, was born in Wayne County, Tennessee. Allison was a participant in New Mexico’s Colfax County War in the 1870s. He died on July 3, 1887 when he was run over by a freight wagon near Pecos, Texas. (Parsons, Clay Allison)


June 19, 1841


The so-called Texas-Santa Fe Expedition left Austin on its way to New Mexico. It was commanded by General Hugh McLeod. Ostensibly, the group’s mission was peaceful, but New Mexicans wondered why the Texans were heavily armed.
Simmons, Little Lion of the Southwest
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II


September 1841


Members of the Texas-Santa Fe Expedition were captured by Captain Damasio Salazar after they lost their horses on the Llano Estacado of eastern New Mexico. They were subsequently marched off to Mexico City.
Simmons, Little Lion of the Southwest
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II


May 27, 1843


A force of Texans under the command of “Colonel” Jacob Snively reached the Santa Fe Trail in western Kansas. Their purpose was to raid commerce along the trail in revenge against New Mexicans for the defeat of the Texas-Santa Fe Expedition nearly two years earlier. They managed kill and capture some members of a Mexican military detachment, but generally spend most of their time harassing traders.
Sálaz Márquez, New Mexico
Thrapp, Encyclopedia

1844


Administration of Mexican Governor Mariano Chaves. Historian Sálaz Márquez quotes Governor Chaves thus: “We are surrounded on all sides by many tribes of heartless barbarians, almost perishing; and our brothers in Mexico instead of helping us are at each other’s throats in their festering civil wars.”
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006
Sálaz Márquez, New Mexico


1844


Administration of Mexican Governor Felipe Sena.
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006


1844 to 1845


Administration of Mexican Governor Mariano Martínez de Lejanza. The governor received a party of Utes in the Palace of the Governors in Santa Fe, and a perceived insult resulted in a general melee in which several people died on both sides, including the Ute Chief, Panasiyave.
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006
Sálaz Márquez, New Mexico


1845


Administration of Mexican Governor José Chaves y Castillo.
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006


1845 to 1846


Third administration of Mexican Governor Manuel Armijo. This was the last of Armijo’s three terms as Mexican Governor of New Mexico. He held the office at the time New Mexico was invaded by the United States “Army of the West.” Early on, Armijo indicated that he would vigorously oppose the Americans, but ultimately left the field of battle, which allowed them to capture and enter Santa Fe with a shot being fired on either side.
Chávez, New Mexico
Lavish, A Journey Through New Mexico
Meketa, Legacy of Honor
Simmons, New Mexico


1845 (?)


Frank Warner Angel was born in New York State. President Rutherford B. Hayes dispatched him to New Mexico in 1878 to investigate the murder of John Tunstall in Lincoln County (February 18, 1878). Angel died in New Jersey on March 15, 1906.
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II


May 13, 1846


United States President James Knox Polk announced that the U. S. Congress had declared war on Mexico in response to an alleged incursion of Mexican troops into Texas. Congressman Abraham Lincoln opposed the declaration, and the war.
Simmons, New Mexico
Thrapp, Encyclopedia
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II


1846


Administration of Mexican Governor Juan Bautista Vigil y Alaríd. It fell to Governor Vigil y Alaríd, during his very short tenure in August of 1846, to surrender New Mexico to General Stephen Watts Kearney, on August 19. He was eloquent in doing so.
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006
Crutchfield, Tragedy at Taos
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II


August 18, 1846


General Stephen Watts Kearney (1794-1848) and the Army of the West occupied Santa Fe without firing a shot.
Crutchfield, Tragedy at Taos
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II


August 22, 1846


General Stephen Watts Kearney declared that New Mexico was henceforth a part of the United States.
New Mexico Blue Book, 2003-2004
Thrapp, Encyclopedia
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II


September 22, 1846 to January 19, 1847


Administration of Pre-Territorial Governor Charles Bent. General Stephen Watts Kearney made an effort to establish civil government in New Mexico, and to that end he appointed Bent the first governor in the period of the American Occupation. Bent, along with other American officials, was murdered during the Taos Revolt of January 1847.
Crutchfield, Tragedy at Taos
Simmons, New Mexico
Thrapp, Encyclopedia
Twitchell, Leading Facts


September 1846 to March 1851


Donaciano Vigil served as Pre-Territorial Secretary of New Mexico, the highest-ranking civilian member of the government. He became Civil Governor upon the death of Governor Charles Bent (see January 19, 1847). When military governors replaced civil governors, Vigil returned to the office of Secretary.
Keleher, Turmoil in New Mexico
Lamar, The Far Southwest
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006
Marc Simmons, “The Forgotten Donaciano Vigil,” Socorro Defensor Chieftain, June 19, 1999
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II


1847 to 1848


Administration of Pre Territorial Military Governor Colonel Sterling Price. Colonel Price arrived in Santa Fe after the departure of General Stephen Watts Kearney in late 1846. He became Military Governor after the murder of Civil Governor Charles Bent.
Congressional Biography
Crutchfield, Tragedy at Taos
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II


January 19, 1847


The Taos Revolt began. Mexican nationalists and Taos Pueblo Indians who objected to the American occupation of New Mexico rebelled, killing Governor Charles Bent, Taos County Sheriff Stephen Louis Lee, and others.
Crutchfield, Tragedy at Taos
Keleher, Turmoil in New Mexico
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II


February 3, 1847


U. S. Army Colonel Sterling Prince and a contingent of Missouri Mounted Volunteers and mountain men reach Taos. They began shelling Taos Pueblo.
Crutchfield, Tragedy at Taos
Keleher, Turmoil in New Mexico
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II


February 5, 1847


The leaders of the Taos Revolt sue for peace, and the rebellion ends.
Crutchfield, Tragedy at Taos
Keleher, Turmoil in New Mexico
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II


April 5, 1847


Trials for those charged with crimes relating to the Taos Revolt begin.
Crutchfield, Tragedy at Taos
Keleher, Turmoil in New Mexico
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II


April 9, 1847


Executions of those convicted of crimes relating to the Taos Revolt begin.
Crutchfield, Tragedy at Taos
Keleher, Turmoil in New Mexico
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II


May 7, 1847


Executions of those convicted of crimes relating to the Taos Revolt are completed.
Crutchfield, Tragedy at Taos
Keleher, Turmoil in New Mexico
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II


February 2, 1848


The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, negotiated by Nicholas P. Trist (1800-1874), which ended the Mexican War was signed. The U. S. Senate ratified it on May 30, 1848.
Commager, Documents of American History


May 30, 1848


Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ratified. It was proclaimed at Santa Fe in August.
Keleher, Turmoil in New Mexico
Twitchell, Leading Facts


June 17, 1848


Frank Springer born at Wapello, Iowa. He became one of the most important men in New Mexico in the last quarter of the 19
th century serving as attorney for the Maxwell Land Grant, legislator, scientist, newspaperman, and rancher.
New Mexico Historical Review, Vol. 2, 1927
David Caffey, Frank Springer & New Mexico


August 29, 1848


George Frederick Ruxton died at St. Louis of dysentery at the age of 27. Ruxton was an Englishman who visited Mexico at the time of the Mexican War. He generally held Mexicans and many Americans in low esteem, and he is one of the writers who maligned New Mexico Governor Manuel Armijo.
Lamar, The Far Southwest
Thrapp, Encyclopedia
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II


September 17, 1848


François Xavier Aubry arrived in Independence, Missouri, five days and 16 hours after leaving Santa Fe, setting a record that has never been beaten. He came to be called “Telegraph Aubry.”
Marc Simmons, “Incredible Journeys,” Prime Time, November 1999
Thrapp, Encyclopedia
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II


October 1848 to May 1849


Administration of Military Governor Colonel John McRae Washington. Washington was unpopular in his opposition to civil rule for New Mexico. He was also unsuccessful in negotiating a lasting peace with the Navajos of western New Mexico. He was in command during a parlay with Navajos when tribal headman Narbona was killed.
Susan Landon, “The Hidden History of Washington Pass,” Albuquerque Journal, December 4, 1988
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006
Thrapp, Encyclopedia


May 1849 to March 1851


Administration of Military Governor Colonel John Munroe. A military man, Col. Munroe never understood New Mexico’s politics, and he received no help from his predecessor, Colonel John McRae Washington . Munroe’s administrative efforts were therefore generally flawed. He was the last military governor of New Mexico.
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006
Keleher, Turmoil in New Mexico
Lamar, The Far Southwest


June 5, 1850


Famed New Mexico lawman Patrick Floyd Garrett, and Billy the Kid’s killer (July 14, 1881), was born in Chambers County, Alabama. He died on February 29, 1908 when he was shot in the back near Las Cruces.
Metz, Pat Garrett
Thrapp, Encyclopedia
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II


September 9, 1850


The Texas and New Mexico Act, a part of the Compromise of 1850, created the Territory of New Mexico (which then included what is now Arizona).
Commager, Documents of American History


October 17, 1850


New Mexico lawman, banker and rancher John W. Poe was born in Mason County, Kentucky. He was present when Sheriff Pat Garrett killed Billy the Kid at Fort Sumner on July 14, 1881. Poe died at Roswell, New Mexico on July 17, 1923.
Keleher, Violence in Lincoln County
Metz, Pat Garrett
Thrapp, Encyclopedia
Wallis, Billy the Kid



November 24, 1850


Pope Pius IX named Jean Baptiste Lamy the first Bishop of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Bishop Lamy was consecrated in St. Peter’s Cathedral in Cincinnati on this date.
Four Hundred Years of Faith
Horgan, Lamy of Santa Fe


March 3, 1851


James S. Calhoun (1802-1852) was sworn in as the first Territorial Governor of New Mexico. He was appointed by President Millard Fillmore. His administration lasted until the following year (see June 30, 1852).
Fitzpatrick, New Mexico
Simmons, Albuquerque
Fritz Thompson, Albuquerque Journal, September 27, 1987
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II


July 1851


General Edwin Vose Sumner, called “Bull of the Woods,” was assigned to the military command of New Mexico. He made himself so unpopular that Governor William Carr Lane (1789-1863) challenged him to a duel. Sumner declined. He was relieved of command in New Mexico on June 26, 1853 and died at Syracuse, New York, in 1863 at the age of 66.
Keleher, Turmoil in New Mexico
Tharpp, Encyclopedia


August 9, 1851


Jean Baptiste Lamy arrived in Santa Fe to take over the newly created dioceses. This marked the beginning of the French line of Santa Fe bishop and archbishops which would not end until 1918.
Four Hundred Years of Faith
Horgan, Lamy of Santa Fe


January 1852


Doña Gertrudis Barceló, better known as La Tules or Doña Tules, a Santa Fe gambler and benefactor, died. Bishop Jean Baptist Lamy led her funeral procession.
Don Bullis, Rio Rancho Observer, April 3, 2005
Chávez y Chávez, Wake for a Fat Vicar
Etulain, Western Lives
Horgan, Lamy of Santa Fe


January 9, 1852


Bernalillo County created. It was one of the seven partidos established during Mexican Rule. It may have been named for the Bernal family that had lived in the area going back to the 17
th century.
Beck & Haase, Historical Atlas of New Mexico
Julyan, The Place Names of New Mexico
New Mexico Blue Book, 2003-2004


January 9, 1852


Doña Ana County, created. It may have been named for Doña Ana Robeledo, or Doña Ana María de Córdoba.
Beck & Haase, Historical Atlas of New Mexico
Julyan, The Place Names of New Mexico
New Mexico Blue Book, 2003-2004


January 9, 1852


Rio Arriba County created. The name means “upper river.”
Beck & Haase, Historical Atlas of New Mexico
Julyan, The Place Names of New Mexico
New Mexico Blue Book, 2003-2004


January 9, 1852


San Miguel County created, named for San Miguel del Bado (St. Michael of the Ford), a Santa Fe crossing on the Pecos River.
Beck & Haase, Historical Atlas of New Mexico
Julyan, The Place Names of New Mexico
New Mexico Blue Book, 2003-2004


January 9, 1852


Santa Fe County created, named for a New Mexico’s long established capital.
Beck & Haase, Historical Atlas of New Mexico
Julyan, The Place Names of New Mexico
New Mexico Blue Book, 2003-2004


January 9, 1852


Socorro County created. Don Juan de Oñate (c. 1552-1626) so named a pueblo in the area in 1598.
Beck & Haase, Historical Atlas of New Mexico
Julyan, The Place Names of New Mexico
New Mexico Blue Book, 2003-2004


January 9, 1852


Taos County created, named for the nearby Indian Pueblo.
Beck & Haase, Historical Atlas of New Mexico
Julyan, The Place Names of New Mexico
New Mexico Blue Book, 2003-2004


January 9, 1852


Valencia County created, named for a Spanish official in charge of the area, Francisco de Valencia.
Beck & Haase, Historical Atlas of New Mexico
Julyan, The Place Names of New Mexico
New Mexico Blue Book, 2003-2004


June 30, 1852


James S. Calhoun, New Mexico’s first Territorial governor, died near Independence, Missouri. The location of his gravesite has been lost.
Fitzpatrick, New Mexico
Simmons, Albuquerque
Fritz Thompson, Albuquerque Journal, September 27, 1987
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II


September 26, 1852


The Sister of Loretto arrived in Santa Fe. They opened Our Lady of Light Academy the following year.
Four Hundred Years of Faith


1852 to 1853


Administration of Territorial Governor William Carr Lane, appointed by President Millard Fillmore.
Lamar, The Far Southwest
“William Carr Lane, Diary,” New Mexico Historical Review, July 1964
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II


December 7, 1852


In his message to the territorial legislature on this date, Governor William Carr Lane advised his constituents to learn English and to adopt American customs. Then he added: “But I do not advise them (the Mexican people) to change any of their beneficial or praiseworthy customs, nor do I advise them to forget their parent stock, and the proud recollections that cluster around Castilian history. I do not advise them to disuse their beautiful language, to lay aside their dignified manners and punctilious attention to the proprieties of social life…. True it is, that the Mexican people have been always noted for their distinguished manners and Christian customs, it is only to be regretted to see that some of their good usages are disappearing little by little before what is called progress in our days.”
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II


1853 to 1857


Administration of Territorial Governor David Meriwether appointed by President Franklin Pierce. It was Meriwether who had been held prisoner by the Spanish in Santa Fe (1819-1820). As Governor, Meriwether believed in military action against hostile Indians, but he also favored the negotiation of treaties. He made several pacts with various Indians tribes, only to have them negated by the Congress at Washington, D. C. Meriwether left Santa Fe in May of 1857, five or so months before his term expired.
Lamar, The Far Southwest
Meriwether, My Life in the Mountains
Twitchell, Leading Facts


