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Cross Cultural Marriages

Approximately 75,000 Spanish‑speaking people were living in the Southwest at the time of the American conquest in 1846. Although sharing a common language, religion, and Iberian heritage, they were not culturally homogeneous but were separated into several population centers, each with its distinct culture.

New Mexico Historical Review, October 1982, vol. 57, no. 4, p. 334.

Copyright by the  University of New Mexico Board of Regents. Posted  electronically by permission. All rights reserved.


Cross-Cultural Marriages in the Southwest:The New Mexico Experience, 1846‑1900

Darlis A. Miller

Approximately 75,000 Spanish‑speaking people were living in the Southwest at the time of the American conquest in 1846. Although sharing a common language, religion, and Iberian heritage, they were not culturally homogeneous but were separated into several population centers, each with its distinct culture. Different dates for migration and settlement as well as geographic isolation, environmental conditions, and Indian populations contributed to the diversity among Hispanic societies in Texas, California, Arizona, and New Mexico.[1]

Similarly, each center of population developed its pattern of assimilation of Anglo‑American culture. The adjustment made by Nuevo Mexicanos, for instance, was different from that made by Californios. But in each area, cross‑cultural marriages between Hispanic women and Anglo men contributed to the assimilation process. Recent sociological studies have emphasized the important role that intermarriage plays in assimilation. It is used as an index of social distance and has been called the “crucial test of acceptance of one group by another.”[2] In all sections of the Southwest, continuous and intimate contact between Hispanic and Anglo spouses helped to bridge cultural differences and eventually led to partial assimilation of some wives and their offspring into Anglo society.

Despite claims of one writer, who attributes cross‑cultural marriages to Anglo‑American land hunger,[3] Hispanic women were valued by Anglo men for many reasons: as helpmates, links to powerful Hispanic families, and as mothers, companions, and lovers. Still, women who married Anglo men typically were forced to adjust to changing environments, primarily because exogomous marriages disrupted primary group relationships and thus undermined the cohesiveness of Hispanic society.

Although cross‑cultural marriages occurred throughout the Southwest, scant information is available concerning their frequency, quality, or socioeconomic impact.[4] Jane Dysart, in her study of Hispanic women in San Antonio, gives the most complete in‑depth analysis of mixed marriages in Texas. She found that interethnic marriages between high‑status Hispanic women and Anglo men were relatively frequent in San Antonio, where at least one daughter in almost every mid‑nineteenth‑century upper‑class Hispanic family married an Anglo. This unleashed a process of assimilation that resulted in the Americanization of Anglo‑Hispanic families; in the vast majority of cases, sons and daughters of high-status mixed marriages married non‑Hispanos.[5]

Similar in‑depth studies of cross‑cultural marriages are lacking for others areas of the Southwest. Still, some writers offer intriguing theories about mixed unions that need to be substantiated and expanded by further research. James Officer, for example, has suggested that cross‑cultural marriages in Tucson helped establish amiable relations between Hispanos and Anglos following American acquisition of that region in 1853. In later years, descendants of these mixed unions linked the two ethnic groups and “helped maintain good relations ... in Tucson down to the present day.”[6]

Mixed marriages may have muted ethnic hostility in other areas of the Southwest as well. Carey McWilliams suggests that the few hundred American and European entrepreneurs who infiltrated California during the 1820s and 1830s became “hispanicized Anglos,” marrying daughters of the California elite, joining the Catholic Church, hispanicizing their names, and accepting Mexican citizenship.[7] But the assimilation of these men into Hispanic society was incomplete; at the time of American conquest, Anglo Americans enthusiastically supported the new regime and encouraged their Hispanic in‑laws to collaborate with the invader. Moreover, Anglo sons‑in‑law imparted subtle lessons in Americanization through their wives—daughters of such elite families as the Yorbas, Sepúlvedas, Bandinis, and Picos—and these ethnic alliances assured limited cultural fusion.[8] Research is sparse concerning cross‑cultural marriages in California for later years; Leonard Pitt points out, however, that marriage alliances in southern California con­tributed to a mixed cultural elite that was still evident in the 1880s.[9]

Few scholars of the Southwest, then, have systematically studied cross‑cultural marriages. And only Dysart concentrates on Hispanic women and the role they played in mixed unions. For all areas of the Southwest, detailed information is needed concerning the frequency of intermarriage, the social class of spouses, and the tensions and stresses accompanying these unions. To shed light on these and other factors, this paper will focus on intermarriage in nineteenth‑century New Mexico, emphasizing the assimilation process and the nature of social change as it affected Hispanic women. To a limited extent, women who intermarried became culturally uprooted because of the physical mobility of Anglo husbands. By focusing on New Mexico, a territory having the largest Spanish-speaking population in the Southwest in 1846, it will be possible to establish a basis for comparison with other areas.

At the time of American conquest, an estimated 60,000 Spanish-speaking settlers--four‑fifths of all Spanish‑speaking people in the Southwest--resided in New Mexico.[10] The Anglo‑American population was considerably smaller. After Mexico achieved independence and opened its borders to foreigners in the 1820s, Anglo merchants and adventurers began trickling into the territory so that by the 1850s there was an Anglo population of between 500 and 1200 people.[11] Arriving without wives or relatives, many early Anglo settlers married into the territory’s elite Hispanic families. Two daughters of the wealthy Jaramillo family, for example, married respectively Charles Bent, first Anglo governor of New Mexico, and Christopher “Kit” Carson, famous fur trapper and explorer. Henry Connelly, a Kentuckian who became well known as a merchant and later as Civil War governor of New Mexico, married into the influential Perea family, while Charles Beaubien of French-Canadian heritage married a daughter of the prominent Lovato family.[12] These marriages tied an intruding foreign population to the ruling class of New Mexico and smoothed transition to American rule.

