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Bishop Tamaron’s Visitation to New Mexico, 1760

Bishop Tamaron’s Visitation to New Mexico-1760 

Dr. Pedro Tamarón y Romeral, sixteenth bishop of Durango, set forth on the first of a series of episcopal visitations, during which he covered a large part of his vast diocese. The Pope and the King had both called for the existing diocese to be split in two, with New Mexico becoming a part of the Diocese of Durango rather than the Diocese of Guadalajara.

This article shows the strife between the Franciscans and the Spanish government in place far away from the direct oversight of either the Church or His Majesty's will. At this time, there was no bishop within a reasonable distance, the local missionary prelates were authorized to exercise quasi‑episcopal jurisdiction in certain specified cases. The friars were very jealous of these privileges and resented any encroachment on them by the bishops. Although the early concessions were modified by later bulls and decrees of the Councils, the tradition of independence remained strong in New Mexico and resulted in bitter disputes over jurisdiction

Introduction

The claim of the Bishopric of Durango to jurisdiction over New Mexico.

In the autumn of 1759 Dr. Pedro Tamarón y Romeral, sixteenth bishop of Durango, set forth on the first of a series of episcopal visitations, during which he covered a large part of his vast diocese. According to Bishop Tamarón’s definition, his see included “the kingdoms of New Vizcaya and New Mexico, with part of New Galicia and the provinces of Sonora, Pimería Alta and Pimería Baja, Ostimuri, Tarahumara Alta and Tarahumara Baja, Chínipas, Sinaloa, Culiacán, the province of Topia and that of Maloya, with the district of the Real [1] del Rosario and the villas of San Sebastián and San Xavier with many towns subordinate to them, all of which comprise what is called Tierra Caliente.”[2]

The bishopric of Durango had been founded in 1620 by a bull of Paul V. By that time new discoveries and settlements were so extensive that it was impossible for the bishop of Guadalajara to exercise effective ecclesiastical jurisdic­tion over such a large and undefined area. In a royal cédula dated at Madrid, June 14, 1621, addressed to Lic. Pedro de Otalora, president of the Audiencia of Guadalajara, the King stated that in view of this situation, it was advisable to divide that diocese into two and to establish a cathedral in Durango, the capital of the province of New Vizcaya. Otalora was ordered to draw up a description of the whole diocese of New Galicia and to make a proper division, defining the limits of the two dioceses.

In accordance with the cédula, on February 4, 1622, Otalora set the following limits for the new bishopric:

Let it begin on the south between the province of Acaponeta of this kingdom of New Galicia and the province of Chametla of New Vizcaya, along the river called Las Cañas from the point where it enters the South Sea. The province of Culiacán of this New Galicia is to be in the diocese of New Vizcaya because it lies beyond Chametla. The division and boundary is to be made along all of the said Rio de las Cañas that can, without turning, conveniently serve the purpose as far as the Sierra Grande de San Andrés and Huasamota. This sierra shall also serve as a landmark, drawing a straight line as far as the Rio Grande called the Rio de Medina, de Alonso López de Loiz, and de Urdiñola. The haciendas of Trujillo, Valparaíso, and Santa Cruz, belonging to the heirs of Diego de Ibarra, are to remain in the district of and pay tithes to this diocese of New Galicia. The said Rio de Medina shall continue to mark the boundary between the aforesaid bishoprics as far as the haciendas of Nieves, belonging to the heirs of Juan Bautista de Lomas. The latter shall pay tithes to New Vizcaya, along with all the other places that lie on the other side of the said Rio de Medina toward the city of Durango. These consist of the jurisdiction of the Villa of Llerena, the mines of Sombrerete in this kingdom of New Galicia, and the villa of Nombre de Dios and its district in New Spain. From the aforesaid haciendas of Nieves the line shall leave the river and cut straight to the haciendas of Parras and Patos, belonging to the heirs of Francisco de Urdiñola. These and the other places beyond them in that direction shall pay tithes to New Vizcaya and be in its jurisdiction. From there the line shall continue straight to the North Sea. The Villa of Saltillo, which is in New Vizcaya, and the Nuevo Reino de León, with all their tithes, shall remain for this diocese of Galicia.[3]

The apparent detail of this statement does not alter the fact that as a definition of the limits of the new diocese of Durango it left the way open for much future controversy. Moreover, from the very beginning the bishopric of Durango, or Guadiana, suffered from the same defect which had led to its division from the older diocese of Guadalajara. It was far too extensive for effective ecclesiastical control by a single bishop. These circumstances were inevitable at a time when geographical knowledge of much of the area in­volved was still extremely vague. Indeed, nearly 140 years later when Bishop Tamarón was preparing to make his episcopal visitation, parts of it had not yet been fully explored.

This prelate was quite aware of certain inadequacies in the definition of his see, but he refused to admit any doubt of the validity of his claim to jurisdiction over New Mexico.

In this he was following the tradition set by his predecessors, beginning with the first bishop of Durango, Fray Gonzalo de Hermosillo.[4] Nevertheless, the Franciscan Cus­tody of New Mexico had never been entirely willing to submit to the authority of the bishopric of Durango. For many years neither the bishops nor the Franciscans could bring themselves to accept any compromise weakening what they considered their lawful powers. The legal principles involved in this lengthy and bitter controversy over ecclesiastical jurisdiction are far too complicated for discussion here.

They were of basic importance, and a final decision in the New Mexico case would necessarily have applied to similar mission areas in charge of religious Orders throughout the Spanish Empire in America. Undoubtedly this was one reason why the Crown avoided making a definitive interpretation of the royal cédulas, papal bulls, and decrees of the Church Councils on which the rival ecclesiastical authorities based their claims to jurisdiction.

Missionary activity in New Mexico had been a monopoly of the Franciscan Order from the start. The friars there were under the authority of the Franciscan Province of the Holy Gospel of Mexico. In 1616 or 1617, some years after the Crown had decided to maintain the unproductive frontier province for the sake of the missions, New Mexico became a custody of the Province of the Holy Gospel and continued subordinate to the mother province throughout the colonial period.

To facilitate the work of evangelization in the New World, soon after the Spanish conquest of Mexico papal bulls had conceded a number of extraordinary privileges to the religious Orders. Moreover, in places where there was no bishop within a reasonable distance, the local missionary prelates were authorized to exercise quasi‑episcopal jurisdiction in certain specified cases. The friars were very jealous of these privileges and resented any encroachment on them by the bishops. Although the early concessions were modified by later bulls and decrees of the Councils, the tradition of independence remained strong in remote mission areas such as New Mexico and resulted in bitter disputes over jurisdiction.[5]

As has been said, the New Mexico missions did not achieve provincial status within the Franciscan organization. In the hierarchy of the Church as a whole, petitions for the creation of a bishopric in New Mexico failed. The first attempt was made in the 1630’s. While the matter was under consideration, there was considerable difference of opinion as to the advisability of such a step. Fray Alonso de Benavides expended considerable effort in 1630‑1635 in the hope of attaining this end. The papers he presented in Spain included memorials by Fray Juan de Santander, Commissary General of the Indies, and Fray Francisco de Sosa, Commissary at Court and Secretary General of the Franciscan Order, supporting the project. The Council of the Indies referred the petition to Don Juan de Solórzano, then fiscal of the Council, for an opinion in 1631. Although Solórzano favored the erection of a bishopric in New Mexico and suggested that the episcopal office should be conferred upon a member of the Franciscan Order, the Council advised the King to make no decision before receiving reports from the Viceroy and the Archbishop of Mexico.[6]

In 1638 Fray Juan de Prada, Commissary General of New Spain, replied to Viceroy Cadereyta’s request for information on the state of affairs in New Mexico by offering strong and considered arguments against the erection of a bishopric there. He pointed out the poverty of settlers and Indians alike and the consequent impossibility of supporting the prelate. Father Prada, however, was also opposed to placing the region under the authority of the Bishop of Durango, and he saw little prospect of episcopal visitations in view of the distance between Durango and Santa Fe and the hazards of the journey. “For this reason he [the Bishop of Durango] would only have the title of bishop of New Mexico, and those new Christians would never come to enjoy the spiritual favors of his high office. As a result, having a bishop would be the same as not having one,” He (lid not feel that the lack of a bishop would cause any detriment, “for in those provinces the custodian and prelate of the religious has plenary authority, granted by the apostolic grant, and repeatedly conceded by many briefs of the highest pontiffs. They [the custodians] are able to give absolution and to absolve in all cases in which the señores bishops are privileged to do so, and to administer the sacraments, even to that of the confirmation of the newly converted.” According to Prada, visitadores sent by the bishops would have less authority than the local Franciscan prelates, and their coming would bring about innumerable difficulties in regard to ecclesiastical jurisdiction. Nevertheless, on February 28,1639, the viceroy recommended for the second time the establishment of a bishopric in New Mexico. His advice was not heeded.[7]

The opinions expressed by Prada and Cadereyta were probably closely related to a violent quarrel which was taking place in New Mexico at the time. Throughout the seventeenth century, New Mexico was torn by periodic disputes between the civil authorities and the Franciscans who represented the authority of the Church. In 1637 Governor Luis de Rosas, who had been appointed by the viceroy, arrived in the province. His conduct and the extreme opposition he aroused among the clerical party brought the bitter rivalry between the two parties to a climax.[8] When Cadereyta recommended the establishment of a bishopric in New Mexico, the fact that Rosas was his appointee may have had some influence, but he may also have felt that the introduction of effective episcopal authority in the province might help to solve the conflict between Church and State. Father Prada, on the other hand, was inclined to uphold the jurisdiction of the missionary prelates and their interpretation of their powers.

Meanwhile the second bishop of Durango, Don Alonso Franco y Luna (1633‑1639), found time for an occasional troubled glance at the behavior of the Franciscans in New Mexico. In a letter to one Dr. Soltero, apparently an official of the Holy Office, this prelate refers to an earlier communication in which he had charged that the New Mexico friars were exceeding their authority by conferring minor orders and performing the rite of confirmation. It was his belief that such privileges had been revoked by the Council of Trent. The bearer of the letter was a captain from New Mexico on his way to Mexico City as procurator general to complain of the Franciscans before the viceroy. The bishop asked Dr. Soltero to hear this man and bring the matter to the attention of the Tribunal of the Inquisition.[9]

Obviously Bishop Franco’s mind and conscience were not entirely at ease about the state of affairs in New Mexico. Still, he does not appear to have contemplated any direct personal intervention. In 1638 he and the cathedral chapter advised the viceroy that they did not think it would be feasible to found any secular missions there for the time being. With regard to the proposed bishopric, they stated that although New Mexico fell within the district of the bishopric of Durango, “in conformity with the demarcation which was made at the time of its division, which runs as far as the North Sea,” the distance was so great that “it would be advisable to place there an abbot for confirming and in order to issue minor orders. He would be supported by the tithes collected in the said province, which, as has been learned from trustworthy persons coming from there, amount to two thousand pesos. These persons say that they are enjoyed and collected today by the religious teachers, but without this chapter having learned or understood by what title they enjoy them.”[10]

The complaints that the New Mexico Franciscans were exceeding their authority came to the attention of the King, who indicated his disapproval in a communication to his ambassador in Rome in 1642:

… In a letter which Don Juan de Palafox y Mendoza, Bishop of Puebla de los Angeles and visitor general of the Audiencia of Mexico, wrote to me on December 18 of last year, 1641, he states that the fathers of the Order of St. Francis who serve in New Mexico in New Spain use the crosier and mitre and perform confirmations and ordinations.

Even though, after consideration in my Royal Council of the Indies, a letter was written to the bishop telling him to call in any apostolic briefs of this nature there may be in those regions, I have thought it well to advise you of the foregoing so that you may be fully informed about it. And I charge you to use all possible means to prevent these religious from obtaining any brief from his Holiness in contravention of the cédulas that have been issued. And if you should find that they have obtained one, you shall ask for its revocation. I trust in your zeal that you will give this matter the attention that its gravity and importance demand.[11]

Don Alonso Franco y Luna was succeeded by Fray Francisco de Evia y Valdés, who was bishop of Durango from 1639 to 1654. It is said that he considered making a visitation of New Mexico but was prevented from doing so by more urgent matters.[12] In 1652 and 1653 Bishop Evia and the cathedral chapter of Durango petitioned the King as follows:

… that he grant them the favor of ordering the New Kingdom of Mexico to recognize the cathedral church of New Vizcaya and its prelate in all spiritual matters and that it be joined to his jurisdiction. They ask to have the ministers of doctrinas receive from the bishop’s hand all the dispatches required for the administration of the holy sacraments, stating that because that kingdom is next to and continues from the bishopric of New Vizcaya, the bishop can easily visit it in person, better than the province of Sinaloa. They also ask that the tithes collected in New Mexico be paid to the bishopric, wherewith the prebendarjes will have some relief and support.[13]

These communications reminded the authorities in Spain that the question of a bishopric for New Mexico had been raised in the 1630’s. A royal cédula of 1656, addressed to the Duke of Alburquerque, Viceroy of New Spain, included the cédula of May19, 1631, asking for a report on this subject, and the above summary of the letters of the bishop and chapter of Durango. The Viceroy was to fulfill the 1631 cédula by getting detailed information about the advisability of erecting a cathedral in New Mexico. The King desired a complete description of the province:

… what its boundaries are and whether it borders on one or more bishoprics and which ones; and the present state of its conversions, how many religious have charge of them, and of what Order, and how much it costs per year; and whether there are any secular priests serving in them, and if so, how many; and about how many converted Indians there are, and to how many settlements they have been reduced and the population of each; what crops are gathered in that New Kingdom; and what is the annual amount of the fees pertaining to the King. And you shall also send a detailed description and map. …

In addition to filling this rather large order, the Viceroy was to give his opinion on the claim of the Bishop of New Vizcaya to New Mexico and its tithes.[14] We have not found the viceroy’s reply. The next bishop, Don Pedro Barrientos (1656‑1658), wrote to the King in 1658, making the usual complaints that the Franciscan religious were usurping his episcopal jurisdiction. He offered to send proofs to induce the Crown to take action to prevent so many illegal acts “in so delicate a matter as the administration of the holy sacraments.”[15]

The failure of their appeals for definite support from the Crown in dealing with the recalcitrant Custody of New Mexico does not seem to have deterred the Durangan prelates from further attempts to bring the friars to heel. Early in 1668 the Franciscan Commissary General of New Spain, Fray Hernando de la Rua, said that it had come to his attention that Don Juan de Gorospe y Aguirre, bishop of Durango (1660‑1671), had been trying to upset the authority of Fray Juan de Paz, who was custos of New Mexico in 1665‑1667, by making various demands and notifications. Recently, upon receipt of a letter from the cabildo of Santa Fe, in which they complained that the friars were in the habit of exceeding their authority, the bishop had instituted proceedings before the governor of New Vizcaya. Although the bishop claimed that he was doing this in order to refer the matter to the viceroy, there was no indication that he had done so. The Franciscan Commissary General therefore appealed to the Inquisition and to the viceroy “as patron of the ecclesiastical state in his Majesty’s name . . . to whom the government of all the aforesaid Custody and conversion pertains.” Rua considered Bishop Gorospe’s attempt to subject New Mexico to his jurisdiction a violation of the royal patronage, for, he said, the general decree of the Council of Trent placing territories such as New Mexico under the authority of the nearest bishopric applied only where the royal patronage did not exist. Therefore, the papal privileges on which the Franciscans of New Mexico based their ecclesiastical powers were still in force, and he hotly denied the bishop’s right to challenge the authority of the custos. The viceroy and audiencia of New Spain were impressed by the serious nature of the disagreement, and the bishop was ordered to present his arguments in reply to Fray Hernando’s objectiong.[16] Again no definite action was taken, and the New Mexico friars continued to use ecclesiastical authority in accordance with their interpretation of their rights. In so doing they usually had at least the tacit assent of the highest governmental authorities of New Spain.

Many years later Father Menchero stated that the Franciscans renewed the discussion about a separate bishopric for New Mexico in the 1660’s. No supporting evidence has been found, and it is possible that Menchero’s date is in error and that he was actually referring to the recommendations made in the 1630s.[17]

 The next major crisis in the struggle between the New Mexico friars and the bishop of Durango occurred shortly after the Pueblo Revolt of 1680, when the Spanish refugees had settled in the El Paso area. Fray Bartolomé de Escañuela, a Franciscan, had ascended the episcopal throne of Durango in 1676. His interpretation of his claim to jurisdiction over New Mexico as a whole is ambiguous, for he based his intervention in 1681 on the “migration of the faithful Catholics of that Kingdom to the territory, jurisdiction, and limits of this our diocese.” Because they had taken up residence “within the certain, well‑known, and undeniable jurisdiction and territory of this bishopric,” he felt obliged to appoint a parish priest, whom he also made his vicar and ecclesiastical judge of the El Paso jurisdiction and the subordinate churches in the vicinity as far as, but not including, Casas Grandes. Since there were no secular priests at El Paso, the bishop issued this appointment to Fray Juan Alvarez on January 4, 1681.[18]

The Provincial and Definitors of the Province of the Holy Gospel received a copy of the Alvarez appointment and lost no time before protesting. Since Escañuela was a member of their Order, they went out of their way to convince him of their profound regard and respect, saying that if he were to be bishop forever, then they would gladly accept his authority. But since he would have successors, they could only point out that he had been misinformed about the episcopal jurisdiction over El Paso. “It never has been, and is not, subject to Vizcaya; neither it nor any other convent of the Custody of New Mexico. No predecessor of your Lordship as lord bishop has performed any act of jurisdiction in person or through his ministers.” They trusted that he would realize that they were bound to uphold their convictions in matters of jurisdiction.[19]

It should be noted here that a similar dispute over the status of the El Paso area was also going on between the secular authorities of New Mexico and New Vizcaya. In any case, Bishop Escañuela also felt obligated to uphold his convictions in matters of jurisdiction. On July 4, 1681, he replied to his brethren of the Province of the Holy Gospel, citing the decrees of the Council of Trent, apostolic canons, and royal cédulas on which he based his stand. Moreover, according to the demarcation of his diocese, it “runs from the Rio Grande de Santa Elena via the haciendas of San Francisco de Patos and Valley of Santa María de Parras to the North Sea.” Accordingly he now conferred upon Fray Francisco de Ayeta, “preacher, habitual custos of the said Custody of New Mexico, and at present visitor of it and commissary general of the Holy Office of the Inquisition of New Spain,” the titles he had previously given to Alvarez, with some increase in authority. In his absence, the custos was to hold the offlces.[20] Unfortunately we do not know what response Ayeta or his superiors made to this move. Father Ayeta was then on his way back to El Paso, bearing instructions about the projected reconquest of the interior and confirmation of the New Mexico governor’s jurisdiction in El Paso. He had been consulted about the Order’s reply to the Alvarez appointment and had mentioned the viceroy’s order to the governor and captain general of New Vizcaya, forbidding him to place officials in the El Paso territory because they might interfere with the expedition against the rebellious Indians.

