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Chasing the Santa Fe Ring

Power and Privilege in Territorial New Mexico
By David L. Caffey

Details

Overview

Winner of the 2015 Gaspar Pérez de Villagrá Award from the Historical Society of New Mexico

Winner of the 2014 Southwest Book Award from the Border Regional Library Association


Anyone who has even a casual acquaintance with the history of New Mexico in the nineteenth century has heard of the Santa Fe Ring—seekers of power and wealth in the post–Civil War period famous for public corruption and for dispossessing landholders. Surprisingly, however, scholars have alluded to the Ring but never really described this shadowy entity, which to this day remains a kind of black hole in New Mexico’s territorial history. David Caffey looks beyond myth and symbol to explore its history. Who were its supposed members, and what did they do to deserve their unsavory reputation? Were their actions illegal or unethical? What were the roles of leading figures like Stephen B. Elkins and Thomas B. Catron? What was their influence on New Mexico’s struggle for statehood? Caffey’s book tells the story of the rise and fall of this remarkably durable alliance.

Subjects: HistorySouthwest

Contributor Bios
David L. Caffey has served as director of the University of New Mexico’s Harwood Library and Museum in Taos, director of Instructional Support Services at San Juan College in Farmington, and vice president for instruction at Clovis Community College.