New Mexico - Encyclopedia

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NEW MEXICO, a south-western state of the United States, lying between 31° 20' and 37° N.dat., and 103° and 109° 2' W. long. It is bounded N. by Colorado; E. by Oklahoma and Texas; S. by Texas and Mexico; and W. by Arizona. It has an extreme length N. and S. of 400 m., an extreme width E. and W. of 358 m., and a total area of 122,634 sq. m., of which 131 sq. m. are water-surface.

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New Mexico is a region of mountains and high plateaus. Broadly speaking, its surface is a vast tableland tilted toward the S. and E., and broken by parallel ranges of mountains whose trend is most frequently N. and S. About midway between the western boundary and the Rio Grande passes the Continental Divide, which separates the waters entering the Gulf of Mexico from those that flow into the Gulf of California.. In the region E. of the Continental Divide, which embraces about three-fourths of the surface of the state, the general south-eastern slope is very marked. Thus, at Santa Fe, in the north central part of the state, the elevation is 7013 ft.; at Raton, in the N.E., 6400 ft.; at Las Cruces, in the extreme S., 3570 ft.; and at Red Bluff, in the extreme S.E., 2876 ft.

The Rocky Mountain system enters New Mexico near the centre of the northern boundary; its main ridge, lying E. of the Rio Grande, extends as far S. as the city of Santa Fe. It forms the water-parting between the upper waters of the Canadian river and the Rio Grande, and contains many of the loftiest peaks in New Mexico, among them being Truchas (13,275 ft.), Costilla (12,634 ft.) and Baldy (12,623 ft.). On the E. this ridge is bounded by the region of the Great Plains, the dissected topography of which is characterized by many broad valleys intervening. W. of the Rio Grande lies a series of lower ranges, also a part of the Rocky Mountain system, whose western slopes merge almost imperceptibly with the Plateau Region. The San Juan, Gallinas and Nacimiento ranges are among the most notable in this group. South of the Rocky Mountains lies the so-called Basin Region, in which isolated, but sometimes lofty and massive, mountains, the result in many instances of a series of numerous parallel faults, rise from level plains like islands from the sea and enclose the valleys with bare walls of grey and brown rock. These valley plains, from io m. to 20 m. wide and sometimes 100 m. long, sloping gradually toward their centres, are usually covered with detritus from the neighbouring mountains, and seldom have a distinct drainage outlet. The Spaniards called them "bolsons " (purses), a term that geologists have retained. In many of these bolsons are ephemeral lakes, in which the waters collect during the rainy season and stand for several months. These waters are frequently impregnated with alkali or salt, and on evaporating leave upon the bed of the lake a thin encrustation of snowy whiteness. Such beds, locally known as " alkali flats," are especially numerous in Valencia, Socorro, Dona Ana and Otero counties, and a number of them furnish all the salt needed by the cattle ranges in their vicinity. East of the San Andreas Range, in the south central part of New Mexico, lies the basin of the extinct Lake Otero, in which are found the remarkable " white sands," consisting of dunes of almost pure granular gypsum and covering the area of 300 sq. m. In this region many species of reptiles and insects are almost perfectly white - an interesting example of protective coloration. Both E. and W. of the central portion of the Basin Region the bolson plains soon lose their distinctive character, the valleys become wider and broader and the mountains less lofty and more isolated. East of the Pecos and S. of the Canadian rivers lies the great arid tableland known as the Staked Plains (Llano Estacado), a vast stretch of barren wastes, with almost nothing to break the monotony of its landscape. This is a part of the Great Plains and a continuation of the high plains region of Texas. The Plateau Region includes most of the area N.


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? ' '` ' take (Llano Estacado"! '1 of the Gila river and W. of the Rio Grande. Here volcanic activity and powerful erosion have combined to produce a series of remarkable scenic effects. The eastern border of this area is formed by the valley of the Rio Grande and the western foot-hills of the Rocky Mountains; the southern boundary overlooks the Gila river; and on the N. and W. the plateau continues into Colorado, Utah and Arizona. Near its southern and eastern borders are many lava flows and extinct volcanic mountains, one of the most imposing of those in New Mexico being the 1VIt. Taylor volcano (11,389 ft.), which is surrounded by lava tables and some of the most wonderful volcanic buttes in the world. In other portions of New Mexico there is also much evidence of former volcanic activity. A conspicuous feature of the New Mexican landscape is the mesa, a flat-topped hill created by differential erosion and projecting above the surrounding country like a table. A notable example is the mesa of Acoma, in Valencia county, capped with volcanic rocks; upon its summit, about 350 ft. above the plain, is the Indian pueblo of Acoma.

The average elevation of New Mexico is 5700 ft., with 40,200 sq. m. between 3000 and 5000 ft.; 56,680 sq. m. between 5000 and 7000 ft.; 22,500 sq. m. between 7000 and 9000 ft.; and 2000 sq. m. above 9000 ft.

For a region with such a small amount of rainfall the rivers are numerous, but none of the streams is navigable, and in many of them during the dry season (and in some of them because of broken stratification) the water in places disappears entirely beneath the sandy bed, and after flowing underground for some distance, breaks out afresh farther on as a river, rivulet or spring. The most important stream is the Rio Grande, which, rising in southern Colorado, enters New Mexico through deep canyons near the centre of the northern boundary and continues southward across the entire state. During its course it changes from a mountain stream in the N. to a sluggish river turgid with sand in the S. In the lowlands it loses much of its volume through evaporation and absorption by the sands, and through irrigation, and in its lower course in New Mexico its bed is frequently dry. In the flood season it usually leaves its banks and inundates the lowlands, spreading over the sands a rich deposit of silt; and on account of this characteristic it is sometimes called " the Nile of New Mexico." The stream next in importance is the Pecos river, which rises in Mora county and flows southward into Texas, where it joins the Rio Grande. It has the same general characteristics as the latter river, being a mountain stream near its source, and after leaving the highlands becoming sluggish and losing much of its water. Along the lower course many underground streams from the mountains break out as springs and empty into the Pecos. The Canadian river drains the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains and flows in a general south-easterly direction through Texas into Oklahoma, where it empties into the Arkansas. Most of its course in New Mexico lies through a canyon. The westward-flowing streams - the San Juan, Rio Puerco of the West, Zuni, Rio San Francisco and Gila - are of only slight importance, though their flow is perennial. In the valleys there are many small streams whose waters never reach the ocean, but disappear by seepage or evaporation.