A later bishop of Durango stated that Escañuela had considered making a visitation of New Mexico. The Custody dissuaded him, alleging that the journey was too long and difficult for one of his delicate health. But the Franciscan bishop made it plain that his failure to go was in no way to serve as a precedent or to prejudice the rights of his successors.[21] Bishop Escañuela died in 1684.

His successor, Fray Manuel de Herrera (1686‑1689), of the Order of the Minims, used Escañuela’s appointments of Alvarez and Ayeta as a precedent when he issued a similar title to Custos Fray Francisco de Vargas on October 24, 1688. Bishop Herrera made his conception of the Episcopal jurisdiction plain by entitling himself “Bishop of this kingdom of New Vizcaya, its provinces and confines, Rio del Norte and New Mexico.” In view of the usual Franciscan attitude toward the Durangan prelates, it is difficult to explain the fact that Father Vargas not only received this title in Durango in person, but that he apparently asked for it. He was made “vicar and ecclesiastical judge and chief parish priest of all the Kingdom of the North and of all the doctrinas and reductions now established in it, and of all the parishes of Spaniards, mestizos, negroes, and mulattoes, or any other mixture which there may be in the said Rio del Norte, and of all the other settlements or reductions which may be made beyond the Rio del Norte.” Moreover he was to report any action he might take to the bishop and let him know “the number of conversions, doctrinas, parishes, and ministers in the territory.” Bishop Herrera also thought of making a visitation of the missions pertaining to New Mexico. He said that his appointment of Vargas was a temporary expedient until he could judge from his own observation of conditions during his forthcoming visitation what measures would be most conducive to the service of God and the King.[22]

In theory, at least, it would seem that by accepting such an appointment Father Vargas ran the risk of seriously undermining the traditional Franciscan claims to independent jurisdiction in New Mexico. It would be interesting to know the opinion of his superiors at this time, but the­ complete story of this episode is not known. In fact, we have practically no data about the relations between the Custody of New Mexico and the Bishopric of Durango for the next thirty years. Apparently the bishops managed to obtain some token acknowledgment of their authority, for we are told that the patents of missionaries who traveled to New Mexico via Durango were countersigned there and recorded in the administrative books.[23] Perhaps neither the Bishopric nor the Order saw reason to press their conflicting claims with energy at a period when the whole future of the province was most uncertain. But some years after the reconquest and the reestablishment of Spanish rule in New Mexico, the question was reopened and both parties endeavored to push it to a definite conclusion.

In 1723 Benito Crespo, a former dean of Oaxaca who had taught at Salamanca, became bishop of Durango. He served until 1734, and during these years the controversy between the bishops and the Franciscan Order began in earnest. The case dragged on for many years, and the details are so numerous and complex that even to outline them would require a separate, and lengthy, study. Not only are the legal arguments on which the parties based their conflicting claims to jurisdiction exhaustively presented and considered, but bulky reports on conditions in New Mexico and its missions were made in the interests of the opposing groups. In general, whatever the allegiance of the particular writer, these leave us with a deplorable picture of the state of affairs there in the eighteenth century.[24]

Bishop Crespo started the ball rolling by including the El Paso area in his episcopal visitation in 1725. He had intended to visit interior New Mexico as well, but gave up the idea, so he said, because he had been misinformed about the distance and had made insufficient preparations for the journey. Apparently he was treated with reasonable courtesy on this occasion, and in return he made some conciliatory gestures. He issued a title as vicar and ecclesiastical judge to Fray Salvador López, the vice‑custos at El Paso, and his successors ex officio, or, failing them, to the guardian of the El Paso mission. He also sent a similar title to the custos, who had left for Santa Fe in haste to avoid meeting the bishop. Undoubtedly the New Mexico Franciscans made no strong protest at this time because the bishop did not insist upon proceeding beyond El Paso. This gave them time to consult their superiors in Mexico City. The latter immediately took up the cause, and in 1728, when Bishop Crespo announced his intention of making a second visitation, to include interior New Mexico, the Commissary General of New Spain, Fray Fernando Alonso Gonzalez, politely, but very firmly, questioned his right to do 50.[25] He also sent a petition to the King, begging him to forbid the Bishop of Durango to molest the kingdom of New Mexico by making a visitation. This petition failed, for a royal cédula of December 7, 1729, gave the bishop permission to visit the New Mexican pueblos and others on the borders of his diocese. As a matter of fact Crespo did not receive this cédula until after he had returned from his visitation of 1730.[26]

If anything, the Franciscan objections strengthened Bishop Crespo’s determination to enforce what he considered his rightful episcopal authority. This time, when he arrived in El Paso in July, 1730, he found his Franciscan opponents prepared to show active resistance. The leader of the friars was their custos, Fray Andrés Varo. Both parties stubbornly refused to make any concessions, fearing to prejudice their case in future. So the bishop proceeded to Santa Fe and made the rounds of the mission pueblos, returning to El Paso in September. Father Varo, who had received orders from the Commissary General of New Spain and the Provincial of the Province of the Holy Gospel not to allow the bishop to exercise jurisdiction, did succeed in preventing Crespo from making a formal visitation of the churches, parish records, etc., or publishing edicts. The bishop performed the rite of confirmation in Santa Fe and most of the missions. He also appointed Don Santiago Roibal, a secular priest, as his vicar and ecclesiastical judge at Santa Fe. Roibal was to hold this office for many years, although the legality of his appointment was long in question.[27]

Bishop Crespo had already instituted proceedings to force the Order to recognize the episcopal jurisdiction of Durango over New Mexico. Although the final decision was deferred again and again, the tendency of the Crown and the viceregal authorities was to authorize the bishops of Durango to use limited episcopal powers in New Mexico pending the outcome of the suit. A viceregal decree of February 17, 1731, revoked Crespo’s appointment of Roibal as vicar. By the autumn of 1732 the Crown had received a number of communications from both parties. Father Varo and Father Gonzalez again protested that the Bishop of Durango had no legal right to jurisdiction in New Mexico. In addition, they renewed the petition of a century before for the erection of a separate bishopric. Bishop Crespo had also been heard from. A royal cédula of October 1, 1732, referred the dispute to the viceroy for a decision. Another of the same date requested the Audiencia of New Spain for information as to whether New Mexico was part of the diocese of Durango. And the Commissary of the Franciscans received orders to provide a sufficient number of competent priests with knowledge of the native languages to serve in the New Mexico missions.[28]

By a decree of July 24, 1733, the viceroy upheld the right of the bishop to exercise diocesan jurisdiction over New Mexico and ordered the Franciscans to present the bulls and privileges on which they based their claim to exemption so that a final decision could be reached after both parties had been heard.[29]

Martin de Elizacoechea, who served as bishop of Durango from 1736 to 1747, continued the suit initiated by his predecessor. He made a visitation of New Mexico in 1737, but we have no details regarding his reception.[30] In December, 1738, the Council of the Indies upheld the viceregal decrees of 1733 permitting the Durangan prelates to make visitations of New Mexico. On the other hand, they ordered the enforcement of the decree of February 17, 1731, which forbade him to leave a vicar arid ecclesiastical judge there. The Franciscan Order was to be given every opportunity to present its case to the authorities in New Spain. The viceroy and audiencia were again ordered to report whether New Mexico was included in the demarcation of the Bishopric of Durango or that of any other dioceses in the vicinity. If not, what was their opinion on the question of erecting a new bishopric?[31] In May, 1739, a royal cédula to the Bishop of Durango informed him that the case had been remitted to the viceroy. It gave him permission to visit New Mexico but revoked his appointment of an ecclesiastical judge.[32]

The case against the New Mexico Franciscans had always rested partly upon derogatory opinions of their administration of the missions. Bishop Crespo had found much to deplore in this respect and made serious charges. Following the old tradition, settlers and provincial officials continued to accuse the friars whenever they found an occasion. For their part, the Franciscans covered reams of paper hotly defending themselves against these attacks.

Before the suit over ecclesiastical jurisdiction initiated by Bishop Crespo had come to any definite conclusion, the internal conflict between the Franciscans and the civil government reached another violent crisis in 1749. Early in that year Fray Andrés Varo, an old and indefatigable warrior in the Franciscan cause, had made reports concerning New Mexican affairs which were presented to the viceroy.[33] Before coming to a decision about Varo’s recommendations, the viceroy decided to send Don Juan Antonio de Ornedal y Maza to New Mexico on an official tour of inspection. His account of the conditions he found was highly unfavorable to the missionaries. His charges and the reforms he recommended drew sizzling replies from Varo and other friars, to say nothing of bitter denunciations of the civil government, whose side had been espoused by Ornedal.[34]

Within the province the missionary influence often ran counter to the personal profit sought by lay settlers and officials. On the other hand, it would be hard to deny that in some cases the friars were not exerting themselves unduly in promoting the spiritual welfare of their charges. The curious failure of the New Mexico Franciscans to master the native languages is hard to understand in comparison with the brilliant success of their brethren in other parts of the New World in the fields of linguistics and ethnology. It is true that they had to deal with several languages and a number of different tribes within a single area. It is also true that inside the province interests often dictated criticism of the friars, and in the world beyond there was scarcely any real comprehension of the problems they faced and the inadequacy of their numbers and equipment to cope with them. The wonder is that so many of them refused to succumb to discouragement and with selfless fervor made herculean efforts to carry on their evangelical tasks in the face of overwhelming obstacles. Still, some of their own visitors and brethren were forced at times to make criticisms not unlike those of their opponents.

Along with all this, the unhappy kingdom of New Mexico was beset by a multitude of other ills‑drought, famine, disease, and increasingly bold and destructive attacks by enemy infidel Indians. The picture was much the same, or worse, a few years later when Bishop Tamarón arrived to make the third episcopal visitation of the province.

Bishop Tamarón and his visitation of New Mexico

Pedro Tamarón y Romeral was born in the Villa de la Guardia in the Archdiocese of Toledo about 1695. The available accounts of his life say nothing about his early years and education in Spain. In 1719 he accompanied Bishop Juan José de Escalona y Calatayud to Caracas. He completed his studies there and received the doctorate in canon law from the University of Caracas founded a few years after his arrival in the New World.[35] He is sometimes referred to as one of the founders of this university,[36] in which he held the chair of canon law. By the end of 1727 he had already taken his degree and was serving as cura rector of the cathedral.[37] He remained in Caracas for the next thirty years and held many important ecclesiastical posts, including those of precentor and maestrescuela of the cathedral, vicar of the diocese, and commissary and censor of the Inquisition. During this time he published two books: Triunfo glorioso y Cairo de Elías (Mexico, 1733) and Triunfos de la Gracia en la Santísima Imagen de Maríaa, que con el título del Socorro se venera en la Nueva. Valenciadel Obispado de Caracas (Madrid, 1749). He may also have been working on a general history of Caracas, which was still in manuscript at the time of his death.[38]

Dr. Tamarón became bishop of Durango in 1758 and arrived in his cathedral city on March 29, 1759. A few months later, on October 5, 1759, he announced his intention to begin his general visitation and his reasons for doing so:

And I am about to undertake my general visitation, and I will leave on the twenty‑second of this month via the sierra and a very difficult road by which I will traverse little traveled places in order to take in some pueblos where no bishop has ever been. From there I will go on to the Tierra Caliente, along the coast of the South Sea, and the whole government of Sinaloa and Sonora; I will enter that of New Mexico and go down to Pimería and to Chihuahua where the governor of New Vizcaya resides. According to what they tell me, this journey may be all of 1500 leagues. I have hastened to make this visitation in spite of the lack of revenue, which is three years in arrears, because of the news I receive daily about the incursions the pagan Indians are making in various places, killing people and carrying off the horses and destroying haciendas. And the reason for this is the preceding viceroy’s reduction of the presidios. I will talk with the governors and obtain information from intelligent persons, and then I shall be able to cry out to his Majesty for a remedy with the hope of being believed.[39]

In another place he tells us that he started his visitation before he had even made one of his cathedral “in order to take advantage of the best season of the year for crossing the Sierra Madre and to acquire the knowledge of the vast provinces [in the diocese] necessary for their spiritual government.”[40]

Before departure he issued several edicts, which were sent on ahead by relay to all the places he proposed to visit. One of them, dated July 7, 1759, outlined the duties of the priests and the manner  in which they were to perform them. Another of October 12, 1759, included more specific instructions about the necessary preparations for receiving the prelate.[41] Then

I waited until the rains were over, and, before the ice froze or I should encounter heavy snows in the sierra, I began my journey, an undertaking whose magnitude I did not fully appreciate until I was well on my way. Although my family consisted only of three persons in clerical collars, two secular amanuenses, or scribes, the cook, and two negroes, the necessary baggage mounted up to thirty loads of sufficient weight to require triple the number of mules in order to traverse eighty leagues of the sierra over the very rugged route we took. The same was true of the saddle animals. The muleteers and hostlers, with additional hands, formed a large squadron, which astounded me when I took a look at almost all of them together at a long table like that of a refectory in the house of the priest of the Villa of San Sebastian. I immediately rectified matters, dismissed a large number, and continued with as few as I could.[42]

Bishop Tamarón was sixty‑three when he set forth on this arduous and often perilous journey, which was to take him nearly two years before he again reached the city of Durango on July 15, 1761. In spite of the inevitable hardships and occasional distressing episodes, his account leaves us with the impression that on the whole he enjoyed himself thoroughly. He was one of those inveterate tourists who delight in new scenes and little‑frequented places and have a flair for collecting odd bits of interesting information. His statements about the routine business of the visitation are often summary in comparison with the loving way in which he dwells upon local peculiarities or incidents which captured his fancy. This does not imply, however, that he forgot for one moment the importance and dignity of his mission. He took an extremely broad and conscientious view of his responsibility as prelate of an enormous frontier area suffering from a plethora of worldly and spiritual ills. He was aware that the cures for both were to a large degree interdependent. His wide interests and his remarkable powers of observation impelled him to give serious consideration to problems of civil government and military strategy as well as to those of more effective ecclesiastical administration. And he never underestimated the value of seeing for himself before evolving theories about methods for improving matters. His sense of duty had set him an almost impossible task. Whether or not his conclusions were always right, and regardless of the resentment some of them aroused, he did not spare himself in his scrupulous effort to perform it.

We are concerned here only with Bishop Tamarón’s visitation of New Mexico in 1760. Although the problems of this unhappy kingdom were but a fraction of the multi­tudinous troubles of the Bishopric of Durango and the frontier provinces as a whole, they naturally obscured the broader issues in the minds of most of the local people, both clergy and laymen.

Now that two or three centuries have passed, there is sometimes a tendency to minimize the unpleasant aspects of life and society in New Mexico in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Those who have leafed through the thousands of dusty folios preserved in the archives and libraries of Spain and Mexico cannot feel that romantic idealization of a very human history is either necessary or advisable. The men, religious and laymen, who for one reason or another spent years or all of their lives in a remote and backward frontier province, cut off from the amenities of the civilization of their time, had all the ordinary human failings and many human virtues. The harsh conditions under which they labored were bound to exaggerate both. This was all their world and it was not a kindly one. The living accounts of their daily perils and struggles, and those of their bitter internecine quarrels, are written in blood and vitriol. Time and again New Mexico faced extinction, and time and again the ill‑fated little kingdom managed to stay alive, a part, if only the least, of one of the greatest empires ever known. By comparison, the history of its long and terrible battle for existence during the Spanish period almost makes the shorter story of the westward expansion of the United States seem a bedtime tale for children. If life on such a frontier often brought out the worst in men, it could also inspire their best and most unselfish efforts. And it was not impossible for both tendencies to exist in the same individual. We cannot see the whole, or appreciate the good and heroic at its true worth, if we refuse to look at both sides of the medal. New Mexico produced heroes and martyrs, and not in vain. The inspiration of such lives always adds to the sum and value of human endeavor toward the highest goal. But unfortunately its history as a whole during the colonial period is one of failure in both the worldly and evangelical senses. It was too poor, too remote, and its problems were too little understood to make any other outcome possible.

From the point of view of the Franciscan missionaries, conditions at the time of Bishop Tamarón’s arrival had not improved since Ornedal’s slanderous report had put them more than ever on the defensive in their dealings with the civil authorities. Perhaps influenced by Ornedal’s opinions, the New Mexico governors of the 1750’s seem to have been extremely unfriendly toward the local religious. So the friars reported, and at considerable length. Some of them managed to express themselves with reasonable restraint and objectivity. But the feelings of others were so violent that their virulent rhetoric, however justifiable, makes very distressing reading. Father Varo’s outburst of 1750 in reply to Ornedal’s charges falls into this category. This was intended for presentation to the viceroy in 1751, but Provincial Fray José Ximeno withheld it and rested the Franciscan case for the time being on the refutation he himself had submitted in March, 1750.[43] The reasons for this are clear from a statement made by the archivist of the Province of the Holy Gospel, Fray Francisco Antonio de la Rosa Figueroa, ten years later when the viceroy again made a request for information about the state of the Custody.

