Juan Rafael Ortíz was an official at the Governor's Office in Santa Fe, NM in the year that Santa Anna assumed dictatorial powers in Mexico. The military leaders at Santa Fe agreed to support his new regime on August 1, 1834, but the coup led to civil war in New Mexico. Under the new constitution of 1836, Ortíz was selected as a member of the first provisional Departmental Junta in 1837, and elected Deputy to the Mexican Congress.
The collection includes a holograph letter signed and dated: Juan Rafael Ortíz, Santa Fe, November 6, 1834. The printed letterhead reads "Gobierno Político del Territorio de Nuevo Méjico." The letter is addressed to the Sr. Alcalde of la Cañada; this is probably the mayor of Santa Cruz de la Cañada, 25 miles north of Santa Fe. It is a reply to the addressee about the unspecified matter of concern, which has taken a very serious turn.