Fauna and Flora

Of native animals the species are numerous, but their numbers are small. Bison no longer roam the plains, and the elk has been driven out; but among the larger mammals still to be found in certain districts are the deer, prong-horn (in small numbers), puma, coyote, timber wolf, lynx (Lynx rufus and Lynx Canadensis) and the black and grizzly bear. Badgers, hares and rabbits are found everywhere, and prairie-dogs are so numerous in some places as to be considered a nuisance. There are numerous species of aquatic birds. From time to time upon the Rio Grande may be seen ducks, wild geese, swans, cranes, herons and gulls. Eagles are often seen, and in the arid and elevated regions crows and ravens are numerous. Gamble's quail, bob-white, grouse, English pheasants and wild turkeys are the most important game birds, and the mocking-bird is common throughout south-western New Mexico. Among the venomous reptiles and insects are the rattlesnake, the Gila monster (Heloderma suspectum), a poisonous lizard, and the tarantula (Mygale Heintzii), which, however, are common only in certain places and at certain seasons.

New Mexico has such a great range of elevations that all four of the zones of vegetation into which the South-West has been divided according to altitude are found within its limits; namely, the zone of cactus, yucca and agave (3000-3500 ft.), where grass is scanty; the zone of greasewood and sage-brush (3500-4900 ft.), where there is little grass, and the cactus species are less numerous; the zone of the cedar (4900-6800 ft.); and the zone of the pine and fir (6800 - 10,800 ft.), in which grass is more abundant. The total woodland area has been estimated at 23,700 sq. m., or a little more than 19% of the land area. Only the higher ranges and plateaus are timbered, and even there the forests are not dense. The lower slopes are usually covered with the scrub oak, juniper and pinon; but some mountains, especially those along the eastern border of the Rio Grande Valley, are absolutely treeless. The principal forest areas are upon the southern end of the San Juan Range, upon the Sangre de Cristo Range and in Socorro county, W. of the Rio Grande. The chief varieties of timber are the red fir, Engelmann's spruce and yellow pine. Up to 1910 the Federal government had created eleven forest reservations in New Mexico, embracing an area of 10,971,711 acres. In the valleys the only trees native to the soil are the willow and cottonwood, found along the water courses, and beyond the range of irrigation vegetation is limited to scanty grass, with sage-brush and greasewood in the N. and cactus and yucca in the S.


As the winds that reach New Mexico have been desiccated while crossing the plains of Texas or the mountains of the N.W., the climate is characterized by a lack of humidity. The sandy soil quickly absorbs the sun's heat and also quickly radiates it, so that there is great daily variation in the temperature. The low humidity, high altitudes and southern latitude all combine to make the climate salubrious and especially beneficial to persons suffering with pulmonary disorders. The highest temperature ever recorded was IIO° F. at Roswell; the lowest, - 23° at Aztec. At Santa Fe, where mountain and plain meet, the mean annual temperature is 49 0; the mean for the winter is 31° and for the summer 67°; and the highest and lowest temperatures ever recorded were respectively 97° and - 13°. At Fort Bayard, in the S.W., the mean temperature for the year is 55°; the mean for the winter is 39°, with an extreme recorded of - 1 °; the mean for the summer is 72°, with a maximum recorded of 103°. At Mesilla Park, in the lower Rio Grande Valley, the mean annual temperature is 60°; for the winter it is 43°, with a minimum of I°, and for the summer 77°, with a maximum of 106°. In all parts of New Mexico except the N.W. there is a so-called wet season, which begins early in July and lasts for a month or six weeks, the rain coming in the form of short afternoon thunderstorms. About a third of the precipitation occurs during July and August, but after August the monthly precipitation is steadily less until March, in which month only about 3% of the annual rainfall occurs. For all of New Mexico the mean precipitation is about 13 in., ranging from 9 in. in the lower Rio Grande Valley to 25 in. on the mountain ranges at elevations of 10,000 ft. and over. In the valleys there are usually about two snows a year and these quickly disappear; but on the mountain peaks and in the canyons the snow accumulates to great depths and forms a steady source of water-supply for the rivers. It is the melting of the snows on the Rocky Mountains, and not the rainy season, that produces the floods of the Rio Grande.


The prevailing type of soil on the higher lands is a sandy loam, underlaid with clay or clay loam, which stores water and is the typical soil of the basins. Along the river valleys there are limited areas of fine sediment, and here with irrigation good crops can be grown without the use of fertilizers. In the plains where drainage is poor, especially in the S., the soils contain too much alkali; but in the highlands most of this has been dissolved and carried away by the rains, and the soils are well adapted for grazing grounds.