The prudence of our said Reverend Father Provincial may have had several motives for not presenting this report of the Reverend Father Varo to the Lord Viceroy in the year 1751. Perhaps, because it is very diffuse, he may either have thought that it would be too great an imposition on the Viceroy’s attention, or following the same line of thought, that it might delay his decision. Perhaps, because he may have reflected that since over a year had passed since his Reverend Paternity had replied, it might seem untimely and vindictive to add to the incontestable answers of the aforesaid earlier report; and that it would have been necessary to present with it a large number of other original papers which might have been lost. Perhaps because Governor don Tomás Vélez Cachupín [1749‑1754] (a declared enemy of the Custody) was related to the Viceroy and the Vicereine and had been their equerry; and since the wicked Ornedal also belonged to the Viceroy’s family, it might have been ill received or even concealed by the Viceroy lest the iniquities of the two members of his family be revealed.[44]

In a report to Provincial Serrano, Figueroa had already disclosed the fact that Varo’s reply to Ornedal was too indiscreet for presentation to the Viceroy in its original form.

… the first thing I did was to copy in my hand the very zealous report which the Reverend Father Andrés Varo remitted to our Father Ximeno, who was provincial in the year 1751, . . . against the sacrilegious report which don Juan Antonio Ornedal made to the Lord Viceroy in the year 1749 against the Custody. But I copied it in such a way (as the copy shows) that on the one hand it was necessary to add seventeen leaves in order to incorporate the very special information I had sifted from the archive concerning both the progress and the evangelical labors of missionaries of old and modern times; and, on the other hand, it was necessary to alter a number of passages. These contained various paragraphs of invective inspired by the Reverend Father Varo’s sorrow and his zeal to vindicate the honor of the religious against the denigrative report of the calumniators and the cruelties and injustices of the governors, alcaldes, etc. [These had to be amended] lest they should sound like satirical apostrophes against the viceroys. All my changes and additions are indicated in my said copy where there are vertical lines in the margin. So that the inference will be that the report in its present form, under the Reverend Father Varo’s name, is just as it came to our Reverend Father Ximeno from the Custody, and in order that it may he presented as the original at any time, I counterfeited the signature and complimentary close, etc. of the Reverend Father Varo.[45]

During the 1750s the governors were able to prevent the friars from sending out many accounts of their side of the never‑ending quarrel.[46] But toward the end of the decade and in the early 1760’s we again have letters reca­pitulating their accumulated grievances, as well as reports from religious who had returned to Mexico City. We have already heard that Governor Vélez was “a declared enemy of the Custody.” His successor, Don Francisco Marín del Valle (1754‑1760), lost no time in establishing the same reputation.

Fray Jacobo de Castro became Custos of New Mexico about 1751 and served as such for the next ten years or more.[47] Late in June, 1757, he and Governor Marín left El Paso on a tour of the missions. Both of them made formal visitations and returned to El Paso on December 1. In January, 1758, Father Castro sent his report of this unpleasant journey to his provincial, Fray Juan José Moreyra. According to the Custos, the mission fathers leaned over backwards in their attempts to mollify the governor by showing him all honor and respect. With cross and cope they awaited him at the church door, at which an altar with lighted candles had been placed. In response to such courtesy, Governor Marín found fault with the manner in which they conducted the ceremony, or simply left the friar waiting. Father Castro suspected that his insulting behavior was intended to provoke the Franciscans to reply in kind, and he made every effort not to give the governor this satisfaction.

Nothing has sufficed to sooth his restless spirit, the passion, or hatred, with which he has looked upon all of us religious from the time he entered this kingdom, for he has always sought means to lower us in the estimation of the Indians and the settlers and to make us hated by them. This is common knowledge, without our having given him the slightest reason for it, since in doing him honor, all the friars have gone far beyond the customary attentions to his predecessors. Yet we have all found that his visitation has been an extremely rigorous judicial investigation [residencia] of the conduct of each friar.[48]

In each pueblo the governor retired to the community house with the Indians and interrogated them about the behavior of the missionary. The Spanish alcaldes were ordered to watch everything the friars did and send full reports to Governor Marín. Some of them had shown the Custos his letters ordering them to do this. “And although I do not know what authority he may have for this, I do know that this has been his practice; and he has ordered the Indians to come to him whenever they have anything against the fathers.”

Father Castro said that he was finding it difficult to prevent the religious from leaving the kingdom. In spite of his promises to inform his superiors about what; was going on, they replied that “the hostility they suffer from is great, and since there is no remedy, they anxiously yearn to flee to the refuge of their cells.” Moreover, “the disorder of this government is such that even the settlers and Indians of this kingdom no longer know what to do. Ten of them found it necessary to flee, with obvious risk to their lives, in order to go to that city [of Mexico] to complain to his Excellency.” Castro suggested that the Provincial could obtain from them information which he was unable to put in writing. Nevertheless, the missions were still occupied, and the fathers were doing their best to instruct the Indians in Christian doctrine. The Indians were restive about the excessive demands for service made by the alcaldes and the governors. They complained about their lot to the friars, but the latter were in no position to help them.[49]

This was the Franciscan view of the situation in New Mexico when, in April, 1760, Bishop Tamarón arrived at the borders of the province to begin his episcopal visitation. The possible advantages to them of a report by a less biased critic may explain why the friars put few obstacles in his way and even gave him a welcome. As has been said, the progress of the suit over the episcopal jurisdiction after 1738 is obscure. The New Mexico missionaries may well have been too absorbed in defending themselves against lay attacks to worry much about their status in relation to the Bishopric of Durango. Early in 1749, a year before the storm over Ornedal’s report broke, Father Varo had made this statement about the episcopal jurisdiction.

The inconvenience resulting from the distance of more than four hundred leagues between the said missions and Durango, which is the capital where the bishops reside, is no less. To this diocese, as the nearest one, it seems that the new curacies which may be founded should be joined, for in the said Custody there are not the number of ministers necessary for its maintenance and progress. This will be seen in the description to be made of the missions, because most of them have only one minister, even when they extend long distances and have a large population, as is the case at Zuñi and other missions. It would then [if the New Mexico missions were subject to the Bishopric of Durango] be necessary to abandon them for a long time, in order to come for the presentations to and bestowing of the benefices, to suffer the inconveniences, expenses, and delays of such a long journey, along with the other charges which the regular clergy bear as a result of the poor way in which the lords bishop usually carry on their administration, and especially when they get the idea that they are of some use and profit. The suit which the said Custody has carried on for many years with the Mitre of Durango in order not to submit to it, but remain separate and under the government which Apostolic privileges allow them, is constant. [The Custody] has used and enjoys these privileges because it is still in the category of living conversions and it is not yet in a state which permits episcopal jurisdiction there, because more harm than benefit would result from the exercise of it. And the only merit [of the case of the bishopric] is that a lord bishop trod part of those very remote lands, intruding without the consent of our King and lord (God keep him). And without any title to the addition, he has used all his force in his pretensions to make it his own territory, exercising jurisdiction and taking the tithes to himself. They have not allowed his Majesty’s decisions to deter them from following their course with determination. The inconveniences involved are insuperable because of the difficulty in making appeals, especially in such serious matters as those of jurisdiction, upon which the spiritual administration and health of so many souls depend.[50]

The question of the collection of tithes is not at all clear. In 1760 Fray Juan Sanz de Lezañn said that the governors had been collecting tithes for more than thirty years and forcing the Indians to haul them to Santa Fe at their own expense. Theoretically the Indians were not subject to them, which makes part of his remarks on the subject even more difficult to understand.

For about thirty years the governors have collected the tithes; all the tithes from down the river are collected in the villa of Albuquerque (a Spanish villa), the alcalde mayor of which has the duty of receiving them. The Indians haul them gratis, and at the proper time take their own in wagons to the villa of Santa Fe.[51]

The bishop tells us that Father Roibal was paid 300 pesos a year from the tithes. As we shall see, Bishop Tamarón found that the missionaries were collecting obventions and first‑fruits from the Spanish citizens in their parishes and enjoyed them in addition to the annual amount granted by the Crown for the support of each friar. We learn from other sources that the settlers were rather capricious about meeting such obligations, depending upon their circumstances at the moment and whether the friar was inclined to press for payment.[52]

The most important evidence that the Bishopric of Durango had continued to keep a foothold in the Custody of New Mexico is the fact that three secular priests were serving there when Tamarón came. There were two in the El Paso area, one of whom held the office of vicar and ecclesiastical judge, and Don Santiago Roibal still main­tained his precarious title to the same office in Santa Fe.

Whatever their inner feelings about the bishop and their dislike for one another, the secular authorities and the Franciscans joined in receiving the prelate with due solemnity. When he neared El Paso, Don Manuel de San Juan, captain of the presidio and chief magistrate, the Custos, Fray Jacobo de Castro, and the vicar went out to the Rio de Santa María to meet him. They even persuaded him to spend an extra night in the dangerous open country so that proper preparations for the ceremonies honoring his entrance to El Paso could be completed. The Custos accompanied the bishop to the interior of New Mexico, where he was also received with every evidence of respect and cooperation. Governor Marín del Valle sent an escort to meet him at Sandia and came out to greet him in person shortly before he reached Santo Domingo. The reception at Santa Fe accorded him full ritual honors as prelate. To establish his jurisdiction on a firmer basis, and in the hope of avoiding future litigation, the bishop gave appointments as his vicar to three Franciscans: to the custos for El Paso, and to the missionaries of Albuquerque and La Cañada for their respective districts. They were pleased to accept and acknowledged the clauses in them reserving the episcopal right to make such appointments at will.

As his itinerary shows, Bishop Tamarón gave himself no time to rest, but carried out his visitation with the utmost dispatch. He reached Tomé, the first settlement of the interior, on May 18. By July 7, when he returned to Tomé, he had visited all the Spanish settlements and missions as far as Taos, except Zuñi and a few other pueblos which he was unable to reach because of adverse traveling conditions. On July 18 he was again at El Paso, ready to continue his journey through other provinces of his diocese for yet another year.

Even in so short a time, it is improbable that the bitter feelings which were agitating all classes of society in New Mexico can have entirely escaped the notice of a man as observant as Bishop Tamarón, although he did not see fit to discuss them in his official reports of his visitation. He seems to have maintained courteous, if rather distant, relations with the Franciscans and their prelate, whom he never condescends to mention by name. There is no evidence that he was on more intimate terms with Governor Mann del Valle, who was still in office at the time.[53] Apparently he leaned more heavily on information and opinions from Father Santiago Roibal, whom he may have considered a comparatively neutral observer, as well as one who was bound by his own interests to be sincere with the Bishop of Durango. Correspondence he quotes shows that he later kept in touch with New Mexico affairs in spite of his many other serious preoccupations. There are letters from the custos, from Don Santiago Roibal, and from the governors. The fact that he was aware of certain defects in civil administration is evident from some severe remarks he made elsewhere about the alcaldes mayores in many parts of his diocese, including New Mexico:

… some poor men whom the governors install as alcaldes mayores, individuals who have not prospered in other office or who have been ruined in trade; or deserters from studies by which they did not profit, who become paper shuf­flers and swindlers. Such are usually the qualifications of these alcaldes mayores, a career aspired to by useless or ruined men. What are individuals of this kind to do except oppress and squeeze the population in order to eat and to obtain and pay the contribution agreed upon to the one who gave them employment?[54]

He devoted most of his criticism and recommendations to two major problems. The first was the fact that the Christianization of the Indians was hardly more than a superficial conformity to a few outward practices which they did not understand or have much interest in. Like other critics of earlier and later times, he believed that one of the chief reasons for the failure to indoctrinate them was the language difficulty. Only a few of the New Mexico Franciscans had ever had sufficient mastery of the native languages to minister to their flocks without the help of interpreters. And although a number of Indians knew some Spanish, their understanding of it was insufficient for them to grasp abstract religious ideas. The friars resented this criticism from outsiders and made many attempts to refute such charges, but the weight of the evidence is overwhelming that there was much truth in this point of view. Among themselves, the more objective missionaries admitted and deplored this handicap in terms as strong as those of their opponents.

Just why they had never been able to improve this situation in nearly two hundred years remains a question. Part of the answer may lie in the character and strong traditional culture of the Indians with whom they had to deal. It must be remembered how few missionaries there were in proportion to the work they were expected to accomplish, and with little or no aid from the lay Spanish population. This led to a very unnatural way of life which may well have affected the ability of many to deal successfully with their charges‑the physical and psychological difficulties confronting a lonely man, cut off from normal intercourse with his equals and expected to guide and teach an alien and indifferent, if not hostile, community.

Bishop Tamarón felt that a more determined effort to solve the language problem would provide the most efficacious solution. The records do not indicate that his fervent commands and exhortations to this end succeeded to any great degree. His criticisms of the spiritual state of the Indians struck at the very foundations of the mission system in New Mexico. Certainly they were nothing new, nor do we find anything new or constructive in the inevitable rebuttals. If his recommendations for solving the linguistic problem had been heeded, perhaps they would have brought about some improvement. Little was done, and some fifteen years later a Franciscan visitor was to feel the same distress at finding the Indians still neophytes after so many years of Christian teaching.[55]

Bishop Tamarón was rigid in his assumption of the valid right of the Diocese of Durango to jurisdiction in New Mexico. He believed that more effective control by the bishops would help to remedy matters. He therefore recommended that four Spanish parishes—El Paso, Santa Fe, Albuquerque, and La Cañada—be turned over to the bishop. The secular priests appointed would be vicars and would have sufficient income from obventions and first-fruits to support assistants. This was not the first time such a suggestion had been made, and as always it was resented by the Franciscans.[56] Although the bishops now and again succeeded in introducing secular clergy in a few New Mexico parishes, this innovation seldom lasted long or brought about any real change.[57]

The second major problem which alarmed and disturbed Bishop Tamarón was the ineffective defence against the incursions of hostile Indians. This was a danger which threatened the very life of the frontier provinces as a whole. The bishop had definite ideas about a more successful method of coping with this menace, and in particular he advised greater use of infantry. His suggestions are included among the translations which follow.

A Franciscan copy of the part of Bishop Tamarón’s report to the Crown of 1765 pertaining to the Franciscan missions in his diocese is followed by a few remarks worth noting. They are as good an indication as any of what the friars thought of it.

I reflect that in the discourse and comparisons of this report the Lord [Bishop] Tamarón makes specific statements with regard to the missions where the King gives something to the Province; but where he gives nothing, he makes no note of it, perhaps so that the King may not know of our services. And even when he finds great need of aid, he does not ask for it as he does for the curacies of his secular priests, and even perhaps where there is no need, or at least not the greatest.[58]

Tamarón was bishop of Durango until late in 1768, when he died, active to the end, at Bamoa, Sinaloa, on December 21, at the age of 73. So far as we know, he was the last bishop to enter New Mexico during the colonial period.

The translation of his description of New Mexico and of excerpts from other portions of his Demostración del vastísimo obispado de la Nueva Vizcaya, 1765 is based on Vito Alessio Robles’ edition published in Mexico in 1937. The sources of a few supplementary translations from manuscripts will be given in their place. The Alessio Robles edition was made from a copy in the Biblioteca Nacional, Mexico.[59] Although the present translation is deliberately rather free in places in order to make it more readable in English, the sense of the original has not been changed.

THE KINGDOM OF NEW MEXICO, 1760  [60]

 The boundaries of New Mexico, if we seek them from Sonora and Janos, are the Santa María River on the west, and the line with Vizcaya is in that region. From there it is fifty leagues to El Paso, and I took this route when I made my episcopal visitation. The captain of Janos and his men left me there and returned to their presidio thirty leagues away. In the south the boundary is Carrizal, which is thirty‑six leagues from El Paso. The eastern boundary is eighty leagues downstream from El Paso at the junction with the Conchos River. The northern limit is unknown. On the west flank there are Gila, Navaho, and Ute Indians; on the northeast, Apaches and Faraones, and various other tribes.

El Paso

This town’s population is made up of Spaniards, Europeanized mixtures,[61] and Indians. Its patron saints are Our Lady of the Pillar [of Saragossa] and St. Joseph.[62] There is a royal presidio with a captain and fifty soldiers in the pay of the King.

The cure of souls is in charge of the Franciscan friars of the Province of the Holy Gospel of Mexico. Two friars are serving there. One is the Custos, who is prelate of all the New Mexico missionaries. The other, who has the title of guardian, is the parish priest of that large town. Two secular priests also reside there. I found that one of them held the office of vicar and ecclesiastical judge, and for good reasons I decided to give the vicariate to the Father Custos, without prejudice to the rights of the episcopal jurisdiction, even though the one who was exercising it had given no cause for his removal from this office.

El Paso has 354 families of Spanish and Europeanized citizens, with 2479 persons. There are 72 Indian families with 249 persons.[63]

They gave me a solemn reception here, for not only did the captain of the presidio, Don Manuel de San Juan, who is also the chief magistrate, the Father Custos, and the vicar come out to the Rio de Santa María, but when I entered El Paso, everyone came marching out in fine order and display. This cost me a night’s sojourn in the country three leagues from El Paso, which I did not like at all, because it is a very dangerous region, even though I had been in the same situation for the six preceding nights from the time I left Janos since there are no settlements en route. But this last night was at their request so that they might make better preparations for my reception, for I was then near enough to have been able to enter El Paso that night. But I arrived on the following day, April 23, 1760.

