Adios Nuevo Mexico: The Santa Fe Journal of John Watts in 1859

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A teenager’s fresh look on pre-Civil War life in territorial Santa Fe
 
Teenage John Watts came to territorial Santa Fe in 1858 from Bloomington, Indiana. His father believed the clear air of northern New Mexico would be beneficial to John's health. In Santa Fe, they joined John's older brother, J. Howe Watts.
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Overview


A teenager’s fresh look on pre-Civil War life in territorial Santa Fe
 
Teenage John Watts came to territorial Santa Fe in 1858 from Bloomington, Indiana. His father believed the clear air of northern New Mexico would be beneficial to John's health. In Santa Fe, they joined John's older brother, J. Howe Watts.
                John and Howe are left on their own in Santa Fe much of the time, and John decides to improve his penmanship and foster orderly habits by keeping a daily journal. In a mixture of worldliness and naiveté, maturity and boyish enthusiasm, insightful observations of others, and critical comments on his own behavior, John captures aspects of daily life in Santa Fe that are not of a kind generally found in public documents. Public officials help in educating the Anglo children living in the capital: Governor Rencher teaches French in his office at the Palace of the Governors, Reverend Gorman of the Baptist Church teaches Spanish. Francis Bauer, the army band director, gives music lessons. John voraciously reads the contemporary literary classics and the major American historians of his day
                In a Who’s Who of territorial New Mexico, Adios Nuevo Mexico opens a window into what an American boy in his late teens is reading, thinking, doing, and seeing in Santa Fe.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

John's entries are often unintentionally humorous and more revealing than one is used to seeing in diaries and journals. Adios New Mexico is fascinating reading and reassures us that teenagers have not changed. Our youth could not spend more time playing video games or surfing the net than John Watts did playing billiards.
Amarillo Globe News
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781881325307
  • Publisher: Barbed Wire Publishing Services, Ltd.
  • Publication date: 4/1/1999
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 6.32 (w) x 9.35 (h) x 1.03 (d)

Meet the Author

David Remley is professor emeritus at the University of New Mexico. He is the author of three other books, the most recent of which is Kit Carson: The Life of an American Border Man. He lives near Silver City, New Mexico.

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