Lecture: Padre Martinez and New Mexico's First print Pubications June 6 New Mexico History Museum

Carter Jones Meyer's picture

The Friends of History

 Padre Martinez and New Mexico's
First Printed Publications, 1834-1846

A Discussion by
 Laurence Creider
Emeritus Professor, Archives and Special Collections, New Mexico State University

Wednesday, 6 June 2018
Meem Room
New Mexico History Museum
Noon       No Charge
Limited Seating 

Padre Antonio Martinez.  Palace of Governors Photo Archives

New Mexico's first printing press arrived from St. Louis in 1834, carried by trader Josiah Gregg over the Santa Fe Trail.  After being used briefly to print a newspaper in Santa Fe, Padre Antonio Jose Martinez (1793-1867) bought the press and took it to Taos, where he printed some 16 publications over the next 12 years.  These fall into the categories of textbooks, legal texts, religious texts and what might be called civics texts.  All were produced for the benefit of his fellow citizens at a time when books were still rare and expensive.  One or more copies of almost all of these titles have survived. The talk will describe the books and their contents, devoting attention to what we can learn from them about Padre Martinez's activities, his sources, his skill as a textbook writer, and the level of education of his students. 

Following Dr. Creider's talk, Tom Leech, Director of the Palace Press, will show two of Padre Martinez's original publications and speak briefly about the technical aspects of printing in 19th century New Mexico.  

After receiving his B.A. in History from the University of California at Santa Cruz, Dr. Creider went on to complete his Ph.D. at Yale University.  He spent his professional career as a librarian, split in two almost equal portions between the University of Pennsylvania and New Mexico State University, becoming Emeritus Professor at the latter in 2016. For the past few years, he has been working on the books owned and produced by Padre Antonio
José Martínez and is completing two articles on the subject.