New Mexico is the 47th State Admitted to the Union
Struggle for Statehood In no part of the United States has there ever been such a protracted struggle for self-government as in New Mexico.
In no other case has statehood been so long withheld. Perhaps nowhere in history is there such a series of failures, in what at the time seemed almost certainty, through unlooked for and often insignificant causes.
Statehood was almost attained in 1850; it was lost by a handshake in 1875, by a sudden impetuous word in 1889, by a shiver of malaria and a miscalculation of time in 1894.
The struggle for statehood began almost as soon as the American occupation. In the speeches and proclamations of Governor Kearny language was used which aroused hope, if it did not give promise, of self-government. In the first address in front of the palace, on August 19, 1846, he announced the intention to "establish a civil government on a republican basis similar to those of our own States."
The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was finally signed early in 1848, and proclaimed at Washington on July 4th, and some action regarding the newly acquired territory was anxiously awaited. The advice of the president was that the people should '' live peaceably and quietly under the existing government for a few months" until Congress could act deliberately and wisely.
Hon. Thomas H. Benton, then in the height of his influence and power as senator from Missouri, was greatly interested in the condition of the new domain, and especially of New Mexico. Under date of August 28, 1848, he addressed an open letter to the people of California and New Mexico, in which he advised them "to meet in convention, provide for a cheap and simple government, and take care of yourselves until Congress can provide for you.''
The advice of Senator Benton was quickly followed. New Mexico was without any legal government, since the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo had ended the regime of military occupation, and the continuance of the de facto military authority was but a temporary makeshift justifiable by the peculiar conditions. The people were anxious for almost any form of government which would be regular in form and civil in character.
Under call from Governor Vigil, a convention was held at Santa Fe on October 10, 1848, and organized by the election of Antonio Jose Martinez, of Taos (the celebrated Padre Martinez), as president. Francisco Sarracino, who had been governor of New Mexico under the Mexican regime, in 1834, Governor Vigil, James Quinn, and Juan Perea were appointed a committee to draft a memorial to Congress expressing the views of the convention. They reported a form of petition, which was unanimously adopted, which looked to the immediate establishment of a territorial government.
Nothing resulted from the action of this convention, and the people continued to be very restless under the irregular authority of the military commanders. They were divided into two parties, one anxious for statehood, and the other believing that a regular territorial organization was all that could be obtained and that therefore their efforts should be bent in that direction.
First State Convention
In the spring of 1849, James S. Calhoun, afterwards the first governor under the organic act, was sent to New Mexico as Indian agent, but with semi-official instructions to favor the organization of a state government. In this he was actively aided by Manuel Alvarez, Angney, Pillans, etc., while Ceran St. Vrain, Judge Houghton, Carlos Beaubien, etc., favored a territorial form of government. Subsequently all parties united in the desire for a constitutional convention, and an important meeting was held in Santa Fe on April 20, 1850, where resolutions to that effect were adopted, and Colonel Munroe, then military governor, was requested to issue a proclamation calling for an election of delegates.
This he did in April, 1850, and a regular constitutional convention was elected, and commenced its session on May 15, 1850. James H. Quinn was elected president of the convention. The convention sat for ten days and succeeded in formulating a constitution which all concede to be an admirable instrument. The two features which naturally attract most attention are the clear declaration against slavery in the new state, and the appreciation shown of the value of public education. Besides the section of the constitution forever prohibiting slavery in New Mexico, there was a strong paragraph on that subject in the accompanying address, showing that slavery had always been the curse of the communities in which it existed. It should never be forgotten that this first constitutional convention in New Mexico, in which native New Mexicans composed over ninety per cent of the membership, took this high ground and maintained it courageously, although by so doing they were placing in jeopardy their own right to self-government.
