OLD SANTA FE
Facsimile of Number 281 of the Original 1925 Edition
By Ralph Emerson Twitchell
The story of New Mexico’s Ancient Capital up until 1925. New Foreword by Richard Melzer, Ph.D.
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In the author’s 1924 introduction, titled “A Retrospect,” he says that the story “of old Santa Fe embraces a period of more than three hundred years.” He further states that “it was the farthest north established seat of government of the Spanish crown in the New World during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.” And with that, this remarkable book unfolds a detailed and thoughtful history beginning in 1598 and continuing through 1924. Chapters are devoted to events preceding the founding of the city; the Pueblo Revolution; the reconquest of the city by General Diego de Vargas; its twenty-five years as a Mexican provincial capital; the city during the military occupation period; and includes stories about Billy the Kid, Governor Samuel B. Axtell and the Santa Fe Ring. With many illustrations, this book is a valuable resource for everyone interested in the history of the American Southwest.
Ralph Emerson Twitchell was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on November 29, 1859. Arriving in New Mexico when he was twenty-three, he immediately became involved in political and civic activities. In 1885 he helped organize a new territorial militia in Santa Fe and saw active duty in western New Mexico. Later appointed judge advocate of the Territorial Militia, he attained the rank of colonel, a title he was proud to use for the rest of his life. By 1893 he was elected the mayor of Santa Fe and, thereafter, district attorney of Santa Fe County. Twitchell probably promoted New Mexico as much as any single New Mexican of his generation. An avid supporter of New Mexico statehood, he argued the territory’s case for elevated political status, celebrated its final victory in 1912, and even designed New Mexico’s first state flag in 1915.
In the apt words of an editorial in the Santa Fe New Mexican at the time of Twitchell’s death in 1925: “As press agent for the best things of New Mexico, her traditions, history, beauty, glamour, scenery, archaeology, and material resources, he was indefatigable and efficient.”
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