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From the Earliest Records to the American Occupation in 1847
By L. Bradford Prince

New Foreword by Richard Melzer, PhD


LeBaron Bradford Prince (1840-1922) was a transplanted New Yorker, a tireless judge, a controversial territorial governor, a gentleman scholar, and an early leader of the Historical Society of New Mexico. In all these roles, and others, he was a passionate advocate of New Mexico statehood.

Prince was born, raised, and educated in New York. As a young attorney, his political career in state politics had progressed well until he clashed with leaders of the state Republican Party machine. Salvaging his political fortunes in the West, Prince won appointment as the chief justice of the New Mexico Supreme Court in 1879. By all accounts, no territorial judge worked harder than Prince, often hearing cases from 8:00 in the morning until 11:00 at night. In what time remained in his busy days, Prince compiled a 603-page volume of territorial laws and began to write history with the clear purpose of advocating New Mexico statehood. His first work on New Mexico history, entitled Historical Sketches of New Mexico from the Earliest Records to the American Occupation, appeared in 1883.

This new edition, part of Sunstone’s award-winning Southwest Heritage Series, includes a facsimile of this original edition along with a new foreword by Richard Melzer, PhD, a biographical sketch from History of New Mexico (1891) by Helen Haines, and a tribute to the memory of L. Bradford Prince from a publication of the Historical Society of New Mexico, No. 25. Prince’s The Student’s History of New Mexico and New Mexico’s Struggle for Statehood are also included in Sunstone’s Southwest Heritage Series.

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