Chapter Twelve Don Diego José de Vargas Zapata y Lujan Ponce de León

The de Vargas Reconquista

And the de Riberas


Thanks again to all the sources available on the Internet


The northern most areas of Nueva España had been newly settled before insurrectionist disruption by its natives in 1680 C.E.  Barely 80 years had passed since the Españoles had come to La Provincia del Nuevo Méjico in 1599 C.E.  One family line, the Lucero de Godoy, had arrived with the other Españoles with the Oñate Expedition which first settled the land.  The Journey had been extremely difficult, in fact almost impossible.  But survive they did, to claim the land and its promise.  

After decades of hard work, they had built the Villa de Santa Fé, the capital of the Provincia.  The Villa was engineered and constructed with the mandatory presidio, church, and government buildings.  The good padres built mission or mision after mision.  The pobladores or townspeople spread across the region following the contours of the rivers and streams dotting the landscape with the ranchos they settled.  The Españoles would grow and thrive for all most three generations.  In the year1680 C.E., they would be driven out by an insurrection of the local Natives called the Pueblo Rebellion.  

At this juncture it is necessary to clarify what the term Españoles is, or suggests, when used in the context of this chapter.  This is critical to obtain an understanding of España’s position as a world power and “empire” of the time.  El Imperio Español consisted of the whole of those territories conquered and ruled by España as a result of exploration and colonial expansion initiated during the 15th-Century C.E.  She was transitioned into the first transcontinental superpower during the 16th and 17th centuries C.E.  The Empire would reach the peak of its military, political, and economic power under the Spanish Habsburgs through most of the 16th and 17th centuries C.E.  

España was by 1680 C.E., an extensive group of states or countries under one single supreme authority, the Spanish Monarchy.  The major branch of the Habsburg Dynasty ruled España chiefly through Carlos I or Charles I and Felipe II or Philip II who reached the zenith of their influence, power, and territorial control from 1516 C.E. through 1700 C.E.  This territory included the Americas, the East Indies, the Low Countries and territories now in France and Germany in Europe, and the Portuguese Empire from 1580 1640 C.E..  This period of Spanish history has also been referred to as the "Age of Expansion."  

Therefore, the term Españoles cannot be applied simplistically to mean only a native or inhabitant of España, or a person of Spanish descent.  Men from all over the Empire joined the Spanish army and navy as a means for social advancement and gaining wealth.  In addition, those from other nations not under España entered the service of the Corona Española.  One finds that members of the various Nuevo Méjico military and exploration expeditions were from such non-Imperio Español nations as Greece, France, and Scotland.  

Specifically as the term Españoles relates to Nuevo Méjico, the peoples of the Provincia were even more diverse.  Perhaps this is a good time to stop and explain Spanish settlement of Nuevo Méjico during the years 1599 C.E. through 1696 C.E.  The First Wave, those who came with Don Oñate's first Spanish Settlement.  It was within that first year of settlement that Don Oñate made a request of the Virrey of Nueva España for additional pobladores.  With those that had been recruited for this "Second Wave" of settlement were soldados, entire families, single women, and some servants.  These would have not all been of Old Christian blood.  Some were of mixed blood, African and Native.  The Expedition began its journey north along the El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro by late September 1600 C.E.  They would arrive at San Gabriel on December 24th or Christmas Eve of 1600 C.E.  Unfortunately, many of these pobladores would desert the Provincia within a year.  

Others would follow shortly after 1600 C.E. and continue arriving through 1691 C.E.  It is during this timeframe, in the years of 1610 C.E.-1680 C.E. that are referred to as the “Spanish Mission Period” of Nuevo Méjico History.  During this time, the Franciscan priests came to convert the Pueblo Peoples to Christianity.


The Fifth Wave constitutes those that came to Nuevo Méjico between 1692 and 1696.  

Extensive genealogical and historical research over the past sixty years has brought to light the diverse nature of both geographic and ethnic origins of Nuevo Méjicano families during El Imperio Español era of 1598 C.E.-1821 C.E., which ended with the take-over of Spanish lands by the newly formed Mexican Government.  Méjico would only control Nuevo Méjico for 25 years, from 1821 C.E. until 1846 C.E. when the Americanos seized it.  

The Mestizaje Indian roots of 17th-Century C.E. Nuevo Méjico families has been greatly explored and clarified by recent results from the Nuevo Méjico DNA Project.  Mestizos are persons of mixed racial ancestry, especially those of mixed European and Native-American ancestry.  The Project’s results relating mainly to Hispanic men (77.89%) with roots in Nuevo Méjico report that of 710 maternal DNA samples, 546 of these individuals carry Native-American DNA.  The results speak for themselves.  The Españoles of Nuevo Méjico were even more diverse that many other areas of the Empire with the inclusion of a large number of Mestízos.  

Many of the early families of Nuevo Méjico were in part, local Native and of other Indigenous roots.  Families such as the Montoya, Griego, and Anaya Almazán have been found to have roots among the Aztecas from the Valle of Méjico.  Those of a more local, Nuevo Méjicano, blending are of a diverse Imperio Español and Pueblo Indian background.  These include the Luján, López de García, Márquez, Martín Serrano, and Naranjo families.  

The Griego family is of blended Spanish and Mexican Indian ancestry.  Juan Griego made his way from Greece to Nuevo España and developed a relationship with Pascuala Bernal.  The two arrived in Nuevo Méjico in 1598 C.E.  There, their children were born and identified as Mestizos.  Their son Juan Griego as an adult spoke the Náhuatl language of the Azteca from the Valle of Méjico.  Serving as an interpreter of the Tewa language, he was given the privilege of becoming an encomendero of Nuevo Méjico.  Juana de la Cruz, his wife, was also Mestízo.  She was a daughter of the Español, Juan de la Cruz, and his Mexican Indian wife, Beatriz de los Ángeles.  Mestízo families like the Griego family and the Montoya family arrived at high social and political status within Nuevo Méjico of the 17-Century C.E.  

Many unions between Don Juan de Oñate’s pobladores and soldados and the Pueblo Indians occurred soon after their arrival.  Among some of the earliest to establish such relationships was that of the Martín Serrano family.  An Español from Zacatecas, Hernán Martín Serrano, and a Tano Indian woman named Doña Inés had two sons.  It would appear that she’s the same Tano woman named Inés, who exited Nuevo Méjico with the Castaño de Sosa Expedition in 1591 C.E.  It is reported that she returned to Nuevo Méjico with the Oñate Expedition serving in a like-position as that of the famous “la Malinche” the interpreter who accompanied Hernán Cortés during his adventures in Méjico.  

In 1626 C.E., Doña Ines was described as an acculturated Tano Indian woman whom the Españoles treated as they would one of their own women.  She and her son, Hernán the younger, resided in Santa Fé maintaining his residence until the 1680 Pueblo Revolt.  Hernán the younger was able to attain military distinction and was accorded one of the highest social privileges, that of becoming an encomendero.  Luís Martín Serrano, his brother, was described as a Mestízo however it’s uncertain whether Doña Inés was also his mother.  

From the journals of Don Diego de Vargas, the records reveal that familial interrelationships between various groups of Pueblo Indians and Spanish pobladores did exist.  There appears to be individuals and family groups of Nuevo Méjico 17th-Century C.E. society which crossed well-established and culturally enforced community boundaries.  Juan Ruiz de Cáceres, an interpreter of Tano and Tewa languages, had Tewa relatives who lived at San Juan Pueblo.  It is reported that in 1692 C.E., Juan took under his care two Pueblo Indian cousins, Tomé and Antonia, this after almost thirteen years of separation.  

Miguel Luján, a soldado and brother-in-law to Juan Ruiz de Cáceres, was said to have comadres or friends and companions and relatives living among the Tewa and Tano Indians who occupied Santa Fé after the 1680 Pueblo Revolt.  The wife of the Pueblo leader Don Luís Tupatú, known also as El Picurí, was one of Luján’s nieces.  It is reported that Luján took the sister of this niece into his care.  

Another Spanish soldado, Francisco Márquez, was supposedly reunited with his aunt, Lucía, who was part Tewa from Nambé Pueblo, and her grown daughter in 1692 C.E.  It is reported that Pedro Márquez, Lucía’s husband, left Nuevo Méjico and settled in Casas Grandes which also known as Paquimé.  It is a prehistoric archaeological site in the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua.  This he did after the Pueblo Indian revolt never to return.  It was Lucía who assisted Gobernador de Vargas during the period of Nuevo Méjico’s reincorporation by the Corona Española.  

What does this all suggest in relationship to this chapter concerning the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 C.E., the Reconquista by de Vargas of 1692 C.E., and Spanish resettlement of the Provincia of Nuevo Méjico?  These areas have been discussed and written about from many perspectives.  What should cry out to the casual reader about these histories and commentaries is the fact that their depiction has been a mile wide and an inch deep.  In short, the obvious has been dealt with, but not to the degree necessary.  In relation to the racial politics and Nuevo Méjico, the Natives did suffer as a result of Spanish policy.   However, the issues and problems were systemic to the entire Empire and all European colonization.  This was not an issue strictly related España or to Nuevo Méjico Natives, just because they were natives.  All European nations of the Nuevo Mundo were equally guilty of treating the poor and natives badly and with utter disregard.  This is not to say that there were not some bright lights of compassion among the Españoles.  

Firstly, the poor whether they were of European extraction or Native were all second class citizens.  Their treatment was subpar or worse.  As for the Natives of Nuevo Méjico, they had ongoing relationships with the Españoles which could be as close as family or extended family.  As the information that follows suggests, intermarrying and other cohabitation arrangements were not an extraordinary occurrence.  Children were born from intermarriage between the racial groups and they moved easily between the families of both races.  Thus, the idea that the 1680 C.E. revolt was due largely to race is not an accurate statement.  It would appear that race was a contributory factor and not the overriding issue.  

The Lucero de Godoy and some of the other original pobladores would return in the years, 1692 C.E.-1695 C.E., to resettle the Provincia with my forefathers the de Riberas and Quintanas.  Late-17th-Century C.E. Nuevo Méjico was to see much of the same turmoil and grief for its land and peoples upon the return and resettlement of the Provincia.  To this one might say “the more things change the more they stay the same.”  

This chapter has been particularly difficult for me to write as it deals with circumstances under which my progenitors, the Españoles, were active participants in controversial issues related to the Native-Americans of Nuevo Méjico.  At issue is how España as a nation and empire managed its affairs of state and governed its Nuevo Mundo subjects, particularly the Indigenous.  Incidentally, one might ask these same questions of the British and Americanos, their records on the subject matter being much more dismal.  

Secondly, one must question how a religious institution, the Catholic Church, was complicit in a system which repressed many of its Indigenous.  I have been told many times how the Church worked tirelessly to protect the Indigenous from exploitation.  However, I find their efforts as having fallen short of the duty of conscience and of expressed vow.  To argue weakly, is to not argue at all.  The research required for these pages brought to light ethical and moral questions with which I’ve had to grapple.  It also highlighted the failing of the Spanish State and the Catholic Church to address them adequately.  In the final analysis, I’ve concluded that the historical implications to my family lines of La Nueva España and the Provincia de Nuevo Méjico must be offered to the reader two fold.  

One view must be from a 21st-Century C.E. perspective.  We here in the 21st-Century C.E. sit comfortably, smugly passing judgment on those who came before us.  We do this being the recipients of vast improvements in technology, economics, law, and racial and religious tolerance.  We examine the period under the color of the American concept of “Separation of Church and State,” which demands a distance in the relationship between organized religion and the nation state.  España of the 17th-Century C.E. had no such enforced separation.  The two in practice, were almost one.  Not that they weren’t separate in organizational and institutional construct, but they left that separation as matter of accommodation and area of mediation.  This in effect did little for the rights and protection of the Indigenous.  To say a thing and to not mean the thing becomes merely an utterance of words without conditions or affect.  

I wonder how we today would feel if our descendents four hundred years from now passed judgment on our use of the planet and its resources, treatment of our fellow man, and use or misuses of our knowledge of God.  What if they find us wanting?  Would we raise objections to their findings and defend our actions as legitimate?  One can only guess.  

My second approach to the material is to offer some understanding of 17th-Century C.E. cultural norms and racial attitudes.  By that I mean to say 17th-Century C.E. cultural values and laws which colored the actions taken by those persons responsible for governance.  I also attempt to explore the standards of behavior and beliefs related to what was and was not, acceptable for them to do under the conditions and circumstances of the times.  This I see as fair and right.  

Here in America during my own lifetime, I’ve seen racial and ethnic hatred, injustice, and intolerance practiced by 20th and 21st-Century C.E. Anglo-Americans and those of Northern European decent against African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, and Asian-Americans.  Do these actions on the part of a few White Americans condemn the many?  Are all Anglo-Americans and those of Northern European extraction to be held accountable and responsible for the grievous errors of the few Whites?  One would hope not.  

Before proceeding with the chapter, I must offer the reader caution.  It’s a simple matter to pass judgment.  We humans are driven by emotion and given to little reflection.  21st-Century C.E. persons are creatures of habit as those that came before them.  A man accustomed to freedom expects freedom.  A citizen’s property belongs to him and him alone.  Our rights are sacrosanct, too important or valuable to be interfered with by others.  However, what if we had no freedoms, property, or rights?  What if all of these were only temporarily granted to us by a person or persons as gifts under the condition that they could be taken away by that person or persons at any time without notice or appeal?  

I might remind the reader that we are a discussing a real period of history, even though it was in the 17th-Century C.E.  The lands were populated by flesh and blood people and the actions and activities discussed took place in real places.  This is not fiction, but an examination of sad facts and sometimes ugly realities.  

For the Españoles religion was at the forefront of their settlements.  As confused and conflicted as they appear to have been in relation to the Indigenous, Catholicism was very much a part of their life.  In fact it was at the center of their life, its moral compass.  First, a mision or mission was planned and constructed.  Next, a presidio or fort was built for protection of the mision and its inhabitants.  Finally, an administrative and economic hub, a villa or village, was designed and constructed for the pobladores or settlers of the region.  

Here it should be noted that after the Pueblo Revolt in Santa Fé of after 1692 C.E., the villa and its mision had to be refurbished and the Palacio de los gobernadores or Palace of the Governors had to be reconstructed.  During the 12 years of Spanish exile, a four story Pueblo structure which had been built atop the Palacio had to be torn down.  

As far back as in 1608 C.E., documents issued by the Virrey of Nueva España and the king make references to the garrison or la guarnición and the fort or el presidio in Nuevo Méjico.  Its purpose was for the protection of “nuestra sancta fee católica,” “our holy Catholic faith.”  This wide swath of Spanish territory had to be militarized by España in order to guard its Nuevo Mundo frontiers from those who wished to encroach upon it.  The Spanish military was to protect the vecinos or citizens and ensure the peace and tranquility of the Provincia.  

Also, the aforementioned should give the reader an inkling of the origin of the name of the Villa de Santa , which was to come later.  The locale apparently began as a military garrison and was later christened Santa in acknowledgment of defending the Holy Catholic Faith.  This would suggest that the reality of Spanish life of the time was inextricably linked to the Church and its codes of conduct.  Thus, a subject of the Empire was also subject to the catechism of the Church, that summary of the principles of its Christian religion.  This form of questions and answers used for the instruction of Christians was more than just words.  It was in effect a series of pronouncements of expected deeds.  This was the code by which all were to live.  

Royal officials and Franciscan frays worked exceedingly hard to shepherd the diverse Pueblo tribes of the Provincia into a permanent community.  This they believed would eventually solidify into one “kingdom” of common laws with an efficiently operating civil government.  As time went on, alliances between the Españoles and numerous Pueblo tribes was successful resulting in the reshaping of the political and military structures of the region.  Unfortunately, the many efforts to recruit soldados of any meaningful number to settle in Nuevo Méjico failed.  By 1617 C.E., only a little over two score of Spanish soldados could be found living in Nuevo Méjico.  

