Paperback. 400 pages.100 illustrations. Maps. Endnotes, index, bibliography. Hundreds of French families and their stories. $ 24.95
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In this first history of the French in New Mexico, the author chronicles the lives of French-speaking people who came mainly from France, Canada, Switzerland, Belgium, Africa, and the Caribbean Islands; of people with French ancestry who retained some of their French culture; and of people with strong connections to France. The book traces their presence in New Mexico from the 1500s to present times. It tells the stories of influential, unusual, or colorful characters, and of people who are not as well remembered. They came from all walks of life, explorers, adventurers, fur trappers and traders, soldiers, merchants, priests, farmers and ranchers, businesspeople, scientists, artists, actors, politicians, lawyers, criminals, women of note, intellectuals, and other influencers in society. Whether dramatic or lighthearted, their lives are filled with stories of love and death, of chases and hunts, of successes and failures. As they roamed across the land, they will occasionally take us to California, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Texas, and Mexico. These stories are placed in their historical and cultural context, and point to more detailed readings and further research.
What is now New Mexico was for centuries at the limit of the world known to Europeans. This is still the case as far as French history is concerned. This book is offered as a contribution to the cultural resurrection of the French in New Mexico. It is for the thousands of New Mexicans who share a French ancestry, conscious and proud of the value of French culture, heritage, and identity. It is also for their distant cousins who remained in their original lands. And beyond direct family ties, it is for all those interested in the multicultural aspects of New Mexico’s history and society.