Peter Maxwell and the Month of April

April was a critical month for Peter Maxwell, Lucien and Luz Maxwell’s oldest child, and not just because it was his birth month.

Although Peter was born in Taos, he moved to the Cimarron mountain range when he was two years old and would live there until he was 20. In that year, in late April, 1870, his parents would sell the Miranda-Beaubien land grant and move to the the former Fort Sumner military reservation.


April 2 illustration.Peter M Maxwell.standing.Find a Grave photo
Peter Maxwell (standing). Source:

Two years later, again in April, Peter would be responsible for consolidating his parent’s purchase by depositing $2,500 for survey of of the townships that contained the Fort Sumner military installation.

It was on this same installation, in Maxwell’s Fort Sumner home on April 14, 1881, that Pat Garrett killed Billy the Kid.

All in all, it could be said that April was a memorable month for Peter Maxwell.

Sources: Harriet Freiberger, Lucien Maxwell, Villain or Visionary, Sunstone Press, Santa Fe, 1999; Jerry D. Thompson A Civil War History of the New Mexico Volunteers and Militia, UNM Press, Albuquerque, 2015; Raph E. Twitchell, The Leading Facts of New Mexico History, Vol. II, The Torch Press, Cedar Rapids, 1912; Victor Westphall, The Public Domain in New Mexico, 1854-1891, UNM Press, Albuquerque, 1965;, accessed 3/15/18