El Paso is in latitude 32°9´, longitude 261°40´.

There is a large irrigation ditch with which they bleed the Rio del Norte. It is large enough to receive half its waters. This ditch is subdivided into others which run through broad plains, irrigating them. By this means they maintain a large number of vineyards, from which they make Generoso [64] wines even better than those from Parras, and also brandy, but not as much. They grow wheat, maize, and other grains of the region, as well as fruit trees, apples, pears, peaches, figs. It is delightful country in summer.

That settlement suffers a great deal of trouble caused by the river. Every year the freshet carries away the conduit they make to drain off its waters. The flood season lasts three months, May, June, and July. They told me about this before I came, and I traveled with more speed, since I had to cross it before it was in flood. Three or four days after my arrival, I went to see the river, a trip which requires an armed escort. It was already rising. It is at its peak on May 3. It was necessary for me to wait while supplies for the journey to the interior of New Mexico were made ready.

The method of restoring the conduit every year is to make some large round baskets of rather thick rods. When the freshets are over, they put them in the current, filling them with stones, and they act as dams and force the water to seek the mouth of the ditch. This is not necessary when the river is in flood. Indeed, so much water flows that if the river is somewhat higher than usual, they are alarmed, fearing that they may be flooded and innundated with great damage.

Although this river carries a great deal of water, except for the three months when it rises it can be forded, although there is always danger because of its sandy and turbulent bottom. I inquired in El Paso about the reason for this. They attribute it to a river that joins it higher up, which they call the Rio Puerco. I had this in mind when I went upstream. I crossed the Rio Puerco twice and found it completely dry, without water. And higher up, throughout New Mexico, it [the Rio Grande] flows as turbulently as in El Paso, and all the rivers I crossed that would eventually join it are very clear. The common opinion is that its freshets during the aforesaid three months are the result of melting snow. I do not agree with this. The water which melts from snow is very clear, as one observes in the many powerful rivers which come from the Sierra Madre and flow into the South Sea through the government of Sinaloa. I entered New Mexico in the month of May, and almost all the snow in all the sierras had melted. Indeed, a few streaks were visible, but it was obvious that they were only fragments of the large amount that had gone. I went up to the most remote place, which is Taos. I was there on June 10, and at the peak of the great sierra at whose foot the pueblo lies a few patches of snow were visible, and they were small. Although the heavy snows fall from November to February, the freshets do not begin until the end of April, and this is always the case.

On June 13 I was in the pueblo of San Juan, which I visited on my return from Taos. Part of the road was downstream. Astonished to see so much water, I was convinced that there would be few people for me to confirm, since most of the parishioners have their houses on the other side of the river. I reached the pueblo; I made inquiries, and the missionary assured me that everyone had crossed. In astonishment I asked whether canoes could navigate there. They replied that everyone crossed on horseback. The river was divided into seven arms. They crossed three by running and flying, for this is how they describe it when they swim and touch bottom, and four by swimming. They ride the horses bareback; they are now expert; and in this fashion old men and women, boys and girls, and all kinds of people crossed without a single accident.

Higher up in New Mexico this river freezes many years, and they cross the ice on horseback and with wagons.

The headwaters of this river are not known, nor is there any definite account of its source. There are very interesting stories about it, and in spite of its abundance at El Paso, the year 1752 is remembered, when it diminished and dried up there. It flowed to within about thirty leagues above El Paso, and twenty leagues below El Paso its current again emerged, while the intervening fifty leagues remained dry with no water except what was caught in the wells they opened in the channel. They found themselves in a sad state, because they needed the irrigation from this river. Freshets because of rainfall are unknown. The freshets are confined to their three months. These characteristics are worthy of remark, because of the inferences that may be drawn.

El Paso is located between two sierras, and the river, which comes almost directly from the north, runs through the wide mouth between them. The river comes from even beyond New Mexico, always declining southward, and shortly before it reaches El Paso it twists and bends to the east and continues in this direction to the Gulf of Mexico.

San Lorenzo

 This pueblo is called the Realito, but I was never told that there had been mines there. Its inhabitants are Europeanized citizens and Indians. There are 32 families of citizens with 192 persons. There are 21 Indian families with 58 persons. A Franciscan parish priest ministers to these people in the capacity of missionary. It is one league over a plain to the east of El Paso, downstream.[65] Its church is 23 varas long and five and a half wide.

Senecu

 This pueblo is two leagues from San Lorenzo and three from El Paso, downstream over the plain to the east. Its Franciscan missionary, who resides there permanently, has 111 families of Piros Indians, with 425 persons; 18 families of Suma Indians, with 52 persons; and also some infidel Sumas who were being taught the catechism, 28 persons; 29 families of citizens and Europeanized mixtures, with 141 persons. His church is thirty‑six and three‑fourths varas long, five and a half wide, and the priest’s house measures nine varas.[66]

La Isleta

 The titular patrons of this pueblo are Corpus Christi and St. Anthony. It has a Franciscan missionary, with 80 families of Piros Indians and 429 persons; 18 families of citizens with 131 persons.[67] It is two flat leagues east of Senecu and five from El Paso, downstream. The church is thirty‑six varas long by five and one half wide, and the priest’s house measures nine varas.

El Socorro

 This pueblo of Our Lady of Socorro has a Franciscan missionary, with 46 families of Suma Indians and 182 persons. It is one league east of Isleta and six from El Paso, downstream. There are 82 families of citizens, including those of Tiburcio, with 424 persons.[68] The church is thirty-six varas long and seven wide, and the transept measures fourteen and three‑fourths varas. Each of these four pueblos has a friar in residence. They are as fertile and luxuriant as El Paso, with irrigation ditches which the river fills without need for a conduit.

Carrizal

 This pueblo is new, and its titular patron is San Fernando. It was founded in the year 1758 by Captain Don Manuel de San Juan, who paid the expenses of fifty settlers equipped as soldiers and with what was necessary for their farms out of his own private means. A secular priest was appointed, with 400 pesos paid to him by the King. For the protection of these people, twenty soldiers from the presidio of El Paso are stationed here, and they are replaced at regular intervals. When I visited there, the church was started, and the priest has since written me that it is finished. He also asked me for vestments, which I will give as soon as I receive another report on the state of affairs there, for I fear that it will not survive, although it is a very necessary outpost. It has lands with abundant irrigation. It is thirty‑six leagues south of El Paso on the way to Chihuahua. There are 41 families, with 171 Persons. It belongs to New Mexico.

El Paso is the gateway to the interior of New Mexico, and it may be that this circumstance is the origin of its name; not because New Mexico has any barriers, since it is easily entered from all quarters. When I was in Bassaraca [Bacerac], the general of the Opatas, Don Jerónimo, offered, if I liked, to take me from there to New Mexico in a few days, for he knew a much shorter route than the one I planned to take via El Paso. The latter is the gateway because it is the one that has always been used, and, once there, it is the most direct and the one traveled by all. According to what I heard, it would not be difficult to open a road on the west side of the river, and I should have returned that way to avoid two crossings of the river, which were troublesome enough at that season.

The captain prepared a raft in order to cross that formidable river. May 7 was designated for my embarkation. On the sixth the loads, mules, horses, muleteers, one hundred live sheep for food in the uninhabited areas, and other supplies were taken across. They took me to the river early on the seventh. It was very high and overflowing. That place and those nearby which crown the shore were abandoned. When I boarded the raft, the river was covered by Indian swimmers, some pulling lines, others making them fast. I made a happy crossing to the other side with most of my family, although I left part of it in El Paso. It was necessary to wait on the other bank until the two volantes, or two‑wheeled calashes, were brought across. They were dismantled and taken on the raft. These operations and bringing the rest of the people across took until nearly midday. When the volantes were assembled, the journey upstream began.

 One does not lose sight of this river all the way to New Mexico. Only from Albuquerque on is any other water encountered, not even an arroyo or a spring. It is worth noting that on that eastern route from El Paso to New Mexico, the Sierra of the Mansos apparently does not send down a single small arroyo. At the Jornada del Muerto alone, the river recedes, and there are difficulties with regard to water.

On this day [May 8] five leagues of rather rough road were traveled, and there was a review of the people of our camp. They included eleven soldiers from the presidio, twelve citizen soldiers, eighteen Indian soldiers, and eight travelers. Therefore, including my servants, the Father Custos, and myself, we were sixty‑four men in all.

On the following day [May 9] the journey continued for only five leagues, and four on the one after that [May 10], because they were rounding up a herd of horses from those belonging to the presidio, which they keep on the other bank of the river.

On May 11 it was freezing at dawn. On this day we reached the dread site of Robledo, where we spent the night. It is an unavoidable stopping place. The river flows between two sierras. The one on the west is called Robledo, and the one on the east Doña Ana. Camp is pitched between the latter and the river. The place is frightening, and the danger one runs there increases this aspect, for most travelers are attacked by infidel Indians, which is a very frequent occurrence at that place. And two of my most illustrious predecessors who entered New Mexico learned this from experience, because some of their mules were shot with arrows. But I had such good fortune in my travels that not even threats were known, except, indeed, on May 12, which found us in Robledo at a frosty dawn, when smokes were seen in the nearby Doña Ana sierra. This gave us some anxiety, but when we continued our journey, we began to realize that the great amount of smoke indicated that a forest was burning. And a little farther on, opposite the conflagration, we found a black cross about a vara and a half high and as thick as a man’s thumb at the side of the road, and at its foot a deerskin sack containing two pieces of fresh venison and a deerskin. The Apaches, who must have been in the Doña Ana sierra, put it there. By this means they indicated that they were at peace and that we should give them food and buy the deerskin. The experienced guides gave this interpretation. And therefore they left a knife in exchange for the deerskin and kept putting pieces of bread and tobacco leaf in the sack. And a short distance away, for we were on the lookout, two Indians on horseback were sighted. They were coming to see what had been left for them.

On this day, the twelfth of the month and the sixth of the journey, we came to the Jornada del Muerto. To prepare for it, a detour is made to seek the river at a place called San Diego. The night is spent there. Everything necessary is made ready. It is about half a league from the river. Barrels are brought for the purpose. These are filled with water for the people. On the morning of the thirteenth the horses were taken to the river to drink. Somewhat later all the food for the journey was prepared, and at half past seven we left that post with considerable speed, stopping only to change horses. During this interval we ate what there was, and we traveled in this fashion until eight-thirty at night, when we halted opposite the Sierra of Fray Cristobal.

On the fourteenth day of May, the eighth day of our journey, we made an early start. We reached the river at eleven‑thirty. The livestock were so thirsty that they ran to reach the water. After this fashion were the thirty leagues of this difficult stage traveled. We stopped there this day. And on the next, which was the feast of the Glorious Ascension of Our Lord, three masses were said, and then the trip was continued with a short day’s journey because of the tiring one that had preceded it. The site they call San Pascual was reached. There was a pueblo there before the revolt of the kingdom, and only traces of the church and houses are visible. If it were rebuilt, it would be a great consolation and relief to travelers on that road.

On the sixteenth there was also a short day’s journey as far as the site called Luis López because he had an hacienda there before the revolt.

On the seventeenth we went over a road full of ravines, and in one of them the volante in which I and the Father Custos were riding suffered a severe upset. The Father Custos fell from the side and received a blow which hurt him. I escaped injury, because I fell on him. Therefore I took a horse and continued my journey on it. On this day the remains of the pueblo of Socorro were seen on the other side of the river. The walls of the church are standing, and there are peach trees. And they say that an arroyo which rises in the sierra comes down on that side. This pueblo was also lost with the kingdom. On this day a stop was made at the site of Alamito [Alamillo]. That afternoon I wrote to the governor of the kingdom advising him of my coming, and also to the vicar and ecclesiastical judge. Three men were dispatched with my letters and those of the Father Custos.

On the following day, in the middle of the journey, we came to the site where the pueblo of SeviIleta stood, and a little beyond it the ruined estancia of Felipe Romero. Both were lost with the kingdom.

On the nineteenth we passed the house they call Colorada, also in ruins, and from that point on we began to see pens of ewes, corrals, and small houses, for there is good pasturage. On this same day the houses of the settlement of Belén on the other side of the river came into view; and from there on great poplar groves begin to cover the countryside. Here we were received by the alcalde of Tomé with the citi­zens of his town, of Belén, and of Isleta. The last two are on the other side of the river. We reached Tomé at ten and made a stop there.

Tomé

 This is a new settlement of Spanish citizens which could become the best in the kingdom because of its extensive lands and the ease of running an irrigation ditch from the river, which keeps flowing there. A decent church has already been built. It is thirty‑three varas long by eight wide, with a transept and three altars. It is dedicated to the Immaculate Conception. There is a house for the parish priest, who is the one of the villa of Albuquerque. I confirmed 402 persons that afternoon.[69] The population of this settlement is not recorded here because it was included in the census of the town to which it is subordinate [Albuquerque]. The Father Custos was charged to assign a friar to Tomé, separate from Albuquerque, and I believe that he has already done so.

Albuquerque [70]

 This villa is composed of Spanish citizens and Europeanized mixtures. Their parish priest and missionary is a Franciscan friar. It is ten leagues north of Tomé. There are 270 families and 1814 persons.[71]

On the following day, May 21, I celebrated the announcement of my visitation. The edict concerning public sins was read, and then the commands of the Roman ritual were executed. The parish books were examined. Various faculties were conferred on the parish priest, and the title of vicar and ecclesiastical judge of this villa was issued to him because of the distance from Santa Fe, for there had never been one there.

The secular priest who is vicar of Santa Fe, Don Santiago Roibal, arrived here with his notary on this day.

Because some of his parishioners are on the other side of the river, this parish priest of Albuquerque, called Fray Manuel Rojo, is obliged to cross it when summoned. This kept him under apprehension, and above all he emphasized to me that when the river froze, it was necessary to cross on the ice. He elaborated this point by saying that when the ice thundered, he thought he was on the way to the bottom, be­ cause when one crosses it, it creaks as I it were about to break.

Sandia

 This pueblo of Moqui and Tigua Indians is new. It is four leagues north of Albuquerque. There is a very decent chapel on the way there. I inspected it, and while I was doing so, twenty soldiers with a lieutenant captain arrived, whom the governor of the kingdom had sent to me as an escort.

I made my visitation and confirmations in this pueblo of Sandia. There is a Franciscan missionary parish priest there, who administers 35 families of settlers, with 222 persons. The Indians live apart in their tenements, separated after the manner customary in this kingdom, as will he explained later.

The tenement of the Tigua Indians houses 51 families and 196 persons, and that of the converted Moqui Indians, 16 families, with 95 persons.[72]

Santo Domingo

 This pueblo of Keres Indians is six leagues north of Sandia upriver. There are no settlers here. The mission priest is a Franciscan friar. It comprises 67 families, with 424 persons.[73]

Four leagues before we reached this pueblo, we passed opposite another called San Felipe, which is on the other bank of the river. And on this other side they arranged a nice arbor and under it a fine lunch, for in few places would a better one be made. The mission priest of San Felipe prepared it at his own expense. And after it was over and we had proceeded a quarter of a league, the aforesaid governor of the kingdom came out to meet us in his two‑seated chaise, and from there we traveled together to Santo Domingo. He dined there and returned to his capital, but he left the chaise at my disposal.

Having made my visitation and confirmations, I left for Santa Fe on the twenty‑fourth day of May, now leaving the river and traveling toward the east. I reached the house of El Alamo, six leagues from Santo Domingo. It is large, with an upper story and many corridors. There the governor had left everything for the midday meal ready

Here the captain of the peaceful Apache Indians came to call on me. This man is esteemed in the kingdom because of his old loyalty. He warns of the coming of Comanches, and in war he and his men are a safe ally. But they have not been able to persuade him to become a Christian. I begged and exhorted him. He excused himself on the ground that he was now too old to [learn how] to recite the catechism.

I endeavored to facilitate matters for him. I got nowhere. Everyone desires his conversion because he displays good qualities, and they hope that the same thing may happen to him as to another captain who was unwilling while he was in good health, but who asked for baptism when he was on the point of death, which would be going to see the Great Captain, for so they call God. And as soon as he received holy baptism, he died.

Santa Fe

This villa is the capital of New Mexico. It is four leagues east of the house of El Alamo, which I left the afternoon of the same day. And a half a league before we reached Santa Fe, the governor came forth with a numerous and brilliant retinue. He dismounted from his horse and joined me in the coach. This reception was very noteworthy. We proceeded to the villa among a crowd of people, and my entrance to Santa Fe was made with the same solemnity that the Roman ceremonial prescribes for cathedrals. After this function the governor himself lodged me in the very casas reales, and he moved to another house. And he provided food during my sojourn there. I accepted this, and the same from the captain at El Paso, because there was no other way of obtaining it; and they conformed, according to what I heard, to the practice of their predecessors with my predecessors, as likewise with regard to providing mules and horses.

On May 25, which was Whitsunday, the visitation was made with all possible solemnity in the principal church, which serves as the parish church. It is large, with a spacious nave and a transept adorned by altars and altarscreens, all of which, as well as the baptismal font and the other things mentioned in the Roman ritual, were inspected after the edict concerning public sins had been read and a sermon on the aims of the visitation given.

 Two Franciscan friars serve continually in this villa, one with the title of Vice‑Custos and the other as parish priest, with the status of missionary. To each of these friars, and to all who serve in New Mexico, the King contributes 300 pesos annually; and in addition to this, they receive their obventions in accordance with a fixed schedule. A secular priest also serves in that villa as vicar. He is paid 300 pesos a year from the tithes. This was the only vicar in the kingdom, and for that reason I decided to add the vicarship of Albuquerque and that of the Villa de Ia Cañada, so that decisions might be handed down with greater ease.[74]

This villa of Santa Fe has 379 families of citizens of Spanish and mixed blood, with 1285 persons. Since I have confirmed 1532 persons in the said villa, I am convinced that the census they gave me is very much on the low side, and I do not doubt that the number of persons must be at least twice that given in the census.[75]

In this villa I visited another church dedicated to the Archangel St. Michael. It is fairly decent; at that time they were repairing the roof.