At the time of American conquest, New Mexico was a highly stratified society in which a small wealthy class (ricos) controlled social, economic, and political power. Most New Mexicans were illiterate and poor (pobres), subsisting in small rural villages or working on large ranches. Many were held in debt peonage, which meant virtual labor for life to a wealthy land owner.[13] After American takeover, Hispanic elite were forced to share political and economic power with Anglos, but Hispanos continued to be powerful in politics and business into present times.[14]

The first significant influx of Anglos in the American era came during the Civil War, when more than two thousand Union soldiers‑members of the California Column‑marched from the Pacific Coast to New Mexico to help expel Confederates who had invaded the territory. More than three hundred California veterans remained in New Mexico after their discharge, adding significantly to the Anglo population.[15] Following the war, New Mexico experienced steady population growth, partly as a result of high birth rates but also because a slow but steady trickle of Anglo‑American immigrants turned into a vigorous stream after railroads entered the territory in 1879.[16]

Perhaps the most distinctive characteristic of the small Anglo community in New Mexico through the 1870s was its sex‑ratio imbalance. Anglo men typically arrived in New Mexico without wives or families, and in early territorial days an Anglo woman was a rare sight. This sex imbalance encouraged unions between Anglo men and Hispanic women, though other factors also contributed to the high frequency of interethnic marriages. Despite cultural and physical differences, for example, the predominant Hispanic culture had no sanctions against mixed marriages, and many Hispanic families welcomed Anglos into their homes, thus filling a void for the newcomers caused by loss of intimacy and family life.[17] In addition, potential barriers to intermarriage were eliminated due to the isolation of Anglos from more restrictive eastern mores. Nonetheless, Anglo Americans were color‑conscious and generally chose lighter‑skinned women for mates. But this practice paralleled the Hispanic custom of equating lighter skin with higher social class.[18] Certainly differences in skin color did not prevent social intermingling and intermarriage; socially isolated Anglo men welcomed friendships and social contacts within the Hispanic community.

It is true that European and American visitors to New Mexico in the early years were highly critical of Hispanic society, although they reserved their harshest judgements for lower‑class customs and mores. These observers frequently recorded in letters and diaries the alleged sins as well as virtues of New Mexican women. Many criticized the women’s attitudes about marriage vows and their general moral laxity; others were shocked by their immodest attire.[19]

Opinions varied regarding the physical attractiveness of Hispanic women. A twenty‑nine-year‑old private stationed in New Mexico during the Civil War expressed distaste for Mexican women whom he described “as black as the ace of spades and ugly as sin.” But other troopers agreed with the soldier‑correspondent who listed the “sunny smiles of the Castilian beauties” as one of the pleasures to be enjoyed in the small town of Mesilla.[20] Moreover, Hispanic women were universally praised for their kindness and hospitality. [21] Although Anglos viewed their society as superior to that of Hispanos, the many Anglos who married New Mexican women indicated their need and regard for the latter.

Because Anglo migration to New Mexico during territorial days was preponderantly male, cross‑cultural marriages were almost exclusively between Hispanic women and Anglo men. From early days of Spanish settlement, however, interethnic unions had characterized New World society. Many Spanish conquistadores legally married Indian women while others took them as mistresses. The presence of Spanish‑speaking mulattoes in the colonial Southwest reflects similar unions between blacks and Hispanos.[22]

In post‑Civil War New Mexico, cross‑cultural unions other than between Anglo males and Hispanic females were rare, although some of the most prominent Hispanic men in territorial New Mexico were married to Anglo women, as for example, Miguel A. Otero and J. Francisco Chavez, each of whom served as territorial delegate to Congress.[23] Occasionally Spanish‑speak­ing men of lesser status wed Anglo women or lived in informal relationships with Indian women. Census returns also reveal other interethnic unions. In the small mining community of Silver City, for instance, there resided in 1880 a Chinese laundryman who was married to an Hispanic woman and also an Hispanic laundress who had wed a black man.[24] Still, throughout the nineteenth century, cross‑cultural marriages most frequently occurred between Anglo men and Spanish‑speaking women.

Nancie Gonzáles correctly stated more than a decade ago that during the early years after American conquest “intermarriage between Anglo men and Mexican women was apparently quite common and not restricted to any particular social class.”[25] Manuscript census schedules for 1870 and 1880 indicate that the overwhelming majority of married Anglo men residing in the territory were married to Hispanic women. Census data for 1870 for three small towns in sprawling Doña Ana County in southern New Mexico testify to the frequency of mixed unions. In the town of Las Cruces, 90 percent of married Anglo men were married to Hispanos; in Mesilla, 83 percent; in Doña Ana, 78 percent. A decade later percentages had declined to 69 percent and 50 percent for Las Cruces and Mesilla respectively, while Doña Ana—a small Hispanic community inhabited by only four married Anglo males—now registered 100 percent.[26]

In the territorial capital of Santa Fe, where large numbers of Anglos resided in 1870, 63 percent of Anglo family men were united in mixed marriages. On the other hand, the mining town of Silver City, inhabited mainly by unattached Anglo males, recorded a low percentage of married men wed to Hispanos—33 percent in 1870 and 23 percent in 1880.[27]

Data concerning military personnel also support the contention that cross‑cultural marriages were not uncommon. Most soldiers who arrived in the territory during the Civil War were bachelors, and many who settled in New Mexico after mustering out of the service married Hispanic women. To cite but three examples: Lt. John E. Oliphant of New York married Helena Martínez in Las Cruces one month prior to his discharge; Pvt. Patrick Higgins, an Irishman, married a fourteen‑year‑old Hispanic girl in a Catholic ceremony at Mesilla two years before he mustered out of the service; and Lt. Albert J. Fountain, stationed at Fort Fillmore, fell in love with sixteen‑year‑old Maríana Pérez and married her while he was still a soldier.[28]

Nearly two hundred California veterans are listed in the 1870 New Mexico census; over half lived as single men or in households lacking women of marriageable age. Of the eighty‑nine who lived in households that included their wives or women of marriageable age, ten were married to Anglo women, while seventy‑nine were married to or living with Hispanic women.[29] These figures tend to support an observation made by a Santa Fe resident that in the years immediately after the war “so few of the Americans were married ... that a married man was an exceptional man.”[30] Yet the typical veteran who did marry, wed a Spanish‑speaking woman.

Although many Anglo men who journeyed to New Mexico in the 1820s and the 1830s married into elite Spanish families, military records and census returns indicate that mixed marriages in subsequent years were not limited to upper‑class members. Among the laboring and artisan class who entered mixed unions were farm laborers, carpenters, blacksmiths, miners, butchers, cooks, and numerous small farmers. The women who married these men frequently came from humble surroundings. Margaret Estrada performed housework in private homes and local hotels before marrying a small Lincoln County farmer. Felipa Montoya worked as a servant in a private residence in Belen before she wed a stage coach driver. María Baca was a laundress at Fort Craig during the Civil War and later married an Anglo rancher and farmer. Not infrequently these women were left destitute upon the death of their husbands. Cruzita Apodaca, a case in point, took in washing and ironing to maintain herself after her blacksmith‑husband, Joseph D. Emerson, died in Socorro.[31]

For many New Mexican women, a rise in social status accompanied marriage to an Anglo. The latter generally‑but not always‑had more money to spend than his Hispanic counterpart and usually was better educated. Because income and literacy rates provide indirect means to assess opportunities for socioeconomic mobility, data from selected areas can shed light on this aspect of interethnic unions.

