New Mexico History - the history of New Mexico
   
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Vacation 2 USA   >   New Mexico   >   History
Vacation 2 USA   >   History   >   New Mexico History

   
 

New Mexico History



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New Mexico: A History of Four Centuries

By Warren A. Beck

University of Oklahoma Press
Paperback (400 pages)

New Mexico: A History of Four Centuries
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The history of New Mexico is the story of three contrasting cultures—Indian, Spanish, and Anglo-American—clashing, coexisting, and blending. Here the Indians of Hawikuh—the first Zuñi pueblo encountered by Coronado’s soldiers—gave battle to the Europeans in 1540. Here also Indians last took a stand against federal troops in 1913. A rich and colorful Spanish tradition, including institutions of family and church, social organizations, and the Spanish language, continues strong a century and a half after the acquisition of the territory by the United States. Anglo-Americans have also made their mark upon the land with public works, highways, and rapidly developing towns and cities.

This history of New Mexico is intended for readers who want a brief, yet comprehensive treatment of the state’s development. Warren A. Beck takes a balanced approach to all the themes in the state’s varied history. He allows the whole story to emerge from the facts—in a concise and readable format.

New Mexico: A History

By Joseph P. Sanchez & Arthur R. Gomez

University of Oklahoma Press
Paperback (384 pages)

New Mexico: A History
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Since the earliest days of Spanish exploration and settlement, New Mexico has been known for lying off the beaten track. But this new history reminds readers that the world has been beating paths to New Mexico for hundreds of years, via the Camino Real, the Santa Fe Trail, several railroads, Route 66, the interstate highway system, and now the Internet.

This first complete history of New Mexico in more than thirty years begins with the prehistoric cultures of the earliest inhabitants. The authors then trace the state’s growth from the arrival of Spanish explorers and colonizers in the sixteenth century to the centennial of statehood in 2012. Most historians have made the territory’s admission to the Union in 1912 as the starting point for the state’s modernization. As this book shows, however, the transformation from frontier province to modern state began with World War II. The technological advancements of the Atomic Era, spawned during wartime, propelled New Mexico to the forefront of scientific research and pointed it toward the twenty-first century.

The authors discuss the state’s historical and cultural geography, the economics of mining and ranching, irrigation’s crucial role in agriculture, and the impact of Native political activism and tribe-owned gambling casinos. New Mexico: A History will be a vital source for anyone seeking to understand the complex interactions of the indigenous inhabitants, Spanish settlers, immigrants, and their descendants who have created New Mexico and who shape its future.

Origins of New Mexico Families: A Genealogy of the Spanish Colonial Period

By Fray Angélico Chávez

Museum of New Mexico Press
Paperback (442 pages)

Origins of New Mexico Families:  A Genealogy of the Spanish Colonial Period
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This book is considered to be the starting place for anyone having family history ties to New Mexico, and for those interested in the history of New Mexico. Well before Jamestown and the Pilgrims, New Mexico was settled continuously beginning in 1598 by Spaniards whose descendants still make up a major portion of the population of New Mexico.

Pueblos, Spaniards, and the Kingdom of New Mexico

By John L. Kessell

University of Oklahoma Press
Paperback (240 pages)

Pueblos, Spaniards, and the Kingdom of New Mexico
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For more than four hundred years in New Mexico, Pueblo Indians and Spaniards have lived “together yet apart.” Now the preeminent historian of that region’s colonial past offers a fresh, balanced look at the origins of a precarious relationship.

John L. Kessell has written the first narrative history devoted to the tumultuous seventeenth century in New Mexico. Setting aside stereotypes of a Native American Eden and the Black Legend of Spanish cruelty, he paints an evenhanded picture of a tense but interwoven coexistence. Beginning with the first permanent Spanish settlement among the Pueblos of the Rio Grande in 1598, he proposes a set of relations more complicated than previous accounts envisioned and then reinterprets the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 and the Spanish reconquest in the 1690s. Kessell clearly describes the Pueblo world encountered by Spanish conquistador Juan de Oñate and portrays important but lesser-known Indian partisans, all while weaving analysis and interpretation into the flow of life in seventeenth-century New Mexico.

