William Gillet Ritch Papers: Finding Aid

Processed by Huntington staff; encoded finding aid created by Xiuzhi Zhou in 2004 and Brooke M. Black in 2017.
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
Manuscripts Department
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2129
Email: reference@huntington.org
URL: http://www.huntington.org
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Overview of the Collection

Title: William Gillet Ritch Papers
Dates (inclusive): 1539-1901
Bulk dates: 1845-1882
Collection Number: mssRI 1-2270
Creator: Ritch, W. G. (William Gillet), 1830-1904.
Extent: 2274 pieces in 34 boxes and 24 volumes
Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Manuscripts Department
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2129
Email: reference@huntington.org
URL: http://www.huntington.org
Abstract: This collection contains the personal and professional papers of historian and New Mexico territorial governor William G. Ritch (1830-1904) and his collection of historical manuscripts, documents, and maps related to the history of New Mexico.
Language: English and Spanish.

Access

Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

Administrative Information

Publication Rights

The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item]. William Gillet Ritch Papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

Provenance

Acquired from Watson L. Ritch, May, 1923.

Separated Material

Biographical Note

William Gillet Ritch (1830-1904) was territorial secretary of New Mexico from 1873 to 1885 and authored several books about New Mexico history. He was a native of New York who moved to Michigan in 1855 and later settled in Wisconsin. After serving in the 46th Wisconsin Cavalry in the Civil War, Ritch returned to Wisconsin and was elected state senator. He was later proprietor and editor of the Winnebago County Press. Failing health forced Ritch to seek a better climate, and in 1873 he was appointed secretary of the Territory of New Mexico. He served in this capacity until 1885, with the added responsibility of serving as acting territorial governor in 1875. He was active in the establishment of a public school system in the Territory and became a regent of the State Normal School. He developed an interest in the history of New Mexico and began collecting historical documents in hopes of circumventing their destruction or dispersal. He was elected as the first president of the New Mexico Historical Society in 1880.

Scope and Content

The collection contains correspondence, manuscripts, documents, and maps in both English and Spanish related to the history of early and territorial New Mexico collected by William G. Ritch. The very early portion of the collection (1539-1700) contains original manuscripts, contemporary copies, and later translations of official documents and journals of explorers, correspondence, papers of various governors, court records, church inventories, and passport lists of American traders. The papers for the years 1846-1873 cover the American military occupation, New Mexico politics and government, New Mexico during the US Civil War, and Indian affairs relating to the Navajo, Apache, Comanche, and Pecos tribes. Items after 1873 tend to be the personal papers of William G. Ritch, including biographical sketches of significant New Mexicans, drafts of articles, and notebooks of research materials (including the biography of Father Antonio Jose Martinez by Santiago Valdez).
Correspondents include Manuel Armijo, William Frederick Milton Arny, James Henry Carleton, Miguel Antonio Otero, Donaciano Vigil, and others.

Arrangement

Arranged in two series: Bound Volumes and Boxes. Boxed materials are chiefly arranged chronologically in Boxes 1-31, followed by newspaper clippings (Boxes 32-33) and oversize materials (Box 34).