On May 28th, Colonel Munroe, the military governor, issued his proclamation calling for an election on the adoption of the constitution to be held on June 20th, and also a vote on a separate ballot for governor and state officers. There was no real contest over the constitution, which seems to have been universally approved; the vote in favor of its adoption being 8,371 against 39 opposed. But for state and local officers there was the usual political contest. The candidates for governor and lieutenant or vice-governor on one ticket were Henry Connelly, a well-known merchant of the Santa Fe Trail, and Manuel Alvarez, for many years United States consul at Santa Fe; while opposed to them were Tomas Cabeza de Baca and Ceran St. Vrain. A few of the ballots used at this first state election are still in existence, in the collection of the New Mexico Historical Society, and are written on paper of uniform size. Connelly and Alvarez were elected by a considerable majority.
The legislature met on the 4th of July and continued in session over a week. It elected Francis A. Cunningham and Richard H. Weightman, United States senators; made various appointments, ordered an election for local officials in August, and proceeded to enact general legislation. This was entirely contrary to the language of Governor Munroe's proclamation, and assumed that the state was actually established, and its government fully organized, without any congressional action.
A controversy immediately arose between Alvarez, acting as state governor while Connelly was absent in the East, and Colonel Munroe, the military and civil governor of the territory. Both were able men and sustained their respective positions with vigor. However, any real conflict was avoided, until the news arrived by the slow mails across the plains that Congress had passed the so-called compromise measures of 1850, which settled the whole matter.
Under their provisions California was admitted as a free state; New Mexico and Utah, covering all the remaining area acquired from Mexico, were made into territories, with no mention of slavery; Texas abandoned her claim on New Mexico east of the Rio Grande, and received a large compensation therefore.
The next formal action looking towards statehood was early in 1866, when the legislature passed an act authorizing the governor to call a constitutional convention, to be elected on the first Monday in March and to meet in the city of Santa Fe; the constitution formulated to be submitted to a vote of the people on the fourth Monday in June. Apparently nothing of a practical nature was accomplished under this law.
On February 3, 1870, the legislature passed an act providing for an election to be held on the first Monday in October of that year for the purpose of submitting a state constitution and electing the state officers and legislature provided therein, but nothing seems to have resulted from this attempt to secure self-government,
To remedy this failure, the succeeding legislature took up the subject early in the session and passed a bill which was approved by the governor on February 1, 1872, entitled "An Act providing for a General Election for the Purpose of Submitting to a Vote of the People a State Constitution and State Officers."
The constitution that was thus submitted was printed in a pamphlet of forty-seven pages and was a comprehensive and well arranged document, creditable to those who prepared and adopted it.
On the day after the election the Daily New Mexican said, "The election yesterday passed off very quietly, only about half of the vote being polled." The next day there appeared in the New Mexican an editorial article, evidently inspired by Governor Giddings, which gave a reason or rather an excuse for letting the whole subject drop.
So this attempt at statehood, which occupied the attention of two legislatures, and caused a constitution to be prepared, printed, approved by the legislature, and submitted to the people at a special election held solely for that purpose, died without any good cause; and another of the unfortunate accidents which have retarded the progress of New Mexico was added to the list.
While these proceedings had been taken in New Mexico, on almost every available occasion, 'Congress had been no less active in considering the subject.
At almost every session a bill for the admission of New Mexico was introduced, generally reported favorably in the House, and more or less considered, but without any definite result.
In 1869 an attempt was made, though not by New Mexicans, to transform the territory into a state' called Lincoln; but this project was ultimately defeated in the Senate.
In the 40th Congress, Delegate J. Francisco Chaves made a vigorous and eloquent speech in favor of statehood and in defense of the people against unjust criticism.
