October 31 (October 21, o.s.)

New Mexico: Governor Vargas and his reconquest expedition leave their campsite at the abandoned Pueblo of Isleta and march as far as the Rio Puerco.  After crossing the river, which is so deep that the men have to carry their supplies on their shoulders as they cross it, the expedition makes camp for the night.

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October 30 (October 20, o.s.)

New Mexico: Governor Vargas leaves his campsite at the hacienda of Mejía, accompanied by his military commanders, 89 soldiers, and 30 Indian allies, bound for the west, where the rebellious Zunis and Hopis are still unpacified by the governor’s reconquest effort.  They march as far as the abandoned Pueblo of Isleta, where they camp for the night.

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October 29 (October 19, o.s.)

Massachusetts: Thomas Brattle, the Boston merchant who wrote a widely circulated letter attacking the Court of Oyer and Terminer on October 8, and Increase Mather, a prominent Boston minister who has become increasingly skeptical recently about the court’s conduct of witchcraft trials (and the father of the strongly pro-court minister Cotton Mather), go to the jail in Salem and talk to some of the women from Andover being held there after confessing to witchcraft.  Although some of the women stand by their confessions, many retract them and say they only confessed after being strongly pressured by the judges.

New Mexico: The muster of redeemed captives ordered by Governor Vargas the previous day is conducted, and once it is complete the captives depart from the reconquest expedition’s campsite at the abandoned hacienda of Mejía, accompanied by the soldiers and Indian allies also returning to El Paso.

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October 28 (October 18, o.s.)

Jamaica: The Council meets in Port Royal.  HMS Mordaunt is ordered to cruise around the island as far as St. Ann’s Parish on the north-central coast.  M. Dumas at Petit Goave in St. Domingue is to be informed that the French sloop sailing under a flag of truce that was recently repaired in Jamaica and sent away took with it a French surgeon and his wife, who is an English subject.

Massachusetts: Twenty-six men from Andover send a petition to Governor Phips on behalf of their wives and other relatives who are in jail on witchcraft charges, pointing out that though most of them have confessed to witchcraft, many of them now say that they did so under duress and have now retracted their confessions.

New Mexico: Governor Vargas, his reconquest effort mostly complete, with only the distant Zunis and Hopis still to be pacified, notes that the weather is getting colder and that there has already been some snow.  This, along with the rigors of the campaign so far, is beginning to exhaust many of the Indian allies brought from El Paso, along with the horses and pack animals.  He therefore decides to send a substantial portion of the expedition back to El Paso, including the artillery.  He places Cristóbal de Tapia in command of the group to depart.  The captives discovered in the various pueblos who were taken in the 1680 revolt will also go to El Paso, and Vargas orders that a muster of them be taken before the group leaves.

Published in: on October 28, 2008 at 12:00 am  Comments (1)  

October 27 (October 17, o.s.)

Connecticut: Several ministers in Connecticut, asked for their opinions on the witchcraft trials in Fairfield by Governor Treat in preparation for reconvening the court there as suggested by the Council on October 13, reply that they have a few objections to the types of evidence offered at the trials.  They find swimming tests for witchcraft “unlawful and sinful” and therefore inappropriate as evidence, and state that the unusual excrescences found on the two women’s bodies should not be considered witches’ teats until they are examined by “able physicians” rather than the committees of women appointed by the court.  As for the testimony of Katharine Branch, the servant girl whose apparent afflictions were the catalyst for the whole affair, the ministers note that considerable evidence was presented at the initial trials casting doubt on her reliability, and they add that they are skeptical about the sort of spectral evidence presented in her testimony, given that human senses are fallible and the Devil is quite able to deceive.  They do, however, say that they find her fits “something strange” and say that they deserve “further inquiry.”  As for the testimony of other witnesses about such things as cattle falling ill after encounters with the women, they find the connection to witchcraft “slender and uncertain.”

New Mexico: Governor Vargas and his troops leave their campsite at Santa Ana Pueblo and march to the hacienda of Mejía, where they meet up with the rest of their expedition.  They find that everything is fine there and that all the soldiers and supplies got there safely.

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October 26 (October 16, o.s.)

