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About Our Chapter

TAOS MOUNTAIN CHAPTER

Organized 6 December 2003


The Taos Mountain Chapter was organized on 6 December 2003 by Jacquelyn E. Chase. There were fourteen charter members including the organizing regent: Tammy D. Moon, Gail E. Moody Wheaton, Patsy M. Clark Schumacher, Ida M. Milazzo Sprague, Helen E. Santistevan Anderson, Mary E. Conrey Campbell, Ruth A. Howard Charnley, V. Jill Caywood Gillen, Victoria E. Chase Grasmick, Carolyn D. Keenan, Christina R. Keenan, Patricia A. Evans Keenan, Cathleen D. Anderson Lopez, and Anita L. Husser Murphy.

WHAT WE DO:


For more than a century, the members of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution have dedicated themselves to historical preservation, promotion of education, and encouragement of patriotic endeavor. These goals are as relevant in today's society as they were when the organization was founded in 1890.


WHY WE CHOSE THE NAME TAOS MOUNTAIN

Early in the summer of 1540 a group of young Spanish adventurers, mounted on horseback and led by Francisco Vasquez de Coronado, arrived in New Mexico. Captain Hernan Alvarado rode north with his soldiers and recorded for the first time the wonderful sight of the Taos Pueblo and Taos Mountain by Europeans. In the spring of 1542, Francisco Vasquez de Coronado and his young adventures returned to Mexico the way they came.

April 1598, on the south side of the Rio Grande, not far below the ford in the river where El Paso was founded nearly a century later, Juan de Onate proclaimed himself governor and took possession of New Mexico in the name of the Spanish crown, preceding the colonization of Jamestown, Virginia, by nine years. In a lengthy discourse that echoed the Book of Genesis, he proclaimed Spanish dominion over the new land and its people, “from the leaves of the trees in the forests to the stones and sands of the river.” He conducted similar ceremonies all the way up the Rio Grande reaching the Pueblo of San Juan sometime in June and Taos Pueblo in July. The village of Taos, outside the walls of the Pueblo, was established in 1615 by families that had come with Onate for the purpose of trading with the Ute Indians and the Taos Pueblo. The Indians lived under Spanish law and the Catholic religion until 1680, when a rebellion lead by the San Juan Pueblo shaman, Pope, was planned and implemented from the Taos Pueblo. This is the only recorded instance of the Pueblo Indians in New Mexico ever cooperating with each other in anything.

September 13, 1692, Don Diego de Vargas Zapata Lujan Ponce de Leon and his army rode back into Santa Fe. There were no proclamations, no words of law and religion, only the sounds of rebels being hung in the plaza and the weeping of their women and children. The Spaniards never left again. The American trappers and traders began to arrive in Taos around 1750, finding Taos a great place to hide from the Mexican government and the tariffs collected on trade goods by the Governor in Santa Fe. When Mexico won its independence from Spain in 1820, the influx of Americans began in full force. Many famous trappers and traders made their homes in Taos, marrying local women and raising their families here. Kit Carson arrived in 1826, Ceran St. Vrain, Charles Bent, Lucian Maxwell, and many others came over the Santa Fe Trail, leaving the trail at Cimarron and making the trek over the mountains to Taos.

When the American army arrived in Santa Fe in 1846 under the command of General Stephen Watts Kearny without firing a shot, the only revolt against the Americans started in Taos. On January 19, 1847, Charles Bent, the new Territorial Governor, was scalped and killed along with others who were considered to be sympathetic to American occupation. Colonel Sterling Price led his force to Taos, destroying the church at the Taos Pueblo where the insurgents were fortified.

The remains of the church are still visible at the entrance to the Pueblo; the American flag has flown over Taos Plaza ever since.

Well that isn’t exactly true. At the beginning of the Civil War, Taos had a lot of “southern sympathizers” who decided that the Confederate flag should be flown over the plaza. Captain Smith Simpson, Kit Carson, Ceran St. Vrain, and others put the American flag back up on the pole, nailed it to that pole, and guarded it around the clock. Congress subsequently granted permission to fly the Taos Plaza flag 24 hours a day to commemorate the event.

In 1898 Ernest Blumenschein and Bert Phillips arrived in Taos and with them came the beginning of the now famous Taos Art Colony. Many, many artists have come to paint the Taos Mountain, psychoanalyst Carl Jung came to study the Taos Pueblo people and the effect of the sacred mountain in their lives, D.H. Lawrence and Frank Waters have used the valley, the people, and the mountain in many of their writings.

The women who are the organizing members of this new chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution live in Taos because we believe that we, like the people who have been coming to Taos for the last 2000 years, were drawn here to add our lives to this community. We live under this mountain feeling protected by its shadow, warmed by its beauty, and awed by its majesty. We hope you will accept our choice, “Taos Mountain Chapter, NSDAR,” with an understanding of how much our mountain means to us.

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