In the 43d Congress (1873-5) the enabling act was introduced by Hon. Stephen B. Elkins, then delegate from New Mexico, and on the 21st of May, 1874, he delivered a carefully prepared speech on the bill, which contained the best collection of facts and arguments on the subject that had ever been presented to Congress. The bill passed the House by the remarkable vote of 160 to 54 and was sent to the Senate for concurrence. In that body it finally passed on February 24, 1875, by the decisive majority of 32 to 11, with a slight amendment. It was then that the series of misadventures which had accompanied all the attempts to secure New Mexican statehood from the beginning culminated in the incident which has become historic as the "Elkins handshake,'' and again dashed the cup of success from the very lips of the people of the territory. When the bill was returned to the House, after passing the Senate with amendments, but ten days of the session remained, and the difficulty was to get the bill before the House for action within this brief and busy time. To suspend the rules required a two-thirds vote, and this was necessary if the bill was to be considered at all.
Just at this time, Hon. Julius C. Burrows, of Michigan, made a powerful speech on political subjects, in which he characterized the Rebellion and those engaged in it in plain terms — which at that period, on account of its allusions to the war, was called a "bloody shirt" speech. Mr. Elkins, who had been conversing with friends in the lobby, had not heard a word of the speech, but happened to reenter the chamber just as Mr. Burrows had concluded and was receiving the congratulations of a crowd of members about him. Filled with his spirit of cordiality, Mr. Elkins joined the group and shook hands with the speaker with characteristic vigor. This was observed by a number of Southern members whose feelings had been much excited by the speech, and they instantly concluded that they would lend no aid to the passage of the New Mexico bill which it was understood would bring Mr. Elkins speedily to the Senate. The delegate did what he could in the brief interval to repair the damage, but a sufficient number of former supporters from Georgia and Alabama refused to be placated, thus making it impossible to obtain the two-thirds vote necessary; and so the enabling act was lost.
In the succeeding Congress (the 44th) Mr. Elkins again secured the introduction of the enabling act for New Mexico, and it passed the Senate during its first session, 011 March 10, 1876, by the strong vote of 35 to 15. In the House of Representatives it was reported favorably by the committee on territories, and was on the calendar, awaiting action at the time of the final adjournment.
After these virtual defeats, although in no case was there an actual vote adverse to New Mexico, and the retirement of Mr. Elkins as delegate, no active efforts looking to statehood were made for several years.
Early in the session of the 50th Congress, which met in December, 1887, a bill was introduced "To provide for the formation and admission into the Union of the States of Washington, Dakota, Montana and New Mexico." Accompanying this bill was a very voluminous report, or series of reports, covering 145 pages and regarding the four territories affected by it. The minority report, presented by Mr. Struble of Iowa, attracted much attention, and aroused great indignation in New Mexico, on account of its violent opposition to our admission to statehood, and the bitter attack on the territory and its people.
The subject was discussed at length, both in and out of Congress, and the result was the elimination of New Mexico and the admission of the two Dakotas, of Washington, and Montana.
On the 6th day of January, 1890, Mr. Springer, of Illinois, introduced a bill "To enable the people of Arizona, Idaho, New Mexico, and Wyoming, to form constitutions and State governments and to be admitted into the Union,'' etc.
In this case, again, the Southwest was neglected and the Northwest was favored; for before the passage of the bill Arizona and New Mexico, though by far the oldest of the four territories named, and New Mexico being also the most populous, were eliminated from it. They were thus left in the territorial condition, while Idaho and Wyoming, with a combined population less than that of New Mexico alone, were admitted.
In the 52d Congress (1891-3), Mr. Joseph again introduced an enabling act, known as House Bill 7136. He succeeded in securing a favorable report from the committee on territories, and by courtesy was appointed to make the report himself, which he did on March 16, 1892. The bill passed the House on June 6th and reached the Senate June 8, 1892, but had the usual fate of failing to pass that body.
In the 53d Congress, Hon. Antonio Joseph was again a delegate from New Mexico, and introduced a statehood bill at the earliest possible opportunity of the first session. This bill passed the House on the 28th of June, 1894, and in the senate was referred to the committee on territories. As usual, the session proved too short for action on the bill, so it suffered the fate of its predecessors.
Constitution Of 1890
While Congress was discussing one of these numerous bills, without result, the people of New Mexico determined to take the matter into their own hands and initiate the necessary proceedings for admission to the Union.
