History ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 5-19-1965


The original intent of this paper was to examine some phase of the interrelationship of the Mexican, Indian, and United States' cultures in New Mexico during the two decades of Mexico administration. Research soon revealed that cultural conflicts only contributed their share to the problems which existed on this frontier. Identification of the problem areas narrowed the period of interest of the few years preceding the "bloodless conquest" of New Mexico by the United States. These years, roughly from 1840 to 1846, saw the culmination of a combination of circumstances over which New Mexican officials had little or no control. National policies were designed to benefit the more civilized areas of Mexico, and along with extending certain privileges to the inhabitants of a frontier, failed too long to recognize the reality of the situation which faced authorities in New Mexico. At length, when increasing Indian depredations and both real and continuing threats from Texas and the United States emphasized Mexico's vulnerability to invasion from the north, constant political upheavals wasted her strength.

Four major frontier problems are evident in the documentary materials consulted about the Department of New Mexico during this period: (1) the ever present threat of Indian rampage; (2) the increasingly menacing claim of Texas, and finally, the United States; (3) the constant difficulty of maintaining adequate defenses; and (4) the various internal predicaments created by, or contributing to, the previous problems. These are considered in chronological order: first in Part I as they concerned Armijo; again, in Part II, as they were assumed by Governor Martínez; and finally, in Part II, as they continued in the months when invasion from the United States seemed certain. Domestic problems are described more or less as they occurred, particularly when relative to other problems.

Level of Degree


Degree Name


Department Name


First Committee Member (Chair)

Donald Colgett Cutter

Second Committee Member

Troy Smith Floyd

Third Committee Member

Florence Hawley Ellis




New Mexico, Frontier, Texas-Santa Fe Expedition, Manuel Armijo, Mariano Martinez

Document Type