New Mexico's five decade long journey to statehood was hindered by political and racial tensions.
Voters first approved of a state Constitution in 1850 before being defeated by Congress in 1850 with the passage of the Compromise Bill. Subsequent revisions to the Constitutions were defeated by voters. Opponents to New Mexico statehood were concerned about the loyalty of its residents who were Hispanic and Native American, and many Southern politicians did not favor statehood.
However, on June 20, 1910, President Taft signed the Enabling Act authorizing New Mexico to draft a state Constitution which was later approved by voters on January 21, 1911.
New Mexico was admitted as the 47th state under President Taft on January 6, 1912. The state's first governor was William C. McDonald who was sworn in on January 15, 1912.
A Cuarto Centennial History of New Mexico
by Robert J. Torrez
Chapter Seven: The Quest for Statehood
New Mexico Genealogical Society