TPainting depicting ceremony in which Pocahontas was baptized and given the name Rebecca
This painting depicts the ceremony in which Pocahontas, daughter of the...



Painted portrait of Dr. William Thornton
The Architect of the Capitol (AOC) is the builder and steward of America’s...


Warehouses in Fort Meade, Maryland store items such as statues that were once displayed on the East Front of the Capitol.
The Architect of the Capitol is responsible for managing all of the buildings...

Explore Capitol Hill

Dennis Chavez


This statue of Dennis Chavez was given to the National Statuary Hall Collection by New Mexico in 1966.

Felix W. de Weldon

Given by New Mexico in 1966
Senate Wing, 2nd Floor
U.S. Capitol

Dennis Chavez statue

Dennis Chavez was born in Los Chaves, Valencia County, New Mexico, on April 8, 1888. He left school at the age of 13 to work as a grocery clerk and later worked in the city's department of engineering. As a result of acting as a Spanish interpreter for Senator Andrieus A. Johns, Chavez came to Washington, serving as a clerk in the Office of the Secretary of the United States Senate from 1917 to 1920. He graduated from Georgetown University Law School, was admitted to the bar in 1920, and returned to Albuquerque to practice law.

He began his political career in the New Mexico House of Representatives in 1923. He was a member of the Democratic National Committee from 1933 to 1936, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1931 to 1935, and an unsuccessful candidate for the United States Senate in 1934. In 1935, Chavez was appointed to the Senate to fill the vacancy left by the death of Bronson M. Cutting. Elected to that seat in 1936, he served until his death.

Chavez supported the New Deal and championed the rights of American Indians and Puerto Ricans. He worked for reciprocal trade agreements, especially with Latin America. He was known for his legislation establishing the federal Fair Employment Practices Commission along with various childcare programs. He died in Washington, D.C., on November 18, 1962, and was interred in Albuquerque.

Download pdf of this article.

Last Updated: October 10, 2014