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Hispanic Americans in Congress, 1822-1995


Image of Tranquilino Luna
[Courtesy Museum of New Mexico #9978]

Republican of the Territory of New Mexico

Forty-seventh - Forty-eighth Congresses
March 4, 1881 - March 3, 1884

Tranquilino Luna was born on June 29, 1847 in Los Lunas, Nuevo México, a town which had been named after his family. He was a descendant of Don Domingo de Luna, who came to New Mexico shortly after the Spanish reconquest in 1692, and settled in the San Clemente grant which became Los Lunas.

Luna attended public schools and graduated from the University of Missouri at Columbia. After graduation he engaged extensively in stock raising, while also dedicating much of his time to public office. He was a delegate from New Mexico to the Republican National Convention in 1880 and 1888.

In 1880 he was elected as a Delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives. In Congress he was appointed to the Committee of Coinage, Weights, and Measures. In his first term he introduced a number of bills, including one that would have allowed for a state government of New Mexico, but the bill failed. He also presented a petition from citizens of New Mexico for the education of Pueblo Indian children.

In 1883 Luna's reelection was contested by Francisco A. Manzanares. The House Committee on Elections declared that more than 2,000 of the votes in Valencia Country were fraudulent and the U.S. House of Representatives seated Manzanares.

Luna returned to Valencia where he resumed his ranching activities. In 1888, he succeeded his brother, Jesús M. Luna as Valencia County sheriff, an office he held until his death in Peralta, Valencia County on November 20, 1892.

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