Brimming with new insights embedded in an engaging narrative, Kessell’s work presents a clearer picture than ever before of events leading to the Pueblo Revolt. Pueblos, Spaniards, and the Kingdom of New Mexico is the definitive account of a volatile era.

The True History of The Conquest of New Spain (Hackett Classics)

By Bernal Diaz del Castillo

Brand: Hackett Pub Co
Paperback (498 pages)

The True History of The Conquest of New Spain (Hackett Classics)
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This rugged new translation--the first entirely new English translation in half a century and the only one based on the most recent critical edition of the Guatemalan MS--allows Diaz to recount, in his own battle-weary and often cynical voice, the achievements, stratagems, and frequent cruelty of Hernando Cortes and his men as they set out to overthrow Moctezuma's Aztec kingdom and establish a Spanish empire in the New World.

The concise contextual introduction to this volume traces the origins, history, and methods of the Spanish enterprise in the Americas; it also discusses the nature of the conflict between the Spanish and the Aztecs in Mexico, and compares Diaz's version of events to those of other contemporary chroniclers. Editorial glosses summarize omitted portions, and substantial footnotes explain those terms, names, and cultural references in Diaz's text that may be unfamiliar to modern readers. A chronology of the Conquest is included, as are a guide to major figures, a select bibliography, and three maps.

The Conquest of New Spain (Penguin Classics)

By Bernal Diaz Del Castillo

Random House
Released: 1963-08-30
Paperback (416 pages)

The Conquest of New Spain (Penguin Classics)
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Vivid, powerful and absorbing, this is a first-person account of one of the most startling military episodes in history: the overthrow of Montezuma's doomed Aztec Empire by the ruthless Hernan Cortes and his band of adventurers. Bernal Díaz del Castillo, himself a soldier under Cortes, presents a fascinatingly detailed description of the Spanish landing in Mexico in 1520 and their amazement at the city, the exploitation of the natives for gold and other treasures, the expulsion and flight of the Spaniards, their regrouping and eventual capture of the Aztec capital.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

The Spell of New Mexico

By Tony Hillerman

University of New Mexico Press
Paperback (113 pages)

The Spell of New Mexico
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A rich gathering of essays that evoke the unique and mysterious appeal New Mexico has had for some of the twentieth century's best-known writers. Included are selections by Mary Austin, Oliver La Farge, Conrad Richter, D.H. Lawrence, C.G. Jung, Winfield Townley Scott, John DeWitt McKee, Ernie Pyle, Harvey Fergusson, and Lawrence Clark Powell. Hillerman's preface and introduction are choice specimens of his incisive humor and his own deep love of the state.


"Should be required reading for all those who call themselves New Mexican."--James Arnholz

New Mexico's Stormy History: True Stories of Early Spanish Colonial Settlers and the Mestas/Maestas Families

By Elmer Eugene Maestas

Elmer Eugene Maestas
Paperback (270 pages)

New Mexico s Stormy History: True Stories of Early Spanish Colonial Settlers and the Mestas/Maestas Families
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Conquistador General Don Diego de Vargas led hundreds of Spanish pioneers to resettle New Mexico after the 1680 Indian Revolt. This little-known colonial period brought peace and prosperity to settlers and Native Americans in what later became northern New Mexico and parts of surrounding states. Spanish Royalty awarded many faithful soldiers and settlers with grants of land to establish farms, ranches, and ultimately to populate villas that became cities such as Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Taos.

U.S. Navy Master Chief of 30 years, Elmer Eugene Maestas set sail on a serious study of his family’s roots after his late brother’s trip through Spain years earlier had failed to turn up even one Maestas. Learning his Maestas surname was originally spelled Mestas, Elmer found his ancestors had come from Spain with General de Vargas — and that he was a 10th generation Spanish descendant whose forefathers had been awarded not one, but two land grants! He and his family knew nothing about them and, not much more about New Mexico’s “stormy” history.   

