Rebellion in New England

La Fonda on the Plaza, Sante Fe, New Mexico, Historic Hotels of America.

The Pursuit of History: Santa Fe

Fall 2024 | October 28 – 29 + Reception the night before and optional tour the day after

Santa Fe and the surrounding area provide a window into the history of the West unlike any other.

The city and surrounding area witnessed more than 500 years of complex history as indigenous, Spanish, Mexican, and US forces competed and sometimes cooperated for survival and success in a beautiful but harsh environment.

The century of preservation and redevelopment that followed honored both Native and Spanish heritages, creating a unique venue for studying and appreciating the complex history of the West.

All making it the perfect place for our first Pursuit of History Weekend in the West.

Registration opens the week of July 22.

About The Pursuit of History: Santa Fe

Almost a hundred years before Lexington and Concord, Americans took up arms against a mighty European Empire, resisting imperial efforts to impose taxes, garrison troops and limit local prerogatives. But in 1680, the empire was Spain and the Americans were Native Americans. New Mexico’s Pueblo Revolt of 1680 was the only successful ouster of a colonial power by an indigenous population in what became the US. The Pueblo Revolt and later return of the Spanish set the stage for New Mexico’s centuries of resistance to successive colonizers (including the US). Santa Fe today reflects that unique history: the diverse indigenous world that existed before the arrival of the Spanish and continues today, the rich culture the Spanish brought with them, and the tumultuous impact of the expansionist US that exploded with the opening of the Santa Trail in 1821, connecting New Mexico directly to the growing US economy.

Through the 1800s Santa Fe was occupied by the US Army as part of the US war with Mexico; the capital of a new US Territory by 1850; occupied by Confederate forces briefly during a crucial Civil War campaign; and established as the center of a world of cattle ranches and range wars (including the saga of Billy the Kid), until the coming of the railroads integrated New Mexico into the growing US. Santa Fe, however, was left off to the side. As a result, Santa Fe’s history, architecture, and landscape hasn’t obscured by industrial development.

During The Pursuit of History: Santa Fe, we’ll explore this history where it happened, with leading historians, authors, and guides, meeting in historic buildings, walking the streets for in-depth tours designed for our group of history lovers, and going behind the scenes to see archives and areas not open to the public.

This is a unique opportunity open to a small number of individuals and we have no plans to repeat it. Details are below. Registration opens the week of July 22.

Pursuit of History Weekends are unlike any history event you’ve attended

  • History where it happened
  • Understanding not just what happened, but why
  • With a small group that shares your passion for history and wants to dive deep
  • In the company of noted historians and authors who you will meet and interact with, not simply listen to. Some may spend the day, others part of the day, perhaps joining us for lunch or dinner.

This will be our third Pursuit of History Weekend

Our first was held in May 2023. The Pursuit of History: Forging the Continental Army took place in the Washington Memorial Chapel at Valley Forge. A year later we held The Pursuit of History: Rebellion in New England at Washington’s Headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was the first of a three-part series covering events in New England of 250 years ago that will continue in 2024 and 2025.

The Pursuit of History: Santa Fe is our first outside of New England and it is designed to include all of the things that people love about Pursuit of History Weekends, including meeting and walking where history happened, working to understand not just what happened, but why, engaging with our speakers and presenters throughout the day, and all with a small group of individuals who share your passion for history.

Feedback from attendees

For Forging the Continental Army and Rebellion in New England we welcomed participants from across the country, including folks who came from the West Coast to participate in these unique events.

Here are a few of the many comments:

“I signed up for this May’s Pursuit of History weekend Rebellion in New England as soon as it opened because I had such a great time last year at Valley Forge for The Pursuit of History: Forging the Continental Army.

“I’m particularly interested in history related to place, so attending the presentations and tours in such a historic location made it more impactful, and it was nice to be in small groups instead of a crowd.

“This year’s event at Washington’s headquarters, talking about the events leading up to the rebellion 250 years and the walking tours of the area led by experts, all gave me a much deeper understanding of the events of 1774 and how this was, in many ways, the start of the American Revolution.”

