Santa Fe Ring
Nickname for a coalition of lawyers, bankers, politicians, businessmen, ranchers, and land speculators who strove to gain control of land in northern New Mexico in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The Ring was especially interested in gaining control of the huge Maxwell Land Grant and other land grants. Involved in both the Lincoln County War and the Colfax County War, which action involved the driving off of squatters from the Maxwell Land Grant territory and resulted in over 200 deaths. Since many of the tactics used by the Ring can only be described as corrupt or fraudulent, those accused of being members of the coalition typically denied any affiliation. Letters to the Editor of the Las Vegas Optic in July 1884, under the pseudonym "Ithurial", presented a list of supposed Ring members that included Thomas Catron, Stephen Elkins, and governors, generals, judges and other notables.