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Listen to or watch stories about the French in New Mexico (and some other stories). Most will be told in English, French and Spanish, one of them is even in Corsican (with subtitles)!!!

January 2021
Saving the La Belle, one of the ships bringing the first settlers to New Mexico, including Jacues Grollet/Gurule, jean L’Archevêque, and Pierre Meusnier. Watch the enthralling video.

September 2020
My talk with Friends of History is HERE

April 2020
The Santa Fe Trail Association posted a truly amazing series of links to great videos. Thank you!

#1 Dave Kendall of Prairie Hollow Productions is producing a series of videos about the Santa Fe Trail.  Each video is about three-minutes long and you can find them HERE
#2 Bent’s Old Fort in Colorado is one of the premier sites along the Mountain Branch of the Trail. In 2013, Rocky Mountain PBS produced a 28 minute segment about Bent’s Old Fort. This video is available by clicking here.
#3 Click here for a potpourri of videos from the NPS featuring many of our national historic sites and trails. Some are only seconds long, others run just a few minutes.
#4 To find a truly amazing number of videos about the Santa Fe Trail, go to YouTube, or just click here. You can watch ordinary folks touring the Trail by motorcycle, bicycle, horse, and foot. Some of videos have wrong information socaveat emptor!
#5 The National Historic Sites and Monuments along the Trail have videos and photo galleries of each site. For example, go to the Fort Larned National Historic Site website (click here), then click on Learn About the Park, then click on Photos and Multimedia, and finally click on Multimedia Presentations where you will find several videos.
If you go to the Fort Union National Historic Monument site (click here), you can find several videos including one shot in the 1920’s showing what the site looked like 100 years ago.
#6 THE MOVIE! Watch a 1940 movie starring Ronald Reagan, Error Flynn, and Olivia De HavillandLast. Historically-inaccurate but fun movie ever made about the Santa Fe Trail, go to YouTube (click here).


January 2020
Frank Sinatra sings the French Foreign Legion

December 1st, 2019
Video about Madrid, NM, with historical retrospective: 

September 2019
Video about the first European (a Frenchman!) to set foot in New Mexico, Marc de Nice (Marcos de Niza).

June 2019
Dedication of the Elena Gallegos historical marker, September 2018.

At the end of 1699, Jacques Grolet, now going by the name Santiago Gurulé, appeared at age thirty-six for hearings relative to his proposed marriage to nineteen-year-old Elena Gallegos. Witnesses to the wedding included his companions Jean L’Archevêque and Pierre Meusnier. The three Frenchmen were survivors of the ill-fated LA Salle expedition to Texas. Santiago and Elena lived in Bernalillo, a settlement between Santa Fe and Albuquerque. Santiago Gurulé died in 1711 when his son Antonio was just a boy of eight. After husband’s death, Elena conducted her own business, raising stock. She was the first woman to record her own brand in 1712. About 1716, she acquired 32,000 acres through the Jesus María Land Grant. Much of what is now north Albuquerque is built on the land originally granted to Elena Gallegos. Hundreds of people now bear the Gurulé name, as revealed in detail in the family’s website created and managed by Angela Lewis,

July 2018
New Mexico promotional video of the 1940s.

June 2018
Talks by Nancy Tucker
The Golden Age of Postcards in Albuquerque
These three talks are on YouTube by Historic Albuquerque Inc.

Talk by F.M. Patorni, January 13, 2016, in Santa Fe at the Palace of the Governors
As part of the New Mexico History Museum’s Chavez Library monthly lunch lectures about New Mexico and the American Southwest.In the Auditorium at the New Mexico History Museum, 113 Lincoln Ave. As the auditorium was full, you might have missed it. See it now here. (You might see scary warnings popping-up from the museum’s website, do not worry, it’s OK!)

January 13, 2016
Interview of F.M. Patorni on KSFR News

Many Santa Feans know about our five French Archbishops in the 1800’s and early 1900’s. But fewer are aware that New Mexico’s history with French immigrants is much richer, and reaches back to the 16th century. Francois-Marie Patorni became Santa Fe’s unofficial French historian when he moved to the City Different ten years ago. This year, he’s the first speaker in the New Mexico History Museum’s brown bag lecture series. KSFR reporter and lifelong Francophile Kate Powell caught up with Francois-Marie about the surprising impact of French immigrants in the Southwest, and about the book he’s writing on the subject.

José Antonio Navarro
A movie in Corsican with subtitles.
This video celebrates the life of José Antonio Navarro, a fellow Corsican, a major figure of the Santa Fe expedition:

José Antonio was a major figure of the Santa Fe expedition. He was a French-Corsican-Texan hero who played a leading part in the colonization and independence movement of Texas. He was a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence in 1836 and served as elected Senator in the Congress of the Republic of Texas. He was the son of Angel Navarro (born in about 1749 near Ajaccio in the island of Corsica), who left the island then in turmoil in about 1762, when he was about 13 years old. He was raised among the progressive ideas of his times in Corsica, which probably influenced his outlook on politics in later life: A Corsican Constitution had been instituted in 1755 under the leadership of Pascal Paoli, which would later influence the U.S. Constitution (the town of Paoli in Pennsylvania and several other towns in the U.S. are named in Paoli’s honor). The Corsican Constitution provided for the vote of women and is the first democratic constitution in modern times. Corsica has been part of France since 1768.

The Santa Fe expedition suffered many hardships. It got lost, lacked food and water, and was attacked twice by Indians.  As they arrived in Santa Fe, the Texans were captured. New Mexicans celebrated the event and burned copies of President Lamar’s proclamations on the plaza at Las Vegas. A folk play, Los Tejanos (The Texans), was performed, telling the story of the expedition.

Most of the members of the expedition were later released, except Navarro. As a Mexican citizen, he was charged with treason, sentenced to death, imprisoned in the Acordada prison in Mexico for two years and then in the dungeon of San Juan Ulloa. Navarro’s sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment. In 1845, he escaped in 1845 to Cuba, then to New Orleans, and finally returned to Galveston where he resumed a prominent political career.

Several places are named in José Navarro’s honor: a Texas County, Navarro Street, and numerous public schools. The Navarro county seat, Corsicana, is named in honor of Navarro’s Corsican-born father. José Antonio Navarro and his father are heroes honored to this day in Corsica.

Movie on the French-Swiss settlement in the Lower Pecos
“A l’ouest du Pecos
In French