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Dalton C. Bergan research materials on Lucien Bonaparte Maxwell and François Xavier Aubry

Identifier: MSS-765-BC

Scope and Content

This collection contains notes and material acquired by Dalton C. Bergan while researching at various institutions in the United States. The photocopied material dating 1852-1975 consists of newspaper clippings, articles and documents about Lucien Bonaparte Maxwell and François Xavier Aubry. One article about Aubry is in French with an English translation. The collection also contains notes Bergan took including his comments, which are handwritten or typed in red. Bergan includes notes from conversations with relatives of Lucien Maxwell. There are also maps from Arizona, Kansas, New Mexico, California, and Nevada noting Aubry's route and places named after Aubry. The maps show where Bergan traveled and document where Bergan thought Aubry traveled. Using some of this material Bergan wrote The Pathfinder: The Story of Francis X. Aubry on the Santa Fe Trail and the California - Santa Fe Trail, 1846-1854. The index cards are arranged by year based on events in the life of Lucien Maxwell and his family or on events of the time such as land grant issues, the military, ranching, and transportation. Also on each note card is a brief citation of where Bergan found the information, often referring to his own notebooks from his research trips, 1969-1978. Also included are photographs and negatives.


  • 1852-1978


Language of Materials

English, French

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

Dalton C. Bergan graduated from the University of New Mexico in 1937 in Mechanical Engineering. He was a member of the Sigma Tau fraternity and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. While working at the JET Propulsion Laboratory in California he wrote books on the histories of the Bergan and Hugos-Hinoien families from the Minnesota, southwest North Dakota and Canadian communities. He also wrote Pathfinder: The Story of François X. Aubry on the Santa Fe Trail and the California - Santa Fe Trail, 1846-1854.

Lucien Bonaparte Maxwell, frontiersman and rancher, was born in Illinois in 1818. He worked in the fur trade at Bent's Fort in southeastern Colorado eventually arriving in Taos in 1841. He married Luz Beaubien, daughter of Charles Beaubien, in March 1842. Charles Beaubien had the opportunity to buy his partner's share in the Beaubien-Miranda Land Grant. Beaubien was not interested, but his son-in-law, Lucien Maxwell was. In 1858, Miranda's property was signed over to Maxwell for the sum of $2,745. Later Maxwell bought the rest of the land from the Beaubien heirs. In 1871 Lucien and Luz Beaubien Maxwell sold the entire estate to a Colorado syndicate headed by Jerome B. Chaffee. Maxwell died at age 56, five years after selling out.

François Xavier Aubry, a Santa Fe trader and freighter, was born in the Quebec Province in 1824. In 1843 he left Canada for the United States where he worked as a clerk in Saint Louis. His first visit to Santa Fe was in June 1846. He looked for short cuts on the Santa Fe and Chihuahua trails. His journals and letters were published in the newspapers of the time. In 1853-1854 he searched for a good route for the Pacific Railroad between Santa Fe and San Francisco. In August 1854 in Santa Fe, Aubry was killed by Major R. H. Weightman.


3 boxes ( 1.6 cu. ft.) + 1 oversize folder


This collection is composed of Dalton C. Bergan's research notebooks, photocopied material and note cards on Lucien Bonaparte Maxwell and François Xavier Aubry. Bergan used some of this material to write a book on Aubry.


Material from notebooks left in original order.

Related Archival Material

Maxwell Land Grant Company Records Center for Southwest Research, University of New Mexico Maxwell Land Grant Photographs Center for Southwest Research, University of New Mexico William A. Keleher Papers Center for Southwest Research, University of New Mexico

Separated Material

Two books transferred to University Libraries book collection.


Contact Information

  1. University of New Mexico
  2. MSC05 3020, 1, University of New Mexico
  3. Center for Southwest Research
  4. Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001
  5. Phone: 505-277-7172
  6. Fax:
  7. Email:
  8. URL:


Finding Aid of the Dalton C. Bergan research materials on Lucien Bonaparte Maxwell and François Xavier Aubry, 1852-1978
Processed by T.S. Reinig
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • 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