By Marion Dagan
CANNOT UNDERSTAND fully the long struggle which New Mexico
was forced to make for admission to the union if he concentrates
solely upon activities in the national capital. Many statehood
bills were introduced in congress, but it would be an idle
waste of time to trace their history.
is much more significant to try to get backstage and discover
why all these bills were doomed to defeat. With our system
of short terms of office, frequent elections and great publicity,
it is obvious that congressmen who remain in office any length
of time are very responsive to the wishes of their constituents.
Hence it was really the American people who kept the territory
out of the union for sixty years. Let us then consider two
questions: what did the American people think of New Mexico?
And how did the New Mexicans try to put their territory before
the people of the nation in a better light?
for statehood generally agreed that one of the greatest factors
which held New Mexico back was the ignorance of the territory
and its resources which prevailed in the east. Ralph E. Twitchell
wrote the St. Louis Globe Democrat early in 1900:
territory of New Mexico has been the most maligned the least
appreciated, and the poorest understood portion of Uncle Sam's
the same idea had been expressed ten years earlier by the
Las Vegas Optic, when it said:
"The Territory of New Mexico is to the masses of America a terra incognita. If they have ever heard of it the knowledge is of a place luxuriant with cactus, sage brush and vast areas of sand: a land in which water is at a premium, and life holding on by its eyebrows. The capitalist recognizes in such a country no opportunity for investments; the farmer never thinks of it as inviting his labor by offering remuneration and competency, and the laboring man generally passes over the land as unworthy of consideration."2
years later the same newspaper exclaimed:
"Queer ideas some of our eastern cousins entertain about New Mexico! Inquiries are daily made if we have schools and churches; if the Indians are dangerous; if we have any society and other questions equally ridiculous and indicating a lack of intelligence."3
June, 1895, the Albuquerque Morning Democrat complained:
"The misconceptions in the east are more numerous about Arizona and New Mexico than any (other) part of the west today. Even very intelligent people believe the whole country an uninhabitable desert, and it will take lots of advertizing to persuade them the country is really what it is."4
and misconceptions were attributed to high and low alike.
"Goodbye, God, we leave tomorrow for Lordsburg, N. M.,"
was the closing of a little girl's prayer in the states, according
to the Silver City Enterprise for August 23, 1889,
while the Optic stated a few years later that the
Honorable Hoke Smith, Cleveland's secretary of the interior,
had been unable to locate New Mexico on the map!5
A year later T. B. Catron, who had been elected delegate
to congress from New Mexico, wrote Stephen B. Elkins:
"We are far removed from the State Governments, and there is an absolute and supreme ignorance throughout the members of Congress from the States as a general thing, as to a territorial government."
complained that many easterners knew nothing about the New
Mexicans except what they read "in the columns of their
home paper, contributed by some special correspondent on his
travels and written from what he saw from the window of a
Erroneous ideas regarding New Mexico were, however, not
confined to those who had never seen the territory. Eastern
tourists passing through on an excursion, en route to Southern
California, sometimes "rolled their eyes in wild astonishment"
when they found that United States postage stamps could be
bought in Santa Fe, and for exactly the same price they paid
Bernard S. Rodey waxed eloquent over the sins of visitors
to the territory who were blind to the many signs of progress.
In an interview to the Pittsburgh Times, he said:
"Nothing is so hard to dispel as a popular misconception, and the Nation at large has a misconception of New Mexico. The eastern tourist is the person largely responsible for this false impression. He or she comes out here armed with a kodak, and every blanket Indian, every old adobe house and every burro in the Territory is the object of a snapshot, to be carried back East as typical of the New Mexico of today. They go miles to get snapshots at an Indian pueblo, but Albuquerque and our other towns, with wide, well-kept streets, elegant stores, handsome residences, churches, school houses and colleges, are hardly given a second look, let alone a thought. They are too like similar things in the East, and the tourist comes out here to see something strange to him."8
stories of outlaws and crimes committed in New Mexico doubtless
had much to do with the low opinion of the territory held
in the east. James McGuire, mayor of Syracuse, New York, who
visited Albuquerque in the spring of 1901, told a reporter:
"He had observed that eastern capitalists and home seekers were afraid of territories. The general impression prevailed that the people were wild and lawless and incapable of governing themselves. Though a territorial form of government might be as good, or even better in some cases, the fact that people thought it wasn't would prevent and investments."9
humorous letter which appeared in the San Marcial Bee
a year later possibly written by the editor himself in imitation
of "Mr. Dooley" pointed out that the criminal record
of the territory worked against statehood. It read:
"Our dear boy Henry
... I see by the papers that the people down thar (in New Mexico) are suffern and strugglin for statehood. They say ther populashun an churches an industries is all right and I recon tha be but tha hev a yearly batch of muders and stock stealins an train an stage holdens up an killens an cripplins enough to make civilization git up on its hind legs and howl Henry. An I want to tell you rite now that a pitiful id jut with a 6 shooter ken do a dad burned site moar in a minit to backset statehood for N Mex than ther representatives in Kongres and the hole religious an political push ken do in 4 years to shove it f oreds by gosh an don't you ferget it.
we attempt to analyze the misconceptions of New Mexico held
by easterners, they are resolved into a constant repetition
of two ideas: the country is an uninhabitable desert, and
the people are unfit for self-government.
Zebulon M. Pike and Josiah Gregg did much to convince the
American public that much of the southwest was a barren desert,
unfit for human habitation. Pike, who passed through New Mexico
in 1806 predicted that the vast desert area would serve to
restrict population to certain limits. Gregg, the author of
the Commerce of the Prairies (published in 1844) was a Santa
Fe trader for a number of years. He declared that much of
the southwest seemed "only fitted for the haunts of the
mustang, the buffalo, the antelope, and their migratory lord,
the Prairie Indian."
General Kearny invaded New Mexico during the summer of 1846,
his men who were half‑starved at times11
doubtless acquired lasting impressions of the country
which seemed inhospitable compared to the woods and green
fields of Missouri. Six years later, when the Gadsden Treaty
to purchase what is now southern New Mexico and Arizona came
before the senate for ratification, it was a Missourian who
led the opposition to it. Senator Benton declared that the
country was "so utterly desolate, desert, and God-forsaken
that Kit Carson says a wolf could not make a living upon it.
. . ,"12
Other senators also described the land as worthless.
Of course, the popular idea of "the Great American Desert"
at one time included the whole region between the one hundredth
meridian and the Rocky Mountains.13
By 1870, this term had largely lost its meaning, as far
as most of the area was concerned. The old idea still persisted,
however, with regard to New Mexico and was to appear again
and again in the arguments of those opposed to the admission
of the territory to the union. Even New Mexicans were inclined
to disagree as to whether or not they could afford to have
tourists see the territory with their own eyes. Thus, in discussing
the possibility of having daylight trains run through New
Mexico over the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railroad, the
Albuquerque Citizen said in April, 1892:
"A good view of the Rio Grande valley . . . would do more to disable a man's mind of the popular idea that the whole of New Mexico is a desert, than all the printed matter that the company could publish."
on this opinion, the Optic said:
"Now, that is doubtful. Many have heard of the wonderful Rio Grande valley, and when they pass along its wilderness of sands, miles upon miles, with nothing to break the solitude of the desert, a very unfavorable opinion of New Mexico is formed, and one which the few cultivated places in the valley along the line of the Atchison road often fails to remove."14
fitness of the people of New Mexico for statehood does not
seem to have been raised in the early debates in congress
on the admission of the territory. On March 3, 1871, J. Francisco
Chaves, delegate to congress, made an able presentation of
the grievances of New Mexico and of its desire for statehood.
During his remarks, he paid a fine tribute to the loyalty
and conservative character of the people of the territory.
