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.

Published in: on November 28, 2008 at 12:00 am  Comments Off on November 28 (November 18, o.s.)  

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 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)  

November 5 (October 26, o.s.)

Massachusetts: The colonial assembly passes by a vote of 33 to 29 a bill calling for a fast day and a convocation of ministers to decide what to do about the increasingly controversial witchcraft trials.  The governor and council do not approve the bill, rendering it practically ineffectual, but the fact of it passing indicates that public opinion is turning decisively against the Court of Oyer and Terminer, the judges of which are also members of the council.

Mexico/New Mexico: The Conde de Galve writes a letter to Governor Diego de Vargas, noting that he has been receiving reports from the commanders of garrisons in Nueva Vizcaya that they are having trouble defending their territories since they are short of the fifty men they sent to aid in the reconquest of New Mexico.  He orders Vargas to send the fifty soldiers back as soon as possible.

New Mexico: Governor Vargas and his troops depart from their campsite after watering their animals at the newly enhanced water hole there.  They march as far as the next watering hole along the river that descends from Nacimiento Spring.  There they make camp.

Published in: on November 5, 2008 at 12:00 am  Comments Off on November 5 (October 26, o.s.)  

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.)  

October 21 (October 11, o.s.)

Massachusetts: Lieutenant Governor William Stoughton, chief justice of the Court of Oyer and Terminer convened to handle witchcraft cases, and Samuel Sewall, a member of the court and the brother of the court clerk, Stephen Sewall, write and sign a statement to be included in Cotton Mather’s forthcoming book on the witchcraft crisis in which they affirm that Mather’s accounts of some of the trials conducted by the court are accurate.

Meanwhile, the New York ministers to whom Governor William Phips sent a list of questions about witchcraft on October 5 write a reply in which they state that witchcraft exists and consists of an alliance with the Devil, but that the Devil can also assume the shape of innocent people to cause spectral torments directly.  This has been a very controversial issue in the trials in Salem, with many of the accused using exactly this argument as a defense, to which some of the judges, particularly Stoughton, have responded that this sort of affliction without a human intermediary is impossible.

Mexico/New Mexico: The viceroy receives the letters sent to him by Governor Vargas on July 13 describing his plans for reconquest and Governor Pardiñas on October 6 certifying that he sent Governor Vargas the fifty soldiers he requested to aid in the reconquest on August 13.

New Mexico: Governor Vargas departs from his campsite at Santo Domingo Pueblo, bound for Cieneguilla Pueblo.  Because the road to Cieneguilla is very rough, he sends the artillery captain ahead with the artillery and the members of the expedition who will be departing soon for El Paso with orders to stop and wait for him at the abandoned hacienda of Cristóbal de Anaya.  He himself goes with five squads of soldiers past the abandoned Pueblo of Cochiti until he reaches Cieneguilla, where he finds the people of the Pueblos of Cochiti, San Marcos and San Felipe.  They have made a shelter for him on the plaza and greet him warmly, and he pardons them and explains his mission to them, as he has at the other pueblos he has visited so far.  Francisco Corvera, one of the expedition’s priests, then absolves the people, and he and the other priests baptize 103 people of all ages and both sexes.  Vargas asks the people why they abandoned their pueblos and fled to this isolated, mountainous area, and they tell him that they left out of fear of their enemies, the Tewas and Picuris, who were first to make peace with Vargas and are now his firm allies.  The people at Cieneguilla tell Vargas that when the Spanish return in force they will come back to their pueblos, and Vargas assures them that this will be soon.  The people are happy to hear this, and feed the Spanish tortillas and other food.  Vargas and his forces then depart and march back the way they came, stopping for the night at Cochiti.

Published in: on October 21, 2008 at 12:00 am  Comments Off on October 21 (October 11, o.s.)