New Mexico, a territory of the United States now (January, 1911) awaiting only the completion of its Constitution and the acceptance thereof by the Federal authorities to rank as a state. It lies between 31° 20′ and 37° N. lat., and between 103° 2′ and 109° 2′ W. long.; it is bounded on the north by Colorado, on the east by Oklahoma and Texas, on the south by Texas and the Republic of Mexico, and on the west by Arizona. It is about 370 miles from east to west, 335 from north to south, and has an area of 122,580 sq. miles, with mountain, plateau, and valley on either side of the Rio Grande. The average rainfall is 12 inches, usually between July and September, so that spring and summer are dry, and agriculture and grazing suffer. The climate is uniform, the summers, as a rule, moderate, and, the atmosphere being dry, the heat is not oppressive. In the northwest and northeast the winters are long, but not severe, while in the central and southern portions the winters are usually short and mild. In the United States census of 1900 the population was 141,282, of which 33 per cent was illiterate; in the census of 1910 the population was 327,396. About one-half of the inhabitants are of Spanish descent.
The soil in the valleys is a rich and sandy loam, capable, with irrigation, of producing good crops. It is also rich in gold and silver, and important mines have been opened near Deming, Silver City, and Lordsburg, in the southwestern part of the state. There are copper mines near Glorieta in the north, and near Santa Rita in the south; while coal is found in great abundance near Gallup, Cerillos, and in the northwest. The mineral production of New Mexico for 1907 was $7,517,843, that of coal alone amounting to $3,832,128. In 1909 the net product in coal, shipped from the mines, was 2,708,624 tons, or a total value of $3,881,508. A few forests exist in the eastern plains, and abundant timber is found in the northwestern and central districts. Though mining and commerce as well as agriculture are now in process of rapid development, New Mexico is still a grazing country. Sheep-farming is the most important and lucrative industry; cattle-farming is also of importance. In 1908 and 1909 severe droughts caused the sheep industry to decline somewhat. In 1909 New Mexico shipped 700,800 head of sheep; in 1908, 835,800; in 1907, 975,800. The wool shorn in 1909, from over 4,000,000 sheep, was 18,000,000 lbs., which brought an average of 19 cents per lb., yielding a cash production of $3,420,000. The shipments of cattle in the same year amounted to 310,326, and 64,380 hides were handled in the same period. Farming is successfully carried on in the Rio Grande and other valleys, Indian corn, wheat, and garden products being the principal crops. For the year 1907 the territorial governors report placed the value of the agricultural products at $25,000,000, but this was a gross overestimate. The important manufacturing interests are those connected with mining, railroads, etc. Lumbering is being developed by capital brought from the East, and large lumber mills are now in operation, notably at Albuquerque. There are 75 banks (41 national and 34 territorial) in the state, with an aggregate capital of $3,274,086. The bonded debt of the state is $1,002,000, of which $89,579.49 is covered by the sinking fund.
GENERAL HISTORY.—In April, 1536, there arrived at Culiacan, in the Mexican Province of Sinaloa, Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca, Andres Dorantes, Alonso del Castillo Maldonado, and the negro Estevanico, the only survivors of the ill-fated expedition of Narvaez which had left Spain in 1528. Mendoza, the Viceroy of Mexico was told astonishing tales by Cabeza de Vaca concerning the wealth of the country to the north, and he forthwith commanded Coronado, governor of the Province of Nueva Galicia, to prepare an expedition. The preparations went slowly, and Mendoza ordered Friar Marcos de Niza to make a preliminary exploration of the northern country. The Franciscan left Culiacan in 1539, accompanied by Estevanico and a few Indians. After untold hard-ships he reached the famous pueblo of Zuni, took possession of all the surrounding country, planted the cross, and named the territory “The New Kingdom of St. Francis”. Marcos de Niza is, therefore, rightly called the discoverer of New Mexico and Arizona. He then returned to Mexico, and his narrative, especially what he said about the seven cities of Cibola, was an incentive to Coronado, who set out from Culiacan in 1540, accompanied by Marcos and a large body of Spaniards and Indians. Coronado crossed Sonora (now Arizona) and entered New Mexico in July, 1540. The expedition returned in 1542, but, although many regions were discovered, no conquests were made nor colonies established. In 1563 an expedition was led into New Mexico by Francisco de Ibarra: it is worth mentioning only for the reason that de Ibarra returned in 1565 with the boast that he had discovered “a new Mexico“, which was, probably, the origin of the name. Espejo entered New Mexico in 1581, but accomplished nothing. In this same year a Franciscan Friar, Augustin Rodriguez, entered with a few companions, and lost his life in the cause of Christianity. In 1581 Espejo called New Mexico Nueva Andalucia. By 1598 the name Nuevo Mejico was evidently well known, since Villagra’s epic is called “Historia del Nuevo Mejico”.
