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life. The reasons for this are too obvious and have been
too frequently set forth to require repetition in this place.
The states of the eastern, and to a lesser extent those of the
western, seaboard have of course been most directly affected
by the influx of trans-oceanic immigrants; it is in those
states also, perhaps, that newcomers have attracted the
greatest amount of academic interest. But what has been
the numerical, political and economic importance of such
sojourners in the commonwealths of the interior? And,
more specifically, what has been the picture in the Southwest,
where, in addition to ultramarine immigrants, has come a
large delegation from our neighbor to the south, the Repub-
lic of Mexico ?

Under the aegis of the United States, New Mexico
underwent a long formative period. Politically, this ex-
tended from 1850, when the Territory of New Mexico was
formally organized, to 1912, when statehood was achieved.
Economically, maturity is even yet a thing of the future. It
was not until the coming of the railroad in 1879-1881 that
any extensive development was possible, and the story since



that time has been, generally speaking, one of an expanding
process. The number and composition of the population has,
of course, been a prime factor in determining the rate and
direction of this expansion. It is the purpose of this paper
to study the origins and number of New Mexico's foreign
born during the vital years of the territorial era. The sta-
tistical information is taken exclusively from the decennial
reports of the United States, 1850 to 1910 inclusive.

In the year 1850 the total population of New Mexico
was reckoned at 61,547. 1 Included in this total were 2,063
persons born outside the United States, or 3.3 per cent of
the whole. Of these 2,063 more than half claimed Mexico
as the land of their birth 1,365 of them, to be exact. Other
nations of the western hemisphere were but scantily repre-
sented, as the aggregate for British America was 38, the
West Indies 2 and South America 1. The largest European
contingents came from Ireland (292), Germany (215),
England (43), Scotland (29), and France (26). Other
nations represented were Prussia (14), Switzerland (11),
Spain (8), Russia (4), Norway, Denmark, Holland (2
each), and Portugal, Wales, Sweden and Italy (1 each).
Five persons hailed from "other countries" while the nativ-
ity of 223 of the foreign-born was unknown.

From the foregoing statistics at least two inferences
may be drawn. The first is that, as in the United States
generally, the bulk of the European born proceeded from
the northern and western countries of that continent; the
second is that, as early as the middle of the nineteenth cen-
tury, the population of New Mexico was surprisingly cos-
mopolitan as to origin, if not as to culture.

The succeeding decade witnessed a rapid increase in the
ranks of the foreign-born, for in a total population of 93,516
were included 6,723 persons who were of non-United States
origin, their percentage of the total having jumped to 7.1 +. 2

1. The data in this paragraph are from the Seventh Census of the United States,
1850, I, p. xxxvii.

2. These data are from the Eighth Census of the United States, 1860, I, p. 573.


Mexico still led the field with 4,815, 3 while the other nations
of the western world sent representatives as follows : British
America, 76 ; South America, 8 ; West Indies, 8. European
immigration was greatly in evidence, as there were in New
Mexico in 1860 from Ireland, 827 persons; from Germany,
569 ; from England, 145 ; from France, 108. From Scotland
the number was 49, with 27 from Switzerland, 24 from
Spain, 13 from Poland, 9 from Denmark, 6 from Holland, 5
each from Belgium and Portugal, 4 from Australia, 3 from
Sweden, and 2 each from Wales, Russia and Norway, while
China, Greece, Italy and Turkey sent 1 each. Northern and
western Europe (as compared with southern and eastern
Europe) yet preserved an overwhelming majority, and it
will be observed that several previously unrepresented
nations had cast their names into the (melting) pot in the
decade between 1850 and 1860.

The census report for 1870 reveals the most interesting
fact that during the preceding ten years the population of
New Mexico decreased to a total of 91,874 persons. 4 How-
ever, the foreign-born element seems to have followed the
general movement, for its aggregate declined to 5,620. Thus
the numerical relation of this latter group to the whole did
not change greatly, the percentage being 6.1 +, or a drop of
one per cent. In breaking down the figure given for the
foreign-born, we find that the Mexicans again claim first
honors, with 3,913 (a sharp decrease, however, from 1860) . 5

3. The sharp increase here indicated is not surprising if we remember that the
Gadsden Purchase fell within the decade covered by this census report. The foreign-
born who were acquired with that tract fell wholly to New Mexico but not as immi-
grants in the usual sense. Editor.

