David L. Caffey Book Signing at Cimarron Mercantile

Cimarron Mercantile 709 S. Collison Ave. Cimarron, NM 87714

David L. Caffey will be signing copies of When Cimarron Meant Wild: The Maxwell Land Grant Conflict in New Mexico at Cimarron Mercantile Restaurant and Gifts, located next to the historic St. James Hotel on Collison Ave./NM Hwy. 21 in Cimarron, NM. Also signing will be Stephen Zimmer, author of fiction and non-fiction on the Cimarron country of northeastern New Mexico.

About the Book:

The Spanish word cimarron, meaning “wild” or “untamed,” refers to a region in the southern Rocky Mountains where control of timber, gold, coal, and grazing lands long bred violent struggle. After the U.S. occupation following the 1846–1848 war with Mexico, this tract of nearly two million acres came to be known as the Maxwell Land Grant. WhenCimarron Meant Wild presents a new history of the collision that occurred over the region’s resources between 1870 and 1900. Author David L. Caffey describes the epic late-nineteenth-century range war in an account deeply informed by his historical perspective on social, political, and cultural issues that beset the American West to this day.

Cimarron country churned with the tensions of the Old West—land disputes, lawlessness, violence, and class war among miners, a foreign corporation, local elites, Texas cattlemen, and the haughty “Santa Fe Ring” of lawyerly speculators. And present, still, were the indigenous Jicarilla Apache and Mouache Ute people, dispossessed of their homeland by successive Spanish, Mexican, and American regimes. A Mexican grant of uncertain size and bounds, awarded to Carlos Beaubien and Guadalupe Miranda in 1841 and later acquired by Lucien Maxwell, marked the beginning of a fight for control of the land and set off overlapping conflicts known as the Colfax County War, the Maxwell Land Grant War, and the Stonewall War.

Caffey draws on new research to paint a complex picture of these events, and of those that followed the sale of the claim to investors in 1870. These clashes played out over the following thirty years, involving the new English owners, miners and prospectors, livestock grazers and farmers, and Native Americans.

Just how wild was the Cimarron country in the late 1800s? And what were the consequences for the region and for those caught up in the conflict? The answers, pursued through this remarkable work, enhance our understanding of cultural and economic struggle in the American West.