The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 79, July 1975 - April, 1976 Page: 350
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
sense ecclesiastical history in a vacuum; the local customs, institutions, and
habits that impinged strongly on Archbishop Lamy and on his lifelong
friend and associate, Joseph P. Machebeuf, first bishop of Denver, find
True, Lamy of Santa Fe is not a perfect book, but no book is perfect.
For example, Baltimore was never a primatial see of the Catholic Church
and, therefore, there was no 'primate' in the United States (pp. 24 ff.),
U. S. Grant was not secretary of war (pp. 317 ff.), and the Ursuline Sisters'
motherhouse was in Brown County, Ohio, not Kentucky (pp. 75 ff.).
But these and a few others of a like kind are only specks on a generally
precise and accurate canvas and they will not detract seriously from the
worthwhile character of the work.
Mr. Horgan has in good measure allowed Archbishop Lamy's story to
tell itself through the contemporary sources, for he recognized how intrin-
sically interesting the French-born prelate's career was and how vividly
the contemporary accounts brought it all out, e.g., the prolonged bickering
over jurisdiction with the bishop of Durango that necessitated Lamy's 1,500
mile trip there on horseback to resolve the difficulty; the shameful lives
being led by too many of New Mexico's clergy when Lamy came upon the
scene in 1851 ; the colorful but troublesome antics of Jos6 Manuel Gallegos,
a priest who in 1853 was elected to Congress as a non-voting member for
New Mexico Territory, and the repeated forays and deadly assaults of the
Indians as they fought their losing battle to hold their lands against the
advancing white immigrants.
The life of Archbishop Lamy inspired Mr. Horgan from the time of his
boyhood in New Mexico, as it was to inspire Willa Cather in the I920S for
her remarkable novel, Death Comes For the Archbishop. It was little
wonder, for Lamy's story partakes of high adventure that accompanied the
Southwest's receding frontier. Fortunately, it has found a master hand to
tell it, and the historical and literary heritage of Americans in general will
be the richer for Mr. Horgan's painstaking effort. Lamy of Santa Fe is a
natural candidate for the John Gilmary Shea Prize as, indeed, it is for the
Pulitzer committee's prize for biography. The author's thorough research
is demonstrated in "Sources Consulted" (pp. 441-456) as also in his
detailed citation of manuscript and published materials (pp. 456-500).
Last but by no means least at a time when such matters are all too frequently
overlooked, this splendid biography carries a very helpful index (pp. 509-
University of San Francisco JOHN TRACY ELLIS
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 79, July 1975 - April, 1976, periodical, 1975/1976; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101203/m1/395/: accessed August 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.