Through this audio and video program, you will be able to listen to short stories about the French in New Mexico. Most will be told in English, French and Spanish, although the first one below is in Corsican (with subtitles)!!!
Listed more or less in chronological order (most recent first), I hope that you will enjoy the following:
My talk of January 13, 2016 in Santa Fe at the Palace of the Governors
As part of the New Mexico History Museum’s Chavez Library monthly lunch lectures about New Mexico and the American Southwest.In the Auditorium at the New Mexico History Museum, 113 Lincoln Ave. As the auditorium was full, you might have missed it. See it now here. (You might see some scary warning popping-up from the museum’s website, do not worry, it’s OK!)
Interview on KSFR news on January 13, 2016:
Many Santa Feans know about our five French Archbishops in the 1800’s and early 1900’s. But fewer are aware that New Mexico’s history with French immigrants is much richer, and reaches back to the 16th century. Francois-Marie Patorni became Santa Fe’s unofficial French historian when he moved to the City Different ten years ago. This year, he’s the first speaker in the New Mexico History Museum’s brown bag lecture series. KSFR reporter and lifelong Francophile Kate Powell caught up with Francois-Marie about the surprising impact of French immigrants in the Southwest, and about the book he’s writing on the subject.
José Antonio was a major figure of the Santa Fe expedition. He was a French-Corsican-Texan hero who played a leading part in the colonization and independence movement of Texas. He was a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence in 1836 and served as elected Senator in the Congress of the Republic of Texas. He was the son of Angel Navarro (born in about 1749 near Ajaccio in the island of Corsica), who left the island then in turmoil in about 1762, when he was about 13 years old. He was raised among the progressive ideas of his times in Corsica, which probably influenced his outlook on politics in later life: A Corsican Constitution had been instituted in 1755 under the leadership of Pascal Paoli, which would later influence the U.S. Constitution (the town of Paoli in Pennsylvania and several other towns in the U.S. are named in Paoli’s honor). The Corsican Constitution provided for the vote of women and is the first democratic constitution in modern times. Corsica is officially part of France since 1768.
The Santa Fe expedition suffered many hardships. It got lost, lacked food and water, and was attacked twice by Indians. As they arrived in Santa Fe, the Texans were captured. New Mexicans celebrated the event, and burned copies of President Lamar’s proclamations on the plaza at Las Vegas. A folk play, Los Tejanos (The Texans), was performed, telling the story of the expedition.
Most of the members of the expedition were later released, except Navarro. As a Mexican citizen, he was charged with treason, sentenced to death, imprisoned in the Acordada prison in Mexico for two years and then in the dungeon of San Juan Ulloa. Navarro’s sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment. In 1845, he escaped in 1845 to Cuba, then to New Orleans, and finally returned to Galveston where he resumed a prominent political career.
Several places are named in José Navarro’s honor: a Texas County, Navarro Street, and numerous public schools. The Navarro county seat, Corsicana, is named in honor of Navarro’s Corsican-born father. José Antonio Navarro and his father are heroes honored to this day in Corsica.
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