The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 69, July 1965 - April, 1966 Page: 254
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
of his mother is not known, but legend has it that a mysterious
murder in the Jennings family caused many of its members to
take other names. Be that as it may, for the first twenty-three
years of his life, or until he arrived in the Southwest, there are
"only pieces of proof" of his existence. He first appeared in the
area in 1862 with General James Carleton's California Column.
From then until his death thirty-four years later Colonel Foun-
tain was part and parcel of the region's history.
As a young soldier Fountain met and married Sefiorita Ma-
riana Pdrez of old Mesilla, New Mexico. After the war the couple
settled in El Paso where he practiced law, organized the county
Republican Party, and served as a senator in the Texas legisla-
ture. He was a Radical and supported the Radical program of
the Reconstruction governor, Edmund J. Davis. But when he
realized that the moderate Republicans were in the ascendency
and that his re-election, therefore, was quite doubtful, he moved
to New Mexico where he resided the rest of his life.
The author in tracing the astounding career of Colonel Foun-
tain neglected not a single facet of his activities. He pictured
him as a soldier; an amateur actor, singer, playwright, and direc-
tor; a special United States district attorney who vigorously
prosecuted so-called "land grabbers" as well as cattle thieves; an
Indian scout and guide in the army's campaign against Victoria
and Nana; a colonel in the territorial militia; a newspaper editor
and publisher; a part-time prospector; and a territorial and state
legislator. The author also notes that with all of these activities
Colonel Fountain found time to organize the veterans of the
California Column, establish GAR posts throughout the terri-
tory, and assist in organizing the Southern New Mexico Stock
Growers' Association which he served as chief counsel.
The theme of the book, however, is the political and personal
conflict between Colonel Fountain and Albert Bacon Fall which
led to the colonel's death. The author pictured Fall, "an abscond-
ing debtor from Texas," as "belligerent, bitter and dangerous."
New Mexico had applied for statehood and Fall was determined
to see "a Democratic state with two Democratic senators." (Fall
became a Republican in i902 after the territory began to drift
in that direction.) This conflict between the two strong-willed
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 69, July 1965 - April, 1966, periodical, 1966; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117144/m1/294/: accessed November 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.