The expeditions of Espejo and Father Agustin Rodriguez were followed by many more of an unimportant character, and it was not until 1598, when Don Juan de Onate, accompanied by ten Franciscans under Father Alonso Martinez, and four hundred men, of whom one hundred and thirty were accompanied by their wives and families, marched up alongside the Rio Grande, and settled at San Juan de los Caballeros, near the junction of the Chama with the Rio Grande, thirty miles north of Santa Fe. This was the first permanent Spanish settlement in New Mexico. Here was established, also, the first mission, and San Juan de los Caballeros (or San Gabriel a few miles west on the Chama river?) was the capital of the new province until it was moved to Santa Fe some time between 1602 and 1616. The colony prospered, missions were established by the Franciscans, new colonists arrived, and by the middle of the seventeenth century general prosperity prevailed. In the year 1680, however, a terrible Indian rebellion broke out under the leader-ship of Pope, an Indian of the pueblo of San Juan. All the Spanish settlements were attacked, and many people massacred. The survivors fled to Santa Fe, but, after three days’ fighting, were compelled to abandon the city and were driven out of the province.
Thus was destroyed the work of eighty years. The Spaniards did not lose courage: between 1691 and 1693 Antonio de Vargas reconquered New Mexico and entered it with many of the old colonists and many more new ones, his entire colony consisting of 800 people, including seventy families and 200 soldiers. The old villages were occupied, churches rebuilt, and the missions reestablished. A new villa was founded, Santa Cruz de la Canada, around which most of the families which had come with De Vargas under Padre Farfan were settled. The colonies, no longer seriously threatened by the Indians, progressed slowly. By the end of the eighteenth century the population of New Mexico was about 34,000, one-half Spaniards. The first half of the nineteenth century was a period of revolutions—rapid transformations of government and foreign invasions, accepted by the Spanish inhabitants of New Mexico in an easy-going spirit of submission unparalleled in history.
In 1821 the news of Mexican independence was received, and, although the people of New Mexico were ignorant of the events which had preceded it, and knew absolutely nothing of the situation, they celebrated the event with great enthusiasm and swore allegiance to Iturbide. In 1824, just three years after independence, came the news of the fall of Iturbide and the inauguration of the Republic of Mexico: throngs gathered at Santa Fe, the people were harangued, and the new regime was applauded as a blessing to New Mexico. When war was declared between the United States and Mexico—an event concerning which the New Mexicans were ignorant—General Stephen Watts Kearny was sent to conquer New Mexico. In 1846 he entered the territory, and General Armijo, the local military chief, fled to Mexico. Kearny took possession of the territory in the name of the United States, promising the people all the rights and liberties which other citizens of the United States enjoyed. The people joyfully accepted American rule, and swore obedience to the Stars and Stripes. At one stroke, no one knew why or how, a Spanish colony, after existing under Spanish institutions for nearly three centuries, was brought under the rule of a foreign race and under new and unknown institutions. After the military occupation by Kearny in 1846, Charles Bent was civil governor. He was murdered at Taos, in 1847, by some Spaniards whom he had grossly offended. In 1847-48 Donaciano Vigil was civil governor.
