More to Explore

William Llewellyn

Written by Mark Thompson. Mr. Thompson practiced law in New Mexico for thirty years and is a member of the State Bar of New Mexico Historical Committee.  An earlier version of this essay appeared in the Southern New Mexico Historical Review, Volume 14, January, 2007.

By Mark Thompson

LLEWELLYN: Welsh: “like a lion,” or (perhaps) “lightning sword.”[1]

Pulitzer Prize winner Wallace Stegner had no doubt that the promoters of a canal across Fort Selden in Doña Ana County, New Mexico, and  their lawyer, W.H.H. Llewellyn, were the “local interests against the public interest,” the latter represented by John Wesley Powell and Anson Mills.[2] It was almost as if Stegner expected his reader to know who Llewellyn was, identifying him only as a “representative” of the canal company. It seems that the fight for water supremacy in Southern New Mexico was just one of the battles fought by W.H.H. Llewellyn during his 45 years in New Mexico. He was certainly “larger than life” and sorting out what was real life has not been easy for those who have attempted biographies of this fascinating character.  

Before New Mexico: Mining, Marriage and Murder?

William Henry Harrison Llewellyn was born in Monroe, Green County, Wisconsin, on September 9, 1851,[3] to Joseph and Louisa (Fay) Llewellyn, he of Virginia, she of New York.[4] Joseph Llewellyn served as a private with the Kansas volunteers of the Union army from November 30, 1861 to January10, 1865[5] and by June 1870 had relocated to Iowa.[6] Joseph was engaged in farming, but was apparently without the help of then 18 year old William.

The Denver Republican in early 1897, probably based upon an interview with W.H.H. Llewellyn, reported that he claimed to have left home in 1866 for Montana and in 1873 went to Omaha.[7] These seven years, as well as the next seven, remain mostly a mystery. Ralph Twitchell says he left home in 1866 for gold mining in Trinity Gulch, Montana.[8] Trinity Gulch may not have been an organized community but it was a placer gold mine located northwest of Helena, close to Canyon Creek, Montana. The 1870 U.S. Census lists a 19 year old miner, William Llewellyn, who gave his birthplace as Wales, residing near Pioneer in Deer Lodge County, Montana.[9] Pioneer is only about 58 miles southwest of Canyon Creek, at least by today’s roads. Giving his birthplace as Wales could be the story of a young man who left home at age 15 and certainly would add to the romance of a life he wanted to portray!

Omaha, Nebraska put him in close proximity to his family living about 40 miles away in Freemont County, Iowa. One historian says he spent some time in Omaha as a “collector” for the McCormick Reaper Co.[10] and he is listed as the publisher of The Wisner Times, in nearby Cuming County, at least for a portion of 1876.[11]    As discussed below, he apparently also claimed to have read the law during the Omaha years. The Denver Republican article in 1897 indicates that he was appointed a special agent of the U.S. Department of Justice by Attorney General Charles Devens in 1877. We do know that he married Ida May (Little) Smith in Omaha on June 8, 1877,[12] and that they were living in Omaha with their sons Clinton and Morgan in 1880.[13]

His Justice Department special agent tenure included the February 1880 killing of a captured outlaw, Curley Grimes, resulting in a charge of murder against Llewellyn and his partner in South Dakota.[14] Although the detectives were acquitted of the charges by the jury,[15] the killing was viewed with deep suspicion by the locals and an “historical marker” is located at the site of the murder.[16] Seth Bullock, the sheriff of Deadwood, South Dakota, later told Theodore Roosevelt that he would not have killed Grimes under the circumstances and that getting an acquittal from the jury was difficult.[17] Roosevelt, in relating this story to John Hay, his former Secretary of State, expressed the opinion that “for all his geniality,” Llewellyn had “a ruthless streak.”[18]  Not long after the Deadwood trial ended, Llewellyn and another partner made more positive national news by capturing a fugitive from Brattleboro, Vermont.[19]  It was likely that he emphasized the latter story in telling about his Omaha years to New Mexicans!

From Amargo to South Fork: Trail of (Bitter) Tears?