4. Citations of this paragraph are from the Ninth Census of the United States,
1870, I, pp. 336-42.

5. Here again, properly to evaluate statistical figures, it is necessary to remember
important boundary changes of New Mexico. When Colorado Territory was created
in 1861 (following gold discoveries and the rush of the '59ers), she was given that part
of New Mexico which lay north of parallel 37 north and from the 103rd meridian west
to the Continental Divide. Then in 1863 approximately half of what was left (all west
of the 32nd meridian west from Washington) was cut off to make the Territory of
Arizona. Naturally these losses in area meant also losses in population, both native and
foreign-born. In what was left of New Mexico, we should probably find that there
was a natural increase instead of decline in population. Editor.


A change is to be noted in regard to the European picture,
for Germany (582) has taken a narrow lead over Ireland
(543). Totals for other countries are: British America,
125 ; France, 124 ; England, 120 ; Switzerland, 42 ; Scotland,
36; Italy, 25; Spain, 16; Denmark, 15; Poland and Russia,
12 each; Austria, 10; Wales, 9; Sweden, 6; Norway and
Belgium, 5 each; Hungary, 4; Holland and South America,
3 each ; Portugal, West Indies and Bohemia, 2 each ; Central
America and Asia (unspecified), 1 each; also 1 born at sea.

It should be noticed that there was a decrease of nearly
three hundred in the Irish-born inhabitants during the
decade. Also, the French delegation overtook the English,
and the Swiss element surpassed the Scotch. Northwestern
Europe was still in the ascendancy, but the number from
Italy increased from one to twenty-five.

By 1880, the population of New Mexico had more than
recovered the ground lost between 1860 and 1870, for the
total had climbed to 119,565. 6 The foreign-born included
8,051 persons, or 6.6+ per cent of the whole. Mexico
accounted for more than half, with 5,173 ; Ireland regained
second place with 795; Germany came third with 729;
England outstripped France with 339 ; then came British
America, 280; France, 167; Scotland, 110; Italy, 73; Swit-
zerland, 54; China, 52; Sweden, 39; Wales, 28; Denmark,
23; Poland, 22; Norway, 17; Russia, 16; Austria, 15;
Bohemia and Cuba, 13 each; Spain, 12; Pacific Islands
(other than Hawaii) , 11 ; Portugal, 8 ; Hungary, West Indies,
South America and born at sea, 7 each; Holland and Bel-
gium, 6 each; Australia, 4; Sandwich Islands, 3; Africa,
Luxemburg, Malta and Turkey, 1 each. The increasingly
cosmopolitan character of the foreign-born population is
clearly revealed by these figures. Italy is the country to
watch, however, for her representation trebled in the decade
between 1870 and 1880.

The succeeding ten years witnessed a further growth in
the population of New Mexico, for in 1890 the total figure

6. The data of this paragraph are from the Tenth Census of the United States,
1880, I, pp. 4, 492-95.


stood at 153,593. 7 The foreign-born element increased like-
wise, attaining the sum of 11,259, or 7.3+ per cent of all
inhabitants. For the second time the Mexican representa-
tion registered a decrease (the first being between the cen-
suses of 1860 and 1870) , but yet maintained the lead with
4,504 persons. Germany forged into second place with
1,413; then England with 1,258, followed by Ireland with
966, Canada and Newfoundland with 681, Scotland with 436,
China with 369, Italy with 355, France with 284, Austria
with 172, Sweden with 149, Wales and Switzerland with 122
each, Russia with 73, Denmark with 54, Holland with 46,
Norway with 42, Belgium with 35, Poland with 24, Spain
with 23, Cuba and the West Indies with 16, Portugal with
14, "born at sea" with 13, Australia with 12, South America
with 10, Hungary with 9, Bohemia with 8, India and Asia
(unspecified) with 7, Africa and Europe (unspecified) with
5 each, Japan with 4, Luxemburg and Atlantic Islands with
2 each, and Turkey, Greece and Central America with 1 each.
Several items merit mention. England, it will be
noticed, more than trebled her figure of 1880 although the
reason for this is probably beyond definite proof, the increase
might have come as a result of the growth of the cattle indus-
try during the 'eighties, an enterprise in which the Scotch
and the English took an active part. The sudden growth in
the Chinese element was very probably due to the building of
the Santa Fe railroad and others during the decade. Chinese
labor had been found superior to that of the Irish and other
nationalities during the construction of the Central Pacific
in the latter 'sixties. Doubtless the factor which contributed
most to the increase of nearly all kinds of foreign-born, as
well as to that of the total population, was the coming of the
railroad. This made access to New Mexico much less diffi-
cult, and, consequently, rendered immigration more attrac-
tive. Mining activity, which began on a large scale in the
territory after 1869 or 1870, was of course a constant induce-
ment to the more adventurous and the more desperate, and

7. These figures come from the Eleventh Census of the United States, 1890, I,
Pt. 1, pp. 2, 606-9.


without doubt drew many persons of foreign origin into
New Mexico during the era examined in this paper.

