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)  

One Comment

  1. […] 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 […]

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