In the plaza, a very fine church dedicated to the Most Holy Mother of Light was being built, it is thirty varas long and nine wide, with a transept. Eight leagues from there a vein of very white stone had been discovered, and the amount necessary for an altar screen large enough to fill a third [of the wall] of the high altar was brought from this place. This was then almost carved. Later both it and the church were finished. The dedication of this church was also celebrated, and I was informed that it was all well adorned. The chief founder of this church was the governor himself, Don Francisco Marín del Valle, who simultaneously arranged for the founding of a confraternity which was established while I was there. I attended the first meeting and approved everything.[76]

The buildings of this villa, both churches and houses, are all adobe. There is no fortress there, nor any formal presidio building. The garrison consists of 80 mounted soldiers in the pay of the King. In that villa, in Galisteo, and in Taos there was need of a stone fort in the vicinity of each. Santa Fe is a very open place; the houses are far apart; and therefore it does not have the least defence. If there had been a fort at the time of the uprising in the year 1680, the Indians would not have dared to do what they did.

This villa lies at the foot of a sierra, which is east of it and runs to the north. Water is scarce, because the river that traverses it dries up entirely in the months just before harvest, when only an inadequate small spring remains for drinking water, in addition to the wells. On May 25 it rained and hailed, and the sierra was covered with snow which soon melted. That people rejoiced, since they thought that such early precipitation augured a good winter. The villa of Santa Fe is located in latitude 37°28´, longitude 262°40´.

Since the two pueblos of Pecos and Galisteo are off the beaten track, the decision to break off the visitation of Santa Fe and to proceed to make that of the said two pueblos was taken.

Pecos

 A Franciscan missionary parish priest resides in this Indian pueblo. It is eight leagues from Santa Fe to the southeast. There are 168 families, with 344 persons, and 192 persons were confirmed 77.

Here the failure of the Indians to confess except at the point of death is more noticeable, because they do not know the Spanish language and the missionaries do not know those of the Indians. They have one or two interpreters in each pueblo, with whose aid the missionaries manage to confess them when they are in danger of dying. And although they recite some of the Christian doctrine in Spanish, since they do not understand the language, they might as well not know it.

This point saddened and upset me more in that kingdom than in any other, and I felt scruples about confirming adults. I remonstrated vehemently with the Father Custos and the missionaries, who tried to excuse themselves by claiming that they could not learn those languages. In my writs of visitation I ordered them to learn them, and I repeatedly urged them to apply themselves to this and to formulate catechisms and guides to confession, of which I would pay the printing costs.[78] I asked the Father Custos to give me a report about this in writing, and he gave me the one contained in a paragraph of a letter dated November 7, 1761, which reads as follows:

Father Fray Tomás Murciano has worked hard on the formulation of an aid to confession in the native language, but so far he has had no success because the interpreters have confused him so greatly by the variety of terms in which they express things that he assured me that he had found no road to follow. And I told him to write it all down and learn it, and then to try to observe with great care the ordinary manner of speaking among them, and that in this way he would succeed. Nevertheless, in many pueblos this year it did come about that a number of people made their confessions, and I am in no way relaxing my efforts in this regard, and, for my part, I am doing all I can. Perhaps it may be God’s will that there be success.

The letter is quoted to this point. I have again urged the extreme importance of this matter for the good of those souls. Finally, in a letter of December 12, 1763, the same Father Custos, at my instance, makes the following statement:

And although I am ill, I have not neglected the least detail of the things which your Illustrious Lordship charged me to foster, especially the matter of confessions. In this regard I have made and am making every possible effort, for since the time when your Illustrious Lordship made your visitation, I have not failed to go to New Mexico once a year. And although I have not accomplished all that your illustrious Lordship and I desire, because of the rebelliousness of the people, still some progress has been made, and I hope that with the help of God and by persistence our end may be attained.

It is a shame that most of those Indians lack the benefit of confession. I take little satisfaction in these confessions through an interpreter when the latter is an Indian or a negro. I had experience of this when I was a parish priest in Caracas with the negroes brought there under the English contract. Many died soon after they arrived. I made repeated experiments with those of their own nation who had been in the land for some time. Although we granted confession, I never felt reassurance when this means was used. Arid I attempted to accomplish something in New Mexico by using interpreters, and their version is nothing but confusion on the subject of catechism and confession. In trade and temporal business where profit is involved, the Indians and Spaniards of New Mexico understand one another completely. In such matters they are knowing and avaricious. This does not extend to the spiritual realm, with regard to which they display great tepidity and indifference. And because of their scanty store of virtue and sacred things, they will hurl themselves into such wickedness as I am about to relate.

Extraordinary happening in Pecos  [79]

On May 29, 1760, I went to the pueblo of the Pecos Indians. They received me with demonstrations of rejoicing. They come out on horseback; they perform many tilts to show how skillful and practiced they are in riding.

I inspected that church, and I confirmed them. An escort of soldiers and the Father Custos accompanied me. Among my family I took with me a Spanish‑speaking and civilized negro as my body servant, he is corpulent and has a good presence, and he must have excited the imagination of the Indians.

 I finished my visitation of that kingdom and I left for the outside world in July. During the month of September those Indians of Pecos arranged a function similar to my reception and to other ceremonies I celebrated there. The originator of this performance was one of the Indian principal men of that pueblo, called Agustín Guichí, a carpenter by trade. He made himself bishop, and, in order to present himself to his people as such, he designed and cut pontifical vestments. Making the mitre of parchment, he stained it with white earth. Out of a cloak (tilma), he made a cape like the cope used at confirmations, and he fashioned the rochet out of another cloak. He made a sort of pastoral crosier from a reed.

The aforesaid Agustín donned all this, mounted an ass, and two other Indians got themselves up to accompany him in the capacity of assistants. One took the part of the Father Custos. They put a garment like the Franciscan habit on him, and they painted the other black to represent my man. These two also rode on similar mounts, and, after all the Indian population had assembled along with others who were not Indians, to the accompaniment of a muffled drum and loud huzzas, the whole crew, followed by the three mounted men with Agustín, the make‑believe bishop garbed as such in his fashion, in the middle, departed for the pueblo. They entered it at one o'clock on the fourteenth day of September, 1760. They went straight to the plaza, where the Indian women were kneeling in two rows. And Agustín, the make believe bishop, went between them distributing blessings. In this manner they proceeded to the place where they had prepared a great arbor with two seats in it. Agustín, who was playing the part of the bishop, occupied the chief one, and Mateo Cru, who was acting the Custos, the other.

And the latter immediately rose and informed the crowd in a loud voice that the bishop ordered them to approach to be confirmed. They promptly obeyed, and Agustín, garbed as a bishop, used the following method of confirming each one who came to him: He made a cross on his forehead with water, and when he gave him a buffet, that one left and the next one came forward. In this occupation he spent all the time necessary to dispatch his people, and after the confirma­tions were over, the meal which had been prepared for the occasion was served. Then the dance with which they completed the afternoon followed. On the next day the diversion and festivities continued, beginning with a mass which Bishop Agustín pretended to say in the same arbor. During it he distributed pieces of tortillas made of wheat flour in imitation of communion. And the rest of the day the amusement was dancing, and the same continued on the third day which brought those disorders and entertainments to an end.

On the fourth day, when the memorable Agustín no longer found occupation in the mockery of his burlesque pastimes as bishop, he went about the business of looking after his property. He went to visit his milpa, or corn field, which was half a league away near the river. Then he sat down at the foot of a cedar tree opposite the maize. He was still there very late in the afternoon when night was drawing in, and a bear attacked him from behind, so fiercely that, clawing his head, he tore the skin from the place over which the mitre must have rested. He proceeded to the right hand and tore it to pieces, gave him other bites on the breast, and went away to the sierra.

The wounded man’s brother, José Churune, states that after his brother was wounded, he came to see what had happened to him and that Agustín received him, saying, “Brother, God has already punished me.” Agustín Turifundi, Agustín Guichí’s son, relates in his statement that after his father was wounded and when he had been taken to his house, he summoned him and ordered him to shut the door. And when they were alone he gave him the following admonition: “Son, I have committed a great sin, and God is punishing me for it. And so I order you that you and your brothers are not to do likewise. Counsel them every day and every hour.” This was the exhortation he made before he died.

The fiscal of the pueblo, Juan Domingo Tarizari, testifies that he went to examine the bear’s track and that he followed its prints and saw that when the bear came down from the sierra, he did not go to the milpas, but that he made the whole journey until he wounded Agustín Guichí and returned to the sierra immediately thereafter without eating maize. The fiscal says this and also that bears do not attack men except when the latter chase them. And the other witnesses confirmed his deposition.

Agustín Guichí confessed with the aid of an interpreter, who, at Pecos, is an Indian named Lorenzo. This man relates in his statement that Father Fray Joaquín Xerez, missionary of that pueblo, summoned him to be present as interpreter at the confession, and that he gave him the holy oil of Extreme Unction afterwards. The same mission father certifies that he interred the body of Agustín Guichí, carpenter, in that church on the twenty‑first day of September, 1760.

A formal investigation and report and a juridical indictment with regard to all the foregoing circumstances were drawn up by virtue of a decree I issued, granting a commission for this purpose to Don Santiago Roibal, vicar and ecclesiastical judge of the villa of Santa Fe and its district. He examined nine witnesses, three of them Spanish soldiers attached to that royal presidio who were in Pecos on escort duty and were present at the festivities and burlesque function, and who testily as eyewitnesses. Another was neither soldier nor Indian. He is called Juan Gallegos, and he was present.

The Most High Lord of Heaven and Earth willed this very exemplary happening so that it should serve as a warning to those remote tribes and so that they might show due respect for the functions of His Holy Church and her ministers, and so that we might all be more careful to venerate holy and sacred things; for the punishment that befell does not permit its noteworthy circumstances to be attributed to worldly coincidences.

Galisteo

A Franciscan missionary parish priest resides in this Indian pueblo. When there is a shortage of missionaries, he has charge of this pueblo and of the pueblo of Pecos, from which it lies nine leagues to the west over a flat and open road. Only a few pines and firs are encountered. The latter abound in that kingdom, and they produce piñon nuts, as in Spain.

Galisteo is surrounded by adobe walls, and there is a gate with which they shut themselves in. Here is the usual theatre of the war with the Comanches, who keep this pueblo in a bad way. There is not an abundance of water. It is the outpost for the defence of Santa Fe, from which it is seven leagues to the south. There are 80 families, with 255 persons.[80] Most of these Indians confess annually, and they know the catechism.

A quarter of a league before we reached Galisteo, which must have been about ten o'clock in the morning, an alférez who was in command of the escort came to me and said: “My lord, make all haste, for the Comanches are already upon us.” The soldiers put their hands to their weapons; I spurred my horse well. I had a good fright, and there were no Comanches. They had mistaken the Galisteo Indians for them, because, in order to make the reception more festive in their way, they had scattered on horseback through some hills, from which they emerged suddenly with their courses and tiltings. And because these people live in terror of the Comanches there, they thought they were attacking us.

From Galisteo I returned to Santa Fe. I also experienced another alarm about the Comanches, the news of whose coming was given by the peaceful heathen Apaches. The governor took precautions, and the Comanches went in another direction. And the force marched on the day of Corpus, on which I celebrated a pontifical high mass and organized the procession with His Divine Majesty. The street through which the procession passed was decorated with branches and splendid altars; there were salvos by the military squadrons, and a large crowd was present. I consecrated six altar stones at Santa Fe.

Here I received a petition which I shall relate because of its unusual nature. A woman fifteen years of age, who had already been married for five years, presented herself, asking for the annulment of her marriage because she had been married at the age of ten. Then the husband, who was a soldier of the presidio, appeared. The fact that the marriage had taken place when she was ten years old was verified, but there was also proof that she immediately conceived and bore a son, and then another, and that she was already pregnant with the first child at the age of eleven. For this reason her petition was not valid, and the couple was ordered to continue in the state of matrimony.

Tesuque

This Indian pueblo is a visita [81] of Santa Fe. It is three leagues to the north of the place from which it is administered. I arrived there on June 6.

These Indians are somewhat more civilized. They had not confessed in accordance with the commandment which prescribes annual confession, because of illness, according to what the missionary parish priest told me. And another friar was charged to hear their confessions at once. There are 31 families in this pueblo, with 232 persons.[82]

Nambe

This Indian pueblo is a head mission. Its missionary parish priest is a Franciscan friar. It is three leagues north of Tesuque. There are 49 families, with 204 persons. There is a small settlement of Europeanized citizens, which consists of 27 families, with 118 persons.[83]

This pueblo is very pleasant, with many plantings and a river that always has water, and this delicious for drinking. An irrigation ditch is taken from it. But the plague, or swarm, of bedbugs was encountered, for there is a multitude of them in every part of the house. The following pueblo is a visita of this mission:

Pojoaque

The titular patron of this Indian pueblo is Our Lady of Guadalupe. It belongs to the Tewa nation. It is on the road halfway between Tesuque and Nambe. By some chance, for which I do not know the reason, they did not take me to it, which I regretted. It has 31 families, with 99 persons.[84] It is half a league south of Nambe.

Picuris

A Franciscan missionary resides in this Indian pueblo, the patron saint of which is San Lorenzo. And before reaching it, one crosses a valley they call Chimay, which is traversed by a river. Those people came out to receive me. They have good irrigated lands.

Afterwards we reached the Truchas pass, which is already in the sierra. There is pimería [85] there. Many men and women came out to the road. They also have irrigated lands.

At about eleven o'clock in the morning, when we were enduring great heat, we encountered a beautiful little spring of spouting water, from which we drank. It was like snow water and very thin. A midday stop was made at the site of Trampas, where there are some settlers. License to build a church was left for them. This license was also drawn up to provide that the church should be inside their walled tenement and that it should be thirty varas long including the transept.

The journey was continued in the afternoon. The two rivers of Santa Barbara and Picuris were crossed by bridges. They are very rapid and were carrying a great deal of water.

We entered Picuris when the sun was about to set. We had traveled eleven leagues to the north, the distance between Picuris and Nambe. The road is twisting.

This pueblo of Picuris has 51 families of Indians, with 328 persons, and 37 families of citizens, with 208 persons.[86]

The Indians in this pueblo do not confess except when they are dying, and even the interpreters are the same. Here I labored all I could with the interpreters so that they might inspire the others to contrition. As a result one interpreter and a few others confessed, and the father missionary was charged to carry this work forward.

Taos

The titular patron of this Indian pueblo is San Jerónimo. To reach it we traveled through pine forests and mountains until we descended to the spacious arid beautiful valley they call the valley of Taos. In this valley we kept finding encampments of peaceful infidel Apache Indians, who have sought the protection of the Spaniards so that they may defend them from the Comanches. Then we came to a river called Trampas, which carries enough water. The midday halt was made at the large house of a wealthy Taos Indian, very civilized and well‑to‑do. The said house is well walled in, with arms and towers for defense. In the afternoon the journey through that valley continued. Three rivers of similar current and water were crossed. The first one in particular provides abundant ditches for irrigation. They are about a league and a half from one another. And, crossing the last one, we entered the pueblo of Taos, where a Franciscan missionary parish priest resides.

It is twelve leagues north of Picuris. It is the last and most distant pueblo of that kingdom. In this direction, it lies at the foot of a very high sierra and in latitude 40e. This pueblo has 159 families of Indians, with 505 persons. There are 36 families of Europeanized citizens, with 160 persons.[87] There is a very decent and capacious church.

I also put forth every effort there to induce those best acquainted with Spanish to perform the act of contrition and confess. I therefore left this group until last, confirming the children first. And in fact some did confess, and, encouraged to contrition, were confirmed. But since they do not know the catechism except in Spanish, I did not feel as pleased and easy in my mind as I should have liked. Therefore I reprimanded the mission father and duly reminded him of his duty, ordering him to continue receiving their confessions.

This pueblo is divided into three many‑storied tenements. It would have been better, as I told them, if they had been kept together, for one is on the other side of the river about two hundred varas away. There is a wooden bridge to cross the river. It freezes every year, and they told me that when it is thus covered with ice, the Indian women come with their naked little ones, break the ice with a stone, and bathe them in those waters, dipping them in and out. And they say it is for the purpose of making them tough and strong.

When I was in the pueblo two encampments of Ute Indians, who were friendly but infidels, had just arrived with a captive woman who had fled from the Comanches. They reported that the latter were at the Rio de las Animas preparing buffalo meat in order to come to trade. They come every year to the trading, or fairs. The governor comes to those fairs, which they call rescates [barter, trade], every year with the majority of his garrison and people from all over the kingdom. They bring captives to sell, pieces of chamois, many buffalo skins, and, out of the plunder they have obtained elsewhere, horses, muskets, shotguns, munitions, knives, meat, and various other things. Money is not current at these fairs, but exchange of one thing for another, and so those people get provisions. I left Taos on June 12, and a few days later seventeen tents of Comanches arrived. They make these of buffalo hide, and they say that they are good and well suited for defense; and a family occupies each one. And at the end of the said month of June seventy of these field tents arrived. This was the great fair.

The character of these Comanches is such that while they are peacefully trading in Taos, others of their nation make warlike attacks on some distant pueblo. And the ones who are at peace, engaged in trade, are accustomed to say to the governor, “Don't be too trusting. Remember, there are rogues among us, just as there are among you. Hang any of them you catch.”