His words, however, do not suggest that any question had been
raised as to the character of the inhabitants of New Mexico.15
Nor does the speech of Stephen B. Elkins, also
a delegate from New Mexico, May 21, 1874, prove any such contention.16
chief opponent of the admission of New Mexico at this time
was Clarkson N. Potter, a democrat who served four terms in
congress. The New Yorker, who claimed some familiarity with
territories since he had done some surveying in Wisconsin
might seem to have been prejudiced against New Mexico,
since he stated that it would make no difference, with regard
to his opposition, if the territory "had two hundred
thousand population instead of one hundred thousand.18
Furthermore he referred briefly to the people of the
territory as follows:
"This is a territory of slow growth, not of rapid growth. Its population is composed mainly of descendants from Mexicans. The business of legislation in the territorial Legislature is carried on, I am informed, largely by means of an interpreter, as is also business in its courts. A very considerable portion of the population of the Territory do not speak the English language. It seems to me that these are all reasons why, so far as the interest of New Mexico is concerned, she has now less claim than another Territory with no more population might [have]."19
these words suggest prejudice, a careful reading of Potter's
entire speech shows that he emphasized two ideas: first, the
slow growth of New Mexico during twenty-six years of American
rule indicated that she would remain sparsely settled;20
second, her admission would be dangerous, since it would
add to the power of the already too powerful minority of westerners
in the senate.21
it was not until the late eighties that opponents of the admission
of New Mexico boldly and openly attacked the character of
her people and their fitness for full citizenship. The admission
of Colorado in 1876 had cost the democrats the presidential
election of that year. The result was that party leaders began
to consider the admission of new states more carefully from
the stand point of party expediency. Months before the election
of 1888, they must have known that the contest would be a
close one, even though they could not foresee that the defeated
candidate would receive the majority of the popular vote.
With the two parties so nearly equal in strength, the greatest
care must be exercised in the admission of any new states.
Thus, when the democrats finally reconciled themselves to
the fact that they could no longer keep out Dakota, the Springer
"Omnibus bill" which they sought to push through
congress, was regarded as "the fruits of death bed repentance."
Republican papers expressed great indignation because "Dakota
with its great wealth and growing population" had been
"linked to the rotten borough of New Mexico." It
was at this time and under these circumstances that the press
initiated a flagrant attack upon the people of New Mexico.
in January, 1889, the Optic declared that "the
unworthiness of the people of New Mexico to be granted the
privileges of statehood" was being discussed "with
more venom than wisdom or information," and that it would
be well for the eastern papers to remember that both houses
of congress had voted to admit New Mexico in 1874, and the
only reason the bill failed was "for lack of time to
harmonize some differences of very minor importance."22
Toward the end of the same month, the Optic declared
that "abuse of this Territory was the prevailing fashion
of the day," but that the editor had ceased to pay any
attention "to the floodgates of filth which many of the
eastern papers have opened for the inundation of New Mexico."23
However, he proceeded to reproduce a part of an article
in the Indianapolis News "which goes so much
beyond anything we have seen elsewhere," and which impressed
him "as a rare specimen of the genus asinus." This
choice piece of Hoosier wisdom enounced the Springer bill
as "a bit of partisan impudence." While admitting
that New Mexico might "have population enough for a state,"
it declared that "a large part of its population"
was "far less fit" for American citizenship than
the "plantation hands" of the Old South, whose
masters "talked of little else than politics." "In
this indiscreet way," the News declared, "a good
many slaves learned more of political rights and action than
the average native of New Mexico."24
to "the general policy of the eastern press to vilify,
lie about, and slander the people" of New Mexico, the
Silver City Enterprise declared on Dec. 28, 1888
that "it has remained for the Chicago Tribune
to outdistance all others in vile, low-down, uncalled-for,
ignorant, untruthful aspersions against our people."
The extract which he quoted, from the Tribune, however,
was outdone by an editorial which appeared in that paper on
Feb. 2, 1889. In commenting on the passage of the Springer
bill by the house, the editor approved the proposal to convert
the northwestern territories into states. He objected, however,
to the admission of New Mexico. He asserted that she had fifty
thousand less than the number which should be required for
a state. Making a scurrilous attack on the character of the
people of the territory, he declared that they were "not
Americans, but 'Greasers . . . ignorant of our laws, manners,
customs, language, and institutions." They were, he charged,
"lazy," "shiftless," "grossly illiterate
His conclusion was that Wyoming with sixty thousand less
people was "far more deserving of statehood."
week later another editorial in the Tribune referred
to the "Protest of Citizens of New Mexico against the
Admission of that Territory into the Union of States"
as "a remarkable document" "to which frequent
reference has been made." The editorial said:
"It (the protest) confirms what has so often been urged by the Tribune---namely: that New Mexico is unfitted for Statehood; first, because the greater part of her population is unfamiliar with the English language and would be at the mercy of unscrupulous rings of politicians; second, because the political power of the Territory is controlled by dishonest men; third, because any code of laws made would be a disgrace to the State should it be admitted ; and, fourth, because its political leaders are leaders for revenue only, the only limit of whose rapacity has been the amount of money raised by taxation."26
the Chicago Tribune took the lead in slandering New
Mexico, its attack did not go unnoticed. The Optic
pointed out that the editor who had allowed his paper
"to shamefully abuse the native born American citizens
of New Mexico" was not "a native born American,
but an emigrant from New Brunswick," who had never been
in the territory he was slandering.27
The New Mexican suggested that possibly the
editor was 'Very sour on New Mexico" because he had put
money into that gigantic and powerful corporation, the Rio
Grande Irrigation and Colonization Company, which claims to
own 1,400,000 acres of land in the Rio Grande valley, all
level, and under titles brought down from the very day Montezuma
mounted his historic eagle and flew away to far Anahuac.28
However that may be, the territorial editors were probably
right in holding Joseph Medill personally responsible for
the columns of dirt which appeared in his paper almost continually.
The owner of an interest in the Tribune from the
winter of 1854-55, Medill had bought the majority of the stock
of the paper in 1874, and controlled its policy during the
remainder of his life.29
One of the greatest editors in the history of American
journalism, he was actively in charge of the Tribune
until the day of his death in March, 1899. Since he was one
of the organizers of the Republican Party and a strong partisan
who had fought Springer for years, it was natural that he
should favor the division of Dakota and oppose the admission
of the more distant territory in the southwest.
the republican press inaugurated the campaign of slander against
the people of New Mexico, but congressmen were not slow in
joining it. Thus, when the house committee on territories
reported the Springer bill favorably, March 13, 1888, five
republican members brought in a minority report, recommending
that North and South Dakota be admitted as two states and
that the provision for the admission of New Mexico be stricken
from the bill. Among the reasons given for opposing statehood
for the southwestern territory, the report declared that "a
large number of the people are uneducated and unfamiliar with
our language, customs or system of government."30
to say, this thesis was buttressed by lengthy extracts from
El Gringo, or New Mexico and Her People, which had
been published in 1856. The author, William Watts Hart Davis,
had served as United States district attorney for New Mexico
A native of New England, Davis has recently been described
by Mr. Harvey Fergusson as a "green" tenderfoot,
who was prejudiced against the native people because of their
dark color and "shocked by much that he saw in New Mexico,
. . ." Mr. Fergusson adds:
"The morals of the country he found to be very bad, and perhaps he even made them out a little worse than they were, as moralists are apt to do."32
of this made the book excellent propaganda material for the
Evidently congressional participation in the abuse of
New Mexico encouraged more republican editors to take part.
