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Colonel John L. Gay Collection of Papers Pertaining to the Armijo Family,

Identifier: MSS-193-BC

Scope and Content

The John L. Gay collection (1841-1902) consists primarily of business documents and correspondence concerning Manuel and Rafael Armijo. These papers are particularly valuable in that they throw light on some phases of the Civil War period in New Mexico. The Armijos were merchants with stores in Albuquerque, Mesilla and other places in New Mexico. The Armijos identified themselves with the South at the beginning of the Civil War, and sold quantities of merchandise to Baylor, Sibley, and other officers of the Confederacy, taking promissory notes in exchange.

The folders are in chronological order and mostly contain one document per folder. Folders 24-27 contain bills of sale to Rafael Armijo for purchase of "Negro" slaves, dated March 17, 1865 - April 15, 1865. Also included in the collection are ejectment documents; discharge certificates from service with the New Mexico volunteers; receipts for goods received, including one from Lt. Col. W.C. McNeil, Ft. Bliss Texas, dated June 12, 1862; documents relating to "Indian depredations;" a Presidential pardon from Andrew Johnson to Rafael Armijo for Armijo's conduct during the Civil War; and the Congressional Record of 1902, which contains hearings before the committee of the Senate and House on the admission of New Mexico, Arizona, and Oklahoma to statehood.

The collection was donated to the University of New Mexico by Gertrude M. Gay, the widow of Col. John L. Gay in 1961 through W. A. Keleher, Albuquerque attorney and author. Most of the collection is in Spanish.


  • 1841-1902 (bulk 1854-1887)

Language of Materials

English Spanish

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copy Restrictions

Limited duplication of CSWR material is allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for compliance with all copyright, privacy, and libel laws. Permission is required for publication or distribution.

Biographical Information

John L. Gay, was born in Missouri and was a long time resident of New Mexico. He was employed by the Railway Mail Service, on the Santa Fe system, between Colorado and New Mexico. He spoke to the 1902 Committee of the Senate and House in support of statehood for New Mexico.


1 box (.5 cu. ft.)

Related Material

Nicolas T. Armijo Family Papers Center for Southwest Research, University of New Mexico Libraries

Relevant Secondary Sources

  • United States Congress. Congressional Record: Hearings before the Committee of the Senate and House on Admission of New Mexico, Arizona and Oklahoma to Statehood, Senator Beveridge, Chairman, June 27, 1902: 365.
Finding Aid of the Colonel John L. Gay Collection of Papers Pertaining to the Armijo Family, 1841-1902 (bulk 1854-1887)
Described by D. Trujillo
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • June 28, 2004: PUBLIC "-//University of New Mexico::Center for Southwest Research//TEXT (US::NmU::MSS 193 BC::Colonel John L. Gay Collection of Papers Pertaining to the Armijo Family)//EN" "nmu1mss193bc.sgml" converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02.xsl (sy2003-10-15).
  • Monday, 20210524: Attribute normal is missing or blank.

Repository Details

Part of the UNM Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections Repository

University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections
University Libraries, MSC05 3020
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque NM 87131