In one rural precinct bordering the Tularosa River in southern New Mexico, the average Anglo and Hispanic settler reported modest wealth in 1870. Oral tradition handed down through several generations of Tularosa dwellers affirms that when the area was settled in the 1860s, all the settlers—Anglo and Hispanic alike—were poor. The 1870 census tends to confirm this observation. Although Perfecto Armijo, a local merchant, listed his personal assets at three thousand dollars, the vast majority of Hispanos either failed to declare assets or claimed personal assets below three hundred dollars. Anglo men living in the precinct who had Spanish‑speaking wives tended to have assets in excess of five hundred dollars.[32]

Educational levels in territorial New Mexico were abysmally low; the vast majority of Hispanic men and women could neither read nor write. New Mexican women who formed cross‑cultural unions with Anglos generally were slightly better educated than their sisters who married endogamously. Literacy data from Santa Fe in 1870 shows that in Precinct 3, 62 percent of women in mixed unions were illiterate compared to 87 percent who married Hispanos. In Precinct 4, the figures were 74 percent and 84 percent respectively. But a great educational chasm separated men whom Hispanic women chose to marry. Only 8 percent of Anglo men who had intermarried in Precinct 3 and 9 percent in Precinct 4 were totally or partially illiterate, while the percentages for married Hispanic men were 72 percent and 69 percent respectively. If sociologists are correct in citing ability to read and write as an index of power and social standing, it is apparent that women who married into the Anglo community enhanced their opportunity for social and economic mobility.[33]

One prime factor affecting rates of intermarriage was the degree of social contact between members of different ethnic groups. Upper‑class Hispanic women were less restricted than their nonelite sisters in seeking opportunities to establish social relationships with Anglo outsiders. From the days of earliest contact, social intercourse was common between Anglo men and the Hispanic elite. They exchanged visits, attended the same parties, and danced at the same bailes. Social life in Santa Fe during territorial days has been described as “a hybrid product” of a joint upper‑class society.[34]

Lower‑class Spanish‑speaking women, nonetheless, had the opportunity to establish social relationships with Anglo newcomers. Small towns adjacent to military posts staged frequent dances where local women fraternized with soldiers. One lonely trooper reported that dances were fine amusements as “the Mexican gals are very gay.”[35] Then, too, women employed as camp laundresses had ample opportunity to mingle with the troops. Because there were so many “loose women” hovering around military camps, an order issued during the Civil War stated that only married women be employed as laundresses. At least one Hispanic laundress thereafter entered into a written contract with a soldier that they live together as man and wife, though they were not officially married. Upon being discharged three years later, the soldier tore up the contract, left his “wife,” and went off to Texas.[36]

The lives of some military laundresses reflected the easy morality characteristic of Hispanic society that shocked Anglo visitors in early territorial days. Describing New Mexico in the 1850s, U. S. Attorney W. W. H. Davis lamented that “probably there is no other country in the world claiming to be civilized, where vice is more prevalent among all classes of the inhabitants . . . . The standard of female chastity is deplorably low, and the virtuous are far outnumbered by the vicious.”[37]

In Hispanic culture, an official system of morality demanded formal marriages, but folk practices accepted informal unions that church and state officials reluctantly tolerated. Moreover, social class shaped standards of morality. A double standard in upper-class society demanded legal marriage and chastity for women but allowed men to keep mistresses and flaunt their sexual prowess. In lower‑class society, the double standard merged with folk custom that sanctioned greater sexual freedom for women.[38]

Evidence of informal unions and easy morality is scattered in a number of sources—local legislative records, church documents, census schedules, and military pension files. The territorial legislature occasionally enacted laws that legitimatized the offspring of unmarried parents, as in the case of Juana María Gonzáles and John F. Collins, former territorial Indian superintendent and owner of the Santa Fe Gazette.[39] Moreover, local priests recorded in baptismal records that certain children were “natural” rather than legitimate offspring of their parents.[40]

Although researchers must use manuscript census schedules judiciously, these records can provide leads for untangling community attitudes towards sex and morality. The fact that certain enumerators in 1880 described the relationship between the head of household and a woman as husband and wife did not necessarily mean that the two had been formally married. The accuracy of the relationship rested to some degree on the moral perspective of the enumerator. Most enumerators‑Anglo and Hispanic alike‑made infrequent use of the word “mistress” in defining a woman’s relationship to the head of household, but the census taker for the predominantly Anglo mining town of Silver City repeatedly made use of that term, revealing his more puritanical approach to informal unions.[41]

Upon the deaths of military men, wives and other survivors became eligible for federal pensions. In the course of investigating their claims, federal agents recorded personal histories of many Hispanic women, and these files contain rare insights into intimate relations. Testimony by Hispanic women reveals that some had borne children out of wedlock prior to their marriage to Anglo husbands. Felipa Montoya, to cite one example, stated that she had never married prior to her marriage to a soldier in the California Column, although she had given birth to four children: two children shared the same Hispanic natural father, while two different Hispanos fathered the remaining two children.[42]

Several veterans of the California Column entered into common law marriages with Hispanic women after they left the service. One old soldier later stated in a deposition that after the war “it was very common for ex‑soldiers and Mexican women to live together years before marriage and in many instances not marry until the law suggested.”[43] The Dutchman Linklain Butin of Pinos Altos lived for seven years in such an arrangement with his wife Candelaria, who gave birth to two children during those years. When the old soldier became seriously ill in 1876, he and Candelaria were legally married though Linklain died a few days after the marriage. Several years later, when Candelaria applied for a widow’s pension, she testified that “we had all the time we were living together intended to get married but kept putting it off thinking to be married by a Catholic priest[.] But we seldom saw one and we never had any spare money to go to one until finally he was taken sick[.] So we were married while he was on his death bed by the justice of the peace so that our children might not suffer from our failure to do so.”[44]

When Butin and other members of the California Column arrived in New Mexico, they discovered a society that differed from theirs in language, customs, and mode of living, and these differences had considerable bearing on the nature of cross‑cultural marriages. The traditional center of life in territorial New Mexico was the isolated village with its patron saint standing guard over the health and wealth of the community. Margaret Mead has stated succinctly that “to be Spanish American is to be of a village.”[45] It was from the village that an individual gained identity, rather than from a larger national or cultural entity, and an intricate webb of kinship fused village members into a cohesive and supportive folk society.

