April 17 (April 7, o.s.)

Massachusetts: Benjamin Gould, the Salem Town yeoman who saw the apparitions of Giles and Martha Corey by his bedside the preceding day, sees them again, along with the specters of John and Elizabeth Proctor, Rebecca Nurse, Sarah Cloyce, and Rachel Griggs, the wife of the doctor who initially diagnosed witchcraft in Betty Parris and Abigail Williams.

New Mexico: Governor Vargas sends two letters to the Conde de Galve, one informing him in detail of his plans for the reconquest of New Mexico in which he mentions that Governor Otermín unsuccessfully attempted a reconquest in 1681 but implies that his own attempt will be more successful. He says that he has all the supplies he needs to launch the expedition, which he intends to start on July 12 by sending the squad in charge of guarding the few horses he has across the Rio Grande, with the horses in their charge, as well as the supplies, to follow immediately after them. Once the horses and supplies have safely crossed the river, the rest of the force will follow, including Vargas and his soldiers, 100 Indian allies, some mule trains to carry supplies, and a herd of cattle. The force will then proceed north along the Rio Grande valley to Cochiti Pueblo, where Otermín’s men, suspecting a trap, turned back, and then on to Santa Fe. Vargas declares that he will vanquish all opposition to his expedition and attempt to convert the rebel Indians he encounters, for which purpose he will have with him three or four missionaries for whom he will take personal responsibility. If the Indians resist conversion and capitulation, he will attack them and spare only the small children. He only requires from the viceroy fifty more soldiers so that he can both secure the expedition as it travels and leave the El Paso garrison in security while he is gone. He mentions in this connection frequent raids by Apaches.

Vargas’s other letter to the viceroy concerns his attempts to entice the former New Mexicans living in Nueva Vizcaya to return and join his expedition. He has carried out the viceroy’s orders to offer them rewards and honors to win them back, though he explains that he objects strongly to this approach, as the settlers (or their ancestors) were originally settled in New Mexico at great expense to the royal treasury and are thus, in his opinion, obligated to assist in its reconquest no matter how they feel about that. He argues that, although he has and will continue to carry out his orders in this matter, the loyal settlers who remained at El Paso should be given preference in the distribution of honors and rewards.

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Published in: on April 17, 2008 at 12:00 am  Comments Off on April 17 (April 7, o.s.)  
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