In 1848, by the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, New Mexico was formally ceded by Mexico to the United States, and in 1850 it was regularly organized as a territory (which included Arizona until 1863), and James S. Calhoun was the first territorial governor. The first territorial Legislative Assembly met at Santa Fe in 1851: most of the members were of Spanish descent, and this has been true of all the Assemblies until the end of the century. Up to 1910 the proceedings of the Legislature were in Spanish and English, interpreters being always present. During the years 1861-62 the Texan Confederates entered New Mexico, to occupy Albuquerque and Santa Fe, but Federal troops arrived from Colorado and California and frustrated the attempt. During the years from 1860 to 1890 New Mexico progressed very slowly. Education was in a deplorable state (no system was established until 1890), the surrounding Indians continually harassed the inhabitants, and no railroad was constructed until after 1880. In 1860 the population was 80,567; in 1870, 90,573; in 1880, 109,793. Nine-tenths of the population in 1880 was of Spanish descent: at present (1911) this element is only about one-half, owing to the constant immigration from the other states of the Union. Since 1890 New Mexico has progressed rapidly. Education is now enthusiastically supported and encouraged, the natural resources are being rapidly developed, and the larger towns and cities have all the marks of modern civilization and progress. Since 1850 many unsuccessful attempts have been made to secure statehood; at last, in June, 1910, Congress passed an Enabling Act: New Mexico is to adopt a Constitution, subject to the approval of Congress.
MISSIONS OF NEW MEXICO.—The Franciscan Friar Marcos de Niza, as we have seen above, reached New Mexico near the pueblo of Zuni in 1539. This short expedition may be considered, therefore, as the first mission in New Mexico and what is now Arizona. With the expedition of Coronado (1540-42) several Franciscans under Marcos de Niza entered New Mexico. There is some confusion about their exact number and even about their names. It seems reasonably certain, however, that Marcos had to abandon the expedition after reaching Zuni, and that two Franciscan priests, Juan de Padilla and Juan de la Cruz, and a lay brother, Luis de Escalona, continued with the expedition into New Mexico, remained as missionaries among the Indians when Coronado returned in 1542, and were finally murdered by them. These were the first three Christian missionaries to receive the crown of martyrdom within the present limits of the United States. Forty years after the Niza and Coronado expeditions of 1539-42, it was again a Franciscan who made an attempt to gain the New Mexico Indians to the Faith. This was Father Agustin Rodriguez, who, in 1581, left San Bartolome in Northern Mexico and, accompanied by two other friars, Juan de Santa Maria and Fr. Francisco Lopez, and some seventeen more men, marched up the Rio Grande and visited many of the pueblos on both sides of the river. The friars decided to remain in the new missionary field when the rest of the expedition returned in 1582, but the Indians proved intractable and the two friars received the crown of martyrdom.
When news of the fate of Agustin Rodriguez reached San Bartolome in Nueva Vizcaya, Father Bernardino Beltran was desirous of making another attempt to evangelize New Mexico, but, being alone, would not remain there. It was in 1598 that Don Juan de Onate made the first permanent Spanish settlement in New Mexico, at San Juan de los Caballeros. Ten Franciscan friars under Father Alonso Martinez accompanied Onate in his conquest, and established at San Juan the first Spanish Franciscan mission. Missionary work was begun in earnest, and in 1599 Onate sent a party to Mexico for reenforcements. With this party went Fathers Martinez, Salazar, and Vergara to obtain more friars. Salazar died on the way, Martinez did not return, but a new Franciscan comisario, Juan de Escalona, returned to New Mexico with Vergara and eight more Franciscans. New missions were being established in the near pueblos, and prosperity was at hand, but Onate’s ambitions proved fatal: in 1601 he desired to conquer the country to the north and west, and started on an expedition with a small force, taking with him two Franciscans. The people who remained at and near San Juan de los Caballeros were left unprotected. Civil discord followed, and the newly-settled province was abandoned, the settlers, with the friars, moving south. Father Escalona remained, at the risk of his life, to await the return of Onate; but he had written to the viceroy, asking that Onate should be recalled. Onate, with a new comisario, Francisco Escobar, and Father San Buenaventura, set out on another counter expedition, and Escalona and the other friars continued their missionary work among their neophytes. New reenforcements arrived between 1605 and 1608, in spite of Onate’s misrule. In 1608 Father Alonso Peinado came as comisario and brought with him eight more friars. By this time 8000 Indians had been converted. By 1617 the Franciscans had built eleven churches and had converted 14,000 Indians.