Mudslinging proved effective, since people read sensational
editorials. At any rate, the Denver Republican, always
the friend of its neighbor to the south, said on May 24, 1889:
"What, more than anything else, has kept New Mexico out of the Union is the belief on the part of Eastern men that to a large extent its population is ignorant, superstitious and not in sympathy with American ideas of government and private right."
years later eastern newspapers were still indulging in caustic
comment on the New Mexico their readers knew so little about,
and it was still a territory.34
ignorance and misconceptions of the east regarding New Mexico
slowly gave way to more accurate information and a more sympathetic
attitude. This came about largely through an extensive advertising
campaign over a period of years. It is the purpose of this
second half of this article to describe briefly some of the
ways in which this end was achieved.
it is not too much to say that this campaign began in 1880,
when the territorial legislature passed an act "establishing
a Bureau of Immigration." This board was to consist of
twenty members appointed by the governor each county having
at least one. The secretary was to be a salaried official,
and was to maintain an office in the territorial capital.
The purpose of the board was set forth in section 3 as
"The duties of such commissioners shall be to prepare and disseminate accurate information as to the soil, climate, minerals, productions, and business of New Mexico, with special reference to its opportunities for development, and the inducements and advantages which it presents to desirable immigration and for the investment of capital. They shall have prompt replies sent to all inquiries relative to the above subjects that may be addressed to them; and shall publish and distribute such pamphlets and documents, as, in their opinion, shall tend to promote the objects of their organization."35
commission was handicapped in its important work by the smallness
of its appropriation, which varied from $1,500 to $2,000.
This inadequate sum had to cover the salary of the secretary
and the cost of publication of the literature issued. Fortunately,
however, its secretary and directing genius for twelve years
was Max Frost, the brilliant editor of the New Mexican.36
The most influential newspaper man in the territory for
years, Frost was a master of propaganda and a skillful diplomat
who readily enlisted the cooperation of almost everyone in
his schemes. Without attempting to estimate what the Bureau
of Immigration accomplished in publicity for New Mexico during
the last three decades of the territorial period, we may turn
to its biennial report for 1889 and 1890 for a sample of its
the report stated that during September and October, 1889,
a car "containing a fruit, grape and cereal exhibit"
from the territory had been sent on a tour of exhibition from
Colorado to Illinois all along the line of the Atchison, Topeka
and Santa Fe railroad. Many circulars and pamphlets had been
distributed from the car.
a resolution had been adopted by the bureau which resulted
in Gov. Prince's sending a delegation to Washington which
succeeded in getting congress to provide for the settlement
of the Spanish and Mexican land grants in the territory.
about 10,000 copies of a book prepared by the secretary were
distributed, "the bulk of them in the United States,
and about 2,000 copies in the United Kingdom."
Fourth, about 50,000 circulars had been distributed, over 1,400 letters of enquiry answered, and from ten to fifteen copies of the book on New Mexico were "being mailed almost daily by the Secretary in compliance with special requests. . . ."
title-page of the book referred to reads: New Mexico: Its
Resources, Climate, Geography and Geological Condition: Official
Publication of the Bureau of Immigration, Edited by Max Frost,
Secretary, Santa Fe (New Mexican Printing Company, Santa Fe,
N. M., 1890). The report stated that the Atchison railroad
and the Atlantic and Pacific had given financial aid, and
they had also distributed over 7,000 copies of the book. Aid
was also given in the circulation of literature by the Maxwell
Land Grant Company, officials of the Census Office and Geological
Survey of the United States, and by ten residents of the territory
mentioned by name.37
of the literature circulated by the Bureau of Immigration
took a very optimistic view of the resources and prospects
of the territory. This is indicated by the following phrases
which appeared on the cover or title page of some of the pamphlets
issued: "The Section Offering the Greatest Opportunities
to Men of Brains, Energy, Capital," "A Mineral Belt
Unequalled on the Face of the Earth for Quality, Quantity,
or Extent. Four Hundred Miles of Gold, Silver, Copper, Lead,
and Coal," and "With Irrigation the New Mexico Farmer
has Rain When He Wants it and Seldom when He Don't Want it."38
Doubtless, some of this literature was misleading, and
did the territory more harm than good. Thus in an address
to the irrigation convention held in Las Vegas in March, 1892,
O. A. Hadley said:
"Now I say to you, and I know whereof I speak, that there has been great damage done the territory of New Mexico by reports that have gone out in flaming circulars and in articles written for newspapers devoted to immigration, saying to the people of the east: "Here are farms, and with your plow and your family, you will raise crops equal to those in the east! Come and take this virgin soil." What has been the result? I could point you to two or three instances, where colonies have been brought into this Territory under those representations, and they have found it entirely different from what they expected. They have expended their little means, and returned to their former homes or some other land, to tell their tale of woe; and the misrepresentations of the Territory of New Mexico are made to their neighbors and all who hear them. Thus, immigration to New Mexico is dead."39
an occasional discouraging note had little effect upon the
work of the Bureau. The Biennial Report for 1901-02 claimed
"Owing to the efforts of the Bureau, more capitalists, health seekers, tourists and home seekers have come to New Mexico during the years 1901 and 1902 than ever before in its history and that many persons, who finally made their permanent home in the Territory were brought here by the information scattered broadcast over the Union in the publications of the Bureau."40
one of the most effective channels for advertising New Mexico
during the last two decades of the territorial period were
the various expositions held during those years, especially
the Columbian Exposition at Chicago in 1893 and the Louisiana
Purchase Exposition at St. Louis in 1904.
Bradford Prince, who was governor of New Mexico when preparations
were being made for the Chicago exposition, was very anxious
that the territory should be well represented there. In his
message to the legislature, in December, 1892, he declared
that the event came at a most opportune time for the territory,
and that there was no country or section to which it was of
more importance than to New Mexico. "Notwithstanding
all that has been said or written," he wrote, "the
idea is prevalent outside of our own vicinity, that New Mexico
is a land of dry and barren wastes, where there is little
agriculture and no horticulture, where attempts at mining
have been attended by failure and where nature has done almost
nothing to attract or support a population. Good fortune now
presents the opportunity of correcting all these errors. Kansas
and Colorado had a similar opportunity presented to them,
at the Centennial Exhibition in 1876, and took advantage of
it in a way which impressed the entire nation and brought
hundreds of thousands of citizens and millions of money to
task of making sure that New Mexico was well advertised at
Chicago was entrusted to a territorial board of world's fair
commissioners, of which William T. Thornton was president
and W. H. H. Llewellyn secretary.42
A former Missourian who had come to Santa Fe as a health
seeker, Thornton had been chosen mayor of that city in 1891,
being "the nominee of both political parties."43
In spite of the latter's popularity, there is reason
to believe that Frost was jealous of the new set-up, since
the Optic asked what the secretary of the bureau
of immigration hoped to accomplish "by making war on
the Territorial Board of World's Fair Commissioners?"44
The Optic said that Frost had fought the appropriation
and done all he could to obstruct progress. He added that
it was doubtful if Frost could find another person in New
Mexico to agree with him that the territory should not be
represented at the fair.45
Later it developed that, while the legislature had attempted
to appropriate $25,000 to advertise New Mexico at the fair,
the law was defective and would probably not bring in more
The result was that the commissioners held meetings in
county seats throughout the territory to enlist popular support.