To be Hispanic American, again quoting Margaret Mead, “is to belong to a familia.”[46] Spanish culture valued large families, and in New Mexico extended families, consisting of parents, children, and a wide circle of relatives, were common. The familia did not reside always under the same roof but frequently consisted of several households in proximity that together functioned as a unit.

The Hispanic family was patriarchal in structure; authority of the father‑-and of the oldest male‑-was unquestioned. In return, the patriarch owed loyalty to the family and was responsible for its welfare. This paternalistic and authoritarian institution demanded submissiveness in women who were regarded by males as irrational, childlike, and in need of strong discipline. The appropriate role for a woman was as housekeeper and mother because her interests centered on producing children and caring for the family. Although census records reveal that some Hispanic women worked outside the home, chiefly as laundresses, servants, and occasionally as teachers, there was no basic alteration in prescribed sex roles throughout the nineteenth century. Women were family oriented and expected to stay at home.[47]

Despite other differences, Anglo and Hispanic societies were both masculine oriented and each assigned subordinant roles to women. Submissiveness in Hispanic wives suited Anglo men since this behavior was also prescribed in Anglo society. Unfortunately, diaries, letters, and journals written by Hispanic women are rare, making it difficult to assess the impact that interethnic marriages had on Hispanic women. To pose one important question, did marriage to an Anglo male force Spanish‑speaking women to alter role expectations? Based on available evidence, the answer apparently is no. The vast majority of Hispanic women who married Anglo men cared for children and households.[48] It should be noted, however, that although Anglo men expected women to be submissive, they also valued women as helpmates and companions. These Anglo‑oriented values may have placed subtle pressures on women to modify traditional behavior and indeed may have increased their power and independence.[49]

Although the quality and essence of family life within a cross-cultural marriage cannot be restructured with absolute certainty, it is possible to speculate on what it meant to be an Hispanic woman married to an Anglo man. Interethnic marriages tend to break down cultural differences and to cause partial assimilation of one or both partners into their spouse’s society. Researchers have pointed out, however, that ethnic identities are hardy things, difficult to erode, and, certainly, New Mexico proved to be no melting pot.[50] Still, Hispanic women who married Anglo husbands experienced subtle pressures for change that women who married in the traditional manner did not encounter. And although the first foreigners to enter New Mexico in the 1820s may have blended into Hispanic society, newcomers who arrived following annexation toiled to reestablish social institutions and the amenities that they had known in former homes. Rather than being assimilated into Hispanic society, Anglo husbands became agents for social change.

Possibly the greatest strain many women endured in cross‑cultural marriages was their physical removal from village and familia. Nineteenth‑century American society was extremely mobile; pioneers moved from one section of the country to another to exploit natural resources and to build new careers in distant and oftentimes unsettled regions. Anglo men who migrated to the territory and subsequently married Hispanic women were themselves examples of this mobile society, and their restlessness continued in New Mexico. Their Hispanic wives frequently found themselves in regions distant from former homes when they accompanied husbands to isolated ranches, raw mining camps, and even to regions outside the territory. These women were separated not only from Hispanic friends and relatives but oftentimes from female companionship as well.

Silver City, which emerged in 1870 as a rough mining camp in southwestern New Mexico, illustrates the isolation all women experienced who followed husbands in their search for quick wealth. When the census was recorded for that year, the camp had a population of eighty people, the overwhelming majority of whom were Anglo males. Two Anglo‑American women accompanied their husbands to the mines, while four Hispanic women resided there, one of whom was married to an Anglo miner. Conditions were similar in the nearby mining camp of Ralston where in 1870 six Hispanic women were living with Anglo men in nuclear households. The camp was devoid of Anglo women.[51] In both camps Hispanic women were deprived of the rich religious life and kinship ties that animated and strengthened traditional society.

Some Spanish‑speaking wives followed Anglo husbands beyond the borders of the territory. Yeneca Montoya married her Anglo husband in 1865 in the small town of Sapello forty miles east of Santa Fe; at the time of her death thirty‑two years later she was living at Tascosa, a lawless town in the Texas Panhandle. Children born to Juana Barela testify to the mobile life that she led following her marriage to miner John Van Order at Silver City in 1879. Her first child was born in Clifton, Arizona, her second in Chihuahua, Mexico, and the following two in El Paso, Texas, and Morenci, Arizona. Juana herself died in 1910 at Salomonville in Arizona territory. Occasionally Hispanic women accompanied their soldier-husbands eastward after leaving the service. Tersita Vigil of Las Cruces, for example, married Capt. Thomas P. Chapman in 1864 and subsequently moved with him to Iowa and then Nebraska where they settled on a homestead. Following his death in the seventies, Tersita returned to New Mexico.[52]

Like other frontier women, Hispanic wives who moved to sparsely populated regions commonly were left to fend for themselves when Anglo husbands were absent for long periods of time. This was true of women who lived in the small agricultural community of Mimbres, some twenty miles northeast of Silver City, since the men of that community frequently journeyed to distant mines or to the county seat to attend district court.[53] Although the town had a total population of 180 in 1870 and had ceased to exist as a viable community by the following decade, its brief history illustrates conditions affecting assimilation in cross‑cultural marriages. Mimbres was inhabited in 1870 by fifty adult Hispanic women, forty‑three adult Hispanic men, five adult Anglo women, and forty‑one adult Anglo men. Fourteen of the latter were married to Hispanic women while five had Anglo wives. Some Mimbres women who had intermarried may have had relatives among the town’s Hispanic population, but the large number of Anglos undoubtedly had a stronger Americanizing influence on women of mixed marriages than on those who had married endogamously.[54]

In Mimbres, as elsewhere, the ethnic tendency to congregate meant that Anglo men frequently socialized with other Anglos, and their Hispanic wives therefore came into greater contact with non-Hispanic values. Moreover, at least fourteen Mimbres residents had served in the California Column, and they retained their identity as “Column Men” or “California boys” for the rest of their lives. This unique martial bond strengthened the Anglo community and to some extent neutralized the lack of familial ties among Anglos, as for example, when Helena and John E. Oliphant chose Josiah Hull, a former soldier in the California Column, as a godparent for their youngest son, rather than choosing, say, a Hispanic relative. Moreover, several former soldiers, including Oliphant, persuaded relatives to join them in New Mexico, thus providing further reinforcements for the Americanization of their families. [55]

