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Benjamin Morris Thomas Collection

Identifier: PAC 025

Scope and Content

Collection consists of some 300 early images by various photographers of primarily southwestern Indian subjects, printed in a variety of formats and sizes (cabinet cards, stereos, boudoir cards, etc.) from the 1870s through 1912. Original collection by B.M. Thomas was added to by his son Bradley M. Thomas following Benjamin’s death. Photographs are itemized by negative number followed title or description. Mnay of these images have been posted on the Palace of the Governors Photo Archive online digitized collection at


  • 1863 - 1928
  • Majority of material found in Placeholder Unit Date Text


Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

Researchers may examine material in collection under supervised conditions in the Reading Room upon approval of application

Copy Restrictions

Permission to publish must be obtained from Photo Archives. Online Request Permission form available at: User responsible for all copyright compliance.

Biographical Information

Benjamin Morris Thomas, a Santa Fe dentist and Republican Territorial Secretary, moved to New Mexico from Indiana in 1870 with William Crothers who was stationed at Fort Wingate as an Indian agent. Thomas suffered from a pulmonary illness as did Crothers. As a result he assisted his friend with his duties until taking a position in the Indian Service in 1871. Following his years as an Agency Farmer with the Navajo he held positions working with the Mimbres and Jicarilla Apache, Ute and the Pueblo Indians (1874-1893) of New Mexico. An advocate of the self-sufficient Pueblo Indians way of life, he fought U.S. government policy which tended to benefit the more nomadic tribes, to allocate more funding for the Pueblo communities. Along with his school teacher wife he was interested in education as a way of assimilating Pueblo children, including boarding schools to remove them from home influences. He served as New Mexico Territorial Secretary from 1888 to 1892. Also a trained dentist he returned to Santa Fe in 1888 to set up practice and died there in 1892.


1 linear foot

Collection Available Online

A selection of Benjamin Morris Thomas Collection images are available at New Mexico's Digital Collections

Related Material

Benjamin Morris Thomas manuscript and document collection AC 221 Fray Angelico Chavez History Library. 38 photographs by John K. Hillers moved to PAC 020. 12 photographs by William Henry Jackson moved to PAC 019


A selection of Benjamin Morris Thomas Collection images are available at New Mexico's Digital Collections
Benjamin Morris Thomas Collection, 1863 - 1928
Edited Full Draft
© 2010
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • Monday, 20210524: Attribute normal is missing or blank.

Repository Details

Part of the NMHM Palace of the Governors Photo Archives Repository

113 Lincoln Ave.
Santa Fe NM 87501 USA