— Chandra, Massachusetts
“I’m a major fan of The Pursuit of History. I’m also a fan of J.L. Bell’s books and his extraordinary, information-packed website.

Rebellion in New England is such an amazing opportunity.”

— Nancy, Kansas

“I wanted a closer look at all of the events and ideas leading to 1776—and I got it! . . . Absolutely superb.”

— Sarah, Massachusetts

“It was like stepping into the painting.”

— James, Connecticut

“I can’t even begin to tell you how much I enjoyed Rebellion in New England and how much I’m looking forward to continuing in 2025! I feel like I’ve found a home!”

— Steve, New York

Organizer

The Pursuit of a History is the non-profit organization behind the groundbreaking History Camp and now Pursuit of History Weekends. Carefully curated for a small number of individuals, Pursuit of History Weekends are unlike any history event you’ve attended.

The Pursuit of History: Santa Fe is made possible with the generous support of the James & Edith Spain Foundation and the Spain Family.

Schedule

Sunday, October 27 Evening reception at a private residence in Santa Fe.

Monday, October 28 — Overview of the region’s 500+ year history of indigenous, Spanish, Mexican, and US interactions.

In the historic La Fonda Hotel, site of the inn at the end of the Santa Fe Trail, noted scholars and authors will spell out the context of indigenous slavery, focus on Santa Fe’s role in the region’s history, and discuss how the arrival of U.S. explorers, traders, and military interacted with the region’s complex settlements and cultures.

We will then explore the city itself on foot, starting at Santa Fe’s historic Plaza, to see where and how this history played out on the ground.

Tuesday, October 29 — The interplay of peoples and cultures over centuries.

We will start with a behind-the-scenes perspective at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture before moving to the important Pueblo and Spanish archeological site at Pecos National Park. We will return to Santa Fe to discuss the two days’ topics and conclude with added perspective over dinner at La Fonda.

Wednesday, October 30 — Optional tour outside of Santa Fe to include Los Alamos and Bandelier National Monument. Includes bus and guides.

Speakers and Sites

Registration

The Pursuit of History: Santa Fe is limited to 40 people. Registration will open the week of July 22.

The fee, including breakfast and lunch on both days, plus dinner on the second day, along with all transportation between sites during the day and admission fees, is $895. (If your plans change after you have registered, notify us before September 1 for a refund.)

Sunday evening we’ll have a casual reception at the home of Pat Spain, whose generous support on behalf of the James & Edith Spain Foundation and the Spain Family is enabling us to present this exciting program, our first outside of the East Coast. It’s also our first going back much further in time historically than we covered at Valley Forge or at Washington’s Headquarters. And we’re covering a much larger area geographically involving more peoples and nations.

Optional tour on Wednesday

Wednesday we’ll head out to Bandelier National Monument and Los Alamos, including bus transportation and guides. You can add this tour when you register.

Travel + Lodging

Flying into Albuquerque and then renting a car for the hour drive to Santa Fe gives you the most choices.

Lodging is not included, but there are a wide variety of choices

La Fonda is the classic. It is located in the center of town and it is where we will be meeting Monday and Tuesday.

The Hilton off the Plaza is very nice and is walkable to everything.

There are some older, clean but funky hotels right in town that sometimes have much better rates, including the Hotel St Francis and the Inn of the Governors. (There are huge variations by week and day.)

The Drury Plaza is actually pretty nice, still walkable.

Other upscale in-town but relatively reasonably-priced hotels include ElDorado, Inn at Alameda, and La Posada.

Slightly farther is Hotel Santa Fe.

The Doubletree, Hyatt Place, and La Quinta are at the far south end of Cerrillos (and Santa Fe), farther away. Safe, clean, and very standard.

Finally, Santa Fe has some of the most luxurious (and expensive) lodging you’ll find anywhere, including the Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi, Bishop’s Lodge, and the Inn of the 5 Graces.

Interested in supporting our mission and programs?

Contact Lee Wright, President of the Pursuit of History to learn more about how you can support the mission and programs of The Pursuit of History, the non-profit organization behind The Pursuit of History Weekends, History Camp, and weekly History Camp Discussions.