November 30 (November 20, o.s.)

New Mexico: In the morning Governor Vargas assembles his men at their campsite and prepares them to depart for El Paso.  Agustín, the Zuni man who agreed the previous day to guide the expedition along a shortcut from El Morro to Senecú, shows up as promised with his two Spanish-speaking companions and they mount the three horses Vargas agreed to give them.

Two of the Spanish soldiers, José Madrid and Martín Hurtado, ask to be allowed to go to the pueblo up on the mesa near the camp to reclaim their sisters, who they recently discovered there.  They had been captured during the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 and ended up at Zuni after a long series of events over the following twelve years.  When their brothers chanced upon them they asked to be taken back to El Paso.  Madrid and Hurtado therefore ask Vargas for permission to go to the pueblo to arrange to take their sisters back with them.  They say they will catch up with the main group as soon as possible.  Vargas grants them permission and they go.

The rest of the expedition then sets off.  They march as far as the first waterhole, Ojito de Zuni, where they camp for the night.  In the evening, after the men have set up their campsite, a messenger arrives from Zuni and tells Vargas that some Zuni scouts have seen tracks of Apaches following the expedition and that the people of the pueblo want to warn him to be prepared for a possible nighttime attack.  Vargas therefore assembles his officers and tells them about the reports.  He orders them to have their men be prepared and alert all night.

Shortly after this, Madrid and Hurtado arrive from Zuni with their sisters and their children.  They rejoin the camp and Vargas records the names of the women and the names and ages of their children.  The whole camp then settles down for the night, wary and prepared for a possible attack by the Apaches.  The Apaches, however, do not attack, and the camp remains undisturbed all night.

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November 29 (November 19, o.s.)

New Mexico: Governor Vargas, camped with his men at the abandoned Zuni Pueblo of Halona, decides to move his camp to a location closer to the mesa atop which the people of Halona have relocated.  The expedition will spend the night there and depart for El Paso in the morning.  He therefore orders his commanders to assemble their men and have them pack up their supplies to move them to the new campsite.  They do so.

After the new camp is set up, Antonio Jorge, one of the officers, approaches the governor and tells him that he has met a man from Halona who knows a more direct route from the water hole at El Morro, two days’ travel from Zuni, to the abandoned Pueblo of Senecú on the Rio Grande.  For a suitable price the man is willing to guide the expedition there.  Vargas is excited to hear about this route, which is a significant shortcut compared to the route he and his men took on the way out, not only because it will shorten the return journey but because, if the material he acquired a sample of at Hopi turns out to really contain mercury, this would be a useful route over which to transport it to Mexico.  Jorge says that the man told him that the route has enough water holes that only a day and a night would be spent at locations without water.  This, in addition to the shorter distance, is very appealing to Vargas, who well remembers the paucity of good water holes on the trip up.  He therefore orders Jorge to bring him the man.

When the man, who says his name is Agustín, arrives, Vargas questions him about the route and he verifies the account given by Jorge.  He says it takes about a week.  He notes that the days are short this time of year, meaning that only a short distance can be traveled each day compared to what is possible in the summer.  Vargas asks what he wants as payment for guiding the expedition, and he responds that he only wants two other men from Zuni to accompany him, with horses, buffalo hides, and supplies sufficient for the round-trip journey to be provided for each of the three.  Vargas agrees to this payment and tells him to show up at the camp the next morning and the horses and supplies will be ready for him.  Two Spanish-speaking men from Zuni offer to accompany Agustín, and Vargas is pleased, since he knows and trusts them.

Published in: on November 29, 2008 at 12:00 am  Comments (1)  

November 28 (November 18, o.s.)

Jamaica: The Council meets in Port Royal and orders that HMS Guernsey be supplied. In regard to a letter from Governor Codrington of the Leeward Islands requesting military help, the councilors decide to respond that given the increasing military presence of the French at St. Domingue on Hispaniola, which lies between Jamaica and the Leewards, it would be impossible to provide any assistance.

Meanwhile, the Lords of Trade and Plantations meet in London.  They consider the petition dated August 30 by some of the Jews of Jamaica asking to be granted citizenship, addressed to Queen Mary, who had referred it to the Lords.  They decide to reject it.

Mexico/New Mexico: The viceroy, the Conde de Galve, meets with his junta of top officials to consider the request of Diego Trujillo on November 26 that ten or twelve priests be sent to New Mexico immediately.  The junta decides that Trujillo’s arguments are convincing and orders that twelve priests be sent immediately and funded as is customary.  They also decide to send a message to Governor Vargas relating the response of Father Juan de Capistrano to the governor’s nomination of Father Francisco de Vargas to head up the Franciscan order in the colony, including the reasons for appointing Father Salvador de San Antonio instead.

