1st Weds Lecture – Royal A. Prentice: Pioneering Archaeologist in Eastern New Mexico

Photographer and former Rough Rider, Royal A. Prentice, 1950? 
Neg. 006017. Palace of the Governors Photo Archives, New Mexico History Museum
Photographer and former Rough Rider, Royal A. Prentice was also an early volunteer who contributed valuable archeological information to the Museum of New Mexico.

The live presentation can be seen on YouTube and via Zoom.

Richard Ford, Allison Colborne, and Gary Hein have undertaken a study of Royal A. Prentice,  an early  volunteer who contributed valuable archaeological information to the Museum of New Mexico in the first three decades of the 20th century.  Although he published several useful research papers during those years in El Palaciothe quarterly magazine of the Museum of New Mexico, Prentice remains generally unknown today. The presentation will provide an overview of his life focusing on his archaeological research, stressing that the value of this work has earned him a well-deserved place in the history of New Mexico archaeology.  

Our speakers for this event are:

Richard I. Ford
 Arthur F. Thurnau, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology and Botany, 
 University of Michigan
Research Associate, Museum of Indian Arts and Culture 

Allison Colborne
Librarian, Laboratory of Anthropology
Museum of Indian Arts and Culture

Gary Hein
 Volunteer, Office of Archaeological Studies and Rock Art 
Rock Art Council Member, Archaeological Society of New Mexico

This is the latest in the Friends of History monthly lecture series and is presented in collaboration with the Friends of Archaeology.


Several of Royal A. Prentice’s photographs are currently on exhibit in our Working on the Railroad Exhibition which remains open until October of 2021.

You can also visit the exhibition from home via the Virtual Version .

You can view all of Prentice’s photographs in our digital collections portal.


Friends of History is a volunteer support group for the New Mexico History Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Its mission is to raise funds and public awareness for the Museum’s exhibitions and programs. Friends of History fulfills its mission by offering high quality public history programs, including the First Wednesday Lecture Series. For more information, or to join the Friends of History, go to friendsofhistorynm.org


Guided Virtual Tours Begin on Feb 10, 2021

In the interest of public health and safety due to Covid-19, in-person tours of the museum are not being offered at this time.   

Instead, docents are hosting custom virtual tours online   Each tour will last approximately 50 minutes and will be offered on the Zoom platform.   

Currently, tours are being scheduled to take place on: Wednesdays at 2 pm & Thursdays at 10 am Mountain Time

Visit our tour schedule to see the calendar of tours available and register to attend. 

Tours are free of charge, but registration is requested.   Upon registration, the online link to the selected tour will be sent by email along with instructions for joining the group. 

Upcoming 1st Weds Lecture, Feb 3, 2021

Colin G Colloway will be speaking on the impacts of the 1779 smallpox pandemic on Native American tribes throughout western North America.

Colin G. Calloway John Kimball Jr. 1943 Professor of History Professor of Native American Studies Dartmouth College.

The talk will trace the spread of the great smallpox epidemic that broke out in Mexico in 1779, traveled north to New Mexico, was transmitted from tribe to tribe across the American West, and reached eastern Canada by 1784. We will discuss its impact on Indian country and the multiple Native American communities it struck, and consider its significance for understanding the subsequent history of the United States.

Colin Calloway grew up in England and received his Ph.D. from the University of Leeds. In the US, he has worked at the Center for the History of the American Indian at the Newberry Library in Chicago, and taught at the University of Wyoming and Dartmouth College. He has published more than a dozen books, including One Vast Winter Count: The Native American West Before Lewis and Clark, which won six best book awards, and most recently The Indian World of George Washington, which was a National Book Award finalist and won the George Washington Prize. He has been President of the American Society for Ethnohistory and received the Western History Association’s American Indian History Lifetime Achievement Award.

Friends of History is a volunteer support group for the New Mexico History Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Its mission is to raise funds and public awareness for the Museum’s exhibitions and programs. Friends of History fulfills its mission by offering high quality public history programs, including the First Wednesday Lecture Series. For more information, or to join the Friends of History, go to friendsofhistorynm.org

1st Wednesday Lecture – Dave DeWitt: Chile Peppers: A Global History

Dave DeWitt joined us for January’s Friends of History 1st Wednesday Lecture to discuss how he earned the name “Pope of Peppers” and his new book that charts the spread of chile peppers throughout the world.

