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Revolt at Taos: The New Mexican and Indian Insurrection of 1847

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An Uprising by New Mexicans and Native Americans Against American Rule that Continues to Resonate Today On the morning of January 19, 1847, Charles Bent, the newly appointed governor of the American-claimed territory of New Mexico, was savagely killed at his home in Don Fernando de Taos, a small, remote town located north of Santa Fe. Those responsible for Bent’s murder we An Uprising by New Mexicans and Native Americans Against American Rule that Continues to Resonate Today On the morning of January 19, 1847, Charles Bent, the newly appointed governor of the American-claimed territory of New Mexico, was savagely killed at his home in Don Fernando de Taos, a small, remote town located north of Santa Fe. Those responsible for Bent’s murder were New Mexican settlers and Indians from nearby Taos Pueblo who refused to recognize the United States occupation. With emotions rubbed raw, the natives continued their bloodbath until five more leading citizens were massacred in Taos. During the ensuing months, American civilians and soldiers, along with scores of New Mexicans and Taos Indians, were killed and wounded throughout the region. Less than a month following Bent’s murder, in a two-day battle, volunteer and regular elements of an American army under the command of Colonel Sterling Price emerged victorious after bombarding the insurrectionists at their refuge in the church at Taos Pueblo. Surviving participants in the earlier Taos murders were arrested, tried in American-dominated courts, and, within weeks, hanged for their actions. The murder of Bent and the others at Taos and the subsequent trials and executions brought with them misunderstanding, controversy, mistrust, and recrimination on both sides of the issue. The events also subjected President James K. Polk’s administration to censure over what some critics believed was an overextension of presidential authority in claiming New Mexico as a territory. In Revolt at Taos: The New Mexican and Indian Insurrection of 1847, writer and historian James A. Crutchfield explores the fast-moving events surrounding the bloody revolt which left native inhabitants of New Mexico wondering how their neighbors and kinsmen could be legally tried, found guilty, and executed for acts they considered to have been honorable ones committed in defense of their country. These concerns have never been adequately addressed and their struggle has been all but scrubbed from the history of American expansion.


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An Uprising by New Mexicans and Native Americans Against American Rule that Continues to Resonate Today On the morning of January 19, 1847, Charles Bent, the newly appointed governor of the American-claimed territory of New Mexico, was savagely killed at his home in Don Fernando de Taos, a small, remote town located north of Santa Fe. Those responsible for Bent’s murder we An Uprising by New Mexicans and Native Americans Against American Rule that Continues to Resonate Today On the morning of January 19, 1847, Charles Bent, the newly appointed governor of the American-claimed territory of New Mexico, was savagely killed at his home in Don Fernando de Taos, a small, remote town located north of Santa Fe. Those responsible for Bent’s murder were New Mexican settlers and Indians from nearby Taos Pueblo who refused to recognize the United States occupation. With emotions rubbed raw, the natives continued their bloodbath until five more leading citizens were massacred in Taos. During the ensuing months, American civilians and soldiers, along with scores of New Mexicans and Taos Indians, were killed and wounded throughout the region. Less than a month following Bent’s murder, in a two-day battle, volunteer and regular elements of an American army under the command of Colonel Sterling Price emerged victorious after bombarding the insurrectionists at their refuge in the church at Taos Pueblo. Surviving participants in the earlier Taos murders were arrested, tried in American-dominated courts, and, within weeks, hanged for their actions. The murder of Bent and the others at Taos and the subsequent trials and executions brought with them misunderstanding, controversy, mistrust, and recrimination on both sides of the issue. The events also subjected President James K. Polk’s administration to censure over what some critics believed was an overextension of presidential authority in claiming New Mexico as a territory. In Revolt at Taos: The New Mexican and Indian Insurrection of 1847, writer and historian James A. Crutchfield explores the fast-moving events surrounding the bloody revolt which left native inhabitants of New Mexico wondering how their neighbors and kinsmen could be legally tried, found guilty, and executed for acts they considered to have been honorable ones committed in defense of their country. These concerns have never been adequately addressed and their struggle has been all but scrubbed from the history of American expansion.