Speaking in Las Vegas, Thornton explained the defect in the
appropriation, and then said that the board had subscribed
$2,500 to be used in constructing a territorial building,
one room would be devoted to New Mexico.47
He declared that it was generally agreed:
"...that probably in the life of none of us will an opportunity occur, again, when we of New Mexico can so thoroughly advertize her resources the vast natural wealth that lies hidden within the bosoms of her mountains, and upon her plains, the beautiful valleys that can be made to blossom with irrigation as nowhere else in this country, our splendid sunshine, and our great health resorts! Now, it is generally believed throughout the east that this is one vast desert; that there are a few insignificant mines scattered over New Mexico, but that it is not a place for a home-seeker, that there are no places for farms. There are many things, in our beautiful land, which I would love to exhibit, and would be interesting to the whole civilized world . . . but our poverty compels us to be practical. Hence, every other idea has been made secondary to the main idea of dissipating the erroneous eastern opinion of New Mexico's resources as a desirable home for the American immigrant of today."
down to practical matters, Thornton stated that the board
planned to get out a booklet which would contain fifty pictures
of the products of the territory. One million copies were
to be issued at seven cents a volume, and 10,000 copies were
to be given away each day of the fair. The board would canvass
the counties, promising that every cent contributed would
be spent in advertising the county where it was given. The
meeting met with a hearty response in Las Vegas. The Commercial
Club undertook to raise $3,000 or more to advertise San Miguel
County. It was stated that the Maxwell Land Grant company
had subscribed $2,500 and that the Eddy Irrigation company
had made the second largest private contribution.48
T. B. Mills, superintendent of New Mexico's exhibit, was very
optimistic as to the result of all this activity. Early in
1893 he gave the following interview to the Chicago Dispatch:
"Our display of minerals and of horticultural products will be large, but we expect to surprise a great many people by our agricultural products. You see the soil down there contains sulphate of lime, which gives it wondrous strength and enables us to raise year after year the finest cereals in this country. The oats frequently attain the height of seven and one-half feet, and will average 125 bushels to the acre. Our agricultural wealth is not generally understood throughout the United States. The agricultural department at Washington sends to us each year for seed wheat to distribute."49
the year the territorial press continued frequent references
to the preparations being made in the territory. The Optic
for April 21, 1893 stated that three carloads of New Mexico
exhibits had been shipped, and three more were to follow.
Three thousand pounds of minerals from the mines of the Magdalena
district and a stuffed burro were mentioned specifically as
being included. It was suggested that Governor Prince's
art and curio collection be borrowed to adorn the territorial
Doubtless the exposition served to remind thousands of
people that New Mexico was actually a part of the United States,
and to convince them that it was not an uninhabitable desert.
The attendance was over twenty-seven and a half million, the
average daily attendance over 172,000.51
Mexico Day," designed "to 'set the world a talking'
about the wonderful Territory which will soon enter the grand
sisterhood of states," was described fully by the Optic.
The ringing of the liberty bell having served to attract a
crowd, many responded to the invitation to gather at the Territorial
building for the exercises of the day and to partake of the
fruit "products of New Mexico soil" which would
"Long before that hour, the building was crowded .... by a mass of people eager to learn something of the land which they had always looked upon as but a wild and almost worthless back yard of the U. S. Every son and daughter of the Sunshine state was besieged with questions regarding the land which was to so many a terra incognita, and every tongue grew eloquent as the beauty, productiveness and climate of the favored Territory were descanted upon."52
speakers were on the program: Thornton, who had become governor
of the territory the preceding spring; Ex-Governor Prince,
Captain John Wallace Crawford, Francis L. Downs, and Bernard
S. Rodey. While touching upon the past history of the territory,
the speakers emphasized the present and the future. The last
named speakers especially dwelt on the advantages offered
by New Mexico to home-seekers. Captain Crawford was a veteran
of the Civil War and the wars with the Sioux and the Apaches,
who had a ranch near San Marcial. "Captain Jack,"
as he was usually known, later dressed in buckskins and made
a second talk, which was "devoted to a correction of
the general belief that the border men and especially the
cowboys were outlaws from justice and blood thirsty desperadoes
who would snuff out a life with as little compunction as they
would snuff a candle. He pictured the cowboy in his true colors,
as an honest, generous, hard-working man, and not the wild
desperado shown by the fakirs on the theatrical stage and
in the wild west shows with which the east has been so long
afflicted." The fruit distribution which followed included
peaches, pears, apricots, nectarines, and grapes. The correspondent
of the Optic wrote:
"It was an object lesson which will never be forgotten by those who participated in it, an advertisement of our resources greater in effect than all the tons of printed matter sent forth."
New Mexico Day at the exposition seemed "a grand success,"
which did much to advertise the resources of the territory.53
Thornton had been succeeded by Miguel A. Otero when the St.
Louis exposition was held in 1904. Determined that New Mexico
should be well represented, the little governor secured a
large appropriation from the legislature, even though State
Senators A. B. Fall and W. A. Hawkins declared that he was
trying "to pilfer thirty thousand dollars of the taxpayers'
money for a social spree in St. Louis. . ,"54
of the results obtained, Otero says:
"The New Mexico building at the exposition was an attractive structure in the mission style. The exhibit was designed to attract the attention of home-seekers and capitalists. In addition to Navajo blankets, Indian baskets, and pueblo pottery, there were samples of the apples, cotton, and wool raised in the territory. The collection of minerals was very comprehensive, turquoise being especially conspicuous. Ours was the only exhibit of this gem at the exposition."
Mexico Day" was celebrated by speeches by Governor Otero
and Judge John R. McFie, who dwelt on the productiveness of
the territory's farms, ranches, and mines, and its excellent
financial condition. The reception which was held in the afternoon
was said to have been attended by many members of prominent
families in St. Louis who had known Otero as a boy, or his
father and mother, as well as by "an unusually large
number of people from the territory, including many representatives
of its native population."55
More than two thousand people were said to have attended
these expositions served to carry something of New Mexico
to countless throngs of people. About the same time certain
lesser gatherings brought a much smaller number to the territory
itself. Some of these were only passing through en route to
California, and few concerned themselves seriously with an
enquiry into the resources and possibilities of the territory
in which they found themselves for a few fleeting hours. Probably
none escaped, however, without more or less lasting impressions
of New Mexico. Instead of carefully selected exhibits, they
saw everything. They could see the desert from their train
windows. Some went slumming, and saw the worst conditions
in the native settlements. Those who cast a professional eye
over the territorial newspapers during the spring of 1892
may have noted the intense rivalry which existed between the
rising towns of the territory. On Feb. 23 an eastern congressman
had introduced a bill into congress to establish a national
sanitarium in northern New Mexico or southern Colorado.57
three months later the house committee on military affairs,
to which it had been referred, reported it adversely and it
was laid on the table.58
The only result was to intensify the rivalry existing
among the towns in the region referred to. Las Vegas, Santa
Fe, and Albuquerque, were each anxious to secure the sanitarium
for itself. The Optic proposed the use of Ft. Union,
while the Albuquerque Democrat fought the suggestion,
tooth and nail. The Democrat said:
"Much of the winter weather at that point (Ft. Union) is almost ferocious, and blizzards sweep unobstructed over the rolling plains thereabouts with a force and bitterness that kill cattle in great numbers every year, and would be simply murderous in their effect upon weak-lunged people."59
same issue of the Optic complained that the Albuquerque
"...utterly unable to hear of any proposition for the benefit of the northern part of the territory, without at once strongly opposing and bitterly maligning the proposition, no matter what it may be."
the Optic stated that the Albuquerque papers had
described the proposed Denver and El Paso railroad as "a
wild goose scheme." One of them had even declared that
"the entire distance would not furnish sufficient traffic
to pay for the construction of a single mile."60
Perhaps the visitors were inclined to smile at such evidences
of local rivalries. If so, they may have ceased smiling when
they read that the new territorial capital had been burned
probably by an incendiary who wished to revive the question
of the removal of the capital from Santa Fe.61
The same issue of the Optic which reported this
tragic loss to the taxpayers of the territory also quoted
the Denver News to the effect that the Ortiz grant
in New Mexico "should be thoroughly investigated by congress,"
as the surveyor general of the territory and others were involved
in an illegal attempt to hold a large area of mineral land.