The ethnic tendency to club together is vividly reflected in settlement patterns as disclosed in manuscript census returns. Census enumerators were instructed to list adjacent households consecutively, and even allowing for errors of omission their tabulations reveal the ethnic composition of a community or district. To cite but one example, about 640 individuals resided in Precinct 4 of Lincoln County in 1870. Seventeen were adult Anglo men, ten of whose names are listed seriatim in the census for that year. Of the ten Anglos living in close proximity, five were married to Hispanic women and one to an Anglo woman. Since households in this rural precinct were widely dispersed, Hispanic women in mixed marriages were more likely to have Anglos rather than Hispanos for their nearest neighbors. In addition, the five Anglo‑Hispanic families lived in nuclear households, bereft of additional Hispanic relatives who might have counterbalanced the Americanizing influence on Spanish‑speaking wives and their children.[56]

Anglos not only settled in proximity, they jointly worked to change New Mexico society so that it more closely resembled that found in more settled portions of the United States. Anglo men married to Spanish‑speaking women helped spearhead the drive for public education that arose in the territory in the 1870s and 1880s, although some sent their children east for schooling, a procedure greatly accelerating the process of assimilation. In addition to tax-supported education, Anglo men sponsored public lyceums, organized musical and theatrical events, joined fraternal lodges and veterans organizations—all of which served as vehicles for community improvement as well as forums for political discussion. Clearly, substantial numbers of Anglo men who wed New Mexican women formed primary social and fraternal ties with other Anglos, thereby exerting pressure upon their families to assimilate into Anglo society. Thus, Hispanic wives frequently participated in fraternal activities organized by their Anglo husbands. By 1890, for example, a ladies’ auxiliary of the Grand Army of the Republic had been formed in Las Cruces. All but two of its forty‑two members were either Anglo women or Hispanic wives and daughters of Anglo men.[57]

Husbands also placed pressures on Hispanic wives to adopt Anglo‑American health practices. One army sergeant stationed at Fort Craig had the post doctor attend his Hispanic wife during pregnancy. When she went to nearby La Mesa to be among her family for final delivery, her husband insisted that the post doctor continue to see her at the family home.[58]

Although large numbers of mixed marriages endured until the death of one partner, some ended in divorce. Divorce was not very common in the Spanish Southwest because of strong religious sanctions against it, and, although no statistical study has been made, available evidence indicates that Hispanic women who married Anglo men were more likely to experience divorce than New Mexican women married within the Hispanic community. Some divorces came after Anglo husbands abandoned their Hispanic wives. Francisca Taylor of Mesilla, for example, was granted a divorce from her husband after the courts judged Robert Taylor guilty of “Cruelty and Abandonment.”[59]

A second woman abandoned by her Anglo husband was Rosario Catanach. The daughter of a Kentucky‑born father and a Hispanic mother, Rosario had married David Catanach in 1867 at the age of fifteen. Over the next fifteen years, Rosario gave birth to thirteen children, including three pairs of twins. Living in Santa Fe, Rosario experienced a mental breakdown after the premature birth of her last child during the spring of 1881. One son James reported that David deserted his wife a few months after her illness and subsequently went to Lincoln County where he established a ranch. A second son John believed the cause of separation was his father’s hard drinking—“he would be drunk for a week at a time”—rather than his mother’s breakdown. A third son Archibald felt that the separation was caused by his grandparents; they took Rosario to their home after she became ill, claiming that David was not providing her proper care. Although Catanach was granted a divorce in 1885, he subsequently deeded property he owned in Santa Fe to Rosario and her children. He later left the territory and never again saw his children.[60]

If divorce was more common among women who intermarried, so too was the potential for internal stress during times of ethnic conflict. One of the most notorious lawless episodes in New Mexico’s history involved the Socorro vigilantes who split the town of Socorro into two armed camps pitting Anglos against Hispanos. In 1880 Socorro was a thriving community of about 1300 people located on the Rio Grande river seventy miles south of Albuquerque. Gold and silver had been discovered in nearby mountains, and the town was full of prospectors and drifters looking for new opportunities.

The tragedy that led to violent ethnic conflict occurred Christmas Eve 1880 when three brothers by the name of Baca, nephews of the leading Hispanic merchant in the city, killed the editor of the local newspaper. The machinery of the law was in the hands of Hispanos, who backed the powerful Baca family in protecting the brothers. Subsequently, a vigilante group was formed by Anglo members of the community, headed by Col. E. W. Eaton, veteran of the Civil War who was himself married to an Hispanic woman. The vigilantes held daily meetings, and membership became practically compulsory for Anglos of any standing in the community. The 1880 census for Socorro lists the names of 109 Anglo men, ten of whom were married to Anglo women and sixteen married to Hispanos. Unfortunately a complete vigilante membership list is unavailable so that it becomes difficult to assess the impact of Hispanic wives on vigilante membership. The fact that Colonel Eaton led the vigilantes, however, indicates that ethnic loyalties of Hispanic wives had minimal effect in determing actions of their Anglo husbands. But undoubtedly ethnic conflict placed a terrible strain upon Hispanic women and their children.[61]

Despite conflicts and tensions, marriage to an Anglo started the process of assimilation for Spanish‑speaking women and their offspring. The degree of Americanization that occurred varied according to local circumstances and personalities of husband and wife. Some wives adopted an Anglo mode of living but retained Spanish customs, becoming bicultural in the process. Others took up certain external features of American culture but, for all intents and purposes, remained wedded to the traditional folk society.[62]

Scarcity of literary and oral sources, however, complicates efforts to understand the process of assimilation, and manuscript census schedules, though revealing much about household organization and residential practices, shed very little light on the degree to which individuals have accepted an alien culture. One key to the assimilation process rests with the second generation. What happened to the children of mixed marriages? Hispanic influences were undoubtedly great in early years of childhood, as parents generally had children baptized in the Roman Catholic Church and selected godparents from Hispanic friends and relatives. In many instances, households included one or more members of the mother’s family.[63] At the same time, however, children underwent a variety of experiences that aided assimilation into Anglo society. Spanish was not universally spoken in the home, and it is probable that many children of mixed unions learned English as their first language.[64] Also helping to assimilate children into their father’s ethnic group were attendance at schools, visits by Anglo relatives, and the presence of English‑speaking neighbors.[65]

Choice of marriage partners by the second generation no doubt strengthened identification with either the mother’s or the father’s ethnic group. After sifting through countless marriage and baptismal records, one discovers that no single pattern emerged in New Mexico, as it did in San Antonio, relative to marriage patterns among children of Anglo‑Hispanic unions. The majority of children born of intercultural marriages who can be traced in church and civil records in one county‑Doña Ana‑married into Hispanic society. This appears to be true of upper‑class children as well as those born into families of modest means.[66] However, variations are many.

