September 14 (September 4, o.s.)

New Mexico: Governor Vargas, seeking to consolidate his great triumph of the previous day in which he got the Indians of Santa Fe to submit and accept Christianity and Spanish rule, goes in the morning from his campsite to the fortress on the plaza accompanied by the military leaders of his expedition and the priests.  The guards who have been on watch overnight tell him that many people have been coming into and going out of the fortress, and that he will be at risk if he goes in unarmed and dressed in his finery, as he intends.  He rejects their advice and orders all the soldiers to stay back and only fire at his express order.

When the governor arrives at the fortress, he enters with his companions and finds himself at the interior patio, where there is a cross set up in accordance with his command of the previous day.  There are only a few people around, however, and they eye him warily as he kneels and kisses the cross.  They tell him that the soldiers who are with him should not come in, because the women and children are afraid of them, and he dutifully orders them to withdraw.

When the soldiers are gone, the people of the fortress begin to come down from their houses.  Once they are all in the patio, Vargas tells them through interpreters that he is there to pardon them and bring them back to the king of Spain.  He then leads them in repeating an oath of allegiance to the king, and the missionaries offer a prayer of thanksgiving.

One of the missionaries, Francisco Corvera, gives a sermon, which is translated by an interpreter.  The priests then recite the Te Deum and absolve the assembled people of their sin of apostasy.  After that, Vargas embraces each of the people again and shakes their hands.  He then takes his leave of them and orders his soldiers not to fire shots of celebration, because people coming in from the surrounding Pueblos to submit may misinterpret the sound of gunfire as indicating an outbreak of fighting and stay away.

Around noon, when the governor is back at the campsite, Domingo, the Pueblo leader who assisted him in convincing the people to surrender, arrives and tells him that Luis Picurí of Picuris Pueblo, the governor of all the Pueblos, has sent word that he will come see him the next day.  He is currently away on a visit to the Navajos.  Vargas is happy to hear the message, and tells Domingo to relay the message that Picurí can come see him without fear.  As a token of his sincerity, he gives Domingo a rosary to pass along.  Domingo promises to pass along the rosary and the message, and departs.

Later, around 4:00 pm, the leaders of the Pueblos of Tesuque, San Lázaro and San Cristóbal come to Vargas’s camp to greet him and render their obeisance.  He speaks to them in friendly terms, and they are pleased.

Published in: on September 14, 2008 at 12:00 am  Comments Off on September 14 (September 4, o.s.)  
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