Because of the small amount of rainfall, agriculture is confined chiefly to the river valleys. In 1900 only 4.2% of the land surface was included in farms, and less than 27 of 1% was classed as improved farm land. The total acreage, however, rose from 787,882 in 1890 to 5,130,878 in 1900, an increase of 551.2%. Between 1850 and 1880 there was very little increase in farm area. The amount of improved land, though showing an absolute increase between 1880 and 1900, declined relatively to the total area in farms from 37.6% in 1880 to 6.4% in 1900. At the same time the average size of farms (not including farms with an area of less than 3 acres, which reported an annual income of less than $500) increased from 124.9 acres in 1880 to 433.6 acres in 1900. This decrease in the proportion of improved acreage and increase in the average size of the farms is due to the increased use of lands for grazing purposes. As regards tenure, 90.6% of the farms in 1900 were operated by owners, 2.2% by cash tenants, and 7.2% by share tenants. In this year 39.6% of the farms derived their principal income from hay and grain, 33.2% from live stock, 5.5% from dairy produce, 3.5% from vegetables, 2.8% from fruits. The most important crop, as a result of irrigation, is alfalfa, which is grown for forage, requires little attention, and improves the soil. Wheat, Indian corn and oats are the leading cereal crops; and S. of the latitude of Santa Fe vegetables and deciduous fruits flourish where the watersupply is ample. A little cotton has been grown near Carlsbad in the Pecos Valley, and in 1909 sugar beets were introduced south of Albuquerque and cantaloupes in the southern Rio Grande Valley. Fruit, especially the Bartlett pear, is very successful. The total value of farm property in 1900 was $53,767,824, and the value of the live stock, $31,727,400. The value of the farm products in 1879 was $ 1, 8 97,974, in 1889 $1,784,824, and in 1899 $10,155,215. In 1909 the values of the principal farm products (according to the Year Book of the U.S. Department of Agriculture) were as follows: hay, $5,339,000; wheat, $5,575,000; Indian corn, $5,915,000; oats, $634,000; and potatoes, $86,000. The values of the various classes of live stock on the 1st of January 1910 were as follows: sheep, $13,714,000; milch cows, $1,125,000; other neat cattle, 815,677,000; horses, $6,251,000; mules, $632,000; swine, $272,000. Stock-raising is the most important industry, and the growing of sheep for wool takes a leading place. The hills and mesas covered with the nutritious grama grass form excellent grazing grounds, which are most extensive in Bernalillo, Guadalupe, Rio Arriba, San Miguel, Union and Valencia counties. In April 1907 (according to an estimate of the National Association of Wool Manufacturers) New Mexico contained 2,600,000 sheep, the largest XIX. 17 a number in any state or Territory except Montana and Wyoming; but the number of sheep has since decreased (while that of neat cattle has increased) and in April 1909 there were only 825,000 sheep of shearing age in New Mexico.

Except in a few mountain valleys in the N., agriculture was long entirely dependent upon irrigation, which has been practised in New Mexico by the Pueblo Indians since prehistoric times. In 1899 the total irrigated area outside of Indian reservations amounted to 203,893 acres (67.2% of all improved land) - an increase of 122.2% in the preceding decade. Of the total land in crops in that year 89.2% was irrigated. After the passage of the Federal Reclamation Act in 1902, a number of extensive irrigation works in New Mexico were undertaken by the Federal government. The Carlsbad reservoir and diverting dam in Eddy county and the Rio Hondo canals and reservoir in Chaves county were completed in 1907 and are capable of supplying water to tracts of 20,000 and 10,000 acres respectively. In 1908 an irrigation reservoir in McKinley county for the use of the Zuni Indians and the Leasburg project (Dona Ana county; 20,000 acres) were completed. The Rio Grande project was planned in 1907 for the storage of the flood waters of the Rio Grande near Engle, New Mexico, in order to reclaim about 155,000 acres of land in New Mexico and Texas, and to deliver to Mexico above the city of Juarez 60,000 acre-feet of water per year, as provided by a treaty (proclaimed on the 16th of January 1907) between that republic and the United States. Other systems contemplated by the government were the Las Vegas project for reclaiming 10,000 acres near Las Vegas, the Urton Lake project for reclaiming 60,000 acres in the Pecos Valley, and the La Plata Valley project for irrigating about 40,000 acres in the northwestern part of New Mexico, 35 m. S.W. of Durango, Colorado. A special irrigation commission was appointed in 1897, and in 1905 the legislature created the office of Territorial irrigation engineer. Irrigation by private companies is of some importance, especially in the San Juan Valley, the Rio Grande Valley and the Pecos Valley. In 1909 it was estimated that about 500,000 acres were irrigated. Dry farming has proved a great success in New Mexico, as elsewhere in the SouthWest, especially since 1900; and in 1907 it was estimated that 2,000,000 acres were cultivated without irrigation.


As New Mexico is primarily a mining and stockraising region, its manufacturing industries are of comparatively small importance. The value of the manufactured products in 1880 was $1,284,846; in 1890 $1,516,195; and in 1900 $5,605,795, an increase in the latter decade of 269.7%. In 1905 there were 199 establishments under the factory system (an increase of 1 4.4% over the number in 1900); the amount of capital invested was $4,638,248, and the value of " factory " products was $5,705,880 (an increase of 40.5% over the value of the " factory " products in 1900). The leading industries in 1905 were the construction of cars and general railway shop and repair work by steam railway companies (value of product, $2,509,845), the manufacture of lumber and timber products (value $1,315,364) and of flour and grist mill products (value $388,124), and the printing and publishing of newspapers and periodicals (value $279,858). In 1900 the manufactures of Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Socorro were valued at 39.4% of the total value of New Mexico's products.