41 review for Revolt at Taos: The New Mexican and Indian Insurrection of 1847

  1. 5 out of 5

    Dave

    I knew very little about the Taos Revolt, so I definitely learned from this book. Crutchfield aims for a middle of the road account, though, and that absence of an argument made it a little dry. He packs much of the most interesting material and discussion at the end, when he examines a few key questions about the event.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Robert Clark

    Revolt at Taos is a well researched book about an incident during the Mexican/American War, taking place in what is now New Mexico. While not a major historical event, it says much about the times and the attitudes of people in 1847. In places it is a bit tedious because of the detail it goes into, giving long lists of names of the people involved and other such data. Considering that this is a historical account that tries as hard as possible to be accurate and unbiased, the lists and details, Revolt at Taos is a well researched book about an incident during the Mexican/American War, taking place in what is now New Mexico. While not a major historical event, it says much about the times and the attitudes of people in 1847. In places it is a bit tedious because of the detail it goes into, giving long lists of names of the people involved and other such data. Considering that this is a historical account that tries as hard as possible to be accurate and unbiased, the lists and details, while not fun to read, are completely justified. For anyone interested int he events of the time, I would recommend Revolt at Taos.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Fredrick Danysh

    A revisionist history of the revolt against the United States in New Mexico following the Mexican-American War. The examination of the causes is cursory and even though he gives some historically accurate facts such as the contents of the treaty ending the Texas Revolution, he does does not let that stand in the way of his view of an imperialistic United States. Overall , Revolt in Taos presents an alternative view of events and should be read by anyone wanting to examine all sides of an issue.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Matt Heavner

    Important and interesting New Mexico / US history. Overall, enjoyable. It was a bit dry in parts (listing various volunteer companies and all the counties that volunteers came from wasn't interesting to me). But a great resource and compendium of information. Well annotated/references with useful appendices.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Rena Jane

    Three years ago, took a road trip that included stopping at the Taos pueblo. Saw the site of the first church of San Geronimo and the later built one. Curiosity about the old, burned out shell led me to buy and read this account. Crutchfield very thoroughly sets the stage and relates from all available sources what happened, which was even debated at the time, what was right or legal and what went wrong. In the final analysis, this fight along with the Alamo battle culminated in the Treaty of Gu Three years ago, took a road trip that included stopping at the Taos pueblo. Saw the site of the first church of San Geronimo and the later built one. Curiosity about the old, burned out shell led me to buy and read this account. Crutchfield very thoroughly sets the stage and relates from all available sources what happened, which was even debated at the time, what was right or legal and what went wrong. In the final analysis, this fight along with the Alamo battle culminated in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and the territory of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona being added to the United States and eventually becoming states. Anyone interested in southwestern U.S. history will find it interesting, informative and an entertaining read.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Mishap

    A mostly straight forward account of a little known incident during the beginning of the Mexican-American war of the mid 1800s. Heavily relying on the occupier's accounts (and not spending very much time on the New Mexican's position until the end), the production seems one-sided though he claims to be aiming for even-handedness. Those interested in Mew Mexico's history should take a look and get what you can out of it. Those with an abiding interest in the history of the war and legislative att A mostly straight forward account of a little known incident during the beginning of the Mexican-American war of the mid 1800s. Heavily relying on the occupier's accounts (and not spending very much time on the New Mexican's position until the end), the production seems one-sided though he claims to be aiming for even-handedness. Those interested in Mew Mexico's history should take a look and get what you can out of it. Those with an abiding interest in the history of the war and legislative attempts to secure land gained by conquest may be interested as well.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Fred Eisenhut

    Having visited Santa Fe and Taos years ago, I became aware of its history for the first time. I wish I had read this book before going there. I would have known better what I was looking at and could have asked better questions. This is a short book that leaves one with a lot of questions. I read W. Cather's book "Death of the Archbishop" was impressed. Now I wonder if it was correct in any way. Interesting read.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Scott

    Other than the Mormon Battalion and their heroic journey, I knew very little about the Mexican American war. I thought by reading Revolt at Taos, by James A Crutchfield I would have a greater insight into a particular battle of the war. I was mistaken. The book is poorly written and provides only superficial insight into the battle at Taos. There must be better books written about this critical part of our history.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Downey

  10. 5 out of 5

    Renay

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Mittge

  12. 5 out of 5

    Mary Chambers

  13. 4 out of 5

    Brian

  14. 4 out of 5

    Bill Gatlin

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jeanne Fair

  16. 4 out of 5

    Alan

  17. 4 out of 5

    Leslie Fraser

  18. 4 out of 5

    Colette

  19. 4 out of 5

    Tim White

  20. 4 out of 5

    Camilla Kattell

  21. 5 out of 5

    Rudy

  22. 4 out of 5

    D. E.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Bob

  24. 5 out of 5

    Richard

  25. 4 out of 5

    Fabiola Rivera

  26. 5 out of 5

    Brett

  27. 5 out of 5

    Brian

  28. 5 out of 5

    Robert O'neal

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jerome

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jenn Crowley

  31. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

  32. 5 out of 5

    The Ninja Squirrel

  33. 5 out of 5

    Cliff Davis

  34. 4 out of 5

    Brent

  35. 5 out of 5

    Katra

  36. 5 out of 5

    Marge

  37. 5 out of 5

    Linda

  38. 5 out of 5

    Alan

  39. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

  40. 5 out of 5

    Landen Elliott-Knaggs

  41. 5 out of 5

    Don LaFountaine

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