History ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 5-23-1941


In the study of New Mexico's history for the period 1850 to 1860, many references to William Watts Hart Davis are found. His book, El Gringo, is as much quoted source for information of that decade. But, actually, there seems to be little known of the man, aside from his literary works. It is the purpose of this study to bring forth a few facts regarding Davis' residence in the Territory of New Mexico.

Davis' experiences on his journey to New Mexico, his observations of the inhabitants and their customs, and his duties as Attorney-General are incorporated in this thesis. There has been no attempt to include that period which Davis spent as Acting-Governor because of insufficient material covering that time. Included in the appendix is a copy of Davis' message to the New Mexico Legislative Assembly, given on December 2, 1855. Also, there are copies of the letters written by Davis while he was in New Mexico, as well as copies of letters received by him after he returned to Pennsylvania. These letters were published in the Bucks County Intelligencer and the Doylestown Democrat, and an effort has been made to reproduce them as they were found, including spelling and punctuation.

Level of Degree


Degree Name


Department Name


First Committee Member (Chair)

Dorothy Woodward

Second Committee Member


Third Committee Member





William Watt Hart Davis, El Gringo, New Mexico Territory, New Mexico Political History, Territorial Legislation

Document Type


Included in

History Commons