François-Marie Pa­torni lec­tures on “The French in New Mex­ico”

Vive les Français: the French in New Mex­ico

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There is a long and sto­ried history of French peo­ple in New Mex­ico, in­clud­ing fur trap­pers and traders, Catholic priests, mem­bers of the De La Salle Chris­tian Broth­ers teach­ing or­der, and the spouses and prog­eny of French ex­plor­ers and set­tlers. Many New Mex­ico towns bear French names: Gascon in Mora County, Pen­daries Vil­lage, a re­sort in San Miguel County, and Lamy in Santa Fe County, the name­sake of Arch­bishop Jean-Bap­tiste Lamy, Santa Fe’s first bishop. Among Lamy’s 19th-cen­tury achieve­ments were or­der­ing the con­struc­tion of a cathe­dral, now the Cathe­dral Basil­ica of St. Fran­cis of As­sisi, and lay­ing the foun­da­tion for ed­u­ca­tion in New Mex­ico sev­eral

decades be­fore pub­lic schools were es­tab­lished. Lamy was fa­mously fic­tion­al­ized by Willa Cather in her 1927 novel, Death Comes for the Arch­bishop. Nu­mer­ous ama­teur and schol­arly non­fic­tion works de­tail­ing the in­flu­ence of the French in the Land of En­chant­ment ex­ist as well, in­clud­ing the 1884 pub­li­ca­tion Commerce of the Prairies: Or the Jour­nal of a Santa Fe Trader by Josiah Gregg (reis­sued by Kessinger Pub­lish­ing in 2006); Pe­dro Vial and the Roads to Santa Fe by Noel Loomis

and Abra­ham P. Nasatir; and The Taos Trap­pers, The

Fur Trade in the Far South­west, 1540-1846 by David J. We­ber. François-Marie Pa­torni, a Santa Fe res­i­dent and na­tive French­man, hopes to add his man­u­script, New Mex­ico: The French Since the 1500s, to the list. He presents a lec­ture, “The French in New Mex­ico,” which is based on re­search for the book, at noon on Wed­nes­day, Jan. 13, as part of the Brain­power & Brown­bags lunchtime se­ries at the New Mex­ico History Mu­seum (113 Lin­coln Ave., 505-476-5200). The talk, in the Meem Com­mu­nity Room, is free. In­for­ma­tion on Pa­torni’s re­search can be found on his web­site, www.newmex­i­cofrench­his­tory.com. — Jen­nifer Levin

François-Marie Pa­torni

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