By 1900, the total population of the territory had risen
to 195,310, while the ranks of the foreign-born numbered
13,625, making a percentage of 6.9+. Mexico recouped her
losses of the decade 1880-1890 and was represented by 6,649
persons. 8 All the other leaders suffered a numerical decline
from 1890 to 1900, with the exception of Italy. The rela-
tive standings were: Germany, 1,360; England, 968; Ire-
land, 692 ; Canada, 680 ; Italy, 661 ; Scotland, 427 ; Austria,
352; France, 298; Sweden, 244; Switzerland, 123; Wales,
105 ; Russia and Holland, 99 each ; French Canada, 84 ; Den-
mark, 57 ; Poland, 55 ; Hungary, 41 ; Norway, 33 ; Bohemia,
15 ; other countries, 583.

It will be seen that the figures for 1900 are somewhat
less complete than for preceding censuses. Italy was the
only European country among the first five which made any
gain, but her representation was nearly doubled between
1890 and 1900.

The census of 1910 9 was the last one taken during the
territorial period of New Mexico's history, for two years
later the Sunshine State arrived at political maturity and
claimed its place in the union. The growth in population
during the decade 1900-1910 was the most impressive yet
recorded, as in the latter year a total figure of 327,301 was
reached. The foreign-born element likewise experienced a
healthy increase, attaining the sum of 23,146, or 7 per cent
of the whole. Mexico accounted for about half, with a rep-
resentation of 11,918. Italy finally came into her own,
carrying off second place with 1,959 then Germany, with
1,746; Austria, with 1,233; England, with 1,101; Canada,
with 912; Ireland, with 644; Scotland, with 509; Sweden,
with 365 ; France, with 326 ; Japan, with 254 ; Russia, with
228 ; Hungary, with 209 ; China, with 202 ; Switzerland, with
172; Greece, with 167; Bulgaria, Servia and Montenegro,

8. Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900, I, Pt. 1, pp. 2, clxxiii-cbcriv.

9. Thirteenth Census of the United States, 1910, I, pp. 30, 838-39.


with a total of 167; Norway, with 151; Turkey in Asia,
with 123; Denmark, with 116; French Canada, with 111;
Spain, with 100 ; Wales, with 93 ; Netherlands, with 86 ; Bel-
gium, with 44 ; Finland, with 26 ; Cuba and the other West
Indies, with a total of 25 ; Turkey in Europe, with 17 ; Cen-
tral and South America, with 14; Europe (unspecified),
with 12 ; Portugal, with 10 ; India, with 7 ; Roumania, with
6; Newfoundland, with 3; Luxemburg and all other Asia,
with 1 each ; and all other countries, with 88.

Several generalizations may be ventured on the basis
of the data given in the preceding pages. With the exception
of the figure for 1850, it may be said that the foreign-born
element represented a stable factor in the population of New
Mexico during the territorial period. In the half -century
included between the years 1860 and 1910, the extreme vari-
ation of the percentage of foreign-born in the total popula-
tion was but 1.2. The lowest point occurred in 1870, with
6.1 per cent of the total population born outside the United
States, while the highest mark was achieved in 1890, with
the percentage of the foreign-born standing at 7.3. Through-
out the period under consideration, the Mexican deputation
was without fail the largest, and this fact is to be regarded
as the natural result of the proximity of that country to
New Mexico. Again, it is to be noted that, in contrast to
the condition prevailing on the eastern seaboard after 1890
(at the latest), the northern and western parts of Europe
constantly furnished the bulk of the immigration into the
Territory from that continent. The statistics in regard to
the Italian-born supply another item of interest. From no
other nation did immigration proceed in such a constantly
and rapidly increasing stream, for from 1860 to 1910 there
was not a decade in which the Italian representation was not
tripled. In conclusion, it should be noticed that during the
entire territorial era the foreign-born population of New
Mexico exhibited a satisfying, and rather surprising, degree
of cosmopolitanism. A host to peoples of every clime, the
Territory of New Mexico served in its way to further the
American tradition of assimilation.