If he knew of the South Dakota incident, it apparently did not worry President Garfield who appointed Llewellyn as his agent to the Mescalero Indians in New Mexico. Llewellyn arrived in South Fork, now Mescalero, in June of 1881, just three months before the assassination of Garfield and the ascendancy of Vice-President, Chester A. Arthur.[20] At the outset, Llewellyn was only the agent to the Mescalero Apache,[21] but in 1882 his job was expanded to include the Jicarilla Apache tribe.[22] The next year he conducted the transfer of the Jicarilla from Amargo in Rio Arriba County[23] to South Fork, a major event for both Llewellyn and his “charges.”[24]

Describing Llewellyn as a “frontier adventurer” whose stories of his own exploits people “learned to discount,” Charles Leland Sonnichsen nevertheless gave him high marks for his tenure as Indian Agent.[25] As might be expected, Llewellyn appeared to be building his reputation by being tough with the Indians[26] but the Mescalero Chief still addressed Llewellyn as “Little Father,” reminding him, during a speech at Santa Fe in 1882, that the Mescalero had fought to protect him.[27] Llewellyn attempted to resign his post in 1884, perhaps because of the political “turmoil” which resulted in the refusal of the Republicans to nominate President Arthur for a full term.[28]  The offer of resignation was apparently refused and Llewellyn stayed until his successor, appointed by President Cleveland, finally showed up in November, 1885.[29]  At sometime before June of 1885, Llewellyn had established his family home down the hill from Mescalero in Tularosa, at that time a part of Dona Ana County.[30] It was not surprising that they chose Las Cruces, the county seat, for their next home.[31]

Have You Ever Considered Practicing Law?

Even by 19th century standards, W.H.H. Llewellyn seemed to emerge from the federal bureaucracy into a significant law practice without much preparation. Biographical material, with Llewellyn the probable source, indicates that he had studied the law in Omaha and also in Las Cruces, New Mexico, apparently before 1886.[32] On the frontier, lawyers were often the products “of self-study (or no study at all)” and “everyone who chose to, could follow the profession of law” if he “could convince any judge that he knew some law.”[33] Prepared or not, Llewellyn joined the practice of two prominent Las Cruces lawyers, William L. Rynerson and Edward Clements Wade, in December of 1885.[34]  Llewellyn dated his admission to practice before the New Mexico Supreme Court as January 30, 1886, probably the date when the judge in Las Cruces granted his admission.[35]

It is also true that lawyers in that era could not rely exclusively on “law business” and had to find ways to supplement their income.[36] Llewellyn’s choice was to represent the A.T.& S.F. Railroad as a livestock agent. This work was significant, because, as lra Clark has aptly described it, the “[r]ailroads had a profound and immediate effect on another typical frontier activity—cattle raising.”[37] A sample of the work of Llewellyn as livestock agent in 1886-87 has fortunately been preserved in correspondence with the Chase Ranch located in northern New Mexico.[38] This position with the railroad undoubtedly gave Llewellyn a chance to use his political skills because, as the railroad history describes the job, agents had to keep constantly informed of general trends and daily contacts with live stock producers, marketers and packers.[39]

As discussed below, Llewellyn eventually developed a significant criminal prosecution and water law practice but it seems fair to say that like many lawyers he used his law practice to advance his political career.  He was elected three times to the Territorial House of Representatives and in 1897 was chosen Speaker of the House.[40]  He was appointed to various positions, such as a delegate to the Columbian Exposition of 1893, delegate to Trans–Mississippi Exposition of 1898, and to the New Mexico Bureau of Immigration in 1898.[41]  He was involved in the search for Albert J. Fountain and his son who disappeared in 1896 and was on the receiving end of A.B. Fall’s cross examination at the trial of Oliver Lee and James Gilliland, accused of the Fountain murder.[42] It should also be noted that, contrary to several biographical assertions, he never served as a district judge.[43]

Water Warrior!

