September 15 (September 5, o.s.)

Jamaica: The Council meets and orders the impressment of a sloop to salvage the sunken armaments at Port Royal.  President John White having recently died and been succeeded by John Bourden, the councilors order that Bourden be given the same perquisites of office that White got.  They also order that the owner of the Richard and Sarah be paid for the use of his ship by the government in the aftermath of the earthquake, with the navy to be charged for this payment.

Massachusetts: The people from Reading and Gloucester charged with witchcraft on September 3 are brought to Salem for questioning by the magistrates.  Most steadfastly maintain their innocence even in the face of dramatic accusations by the rapidly expanding group of afflicted persons and confessors and intense pressure from the judges to confess, but one, Mary Taylor of Reading, finally breaks down and confesses after the previous confessor Samuel Wardwell and Major Jeremiah Swayne, the brother of her chief accuser Mary Marshall, both accuse her of killing Wardwell’s brother-in-law.  She doesn’t admit to that specific charge or to having been baptized by the Devil, but she does say that she wished Marshall ill after she accused her and that she signed the Devil’s birch rind at some point.  In the end, all the people questioned are sent to jail.

After the examinations are over with, Thomas Dodd of Marblehead appears before the magistrates to file charges against Nicholas Frost of Piscataqua, Maine, for bewitching his daughter Johanna.

New Mexico: At dawn Antonio Bolsas, the Pueblo Indian of Santa Fe who speaks Spanish and played a role in the negotiations on September 13, arrives at the tent of Governor Vargas and tells him that Luis Picurí, the leader of all the Pueblos, is at San Juan Pueblo and knows that Vargas is in Santa Fe and what has happened there.  He says Picurí is happy about the peace Vargas has brought and the pardon he has given to the Pueblos for their revolt in 1680, and that he is happy to accept Christianity, but that he is worried that he personally, as the leader of the Pueblos, is at risk because there are rumors that the king has ordered Vargas to seize him and take him back to Spain.  Vargas replies to Bolsas at length, addressing Picurí’s doubts and concerns, and tells him to hurry to Tesuque Pueblo, where Picurí will be next, according to the information given by the local Pueblo leader Domingo when Vargas spoke to him the day before and gave him a message and a rosary to bring to Picurí.  When Bolsas arrives at Tesuque, he is to relate to Picurí what Vargas told him to assuage his concerns.

After Bolsas leaves, bound for Tesuque, Vargas and the Franciscan missionaries accompanying his expedition go to the plaza, where they find that the Indians have already set up an altar and are ready for the priests to conduct a mass.  One of the priests, Francisco Corvera, gives a sermon, which is translated into Tewa by the interpreter Pedro Hidalgo, in which he exhorts the people to come the next day with their children who were born after the revolt so that they can be baptized.  (The weather is rather bad today, so baptism has to be postponed.)  After the sermon the priests continue with the mass, with Hidalgo translating.  After the mass is finished, Vargas speaks to the people, telling them to pray twice a day.  He looks to see how many of the people are wearing crosses around their necks as he ordered, and is gratified to see that most are.  He tells those who aren’t to put them on so that the Devil will leave them.  The people are very receptive to all this and seem happy to return to Christianity, and Vargas returns to camp satisfied.

Around 5:00 pm Vargas sees a group of Indians coming toward Santa Fe on the road from Tesuque.  Some are on foot and fully armed, and others are riding behind them on horseback, also fully armed.  Most are wearing leather jackets.  They stop at the fortress on the plaza, and the people there come out to receive them and direct them to Vargas’s campsite.

Soon after this, three Indians arrive at the campsite and tell Vargas that they were sent by Luis Picurí to request a meeting.  The governor eagerly agrees to the request, and the men return to transmit the message. When Picurí, who is waiting across an arroyo from the campsite, hears what they have to say, he dismounts and walks across the arroyo with his escort.  They are all wearing leather jackets, and Picurí is wearing on his head a band of woven yucca fibers with a heart-shaped shell in the middle, above his forehead.  He stops shortly before he gets to Vargas’s tent and bows three times, then proceeds to the tent, where Vargas comes out and receives him warmly, embracing him.  Picurí shows Vargas a small silver image of Jesus and a small piece of taffeta with an image of the Virgin of Guadalupe printed on it.  He is wearing the rosary that Vargas sent him through Domingo, and he also shows the governor an Angus Dei token that he habitually wears. These mementos serve to symbolize his sincerity in accepting Christianity again.  Vargas appreciates the gestures, and warmly welcomes Picurí, telling him that he will be safe.  He shows him the image of the Virgin Mary on the royal standard as a gesture of his own sincerity.  He then asks him to enter the tent, which he does, and offers him chocolate, which he drinks along with Vargas and both men’s retinues.  Vargas tells him that he will leave him in his position, with the responsibility of making sure that the Indians are good Christians, and that he will report only to the governor himself.  He concludes by saying that he has not come to New Mexico to make a profit, but to save the souls of the Indians, and that he needs nothing and is asking for nothing.

Night is now beginning to fall, so Vargas orders that Picurí be given a horse on which to ride out.  Picurí accepts the gift gratefully and offers Vargas some animal hides, saying that he knows the governor doesn’t need them but that he is giving them as a symbol of peace.  Vargas therefore accepts them do demonstrate his own good intentions.  Picurí then leaves, saying that he will return in the morning to talk at greater length.

Published in: on September 15, 2008 at 12:00 am  Comments (1)  

One Comment

  1. […] are met by Luis Picurí, the leader of all the Tewa pueblos and their allies who met with Vargas on September 15 and 16, and his brother Antonio, who escort them into the plaza of the pueblo, where a new room […]

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