San Miguel Mision, also known as San Miguel Chapel, is a Spanish mision church in Santa , Nuevo Méjico.  It was erected between approximately 1610 C.E. and 1626 C.E., and is touted as the oldest church in the United States.  The church would be severely damaged during the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 C.E., and refurbished temporarily.  It would be then be rebuilt in 1710 C.E. following Spanish resettlement and serve for a time as a chapel for the Spanish soldados.  

By 1573 C.E., España’s Law of the Indies, royal ordinances, dictated that Nuevo Mundo settlements be like a Spanish villa.  These were to have a grid of streets around a central plaza of approximately 5 1/2 acres, with a church at one end and government and military building at other.  The houses were to be joined together with common walls on the plaza side.  Beyond the houses there were to be common pastures, woodlots, and private land holdings assigned to each family based on military rank.  These traditions of government regulating land and water use was brought from España and understood by all.  If pobladores wished to settle in Nueva España they had to abide by strict regulations and rules.  

The parcels were as follows.  The common man received 106 acres.  For those of the officer class 2200 acres.  Nobility was to have higher allotment of acreage.  For irrigation of the land the pobladores and all others received water in proportion to the size of their acreage.  For all, water was allotted in proportion to rank of each subject.  

A main agricultural irrigation canal, "Acequia Madre or “Mother Ditch,” was designed, engineered, and built to provide for water irrigation needs.  The Acequia Madre approach to land irrigation kept Spanish Nuevo Méjico settlements clustered.  Individual gates on a common Acequia Madre were established to provide water from the main canal to each user’s land.  Each user was allowed to open a gate to his fields on a strictly regulated basis, a two to four hour flow.  The Indigenous were also allowed irrigated to grow corn, beans, squash, and other food types.  

Santa was the only chartered town in the Provincia.  Most Pobladores lived on private individually owned ranchos or ranch lands, and in agricultural communities along the Río Grande and its tributaries.  This was the nature and process of settlement.  

The ranchos were designated for grazing and not for farming and the misiones held title to their associated rancho lands.  Here one must understand Nuevo Mundo Catholic priests.  They did not take vows of poverty.  Historic archives show frays in North America, including the Nuevo Méjico areas of Belen and Tomé would become wealthy operating large livestock enterprises.  These ranchlands stretched many miles from the misiones along rivers wherever possible.  Indian men and possibly entire families might live on a part-time basis on the ranchos in shelters or compounds built for this purpose.  These Natives were taught to care for the livestock by missionaries, their lay assistants, and the soldados.  As a result, these natives came to be known as vaqueros or cowboys.  The Spanish enterprise of raising cattle in the Nuevo Mundo which had started in the 1500's C.E. and accelerated into the 1600's C.E. would become a main Franciscan mision occupation.  

The Spanish Encomienda System has been referred to as a dependency relationship system.  It was implemented in España 218 B.C.E.-476 C.E. during the Roman Empire.  In essence, it was a process by which stronger people protected the weaker in exchange for a service.  The Encomienda would later be used during the Spanish colonization of the Americas.  A Spaniard or the system or Encomenderos was given the task of "protecting" a specific group of Indigenous by the Spanish monarch.

Under an encomienda, the Corona Española or Spanish Crown granted a person a given number of natives from a specific community.  The indigenous leaders were responsible for mobilizing the assessed tribute and labor resources.  In turn, encomenderos were to take accountability for instruction in the Christian faith, protecting their natives from warring tribes and pirates, instruction in the Spanish language, and development and maintenance of mision, presidio, villa, and rancho and their associated infrastructure.  Natives in return, would provide the encomenderos with tributes in the form of metals, maize, wheat, pork or other agreed upon agricultural products.

Some of the Provincia pobladores were entitled to tribute of commodities produced by specific Pueblos under the Spanish Encomienda System.  The pobladores became resentful toward the missionaries and their efforts to minimize and limit access to Pueblo natives.  It has been suggested that these same missionaries were responsible for provoked hostility with the Indians by prohibiting certain cultural practices deemed incompatible with the Christian faith and by imposing their own demands for labor.  In the end, many factors such as these would light the fuse of insurrection.

The insurrection of Nuevo Méjico, or what has been labeled the Pueblo Revolt of 1680, was to be an unfortunate circumstance for all parties involved.  Unfortunately, the events have been romanticized by those who have little first-hand knowledge of war and its carnage.  One must remember that Nuevo Méjico was a vast provincia which at one time was comprised of the present-day states of Tejas, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Nevada, California, and Nuevo Méjico proper.  This alone suggests to the reader what a monumental task it must have been to govern the region with limited administrative and military resources.  Secondly, the natives would gain access to horses and practice mobile warfare with its ability to strike relatively undefended Spanish villas and ranchos at numerous points with stealth, cunning, and lethality.  Finally, once under vicious attack the pobladores were quickly overcome, raped, tortured, murdered, carried-off, enslaved, and later used for ransom.  Once the powder keg of insurrection was lit the events would end in murder and mayhem.  The Native insurrectionists would become overwhelmed with bloodlust which would drive them to become terrorists and kill approximately 400 Españoles.  

During that insurrection which began on August 10, 1680 C.E., the indigenous Pueblo Natives brought violence against the lawful authority of the Corona Española and the Españoles living in the capital at Santa Fé and other areas of the provincia of Nuevo Méjico.  To make a point, their actions were unlawful and illegal.  It must be remembered that all parties were subjects of the Corona Española.  They had an obligation to pledge allegiance to the King and to keep that oath.  There were no citizen’s rights which allowed for acts of murder and mayhem.  I find it difficult to understand how those Americans on the political Left and others can bring shades of gray to a black and white situation.  After all, treason is treason.  One cannot be just a little bit of a treasonist.  

The actions of the insurrections turned terrorists, and their murder and mayhem when used for political gain, drove the remaining pobladores estimated at 2,000 and their allies to flee Santa and other areas of the Provincia.  When the terrorists cut-off the water supply of the last remaining pobladores at Santa , this in effect forced their escape into the more southern areas of Nueva España.  These poor unfortunates were forced to undertake a 400 mile journey south along El Camino Real to El Paso del Norte where they could find safety and security.  In effect, the insurrectionists were guilty of treason and subject to appropriate 17th-Century C.E. laws and punishment.  In this case, the punishment was to be death for many.  

It is an accepted reality that each generation will and must be judged.  However, passing judgment alone will not change the past.  It may only provide a better pathway to the future.  Or it may so taint the future that generations of human tribes will bear one another enmity for countless generations to come.  Here, I ask the reader to postpone judgment on those poor souls of the 17th-Century C.E.  Monarchs, aristocrats, soldados, pobladores, religionists, and Indigenous were all victims of their time.  State and Church both had their excesses and breached boundaries.  They were all trapped by those systems and governments to which they found themselves inextricably bound.  

It should now be clear to all that the past holds knowledge of the many, many failures of nations and cultures.  As the saying goes, no man is without sin and no nation without fault.  As we of the 21st-Century C.E. survey the current world powers and their actions, we must find many of them wanting.  What a man or women would like to have is far different from what one must and will accept.  It is the nature of things that unfairness exists in every generation, for man is a fallen creature.  To explore those failures is of value only when they are used to better understand the past, right present, or to ensure that past wrongs are not repeated in the future.  

One of the underlying issues in relation to Nueva España and Native land appropriation by España is that of its fairness.  In a realistic sense it would be impossible to return lands lost to military defeat to those who should rightfully or morally possess them.  However, in a world where “Might makes Right” as it did in the 17th-Century C.E., there was no such notion as territorial integrity.  Larger, stronger, more militarily powerful nations simply took what they wanted.  This was the way of the world of that time.  

Take for example, Rome.  She began as a kingdom around 800 B.C.E.  Later, Rome became a republic.  She then transitioned to an empire.   It was Octavius, who took the imperial name Augustus, and first ruled from 32 B.C.E. as Roman Emperor.  Their united empire lasted 426 years.  The Empire split over time into a Western and an Eastern Roman Empire in the year 395 C.E.  The Western Empire lasted a further 81 years, for a total of 507 years.  The Western Empire ended in 476 C.E.  The Eastern Empire or Byzantine Empire lasted a further 1058 years after the split until 1453 C.E., for a total of 1484 years.  She had conquered and kept the lands of others for millennia.  

Relative to the Western Roman Empire, its fall was simply a process of decline in which it failed to enforce its rule after having lost the strengths that had allowed it to exercise effective control.  As increased pressure from "barbarians" outside Roman culture developed Rome collapsed.  By 476 C.E., Rome had no effective control over her scattered Western domains.  Invading Germanic "barbarian" tribes then established their own power over most of the area of the Western Empire.  

The Western Empire of Rome lost all and became nothing.  The Germanic tribes replaced her and took her lands and possessions.  One could suggest that they should return all to their rightful owner.  This is neither politic nor practical.  If Rome had been capable she would have withstood and defeated her enemies and lost nothing, but she wasn’t and she didn’t.  Therefore, “Right of Conquest” both failed and won.  Rome lost the “Right” to the Germanic Tribes.  The Germanic tribes won their “Right” from the Romans.  

The Eastern Empire of Rome held on longer, but finally succumbed.  It fell to the Islamic Ottoman Turks in 1453 C.E.  It lost its power, wealth, territory, and Christian religion to the Islamists.  Here again, the Romans had by “Right of Conquest” taken everything they had from others.  By that same “Right” the Ottoman’s took and kept what they wanted from the Romans.                                                                                                                       

In the case of España and its Nuevo Mundo Pueblos, the exact opposite occurred.  España had originally won the lands from the Indigenous by force of arms and Right of Conquest.  She then attempted to defend them by force of arms when challenged by the Pueblos who won the return of the land and held them for 12 years.  In essence, España was unable to maintain lands once held under her original Right of Conquest.  This in effect was the Pueblos Right of Conquest.  However, they then lost them once again to the Españoles, thus forfeiting their Right of Conquest.  

Most probably the process of armed conflict over the rightful ownership of land continued because ea    ch offended and/or deposed party required redress.  And more often than not, both parties in a dispute see themselves as the offended party or can convince themselves that this is the case for them at a given point in time and circumstance.  Therefore, it is necessary to contextualize the circumstances that surrounded the Españoles and Nuevo Mundo Indigenous of the 17th-Century C.E.  

The “Right of Conquest” is the right of a conqueror to territory taken by force of arms. It was traditionally a principle of international law that has gradually given way in modern times until its proscription after the Second World War when the crime of war of aggression was first codified in the Nuremberg Principles and then finally, in 1974 C.E., as a United Nations resolution 3314.  In short, it was largely a forbidden action on the world stage.  

In essence, this right acknowledges the status quo.  The denial of that right is meaningless unless one is able and willing to use military force to deny it and overturn an outcome.  This right was traditionally accepted because a more powerful conquering force was stronger than any lawfully entitled governance which it replaced.  Such force was more likely to secure peace and stability for the people.  As a result, the “Right of Conquest” legitimized the conqueror towards that outcome.  

The abandonment of the Right of Conquest in formal international law began with the 1928 C.E. Kellogg–Briand Pact. It was followed by the post-1945 C.E.  Nuremberg Trials, the United Nations (UN) Charter, and the UN role in decolonization.  These oversaw the progressive dismantling of this principle.  As it applies to España and her 17th-Century C.E. Nuevo Mundo possessions, is obvious.  The Right of Conquest was in full and complete force at the time of the 1680 C.E. Pueblo Revolt by the Indigenous of the region.  In 1692 C.E., the weaker parties, the Pueblos, were unable or unwilling to contest that “Right” once the new battle was joined and they were overcome by de Vargas.  Thus, the Indigenous lost the “Right.”  

There was a time when men of good conscience held to the idea of the “Divine Right of Kings.”  This divine right of a king or “Divine Right” was an accepted political and religious doctrine.  It withstood the test of royal and political legitimacy.  Today’s 21st-Century C.E. mind conditioned as it is by freedom, liberty, democracy, and individual rights finds this concept repulsive.  In practice, it asserted that a monarch was subject to no earthly authority.  He or she derived such rights to rule directly from and by the will of God.  Thus a king or queen was not subject to the will of his/her people or those of his/her aristocracy, or any other estate of the realm.  This right extended to relations with the Catholic Church.  The Españoles of the old order, in particular, were adherents to this right of their monarch to rule absolutely over all of the Empire and its subjects, the Indigenous.  This is not a 21st-Century C.E. concept.  It was a 17th-Century C.E. reality.  

The now accepted “Rule of Law” is that legal principle whereby “law” should govern a nation.  This is in direct opposition to being governed by arbitrary decisions of individual government officials.  The concept, if not the phrase, was familiar to ancient philosophers such as Aristotle, who wrote "Law should govern."  The phrase can also be traced to 16th-Century C.E. Britain and to the following century where the Scottish theologian Samuel Rutherford used the phrase in his argument against the “Divine Right of Kings.”


Its primary application is in reference to the influence and authority of law within society.  It is particularly seen as a constraint upon behavior, including the behavior of government officials.  Rule of law implies that every citizen is subject to the law, including law makers themselves.  In this context, it stands in contrast to a monarchy where its rulers are held above the law.  A government based upon the rule of law is called nomocracy.  Rule of law is an intrinsic value for Americans.  It is the guarantor of our civil liberties, the protector of our rights, and citizenship.  These had no meaning to the 17th-Century C.E. subject of España.  To clarify, the term “Subject” as it would apply to one living under the Corona Española it is used here rather than “citizen.”  This is because in the Spanish monarchy, only the Spanish Monarch was the source of authority.  Those living under the Monarch had no authority or rights unless given to them by him/her.


It was in the King’s name that all legal power in civil and military law was exercised. The people of the Spanish Monarchy being regarded as the Monarch's subjects were under certain obligations.  He/she had obligations such as owing allegiance to the Corona Española and thereby being entitled to the protection by the Corona.  To not have an allegiance to the Corona was to take upon one’s self personal authority which a subject did not have.  Therefore, it was a crime to betray one's monarch, especially by attempting to kill the sovereign or overthrow his/her government.  

The Corona Española and its subjects of the time understood this in both the Nuevo Mundo and the Viejo Mundo.  By the 17th-Century C.E., popular uprisings such as uprisings at a manor house against an unpleasant overlord, tended to occur on a local level.  This changed somewhat when new downward pressures on the poor resulted in movements of popular uprisings.  Most of the revolts expressed the desire of those below to share in the wealth, status, and well-being of those more fortunate.  In the end, they were almost always defeated and nobles continued their rule. However, a new attitude did emerge in Europe, that "peasant" was a pejorative concept. These were viewed as something separate and seen in a negative light when compared with those who had wealth and status.  Peasants were viewed as almost sub-human.  Nuevo Mundo Indigenous peoples were even further down in the social order of the 17th-Century C.E.  

Thus, from the “Right of Kings” and the “Right of Conquest” one might derive the ugly expression that “Might makes Right.”  The aphorism is simple and crude, by succinct.  

Further, it must be understood that the evolving structure of Spanish Nuevo Mundo colonial governance had not been fully formed until the third quarter of the 16th-Century C.E.  However, studies of the problems related to the colonization process arising from tyrannical behavior of a gobernador and his misgovernment of Natives and Pobladores had been conducted.  The Spanish Emperor Carlos V was already using the term "Council of the Indies" by 1519 C.E.  The Council of the Indies itself was formally created on August 1, 1524 C.E.  The Council would come to exercise supreme authority over the Indies at the local level and over the Casa de Contratación founded in 1503 C.E. at Sevilla as a customs storehouse for the Indies.  Civil suits of sufficient importance were appealed from an audiencia in the Nuevo Mundo to the Council, functioning as a court of last resort.  This Real Audiencia or Audiencia’s name literally translates as Royal Audience.  Each audiencia had oidores.  Oidor is the Spanish name of the member judge of the Royal Audiencias and Chancillerías, which became the highest organs of justice within el Imperio Español or Spanish Empire.  