What interested Wallace Stegner in the West was what Governor Otero called “saving the waters of the Rio Grande for New Mexico”[44] and Anson Mills saw as the “equitable distribution of the waters of the Rio Grande.”[45] Mills, sometimes El Paso resident and Union Army General, convinced the Secretary of War in 1889 to cancel a private easement across the Ft. Selden army property that was advocated by an irrigation company represented by Llewellyn.[46]  Llewellyn and the canal company were forced to abandon the project which would have crossed through and over community canals of historic settlements along the river and would have forced Mexican farmers to pay “water rent for the new canals.” Mesilla Valley farmers eventually won the water war when the federal government decided to build the Leasburg diversion dam.[47] Although in the totality of the lengthy Rio Grande controversy Llewellyn’s role appears to be minor, Mills did say that both Llewellyn and Dr. Nathan Boyd of Las Cruces[48] had prevented the building of a dam near El Paso.[49]

Llewellyn’s interest in water matters did not end with the fight over the Ft. Selden easement. In September of 1889 he was the leadoff witness at a U.S. Senate hearing in Santa Fe which coincided with the Constitutional Convention of that year.[50] When the fight in Congress over the building of a dam at Elephant Butte heated up in 1900,[51] Governor Otero appointed him as one of the twelve delegates to go to Washington and lobby Congress.[52] During his last term in the New Mexico House of Representatives, 1919, he successfully sponsored a bill governing management of irrigation districts.[53] What appears surprising is that he gave up his ex officio (as the then Speaker of the House) position on a commission created by the legislature in 1897 to study New Mexico water rights and irrigation laws.[54] Governor Otero, in August of 1897 then appointed Joseph E. Saint, who was not serving in the legislature.[55]

Rough Rider and More!

The splendid little four month campaign against Spain in Cuba during the summer of 1898 was certainly a defining moment for many New Mexicans.[56] Llewellyn’s part as a captain of Troop G at the cavalry charge up “Kettle Hill,” along with his hospitalization in New York City in September with yellow fever, has been extensively covered in biographies and histories. One historian noted that Llewellyn’s exceptional service in Cuba resulted in a “brevet” promotion to the rank of Major.[57] The El Paso Times, on the other hand, asserted that in fact Llewellyn “could not stand the strenuous pace” in Cuba “and had to take to his bed.”[58] Llewellyn filed for a disability pension in 1899 based upon his wartime medical condition,[59] although the fact that he came down with yellow fever does not mean that his service up to that time was not exemplary.  To counter the view of his political enemies, Llewellyn undoubtedly was the source of a biographical sketch describing his “most creditable military record” for the Spanish-American War.[60]

One of the mysteries concerning Llewellyn is his “assumption” of a military rank early in his career in New Mexico and which by 1884 had become “Major,” the title which for the most part stuck with him.[61]  He was given the rank of colonel upon his appointment as Judge Advocate General of the Territorial Militia in 1893,[62] and there is no question that he held the rank of captain as a result of his “Rough Rider” commission from Governor Otero in 1898.[63] There are suggestions that he may have been an “Indian Scout” in the pre-New Mexico days,[64] and as such would have been commissioned in the army. His declaration for a pension filed in 1920 with the Veterans Administration indicates his only federal positions, other than his captain’s commission in the Spanish American War, were as U.S. Attorney and U.S. Indian Agent.[65] In any event, the “Major” title prevailed notwithstanding his actual New Mexico commissions, although his political enemies were not above expressing doubts about his entitlement to the rank.[66]

The Sacking of the U.S. Attorney: Appearance of Impropriety, Peter Principle or Just Plain Politics?

Llewellyn had served as a local district attorney for approximately six years[67] before President Roosevelt appointed him to a four year term as United States Attorney for New Mexico in 1905.[68] Although a local district attorney in those days was a part time job, allowing for private practice,[69] the statement of one historian that Llewellyn was appointed U.S. Attorney “despite his lack of qualifications for the job,”[70] seems somewhat harsh. In hindsight, after Llewellyn was “forced” out of the job in 1907, that interpretation may have some authenticity.

What brought him down, at least as far as the press was concerned, was some role that he might or might not have played in a land grab scandal that was played out in the midst of a great push by New Mexico for statehood. In fact it was two scandals, one involving territorial public lands on which timber could be harvested and the other involving federal lands on which coal could be extracted. Both, however, involved the “consolidation” of land, unlawfully, in the hands of corporations when the populist laws of entry and acquisition contemplated small landowners or, in the case of the coal, miners. The Department of Justice sent special counsel and investigators to New Mexico to look into both matters, but, contrary to the story by Governor Curry,[71] did not suspend Llewellyn who continued to prosecute other federal crimes.[72]

