Doña Ana County, New Mexico: Historic themes
— Paige W. Christiansen
The history of the area surrounding Las Cruces and old Mesilla is, in general, a microcosm of the history of the American West. The major forces which shaped that history were not local in nature, but were, in most cases, generated far from the scene of their happening. For much of Dona Ana County historical processes are difficult to measure because of the thinness of the population in the past. There were ranches, of which we have only scanty histories, or even worse, only scanty mention, and there were trails over which passed military expeditions, supply trains, or Butterfield stages. There was sporadic mining activity in isolated areas, but again only meager records remain, and mining history is clouded by myth and legend. Finally there were forts which protected this vital frontier from local hostile Indians and defended the trade routes. The story of the area can best be told in terms of its themes.
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- Christiansen, Paige W., 1975, Doña Ana County, New Mexico: Historic themes, in: Las Cruces Country, Seager, William R.; Clemons, Russell E.; Callender, Jonathan F., New Mexico Geological Society, Guidebook, 26th Field Conference, pp. 71-74.