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From the collection of the

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San Francisco, California



T\[ew ^Mexico
Historical "Review

Palace of the Governors, Santa Fe


MAY 2 - 1962

January, I960








The German Jew and the Commercial

Revolution in Territorial New Mexico, 1850-1900

William J. Parish . 1

Fort Bascom, New Mexico

James Monroe Foster, Jr. . 30

The Brazito Battlefield

Andrew Armstrong 63

Book Reviews 75

THE NEW MEXICO HISTORICAL REVIEW is published jointly by the Historical Society
of New Mexico and the University of New Mexico. Subscription to the quarterly is
$3.00 a year in advance ; single numbers, except those which have become scarce, are
$1.00 each.

Business communications should be addressed to Mr. Bruce T. Ellis, State
Museum, Santa Fe, N. M. ; manuscripts and editorial correspondence should be
addressed to Prof. Frank D. Reeve, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, N. M.

Entered as second-class matter at Santa Fe, New Mexico














3ER 1, JANUARY, 1960


The German Jew and the Commercial Revolution
in Territorial New Mexico, 1850-1900

William J. Parish 1

Fort Bascom, New Mexico

James Monroe Foster, Jr. 30

The Brazito Battlefield

Andrew Armstrong 63

Book Reviews 75


West of the Pecos

E. L. Steve Stephens 81

Printing in New Mexico Beyond Santa Fe and
Taos 1848-1875

Jackson E . To wne 109

Western Silver and the Tariff of 1890

H. Wayne Morgan 118

The German- Jew and the Commercial Revolution in
Territorial New Mexico 1850-1900 (concluded)

William J. Parish 129

Book Reviews . . 151

NUMBER 3, JULY, 1960

Frank Bond : Gentleman Sheepherder of Northern New

Mexico 1883-1915 . 169

Navaho-Spanish Diplomacy, 1770-1790

Frank D. Reeve 200

West of the Pecos (continued)

E. L. Steve Stephens 236

Book Reviews 257


The Pueblo Rights Doctrine in New Mexico

Robert Emmet Clark 265


Eleanor B. Adams 284

Frank Bond : Gentleman Sheepherder of Northern New

Mexico 1883-1915 (continued) 293

West of the Pecos (continued)

E. L. Steve Stephens 309

Notes and Documents ........ 327

Book Reviews 336








The text of this article is reprinted with minor changes from the Autumn 1959, New
Mexico Quarterly, copyright 1959 by University of New Mexico Press.

A T mid-nineteenth century in Taos and Santa Fe, when the
JL\ German Jewish merchant took his place alongside the
American- and Mexican-born storekeeper, a commercial revo-
lution had begun. There can be no doubt that the German Jew
was the moving force in this change of pace.

It is true that one can find an occasional non-Jew who
made his contribution, and Franz Huning was one such per-
son although even he was a German immigrant. 1 Miguel
Desmarais, a French Canadian, established his store in Las
Vegas before Kearny made his entry. His enterprise was car-
ried on by a nephew, Charles Blanchard, with branches in
Socorro, Carthage, and San Pedro, and perhaps these busi-
nessmen should receive credit in this regard. 2 Trinidad Ro-
mero of Las Vegas was an in-and-out, not very successful
merchant who played a minor part. 3 Peter Joseph of Taos,
who founded his store in 1840, an enterprise that was con-
tinued by his son, Antonio, for ten years the Territorial
Delegate to Congress, 4 has obscure beginnings and perhaps
he was not an exception to our theme after all.

The more one seeks out the non-Jew who came to New

* The author is Dean of the College of Business Administration, University of New


Mexico before or during the eighteen-fif ties, and who settled
down to deal successfully in the regular imports of finished
goods and in the exports of Territorial commodities, the more
it becomes apparent that there were few of him, indeed. In
fact, if one holds strongly to the word "success," one can say
that Franz Huning, the German Lutheran who arrived in
Santa Fe in 1849 and who established his general merchan-
dise store in Albuquerque in 1857, 5 may have been the only
non-Jew to have contributed significantly to the early com-
mercial revolution in New Mexico.

