Two of the most colorful, influential, and controversial figures in southern Territorial New Mexico were Albert Jennings Fountain and Albert Bacon Fall. Fountain arrived in southern Territorial New Mexico with the California Column during the Civil War and made his mark twenty-five years before Fall's arrival. Fall, born during the Civil War, ventured westward to seek his fortune as a miner.
Both brought with them dominant personalities, an ability with words, a flair for leadership, and an endless enthusiasm for their adopted land. They were instrumental in shaping the growth, economics, law, government, and politics of Territorial New Mexico. Devoted to their families and their political parties, both rose to the top of New Mexico politics and Fall served as a U.S. Senator and a Cabinet Secretary.
Political opponents and bitter personal enemies, they locked horns almost from Fall's arrival in the Territory until Fountain's disappearance. In spite of their political and legal successes, both lives ended in tragedy. Fountain and his 9-year-old son Henry disappeared near the San Andres Mountains while returning from Lincoln, New Mexico. Their bodies have never been recovered and their fate is one of Southern New Mexico's most intriguing unsolved mysteries. Fall died an ill and broken man as a result of the Teapot Dome Scandal.
Owen has meticulously researched what has been written by and about these two men to provide an unbiased analysis of their lives and contributions, and their interactions with each other.
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Gordon R. Owen is Professor Emeritus, Department of Communication Studies, New Mexico State University. He and his wife Ardis have lived in Las Cruces for more than thirty years. His fascination with Fountain and Fall and their accomplishments led him on a ten-year search to research their lives.Review:
"Albert J. Fountain and Albert B. Fall were among the ten or twelve most important leaders in Territorial New Mexico. "The two Alberts" were, arguably, the major players on Territorial New Mexico's southern stage, with Fall's presence and influence extending into New Mexico's early statehood years and on to the national scene. Owen has sifted through vast amounts of contradictory writing and interpretations of the two Alberts, arriving at his own conclusions with as much objectivity as possible. This work goes a long way in setting the record straight regarding much of New Mexico history." -- Monroe Billing, Emeritus Professor of History, New Mexico State University
"Rich in descriptive detail and background explanation, Owen's substantial account portrays two of the most electrifying figures ever to grace the Southwestern frontier. Their deadly rivalry ended only with the mysterious disappearance of Col. Fountain. The rest of Fall's meteoric but ill-fated career, especially his role in the Teapot Dome affair, became an American success story with an unhappy ending. Their stories have been told before but not in such depth and with such careful attention to Southwestern conditions and influences." -- David H. Stratton, Professor Emeritus, Washington State University.
"Although the reader knows the outcome of the sometimes, triumphant, sometimes tragic stories, how the ends come about proves fascinating. Although the events took place in another century, their comments have a familiar ring--party loyalty, too much is spent on prisons and too little on education; the farther from the halls of government, the less attention to local needs. This portrait of two men, tall in their time, is worthy of attention and understanding by contemporary Americans." -- Lee Priestley, author of Billy the Kid: The Good Side of a Bad Man -- Publisher Comments
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Book Description Yucca Tree Pr, 1996. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P111881325202