A city, capital of the Territory
of New Mexico
, and county seat of Santa Fe county
; believed to be the oldest city in the United States
It still exhibits many relics of bygone generations.
The streets are crooked and narrow; many of the buildings are of adobe; and among its interesting features are the Church of San Miguel, erected about 1550, and rebuilt in 1710 after having been destroyed by the Indians; the governor's palace, a long, one-storied building with walls 5 feet thick, erected in 1598; and the Cathedral of San Francisco
, built around a similarly named structure, whose records go back as far as 1622.
In 1541 Santa Fe
was a thrifty Indian pueblo, with a population of about 15,000.
Spaniards occupied the place about 1605, made slaves of the inhabitants, and began exploiting the rich veins of gold
in the town and vicinity.
They continued in control till about 1680, when the Indians rose in revolt, drove out the Spaniards, and not only closed the mines but effaced all indications of their existence.
In 1692 the Spaniards again acquired control of the town under Vargas
, and maintained it till 1821, when Mexico
secured its independence of Spain
Gen. Stephen W. Kearny
took possession of the town in the name of the United States
in 1846; the territory was ceded to the United States
in 1848; and the city became the capital of the newly organized Territory of New Mexico