The existence of valuable mineral deposits was early known to the Spaniards. There was some production of gold by the Mexicans, but the silver mining was unimportant until 1881, when the Lake Valley silver mines in Sierra county began to yield. Between that year and 1884 the coining value of the silver product increased from $275,000 to $3,000,000. After 1885 there was a gradual decline in the output, whose bullion value in 1908 was $250,986. The production of gold has shown a somewhat similar movement; the output in 1881 was valued at $185,000; in 1889, at $1,000,000, and in 1908 at $298,757. The leading goldand silver-producing counties are Socorro, Grant, Sierra and Dona Ana. Only silver is mined in the last-named county. Copper has been mined for many years, and in 1906 and 1908 constituted New Mexico's most valuable metallic product, the value of the yield in these years being $ 1 ,35 6 ,533 and $658,858 respectively. Nearly all the product comes from Grant county, and in 1908 nearly 98% of the output was from Grant and Otero counties. In1905-1908the decrease in output was large. In the same years there was an increase in the output of zinc, which in 1906 was valued at $67,710 and in 1908 at $168,096. Most of the zinc comes from Socorro county, where the mines of the Magdalena District in 1908 yielded 93% of the entire product. A small amount of lead is produced incidentally to the mining of zinc, being derived from mixed lead and zinc ores. Far the most important mineral product, however, is coal, which is found in all forms - lignite to anthracite - and in widely distributed areas. The chief centres of production are the Raton field, in Colfax county; the Durango-Gallup field, in McKinley and Rio Arriba counties; the Whiteoaks field, in Lincoln county; and the Los Cerillos and Tejon areas, in Santa Fe county. Much of the coal is suitable for coke, of which a considerable amount is manufactured. The value of the coal product in 1902 was $1,500,230; in 1904, $1,904,499; and in 1908, $3,368,753. Iron ores are widely distributed, but have not been developed; graphite is mined in Colfax county; mica in Taos county, and to a small extent in Rio Arriba county; marble is quarried in Otero county and sandstone in Bernalillo, Colfax and San Miguel counties. Gypsum beds are widely distributed, and the supply is inexhaustible, but their great distance from centres of consumption has prevented their profitable working. In New Mexico are found turquoises and a few garnets; it seems probable that turquoises were mined by the Aztecs. The largest of the old Spanish turquoise mines in the Cerillos District, 18 m. S. of Santa Fe, furnished a turquoise product between 1890 and 1900 valued at more than $2,000,000. Other mines are in Grant and Otero counties. The New Mexican garnets are found in McKinley county. The output of precious stones in 1902 was valued at $51,100, in 1908 at $72,100.


The total railway mileage on the 31st of December 1908 was 2,918.02, more than twice *as much as that of 1890. The length of railway per inhabitant in New Mexico in 1907 was about five times as great as that for the whole country, but the amount of line per square mile of territory was only about one-third as great as the average for the United States. New Mexico is traversed by two transcontinental lines, the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe, from Chicago to San Francisco and the Southern Pacific, from New Orleans to San Francisco. The main line of the former enters New Mexico near Raton, extends S.W. to Albuquerque and thence westward into Arizona. A southward extension taps the Southern Pacific at El Paso, Texas, and Deming, New Mexico, and there are numerous shorter branches. This system also controls the Pecos Valley & North-Eastern railway, which serves the southwestern part of New Mexico. The Southern Pacific crosses New Mexico westward from El Paso, Texas. The western division of the El Paso & South-Western system, connecting El Paso and Benson, Arizona, crosses New Mexico just N. of the Mexican boundary. Its eastern division (including the El Paso & NorthEastern, the El Paso & Rock Island, the Alamogordo & Sacramento Mountain and the Dawson railways) connects with the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific at Tucumcari; thus forming a connecting link between that system and the Southern Pacific. The Santa Fe Central, extending southward from Santa Fe to Torrance, is a connecting link between the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe and the El Paso & South-Western systems. Branches of the Denver & Rio Grande serve the northern parts of New Mexico.


The population of New Mexico consists of three distinct classes - Indians; Spanish-Americans; and english speaking non-hispanic americans. Of the Indians there are two types, both of the Athapascan family; in one are the Pueblos, and in the other the Navahos, in the N.W. part of the state, and their near kinsmen, the Apaches, to the south. The Pueblo Indians live in adobe houses, are quiet and usually self-sustaining, and have been converted to the forms of Christianity. They had irrigated farms and dwelt in six-storey communal houses long before the advent of the white man. By the treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, in 1848, the United States government recognized them as citizens. They lived in 19 villages of pueblos, the largest of which, Zuni, is more properly called a reservation, as it has been enlarged from time to time by grants from the Federal government. The 18 pueblos and the Zuni reservation contained in 1900 a population of 8127, and a total area of 1417 sq. m. The pueblos are held under Spanish grants which were confirmed by the United States. The terraced architecture of the villages is very remarkable. Originally the Pueblo Indians lived in many-storeyed communal houses, built sometimes of stone, sometimes of adobe, and occasionally chiselled into the sides of a stone cliff, as best suited the convenience of the builders. At present there is a tendency among them to copy the one-storey huts of the Mexicans. Taos (pop. in 1900, 419) is one of the most imposing of the pueblos, consisting of two six-storeyed pyramidal tenements, separated by a brook. Zuni (pop. 1525) has a five-storeyed dwelling surrounded by detached huts; Acoma (pop. 492 in 1900; 566 in 1902), standing on a cliff 357 ft. high (Acoma means " people of the white rock " and Aco, the Indian name for the pueblo, means " white rock "), contains three blocks of three-storeyed terraced buildings,' and Laguna also contains some three-storeyed 1 About 3 m. N.E. of Acoma stands the Enchanted Mesa (Mesa Encantada; Katzimo in Keresan), rising 430 ft. above the plain, and being 2050 ft. long and loo to 350 ft. wide. Upon its summit, according to Indian tradition, once stood the village of Acoma, but while the inhabitants were tending their crops in the plains a powerful earth movement threw down the rocky ladder by which alone the summit could be reached. According to the story, three women had been left in the village and these perished. The Mesa was first climbed by white men in 1896 by Prof. William Libbey (b. 1855), of Princeton University; it was climbed again in 1897 by a party led by F. W. Hodge; and pottery and stone implements were found here.

dwellings, but the Laguna tribe, numbering, 1077 in 1900 and 1384 in 1905, now live mostly in their former summer villages on the plain. The other Indians live on reservations, of which there are three: the Mescalero Apache reservation, in Otero county, containing 554 Indians in 190o; the Jicarilla Apache reservation, in Rio Arriba county, with a population of 829; and the Navaho reservation, in Utah, Arizona and New Mexico, which contains in that part of it situated in New Mexico a population of 2480.