Before we describe the pervasiveness of the German
Jewish merchant in the urban centers of Territorial New
Mexico, or express the credit and gratitude due him for his
contributions to the growth of the economy and for his
catalytic influence in the linking of our several cultures, it
would be well to make clear that his coming did constitute a
spectacular change in the conduct of this frontier business.

Prior to the Mexican War, the traveling merchant from
the States found little encouragement in his efforts to sell
wares in the Mexican domain. Heavy taxes, the amount gen-
erally unknown until he arrived at Santa Fe or Taos, added
financial risk to his enterprise and discouraged many who
otherwise would have dared the dangers of thirst and death.
This impediment to trade was fostered through the corrupt-
ing of public officials, principally by the merchants of Chi-
huahua who brought American goods through Vera Cruz
and then on to Santa Fe, selling them at rather high prices.
The traders from Franklin, Missouri, and later Independ-
ence, even without government protection on the Santa Fe
Trail, gradually broke down this monopoly when they learned
the corrupt, or perhaps just needy, Mexican officials were
subject to influence. 6

At the time of Mexico's independence from Spain in 1821,
the storekeepers of Santa Fe represented a rather immature
development of retail trade. Pattie's 1827 reference to mer-
chants can be interpreted as meaning there were a few petty
capitalists, or storekeepers, operating at minor stands for
the sedentary retailing of sparse goods. 7 Gregg found mer-


chants with a variety of wares in 183 1. 8 Allison in 1837 also
wrote of the Santa Fe storekeepers, including a Louis Gould. 9

It is apparent, however, that these storekeepers could not
rely on the traveling merchants for their inventories. The
early records describe the trading of the traveling merchant
as having been done directly with the people with no need for
wholesaling. The exception was Ceran St. Vrain who, on one
occasion in 1830, was forced to sell to a storekeeper because
his goods were moving too slowly at his temporary stand at
the customhouse. 10

When the adventurer-merchant, James Webb of Connec-
ticut, was in and out of Santa Fe from 1844 to 1847, he de-
scribed the store of Don Juan Sena, on the southeast corner
of the Plaza, as being the second best store. Mr. John Scolly
had the best because its floor was planked the only one in
the Territory so equipped, he thought, except, perhaps, one
or two in Taos. 11 It is interesting that soon after making this
observation, and being forced to leave his goods with others
to be sold on a ten per cent commission, Webb chose not to
deposit his goods with the first or second best store. Rather
he made his arrangement with Eugene Leitsendorf er, a Ger-
man Jew, 12 whose location has been described as the "head-
quarters for all American traders for social and business
conversation and for plans for promoting their general in-
terests." 13 One of the reasons he chose this merchant is sig-
nificant. Webb could not speak Spanish, as indeed few
English-speaking people did or still deign to do. The Jewish
merchant was cosmopolitan in his outlook, experienced in
languages, and not in the least inhibited by the social re-
strictions of economic strata.

Among the traveling merchants on the Santa Fe Trail was
a Prussian Jew of some prominence and ability. His name
was Albert Speyer and he was related, probably, to the
Frankfort Speyers whose international banking house (with
a branch in New York City) 14 was flourishing about this
time. He and Webb traveled together on occasion and some-
times extended their Santa Fe trips to Chihuahua. Speyer,
according to Webb, bought out the merchandise stock of


General Manuel Armijo when the General apparently had
expected Kearny of the United States forces to arrive sooner
than he did. 15