Father Francisco Farfán is selected to lead the group of priests being sent to New Mexico.  He has a draft drawn up entitling him to three years’ advance payment for the group, as has been customary for priests going to New Mexico, since the distance is so far and wagon trains so infrequent.  When he brings the draft to the treasurer for his signature, however, the treasurer refuses to sign, insisting that the junta only authorized one year of advance pay.  Farfán immediately writes to the viceroy, asking for clarification.  The viceroy, upon receiving the letter, confers with the junta and decides to authorize a year and a half of advance pay, since it is not yet clear how permanent the reconquest will be.  He sends a letter to Farfán to notify him so that he can have a draft drawn up for the appropriate amount.

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November 27 (November 17, o.s.)

Mexico/New Mexico: The royal prosecutor, Juan de Escalante y Mendoza, looks over the letter sent to the viceroy the previous day by Diego Trujillo requesting that ten or twelve priests be sent to New Mexico immediately.  He recommends that the request be sent to the junta of top officials with whom the viceroy decided on November 24 to postpone sending priests until hearing a report from Governor Vargas about the condition of the reconquered territory.  The viceroy accepts this recommendation and schedules a meeting of the junta for the next day.

New Mexico: Governor Vargas and his small group of soldiers leave their campsite at dawn and arrive at Zuni around 9:00 am.  Rafael Téllez Girón, the commander of the Spanish troops camped there, greets them on their arrival and updates the governor on the situation with the Apaches.

Late in the day Roque Madrid arrives with the rest of the men who stayed behind at El Entretenimiento to water their animals.

Published in: on November 27, 2008 at 12:00 am  Comments Off on November 27 (November 17, o.s.)  

November 26 (November 16, o.s.)

Mexico/New Mexico: Diego Trujillo, the minister provincial of the Franciscan order in New Mexico, concerned that he has not received a reply from the viceroy to his request on November 24 for twenty priests to be sent to the newly reconquered parts of his province, sends another letter reminding the viceroy that there are only three priests with Governor Vargas on his reconquest expedition, and that even if the priests remaining in El Paso were sent to join them there would still not be enough of them to minister to all the reconquered pueblos (and, in addition, there would be no one to tend to the spiritual needs of the people in El Paso).  He therefore asks that ten or twelve priests be sent immediately, on a wagon train that is about to depart anyway, while the viceroy and his ministers ponder the earlier request.

Juan de Capistrano, the commissary general of Franciscans in Mexico, also sends a letter to the viceroy, informing him of the appointment of Salvador de San Antonio as leader of the order in New Mexico on November 22.  Despite Governor Vargas’s nomination of Francisco de Vargas for that position, subsequently accepted by the viceroy, Capistrano requests that San Antonio be given a chance, especially since Father Vargas has recently built a new mission and is busy getting it going, which Capistrano considers a better thing for him to focus on.

New Mexico: Governor Vargas and his troops leave their campsite at the shallow water hole of Los Chupaderos and continue on their journey.  They stop at the next water hole, El Entretenimiento, to water their exhausted horses.  The hole is deep but narrow, and only four horses can drink from it at one time, with their owners carefully leading them while they do.  This means it takes a very long time for all the horses to drink.

As it gets late and apparent that the expedition will have to camp at El Entretenimiento, Vargas becomes concerned about the situation at Zuni, where the rest of his men are camped, especially in the light of the letter he received the previous day from Rafael Téllez Girón, their commander, indicating recent problems with the Apaches.  He therefore orders his officers to accompany him along with thirty soldiers, to go ahead of the rest of the group to reinforce the men at Zuni as soon as possible.  The rest will be left at the water hole with the animals under the command of Roque Madrid.  They are to follow as soon as practical.

Vargas and his group set out around 9:00 pm on horses that have not been watered.  They proceed as far as a mountain near Zuni, where Vargas decides to camp for the night to rest the horses.

Published in: on November 26, 2008 at 12:00 am  Comments (1)  

November 25 (November 15, o.s.)

Mexico/New Mexico: The royal prosecutor, Juan de Escalante y Mendoza, looks over the letter from Diego Trujillo requesting twenty priests for the reconquered portions of New Mexico received by the viceroy the previous day.  He recommends that the viceroy hold off on granting the request until he receives word from Governor Vargas about how many priests he considers necessary.

