Skip to main content

Vigil family collection

Identifier: COU:1642

Scope and Contents

The Vigil Papers are of particular value because they include correspondence in both Spanish and English. These letters discuss various political issues as well as matters pertinent to Mr. Vigil’s public duties. In many ways, he served as a moderator between the Hispano and Anglo peoples in Las Animas County. The Vigil correspondence contains several hundred letters from the founders and citizens of small Mexican-American communities west of the city of Trinidad. Several of these letters divide the Las Animas society into two large groups, the “americanos” (Anglo-Americans) and the “nuestra raza” (“our people”, Mexican Americans).

The second portion of the materials presented by Mr. Charles S. Vigil contains original data, memoranda and letters concerning the Las Animas County Democratic Party Central Committee from 1936-1946. These papers also are interesting, especially for the highly specific details on Party matters during those years.

The guide is divided into several sections based on political materials and personal materials. The sections/series that the guide is divided into are as follows:

I. Correspondence: This section contains letters that have been sent to both Charles Vigil and Jose Vigil. Within the section it begins with general letters pertaining to different topics. This is followed by letters from specific people; these people are either contingents or political leaders. II. Democratic Central Committee Assembly: Within this section all materials are related to different Assemblies that were held either in Las Animas County or in other parts of Colorado. The dates included in this section are 1944-1950. III. Democratic Central Committee: This section contains all materials that are more general to the Democratic Central Committee. IV. Voter Registration: All materials are related to voter registration and contain forms that are related to the voter registration process. V. Democratic Election Workers and Judges: All forms for the voting of election judges and workers are contained within this section. VI. General Political: This section contains all materials that are general political materials that can’t be included into any other section. VII. Financial Records: This section contains all of the general financial records for the Democratic Party and Vigil’s general receipts. VIII. Las Animas County Democratic Central Committee Financial Records: This section contains the materials that are more specific to the Las Animas County Democratic Party. IX. Political Materials: This section contains materials that are associated with the Democratic Party and their campaign efforts. X. Professional Materials: All of the materials in this section are general professional materials that Vigil had for the day to day business. XI. Political Publications: The two folders in this section contain publications that are political related. The dates in this section range from 1942 to 1961-1962. XII. Publications: This section has publications that are more general and related to more of the daily business that Vigil had. XIII. Oversize: This section contains newspapers that are too large to fit into the smaller folders.


  • Creation: 1900 - 1962

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for access.

Conditions Governing Use

Limited duplication of materials allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Biographical Note

Denver attorney Charles S. Vigil has given the University of Colorado’s Western Historical Collection a historically valuable collection of papers related to public service and political activity in Colorado’s Las Animas County.

The more significant papers are those of Mr. Vigil’s father, Jose Urbano Vigil. These relate to the years 1900-1914 when Jose Vigil, an influential and popular democrat, held a series of public offices. Previously he had taught school and had been Postmaster at Vigil, Colorado, and a hamlet west of Trinidad in the Purgatoire River Valley. He also had been a Las Animas County Commissioner from 1892-1895. From 1899 through 1905, he was elected County Clerk for three successive terms. In 1908, he was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention, held in Denver that year, and in 1909, he became State License Inspector for Las Animas County. Jose Vigil served in that post until appointed Postmaster at Trinidad in 1913, two years before pneumonia caused his death.


5.5 linear feet (11 boxes)

Language of Materials



The Vigil family came to Trinidad, CO in the early 1860’s. Mr. Jose Urbano Vigil served as teacher, county commissioner, County Clerk, State License Inspector, and postmaster. His papers written in English and Spanish reflect his various jobs from 1900-1914. Charles S. Vigil, his son, was a Denver Attorney. His papers deal with his activities with Las Animas Democratic Party Central Committee from 1936-1946.


This collection is arranged in the following series: Series 1: Correspondence, 1900-1962 Series 2: Democratic Central Committee Assembly, 1944-1950 Series 3: Democratic Central Committee, 1940-1946 Series 4: Voter Registration, 1938-1946 Series 5: Democratic Election WOrkers and Judges, 1938-1946 Series 6: General Political, 1944-1948 Series 7: Financial Records, 1903-1916 Series 8: Las Animas County Democratic Central Committee Financial Records, n.d. Series 9: Political Materials, 1946 Series 10: Professional Materials, 1904 Series 11: Political Publications, 1942-1962 Series 12: Publications, 1961

Processed by Heidi Buhr, July 2008
July 2008
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Colorado Boulder Libraries, Rare and Distinctive Collections Repository

1720 Pleasant Street
184 UCB
Boulder Colorado 80503 United States