Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Santa Fé (2.)

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

SANTA FÉ, a city of the United States, capital of New Mexico, stands in a wide plain surrounded by mountains about 7000 feet above the sea, in 35° 41′ N. lat. and 105° 46′ W. long., near the Santa Fé Creek, which joins the Rio Grande del Norte 14 or 15 miles farther south-west. It is connected by a branch line (18 miles) with the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fé Railroad at Lamy Junction, 835 miles from Atchison. The houses are mainly constructed of adobe, and the irregularity of the plan shows how recently the city has come under the influence of “American” progress. Among the more noteworthy buildings are the new capitol, for which funds were voted in 1883, the Roman Catholic cathedral, erected since 1870, and the old governor's palace, a long low edifice occupying one side of the principal plaza, which now contains a soldiers' monument in honour of those who fell in the service of the United States. Santa Fé is an important centre of trade, and the development of the mining industries in the vicinity is rapidly increasing its prosperity. The population was 6635 in 1881.


One of the oldest cities of North America, Santa Fé de San Francisco was the capital of New Mexico from 1640, but remained

in comparative seclusion till the early part of the present century, when it became a main station on what was called the Santa Fé Trail—the trade route between the United States and Mexico, or more especially between St Louis and Chihuahua. A custom-house was established in the city in 1821, and the first American mercantile house began business in 1826. By 1843 the value of the merchandise entrusted to the train of 230 waggons from St Louis was $450,000. General Kearny built Fort Marcy at Santa Fé in 1846, and in 1851 the city became the capital of the new Territory.

In 1862 it was occupied for a few days by the Confederates.