December 9, 1853


Manuel Armijo died. Armijo, who served as Mexican Governor of New Mexico three times, was the Mexican governor of New Mexico who declined to oppose the entry of the American Army of the West in August 1846. His date of birth is unknown.
Bullis, 99 New Mexicans
Fergusson, New Mexico
Janet LeCompte, New Mexico Historical Review, July 1973
Marc Simmons, “Trail Dust,” Santa Fe New Mexican, February 4, 2006


December 30, 1853


James Gadsden, representing the United States, and President Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna representing Mexico, agreed on an exchange that came to be called the Gadsden Purchase (Venta de La Mesilla in Mexico). It called for the purchase of nearly 30,000 square miles of land in southern New Mexico and Arizona , by the United States, for $10,000 (see June 24, 1854 and November 16, 1854).
Beck & Haase, Historical Atlas of New Mexico
Lamar, Far Southwest
Roberts & Roberts, New Mexico


June 24, 1854


The Gadsden Purchase (see December 31, 1853) was ratified by the United States Senate and signed by President Franklin Pierce.
Beck & Haase, Historical Atlas of New Mexico
Lamar, Far Southwest
Roberts & Roberts, New Mexico


August 18, 1854


Richard Weightman, a former delegate to Congress, stabbed François X. Aubry, a Santa Fe Trail freighter and record-setting horseman, to death during an altercation in a Santa Fe saloon. Weightman was acquitted on grounds of self-defense.
Marc Simmons, “Incredible Journeys,” Prime Time, November 1999
Thrapp, Encyclopedia
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II


November 16, 1854


New Mexico Territorial Governor David Meriwether occupied the land added to the territory by the Gadsden Purchase.
Meriwether, My Life in the Mountains


1857 to 1861


Administration of Territorial Governor Abraham Rencher appointed by President James Buchanan. Rencher was the last of the four territorial governors to serve during the 1850s. James S. Calhoun, William Carr Lane and David Meriwether preceded him. Historian Howard Lamar lumps them together and notes the little was accomplished during the decade, generally due to neglect by federal government.
Lamar, The Far Southwest
New Mexico Blue Book
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II


January 20, 1858


Juan Felipe Ortiz died. He was the Vicar at Santa Fe when Bishop Jean Baptiste Lamy arrived in 1851. In spite of his best efforts, Padre Ortiz was unable to maintain an amiable relationship with Bishop Lamy.
Chavez & Chavez, Wake for a Fat Vicar
Horgan, Lamy of Santa Fe


November 28, 1859


Considered by many to be the birth date of William H. Bonney, AKA Antrim and McCarty—Billy the Kid—in New York City. Others have suggested that he was possibly born on September 23, November 20 or 23, and others; and perhaps in some place other than New York: Ohio, Indiana, Kansas, New Mexico are sometimes mentioned. Bonney is reliably reported to have died at the hand of Sheriff Pat Garrett on July 14, 1881 at Fort Sumner, New Mexico.
Burns, Billy the Kid
Cline, Alias Billy the Kid
Utley, Billy the Kid
Wallis, Billy the Kid
(and a plethora of other books and articles)


December 26, 1859


The Historical Society of New Mexico Created, making it the oldest historical Society west of the Mississippi River.
Four Hundred Years of Faith
Historical Society of New Mexico


February 1, 1860


Mora County created. It may have been named for the Mora family which resided in the area, or, since the Spanish word, mora, means “mulberry,” the county may have been named for the large number of such trees growing there.
Beck & Haase, Historical Atlas of New Mexico
Julyan, The Place Names of New Mexico
New Mexico Blue Book, 2003-2004


April 30, 1860


An estimated 800 Navajo Indians under the direction of Manuelito and Barboncito attacked U. S. Army troops at Fort Defiance, in what is now eastern Arizona (then a part of New Mexico). One soldier was killed, and six warriors also died.
Thrapp, Encyclopedia
Twitchell, Leading Facts


1861 to 1866


Administration of Territorial Governor Henry Connelly appointed by President Abraham Lincoln. President Lincoln did not trust Connelly’s predecessor, Abraham Rencher, a native of North Carolina. Connelly, a resident of Mexico and New Mexico since the 1820s, was a staunch Union man. He served through the Civil War in New Mexico.
Alberts, Battle of Glorieta
Lamar, The Far Southwest
New Mexico Blue Book


February 15, 1861


Twenty-four Navajo Indian chiefs, including Manuelito and Barboncito, signed a peace treaty with Major Edward R. S. Canby, which resulted in very little peace.
Thrapp, Encyclopedia


February 28, 1861


The territory of Colorado was created, which somewhat reduced the geographic size of New Mexico.
Beck & Haase, Historical Atlas of New Mexico



April 26, 1861


Paula Angel, aka Pablita Martin, was executed by hanging for the murder of her lover. She was the only woman to be legally hanged in New Mexico and she is the only one obliged to pay for her own trial and execution.
Bullis, Rio Rancho Observer, July 21, 2005
Bryan, Wildest of The Wild West
Gilbreath, Death on the Gallows


June 11, 1861


Colonel Edward R. S. Canby took command of the U. S. Army’s Department of New Mexico.
Thrapp, Encyclopedia
Utley, Frontier Regulars


July 27, 1861


Early in the U. S. Civil War, Confederate army forces under the command of Col. John R. Baylor invaded New Mexico from the south.
Alberts, The Battle of Glorieta
Melzer, Buried Treasures
Marc Simmons, “John R. Baylor Cast an Ugly Shadow in New Mexico,” Socorro Defensor Chieftain, February 18, 1995


August 1, 1861


Confederate Lieutenant Colonel John R. Baylor appointed himself governor of what he called the Territory of Arizona, which included all of New Mexico (which then included Arizona), from Texas on the east to the Colorado River on the west, and south of the 34
th parallel.
Alberts, The Battle of Glorieta
Melzer, Buried Treasures
Marc Simmons, “John R. Baylor Cast an Ugly Shadow in New Mexico,” Socorro Defensor Chieftain, February 18, 1995


December 14, 1861


General Henry H. Sibley assumed command of Confederate forces in New Mexico, relieving Lieutenant Colonel John R. Baylor. Baylor remained civil governor until the Confederate retreat from New Mexico after their defeat at the Battle of Glorieta Pass.
Alberts, The Battle of Glorieta
Melzer, Buried Treasures
Marc Simmons, “John R. Baylor Cast an Ugly Shadow in New Mexico,” Socorro Defensor Chieftain, February 18, 1995


February 21, 1862


Union troops faced invading Confederate forces in what came to be called the Battle of Valverde, north of Fort Craig along the Rio Grande. Confederate forces were successful and continued their march to Albuquerque, which they captured on March 2.
Alberts, The Battle of Glorieta
Beck & Haase, Historical Atlas of New Mexico
Simmons, Albuquerque


March 10, 1862


New Mexico Territorial Government moved from Santa Fe to Las Vegas as the Texas Confederates marched toward the capital. He capital returned to Santa Fe the following month.
Alberts, Rebels on the Rio Grande
Four Hundred Years of Faith
Marc Simmons, “Confederate Flag Flew over Santa Fe in 1862,” Santa Fe New Mexican, September 22, 2001.


March 26, 1862


After Confederate troops had captured Santa Fe, they advanced to the east, with the intention of capturing Fort Union. On this date they were stopped at Apache Canyon and the Battle of Glorieta followed. The Confederates were defeated two days later when their supplies and ammunition were captured, and destroyed, by Union forces, and returned to Texas.
Alberts, The Battle of Glorieta
Beck & Haase, Historical Atlas of New Mexico
Simmons, Albuquerque


April 15, 1862


The final skirmish of the Civil War in New Mexico occurred on this date at Peralta, south of Albuquerque. New Mexico’s leading Confederate sympathizer, Spruce Baird, was obliged to join the retreating army, for his own safety.
Alberts, The Battle of Glorieta
Beck & Haase, Historical Atlas of New Mexico
Simmons, Albuquerque



July 15-16, 1862


The Battle of Apache Pass (not to be confused with Apache Canyon, above) in which Apache Indians, probably led by Cochise and Magnus Coloradas with about 700 warriors, faced the First California Volunteer Infantry, called the California Column, led by Captain Tom Roberts, and 126 soldiers. The soldiers prevailed in two skirmishes because of their effective use of cannons. Magnus Coloradas was wounded in this battle. Note: Apache Pass was in New Mexico at the time of the battle. Arizona became a separate territory the following year.
Trimble, Roadside History
Thrapp, Encyclopedia


September 18, 1862


General James H. Carleton takes command of the U. S. Army’s Department of New Mexico. It was Carleton who came up with the plan to confine Apache and Navajo Indians as Bosque Redondo, near Fort Sumner, in eastern New Mexico. He was commander in New Mexico until 1867.
Thrapp, Encyclopedia
Utley, Frontier Regulars


February 24, 1863


New Mexico and Arizona became separate territories of the United States. Both would become states in 1912: New Mexico on January 6 and Arizona on February 14.
Four Hundred Years of Faith
World Almanac, 2006


March 21, 1863


General Edwin Vose Sumner died at Syracuse, New York at the age of 66. Called “Bull of the Woods,” he was assigned to the military command of New Mexico in 1851. He made himself so unpopular that Governor William Carr Lane (1789-1863) challenged him to a duel. Sumner declined. He was relieved of command in New Mexico on June 26, 1853.
Don Bullis, “New Mexico’s Bull of the Woods: Col. E. V. Sumner,” Rio Rancho Observer, July 22, 2004
Thrapp, Encyclopedia
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II


1866 to 1869

Administration of Territorial Governor Robert B. Mitchell appointed by President Andrew Johnson. Historian Lamar says of him, “…Despite a violent temper and a contempt for the legislature, [he] made little impression on the territory.” He ultimately abandoned the governor’s office and returned to Kansas.
Lamar, The Far Southwest
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006
Jane C. Sanchez, “Agitated, Personal and Unsound…” New Mexico Historical Review, July 1966
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II


July 4, 1866


Thomas Benton Catron (1840-1921) arrived in New Mexico. He would become the territory’s largest land-owner, and the state’s first United States Senator. He was also a founder and leader of the famed Santa Fe Ring.
Bullis, 99 New Mexicans
Chávez, New Mexico
Lamar, The Far Southwest
Simmons, Albuquerque


October 11, 1866


Charles “Charlie” Littlepage Ballard was born in Hayes County, Texas. Charlie served as deputy sheriff, and sheriff, in Lincoln and Chaves counties, and deputy U. S. Marshal for New Mexico in the 1890s. He was involved in the pursuit of several outlaws, including George Musgrave. He died on April 16, 1950 at Duncan, Arizona.
Ball, Desert Lawmen
Don Bullis, Rio Rancho Observer, June 16, 23, 30, 2005
Tanner, Musgrave


July 14, 1867


The cornerstone of St. Francis Cathedral in Santa Fe was laid. Actual construction did not begin until two years later. This date is given by Carl Sheppard in The Archbishop’s Cathedral. Other sources give other dates: see July 14, 1869 and October 10, 1896.
Four Hundred Years of Faith
Sheppard, The Archbishop’s Cathedral


December 15, 1867


New Mexico political figure William Logan Rynerson (1828-1893) shot and killed Supreme Court Chief Justice John P. Slough (1830-1876). He was acquitted upon a plea of self-defense. Rynerson successfully prosecuted William H. Bonney, “Billy the Kid,” for the murder of Sheriff William Brady at Mesilla in 1881.
Thrapp, Encyclopedia
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II
Utley, High Noon


January 30, 1868


Grant County created, named for General Ulysses S. Grant.
Beck & Haase, Historical Atlas of New Mexico
Julyan, The Place Names of New Mexico
New Mexico Blue Book, 2003-2004


May 28, 1868


General William Tecumseh Sherman and Colonel Samuel F. Tappan met with Navajo leaders, among them Barboncito, to discuss the terms by which the Navajo could return to their homeland in western New Mexico and eastern Arizona. The treaty was signed on June 1.
Martin A. Link, Introduction, The Navajo Treaty—1868
Thrapp, Encyclopedia


1869 to 1871


Administration of Territorial Governor William A. Pile appointed by President Ulysses S. Grant. Pile’s single claim to fame was that he sold as waste paper—some say unintentionally—a significant portion of the old Spanish and Mexican archives he found in Santa Fe. Not all of the records were lost, in spite of Pile’s efforts.
Congressional Biography
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II


January 16, 1869


Lincoln County created, named for President Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865).
Beck & Haase, Historical Atlas of New Mexico
Julyan, The Place Names of New Mexico
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006


January 19, 1869


Famed New Mexico writer Eugene Manlove “Gene” Rhodes was born at Tecumseh, Nebraska. He moved to New Mexico at a young age.
Keleher, Fabulous Frontier
C. L. Sonnichsen, “Gene Rhodes and The Decadent West,” Book Talk, New Mexico Book League, September 1990
Thrapp, Encyclopedia


January 25, 1869


Colfax County created; named for Schuyler Colfax (1823-1885), Vice President of the United States under the first administration of President Ulysses S. Grant.
Beck & Haase, Historical Atlas of New Mexico
Julyan, The Place Names of New Mexico
New Mexico Blue Book, 2003-2004


July 14, 1869


The cornerstone for St. Francis Cathedral in Santa Fe was laid, according to Father James H. Defouri in Historical Sketch of the Catholic Church in New Mexico. Other sources give other dates: see July 14, 1867 and October 10, 1867.


October 10, 1869


The corner stone for St. Francis Cathedral was laid one block east of the plaza in Santa Fe. The Romanesque church was to become Bishop Jean Baptiste Lamy’s contribution to Santa Fe’s architecture. (Note: Lamy did not become archbishop until 1875.) This date is provided by Father Thomas J. Steele, S. J., editor of Historical Sketch of the Catholic Church in New Mexico. See also, July 14, 1867 and July 14, 1869.


