New Mexico History
Albuquerque is a sprawling city nestled between the Sandia Mountains
on the east and volcanic cliffs on the west. The Rio Grande River runs
north to south through the city, creating lush, fertile land in this
high desert area.
Bones dating back at least 10,000 years have been recovered from a
cave in the northwestern area of the Sandia Mountains, offering the
first evidence of life in the area. The Anasazi Indians were the next
to settle from 1100 to 1300.
In 1540 the Spanish arrived from Mexico in search of the mythical seven
cities of Cibola. These explorers spent the winter and left, but they
paved the way for the Spanish settlers who began arriving in large numbers.
By 1706 the provisional governor of the territory applied to the Spanish
government to establish the area as a villa. Permission was granted
and the villa was named "Albuqueque" after the Spanish Duke
(the first "r" was added Albuquerque, to create today's spelling).
The U.S. claimed the territory in 1846 and Anglo merchants, tradesman,
artisans, doctors, and lawyers began arriving in force. The railroad
arrived in 1880 and was influential in the progress and development
of the city. In 1885, Albuquerque was incorporated as a town, and six
years later as a city. New Mexico was admitted to the U.S. in 1912 and
became the 47th state in the Union.