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Fred Lambert Papers

Identifier: MSS-519-BC

Scope and Content

The Fred Lambert papers consist of newspaper clippings, original poetic drafts and illustrations, miscellaneous longhand drafts, and two copies of his book, Bygone Days of The Old West. Articles and his contributions to other literary works are organized chronologically and also include some correspondence. Three books that he contributed to either artistically or through oral tradition,A Cowboy Detective, New Mexico: A Guide to the Colorful State, and The Longhorns are also included in the collection.


  • 1850-1971

Language of Materials


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

Fred Lambert, law enforcer, writer, painter and museum curator was born on January 23, 1887, in the historic St. James Hotel in Cimarron New Mexico. His education was typical of his time; he attended public school and eventually went on to the New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell.

Lambert became a deputy sheriff at the age of 16 and later was a lawman with the New Mexico Mounted Police and Indian Service (1913). This was the beginning of a 40 year career in law enforcement. The pioneer lawman also worked on ranches and spent his spare time writing cowboy poetry and sketching. He published a book of his poems and pen and ink drawings titled, Bygone Days Of The Old West and contributed to other books including, A Cowboy Detective, and New Mexico, A Guide to the Colorful State. He assisted in the preparation of a book on the history of the New Mexico Mounted Police, The Thin Gray Line, and wrote a brief introduction entitled, "A Few Words From an Old Mountie". He also served as a consultant for other publications such as, Satins Paradise and Haunted Highways.

Many legends surround Fred Lambert and his family. His father, Henri Lambert came from Bordeaux, France, in 1858. He was a cook for Gen, Ulysses S. Grant and cooked in the White House for President Lincoln. He came to Cimarron during the gold rush in 1863 and opened the St. James Hotel. The many legends surrounding Fred Lambert include how he single-handedly captured three murderers at age 16 and was deputized during a gun fight, and, how in his youth, Lambert served as a bartender at his fathers hotel -- a place where no less than 26 men died in wild gunfights. Men such as Buffalo Bill, Pawnee Bill, Charlie Siringo, Bob Masterson, Buckskin Charlie, Black Jack Ketchum and Tom Boggs, grandson of Daniel Boone all seem to have been among Fred Lambert "of the Cimarron's" acquaintances.

Fred Lambert was active as curator of the Old Mill Museum in Cimarron, which was built by Lucien Maxwell, where a variety of historical items are displayed. Fred Lambert died in Raton in 1971.

Source: Thin Gray Line-- The New Mexico Mounted Police, Hornung, Chuck Fort Worth, 1971.


1 box (1 cu. ft.)

Finding Aid of the Fred Lambert Papers, 1850-1971
Processed by CSWR Staff
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 519 BC::Fred Lambert Papers)//EN" "nmu1mss519bc.sgml" converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02.xsl (sy2003-10-15).
  • Monday, 2021-05-24: 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