In 1620 Father Geronimo de Zarate Salmeron, a very zealous missionary, came to New Mexico. There he worked for eight years, and wrote a book on Christian doctrine in the language of the Jemez. By 1626 the missions numbered 27; 34,000 Indians had been baptized, and 43 churches built. Of the friars only 16 were left. In 1630 Fr. Benavides desired to establish a bishopric in New Mexico, and went to Spain to lay his petition before the king. In his memorial he says that there were in New Mexico, in 1630, 25 missions, covering 90 pueblos, attended by 50 friars, and that the Christian natives numbered 60,000. The missions established in New Mexico in 1630, according to this memorial, were the following: among the Piros, or Picos, 3 missions (Socorro, Seneca, Sevilleta); among the Liguas, 2 (Sandia, Isleta); among the Queres, 3; among the Tompiros, 6; among the Tanos, 1; among the Pecos, 1; among the Toas, or Tehuas, 3; at Santa Fe, 1; among the Taos, 1; among the Zuni, 2. The other two are not mentioned. However, the wrongs perpetrated by local governors exasperated the Indians, and the missionaries were thus laboring under difficulties. By 1680 the number of missions had increased to 33, but the Indian rebellion broke out. All the missions and settlements were destroyed, the churches burned, and the settlers massacred. The number of victims among the Spaniards was 400. Of the missionaries, 11 escaped, while 21 were massacred.
With Don Diego de Vargas, and the reconquest of New Mexico in 1691-95, the Franciscans entered the province again. Father San Antonio was the guardian, but in 1694 he returned to El Paso, and, with Father Francisco Vargas as guardian, the missions were reestablished. Not only were most of the old missions again in a prosperous condition, but new ones were established among the Apaches, Navajos, and other tribes. Towards the middle of the eighteenth century, petty disputes arose between the friars and the Bishop of Durango, and the results were unfavorable to the missions, which at this time numbered from 20 to 25, Father Juan Mirabal being guardian. In 1760 Bishop Tamaron of Durango visited the province. From this time on the Franciscan missions in New Mexico changed, the friars in many cases acted as parish priests, and their work did not prove so fruitful.
During the last half of the eighteenth century, and during the last years of Spanish rule (1800-1821), the missions declined more and more The Franciscans still remained, and received salaries from the Government, not as missionaries but as parish priests. They were under their guardian, but the Bishop of Durango controlled religious affairs, with a permanent vicar in New Mexico. The Mexican rule of 1821-1846 was worse than the Spanish rule, and the missions existed only in name. At the time of the American occupation, in 1846, the missions, as such, no longer existed.
The missionary work in what is now Arizona was in some cases that of the New Mexican friars, who from the beginning of their labors extended their missions among the Zuni and the Moquis. A few of these missions, however, had no connection whatever with the missionary work of New Mexico. After Niza’s exploration in 1540, we know little of the missionary work in Arizona proper, until 1633, when Fray Francisco Parras, who was almost alone in his work, was killed at Aguatevi. In 1680 four Franciscans, attending three missions among the Moquis, were killed during the New Mexican rebellion of that year. In Northern Mexico, close to the Arizona line (or, as then known, Pimeria Alta), the Jesuits were doing excellent mission work in 1600-1700. It was a Jesuit, also, Father Eusebio Francisco Kino, who explored what is now southern Arizona, in 1687. No missions were established, however, in Arizona before Father Kino’s death in 1711, though churches were built, and many Indians converted. The work of Father Kino was abandoned after his death, until 1732, when Fathers Felipe Segesser and Juan B. Grashoffer established the first permanent missions of Arizona at San Xavier del Bac and San Miguel de Guevavi. In 1750 these two missions were attacked and plundered by the Pimas, but the missionaries escaped. In 1752 the missions were reoccupied. A rivalry between the Franciscans and the Jesuits hindered the success of the missions.
