By Bob Harner
After two failed trapping expeditions in present-day Arizona, James Pattie settled into a more sedate (and more lucrative) life with his father, Sylvester, operating the Santa Rita del Cobre copper mines in New Mexico Territory. Unfortunately, this venture also ended in failure when the mine’s assistant manager absconded with most of their money. At the same time, they learned that the Mexican president had ordered all Spanish-born residents to dispose of their property and leave the country. The mine’s Spanish-born owner, who had been renting the mine to the Patties, hoped to sell them the mine. With the loss of their funds, this proved impossible.