October 28, 1870


Frontiersman, merchant, and soldier Cerán St. Vrain died at Mora, New Mexico at the age of 68. St. Vrain, an associate of Governor Charles Bent, led a troop of volunteers against the insurgents in the January 1847 Taos Revolt in which the governor was killed.
Crutchfeld, Tragedy at Taos
Lamar, The Far Southwest
Remley, Adios Nuevo Mexico
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II
Thrapp, Encyclopedia


1871 to 1875


Administration of Territorial Governor Marsh Giddings appointed by President Ulysses S. Grant. A tool of the Santa Fe Ring, historian Lamar counts Giddings among the territorial governors who left virtually no impression on territorial New Mexico.
Lamar, The Far Southwest
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006


March 1, 1873


Catherine McCarty and William H. Antrim were married at the First Presbyterian Church in Santa Fe. She was the mother of William H. Bonney, better known as Billy the Kid.
Mullin, Chronology
Wallis, Billy the Kid


December 1, 1873


Lincoln County constable Juan Martinez was shot and killed by Dave Warner on the street in Lincoln. Warner was in the company of Ben Horrell (Harrold) and Jack Gylam at the time. Martinez’s deputies promptly killed all three. This marked the beginning of the so-called Horrell War which ended the following year.
Bullis, New Mexico’s Finest
Nolan, Bad Blood
Wilson, Merchants

December 20, 1873


Isidro Patrón, Isidro Padilla, José Candelaria and Dario Balazan were shot to death by members of the Horrell clan in what has come to be called the “Horrell (Horrold) War.” Two women, Pilar Candelaria and Apolonia Garcia, were badly wounded: Garcia crippled for life
Bullis, New Mexico’s Finest
Nolan, Bad Blood
Wilson, Merchants


January 7, 1874


Chunk Colbert (or Tolbert) was killed in a gunfight with famed “Shootist” Clay Allison in a Cimarron, New Mexico eating house.
McLoughlin, Encyclopedia
Metz, Encyclopedia
Parsons, Clay Allison


February 2, 1874


Lincoln County Sheriff Alexander Hamilton (Ham) Mills (c. 1837-1882) and County Clerk Juan Patron (1850-1884) met with Territorial Governor Marsh Giddings (1816-1875) to ask for help in dealing with the violence of the Horrell (Harrold) War. They got none.
Keleher, Violence in Lincoln County
Nolan, Bad Blood


February 12, 1874


Bishop Jean Baptiste Lamy was promoted to Archbishop of Santa Fe, according to Carl Sheppard in The Archbishop’s Cathedral. Archbishop Michael J. Sheehan, in Four Hundred Years of Faith mentions only that Lamy became archbishop in 1875. Horgan gives the date as February 12, 1875. Also see, December 21, 1874.


June 3, 1874


Lawrence G. Murphy (1831-1878) in partnership with Emil Fritz, opened a mercantile establishment called L. G. Murphy & Co. in the town of Lincoln. It came to be called the “The House” or the “Big Store.” It dominated the economy of Lincoln County until the Lincoln County War (1878-1881). See March 14, 1877.
Mullin, Chronology
Frederick Nolan, True West, February 2007
Wilson, Merchants



June 26, 1874


Emil Fritz, the partner of L. G. Murphy in a Lincoln County mercantile, died in Stuttgart, Germany. The dispute over his estate was one of the causes of the Lincoln County War.
Keleher, Violence in Lincoln County
Mullin, Chronology
Wilson, Merchants
Utley, High Noon


September 16, 1874


Catherine McCarty Antrim died at Silver City of a lung ailment, probably tuberculosis. She was the mother of William H. Bonney, aka Billy the Kid.
Alexander, Sheriff Harvey Whitehill
Wallis, Billy the Kid



October 21, 1874


Lincoln County Deputy Sheriff Lyon Phillipowsky shot and killed on the street Lincoln, New Mexico by William Burns, a store clerk. Phillipowsky was drunk at the time.
Bullis, New Mexico’s Finest
Keleher, Violence in Lincoln County
Wilson, Merchants


December 21, 1874


Pope Pius IX created the Catholic Province of Santa Fe and Bishop Jean Baptiste Lamy... “was raised to the dignity of archbishop,” according to Father James H. Defouri in Historical Sketches of the Catholic Church in New Mexico. Also see, February 12, 1874 and February 12, 1875.


1875 to 1878


Administration of Territorial Governor Samuel B. Axtell appointed by President Ulysses S. Grant. Axtell’s administration was not well regarded. A newspaperman of the day wrote, charitably, “… [he was] influenced more by weakness and want of intellect than by intentional criminality.” He served as chief justice of the territorial supreme court after leaving office.
Keleher, Violence in Lincoln County
Lamar, The Far Southwest
New Mexico Blue Book
Twitchell, Leading Facts


February 12, 1875


The Archdiocese of Santa Fe was created. Jean Baptiste Lamy was named the first archbishop of Santa Fe. See February 12, 1874 and December 21, 1874.


March 4, 1875


A vote in the United States House of Representative nixed an opportunity for the Territory of New Mexico to become a state of the Union at that time. Many believed, then and now, that the defeat came on the heels of the so-called Elkins handshake. This incident occurred a few days earlier when New Mexico’s represtntative to the Congress, Stephen B. Elkins, made a point of congratulating Michigan Congressman Julius C. Burroughs after the latter made a stiring speech which contained “a flood of invective” that was particularly objectionable to southern Democrats. Support for statehood by that group was lost, and so was the chance for entry into the union. Several theories have been proffered to explain why Elkins made such a gaffe. One is that it was simply an honest mistake; another is that he acted purposely because he wanted to kill the statehood bill without appearing to do so.
Curry, Autobiography
Keleher, Fabulous Frontier
Sálaz Márquez, New Mexico
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II



March 15, 1875


Alexander (c. 1843-1878) and Susan (1845-1931) McSween arrived in Lincoln, New Mexico. They would both be pivotal in the violence of the Lincoln County War (1878-1881).
Keleher, Violence in Lincoln County
Mullin, Chronology
Wilson, Merchants
Utley, High Noon


August 2, 1875


Rancher Robert Casey was murdered, shot down on the street in Lincoln by William Wilson, some said over an $8.00 debt. Wilson was hanged for the crime on December 10. Some historians believe that Lawrence G. Murphy was involved in the crime. Keleher, Violence
Wilson, Merchants


September 14, 1875


Rev. F. J. Tolby was murdered near Elizabethtown, in Colfax County, early in the Colfax County War.
Keleher, The Maxwell Land Grant
Pike, Roadside New Mexico
Twitchell, Leading Facts Vol. II


September 15, 1875


(Other sources cite September 20 or 21 as the date of this shooting.) John Riley shot Juan B. Patron (1850-1884) in the back with a rifle, inflicting a serious, but not fatal, wound. Mullen reports that Riley was indicted by a grand jury, but never tried for the crime. Nolan indicates that he was tried and acquitted upon a plea of self-defense. In any event, Patron was made a cripple for the remainder of his life
Mullen, Chronology
Nolan, Bad Blood
Thrapp, Encyclopedia



September 23, 1875


Henry McCarty, later known as Billy the Kid, arrested and jailed for the first time in Silver City by Sheriff Harvey Whitehill (1838-1906), for the theft of clothing from a Chinese laundry. He escaped two days later.
Alexander, Six-Guns and Single-Jacks
Thrapp, Encyclopedia
Tuska, Billy the Kid
Wallis, Billy the Kid


September 25, 1875


Henry McCarty, later known as Billy the Kid, escaped from jail at Silver City by climbing up a chimney. His criminal career would last less than six years.
Alexander, Six-Guns and Single-Jacks
Thrapp, Encyclopedia
Tuska, Billy the Kid
Wallis, Billy the Kid


December 10, 1875


William “Buffalo Bill” Wilson hanged at Lincoln for the murder of rancher Robert Casey; a crime committed on August 2 of the same year. Many believed that Lawrence Murphy paid Wilson to kill Casey.
Keleher, Violence
Klasner, My Girlhood Among Outlaws
Nolan, Bad Blood


March 24, 1876


David Crockett (1853-1876), a descendant of the Tennessee frontiersman who died at the Alamo, killed three Buffalo Soldiers in Cimarron, New Mexico. He was convicted of “carrying arms” and fined $50.00.
Bullis, 99 New Mexicans
Bryan, Robbers, Rogues and Ruffians
Keleher, The Maxwell Land Grant
Parsons, Clay Allison


July 18, 1876


José Segura was arrested in Lincoln County for horse stealing. Bound over for trial, a mob took him away from deputies while they were en route to the jail at Fort Stanton. Segura was killed.
Keleher, Violence in Lincoln County


October 19, 1876


Josiah Gordon “Doc” Scurlock (1849-1929) married Antonia Miguela Herrera (1850-1912). Together they had ten children. Scurlock, though married, was an associate of William Bonney, aka Billy the Kid, during the early years of the Lincoln County War (1878-1881). He hung up his gun in the fall of 1879 and spent the remainder of his life as a farmer and poet residing at Eastland, Texas.
Thrapp, Encyclopedia


November 6, 1876


Englishman John Henry Tunstall (1853-1878) arrived in Lincoln. He would become a pivotal figure in the Lincoln County War. He was 23 years old at the time, and would be dead in fewer than two years.
Keleher, Violence in Lincoln County
Utley, High Noon
Wallis, Billy the Kid
Wilson, Merchants


March 14, 1877


Lawrence G. Murphy (1831-1878), sold his interest in “The House” in Lincoln to J. J. Dolan, J. H. Riley and Billy Mathews. Name changed to J. J. Dolan & Company.
Mullin, Chronology


August 17, 1877


Henry Antrim, aka Henry McCarty, best known as Billy the Kid, killed his first man, F. P. “Windy” Cahill at Camp Grant, Arizona. News accounts refer to him for the first time as “Kid.”
Mullin, Chronology
Wallis, Billy the Kid
Utley, High Noon


1878 to 1881


Administration of Territorial Governor Lew Wallace (1827-1905) appointed by President Rutherford B. Hayes. Wallace arrived in New Mexico on September 30, about two months after the climactic gun battle at the town of Lincoln (July 15-19, 1878). His conduct during the Lincoln County War was somewhat contradictory: he promised Billy the Kid amnesty, and then signed the Kid’s execution order. Notably, he finished writing his famous novel, Ben Hur, while serving as governor.
Keleher, Violence in Lincoln County
Mullin, Chronology
Utley, High Noon
Wallis, Billy the Kid
Wilson, Merchants


February 18, 1878


Englishman John Henry Tunstall shot and killed by members of Sheriff William Brady’s posse. He was not quite 25 years old. This incident was the precipitant cause of the Lincoln County War.
Keleher, Violence in Lincoln County
Mullin, Chronology
Utley, High Noon
Wallis, Billy the Kid
Wilson, Merchants


March 9, 1878


Frank Baker (c. 1856-1878) and William “Buck” Morton (1856-1878), killed, probably by William H. Bonney—Billy the Kid—after they had been arrested for the murder of John Tunstall (February 18, 1878). Journalist Ash Upson described Baker as “the worst, most beastly murderer this country ever saw.”
Keleher, Violence in Lincoln County
Mullin, Chronology
Thrapp, Encyclopedia
Utley, High Noon
Wallis, Billy the Kid
Wilson, Merchants


March 26, 1878


Colonel Nathan A. M. Dudley assumed command of the Fort Stanton, near Lincoln. Dudley, a notorious drunk, tipped the balance of power in the Lincoln County War less than four months later.
Keleher, Violence in Lincoln County
Mullin, Chronology
Thrapp, Encyclopedia
Utley, High Noon
Wallis, Billy the Kid
Wilson, Merchants


April 1, 1878


Lincoln County Sheriff William Brady (1829-1878) and his deputy, George Hindman, were shot and killed on the street in Lincoln, by Billy the Kid and several of his friends. This is the only murder for which Billy would be convicted (April 13, 1881).
Keleher, Violence in Lincoln County
Mullin, Chronology
Thrapp, Encyclopedia
Utley, High Noon
Wallis, Billy the Kid
Wilson, Merchants


April 4, 1878


Early in the Lincoln County War, a major gunfight took place at Blazer’s Mill in which Dick Brewer, leader of the Tunstall faction, was killed; as was Andrew “Buckshot Roberts,” who killed him.
Keleher, Violence in Lincoln County
Mullin, Chronology
Thrapp, Encyclopedia
Utley, High Noon
Wallis, Billy the Kid
Wilson, Merchants


April 18, 1878


William H. Bonney, aka Henry Antrim and Billy the Kid, was indicted for the murder of Sheriff William Brady and Deputy George Hindman (see April 1, 1878). The Kid was also indicted for the murder of Andrew “Buckshot” Roberts (see April 4, 1878). The only killing for which Bonney was ever convicted was that of William Brady (see April 13, 1881).
Keleher, Violence in Lincoln County
Mullin, Chronology
Thrapp, Encyclopedia
Utley, High Noon
Wallis, Billy the Kid
Wilson, Merchants


April 29, 1878


Frank McNab killed and Ab Sanders badly wounded by a gang of cattle rustlers, or sheriff’s posse, depending on the source. Both were members of the Tunstall faction in the Lincoln County War.
Keleher, Violence in Lincoln County
Mullin, Chronology
Thrapp, Encyclopedia
Utley, High Noon
Wallis, Billy the Kid
Wilson, Merchants


July 15-19, 1878


The Five Days Battle in the Town of Lincoln, involving members of the Tunstall faction on one side and the Murphy/Dolan faction on the other. This was the major fight in the Lincoln County War.
Keleher, Violence in Lincoln County
Mullin, Chronology
Thrapp, Encyclopedia
Utley, High Noon
Wallis, Billy the Kid
Wilson, Merchants


July 19, 1878


On the final night of The Five Days Battle, members of the Alexander McSween faction attempted to escape for McSween’s house, which had been set on fire. McSween, along with Francisco Zamora and Vicente Romero were shot and killed. Yginio Salazar was severely wounded. William H. Bonney—Billy the Kid—escaped. Robert Beckwith of the Sheriff’s Party was also killed.
Keleher, Violence in Lincoln County
Mullin, Chronology
Thrapp, Encyclopedia
Utley, High Noon
Wallis, Billy the Kid
Wilson, Merchants


August 24, 1878


Frank Warner Angel (1845-1906), an investigator sent to New Mexico by President Rutherford B. Hayes to look into the violence in both Colfax and Lincoln counties, returned to New York to write his report after a four-month visit to the territory.
Keleher, Violence in Lincoln County
Mullin, Chronology
Thrapp, Encyclopedia
Utley, High Noon
Wallis, Billy the Kid
Wilson, Merchants


October 20, 1878


Lawrence G. Murphy, one of the leading participants in the Lincoln County War (1878-1881) died at Santa Fe. Upon the occasion of his passing, Frank Coe of Lincoln County said this: “[He] was sick and was put in the hospital and the Sisters of Charity would not let him have whiskey, and that cut his living off. He died in a short time and everybody rejoiced over it.”
Keleher, Violence in Lincoln County
Mullin, Chronology
Thrapp, Encyclopedia
Utley, High Noon
Wallis, Billy the Kid
Wilson, Merchants


December 7, 1878


Avery Turner drove the first Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad train into New Mexico at point 15.7 miles south of Trinidad, Colorado.
Myrick, New Mexico’s Railroads


