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.

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

2 Comments

  1. […] 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, […]

  2. […] group, two of whom, a man from Zuni named Ventura and a Hopi, joined the group at Jemez Pueblo on October 25.  The Hopi man also has his sister, whom he recently reclaimed from captivity among the Apaches, […]


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