Untiring efforts of Bartolomé de las Casas on the part Natives' rights, internecine fighting, and political instability in Perú resulted in King Carlos' restructuring of the Council in 1542 C.E., with issuing of the "New Laws."  Once again, I must offer that despite the window dressing, only the king held authority to act.  All else was done using that authority granted in the name of the king.  

In 1680 C.E., the publication of the Recompilación de las Leyes de Indias or the Laws of the Indies in the large volume of Council and Corona's decisions and legislation for the Indies were formally codified.  However, this did not deter Spanish Absolutism.  This form of government where the monarch controlled the right to make war, tax, judge, and coin money had not changed.  It stood firm in the state monarchies of 17th-Century C.E. Europe.  It must be understood that all governmental mechanisms and officials served at the pleasure of the king, in his name, and under his absolute authority.  

Given the nature of world economics of the time, the expansion of European nations into the Nuevo Mundo, and the competition for world dominance made the control of España’s colonies of the utmost importance.  The 1680 C.E. insurrection and treasonous acts perpetrated by the indigenous Pueblo people against the Corona Española and its government in the Provincia of Nuevo Méjico, Nueva España became a cause célèbre.  Defeat of a European nation by Indigenous peoples was an affront and embarrassment, as it had never occurred before.  The loss of the entire provincia was a disaster of the first order for a failing world power.  It was an invitation for its rivals to enter into the vacuum which the loss created and of paramount concern for the Spanish Monarchy.

In the early 1690s C.E., España's rivalry with other European powers for control of the Americas, especially France, would make the reestablishment of order in Nuevo Méjico a very high priority.  The return of Spanish sovereignty could also possibly mean handsome rewards for the new gobernador, and was of personal importance for he, who would take the reins of power.  However, that success was far from a being a foregone conclusion.  Previous attempts to reclaim Spanish Nuevo Méjico had ended in failure.  It would take twelve long years before the Spanish authorities returned, restored order, resettled Pobladores, and were able to reconstitute a properly functioning government in Nuevo Méjico.  

To prove a point regarding this concern, about this time Jacques (Santiago) Grolet (Gurulé) and Jean L'Archevêque two French prisoners were captured.  These were members of the French explorer La Salle group into Spanish lands.  They were later allowed to immigrate to Nuevo Méjico after the Reconquista of the area in 1692 C.E.  They changed their names to Santiago Gurulé and Juan de Archibeque.  I am one of their descendants from Nuevo Méjico.  My progenitor Miguel Gerónimo de Ribera married María de la Luz Gurulé in 1784 C.E., at Santa Fé, Nuevo Méjico.  Members of the Archibeques also married into my family lines.  

Sieur de La Salle was a French explorer to the Nuevo Mundo.  He arrived in Canada in the Mid-1600s C.E. and earned a reputation as a successful fur trader.  But he was not content to simply run a fur-trading business.  Like many explorers of his day, La Salle hoped to find a water route to China and the Far East.  

A four-ship French transatlantic voyage and expedition led by the Sieur de La Salle; born René Robert Cavelier was marred by a pirate attack, which claimed one ship, and poor navigation.  The remaining three ships landed on the Tejas coast in February 1685 C.E.  This was four hundred miles west of the intended destination.  The expedition sought to establish a fortified trading port near the mouth of the Mississippi.  Such a port would have given the French an advantage over the Españoles.  Spates of ill fate continued in succession as La Salle's attempts by land to find the Mississippi failed, and then the L'Aimable, the largest ship carrying most of the would-be colony's supplies, sunk in Matagorda Bay.  

To provide a temporary sanctuary and protection from the local Karankawa Indians, who did not take kindly to the French intrusion onto their lands, a small fort was established on the banks of Garcitas Creek above the head of Lavaca Bay.  The expedition was further weakened by the departure of the naval vessel, Le Joly, and it's collection of discontented settlers, soldiers, and crew.  Meanwhile, La Salle kept widening the search, leaving a small detachment at Fort Saint Louis and a few crewmen on the last remaining ship, the La Belle.  The crew was dying of thirst, and the Karankawa had killed the ship's best sailors in a failed attempt to go ashore to get water.  

On a cold winter day in 1686 C.E., the La Belle flagship of La Salle which was part of the original four-ship expedition foundered in Matagorda Bay.  It was the victim of a bit of bad luck and a Blue Norther.  The fast-moving cold front caused temperatures to drop dramatically and quickly.  The dark blue-black skies, strong winds, and temperatures that can drop to 20-30 degrees Fahrenheit in a few minutes, came upon the Frenchmen.  With the blustery cold day upon them and fierce winds pounding the small vessel, the ship's master pulled anchor and attempted to sail across Matagorda Bay for help in violation of La Salle's orders.  Losing control of the ship, it capsized.  Crewmembers managed to salvage a few supplies, but most were lost.  The ship and the majority of its cargo gradually disappeared beneath the muddy waters of the bay.  

My progenitor and the daring French explorer became the first Europeans to travel the length of the Spanish Mississippi River.  Part of his success in finding the river was the remarkable friendships he maintained with the North American natives which he met on his journeys.  He would learn to speak at least eight native dialects.  By 1682 C.E., La Salle made a claim of that area of wilderness in the name of the King of France.  He named it Louisiana after Louis XIV, King of France (1643 C.E. to 1715 C.E.)  This is the same Louisiana that the famous Spanish general Bernardo de Gálvez would later be made gobernador of under España.  He would one day martial the forces necessary to battle and defeat the British in their war against the fledgling 13 American colonies, doing so on behalf of the Americans.  He would for his part make the United States of America become a reality.  

La Salle and his small contingent jubilantly established Fort Saint Louis near the head of Lavaca Bay.  In a brutal twist of fate, La Salle himself would be murdered by the hand of one of his own men involved in the building of that fort.  The event would lead the Karankawa Indians to sack the fort and kill most of the remaining French colonizers.  Indian attacks and epidemics would later force the group to abandon the fort.  

This French military invasion was troubling to the Españoles even though the fort was deserted by the time it was discovered.  Several of the survivors were found living among Tejas Indians and were later taken prisoner by the Españoles.  These were later sent to Méjico City for interrogation.  This was a warning to the Españoles that their northern territory was in jeopardy.  Although Tejas was previously neglected by España, La Salle’s actions led the Españoles to place forts and misiones in Tejas during the 1700’s C.E.  Therefore, threats from foreign powers were very real and had to be dealt with.  Thus, the Spanish outpost, Nuevo Méjico, had to be taken back at all costs and resettled.  

The man responsible for returning Nuevo Méjico to Spanish authority and governance by España was much more than a greedy, self-serving, Conquistador or simple one dimensional cardboard cut-out.  He was well-traveled, well-read, experienced, wise, and honorable.  One must be cautious not to repeat the mistakes made by biased Anglo-American, Northern European, and non-Spanish historians and commentators who appear to offer Españoles of the Nuevo Mundo in a less flattering light than they should.  Here, the word fairness comes to mind, or lack thereof.  

Diego José de Vargas Zapata Luján Ponce de León y Contreras was born in Madrid in 1643 C.E. to Alonso de Vargas and María Margarita Contreras y Arráiz.  His was an illustrious family, though not among those close to the Spanish Monarch.  Each of his ancestors in the de Vargas line, for four generations before him, had been knights of the old and prestigious Orden de Santiago or Order of Santiago.  It was a Christian military-religious order of knights founded about 1160 C.E. in España.  The Order was chartered for the purpose of fighting the Moros or Moors who had conquered and enslaved Iberia (España) from 811 C.E. to 1492 C.E.  These Islamists attacked Christian pilgrims on their way to the shrine of Santiago de Compostela and had to be held in check by the knights of the Order.  Originally called the Order of Cáceres, after the city in which it was founded, the order assumed the Santiago name in 1171 C.E.  The means of entry to this order was not an easy matter.  It was a matter of importance and prestige for up and coming Spanish gentleman.  

The family was not spectacularly wealthy or living lavishly, but was adequately provided for.  His father had incurred considerable debt which needed to be paid.  Following the death of his wife, María Margarita, he sailed for the Americas in 1650 C.E. to take an imperial post in Guatemala.  Once there, Alonso remarried and was able to improve his position in the colonial administration.  Unfortunately, he died at age 43, never having returned to España.  

A year earlier, Diego José had married Beatriz Pimentel de Prado Vélez de Olazábal.  They were almost exactly the same age.  Beatriz, the neighbor’s daughter, lived close by the de Vargas estate at Torrelaguna, north of Madrid.  The couple had five children together before 1670 C.E. in quick succession.  De Vargas had neither an interest in nor inclination necessary to manage an estate.  His burden of debt expanded as his household grew.

Like so many men of his day and social class, his career was to be guided by those normal pressures of debt and a powerful desire for social prominence and political promotion common to his station in life.  Like his father before him, Don Diego decided to leave his young family in España and pursue a royal appointment to an office in the Americas.  In 1673 C.E., he embarked for Nueva España.  On the recommendation of the Spanish queen, the Virrey in Méjico City appointed de Vargas to the post of justicia mayor or chief judge in the jurisdiction of Teutila shortly after his arrival in what is now the Mexican state of Oaxaca.  Just a year later, in España, Doña Beatriz died unexpectedly.  De Vargas's brother-in-law would assume guardianship of the children, only one of whom de Vargas would ever see again.  

In 1679 C.E., six years after his arrival in Nueva España, Don Diego was promoted to justicia mayor or chief judge of Tlalpujahua, a declining mining area northwest of Méjico City, in what is now the Mexican state of Michoacán.  By this time, he had started a second family supposedly outside matrimony with Nicolasa Rincón and was maintaining a home in Méjico City, on the Plazuela de las Gayas.  

By 1683 C.E., de Vargas was promoted again while still at Tlalpujahua, as its alcalde mayor, or royal administrator.  During his tenure at Tlalpujahua, Don Diego was able to dramatically increase royal receipts from the silver mines there.  His abilities as administrator were recognized within the virreinal court viceregal.  The Virrey Conde de Paredes recommended him for higher offices.  By the Middle-1680s C.E., de Vargas was actively pursuing appointments in Guatemala, Perú, and Nuevo Méjico.  He finally succeeded in obtaining the governorship of Nuevo Méjico in 1688 C.E.  However, bureaucratic machinations may have delayed his accession to the office until 1691 C.E.  Given the circumstances of a 1,600 mile journey, Don Diego was forced to leave behind Nicolasa and three children in Méjico City.  

Like so many other men of history, Don de Vargas would be the recipient of an undesirable legacy of death, destruction, and ill will.  In 1680 C.E., a Pueblo insurrection had succeeded in expelling Spanish pobladores from the Provincia of Nuevo Méjico to El Paso del Norte.  On the date of August 10, 1680 C.E., the insurrectionist Pueblos rose up against Spanish authority and destroyed the mision churches.  They then joined with the Apaches and after destroying many ranchos they laid siege to the capital, Santa .  Aware that the 1,000 Spanish soldados and pobladores inside the villa and presidio at the center of the city were well-armed, the Pueblos knew they couldn't match their military strength and arms even though they outnumbered the Españoles by approximately 2 to 1.  So the Pueblos simply diverted the stream’s supplying water to the city thereby cutting-off its water supply and waited.  

In 1678 C.E., the Gobernador was Antonio de Otermín.  He was born between 1620 C.E. and 1630 C.E. in the family home Otermín, which was then known as Otromín House.  It is located in the foothills of the Massif de Aralar, natural border between Gipuzkoa and Navarra, España.  

On the morning of August 20, a desperate Gobernador de Otermín and his cavalry sallied forth from the Villa in an effort to surprise the Pueblos.  His intent was to burn the buildings the insurgents were bivouacked in, take captives, and find barrels of water for his thirsty pobladores.  The terrorists were totally surprised when he did just that.  Approximately 300 Pueblos were killed, many more wounded, and 47 prisoners were taken.  These deaths would be the heaviest casualties the terrorists would experience during the insurrection.


Don Otermín’s questioning of the prisoners yielded a gruesome story.  Every Español who had not found safety inside the villa had been murdered in the terrorist attacks upon the misiones, ranchos, and other outlying areas.  Men, women, and children had been raped and killed and the frays had been mutilated.  For these and many other crimes Don Otermín had the guilty terrorists lawfully executed.  As nightfall came to the Provincia, the enraged Pueblos torched every building still standing outside the Villa.


On August 21, Don Otermín and approximately 1000 Españoles opened the Villa gates and began a necessary retreat south to El Paso.  The retreating party was well aware that their fellow Españoles had been slaughtered during the events of the past days.  The confessions given by the 47 captured terrorists had related stories of merciless murder, rape, and rampage.  The reports suggested strongly that 21 of the 40 missionaries in Nuevo Méjico had been killed, along with up to 400 other Españoles.  The stories left the retreaters frightened and apprehensive for what was to come.  The dread of what awaited them spread fear throughout the fleeing Españoles.  However, instead of the expected carnage, events unfolded differently.  The Pueblos left the retreating party unmolested.


The Pueblos were content to have the Españoles leave the Provincia in humiliation and defeat.  Nothing further could be gained by engaging in more battles with a force that might prevail and once again return to take back the Provincia.  Having experienced the capabilities of the soldados in warfare, the Pueblos understood what the retreating party could do.  The better-armed and frightened Españoles could still cause them serious casualties.  The weary Pueblos followed them cautiously from a safe distance for a time.  This they did to ensure that the Españoles were really evacuating and not preparing for a retaliatory strike.  Once satisfied that the force was leaving, the Natives broke-off and returned to their leaders.  There would be no further military actions.  

Over the next eleven long years of exile, the population of El Paso was only a hundred or so vecinos or politically eligible residents.  This included their households, a small presidio garrison, and settlements of Christianized Pueblo Indians.  The years had taken their toll on the once proud vecinos and soldados.  However, this would not deter the Corona Española.  There were several immediate and logical reasons that made the Reconquista important to the Españoles and Don de Vargas.  The first was religious.  There was the need for reclaiming the souls that were lost to Christianity.  Secondly, Nuevo Méjico was needed as a defensive zone to buffer it from future hostile Indian attacks.  Thirdly, the Españoles needed to restore their pride after losing the territory.  Fourthly, this Reconquista was viewed by the Españoles as being similar to the recapture of Spanish territories from the Moros during the Middle Ages.  Simply put, it was a matter of Spanish honor.  Interestingly, in his application for the governorship of Nuevo Méjico, De Vargas pledged his honor on the restoration of the Pueblos of the Río Grande to the Imperio Español.  

Finally, there was also the larger issue with the Indigenous of the Southwest.  These included the mision Indians, those that lived and worked on and for the misiones.  There were also the Genízaro.  This term was used in 18th-and 19th-Century C.E. Nuevo Méjico for "detribalized Indians."  It was a variety of individuals of mixed Native-American, but not of Pueblo parentage, who had adopted at least some Hispano styles of living.  Thirdly, there were the more volatile and hostile Indians of the Pueblos representing a constant threat to Spanish control.  Fourthly, the marauding Indian nations of the Navaho, Apache, Comanche, and others who wandered the plains, mountains, and hillsides were of great concern.  These remained uncontrolled and free roaming throughout the Southwest.  At issue was the intermittent warfare and raiding between the parties and the continued threat that all posed to control by the Españoles of the entire region of Nueva España.  

