About Henry Connelly
Henry Connelly (1800–1866) was the Governor of the New Mexico Territory during the American Civil War. He was appointed by President Lincoln and served from September 4, 1861 until July 6, 1866. During his term, the territory broke into two, and then three during Connelly's tenure due to the Civil War and administrative problems.
Connelly was born in Spencer County, Kentucky. In 1828 he received a medical degree from Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky. He practiced medicine and ran a store in Liberty, Missouri from 1820 until 1824, when he traveled the Santa Fe Trail from Independence, Missouri to Santa Fe, New Mexico with other merchants. During and following these years of travel and trading, he no longer practiced medicine, except in the case of an emergency. In 1828 he moved to Chihuahua, Mexico where he lived until 1848, continuing to make business journeys to Missouri and New Orleans. He married a Mexican woman there in 1838, with whom he had three children. Sometime in the 1840s he moved to Peralta about 17 miles south of the town of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Connelly participated in negotiations between governor Manuel Armijo and James W. Magoffin in Santa Fe, prior to Kearny's 1846 bloodless Capture of Santa Fe during the Mexican-American War.
New Mexico military rule
In 1849, after the death of his first wife, Connelly married Delores Perea. Perea was the widow of Don Mariano Chaves, one of the governors of New Mexico while it was under the rule of Mexico. She was also the mother of Don Mariano's son, José Francisco Chaves, who served three terms in the United States House of Representatives as Delegate from the New Mexico Territory, 1865 to 1871.
By 1850, although there were strongly opposed political factions in New Mexico, most were united in opposing the military government. The governor Colonel John Munroe convened a constitutional assembly in May, which ratified a state constitution by 6,771 votes to 39. The constitution was adopted on 20 June 1850, and state officers were elected. Henry Connelly, who was absent from the territory at the time, was elected Governor and Manuel Alvarez Lieutenant-governor. However, Colonel Munroe forbade the assumption of civil power by the elected officials. On 9 September 1850 the U.S. Senate passed a compromise bill that included an act to organize a government for New Mexico as a territory, and this overrode the state legislature.
New Mexico state
Connelly was an associate in the incorporation of the New Mexican Railway Company in support for construction of a transcontinental railroad via the southern route through New Mexico in 1860. He was a main force behind the repeal of the New Mexico Slave Act in 1861. He was governor of New Mexico during the Civil War and General Sibley's New Mexico Campaign. During the Battle of Valverde, he was at Fort Craig, then moved the territorial capital from Santa Fe to Las Vegas, New Mexico prior to the Confederate occupation of Santa Fe. Connelly was in ill health during a large part of his administration. He was absent from office due to illness for about a half year between the fall 1862 and the spring of 1863, during which Secretary William F.M. Arny acted as Governor. He died of an opium overdose on Aug 12, 1866 in Santa Fe after leaving office, July 16, 1866.
-------------------- Henry Connelly (1800–1866) was the Governor of the New Mexico Territory during the American Civil War. He was appointed by President Lincoln and served from September 4, 1861 until July 6, 1866. During his term, the territory broke into two, and then three during Connelly's tenure due to the Civil War and administrative problems.