Children of mixed marriages frequently married individuals who were themselves the products of cross‑cultural unions, while numerous families of mixed ancestry had sons and daughters who married into each of the ethnic groups. María Silva and David Wood of Las Cruces, for example, produced at least one daughter who married an Hispano as well as a son and a daughter who each married offspring of mixed unions. Francisca Lujan and Henry Cuniffe, on the other hand, raised at least three daughters who married Anglos, while a fourth daughter married the Hispanic sheriff of Las Cruces. In few families did all sons and daughters marry into Anglo society, whereas several families can be located whose children married entirely within the Hispanic ethnic group.[67]

Cross‑cultural marriages occurred in all areas of the Southwest, bringing changes to the lives of many Hispanic women and accelerating the rate of Americanization. A decade ago, a prominent scholar challenged western historians to focus their research on the meeting of cultures in the West, to analyze and define the dynamic interaction between different peoples, as a means of providing new and fruitful insights into the settlement of the American West.[68] To understand fully the role that mixed unions played in this process, detailed studies for each major settlement area are needed. In addition, oral histories must be collected from families resulting from intermarriages. In this manner it may be possible to develop clearer perceptions of the quality of mixed marriages and to assess more carefully the tensions placed on Hispanic women who entered such unions.

Scholars generally agree that by the beginning of the twentieth century some degree of Americanization had been experienced throughout the Spanish Southwest. As one recent interpreter of this region has stated, “by a process of accretion, American ways made inroads.”[69] When further studies of mixed unions are completed, it will probably be apparent that these marriages played a significant role in this process and that the New Mexico experience was reflected in varying degrees throughout the Southwest.


1. See Rodman W. Paul, “The Spanish‑Americans in the Southwest, 1848-1900,” in The Frontier Challenge: Responses to the Trans‑Mississippi West, ed. John G. Clark (Lawrence: University of Kansas Press, 1971), pp. 32‑34. The best overviews of Hispanic societies in the Southwest, emphasizing their diversity, are Carey McWilliams, North From Mexico: The Spanish‑Speaking People of the United States (New York: Greenwood Press, 1968); Matt S. Meier and Feliciano Rivera, The Chicanos, A History of Mexican‑Americans (New York: Hill and Wang, 1972); Paul, “The Spanish‑Americans in the Southwest."

2. See for example Leo Grebler, Joan W. Moore, and Ralph Guzman, The Mexican American People: The Nation’s Second Largest Minority (New York: Free Press, 1970), pp. 405‑6; Frank G. Mittelbach, Joan W. Moore, and Ronald McDaniel, Intermarriage of Mexican‑Americans, Mexican‑American Study Project, No. 6 (Los Angeles: University of California, 1966), pp. 1, 5. Quote is from Husuf Dadabhay, “Circuitous Assimilation Among Rural Hindustanis in California,” Social Forces 33 (December 1954): 141. Although there are many definitions for the term assimilation, here it means to become more like the contact group.

3. Mittelbach, Moore, and McDaniel, Intermarriage, p. 45.

4. Few studies have been completed on intermarriage in the nineteenth century. Most sociologists have focused their research on twentieth‑century intermarriages. But see conference paper by Richard M. Bernard, “Intermarriage Patterns Among Immigrants and Natives of Wisconsin, 1850‑1920” (paper presented at the Ninth Annual Conference on Social‑Political History, 1976).

 5. Jane Dysart, “Mexican Women in San Antonio, 1830‑1860: The Assimilation Process,” Western Historical Quarterly 7 (October 1976): 370‑72. Such was not the case in rural and isolated regions along the lower Rio Grande, however, where, according to Jovita Gonzáles, descendants of Anglo‑Hispanic families attended school in Mexico and merged into Hispanic culture. Jovita Gonzáles, “Social Life in Cameron, Starr, and Zapata Counties” (Master’s thesis, University of Texas, Austin, 1930), pp. 69‑70.

6. James Officer, “Historical Factors in Inter Ethnic Relations in the Community of Tucson,” Arizoniana 1 (Fall 1960): 13‑14. For a recent study of intermarriage in northern New Mexico that stresses the fact that intermarriages contributed to, or were signs of, amiable relations between Hispanos and Anglos, see Rebecca McDowell Craver, The Impact of Intimacy: Mexican‑Anglo Intermarriage in New Mexico, 1821‑1846, Southwestern Studies, No. 66 (El Paso: Texas Western Press, 1982).

7. McWilliams, North From Mexico, p. 90.

8. McWilliams, North From Mexico, pp. 90‑91; Leonard Pitt, The Decline of the Californios: A Social History of the Spanish‑Speaking Californians, 1846‑1890 (Berkeley & Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1966), pp. 110, 125.

9. Pitt, Decline of the Californios, pp. 267‑68.

10. McWilliams, North From Mexico, p. 52. Estimates of the number of His­panos in the Southwest may need to be refined. See Oscar J. Martínez, “On the Size of the Chicano Population: New Estimates, 1850‑1900,” Aztlán 6 (Spring 1975): 43‑67.

11. Robert W. Larson, New Mexico’s Quest for Statehood, 1846‑1912 (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico [UNMI Press, 1968), p. 71.

12. James M. Lacy, “New Mexican Women in Early American Writings,” New Mexico Historical Review [NMHR] 34 (January 1959): 50; Ralph Emerson Twitchell, The Leading Facts of New Mexican History, 5 vols. (Cedar Rapids, Iowa: Torch Press, 1912), 2: 273, 391. María Ignacia Jaramillo was the common‑law wife of Charles Bent.

13. Paul, “Spanish Americans,” p. 36. Communities in northern New Mexico lacked class stratification, however, and were characterized by equalitarian relations among residents. See Paul Kutsche, ed., The Survival of Spanish American Villages, The Colorado College Studies, No. 15 (Colorado Springs: Colorado College, 1979), pp. 15‑17.

14. For a summary of the political and economic development of New Mexico until statehood, see Howard R. Lamar, The Far Southwest, 1946‑1912: A Terri­torial History (New York: W. W. Norton and Co., 1970).

