Monday, March 17, 2014

You Have To Read This By Former New Mexican Territorial Librarian Samuel Ellison

New Mexico Terr. Governor (1869 - 1871) William A Pile

The quote, bold and in red,  below comes from the New Mexico Historical Review, XIII (January, 1938), pages 10 and 11. This individual, Territorial Librarian, Samuel Ellison, is talking about the New Mexican Spanish and Mexican archives and the effort by then Governor William A. Pile to destroy and/or get rid of them. The governor mind you, not some ordinary vandal, the Governor of New Mexico. And we wonder if we New Mexicans have been wronged.

"Under the administration of William A. Pile many of the archives were sold to merchants and grocers for wrapping paper, and only about one fourth recovered... The deed of vandalism was found out the day after it was done, when some citizens met and appointed a committee who waited to see the governor and requested him to have the papers returned. Then he sent out the librarian Bond and had them brought back, a cartload of them, and dumped in the back room. Wendell Debus kept ordinary goods, Indian antiquities and pottery, He bought one lot for about $30.00, and had the money refunded to him, when he returned most of them, but not all. Others bought smaller portions. The governor was partly fool and partly knave... They were place in a room loosely and remained there with the chickens roosting on them and the drippings from the house falling on them till Governor Wallace employed Ellison to gather them up and place them in a room adjoining his parlor."

You can also find the quote at your local library on page xvii of the book "Crusaders of the Rio Grande" authored in 1942 by J. Manuel Espinosa, Asst. professor of history at Loyola University in Chicago and a member of the Royal Spanish Academy of History and published by the Institute of Jesuit History Publications.