General New-mexico Information
Capital: Santa Fe Largest City: Albuquerque
Demonym: New Mexican Population: Ranked 35th in the US 2,499,481 (2008)
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Information about New Mexico

The first known inhabitants of New Mexico were members of the Clovis culture of Paleo-Indians. In fact, the culture is named for the New Mexico city where the first artifacts of this culture were discovered. Later inhabitants include Native Americans of the Anasazi and the Mogollon cultures. By the time of European contact in the 1500s, the region was settled by the villages of the Pueblo peoples and groups of Navajo, Apache and Ute.

Francisco Vasquez de Coronado assembled an enormous expedition at Compostela in 1540-1542 to explore and find the mystical Seven Golden Cities of Cibola as described by Cabeza de Vaca who had just arrived from his eight-year ordeal traveling from Florida to Mexico. Coronado's men found several mud baked pueblos in 1541, but found no rich cities of gold. Further widespread expeditions found no fabulous cities anywhere in the Southwest or Great Plains. A dispirited and now poor Coronado and his men began their journey back to Mexico leaving New Mexico behind. Over 50 years after Coronado, Juan de Onate founded the San Juan colony on the Rio Grande in 1598, the first permanent European settlement in the future state of New Mexico. Onate pioneered the grandly named El Camino Real, Royal Road", as a 700 mile (1,100 km) trail from the rest of New Spain to his remote colony. Onate was made the first governor of the new Province of New Mexico. The Native Americans at Acoma revolted against this Spanish encroachment but faced severe suppression.

In 1609, Pedro de Peralta, a later governor of the Province of New Mexico, established the settlement of Santa Fe at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The city, along with most of the settled areas of the state, was abandoned by the Spanish for 12 years (1680-1692) as a result of the successful Pueblo Revolt. After the death of the Pueblo leader Pope, Diego de Vargas restored the area to Spanish rule. While developing Santa Fe as a trade center, the returning settlers founded the old town of Albuquerque in 1706, naming it for the viceroy of New Spain, the Duke of Alburquerque.

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