August 24, 1878


Frank Warner Angel (1845-1906), an investigator sent to New Mexico by President Rutherford B. Hayes to look into the violence in both Colfax and Lincoln Counties, returned to New York to write his report after a four month visit to the territory.
Keleher, Violence in Lincoln County
Mullin, Chronology
Thrapp, Encyclopedia
Utley, High Noon
Wallis, Billy the Kid
Wilson, Merchants


October 20, 1878


Lawrence G. Murphy, one of the leading participants in the Lincoln County War (1878-1881) died at Santa Fe. Upon the occasion of his passing, Frank Coe of Lincoln County said this: “[He] was sick and was put in the hospital and the Sisters of Charity would not let him have whiskey, and that cut his living off. He died in a short time and everybody rejoiced over it.”
Keleher, Violence in Lincoln County
Mullin, Chronology
Thrapp, Encyclopedia
Utley, High Noon
Wallis, Billy the Kid
Wilson, Merchants


December 7, 1878


Avery Turner drove the first Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad train into New Mexico at point 15.7 miles south of Trinidad, Colorado.
Myrick, New Mexico’s Railroads


April 4, 1879


The Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad reached Las Vegas, New Mexico.
Myrick, New Mexico’s Railroads


April 14, 1879


The Southern Pacific Railroad Company of New Mexico was incorporated.
Myrick, New Mexico’s Railroads


January 10, 1880


William H. Bonney, “Billy the Kid,” killed braggart Joe Grant in a Fort Sumner saloon. Note: Mullin, and others, show this as the date of the killing. Metz in Pat Garrett gives the date as July 10, 1880.
Keleher, Violence in Lincoln County
Metz, Pat Garrett
Mullin, Chronology
Thrapp, Encyclopedia
Utley, High Noon
Wallis, Billy the Kid


January 14, 1880


Patrick Floyd Garrett and Apolonaria Gutierrez were married at Anton Chico, New Mexico by Father A. Redin. Garrett’s friend, Barney Mason, and Juana Madril were married on the same date, and at the same place. The two brides were not sisters, as some have suggested.
Metz, Pat Garrett
Mullin, Chronology


February 9, 1880


The Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad reached Galisteo, near Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Myrick, New Mexico’s Railroads
Simmons, Albuquerque


April 5, 1880


The Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad reached Albuquerque, New Mexico, ushering in a new era. Everything changed in New Mexico after the arrival of the railroad, from the economy, to communications and architecture.
Simmons, Albuquerque


April 30, 1880


Outlaw Dave Rudabaugh (1854-1886) attempted to free J. J. Webb from the Las Vegas, New Mexico, jail, but failed. He did manage to kill the jailer, Antonio Lino Valdez.
Bullis, New Mexico’s Finest
Bullis, 99 New Mexicans
Keleher, Violence in Lincoln County
Thrapp, Encyclopedia


October 15, 1880


Mimbres Apache Chief Victorio took his own life rather than face certain death at the hands of Mexican troops under Lt. Col. Joaquin Terrazas at Tres Castillos in Chihuahua.
Robinson, Apache Voices
Thrapp, Encyclopedia


November 27, 1880


James Carlysle was shot and killed by a band of outlaws led by William H. Bonney, “Billy the Kid,” at the Greathouse Ranch near the present-day town of Corona in Lincoln County. Some sources give November 30 as the date of this event.
Keleher, Violence in Lincoln County
Mullin, Chronology
Thrapp, Encyclopedia
Utley, High Noon
Wallis, Billy the Kid
Wilson, Merchants


November 19, 1880


Outlaw Tom O’Folliard was shot and killed by a posse led by Lincoln County Sheriff Pat Garrett at Fort Sumner, New Mexico.
Keleher, Violence in Lincoln County
Mullin, Chronology
Thrapp, Encyclopedia
Utley, High Noon
Wallis, Billy the Kid
Wilson, Merchants


December 23, 1880


As a result of a gunfight at Stinking Springs, east of Fort Sumner, a posse led by Sheriff Pat Garrett killed Charles Bowdre (c. 1848-1880) and captured outlaws William H. Bonney aka “Billy the Kid,” Dave Rudabaugh (1854-1886), and Billy Wilson (1861-1911).
Keleher, Violence in Lincoln County
Mullin, Chronology
Thrapp, Encyclopedia
Utley, High Noon
Wallis, Billy the Kid
Wilson, Merchants


December 24, 1880


Socorro newspaper editor A. M. Conklin was shot to death as he left a local church by the Baca brothers, Abran and Enofre. Abran was tried and acquitted, but banished from New Mexico. Enofre was lynched by vigilantes (Los Colgadores) on March 30, 1881.
Bryan, Robbers, Rogues and Ruffians
Bullis, 99 New Mexicans
Gillett, Six Years With the Texas Rangers


December 28, 1880


Pantaleon Miera and Santos Benavides were lynched, hanged from a cottonwood tree, at Bernalillo for horse stealing.
Bryan, Robbers, Rogues and Ruffians


1881 to 1885


Lionel A. Sheldon was appointed New Mexico Territorial Governor by his personal friend, President James A. Garfield. Historian Lamar writes, “A genial, affable man…he had no great wish to change the status quo in New Mexico.” He was an ally of the Santa Fe Ring. He was also responsible for the construction of New Mexico’s territorial prison. It opened on August 13, 1885.
Harrison, Hell Holes and Hangings
Lamar, The Far Southwest
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II


January 10, 1881


Noted New Mexico gunman and killer William Porter “Port” Stockton was shot and killed by rancher Alfred Graves near Farmington, New Mexico. A second source alleges that Stockton was killed by a sheriff. He was 27 years old.
Adams, Six Guns
Bullis, 99 New Mexicans
Pike, Roadside New Mexico


January 31, 1881


Escalastico Perea, Miguel Barrera and California Joe were lynched in front of the Bernalillo County Jail having confessed to participation in the murder and robbery of Col. Charles Potter in the Sandia Mountains in October 1880.
Bryan, Robbers, Rogues and Ruffians
Simmons, Albuquerque


March 8, 1881


The Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad joined The Southern Pacific Railroad at Deming, New Mexico, thus creating the second transcontinental railroad in the United States.
Myrick, New Mexico’s Railroads


March 30, 1881


Enofre Baca was lynched at Socorro for the murder of newspaper editor A. M. Conklin who was shot down on Christmas Eve 1998.
Bryan, Robbers, Rogues and Ruffians
Bullis, 99 New Mexicans
Simmons, Albuquerque

May 19, 1881


The Southern Pacific Railroad reached El Paso, Texas, from New Mexico.
Myrick, New Mexico’s Railroads


April 13, 1881


William H. Bonney, aka Billy the Kid, was sentenced at Mesilla to hang for the April 1, 1878 murder of Lincoln County Sheriff William Brady, the sentence to be executed on May 13, 1878. Bonney escaped from custody on April 28, 1878.
Keleher, Violence in Lincoln County
Mullin, Chronology
Thrapp, Encyclopedia
Utley, High Noon
Wallis, Billy the Kid
Wilson, Merchants


April 16, 1881


James J. Devine was lynched, hung from a pine tree, near Raton for a series of crimes he’d committed the day before; among them murder, assault and attempted rape.
Bryan, Robbers, Rogues and Ruffians


April 28, 1881


William H. Bonney escaped custody, for the last time, from the Lincoln County courthouse, killing deputies J. W. Bell (c. 1842-1881) and Bob Olinger (c. 1841-1881) in doing so. Bonney was killed by Sheriff Pat Garrett two and one half months later at Fort Sumner (July 14).
Keleher, Violence in Lincoln County
Mullin, Chronology
Thrapp, Encyclopedia
Utley, High Noon
Wallis, Billy the Kid
Wilson, Merchants


April 31, 1881


The following reward notice was published:

Billy the Kid
$500 Reward

I will pay $500 to any person or persons who capture William Bonny [sic], Alias the Kid, and deliver him to any sheriff of New Mexico. Satisfactory proofs of identity will be required.
It was singed by Governor Lew Wallace.
Keleher, Violence in Lincoln County
Metz, Pat Garrett
Thrapp, Encyclopedia
Utley, High Noon
Wallis, Billy the Kid
Wilson, Merchants


June 18, 1881


Charles D. Campbell murdered, shot in the back, by Albuquerque town marshal Milton J. Yarberry, who was executed for the crime in February 1883.
Bryan, Robbers, Rogues and Ruffians
Simmons, Albuquerque


July 14, 1881


William H. Bonney, aka Billy the Kid, was shot to death by Lincoln County Sheriff Patrick Floyd Garrett in the residence of Pete Maxwell at Fort Sumner, New Mexico. Bonney was buried there the following day.
Keleher, Violence in Lincoln County
Mullin, Chronology
Thrapp, Encyclopedia
Utley, High Noon
Wallis, Billy the Kid
Wilson, Merchants


August 18, 1881


A band of Apaches under the leadership of Nana, then believed to be 80 years old, raided the mining town of Hillsboro. No one was injured. Later the same day, they attacked Perry Ousley’s ranch and killed him and later yet they attacked Absalom Irwin’s ranch and ran off his wife and five children.
Daniel D. Aranda, “Warriors & Chiefs,” Wild West, December 2006
Don Bullis, “Nana’s Raid, 1881,” New Mexico Stockman, March 2008
Melzer, Buried Treasures
Robinson, Apache Voices
Marc Simmons, “Old Apache’s last raid covered thousands of miles,” Santa Fe New Mexican, June 15, 2007
Utley, Frontier Regulars


August 19, 1881


A troop of 9
th Cavalry soldiers and a posse of civilians took up pursuit of the Apache Nana and his band, in retaliation for the raids of the previous day. They walked into an ambush and several were killed, including Lt. George Washington Smith and civilian George Daly. The number of Apaches killed or wounded is not known. (Daniel D. Aranda, “Warriors & Chiefs,” Wild West, December 2006
Don Bullis, “Nana’s Raid, 1881,” New Mexico Stockman, March 2008
Melzer, Buried Treasures
Robinson, Apache Voices
Marc Simmons, “Old Apache’s last raid covered thousands of miles,” Santa Fe New Mexican, June 15, 2007
Utley, Frontier Regulars


September 27, 1881


New Mexico gunman and killer Isaac T. “Ike” Stockton died after being shot by a Colorado sheriff, Barney Watson, and/or his deputy, Jim Sullivan, the day before in Durango. He was 29 years old.
Bullis, 99 New Mexicans
Thrapp, Encyclopedia


October 7, 1881


“Frenchy” Elmoreau and “Butch” Clark were lynched by Los Colgadores at Socorro. They were accused of robbery and horse theft. A sign attached to the backs of the dead men read, “This is the way Socorro treats horse thieves and foot pads.”
Bryan, Robbers, Rogues and Ruffians


November 7, 1881


William Rogers Tettenborn, better known as Russian Bill, was lynched at Shakespeare, New Mexico, allegedly “because he was a damned nuisance.” Legend also holds that the cause of death was “from a shortage of breath due to a sudden change in altitude.” A second man, Sandy King, was also lynched at the same time.
Alexander, Six-Guns
Bullis, 99 New Mexicans


May 23, 1882


Jesse Evans, a partisan of the Murphy-Dolan faction during the Lincoln County War (1878-1881) escaped from a Texas prison and thereafter disappeared from history. Evans may have been the man who actually fired the shot which killed John Tunstall in February 1878.
Don Bullis, Rio Rancho Observer, May 4, 1988
Fulton, History of the Lincoln County War
Keleher, Violence in Lincoln County
Thrapp, Encyclopedia
Utley, Four Fighters of Lincoln County


June 25, 1882


Gus Mentzer was lynched, hanged from a telegraph pole, at Raton, for the killings of Hugh Eddleston and John Jackson which he’d committed earlier the same day.
Bryan, Robbers, Rogues and Ruffians
Bullis, 99 New Mexicans


February 9, 1883


Albuquerque town marshal Milton J. Yarberry was executed by hanging for the murder of Charles D. Campbell which took place on June 18, 1881 on First Street in Albuquerque. Campbell, a railroad carpenter, was unarmed when Yarberry shot him. Yarberry had previously killed one Harry Brown, but had been acquitted of murder in that case.
Bryan, Robbers, Rogues and Ruffians
Bullis, 99 New Mexicans
Metz, Encyclopedia
Simmons, Albuquerque


November 24, 1883


A Southern Pacific passenger train was robbed near Gage in southern New Mexico and the engineer, Theopholus C. Webster, was shot to death. The thieves were later identified as Christopher “Kit” Joy, Frank Taggart, George Washington Cleveland and Mitch Lee. All except Joy were dead—shot or hanged—by mid-March of the following year.
Alexander, Lynch Ropes & Long Shots
Metz, Encyclopedia


December 8, 1883


A clothing salesman named James Cade was stabbed to death in the barroom of the Grand Central Hotel in Socorro. Joel Fowler was lynched for the crime in January of the following year.
Bryan, Robbers, Rogues and Ruffians
Bullis, 99 New Mexicans
Metz, Encyclopedia


January 22, 1884


Joel A. Fowler was lynched by Los Colgadores at Socorro. Fowler was believed to have killed several people, but he was hung for the stabbing death of James E. Cade, a clothing salesman who was visiting Socorro. Fowler had been convicted of the crime, but Los Colgadores became impatient and hurried the execution along.
Bryan, Robbers, Rogues and Ruffians
Bullis, 99 New Mexicans
Metz, Encyclopedia


March 10, 1884


Train robbers Kit Joy, Frank Taggart, George Washington Cleveland and Mitch Lee escaped from the jail at Silver City. Cleveland was shot to death during the flight and the posse hanged Taggart and Lee. Joy escaped only to be captured on March 21 of the same year. He lived to old age.
Alexander, Lynch Ropes & Long Shots
Metz, Encyclopedia


April 1, 1884


Juan B. Patrón, a partisan on the side of the McSween-Tunstall faction during the Lincoln County War, was shot in the back and killed by a drunk Texan at Puerto de Luna. His killer, Mike (or Mitch) Maney, aka Mike Manning, escaped punishment for his crime.
Nolan, Bad Blood
Thrapp, Encyclopedia


April 3, 1884


Sierra County created, named for Sierra de los Caballos, a mountain range in the region.
Beck & Haase, Historical Atlas of New Mexico
Julyan, The Place Names of New Mexico
New Mexico Blue Book, 2003-2004


October 29-31, 1884


The so-called Mexican War took place. This was an affair that pitted a young deputy sheriff, Elfego Baca (1865-1945), against an estimated 80 Texas cowboys at Frisco Plaza (now Reserve) in far western Socorro County (now Catron County). Baca survived unscathed but a couple of the cowboys—Young Parham and William Hearne—were killed. Baca was tried and acquitted of all charges.
Bryan, Incredible Elfego Baca
Bullis, 99 New Mexicans
Thrapp, Encyclopedia