The mind-set of the time was completely Eurocentric.  Thoughts of the needs, wants, and rights of the indigenous peoples were completely foreign to the Españoles.  It must be remembered that the Corona Española and the Church operated independently and were to a degree competitors.  The emphasis of the Church was on spiritual matters and concerns regarding the saving of the human soul.  The Corona Española worldview was temporal and obsessed with domination of the individual and his/her becoming subject in-full to the obedience of the Corona.  Both could be seen as damaging to the Nuevo Mundo natives.  Here one must remember that the Indigenous wanted to remain as they had been for generations before the Españoles.  They wanted their freedom, possession of the land, and control of its resources.  From a 21st-Century C.E. vantage point, one would consider that a reasonable position.  Today, one might also take a view that the Native-Americans of Nuevo Méjico had been conquered, dehumanized, degraded, and overwhelmed by the Españoles and were only attempting to keep what had always been theirs.  Reasonable yes, realistic no!  

Firstly, the natives were not homogeneous, the same in all aspects and of one tribe.  Instead, they were heterogeneous.  Therefore, they were diverse in character and culture.  With differences came clashes of tribal customs and fights for territorial rights.  With clashes came disputes which resulted in warfare.  These were not one-off affairs, but instead were at times intermittent or continual.  The matters simmered on an ongoing basis until the landscape eruption with violence and death.  This was not brought about by the Españoles, but was rather the result of hundreds of years of indigenous conflict and competition.  

From the Spanish perspective one must attempt to take a different view of the situation.  The Españoles felt that for the natives to presume that they had rights was impossible.  This would be the first area where the Españoles would have taken umbrage.  Even worse, for the Natives to have believed that they had the right to retake lands legally belonging to España (Right of Conquest) and to attempt to keep them was beyond the pale.  Taking back what they felt was theirs?  This was simply unacceptable to the European mind and outside of the then, agreed upon standards of decency.  Finally, the Españoles were operating with recent knowledge of the Natives which we today with our politically correct social conscience do not comprehend quite as they did.  


Here, and example is in order.  Pecos, Nuevo Méjico is approximately 20 miles away from Santa .  It is close by the legendary Cicuye village, southeast of Santa .  There one can find the remains of what was the largest Indian pueblo in the Southwest.  Pecos Pueblo once dominated a major trading route between the farming Pueblo Indians and the Natives called the Great Plains’ hunters.  The Pueblo was also a way station on the Santa Trail.  There the Españoles would later build the Mision Nuestra Señora de Los Angeles de Porcíuncula about 1716 C.E.  It still towers over the historic Pueblo of Pecos.  Today, one can find weather beaten, rust-red, walls of the Spanish church rising high above the pueblo ruins.  

The legendary Cicuye village is surrounded by majestic mesas and towering mountain peaks.  Once, one of the grandest and most powerful Indian communities in the ancient Southwest, it was the mountain gateway between the Plains tribes to the east and the Pueblo villages of the Río Grande Valley to the west.  Between 1450 C.E. and 1600 C.E. at the height of its power, Pecos had a Native population of more than two thousand.  The neighboring Indian tribes and pueblos were dominated by it and its fighting force of 500 warriors who controlled the region.  

Over time, the Pecos Pueblo had absorbed the surrounding cultures and wealth.  It grew economically and militarily powerful and held absolute control of the entire region.  The dominating force of that Pueblo world, Pecos rose to become a major trading center and later a cultural melting pot.  Indian tribes came regularly to Pecos for lengthy bartering sessions.  The Comanches, Kiowas, Apaches brought slaves, buffalo hides, flint, and shells to exchange.  The surrounding river settlements traded pottery, crops, textiles, and turquoise for Comanche slaves and hides.  Like the Españoles the Pecos Pueblo wanted to control vast areas of the Southwest.  

At this juncture we must pause and reflect on what has been said.  The Pueblo peoples had a culture that understood and practiced military dominance and war.  Further, all of the Pueblos had previously been dominated for a long period of time by a by regional power, the Pecos Pueblo.  The Pueblos and surrounding tribes also understood, accepted, and trafficked in slavery.  

It is here that we enter into a controversy.  The 21st-Century’s idealized view of the Native-American as the “Noble Savage” is challenged by the reality of their religious and cultural mores.  For honesty’s sake, the Pueblos, Comanches, Kiowas, and Apaches were slave owners.  The Native-Americans did in fact raid, take prisoners, enslave them, and sell them to others for profit.  Therefore, many Native-American tribes practiced some form of slavery before the European introduction of African slavery into North America.  Although, it must be said that none exploited slave labor on a large scale.  None the less, slavery is slavery!  

Thus, the act of slavery on the North America Continent included slavery by Native-Americans of other Native-Americans.  It has been suggested that Native-Americans did not buy and sell captives in the pre-colonial era, although they sometimes exchanged enslaved individuals with other tribes in peace gestures or in exchange for redeeming their own members.  Several tribes held captives as hostages for payment.  Various tribes also practiced debt slavery or imposed slavery on tribal members who had committed crimes; full tribal status would be restored as the enslaved worked off their obligations to the tribal society.  Other slave-owning tribes of North America included Comanche of Tejas, the Creek of Georgia; the fishing societies, such as the Yurok, who lived in Northern California; the Pawnee, and the Klamath.  

In all fairness, little is known about the practice.  However, it was still a recognized and accepted part of the cultural norm.  What is clear is that some Native-American tribes held war captives as slaves prior to and during European colonization.  Native-American groups often enslaved war captives from other tribes whom they primarily used for small-scale labor.  

Later, some Native-Americans were captured and sold by other Native-Americans into slavery to Europeans.  Just as they raided other tribes to capture slaves for sale to Europeans, a small number of tribes in the late 18th and 19th Centuries C.E., adopted the practice of holding slaves as chattel property and held increasing numbers of African-American slaves.  Additionally, Europeans were held as slaves by the Native-Americans.  This in effect would make the Natives equal opportunity slave owners and traders, as race was not an issue with who was enslaved.  

At this juncture, one must accept the obvious.  The Indigenous did practice slavery. They captured, enslaved, exploited, and sold these slaves of different racial backgrounds.  

It has also been reported that some Native-Americans slaves were used in ritual sacrifice by other Native-American tribes.  Here, we must tread lightly.  21st-Century C.E. views of the Noble Savage and its accompanying narrative do not accentuate this area of Native life or religious practices.  It does not play well in the Natives as victims, scenario.  One can only guess when the truth will rear its ugly head and cause an annoyance in this area for “Noble Savage” stalwarts.  

On balance, many writers exploring the Native-American slave scenario believe that the word "slave" may not accurately describe such “captive people” (as opposed to slaves).  Most of these so-called Native-American slaves tended to live on the fringes of tribal society and were when possible slowly integrated into the tribe.  It would appear that a similar process was also used by the Españoles when integrating Native-Americans into their Empire, but on a much larger scale.  

In many cases, tribes “adopted captives” to replace warriors killed during a raid.  In Spanish society, allied Pueblo tribes provided Native military auxiliaries in support of Spanish troops.  In fact, over time this became a major part of Provincia military operations.  

Indigenous warriors, captives of other Natives, were sometimes made to undergo ritual mutilation or torture as part of a grief ritual for relatives slain in battle.  This could and did lead in death.  The ugly reality of this butchery has been underplayed in most “Noble Savage” narratives and defended by apologists.  

It has also been reported that some Native-Americans would cut off one foot of a captive to ensure that they wouldn’t or couldn’t escape.  Today’s Native-Americans look askance at Oñate’s having done the very same thing after taking Pueblo war prisoners.  

In Mid-1688, Don Diego de Vargas was appointed Capitán-General y Gobernador of Nuevo Méjico.  As one historian described him, de Vargas was "an aristocrat of aristocrats eager to perform great deeds," and he succeeded.  It should be said that the thought of aristocratic power escapes most of us today.  Thankfully, it’s relegated to the mists of the past and left to historical novels to extol its values, virtues, and failures.  

Don Diego de Vargas had also been assigned to lead the military portion of the Reconquista or Reconquest of Nuevo Méjico, but did not arrive to assume his office at El Paso del Norte until February 22, 1691 C.E.  Although his original intention was to immediately undertake the resettlement of Nuevo Méjico he was unable to proceed.  Preventing his departure from El Paso on the expedition to Nuevo Méjico until 1692 C.E. were economic conditions at El Paso and hostilities between the Españoles and Indian tribes in northern Nueva España.  When he finally left, his assignment for the reconquista of Nuevo Méjico was to consist of two parts, an entrada and a reconquista.  To enter peacefully and gain a bloodless settlement of matters was preferable.  If not, it would be reconnaissance followed later, if necessary, by warfare and conquest.  

In 1692 C.E., the newly appointed Gobernador Real or royal governor of Nuevo Méjico, Don Diego de Vargas, would lead a Spanish army of less than 200 soldados, vecinos, and Indian allies north following the Río Grande.  Don Diego and his expedition would find the southern pueblos abandoned.  It was reported that they had sought refuge in mountainous terrain in anticipation of his arrival.  The Nuevo Méjico Indians were now at a definite disadvantage.  By the time of his arrival, the Indian leader, Popé or Po'pay, had died and the Indians were no longer united under one leader.  Until that moment, the Pueblos believed the Españoles to be defeated.  Their leaders never expected Spanish forces to return.  

During his four month expedition from March through June of 1692 C.E., his force would conduct a reconnaissance of Nuevo Méjico.  De Vargas would succeed in obtaining the loyalty of twenty-three pueblos.  However, the expedition was not without hostility.  At Santa Fé, Jémez, and the Hopi pueblos the governor's forces contended with aggressive Indian insurrectionist forces which outnumbered the Españoles by a factor of ten to one.  

By July 1692 C.E., de Vargas and a small contingent of soldados returned to Santa Fé.  They surrounded the city, called on the Pueblo people to surrender, and promising clemency if they would swear allegiance to the King of España and return to the Christian faith.  After meeting with de Vargas, the Pueblo leaders gave their word of honor and pledged an oath of peace.  

His first expedition from El Paso for reconnaissance of Nuevo Méjico had been a resounding success.  During that assignment he had made a preliminary entrada or entry and determined what the conditions were in the Provincia.  He had obtained the surrender of three insurrectionist pueblos, peacefully and not by force.  With these accomplishments in-hand, de Vargas supposed that resettlement of the Provincia was to be only a formality.  Don Diego then returned to El Paso to begin preparations for an expedition for the resettlement of Nuevo Méjico.  In doing so, he left Santa and Nuevo Méjico in the hands of what he thought were pacified Pueblos for the next year.  

It all began on August 17, 1692.  Diego de Vargas and a contingent of less than fifty soldados, accompanied by three frays, left El Paso to begin an uneventful expedition north along the Río Grande.  In Mid-September of 1692, the hopeful soldados of the Corona would reach Santa Fé, the former Spanish capital of the Provincia of Nuevo Méjico.  There would be at least 1,000 Pueblo insurgents awaited them.  

On that first day of September 13, 1692 C.E., after demonstrative gestures of insult and disrespect it was obvious to the Españoles that the Pueblos were reflecting little on the consequences of their actions.  In the end, it was simply seen as a refusal to submit to Spanish authority by the native squatters of Santa Fé.  De Vargas then threatened to cut-off their water supply.  The followed hours saw heated exchanges during which the Pueblos demanded that certain identified Pobladores not be allowed to return to Nuevo Méjico, and the astute Gobernador gave his consent.  

Finally, with very little patience left Don Diego issued his ultimatum.  The Pueblos were either to submit and be pardoned or suffer a devastating attack by de Vargas’ forces.  Soon, in response to the demands two unarmed Pueblo men left the fortified villa to make an offer of peace.  Later, they would be followed by others.  By nightfall, an uneasy calm had fallen over both sides.  

By the second day of September 14, 1692 C.E., de Vargas, the frays, and the returning former pobladores of Spanish Santa Fé performed a formal ceremony of submission and absolution in the Indian plaza.  De Vargas then proclaimed a formal act of repossession.  With his repossession of Nuevo Méjico, often called a bloodless take over, the Provincia was initially retaken without the use of force.  It is clear that de Vargas had employed a masterful mix of diplomacy and his not so subtle threat of a siege had quickly gained the surrender of the insurrectionist Pueblos.  

That third day of September 14, 1692 C.E., brought a mass being celebrated in Santa Fé.  There the frays baptized over 100 Pueblo children born during the period of Spanish exile.  Once the Pueblos grudgingly pledged peace to the Spanish government and control was reestablished, the gobernador would move his troops on from Santa Fé.  

Surviving Spanish historical records of the ritual repossession of 1692 C.E. detail events which would have required both tremendous risk and incredible restraint on the part of both parties.  Don Diego should be recognized for the effectiveness of his diplomacy and the personal relations he developed with the Pueblo Indian peoples.  These actions demonstrate a willingness on his part to deal on a personal level with the Indians of Nuevo Méjico.  As his record of service in the Indies suggests, de Vargas exhibited strength of character and political maturity which his predecessors in Nuevo Méjico had lacked.  By this juncture the parties had reached an accommodation.  However, out of necessity of the potential for war there was also a degree of deceit and subterfuge by both the Españoles and the Pueblo tribes.  Unfortunately, the calm was only temporary.  Nuevo Méjico was soon to suffer the oncoming storm of blood and death.  

Over the next month, September 14, 1692 C.E. to October 14, 1692 C.E., Don Diego and his small army visited 12 other pueblos of northern Nuevo Méjico, conducting the same rituals at each.  Before returning south to El Paso the "reclaimers of Santa Fé " visited the Ácoma, Zuñi, and Hopi pueblos, as well as those farther south along the Río Grande that had been found vacant on the trip north.  

By the end of 1692 C.E., most of Nuevo Méjico's pueblos had been officially restored to el Imperio Español without shots being fired or bloodshed.  This is the peaceful retaking which is observed annually in September at the famous Fiesta de Santa Fé.  

After Don Diego’s return from Santa Fé to El Paso he would lead his second expedition from El Paso back to Nuevo Méjico.  It was to be one of reestablishment of Spanish authority in the region and resettlement.  This assignment regarding the Provincia when accomplished would reestablish the destroyed misiones and ranchos and resettle Nuevo Méjico's abandoned lands.  

At El Paso during 1693 C.E., he was organizing a resettlement expedition in preparation for his return to Nuevo Méjico.  The company would consist of one hundred soldados, seventy families, and eighteen Franciscan frays, together with Indian allies.  This second portion of the resettlement plan was to be far from peaceful.  

De Vargas would be a very busy man in 1693 C.E.  First, he would have to make his way to Méjico in Early-1693 C.E., to retrieve a group of pobladores.  After this rendezvousand, he then made his way back to El Paso Del Norte.  On October 4, 1693 C.E., he would journey with his soldados and pobladores from El Paso back to Santa Fé.  In addition to the seventy families, eighteen Franciscan friars, and a number of Tlaxlacan allies to begin the resettle of Nuevo Méjico there were several thousand horses and mules, almost a thousand head of livestock followed the main force of the expedition, six wagons and eighty mules’ hauled supplies, including three cannon.  The three-month journey north to Nuevo Méjico on the Camino Real to Santa would end in Mid-December 1693.  

Upon his arrival near Santa Fé the Natives were surprised and shaken when they sited de Vargas’ expedition.  But still, this time the Españoles would have to fight if they wanted Santa Fé.  Warriors from only four of the pueblos had sided with the pobladores, most opposed them.