15. Darlis A. Miller, “A Civil War Legacy: Californians in New Mexico” (Ph.D. dissertation, UNM, 1977), p. 60.

16. Lamar, Far Southwest, p. 107.

17. Miller, “Civil War Legacy,” p. 19. Oral history records that shortly after American takeover (and presumably after the Taos uprising of January 1847), relations between the people of Taos and Anglo soldiers were very friendly because the Americans provided protection against hated Indian raiders. “Then it was that many friendships were begun which resulted in the marriage of some of these soldiers with Spanish families, making for mutual appreciation” (Lorin W. Brown, Hispano Folklife of New Mexico: The Lorin W. Brown Federal Writers’ Project Manuscripts [Albuquerque: UNM Press, 19781, p. 64).

18. Dysart, “Mexican Women,” pp. 367‑68.

19. Beverly Trulio, “Anglo‑American Attitudes Toward New Mexican Women,” Journal of the West 12 (April 1973): 229‑39; W. W. H. Davis, El Gringo: or New Mexico and Her People (1857; reprint ed., New York: Arno Press, 1973), pp. 221-22.

20. Miller, “Civil War Legacy,” pp. 38‑39.

21. Lacy, “New Mexican Women,” p. 41. See also Robert C. and Eleanor R. Carriker, eds., An Army Wife on the Frontier: The Memoirs of Alice Blackwood Baldwin, 1867‑1877 (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Library, 1975), p. 59; Martha Summerhayes, Vanished Arizona: Recollections of the Army Life of a New England Woman (Glorieta, N. Mex.: Rio Grande Press, 1970), p. 144.

22. Francisco Terán, “The Conquistadors’ Ladies,” Americas 28 (February 1976): 12‑18; Jack D. Forbes, “Black Pioneers: The Spanish‑Speaking Afro-americans of the Southwest,” Phylon 27 (Fall 1966): 233‑46.

23. Carolyn Zeleny, Relations Between the Spanish‑Americans and Anglo­ Americans in New Mexico: A Study of Conflict and Accommodation in a Dual­ Ethnic Situation (New York: Arno Press, 1974), p. 319; Tibo Chavez, “Colonel Jose Francisco Chavez, 1833‑1904,” Rio Grande History 8 (1978): 7.

24. U.S., Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Tenth Census of the United States, 1880, Grant County, New Mexico, Population Schedules, National Archives (NA) Microfilm No. T 9, reel 1.

25. Nancie L. Gonzalez, The Spanish‑Americans of New Mexico: A Heritage of Pride (Albuquerque: UNM Press, 1967), P. 80. Recent scholarship states erroneously that “intermarriage was not a common phenomenon, but rather restricted to marriages between ricos and Anglos designed to serve their common economic and political interests” (Alvin R. Sunseri, “Anglo Attitudes Toward Hispanos, 18461861,” Journal of Mexican American History 3 [1973]: 77).

26. Thirty‑three Anglo males resided in Las Cruces in 1870; eighteen were married to Hispanic women, and two were married to Anglo women. In 1880 sixty‑one Anglo males resided there; eighteen were married to Hispanic women, and eight to Anglo women. Thirty‑eight Anglo males resided in Mesilla in 1870; nineteen were married to Hispanic women, and four to Anglo women. Ten years later, sixty Anglo males resided in Mesilla; twelve were married to Hispanos, and twelve to Anglos. In 1870 eleven Anglo males lived in the village of Doña Ana; seven were married to Hispanic women, and two had married Anglo women. In 1880 six Anglo males lived in Doña Ana; four were married to Hispanic women, but none was married to an Anglo. U.S., Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Ninth Census of the United States, 1870, Doña Ana County, New Mexico, Population Schedules, NA, Microfilm Publication 593, reel 1; Tenth Census, 1880, Doña Ana County. Mixed marriages were identified by place of birth in conjunction with surnames of spouses.

27. Ninth Census, 1870, Santa Fe County, reel 4; Ninth Census, 1870, Grant County, reel 1; Tenth Census, 1880, Grant County, reel 1.

28. John D. Oliphant and Patrick Higgins, Pension Application Files, Civil War Series, Records of the Veterans Administration, Record Group (RG) 15, NA; Arrell Morgan Gibson, The Life and Death of Colonel Albert Jennings Fountain (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1965), p. 23.

29. Miller, “Civil War Legacy,” p. 338.

30. Lycurgus D. Fuller, Pension Application Files, HG 15, NA.

31. For occupations of men who intermarried, see entries for New Mexico in the 1870 and 1880 census. For women mentioned in this paragraph, see respectively Pension Application Files for Henry C. Brown, Allen Buchanan, Henry Hays, and Joseph D. Emerson, RG 15, NA. During the 1860s, Vincenta Fresquez escaped from peonage to live with an Anglo soldier in Las Cruces. She was later arrested by the sheriff of Doña Ana County and returned to her master, Cristobal Ascarate of Mesilla, to repay a debt contracted by her mother. Ascarate forced Vincenta to work with a chain fastened to her leg (Testimony of Sergeant John W. Carey, 20 April 1864 and Testimony of Vincenta Fresquez, 21 April 1864, Letters Received by the Office of the Adjutant General, Main Series, 1861‑1870, fiG 94, NA Microfilm Publication M‑619, roll 284).

32. Ninth Census, 1870, Lincoln County, precinct 4, reel 2.

33. But see Harvey J. Graff, The Literacy Myth: Literacy and Social Structure in the Nineteenth‑Century City (New York: Academic Press, 1979). Percentages were computed from data recorded for precincts 3 and 4, Santa Fe County (Ninth Census, 1870).

34. Zeleny, Relations Between the Spanish‑Americans and Anglo‑Americans, p. 315. For a good discussion of conditions affecting rates of intermarriage, see Robert K. Merton, “Intermarriage and the Social Structure: Fact and Theory,” in The Blending American: Patterns of Intermarriage, ed. Milton L. Barron (Chicago: Quadrangle Books, 1972), p. 15.

35. Ernest Marchand, ed., News From Fort Craig, New Mexico, 1863: Civil War Letters of Andrew Ryan, with the First California Volunteers (Santa Fe: Stagecoach Press, 1966), p. 72.

36. Henry Hays, Pension Application Files, RG 15, NA. Laundresses and their soldier‑husbands lived in a highly stratified military society. A wide gulf separated commissioned officers from all other military personnel, and this caste system extended to wives and children. Because of the nature of their work, Anglo and Hispanic laundresses at frontier posts had ample opportunity for social intercourse, and social isolation from officers’ wives generated a unique female world where ethnic differences had less impact than social class.

37. Davis, El Gringo, pp. 220‑21.

38. Woodrow Borah and Sherburne F. Cook, “Marriage and Legitimacy in Mexican Culture: Mexico and California,” California Law Review 54 (May 1966): 960‑61.

