Letter: 23 March 1849

To J. W. Magoffin, Esq.

Dear Sir:

If the following statement of such of your important services as came to my personal knowledge during the invasion of New Mexico can serve to elucidate your sacrifices and risks during the War, it gives me pleasure to make it.

I shall not easily forget the pleasure which your company give me when I preceded the army with a flag, from Bent’s Fort to Santa Fe, nor the advantages of your knowledge of the country and its language.

I am strongly impressed with the skill you exhibited not to compromise your old influence over the Mexican General, by an appearance of your real connextion with myself. (even furnishing an interpreter, rather than appear on the official occasion;) At night, however, you accompanied Genl. Armijo to my quarters, when, by your aid, we had a secret conference. I then understood the Mexican Governor’s real disinclination to actual resistance, to which, I believe, according to our instructions, you gave important encouragement particularly in neutralizing the contrary influence of young Colonel Archulette, by suggesting to his ambition the part of bringing about a pronunciamento of Western New Mexico in favour of annexation; (Genl. Kearney’s first proclamation claiming only to the Rio Grande.)

I had personal knowledge of the high opinion which that General entertained of your discretion and services; and, that it may well be considered a piece of good fortune, that at the expense of a large bribe, you were suffered to destroy the General’s own written statement of them, only shows how narrowly you escaped with your life, in your further efforts to serve our Government in Chihuahua.

With high respect, sir, I remain.
Your ob. Servant,
P. St. Geo. Cooke,
Major, 2 Drags.
Washington, March 23, 1849.

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