Francisco Perea

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Francisco Perea
Francisco Perea.jpg
Lieutenant Colonel Francisco Perea
Born January 9, 1830 (1830-01-09)
Los Padillas, New Mexico (then in the United Mexican States)
Died May 21, 1913
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Buried at Fairview Cemetery, New Mexico
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch United States Union Army
Years of service 1861 - 1862
Rank Union army lt col rank insignia.jpg
Lieutenant Colonel (U.S.)
Commands held Perea's Battalion
Battles/wars American Civil War
Other work He served as delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1864.

Francisco Perea (January 9, 1830 – May 21, 1913) was Union Army officer in the American Civil War and a cousin of Pedro Perea. He was a delegate for the Territory of New Mexico to the 38th United States Congress from Mary 4, 1863 to March 3, 1865.


Early life and education[edit]

Perea was born January 9, 1830 in Los Padillas, New Mexico (then in the United Mexican States) in what is now Bernalillo County, near Albuquerque, New Mexico. He was the third child of Juan Perea and his wife, Josefa Chaves de Perea. He was a maternal grandson of Governor Francisco Xavier Chávez,[1] the first Governor (1822-1823) of the Departmento de Nuevo México under the independent First Mexican Empire shortly after Mexican War of Independence from Spain ended in 1821.[2] Perea attended select schools in Bernalillo County from 1836 to 1837 and at Santa Fe from 1837 to 1839. He enrolled at the Jesuit College, St. Louis, Missouri from 1843 to 1845 and received collegiate training at the Bank Street Academy in New York City 1847-1849. Before returning home, he and other classmates met President Zachary Taylor. After his departure, he contracted Cholera, but was able to recover.

Commercial pursuits[edit]

Shortly after his return from the east, Perea was married to Delores Ortero on March 15, 1851. They had a total of eighteen children, most of which died as infants. Throughout the 1850s, he was engaged in stock raising and commercial pursuits and in carrying merchandise by mule train along the Santa Fe Trail from St. Louis and Independence, Missouri, to Mexico. He also traveled to California and had an extended a trip to New York during the 1850s. In 1858 was elected to represent Bernalillo County in the Territorial House, but on December 31 of that year, he submitted the following letter:

"To the Hon. José Guadalupe Gallegos Speaker of the House of Representatives: SIR: To the resolution of the House, asking me to give my reasons for declining to take a seat in that Hon. House, as a member from the county of Bernalillo, I have the honor to respond: In the first place, I never consented to my name being placed before the people as a candidate for the office to which l was elected and secondly, I would inform the House, that the health of my family, makes my presence absolutely indispensable. I was not aware that it was my duty to resign after I had been elected, or I would have done so, in order to give the people of my county an opportunity to elect another in my place. With assurances to the Hon. House, that I would be very happy to accompany them in providing for the good of our common country, if the matters above mentioned would permit me. I am, Mr. Speaker with much respect, Your Obd. Servant, FRANCISCO PEREA" The communication was adopted and Francisco Perea was excused from attending the House during the 1858 session.[3]

Civil War and territorial delegate[edit]

When the Civil War broke out, Perea travelled across the Territory of New Mexico to garner support for the union cause. President Lincoln authorized the establishment of two regiments and four battalions for the territory. Perea served as lieutenant colonel and in December 1861, he organized one of the battalions, which came to be known as Perea's Battalion, which was stationed at Albuquerque during the winters of 1861 and 1862. He commanded the battalion for the defense of New Mexico against the Texas Rangers and Navajo. He also took part at the Battle of Glorieta Pass in March 1862.[1][4]

Perea resigned from the battalion and was engaged in repairing his home, which had been destroyed during the war. He was elected as a Republican to the Thirty-Eighth Congress from March 4, 1863 to March 3, 1865. In 1863, he was selected as New Mexico Territory's delegate to the 1864 Republican National Convention. He traveled to Washington, D.C. where the Thirty-Eighth Congress met in its first session on December 7. During the 1864 Republican National Convention, he was among those who favored the renomination of President Lincoln. He was among those present at Ford's Theatre when Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth. In the summer of 1865, he was renominated for the Thirty-Ninth, but did not win the election.[1]

Later life[edit]

Perea was elected to the Territorial Council of New Mexico for a third time in 1866, and a fourth time in 1884.[1] He moved from Bernalillo County to Jemez Springs, New Mexico, in 1881. He served as proprietor of the springs and a hotel. He was also postmaster of Jemez Springs from 1894-1905. He moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 1906 and died there May 21, 1913. He was interred in Fairview Cemetery.[5]


Perea was married twice. First to Delores Otero on March 15, 1851. They had a total of eighteen children, most of which died as infants. Delores died in 1866. Perea married secondly to Gabriela Montoya in 1875. With his second wife he had eighteen children, and ten survived him.[1] Through his daughter Maria Cristina Perea, who married Donaciano Lovato, Francisco Perea is a great-great-great-grandfather of singer/actress Demi Lovato.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Twitchell, Ralph Emerson. Old Santa Fe: a Magazine of History, Archaeology, Genealogy and..., Volume 1. Old Santa Fe Press, 1914. Retrieved 13 December 2011. 
  2. ^ Sisneros, Samuel. "Repatriation from New Mexico to Northern Chihuahua". State of New Mexico, Office of the State Historian. Retrieved 13 December 2011. 
  3. ^ De Marle, A. (Public Printer). "Journal of the Hose of Representatives of the Territory of New Mexico Session 1858-59". House Journal: Proceedings, Volume 33. New Mexico Legislative Assembly. p. 41. Retrieved 19 December 2011. 
  4. ^ Civil War Archives
  5. ^ Francisco Perea at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress Retrieved on 2008-10-13
  6. ^ Perea, Francisco. "Francisco Perea (1830-1913) - Find a Grave Memorial". Find a Grave. Retrieved 6 July 2013. 

External links[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.