William S. Messervy Collection
Identifier: AC 147-p
Scope and Content
Collection consists of materials concerning William Messervy and his family. The Messervy Collection is arranged topically and chronologically.
Language of Materials
Duplication allowed for research purposes. User responsible for all copyright compliance.
William Sherman Messervy
William Sherman Messervy (8-26-1812 to 2-19-1886) was born in Salem, Massachusetts to William Messervy and Eliza Passarow Messervy. At twenty-one years of age, he went west to St. Louis and subsequently engaged in commercial activities there until his removal to Independence, Missouri. From the early 1830s to 1855, Messervy participated in the Santa Fe Trail trade and established a merchandising house in Chihuahua, Mexico. During the war between the United States and Mexico, Messervy and other American citizens residing in Mexico were incarcerated until Colonel Alexander W. Doniphan's troops freed them. Messervy relocated his business in Santa Fe following conclusion of the conflict. In June of 1850, Messervy was elected Delegate from the Territory of New Mexico to the United States House of Representatives. Three years later, on 8 April 1853, President Franklin Pierce appointed him Secretary to the Territory of New Mexico. During David Meriwether's absence in 1854, Messervy became the ex officio Governor of the Territory. Messervy left the Southwest in 1855 to return to Salem. There he married Lucy Jane Dodge with whom he had two sons. In 1856-57 Messervy held his last public office as Mayor of Salem.
George Passarow Messervy
George Passarow Messervy, one of two sons of William S. Messervy and Lucy Jane Messervy, was born in Salem, Massachusetts. George Messervy graduated from Harvard University in 1880. After a summer vacation in Wyoming (his first trip west of the Hudson River), George attended Washington University Law School in Saint Louis, Missouri. In June of 1882, he graduated from law school and was admitted to the bar in Missouri specializing in admiralty law. George invested in western real estate. Having specialized in admiralty law, George Messervy found too little business in Missouri to support his practice and returned to Salem in 1885. George continued to practice law with a Boston firm until he retired from active practice in 1894. Being financially independent, George traveled about the world, enjoyed the remaining years of his life, and authored The Quick-Step of an Emperor: Maximilian of Mexico (London: Grant Richards Ltd., 1921). George Messervy had no children.
Photographs received with the collection are housed and cataloged separately.
- Fray Angélico Chávez History Library
- The Palace of the Governors
- P.O. Box 2087
- Santa Fe, New Mexico 87504-2087, U.S.A.
- Phone: (+)505.476.5090
- Fax: (+)505.476.5093
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- URL: www.palaceofthegovernors.org
- Guide to the William S. Messervy Collection, 1791-1927
- Edited Full Draft
- Processed by Library Staff
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script
- Language of description note
- Finding aid is in English
- June 28, 2004: PUBLIC "-//Museum of New Mexico::Fray Angelico Chavez History Library//TEXT (US::NmSM::AC 147-p::William S. Messervy Collection)//EN" "nmsm1ac147-p.sgml" converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02.xsl (sy2003-10-15).
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