April 9 (March 30, o.s.)

New Mexico: Governor Vargas writes to Juan Isidro de Pardiñas, the governor of Nueva Vizcaya, to advise him of his plans for the reconquest of New Mexico. He intends to leave El Paso in early July, cross the Rio Grande, and proceed up toward Santa Fe. He requests that his letter be made public on a feast day so that the people of Nueva Vizcaya are aware of his plans. He is particularly concerned that the people who came from New Mexico after the Pueblo Revolt and settled in various parts of Nueva Vizcaya know what is happening, as he wishes to entice them to join in on the expedition and offers to provide for them food, hot chocolate, and weapons for those who don’t have them, and to exempt them from keeping watch at night or conducting reconnaissance missions for the duration of their service in the reconquest. He is not very well-disposed toward these people, whom he regards as ungrateful rebels for settling in Nueva Vizcaya instead of remaining in what is left of New Mexico (i.e., El Paso and the surrounding area). Nonetheless, he proposes a variety of enticements to get them to return and help him reconquer the lost territory. He also sends a letter to the Conde de Galve in Mexico City informing him of his letter to Pardiñas, complaining about the obstinacy of the New Mexicans in Nueva Vizcaya and their refusal to move to the El Paso area, and explaining that one of his main purposes in sending the letter to Pardiñas is to test the sincerity of the settlers in telling him that, while they refuse to move to New Mexico now, they will gladly participate in an expedition to reconquer the main part of it. Now that they are informed of the details of such an expedition, Vargas will see if they will act in accordance with their promises.

Vargas also sends a letter to his son-in-law in Spain, Ignacio López de Zárate, informing him of his plans for the reconquest and assuring him that he is in the process of acquiring the means to pay the 10,000-peso dowry that his aunt had promised López de Zárate in his name. He says that he is sending 400 pesos to Spain with the annual fleet to contribute to the dowry. López de Zárate had tried to collect the whole 10,000 pesos after signing the marriage contract, but, though Vargas could have borrowed the money, he elected not to take on that much debt at once and has been paying smaller sums to contribute to it over a longer period instead.

Published in: on April 9, 2008 at 12:00 am  Comments (3)  


  1. Teo, this is breathtaking. If I hadn’t promised not to bug you about coming to graduate school, I would be telling you right about now that you should really become a historian. Heck, you already are a historian; you might as well get paid for doing what you seem to love.

  2. All during 1692 my great-great….-great-aunt Elizabeth Emerson was sitting in jail waiting to be hanged the next year for infanticide and lewdness. On On June 8, 1693 she was hanged after a rousing sermon by Cotton Mather, which he described as one of his best ever (Cotton Mather, “Warnings From the Dead”, Boston 1693; Early American Works #665, pp. 35-67). She may have been the evillest white person Mather knew of, except maybe for the witches.

    No, I will never cease to brag about this famous ancestor of mine.

  3. If I had such royal blood flowing in my veins, John, you can bet I’d crow too.

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