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Santa Fe, New Mexico, is one of the oldest cities in North America, having been occupied by Spanish troops seeking gold as early as 1541. It had been an Indian pueblo with about 15,000 inhabitants. The Spaniards enslaved the population starting around 1610; in 1690, the Europeans were thrown out by an Indian revolt, but they regained control in 1692 under Don Diego de Vargas Zapata Lujan Ponce de Leon.

Santa Fe continued to be the seat of government throughout Spanish, Mexican, and American rules. The politics of local government merged with the politics of first the Spanish colony, then the Mexican province, then the American territory, and, finally in 1912, the American state.

The last Spanish governor was Facundo Melgares, who ruled the colony from 1818 ...

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