The scandals were brought to a head when the special prosecutors filed a civil action to set aside the sales of timber lands on October 8, 1907[73] and followed later that same month with criminal indictments in the coal lease cases.[74] By the first week of November, Governor Curry let it be known that he and Llewellyn would be leaving for Washington.[75] The Journal, happy to report the rumors that Llewellyn might be “deprived of his job,” admitted that the purpose of the visit to Washington was not known, and obliquely raised the land scandals by indicating that Morgan Llewellyn, then serving as Surveyor General, was also rumored to be in line for retirement.[76] In an ambiguous statement that could have been planted by either his friends or his enemies, the newspaper said that “Major Llewellyn has another government position in sight, in which it is understood his official duties may not be so strenuous and that he will step down from the United States attorney-ship into this new berth.”[77]

There were constant references to “charges” against Llewellyn but the worst that was ever said was that “he won’t even speak to the special attorneys.”[78]   Nevertheless, by November 24, 1907, both W.H.H. and his son Morgan had resigned, with the younger Llewellyn’s resignation delayed until the first of the year.[79] Within days, Llewellyn’s assistant, David J. Leahy, had assumed the U.S. Attorney position and Llewellyn was appointed a special assistant attorney in the Justice Department.[80] If this was truly punishment, it seemed fairly mild. In any event, the two land scandals never came to trial, although it is possible that the political damage regarding statehood had been done.[81] It is probably true that, if he did not interfere with the special prosecutors or had not “risen to his level of incompetence,” Llewellyn had become a political liability. What is not clear is to whom and for what reason.

The Llewellyn Legacy: Best Supporting Actor?

The problems of 1907 did not appear to have any lasting impact on Llewellyn’s political career. On March 18, 1909, Governor Curry appointed him to again serve as the local district attorney, a position he held through the end of the territorial period.[82] He was elected to the House of Representatives for the First, Third and Fourth state legislatures and was elected by his peers to serve as Speaker in 1917.[83]

The answer to the legacy question may require an evaluation of his role in achieving statehood for New Mexico.  On the one hand, the dust-up over the 1907 “scandal” did not prevent him from being immediately chosen as a part of the delegation that was scheduled to go to Washington to “lobby” for statehood.[84]  On the other hand, the influence Llewellyn gained by a close relationship with Teddy Roosevelt had not born fruit by the time Roosevelt had made himself a lame duck in 1907, announcing that he would not run for a second full term. Marion Dargan has speculated that Theodore Roosevelt must have found it difficult, given his lifelong friendship with Llewellyn and other New Mexicans, to “acquiesce in the denial of the fullest rights of American citizenship to men who had shown themselves so brave and loyal.”[85] Although he clearly had political power after New Mexico gained statehood, Llewellyn does not appear to have had a significant role in the quest for statehood after 1907 and was not, contrary to some biographical sketches, a delegate to the 1910 Constitutional Convention.[86]


[1] Henry Barber, British Family Names: Their Origin and Meaning (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1997 reprint of 2d ed., 1903), 187. But see, Henry Harrison, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1992 reprint of 1912 ed.), 280. Harrison says the Celtic etymology points to "ruler or leader."


[2]Wallace Stegner, Beyond the Hundredth Meridian: John Wesley Powell and the Second Opening of the West (New York: Penguin Books, 1992 reprint of 1954 ed.), 311.


[3]See generally, Ralph Emerson Twitchell, The Leading Facts of New Mexican History (Vol. 2) (Grand Rapids, Iowa: Torch Press, 1912), 541. The date and place of birth are confirmed by his penion applications, together with his death certificate filed by his widow in support of her pension application after his death, June 11, 1927. I obtained the W.H.H. and Ida Llewellyn pension file from the V.A. through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and it is on file at the Special Collections Branch of the Albuquerque Public Library.  The pension file also contains at least one document describing a birth date of 1854 and may expose a mistake he made leading to biographers repeating the mistake.  See e.g.  Twitchell, (Volume 5, 1917) at p. 518.


[4] See , Joseph Llewellyn household, 1850 U.S. census, Green County, Wisconsin, population schedule, Monroe township & post office, page 215, dwelling 20, family 21; National Archives micro-publication M432, roll 999 and  J. Llewellyn household, 1860 U.S. census, Green County, Wisconsin, population schedule, Monroe township & post office, page 334, dwelling 220, family 199; National Archives micro-publication M653, roll 1411. Llewellyn’s obituary in the Santa Fe New Mexican has him born in Minnesota, a mistake often repeated in secondary sources.  “Major W.H.H. Llewellyn, Famous Rough Rider and Pioneer, Dead,” Santa Fe New Mexican, (June 13, 1927), p. 4.


