June 19 (June 9, o.s.)

New Mexico: Governor Vargas, following up on his June 17 letter to the Conde de Galve, sends him another letter excitedly reporting that he has been talking to residents of El Paso who lived in New Mexico before the revolt of 1680 who have told him that the province was constantly riven by disputes between the Franciscan priests and the secular authorities. Vargas considers the nature of the disputes described to him to constitute clear evidence that the priests have no right to temporal authority over the Indians’ lands, which is the underlying issue in the quarrel between him and Father Hinojosa about which he wrote to the viceroy.  He cites an order on the subject by the Conde de Monterrey when he was viceroy of New Spain giving detailed instructions to the priests and defining the relationship between their authority and that of the secular government.  The Conde de Monterrey was viceroy from 1595 to 1603, during the very earliest period of settlement in New Mexico, so if disputes continued down to a time that would be remembered by those still living this decree must not have been very effective, but Vargas uses it more to demonstrate what he considers the proper interpretation of the law regardless of how it has played out in practice.

Published in: on June 19, 2008 at 12:00 am  Comments (1)  

One Comment

  1. […] departments but cannot find any record of the decree mentioned by Governor Vargas in his letter of June 19. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)August 11 (August 1, o.s.) Published […]

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