More bad publicity for the territory was added by the Optic
three days later, when the editor declared that the secret
ballot was "especially needed in New Mexico, where the
influence of a few families in each county is so overwhelming
as to largely keep the masses in awe," and that "bribery
and corruption of the voter were sadly on the increase in
could scarcely say that New Mexico "put its best foot
forward" in the spring of 1892 although it was just at
that time that one group of visitors after another descended
upon the territory. As these were mostly newspaper people,
the thinking people of the territory realized the importance
of cultivating their friendship. When the Press League Club
arrived in January, the Optic declared "There
could not have assembled in Las Vegas ... a body of people
more potent for influence on the destinies of our Territory
. . ,"63
At an entertainment provided for the visitors, Dr. George
T. Gould, the associate editor of the Optic, requested
"...on their return to their fields of labor, to disabuse the minds of their readers of the erroneous opinion that the Spanish-American portion of our population are not qualified for statehood. He urged that, if they should have any pleasant recollections of their trip to this empire Territory, they would show it at home by taking our judgment in the case and advocating for us admission into the union and the cession to the new state of her arid lands."64
next group was well announced. The Optic for April
"The National Editorial Association, consisting of several hundred representative journalists, and their ladies, will visit New Mexico, en route to California, about the middle of May."
them on their arrival, the Optic declared that New
Mexico wanted statehood, and urged the visitors to "use
the resistless power of the press" to help secure the
admission of the territory to the union.65
While the editors spent the forenoon in Las Vegas, they
were unable to get away from the depot. The capitol was burned
fortunately the six hundred copies of the Optic which
were given them could have contained no word of that disgraceful
However, they doubtless were informed of it the next
day, as they spent two hours in Albuquerque.68
Las Vegas entertained the Press League Association a spokesman
of the organization69
expressed the "amazement of the excursionists at
what they had seen and learned of New Mexico,"70
However, in order to know what these strangers really
did see and what impressions they retained one must turn to
the columns of their newspapers after they got back on the
job. Naturally, some were favorable, while others were the
reverse. Let us consider an illustration of each.
St. Paul Globe published a very unfavorable write-up
of New Mexico. The writer called it "the most interesting
part of greaserland," and described it as a region of
adobe huts, drought, bleeding penitentes, tamales and chili
con carni. Of East Las Vegas, he wrote:
"The people are picturesque, ignorant---bad. They do not know that New Mexico has become a possession of Uncle Sam. They practice their old Spanish customs, disregarding with contempt the newer habits induced by modern civilization."71
writer said that he and his associates had "nosed"
about the town for three hours, much impressed by the mud
and cacti, the burros and the narrow streets, and the pictures
of the saints. They noted in passing that the "new town"
claimed to be the most important wool market in the Rocky
Mountain region, as well as an educational center. On reaching
Albuquerque, they had been driven to Old Town, which was described
as "a quaint and dirty relict of Mexican life and manners."
The "bustling town" was pictured in terms of mud,
garlic, gambling, prostitution and high prices.
sensational article naturally got under the skin of the editor
of the Optic. While he reprinted all of it that dealt with
New Mexico, at the same time he denounced it editorially as
a striking example of the prostitution of the press. "A
bigger batch of lies," he declared, "would be difficult
to find in the adventures of Baron Munchausen." The following
day the Optic contained a second editorial referring to the
article from the Minnesota newspaper. Appearing under the
heading "A Waste of Welcome," the editorial asked:
"Is it any wonder that many in the states oppose the admission of New Mexico to statehood, when their ideas of our population, of the character of our people, or of our stage of prosperity and advancement, are gathered from such productions . . .?72
conclusion, the Optic declared that the citizens
of Las Vegas had been "remarkably kind to these runabout
newspaper people," but it had "become convinced
that they were casting pearls before swine." He added:
"The members of the Indiana excursion were breakfasted at the Plaza and dined at the Montezuma; and they . . . were the only ones who were gentlemen enough to appreciate their treatment. They went home and not only wrote well of New Mexico, but they seemed to think that they were under obligation to make an effort to secure information about this country and to convey it correctly to their readers."
the editor of the Plymouth (Indiana) Democrat
gave a much more wholesome picture of the territory than did
the St. Paul Globe. Editor McDonald told how he and
some colleagues from northern Indiana had spent a day in Santa
Fe, where they were greatly interested in the palace of the
governors, and especially in the room in which General Lew
Wallace had written Ben Hur. After visiting the church
of San Miguel, the Indian school and the site of old Ft. Marcy,
they had been entertained hospitably by Solicitor General
E. L. Bartlett and his wife. They also met Antonio Joseph
and saw the new capitol building, and came to "realize
more than ever the injustice being done to a good and brave
people in the unjust refusal of a partisan bound congress
to admit them to statehood." Max Frost was described
as "a man whose wonderful fund of information concerning
the ancient city and the territory was of more value to the
excursionists than wagon loads of printed matter."73
many newspaper men who glimpsed New Mexico in the early nineties
furnished a considerable amount of free publicity for the
territory. Had more of them been as fortunate as Editor McDonald
in meeting the right people, there might have been a good
deal more of the right kind of publicity. Whether good or
bad, however, it was soon checked by the panic of 1893. People
could not afford to travel, and they became too much absorbed
in their own problems to give much thought to the distant
Probably the irrigation convention held in Las Vegas in March, 1892, promised to do more to boost the territory than all of the visiting newspaper men put together. When the first general irrigation convention in the arid west had been held at Denver in 1873, Acting-governor W. G. Ritch, after writing many letters, had succeeded in inducing only one resident of New Mexico to attend.74 The Optic, however, stated that the Las Vegas convention was attended "by a large gathering of representative men of the territory" and "by many strangers from other territories and states."75 H. C. Hovey, well known in scientific circles in the east,76 described the convention in an article in the Scientific American. He placed the attendance at 300, and implied that they were almost altogether from the territory.77
much interest was aroused. The Optic pointed out
that it was very appropriate that the first irrigation convention
of the southwest should be held in New Mexico, "since
irrigation had been practised there long before the thought
of it had entered the mind of the Mormon prophet ...Then,
also, " the Optic added, "New Mexico is
the third in the list of states and territories in the extent
of her irrigated land, being exceeded in that particular only
by California and Colorado."78
The time also seemed auspicious. Charles B. Eddy, Charles
W. Green, and J. J. Hagerman had shown in the Pecos valley
what irrigation could do for the territory. The Optic
for Feb. 29 reported that emigrants were passing through El
Paso "in car load lots" for Eddy, which had been
created a county the preceding year. The Optic
"What was once considered a desert is now under irrigation, and thousands of acres have been reclaimed. Emigrants from western Texas, Arizona and New Mexico, are pouring into the valley in large numbers. This only shows what might be true of every part of the Territory, were immigration properly and systematically pursued."
Optic declared that the Pecos valley was "the
best advertized part of New Mexico," and that enterprises
were "developing with proportionate rapidity."79
Residents of the Mesilla valley and the Maxwell land
grant company had also showed the way. In fact, Hovey stated
that 400,000 acres of land in New Mexico were already under
Claims were made that sugar beets, raisins, alfalfa and
all kinds of fruit could be grown on this land.
convention lasted three days and was closed by a banquet at
the Montezuma hotel. "Thus, we had an opportunity,"
Hovey wrote, "not only to discuss the grave problems
of political economy but also to watch at a safe distance
the fantastic mazes of Mexican dances, and to see the most
brilliant society of the southwest."81
William Hall Poore of Irrigation Age (Denver)
told the convention "the eyes of the east are upon New
Mexico," and promised "a campaign which means the
building of a greater and grander civilization beyond the
Enthusiasm was at a high pitch. The men who had put Eddy
County on the map had been remarkably successful in bringing
capital into the territory, so the long forgotten territory
must have seemed to be on the threshold of a wonderful development.