November 17, 1884


Christopher “Kit” Carson Joy was convicted of second-degree murder for his part in the Gage, New Mexico, train robbery of November 1883 and sentenced to life in prison. He actually served about 12 years.
Alexander, Lynch Ropes & Long Shots
Metz, Encyclopedia


December 20, 1884


Pioneering New Mexico cattleman John Simpson Chisum died at Eureka Springs, Arkansas, probably of cancer. He was buried at Lamar County, Texas.
Curry, Autobiography
Larson, Forgotten Frontier
Thrapp, Encyclopedia


July 19, 1885


Near midnight, a eastbound passanger train left Albuquerque. Unknown to the crew, a spate of rain in the Sanda Mountains had washed out a section of roadbed a few miles north of Bernalillo. Headlines the next day proclaimed “A Railroad Horror.” The engineer and fireman were killed, but all passangers survived. The matter was dismissed as an act of nature.
Albuquerque Evening Democrat, July 20, 1885
Albuquerque Morning Journal, July 21, 1885
Simmons, Albuquerque



August 13, 1885


New Mexico’s Territorial Penitentiary opened for business on this date. On the same day, three prisoners escaped and were never recaptured. Four convicts had absconded while the facility was under construction (February 20, 1885).
Harrison, Hell Holes and Hangings
Simmons, When Six-Guns Ruled


August 18, 1885


Jean Baptiste Salpointe (1825-1898) became Archbishop of Santa Fe upon the retirement of Archbishop Jean Baptiste Lamy on the same date. Archbishop Salpointe served until his retirement in 1894.
Four Hundred Years of Faith
Steele, Archbishop Lamy


1885 to 1889


Administration of Territorial Governor Edmund G. Ross (1826-1907) appointed by President Grover Cleveland. Edmund Ross was significant in the history of the United States as the United States Senator who cast the single vote in 1868 that prevented the conviction of President Andrew Johnson after his earlier impeachment. As the first Democratic governor in 24 years, Ross faced considerable opposition from the entrenched Santa Fe Ring.
Kennedy, Profiles
Lamar, The Far Southwest
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006
Simmons, Ranchers, Ramblers and Renegades
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II


March 7, 1886


Though unfinished, the St. Francis Cathedral in Santa Fe was blessed on this date. Retired Archbishop Jean Baptiste Lamy was present for this event. He did not live to see the cathedral completed, October 18, 1895.
Four Hundred Years of Faith


August 23, 1886


Confederate Army General Henry Hopkins Sibley died at Fredericksburg, Virginia at age 70. Sibley was the commanding officer of the Texas Confederates who invaded New Mexico in the early days of the American Civil War. He was successful at Valverde (February 21, 1862) but turned back at the Battle of Glorieta Pass near Santa Fe (March 26-28, 1862). His drinking habits were legendary. Note: Confederate General Henry Hopkins Sibley (1816-1886) should not be confused with Union General Henry Hastings Sibley (1811-1891).
Alberts, The Battle of Glorieta
Alberts, Rebels on the Rio Grande
Thrapp, Encyclopedia
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II



September 4, 1886

Chiricahua Apache leader Geronimo and fewer than 40 warriors surrendered to U. S. Army Brigadier General Nelson A. Miles at Skeleton Canyon, near the Arizona/New Mexico Border.
Bullis, 99 New Mexicans
Robinson, Apache Voices
Thrapp, Encyclopedia



November 20, 1886


Albuquerque Town Marshal Bob McGuire and his deputy, E. D. Henry, were shot and killed in Martíneztown, northeast of Albuquerque's new town, by outlaws John "Kid" Johnson and Charlie Ross. Neither of the outlaws was ever prosecuted for their crimes.
Bullis, New Mexico’s Finest
Simmons, Albuquerque


January 24, 1887


San Juan County created, named for the river that flows through it.
Beck & Haase, Historical Atlas of New Mexico
Julyan, The Place Names of New Mexico
New Mexico Blue Book, 2003-2004


July 3, 1887


Robert Clay Allison, a participant in New Mexico’s Colfax County War (1875-1877) during which he is believed to have killed several people, died at age 46 when he fell under the wheels of a freight wagon and was crushed, near Pecos, Texas.
Bullis, 99 New Mexicans
Parsons, Clay Allison, Portrait of a Shootist
Simmons, When Six Guns Ruled


December 25, 1887


World famous hotelier Conrad Hilton was born at San Antonio, New Mexico on this date. He began his business career there, working in his father’s store. He also founded a bank in Socorro County, and he served in the first New Mexico legislature after statehood in 1912. He opened the Hilton Hotel in downtown Albuquerque in 1939.
Hilton, Be My Guest
Simmons, Albuquerque



February 13, 1888


Santa Fe Archbishop Jean Baptiste Lamy died in Santa Fe at the age of 74. He is buried under the floor of the Santa Fe Cathedral.
Horgan, Lamy of Santa Fe
Steele, Archbishop Lamy


1889 to 1893


Administration of Territorial Governor L. Bradford Prince (1840-1922) appointed by President Benjamin Harrison. Twitchell wrote, “There was great opposition to this action [Prince’s appointment] of the president among the leaders of the republican [sic] party in New Mexico, but Governor Prince, backed by the great financial interests of the east, and by the president of every great railroad company in the west, as well as by a great majority of the representative business men of New Mexico, was appointed and confirmed.”
Lamar, The Far Southwest
New Mexico Blue Book
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II


February 25, 1889


Chaves County created. It was named for Col. José Francisco Chaves (1833-1904), a prominent citizen of New Mexico.
Beck & Haase, Historical Atlas of New Mexico
Julyan, The Place Names of New Mexico
New Mexico Blue Book, 2003-2004


February 25, 1889


Eddy County created, named for Charles B. Eddy, (1857-1931), a rancher and businessman.
Beck & Haase, Historical Atlas of New Mexico
Julyan, The Place Names of New Mexico
New Mexico Blue Book, 2003-2004


July 26, 1889


In a gunfight over the possibility of smallpox contagion, Bernalillo County Deputy Sheriff Warren Moore was shot and killed near the town of Wallace, between Albuquerque and Santa Fe. His assailant, Joseph Chacha, was killed by outranged townsmen.
Don Bullis, Rio Rancho Observer, January 21, 2007


February 5, 1891


On the evening of this date, an assassination attempt was made on territorial legislators Joseph A. Ancheta of Silver City, Thomas B. Catron of Santa Fe and Elias Stover of Albuquerque, when shots were fired through the window of Catron’s law office in Santa Fe. Ancheta was wounded by buckshot to the neck. Catron, protected by a stack of law books, and Stover were not injured. No one was ever prosecuted for the crime.
Lamar, Charlie Siringo’s West
Lamar, The Far Southwest
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II


February 26, 1891


Guadalupe County created, named for Our Lady of Guadalupe, the patron saint of Mexico. From 1903 to 1905, the county was named for General Leonard Wood, a noted medical doctor and hero of the Spanish American War.
New Mexico Blue Book, 2003-2004
Julyan, The Place Names of New Mexico
Beck & Haase, Historical Atlas of New Mexico


May 12, 1892


The New Mexico territorial capitol building was destroyed by a fire of mysterious origin. A significant number of public documents were destroyed, but the so-called Santa Fe Archives were not damaged. The territory did not carry insurance on the structure. No one was ever arrested or prosecuted in the matter.
Lamar, The Far Southwest
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II


June 15, 1892


The University of New Mexico opened for business. Elias Stover was the first president of the institution. Something more than 70 students enrolled.
Davis, Miracle on the Mesa
Simmons, Albuquerque


1893 to 1897


Administration of Territorial Governor William T. Thornton appointed by President Grover Cleveland. A Democrat, Governor Thornton was a former law partner of Republican Party leader Thomas B. Catron. Thornton made strides toward the eradication of violent criminals in the territory, and actually opposed Catron in the Borrego case (see below).
Lamar, The Far Southwest
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II


February 12, 1893


Rancher Oliver Lee and one of his hands, Billy McNew, shot and killed cowboys Charles Rhodius and Matt Coffelt, allegedly for cattle theft. Many believed the accusation was false, but Lee and McNew were cleared of all charges.
Curry, Autobiography
Keleher, Fabulous Frontier
Owen, Two Alberts
Thrapp, Encyclopedia of Frontier Biography


February 13, 1893


Union County created, named for the “Union” of counties out of which it was carved: Colfax, Mora and San Miguel.
Beck & Haas, Historical Atlas of New Mexico
Julyan, The Place Names of New Mexico
New Mexico Blue Book, 2003-2004


January 7, 1894


The second archbishop of Santa Fe, Jean Baptiste Salpointe, retired. The French line of Santa Fe Archbishops continued with the appointment of Placid Louis Chapelle who was consecrated on October 17, 1895.
Four Hundred Years of Faith


May 16, 1894


Fabiola Cabeza de Baca Gilbert, rancher, teacher, Extension Agent, author, was born at La Liendre, New Mexico, near Las Vegas on this date. She died on October 14, 1991 at age 97.
Michelle Melendez, “Remembering Aunt Faby,” Albuquerque Journal North, June 5, 1993
Melzer, Buried Treasures
New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum


October 6, 1894


Marshall Ashmun Upson died in Uvalde, Texas, at age 65. Upson was a close friend of famed Sheriff Pat Garrett. Most historians believe that Upson ghostwrote Garrett’s book, The Authentic Life of Billy the Kid.
Fulton, History of the Lincoln County War
Keleher, Fabulous Frontier
Metz, Pat Garrett
Thrapp, Encyclopedia of Frontier Biography


August 19, 1895


Constable John Henry Selman (1839-1896) killed famed outlaw John Wesley Hardin in the Acme Saloon in El Paso, Texas. Selman was himself an outlaw, along with his brother, “Tom Cat,” he was accused of murder, rape and mayhem in New Mexico during and after the Lincoln County War (1878-1881), though never tried for his crimes.
Metz, John Selman, Gunfighter
Thrapp, Encyclopedia


October 17, 1895


Placid Louis Chapelle (1842-1905) was consecrated as the third archbishop of Santa Fe replacing Archbishop Jean Baptiste Salpointe.
Four Hundred Years of Faith


October 18, 1895


The St. Francis Cathedral in Santa Fe was consecrated by Archbishop Placid Louis Chapelle. Construction on the edifice was started on October 10, 1869.
Nancy Hanks, “Lamy’s Legacy: Catholic Institutions of New Mexico Territory,” Seeds of Struggle/ Harvest of Faith (LPD Press, 1998)


October 23, 1895


New Mexico’s United States Senator, Clinton P. Anderson, was born in Turner County, South Dakota. He served in the Senate from 1949 to 1973. He died November 11, 1975. Congressional Biography
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006
Simmons, Albuquerque


1897 to 1906


Administration of Territorial Governor Miguel A. Otero II appointed by President William McKinley. While one source reports that Otero was a “native-born New Mexican,” another reports that he was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on October 17, 1859. He was the first Hispanic and the longest serving of New Mexico’s territorial governors.
New Mexico Blue Book 2005-2006
Otero, My Life on the Frontier
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II



August 8, 1897


Creighton Mays Foraker (1861-1917) took office as the United States Marshal for the Territory of New Mexico. He served until 1912. Foraker put the first automobile into law enforcement service in New Mexico, a 1910 Studebaker.
Alexander, Lawmen, Outlaws, and S. O. Bs.
Simmons, Albuquerque



April 25, 1898


The Spanish American War began. The First New Mexico Cavalry was activated for service and became a part of the First U. S. Volunteer Cavalry Regiment, better known as the Rough Riders.
Curry, Autobiography
New Mexico Blue Book, 2003-2004
Otero, My Life on the Frontier


May 23, 1898


A gang of outlaws led by Bronco Bill Walters robbed a train just south of Belen, New Mexico, of an estimated $20,000 to $50,000. The gang killed three lawmen during their flight from arrest. Wells Fargo detectives captured Walters in July 29, 1898, and he served time in the New Mexico territorial/state prison until 1917, when Governor Washington E. Lindsey pardoned him.
Bryan, Robber, Rogues & Ruffians
Bullis, New Mexico’s Finest
DeArment, George Scarborough
Melzer, Buried Treasures
Thrapp, Encyclopedia


July 15, 1898


Former Santa Fe Archbishop Jean Baptiste Salpointe died at Tucson, Arizona.
Four Hundred Years of Faith


January 7, 1899


The Most Reverend Peter Bourgade (1845-1908) became the fourth Archbishop of Santa Fe, replacing Archbishop Placid Louis Chapelle who had been reassigned to the archdiocese of New Orleans.
Four Hundred Years of Faith


January 30, 1899


Otero County created, named for Miguel A. Otero, governor of New Mexico at the time.
Beck & Haase, Historical Atlas of New Mexico
Julyan, The Place Names of New Mexico
New Mexico Blue Book, 2003-2004)


February 23, 1899


McKinley County created, named for U. S. President William McKinley (1843-1901).
Beck & Haase, Historical Atlas of New Mexico
Julyan, The Place Names of New Mexico
New Mexico Blue Book, 2003-2004


April 24, 1899


John Davis Albert died at Walsenburg, Colorado at the age of 93. A mountain man, he escaped the slaughter at Turley’s Mill during the Taos Revolt of 1847, and carried word of the uprising to other mountain men near Pueblo, Colorado.
Crutchfield, Tragedy at Taos
Thrapp, Encyclopedia of Frontier Biography


May 25, 1899


Oliver Lee (1865-1941) and Jim Gilliland (1874-1946) went on trial at Hillsboro before Judge Frank Parker (1860-1932) for the murder of Henry Fountain who disappeared along with his father on February 1, 1896. The trial lasted 18 days and the jury acquitted both men in eight minutes. A third man, Billy McNew, also accused of participation in the crime, was never tried.
Curry, Autobiography
Keleher, Fabulous Frontier
Metz, Pat Garrett
Owen, Two Alberts


July 24, 1899


Outlaw Sam Ketchum died at the New Mexico Territorial Prison at Santa Fe from gangrene which resulted from a gunshot wound received in a gunfight with lawmen at Turkey Creek Canyon a week earlier.
Bullis, 99 New Mexicans
Metz, Encyclopedia
Metz, Shooters


October 7, 1899


Oklahoma murderer Billy Reed, aka Norman Newman, was shot and killed at the W. W. Cox Ranch in the Organ Mountains of southern New Mexico by either Doña Ana County Sheriff Pat Garrett or his deputy, José Espalin, as he attempted to avoid arrest. Espalin had been in a posse that engaged in a gunfight with murder suspect Oliver Lee on July 13, 1898.
Metz, Pat Garrett
Metz, Encyclopedia
O’Neal, Encyclopedia