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  

Personal Names

Abert, J. W. (James William), 1820-1897
Abbreu, Santiago
Allen, William S. (William Stickney), 1805-1868
Alvarez, Manuel, 1794-1856
Armijo, Manuel
Arny, W. F. M. (William Frederick Milton), 1813-1881
Axtell, Samuel B. (Samuel Beach), 1819-1891
Baca, Ramon
Baird, Spruce M. (Spruce McCoy), 1814-1872
Baker, Grafton
Bandelier, Adolph Francis Alphonse, 1840-1914
Beall, Benjamin Lloyd
Beaubien, Carlos
Beck, Preston
Becknell, William, 1787 or 1788-1856
Benedict, Kirby, 1810-1874
Blumner, Charles
Buell, Salmon A.
Burnside, Ambrose Everett, 1824-1881
Bustamante, Anastasio, 1780-1853
Calhoun, James S., 1803?-1852
Carleton, James Henry, 1814-1873
Carson, Kit, 1809-1868
Chandler, Zachariah, 1813-1879
Clark, William, 1770-1838
Clever, Charles P., 1830-1874
Concha, Fernando de la
Cooke, Philip St. George, 1809-1895
Ewell, Richard Stoddert, 1817-1872
Fernandez de la Cueva Enriquez, Francisco, duque de Alburquerque, 1666-1733
Gregg, Josiah, 1806-1850
Houston, Sam, 1793-1863
Howe, Timothy O. (Timothy Otis), 1816-1883
Houghton, Joab, 1810-1876
Jones, Anson, 1798-1858
Kearny, Steven Watts, 1794-1848
Kennedy, John Pendleton, 1795-1870
Lamy, John Baptist, 1814-1888
Lane, William Carr, 1789-1863
Leavenworth, Henry, 1783-1834
Mackenzie, Ranald Slidell, 1840-1889
Martínez, Antonio José, 1793-1867.
McMullen, William, 1824-1901
Magoffin, James Wiley, 1799-1868
Maxwell, Lucien Bonaparte, 1818-1875
Meriwether, D. (David), 1800-1893
Messervy, William S.
Otermin, Antonio de, active 1678-1682
Otero, Antonio Jose
Otero, Miguel A. (Miguel Antonio), 1829-1882
Paredes y Arrillaga, Mariano, 1797-1849
Philip III, King of Spain, 1578-1621
Prince, L. Bradford (Le Baron Bradford), 1840-1922
Rencher, Abraham, 1798-1883
Riley, Bennett, 1787-1853
Ritch, W. G. (William Gillet), 1830-1904.
Robidoux, Antoine, 1794-1860
Rynerson, William Logan
Salcedo y Salcedo, Nemesio, 1754-1814?
Santa Anna, Antonio Lopez de, 1794?-1876
St. Vrain, Ceran, 1802-1870
Sturgis, Samuel Davis, 1822-1889
Sumner, Edwin V. (Edwin Vose), 1797-1863
Vargas, Diego de, 1643-1704
Vigil, Donaciano, 1802-1877
Vigil y Alarid, Juan Bautista
Waldo, Jose David
Wallace, Lew, 1827-1905
Washington, John Macrae, 1797-1853
Watts, John S. (John Sebrie), 1816-1876
West, J. R. (Joseph Rodman), 1822-1898

Corporate Names

New Mexico. Secretary of the Territory -- Archives

Subjects

Apache Indians -- History -- Sources
Comanche Indians -- History -- Sources
Indians of North America -- New Mexico -- History -- Sources
Manuscripts -- Collectors and collecting -- New Mexico.
Mexican War, 1846-1848 -- New Mexico -- Sources
Navajo Indians -- History -- Sources

Geographic Areas

New Mexico -- History -- 19th century -- Sources
New Mexico -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Sources
New Mexico -- Politics and government -- 19th century -- Sources

Genre

Letters (correspondence) -- United States -- 19th century
Maps -- New Mexico -- 19th century
Journals (accounts) -- Kansas-- 20th century
Personal papers -- New Mexico -- 19th century
Professional papers -- New Mexico -- 19th century
Scrapbooks -- New Mexico -- 19th century


Collection Contents

 

Bound Volumes

RI 66

Fernando VII, King of Spain. Death Warrant for Antonio Carbojal... Apr. 5, 1809.

 

Valdez, Santiago. Biografía del Reverendo Padre. 1877 [3 volumes].

RI 2210 vol. 1

Valdez, Santiago. Biografía del Reverendo Padre. 1877.

RI 2210 vol. 2

Valdez, Santiago. Biografía del Reverendo Padre. 1877.

RI 2210 vol. 3

Valdez, Santiago. Biografía del Reverendo Padre. 1877.

 

Valdez, Santiago. Biografía del Reverendo Padre... 1877 [2 volumes].

RI 2211 vol. 1

Valdez, Santiago. Biografía del Reverendo Padre... 1877.

RI 2211 vol. 2

Valdez, Santiago. Biografía del Reverendo Padre... 1877.

 

Ritch, William Gillet. Notebooks. c. 1890 [7 volumes].

RI 2212 vol. 1

Ritch, William Gillet. Notebook. c. 1890.

RI 2212 vol. 2

Ritch, William Gillet. Notebook. c. 1890.

RI 2212 vol. 3

Ritch, William Gillet. Notebook. c. 1890.

RI 2212 vol. 4

Ritch, William Gillet. Notebook. c. 1890.