In February, 1889, Hon. George W. Prichard introduced in the Council'' An Act to Provide for a Constitutional Convention and the Formation of a State Constitution." The bill provided for a delegate convention to be held in September, 1889, for the purpose of framing a constitution. The convention was to be composed of 73 delegates, who were apportioned by the bill among the various counties, and were to be chosen at an election on the first Tuesday in August. It was to frame a constitution and provide for a special election at which such constitution should be submitted to the people for ratification. This bill was passed by both houses, but the governor failed to approve it, as he considered the apportionment objectionable; but he did not veto it, and it became a law by limitation, February 28, 1889.
The Democrats, as a rule, under peremptory orders from Mr. Childers, chairman of their committee, refused to nominate candidates or participate in the election. A very few men of sufficient influence or independence to disregard the commands of the party leaders united with the Republicans in the campaign, Hon. L. S. Trimble, long a member of Congress from Kentucky, being the most conspicuous example.
The convention met on September 3, 1889, elected J. Francisco Chaves as president, and continued in session till September 21st. The constitution was then printed in both English and Spanish and circulated widely throughout the territory.
After an adjournment of nearly an entire year the convention reassembled on August 18,1890, and provided for the submission of the constitution to a vote of the people on October 7, 1890. At the election the constitution was defeated by a vote of 16,180 to 7,493.
This adverse vote had no effect on the efforts of the people for self-government, and all parties proceeded as before in endeavoring to secure admission through an enabling act of Congress.
Congressional Action Again
In the 54th Congress (1895), Mr. Joseph was succeeded by Hon. Thomas B. Catron. He had always been an active friend of statehood and lost no time in introducing an enabling act.
The history of the struggle during the next ten years presents a succession of attempts, regularly begun at the opening of each new Congress, carried on with more or less vigor, with apparent excellent prospects of success, usually resulting in the passage of the bill by the House of Representatives and its reference in the Senate to the committee on territories. Sometimes there would be public hearings by a committee; usually the delegate would make at least one speech, begging for tardy justice to his people, and then at some stage of the procedure, either in the House or in the Senate, either in committee or on the floor, a snag was encountered, and the bill died at the end of the session because it could not overcome the obstacle in time.
Mr. Catron was succeeded as delegate by Hon. H. B. Fergusson in the 55th Congress, and he, by Hon. Pedro Perea in the 56th.
Hon. Bernard S. Rodey was delegate from New Mexico in both the 57th and 58th Congresses, which extended from 1901 to 1905.
To say that he was devoted to the cause of statehood is to state the case mildly. He was enthusiastically devoted to it. He set before himself as the one great object to be attained during his congressional service, the passage of an enabling act for New Mexico. Everything else was subordinated to it, in order that this particular matter could have undivided attention. But even his enthusiasm could not produce the desired effect; and the sessions were barren of result.
In 1905, Hon. W. H. Andrews became delegate from New Mexico, and took up the work of the struggle where it had been left by his predecessor. Mr. Andrews was no less anxious for statehood than Mr. Rodey; but his method of operation was entirely different. He was never known to make a regular "speech," except of the shortest description; but as a quiet and convincing conversationalist he had few equals. His close connection with Senators Quay and Penrose and the Pennsylvania delegation gave him an influence that was very valuable, and which was constantly used to advance the cause of New Mexican statehood.
The question of forming one state by uniting New Mexico and Arizona, became prominent at this time, the bill which elicited most debate being an enabling act for Oklahoma and the Indian Territory as one state, and for New Mexico and Arizona as one state.