New Mexico: Governor Vargas and his expedition leave their campsite at the water hole of Magdalena, which has very little water in it, meaning that most of their horses haven’t been able to drink at all.  They march as far as the next water hole, at Los Chupaderos, which is shallow but has more water than Magdalena.  They camp there.

In the evening two messengers arrive at the campsite from Zuni.  They deliver a letter to Vargas from Rafael Téllez Girón, the commander of the men from the expedition who remained camped at Zuni while Vargas and his men went to Hopi.  In the letter he reports various troubles with the Apaches in the area and asks for direction in how to deal with them.  Vargas sends a message in reply that he will be there to help him in a couple of days, since he needs to take some time to let the horses recover from their time in the harsh, dry Hopi country.

Published in: on November 25, 2008 at 12:00 am  Comments Off on November 25 (November 15, o.s.)  

November 24 (November 14, o.s.)

Massachusetts: A teenaged girl named Mary Herrick appears before John Hale, minister in Beverly, and Joseph Gerrish, minister in Wenham, and informs them that she has been afflicted by fits for the past two months.  She says that the apparitions that appeared to her were those of Hale’s wife and Mary Easty, who was executed for witchcraft on September 22.  Although both specters appeared to Herrick, only Mrs. Hale’s actually afflicted her; Easty’s specter appeared, rather, to tell her that she was innocent of witchcraft and had been wrongly convicted and executed, and that she should go to the ministers and tell them about this, at which point she would be free of afflictions.  She doubted the truth of what she saw at first, but has now come to believe that the whole witchcraft affair is “all a delusion of the Devil” and that both Easty and Mrs. Hale are innocent.  Nonetheless, the mention of his own wife as a possible witch is quite shocking to John Hale, hitherto a strong supporter of the witchcraft trials, and he begins to question his stance on the matter.

Mexico/New Mexico: The viceroy meets with his top officials in a general junta to consider the reports from New Mexico examined by the royal prosecutor on November 21.  The officials agree to congratulate Governor Diego de Vargas on his successful reconquest of the province and grant him complete freedom of action regarding what to do next.  He is authorized to request up to 12,000 pesos from the treasuries of the nearest cities to aid in his efforts, and may also request additional soldiers from the garrisons of the same cities if necessary.

Once this decision is made, the viceroy sends a dispatch to Vargas notifying him of the decision.  He includes a more personal letter in which he says that he considers the reconquest the most admirable and praiseworthy action accomplished during his term of office so far.  He sends an order which Vargas or his representatives can show to other officials in case they are reluctant to fulfill Vargas’s requests.  He also sends letter to the Franciscan Commissary General in Mexico City requesting that Father Francisco de Vargas be appointed head of the missionary effort in the reconquered territories, as suggested by Governor Vargas.

Meanwhile, the viceroy receives a letter from Diego Trujillo, minister provincial of Franciscans in New Mexico, requesting the appointment of twenty priests to minister to the newly reconquered pueblos.

New Mexico: In the morning Governor Vargas orders his officers to assemble all their men, along with the pack animals and supplies, and prepare them to march to Oraibi, the furthest of the Hopi pueblos and the only one that has not yet been pacified.  They tell him, however, that there’s no way the expedition’s horses and mules can make a journey that long and difficult, especially after the grueling march of November 22, which wore some of the horses out so much that on the return journey they couldn’t even carry their riders, who were forced to ride on the haunches of their comrades’ horses (which was hardly easy on those horses either).  Since there is no water either at Oraibi or on the way there, the officers explain that it is very possible that all the animals will die if the trip is undertaken.  Miguel, the leader of Awatovi Pueblo, agrees with the officers’ assesment of the risk and tells Vargas so.

Given the situation, Vargas decides that he has accomplished enough on this journey, having pacified all the Hopi pueblos except Oraibi and obtained a sample of the local material called almagre that is rumored to contain mercury.  He therefore postpones the pacification of Oraibi until a later date when the king or the viceroy orders it.  He orders his men to prepare instead to return to Zuni, and to head for the first water hole on the way there.  He goes to Miguel and explains his decision, then takes his leave of him and the people of Awatovi, who bid him farewell with much emotion.

The expedition departs from their campsite near Awatovi and arrives at the waterhole of Magdalena around 10:00 pm.  They camp there for the night.

Published in: on November 24, 2008 at 12:00 am  Comments (1)  

November 23 (November 13, o.s.)

