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History and GovernmentCongressional BiographiesNew Mexico

José Francisco CHAVES

(1833-1904)

CHAVES, José Francisco, a Delegate from the Territory of New Mexico; born in Padillas, Mexico (now New Mexico), June 27, 1833; attended schools in St. Louis, Mo.; studied medicine at the New York College of Physicians and Surgeons; engaged in the stock-raising business in the Territory of New Mexico; president of the Territorial council for eight sessions; major of the First New Mexico Infantry in the Union Army during the Civil War; promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel; took part in the Battle of Valverde in 1862; elected as a Republican to the Thirty-ninth Congress (March 4, 1865-March 3, 1867); successfully contested the election of Charles P. Clever to the Fortieth Congress; reelected to the Forty-first Congress and served from February 20, 1869, to March 3, 1871; unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1870 to the Forty-second Congress; engaged in farming and stock raising; district attorney of the second judicial district 1875-1877; member and president of the State constitutional convention in 1889; State superintendent of public instruction from 1903 until his death; appointed State historian of New Mexico in 1903, but died before his term of service began; assassinated in Pinos Wells (near Cedar Vale, Torrance County), N.Mex., November 26, 1904; interment in the United States National Cemetery at Santa Fe, N.Mex.

Bibliography

Read, Martha Durant. “Colonel José Francisco Chaves: A Short Biography of the Father of the New Mexico Statehood Movement,” Southwest Heritage, Winter 1978-1979, volume 8, no. 4: 13-21 & 30.

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present

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