In that year, 1760, I left that kingdom at the beginning of July. And on the fourth day of August, according to what they say, nearly three thousand Comanche men waged war with the intention of finishing this pueblo of Taos. They diverted, or provoked, them from a very large house, the greatest in all that valley, belonging to a settler called Villalpando, who, luckily for him, had left that day on business. But when they saw so many Comanches coming, many women and men of that settlement took refuge in this house as the strongest. And, trusting in the fact that it had four towers and in the large supply of muskets, powder, and balls, they say that they fired on the Comanches. The latter were infuriated by this to such a horrible degree that they broke into different parts of the house, killed all the men and some women, who also fought. And the wife of the owner of the house, seeing that they were breaking down the outside door, went to defend it with a lance, and they killed her fighting. Fifty‑six women and children were carried off, and a large number of horses which the owner of the house was keeping there. Forty‑nine bodies of dead Comanches were counted, and other trickles of blood were seen.

As soon as the governor, Don Francisco Marín del Valle, learned about it, he summoned his men with all possible speed. He set out on their trail with a thousand men and pursued them almost two hundred leagues. By this time the Apache auxiliaries were tired and dispirited. Food supplies were running out. They returned. They spent forty days reconnoitering a large area without accomplishing anything.

It is said, and they told me, that this numerous, strong, warlike tribe of Comanches came and showed themselves on the New Mexico front in the years 1717 or 1718. And they said that it had taken them twelve moons to travel from their lands. The immensity of those unpopulated regions may be deduced from this.

Later, in the year 1761, the events occurred that the interim governor, Don Manuel Portillo Urrisola, related in a letter to me, which runs as follows:

Most Illustrious Lord: On last October 27 1 received from your Illustrious Lordship with the usual pleasure the letter in which you condescend to inform me about your esteemed health. And although I imagine your Illustrious Lordship extremely occupied in the care of the ewes of so great a flock, I should fail in my duty if I did not trouble you with the repetition of this account, for I believe that your Illustrious Lordship will appreciate the information.

As a result of refusal to admit the Comanches during the month of August of last year until they should fulfil their offer to bring the captives, on December 18, I received a letter from the alcalde mayor of Taos, in which he informs me that eleven captains of the said tribe arrived in Taos, and with them their principal man, called Onacama. They said that their encampment, which consisted of forty tents, would arrive within three days and that they were bringing seven captive women so that the concession permitting them to trade would be made.

On the instant I collected the small force there was in this villa and in La Cañada, and with what soldiers I had, who were very few, because twenty‑two were in El Paso del Norte awaiting my successor, I started off and reached Taos on the thirty‑first at eight in the morning. The Comanches arrived two hours later. I went out to receive them, and after we had talked, I accompanied them to a place opposite the pueblo and had them camp near the swamp. There were sixty-eight tents. This served to make me suspicious of them, fearing some of their treachery. Therefore I kept the whole force mounted and with their weapons in their hands.

And after I had withdrawn to the pueblo, ten captains, accompanied by Onacama, came to see me at two in the afternoon. They haughtily told me that they were bringing me seven captives, three women and four boys; that they were to be well paid to their satisfaction and that permission to trade was to be granted; otherwise they would find out whether I was man enough to throw them out, as I had done in the month of August. I refused this proposal, making them confess that what they had committed in Pablo Villalpando’s house had been done with treacherous treason at a time when they were at peace with us; that not only would I not pay them for the seven captives whom they were bringing, but that I would not grant them peace or trade until they should bring all the captives whom they had carried off.

Therefore they raised a tumult, wishing to leave. I prevented this, seizing them and disarming seven men. Hereupon they wanted to kill me. And, having allowed one of the aforesaid to go to bring the captives they were holding in their encampment, as soon as he reached it he sent them to me with another captain, while he himself remained behind drawing up his forces, whom he had mount their horses, exhorting them to try to kill me first. As soon as I learned this, leaving six soldiers to guard the ten captains, with orders to kill them if they attempted flight, I mounted and went to join my men.

When I reached the encampment, I found all the Comanches on horseback, drawn up in three files, proclaiming war. Despite my small force, scorning their great numbers, trusting in the protection of the Most Holy Virgin and the justice on our side, I thrust myself into their midst with a cutlass in my hand, asking them what this tumult meant. They replied that it was nothing, everything was now over, that we were comrades. Seeing me in this peril, my men begged me, weeping, to come back. I was unwilling to do so until I found myself absolutely compelled to it because I heard shots in the pueblo. And, leaving all my mounted men under Lieutenant Tomás Madrid to surround their encampment, with orders not to permit any of them to get out and that none of our men should dismount, I returned to the pueblo and found the dangerous situation that the ten captains, as soon as they saw my tumultuous departure, had overcome the guard, and, having seized two firearms, had left fleeing via the ladders. And the soldiers, seeing that they could not hold them, fired on them. One of them fell dead, and most of them were wounded. And, not having been able to reach the open country, because the door of the house was occupied by the cavalry squadron who had come at the sound of the shots, they fortified themselves in the stable and lower rooms, from which they kept firing shots all night. They killed the horses of the soldiers of the guard, and they destroyed their saddles.

So we stood firm all night with our weapons in our hands, and those in the field did the same, until the twenty‑second dawned. The lieutenant then advised me that they had come out in front of their encampment with a cross and a white banner, asking for peace, that their captains should be handed over, and that trade should be permitted. I had them told that before I conceded what they asked, they must hand over their horses to me and remain on foot; after the fair and after we had reached an agreement, I would return them so that they might depart. They refused, breaking out again and crying war.

And now that I found myself obliged to do so, invoking the Queen of Angels and men, I fired a small field cannon loaded with cartridges, and also a close volley of shotguns.

Although they returned our fire with a sufficient show of resistance, at the second close volley fired at them, they were unable to bear the scourge from heaven let loose against them and abandoned their encampment. Their women and children fled. The pagans called Utes, who made me an offer to fight on our side until death, did not bestir themselves in our assistance at all. And so, while we were occupied in pursuit of the fugitives, they sacked the camp. They carried off more than a thousand horses and mules and more than three hundred Comanche women, large and small. They went on without stopping until they reached their land. And although I saw what was going on, I could not prevent it for lack of men. And continuing the pursuit of the fugitives until we reached a place impossible to pass, we kept on killing Comanches. Those fields were covered with their bodies, for none of them were willing to surrender alive.

This glorious action was over in less than an hour, with such extraordinary signs that the All Powerful fought on our side, that although my force consisted of eighty men at the most, including both soldiers and citizens, more than four hundred Comanches died, and only two of our men, one an Indian and one a citizen, died, and ten were wounded, but superficially, for all of them are well now.

Having returned to the community house and found that the captains who were in it were unwilling to surrender under any agreement, I had fire set to it. And since this did not burn with the necessary violence, when night came four of the captains who had survived it came forth with two guns they had, hoping to escape. But only one of them succeeded. He managed to get away in the darkness of the night, but when day came, following his footprints, although it was impossible to overtake him, it is believed that he must have died because of the trail of blood he left behind him.

From a Ute woman who was a captive in the hands of this camp and who succeeded in escaping, it has been learned for certain that those who escaped from this affair out of the whole encampment numbered thirty‑six, including men and women; and that as soon as they received the news of their misfortune, they set fire to everything they had, they killed all their herd of horses, they cut their ears, and they went fleeing, and the Aá nation went in pursuit of them.[88]

As a result of this glorious victory, I had hoped for complete quiet in this kingdom because of the fear it has inspired in all the heathen tribes, and also because of the gratitude they have shown. But I believe that this hope will be frustrated by the arrival of my successor, who took office on the first day of February,[89] for he seems to have the intention of summoning the Comanches, sending them some of their captive women. If this is carried out, I fear, and with reason, that they will destroy the kingdom on one of these occasions when they come to trade, for experience has shown that all the wicked things which this bellicose and false tribe has committed have always occurred when they were at peace with us. May God provide the remedy and grant me His grace and my departure from this kingdom at once, because I am no longer of any use whatsoever in it.

I shall be rejoiced to hear that your Most Illustrious Lordship enjoys very perfect and entire health, placing that which the Lord grants me at your Most Illustrious Lordship’s disposition most willingly, imploring the Most high to prolong the very important life of your Most Illustrious Lordship for many happy years. Villa of Santa Fe, February 24, 1762. Most Illustrious Lord, prostrate at the feet of your Most Illustrious Lordship, your most humble subject, Manuel Portillo Urrisola.

San Juan

This pueblo of Tewa Indians is fifteen leagues southwest of Taos. We left the latter pueblo and went across the same valley, but in a westerly direction. Its four rivers were again crossed; these soon flow into the Rio Grande. Leaving this Taos valley, we entered a cañada of the sierra. The midday halt was made near a stream of cold water.

In the afternoon the journey was continued as far as a valley which is called Embudo. In this place there is a large house and other houses belonging to citizens. Confirmations were performed, and we spent the night there. It is a district of the parish of San Juan. Those confirmed numbered ninety‑six. They were prepared for it, and they recited the catechism.

There is an abundant river, which we crossed by a bridge. Near there this river also flows into the Rio Grande.

On the following day, June 13, the feast of St. Anthony [of Padua], mass was said, after which the journey continued. Coming out of the pine‑covered sierra, there was a drop to a plain and the shore of the Rio Grande. We kept that in sight like the sea as far as San Juan, which is also near it. It is five leagues south of Embudo.

A Franciscan missionary parish priest resides in this pueblo. There are 50 Indian families, with 316 persons, in the pueblo, and 75 families of citizens, with 575 persons.[90]

La Cañada

The villa of Santa Cruz de la Cañada is two leagues from San Juan to the east. A Franciscan missionary parish priest resides there. The church is rather large but has little adornment. There is no semblance of a town. The settlers are scattered over a wide area. There are 241 families of Spaniards and Europeanized mixtures with 1515 persons.[91]
 

I made this priest vicar and ecclesiastical judge. The following missionary parish priests presented themselves here: Fray Juan José de Toledo, of the pueblo of Santo Tomás de Abiquiu, 50 years old, who has served in those missions for a long time; and his mission is ten leagues north northwest of La Cañada, upstream and on the other side of the river. And the mission parish priest of the pueblo of Santa Clara, which is two leagues from La Cañada but is on the other side of the river. I desired to go there. They did not permit it because of the height of the river and the poor condition of the canoe. The genízaros of Abiquiu, Santa Clara, and Ojo Caliente were confirmed at La Cañada. The parish books of Santa Clara and Abiquiu were presented and examined. In the Abiquiu books I found a guide to confession and catechism in the Tewa and Spanish languages, upon which I admonished the fathers, but they replied that they did not agree with it and that it was useless.

Abiquiu

This pueblo of genízaro Indians has a Franciscan missionary parish priest, as has already been mentioned and also the distance from La Cañada. There are 57 Indian families with 166 persons, and there are 104 families of citizens, with 617 persons.[92]

Santa Clara

There is a Franciscan missionary in this pueblo of Tewa Indians. It is on the west side of the Rio Grande, two leagues from La Cañada to the west southwest. There are 70 Indian families, with 257 persons, and 39 families of citizens, with 277 persons.[93] I looked at this pueblo as I passed by when I went down from La Cañada to San Ildefonso. Its bells were heard, and its Indians accompanied me.

San Ildefonso

This pueblo of Tewa Indians is three leagues south of La Cañada, downstream. A Franciscan missionary parish priest resides there. There are 90 Indian families, with 484 persons, and 4 families of citizens, with 30 persons.[94] The governor came down here for our final leave‑taking.

Cochiti

This pueblo of Keres Indians is about fourteen leagues south southwest of San Ildefonso. A Franciscan missionary parish priest resides there. On the west side of the river there are 105 Indian families, with 450 persons, and 40 families of citizens, with 140 persons.[95]

They received me in a large house belonging to a settler opposite the pueblo on the east side of the river. I wanted to cross to the other side in a canoe, but they made difficulties. And there the people had brought the Europeanized mixtures across.

The catechism was put, and the Indians were prepared. They do not confess and are like the rest. They recited in Spanish, following what the fiscals say. They promised to confess. Three hundred thirty‑nine persons were confirmed.

The journey from San Ildefonso to this house at Cochiti, which lasted from four o'clock in the morning until one-thirty, all over fairly flat country, was the most grievous of the whole visitation because of the terrible heat of the sun on the day of June 20.

San Felipe de Jesús

This pueblo of Keres Indians has its Franciscan missionary parish priest. It is three leagues south of the house at Cochiti from which the departure was made. We went by the pueblo of Santo Domingo. This pueblo of San Felipe is on the west bank of the river, which I crossed in a good canoe. The river flows in a single channel, very deep and quiet. This is the best place to cross.

There are 89 Indian families, with 458 persons in this pueblo.[96] They also presented equal difficulties with regard to their confirmation. They said that thirteen had confessed. The missionary, Fray Tomás Valenciano, is very able, and I gave him effective orders. And he is the one I thought might compose the guide to confession and catechism for the Keres, and this was also entrusted to him, although no results have been attained.

Santa Ana

This pueblo of Keres Indians has its Franciscan missionary parish priest. It is four leagues west of San Felipe, flat country. There are 104 Indian families, with 404 persons.[97]

Sia

The titular patron of this pueblo of Keres Indians is Our Lady of the Assumption. A Franciscan missionary parish priest resides there. There are 150 Indian families, with 568 persons.[98] It is two long leagues from Santa Ana over dunes and sandy places.

Jemez

The titular patron of this pueblo of Indians who speak the Pecos language is San Diego. It is three leagues north of Sia. It has a Franciscan missionary parish priest. There are 109 families, with 373 persons.[99] The difficulties with regard to confessions and catechism continue.

La Laguna

The titular patron of this pueblo of Keres Indians is San José. A Franciscan missionary parish priest resides there. It is twenty leagues west of Sia, and we spent two days on the road from there.

On the first day the midday stop was made at the place of the Cuevas.[100] We traveled six leagues in the afternoon. After a league and a half we came to the Rio Puerco. It was dry at the crossing; there were only a few pools, where the cattle drank. The night was spent at the place called El Alamo. Water is very scarce, and from there to Laguna, a journey which tired the animals greatly, we traveled at the end of June, and the sun burned as if it were shooting fire.

On one side of this road, to the north, is the place of the Cebolletas, where Father Menchero founded the two pueblos already mentioned. The inhabitants are Navahos and Apaches, and many of them live in those cañadas. Some are heathens, and others apostates. Some of their huts were seen.

This pueblo [Laguna] has 174 Indian families, with 600 persons, and there are 20 families of citizens, with 86 persons.[101] The father missionary parish priest who was here is called Fray Juan José Oronzo, 62 years of age, he had served as a missionary in this kingdom for twenty‑eight years, and I asked him why he had not learned the language of the Keres Indians in so many years, and why he had not formulated a guide to confession so that he might confess them annually and when they were dying without the aid of an interpreter. He appeared disconcerted by this; he gave various excuses on the ground that because of the indifference of the Indians, which was even more marked in the women, no one confessed. I gave my orders, and the matter rested there.

The church is small, and its adornment poor. There is a great lake near there, from which a stream arises. This is the headwater of the Rio Puerco. On one side there is a small spring of water as cold as snow. They send from the mesa to get it. It is very delicious.

Zuñi

The titular patron of this Indian pueblo is Our Lady of Guadalupe. It has a Franciscan missionary parish priest. It is thirty leagues west of La Laguna, to which the mission parish priest came with forty Indians, including the cacique and the interpreter, bringing the parish books.

I felt an inclination and desire to go to Zuñi. I did not succeed in doing so, although I made every effort. The chief thing that prevented me was the assurance that the mules with the supplies were swollen with the extreme heat, that there was only one watering place on the way to Zuñi, and that one near there, and that the mules would die of thirst, and that there was no pasturage. I abandoned this undertaking with great regret.

I confirmed some persons, and they promised to send me others at Isleta. They are as stupid and backward in confession and catechism as the rest. Only one confessed.

I examined the parish books. I was told that the church was good and the pueblo large. This pueblo of Zuñi has 182 Indian families and 664 persons.[102] These were the ones who could be listed. I heard tell that this was the largest pueblo of the kingdom, and therefore it probably has a larger population. One of the difficulties alleged against my going there was that I should not find even half of the inhabitants because they are so dispersed in their ranchos. They breed livestock, and large flocks of sheep come from there.

While I was in Laguna, a group of Apache Navaho Indians arrived, saying that they wished to become Christians. Their captain, Tadeo, who is a Christian and roams with them, is now an old man and, they say, a great rogue, for he has three infidel wives. He confessed to me that he had one. I asked him whether the Church had given her to him, and he was silent. I questioned him about the catechism. He recited the Our Father and the Ave María. I admonished them to come to recite with the mission father, to build their pueblo, and he would baptize them. I entrusted this to the friar, and they went off to seek the protection of the Spaniards so that their enemies, the Utes, might not finish them off.

Acoma

The titular patron of this pueblo of Keres Indians is San Esteban. It has a Franciscan missionary parish priest. It is five leagues west southwest of Laguna over flat road, but the entrance to the pueblo is very difficult and rugged. The pueblo stands on a very high mesa, a stone mesa, almost round, inaccessible on all sides. The only ascent is half over sand dunes, in which the riding beasts are buried, and the other half via great rocks, obviously perilous. Here I ascended on foot.

It is a singular thing how the round hill rises from that plain, without connection with any other; and there they put the pueblo, although there is no water. They bring it up from a spring which is below. They have concavities like water jars in the rock, and these are filled.

It is the most beautiful pueblo of the whole kingdom, with its system of streets and substantial stone houses more than a story high. The priest’s house has an upper story and is well arranged. For burials they cut the cemetery, which is large, and covered it with earth which they brought up from below, because all the ground is rock.