The total population of New Mexico in 1870 was 91,874; in 1880, 119,565; in 1890, 153,593; in 1900, 195,310, and in 1910, according to, the U.S. census, the figure was 327,301. Of the native white population in 1900, 17,917 were of foreign parentage. Of the foreign-born element 6649, or about one-half, were Mexicans, 1360 were Germans and the rest chiefly English, Irish, Canadians, Italians, Scotch and Austrians. The chief cities were Albuquerque (6238), Santa Fe (5603), Las Vegas (3552) and Raton (3540). Far the greater portion of the population (in 1906, 56.2% of the estimated population) are communicants of the Roman Catholic Church, which had in 1906 121,558 members, the total communicants of all denominations in that year numbering 137,009. Among Protestants there were 6560 Methodists, 2935 Presbyterians and 2331 Baptists.


The executive officers until 1911 were a governor and a Territorial secretary appointed by the President of the United States, and a treasurer, auditor, superintendent of public instruction, adjutant-general, commissioner of public lands and other administrative officials appointed by the governor. The legislative department included a council of 12 members and a House of Representatives of 24 members, chosen by popular vote. The sessions were biennial and limited to 60 days. All laws passed by the Assembly and approved by the governor had to be submitted to the Federal Congress for its approval. The Territory was represented in Congress by a delegate, chosen by popular vote, with the right to speak in the national legislature but not to vote. The judicial department included a supreme court, district courts, probate courts and local justices of the peace. The supreme court consisted of a chief justice and five associate justices appointed by the President. There were six judicial districts, each with a court presided over by a justice of the supreme court. Each county had a probate court, and each precinct a justice of the peace.

For the purposes of local government New Mexico is divided into 25 counties, each being governed by a board of county commissioners, chosen by the people. Each county is divided by the commissioners into precincts. Municipal corporations with a population of 3000 and over are cities, and are governed through a mayor and board of aldermen; those with a population of between 1500 and 3000 are towns, and are governed through a mayor and trustees.

A rather unusual institution within New Mexico is the mounted police, who numbered I I in 1907, whose work was almost entirely in the cattle country, and who had authority to patrol the entire Territory and to make arrests or to preserve order wherever their presence was needed, unhampered by the restrictions limiting the jurisdiction of local police.

A homestead not exceeding $1000 in value, and held by a husband and wife or by a widow or widower with an unmarried daughter or an unmarried minor son, may be held exempt from seizure and sale by legal process. The exemption may be claimed by either the husband or the wife, but may not be granted if each owns a home stead; and it does not extend to judgments rendered against the debtor on account of a mortgage, non-payment of the purchase money or supplies and labour for building and repairs.

In 1907 the legislature passed a radical anti-gambling measure, making the penalty for gambling six months' imprisonment in the county-jail, and, at the discretion of the court, a fine of not less than $100 and not more than $500; this law went into effect on the 1st of January 1908. Gambling had formerly been licensed - the gambling-house keeper paying $200 per annum for each gaming table or apparatus, this sum going to the district and county school funds.

Revenues for the support of the government are derived chiefly from the general property tax. There are also special corporation taxes on car companies, express companies and foreign corporations producing, refining or selling petroleum or coal oil; and a system of licence-charges or business taxes. A poll tax is levied by the state for school purposes and may also be levied by municipalities. The county and the municipal tax rates are limited respectively to 5 and to mills on the dollar. A special tax not exceeding 3 mills on the dollar may be levied on all taxable property for school purposes, and the proceeds apportioned among the school districts according to the number of school children. The proceeds of the poll tax are distributed in the counties in which the tax is collected. Each school district may supplement the aid from the state by laying special taxes, and the Federal government has granted to each township 2 sq. m. of public land to aid in the support of its schools. Landgrants amounting in 1907 to 1,343,080 acres had also been made for the benefit of various educational, charitable and correctional institutions, and for irrigation purposes. At the close of the fiscal year ending on the 31st of May 1908, New Mexico showed expenditures of $721,272.81, receipts of 8754,080.94 and a balance in the treasury of $378,653.63. The bonded debt, amounting on the 31st of May 1908 to 8788,000, was incurred partly in meeting temporary deficits in the treasury and partly in the construction of public buildings.


At the head of the public school system is a Board of Education of seven members, including the governor and the superintendent of public instruction; this Board apportions the school fund among the counties, selects the text-books and prepares the examinations for teachers. The superintendent of public instruction exercises a general supervision over the schools of New Mexico. There is also a superintendent of schools for each county, and the counties are divided into school districts, each having three directors, who disburse the school funds and have the care of the school property. In incorporated cities and towns these functions are discharged by local boards of education. The school age is from five to twenty-one years, and for children between the ages of seven and fourteen school attendance for three months in each year is compulsory. The total enrollment for the year ending the 1st of August 1906 was 39,377, with an average daily attendance of 25,174; the average length of the school year was 5 months and ,19 days. The use of English in the schoolroom is required by law; New Mexico has adopted a uniform system of text - books.

The state supports the University of New Mexico at Albuquerque; a College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts' (established 1889, opened 1890) at Mesilla Park, 40 m. from El Paso; a Normal School at Silver City (pop. 1900, 2735; county-seat of Grant county); a Normal University at Las Vegas; a School of Mines (at Socorro; pop. 1900, 1512; county-seat of Socorro county), which was founded in 1889, was organized and opened in 1895 when it received from Congress 50,000 acres of land, has in its library the private library of John W. Powell, formerly director of the U.S. Geological Survey, and owns the Torrance Mine at the foot of Socorro Mountain, 2 m. from the college campus; and a Military Institute at Roswell (pop. 1900, 2006; county-seat of Chaves county). Indian day schools are maintained by the Federal government at Albuquerque, Jicarilla, Santa Fe and Zuni.