Final preparations were also underway in Early-September 1693 C.E., for the Fourth Wave of resettlement to begin its 9 month journey with 66 families and one single man (232 individuals).  The Españoles would leave Méjico City with that Fourth Wave of resettlement in Mid-September 1693.  That group of hopeful soldados and Pobladores would include priests, weavers, tailors, stonecutters, brick masons, carpenters, millers, ironworkers, shoemakers, a sculptor, and two painters.  These would make their way to a new life in the distant Spanish land of Nuevo Méjico.  With wagons and livestock in tow, they trekked north along El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro through the Chihuahua Desert to the southern reach of the Rocky Mountains.  The way was hot and the march hard causing some on the expedition to desert.  Yet others died.  But that Fourth Wave of 217 hearty souls survived.  When they finally arrived on the Santa Fé Plaza on June 24, 1694 C.E., four families had left the expedition, and three single Frenchmen joined them.


De Vargas' preliminary expedition had been of a relatively peaceful nature and it had garnered the acceptance of the twenty-three pueblos of Spanish authority.  The second expedition and its Spanish resettlement force would find resistance when they arrived in Nuevo Méjico.  Of the twenty-three pueblos who rejoined Spanish sovereignty, only four remained steadfast to their oaths of loyalty.  Those were Pecos, Santa Ana, Zia, and San Felipe.  It is clear that the Pueblos had experienced a change of heart.  When the resettlers arrived at Santa in December of 1693 C.E., they would find a city once again fortified and its walls manned with insurrectionists.  

The Gobernador of Pecos, Juan de Ye, met de Vargas before the Gobernador reached Santa to warn him that most of the Provincia was preparing for battle.  When de Vargas arrived at Santa , he found Tewas and Tanos gathered in the plaza.  

The Gobernador decided not to precipitate violence by pitching camp close to the villa.  Instead, the Españoles camped outside Santa for two weeks in the cold.  Twenty-three of the expedition members died of exposure while rumors of Pueblo hostility ran wild.  It was only after prolonged delay that the Españoles finally concluded that the Indians remaining in Santa should be returned to their pueblo of Galisteo and that the Españoles should enter the villa and resettle.  These objectives would be accomplished by force if necessary.  As the proceedings of the meeting continued in the expedition camp the Pueblos holding Santa could clearly see and hear what the Españoles were saying.  They then proceeded to a plan for armed resistance.  

It was early in the morning on the December 28, 1693 C.E., when de Vargas was awakened by a messenger who warned of an imminent attack by the native forces in Santa .  Immediately, the gobernador of Pecos was dispatched to his pueblo for reinforcements and a squadron of Spanish soldados was ordered to move forward toward the walls of the villa.  When they arrived, they found the walls manned by a force of armed insurgents.  Soon, another force of enemy Pueblos arrived to aid those on the Santa walls.  The situation had become volatile.  De Vargas was left with few options.  In response he closed on the walls with most of his soldados and secured a perimeter.  

His first choice was to attempt a diplomatic solution to the crisis.  After some discussion one of the leaders of the Pueblos, Antonio Bolsas, agreed to discuss the situation with his force within the villa and give an answer to de Vargas by that evening of December 28, 1693 C.E.  

By early the next morning, on December 29, 1693 C.E. a group of 140 reinforcements for the Españoles had arrived from the Pecos Pueblo.  The fact that there had been no answer to the Gobernador's diplomacy, De Vargas began to advance his troops towards the villa.  It was then that the enemy on the walls began to shout that the whole Provincia was against the Españoles and would kill them all, except for the friars, who would become slaves.  A shower of arrows and stones from the enemies followed their insults.  De Vargas’ response was to cry out the Santiago, urging his men to battle.  This was the Santiago! Or ¡Santiago y cierra, España! This was de Vargas the war cry of Iberian troops during their Reconquista against the Moros, and later for the el Imperio Español.  In English, it’s often translated "Santiago and close, Spain!" or "Santiago and at them, Spain!"  Its first usage is attributed to the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa, where it is said to have been used and on each occasion when Spanish Soldados fought Moros.  

The engagement lasted until the early morning hours of the next day, December 30, 1693 C.E.  In the end, the Españoles were victorious.  When the capture of Santa was won and the insurrectionists contained and accounted for, de Vargas went about the work of examining the contents of the Villa.  He located and proceeded to divide the captured stores of corn, beans, and other foodstuffs among the Spanish families.  Once the insurrectionists were safely under arrest and armed guard, the Pobladores were allowed to occupy the buildings forced from the natives.  With the Spanish capital and main city of Nuevo Méjico liberated by de Vargas’, he had succeeded in gaining a solid foundation for the eventual reestablishment of Spanish authority over the entire region.  But, as de Vargas would discover the taking of the remainder of the Provincia would be no easy matter.  

The damaged and dilapidated Presidio would be rebuilt after 1693 C.E. and named Presidio de Exaltación de la Cruz del Nuevo Méjico.  It was also known as El Real Presidio de Nuestra Señora de los Remedios y la Exaltación de la Santa Cruz.  All of the buildings encircling the plaza, including the casas reales or royal government buildings would need repair and reconstruction.  These had been part of the fort and its protective structure.  There was also a carriage house, military chapel, adequate servants’ quarters, various warehouses, and a tannery.  The Casas Reales de Palacio had been the core of the presidio.  Fortified military barracks were north of the Palacio.  The Plaza de Armas, literally the “Weapons Square,” but is better translated as the Parade Square or military parade grounds was outside the Palacio.  All areas of the Presidio would need refurbishment.  

By the end of the siege of Santa Fé, a total of eighty-nine rebels lay dead.  This included two terrorists by their own hand.  A victorious de Vargas then ordered the execution of seventy of the fanatics who refused to surrender.  Another four hundred resistors, who did finally surrender, were distributed among the soldados and Pobladores for ten years of servitude.  This included women and children to be distributed as servants to the Españoles.  

While these actions on the part of Don de Vargas may seem to some a bit heavy-handed, one must understand that this was war of the ugliest sort.  “The Geneva Conventions,” those agreements which comprise four treaties and three additional protocols and established the standards of international law for the humanitarian treatment of war did not exist.  What did exist were blind hatred, vengeance, and blood feuds.  His actions were swift, exacting, and in his mind, a necessary evil.  There are times when abnormal circumstances exist and demand other than normal responses.  

In today’s world, the military is rarely called into internal national boundaries for action.  These are only at times of war, emergency, or natural disaster.  A police force has the day-to-day responsibility and involvement in and for public life.  Thus, the police are more closely integrated in the social life of a nation than its military.  Under normal circumstances the military must by necessity remain alienated from operating within general society.  

The color of authority under which policemen operate is far different from that of a military.  In the case of 17th-Century C.E. Nuevo Méjico, activities of the police and military were both the responsibility of the soldados.  To complicate the matter, the Spanish military of the Provincia was unknowingly on a war footing, battling terrorists bent upon murder and mayhem.  The color under which a policeman operates is the semblance or presumption of authority sustaining the acts of a public officer which is derived from his apparent title to the office or from a writ or other process in his hands apparently valid and regular.  They operate under a specific set of circumstances which military does not.  Given their chartered activities, policemen are ill suited to wage war.  And soldiers should be excluded from policing activities.  

If one reads carefully the “Autos” drawn up as a result of the rebellion of Christian Indians Santa Fé beginning on August 9, 1680 C.E., and in the days that followed, the translations of the Spanish narratives speak to the issue of police tactics vs. military actions.  Gobernardor Otermín’s actions can be construed as those of a civil servant issuing orders to policemen to investigate the complaints of Natives breaking and entering private property (Civil and Religious), robbing residents of their property, and reports of unlawful killings.  The narratives offer one report after another being investigated as separate crimes at various pueblos and surrounding areas.  In the beginning the Gobernardor treated the crimes as single incidents, by sole perpetrators, involving separate crimes, at different pueblos.  Only after it was too late and the circumstances were understood for what they were, did he finally act proactively and not reactively.  

Unfortunately, this reality had to be forced upon Don Otermín.  This arose when two friendly Christian Indians whom he knew, personally rushed into his presence in a state of panic to report a pending attack upon the Villa.  They reported that a large party of Indians from six pueblos numbering approximately 500 hundred who had been joined by Apaches and the party was sited closing upon Santa Fé.  It was also explained to the Don that the party was led by Juan the Tagno, the Indian that the Gobernador had sent earlier as a scout to collect information as to the facts of a matter of law breaking.  He was now acting as Capitán of the group racing to attack the Villa and destroy the Gobernardor.  Its intent, he was told, “was so that the entire kingdom would be theirs and they could profit at the expense of the Españoles and their’ haciendas.”  

To clarify, Don Otermín had failed to completely understand his predicament.  He misread the conditions under which he was being forced to react.  These were not simply police matters, though he reacted to them as if they were.  They were in fact, and by nature acts of war, massive rebellion, and total insurrection.  His missteps and inappropriate actions lost the moment when his ability to contain the situation and retain control could have prevailed.  At the point at which the terrorists were on the offensive, his was the defensive.  This is the time in the crisis when the Españoles lost the Provincia.  

Thirteen years later, on December 30, 1693 C.E., it must have been obvious to de Vargas that the situation was one of life and death.  Unlike Don Otermín in 1680 C.E., who had failed to act immediately, and militarily de Vargas would not treat this insurrection as a series of police matters and fall into the same trap.  He arrived at Nuevo Méjico as a General first, and a civil administrator second.  His mission was to retake the Provincia by force if necessary, which he did.  Once diplomacy had failed and his only option was violence, de Vargas understood that it was now all or nothing.  He saw the thing for what it was.  These were not criminals.  They were in fact insurrectionists who had chosen the path of terrorism.  If not dealt with swiftly and decisively the other pueblos would soon join them in their bloody insurrection.  España would not accept another debacle.  

A point in fact is that similar bloody fighting would occur at many of the other pueblos before the Gobernador felt that the native people had truly accepted his and the king's authority.  His judgment in the matter had been correct and appropriate.  To further complicate matters, the end of widespread hostilities would not mean an end to Pueblo resentment over stringent conditions imposed by the Pobladores.  For example the periodic confiscation of Pueblo food stocks of corn and other supplies was necessary to sustain the struggling Pobladores, but would result in Native animosity.  

The methods employed by the Españoles may seem in retrospect quite harsh to some, but obviously given the circumstances necessary to ensure control.  After 13 years of continued resistance by terrorist who carried out a major revolt and tortured and murdered over 400 Españoles, there could be little room for compassion and unnecessary kindness.  It was after all, more than war.  The blood thirsty insurgents turned terrorists were unwilling to stop the butchery and accept Spanish authority.  Brutal force and grisly consequences were the order of the day.  However, when necessary the gloved steel hand could still be substituted with the open hand of friendship.  

For all Indians involved in the insurgency who requesting pardons, De Vargas readily granted them.  He also did not punish other Indians who had not participated in the insurrection.  These actions were prudent and wise.  In a show of largesse those pardoned were then allowed to leave Santa Fé and return to their pueblos.  The triumphant Españoles were then able to resume their hard won authority over Nuevo Méjico.  Fortunately for the Españoles, the exhausted insurgent Pueblos no longer had sufficient will or resources necessary to war.  It was only this utter defeat that forced them to accept the Gobernador’s authority.  Thus, the Españoles were able to vacate and resettle the Pueblo Peoples of the Southwest thirteen years after the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 C.E.  However, they would never again gain control of the Navajos or Apaches.  However, in that year España had reclaimed her lost provincia.  

At this point, having discussed war, insurrection, uprisings, and terrorism it is worth reflecting on the why the Españoles had lost the Provincia and then had to regain it.  They paid in blood, treasure, and dishonor due to their failure to keep in check those natural tendencies given to men.  These were greed, selfishness, pridefulness, arrogance, and callousness.  Added to these should be the airing of one’s dirty laundry.  The ongoing, heated rivalries between the government of the Corona and Church missionaries was a mistake of the greatest magnitude.  This was seen by the insurgents as a wedge between the two parties, one to be seized and capitalized upon.  Unfortunately, the Spanish government and the Church would always remain divided by these issues and their causes countering one another.  

At the beginning of 1694, Santa was the sole outpost of Nueva España in the expansive area of the Provincia Nuevo Méjico.  The area remained in a divided state with only four Native pueblos having sided with the Españoles Santa Ana, San Felipe, Zia, and Pecos.  

Between April and September of 1694, de Vargas would launch needed campaigns against insurrectionist pueblos along the Río Grande refusing to accept España’s authority and submit to Spanish law.  Without insurgents accepting España’s governance there could be no peace.  And it was this peace which was needed to stop the continual battles between the Españoles and the natives.  The low simmering insurrection was also keeping the Pobladores in Santa from planting crops which could make the possibility of starvation become a reality.  

It was at this time that the Fourth Wave resettlement group reached El Paso del Norte in April of 1694 C.E.  This was at that time the largest group of pobladores to travel the full Camino Real.  This expedition of nearly 250 additional pobladores including 124 adults and 93 children arrived in Nuevo Méjico by Mid-1694 C.E.  Another group of almost 150 would follow the next year, in 1695 C.E.  To accommodate many of these additional Hispanos, Gobernador de Vargas authorized the establishment of a second settlement in the provincia, at Santa Cruz de la Cañada, north of Santa Fé along the Santa Cruz River.  This new settlement would displace the Tano Pueblo Indians, who had settled there after the insurrection of 1680 C.E.  Members of these new families would eventually intermarry with descendants of the first, second, and third waves of Nuevo Méjico pobladores and add their family names to the generations to come.  

By June 1694 C.E., these arrivals would exacerbate an already difficult the situation.  It was the lack of planting and the real possibility of starvation which drove de Vargas to more aggressively war against the pueblos, securing their food stores, and forcing their capitulation.  

By January of the following year of 1695 C.E., de Vargas could boast that most of the Río Grande valley was under the control of the Españoles.  This had been no easy task.  It took the steel hard will of a hand-full of soldados and a few Pobladores who would not give up on their dream of resettlement.  Many of returnees had waited for years at El Paso del Norte for a chance to join the expedition to reclaim their homes and lands.  Among these were many of my family lines.  The de Ribera family had found its way to this land of promises of which they had heard so much.  

The reconstituted Nuevo Méjico began to grow as more pobladores arrived from southern Nueva España (Méjico) such as my progenitor, Salvador Matías de Ribera who was 20 years old in 1695 C.E.  Information taken from a prenuptial investigation for a marriage states Salvador was a native of Puerto de Santa María, España.  He had been in the Royal Navy and came from España on the 60 gun galleon Santo Tomás de Villanueva along with a friend, Toribio Benito Sánchez.  

He, his wife and son, Juan Felipe de Rivera, appear on the Muster Roll census of the pobladores who went to Nuevo Méjico with Juan Páez Hurtado in 1695 C.E.  They enlisted in the venture on January 4, 1695 C.E., and received payments of 360 pesos for their journey.   Salvador was described as a Spanish resident of Zacatecas, with an average physique, straight black hair, and twenty years old.  He married Juana de Sosa Canela who was born in España in 1663 C.E.  They arrived in Santa , Nuevo Méjico in 1695 C.E.  By 1704 C.E., he lost his Vargas grant in the center of Santa through a law-suit.  He passed away on 1712 C.E. in Santa , Nuevo Méjico.  By 1773 C.E., his widow, Juana and son were seeking other grants in the Torreon de la Cienega section of Santa .  His only known child was Juan Felipe.


As he was a Peninsulares or a Spaniard from the Iberian Peninsula, Salvador would have had many advantages.  Higher offices in the Americas and Philippines were held by peninsulares. Apart from the distinction of peninsulares from Criollos, the castas system distinguished also Mestizos (of mixed Spanish and Amerindian ancestry in the Americas, and mixed Spanish and Chinese or native Filipino in the Philippines), Mulatos (of mixed Spanish and black ancestry), Indios, Zambos (mixed Amerindian and black ancestry) and finally Negros.  In the colonial social hierarchy, the peninsulares were nominally at the top, followed by Criollos, who developed a fully entrenched powerful local aristocracy during the 17th and 18th-Century C.E.


