Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Sunday, December 22, 2013
Friends are usually like us, at least we choose friends who do not upset us or our image of ourselves. But in all reality our relatives are not at all like that, not our relatives in the here and now and not our relatives in the past.
Some people, maybe most people, have an image of themselves based on the family that they know of, or the family they think they know of. Most people have a lot of misconceptions about family, the amount of these misconceptions is staggering when looked at. We seem to like holding on to the positive and eliminating or minimizing that which is not positive or is downright unsavory. Sort of a natural thing to do, probably imprinted in our DNA. However the picture that we end up with of ourselves and our family is distorted.
The opposite is sometimes also true, where the unsavory is known but the positive is not. The latter is not as common as the former, for obvious reasons.
Genealogical research in the age of the computer and the internet is shedding light on our ancestors, every ones ancestors and us too. The light shed may be positive, negative or somewhere in between. Most folks come in contact with groups and/or entities over time that have a tendency to leave a trail. Some examples are marriage licenses issued by the states, divorces, births, deaths, court appearances, news articles in newspapers etc., etc. These types of records are usually public in nature and available if a person has the where with all to do the search.
Sometimes this information that is out there is sort of funny and sometimes it is sad or downright disturbing. A person has to learn to look at it, see how it has affected the current generation and then let it slide off of your back.
But most will continue with the image that they have concocted of themselves and pass this on as fact. It is no wonder so many folks are confused. Some of this concocted history is due to it being passed down but more often than not it is intentional. An effort on the part of many to hide by outright lies and/or omissions.
Some folks have gone to extreme measures to do this. Examples are Mormons trying to connect the Native Americans to the "lost tribes of Israel", some New Mexicans trying to prove by dubious methods a "Jewish connection" prior to the early 1800's. Other New Mexicans insisting on "pure Spanish blood", others adding Indian ancestry. Some non New Mexicans go to great lengths adding "Noble Red Man" image of their families. The examples are many and well documented.
Posted by New Mexican at 10:39 AM
Saturday, December 21, 2013
Sunday, December 15, 2013
There is one whole bunch of fake New Mexico history. A whole bunch. Most historical writers writing in the period when Americans started showing up in New Mexico (about 1810) to New Mexico statehood (1912) had a lot of incorrect information in their writings. This incorrect information was intentional due to American racism, dislike of New Mexicans etc., and/or unintentional out of plain old American ignorance. But there is so damn much of it. New Mexican historical figures are discounted, disparaged or just plain ignored. And these "historians" were not all from the United States, some were our own people writing out of ignorance of their own history.
To illustrate this just think back to the books and movies of the period being discussed here. How many of these where the story is in New Mexico and there are no New Mexican Hispanos, none. It is as if we did not exist. This case is the same with New Mexican historians. Most all of them prior to the very last part of the last century or right now.
Why is that you ask? Why is my cutoff the last few years of the 20th century? I will tell you why. There are 2, 3, 4 or more major reasons why.
- The internet age. Information can and is shared easily. Before this internet age all I could do was fume and rage when I read some historical garbage. That my friends is no longer the case. This weblog being a case in point.
- New Mexicans are now doing their own research and can see for themselves the lies and distortions of our history by people, who for the most part despised us. We cannot avoid seeing this if you look around.
- "Historians" of previous times did not anticipate people in the future (us) being able to do this type of research. They did not anticipate that their lies would be exposed. That is not to say that some of these "historians" did not believe the story line they were publishing.
- Another reason is that historical documents written in Spanish and unavailable to earlier "historians" are being translated by a cadre of dedicated scholars working day and night. The original of these scholars was Fray Anjelico Chavez. New Mexicans owe him and current scholars a huge debt of gratitude.
Office of the New Mexico Stat Historian
Posted by New Mexican at 10:48 AM
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Click on the image to make it larger. It is the actual image of the hanging.
Update; I want to thank Richard A. Garcia for information on the where abouts of the image. Refer to the comments below. To view the original image click on the highlighted name below:
Frank "El Navajo" Tafoya was lynched in Las Vegas, New Mexico on the night of June 25 and 26 of 1882 for the killing of Jennie Lawrence at George Close's dance hall in El Moro, near Trinidad in the brand new state of Colorado. El Navajo Frank Tafoya was a half breed New Mexican Hispano/Navajo.
"El Navajo" had come into the dance hall after midnight as the dance was going on, he wanted to trade his rifle to George Close for a bottle of whiskey. George refused to make the trade, for Navajo Frank had swilled down too much liquor, and besides it was against the law to sell or give liquor to an Indian.
This refusal made Navajo Frank very angry and out the front door he walked cursing George and the whole world. He stalked across the street until he reached the railroad tracks; there he sat down on the end of one of the cross ties facing the dance hall. He then pointed his rifle towards the glass of the front door and fired into the dance hall while the dance was still going on. A very pretty girl, Jennie Lawrence from Pueblo, Colorado was dancing with Jimmie Russell of Trinidad. Navajo Frank's bullet struck her in the left side, passing thru her heart. She was killed instantly.
Navajo Frank escaped somehow. But he was later captured in Las Vegas, New Mexico and lynched.
Information comes from the books;
My Life on the Frontier, 1864 - 1882 written by Miguel Antonio Otero and published by the University of New Mexico Press and Death On The Gallows written by West Gallager and published by High Lonesome Books in Silver City, New Mexico.