José Manuel Gallegos, Priest and Politician

José Manuel Gallegos had several careers in his life, first as priest and later as politician.  Gallegos was born on October 30, 1815 in Rio Arriba County, New Mexico.  Gallegos attended parochial schools and studied theology at a Jesuit college in Durango, Mexico.   Back in New Mexico, Gallegos became friends with David Merriwether, a Democrat who would later become Governor of New Mexico.  Merriwether instructed Gallegos on the principles of the Democratic Party.  Since Gallegos did not speak English fluently, he asked Merriwether to write his content, and later had it translated into Spanish.  Gallegos was the first Latino delegate from New Mexico to be elected to the US Congress.