In 1767, however, the controversy between Jesuits and Franciscans was ended, and the Jesuits expelled. The Government, not content with their expulsion, confiscated the mission property, though the Franciscans were invited to the field. Four Franciscans arrived in 1768 to renew the missionary work and found the missions in a deplorable state, but they persuaded the Government to help in the restoration and to restore the confiscated property. It is to be observed that these missions of Arizona, as well as many of those of Sonora in Mexico, were, until 1873, under the control of the College of Santa Cruz (just across the Arizona line in Northern Mexico), separated from 1783 to 1791, and united in 1791. The two important Arizona Missions, San Xavier del Bac and San Miguel de Guevavi, became prosperous, the former under the famous Franciscan, Father Francisco Garces from 1768 to 1774. Father Garces labored continually among the Indians until he lost his life, in 1781, in his missionary work near the Colorado River in California. The missions of Arizona declined after 1800, and in 1828 the Mexican Government ordered their abandonment. From this time until 1859, when Bishop Lamy of Santa Fe sent the Rt. Rev. J. P. Macheboeuf to minister to the spiritual needs of Arizona, there were no signs of Christianity in Arizona other than abandoned missions and ruined churches.
PRESENT CONDITIONS (1910).—Pending the full admission of New Mexico to statehood, its government is still that of a territory of the United States, regulated by the provisions of the Federal Statutes. Accordingly, the governor and other executive officers are appointed by the executive authority of the United States and paid by the Federal Treasury; the Legislature (House of Representatives and Council) is elected by the people of the territory; the Territorial Judiciary (a chief justice and five associate justices) is appointed by the President of the United States for a term of four years, but justices of the peace are elected for two years.
Education.—The educational system of New Mexico dates from 1890 and is still in process of development. The public-school system is governed by a territorial Board of Education consisting of seven members. This board apportions the school funds, prepares teachers’ examinations, selects books, etc. There are also the usual county and district officers. At present there are approximately 1000 public schools in New Mexico, with about 50,000 pupils, of whom 20,000 are Spanish and 100 negroes. There are 70 denominational schools, with 5,000 pupils, and 18 private schools, with 288 pupils. Furthermore, there were, in 1908, 25 Indian schools with 1933 pupils.
The Catholic schools of the territory number 23, with about 100 teachers and about 1500 pupils (estimated in 1910; 1,212 in 1908). The most important Catholic school in New Mexico is St. Michael’s College at Santa Fe, founded in 1859 by Bishop J. B. Lamy. The sisters’ charitable institutions (hospitals, etc.) are state-aided. In 1909 the appropriations for these purposes amounted to $12,000. The other denominational schools are distributed as follows: Presbyterian, 25; Congregational, 9; Methodist, 11; Baptist, 2. The territorial (or state) university was established in 1889 at Albuquerque. It is supported by territorial appropriations and land revenues. For the year 1909-10 the income was $40,000. Its teaching force consisted, in 1909-10, of 16 professors, associate professors, and instructors, and the number of students in attendance was 130. There are three normal schools, one at Las Vegas, one at El Rito, and one at Silver City; a military school at Roswell; a school of mines at Socorro; and a college of agriculture and mechanic arts at Mesilla Park—the best equipped and most efficient school in New Mexico, receiving both federal and territorial aid aggregating $100,000 a year (1909-10), having a teaching force of 40 professors, assistant professors, and instructors, and an attendance of 285 students (1909-10). The combined valuation of the territory’s educational institutions is about $1,000,000, while the annual expenditures aggregate $275,000.
Religion.—In 1850, when New Mexico was organized as a territory of the United States, it (including, till 1863, Arizona and part of Colorado) was made a vicariate Apostolic, under the Rt. Rev. John B. Lamy. In 1853 New Mexico (with exceptions noted below) was made the Diocese of Santa Fe, and the vicar Apostolic became its first bishop. In 1865 this diocese became the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, and Bishop Lamy became its first archbishop. The archdiocese includes all of New Mexico, except Dona Ana, Eddy, and Grant Counties, which belong to the Diocese of Tucson. The present Archbishop of Santa Fe is the Rt. Rev. John B. Pitaval. The Catholic population of the territory in 1882 was 126,000; in 1906 it was 121,558 (U.S. Census Bulletin, no. 103, p. 36). But the figures for 1882 (given by H. H. Bancroft) must include the Catholic population of Arizona and probably also of Colorado. In 1906 the Catholics were more than 88 per cent of the church membership of the territory, which was 137,009, distributed as follows:
Roman Catholics… 121,558
Disciples, or Christians 1,092
Protestant Episcopalians.. 869
At present (1910) the total Catholic population of New Mexico may be estimated at not less than about 130,000, about 120,000 being of Spanish descent. No definite statistics are available on this last point. The large Catholic population of New Mexico is due to its having been colonized by the Spaniards, whose first thought on founding a colony was to build churches and establish missions. The recent Catholic immigration has been from the Middle West, and this is largely Irish.
