May 17 (May 7, o.s.)

Massachusetts: In the evening Mercy Lewis, who lived as a servant in George Burroughs’s household in Maine for a time when she was younger, claims to see the apparition of the clergyman, now jailed in Salem Town awaiting questioning. The specter brings her a “new-fashion book” and tells her that she can write in it because it is a book that was in his study when she lived with him. She doesn’t recognize the book, however, and refuses to write in it. He replies that there were a lot of books in his study that she didn’t see and says that he can raise the Devil and that he bewitched one of her cousins in Salem Village. Mercy asks how he can bewitch someone in the Village while being held in the Town, and he answers that the Devil is his servant and “he sent him in his shape to do it.” He also says that he recruited Abigail Hobbs, who confessed to being a witch on April 19, as well as several others, into Satan’s forces. He then tortures Mercy terribly in an attempt to get her to sign the book, which she still refuses to do.

New Mexico: Secretary of government and war Juan Páez Hurtado returns to Governor Vargas with the response of Father Hinojosa to the governor’s acceptance of his petition for possession of churches the previous day, and Vargas orders that acts of possession for the churches be carried out but that the request for further temporal authority over the Indians’ land be denied, since it would introduce separate authorities over the Indians and the Spanish settlers who live among them at the pueblos, which in Vargas’s view can only lead to mistrust and conflict between the two groups. He sends Páez to give word of this decision to Hinojosa, who responds that he will accept the governor’s limited grant of possession of the churches but insists that temporal authority over the Indians’ land is very much the responsibility of the priests, citing a royal decree and a decision of the Holy Council of Lima as justification for his view.

Despite this conflict, Vargas, Páez, and two squadrons of soldiers go to the church of El Paso, Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe del Paso, to grant possession of it to Father Hinojosa.  The governor and the priest enter the church and walk around it holding hands while Vargas loudly proclaims that he is granting possession of it in the king’s name and Hinojosa lifts and replaces the items on the altar, opens and closes all the doors, and removes and replaces the lid of the baptismal font.  The two men then leave the church and the governor loudly proclaims that he is giving possession of land sufficient for the maintenance of the church and its personnel, with the exact land to be used for this purpose not specified because the arid climate and shifting course of the river mean that a given parcel of land cannot be farmed indefinitely.  Rather than gaining possession of specific lots, therefore, Hinojosa is to select whatever land he deems best for the church’s use, up to the amount specified by the governor, with the provision that area residents, both Indian and Spanish, are to have preference in selecting lands for their own use before church lands are chosen.  Having proclaimed all this, Vargas gives Hinojosa documents certifying it.

Published in: on May 17, 2008 at 12:00 am  Comments (1)  

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  1. […] of New Mexico, sends a petition to Governor Vargas protesting the governor’s refusal on May 17 to grant the religious authorities jurisdiction over all the lands of the Indians along with the […]

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