Joint Statehood Movement Of 1906
The idea of joint statehood for New Mexico and Arizona was distasteful in both territories. There was a good reason for this. Nature itself had separated them by placing the great continental divide as a practical barrier between them. It seemed impossible for the Eastern mind to grasp this elemental fact. The average Eastern congressman, knowing that each territory was anxious for statehood, and really unfavorable to an increase of Western states, looked at the map, saw two squares contiguous to each other, and instantly found a satisfactory solution of the difficulty by saying: '' Why not join them together and make one oblong of them?" The opponents of Western influence saw in this an easy method to reduce the danger of too many senators; and to the ignorant and unthinking it seemed a simple and natural arrangement, and so the "joint statehood" bill was passed by Congress.
What made the plan even more unpalatable to New Mexicans was the proposition to call the new state "Arizona." This showed as great an ignorance of history as the proposed union did of geography.
But the joint statehood bill having been passed, the practical question was, what to do about it. The national administration in Washington was fully committed to this plan of admission. The territories were practically threatened by the dominant powers at the national capital that if this plan for admission was rejected by the people, it would be long before any new opportunity for statehood could be obtained. In the minds of most New Mexicans it was a choice between two evils, and the intense desire to escape from the demoralizing conditions almost inseparable from the provincial system, and to enjoy the American right of self-government, prevailed with a great number of citizens.
The two political organizations in New Mexico, usually too antagonistic to work harmoniously in any cause, through their territorial committees united in an appeal to the people to vote '' aye'' at the election, for joint statehood.
It is probable that the almost universal belief that Arizona would vote against jointure, and that consequently New Mexico could show her desire for statehood without danger, and place herself in a favorable position for future action in Washington had influence with some. At all events, the majority in favor of admission under the joint statehood act, at the election of 1906 in New Mexico, was a very substantial one, the vote being nearly two to one in the territory and as high as ten to one in certain counties. It was officially announced as follows:
Majority for joint statehood 11,460
Arizona voted " no" on the joint statehood proposition, by an overwhelming vote, as had been expected; and that negative vote ended all further proceedings under the joint statehood act.
Proposed Convention Of 1907
With careful foresight preliminary measures had been taken in advance of the election to take advantage of exactly the situation which actually did occur, by arranging that in case Arizona declined the proffered partnership, but New Mexico voted for statehood, the New Mexican delegates should meet and formulate a constitution for that state alone and present it in Washington with a request for admission under it.
The advantages of this course were obvious to everyone informed as to the history of the admission of territories. A considerable number of the delegates, representing all sections of the territory, met at the capitol in Santa Fe on January 7, 1907, and organized by the election of L. B. Prince, of Rio Arriba county, as president, and David M. White, of Santa Fe, as secretary. Letters were received from a large number of absent delegates stating that they would attend as soon as active business was commenced. Letters were also read from a number of leading United States senators expressing great interest in the work of the convention and urging the early formation and presentation of a constitution. After a full discussion of the situation, it was resolved to adjourn to February 5th, when the legislature would be in session.
At the February meeting, a large number of delegates who could not attend in January were present. All recognized the importance of framing a constitution as soon as practicable, in order to secure early congressional action, but there was considerable discussion as to the necessary expenses of the convention. Mr. Catron moved that a committee of seven be appointed to prepare a bill for the legislature, looking to a meeting of the convention in August, and to confer with members of that body relative to its provisions and passage.
For reasons difficult to understand, no further action was taken. The legislature was a very busy one and largely occupied by political contentious, and gave the subject scant attention. After the legislature had failed to act, the governor was asked to name a time for the assembling of the delegates, in order to give the convention his official sanction, but this also failed.
Thus again the opportunity for almost immediate admission was lost. Every one has since realized that if the delegates had gone on with their work and prepared a constitution, and the matter could thus have been presented to Congress in the succeeding winter, free from uncertainty as to the character of the government which would be established, New Mexico would have become a state in 1908.
When the 61st Congress met, in December, 1909, Mr. Andrews again represented New Mexico, having been reflected mainly on the statehood issue. He pursued the course of wisdom by cooperating with the House committee on territories, with the result that on January 17, 1910, the so-called Hamilton Bill — H. R. 18166 — was passed by the House of Representatives without opposition. It was received in the Senate the next day and referred to the committee on territories.
