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Territories to Statehood, the Southwest: Topics in Chronicling America

In 1912, the New Mexico and Arizona territories became the 47th and 48th states. This guide provides access to materials related to the "Southwest Territories to Statehood" in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.


Map of the New Mexico territory. July 16, 1881. Las Vegas Daily Gazette (Las Vegas, NM), Image 4. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers.

The path to statehood was a long and arduous process for both New Mexico and Arizona. In 1848, the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ended the Mexican-American War and allowed the New Mexico territory to be annexed to the United States; however, disputes regarding a state constitution, boundaries, slavery, and the people prevented movement towards statehood. Eventually on January 6, 1912, New Mexico became the 47th state admitted to the Union when President William Taft signed the New Mexico statehood bill. Thirty-nine days later, Arizona became the 48th state admitted to the Union. Read more about it!

The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.

The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.


January 6, 1912 New Mexico is admitted to the Union as the 47th state.
February 14, 1912 Arizona is admitted to the Union as the 48th and last contiguous state in the Union.