Francisco Perea

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Col. Francisco Perea from Twitchell's "Old Santa Fe" (1914)

Francisco Perea (January 9, 1830 – May 21, 1913) was a delegate for the Territory of New Mexico to the 38th United States Congress from Mary 4, 1863 to March 3, 1865, a rancher, and Union Army officer in the American Civil War. He was a paternal grandson of Don Francisco Xavier Chávez, the first Governor of the Departmento de Nuevo México, 1st Mexican Empire, and a first cousin of Francisco Perea and of Pedro Perea.


  • To the Hon. José Guadalupe Gallegos Speaker of the House of Representatives: SIR: To the resolution of the House, asking me to give my reasons for declining to take a seat in that Hon. House, as a member from the county of Bernalillo, I have the honor to respond: In the first place, I never consented to my name being placed before the people as a candidate for the office to which l was elected and secondly, I would inform the House, that the health of my family, makes my presence absolutely indispensable. I was not aware that it was my duty to resign after I had been elected, or I would have done so, in order to give the people of my county an opportunity to elect another in my place. With assurances to the Hon. House, that I would be very happy to accompany them in providing for the good of our common country, if the matters above mentioned would permit me. I am, Mr. Speaker with much respect, Your Obd. Servant, FRANCISCO PEREA
    • Letter to José Guadalupe Gallegos, Speaker of the House, declining his elected position (Dec, 1858) "Journal of the Hose of Representatives of the Territory of New Mexico Session 1858-59". House Journal: Proceedings, Volume 33. New Mexico Legislative Assembly. De Marle, A. (Public Printer) p. 41. Perea was excused from attending the House during the 1858 session.
  • Following the receipt of the gladsome news great joy and enthusiasm seemed to fill every heart; and during the night following, the occasion was celebrated by immense processions of men and boys marching through the principal streets to the music of many brass bands, the firing of cannon, and the discharge of anvils. It is needless to say all of us New Mexicans heartily joined in to swell the throng, which continued its hilarity throughout the night. No thought then entered my mind that in the short space of three years I would be a delegate in Congress, thereby admitted to the presence of the greatest statesman in consultation about affairs in the Territory of New Mexico.
    • In San Francisco, on the election of Abraham Lincoln (1860) as quoted by W. W. H. Allison, "Colonel Francisco Perea" in Ralph Emerson Twitchell, Old Santa Fe (1914)
  • Dr. [Michael] Steck [superintendent of Indian affairs for New Mexico,] showed me a report which he is going to submit to the Indian department here, in which he disapproves your policy to colonize the Navajo Indians, decidedly. He made several other allusions to your campaign against them, which I did not like nor believe. He thinks it impossible to put the Navajo nation on the Pecos for the small space of irrigable lands at the Bosque.. [Fort Sumner.]
  • I ask the unanimous consent of the Convention to allow the delegates from New Mexico to record their votes for President and Vice President of the United States.
    • As quote in D. F. Murphy, Presidential Election, 1864. Proceedings of the National Union Convention (June 7-8, 1864) of the Republican party

