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The Fight For Statehood, Part 6:


Advertising "The Backyard of the United States"

 By Marion Dagan


      ONE 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.

      It 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?

      Crusaders 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:

      "The territory of New Mexico has been the most maligned the least appreciated, and the poorest understood portion of Uncle Sam's domain."1

      Much 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

      Several 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

      In 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

      Ignorance 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."

      Twitchell 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 tourist sleeper."6 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 in Boston.7 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

      News 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

      A 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.

Peter Jackson"10

      When 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.

      Lt. 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."

      When 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."

      Commenting 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

      The 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

      The 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 in 1843,17 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

      If 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

      Apparently, 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.

      Early 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

      Referring 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 and superstitious."25 His conclusion was that Wyoming with sixty thousand less people was "far more deserving of statehood."

      One 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

      As 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.

      Apparently 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

      Strange 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 in 1853-54.31 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

      All of this made the book excellent propaganda material for the minority report.33 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."

      Twelve 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

      The 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.

      Perhaps 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 follows:

"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

      The 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 activities.

      First, 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.

      Second, 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.

      Third, 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. . . ."

      The 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

      Much 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

      Naturally, an occasional discouraging note had little effect upon the work of the Bureau. The Biennial Report for 1901-02 claimed that:

"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

      Probably 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.

      L. 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 their aid."41

      The 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 than $12,000.46 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."

      Getting 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

      Col. 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

      Throughout 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 building.50 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

      "New 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 be distributed.

"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

      Five 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."

      Altogether, New Mexico Day at the exposition seemed "a grand success," which did much to advertise the resources of the territory.53

      Governor 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

      Speaking 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."

      "New 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 the reception.56

      Thus 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

      Exactly 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

      The same issue of the Optic complained that the Albuquerque press seemed:

"...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."

      Concretely, 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 this territory."62

      One 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 them:

"...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

      The next group was well announced. The Optic for April 26 stated:

"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."

      Greeting 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 that night:66 fortunately the six hundred copies of the Optic which were given them could have contained no word of that disgraceful event.67 However, they doubtless were informed of it the next day, as they spent two hours in Albuquerque.68

      When 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.

      The 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

      The 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.

      This 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

      In 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."

      Certainly 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

      The 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 territory.

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

      Evidently 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 added:

"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."

      The 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 irrigation.80 Claims were made that sugar beets, raisins, alfalfa and all kinds of fruit could be grown on this land.

      The 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 100th meridian."82 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.

      The 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. . . .

      Gov. 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.

      The 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

      Thus, 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 desirable citizens."

"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

      The 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.

      If 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.

      A 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.

      Combating 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."

      Otero 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

      As 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 "

      Salazar gave an interview to the Socorro Chieftain, which confirmed what Fiske had said. Among other things Salazar said:

"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

      Two 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

      Evidently 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."

      In 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 as follows:

"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.

      A 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."

      A 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:

      "Unfortunately 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."

      If 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.

7 Ibid.

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.

24 Ibid.

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.

45 Ibid..

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.

64 Ibid.

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.

86 Ibid.

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.


Marion Dargan, “New Mexico’s Fight for Statehood (1895-1912): Advertising the Backyard of the United States." New Mexico Historical Review 18 no. 1 (January 1943): 60-96. Copyright by the University of New Mexico Board of Regents. Posted electronically by permission. All rights reserved.

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