Probably no one at the convention had an inkling of the financial
depression which was soon to paralyze the Pecos valley, the
territory and the nation. It is impossible to tell what the
irrigation convention might have accomplished for New Mexico,
had it been followed by years of prosperity. Certainly the
depression came at a bad time for the territory.
most famous occasion which brought visitors to New Mexico
during the nineties was the first reunion of the Rough Riders,
which was held in Las Vegas in June, 1899. Col. Theodore Roosevelt,
who was governor of New York at the time, occupied the center
of the stage, and it was on this occasion that he enthusiastically
promised to go to Washington to work for the admission of
the territory. The Albuquerque Citizen felt that much good
had been accomplished at the reunion. It said:
"The celebration at Las Vegas has greatly helped the territory in its struggle to secure statehood. The eastern visitors were surprised to see at Las Vegas a modern city with every convenience and comfort, and a crowd of 10,000 people celebrating the victory of a New Mexico regiment in Cuba. They had expected to find Indians, cowboys, and desperadoes. . . .
Roosevelt, of N. Y., and the eastern newspaper men who attended
the celebration are outspoken in favor of giving the territory
statehood. H. H. Kohlsaat, of the Chicago Times Herald,
which paper has heretofore opposed statehood for the territory
was at the reunion and saw such signs of patriotism and civilization
that he has changed his views, and his great paper will hereafter
urge statehood for New Mexico. The same can be said for the
Chicago Record; and the Capital, the leading
paper in Iowa, published at Des Moines, the home of Congressman
Henderson, who will be the next speaker of the house, will
urge the claims of New Mexico for admission.
Citizen, several days before the reunion took place,
predicted that if the celebration was well attended and the
arrangements as they should be, that statehood would be materially
helped. The prediction has been more than verified. If properly
pushed the bill admitting New Mexico, Arizona, and Oklahoma
will pass congress next winter. President McKinley favors
the measure. Governor Roosevelt says that he will visit Washington
to help pass the bill and Senator Elkins will do everything
he can to aid in the matter."83
we have seen that during the 1890s and early 1900s New Mexico
received a great deal of publicity through the work of the
Bureau of Immigration and through various expositions and
conventions. As a matter of fact, so many agencies were working
to advertise the territory that we can mention only a few
of them. From time to time, the United States Department of
Agriculture published literature which testified to the agricultural
possibilities of New Mexico.84
The newspapers of the territory were always on the job.
Thus on Jan. 3, 1890, the Silver City Enterprise
issued a special edition and sent copies all over the country.
In view of the declining price of silver, the Enterprise
placed less emphasis upon the mineral wealth of the region,
and more upon pastoral wealth, pointing out that the recent
pacification of the Apaches had made the country safe for
cattle raising. The value of the region to the health seeker
was also stressed. In issue after issue the Optic carried
a full column, setting forth the advantages of Las Vegas.
After visiting that city, Captain Tom Collier, editor of the
Raton Range, said in that paper that "the deservedly
prosperous city of the meadows" was filling up with "most
"The live and aggressive people of this city are intelligently placing their claims for immigration before the eastern people, and their efforts are meeting with the most satisfactory results."85
Maxwell land grant company advertised its irrigated farm lands
for sale in the Optic, and through its headquarters,
which in 1892 were changed from New York to Raton.86
The other newspapers and towns of the territory, the
railroads and the promoters of projected lines all sought
to sell New Mexico to both settlers and capitalists. On the
eve of the panic in 1893, Las Vegas and other towns in New
Mexico were greatly agitated over the proposed Denver to El
Paso shortline. Sixty thousand dollars for the new road was
raised in Las Vegas,87
and some fear was expressed that Jay Gould would gobble
up the new road.88
Denver capitalists were much interested, and the Post
declared that the short line would open up a new field rich
in agriculture, grazing and mining, and would also secure
the trade of Old Mexico for Denver.89
Railroad men as far away as Boston were contacted regarding
the proposed road.
a variety of agencies were seeking to sell New Mexico to the
nation, so were a large number of individual residents of
the territory. Rich men, poor men, bankers, politicians all
had one thought to put New Mexico on the map. It would, of
course, be impossible to mention all those who served the
territory in this way, or even to tell the whole story regarding
any one individual. Let us, however, conclude this article
by considering the activities of some of the promoters who
worked to boom New Mexico.
number of these naturally were territorial officials whose
duties often took them to Washington and other eastern cities.
Among the governors of New Mexico probably L. Bradford Prince
and Miguel A. Otero were most active in this way. The former
had important connections in the east, served for years as
a delegate to the convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church,90
and attended the Trans-Mississippi commercial congress
each year. Whether visiting his old friends on Long Island,
or attending a convention, he never forgot to put in a good
word for New Mexico.91
He frequently attended the Trans-Mississippi convention
on statehood for the territories, and each year secured the
passage by the convention of a resolution favoring the admission
of the territory to the union. A ready writer as well as a
speaker, he often wrote leading newspapers in the east regarding
New Mexico and her people. Such communications were usually
lengthy and well- reasoned, and served as a reply to some
recent attack on the territory. Thus the letter of his which
appeared in the New York Tribune, April 17, 1888,
denied the report being circulated in the east that the Mormon
element in New Mexico was already so strong as to control
affairs in the territory, as well as the idea that the "Mexican"
population was "lawless, unintelligent, and unfitted
for self-government, . . . ," and that, unless there
was a preponderance of "American" voters, there
would be danger in statehood.
these erroneous ideas, he declared that the Mormon population
of the territory was "utterly insignificant," and
that the native people were conservatives who helped to stabilize
the restless Americans who were coming in. The possession
of this conservative element, Prince argued, gave New Mexico
a "special advantage as a self- governing community over
most other territories."
was also quite active, but in a different way. Throughout
his nine years as governor he was constantly visiting the
east, where he had a wide acquaintance among politicians and
newspaper men. He gave out many interviews, but was not inclined
to write lengthy communications for the press. Otero lost
his prominence as a crusader for statehood when his two terms
as governor were over; whereas Prince probably did as much
to secure statehood as a private citizen as he did as governor
of the territory.92
a general rule, the businessmen who sought to bring capital
to New Mexico worked quietly. Consequently, they left few
traces of their activities in the newspapers. Apparently the
politicians were much more inclined to let the public know
what they were doing; hence it is easier to get some idea
of their activities, even if we are left in the dark as to
what they actually accomplished. Thus, in February, 1890,
when Eugene A. Fiske and Miguel Salazar had returned from
Washington, where they had gone to make sure of their confirmation
as United States district attorneys, the former gave an interview
to the New Mexican in which he said:
"I talked with a great many members of congress, and while they seemed to be inclined to do us justice I was surprised to find that generally speaking they had gathered a very inaccurate idea of the capabilities of New Mexico and the character of its people. Some of them seemed to think that two-thirds of the residents of New Mexico go about in a semi-barbaric condition dressed in a breechclout and a six-shooter. I introduced Major Salazar as a representative New Mexican and some of the congressmen appeared amazed. He made an excellent impression in behalf of our Spanish-American citizens. I think it would be a good thing for the territory if more of our representative native born were to show themselves in Washington and congress would soon come to recognize how erroneous is its idea of these people. I spent much time in explaining away and correcting the numerous wrongful impressions created in the minds of congressmen by slanderers and falsifiers.93 "
gave an interview to the Socorro Chieftain, which
confirmed what Fiske had said. Among other things Salazar
"The majority of the members of Congress know little about us and care less. Their general impression of us is that we are only about half civilized, and that the bulk of the population out here still feels that it owes allegiance to Old Mexico. They looked at me with astonishment and incredulity when I told them I was a native born Mexican and not the best specimen by any means to be found out here."94
other political leaders who helped to make publicity for New
Mexico were Alexander L. Morrison and Clarence Pullen. The
former was an Irishman whom President Harrison appointed registrar
of the United States land office in Santa Fe. As he was well
known in Republican circles in Ohio, and was a very effective
speaker, he frequently took part in political campaigns there.
