Tuesday, November 20, 2012

What Would Have Been the Result if New Mexicans had Resisted the American Invasion in August of 1846

New Mexican Governor Manuel Armijo

Think about it a bit. Make some calculated guesses as to what would have happened during and after the resistance if New Mexicans under governor Manuel Armijo had made an all out effort to resist the invasion by the Americans led by General Stephen Watts Kearny at the head of the American Army of the West. I am going to tell you that the result would have been a rout for the New Mexican defenders and a disaster for the survivors that would have remained as well as the rest of New Mexicans.

Other considerations for governor Armijo was the fact that there were a large number of Americans spies as well as pro American New Mexicans in the province. There was a lack, amongst New Mexicans, of guns, ammunition, food, discipline, drilled militia and  finances to sustain a long drawn out war. Also, they could not count on Mexico City for reinforcements. All of this was known to governor Manuel Armijo and to Stephen Watts Kearny.

Governor Manuel Armijo also knew what Kearny had. How many horses, how many men and most important how many arms, and artillery. Armijo knew what the Americans could throw at the New Mexicans. It was a foregone conclusion to Armijo and to Kearny what would happen should New Mexicans resist the invasion.

A good portion of New Mexican men of fighting age would die in the effort. Armijo knew that and there is no doubt he took that into consideration. And we need to take into consideration the population of New Mexico at the time. It was about 40,000 Hispanic and probably not more than 10,000 Pueblo Indians. The non Pueblo Indians could not be counted as allies of the Hispanos or the Pueblos. Make an educated guess that out of 50,000 New Mexicans present 50% were women, 10% of the men would not be to participate because of advanced age and another 10% unable because they were too young and you get the picture. There would be fewer than 15,000 able bodied men capable of participating in a resistance to the American invaders.

Imagine an all out war in the defence of New Mexico with what we know. New Mexican male numbers would be reduced by 5,000 to 8,000 before they capitulated. The effect would have been a disaster to the province, a disaster to the Pueblo's and a disaster to Hispanic New Mexicans. The population of New Mexico would be changed forever. The people would be changed forever.

Governor Armijo knew that. He probably saved more New Mexican lives with the decision not to oppose the invasion than any other person, past or present.

Americans in New Mexico of the period were in reality spies, they had been carrying news back to the "states" of New Mexican strengths and weakness for over a quarter century. Americans were well aware that New Mexico and the northern part of Mexico were undefended and ripe for American expansionism.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Mi Sobrina, Cinco Generaciones de Antepadados

Click on the image to make it larger.
The chart illustrates that the parents of Ursula Martinez have not been identified so far. Additional research is required to identify them.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

More History of the Rowe, NM Area

The information below is from a pamphlet titled "Pecos, National Historical Park" published by the US Park Service.

With the coming of the Atchison Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad in 1880, New Mexico truly entered the United States. Passing within a mile of Pecos Pueblo, the transcontinental line followed the same ancient route over the divide, hauling in thousands of cattle and hauling out tons of ore bearing precious metals that had eluded Spanish treasure seekers. The railroad also brought scores of American settlers, who laid their views of land ownership, government and culture over those of the area's Hispanics.

To exploit the tourist trade made possible by this influx, rodeo producer Tex Austin established a dude and cattle ranch in 1926. Dubbing his operation "Forked Lightning Ranch," Austin acquired 5,500 acres surrounding Pecos Pueblo in dealings both legitimate and shady. He converted the remains of the Kozlowski's Stage Stop into his ranch headquarters and hired John Gaw Meem - now famous for his "Pueblo Revival" style of architecture - to design and build the main ranch house on a bluff above the Pecos River.

Following Austin's loss of the Forked Lightning Ranch in bankruptcy, Texas oilman E.E. "Buddy" Fogelson purchased it in 1939. Ten years later, Fogelson married actress Greer Garson. Summering in the ranch house, they experimented raising Santa Gertrudis cattle at high altitude. The Fogelsons fell in love with the valley and their conservation work paved the way for the creation of the Pecos National Historical Park.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The AT&SF Railroad Comes To Rowe, NM In The Summer Of 1880

Must have been an exciting day. Never before had something like this happened.

Rowe was also a "brand new" town. The current residents having moved here from Las Ruedas and Los Trigos which were communities on the Pecos River and part of the Los Trigos Land Grant. Before the Atcheson Topeka and Santa Fe (AT&SF) Railroad there was no Rowe, New Mexico.

Folks moved here from the river communities for jobs on the railroad. There was money to be made making railroad ties. This was the primary occupation up and down the communities adjacent to the railroad tracks during that period.

The AT&SF was a part of the community for close to 100 years. Today all that remains is an Amtrak Train once a day in each direction. The AT&SF was bought out by Burlington Northern RR who used the tracks for a few years until the mid 2000's when it stopped using the tracks.

Soon, there will be no more trains through Rowe. The reason for it's original residents having moved here will now be gone. A lot of descendants of the original settlers still live in Rowe.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Las Ruedas, New Mexico

Most of the early day settlers of Rowe, New Mexico moved to the area where Rowe is today in the 1870's and 1880's from the Pecos River village of Las Ruedas.

Some good news in the 10th Anniversary Report for 2012 of the publication "New Mexico Land Conservancy, Honoring New Mexico's Land Heritage."

There is an article there titled "Jewel of the Pecos: Forked Lightning Ranch" which states in part " In 2000, actress Jane Fonda purchased the 2,400 acres that remained of the original ranch and in 2010, she decided to work with the NMLC to protect most of the ranch with conservation easements. These easements  not only conserve the prime riparian habitat along three miles of the upper Pecos River and surrounding watershed, but they also buffer the adjacent Pecos National Historic Park and the Santa Fe National Forest. The ranch also contains several old homesteads, including ruins of an old church and cemetery - remnants of a time when the Pecos River was a sustaining force for families that settled the area.

The "old homesteads, church and cemetery" mentioned in the article is the old village of Las Ruedas, the village of my maternal ancestors.

See additional information on Las Ruedas here;


and here;


There is a certain comfort in knowing that the village will not be plowed under for some horse barns or some other buildings. My maternal great grandmother, Mariana Duran, the wife of Juan de Jesus Archuleta was the last person buried in that cemetery. Her body was transported back there from Rowe where she died in the 1920's.

This weblog contains several posts on Las Ruedas. Utilize the search option to find the posts in question.