This pueblo consists of 308 Indian families, with 1502 persons.[103] The missionary of this pueblo is called Fray Pedro Ignacio del Pino. He has been a missionary for twenty years. He keeps his Indians better instructed in Christian doctrine than the rest. Some in that kingdom recite in unison and individually. They have seven interpreters. He obliges them to attend catechism and mass. He assists at catechism in person. He has had to whip them, and he keeps them in order, although not up to date with regard to confession. He understands the language, but he does not know how to speak it, and therefore in order to hear their confessions he needs an interpreter only for what he has to say to them.

The bringing up of the water struck me as a very outlandish thing. Since the view is so extensive, I went out to take the air two afternoons, and, at one side of the hill, but through its center, I saw a swarm of women and children emerge with pots and jars full of water on their heads. I inquired how that was done. The hill is pierced there as if by a narrow, very deep well. They have made hollows on the sides, or a kind of steps in which the feet barely fit. and they go in and come up by them. Although they explained it to me at length, I never succeeded in understanding how, in view of the tremendous depth, the ascent through so narrow a tube is managed, for those people frequent it at all hours with the weight they carry on their heads. They told me that two had thrown themselves down, and I admonished the missionary with regard to this.

From here we departed for Isleta, a two days’ journey. The first day we dined at the place of Los Alamos, twelve leagues away. The little spring of water was very scanty. In the afternoon we covered three leagues, as far as the Rio Puerco. Although it was dry, there were some pools, and there we spent the night.

La Isleta

This pueblo of Tigua Indians and settlers has San Agustín for its patron saint. It has a Franciscan missionary parish priest. It is five fairly flat leagues from the Rio Puerco, where we slept, and it is twenty leagues east of the pueblo of Acoma and fifteen from Laguna, which was

inspected on the way in. It is called Isleta because it is very close to the Rio Grande del Norte, and when the river is in flood, one branch surrounds it. It is not innundated because it stands on a little mound.

It has 107 families of Indians, with 304 persons, and 210 families of settlers, including those of the place of Belén, with 620 persons.[104] The Isleta church is single‑naved, with an adorned altar. The Indians know the catechism; they confess annually, and they did so in preparation for confirmation, because they speak Spanish. The settlement of Belén is six leagues south of Isleta, downstream.

Twenty‑seven Zuñi Indians arrived from that side of Isleta with an interpreter. With his help, an act of contrition was formulated for them so that they would confess in Zuñi. The interpreter confessed, and I confirmed twenty of them, for seven had already been confirmed.

The people of Isleta have good lands, with irrigation from the river. They sow wheat, maize, and other grains. They have some fruit trees, which usually fail to bear because of the frost. Vine‑stocks had been planted which were already bearing grapes.

Here a canoe had been made ready to cross the river. It was old, and although they tried to repair it, it was leaking a good amount of water, which they covered so that I should not see it coming in. A crowd of Indians made up this deficiency, for otherwise the crossing in it would have been very risky, and the river is very wide there. It took about half an hour to cross to the other side, and on this (lay we reached Tomé, which is four leagues southeast of Isleta. It is the first settlement through which one enters and must leave that interior part of New Mexico.

In this village of Tomé the necessary preparations are made for the departure for El Paso, including supplies, horses, and the escort that must be taken. The latter numbered only twenty‑one soldiers, with an ensign who went as commanding officer; and in addition to these, fifty‑five armed men, Spaniards and Indians. The number of persons in all was ninety‑four; four hundred twenty‑nine horses and mules; twenty‑eight bulls; four hundred fifty sheep. The departure from Tomé with all this train took place on the eighth day of July. The daily journeys continued in the same way as when I entered. Some of the stopping places for the night were found to be flooded because of the extraordinary freshets the river had that year. The difference on the return trip was that it took two days less, because, as a result of the rains, we found water in the middle of the Jornada del Muerto at the place they call Perrillos, and we did not have to make the detour.

And at the beginning of this day’s journey we found two crosses from the Indians, with sacks for food. And at this point they shouted from the hill of the San Cristobal sierra; the cries increased; they said, “We are good,”[105] meaning peaceful. There appeared to be a large force. Our men were ordered to assemble and take arms, but they made no other movement, and we continued our journey and reached El Paso on the eighteenth day of that month of July. We crossed the river on a raft, but it was not so full as the first time we crossed. The leagues traveled from Tomé to El Paso on our return trip were eighty‑four.

I remained in El Paso until the twenty‑eighth, when I left for Chihuahua, a journey of ninety‑three leagues, also through unpopulated and dangerous country. The former provisions were left behind, and a new lot was taken. Therefore in the New Mexico region, they supplied me with seven different sets of provisions: First, the captain of El Paso, from the Rio Santa María to his house; second, the same, from El Paso to Santa Fe; third, from Santa Fe, by the governor, to Pecos and Galisteo; fourth, the same, from Santa Fe to San Ildefonso; fifth, from there, by the aforesaid, to the return to Tomé; sixth, from there to El Paso, by the said governor; seventh, from El Paso to Chihuahua, by the said captain; with all new supplies of food and different mules and horses, most of which were paid for by the said governor and captain, for there was no other way or means. Only with regard to food did I and the Father Custos make some provision; and on the journey from El Paso to Chihuahua, they sent a two‑seated chaise and a drove of mules and a volante from the latter place, which they bought on my order, with four mules. It cost me money and was of little use.

To conclude this report of New Mexico, some particulars about that country will be given. It was discovered in the year 1581 by Father Fray Agustín Ruiz [sic, Rodríguez], a Franciscan religious, and by Antonio Espejo, who gave it the name of New Mexico.[106] Nearly a hundred years after its reduction, on August 10, 1680, those Indians and others leagued with them contrived so secret and violent a conspiracy that they rose in arms everywhere simultaneously, wreaking untold havoc on the Spanish people. They took the lives of all who fell into their hands, including twenty-one Franciscan missionary religious. They trampled the sacred images under foot and outraged them. They destroyed and leveled the churches. Those who managed to escape took the road to El Paso, where some families found a haven, and also some Indians who had not joined the rebellion. The four pueblos of El Paso were founded with these people.

Although the kingdom was reconquered afterwards, it cost great effort, and many pueblos remained in ruins. Nothing is being done about rebuilding them, and only the preservation of what has been reduced is attempted. The Spanish families are increasing somewhat, which is a means of preservation, although the Comanches are so prejudicial to this. Intelligent persons have told me that they [the Comanches] are useful in holding the rest of the Indians in check, because they all fear them and realize that the method of defending themselves against them is to resort to the Spaniards for aid. The Ute tribe is very numerous on the New Mexico border. Formerly they waged war, and now they are at peace because of their fear of the Comanches. The same applies to the Faraon Apaches.

In the year 1759 a rumor spread that the Indians were going to rise on the day of Corpus Christi. The governor was alarmed; he took precautions and made inquiries, but he was unable to clarify the matter. When I was there the following year, they remembered this and told me about it.

Although I made inquiries throughout my visitation, I was unable to discover any use or practice of formal idolatry, nor was any denunciation made before me. I continued to have my suspicions. I asked questions and was not told of any defection on the basis of which I could judge this matter, to which the Indians are usually prone, as experience has shown in other regions. In New Mexico I did not approve of the so‑called estufa, which they maintain in the pueblos I went to inspect, after I was informed about it and its nature. Digging three or four varas deep in the earth a circle about five varas in diameter, they build a wall about a vara and a half high all around it above ground, and they roof it like a terrace. The entrance is through the roof and looks like the hatch of a ship, with its small ladder. There is no other door or window. Outside it has the shape of the crown of a hat. There they say they hold their dances, conventicles, and meetings, and receive Indians of other places there. I did not find proof of anything evil, but I ordered them [the friars] to keep their eyes open. They argued the difficulty of depriving them of that dark and strange receptacle, which is also a temptation to evil.

The apostate Moqui tribe has its home sixty leagues northwest of the pueblo of Zuñi. Their pueblos are six: Oraibi, Mozán, Walpi, Shongopovi, Awatovi, and Janos. These stand on as many stone mesas. Water is scarce and difficult to make use of. Those missionaries are accustomed to make some expeditions there, but at long intervals because of the lack of escorts to protect them. When they obtain them, they do make a few conversions. The Moquis are now very near the Sierra Azul, which is about twelve days’ journey from there. They say that there is a great deal of silver beyond this sierra. Many relations, observations, and reports agree that the great town of bearded men and costly buildings, supplied with arms and munitions, is not far from there. This is common talk in New Mexico, and the friars who have gone to the Moquis assure me that they learned it there from the Coninas [Havasupai] Indians and that via these lands of the Moquis, it will be easier to discover the headwaters of the Colorado River and whether the Californias are an island or a peninsula.

Itinerary [107]

Itinerary taken on the diocesan visitation which began on the twenty‑second day of October, 1759, on which clay Dr. don Pedro Tamarón, its bishop, left the city of Durango. The memorandum is arranged in six columns, as follows: In the first the days will be noted; in the second, the directions; in the third, the number of leagues; in the fourth, the places; in the fifth, the number of persons confirmed; in the sixth, the sermons or discourses which he preached in person. To differentiate the places, the following designations will be used: Sa. means sierra. Co. that the night was spent in the field or an unpopulated place. Po. Is an Indian pueblo Va. Ia villa. Vo. Is a settlement of Europeanized citizens. RI. is a mining town. M.F. indicates a mission of Franciscan religious. M.J. indicates a mission of the fathers of the Society of Jesus. Hcda. means hacienda.

 

Kingdom of New Mexico 1760

Days  

Directions          

Leagues            

Places                  

Confirmations

Sermons

April
19

east/northeast

8

Socorro-Co

0

0

20

east/northeast

12

Puertecito-Co

0

0

21

east/northeast

15

Ojito de Cholome-Co

0

0

22

north               

12

In the Field-Co

0

0

23

north

 

Royal Presidio of El Paso

1742

10

30

east

6

Socorro-MF-Po

383

1

May 1

 west                  

2

Isleta-MF-Po

364

1

2

west

2

Senecu-MF-Po

484

1

3

west

2

Lorenzo-MFS

2

1

The Rio del Norte was crossed

 

 

7

north

5

Quemada

0


0
 

8

north

5

Alamitos

0

0

9

north

4

Truillo

0

0

10

north

6

Rancheria

0

0

11

north

7

Robledo

0

0

12

north

5

San Diego

0

0

13

north

20

San Cristobal

0

0

Jornada del Muerto

 

 

14

north

10

El Rio-Co.

0

0

15  

north

7

San Pascual

0

0

16

north

6

Luis López-Co

0

0

17

north

8

Luis López-Co

0

0

18

north

5

Tomé-M.F.  

606

0

19

north

9

Nutrias-Co

0

0

20

north

10

M.F. Va. De Albuquerque

732

4

22

north

4

Sandia-MF-Po.

450

2

23

north

6

Sto. Domingo-MF

272

1

24

north

12

Sta. Fe-M.F. Va.

1532

7

29

east

8

Pecos-M.F.

192

1

30

west

5

Galisteo-MF

169

1

31

north

7

Sta. Fe-M.F. Va.

0

0

June 6

north

3

Tesuque-M.F.

132

1

7

north

3

Nambe-M.F.

323

1

8

north

11

Picuris-M.F.

376

2

10

north

12

Taos-M.F.

376

2

12

southwest

10

Embudo-Vo.

93

1

13

south

5

San Juan-MF

486

2

14

east

2

Va. De la Cañada-M.F.

1517

6

18

south

5

San Ildefonso-M.F.

467

3

20

south

12

De Pena-Ro.

339

2

21

south

3

S. Felipe-M.F.

185

1

23

west

4

Sta. Ana-M.F.

178

1

24

west

2

Zia-M.F.

494

2

26

west

11

Cañada del Alamo

0

0

27

west

9

Laguna  -M.F.

382

3

30

south

5

Acoma- M.F.

532

2

July 2

east

15

Rio Puerco-Co.

0

0

3

east

5

Isleta-MF

649

3

7

southeast

4

Tomé-Vo.

0

0

8

south

5

Nutrias-Co.

0

0

9

south

9

Alamo-Co

0

0

10

south

3

Luis López-Co

0

0

11

south

8

San Pascual-Co

0

0

12

south

7

Fr. Cristobal-Co.

0

0

13

south

18

Journada de Muerto-Co.

0

0

14

south

4

Perrillos-Co

0

0

15

south

8

Robledo--Co

0

0

16

south

 

Bracito-Co

0

0

17

south

9

Alamito-Co

0

0

18

south

8

Royal presidio of El Paso

0

0

28

south

12

El Ojito-Co

0

0

29

south

16

Ojo de Lucero-Co

0

0

30

south

 

Carrizal-Vo, Co

226

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copy of the report which the Most Illustrious Lord Tamarón, Bishop of Durango, makes to the King our lord (God keep him), with regard to the curacies and missions of this diocese in so far as it pertains to our friars and the missions which are in charge of the Order, both within the boundaries of this province of Zacatecas and in the Custody of New Mexico . . . 1765.[108]

Kingdom of New Mexico

When I visited this kingdom in the year 1760, there were thirty Franciscan friars residing in this governmental district [of New Mexico], six in the pueblos of El Paso and twenty‑four in the interior. They are comfortably off, each one alone in his pueblo; and the King contributes three hun­dred [pesos a year for their support]. This comes to them every two years, when their share is six hundred pesos apiece. Of this, forty‑eight pesos are deducted for expenses, and they net 552 pesos, which are used to buy them [what they need] in accordance with the order each interested party gives to their procurator in Mexico. This usually consists of chocolate, beeswax, habits, paper, and other necessities. In addition to this alms from the King, the Indians contribute their services. The secular priest and vicar, Br. don Santiago Roibal, gives me a statement of this in his letter of April 6, 1764. It reads as follows:

The services which the Indians give to the reverend fathers are: They sow for them three fanegas[109] of wheat, four almudes[110] of maize, two almudes of broad beans,[111] two of vetch;[112] some of them also sow two or three almudes of chick peas and half a fanega of frijoles and their vegetable or kitchen garden. Throughout the year they never lack firewood, which the Indians who serve weekly bring in carts or on their backs. They have forty [of these Indians who serve for a week at a time], and some have more. They have two sacristans. All the Indians give prompt obedience to the commands of the reverend father missionaries. This is true and is public knowledge in the whole kingdom.

The said vicar to this point.

The mission fathers also draw obventions in full from the citizens who are their parishioners, and also the first-fruits in accordance with their harvests of grain, as the vicar reports.

When I arrived to make my visitation, there were two vicars acting as ecclesiastical judges. They were secular priests. The Order of St. Francis has opposed with inflexibility and vigor the Bishop of Durango’s being bishop of and exercising jurisdiction in New Mexico, but the King has permitted it. I went there to make a visitation, as three bishops have done, of whom I was the most recent. In view of my information about the state of this dependency and of the fact that the latest royal cedula orders the Bishop of Durango to remove the secular priest who is now vicar, from which cedula an appeal has been made,—and the vicarship of Santa Fe has been in existence for thirty years—I entered New Mexico with some misgivings. But when I found that I was not gainsaid in anything and that I was made free of everything, as if they were secular priests, I tried not to waste the opportunity.

I soon observed that those Indians were not indoctrinated. They do recite the catechism in Spanish, following their fiscal, but since they do not know this language, they do not understand what they are saying. The missionaries do not know the languages of the Indians, and as a result the latter do not confess except at the point of death, and then with the aid of an interpreter. I remonstrated about this repeatedly, and I ordered the missionaries to learn the languages of the Indians. These mandates, along with others, were recorded in their parish books. And I have since made inquiries of the Father Custos, and I have his replies in several letters, which I am keeping, in which he expresses hopes. But they are not realized, as the secular vicar says in a letter I quote, and these are his words:

I also advise your lordship that none o the friars, old or new, apply themselves to learning the native language, nor, in my opinion, would they do anything about it even if further precepts were applied. They are little inclined to be studious, and therefore they continue as always with their fiscals and interpreters, who are used for deathbed [confessions], which is the only occasion when the sacrament of confession is administered to the Indians. I am not aware that the Indians fulfil their annual duty to the Church. Up to now, I am not aware that any father is qualified to teach, nor do they even provide any means whereby the Indians might learn the Spanish language. This would be the easiest solution, as I found by practical experience in the pueblo of Santa María de las Caldas, where I bought many primers and set them to reading. And so in a single year they were all speaking Spanish; they conversed with their fathers and mothers in the same Spanish language, and as a result all became Spanish‑speaking. But I observe no effort.

Said vicar to this point.[113]

If other measures are not taken, experience has already shown that the Franciscan fathers will not find a way out of the difficulties in which they have thus far remained, and those poor Indians will go on, like their Christian forefathers, unindoctrinated. I do not know how to express the mental anguish I went through with regard to confirming adults. Since the parish priests are friars, who turn their backs on the bishop, his mandates lose most of their force.

The year before last the governor of New Mexico instituted proceedings concerning various idolatries committed by sorcerers and persons possessed by devils, which had not only spread their contagious infection in that government but also had jumped to the neighboring provinces. The secular priest who is vicar informed me about it, but the friars, not even the Custos nor the other two vicars, nor any other, failed to notify me.

When these proceedings were reviewed in the viceroyalty, for the said governor remitted them there, also relating the lack of indoctrination among those Indians, it was ordered that a copy be sent to the Bishop of Durango in order that, as diocesan of New Mexico, he should proceed against the idolatrous Indians and witch doctors. And since the bishop’s jurisdiction is not effectual enough for him to consider it productive of results, I wrote to the Most Excellent Lord Viceroy, acknowledging receipt of the said copy of the proceedings, and with the aim of making clear to his Excellency the actual state of my jurisdiction there, asking him to undertake to clarify and expedite matters and to propose means for remedying those evils. I begged his permission to go to Mexico, but I have received no reply on this point. And therefore what progress I may make in the aforesaid cases will be very little, although I had already entrusted the matter to the vicar, who is a secular priest, whose power there is very limited.