April 6, 1900


George A. Scarborough died at Deming, New Mexico, after having been wounded in a gunfight with rustlers in the Chiricahua Mountains of Arizona. He was 41 years old. He had previously served a Texas sheriff and a deputy U. S. Marshal. He worked for the Grant County (New Mexico) Cattleman’s Association at the time of his death.
DeArment, George Scarborough
Metz, John Selman
O’Neal, Encyclopedia


June 4, 1900


The second territorial capitol was completed in Santa Fe. (The first one burned down, see May 12, 1892.) The new capitol building remained in use until the current capitol, called “The Round House,” was dedicated in December 1966.
New Mexico Blue Book


March 16, 1901


Luna County created, named for Solomon Luna, a well-known political figure in territorial New Mexico.
Beck & Haase, Historical Atlas of New Mexico
Julyan, The Place Names of New Mexico
New Mexico Blue Book, 2003-2004


April 26, 1901


Thomas Edward “Black Jack” Ketchum was executed by hanging at Clayton, New Mexico, for “assaulting a railroad train.” The execution was badly botched by Sheriff Salome Garcia and Ketchum was decapitated in doing of it.
Alexander, Lawmen, Outlaws, and S. O. Bs
Metz, Encyclopedia
O’Neal, Encyclopedia


February 20, 1902


Famed photographer Ansel Easton Adams was born in San Francisco, California. He died on April 22, 1984. One of his best-known photographs is Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico, which he took in 1941.
Rudnick, Mabel Dodge


January 28, 1903


Quay County created, Named for Mathew S. Quay, United States Senator from Pennsylvania who supported statehood for New Mexico.
Beck & Haase, Historical Atlas of New Mexico
Julyan, The Place Names of New Mexico
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006


February 28, 1903


Roosevelt County created, named for President Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919).
Beck & Haase, Historical Atlas of New Mexico
Julyan, The Place Names of New Mexico
New Mexico Blue Book, 2003-2004


March 10, 1903


Sandoval County created. Originally called Santa Ana County, it was named for a family residing in the area.
Beck & Haase, Historical Atlas of New Mexico
Julyan, The Place Names of New Mexico
New Mexico Blue Book, 2003-2004


March 16, 1903


Torrance County created, named for Francis J. Torrance who promoted railroad construction in the area.
Beck & Haase, Historical Atlas of New Mexico
Julyan, The Place Names of New Mexico
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006)


August 20, 1903


The Santa Fe Central Railway, a part of the El Paso-Northeastern System, opened passenger and freight service between Santa Fe, New Mexico and El Paso, Texas “via Torrance.” An advertisement for the event noted, “Thus is the long-wished-for event accomplished.”
Myrick, New Mexico’s Railroads


April 19, 1904


Warren Fay Shedd died at the age of 75. Shedd operated a ranch in the foothills of the Organ Mountains of southern New Mexico which offered more than livestock for market. Shedd’s ranch was a small community that included a general store, saloon and dance hall with accommodating ladies provided, and a hotel. It was reportedly a haven for outlaws and stolen cattle, though Shedd himself was never arrested.
Metz, Encyclopedia
Thrapp, Encyclopedia of Frontier Biography


February 15, 1905


New Mexico Territorial governor (1878-1881) Lewis “Lew” Wallace died in Crawfordsville, Indiana, at 77 years of age. Wallace was also the author of the famed 19
th century novel, Ben Hur.
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006
Thrapp, Encyclopedia


1906 to 1907


Administration of Territorial Governor Herbert J. Hagerman appointed by President Theodore Roosevelt. Governor Hagerman was in over his head. Twitchell wrote, “[He was] utterly unfamiliar with the methods in vogue in New Mexican politics [and] … was not qualified by experience with the talent necessary for the carrying out of the policies which were initiated by him….” He lost the confidence of President Roosevelt after he was accused of improperly selling public land and his tenure was therefore brief. He remained in New Mexico and became quite influential in Republican Politics.
Curry, Autobiography
Lamar, The Far Southwest
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II


1907 to 1910


Administration of Territorial Governor George Curry appointed by President Theodore Roosevelt. Curry was a man with vast experience in New Mexico politics and government. He had previously served in various county offices, including sheriff of both Lincoln and Otero counties. He had also served in the territorial legislature. He went on to serve as one of New Mexico first congressmen after statehood in 1912.
Curry, Autobiography
Lamar, The Far Southwest
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006


February 29, 1908


Sheriff Patrick Floyd Garrett was murdered along a trail between Organ and Las Cruces; shot in the back at the age of 58. Jesse Wayne Brazil confessed to the crime but was acquitted at trial on May 4, 1909.
Burns, Saga of Billy the Kid
Metz, Pat Garrett
Rickards, Pat Garrett’s Last Days
Pete Ross, “Some Prominent New Mexicans May Have Been Accessories to the Murder of Pat Garrett,” Wild West, December 2001


May 17, 1908


Santa Fe Archbishop Peter Bourgade died in Chicago at the age of 63. He was interred in St. Francis Cathedral in Santa Fe.
Four Hundred Years of Faith


February 25, 1909


Curry County crated, named for George Curry (1861-1947) who served as territorial governor of New Mexico (1907-1910) and congressional representative (1912-1913).
Curry, Autobiography
Lamar, The Far Southwest
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006


January 14, 1910


Republican U. S. Representative Edward L. Hamilton of Michigan introduced an act that enabled New Mexico to form a government and become a State of the Union. It passed three days later.
Curry, Autobiography
Lamar, Far Southwest
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II


1910 to 1912


Administration of Territorial Governor William J. Mills appointed by President William Howard Taft. Mills was New Mexico’s last Territorial Governor. He generally continued the policies of his predecessor, George Curry, and in fact retained virtually off of Curry’s appointees.
Curry, Autobiography
Lamar, The Far Southwest
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II


April 29, 1910


Col. Nathan A. M. Dudley, the military commander at Fort Stanton who participated in the “Five Day Battle” of the Lincoln County War, died.
Keleher, Violence in Lincoln County
Thrapp, Encyclopedia
Utley, High Noon


October 10, 1910


The Constitutional Convention at Santa Fe took up the task of formulating the organic law of what would become the State of New Mexico 15 months later (January 6, 1912). Charles A. Spiess of San Miguel County was elected president of the convention. George W. Armijo was elected chief clerk.
Lamar, The Far Southwest
Twitchell, Leading Facts of New Mexico History


January 21, 1911


More than 45,000 New Mexico voters went to the polls and approved a Constitution that paved the way for statehood, by a vote of 31,742 to 13,399.
Lamar, The Far Southwest
New Mexico Blue Book, 2003-2004
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II


February 24, 1911


President William Howard Taft (1857-1930) sent a message to the U. S. Senate and House of Representative recommending approval of New Mexico’s new constitution. The House approved the document on February 28. The Senate Committee on Territories recommended approval, but political squabbling prevented approval by the full Senate until August 8, when it passed by a vote of 53-18.
Lamar, The Far Southwest
Twitchell, Leading Facts of New Mexico History


January 6, 1912


Republican President William Howard Taft (1857-1930) signed the proclamation making New Mexico the 47
th State of the Union. He said, “I am glad to give you life. I hope you will be healthy.”
Lamar, The Far Southwest
New Mexico Blue Book, 2003-2004
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II


November 7, 1911


Election day for the first officials of the State of New Mexico. Results of the election were as follows:
Democrat William C. McDonald defeated Republican Holm Bursum for governor
Democrat Ezequiel C de Baca defeated Republican Malaquias Martinez for Lieutenant Governor
Republican George Curry and Democrat H. B. Fergusson were elected to the U. S. Congress
Democrat Antonio Lucero defeated Republican Secundino Romero for Secretary of State.
Republican Frank W. Clancy defeated Democrat W. D. McGill for Attorney General
Republican R. P. Ervien defeated Democrat J. L. Emerson for Commissioner of Public Lands.
Twitchell, Leading Facts


January 15, 1912


William C. McDonald was sworn in as the first governor of the State of New Mexico at the state capitol in Santa Fe. Chief Justice Clarence J. Roberts administered the oath of office. As a part of his inaugural address, McDonald said, “Laws and rules can help direct, but cannot make good people—happy and prosperous—but right-thinking, honest citizens can….”
Curry, Autobiography
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006
Simmons, Albuquerque
Twitchell, Leading Facts of New Mexico History


1912 to 1916


Administration of State Governor William C. McDonald, a Democrat. His Lieutenant Governor was Ezequiel C de Baca. Because the state’s first election took place in 1911, an odd numbered year, McDonald’s term was five years, until 1916. He did not seek reelection.
Melzer, Buried Treasures
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006


August 29, 1914


Van Ness Cummings Smith, considered by many to have been the founder of Roswell, New Mexico, died at Prescott, Arizona at the age of 77. He arrived on the Pecos River in 1871 and named the settlement for his father, Roswell Smith.
Fleming, J. C. Lea
Larson, Forgotten Frontier
Frederick Nolan, “Van C. Smith: A Very Companionable Gentleman,” New Mexico Historical Review, April 1997


May 23, 1915


A statue of Archbishop Jean Baptiste Lamy, placed in front of St. Francis Cathedral, was dedicated.
Four Hundred Years of Faith


March 9, 1916


Mexican Revolutionary leader Pancho Villa’s troops attacked the town of Columbus, in southern New Mexico. It is the last time that the United States was invaded by a foreign army.
Bullis, 99 New Mexicans
Fugate & Fugate, Roadside History of New Mexico
Charles H. Harris III and Louis R. Sadler, “Pancho Villa and the Columbus Raid,” New Mexico Historical Review, October 1975
Johnson, Heroic Mexico
Melzer, Buried Treasures


January to February 1917


Administration of State Governor Ezequiel C. de Baca, a Democrat. His Lieutenant Governor was Washington E. Lindsey. Governor C. de Baca was too ill to attend inaugural ceremonies outside of his hospital room. He served slightly more than six weeks.
Albuquerque Journal, January 1 & 4, 1917; February 19 to 23, 1917
Melzer, Buried Treasures
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006


February 18, 1917


Governor Ezequiel C. de Baca (born 1864) died in office after having served only six weeks. He was succeeded by Washington E. Lindsey (1862-1926).
Albuquerque Journal, January 1 & 4, 1917; February 19 to 23, 1917
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006


1917 to 1918


Administration of State Governor Washington E. Lindsey. He had no Lieutenant Governor since he succeeded to the office upon the death of Governor Ezequiel C. de Baca. Lindsey was New Mexico’s first Republican Governor.
Albuquerque Journal, January 1 & 4, 1917; February 19 to 23, 1917
Melzer, Buried Treasures
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006


February 28, 1917


De Baca County created, named for Ezequiel C de Baca (1864-1917), New Mexico’s second governor under statehood (1917).
Beck & Haase, Historical Atlas of New Mexico
Julyan, Place Names of New Mexico
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006


March 3, 1917


Former New Mexico Territorial U. S. Marshal (1897-1912) Creighton Mays Foraker died of complications from diabetes.
Alexander, Lawmen, Outlaws, and S. O. Bs
Ball, The United States Marshals
Curry, An Autobiography
Tanner & Tanner, Last of the Old-Time Outlaws


March 7, 1917


Lea County created, named for Captain Joseph C. Lea (1841-1904), the first mayor of Roswell (which is not in Lea County). Known as the “Father of the New Mexico Military Institute.
Beck & Haase, Historical Atlas of New Mexico
Julyan, Place Names of New Mexico
Melzer, Buried Treasures
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006


April 13, 1917


New Mexico oilman and rancher Robert O. Anderson was born in Chicago. He became one of the richest men in New Mexico.
Patterson, Hardhat and Stetson


June 14, 1918


Former New Mexico outlaw, Billy Wilson, then serving as sheriff of Terrell County, Texas, was shot to death by drunk cowboy Ed Valentine. Wilson was born in Ohio in 1861.
Curry, Autobiography
Keleher, Violence in Lincoln County
McLoughlin, An Encyclopedia of the Old West
Metz, Pat Garrett
Thrapp, Encyclopedia of Frontier Biography
Tise, Texas County Sheriffs


1919 to 1920


Administration of State Governor Octaviano A. Larrazolo, a Republican. His Lieutenant Governor was Benjamin F. Pankey. Governor Larrazolo’s political popularity suffered after he pardoned some of the Mexicans convicted of participating in Pancho Villa’s raid on Columbus, New Mexico. He was appointed to serve in the United States Senate after the death of Senator Andrieus A. Jones (December 1927).
Curry, Autobiography
Hurst, Villista Prisoners
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006
Melzer, Buried Treasures
Twitchell, Leading Facts


January 6, 1919


Theodore Roosevelt died at his estate at Oyster Bay, New York. Roosevelt was the first U. S. President to have close ties to New Mexico. Many of the “Rough Riders” he commanded in Cuba during the Spanish American War came from New Mexico Territory. He attended several Rough Rider reunions in the years between war’s end and his death.