DOWN THE long, hard road they passed, the adventurers
to Santa Fe. Hostile Indians waylaid them. Un-
friendly Mexican officials looked askance at their pack trains
and long lines of white topped wagons. Heavy duties were
laid upon the goods they brought. Men feared their ever
ready long Kentucky rifles and the hair triggered Missouri
tempers. The first men who ventured into Santa Fe were
taken prisoners and were held within the confines of the
Mexican provinces from 1812 until about 1819-1822. How-
ever, no sooner had some of them been released than they
returned home to Missouri, outfitted with fresh pack trains
and again turned their faces westward. Thenceforth noth-
ing could halt the ceaseless tide of men and wagons, "ad-
venturing to Santa Fe."

Some of these men have left brief journals. The ac-
counts written by Captain William Becknell, M. M. Marma-
duke, Robert W. Morris, A. LeGrand and others are
fairly well known. Many of these items first appeared in
the columns of the Missouri Intelligencer and the St. Louis
Enquirer during the early 1820s. Later, certain of the jour-
nals were re-printed by the Missouri Historical Society.
There is one item however which seems to have escaped the
notice of historians. In itself perhaps it is not important,
but as a bit of unique frontier humor it should be known.

The majority of the accounts are serious, matter-of-
fact narrations of the hardships encountered, descriptions
of the terrain, observations on the inhabitants of New
Mexico, etc. The author of the account in question is anony-
mous but his account of a trip to the "province wherein dwell-
eth a people called Montezumians" has a certain flavor that
will, I am sure, be relished by those whose historical tongues
have become accustomed to the bread and meat of the more
prosaic narratives.



There are no definite clues to link this Biblical style
journal with any of the well known trips. The party appar-
ently started from Boone's Lick in Missouri ; but so did many
of the outfits that took the westward trail. Hence, any
attempt at annotating this humorous "journal" would in my
estimation be entirely superfluous.

The account appeared in the Missouri Intelligencer, in
two parts. The first was published August 5, 1825, p. 2, col.
1 ; the second section appeared in the issue of August 19, p. 2,
cols. 2-3.


1. And it came to pass in the reign of Ellick the fat,
that the dwellers round about Boon's Lick marvelled with
one another

2. And said, verily we have corn and oil, and milk and
honey, and cattle and horses, and he goats in abundance, but
nevertheless we have few pieces of silver.

3. And one of the judges, a father of preemptioners, rose
up and said, men and brethren, hearken unto me.

4. And they did hearken.

5. And he said, there lieth over against us a province
wherein dwelleth a people called Montezumians.

6. And they go in and out of tabernacles of clay and
they be miners and shepherds.

7. And they have among them gold and silver and pre-
cious furs and ass colts in abundance and they be moreover
a barbarous people and heathen idolaters.

8. And he said, men and brethren of the tribe of Ben-
jamin, hearken unto me and they answered, and said, we
do hearken.

9. And he said go ye unto your several places of abode
and tarry three days ; and on the fourth day rise up early in
the morning while it is yet dark, and saddle your asses.

10. And on the fourth day they gathered themselves
together as they were wont, every one on his own ass, and
came, and stood still over against the habitation of Benja-
min, and they said lo! we are come unto thee as thou has

11. And Benjamin combed his locks, rose up, and came
forth to where his ass was tethered by the way side.


12. And he said, men of Boon's Lick, let your loins be
girt about & your hearts filled with the oil of gladness, for
you are going into a far country.

13. And they answered with one voice, yea, verily, we
rejoice exceedingly and marvel not.

14. And moreover they cried out as one man, be ye our
centurian & we will do thy bidding ; and say unto each of us
singly, go, and we will go, come, and we will come.

15. And they were armed every one with weapons of
war according to his fashion, and they were valiant men and
true, and well skilled in all stratagems and divers cunning

16. But moreover as they journeyed forward in the
wilderness the centurian cast about him and said unto his
followers, be on your guard, for we are in the land of the
Arapehoes, the Camanchies, and the ungodly Paducas.