Could your family have a fascinating history or maybe a land grant or two? Answer these questions:

  • Does your surname sound Spanish?
  • Do you have relatives in northern New Mexico, southern Colorado and beyond?
  • Does someone you care about have these family traits?
  • Do you know about New Mexico’s “stormy” history?

This book takes you on a trip through the ages in the Land of Enchantment, and reveals the names of many early Spanish settlers and soldiers. Even if you don’t discover your land grant (which you might wish you hadn’t), you will learn much about the fascinating history of the great state of New Mexico.

To the End of the Earth: A History of the Crypto-Jews of New Mexico

By Stanley Hordes

Columbia University Press
Released: 2008-03-18
Paperback (348 pages)

To the End of the Earth: A History of the Crypto-Jews of New Mexico
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In 1981, while working as New Mexico State Historian, Stanley M. Hordes began to hear stories of Hispanos who lit candles on Friday night and abstained from eating pork. Puzzling over the matter, Hordes realized that these practices might very well have been passed down through the centuries from early crypto-Jewish settlers in New Spain. After extensive research and hundreds of interviews, Hordes concluded that there was, in New Mexico and the Southwest, a Sephardic legacy derived from the converso community of Spanish Jews.

In To the End of the Earth, Hordes explores the remarkable story of crypto-Jews and the tenuous preservation of Jewish rituals and traditions in Mexico and New Mexico over the past five hundred years. He follows the crypto-Jews from their Jewish origins in medieval Spain and Portugal to their efforts to escape persecution by migrating to the New World and settling in the far reaches of the northern Mexican frontier.

Drawing on individual biographies (including those of colonial officials accused of secretly practicing Judaism), family histories, Inquisition records, letters, and other primary sources, Hordes provides a richly detailed account of the economic, social and religious lives of crypto-Jews during the colonial period and after the annexation of New Mexico by the United States in 1846. While the American government offered more religious freedom than had the Spanish colonial rulers, cultural assimilation into Anglo-American society weakened many elements of the crypto-Jewish tradition.

Hordes concludes with a discussion of the reemergence of crypto-Jewish culture and the reclamation of Jewish ancestry within the Hispano community in the late twentieth century. He examines the publicity surrounding the rediscovery of the crypto-Jewish community and explores the challenges inherent in a study that attempts to reconstruct the history of a people who tried to leave no documentary record.

Voices from the Past: The Comanche Raid of 1776 & Other Tales of New Mexico History

By Robert J Torrez

Rio Grande Books
Paperback (196 pages)

Voices from the Past: The Comanche Raid of 1776 & Other Tales of New Mexico History
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Voices From the Past: The Comanche Raid of 1776 & Other Tales of New Mexico History is an exploration of the vast treasure of untold and forgotten stories found in New Mexico’s Spanish, Mexican, and Territorial period archives. Based on a monthly column the author has published since 1992, the stories in this volume will examine some of the accomplishments, triumphs, and tragedies experienced by individuals we probably did not learn about in history class. Learn about the Comanche raid of 1776 and what the historical record can tell us about victims of the raid; read about the devastation inflicted by the dreaded virguela, the smallpox epidemics that swept though entire communities in the eighteenth century and of how the smallpox vaccine was introduced to New Mexico in 1805; of Apache captives sold into slavery in the early eighteenth century; of New Mexican’s struggle to prove their loyalty to the United States during the Spanish American War; of a stern frontier judge who could condemn a convicted murderer to hang and then write romantic letters to his wife; of the devastating Las Vegas fire of 1880; and of a “Chicago gangster” who hid out in northern New Mexico. These and four dozen additional “voices from the past” provide the reader with fascinating and little-known details about New Mexico history.

Robert J. Tórrez was born and raised in the northern New Mexico community of Los Ojos and received his undergraduate and graduate education at Highlands University in Las Vegas and the University of New Mexico. He served as the New Mexico State Historian from 1987 until his retirement in December 2000. In addition to his monthly column Voices From the Past on New Mexico history, he is the author of five books on various aspects of New Mexico history and has contributed chapters to more than twenty books and anthologies, including a recent textbook for use in New Mexico schools.



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