It was well known that Senator Beveridge had in mind a number of provisions varying from those in the Hamilton bill, but thanks to strong influences outside- of Congress, preeminent among which was that of President Taft, there was now little outspoken opposition to statehood for either New Mexico or Arizona.
The only division was as to preference for the Senate or the House bill. The vote on this question was by strict party lines, the Republicans voting for the Senate bill and the Democrats for the House bill, the result being 42 to 19 in favor of the former. On the final vote on the passage of the bill, the vote was unanimous!
Shortly after two o'clock on the afternoon of Saturday, June 18th, Speaker Cannon laid the bill as amended in the Senate before the House. There was a moment of suppressed excitement, and then Mr. Lloyd, of Missouri, the senior Democratic member of the committee, rose and said that while he was not entirely satisfied with the Senate bill, yet in order to insure immediate statehood for the territories he would not oppose it. Instantly Mr. Hamilton, the committee chairman, moved to concur in the Senate amendments. The question was put, viva voce, there being no demand for a roll call, and the House concurred by unanimous vote!
The deed was done! The long conflict of sixty years was over! Members crowded around Delegate Andrews to offer congratulations.
That was on Saturday.
The president had signified his desire to affix the signature which would give legal vitality to the bill and transform it into a law before leaving Washington on Monday, so all the preceding formalities were hastened.
On Monday morning, notwithstanding its length, the statehood bill was properly enrolled and ready for the official signatures.
From the capitol it was quickly conveyed to the White House, where the president was ready to act. Here were assembled several of those who had been most active in achieving its success, with such representatives of the two territories as were in the national capital.
The president said a few words of congratulation, and then proposed to affix his official signature. The postmaster-general presented a gold pen with the request that it should be used, and Delegate Andrews produced the unique gold-banded quill taken from the great American eagle captured in Taos, and furnished for the occasion, in its beautiful case, as a patriotic service by George B. Paxton, when he had no thought that death would forbid his presence at the ceremony. The president wrote half of the signature with the former and the remainder with the latter, returning the pens to the donors as mementoes of this great historic occasion.
The White House clock stood at 1:40 p. m.
That signature ended the drama of the "Struggle for Statehood." There had been more than fifty statehood bills in the sixty years of effort. Those few pen strokes transformed a Statehood Bill into a Statehood Law.
On Saturday, January 6, 1912 , at 1:35 p.m. in Washington D.C. , a delegation including W.H. Andrews and two congressmen-elect from New Mexico gathered at the Whitehouse and proudly witnessed the making of their new state. President William H. Taft signed the proclamation making New Mexico the 47th state of the United States of America . After affixing his signature to the proclamation, President Taft, turned to Delegate Andrews, and Congressmen George Curry and Harvey Ferguson and remarked: "Well, it is all over, I am glad to give you life. I hope you will be healthy.” The following month, Arizona was proclaimed a state on February 14, 1912 . Almost sixty four years after the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, the sister territories of the Southwest were finally brought into the union.
Following the Mexican-American War, from 1846-1848 and the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848, Mexico ceded its mostly unsettled northern holdings, today known as the American Southwest and California, to the United States of America. In the Compromise of 1850 Texas ceded its claims to the area lying east of the Rio Grande in exchange for ten million dollars. The United States acquired the southwestern boot heel of the state and southern Arizona below the Gila river in the mostly desert Gadsden Purchase of 1853. Congress admitted New Mexico as the 47th state in the Union on January 6, 1912
William J. Mills (1910)
Governor Mills came to the gubernatorial office well equipped for its duties. He had legislative experience in both houses of the Connecticut legislature, and had been chief justice of New Mexico since 1898. This experience not only gave facility in disposing of most administrative questions but a poise and tact which smoothed many difficulties.