It was assumed that he and his were superior to other Españoles and therefore, entitled.  His having served in the Royal Navy would have spoken highly of his military abilities.  This perhaps is why over time he became an alférez or Ensign, the military commander at the Presidio of Santa garrison.  

With these latest arriving Españoles came growth.  Two new villas were founded at Santa Cruz and Bernalillo in 1695 C.E. to accommodate those that had arrived and the many that were expected.  These also needed the help of the Church to maintain their love of God and his guidance in these hostile, difficult lands.  Eleven misiones were reestablished once the missionaries felt secure enough to be assigned to the pueblos.  This was no easy matter for a provincia on war footing.  As for the western pueblos, these remained areas in which the regained Spanish control in Nuevo Méjico was still unrecognized.  These included the Ácoma, Zuñi, and the Hopi pueblos.  To be honest even in those pueblos that had supposedly accepted Spanish authority hostilities began to emerge.  

By Mid-year, 1695 C.E., the Franciscan frays found themselves alone at their misiones.  The soldados under de Vargas had been dispersed.  Here we must offer an explanation.  The task of governance of a provincia as large as Nuevo Méjico under the best of circumstances would have been difficult.  One would have expected a large, robust, well-resourced, well-armed military force, but that was not the case. An adequate staff of capable, efficient, and effective administrators would have been a great help during this undertaking.  Nuevo Méjico had none of these.  She was place under siege.  Her soldados were spread thin constantly on military maneuvers and assigned to protect that which was necessary.  Administrators were expensive and had other, better circumstances under which they wished to ply their trade.  Nuevo Méjico was not one of those places.  

As early as July, 1695 C.E., the missionaries began to fear that the Pueblos were planning another insurrection.  By December, these fears reached greater proportions and the custodio, Fray Francisco de Vargas, held a meeting to ascertain the extent of the possible uprising.  The frays petitioned the Gobernador to post soldados at the pueblos for protection and to alleviate the fears of the clergy. Gobernador de Vargas decided not to send troops to the pueblos at the time because of his concern that such an action would incite hostilities among more loyal Indians.  

The harsh winter of 1695 C.E.-1696 C.E. placed greater burdens on the Spanish pobladores who still could not adequately feed their own.  Hostile, well informed Pueblo leaders had been watching and waiting.  These natives had been astute practicers of warfare and its tactics over many generations.  They were no strangers to reconnaissance and planning.  Once they perceived this to be a propitious time for an insurrection, they would act decisively as they did fifteen years earlier.  

But the time was not yet for war.  Despite the fears of the Franciscans, the expected insurrection did not occur in December of 1695 C.E.  This did not lessen the tension.  The tasks at the pueblos for the frays’ was becoming increasingly difficult, as the actions of the Pueblos became increasingly hostile.  One must understand that the Pueblos harbored a deep resentment which had begun as far back as 1599 C.E.  With the introduction of the Españoles, their Church, their misiones, the overly zealous padres, and the taxing of the encomienda the burdens were too great.  The loss of freedom, Pueblo culture, and their Native religion had made it difficult deal with the traumas of everyday life and the stresses which had become unbearable for them.  

There had been repeated rumors during 1695 C.E. that another Pueblo insurrection was imminent.  These fears and concerns would continue to unsettle the already overly stressed pobladores and clergy into Early-1696 C.E.  The resettlers understood very well what another Native insurrection would bring, more death and destruction.  It would later be charged that de Vargas had failed to take warnings seriously enough to act responsibly and quickly.  The period would also see the pobladores struggling unsuccessfully to support themselves agriculturally. 

The Pueblos only had so many food stores which could be confiscated.  And with each confiscation life for the Pueblos grew worse.  To make matters more difficult, disease began sweeping through the Provincia.  The Españoles of Nuevo Méjico were touched by the devastation it brought.  Even the Gobernador would succumb to it, bringing him to the brink of death.  Fortunately, by March of 1696 C.E., de Vargas would recover.  

That same month, de Vargas would petition the Virrey to increase the number of pobladores from 276 families to 500.  This was the minimum number of resettlers that he claimed were needed to ensure Nuevo Méjico's safety and security.  This vast area of resettled land required a large number of pobladores with which to expand existing villas, establish new ones, reclaim the ranchos, and assist the limited number of soldados when needed.  The aim of population expansion was to bolster the Provincia economically and militarily.  

Also in March, 1696 C.E., the missionaries again began pleading with de Vargas for military protection as rumors of war increased to a crescendo.  From San Juan Pueblo, Fray Gerónimo Prieto wrote that natives of various pueblos, including the Hopi pueblos, Zuñi, and Ácoma, were on their way to San Juan to meet with insurrectionist leaders. The insurrectionists were there under the pretense of a trading mission.  The tone of the padres' letters was one of panic.                                                                                   

On March 15th, de Vargas finally responded to the request from the custodio to place soldados at some of the pueblos.  However, by that time it was too late.  The frightened and panicked missionaries had abandoned their posts seeking the safety of the fortified Spanish villas.  The Pueblos had accomplished their goal.  The frays were frightened into leaving Native lands.  In doing so, the Gobernador would no longer have easy access to information about the activities of the insurrectionists.  The Españoles were now blind to the machinations of the insurgents.  

The summer of 1696 C.E., would see the situation in Nuevo Méjico deteriorate into a general insurrection.  Modern-day, anti-colonialists refer to this as the Second Pueblo Revolt.  These remain ignorant of the “Right of Kings,” the “Right of Conquest,” and the obligations of “subjects” under the authority of a monarch in effect during the 17th-Century C.E.  Many, if not all, continue to apply 21st-Century C.E. democracy with its citizen’s rights, freedoms, and the “Rule of Law,” to a time when none existed.  The position of the American “Left” on these matters is naive.  In short, an insurrection against a duly authorized legal authority or governmental structure, likeable or not, is still an insurrection.  

We can simply apply the response by Americans to both the Watts Riots (Largely Black) of 1965 and 1992, and the East Los Angeles Riots (Largely Hispanic) of 1968, 1970, and 1971.  One could hardly call the U.S. Government’s reaction an embrace of ethnic and racial violence.  In each instance, the response from law enforcement and the National Guard was bloody and certain. There was no immediate call for redress or understanding.  These affairs were seen purely and simply as insurrections that had to be put down immediately and without equivocation.  

By June of 1696 C.E., virreinal action on the de Vargas petition for the Virrey to increase the number of pobladores was not forthcoming and all but five of the pueblos would soon take up arms against the Pobladores. After eleven months of persistent rumors, increasing unrest among the Pueblos, and actions taken by the Pueblos in apparent preparation, on June 4, 1696 C.E. the Provincia exploded with violence.  A general uprising and insurrection caused the deaths of five missionaries and twenty-one other Españoles.  Hostile Pueblo terrorists burned the misiones.  The people of the pueblos taking part in the revolt fled into the mountains.  Only Tesuque, Pecos, San Felipe, Santa Ana, and Zia did not participate.  

Fortunately, for the Españoles unlike the Revolt of 1680 C.E., this rebellion was poorly planned.  The insurrectionists were divided into several disparate factions. The most powerful faction was under the command of a Cochiti named Lucas Naranjo.  Without strong leadership the insurrection was badly executed and lacked a cohesive strategy to retake the Provincia.  

In late July, de Vargas left Santa with his soldados and native troops from Pecos Pueblo in search of Naranjo and his group. He found them hidden in the slopes of a canyon awaiting the arrival of the Españoles.  During the battle, Naranjo was killed by a harquebus shot to the Adam's apple by a soldado who then beheaded him.  De Vargas said, "It gave me great pleasure to see the said rebel apostate dog in that condition.  A pistol shot that was fired into his right temple had blown out his brains leaving the said head hollow."  The remaining rebels then fled and the allies from Pecos were given Naranjo's severed head as a trophy of war.  

After the fall of Naranjo, the insurrection began to collapse.  The most active insurgents in the central Río Grande valley were destroyed.  Those who had fled their pueblos to the mountains were leaderless and in desperate circumstance.  The Españoles having appropriated stores of food from the pueblos after each victory left the insurgents remaining in the mountains.  There they faced the choice of either returning to their pueblos and accepting Spanish governance or starving.  

Although de Vargas succeeded in subduing the insurgents closest to the center of Spanish power in Nuevo Méjico, the pueblo fringe was still unrepentant.  Those who remained outside the reach of de Vargas, his troops, and Indian allies were the Pueblos of the Picurís, Taos, and of course the western pueblos of Ácoma, Zuñi and the Hopi.  

By August of 1696 C.E., de Vargas mounted an expedition against the utterly resistant pueblo of Ácoma.  He and his troops having arrived at the mesa were unable to mount an assault.  Instead, they proceeded to gather the Ácoma’s sheep left at the base of the mesa.  After several days of waiting below at the base of mesa and issuing threats and ultimatums, de Vargas commanded his soldados to burn the Ácoma fields.  They then departed to the east leaving the Ácoma to remain on their mesa.  

In September 1696 C.E., the Gobernador moved against the still rebellious, armed, and hostile terrorists of the northern pueblos.  After a peaceful capitulation by the Pueblo's leaders, the Taos were convinced to descend from the mountains.  Later, at Picurís, de Vargas found the Pueblo empty.  The Españoles went in chase of the inhabitants of the Pueblo who, in the company of some Tewas, Tanos, and Apaches were fleeing eastward.  

By late October of 1696 C.E., de Vargas had reached the fleeing insurrectionists. In a short battle, the Españoles captured approximately eighty of terrorists.  The remainder continued fleeing eastward.  These were later captured in western Kansas by a band of allied Apaches.  The captured were then distributed to the troops and held as hostages until the remaining Picurís returned to their pueblo.  

With Picurís beaten and no longer a serious threat to the Provincia, the terrorist peril to the Españoles of Nuevo Méjico was ended.  In time, the Pueblos who had remained hiding in the mountains would descend to their pueblos. Some leaders of small terrorist bands voluntarily surrendered. Others were tracked and taken with the help of loyal Pueblo allies.  And still, there were others who would not return to their pueblos along the Río Grande, preferring to continue hiding with the Apache, the Navajos and at the pueblos of Ácoma, Zuñi, and Hopi.  

From June through November of 1696 C.E., with few choices and steady pressure on all sides, Don Diego had mounted military campaigns almost continually. The familiar Spanish Nuevo Mundo strategy of exploiting Pueblo rivalries and methodically subduing each insurgent pueblo one-by-one would be followed meticulously by De Vargas and his council of war. The harsh winter weather of the Provincia and the soon to follow exhaustion of his soldados would finally bring a forced peace for many, but not all. The ongoing battles forced large numbers of the Pueblos to flee the Provincia, some permanently.  

The bloody, vicious fighting that year would mark the end of the protracted violence and resistance carried out by the terrorist Pueblos against Spanish authority and control of Nuevo Méjico.  De Vargas could write proudly to the King and Virrey of having succeeded in the retaining control of the Provincia.  It had been lost once, retaken, and almost lost a second time. Now it was held stable and secure in Spanish hands, having been bought with blood and honor. By the end of the year, the Pueblo Insurrection of 1696 C.E. was over. The Pueblo Indians of Nuevo Méjico, with the exception of the western pueblos, were again in acceptance of Spanish authority.  For a job well-done, de Vargas was about to receive an odd reward.  

Pedro Rodríguez Cubero (baptized July 29, 1656 C.E. -died 1704 C.E.) was the Spanish admiral who was sent to replace de Vargas and serve as the gobernador of Nuevo Méjico between 1697 C.E. and 1703 C.E.  

Cubero once installed, had knowledge of accusations of corruption against Don Diego de Vargas. He was also aware of imposed fines against him by Santa Fé Council officials.  Initially, Cubero had rejected the levied fines against his predecessor.  However, that was until official formal charges had been placed against de Vargas. He was then convinced that the former gobernador had embezzled money and impoverished the population. This he believed was through poor economic management and maldistribution of food supplies among the pobladores. It was also cited that Diego de Vargas had exacerbated the famine of 1695 C.E.-1696 C.E., by his actions.  

As these offenses were punishable by a fine and imprisonment, and the fact that the charges had caused open hostility of the population against the government during that period, de Vargas was subsequently convicted and forced to pay a fine of four thousand pesos.  His property confiscated and he was imprisoned for almost three years. Although, only placed under house arrest, he fumed over this poor reward and the even poorer treatment received after all he and had given the Provincia and its people.  

During the period of house arrest came word that the king had conferred upon Don Diego the title Marqués de la Nava de Barcinas.  He was also to receive an annuity of 4,000 pesos. This was to be collected in the form tribute from the Indians of Nuevo Méjico.  

By 1700 C.E., the charges against de Vargas remained unresolved.  He was soon called to Méjico City to face investigation into the many of the complaints before the Tribunal of Accounts.  After his long, difficult journey of 1600 miles when he reached the virreinal capital, Don Diego found Juan Manuel, his son who had recently arrived from España. He had not seen the young man for 27 years.  

It wasn’t until 1702 C.E., that the Tribunal rendered its decision.  They found in favor of the former gobernador. The decision had cleared the way allowing him to serve a second term.  Unfortunately, the good news was overshadowed by the death of his son, Juan Manuel while returning to España.  

That same year, the Duke of Alburquerque, Francisco Fernández de la Cueva y Enríquez would arrive at Méjico City to assume duties as the 34th Virrey of La Nueva España.  His intent was to further expand the defenses of the entire Nuevo España.  

The matter still continued to gall the second-term Gobernador.  De Vargas had understood that upon the arrival in Nuevo Méjico of the new Gobernador, Rodríguez Cubero, he would initiate the standard procedure of residencia or administrative review to be undertaken by the Santa Fé cabildo or ayuntamiento, or city council of his term. De Vargas had been deeply hurt and shocked when the residencia process brought forward a list of charges against him.  The damning charges against the Gobernador had included misuse of royal funds, fomenting the Pueblo insurrection, and playing favorites among the pobladores.  These he knew were untrue and meant to harm his reputation and honor.  However, even these slights could not detract from the Gobernador’s having carried out his duties and establishing new villas of Santa Cruz de la Canada and Bernalillo near the Río Grande in northeastern Nuevo Méjico.  

After giving his all, de Vargas had asked only for those rewards he thought were rightfully his due. His requests, simply a noble title that he felt he earned and a comfortable annuity to carry him through his old age.  Instead, he was shocked and angered to be replaced in the governorship by Pedro Rodríguez Cubero, who had arranged years before to accede to the office.  But this he understood had been the fate of many valiant, honorable Spaniards  including Cristóbal Colón, Cortés, and De Soto, to name but a few. But for now, de Vargas had been exonerated. He was a free man with history to write.  

In June 1703 C.E., Don de Vargas now the Marqués de la Nava de Barcinas, left Méjico City to reassume the governorship of Nuevo Méjico. He took with him his two natural sons by Nicolasa Rincón.  They reached Santa Fé by that November and Don Diego reestablished himself at the Casas Reales de Palacio.  No sooner had he arrived than the Pobladores and Pueblos alike were complaining of repeated raids by parties of Apaches. Thus, as soon as winter’s grip was loosed, de Vargas began a campaign against the raiding Apaches.    

As the expedition proceeded down the Río Grande Valley, illness struck the party.  Several members were immediately sent back to Santa Fé.  As fate would have it, on April 1, 1704 C.E., the Marqués Gobernador fell desperately ill.  He was carried to the home of Fernando Durán de Cháves at Bernalillo, where he prepared his last will.  Don Diego dictated his twenty-page Will to his secretary, meticulously describing his own last rites and burial, the disposition of his belongings, and settlement of his accounts.  "I ask as a tribute, a coffin lined with simple woolen cloth, and to be buried with the military honors and privileges due a nobleman of Castilla."  