The Museum’s Friends of History group organizes a monthly lecture on New Mexico history by a historian, held on the the first Wednesday of each month. Informative/Promotional Text we are adding to FoH related online postings/Lecture descriptions: Friends of History is a volunteer support group for the New Mexico History Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Its mission is to raise funds and public awareness for the Museum’s exhibitions and programs. Friends of History fulfills its mission by offering high quality public history programs, including the First Wednesday Lecture Series. For more information, or to join the Friends of History, go to friendsofhistorynm.org

Dec 2, 2020, the next Friends of History 1st Weds Lecture: Cathleen Cahill presents Recasting the Vote.

Graphic with details of Dr. Cathleen Cahill’s lecture.

Join us December 2nd at 12pm (MST) on our Youtube channel for December’s 1st Wednesday Lecture.

Will be joined by Dr. Cathleen Cahill, Associate Professor of History at Penn State University. Professor Cahill will tell the powerful stories of a multiracial group of activists who propelled the national suffrage movement toward a more inclusive vision of equal rights. Most suffrage stories are centered in the East and the Southwest as an afterthought at best. But Cahill asks what happens when we refocus the lens to center the stories in NM and the wider region? This talk reveals that suddenly our suffrage history is more diverse and more complicated than we anticipated. She will especially focus on New Mexico by exploring the important role of Spanish-speaking suffragists, the activism of African American women, and the debate over the Native American right to vote.  With suffragists of color in the foreground, Cahill will recast the suffrage movement as an unfinished struggle that extended beyond the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment.

Cathleen D. Cahill, PHD is associate professor of history at Penn State University and the author of Federal Fathers and Mothers: A Social History of the United States Indian Service, 1869–1933, winner of the 2011 Labriola Center American Indian National Book Award and finalist for the 2012 David J. Weber-Clements Prize, Western History Association.

The bookcover for Recasting the Vote by Cathleen D. Cahill

Friends of History is a volunteer support group for the New Mexico History Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Its mission is to raise funds and public awareness for the Museum’s exhibitions and programs. Friends of History fulfills its mission by offering high quality public history programs, including the First Wednesday Lecture Series. For more information, or to join the Friends of History, go to friends-of-history.org

You can find a playlist of previous 1st Wednesday Lectures on our youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/nmmuseum and also on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/NewMexicoHistoryMuseum

1st Wednesday Lecture: Blurred Borders: Apache Acculturation & Adaptation During the Last Decades of Spanish Rule

This month’s Friends of History 1st Wednesday Lecture was delivered by Dr. Matthew Babcock, Associate Professor of History at the University of North Texas at Dallas. The streaming of the video was followed by a livestreamed Q&A which is at the bottom of this post.


This lecture will focus on the forgotten Chihene Apache farming experiment at Sabinal, New Mexico from 1790-1795 by placing it in the context of Apache-Spanish relations and Spanish Indian policy. In response to drought and military pressure, thousands of Apaches de paz settled near Spanish presidios after 1786 in a system of reservation-like establecimientos, or settlements, stretching from Laredo to Tucson. On paper the establecimientos constituted the earliest and most extensive set of military-run reservations in the Americas. Yet, Apaches de paz typically exhibited mixed loyalties, sometimes serving Spanish interests, and other times subverting them, demonstrating the limits of indigenous assimilation into imperial states.

Matthew Babcock is Associate Professor of History at the University of North Texas at Dallas and the author of Apache Adaptation to Hispanic Rule, published by Cambridge University Press in 2016. He earned his Ph.D. from Southern Methodist University, his M.A. from the University of New Mexico, and his B.A. from Dartmouth College. His research focuses on the history of North American borderlands, American Indians, and the colonial Southwest. Dr Babcock can be reached at: Matthew.Babcock@untdallas.edu

Friends of History is a volunteer support group for the New Mexico History Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Its mission is to raise funds and public awareness for the Museum’s exhibitions and programs. Friends of History fulfills its mission by offering high quality public history programs, including the First Wednesday Lecture Series. For more information, or to join the Friends of History, go to friends-of-history.org or email us here.