RI 2212 vol. 5

Ritch, William Gillet. Notebook. c. 1890.

RI 2212 vol. 6

Ritch, William Gillet. Notebook. c. 1890.

RI 2212 vol. 7

Ritch, William Gillet. Notebook. c. 1890.

RI 2213

Ritch, William Gillet. Topical Index to his own Works. c. 1890.

RI 2214 (vol. 1-8)

Ritch, William Gillet. Topical Index to his own... c. 1890 [8 volumes in 1 box].

RI 2215

New Mexico. Board of Commissioners... Letterbook. Jan. 19, 1853-Nov. 28, 1854.

RI 2216

Arny, William F. M. Letterbook. General correspondence... Dec. 4, 1863-May 18, 1867.

Roll RI 2269

New Mexico. Valencia County. Libro de Matricula de la Eleccíon... [oversize rolled document] Sept. 4, 1865.

 

Boxes

Note

This list is by no means comprehensive and does not include all subjects, persons, or geographic locations in each box. Its purpose is to provide access to broad topics and also to point out interesting or unique items in the collection.
Box 1

Mar. 7, 1539 -Dec. 31, 1694

Scope and Content Note

Early documents (1539-1694) concerning the history of Spanish exploration and settlement in New Mexico, many translated by Samuel Ellison. Many of these documents discuss events in the wake of the public uprising and the reconquest.

Of special note:

RI 1: 19th century translation of A relation...touching his discovery of...Cibola...by Marcos de Niza. March 7, 1539.
Box 2

1696, Mar. 22 - 1789, Dec. 9

Scope and Content Note

Early documents concerning Spanish resettlement and governance of New Mexico (1696-) and letters by the Duke of Albuquerque.

Of special note:

RI 55: Journal of events & operations against the Moqui. May 14 -Oct. 18, 1716. [extract]
Box 3

June 21, 1794 -Dec. 31, 1830

Scope and Content Note

Commerce and trade with the United States.

Of special note:

RI 70: Record of vaccinations, giving names of fathers and children. [summer 1815]
RI 74: Contemporary copy of treaty of Cordova between Spain and Mexico, establishing Mexican independence. Aug. 24, 1821.
RI 81: Customs house, New Mexico. Jan. 1 -July 15, 1825.
Box 4

Jan. 1, 1831-Dec. 31, 1838

Scope and Content Note

Americans adopting Mexican nationality, passports, petitions for naturalization, fur traders from Taos, customs and commerce with the US including Josiah Gregg, and the Revolution of 1837.
Box 5

Feb. 9, 1839 -July 9, 1846

Scope and Content Note

American commerce, abortive Texan invasion of 1841, conflict between Texas and Mexico in NM, 1841-43.
Box 6

Aug. 1, 1846 -Dec. 31, 1847

Scope and Content Note

Documents related to the conquest of New Mexico and the operation of local courts in 1846-47 under American rule.
Box 7

Jan. 1, 1848 -Dec. 31, 1850

Scope and Content Note

Assumption of American control over New Mexico, including letters of Governor Vigil and military affairs. Also Indian trading licenses (RI 365, 366, 368, 371, 367, 374, 375, 376, 389, 400, 402, 404, 406, 407).
Box 8

Jan. 1, 1851 -Nov. 31, 1851

Scope and Content Note

Territorial government and legislative activities of New Mexico. Also contains a document related to Indian trading (RI 1415).
Box 9

Dec. 1, 1851 -Apr. 30, 1852

Scope and Content Note

Territorial legislative activities and courts, and Indian affairs.

Of special note:

RI 493 & 494: Receipts for return of captive Hispanic children from Indians and Indian trading bonds. 1852.
RI 2150: Statement in regard to buying and selling Paiute children.
Box 10

May 1, 1852 -Apr. 30, 1853

Scope and Content Note

Indian affairs, including statements of supplies and services provided to the Navajos on their reservation in 1852.
Box 11

May 1, 1853 -Apr. 30, 1854

Scope and Content Note

Work of the Territorial Commission on Public Buildings (June 1853), complaint about election fraud, and the US Army.
Box 12

May 1, 1854 -Dec. 31, 1854

Scope and Content Note

New Mexican militia affairs, including muster rolls (RI 1624, 2134, 643, 1622, 1623, 649, 689).
Box 13

Jan. 1, 1855 -Nov. 30, 1855

Scope and Content Note

Territorial administration, including letters from Elisha Whittlesey, call for volunteers by governor, and an Indian raid (RI 701).
Box 14

Dec. 1, 1855 -Dec. 31, 1856

Scope and Content Note

Scope and Content Note

Construction of public buildings for the Territorial government.