[5]Joseph Llewellyn, Military Records of Individual Civil War Soldiers, Ancestry. Com, 1999.


[6] Joseph Llewellyn household, 1870 U.S. census, Freemont County, Iowa, population schedule, Ross Township, Tabor post office, page 503, dwelling 13, family 13; National Archives micro-publication M593, roll 392.


[7]“Speaker Llewellyn,” The Las Vegas Daily Optic, February 1, 1897, reprinting the Denver article.


[8]Twitchell Volume 2, note 3, supra


[9] William Llewellyn "household," 1870 U.S. census, Deer Lodge County, Montana, population schedule, Pioneer and Pikes Peak township & post office, page 93, dwelling 118, "family" 17; National Archives micro-publication M593, roll 827.


[10]Paxton P. Price, Pioneers of the Mesilla Valley (Las Cruces: Yucca Tree Press, 1995), 295.


[11] Could there have been another W.H.H. Llewellyn only 85 miles from Omaha?  If not, Llewellyn showed his political flexibility with this enterprise.  The newspaper was called the “Official organ of the Democratic Party in Cuming County.”  See the Library of Congress website,


[12]Greater Omaha Genealogical Society, Douglas County, Nebraska Marriages 1854-1881 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2002), 93. It was her second marriage, her first, at age 16, on July 20, 1875. Douglas County Marriages at 144. She was born in Davenport, Iowa, November, 20 1858, the daughter of Isaac and Jane (Cummings) Little. See, Isaac Little household, 1870 U.S. census, Scott County, Iowa, population schedule, Davenport township and post office, page 90, dwelling 5, family 5; National Archives micro-publication M593, roll 418 and Ida M. Llewellyn, death certificate no. 2163 (1951), New Mexico Department of Public Health, Santa Fe. The facts concerning Ida Little’s birth and marriage to Llewellyn are also confirmed in her filing with the Veterans Administration for a widow’s pension after his death.  


[13]W.H. Llewellyn household, 1880 U.S. census, Douglas County, Nebraska, population schedule, Omaha, enumeration district 17, supervisor's district 2, sheet 185, dwelling 122, family 128; National Archives micro-publication T9, roll 747. See also, Morgan O.B. Llewellyn, Death Certificate (unnumbered), (November 15, 1929), New Mexico Bureau of Public Health


[14]"Warrants issued for May and Llewellyn," Black Hills Daily Times, February 13, 1880. The Deadwood, Dakota Public Library has put an index to the newspaper online,, but not the full text.


[15] "Detective acquitted on charge of murder," Black Hills Daily Times, September 4, 1880.


[16]I have only found one narrative of this event, a posting on the genealogical website of the descendants of the owners of the land where the killing occurred. See, "James and Mary Mansfield McFarland: The Sydney Stage Road Years" at


[17] Roosevelt's letter to John Hay, August 9, 1903, reprinted in Cowboys and Kings: Three Great Letters by Theodore Roosevelt (Cambridge: Harvard U. Press, 1954), 13-14.


[18] Ibid.


[19] “How Waite Was Captured: The Wanderings of the Defaulting Officer of the Brattleboro Bank,” NY Times September 24, 1880, p. 2.


[20] "Local News," Rio Grande Republican, July 23, 1881. From the outset, Llewellyn apparently knew that part of his job was to cultivate a good relationship with the press.


[21] New Mexico Blue Book, 1882 (Albuquerque: U.of New Mexico Press, facsimile ed., 1968), 122-24.


[22]"Mescalero Matters," Santa Fe New Mexican, July 30, 1882.


[23] Amargo is the Spanish word for "bitter." In 1894 the town was renamed Lumberton. See, Robert Julyan, The Place Names of New Mexico (Albuquerque: U. of New Mexico Press, 2d. ed., 1998), 14.


[24] Llewellyn's own account of the move is published in his report to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs in 1884. Annual Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs to the Secretary of the Interior for the Year 1884, 48th Congress, 2d Session, HR Executive Document 1, Part 5 (Washington D.C.: G.P.O., 1884), 174-77. The Jicarilla, of course, eventually returned to northern New Mexico, with headquarters at Dulce.


