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The Black range. : (Robinson, Socorro County, N.M.) 1882-1897
Place of publication:
Robinson, Socorro County, N.M.
Geographic coverage:
  • Chloride, Sierra, New Mexico  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
Black Range Print. Co.
Dates of publication:
  • -v. 16, no. 18 (Aug 6, 1897).
  • Began with Apr. 14, 1882.
  • English
  • Chloride (N.M.)--Newspapers.
  • New Mexico--Chloride.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01305393
  • New Mexico--Sierra County.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01221223
  • New Mexico--Socorro County.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01218291
  • Robinson (Sierra County, N.M.)--Newspapers.
  • Sierra County (N.M.)--Newspapers.
  • Socorro County (N.M.)--Newspapers.
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Description based on: Vol. 1, no. 26 (Oct. 6, 1882).
  • Later published: Chloride, Socorro County, later called Sierra County.
sn 87090373
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The Black range. October 6, 1882 , Image 1


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The Black Range

Robinson was established in the Black Range in 1882, located four miles northwest of Winston, New Mexico. In the early 1880s, during a local mining boom, it was anticipated the Santa Fe Rail Road would extend a line to the Black Range. As a result, in 1882, Robinson was laid out as a terminal. The origins of the town's name are uncertain. One story has it that hopeful organizers named the Robinson after the man who was chief engineer of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad. Another explanation is that the town took its name from an individual named M.L. Robinson. In any event, the new town failed to prosper, and less than 10 years after its birth Robinson vanished.

The Black Range, a daily Republican newspaper was published in English by the Black Range Printing Company from April 13, 1882, to January 1883. At that point, the newspaper moved to Chloride, then briefly in 1886, to Socorro, before returning to Chloride for good. It continued publication until August 6, 1897. The editor, V.B. Beckett, included below the masthead the following motto: "Devoted to the mining interests of the Black Range country." A one-year subscription cost $3, a six-month subscription cost $1.75, a three-month subscription cost $1, and a single copy cost 10 cents.

The Black Range heavily invested in territorial politics. In 1882, it was one of three papers in Territorial New Mexico which refused to support Tranquilino Luna, a congressional candidate. The methods used in Luna's nomination by the Santa Fe Ring members were highly questionable. The Santa Fe Ring, consisted of a clique of Republican state politicians who had near total control of the state during the late 19th century and through the early 20th century. It was said that they turned a blind eye to and were actively involved in corruption. When the coinage of silver became a political issue, leaders and newspapers from both parties in New Mexico adopted a pro-silver attitude. It was generally believed that the free and unlimited coinage of silver would boost the economy of territorial New Mexico. Republican papers in the mining camps were particularly strong supporters of free silver. In 1896, the Black Range was one of two Republican newspapers which refused to support the national Republican Party because of its opposition to silver. The paper called on "All freedom-loving citizens to cast aside partisanship and [to] rally around the silver standard." A year later, in 1897, W.O. Thompson, the publisher and editor of the Black Range abandoned the paper after he lost all hope for higher silver prices.

Local, territorial, and national news appeared in each issue. An example of territorial news can be found in an article in the Black Range dated October 8, 1886, which described the Apache warrior Geronimo's conditions for surrendering to the government; they included imprisonment in the Dry Tortugas, a group of islands wholly destitute of vegetation in the Gulf of Mexico, 40 miles from Key West, Florida. On January 25, 1889, another article reported that House Bill 41, presented by Col. Albert Jennings Fountain "To prohibit county officials speculating in county or territorial warrants, should by all means become a law."

The Black Range had its squabbles with nearby papers. For example, on November 2, 1883, it wrote: "Until a contemporary mentioned the fact that the Deming Headlight had cut its exchange with the territorial weeklies, the Black Range had not noticed the absence of the little jerk-water." The Deming Tribune is all the exchange that the Black Range cares for from Deming anyhow. The Deming Headlight was a poor, snarling, growling ear when a weekly, and as a daily it is six times worse."

Provided by: University of New Mexico