Las Animas City, Colorado Territory, USA: A "Half Mexican Village" in the American West

Author(s): Jordan E Pickrell

Year: 2013


Las Animas City, Colorado Territory, USA, was founded in 1869 near the newly established military fort, New Fort Lyon. The town prospered as a supply center for the fort during the early 1870s, reaching a population of a few hundred residents. In 1871, Frances M. A. Roe, an army wife, described the settlement as "a half Mexican village" where she could purchase items from Mexico along with household supplies. The 1870 census suggests that Roe’s characterization of the town may not have reflected its population demographics. This paper analyzes usage of the term "Mexican" in the documentary record from Las Animas City, which alternately reflects ethnicity, nationality, or cultural tradition.  Drawing from archaeological evidence, I examine potential Hispanic neighborhoods within the town. Incorporating the archaeological and archival evidence from Las Animas City allows us to explore how national identifications were utilized during the development of an American West.

Cite this Record

Las Animas City, Colorado Territory, USA: A "Half Mexican Village" in the American West. Jordan E Pickrell. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Leicester, England, U.K. 2013 ( tDAR id: 428539)

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Temporal Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 493