[25] Charles Leland Sonnichsen, The Mescalero Apaches (Norman: U. of Oklahoma Press; 1958), pp. 209, et seq.


[26] See e.g., "Llewellyn's Wards," Rio Grande Republican, August 30, 1884 and -Llewellyn's Lads and Lasses, "Rio Grande Republican, September 20, 1884.


[27] Ralph Emerson Twitchell, Old Santa Fe: The Story of New Mexico’s Ancient Capital (Santa Fe: Santa Fe New Mexican Publishing Corp. 1925; facsimile ed. 2007), pp.401 & 407.


[28]  "Major Llewellyn's Resignation," Santa Fe New Mexican, May 2, 1884.  Llewellyn was a delegate from Lincoln County at the state Republican convention in 1884, Rio Grande Republican, August 23, 1884, p. 2 and then one of the two New Mexico delegates to the national convention which nominated James G. Blaine.  John A. Logan, Life and Public Services of Hon. James G. Blaine (New York: Hubbard Bros. Pub. ; 1884), 320.    He also worked for the party that year as an “enforcer” challenging voters at the polls.  “Llewellyn in Indiana,” Rio Grande Republican, November 8, 1884.


[29] See "Local News," Rio Grande Republican, November 7, 1885.


[30]See, W.H.H. Llewellyn household, New Mexico Territory Census of 1885, Dona Ana County, New Mexico population schedule, Precinct 10, enumeration district 9, page 9, dwelling 121, family 121; National Archives micro-publication M846, roll 2.


[31] The grantee index shows that Ida M. Llewellyn purchased property from Oscar Lohman, December 21, 1885.  Morton L. Ervin, compiler, A Genealogical Index of Early Dona Ana County, New Mexico Deeds, 1847 thru 1907, (Albuquerque: 2002), p. 86.


[32] A history published in 1907, probably a  “history” paid for by subscriber/subjects, indicates that he studied at the law firm of O’Brien & Baldwin, and later with Judge Briggs in Omaha. Geo. B. Anderson, History of New Mexico: Its Resources and People (Los Angeles:Pacific States Pub. Co.; 1907),153-54. Ralph Emerson Twitchell states that he studied for three years in Omaha and four years in Las Cruces before 1886, i.e. while living in Tularosa and working in Mescalero.  Twitchell, (Vol. 5), note 3, supra,  at p. 118.


[33]Anton-Hermann Chroust, The Rise of the Legal Profession in America (Norman: U. of Oklahoma Press, 1965), vol. 2, 105-06. New Mexico's first comprehensive effort to regulate the profession, requiring graduation from law school or study in a law office in New Mexico for two years, plus limiting the district judge to temporary admissions, did not occur until 1909. N, M, Laws 1909, ch. 53, §§ 15 & 25.


[34] See “Local News,” Rio Grande Republican, December 12, 1885 and the front page advertisement for “Rynerson, Wade & Llewellyn,” Rio Grande Republican, December 26, 1885.  Short biographies of Rynerson and Wade are found in Price, note 10, supra, at pp. 160-64 and 250-51.


[35]The Supreme Court Clerk's list of lawyers practicing between 1846 and 1889, 4 New Mexico Law Reports, vii (1896), does not include Llewellyn. In the Roll of Attorneys and Counselors at Law Practicing in the Supreme Court of the Territory of New Mexico, the book signed by the lawyers, Llewellyn dated his admission as January 30, 1886. The entries on the first five pages of the roll book are clearly not in chronological order and the chronological dates begin in January 1900. I have concluded that the initial signing of the roll book probably took place sometime between 1896 and 1900.


[36]See, e.g., S. D. Myers, ed., Pioneer Surveyor-Frontier Lawyer: The Personal Narrative of 0.W.

Williams; 1877-1902 (El Paso: Texas Western College Press, 1966). Williams, who spent part of his career in mining near Silver City, was probably unique in that he had completed the two year study of law at Harvard College.


[37] Ira G. Clark, Then Came the Railroads: The Century from Steam to Diesel in the Southwest (Norman: U. of Oklahoma Press, 1958), 102.


