September 16 (September 6, o.s.)

Massachusetts: The Court of Oyer and Terminer convenes in Salem for its third session.  The first order of business is the trial of Dorcas Hoar of Beverly, who was indicted by the grand jury on July 2.  The trial follows the usual pattern, with testimony from the afflicted persons first, followed by evidence from Hoar’s neighbors in Beverly about suspicious behavior going back years, especially fortune-telling.  John Hale, the minister in Beverly, also testifies about his conversations with her over the years covering many issues, including her fortune-telling, that raised suspicions about her.  Hoar has little to say in her defense, and the jury has no trouble convicting her.

New Mexico: Luis Picurí, the leader of the Tewa, Tano and Picuris Pueblos, comes to Governor Vargas’s tent around 8:00 am with the leaders of the Pueblos under his command.  Vargas welcomes them warmly and offers them breakfast.  He then summons his interpreters to help with his conversations with Picurí.  First, however, he uses them to talk to the large crowd of Indians that has gathered around his tent, reassuring them of his good intentions.

Before Vargas can begin discussing things of importance with Picurí, he needs to have the priests absolve him of guilt for his apostasy in the 1680 revolt.  They do so, and Vargas embraces him afterward and tells him that he is now a child of God.  The leaders then sit down and get down to business.

Vargas tells Picurí that he needs to visit all the Pueblos because he needs to give the king an account of them.  He says he will take the priests with him to absolve the people at each place they visit, and mentions that the men who married women in Catholic ceremonies before the revolt will need to return to their wives if they have left them.  He also says that all the children born since the revolt will need to be baptized.

Picurí replies that it will be difficult for Vargas to visit the Pueblos, since most of the people have abandoned them for the more easily defensible mesas and mountains.  He suggests that the governor instead return to El Paso and come back at some point within the next year to stay permanently.  By that time Picurí should have all the people convinced to come back to their Pueblos, and it will be easier for Vargas to visit them.

Vargas says that that won’t work for him, since it would take so long and he doesn’t have that much time.  He says he will just go to the Pueblos now and wait for them to come down, as he is not afraid of them and needs to give an account of them to the king.  He will send for the rest of his men, whom he has left a ways behind to avoid frightening the Indians, to help him out on the journeys to the Pueblos.

Picurí turns to his companions, the leaders of the Pueblos under his command.  They decide to take advantage of Vargas’s eagerness to visit all the Pueblos to deal with some political problems of their own.  Picurí turns back to Vargas and suggests that he begin by going to the Pueblos of Pecos and Taos, which are friendly with his enemies, the Faraón Apaches.  If possible, Vargas should try to get these Pueblos to unite with the others as allies under Spanish rule.  If he cannot, Picurí’s people and the Spanish can unite to attack and defeat them.  In either case, once Vargas gets back from Pecos and Taos Picurí will have his people back in their Pueblos and ready for their own visitations.  Vargas likes this plan, and decides on September 20 as the day he will set out for Pecos after morning mass.  If he is successful there, he will move on to Taos, and from there to Jemez and San Felipe, which he has been informed are also hostile to Picurí.  This plan pleases everyone.

Picurí then asks for permission to have his people come to Vargas’s campsite with their trade goods, which the governor grants.  People are then coming and going all day with goods, and Picurí hangs around to greet them and put them at ease.  In the late afternoon he prepares to leave, first asking Vargas’s permission to take along two of the Spanish soldiers, Juan Ruiz de Cáceres and Miguel Luján, so that they can go to San Juan Pueblo to see some relatives of theirs there.  Vargas freely grants permission, saying they can be gone for two days, not including today.

Published in: on September 16, 2008 at 12:00 am  Comments (2)  


  1. […] Pueblo and the brother of Luis Picurí, the leader of all the pueblos who met with Vargas on September 16, arrives at Vargas’s campsite.  Vargas receives him with the same courtesy and hospitality […]

  2. […] 1 (September 21, o.s.) Massachusetts: Dorcas Hoar, who was convicted of witchcraft on September 6 and is scheduled to be executed on September 22, suddenly and unexpectedly confesses, leading the […]

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