February 25, 1919


Hidalgo County created, named for the Mexican town of Guadalupe Hidalgo, where the famous treaty was signed on February 2, 1848.
Beck & Haase, Historical Atlas of New Mexico
Julyan, Place Names of New Mexico
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006


May 7, 1919


Albert Thomas Daeger (1872-1932) was consecrated as the sixth archbishop of Santa Fe.
Four Hundred Years of Faith
Melzer, Buried Treasures


February 19, 1920


New Mexico became the 32
nd state to approve the 19th Amendment to the U. S. Constitution, which provided for woman’s suffrage.
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006


1921 to 1922


Administration of State Governor Merritt C. Mechem, a Republican. His Lieutenant Governor was William H. Duckworth. Mechem had previously served as District Attorney in Quay and Guadalupe counties, and in the territorial legislature. He’d also served as a supreme court justice. He practiced law in Albuquerque after he completed a single term as governor.
Melzer, Buried Treasures
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006
New Mexico Historical Review, July 1946
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II


February 25, 1921


Catron County created. It was named for Thomas B. Catron (1840-1921), New Mexico’s first United States Senator (1912-1917).
Beck & Haase, Historical Atlas of New Mexico
Julyan, Place Names of New Mexico
New Mexico Blue Book, 2003-2004


March 4, 1921


Harding County created, named for U. S. President Warren G. Harding (1865-1923).
Beck & Haase, Historical Atlas of New Mexico
Julyan, Place Names of New Mexico
New Mexico Blue Book, 2003-2004


May 21, 1921


Thomas Benton Catron, significant in New Mexico history for much of the last half of the 19
th century, died. Catron County was named for him (see February 25, 1921).
Bullis, 99 New Mexicans
Chávez, New Mexico
Lamar, The Far Southwest
Melzer, Buried Treasures
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II


June 16, 1921


Famed train robber William “Bronco Bill” Walters died from injuries he received when he fell off of a windmill he was working on near Hachita, New Mexico. He was 61 years old.
DeArment, George Scarborough
Melzer, Buried Treasures
Metz, Encyclopedia
Thrapp, Encyclopedia


February 16, 1922


New Mexico rancher John Horton Slaughter died at Prescott, Arizona at age 81. Slaughter moved from Texas to far western New Mexico in the late 1870s and prospered, some said, at the expense of other ranchers. (John Horton Slaughter should not be confused with John B. Slaughter who also ranched in western New Mexico, and whose cowboys engaged in a gunfight with Elfego Baca in 1884.)
Thrapp, Encyclopedia


April 14, 1922


On this date, the Wall Street Journal carried a report on a secret deal in which the United States Secretary of the Interior, Albert Bacon Fall of New Mexico, leased petroleum reserves at Teapot Dome, Wyoming, to a private oil company without any competitive bidding. This event kicked off a firestorm which scorched the Warren G. Harding presidential administration (1921-1923). Before it was over, Fall lost his job and eventually stood convicted of accepting a bribe. He served ten months in prison at Santa Fe (July 1931 to May 1932).
Charles Bennett, “Albert Bacon Fall….,” New Mexico Magazine, October 2003
Bethune, Race With the Wind
Bullis, 99 New Mexicans
Curry, Autobiography
Melzer, Buried Treasures



1923 to 1924


Administration of State Governor James F. Hinkle, a Democrat. His Lieutenant Governor was José A. Baca who died in office, in May 1924. Hinkle was known as “The Cowboy Governor” before that sobriquet was applied to Governor Bruce King in the early 1970s. Hinkle did not seek reelection to the governor’s chair but returned to Roswell where he engaged in the banking business.
Kalloch & Hall, The First Ladies of New Mexico
Larson, Forgotten Frontier
Melzer, Buried Treasures
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006


April 6, 1923


Francisco Vaisas was the last man executed by hanging in New Mexico, on this date. He was convicted of participating in the murder of a storekeeper in the town of Duran, in Torrance County, and hanged at the county seat in Estancia. The state assumed the responsibility for executions in 1929, and the method was changed to electrocution. The forst execution by this method took place on July 21, 1933 when Thomas Johnson was put to death at the prison in Santa Fe.


July 20, 1923


Mexican Revolutionary Doroteo Arango, better known as Pancho Villa, was shot and killed in an ambush at Parral, Chihuahua. He was 45 years old. Troops under his command attacked the New Mexico community of Columbus on March 9, 1916.
Bullis, 99 New Mexicans
Fugate & Fugate, Roadside History
Johnson, Heroic Mexico
Melzer, Buried Treasures


September 24, 1923


The Albuquerque Tribune, which had only been in existence for about six months, was purchased by Scripps Howard. The paper was originally called Magee’s Independent, after Carlton “Carl” Magee, the editor. Magee coined the Scripps Howard motto: “Give light, and the people will find their own way.”
Bryan, Albuquerque
Bullis, 99 New Mexicans
Simmons, Albuquerque


June 2, 1924


President Calvin Coolidge singed the so-called Indian Citizenship Act. This event marked the end of a long debate on the status of Native Americans. However, as one historian noted, “… citizenship did little to improve the condition of the American Indians. Life on the reservations continued much as before.” New Mexico Native Americans would not be allowed to vote until 1948 (see August 3, 1948).
Gary C. Stein, “The Indian Citizenship Act of 1924,” New Mexico Historical Review, July 1972


1925 to 1926


Administration of State Governor Arthur T. Hannett, a Democrat. He won by a margin of only 111 votes. His Lieutenant Governor was Edward Sargent. Governor Hannett ran for re-election in 1926, but was defeated by Republican Richard C. Dillon.
Kalloch, Hall, The First Ladies of New Mexico
Melzer, Buried Treasures
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006
Roberts & Roberts, New Mexico


August 26, 1925


New Mexico historian Ralph Emerson Twitchell died at age 66. Twitchell was the author of many important books on New Mexico history, including Leading Facts of New Mexico History in five volumes. Historian Thomas Chávez writes, “All subsequent historians of New Mexico owe a debt to his work.”
Chávez, New Mexico
Melzer, Buried Treasures
Tórrez, UFOs
Thrapp, Encyclopedia


1927 to 1930


Administration of State Governor Richard C. Dillon, a Republican. His Lieutenant Governor during his first term was Edward Sargent; during his second term, Hugh B. Woodward. Woodward resigned his office in July 1929 to become U. S. Attorney. Governor was re-elected in 1928, and thus became the first governor after statehood to serve two consecutive terms in office.
Melzer, Buried Treasures
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006
Roberts & Roberts, New Mexico


September 22, 1927


Frank Springer died while visiting his daughter in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was one of the most important men in New Mexico in the last quarter of the 19
th century serving as attorney for the Maxwell Land Grant, legislator, scientist, newspaperman, and rancher.
New Mexico Historical Review, Vol. 2, 1927
Caffey, Frank Springer
Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. II


October 19, 1928


Range detective and author Charles A. Siringo, died in Hollywood, California, at age 73. Siringo participated in several significant criminal cases in New Mexico during his career as a Pinkerton detective, and he lived for a time in Santa Fe. Siringo Road in that city is named for him.
Lamar, Charlie Siringo’s West
Siringo, A Texas Cowboy or Fifteen Years on the Hurricane Deck of a Spanish Pony


June 9, 1930


Benjamin L. “Ben” Abruzzo, Albuquerque balloonist and businessman, born at Rockford, Illinois. He was killed in an airplane crash near Albuquerque on February 11, 1985.
Albuquerque Journal, February ___________________
Salmon, Sandia Peak


November 25, 1930


Joseph Antrim, the brother of William H. Antrim, aka McCarty and Bonney, better known as Billy the Kid, died in Denver, nearly 50 years after the death of his more famous sibling. Note: Thrapp shows Antrim’s year of birth as 1862 while Mullen shows it as 1855.
Thrapp, Encyclopedia
Mullen, Chronology
Wallis, Billy the Kid


1931 to 1933


Administration of State Governor Arthur Seligman, a Democrat. Governor Seligman created the New Mexico Motor Patrol in 1933, predecessor to the New Mexico State Police, created in 1935. He died in office on September 25, 1933, the second New Mexico governor to do so (Ezequiel C. de Baca was the first, in 1917). Seligman was succeeded by his Lieutenant Governor, Andrew Hockenhull.
Curry, Autobiography
Melzer, Buried Treasures
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006
New Mexico State Police 60
th Anniversary Year Book


January 3, 1931


Susan Hummer McSween Barber, widow of Alexander McSween of Lincoln County War fame, and present during the Five Day Battle in the town of Lincoln (July 15-19, 1878). Later in life she entered the ranching business at Three Rivers and became known as “The Cattle Queen of New Mexico,” died on this date and was buried at White Oaks.
Keleher, Violence in Lincoln County
Nolan, Lincoln County
Thrapp, Encyclopedia
Utley, High Noon


December 2, 1932


Santa Fe Archbishop(1919-1932) Albert Thomas Daeger died after a fall in his home at the age of 60.
Four Hundred Years of Faith
Melzer, Buried Treasures


June 2, 1933


Rudolph Aloysius Gerken (1887-1943) appointed at the seventh archbishop of Santa Fe following the death of Archbishop Albert Thomas Daeger the previous year.
Four Hundred Years of Faith


September 25, 1933


Governor Arthur Seligman died in office. (See 1931-1933, above.)


1933 to 1934


Administration of State Governor Andrew Hockenhull. He had no Lieutenant Governor since succeeded to the office upon the death of Gov. Arthur Seligman. Governor Hockenhull served out Seligman’s term, and did not seek election to the governor’s chair.
Kalloch and Hall, The First Ladies of New Mexico
Melzer, Buried Treasures
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006


June 27, 1934


New Mexico writer Eugene Manlove “Gene” Rhodes died in California. He was buried at the top of Rhodes Pass in the San Andres Mountains of southern New Mexico. His epitaph reads, “Pasó por aquí,” (I passed by here) which was also the title of one of his best known short stories.
Keleher, Fabulous Frontier
Keleher, Memoirs
C. L. Sonnichsen, “Gene Rhodes and The Decadent West,” Book Talk, New Mexico Book League, September 1990
Thrapp, Encyclopedia


1935 to 1938


Administration of State Governor Clyde Tingley. His Lieutenant Governor during his first term was Louis C. de Baca; for his second term, Hiram M. Dow. Governor Tingley had vast experience in New Mexico politics dating back to 1916 when he was elected to the Albuquerque City Commission. His close association with President Franklin D. Roosevelt produced significant results in terms of federal money for New Mexico projects. Many Albuquerque area landmarks are named for Tingley.
Bryan, Albuquerque
Bullis, 99 New Mexicans
Garcia & McCord, Albuquerque
Lundy, Clyde Tingley
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006
Melzer, Buried Treasures
Simmons, Albuquerque


March 26, 1937


Rocketeer Robert H. Goddard launched Rocket L-13 at Roswell, New Mexico. It achieved an altitude of more than 8,000 feed, his highest flight. Goddard held more than 214 patents in rocketry.
Clary, Rocket Man
Hsi, Sundaggers
Jeffrey Kluger, Time Magazine, March 29, 1999
Melzer, Buried Treasures


July 6, 1938


Daniel M. “Red” Pipkin died by his own hand. Pipkin had been both train robber and deputy sheriff in a somewhat checkered career. He rode with the Bronco Bill Walters gang in his career as a thief, and he served as deputy to McKinley County Sheriff Bob Roberts in his law enforcement career.
Bullis, 99 New Mexicans
Tanner & Tanner, “Red Pipkin, Outlaw From the Black River Country,” Wild West Magazine, October 2003
Thrapp, Encyclopedia


1939 to 1942


Administration of State Governor John E. Miles, a Democrat. His Lieutenant Governor during his first term was James Murray Sr.; for his second term, Ceferino Quintana. Governor Miles worked his way up through the ranks in the Democrat party: from tax assessor to chairman of the State Central Committee. He served two terms as governor and also served a two year term in the United States Congress (1949-1951). He ran for another term as governor in 1950 but lost to Republican Edwin Mechem.
Kalloch & Hall, The First Ladies of New Mexico
Melzer, Buried Treasures
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006


December 16, 1939


The Roman Catholic Diocese of Gallup, New Mexico, was established. Bernard Espelage (1892-1971) named the first bishop. He served until his retirement in 1970.
Four Hundred Years of Faith


May 29, 1940


Pablo Abeyta of Isleta Pueblo said in a speech on the occasion of the Coronado Quattrocentennial at Coronado State Monument, “I am afraid I will have to contradict some of the things you gentlemen have said. Coronado came by Isleta… was given food and royally received. He came up the valley, and what did he do? Well, we had better say no more about it, for his record isn’t good and you know it.” Abeyta also used the occasion to say that about 90% of white man’s history is wrong. He died later in 1940.
Sando, Pueblo Profiles
Weigle & White, Lore of New Mexico


February 25, 1942


Albuquerque Army Air Base officially became Kirtland Field in honor of Col. Roy C. Kirtland, the third oldest aviator in the U. S. Army at the time of his death the year before.
Alberts, Balloons to Bombers


April 9 or 10, 1942


The Bataan Death March began on this date at Mariveles on the Philippines after more than 150,000 troops, including 30,000 Americans, surrendered to the Japanese 14
th Army early in World War II. (Bataan fell to the Japanese on April 9, 1942 and some sources date the death march from then; others indicate that the march did not begin until the following day.) About 1,800 of the Americans were members of the 200th or 515th Coast Artillery, from New Mexico. Only about half of them survived the 65 mile death march and the horrendous conditions at Camp O’Donnell, the prison camp where many of them were held until war’s end in August 1945. The Japanese commander, General Masaharu Homma, was executed near Manila on April 3, 1946, for atrocities committed on the march.
Bryan, Albuquerque
Jay Miller, Syndicated Columnist, February 22, 2008
Christopher Schurtz, Battle for Bataan website


June 10, 1942


Alamogordo Army Air Field was established about six miles west of the town of the same name. Throughout World War II, the base served as a training facility for bomber crews—B-17s, B-24s and B-29s. On January 13, 1948, the name was changed to Holloman Air Force Base.
Holloman Air Force Base Fact Sheet
Julyan, Place Names of New Mexico
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006


December 28, 1942


President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorized the Manhattan Project for the development of an atomic bomb intended for use later in World War II. In the spring of the following year, Los Alamos, New Mexico, was acquired by the project and was designated to consolidate work on atomic weapons. The world’s first atomic bomb, detonated at Trinity Site on the White Sands Proving Grounds (now White Sands Missile Range) on July 16, 1945, and the two bombs dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki a few weeks later, were constructed at Los Alamos.
Hsi, Sundaggers
Rhodes, Making of the Atomic Bomb
Simmons, New Mexico


1943 to 1946


Administration of State Governor John J. Dempsey, a Democrat. His Lieutenant Governor was James “Jawbone” B. Jones, also a Democrat. Dempsey served in the United States Congress both before he was governor (1935-1941) and afterwards (1951-1958), when he died.
Congressional Biography
Melzer, Buried Treasures
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006


March 2, 1943


Santa Fe Archbishop Rudolph Aloysius Gerken died at the age of 55. He was interred beneath the sanctuary of St. Francis Cathedral in Santa Fe.
Four Hundred Years of Faith
Melzer, Buried Treasures


April 8, 1943


What had been Clovis Municipal Airport became Clovis Army Air Field. It was a bomber training facility. On January 13, 1948, it became Clovis Air Force Base, and on June 8, 1957 it became Cannon Air Force Base.
Cannon Air Force Base
Julyan, Place Names of New Mexico
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006


June 12, 1943


Edwin Vincent Byrne (1891-1963) consecrated as the eighth archbishop of Santa Fe replacing Rudolph A. Gerken, who had died. Archbishop Byrne served until his death in 1963.
Four Hundred Years of Faith


April 18, 1945


Famed war correspondent, and Albuquerque resident, Ernest Taylor “Ernie” Pyle was killed by Japanese sniper fire on the island of Ie Shima in the South Pacific late in World War II. An Albuquerque branch library is located in Pyle’s former residence and is named for him.
Albuquerque Journal, 18, 19, & 28, 1945
Garcia & McCord, Albuquerque
Hillerman, The Spell of New Mexico
Melzer, Ernie Pyle