The state maintains an insane asylum at Las Vegas, a deaf and dumb asylum and penitentiary at Santa Fe, an institute for the blind at Almagordo, a reform school at El Rito and a miners' hospital at Raton. For many years the legislature has also contributed to the support of a number of private hospitals and charitable institutions.


To the existence of an Old-World myth New Mexico owes its early exploration by the Spaniards. Early in the 16th century it was believed that in the New World would be found the fabled cities and creatures of which Europeans had heard for centuries. There was a story that in the 8th century a bishop of Lisbon, to escape from the Arabs, had fled to islands in the West, where he and his followers had founded seven cities; and when the Indians in Mexico related to the Spanish explorers a bit of their folk-lore, to the effect that they had issued from seven caves, the imaginative white men soon identified these caves with the famous Seven Cities. Ir.. 1536 came Cabeza 1 This college also receives Federal aid: 100,000 acres of public land were voted to it in 1898. de Vaca into Mexico after eight years of wandering across the continent and related to his countrymen the stories he had heard of wonderful cities of stone in the north. He had not seen the cities himself, nor had he, as is frequently asserted, gone as far north as the present New Mexico, but his reports tended to confirm previous rumours and led the viceroy, Don Antonio de Mendoza, to send Fray Marcos de Niza, a Franciscan friar, on a small and inexpensive expedition of discovery.

Fray Marcos (q.v.) was the first European to enter the limits of what is now New Mexico. A glimpse of the terraced houses of an Indian village - now identified as Zuni - convinced him that he had seen one of the Seven Cities, and he hastened back with the good news. The stories that he told grew in their passage from mouth to mouth until the Spaniards believed that in the north were cities " very rich, having silversmiths, and that the women wore strings of gold beads and the men girdles of gold." Full of missionary zeal, and desirous that settlements should be planted in the new region in order that the heathen might be converted, Fray Marcos did little to refute these exaggerations. The conquest of the Seven Cities was determined upon, and a band of adventurers, led by Francisco Vasquez de Coronado, set out in 1539. Following the route of Fray Marcos de Niza, Coronado reached the first of the alleged cities, and to his great disappointment found only an Indian pueblo. An exploring party sent eastward reached Acoma, and then proceeded to Tiguex on the Rio Grande, and finally to the Pecos river. The main body of Coronado's expedition remained in New Mexico on the Rio Grande while he pushed on to the fabled land of Quivira,' only to meet with another disappointment.

Forty years elapsed before the Spaniards again entered New Mexico. In 1581 Fray Augustin Rodriguez, another Franciscan, explored the valley of the Rio Grande, and in1582-1583Antonio Espejo made extended explorations to the E. and W. of this stream. It was about this time, apparently, that the Spaniards in Mexico adopted the term New Mexico to designate the land to the north; Rodriguez had called the country San Felipe, and Espejo had named it Nueva Andalucia. Between 1583 and 1 595 several attempts at the conquest and occupation of New Mexico were made, but for various reasons they were unsuccessful. In the spring of 1598 Don Juan de Onate entered New Mexico with about 400 colonists, and choosing the pueblo of San Juan (30 m. N.W. of the modern Santa Fe) as a temporary dwellingplace, made preparations for building a town at the junction of the Rio Chama and the Rio Grande, to be known as San Francisco. In the following year the new settlement was renamed San Gabriel. Some years later a second settlement was made at Santa Fe, which has ever since been the seat of government of New Mexico. Although the Franciscan missionaries by 1617 had built seven churches and had baptized 14,000 Indians, there were in this year only 48 soldiers and settlers in the province. The zeal of the friars in stamping out the religious rites of the natives, the severe penalties inflicted for non-observance of the rules of the Church, and the heavy tribute in kind demanded by the Spanish authorities, aroused feelings of resentment in the Pueblo Indians and led in 1680 to a general revolt, headed by a native named Pope. Over 400 Spaniards were massacred, and the remnant, after enduring a siege in Santa Fe, fled southward to a mission near the present El Paso. For a decade the natives enjoyed their independence, destroying nearly all vestiges of Spanish occupation, and venting their wrath particularly upon the churches. After several attempts at reconquest had failed, Don Diego de Vargas marched up the Rio Grande in 1692, and largely by moral suasion secured the surrender of Santa Fe, then held by the Indians. During the next four years the submission of all the pueblos was secured, and the permanency of 1 Although the Quivira story was fabricated by an Indian captive and its fraudulent character was fully exposed by Coronado in 1541, ignorant American treasure-seekers still search for this mythical region. By a strange perversion of names the deserted stone pueblo of Tabira, S. of Albuquerque in the vicinity of the Manzano Mountains, has received the appellation of " Gran Quivira," thereby causing many deluded persons to make a vain search among its ruins for treasure.

European occupation was assured. The history of New Mexico in the 18th century was uneventful, being chiefly a story of petty disagreements among the pueblos, and occasional forays of the more warlike tribes, the Navahos, Apaches and Comanches. During the Mexican War of Independence (1811-21) New Mexico was tranquil and little disturbed by events farther south; but when, near the close of the year 1821, the news of independence arrived it was received with enthusiasm. Under the Mexican republic New Mexico was called a province till 1824, when it was united with Chihuahua and Durango to form the Estado Interno del Norte. Several months later, however, it was separated from these two provinces and became a Territory; in 1836 it was officially designated as a department, and remained as such until ceded to the United States by the treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, in 1848. Its government during this period was only slightly changed from what it had been under Spain.