New Mexico: Governor Vargas wakes at his campsite near the abandoned Pueblo of Jemez and attends morning mass.  After the mass some messengers arrive from the new Pueblo of Jemez bringing the supplies he requested when he was there the previous day, although due to the short notice the quantities are quite small.  He is grateful nonetheless, interpreting their fulfillment of the request as a symbol of their obedience, and he thanks the messengers and gives them gifts.  Once they depart he and his men break camp and march as far as the abandoned Pueblo of Santa Ana, where they make camp for the night.

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October 25 (October 15, o.s.)

New Mexico: Governor Vargas arrives with his small group of soldiers at the current Pueblo of Jemez, which is atop a steep mesa not far from the abandoned former Pueblo of Jemez.  As he begins the ascent, he is greeted by three hundred Jemez warriors armed with bows and arrows, and as he continues to the top they begin to give a war cry and crowd around the Spanish men, throwing dirt in their eyes and making aggressive gestures.  Captain Roque Madrid tells them to be still, but they reply that this behavior is a celebration of the coming of the Spanish and continue with it until they reach the top of the mesa.

When they get to the top, even more warriors from Jemez are there, and Vargas, remembering reports from the people of Taos about the active role of the Jemez in plotting conspiracies against the Spanish, quietly tells his men to have their weapons ready.  Putting on a brave front despite his nervousness, Vargas continues across the mesa until he gets to the front of the pueblo, where the governor, Sebastián, is standing with a cross in his hand, accompanied by five other leaders of the pueblo.  They greet Vargas when he arrives by kneeling.  Vargas dismounts and greets them, shaking their hands and embracing them.  They then lead him into the pueblo.  The other Spanish soldiers follow, then the rest of the Jemez warriors come in after them.  When they are all in the plaza, the Spanish notice that they are surrounded by the warriors, manny of whom are still holding their weapons.

Vargas turns to Sebastián and says that he sees a troubled look in his face and those of the other leadeers of the pueblo.  He then orders that all the women and children come down to the plaza.  Unlike in the other pueblos he has visited so far, where all the people were already present in the plaza to meet him, here only the armed men are present.

Some women and children gradually come down from their houses into the plaza, though not very many and they are still quite outnumbered by the warriors.  Vargas goes ahead and explains his mission of peace and forgiveness, with his words being translated by a Spanish-speaking war captain named Francisco, and officially pardons the people for their part in the 1680 revolt.  The priests accompanying him then grant the people absolution and baptize 117 people of all ages and both sexes.

Once the baptisms are complete, the leaders of the pueblo invite Vargas up to a second-story room to eat.  He is suspicious of their intentions, but, not wanting to give any impression of bad faith on his part, accepts the invitation and goes up, accompanied by his military officers and the priests.  They are fed and treated with great courtesy, which impresses Vargas greatly.  When he leaves the room after eating, he is met by several Apaches who are apparently staying in the same building.  They formally render obedience to him, and he tells them that he will be returning soon and that they should tell their people that he will only accept their friendship if they become Christians.  They are agreeable to this.

As he leaves the pueblo, Vargas tells the people that they should go down and reoccupy their old pueblo, which he will be passing by on his way out.  He also asks that they give him some supplies, which he pays for, and they agree to deliver them to his campsite the next morning.  He and his men then depart and march to a campsite near the abandoned pueblo, where they stop for the night.

Published in: on October 25, 2008 at 12:00 am  Comments (2)  

October 24 (October 14, o.s.)

New Mexico: The council of El Paso, having just received word of Governor Vargas’s successful reconquest, sends a letter to the viceroy thanking him for having been in charge during the reconquest.  They also ask him for further aid for defense of the frontier and for a copy of the original decree granting privileges to descendants of the first settlers of New Mexico.  Father Joaquín de Hinojosa, the head of the Franciscan order in the province, also sends a letter expressing his thanks to God and the viceroy for the conversion of so many infidels.  He notes that there are only fifteen priests in the province, and that many more will be required for the pastoral care of the newly reconquered lands.

Meanwhile, Governor Vargas leaves his campsite at the destroyed Pueblo of Zia and proceeds with his men to the current Pueblo of Zia, which is atop a steep mesa.  When he gets to the top he finds that the people have set up arches and crosses in accordance with the message he sent to their leader, Antonio Malacate, on September 26.  Most of the people, including Malacate, come out to welcome him.  Vargas greets them warmly and explains through an interpreter that he is only there to pardon them and bring them back to Christianity and Spanish obedience.  After he pardons the people, the priests who are with him grant them absolution and baptize 123 people of all ages and both sexes.

