Friday, 12 June 2015 14:53

An Ugly Taos Rebellion Few Know About

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An ugly Taos rebellion based on color, that few know about.


    In 1932 an African-American, Thomas Johnson,  was convicted of murder in Santa Fe. He was sentenced to be the first to die in New Mexico's new electric chair. In response the editor of The New Mexican (ten owned by Senator Bronson Cutting) , Dana Johnson, wrote a scathing editorial proposing that the entire black population of Santa Fe be expelled from town immediately.

   Although it never happened in Santa Fe, it was carried out in Taos in January of 1932. Taos had a black population of eight men and women. They were ordered to

leave Taos within 24 hours. "They were then escorted to the town line by the sheriff and his deputy along with other citizens overseeing the migration." Several were musicians that had been playing concerts in the town plaza for years.


The Clovis Evening New Journal said, on January 8, 1932, :






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  • Comment Link Mike Lord Monday, 15 June 2015 00:32 posted by Mike Lord

    Dana Johnson's editorial in the Santa Fe New Mexican

    From the Santa Fe New Mexican, November 16, 1931:

    "Santa Fe for the first time has gone through the indescribably sickening shock of having the Negro Crime committed at her own doors, under circumstances which almost numb the average person with horror.
    We believe the first time will be the last.

    Two things are involved - barring in future of negroes from this town, save for its old timers, a thing possible here because Santa Fe is yet a small town; and immediate deporting of discharged convicts to their homes or at least out of Santa Fe.

    Some months ago the NEW MEXICAN warned that this community which has inherited no black and white problem, should not allow itself by negligence and indifference, to acquire one.

    The city, chamber of commerce, police and sheriff's office must establish a perpetual community rule that negroes are not desired here. Visitors from Texas or elsewhere should be told that we do not care to have them bring negro chauffeurs or other servants here and that if they insist upon it, their room is better than their company.

    The practice of bringing in such servants has been largely responsible for a recent substantial increase in the number of colored people. There is ample unemployment among our own people to absorb any such demand.

    Santa Fe has always had a few respected and often much beloved colored citizens. But for 300 years we have escaped this particular social problem.

    No further warning will be needed as to the necessity of stamping out in infancy, than the inconceivably frightful thing of last night, which has seared the soul of the community like a branding iron.

    The thing to do is to keep them out. It can be done, peaceably, officially, in an orderly manner, and especially with wide publicity. They do not belong here, they bring a racial conflict even more intense than elsewhere, we do not need them economically."

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