Of great importance to New Mexico during the first half of the 19th century was the development of its trade with the United States. American traders had occasionally ventured as far as Santa Fe before the independence of Mexico, but they were frequently expelled and their goods confiscated by the Spanish authorities. After 1822 trading expeditions became larger and more numerous. From Missouri caravans of pack animals, and later wagon trains, set out in May of each year on the Boo m. journey to Santa Fe, along the route later followed in its general lines by the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe railway. The value of the products carried by these trains increased from $15,000 in 1822 to $450,000 in 1843. On their return trip the wagons often brought loads of wool, fur and blankets.

In 1841 the republic of Texas, claiming that its western boundary was the Rio Grande, sent a force of 300 men to New Mexico to enforce these claims. The Texans reached the frontier in a starved and exhausted condition, were made prisoners by the New Mexican militia, and were sent to Mexico, where after a short term of confinement they were released.

In 1846 the Congress of the United States declared that war existed with Mexico, and on the 3rd of June Brigadier-General Stephen W. Kearny was ordered to undertake the conquest of New Mexico and California and to " establish temporary civil governments therein." Kearny reached Las Vegas on the 15th of August, assured the people of protection if they remained peaceable, and three days later entered Santa Fe without opposition. Here he organized a civil government and compiled a code of laws, some of which are still in force, thus exceeding his instructions and ignoring the territorial claims of Texas, out of which had grown the war. After Kearny's departure for California and Col. Alexander William Doniphan's (1808-1887) setting out (Dec. 1846) on his heroic expedition to join Gen. Wool at Chihuahua, some of the inhabitants revolted, and in January 1847 assassinated the governor, Charles Bent, and a number of Americans and Mexicans who had taken office under the new regime. The insurrection was quickly suppressed, but the citizens soon grew tired of a military government, and in 1848 and again in 1849 petitioned Congress for a government " purely civil in character." In 1850 a convention met in Santa Fe and drafted a state constitution prohibiting slavery; this constitution was ratified, and state officials were chosen to act under it. The governor by military appointment, Colonel John Munroe (1796-1861), refused to surrender his jurisdiction in favour of the state officials until authorized to do so by Congress, and for a time there was much writing of pronunciamentos by the military and the quasi-state officials. But finally a regular Territorial form of government, provided by Congress by an act of the 13th of December 1850 (a part of the Compromise of 1850), was formally inaugurated on the 3rd of March 1851.

As originally constituted, the Territory included, besides most of its present area, nearly all of what is now Arizona, and a small portion of the present Colorado. By the terms of the Compromise Measures of 1850 Texas surrendered all claims to the portion of New Mexico E. of the Rio Grande, and was reimbursed for this loss of territory by the Federal Government. The Gadsden Purchase (see Gadsden, James), concluded on the 30th of December 1853, and proclaimed by President Pierce on the 30th of June 1854, added to the Territory an area of 45,535 sq. m., and changed the southern boundary W. of the Rio Grande so that from the Rio Grande the new boundary ran due W. on the parallel of 31° 47' N. lat. for Ioo m., then due S. to the parallel of 31°. 20' N. lat., then due W. on that parallel to its intersection with the 111th meridian of longitude west of Greenwich, from that point of intersection in a straight line to the Colorado river, 20 m. below its junction with the Gila, and thence up the middle of the Colorado river to the boundary line between Mexico and California. In 1861 a portion of north-eastern New Mexico was taken to form part of Colorado; and in 1863 all of the area W. of the 109th meridian was organized as the separate Territory of Arizona.

By the Compromise of 1850 the question whether New Mexico should have slavery was left to the decision of the inhabitants. Only a few African slaves were ever brought into the Territory, and these were usually the property of civil and military officers. There were two classes of the population, however, whose status was practically that of slaves; namely, Indian captives and peons. Before slavery was prohibited in the Territory by Act of Congress in 1862, Indian captives were regularly bought and sold, a traffic sanctioned by custom and not prohibited by law. Peons were persons held in servitude on account of debt, and the peonage system was sanctioned both by the custom of the Mexican provinces and by the laws of the Territory. An act of 1851 forbade servants from leaving masters to whom they were indebted, and in 1853 sheriffs were authorized in some instances to dispose of the debtor's labour to the highest bidder. Peonage remained a legalized institution until 1867, when it was prohibited by an act of Congress.

At the outbreak of the Civil War the inhabitants were generally apathetic; but when the Confederates invaded New Mexico they proved loyal to the Union.' In February 1862 General H. H. Sibley, commanding a force of about 3800 Texans, marched into New Mexico, fought a successful engagement at Valverde, on the Rio Grande, against Union forces under Colonel, later General, Edward R. S. Canby, and occupied Albuquerque and Santa Fe. The Union troops were reinforced from Colorado, however, and after a series of skirmishes the Confederates were compelled to retreat to Texas, leaving behind about half their original number in killed, wounded and. missing. New Mexico furnished to the Union army between 5000 and 6000 men.

The period following the American occupation of New Mexico was marked by constant depredations of the Indians, chiefly the Navahos, Apaches and a few Utes, their main object being plunder. While the troops were occupied with the Confederate invaders the Indians had a free hand, but in 1863 an energetic campaign was begun by General James H. Carleton against the Navahos, who were subdued and placed on a reservation on the Pecos river, and later removed to the north-western part of the Territory. There they grew peaceful and prosperous, acquiring large flocks of sheep and gaining a reputation as makers of blankets. The Apache Indians, the most savage of all, were placed on reservations somewhat later, but for many years bands of their warriors would escape and make raids into New Mexico, Arizona and Mexico. The most notable of the later outbreaks were those in1879-1880and in1885-1886respectively of the Apache chiefs Victorio and Geronimo (c. 1834-1909).

