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Golden era. : (Lincoln, N.M.) 1884-188?
Place of publication:
Lincoln, N.M.
Geographic coverage:
  • Lincoln, Lincoln, New Mexico  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
  • White Oaks, Lincoln, New Mexico  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
Jones and M.S. Taliaferro
Dates of publication:
  • Began in July 1884.
  • English
  • Lincoln (N.M.)--Newspapers.
  • Lincoln County (N.M.)--Newspapers.
  • New Mexico--Lincoln County.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01218749
  • New Mexico--Lincoln.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01305676
  • New Mexico--White Oaks.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01297936
  • White Oaks (N.M.)--Newspapers.
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Description based on: Vol. 4, no. 32 (July 17, 1884).
sn 92070445
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Golden era. July 17, 1884 , Image 1


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Golden Era

Lincoln, New Mexico, is located on US 380, south of the Capitan Mountains, on the Rio Bonito with its post office dating back to 1873. In 1849, Lincoln was originally named La Placita del Rio Bonito by Spanish-speaking settlers. It translates to the village by the pretty river, and it was also referred to as simply La Placita or Bonito. The village originally consisted of a few adobe buildings around a plaza, fortified by a stout stone-walled tower. Twenty years later, in 1869, Saturnino Baca, with the support of Lawrence G. Murphy, post trader at Fort Stanton, Maj. William Brady, and Dr. J.H. Blazer, successfully proposed to the territorial legislature that a new county be created and named for President Lincoln, who had been assassinated four years earlier. La Placita, one of the largest villages in the newly named Lincoln County, changed its name to Lincoln. Eventually, Lincoln became the county seat. From 1878 to 1881, the town participated prominently in the infamous feuds between rival groups of businessmen and gunslingers in New Mexico known as the Lincoln and Colfax County Wars.

The Golden Era was formerly the White Oaks Golden Era which moved from White Oaks, New Mexico, in response to the demands of the citizens of Lincoln for a newspaper in the county seat. The Golden Era began publication on July 17, 1884, and ceased publication in July 1886. It was a weekly, English-only paper and politically unaffiliated. The Golden Era cost $3.00 for an annual subscription, $2.00 for a six-month subscription, and $1.10 for a three-month subscription. The October 16, 1884 copy documented the first known editor and publisher as M.S. Taliaferro and Jones Taliaferro. The papers reported Mr. Jones Taliaferro’s retirement in January 1886. His business partner and brother, M.S. Taliaferro, took over the Golden Era. In August 1886, the Golden Era was succeeded by the Lincoln Independent.

The masthead of the Golden Era was transferred from the White Oaks Golden Era. In 1885, it adopted a carnival theme. The Golden Era covered local, county, territorial, national, and international news. Issues related to livestock were reported extensively. In the October 16, 1884 issue of the Golden Era, the Stock News column observed that although there were 33 million sheep in the United States, cows had paid off more mortgages and paid for more farms than any other known product.

The paper also covered national events, such as the election of Grover Cleveland to the presidency on November 13, 1884, as well as news from the region. A September 10, 1885 report on the Snake dances of the Moqui Pueblo Indians by a W. Cal. Brown, a well-known portrait and landscape photographer of Albuquerque, N.M., described the event “as hideous, loathsome, shuddering carnival of diabolism, a revolting remand of barbarism, a realization of all the horrors of all the delirium tremors in the world”. On January 21, 1886, an advertisement appeared in the Golden Era stating that Grant County, New Mexico, was offering a $250 reward for each and every hostile Apache Indian killed by citizens.

The attitude of territorial editors toward the suppression of crime and violence varied during this time period. Before the 1870s, the press generally ignored crime and violence. However, editors became interested in the disturbances generated by the Lincoln and Colfax County Wars and often supported one of the factions. In the early 1880s, the editors supported almost unanimously vigilante mobs which acted to end an era of outlaw terror. By the end of the decade, the press had turned against groups fighting against eviction from the privately owned lands that were part of the huge Maxwell Land Grant in northern New Mexico, believing that violence against the legal authorities and court orders should not be condoned. And finally, newspaper editors asked that the practice of pistol wearing be discontinued. In an effort to aid the cause for the statehood, the New Mexico press worked hard during these years to eradicate the old image of a lawless, violent territory.

Provided by: University of New Mexico