New Mexico: Governor Vargas, deciding he needs to investigate the rumors of mercury deposits in the Hopi country while he is there, asks some of the people at Awatovi Pueblo, near his campsite, about the substance called almagre that they use as a purple body paint and topical medicine and the mysterious Cerro Colorado where it apparently comes from.  To begin with, he barters with some of the local people for a sample of the ore to send back to Mexico to be assayed to see if it really does contain mercury.  He then begins to ask around about the location of the Cerro Colorado and how to get there.

The first person he finds with knowledge of the Cerro is a Spanish-speaking Hopi from Oraibi named Francisco.  When asked about the Cerro, he replies that he has only been as far as the salinas that are fourteen days’ travel away in the summer, when the days are long.  Just beyond the salinas is a canyon, and beyond it is a river.  The river can be forded when it is low, but it is high in the rainy season and when the snowmelt comes down from the mountains in the spring.  The Cerro is on the other side of the river and can be seen from the near side of it.  This is the extent of Francisco’s knowledge, and he admits that he has not been up to the Cerro himself.

Vargas continues asking around and finds a Zuni man named Pedro.  When he asks him, using Francisco as an interpreter, if he has been to the Cerro, he replies that he has been there twice.  Vargas, excited, begins to ask him more questions.  One of his officers who speaks Zuni interprets along with Francisco to ensure total accuracy in translation and understanding.

Vargas first asks how many days it takes to get to the mines at the Cerro and how many water holes there are on the way.  Pedro replies that there is a water hole at quite some distance, and another one a little closer where the Havasupais live.  A little closer than that is a small pool that collects rainwater.  Further along is a place with significant water, but it is boxed in and inaccessible to horses.  It can be crossed on foot, however.  From there it is more than a full day’s journey to get to the Cerro.  The almagre is extracted from a deep pit, and when people go there to mine it they sleep on the Cerro, where there is no water, and take a long time coming down from it the next day.

Vargas next asks about the size of the vein.  In reply Pedro picks up a melon and says that it is about that size.  He also says that sometimes the almagre changes or loses its color, and he points to the dust on his boot as an illustration.

The answers Pedro gave are not very encouraging, but Vargas records them anyway and prepares to send them to the viceroy along with the sample when he returns to El Paso.

Published in: on November 23, 2008 at 12:00 am  Comments Off on November 23 (November 13, o.s.)  

November 22 (November 12, o.s.)

Mexico/New Mexico: The leaders of the Franciscan order in Mexico meet at their main convent in Mexico City to appoint a new head for their order in New Mexico in the wake of the successful reconquest of that province by Governor Diego de Vargas.  They decide on Salvador de San Antonio, who has been working in that area for more than ten years and knows some of the native languages.

New Mexico: Despite the alarming report he received the previous day from Miguel, the leader of Awatovi Pueblo, about how the other Hopi pueblos have been conspiring to kill all the Spanish, Governor Vargas decides to go ahead with his plan to go to those pueblos and pacify them.  He figures the best way to do this without exposing himself or his men to unnecessary risk is to do a whirlwind one-day tour of the three nearest pueblos, Walpi, Mishongnovi, and Shongopavi, in order to take them by surprise and put them off guard.  The remaining pueblo, Oraibi, is further away and will have to be dealt with later.  This is still a somewhat risky plan since it involves an enormous amount of riding and there is no water available for the horses at any of the pueblos, but it ultimately seems like the best option.

Having formulated this plan, Vargas orders fifteen of his men to remain at the expedition’s campsite at a watering hole near Awatovi to guard the remaining animals and supplies.  He then orders the remaining 45 men, along with all his officials and the priests, to come with him to the pueblos, warning them about the long journey and the lack of water.  He also has Miguel come along as an interpreter.  When they are all ready Vargas mounts his horse and has the men organize into four files, with orders to be alert in case anything goes wrong and to have their weapons ready.  He also orders them not to act rashly and not to initiate any violence without his direct order.  The group then sets off.

Before very long, they reach a very high mesa, atop which is the Pueblo of Walpi.  As soon as the people there see the Spanish approaching, they come down with their weapons.  Vargas goes straight up the mesa toward them and orders them to go back up to the pueblo and lay down their weapons.  They don’t comply, but neither do they attack, and Vargas is able to move beyond them and up to the top of the mesa.  He enters the pueblo and goes straight to its leader, Antonio, ordering him to tell his people to return to the pueblo, lay down their weapons, and come out to receive him.  Antonio is surprised and taken aback by this sudden turn of events, and sees no alternative given the circumstances but to comply, although he does so hesitantly and with evident discomfort.  Some people do respond to his order and lay down their weapons, but Vargas notices that many others do not and asks Antonio why.  Antonio responds that all of his people have disarmed and that the others are from the other pueblos and not under his command.