According to the Raton Range, he always said something "to
remind his hearers that he hails from New Mexico," so
that the territory derived a good deal of publicity from his
speaking tours. Naturally, he was also at all times ready
to say a word for his adopted home in private conversation
also. Thus he wrote the New Mexican in November, 1891, of
an interview with James G. Elaine, who was secretary of state
at the time. "Immediately after the usual courtesies,"
Morrison said, "he began to make particular inquiries
about New Mexico and whether the climate was as fine as he
had been given to understand."95
Pullen, formerly surveyor general of the territory, gave
a lecture on New Mexico at Cooper Institute in December, 1890.
Speaking of this event, the New York Sun said:
"... it is safe to say that there are but few of the citizens of these northern states who have another idea of New Mexico than that it is an arid, uninteresting and unpleasant region, destitute of picturesque features, and without history or traditions. Those of our citizens, however, who listened to the lecture given last Saturday evening, in the Cooper Union free course on "New Mexico, Historical and Picturesque," got some knowledge about this territory, which must soon become a state of the union. They heard of its areas of fertile soil and its grazing fields, of its grand mountain ranges, lofty plateaus, broad rivers and fertile valleys. Its mineral resources are now attracting the notice of heavy investors; its commercial and agricultural activity is increasing with the increase of its population, and its railroads are being extended."96
the Sun thought quite well of Pullen and his efforts.
Some two years later the Optic noted that while he
still had property interests in New Mexico "and legions
of friends and admirers," he was now an editorial writer
on the staff of the New York paper.
Possibly few residents of New Mexico did as much toward interesting easterners in the territory as William H. H. Llewellyn of Las Cruces. A veteran Indian fighter, the "Major" was an interesting character who had the knack of making friends easily. As early as March 6, 1890, the San Marcial Reporter gave him the following tribute:
"Major W. H. H. Llewellyn is a citizen of whom New Mexico may well be proud. He takes every opportunity to speak a good word for this territory when away. The Washington, Chicago, and St. Louis papers have contained recent interviews with the major and in all of these talks . . . Major Llewellyn has something good to say in favor of New Mexico. Let our other citizens who travel follow the good example thus set and New Mexico will attract the attention that brings immigration and capital."
view of this high praise, it is interesting to note that Llewellyn
was still on the job seven years later, when the Philadelphia
Times described a visit he made to the capital of Pennsylvania
"William H. H. Llewellyn, speaker of the New Mexico House of Representatives, was given an impromptu reception this morning in the house. Mr. Llewellyn is on his way to Washington on business, and stopped over in Harrisburg to visit the legislature. When he made his appearance in the hall of the house he was invited to a seat by the side of Speaker Boyer.
resolution was offered by Mr. Muehlbronner, of Allegheny,
and adopted, that the house take a recess for ten minutes
to allow the members to pay their respects to the distinguished
guest and that they be introduced to him personally by Speaker
Boyer. The members formed a line and shook hands with the
visitor, and welcomed him to the state capitol."
very versatile man, Llewellyn was not only a lawyer, a politician
and a soldier, but was also actively interested in the economic
development of the territory. At one time the livestock agent
of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe,97
he became "largely identified with the mining and
fruit growing interests of Southern New Mexico."98
In the spring of 1892, the major gave an interview to
the Denver Republican in which he predicted that
the "Atchison", as it was usually called, would
build an extension into the White Oaks country.99
When both the depression and the Spanish-American war
had passed, Llewellyn was still interested in promoting a
railroad in the territory. The Roosevelt papers in the Library
of Congress show that he made at least one effort to interest
his former colonel in one of these schemes. In a letter of
April 29, 1901, he asked Roosevelt to put him in touch with
"a bright active man from the east" who would help
in building a railroad from El Paso to Durango, Colorado.
He suggested that both he and the colonel might make money
out of the project. He argued that
there would be no impropriety in Roosevelt having an interest
in the concern, as no concession of any kind was to be asked
from the government. The colonel, who had been elected vice-president
the preceding November, showed an unusual modesty. In his
reply of May 6, 1901, he said:
I am about the very last man to whom it is worth your while
writing in a matter like the one referred to. I think I may
say that I am a fairly good colonel of a volunteer regiment
or Governor of a State, and there are other jobs I should
like to try, but railroading and mining are hopelessly out
of my line. I have never been connected with them myself and
I would not have the vaguest idea whom to try to interest
in them. I am awfully sorry not to be able to help you."
the major failed to interest Col. Roosevelt in his schemes,
perhaps it is significant that he had friends and acquaintances
among the political leaders of the Quaker commonwealth. At
any rate, Pennsylvania capital was soon being employed to
build a railroad in New Mexico, and the Pennsylvanians in
Congress began to show unusual interest in the fate of the
territory. Before we go into that story, however, we must
consider the aid which the newspapers of the southwestern
states gave in advertising New Mexico.
1 St. Louis Globe Democrat, quoted by New Mexican Review, Jan. 11. 1900.
2 Las Vegas Optic, July 9, 1891.
3 Ibid., Jan. 16, 1896.
4 Albuquerque Morning Democrat, June 19, 1895.
5 Optic, Feb. 8, 1894.
6 Ibid., p. 4131.Globe Democrat, quoted by New Mexican Review, Jan. 11, 1900.
8 Pittsburgh Times, May 26. 1903.
9 Albuquerque Journal-Democrat, March 17, 1901.
10 San Marcial Bee, May 24, 1902.
11 Smith, Justin H., The War With Mexico (New York, 1919). vol. 1., p. 293.
12 Congressional Globe, 33 Congress, 1st session, vol. 29 (appendix) p. 1034
13 See "The Notion of a Great American Desert East of the Rockies" by Ralph C. Morris, Miss. Valley Historical Review, vol. XIII, pp. 190-200.
14 Optic, April 28, 1892.
15 Forty-First Congress: Congressional Globe (Washington, 1871): Third Session, vol. III, (Appendix) pp. 244-47.
16 Elkins paid the following tribute to the inhabitants of the territory: "There is certainly no good reason for this treatment on the part of the Government. Nothing can be urged against the people of New Mexico. They are loyal and law-abiding, peaceable, well-disposed, and wedded to our institutions. They love our country, our Union, and our laws. Though our adopted sons by the fortunes of war, their conduct during the rebellion furnishes a bright example of patriotism and loyalty which certainly deserves a better recognition now than injustice and discrimination." Congressional Record, vol. 2, part 6, appendix p. 299.
17 Congressional Record, vol. 2, part 5, p. 4132 ; Biographical Directory of the American Congress, 1774-1927 (Government Printing Office, 1928), p. 1425.
18 Congressional Record, vol. 2, part 5, p. 4134.
19 Ibid., p. 4131.
20 Ibid., p. 4134.
21 Ibid., pp. 4134-35.
22 Optic, Jan. 2, 1889.
23 Ibid.. Jan. 28, 1889.
25 Chicago Tribune, Feb. 2, 1889.
26 Ibid., Feb. 9, 1889. The same editorial also quoted an article from the Kingston Shaft which said that the native people of New Mexico "have failed to assimilate themselves to the spirit and genius of our institutions; for forty-two years they have been under the protection of the American flag. During that time a generation of people has grown up that are ignorant of the language of their country, nor do they wish to have it taught to their children.”
27 Optic, Jan. 2, 1889.
28 New Mexican, March 4, 1890.
29 Dictionary of American Biography (New York, 1928-1937), vol. XII, pp. 491-92.
30 House Reports, Fiftieth Congress, First Session, vol. 4, report no. 1025, p. 40.
31 Twitchell, Ralph E. The Leading Facts of New Mexican History (Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 1912), vol. II, p. 314. Davis was also secretary of the territory in 1857 and acted as governor for eleven months. Ibid.