Catholics distinguished in Public Life.—The fact that until about the year 1890 the population of the territory was mostly Spanish, and therefore Catholic, is the reason why most of the men who have figured prominently in the history of New Mexico have been Catholic Spaniards. Among the more prominent may be mentioned: Donaciano Vigil, military governor, 1847-48; Miguel A. Otero, territorial secretary, 1861; delegates to the Federal Congress, Jose M. Gallegos, 1853-54; Miguel A. Otero, 1855-60; Francisco Perea, 1863-64; Jose F. Chaves, 1865-70; Jose M. Gallegos, 1871-72; Trinidad Romero, 1877-78; Mariano S. Otero, 1879-80; Tranquilino Luna, 1881-82; Francisco A. Manzanares, 1883-4. The treasurers and auditors from 1863 to 1886 were all, with but one exception, Catholic Spaniards.
Legislation affecting Religion.—(I) Absolute freedom of worship is guaranteed by the Organic Act constituting the territory, and by statute preference to any religious denomination by law is forbidden. (2) Horse-racing and cock-fighting on Sunday are forbidden; labor, except works of necessity, charity, or mercy, prohibited, and the offense is punishable by a fine of from $5 to $15. (3) No religious test shall be required as a qualification to any office or public trust in this territory. Oaths are administered in the usual fashion, but an affirmation may be used instead when the individual has conscientious scruples against taking an oath. (4) No statutory enactment punishing blasphemy or profanity has ever been passed in this territory. (5) It is customary to open the sessions of the Legislature with an invocation of the Supreme Being, but there is no statutory authority either for or against this ceremony. Until the present time (1910) this function has always been discharged by a Catholic priest. (6) Christmas is the only religious festival observed as a legal holiday in New Mexico. New Year’s Day is also a legal holiday, but Good Friday, Ash Wednesday, All Souls’ Day, etc., are not recognized. (7) There has been no decision in the courts of New Mexico regarding the seal of confession, but it is to be presumed that, in the absence of any statutory provision covering the point, the courts of the territory would follow the general rule: that confession to a priest is a confidential communication and therefore inviolable. (8) Churches are, in the contemplation of the laws of New Mexico, in the category of charitable institutions. (9) No religious or charitable institution is permitted to hold more than $50,000 worth of property; any property acquired or held contrary to the above prohibition shall be forfeited and escheat to the United States. The property of religious institutions is exempt from taxation when it is being used and devoted exclusively to its appropriate objects, and not used with a view to pecuniary profit. The clergy are exempt from jury and military service. (10) Marriage may be either by religious or by civil ceremony. The male must be eighteen years of age, and the female fifteen, for marriage with parents’ consent; after the male is twenty-one and the female eighteen they may marry regardless of parents’ consent. Marriages between first cousins, uncles, aunts, nieces and nephews, half-brothers and sisters, grand-parent and grandchildren, are declared incestuous and absolutely void. (11) Education in the public schools must be non-sectarian. (12) No charitable or religious bequests are recognized unless made in writing duly attested by the lawful number of witnesses. (13) There are no restrictions as to cemeteries other than that they must not be near to running streams. (14) Divorce may be obtained for cruelty, adultery, desertion, and for almost every ground recognized as sufficient in any state of the Union. The party seeking divorce must have been a bona fide resident of the territory for more than a year prior to the date of filing the action. Service on the defendant must be personal, if the defendant is within the territory; but may be by publication, if the whereabouts of the defendant are unknown. Trials of divorce are without a jury.
AURELIO M. ESPINOSA