In spite of this commercial activity involving traveling
and sedentary merchants, there are several reasons why we
should be cautious in imagining the character of this early
trade to have been much above the level generally attained
by the beginning petty capitalist who deals in the products
of the local countryside, supplemented on an unplanned basis
by the imports of the traveling merchant. The traveling mer-
chant not the sedentary storekeeper was the one who
dominated the scene. This adventurer is epitomized by the
names of Charles Bent and Ceran St. Vrain ; by Patrick Rice,
James Collins, and Jesse Sutton ; by the Magoffins Samuel,
James, and William with their respected Susan; by Henry
Connelly, Alexander Majors, James Webb, and Albert
Speyer. These merchants usually brought their goods to Taos
or Santa Fe, sold what they could at retail, and then, if a
balance remained, started south, retailing in small villages
along the way. They would extend their tour, if necessary,
and often if not necessary, to Chihuahua. When the trip was
thus prolonged, they usually acquired silver bullion and gold
dust as their reward and seldom took produce back with them
to the States. In 1825, a Chihuahua merchant and legislator,
Manuel Escudero, passed through Santa Fe on his way to the
States as one of the first of his countrymen to add to this
dominantly one way volume of trade. He returned the follow-
ing spring with "six or seven new and substantial wagons"
laden with goods. 16

A second reason for not exaggerating this commercial
development was the psychology of the traders. Almost en-
tirely, these petty capitalists had no thought of a permanent
business in Santa Fe or New Mexico. Like James Webb, who
wrote, "there is nothing to induce me to entertain a desire to
become a resident or continue in trade except as an adven-
turer and the possible advantages the trade might afford of
bettering my fortune," 17 these merchants disappeared grad-


ually from the scene with their wealth or lack of it, as the
case might have been.

A third reason for keeping in perspective our thinking
on the character of this early trade is the nearness, from the
point of view of time, of the old Fair which had been the
dominant institution for the distribution of goods. Barter,
except for strictly local currencies that sometimes existed,
and which had no value outside the locale, was the chief form
of trade prior to 1821. 18 Taos Fairs were being held each July
almost as late as this time and the trade there has been de-
scribed as that in which "no money circulates but articles
are traded for each other." 19 It should be remembered, too,
that society in New Mexico prior to 1821, and even to a
greater extent later, was essentially feudalistic with large
numbers of people living as peones in commissary fashion,
constantly in debt to the large landowners or ricos. In such an
atmosphere, surpluses of goods were not consistent enough to
encourage many storekeepers to ply their enterprise.

Only an occasional adumbration of the new era to come
can be discovered. Manuel Alvarez had a store in Santa Fe
for more than thirty years after 1824, and the tendency is to
judge him as a precursor of the larger mercantile capitalist.
His ledgers, however, show but three Eastern trips, some
bartering in Taos and Abiquiu, but no signs of imports and
exports on any scale. 20

Henry Connelly, having been a traveling merchant while
keeping a store in Chihuahua, later established branches in
Santa Fe, Las Vegas, Albuquerque, and Peralta. He became
too involved in political affairs, however, to have permitted
himself the opportunity of becoming a successful mercantile
capitalist. His death in 1866 snuffed out even the possibility. 21

Eugene Leitsendorfer, who appeared as a Santa Fe trader
in 1830, opened his store on the Plaza with his brother
Thomas and partner Jacob Houghton in 1844. He tried to
conduct a typical frontier, general merchandise business by
bringing finished goods from the East and returning the pro-
duce of the countryside in payment. He failed in 1848, an


event that may be taken as some evidence that his efforts were
premature. 22 The Goldstine Brothers was a merchant house
in Santa Fe as early as 1847 but it disappeared. 23 The Leitsen-
dorfers and Goldstines, however, were a foreshadowing of
the German Jewish mercantile capitalist who, in increasing
numbers, came to stay after the mid-point of the century.

The commercial revolution that was born in New Mexico
following the American Occupation in which the German
Jew played so large a part, cannot be thought of as a distin-
guished or isolated development in the far western or south-
western areas of the United States. It took place in an en-
vironment possessing a longer and more romantic history
than in neighboring areas, to be sure, and it had its begin-
nings almost as early as other similar developments in the
general region. It was similar, also, in most respects, to the
observable effects of the whole German immigration wave
that filtered throughout the United States following its force-
ful beginnings out of the European depression of 1836. 24

For that portion of the German immigrants who were of
Jewish persuasion roughly seven per cent between 1840
and 1880 25 the United States generally was as fertile a soil
for their peculiar talents and training as could be imagined.
As summary background for this statement we need only ex-
plore a few of the broader reasons.