[38]Chase Ranch Records, 1838-1960: Box 16, Volume 53. Rio Grande Historical Collections, New Mexico State University Library, collection no. Ms 108.


[39] Merle Armitage, Operations Santa Fe (New York: Buell, Sloan & Pearce, 1948), 196. Llewellyn was apparently active in these matters as late as 1890. See e.g., United States Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Animal Industry, Proceedings of an Interstate Convention of Cattlemen held in Fort Worth, Texas, March 11-13, 1890, (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1890), 9 & 11.


[40] New Mexico Blue Book (1915), 50-54.


[41] See Governor Otero appointments of December 2, 1897 and April 15, 1898.  Territorial Archives (Microfilm ed., 1974), Roll 147, frames 3-249.  The Otero appointments are in chronological order. I found the Columbian Exposition of 1893 material online at


[42] See e.g., Gordon R. Owen, The Two Alberts: Fountain and Fall (Las Cruces N.M.: Yucca Tree Press; 1996), 293-97 & 331-33.


[43]The list of all judges serving the Territory of New Mexico can be found in 16 New Mexico Law Reports (1912), 17-21 and in the New Mexico Blue Book (1917), 21-22. 1 checked every issue of the New Mexico Law Reports and the Blue Book from 1912 through 1929 and found no record of Llewellyn serving as a district judge.


[44] Miguel Antonio Otero, My Nine Years as Governor of the Territory of New Mexico, 1897-1906 (Albuquerque: U. of New Mexico Press, 1940), 28.


[45] Anson Mills, My Story (Washington, D.C.: Byron S. Adams Press, 1918), 263.


[46] Ibid, at 275.


[47]George Wharton James, Reclaiming the Arid West (New York: Dodd, Mead & Co., 1917), 257.


[48] Price, note 10, supra at 258-63.


[49] Mills, note 45 supra at 278. See also, Ira G. Clark, Water in New Mexico: A History of Its Management and Use (Albuquerque: U. of New Mexico Press, 1987), 90-99.


[50]Report of the Special Committee of the United States Senate on the Irrigation and Reclamation of Arid Lands, Vol. III, Rocky Mountain Region and Great Planes, 51St Congress, Senate Rep. no. 928 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1890), 59-63. Llewellyn was not a delegate to the 1889 Constitutional Convention. See, "Roster of Delegates to the Constitutional Convention held in Santa Fe, September 3 to 21, 1889, and the Counties Which They Represented," New Mexico Territorial Archives, (Microfilm ed., 1974), Roll 38, Frame 73.


[51] See e.g., "The Convention," The Albuquerque Daily Citizen, May 15, 1900 and "Stephens Bill," The Albuquerque Daily Citizen, May 16, 1900.


[52]Gov. Otero appointments, May 16, 1900, Territorial Archives, note 41, supra.


[53] New Mexico Blue Book (Santa Fe: New Mexico Secretary of State, 1919), 53.  See also, N.M. Laws 1929, ch. 20.


[54] N.M. Laws, 1897, ch. 65.


[55] Governor Otero appointments, August 24, 1897, note 41, supra. Neither the New Mexican nor the Albuquerque Daily Citizen gave this story any prominence in August, 1897, and Professor Clark does not mention Llewellyn in his discussion on the work of the Commission. See Clark, note 49 supra at 115 and 717.


[56] See e.g., H.B. Hening, ed., "George Curry, 1861-1947: An Autobiography" (Albuquerque: U. of New Mexico Press, 1958), 120-130 and Governor Otero, note 44 supra at 35-66.


[57] Price, note 10 supra at 296. In his pension affidavit dated March 30, 1921, Llewellyn indicates the  brevet period was from July 1st to August 10th, 1898, and that he “mustered out” with the rank of captain on September 10, 1898.  See pension file, note 3, supra. 


[58] See "A Pleasing Tribute to the Major," Albuquerque Morning Journal, January 13, 1908, p. 5.


[59]See note 3, supra.


[60] See Anderson, note 32, supra.


[61]He did not use a military title in his official reports to the Department of The Interior. See note 24 supra. Although the first newspaper reference, July 23, 1881, in the Rio Grande Republican, referred to him as "Mr. Wm. H.H. Llewellyn," by July 30, 1882, he had become "Captain W.H.H. Llewellyn," in the Santa Fe New Mexican. At least by May of 1884, the New Mexican had referred to him as "Major." See note 28 supra.