The life of de Vargas is an example of the spirit of Spanish nobility.  Don Diego, the Spanish nobleman, came to Nueva España seeking glory, increased wealth, adventure, and a title.  However, he found something more, his moment of glory in 1692 C.E.  De Vargas led and won the Reconquista of Nuevo Méjico.  The great Spanish gobernador died in Nuevo Méjico on April 8, 1704 C.E.  At the age of 60, one day after signing his last Will and Testament, he was gone.  He signed his title, Marqués de la Naba de Brazinas.  His many deeds have not gone unnoticed or forgotten.  He died as he had lived, confident and sure of his place in history.  

As part of that history, Don De Vargas had also ridden into the plaza at Pecos with only fifty soldados. He had entered Cicuye Pueblo of the early world, now Pecos of the Nuevo Mundo. Sixty miles west of Pecos is the Pueblo of Jémez.  This is where in 1590 C.E., Don Gaspar and his troop stopped to rest and were told of a great pueblo in the mountain pass to the east.  In the language of the Jémez it was called it Pe-kush.  The Españoles heard the word as "Pecos".  After 17 years and three Spanish expeditions to the pueblo of Cicuye, during the explorations of Gaspar Castaño de Sosa, Cicuye had become Pecos.  Thus the name Pecos stands today.  There the de Ribera family would make its home in 1790 C.E.

By the close of the 17th-Century C.E., a new era of Nuevo Méjico history could begin.

Twenty-five miles southeast of Santa Fé, in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains is a passage covered by magnificent Pine Trees.  Through it one finds the crumbling remains of that ancient Indian pueblo. What once was a witness to the golden age of a powerful Native-American people is now a mass of rubble.  Rising from of a shallow valley below, the entire area was cut by the Pecos River. The site extends for a quarter-mile along the narrow ridge.  However, only a small portion of those original massive adobe walls remain.

The Pecos Pueblo was the fourteenth pueblo Don Diego returned to Spanish authority.  Hundreds of Indians gathered in the plaza at Pecos watching and listening to de Vargas.  Mesmerized by Don Diego's boldness and supreme confidence, they listened to his every word.  He explained that he had come a great distance to restore what had belonged to the king, "for he was their lord, their rightful king, and there was no other."  After his pronouncements, de Vargas ordered the royal banner placed high above Pecos.  He then led his men in a salute to "Carlos II, king of España, of all this Nuevo Mundo and the kingdom and Provincia of Nuevo Méjico and of their subjects newly won and conquered."  With this ceremony completed, the Españoles  "left the pueblo at peace," and de Vargas reported: "Having taken my leave of these natives and having reiterated to them that they should pray and live as Christians, which they promised me they would do, I set out" to Santa Fé.   

Pecos Pueblo, Nuevo Méjico has been the ancestral home of my mother's family, the de Riberas, since after 1790 C.E. They first settled Santa Fé in 1695 C.E. with the de Vargas Expedition as soldados during the Reconquista.  The first three generations soldiered and ranched there.  Miguel Gerónimo de Ribera's brother, Alfonso or Alonzo, was the first to live at the presidio at Pecos. He was listed there as a soldado.  Soon Miguel's son, Juan, made his way to Pecos to join his uncle.  For the following nine generations they have ranched and farmed the area.  

For this act of Reconquista and others de Vargas became a national hero in España. I personally find this an odd proposition, him a national hero of España? The country is a world away from Nuevo Méjico and across a vast ocean. The majority of its people had never set foot in the Americas.  What they could have possibly known about the Reconquista escapes me.  One could, however, surmise that word of great deeds travels fast in a world in which they have become hard to find and very much in need of.  

The death of Don Diego de Vargas marked the passing of an era in Nuevo Méjico history.  It would force the Españoles to deal with problems outside their Provincia.  Previously, the Spanish government had concentrated its efforts on affairs related to local problems.  But now they would broaden their scope to concerns over the vast wilderness of North America that was outside their jurisdiction.  

For the next several years of the 18th-Century C.E., Nuevo Méjico and its people would suffer terribly from almost continual warfare.  As a result of continued attacks and raids on the Españoles by the natives and Spanish retaliatory strikes against the insurrectionists, many pueblos would be abandoned. Soon, those surviving pueblos would be weakened by the many years of warfare and be unable to resist, effectively abandon their dwellings.  As the pueblo populations dispersed their inhabitants were forced to seek refuge in the mountains among the Navajo and Apache tribes.  

However, life for the victorious Españoles would soon begin to improve. Pobladores from La Nueva España flowed into Nuevo Méjico establishing farms, ranchos, and villas.  More Spanish families would arrive at the capital, Santa . The old city would once again take on its former luster and the hustle and bustle of a thriving Spanish Villa.  

These newer arrivals made the people of the frontier society much more diverse.  As the Spanish communities grew and became the dominant force in the area frays and Spanish lay people wanted a uniform Spanish society.  They refused to allow the Indians to practice their cultural and religious ceremonies.  Españoles believed that enough time had passed for the Indians to accept and embrace Christianity and the Empire.  Floggings followed.  The Indians reacted as they should.  Indian religious practices were then held in secret for fear of punishment.  When caught, even Indian medicine men were flogged.  

In the Early-1700s C.E., daily life in the Villa de Santa Fé had once again come alive.  The central point for the military defense of Nuevo Méjico garrison had been reestablished at Santa Fé in 1693 C.E.  This is where Salvadór Matías de Ribera, the first of my de Ribera line to arrive at Nuevo Méjico, was to become the alférez or military commander of the Presidio garrison.  Its center was on the plaza principal also called the plaza real or royal plaza.  To the east of the plaza, apparently stretching as far as the modern-day area of the Basilica of Saint Francis, the main doors of the Franciscan Convento de la Limpia Concepción de Nuestra Señora de la Villa de Santa faced the plaza.  Even though the pobladores complained about the nearby parish church left in continuously poor condition and described as lacking interior decorations comparable to those of the more richly decorated Pueblo churches, they were happy to have a church.  

In the Villa, it remained common to see animals in corrales of corrals around the church area.  The Casa de Cabildo or the town hall’s main doors faced the plaza, where many Soldados and administrators could be seen walking and talking about matters of government and Native raiding parties.  Inside the Casas Reales de Palacio, the pobladores and administrators moved about engaged in the preparation of official Provincia documents, archiving important papers, conducting the politics of the day, and addressing the needs of the Gobernador.  Other lower level employees cleaned the numerous rooms, washed clothing and linens, and stocked goods in the storerooms.  Some tended to the orchard and prepared meals.  

The Villa de Santa was by no means a large affair.  It had only thirty small houses of adobe, nine of which belonged to widows and the rest to the male heads of households.  These were the taxpaying vecinos.  Several of the better looking and larger houses belonged to members of prominent families, including Capitánes one of which was located at one of the corners of the plaza real.  It boasted a main hall, several rooms, a patio and a garden or small orchard.  

South of the Villa was a rancho which belonged to a wealthy Español.  It was situated down along the Santa River.  Across the Santa River was the old barrio de San Miguel, with its small chapel and nearby houses belonging Indians.  These had begun returning as they heard that the Españoles were once again in charge of the Villa and its surrounding areas.  Some of the returning barrio residents were of the Apache, some Pueblo, and others Indios Mexicanos, or Indians from the Valle of Méjico.  Many of the barrio natives were those who earned a living as blacksmiths, carters, carpenters, wagon drivers, and masons, and other trades.  Their women worked as cooks and laundresses in the homes in the large corridor of the Villa courtyard.  

On a cool, clear day sitting there inside the Palacio in front of an open window, one could face the plaza and watch the sights and hear the sounds of the passersby.  Looking out of a window, one could see the newly growing cottonwood trees of the plaza that would one day offer shade to vecinos.  An alcalde ordinario might be seen racing across the plaza late for a meeting with the Gobernador at the Palacio.  There also might be found the town crier making his way across the plaza as he returned to the Palacio after having read aloud a royal edict. So it was that life had returned to the Villa and its government.  

Soon the Franciscan missionaries returned and rebuilt misiones.  Farms and ranches were established in the Río Abajo area.  The Río Abajo Jurisdiction down river was half way between Santa Fé and El Paso del Norte.  The name is still used for the area of the central and southern portion of the Río Grande Valley.  Previously, Spanish Pobladores built their farms near the Río Grande and other major rivers, but now they were establishing farms in other areas of the Provincia.  

The misiones of Nuevo Méjico would once again be reestablished with their Natives working the land. The focal point of community life was still it mision church.  The church building was the most prominent structure within the protected compound.  A convento or living quarters for the missionaries and several lay assistants was built close to the larger church building.  The daily life of all the mision dwellers was once again centered on the church.  The frays summoned all to worship for prayers.  God had been returned to the Provincia.  The Pobladores of Nuevo Méjico were being looked after by these clerics and their Indians.  

The Catholic Franciscans entered the area early on, accompanying Spanish explorers and acting as their chroniclers.  Their primary task was to spread Christianity and to extend Spanish culture to whatever lands the Corona granted them as their field.  These same Franciscans were responsible to serve the Church as protectors of the Indians and their unique position allowed them to carry out the mision’s efforts among the Indians of the northern frontier of La Nueva España.

Gran Quivira Church Ruins

By example, one order of frays in Tejas preferred the practical application of their beliefs to theological debate.  Colegios or colleges were founded as bases of operation and training for the missionaries.  For example, those providing missionaries for the Tejas field were located in Queretaro and Zacatecas.  The Queretarans were the first to start misiones in Tejas.  Padre Antonio Margil de Jesús, a prominent missionary in the founding of early misiones in eastern Tejas, came to believe the field of work was so great that another colegio was necessary.  He founded the College of Zacatecas and, as its representative, began Mision San José, the only community at that time under its jurisdiction on the San Antonio River.  

The padres and mision natives worked long and hard in the fields trying to bring back the long since abandoned crop areas.  All of the Provincia depended upon their efforts, both native and Españoles alike.  The more food there was the less starvation would be seen.  The Pueblos grew hungry at the thought of the mision crops and cattle.  The mision workers tended the livestock in order to grow flocks and herds that had been scattered or eaten during the past sixteen years.  There was no time to waste as food was needed by everyone, everywhere.  

The mision workshops were in constant use.  Little had been left by the Pueblos when they burned and raised the mision buildings and animal enclosures to the ground to vent their rage during and after the great Pueblo Revolt of 1680 C.E.  The classrooms, the home of sacred and utilitarian learning were buzzing with activity.  The Franciscans taught the Indians other useful arts such as music and painting.  New Indians in need of skills were learning as never before.  Just as in the Villa, blacksmiths, carters, carpenters, wagon drivers, masons, weavers, and those of other trades were needed.  

At first, there had been very few workmen to build the misiones with their several gateways providing entrance into a solid walled compound housing the Mision communities.  Slowly, the Mision’s strongly built, thick, sturdy walls were engineered and constructed.  The bastions or fortified towers located along the inside and against the compound walls were later designed and constructed adding to the defense of the mision compound.  Living quarters were also built.  These were placed for the Indian neophytes and Spanish soldados, but usually for only one or two with their families.  

Only those natives who petitioned for inclusion could live at the misiones.  These Native peoples of Nueva España’s Nuevo Méjico originated from a number of hunting and gathering Indian bands.  The men of the tribes previously hunted bison and deer.  These were supplemented by other food sources, such as fish, birds, rabbits, lizards, and snakes.  Fruits, nuts, beans, roots, and seeds gathered by women and children were part of their diet.  But these dietary habits and manners would change with time.  

While the mision Indians spoke distinct dialects and followed diverse religious practices found among their respective bands, they shared some common characteristics.  Mision life was a strictly regulated existence and a profound change for these hunter-gatherer native peoples who had followed the rhythms of nature and integrated fully into the local ecology.  In their prior life, their movements were dictated by the seasonal availability of food.  When food sources were abundant extended families joined with others into larger bands.  In less abundant times, the bands separated and organized into smaller bands which sought food when and where needed.  They would soon learn Spanish and worship the Spanish God.  They would no longer hunt and gather food exclusively.  They would learn to till, plant, and harvest abundant grains, fruits, and vegetables.  Natives would raise flocks and herds of livestock and later learn to kill and butcher it for their meals.  Though the natives still continued to fish, the rhythms of nature would give way the steady planning and daily chores producing estimated amounts of food on a seasonal basis and preserved for leaner days ahead.  

Those natives that became mision dwellers were taught to fashion brush hut dwellings and to sleep on woven mats.  They dressed in animal skins and wore woven sandals.  For hunting of game they used bows and arrows.  Their new tools were fishing nets, digging sticks to obtain food, and grinding stones to prepare it.  They produced some simple pottery, but became more skilled at making baskets.  These they used to store supplies for the future and to transport food to safe, clean locations for deposit and storage.  They practiced rites of passage and seasonal ceremonies common to many hunter-gatherer cultures, but now they also learned the sacraments and the ways of the Church.  In addition, the frays taught the mision Indians Latin and the Catholic doctrine.  

The newly arriving Indians were thankful for the food and refuge of the misiones.  In many cases, they willingly exchanged labor for the cultural life of the Españoles.  However, religious conversion wasn’t always easily acceptable for them.  Pueblo Indian culture inculcated a respect for the views and decisions of their religious leaders.  This notion of respect for religious leadership was extended to the Catholic frays who were trying to convert and guide them to Christianity.  However, as the missionaries attempted to force or pressure conversion of the Indians to Christianity, many resisted.  To further complicate matters, Spanish government officials continued to fight openly with the frays.  The result was a continual deterioration of Indian respect for the missionaries.  The Indians began to question the truthfulness of what the frays were saying, especially since the Spanish government obviously didn’t believe them.  Those pueblo Indians who didn’t want to accept Spanish authority, left to live at the pueblos or with the Apache and the Navajo Indians.  

Those Indians that remained were employed building large adobe churches for the missionaries.  There were some Indians that were forced or coerced to engage in tasks that were against the beliefs and culture.  In the event that the Indians resisted the padres, they might be severely punished.  Both the frays and Spanish soldados carried out necessary punishment.  Indians could suffer many punishments such as whipping or being placed in stocks.  Some had their heads shaved, forcing them to live in disgrace.  

The Españoles were attempting to inculcate concepts of social order, Catholicism, and Spanish culture in the natives.  First, one must understand the Spanish missionary program.  It was designed to bring about a total conversion of the Indian.  The system’s intent was to change them from being religious pagans into Christians and from Indians with a tribal mentality to Hispanicized tax-paying Spanish vecinos.  This was the nature of Spanish governance and culture. Each day their overseers, those missionaries, lay helpers, headmen from a particular resident native band, or possibly members of the soldados' families would lead worker groups of Indians outside the mision walls to their labores or farm lands.  

By necessity, farming was one of the main occupations of the communities in their absolute requirement to become a self-sufficient region.  The crops they tended could include maíz (corn), beans, chile, squash, melons, cotton, and sugar cane.  Orchards might produce apples, peaches, grapes and other fruits.  An agricultural watering system of gravity-fed irrigation ditches called acequias was used as a lifeline to the fields and orchards.  It brought needed water which was diverted from a nearby river or stream by means of dams.  

The raising of livestock played a very important role in mision life.  A ready supply of meat for consumption and beasts of burden was a necessity.  At first, the ejidos, or common lands lying between the misiones, villas, and presidio were used for grazing with the eventual purpose of cultivation.  Given the placement of settlements along the river, the ejidos abutted farmlands.  As the size of herds grew, it was natural to find them intruding onto neighboring farmland and common lands.  As a consequence, other lands which were allotted and soon utilized for grazing beyond the locations near the misiones, presidio, and villas would begin to be used more heavily.  