Of special note:

RI 2257: List of inhabitants and property for Indians in New Mexico towns. [c. 1855]
Box 15

Jan. 1, 1857 -June 30, 1858

Scope and Content Note

Many statements and bills related to the costs of the territorial government. Correspondence of Miguel Antonio Otero to Charles Clever.
Box 16

July 1, 1858 -Feb. 28, 1860

Scope and Content Note

Expenses of per diem and mileage for legislators and descriptive list of paid Treasury warrants. Territorial politics and national politics. Correspondence of Miguel Antonio Otero to Charles Clever.
Box 17

Mar. 1, 1860 -Aug. 31, 1861

Scope and Content Note

Correspondence of Miguel Antonio Otero to Charles Clever.
Box 18

Sept. 1, 1861 -Oct. 31, 1862

Scope and Content Note

Map of the military district of New Mexico, per diem of legislative officers, New Mexico militia, New Mexico politics and elections, Indians (Apache & Navajo).

Of special note:

RI 2159: Libro de Matricula de la eleccíon. Sept. 1, 1862. Berrdillo County.
RI 1126 & 1127: Kit Carson. New Mexico Militia. Sept. 27, 1862.
Box 19

Nov. 1, 1862 -Feb. 28, 1863

Scope and Content Note

Civil War in New Mexico, legislative affairs, applications and recommendations for militia officers.
RI 1193: Petition to President and Sec. Of War concerning Indian depradations by county. Jan. 26, 1863.
Box 20

Mar. 1, 1863 -Sept. 30, 1863

Scope and Content Note

Territorial politics and government, including some election returns, Civil War in the West, military officers, and Navajo campaign.
Box 21

Oct. 1, 1863 -June 30, 1864

Scope and Content Note

Territorial politics and government, Civil War in the West, and Indian affairs.
Box 22

July 1, 1864 -Dec. 31, 1864

Scope and Content Note

Mexico, territorial politics and government, including election returns.
Box 23

Jan. 1, 1865 -Mar. 31, 1866

Scope and Content Note

Territorial politics and government, including legislative actions and election returns, as well as Indian affairs.
Box 24

Apr. 1, 1866 -Mar. 31, 1875

Scope and Content Note

Territorial politics and government, land holdings and population figures, and Indian affairs.

Of special note:

RI 1486: Report of a Comm. on the Indians of the Bosque Redondo. 1866.
RI 2151: Enumeration of inhabitants of County of Taos. 1866.
Box 25

Apr. 1, 1875 -June 30, 1877

Scope and Content Note

Territorial politics and government.
Box 26

July 1, 1877 -Aug. 31, 1878

Scope and Content Note

Territorial politics and government, Indian affairs, education, Lincoln County War, and Colfax County War.
Box 27

Sept. 1, 1878 -Nov. 30, 1880

Scope and Content Note

Affairs in Lincoln County, Roman Catholicism in New Mexico, including the role of the Jesuits, public education, the penitentes, and Indian affairs.
Box 28

Dec. 1, 1880 -Dec. 31, 1881

Scope and Content Note

Politics and government, Indians (Utes), education, land, mines and mineral resources (coal & iron), education, disturbance in Socorro.

Of special note:

RI 2234: Free public schools. c. 1880.
Box 29

Jan. 1, 1882 -Nov. 30, 1882

Scope and Content Note

Biographical notes about various individuals compiled by William G. Ritch.
Box 30

Dec. 1, 1882 -Dec. 31, 1883

Scope and Content Note

Biographical sketches, Indian affairs, Civil War, and R.S. McKenzie.
Box 31

Jan. 1, 1884 -Dec. 31, 1900

Scope and Content Note

Lists of biographical notes by individuals and Revista Catholica -"A School Law" (March 9, 1884).
Box 32

Newspaper clippings arranged chronologically, 1856-1885

Box 33

Newspaper clippings arranged chronologically, 1886-1901 and undated

Box 34

Oversize materials.