The western Jew, more completely than his eastern Euro-
pean counterpart, had been confined in his business activities
to commerce and banking. The causes of this are not particu-
larly pertinent here, but, in passing, we should mention the
intellectual aversion of Greek and Christian civilizations to
the profit that arose from trading or money-lending. It was,
of course, the great scarcity of and need for both goods and
credit in a growing economy that offered opportunities for
abusive tactics and that placed this aversion in western phi-
losophy and within its dominant theology. Thus the Jew, a
man apart, was called upon to carry these burdens to satisfy
the needs of a Christian market.

Closely confined to these narrow fields of endeavor, the
western Jew became expert and often wealthy in his perform-


ance of these scorned but necessary economic functions. De-
spised for the work he performed and for the success he
achieved, continuously persecuted and frequently driven from
his native land, the Jew, as a matter of economic survival,
sharpened his talents for converting merchandise into money
and money into more money: in short, for becoming the
world's expert in the managing of mobile capital. 26 When the
Western World awakened to its commercial revolution in the
sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries, the Jew was
generations ahead in the quality of talents most in demand.

A change occurred in the organization of business in the
nineteenth century throughout western Europe, and in Ger-
many this change received emphasis. The commercial revolu-
tion had given away to industrial capitalism and with it,
particularly after 1812, the lot of the Jew improved signifi-
cantly. The need for Jewish capital was so great that one
authority has written: "the economic development actually
dictated equal rights for Jews." 27 Yet industrial capitalism,
dominated by large corporate and impersonal enterprises,
found the Jew declining in influence although he had been
instrumental in the founding of railroad and shipping com-
panies, electric manufacturing firms and chemical enter-
prises. 28 Monopoly increasingly excluded him by convention.
The Jew excluded himself by choice.

In the wealthier provinces of Germany, largely to the
south and west, the Jew remained in the smaller towns and
villages where the family commercial enterprises were the
center of rural activity 29 and where the ancestors of these
people had founded, in the tenth and eleventh centuries,
whole Jewish towns along the Rhine and Moselle Rivers. 30
In Wurtemburg, in 1846, eighty-one per cent of the Jews lived
in villages. 31 In Bavaria approximately the same percentage
were domiciled outside the five largest communities. 32 It was
from these provinces, including Baden and Westphalia, that
a heavy concentration of German Jews departed for the
United States. 33 They possessed a fair education and a rea-
sonable amount of capital, either of their own or to which
they had access. Although the depression beginning in 1836


had brought with it some political and social reaction against
them, it was the loss of economic hope in Germany and the
promise of economic success in America, spurred on by
agents of the new Cunard, and Hamburg- American lines, and
later the American railroads, that sent them on their way.

A large percentage of them were single with more than a
few dreaming of the day they could return under favorable
economic circumstances to marry a German girl and then to
take her back to the States. These immigrants had borne far
greater political and social restrictions in years past, yet they
had not left their homeland. It took a higher standard of liv-
ing, contributing the wherewithal to move, and the oppor-
tunity to emigrate to a growing economy of thousands of
small villages and towns, each dominating an agricultural
hinterland, to move them en masse. As one business historian
has written of these same migrants, "it was to the blandish-
ments of an economic rather than a political Utopia that the
common man succumbed." 34

This was the supply side of the equation for the years of
the nineteenth century following 1836. The demand side, on
the other hand, was most absorbent and strong. By 1840 there
were hundreds of small and growing centers stretching from
New England through the South and from the Atlantic to the
Mississippi. The United States was figuratively crying for
humanity to man its towns. Furthermore, the traditional
methods of wholesale and retail distribution were being
strained to the limit and were in need of supplement. As we
learn in the principles of economics: when such a demand
schedule intersects with such a supply schedule, something is
compelled to happen. Something did.

