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A Mexican home, late 1800s
A Mexican home in New Mexico in the late 1800s

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José Manuel Gallegos Was Born
October 30, 1815

In 1853, Josť Gallegos became the second Hispanic U.S. representative in history. After he won a second term, his political opponent, Miguel A. Otero, convinced Congress that Gallegos had won only because Mexican citizens had illegally voted for him. Gallegos left Washington, but he did not leave politics.

During the Civil War, the Confederates took over Santa Fe, New Mexico. Gallegos, however, was a Union supporter, and he found a way to provide information and assistance to Union forces. In 1871, Gallegos returned to the U.S. House of Representatives, once more as a delegate from New Mexico. At the end of his term, he returned to Santa Fe, where he died in 1875.

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