July 16, 1945


The world’s first atomic bomb was detonated at Trinity Site on the White Sands Proving Grounds (now White Sands Missile Range) between Socorro and Alamogordo. The force of the explosion was equal to that of 18,000 tons of TNT and the blast rattled windows as far away as Gallup. Guests in the Albuquerque Hilton Hotel reported seeing a red glow in the southern sky early that morning. The bomb had been developed at Los Alamos, New Mexico.
Hsi, Sundaggers
Rhodes, Making of the Atomic Bomb
Simmons, Albuquerque


August 27, 1945


Famed New Mexico lawman, lawyer, educator and adventurer Elfego Baca died in Albuquerque at the age of 80. Baca was most famous for the so-called “Mexican War” of 1884 in which he stood off an estimated 80 Texas cowboys in a confrontation at Frisco Plaza (now Reserve) in western Socorro County (now Catron County). Baca practiced law in Albuquerque for many years.
Bryan, Incredible Elfego Baca
Bullis, 99 New Mexicans
Keleher, Memoirs
Melzer, Buried Treasures
Thrapp, Encyclopedia


October 23, 1946


Naturalist and writer Ernest Thompson Seton died in Santa Fe at the age of 86. A founder of the Boy Scouts, Seton wrote widely on nature subjects. While he spent much of his life in Canada, he lived in New Mexico from 1930 until his death.
City of Mississauga Library, Canadian Room
Carlsbad Daily Current-Argus, October 23, 1946
Melzer, Buried Treasure
Thrapp, Encyclopedia


1947 to 1950


Administration of State Governor Thomas J. Mabry. His Lieutenant Governor was Joseph M. Montoya. Mabry also served as a New Mexico Supreme Court justice.
Albuquerque Journal, December 27, 1962
Kalloch and Hall, The First Ladies of New Mexico
Melzer, Buried Treasures
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006


August 3, 1948


The Federal District Court in Denver ruled that Article VII, Section 1, of the New Mexico Constitution was unconstitutional because it prohibited the state’s Native Americans from voting. The action was the result of a suit filed by Miguel H. Trujillo of Isleta Pueblo. Some 18,000 New Mexico Indian people were thus empowered with the franchise.
Albuquerque Journal, August 4, 1948
Gordon Bronitsky, “Isleta’s Unsung Hero,” New Mexico Magazine, August 1989
Sando, Pueblo Profiles


December 27, 1950


Noted Billy the Kid pretender Ollie Roberts died on the street in Hico, Texas. His efforts to be taken seriously as the 19
th century outlaw were generally unsuccessful, except to some Hico citizens, and a few conspiracy theorists, who choose to believe that Sheriff Pat Garrett did not kill William H. Bonney—Billy the Kid—on July 14, 1881 at Fort Sumner, New Mexico.
Cline, Alias Billy the Kid
Melzer, Buried Treasures
Metz, Pat Garrett
Morrison, Alias Billy the Kid


January 19, 1951


Little Brothers of the Good Shepherd in Albuquerque was founded by Brother Matthias Barrett (1900-1991).
Four Hundred Years of Faith
Melzer, Buried Treasures


March 5, 1949


Charles Ryan killed Milton E. “Doc” Noss in Hatch, New Mexico. The argument was allegedly over a vast stash of gold Noss claimed to have found near Victorio Peak in the San Andres Mountains of Doña Ana County, on what is now the White Sands Missile Range. Legend holds that no one has located the treasure since Noss’ death, but some believe that the United States Government found it and removed it many years ago.
Las Cruces Sun-News, March 7, 8, 10, & 11, 1949
Melzer, Hidden Treasures


March 16, 1949


Los Alamos County created, named for the Los Alamos School for Boys that had been established on the site in 1925. The Manhattan Project which developed the world’s first atomic bomb was located here after 1942 and the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratories continue to lead the nation in nuclear research.
Beck & Haase, Historical Atlas of New Mexico
Julyan, Place Names of New Mexico
New Mexico Blue Book, 2003-2004


April 16, 1949


Rabbit hunters found the half-buried body of 18-year-old Ovida “Cricket” Coogler near Mesquite, Doña Ana County, in southern New Mexico. The investigation into her death uncovered widespread political corruption. The case was never solved, but three peace officers were sent to prison for irregularities in the investigation.
Sandman, Murder Near the Crosses
Charlotte Tallman, “Mysterious death of ‘Cricket’ Coogler examined in documentary,” Las Cruces Sun-News, March 24, 2002
Melzer, Buried Treasures
Steve Terrell, “Ovida ‘Cricket’ Coogler,” New Mexico Magazine, February 2004


June 24, 1949


Doña Ana County Sheriff Alfonso Luchini “Happy” Apodaca was indicted by a grand jury on three counts of rape of a teenager and one count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He was arrested on the same day by former sheriff Santos Ramirez.
Albuquerque Journal, June 5 & 15, 1951
Sandman, Murder Near The Crosses


July 7, 1949


Doña Ana County grand jury handed down several indictments including one against County Commission Chairman M. E. Garcia charged with operating gambling devices and Sunday sales of liquor; Anapra Justice of the Peace T. V. Garcia, charged with operating slot machines; former justice of the peace Ramon Duran for embezzlement of $800; and Arthur J. Fountain for sale of liquor to a minor. Some of the attention focused on Doña Ana County elected officials resulted from the investigation into the mysterious death of Cricket Coogler (see April 16, 1949).
Sandman, Murder Near The Crosses


1951 to 1954


The first administration of State Governor Edwin L. Mechem (1912-2002), a Republican. His Lieutenant Governor was Tibo J. Chávez, a Democrat. Mechem served a total of four two-year terms in the governor’s office between 1951 and 1962 but did not complete his final term because he succeeded Dennis Chávez in the United States Senate after Chávez died in late 1962. It was only during his last term that he had a Republican Lieutenant Governor. (Governors and Lieutenant Governors have only run as a team since 1964.)
Congressional Biography
Melzer, Buried Treasures
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006


1955 to 1956


Administration of State Governor John F. Simms, Jr. (1916-1975), a Democrat. His Lieutenant Governor was Joseph M. Montoya. Governor Simms, at 38, was the youngest man to hold the office, and he served a single two-year term.
Melzer, Buried Treasures
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006


February 19, 1955


Trans World Airlines flight 260 en route to Santa Fe, a Martin 404 carrying 13 passengers and three crewmembers, crashed into the Dragon’s Tooth pinnacle in the Sandia Mountains. There were no survivors.
News accounts abundant


1957 to 1958


The second administration (third term) of State Governor Edwin L. Mechem. His Lieutenant Governor was Joseph M. Montoya.
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006


1959 to 1960


Administration of State Governor John Burroughs (1907-1978), a Democrat. His Lieutenant Governor was Ed. V. Mead. Governor Burroughs was in the peanut processing business in Portales, New Mexico, and was therefore known as the “peanut politician,” long before Jimmy Carter, himself a peanut farmer, was elected President of the United States.
Melzer, Buried Treasures
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006


1961 to 1962



The third, (fourth term) and final administration of State Governor Edwin L. Mechem. His Lieutenant Governor was Tom Bolack. Governor Mechem resigned in November, before the end of his term in 1962, and Bolack was advanced to the governor’s chair. Bolack then appointed Mechem to the United States Senate to replace Dennis Chávez who had died.
Melzer, Buried Treasures
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006


November 18, 1962


United States Senator Dennis Chávez died of cancer. He had served in the Senate for nearly 30 years, beginning in 1935 when incumbent Senator Bronson Cutting was killed in an airplane crash. Chávez had previously served in the United States House of Representatives (1923-1924 and 1931-1935). He was succeeded in the Senate by former governor Ed Mechem.
Albuquerque Journal, March 24, 1991
Melzer, Buried Treasures
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006


November 30, 1962


Governor Edwin L. Mechem resigned from office and was succeeded by Lieutenant Governor Tom Bolack. Bolack immediately appointed Mechem to the U. S. Senate seat that had been vacated by the death of Senator Dennis Chávez.
Melzer, Buried Treasures
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006


December 1962


Administration of State Governor Tom Bolack. Governor Bolack only served one month in office. He assumed the office when Edwin Mechem resigned on November 30, 1962, to accept appointment to the United States Senate. Jack M. Campbell had been elected earlier in the month, and took office on January 1, 1943. The governor’s wife, Alice, didn’t bother to move to Santa Fe from Farmington.
Kalloch & Hall, The First Ladies of New Mexico
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006


1963 to 1966


Administration of State Governor Jack M. Campbell, a Democrat. His Lieutenant Governor was Mack Easley. An avid fisherman, he once said, “If there ain’t no fishen’ in heaven, I ain’t goin’ there.”
Melzer, Buried Treasures
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006


February 25, 1964


James Peter Davis (1904-1988), transferred from Puerto Rico the month before, was installed as the ninth archbishop of Santa Fe. He served until 1974.
Four Hundred Years of Faith
Melzer, Buried Treasures


May 7, 1966


At a cost of nearly $2 million, the Sandia Peak Tramway was completed by Bob Nordhaus and Ben Abruzzo.
Melzer, Buried Treasures
(other news accounts abundant)


December 8, 1966


The current New Mexico State Capitol building in Santa Fe was dedicated.
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006


1967 to 1970


Administration of State Governor David F. Cargo. His Lieutenant Governor was E. Lee Francis. Cargo was known as “Lonesome Dave” because he preferred campaigning alone, from small town to small town.
Kalloch & Hall, The First Ladies of New Mexico
King, Cowboy in the Roundhouse
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006


November 18, 1967


Howard Neil “Bud” Rice and his employee, retired schoolteacher Blanche Brown, were shot and killed at the Budville Trading Post east of Grants, New Mexico on old U. S. Route 66. A suspect, Billy Ray White, was arrested and tried for the crimes, but acquitted at trial in March 1969. No one else was ever prosecuted.
Bullis, Bloodville (a fictionalized account of the murder and the investigation)
News reports abundant


1970 to 1974


First administration of State Governor Bruce King. His Lieutenant Governor was Roberto A. Mondragón. Governor King’s term marked the first time that governors were allowed only one four-year term. Previously governors were allow to serve two, two-year, terms.
Kalloch & Hall, The First Ladies of New Mexico
King, Cowboy in the Roundhouse
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006


June 4, 1974


Robert Fortune Sánchez (1934-) was named the tenth archbishop of Santa Fe. He served until 1993. Archbishop Sánchez was the first New Mexico born priest to become archbishop, and he was among the youngest archbishops in the United States. He served until 1993.
Four Hundred Years of Faith


1975 to 1978


Administration of State Governor Jerry Apodaca. His Lieutenant Governor was Robert E. Ferguson. Governor Apodaca was the first Hispanic to hold the office since Octaviano A. Larrazolo served from 1919 to 1920. He had previously served in the state senate.
King, Cowboy in the Roundhouse
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006


August 11-17, 1978


New Mexico balloonists Ben Abruzzo, Maxie Anderson and Larry Newman completed the first Atlantic crossing, from Presque Isle, Maine to Miserey, France. They returned to Albuquerque on August 26.
Melzer, Buried Treasures
News accounts abundant


1979 to 1982


The second administration of State Governor Bruce King. His Lieutenant Governor was again Roberto A. Mondragón.
King, Cowboy in the Roundhouse
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006


April 10, 1980


Construction work began on the Intel plant in Sandoval County, near Rio Rancho. It became one of New Mexico’s largest employers.
News accounts abundant


June 19, 1981


Cíbola County created. It was named for the Seven Cities of Cíbola which were sought by Spanish explorer Francisco Vázquez de Coronado in the 16
th century. Cibola County was carved out of the western part of Valencia County.
Beck & Haase, Historical Atlas of New Mexico
Julyan, The Place Names of New Mexico
New Mexico Blue Book, 2003-2004


October 18, 1982


The Diocese of Las Cruces was established. Ricardo Ramírez (1936-) named the first bishop.
Four Hundred Years of Faith

1983 to 1986


Administration of State Governor Toney Anaya. His Lieutenant Governor was Mike Runnels. Governor Anaya represented the more liberal wing of the Democratic Party, a departure from his predecessor, Bruce King, who was somewhat more conservative.
King, Cowboy in the Roundhouse
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006


June 27, 1983


New Mexico businessman and transatlantic balloonist (August 1978) Maxie Anderson was killed in a ballooning accident Near Bad Brckenau, Lower Franconia, Bavaria, in West Germany.
News accounts abundant


February 11, 1985


New Mexico businessman and transatlantic balloonist (August 1978) Ben Abruzzo, along with his wife and four friends, was killed in an airplane crash near Albuquerque’s Coronado Airport shortly after takeoff.
News accounts abundant


1987 to 1990


Administration of State Governor Garrey Carruthers. His Lieutenant Governor was Jack L. Stahl. Governor Carruthers, of Las Cruces, was a former state chairman of the Republican Party. He had frequently appeared a party functions where he played the role of Abraham Lincoln. Bruce King, who succeeded Carruthers, said of him, “Garrey Carruthers had been an honest, concerned governor who had tried to run a professional operation…. He was exceptionally helpful [during the transition].” Carruthers became a professor at New Mexico State University after his term of office.
King, Cowboy in the Roundhouse
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006


1991 to 1994


Administration of State Governor Bruce King. His Lieutenant Governor was Casey Luna. Bruce Kind served three, four-year, terms in the office of governor. No one, before or since, has served as long. Governor Edwin Mechem comes closest with four terms of two years each.
King, Cowboy in the Roundhouse
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006


December 24, 1992


Melanie Cravens and her three daughters, Kandyce Woodard, 9, Erin Woodard, 8 and Kacee Woodard, 5, were all killed in a head-on collision on Interstate Route 40 west of Albuquerque by a vehicle traveling in the wrong lane of traffic. Gordon House of Thoreau, New Mexico was convicted of Driving While Intoxicated and four counts of vehicular homicide in 1995.
Albuquerque Journal, December 26, 27, 27, 1992; August 14, September 23 & 29,1993; September 29, 2006
Albuquerque Tribune, April 6, 1995
Las Cruces Sun-News, May 4, 1995
Melzer, Buried Treasures
New York Times, June 26, 1995


1995 to 2002


Administration of State Governor Gary E. Johnson. His Lieutenant Governor was Walter D. Bradley. (New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006)


2003 to 2010


Administration of State Governor Bill Richardson. His Lieutenant Governor was Diane D. Denish. Richardson’s bid for the Democratic Presidential nomination in the 2008 primary election was unsuccessful.
New Mexico Blue Book, 2005-2006


May 29, 2004


Albuquerque District Court Judge John Brennan was arrested on charges of possession of a controlled substance (cocaine) and tampering with evidence. He retired from office on July 9 of the same year. (News accounts abundant)


February 23, 2008


The Albuquerque Tribune ceased publication after 86 years. Circulation had dropped to well under 10,000. The paper’s last editor was Phill Causas.