The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Santa Fé (capital)

Edition of 1879. See also Santa Fe, New Mexico on Wikipedia, and the disclaimer.

SANTA FÉ, the capital of New Mexico and of Santa Fé co., situated on both banks of Santa Fé creek, which flows W. 14 m. into the Rio Grande, at an elevation of 6,862 ft. above the sea, about 275 m. S. by W. of Denver, Colorado, and nearly 900 m. W. by S. of St. Louis, Mo.; lat. 35° 41' N., lon. 106° 10' W.; pop. in 1870, 4,765; in 1875, about 6,000, of whom about 5,000 are of Spanish and Mexican origin and speak the Spanish language. Stage coaches run daily to Pueblo, Col., about 190 m. N. N. E., the terminus of the Denver and Rio Grande railroad, and to Las Animas, Col., about 230 m. N. E., the terminus of a branch of the Kansas Pacific railroad and of the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fé railroad. There is telegraphic communication with Denver. Santa Fé is the centre of supplies for the surrounding country, and is constantly filled with freight wagons and carrying animals, the latter being the burros or donkeys commonly used in the territory. The valley in which it is situated is irrigated from Santa Fé creek and is surrounded by high mountains. The climate is very agreeable, the temperature never reaching either extreme, while the atmosphere is rare and pure. The town is irregularly laid out, and the unpaved streets are very narrow, crooked, and ancient-looking. The public square or plaza, containing about 2½ acres, is bordered on three sides by the principal business houses and on the fourth by the old “palace,” one story high, containing the governor's mansion, legislative hall, and court room. In the centre is a beautiful park of trees, chiefly cottonwoods, and here a soldiers' monument of native marble has been erected by the territorial legislature. The buildings are almost without exception of adobe and one story high. In the N. portion are the ruins of two unfinished stone buildings, the territorial capitol and penitentiary, congress having failed since 1855 to appropriate funds for their completion. Near these are the masonic and odd fellows' cemetery and the military and private cemeteries. Within the town is the military reservation of Fort Marcy. Santa Fé was incorporated as a city in 1852, but the succeeding legislature in 1853 repealed the charter. It has, however, municipal regulations and a police, under the prefect of the county. It contains two national banks, each having a capital of $150,000. The Roman Catholics have a college for boys and a conventual academy for girls, each attended by about 150 pupils. One newspaper, the daily and weekly “New Mexican,” is published in English and Spanish. There are four Roman Catholic churches and a Presbyterian mission church. The Episcopalians also have a resident missionary, but no church edifice. A new Roman Catholic cathedral is in course of construction around the old one, which is still used.—Santa Fé is known in the old church records and is often mentioned in the archives of the former governments of the country as the city of “Santa Fé de San Francisco de Asis,” St. Francis being the patron saint. St. Francis's day (Oct. 4) is still celebrated with much ceremony. When first visited by the Spaniards, about 1542, the town was a populous Indian pueblo. It is not known when it was first settled by the Spaniards, but it has been the capital of New Mexico since 1640. It was captured in 1680 and the principal buildings were burned by the Indians, who drove the whites from the country. It was recaptured by a Spanish force in 1694, when the inhabitants returned. The most formidable subsequent attack by the Indians was in 1837, when they were defeated by Manuel Armijo. It was occupied by the United States troops on Aug. 18, 1846. It was entered by the confederate forces from Texas on March 10, 1862, who were forced to evacuate it on April 8.


AmCyc Santa Fé.jpg

Street Scene in Santa Fé.