Vargas then orders half of his men to enter the plaza with him and the priests and the other half to remain outside on guard.  When they reach the plaza he and the priests dismount, as do the major officials.  With Miguel interpreting Vargas then quickly goes through the process of pardoning the people and ordering them to build a cross in the plaza and to pray and wear crosses around their necks.  He also asks that if any of them have furnishings from the old church they should return them to him, and that he will not be angry with them but grateful.  He orders them to build a new church, but gradually so as not to be a hardship.  He finishes his speech by pointedly noting that he has not asked them to build him a house, which he has no need for since he sleeps out in the open with his men.

The priests then take over, granting the people absolution and baptizing 81 people of all ages and both sexes.  Vargas then asks who the pueblo’s patron saint is, and the people respond that it is San Bernardino.  Vargas exhorts them once more to pray and build a church, then announces that he is leaving.  Before he goes, Antonio asks him to come to his house to eat, which he does despite his nervousness and all the armed men from other pueblos standing on the rooftops around him.

With Walpi thus officially reconquered, Vargas and his men leave and go back down the mesa.  Their next stop is Mishongnovi, which turns out to be on a mesa higher and steeper than Walpi’s.  The men ascend this mesa and are greeted by the same clamor of armed warriors.  Vargas repeats his performance at Walpi, charging ahead and ordering the leaders to tell their people to disarm.  When they do, he pardons them as before, standing in the plaza, and the priests grant absolution and baptize 37 people.  He and his men then depart and head to Shongopavi, which turns out to be quite close and on a mesa even higher and steeper than the other two.  Vargas does the same thing as he did at the other two pueblos, but finds that there are fewer people here and they are already disarmed, with many women and children among them.  After Vargas’s pardon, the priests baptize 33 people.

Once they are done at Shongopavi, the men return to the campsite near Awatovi.  Their horses are quite worn out.

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

November 21 (November 11, o.s.)

Mexico/New Mexico: The Conde de Galve in Mexico City receives the letters sent to him by Governor Vargas on October 16 and by the secular and religious authorities in El Paso on October 23 and 24.  He sends them on to the royal prosecutor, Juan de Escalante y Mendoza, who reads them over and advises that Vargas be congratulated on his impressive victory and that preparations be made for the colonization of the reconquered areas.

New Mexico: In the morning Miguel, the leader of Awatovi Pueblo, which Governor Vargas formally pardoned and reclaimed the previous day, comes to the Spanish campsite near the pueblo and enters Vargas’s tent accompanied by Francisco Corvera, one of the expedition’s priests.  He tells Vargas that he needs to speak to him in private, but that there are a lot of Indians in and around the camp and that he doesn’t want them to see him.  Vargas tells him to come back in the afternoon when there will be no one around.  Miguel agrees to do so, then kneels before Corvera, grasps his hands, and begins crying, saying that the other Hopis will kill him when the Spanish leave and that it is a miracle that they have allowed him to live this long.  Vargas consoles him and reassures him, telling him to come back in the afternoon.

He returns shortly after 4:00 pm and enters Vargas’s tent, where Corvera and the top Spanish officials have gathered along with Vargas to hear what he has to say.  They assure him that no one has seen him enter, and he proceeds to tell them that when he received Vargas’s letter indicating his plans to come to the Hopi country, the leaders of the other Hopi pueblos gathered for a meeting at which they decided that, united, they could surely kill all the Spanish, since they had heard reports that they were few in number.  The main initiative in formulating a plan to do so was taken by Antonio, the leader of Walpi Pueblo, and his son Pedro, leader of Shongopavi Pueblo.  Persuaded by their arguments, the rest of the leaders agreed to the plan, except for Miguel, who argued that this was not right and that the Spanish were only coming to make the Hopis Christian once again, so they should be left in peace.  This angered the other leaders, and relations have been tense ever since.  He therefore asks that the Spanish take him and his family with them when they leave, since otherwise the people of the other pueblos will surely kill them.  Vargas promises to do so, which is a great relief to Miguel.

After Miguel leaves, Vargas and his officials are left to discuss their options given the information they have received.  They can come to no conclusion by the time the camp settles down to sleep.

Published in: on November 21, 2008 at 12:00 am  Comments (1)