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Colonel Albert Jennings Fountain

 

1838

    October 23 Born on Staten Island, New York.

 

1860

    As a reporter for the Sacramento Union, Fountain traveled to Nicaragua to cover the William Walker expedition.  When Fountain sent back reports that Walker planned to establish a slave-holding republic in Nicaragua, with Walker as President, Fountain was arrested and sentenced to execution by firing squad.  The resourceful Fountain, disguised as a woman, slipped aboard a steamship and escaped.

 

1860-61

    Worked as a law clerk and passed the California bar.

 

1861

    August 26 With the Civil War having broken out, Fountain enlisted in Company E, First California Infantry Volunteers.  

 

1862

     October 27 - While stationed in New Mexico, Fountain, now a sergeant, married Mariana .

 

1864

    August 31 Discharged from service.  He would soon re-enlist due to Indian raids in New Mexico.

 

1865

    June Fountain was nearly killed while pursuing uprising Navajos.  After spending the night trapped under his dead horse, he was rescued.  He had a bullet in his thigh, an arrow in his forearm, and another in his shoulder. He would leave the service upon recovery.

 

1866

    January Elected County Surveyor.

    Appointed Customs Inspector and Chief Assistant to the Collector of Customs.

 

1869

    November 30 Fountain was elected to the Texas Senate.  As a senator, Fountain served as majority leader and spearheaded the “frontier protection bill”, which reactivated the Texas Rangers.

 

1870

    December 7 Fountain had another brush with death when, with only a cane to defend himself, he was shot in the arm and scalp.  A third shot hit the pocket watch in his coat pocket.  Fountain, with a posse, hunted down and killed his assailant later that day.  One man in the posse was killed.

 

1873

     Albert, Mariana, and the now five Fountain children moved back to Mesilla, New Mexico, where Fountain established a law practice.

 

1877

    Founded and published the newspaper Mesilla Valley Independent, and the Spanish edition, El Independiente del valle de la Mesilla.

 

1881

    Fountain defended his most famous client, William H. Bonney (Billy The Kid).  Bonney was tried and found guilty for the murder of Sheriff Brady.

 

1882

    He was appointed an Assistant United States District Attorney.

    Fountain led a militia to defend Mesilla from Indian raids.  He reached the rank of Colonel.

 

1888

    November Fountain was elected to serve on the New Mexico Territorial Legislature.  He defeated Democratic Newcomer Albert B. Fall for the seat.

 

1890

    October Colonel Fountain, running for re-election, was defeated by Albert  Fall.

 

1894

    March - Albert Fountain wrote the by-laws and became the special investigator for the Southeastern New Mexico Stock Growers Association. They were a group of cattle companies and ranchmen whose purpose was to stop the rampant cattle rustling that was hurting their businesses.

 

1896

    January 12 Fountain, with his eight-year-old son Henry, left for Lincoln, New Mexico.  The purpose of the trip was to assist the prosecution in    bringing charges against Oliver Lee and William McNew.

    February 1 Albert and Henry Fountain, heading over the desolate road passing near the White Sands, disappeared forever.  Their bodies were never found and no one was ever convicted for the murders.

 

 

Sources: Gibson, A. M., The Life and Death of Colonel Albert Jennings Fountain, (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1965); Recko, Corey, Murder on the White Sands: The Disappearance of Albert and Henry Fountain, (Denton: University of North Texas Press, 2007).

 

 

Murder on the White Sands Reviews; Murder on the White Sands Introduction and First Chapter; Information About Murder on the White Sands (# of pages, table of contents, etc.); Biographies of: Colonel Albert J. Fountain, Pat Garrett, John Fraser, Henry Fountain, Albert B. Fall, Oliver Lee, James Gililland, William McNew, Ed Brown, Thomas Branigan, William H. H. Llewellyn; 1896 Newspaper Accounts of the Fountains' Disappearance; Map of New Mexico Sites; Mesilla, New Mexico; Hillsboro, New Mexico; Search the Index; Buy Murder on the White Sands; Who do you believe murdered murdered Albert and Henry Fountain? Talk About it in the Forum; Murder on the White Sands Related Articles; Appearances; Links; Author biography; Corey Recko News; Contact  coreyrecko@coreyrecko.com

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