39. “An Act for the Legitimation of Juana Francisca Collins, daughter of John F. Collins and Juana María Gonzales,” 25 December 1869, Records of the Territorial Legislative Assembly, Territorial Archives of New Mexico [TANM], State Records Center and Archives [SRCA], Santa Fe, reel 4.

40. Baptismal Books, San Albino Church, Mesilla, N. Mex.

41. Tenth Census, 1880, Grant County, reel 1.

42. Allen Buchanan, Pension Application Files, RG 15, NA.

43. Linklain Butin, Pension Application Files, HG 15, NA.

44. Linklain Butin, Pension Application Files, RG 15, NA. A former private in the California volunteers declared that he had three natural children by a Hispanic woman whom he later married after obtaining a divorce from his previous wife. See Edwin L. Elwood, pension Application Files, RG 15, NA.

45. Margaret Mead, ed., Cultural Patterns and Technical Change (New York: New American Library, 1955), p. 152.

46. Mead, Cultural Patterns, p. 153.

47. For discussion of Hispanic families, see Mead, Cultural Patterns, pp. 153­

57; Dysart, “Mexican Women,” pp. 366‑67; R. Griswold del Castillo, “La Familia Chicana: Social Changes in the Chicano Family of Los Angeles, 1850‑1880,” Journal of Ethnic Studies 3 (Spring 1975): 42‑43; Robert Staples, “The Mexican-American Family: Its Modification Over Time and Space,” Phylon 32 (Summer 1971): 179‑92. For a more optimistic view of women’s independence, see Janet Lecompte, “The Independent Women of Hispanic New Mexico, 1821‑1846,” Western Historical Quarterly 12 (January 1981): 17‑35.

48. This conclusion is based on pension application files of the California veterans who married Hispanic women as well as census returns for counties of Doña Ana, Grant, Lincoln, Santa Fe, and Socorro.

49. For corroboration of this point in the field of literature, see Cecil Robinson, With The Ears of Strangers: The Mexican in American Literature (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1963), pp. 84, 93.

50. Ithiel de Sola Pool, “Plural Society in the Southwest: A Comparative Perspective,” in Plural Society in the Southwest, ed. Edward H. Spicer and Raymond H. Thompson (Albuquerque: UNM Press, 1972), p. 323; Marc Simmons, New Mexico: A Bicentennial History (New York: W. W. Norton and Co., 1977), p. 164.

51. Ninth Census, 1870, Grant County, reel 1. Ralston had a population of 174, which included eighteen Hispanic men and eleven Hispanic women (six of the latter were married to Anglos).

52. For women mentioned in this paragraph, see the Pension Application Files of Theodore Briggs, John Van Order, and Thomas P. Chapman, RG 15, NA.

53. See, for example, John E. Oliphant, Pension Application Files, RG 15, NA. Oliphant, who was living in Mimbres with his wife Helena Martínez in 1870, had been gone a month prospecting and working in the mines at Ralston before he returned home and subsequently died of an unknown illness.

54. Ninth Census, 1870, Grant County, reel 1.

55. John E. Oliphant, Pension Application Files, RG 15, NA. Oliphant’s children were sent east to live with Anglo relatives after their father’s death.

56. Ninth Census, 1870, Lincoln County, reel 2.

57. Miller, “Civil War Legacy,” pp. 339‑43, 346‑51; Phil Sheridan Post Day Book, Grand Army of the Republic, p. 41, Branigan Library, Las Cruces, N. Mex. It has not been possible to identify the ethnic origin of all auxilliary women married to Anglo men.

58. See statement of Robert A. Christian, 19 March 1866, Southern District of New Mexico, Department of New Mexico, Records of the United States Army Continental Commands, 1821‑1920, RG 393, NA.

59. Civil and Criminal Records (1878‑1881), Doña Ana County Records, Doña Ana County, N. Mex., p. 339.

60. David N. Catanach, Pension Application Files, RG 15, NA; Civil and Criminal Records (1884‑1885), Doña Ana County Records, p. 45; Deed Book R, Santa Fe County Records, SRCA, p. 410.

61. Tenth Census, 1880, Socorro County, reel 3; Chester D. Potter, “Reminiscences of the Socorro Vigilantes,” ed. by Paige W. Christiansen, NMHR 40 (January 1965): 23‑54. Eventually, one Baca brother was hanged by the vigilantes, one was killed trying to escape jail, and one was acquitted in a court of law.

62. Margarita Romero, “descendant of the great dons of Spanish New Mexico,” who married Robert Taylor, a young railroad engineer, exemplifies those Hispanic women who functioned effectively in both Anglo and Hispanic cultures (George Fitzpatrick, “Doña Margarita: Symbol of Lifestyle Now Gone,” Albuquerque Journal, 14 November 1976. This is not the same Robert Taylor who abandoned his wife.). Dolores Fields and Alvina Walters of Tularosa, on the other hand, are examples of those women who remained tied to traditional Hispanic culture (Interview with Antonio Candelario, 31 May 1977, Las Cruces, N. Mex.).

63. See Ninth Census, 1870, and Tenth Census, 1880; Baptismal Books, San Albino Church, Mesilla, N. Mex.

64. See family history compiled by Arthur R. Gurule, December 1977, New Mexico State University (in possession of the author); Brown, Hispano Folklife, p. 8.

65. Census records for the city of Las Cruces indicate that the majority of school‑age children of mixed marriages were attending school (Ninth Census, 1870, Doña Ana County, reel 1, and Tenth Census, 1880, Doña Ana County, reel 1).

66. In addition to sources already cited, the following were utilized in tracing cross‑cultural marriages in Doña Ana County: Doña Ana County Church Records (Marriages and Baptisms), Microfilm Collection, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah; Marriage Records, 1870‑1921, Doña Ana County Records.

67. Diversity characterized marriage patterns in the third generation as well. Grandchildren of mixed unions on occasion married into the opposite ethnic group as did their own mother or father, the offspring of the original mixed union. Leopoldo Reinhard of German extraction, for example, married Francisca Montes; their daughter May wed Horace Hickerson, also of German descent. The Hickerson’s daughter Pauline subsequently married Felipe López. But the reverse also occurred. A son of Maríana Perez and Albert J. Fountain wed an Hispano, while a child of this new union married into the Anglo community.

68. Jack D. Forbes, “Frontiers in American History and the Role of the Frontier Historian,” Ethnohistory 15 (Spring 1968): 203‑35.

69. Simmons, New Mexico, p. 164