Letter from Manuel Armijo to Stephen Watts Kearny, 14 August 1846

Translation by Rick Hendricks

As governor and commander of the Department of New Mexico, I consulted the Most Excellent Assembly, received the ayuntamiento of Santa Fe, and convoked a meeting of the principal citizens of the Department. I explained to them all the very critical circumstances in which I found myself because this country has been invaded by the military forces of the United States of the North under Your Excellency's command, declaring to me that this land was part of Texas and therefore of that republic. I requested assistance from everyone to repulse this aggression. I did more. I called the people to the defense of their sacred rights. Masses of citizens, armed and mounted at their own expense, have all come hurriedly at my call. We all know that we should defend our country, and we want to defend it, but we cannot because our central government is hundreds of leagues away, and it is impossible for me to receive the necessary assistance to do so in time. I have very few troops to face Your Excellency in battle. I find myself constrained by need to march to the right bank of the Río Bravo del Norte, but I protest to Your Excellency before God and man that I do not recognize the Department of New Mexico as land of the republic of the north for many reasons I could express to Your Excellency. But I leave this question to the final decision of our governments. I shall only say to Your Excellency that New Mexico was never part of Texas. Even in the time of Spanish domination, it was a province entirely [independent] of any other and subordinate only to the court of Madrid.

            My heart is broken with pain to see the country in which I was born pass to another nation. I declare to Your Excellency formally and solemnly that I am not handing over the Department to you, and yes, I have begun a military withdrawal until I receive orders from my government, to whom I am reporting everything that happened.

            I recommend to you, colonel, the inhabitants of this beautiful country. They are worthy, as Your Excellency will see, of the consideration of the governments.

            Colonel don Diego Archuleta and Lieutenant Colonel don Mateo Allende have the task of placing in Your Excellency's hands my latest communication.

            I have the honor of awaiting Your Excellency's reply and thoughts.

            God and liberty, in camp in the canyon

14 August 1846

Coronel of the Neighboring Republic of the United States

S.W. Kearney