17. Nevertheless be of good cheer and these heathen
shall flee before us everyone to his own city; and they
annointed their arms with bear's oil and set a watch round

18. And all of the men of Boon's Lick answered and said,
we fear not, for we go into the land of promise.

19. And Benjamin raised his voice and spake cheer-
ingly, and said, yea verily, I say unto you as I said before,
we seek the gold of ophir and soft furs and ass colts and
onyx stones.

20. And when they came unto a deep valley, by the
river Arkansas, they stood still and said to the centurian,
lo ! here is water, let us drink.

21. And he said, yea, eat and drink and make yourselves
glad, for ye have journeyed far, else ye may faint by the

22. And they unmuzzled their mules and their asses, and
laid them down; and they drew from their panniers corn
cakes, and the flesh of swine and did eat.

23. And when they had finished feasting, they rose up
and departed leaving the fragments of the feast strewed
round about and the ravens and the magpies came and
picked up the remnant.

24. Now when they had journeyed forward three Sab-
bath day's journey on the river bank, and crossed over the
waters thereof, they came to a great desert whereon the
grass withered.

25. And it came to pass that they had no water, and
they were exceedingly thirsty, so that their tongues were
parched and cleaved unto the roofs of their mouths.


26. Now therefore Benjamin the centurian, was sorely
vexed, for everyone went his own way in search of a foun-
tain, and they marvelled exceedingly; and they said unto
the centurian, why have ye brought us here to perish in a
far country?

27. And Benjamin stood up among them and said, why
marvel ye, men of Boon's Lick ; what seek ye?

28. Wherefore are my locks grey if ye hearken not unto
me? Gird your loins about ye, and seek and ye shall find
water and precious metals. Why tarry we for the gold to
come unto us let us journey forward unto the land of
Montezuma, and straightway silver shall rise up and meet

29. And they answered with one accord, and said as
thou listeth so will we demean ourselves.

30. And it came to pass about the seventh hour, at the
going down of the sun, that they came unto a pool, and it was

31. And the captain of the host said unto the men of
Boon's Lick, drink ye and give unto your asses likewise.


1. When therefore the caravan of Benjamin had eaten
and drank there came among them certain wild oxen.

2. And they essayed to drink from the pool and would
not be gainsayed.

3. Then Benjamin and all the men of his tribe rose up,
with one accord, and laid hold of his arms, every one his
double trigger.

4. And they slew of the wild oxen half a score and the
humps upon their backs were as sweet morsels under their

5. Now therefore they journeyed forward and they
tarried not until they compassed the hillocks of sand, and
came unto a great plain, whereon herbage did grow.

6. And they set their faces toward the mountains that
divided them from the land of Montezuma, and they went
forward many Sabbath day's journey.

7. And it came to pass that the Caravan arrived in the
midst of a city, and they of the caravan stood still by the way
side, and looked round about them, and lo! a people came
forth from their tabernacles of clay and their skin was like
the skin of Ethiope.

8. And the dwellers of Santa Fe looked up and beheld


the men of Benjamin, and they were sore afraid because of
their habiliments and their harness of war.

9. And they marvelled one with another, and said, what
manner of men are these whose skin is like unto the white-
ness of a leper?

10. And the elders and the chief men of Santa Fe spake
in a strange language, and said whence came ye?

11. And Benjamin answered and said, we be from a far
country, from the land of corn and swine's flesh.

12. Now they of the Ethiope skin spake again unto the
strangers and said, what seek ye?

13. Then Benjamin the caravan bachi stood forth and
said, we come from afar with our asses laden with merchan-
dize and we seek gold and silver, the ox and the ass and all
that is within thy gates.

14. Then the men of Santa Fe cried out with one voice,
saying, tarry ye, come in and sojourn, and our maidens
shall wash your feet and anoint your beards.

15. And they tarried, and did eat of the flesh of the
lamb, and of goat's milk, and of barley water.

16. And they spake to one another and said, it is good
for us to be here, for we are weary and our lot is cast in
pleasant places.

17. Now it came to pass when they had sojourned awhile
that there came among them certain money changers and set
before them strange coins and said

18. These we will give unto you, yea more for your
purple raiment and fine linens and sandals.

19. And the men of Benjamin said, add thereunto from
the flocks and herds of your hills four score of ass colts, and
mules and jennets a great many.

20. And those of swarthy skin answered them accord-
ing to all they had spoken and thus did as the men of Ben-
jamin had commanded and rose up and departed.

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