Archbishop Lamy’s Connection to the Long Walk of the Navajo People

Archbishop Lamy with members of the clergy in the 1880s at Villa Pintoresca now known as Bishop’s Lodge. The orphan Miguel Lamy is pictured in the background.

In 1864 destiny brought a young Navajo boy into the powerful world of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe. The chance meeting would have never occurred had it not been for the Long Walk. More than 8,000 Navajo men, women and children were forced from their Arizona homes to march over 400 miles to Fort Sumner, N.M. During the Long Walk about ten percent of the Navajo prisoners died of disease and exposure.

Orphans of the Long Walk

The survivors of the march remained in disease-ridden confinement at Bosque Redondo. In June 18, 1868, a treaty was signed allowing the Indians to return to their homes. The diaspora included more than 2,000 children. It is believed that the orphan boy that Archbishop Lamy adopted was a refugee of the Long Walk. Miguel Lamy was educated at San Miguel College. He got married and raised a family on Cerro Gordo road in Santa Fe.

Rosario Cemetery

Death records indicate that Miguel Lamy died on Aug. 29, 1938. He was preceded in death by his wife Mercedes, who died in 1931. Santa Fe’s Rosario Cemetery records show that most of the Lamy family members have been interred in the Lamy mausoleum, except for Miguel. Although, he was the adopted son of the archbishop, at the end he wasn’t considered family.

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