Quotes about Perea

  • The families of Armijo, Chaves, Peréa, and Ortiz are par excellence the ricos of New Mexico—indeed, all the wealth of the province is concentrated in their hands; and a more grasping set of people, and more hard-hearted oppressors of the poor, it would be difficult to find in any other part of Mexico, where the rights or condition of the lower classes are no more considered, than in civilised countries is the welfare of dogs and pigs.
  • Dear Sir: Your note of the 15th ultimo has just been received, Herewith you will find the message of the governor of New Mexico, indorsing the policy of putting the Navajo Indians on the reservation at Bosque Redondo. The legislature has unanimously approved this policy. Dr. Steck himself approved it before he left New Mexico, as I can prove. Every intelligent man in the country approves it. It will be the most unfortunate thing that ever happened to New Mexico and Arizona, the interfering with this policy. The Indians will go on as before. The great thoroughfare over the 35th parallel will be interrupted by them; people going to the new gold fields will be murdered; and, after another fruitless season, you will come to this policy at last. It is a pity that other motives, besides what is best for the country and the most humane for the Indians, should work to the disadvantage of the people, just now. We have made a good beginning, and if "let alone" this will be the last Navajo war.
    Colonel Collins, who for years has been the superintendent, indorses the policy throughout, as you see by his paper. What motive influences Dr. Steck?
    We had a sharp fight with the Navajoes on the 5th instant. You will see the account in the papers.
  • This writing made on the 10th day of June, in the year of our Lord, 1874, between Francisco Perea of the first part of the town of Bernalillo, county of Bernalillo, and Territory of New Mexico, and Jose Leandro Perea, of the town of Bernalillo, county of Bernalillo, and Territory of New Mexico, party of the second part,
    Witnesseth, that he said party of the first part, for and in consideration of the sum of $1500.00 money of the United States of America, to him in hand paid by the said party of the first part the receipt of which is by this acknowledged, has sold, conceded, contracted, trespassed, granted, delivered and confirmed and by these presents—concede, contract, sell, grant, deliver, trespass and confirm to the said party of the second part and his heirs and assigns forever, all that portion of land situated in the town of Bernalillo... and is bounded as follows, to wit:
    On the north by a public road and land of Florencio Sandoval, east the hills, on the south by lands of the church of Bernalillo and by the property of Steve B. Elkins, on the east by the Rio Norte and the public road that cuts the properties of Florencio Sandoval, Nathan Bibo, Guadalupe Valdez and the lands of the parish of Bernalillo, together with all and every right, privilege and belongings...
    • Sale of land to his uncle, José Leandro Perea (1874) as quoted in United States Supreme Court Records and Briefs October term (1903) No.293 "Pedro Perea & Mariano Perea, Adminstrators of the Estate of Jose L. Perea... vs. Guadalupe de Harrison and George W. Harrison..."

Old Santa Fe (1914)


W. W. H. Allison, "Colonel Francisco Perea" in Ralph Emerson Twitchell, Vol.1 pp.210-222

  • Colonel Perea, having formed a very exalted opinion of character of Mr. Lincoln, and of his conduct of state affairs, favored his renomination at the Baltimore convention, convened in that city June 7, 1864. John S. Watts, Joshua Jones, and Francisco Perea were the accredited delegates New Mexico, which was for the first time represented in a national convention.
  • Colonel Perea, always fond of the higher dramatic art, was present at Ford's theater when President Lincoln was assassinated, his seat being in the orchestra, immediately in front of and a little below the President's box. The play being performed that night was known as "Our English Cousins" and was given by the Irish-American comedian, John McCullough. In the midst of the performance a pistol shot was heard near the box occupied by Mr Lincoln and a few friends that were with him. In a very short time all knew the president had been shot.
  • Colonel Perea, was early in the summer of the year 1865, renominated as a candidate to the Thirty-ninth Congress. He made a vigorous campaign and would have been triumphantly elected had he refused to support a few of his most intimate friends, among whom was General Carleton, then commander of the military department, with headquarters at Santa Fe. The opposition concentrated their efforts against General Carleton... His character as a soldier was assailed in all portions of New Mexico. ...Colonel Perea failed of reëlection, but his standing at Washington was such that he was able to control the Federal appointments for the Territory until the close of Johnson's administration in 1869.
  • Colonel Perea was four times elected to the Territorial Legislature, the first time in the year 1851, when he was barely eligible on account of his age. Having in mind a trip to the interior of Mexico, for which he was at the time preparing, he protested against being named as a candidate and later declined to be sworn in as a member. His second election was in 1858, this time to the House of Representatives... His third election occurred in 1866, when he was sent to the lower house... In the year 1884 he was chosen a member of the Territorial Council, or upper house of the Assembly... This was the year of the "rump council," the birth of the split in the republican party of New Mexico, which lasted for over ten years, resulting in sending Anthony Joseph, democrat, as delegate to Congress five successive times.
  • Throughout Colonel Perea's long and useful life he was noted for his industry and conservative opinions. In the Legislature, nothing pleased him more than a respectful hearing from those opposed to his views concerning any public measure.
  • He was twice married, the first time to Miss Dolores Otero, daughter of Judge Antonio José Otero and his wife, Chaves de Otero. This happy union occurred March 15, 1851; from it eighteen children were born, many dying in early infancy. ...Mrs. Perea died in 1866. He was again married to Miss Gabriela Montoya, the daughter of Gerónimo Montoya and Lupita Perea de Montoya... The marriage occurred in 1875, and of which... eighteen children were born, ten of whom survive their father.
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