Once the baptisms are complete, Vargas tells the people to return to their original pueblo, which was burned by Governor Domingo Jironza on his 1689 expedition but most of the walls of which are still standing.  They reply that they have everything they need to return except timbers with which to repair the roofs, to which Vargas, particularly anxious that they rebuild the church, responds that they should cut some in the next month.  They say that they have no tools to cut them with, and Vargas tells them to go to the hacienda of Mejía, where the main group of his men is camped, and get a saw there.  They agree to do so.

After this exchange, Malacate requests that Vargas appoint a new governor for Zia, since he is old and ill.  Although Vargas has generally kept the current leaders of the pueblos in their positions, he can clearly see that Malacate is in poor health which prevents him from properly fulfilling the responsibilities of his office, so he agrees to appoint a replacement.  The elders of the pueblo nominate a tall, robust man named Cristóbal and Vargas administers the oath of office to him through an interpreter.  He then departs with his men and marches in the direction of Jemez Pueblo, stopping for the night at a campsite within sight of the abandoned old Pueblo of Jemez.

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October 23 (October 13, o.s.)

Connecticut: Governor Robert Treat, the chief justice of the Court of Oyer and Terminer convened in Fairfield on September 14 to try the witchcraft suspects Elizabeth Clawson and Mercy Disborough, reports to the Council on the inability of the trial jury to come to a verdict.  The Council decides that Treat should reconvene the court and conduct another trial.

New Mexico: Diego Varela, the courier who left Santa Fe on October 16 with the documents sent by Governor Vargas, arrives in El Paso.  Lieutenant Governor Luis Granillo is delighted by the news he brings of the successful reconquest, and sends him on to Mexico City to deliver the letters addressed to the viceroy, adding his own brief letter relating that all is well in El Paso.

Meanwhile, Governor Vargas prepares to leave his campsite at the abandoned hacienda of Cristóbal de Anaya.  He sends the artillery captain south with two squads of men, as well as the tired horses and most of the provisions, to the hacienda of Mejía to meet up with Rafael Téllez Girón, whom Vargas left there on September 9 with the supplies and livestock unnecessary for the expedition in the north.  Vargas himself takes the rest of the soldiers and goes west to Zia Pueblo, which he finds in ruins, having been destroyed by Governor Domingo Jironza Petrís de Cruzate in 1689.  One of the soldiers finds buried at the pueblo a large bell, which Vargas orders Captain Roque Madrid to rebury.  The troops then camp for the night.

Published in: on October 23, 2008 at 12:00 am  Comments (3)  

October 22 (October 12, o.s.)

Massachusetts: Governor Phips sends four letters to colonial officials in London, describing the state of various pressing issues in the colony.  In one of them he describes for the first time the witchcraft crisis, mentioning his establishment of the Court of Oyer and Terminer and the conduct of the trials it has conducted.  Although he was present in the colony for almost all of the time during which the court was in session, in his letter he implies that he was away in Maine dealing with matters of defense for most of the time and only realized the extent of controversy about what the court was doing recently.  He states that once he realized the gravity of the situation he “put a stop to the proceedings of the court” by ordering that no new arrests be made except in cases of “unavoidable necessity” and protecting from prosecution any suspect about whom there is any suspicion of innocence.  He concludes by saying that he will await royal instructions before taking any further action.

Mexico/New Mexico: The viceroy, the Conde de Galve, receives Governor Vargas’s letter of June 28 regarding the controversial investigation of priestly conduct being conducted by the Franciscans. He sends it to the royal prosecutor for criminal matters, Juan de Escalante y Mendoza, rather than Benito de Noboa Salgado, the prosecutor for civil matters and the usual recipient of correspondence regarding New Mexico, because Noboa is ill and unable to carry out his usual duties.

New Mexico: Governor Vargas and his troops depart from their camp at the abandoned Pueblo of Cochiti and march to the abandoned hacienda of Cristóbal de Anaya, where they meet the artillery captain and his men, whom Vargas sent ahead the day before.  The reunited expedition camps for the night at the hacienda.

Published in: on October 22, 2008 at 12:00 am  Comments Off on October 22 (October 12, o.s.)