[62] Oath of Commissioned Officer, March 30, 1893, Territorial Archives (Microfilm ed., 1974), Roll 86. I was unable to determine the length of this service, but he was reappointed Judge Advocate General on January 20, 1906, this time in the successor agency, The New Mexico National Guard.


[63] Notwithstanding his commission, Governor Otero referred to Llewellyn as “Major” in his account of the February 11, 1899, Rough Rider banquet and in his response to Llewellyn’s opening remarks at the banquet.  Otero, note 44 supra at pp. 60 and 354.


[64]"Famous Scout and Fighter Revisits His Old Nebraska Home," The Albuquerque Daily Citizen, May 29, 1900, p. 3 (quoting the Omaha Herald).


[65] See note 3, supra.


[66]"Why the 'Major' Journeyed to Washington," Albuquerque Morning Journal, November 18, 1907, p. 7.


[67]Report of the Governor of New Mexico to the Secretary of the Interior, 1899 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1899), 7 and New Mexico Blue Book (1905), Official Register of Territorial Officers (unnumbered page).


[68] See, New Mexico Blue Book (1907), 32.


[69]58 The legislature did not begin the process of making the D.A. a full time job until 1969, and then only in Bernalillo County. New Mexico Laws, 1969, ch. 85.


[70] Robert W. Larson, "Ballinger vs. Rough Rider Curry," 43 N.M. HIST. REV. no. 4 (1968), 273-74.


[71]Curry autobiography, note 56, supra, at 208.


[72] See e.g., "Talmadge Cases on Trial before Judge Pope," Albuquerque Morning Journal, October 27, 1907.


[73] "Government Sues to Cancel Land Sales to Pennsylvania Development Company," Albuquerque Morning Journal, October 6, 1907 and "United States Files Suit," Santa Fe New Mexican, October 7, 1907.


[74] "Phelps-Dodge company Indicted on Charges of Coal Land Frauds," Albuquerque Morning ,Journal, October 22, 1907 and "Indictment Found for Land Frauds," Santa Fe New Mexican, October 22, 1907. The New Mexican article included the complaint by the newspaper that the special prosecutors had leaked information to the Albuquerque paper.


[75] “Governor in City to Attend Law Revision Meet," Albuquerque Morning Journal, November 7. 1907, p. 8.


[76] "Say Llewellyn is on Verge of a Change," Albuquerque Morning Journal, November 9, 1907, p. 4.


[77] Ibid.


[78] See note 70, supra..


[79] "Llewellyn is Separated from His Job," Albuquerque Morning Journal, November 24, 1907, p. 1.


[80] "Leahy Qualifies As United States Attorney—Hoyt Takes Charge of Land Cases for the Government," Albuquerque Morning Journal, November 30, 1907, p. 2. “Last Tallmadge Cases on at Roswell,” Albuquerque Morning Journal, December 10, 1907, p. 1.


[81] See generally, Robert W. Larson, New Mexico's Quest for Statehood 1846-1912 (Albuquerque: U. of New Mexico Press, 1968), 254-61. 


[82] Curry appointments, March 18, 1909, New Mexico Territorial Archives, (Microfilm ed., 1974) Roll 177, frame 2. New Mexico Blue Book (1911), p. 102.


[83] New Mexico Blue Book (1927), 42-45.  House Journal, New Mexico Third State Legislature, January 9, 1917, p. 8.



[84] For example, in January of 1908, he was chosen as one of the representatives from Dona Ana County for the delegation going to Washington to appear before the Senate committee considering statehood. "Hearings on Statehood Measure," Albuquerque Morning Journal, January 17, 1908, p.2. [In the end, the lobbying effort was abandoned.]


[85] Marion Dugan, "New Mexico's Fight for Statehood, 1895-1912," 14 N.M  Hist. Rev. (No 1, 86Proceedings of the Constitutional Convention of the Proposed State of New Mexico (Albuquerque: Morning Journal Press; 1910), 5-7 (delegates answering the roll call).  A later, but no less “official” list of delegates includes one less name from Dona Ana County, but likewise does not include Llewellyn.  New Mexico Blue Book, 1919, p. 46     939), 13.