The German Jew, happy to work for himself even to be
permitted to observe his holidays if he wished, though diet
was another problem took his limited capital, turned it into
merchandise and, with pack on back, trudged out across the
countryside. When he had gained more than a pittance and
with his training and new environment there were few who
failed to do so he chose a small town of promise in which to
establish his general merchandise store. Soon this store be-


came a temporary training ground for relatives or Jewish
friends who needed some capital sustenance before seeking
independent enterprise. In many cases these newcomers
drummed the hinterland using their benefactor's base as a
source of supply. Scarcely a town of any importance in the
eastern United States was without its German Jewish mer-
chant by mid-century.

In the 1850's these people were beginning to repeat in the
western states the same encouragement to commercial devel-
opment that prior to the Mexican War and the California
Gold Rush had extended itself solidly into Missouri. 35 The
Jewish movement into Texas preceded those into the Terri-
tories by a few years, although there is little evidence that
the German Jew came in any numbers until after the Mexican
War. 36 In the next few years significant settlements of these
people were made along the Gulf Coast, principally in the
towns of Victoria and Galveston. 37

The California Gold Rush attracted a number of German
Jews who in the years 1849 and 1850 were making the trip
around the Horn, or by pack and mule across the Isthmus,
and then to San Francisco. 38 In the early 'fifties they were
converging from the west and the east on Salt Lake City 39
where the Mormons, following the historical antipathies to
trade, had left a near- vacuum 40 for the Jewish Gentiles. 41

The movement into Colorado did not occur with any force
until the 1860's when similar trends can be seen to have be-
gun in Arizona and Nevada. 42

When the German Jewish merchant came to New Mexico
at the close of the 1840's, his bed already had been made for
him by an enterprising, free-lance American trader who in
a decade and a half had come to dominate the market from
Independence to Chihuahua. This adventurous trader had
found a hole in Mexican business enterprise, and had quickly
poured his efforts into it. He had found the Mexican mer-
chant, with few exceptions, to possess little drive for material
productiveness. With little surprise he had discovered the
market, that had been served so ineffectually, to have been
strongly materialistic on the consumption side. To this trav-


eling merchant it had been worth braving the Indian, break-
ing the tariff wall, and bribing officials not alone for the
potential profit involved, but also for the spirit of adventure
that was part and parcel of it all.

If this adventurous traveling merchant had made a bed
for the German Jew, it was the more comfortable because of
the military intervention that quickly followed the economic
spearhead. To the Mexican nation that succumbed to this
display of force, there probably seemed to be no ring of equity
in it. There never is in any time or climate for those of us who
seek comfort behind intellectual and economic tariff walls. It
is a lasting truth that such protective complacencies are
weakening to those within and strengthening to those with-
out. The inevitability of this crumbling effect in New Mexico
to the year 1846 has been described by Charles and Mary
Beard, whose economic interpretations of history may be
closer to the truth than many present-day historians are
wont to admit : "Without capital and without stability, har-
assed by revolutions and debt, Mexico could not develop the
resources and trade of the northern empire to which she pos-
sessed the title of parchment and seals. More than that ....
she did not have the emigrants for that enterprise." 43

Even though the traveling merchant and the United
States military had made and smoothed a bed for the German
Jew, it is doubtful that this bachelor alien came to Santa Fe
to contemplate the comforts that had been prepared. In an
atmosphere that later, and after some desirable changes,
could be described as "no life for a lady/' 44 there were some
domestic comforts for which contemplation would be the only
proper word.

Into this land of hope and promise came Jacob Solomon
Spiegelberg. Whether or not he came with the thought of
settling down in New Mexico we do not know, for evidently
he came as part of the manpower of a supply train for Kear-
ny's troops. When Colonel Doniphan's regiment went on to
Chihuahua, Spiegelberg accompanied him. It was not until
he returned to Santa Fe with the regiment that, upon receiv-
ing an appointment as sutler to Fort Marcy, he established his


general merchandising firm. 45 The date is generally thought
to have been 1848, the same year that Brewerton described
the Santa Fe Plaza as a "very babel [of] French, English,
German, and Spanish. . . ," 46

A year later, or perhaps even sooner, there came to Taos
another German Jewish merchant Solomon Beuthner al-
though records are not available to fix the beginnings of the

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