November 11 (November 1, o.s.)

Jamaica: The Council meets in Port Royal and orders that HMS Mordaunt be brought in for supplying for a month.  Proceeds from the sale of unclaimed salvaged goods will be paid to the President for the repair of public buildings.  The bridge at Passage Fort is to be repaired.

New Mexico: Early in the morning, Governor Vargas is informed by his officials of the theft of sixteen head of cattle by Apaches the previous night.  Given the harsh weather, which helped the Apaches to escape notice by the guards, and the tiredness of the expedition’s horses, Vargas decides that pursuing the raiders is not worth the trouble.

Soon after this decision, Vargas orders his officers to prepare five squads of soldiers to accompany him to the mesa on which the Zunis have settled after abandoning their pueblo.  When they are ready, the group goes to the mesa.  The way up is steep and difficult, so the men are forced to dismount and go up on foot, leading their horses.  They have some trouble getting up but do manage to make it, and when they reach the top they mount their steeds and enter the plaza of the mesa-top pueblo.  There Vargas dismounts and greets the people who have assembled to meet him.  He orders a large cross set up in the plaza, then explains his mission of pardon and forgiveness to the people and orders them to bring their children to the plaza to be baptized.  He then pardons them and reclaims their land for the king, as he has done in all the other pueblos he has visited so far, and the priests grant them absolution and baptize 294 people of all ages and both sexes.

After the baptisms are complete, the governor and other leaders of the pueblo invite Vargas up to a second-story room in the pueblo.  He finds there an altar set with two large candles, along with a variety of Christian ritual objects, including crucifixes, chalices, candlesticks, bells, and several books in Spanish on religious topics.  These items are from the collection of a missionary named Juan, who was working at the Zuni pueblo of Hawikuh in 1680 and was very well-liked by the Zunis, enough that they spared his life during the revolt as long as he adopted their lifestyle and assimilated to their culture.  He did so, and is in fact still living with his adopted people, and has decided to remain with them despite the opportunity to rejoin the Spanish.  To ensure that he can remain where he prefers, he has decided not to reveal his presence to Vargas, who is unaware of any of this and only knows that the Zunis have for some reason held on to a great deal of Christian paraphernalia while the other pueblos had none at all when he visited them and told him that the Apaches took it all.

Vargas is amazed to find so many holy items so carefully preserved by the Zunis despite all the turmoil of the period since the Pueblo Revolt in 1680, and is nearly overwhelmed with emotion.  He embraces the Zuni leaders and thanks them profusely, then takes all except two large bells with him, telling the Zunis that he is taking it all to El Paso to be reconsecrated and will return it when he comes back with a new priest for them.  They are pleased with this and invite Vargas and his men to eat the food they have prepared for them, which they do before returning to their campsite, where they arrive around sunset.

Published in: on November 11, 2008 at 12:00 am  Comments (1)  

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  1. […] the governor in El Paso and asks for the religious paraphernalia found by the expedition at Zuni on November 11 and brought to El Paso to be reconsecrated.  Vargas agrees to do so, and gathers his chief […]

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