As the population of Españoles and Mestizos, or mixed bloods grew they would soon outnumber the Pueblos.  The Repartimiento System established to provide native labor for the settlements, farms, and the ranchos was a reality which one might call a necessary evil.  With time, the native population patterns followed the course of the main rivers and their tributaries.  Later, more farms and ranchos would be established in the fertile river valles.  This same labor force would also be used to build the new villas and continue working Spanish farms and ranchos.  It should now be apparent that rapid progress along these lines was the agenda for the Spanish Gobernadors for expansion of the number of Pobladores in the Provincia.  

The Partido System was also established to further expand the sheep flocks needed as an all important food source and for commodities sales and usage.  Via a contract between the patron or sheep owner and the pastor or shepherd, a pastor was entrusted with a flock of sheep.  He took them into the mountains for grazing.  After an agreed upon period of time, the sheep were returned to the patron.  Once accounts were settled, the pastor was given a percentage of the flock as previously agreed to in the contract.  That percentage was usually based upon the risks the pastor had undertaken while caring for the flock.  It is possible that the flock’s growth may have off-set the cost of the sheep being offered.  

Housing for the de Riberas and others was at a premium.  Although most of the homes built by the Spanish Pobladores were adobe, it wasn't the material of choice but rather necessity.  There were few forests or large quantities of rock readily available for them to use.  So they built with what they had.  Fortunately, the Spanish Pobladores were familiar with adobe architecture.  Nowhere is the Spanish Arabic influence more apparent than in these Nuevo Mundo adobe structures and architecture.  The Hornos or round adobe bread baking ovens, and the arches in Spanish style architecture, are of Arabic derivation taken from España to the Nuevo Mundo.  

The Pueblo Indians had also been building with adobe for hundreds of years.  There were many advantages and benefits for choosing to build with adobe.  For the settlement builders of adobe it was probably the easiest material with which to construct. Since it is made of mud it is easy to cut and shape.  The mortar used to bond the bricks together is also mudding.  Adobe was also an ideal material because of its thermal mass properties, solar.  It retained some of the day's heat into the cold night.


When the de Riberas arrived, they and the others introduced several technological innovations.  The Indian technique of "puddled adobe" construction was replaced with wooden forms.  In this way adobe bricks of regular size and shape could be produced.  The adobe was a brick made from mud.  The traditional adobe block was fashioned in an approximate 10"X14" and 4" thick shape.  

Today, we understand that the ideal combination of mixing materials is approximately twenty percent clay and eighty percent sand.  First, the materials are mixed with water.  When ready, the mud is then poured into forms to shape the blocks.  Next, as soon as the block will retain its shape the form is removed.  Later, the brick is left to dry in the sun.  After a few days, the bricks are turned on their side to quicken the drying time.  A few days later, the bricks are ready to be moved and stacked.  The entire process where the bricks reach their full strength, or are cured, is 30 days.  

When the de Riberas were using adobe to build with, they would have added straw to their mix. To their disappointment large cracks would have developed in the adobe bricks as they were drying. The Españoles of the period believed that the straw provided strength, thinking that with the addition of the straw the adobes wouldn't crack.  Today, we know that these cracks are caused by excessive clay in the mix. When the proper amount of clay is used there is no need to add straw.  For health reasons, the use of straw should have also been avoided.  It is a food source for insects.


Both Spanish homes and misiones were constructed of the material.  Even though the adobe requires yearly remudding due to the ravages of the rain and snow, its beauty and its ability to retain heat in the winter and coolness in the summer made it ideal building material for the mountains of Nuevo Méjico.  

In that world of hostile Indians and predatory animals it was fortunate that the Spanish Pobladores were able to manufacture their building material in their own enclosed, walled-in courtyards.  In that way whole families participated in the mixing of the mud while close to their weapons.  After mixing of the mud and straw with their feet in pits, the de Riberas would have then poured the mud into simple wooden forms.  

First, the abundant adobe mixture for bricks, plaster, roofing, and flooring was finished.  The adobe walls surrounding their homes and the homes themselves would have then been constructed.  Hard adobe bricks were stacked together to build the walls.  Then the walls would be spread by hand with about ¼” of wet adobe, creating a smooth surface inside and out.  Stout wooden beams (vigas) and slender poles (latias) were used to make the ceiling.  Then adobe would be applied on top of that to create a hard adobe roof.  The walls would next be covered with a coat of mud plaster.  Often, white wash was applied to the walls to brighten the interior.  

These adobe buildings often needed repairs after a periodic heavy rainstorm.  Fresh adobe was then plastered over any cracks in the walls.  The Españoles of Nuevo Méjico would also have restored and preserved their adobe churches and homes by the traditional annual remudding.  For example, parishioners at the San Francisco de Asís Church in Ranchos de Taos would the church a fresh coat of mud each year, and as the photos of the church in the 1920s C.E. reveal, the church has evolved considerably even since that time.  Normal care and yearly remudding would have kept the de Riberas actively involved in the maintenance and survival of their homes.  

The Hacienda de los Martínez (one of my progenitors) is one of the few northern Nuevo Méjico style late Spanish Period, "Great Houses" remaining in the American Southwest.  Built in 1804 C.E. by Severino Martín (later changed to Martínez), this fortress-like building with massive adobe walls became an important trade center for the northern boundary of the el Imperio Español.  The Hacienda was the final terminus for the Camino Real, which connected northern Nuevo Méjico to Méjico City.  The Hacienda also was the headquarters for an extensive ranching and farming operation.  

and his wife María del Carmel Santistevan Martínez raised six children in the Hacienda.  Their eldest son was the famous Padre Antonio Martínez who battled the French Bishop Lamy to preserve the Hispanic character of the Catholic Church in the territory.  The Padre was a dynamic social reformer who created the first co-educational school in Nuevo Méjico and brought the first printing press to Taos.

Martínez Kitchen


After Mexican Independence from España in 1821 C.E., Severino Martínez and his family became active in trading with the Americanos who were bringing badly needed trade goods into Nuevo Méjico by the Santa Fé Trail.  

The soldados would continue to protect the pobladores and Indians from attack and destruction.  By the 1700s C.E., the presidios were the hub of Spanish life in the Nueva Méjico.  The pattern of these early Nueva Méjico presidios was learned from the Moros and dates from the time of the Reconquista in España.  They were designed to protect.  As the Españoles were settling more of the northern frontier of La Nueva España, little had changed.  It is the fourth Virrey of La Nueva España, Martín Enríquez (1568 C.E.-1580 C.E.), who is generally credited with originating the presidios of the Southwest.  He ordered the construction of Casas Fuertes or fortified houses, along the main road from Méjico City north to Zacatecas.  Eventually the name was changed to presidio, from Latin praesidium, "garrisoned place."  

These Presidios were constructed of local building materials.  Sometimes adobe was used, at other times log.  Where stone was available it was preferred for permanent structures.  A presidio included storage facilities, a chapel, and quarters for officers and men.  The only openings were a main gate, which locked from the inside, and sometimes a rear gate.  The forts were typically square or rectangular with some walls ten feet high.  On two diagonal corners, round bastions (torreones) were placed.  These rose above the walls of the presidio and were pierced with firing ports, through which soldados could fire down the length of all four walls at attackers.  There were occasional variations.  At Los Adaes in East Tejas, wooden palisades and diamond shaped bastions were employed.  Walls contained these buildings eighteen feet apart, the roofs of which were high enough to serve as parapets from which men also could fire over the walls.  

As the Spanish frontier continued to expand northward from central Méjico, populations grew and institutions for supporting Spanish settlement were born.  These were the mision, the presidio, and the civil settlements.  By necessity, the Spanish frontier misiones were accompanied by the protective presidios.

           Founded April 21, 1782 C.E., the Santa Barbara Royal Presidio  

To compound an already difficult situation, Spanish frontier soldados critical to control of the Pueblos were underpaid and lacked the necessary power to effectively carry out their duties.  These soldados, my ancestors, have been mistakenly characterized by uninformed historians as weak and often belittled.  Perhaps this has to do with the apparent bias of Anglo-American, Northern European, and non-Spanish historians and commentators subconsciously burdened by a need to color everything Spanish with the tinge of the “Conquistador” or the Black Legend.  

In reality, these same soldados were courageous, appreciated, and respected frontiersmen.  They were faithful to España and its pobladores.  My forefathers fought with valor.  It should also be mentioned that the laws of España during this period rigidly controlled the conduct of soldados during wars, even when the Native tribes were hostile.  The Soldados were responsible and well-managed fighters.  This is quite a different picture from that which is painted by those that are anti-Spanish.  

By the end of the 18th-Century C.E., the few hundred pobladores, soldados, and their family members who had accompanied de Vargas would grow to more than ten thousand souls and the trail from Méjico City to Santa Fé would become El Camino Real, the "Royal Road.”  The hardy Corriente cattle that they brought with them would be allowed to free range from 1600's C.E. forward.  These would evolve through the process of natural selection and some help by these Spanish rancheros or ganaderos in two hundred years into a breed, which is now, termed "Tejas Longhorn."  

These Españoles would continue to experience constant raids by the Apaches and Navajos seeking cattle and sheep.  The loose tribal ways of the Apacheans confounded the Españoles who swore an absolute allegiance to their formal institutions that were both hierarchical and bureaucratic. They could not understand the roaming, undisciplined, raiding ways of these tribes. The ideals of hard work and discipline were a part of the cultural and religious fabric of the Nuevo Mundo Españoles.  

As time progressed, the Corona Española and the Roman Catholic Church would continue to control every aspect of Spanish life throughout the Empire.  It was through this exacting, highly rigid societal structure, narrow application of theology, and lifestyle that the Españoles attempted to inculcate and instill the attitudes of good behavior, Christian ideals, and religious habits via persistent instruction of Spanish culture in the Indians.  As a direct result, conditions for the Indians would improve but not to the degree necessary.  The Pueblo Indians resisted the rigid Spanish culture.  They remained confused by the constant infighting by Spanish civil and church authorities.  

The pity is that earlier in 1540 C.E., when the Hopi met Coronado’s tenientes that they thought that the two faiths could be united into one religion leading to a brotherhood of faith.  The Pueblo Indian attitude toward Christianity was that religion was a means for establishing harmony with the universe.  They liked the color and sound of the Catholic rituals.  If learning the new religion would help establish this harmony, then the Indians were willing to learn its doctrines and integrate them into their own religious beliefs. In fact, Saint James, Saint Isidore and Saint Rafael were included into the katchinas of the Indians.  They related the Christ of the Españoles to Pohe-Yomo who was a similar cultural hero.  The Río Grande Pueblos had the same idea as the Hopi, but the Franciscan frays would never consider such a union.  

With the Spanish return and retaking of the land along the Río Grande, resettlement would only be successful when they finally became more tolerant of indigenous religious practices alongside Catholicism.  With a newfound tolerance, worship among the Pueblos became a fascinating blend of tribal practices and Catholicism.  And only because of this tolerance would the Españoles thrive.  My forefathers the de Riberas and Quintanas were some of these.  Another family line, the Lucero de Godoy, had arrived with the other Españoles in 1599 C.E. and had been driven out by the Indians in 1680 C.E.  They too returned.  The Ceballos would come later.  All of these learned to tolerate the native religions and their practices. Time is the ultimate healer of all wounds.  

As the Spanish government officials were obliged by the Corona to cooperate with the missionaries, that cooperation was minimal at best.  Their confronting of  each other over the exploitation of the Indians became a continual source of conflict.  Fortunately, the government had established a separation of governance.  The Pueblo municipal governments handled minor political and judicial affairs.  With the area then divided into pueblo governments and religious sections, governmental systems and religious structures were securely in place.  Nuevo Méjico's division of seven religious sections with one Franciscan fray in charge of each district was how Church authority was delegated.  Its rigidity had been its downfall. It would continue to be a thorn in their side.  

Here, we must explore a reality that cannot easily be put aside.  To be sure, the Spanish system of tribute established to collect taxes from the Natives was to continue.  These heavy taxes levied on the Indians were in the form of the Encomienda and Repartimiento systems, a routine part of Spanish settlements.  The Encomienda System had been instituted by España in 1503 C.E. granting a Spanish soldado or vecino a tract of land or a village together with its Indian inhabitants.  In the Repartimiento System natives were forced to do low-paid or unpaid labor for a certain number of weeks or months each year on Spanish-owned farms, mines, workshops (obrajes), and public projects.  With the New Laws of 1542 C.E., the repartimiento was instituted to substitute the Encomienda System that had come to be seen as abusive and promoting unethical behavior.  

In short, the systems required Indians to pay their taxes using food, blankets, and labor.  This is considered to have been the major deterrent to a successful Spanish settlement policy in Nuevo Méjico.  Inappropriate actions by the Españoles toward the Indians and the greed of some Spanish gobernadores, missionaries, vecinos, and soldados resulted in the exploitation of the Native.  As stated earlier, based upon the most dependable information available about that period, one of the major causes of the Indian insurrection of 1680 C.E. was the encomienda demands.  This is not to say that it was the only one, but one of many.  

Admittedly, Spanish cultural, religious and economic interventions went well beyond these systems.  The total effect of Spanish La Nueva España upon the Provincia of Nuevo Méjico resulted in a dramatic change to tribal customs and religious traditions.  It must be acknowledged that these altered the balance of Indian life in many ways.  It should also be offered that this is the way of the world.  When one culture achieves dominance at the expense of another, one must suffer and lessen in potency.  One can think of Rome over Greece in this vein.  

With all things there is a natural order which is established over time.  Some of the native inhabitants of the area were hunter-gatherers, others nomadic.  There were also natives given to raiding and the stealing of property and persons.  Those that didn’t raid were in need of powerful friends for protection.  Before the arrival of the Españoles, the Indians of the Provincia had been under and remained under the continual pressure of exploitation and dominance from the marauding nomadic tribes who frequently encroached upon their lands.  As a direct result of Spanish involvement in the region existing tribal alliances were shifted and new rivalries developed.  The relationship was one of joint dependence.  The Españoles needed labor and the Indians needed protection.  With the superiority of Spanish weapons some tribes gained the upper hand, attacking at will.  As a result, many weaker Indian tribes lost their land, families, and lives.  

In addition, a more ominous threat came with the introduction and spread of European diseases that in time decimated their native populations.  Struggling under such hardships, they proved fertile ground for Spanish missionaries.  The embattled Indians quickly accepted the offers made by the Españoles for help.  Many of the Indians accepted the Christian faith others did not.  Some may have accepted the Españoles as a necessary evil.  Still others viewed the Españoles as just another intruder, enemy in their world.  Conversely, frequent hostile actions against the Spanish pobladores by the marauding Indians led to mistrust of Nuevo Méjico Indians.  These and many other contributing factors kept the Españoles from fulfilling their goals for the area.  

With time and the inevitable clash of cultures came changes to the population of Pueblo Indians in Nuevo Méjico. It had once numbered between 40,000 to 50,000, but had now dwindled to 17,000 due to disease, starvation, hostilities of neighboring tribes, and battles with the Españoles.  During this period the few pockets of hardy Spanish pobladores who ventured into the grasslands fought hard to dominate the land and the Indians.  The estancias needed land for grazing.  Their cows were prolific.  

By the late 1600s C.E. and early 1700s C.E., the Native pueblos were well on their way to having less than three hundred inhabitants by the late 1800s C.E.  Smaller and having a diminishing population the once-powerful pueblos were in decline.  The threat of warring Comanches led to abandonment of farm land.  This coupled with drought, brought famine.  Hundreds died from epidemics and many moved away. It is safe to say without prejudice in the matter that the Españoles had won the land and the Indians had suffered for it. Whether by war, disease, or famine the native culture, religion, and technological capability had been eclipsed by European knowledge and tenacity.

01/27/2016 01:26:52 PM