Century clash between Anglos and New Mexico's indigenous peoples
As more Anglos entered New Mexico the Navajo and Apache watched their
hunting grounds turn into farmland, threatening their way of life. This
pushed them to attack settlements throughout New Mexico .
1864, the US Army sent General James Carleton to subdue the native peoples.
In turn he assigned legendary mountain man Colonel Christopher "Kit" Carson.
Carson was told to imprison all of the women and children and to shoot
native men on sight. Carson had lived among the American Indians
for many years and spoke several different Native American languages.
Carson attacked the Mescalero Apaches. After three months of brutal
the Apaches surrendered. Carson sent them to the Bosque Redondo Reservation
on the Pecos River .
then burned the cornfields and killed the live stock of the Navajo. On
the edge of starvation, they surrendered. Carson went against orders
spared the lives of the men. But he herded the entire tribe of 7,000
across the state to Bosque Redondo 300 miles away. The Navajo had few
and less food and hundreds died along the way of what the Navajo came
to call the "Long Walk".
Redondo was a disaster, since the land was too dry to grow crops. After
a couple of years the federal government admitted the mistake and let
the Navajo return to their traditional lands in Northwestern New Mexico
where they continue to live today.