When the United States acquired possession of New Mexico, the best portions of the Territory were held in private ownership under Spanish and Mexican grants, which were confirmed by the treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo. To determine the validity of these claims, which had been complicated by transfers and subdivisions, and to fix their boundaries, which were often very vaguely described, proved a very formidable undertaking; and the slow process of confirmation greatly retarded the development of the Territory. There was but little material progress before the advent of the railway. The Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe railway reached Albuquerque in 1880, and the Southern Pacific railway effected a junction with it at Deming in 1881, thus connecting the Territory with the eastern and western coasts of the United States. With the railway came capital and the development of mines, great cattle ranges and modern towns. Immigrants from the states, however, rarely 1 According to the historian H. H. Bancroft, the loyalty to the Union cause resulted " largely from the fact that the Confederate invasion came from Texas, the old hatred of the Texans being the strongest popular feeling of the natives, far outweighing their devotion to either the North or the South." settled beyond the zone of the railway, and in the remote rural regions the process of Americanization was slow.

After the Civil War numerous attempts were made to secure the admission of New Mexico into the Union as a state. In 1872 a state constitution was drafted, and it was proposed for a time to call the new state Lincoln, but the movement came to nothing. In 1889 another constitution was drafted, but it was rejected when submitted to a popular vote. On the 6th of November 1906 the question of the joint admission of New Mexico and Arizona as a single state bearing the name of the latter Territory was submitted to a vote of their citizens. The vote of New Mexico was favourable (26,195 to 14,735), but the measure was defeated in Arizona. In June 1910 the President approved an enabling act providing for the admission of Arizona and New Mexico as separate states.

The governors of New Mexico since its independence from Spain have been as follows: Under The Mexican Republic 2 Francisco Javier Chavez. Antonio Vizcarra.. Francisco Javier Chavez (acting) Bartolome Vaca.. Antonio Narbona Manuel Armijo. Antonio Vizcarra (acting) .

Jose Antonio Chavez. .

Santiago Abreu. .

Francisco Sarracino. Juan Rafael Ortiz (acting). Mariano Chavez (acting) .

Albino Perez.. .

Jose Gonzalez, revolutionary governor or pre tendant. .

Manuel Armijo .

Charles Bent. .


Donaciano Vigil. .


John Marshall Washington


John Munroe


Antonio Sandoval (acting)

Mariano Martinez de Lejanza (acting) Jose Chavez (acting) Juan Bautista Vigil y Alarid (acting) Under The United States Governors by Military Ap Bibliography. - For general descriptive material see bibliographies in U.S. Geological Survey, Bulletins 177 and 301, and the official reports of the U.S. government departments; also Charles F. Lummis, The Land of Poco Tiempo (New York, 1897); Samuel W. Cozzens, The Ancient Cibola. .. or, Three Years in Arizona and New Mexico (Boston, 1891); W. H. H. Davis, El Gringo, or, New Mexico and her People (New York, 1857); M. Frost and A. F. Walker The Land of Sunshine (Santa Fe, 1904); V. L. Sullivan, " Irrigation in New Mexico " (Washington, 1909), Experiment Stations Bulletin 215; and F. A. Jones, New Mexico Mines and Minerals (Santa Fe, 1904). History: H. H. Bancroft, Arizona and New Mexico (San 2 Under the republic until 1837 the governor was officially designated as jefe politico; after that date as gobernador. Assassinated during the Mexican revolt on the 19th of January 184 Governor as Commander of the Department.

James S. Calhoun. E. V. Sumner (Military Commander, acting) John Greiner (Secretary, acting) .

Willi m Carr Lane David Merriwether Abraham Rencher Henry Connelly .

W. E. M. Arny (Secretary, acting) .

Robert B. Mitchell William A. Pile .

Marsh Gidding. .

William G. Ritch (Secretary, acting) Samuel B. Axtell. Lewis Wallace. Lionel A. Sheldon Edmund G. Ross. L. Bradford Prince William T. Thornton Miguel A. Otero .

Herbert J. Hagerman. .

J. W. Raynolds (Secretary, acting as governor) George Curry .

William J. Mills. .. ... .

Governors by Presidential Appointment. 1851-18521852 18521852-18531853-18571857-18611861-18651865-18661866-18691869-18711871-1875 18751875-18781878-18811881-18851885-18891889-18931893-18971897-19061906-1907 19071907-19091909 - -18473 -1848 -18494 -18514 18221822-182318231823-18251825 -18271827-182818281828-18311831-18331833-18351834 18351835-183718 37 -18381838-184618411844-18451845 1846 pointment. Francisco, 1889); A. F. Bandelier, Contributions to the History of the South-western Portion of the United States, being vol. v., American series, of the Papers of the Archaeological Institute of America (Cambridge, 1890); George P. Winship, " The Coronado Expedition," in the Fourteenth Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology (Washington, 1896); W. H. H. Davis, The Spanish Conquest of New Mexico (Doylestown, Pa., 1869); P. St G. Cooke, The Conquest of New Mexico and California (New York, 1878); William E. Connelly, Doniphan's Expedition and the Conquest of New Mexico and California (Topeka, Kan., 1907); L. Bradford Prince, Historical Sketches of New Mexico (New York, 1883); H. O. Ladd, The Story of New Mexico (Boston, 1891); Helen Haines, History of New Mexico (New York, 1891); Henry Inman, The Old Santa Fe Trail (New York, 1897); Publications of the Historical Society of New Mexico, and Gaspar de Villagra, Historia de la Nueva Mexico; reimpresa por el Museo Nacional, con un apendice de documentos y opiisculos (2 vols., Mexico, 1900), vol. i. being a reprint of the epic poem published in 1610 by Villagra, a companion of Of - late in his expedition to New Mexico.

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