Nina Otero-Warren

La Nina

Educator, feminist, public welfare director, politician, businesswoman—she was all of these and more. Perhaps best remembered for her influential role in securing passage of the women's suffrage amendment by the New Mexico legislature, La Nina wasted no time before tossing her political chapeau into the ring and becoming the first woman in New Mexico to run for U.S. Congress in 1922. Born into two of the most prosperous and prestigious families of the state—Los Luna and Los Otero—Nina moved to Santa Fe as a teenager and made it her home for a lifetime. Never timid about taking charge, she was superintendent of schools; an organizer of Santa Fe Fiesta, Indian Market, Spanish Colonial Arts Society; matriarch of her large family and hostess to her extensive social circle of artists, writers, historians, priests and politicians.

In this Chautauqua presentation La Nina invites you share some private time in the library of her family home before her 70th birthday celebration in 1951. There she reminisces and confides, answers and disclaims, takes you back on the campaign trail of 1922, even tells some of the stories from her book Old Spain in Our Southwest.

Funding available to New Mexico presenters and schools through the New Mexico Endowment for the Humanities Chautauqua program.

For booking information contact:

   Wonderful performance! The audience was thrilled … and with members of Nina's family present, too. Very impressive.”

Program Coordinator
Santa Fe Community College
Santa Fe, New Mexico

Marion Sloan Russell

An Oft Repeated Dream of the Old Santa Fe Trail

The creaking of wagon wheels, the jingle of trace chains, the songs, sounds and memories of the Old Santa Fe Trail are relived and retold by Mrs. Russell in this Chautauqua style show. Based on the book Land of Enchantment: Memoirs of Marion Sloan Russell Along the Santa Fe Trail, the show reveals Marion as a quintessential Westering woman. She crossed the trail five times as a youth. During her adult years in New Mexico and southern Colorado, she was an army wife, trading post manager, mother, homesteader, postmistress, homemaker and ranchwoman. After her husband Richard Russell was killed in a gun battle near their ranch in Stonewall Valley, Colorado, Marion became the plaintiff in a suit against the Maxwell Land Grant Company for attempting to evict her family and others from the land they had homesteaded. Mrs. Russell tells her stories, answers questions, and reflects on the old trail as a metaphor for life.

The old trail, the long trail over which once flowed the commerce of a nation, lives now only in the memory of a few old hearts. It lives there like a lovely, oft repeated dream.

Designed for general, youth and school audiences.

For booking information contact:

   Deborah, you were great! I continue to have delighted comments.”

St. Scholastica Academy
Canon City, Colorado

   "We would highly recommend Deborah's program to other schools. She is extremely knowledgeable about the historical character; she portrays Marion realistically; and she interacts with children in an upbeat, positive way.“

Columbian Elementary School
Raton, New Mexico

Abigail Scott Duniway

Tells the History of the West from the Woman's Point of View

One of the most outspoken and courageous frontierswomen of the American West, Abigail Scott Duniway worked forty-two years as newspaper editor of The New Northwest and as a tireless advocate of equal rights for women before she cast her first and only vote in 1912. Mrs. Duniway crossed the Oregon Trail with her family as a teen and was early to realize that “women do half the work in the world plus rearing its children” and therefore must be allowed a voice in making the laws that govern them. She dared to write extensively and speak publicly for women's suffrage and economic justice. Her style was decidedly Western however and not at all like that of her “prissy Eastern prohibition sisters."

In this presentation Mrs. Duniway returns to her home in Portland to write a historic speech that she delivered in 1905 for “Women's Day” at the Lewis and Clark Exposition. She refers to her voluminous files of clippings, tells the stories of women she has known and read about as well as anecdotes of her own. All the while she chats with the audience, answers questions and vows to give the dignitaries a speech that will “gnaw away at their consciences.”

Also designed for general, youth and school audiences.

For booking information contact:

   "Deborah's work transports the audience to other periods and places and directly into the hearts of her characters. Always well versed in scholarly research, Deborah is able to make history come alive in a way that has proved accessible to a wide cross-section of people."

Resource Center Director
New Mexico Endowment for the Humanities