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Lamy of Santa Fe

Paul Horgan

Publication Year: 2012

Originally published in 1975, this Pulitzer Prize for History-winning biography chronicles the life of Archbishop Jean Baptiste Lamy (1814-1888), New Mexico's first resident bishop and the most influential, reform-minded Catholic official in the region during the late 1800s. Lamy's accomplishments, including the endowing of hospitals, orphanages, and English-language schools and colleges, formed the foundation of modern-day Santa Fe and often brought him into conflict with corrupt local priests. His life story, also the subject of Willa Cather's Death Comes for the Archbishop, describes a pivotal period in the American Southwest, as Spanish and Mexican rule gave way to much greater influence from the U.S. and Europe. Historian and consummate stylist Paul Horgan has given us a chronicle filled with hardy, often extraordinary adventure, and sustained by Lamy's magnificent strength of character.

Published by: Wesleyan University Press


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p. 1-1

Title Page, Further Reading, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. 2-9


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pp. ix-xviii

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I. France • 1814–1839

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pp. 1-26

Letters by Lamy have been transcribed here without alteration in any way. He always expressed himself plainly, and often eloquently; but his English, except when polished for public use, did not always conform to common usages of capitalization, punctuation, and spelling. However, his mild aberrations in a language not native to him seem to bring his presence ...

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II. The Middle West • 1839–1850

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pp. 27-82

The paddle-wheel river packet warped its way to the waterfront of Cincinnati on 10 September 1839, to its berth amidst other moored riverboats, with their tall twin smoke pipes and wide decks, bearing such names as Car of Commerce, Ohio Belle, Belle Creole, Cincinnatus, Brooklyn, and New Orleans. ...

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III. To Santa Fe • 1850–1851

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pp. 83-110

On 25 November 1850, Lamy sailed from Cincinnati by river on the first of the several long stages of his way to the Far West. His ultimate destination was that whole immense area of the Rocky Mountains and the high plains which was lettered in a sweeping arc on early- and mid-nineteenth- century maps as "The Great American Desert." ...

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IV. The Desert Diocese • 1851–1852

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pp. 111-166

A leader in the jubilant welcome given to Lamy, Juan Felipe Ortiz, the rural dean (or vicar forane) at Santa Fe, reserved until later the most unexpected news he had for the new bishop. Having paid all proper respect to mitre and crozier—Lamy was undoubtedly a bishop—Ortiz, and the local clergy over whom he presided, ...

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V. The Antagonists • 1852–1856

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pp. 167-216

The fees were "enormous," Lamy exclaimed. He was referring to the levies laid upon the New Mexicans by the priests for the occasions which both marked the stages of life and supported the clergy. His intention to reform abuses included this one, and he seemed to have given it much thought during his long travels East and West ...

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VI. Scandal at Taos • 1852–1861

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pp. 217-252

If there was every reason for Lamy to believe that his enemies were intensifying their representations against him at Rome, he had more comforting reason, in January 1856, to hope that peace might at last settle upon his relations with one who was potentially his most formidable, because most intelligent and even least corrupt, adversary. ...

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VII. The Colonists • 1858–1863

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pp. 253-302

"La cour de Rome"—in Machebeuf's words—"dont les lenteurs sont bien connues," had yet to resolve, in its "well-known procrastination," Lamy's official claim to his Gadsden Purchase lands. In the spring of 1858, nobody yet had a clear legal right to act as spiritual proprietors of Doiiana (the village or the county), Las Cruces (the town), ...

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VIII. The Painted Land • 1863–1867

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pp. 303-328

He resolved to go as far as San Francisco, where he would respond in person to the Jesuit inquiries about Arizona and New Mexico, and ask for men. With Father Coudert, the pastor of Albuquerque, as his secretary and companion, he set on his longest overland journey since Durango. ...

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IX. Rome and Battle • 1867

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pp. 329-350

Five months afterward the bishop was in Rome to make his postponed visit ad limina to Pius IX, and to carry out a commission given to him by the hierarchy of the United States assembled in their second plenary council at Baltimore. Travelling toward the council, which convened on 7 October 1866, and bringing Coudert with him again ...

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X. Increase • 1868–1874

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pp. 351-374

Like himself, so long ago, coming in his youth to the alien land of Ohio, his newcomers were soon assigned to duties, whether in church, mission, school, convent, hospital. Time, in his absence, finally brought peace to Taos, for three weeks before his return, so Lamy was told, Padre Martinez had died in Taos on 27 July. ...

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XI. Archbishop • 1875–1880

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pp. 375-402

Kenrick and his assembled bishops, meeting in St Louis, went counter to Lamy's advice, and sent their recommendations to the Vatican: Santa Fe should become a metropolitan see, with Lamy as its first archbishop, and the apostolic vicars Machebeuf of Colorado and Salpointe of Arizona as his suffragans. ...

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XII. Gardener and Apostle • 1880–1885

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pp. 403-426

Machebeuf was not the first bishop of the Santa Fe province to ask for a coadjutor—Lamy had already done so in 1876, making an appeal which his two suffragan bishops had signed with him as they met in council. Supporting his request, he stated, "Reasons for asking this favor are the following: ...

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XIII. Day's End at Santa Fe • 1884–1889

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pp. 427-442

In November 1884, Lamy went to Baltimore—by rail, now, all the way—to sit with his fellow American bishops in the Plenary Council presided over by Archbishop Gibbons. Each delegate was to bring two theologians with him. Lamy had none to call upon, or perhaps to spare, from Santa Fe. ...

Sources Consulted

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pp. 443-454


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pp. 455-502

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pp. 503-508

It is a welcome duty to acknowledge my indebtedness to many persons who over the years have generously helped me in the preparatory tasks for this book. ...


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pp. 509-523

E-ISBN-13: 9780819573599
Print-ISBN-13: 9780819565327

Page Count: 560
Publication Year: 2012