Much of his term of office was occupied by matters connected with the transition to statehood. On June 20, 1910, the enabling act was signed by the president. This was followed by the preparations for the election of a constitutional convention, and that election itself on September 6th. The governor, chief justice, and secretary constituted a commission to apportion the delegates among the respective counties, and this duty was performed on June 28th and the election proclamation was issued the next day. The convention contained 100 delegates, and as elected consisted of 71 Republicans and 29 Democrats. Charles A. Spiess, of Las Vegas, was elected president. The convention met on October 3, 1910, was in session till November 21st, and formulated a constitution good in most of its provisions, but not containing the new theories rife at the time and then called "progressive." The section as to amendments was especially objectionable on account of the difficulties that it placed in the way of future constitutional changes. The constitution was very satisfactory in guarding with extreme care the rights of Spanish-speaking citizens. . The vote of the people on the adoption of the constitution was taken on January 21, 1911, when the result as recorded was 31,742 in favor and 13,399 against. While this is not an accurate expression of the people's will, because unfortunately in a few counties over-zealous friends of statehood prevented any ballots against the constitution being circulated or cast, yet even with a liberal calculation of the votes thus suppressed, the majority in favor of the proposition was many thousands. There was much discussion and delay in Congress, but finally the resolution admitting New Mexico and Arizona was passed, and signed by the president on August 21st. The only proviso, so far as New Mexico was concerned, was that at the first election the people should vote on the proposition to facilitate the making of amendments to the constitution. As the congressional resolution provided that this question should be voted on separately, by a ballot printed on blue paper, the question was commonly called "The Blue Ballot."
The final acquisition of the long-fought-for boon of statehood brought new duties to the governor, upon whom it devolved to fix the date of the first state election and give notice thereof by proclamation. This was accordingly done, the day selected being November 7th. Instantly political activity was rife throughout the state, everyone desiring to take part in the first state election. With many it was the first opportunity they had ever had to vote for a governor or for a regular member of Congress.
Both parties made strenuous efforts to carry the state at its first election. The Republican convention, confident of victory, met at Las Vegas on September 28th, and the Democratic at Santa Pe on October 2d. Had wise counsels prevailed at Las Vegas there was no doubt of Republican success. But several circumstances weakened the chances for the ticket nominated. The insistence on Hon. H. O. Bursum as candidate for governor, when he had evident elements of weakness, an unfortunate and impassioned address raising the "race issue," by Mr. 0. A. Larrazola, until recently a Democratic leader, and the arbitrary manner in which the remainder of the ticket was dictated, were chiefly responsible for the subsequent defeat. The Democratic convention was less confident, and perhaps therefore more careful. It nominated William C. McDonald, of Lincoln county, for governor and placed two progressive Republicans on the ticket.
The succeeding campaign was brief but vigorous, and the number of "split" tickets cast and the wide difference in the aggregate votes of the leading candidates, show that the people cast their first state ballot with a care and study most commendable and encouraging. The '' blue ballot'' amendment received a much larger majority than any individual candidate, 34,897 to 23,831, which is surprising, because as a rule it is difficult to arouse the interest of voters in an abstract proposition. Of the principal officers, the Democrats elected the governor, lieutenant-governor, one congressman, superintendent of public instruction, secretary of state, and treasurer; and the Republicans the attorney-general, auditor, one congressman, the commissioner of public lands, and two of the three supreme judges. The total vote cast was 60,842.
Nothing now remained for the territorial government which had existed so long but to end its days with dignity and grace.
On January 6, 1912, the president signed the proclamation admitting New Mexico into the American Union.
On January 15th, at noon, the first governor of the state of New Mexico took the oath of office, and the territorial authority, which had existed for over sixty years, was at an end. The ceremonies were dignified and appropriate. Governor Mills made an address, largely a review of the past; Governor McDonald took the oath which made him the chief executive of the state, and delivered his inaugural address, which looked to the future and what it held for the welfare of New Mexico and its people.
The flag of the nation waved from the dome of the capitol, directly over the actors in this great political drama.
The band burst into the exultant strain of patriotic music.