32 W. W. H. Davis, El Gringo or New Mexico and Her People (The Rydal Press, Santa F6 , New Mexico, 1938). See the introduction by Harvey Fergusson.
33 In 1887 General Davis, who had become quite an authority on local Pennsylvania history, read a paper on "The Spaniard in New Mexico" at the Boston meeting of the American Historical Association. Doubtless his appearance at this time helped to call attention to his earlier book on New Mexico.
34 One of the most caustic editorials which appeared during the statehood boom at the beginning of the century is found in the Philadelphia Evening Telegraph for Dec. 13, 1902.
35 The General Laws of New Mexico. Compiled by L. Bradford Prince (Albany, New York, 1882), Article VII, Section 3, pp. 58-59.
36 For a sketch of Frost, see my article on "The Attitude of the Territorial Press," in vol. XIV of the Review.
37 Territory of New Mexico: Biennial Report of the Bureau of Immigration for the Years 1889 and 1890. By the Secretary, (Santa Fe, 1891), pp. 4-8.
38 The pamphlets referred to were published by the Bureau in 1895, 1896, and 1897.
39 Optic. March 18, 1892.
40 Biennial Report of the Bureau of Immigration of the Territory of New Mexico for the Two Years Ending November 30th, 1902. (Santa Fe, N. M., 1903), p. 7.
41 Proceedings of the House of Representatives of the Territory of New Mexico. Thirtieth Session. (Santa Fe, 1893), P. XXXII.
42 The women of the territory were also organized under the leadership of Mrs. Edward L. Bartlett, for many years a leader in the social life of Santa Fe. Mrs. Bartlett contributed to the Optic for March 26, 1892, a long letter urging the need of the most comprehensive exhibit at Chicago.
43 Twitchell, op. cit., p. 516.
44 Optic, April 28, 1892.
46 . Statement of R. J. Palen territorial treasurer. Optic, March 26, 1892 ; April 23, 1892.
47 Optic, April 23, 1892.
48 The Rio Grande Republican stated that Las Vegas was going to issue "40,000 immigration folders to be distributed at the World's Fair." It suggested that the Mesilla valley follow this example. Rio Grande Republican, quoted by Optic, March 3, 1893.
49 Chicago Dispatch, quoted by Optic, Feb. 23, 1893.
50 Ibid., April 27, 1893 ; Proceedings of the House of Representatives of the Territory of New Mexico. Thirtieth Session, p. XXXIV.
51 Encyc. Americana (New York, 1938) vol. 29, p. 557.
52 Optic, Sept. 22, 1893.
53 The Chicago Sunday papers for Sept. 18th., were said to contain flattering notices of the event.
54 Otero, Miguel A., My Nine Years as Governor of the Territory of New Mexico, 1897-1906 (Albuquerque. N. M., 1940), p. 305.
55 Ibid., quoting an unidentified St. Louis paper.
56 Ibid., pp. 310, 313.
57 The bill was introduced by request by William Cogswell of Mass. Congressional Record, vol. 23, part 2, p. 1380.
58 Ibid., part 5, p. 4563. The report said: "The bill appropriates $50,000 for the establishment of a national sanitarium for consumptives. It also creates an expensive commission to be appointed by the President. The project is one that the committee does not think the Government ought to engage in. It therefore recommends that the bill do not pass." House Reports, Fifty Second Congress, First Session, vol. 5, report no. 1463.
59 Albuquerque Democrat, quoted by Optic, March 31, 1892. The Democrat concluded : "A commission to select a site in New Mexico for a government sanitarium would not hesitate to give the Rio Grande valley the preference over the high, cold country of northern New Mexico." Quoted by Optic, March 31, 1892.
60 Albuquerque had a railroad project of its own. The Optic for Feb. 23, 1892, said: "H. B. Ferguson's trip to New York in the interest of the Albuquerque-Durango road is considered auspicious. All Albuquerque is agog over this line. The survey maps and estimates were completed here last week."
61 Optic, May 13, 1892.
62 Optic, May 16, 1892.
63 Optic, Jan. 28, 1892.
65 Optic, May 12, 1892.
66 Ibid., May 13, 1892.
67 Ibid., May 12, 1892.
68 Optic, May 16, 1892.
69 Charles W. Price of the New York Electrical Review.
70 Optic, Jan. 28, 1892.
71 Optic, June 14, 1892.
72 Ibid., June 16, 1892.
73 New Mexican, Dec. 15, 1891.
74 This statement was made by W. G. Ritch himself in a speech at the Las Vegas meeting. Optic, March 18, 1892, p. 1, col. 3.
75 Ibid., March 22, 1892.
76 Who's Who in America, 1899-1900 (Chicago, 1899), p. 363.
77 Scientific American, quoted by the Optic, April 14, 1892.
78 Optic, March 10, 1892.
79 Optic, April 15, 1892.
80 Scientific American, quoted by Optic, April 15, 1892. These figures included 100,000 acres in the Maxwell grant and 30,000 in the Montoya grant.
81 Quoted from the Scientific American by the Optic, April 14, 1892.
82 Optic, March 17, 1892. Originally a New Englander, Poore had been a health-seeker in New Mexico many years before this.
83 Albuquerque Citizen, June 28, 1899.
84 Optic, Feb. 29, 1892.
85 Raton Range, quoted by Optic, Feb. 20, 1892.
87 Optic, April 23, 1892.
88 Optic, March 30, 1892. Jay Gould was in El Paso for his health for some time in the spring of 1892. Later he spent ten days in Las Vegas, and also visited Albuquerque. Naturally, the visit of the railroad king put New Mexico in the news. The Optic for May 16 said: "the latest New York World presents a picture of Mr. Gould viewing the country from the platform of his car, Atlanta." It also excited a good deal of interest as to his interests in New Mexico. Jefferson Raynolds Bought to interest Gould in the new railroad, apparently without success. The financier was reported to own "a great deal of coal land near White Oaks," and it thought that he "may dabble some in Pecos irrigation, and may gather into his fold the Pecos valley railroad." Optic, March 17, 21, 29, 30, May 16, 1892.
89 Denver Post, quoted by Optic, Oct. 12, 1892. The Post said: "White Oaks is at present the greatest mining camp in America without railroad connection."
90 Optic, Oct. 17, 1895.
91 New Mexican, Nov. 27, 1891, citing Jamaica (N. Y.) Journal.
92 For a fuller account of Otero's activities, see chapter XV of his My Nine Years as Governor of the Territory of New Mexico, 1897-1906. Gov. Thornton was probably not as active in getting publicity for the territory as either his predecessor or his successor. However, en route to the Atlanta exposition in 1895, he gave out interviews to the New Orleans Picayune and other southern papers.
93 New Mexican, Feb. 4, 1890.
94 Socorro Chieftain, Feb. 28, 1890.
95 Elaine, who was in poor health and had only a little over a year to live, was probably considering the possibility of seeking his health in New Mexico. Joseph Medill, who wrote on Nov. 30, 1891, urging him to run for the presidency the following year, also suggested that he might retire from the cabinet and spend the winter between his election and his inauguration in the "balmy, sunny, health-giving, anti-malarial climate of Southern California." Muzzey, David Saville, James G. Blaine, A Political Idol of Other Days (New York, 1934), pp. 469-70. Blaine did plan to spend the winter in California, but the idea "was reluctantly abandoned in view of the strain which the long journey would be on his health." Ibid., p. 489.
96 New York Sun, Quoted by the New Mexican, Dec. 20, 1890.
97 Optic, April 5, 1892.
98 Optic, Feb. 8, 1897.
99 Denver Republican quoted by Optic, April 5, 1892.