During my visitation I appointed three friars as vicars: the Custos for El Paso, and the two missionaries of Albuquerque and La Cañada for their respective districts. I issued formal titles to them, which included clauses reserving the right to appoint secular priests at the will of the bishop and stating that the Order did not acquire any rights thereby since the appointments were dispatched in my name. They accepted with pleasure and took oath to perform their office in accordance with these conditions, under which they exercise this authority. This seemed to me very conducive to the establishment of my jurisdiction on a firmer basis, without the risk of litigation.

And in order to make the bishop respected in New Mexico, an extremely important measure would be to give him four Spanish parishes. These are El Paso, Santa Fe, Albuquerque, and La Cañada. The revenue from obventions, plus first‑fruits, of the first could amount to more than four thousand pesos. That of the second would not be less than three thousand pesos, and the other two would yield nearly two thousand pesos. Although I am short of priests, since these are goodly amounts there would be no lack of candidates for these four. They would be vicars and they would support assistants. And I make this proposal as a necessary first step in providing a remedy for that kingdom and so that the friars may not be such sole owners of it.

Everything up to here is a literal copy of the report made by the Most Illustrious Tamarón, dated at the Villa del Nombre de Dios on July 11, 1765, signed by his hand, sealed with his seal, and attested by his secretary, Br. D. Felipe Cantador. It comprises 47 leaves.

Edicts [114]

We, Dr. don Pedro Tamarón y Romeral, by the grace of God and of the Holy Apostolic See Bishop of Durango, of the provinces of New Vizcaya, and other provinces of New Mexico, Sinaloa, and Sonora, member of his Majesty’s Council, etc. To all parish priests, proprietary, provisional, assistant, deputy, or other who exercise the ministry and care of souls in this our diocese, whether they be secular or regular clergy, greeting in Our Lord Jesus Christ, Who is the true salvation.

Since our primary concern is to watch and take care that the souls whom divine condescension placed in our charge shall speedily enjoy the salutary spiritual nourishment which they need in order to obtain their eternal salvation and be free from perpetual damnation; and since the parish priests are the first who are under just obligation to prepare and minister these spiritual benefits through which the felicity of eternal joy must be attained; and in order that they may be diligent, solicitous, effective, and fervent in their distribution, and in order to avoid certain negligences and neglects pernicious to the faithful which usually occur, and in order that, in so far as is possible, they may fulfill the office of the cure of souls punctiliously; and in order that we may aid them by our pastoral solicitude in so far as it is possible for us to do so, by reminding them of the very things that the Sacred Canons and the Holy Councils have commanded, we have resolved to state the following points for the benefit of the aforesaid priests and their deputies so that they may observe, practice, and perform them with complete exactitude.

They shall preach every Sunday, expounding the Holy Gospel of that particular Sunday, concerning which they shall pronounce a sermon of moderate length, not to take more than half an hour or less than a quarter of an hour, in a serious, clear, and simple style. When they reprove vices, let it be in general terms and not directed at specific persons. The parish priest who is unable to do this from memory will make up for it by reading one of the many books in our Spanish language which expound the Holy Gospels. And they shall give the aforesaid sermon during mass after the reading of the first Gospel.

 Moreover, on Sunday afternoons at four o’clock they shall ring a bell to summon the children to recite the prayers. They shall question them about some of the Mysteries and shall give explanations of one of them in order that all may comprehend them. They might spend about another half an hour on this and recite the Most Holy Rosary afterwards. Arid, if arrangements can be made, they shall then lead them singing through the streets. If the priest is devout and industrious, this will be very easy for him; but if he is not, the contrary will be true, and these holy ministries will be much more trouble for them if they are preoccupied with mundane affairs or diversions.

And the priests for the Indians shall continue, as is the custom, to have those who are being indoctrinated recite the catechism daily. The said priests shall also prepare panegyric sermons to include the explanation of a point of Christian doctrine in the salutation.

And, since it is ordered that the holy oils be renewed annually, the priests shall provide themselves with them and shall take care that and arrange for decent and careful persons to carry them in vessels which will not spill.

In order that the parish priests may be acquainted with their flock and know whether they abide by the precepts of annual confession, they shall draw up lists every year between Septuagesima Sunday and Ash Wednesday, and as soon as they complete their duties to the Church, the certificates of confession arid communion shall be compared with the said list, or census, in order to determine those who have failed to do so. The priests shall produce these lists during visitation or whenever we may ask for them.

And because the priests should be informed about whether their parishioners know Christian doctrine, they shall examine them all once a year. This examination shall take place before they confess in fulfilment of the precept which prescribes annual confession, and they shall give them a certificate attesting that they know it. And without this certificate, they are not to hear their confessions for this purpose. They shall attend to this personally or through the agency of other confessors, and we order them to put this into effective execution and not to consent to their taking communion in fulfilment of this obligation if they do not have the certificate of said examination and that they have confessed. And this examination shall be given to all before the confession begins and not as a part of it.

Since death is the end of life, in order that it may be good, repeated succour from the spiritual father is necessary. And the pastor must keep well on the alert lest the infernal wolf prey on his lambs in so terrible a crisis as death. Therefore we exhort, command, and beg, in visceribus Christi, the priests and their deputies to make repeated visits to their moribund parishioners, to exhort, reconcile, and aid them, and to apply indulgences for their benefit, including a plenary indulgence which we concede to them. And let them read the recommendation of the soul [to God] after they have administered the Holy Sacraments to them. And let them enter upon this with love, affection, kindness, and pleasure, whether they are summoned or not, and avoid inspiring terror by ill‑advised methods.

With regard to all who contract matrimony, they shall examine them beforehand in Christian doctrine and shall have them confess so that they may be worthy of approaching the holy sacrament.

In each separate entry in the baptismal records they shall note the place and day and also record the day on which the baby was born, the name of the person who performed the baptism, and those of the parents and godparents. And in the burial records they shall state what sacraments were received before death, whether the deceased made a will and in whose presence, his testamentary executors, and what he left for pious purposes.

The priests shall maintain constant residence in the confines of their parish, and they shall not leave it without leaving an approved priest there or without our permission, except for a brief period for the purpose of confessing.

 And since all we have provided is exactly what their very office as parish priests implies, by virtue of holy obedience we order each of them to conform and conduct himself in accordance with the content of this our edict, warning them that we shall make charges against transgressors according to the gravity of their faults, especially during our pastoral visitation, which, with divine favor, we intend to begin this present year, crossing the sierra, continuing to the Tierra Caliente, Sinaloa, Sonora, and New Mexico. And we notify the said priests and confessors that during it they are to be examined in moral matters, in order that they may have time to prepare themselves and so that they may have no excuse on the ground that this notice (lid not reach them in advance. And in order that this may come to the attention of all those to whom the observance of the provisions in these writings of ours pertains, they shall be published in our holy cathedral and shall be affixed to one of its doors, and they shall be sent to all the parishes of this our diocese by relaying them from place to place in order that the priests may also make the same proclamation. And they shall make a copy of them in any one of the parish books immediately so that their content shall be available in future for punctilious fulfilment.

Given in our episcopal palace of Durango, signed by us, sealed with our seal, and countersigned by our undersigned secretary of chamber and government, on July 7, 1759. Pedro, Bishop of Durango. By order of his Most Illustrious Lordship the Bishop, my lord, Br. Felipe Cantador, secretary.

We, Dr. don Pedro Tamarón y Romeral, by the grace of God and of the Holy Apostolic See Bishop of Durango and of the provinces of New Vizcaya and other provinces of New Mexico, Sinaloa, and Sonora, member of his Majesty’s Council, etc.

Inasmuch as we have decided, subject to divine favor, to make a general visitation of all this diocese of ours to begin in the present month, we have arranged our itinerary to cross the Sierra Madre in search of Pueblo Nuevo, to proceed from there to that of Plomosas, places which, so far as is known, have not been visited by their own prelates; continuing from there to Matatán, Rosario, and all the Tierra Caliente into Culiacán, and what it is possible to take in of the sierra; and then to proceed to the provinces of Sinaloa and Sonora and to continue as far as New Mexico; then all of Vizcaya; an undertaking of the greatest magnitude which we shall only be able to carry out with the powerful aid and assistance of the Omnipotent Lord God of Heaven and Earth, Whose Supreme Majesty we humbly beg and pray to so govern our actions that all of them may yield honor and glory to Him and benefit to souls, as we desire, and the highest success in all our ventures.

And for this purpose we have thought it well to make some preliminary dispositions in order to win the harvest we seek from so extensive and laborious a pilgrimage. Notwithstanding the edict issued by our order in this city on July 7 of this present year and sent by relay throughout the diocese, in which the priests were reminded of their principal obligations, which they were ordered to fulfill punctiliously, and which we reiterate in these our writings, we still have further admonitions to give them, which pertain especially to the ecclesiastical visitation. These are as follows:

They shall not come forth to receive us beyond the limits of their jurisdiction, and, with regard to the expenditures and compliments of our reception, the priests and vicars and other ecclesiastics shall confine themselves to what the honor of our dignity makes obligatory, especially with regard to dinners and refreshments. These shall be in accordance with the custom and practice of this diocese, regulated and measured by our person and family, without inviting any guest, not even persons of the highest esteem and authority in the towns. Let there be no worldly banquets, for they must not serve more than four different dishes at each dinner. And we also forbid them to issue invitations to costly refreshments on our arrival. And in places where it may be necessary for us to stay longer than usual, we shall take care to provide that the priests cease their contributions and the expenses will be charged to our account. We shall also do the same from the time of our arrival at places where the priests may be poor and we consider that they cannot bear the contribution that is legally due us.[115]

And because we must also administer the Holy Sacrament of Confirmation while we are engaged in the visitation, it will be the duty of the priests to prepare all their adult parishioners who are to be confirmed so that they may be ready in time to receive this holy sacrament worthily, explaining its great effects to them and that they must come to it in God’s grace in order to obtain them. And thus they shall encourage and exhort them to confession lest anyone excuse himself from receiving this holy sacrament.

The said priests shall also have ready lists and censuses of all their parishioners, including even the tiny children, and they shall give us a report of those who have not fulfilled the precept of annual confession and communion. They are to give us these lists. And in order that we may be able to dispatch the business of the visitation speedily, we order our vicars and priests to undertake to draw up a list of the testaments and bequests for pious purposes which they are informed have not been carried out, and of what vacancies there may be in chaplaincies, so that we may make suitable provision without delay in such a way that our provisions may have prompt and due effect. And in order that all the testamentary executors and others in whose charge the aforesaid testaments may be shall be notified in time, this edict shall be read on a feast day inter missarum solemnia so that the points expressed here and the dispositions to be made in anticipation of our visitation may come to the attention of all. And for this purpose it shall be sent beforehand from parish to parish.

Given in our episcopal palace of Durango, signed by us, sealed with our seal, and countersigned by our undersigned secretary of chamber and government, on October 12, 1759. Pedro, Bishop of Durango. By order of his Most Illustrious Lordship the Bishop, my lord, Br. Felipe Cantador, secretary.

(Concluded)

 

Comments on Military Affairs [116]

During this war the Seris were held down and could do no harm, but the Apaches, on the north where they live, took advantage of the occasion to commit robberies and murders, and as soon as our force withdrew, the Seris repeated and are repeating their destructive acts with new fury and ferocity, with the impetus of a dammed river when it gets loose.

This last campaign shows what experience has shown before (this is the reason why I have stopped to give some report of it), that these campaigns are not sufficient to reduce the enemy tribes who surround Sonora unless the proposal I have made to the King our lord and to his Viceroy of this New Spain since I returned from my general visitation is heeded. In this I stated that the method which remained to be tried in order to restrain so many pagans and apostates was to introduce a regular troop of infantry. Three thousand men, distributed as follows, would be sufficient to attack them on the neediest frontiers of this diocese. Half of them should be stationed in Chihuahua, and detachments sent from there to San Buenaventura and to clean up those sierras and their environs. And from there they should keep going in toward the Gila River, fifty leagues from the Presidio of Janos, and keep on penetrating as far as Zuñi, the last pueblo of New Mexico. From this point they would decide which of the following undertakings would be most useful: whether to go on to the Moquis, who are in the interior sixty leagues to the north, or turn west to the Navahos, in order to approach the Rio Grande de Navaho, which is said to be the head­ water of the Colorado River, which enters California, and there wait for the other body of the troop, who would have begun their expedition in Sonora. Half of these 1500 infantry should pursue the Seris and would finish them off quickly if they pursued them inflexibly, taking advantage of the suitable seasons. And the rest of the force should wheel to the north in search of the Apaches and others allied with them. And the five presidios, with their cavalry, should support the operations of these detachments. In this way these 1500 foot soldiers would penetrate the two Pimerías, and, after pacifying them, go up to the headwaters of the Colorado River where the three thousand men would be reunited. And once they were there, time and circumstances would show them the direction to take. And many settlers would come from this troop, which is the second necessary means of preservation [of the frontier provinces], after the completion of two or three campaigns in as many years, lasting from March to the end of October; that is, in the cold lands, for in the hot country the whole year would be utilized in this final experiment which I have proposed as the most useful and efficacious one.

I stated that as a result of the last campaign I described, which Governor don José Tienda de Cuerbo undertook, it became obvious that campaigns of this kind were inadequate for the subjection of the enemy Indians. And this is true, because the aforesaid most recent campaign was conducted in an extraordinary manner, that is, with a rather large army of 426 men and with the intention of continuing it for four months. This was the longest campaign since I have resided in this diocese, and although it did not last the full four months, it did go on for more than three, and this is still the longest one of these times. Ordinary campaigns last a month at most, with a small force.

Another example, although a rather old one, might also be used: the campaign usually called Father Menchero’s. This took place in the year 1747. Nearly seven hundred mounted men assembled, and, setting out from El Paso, they went up the Rio del Norte. From the Jornada del Muerto they turned west in search of the Gila River. They reached it and made some forays in those vast lands. They discovered several Indian encampments and made some captives. They returned toward the north and reached the direct way to and the latitude of New Mexico. By that time they did not know where they were. They found a trail; they sent people to explore it, and they came out at the pueblo of Acoma. The missionary of Acoma told me this story, and he informed me that when Father Menchero came there, he was with the soldiers and a captain, Don Santiago Ruiz, who also told me about it. From there they went to Zuñi, and, because it was late in the season, they did not go on to the Moquis. They did, indeed, leave orders for the founding of pueblos. The Navahos were supplied with all they needed at the expense of the royal treasury, and these Indians lost it. The same ones came to me at the pueblo of Laguna with the same petition for pueblos, saying that they desired to become Christians. The Franciscan fathers informed me about the inconstancy of the Navahos and that they always said the same thing, but that there was no way of subjecting them to catechism. I observed that they did not come as they should. I treated them kindly, I exhorted them, I left orders with the missionaries to keep on trying to draw them in as best they could. No other special fruit of that celebrated campaign was known.

I asked for Spanish infantry, for the military who are known here in these presidios are all cavalry. According to the ordinance each one must have at least six horses. Others have more, and the reserve captains maintain large herds of horses. It is a continual nagging embarassment to care for so many horses, which are greatly coveted by the enemy Indians. As a result, during campaigns half the force is diverted from the business at hand and kept busy guarding the herd of remounts which is always taken. The horses cannot climb the crags where the Indians assemble. Infantry can. The mounted man uses a short‑barreled shotgun and a lance for arms. The former is more frequently used. Its range is short, and, impeded by the shield, reins, and the movements of the horse, most of the shots fail to find their mark. The foot soldier would carry a musket. It has a much greater range than arrows; with the bayonet, it serves as a lance. Instead of the uniform jacket, they would wear the leather jackets used here, which arrows do not penetrate. And in this way, taking their time, marching in two or three campaigns of nine or ten months each, their progress will be obvious. It is understood that each division of infantry would need some cavalry from the presidios to reconnoitre the stopping and watering places. In the report I cited, I gave as an example the infantry consisting of more than a thousand men who were sent to the province of Caracas in the year 1749 and who traveled throughout the province, which is very extensive, and entered the province of Cumaná. They also reached the Kingdom of Santa Fe, over harsher and more wooded regions and mountains than those in this part of the world, for here only the Sierra Madre is more difficult. As a result that land was pacified and subdued by the said infantry, who were the means whereby the end for which it was sent was accomplished.

The King maintains three foot soldiers for the amount one mounted soldier costs him. Pasturage and watering places for a large herd of horses are usually rare. In an operation taking more than two months, the six horses apiece required by ordinance would not be sufficient for each soldier of the cavalry of this land, because of the effect galloping has on them. Just lassoing and bridling every day is a task that only he who has traveled a long distance will believe. What races this first daily task costs; for since there is no manger, straw, or barley, they have to turn the horses loose to look for grass, or zacate, as it is called here, to eat. Most mornings they find that some are missing. They make mad dashes to look for them. Some of the other less tame horses take off suddenly. Three or four men ride as fast as they can to intercept them. I used to have these spectacles before my eyes for many days when we spent the night in unpopulated areas. Infantry is free from this tiring diversion.

 According to the description they have given me, the confusion which a dawn attack, when they want to take their enemy by surprise, in these wars creates among these mounted soldiers is inexpressible. They make the assault at break of day, which is why they call it a dawn attack. They are horseless and unprepared. Their fright and fear, because they do not know what to do, have no equal. The foot soldier arms himself with greater facility. On several occasions people have emphasized to me how easily these mounted soldiers are put out of action, whether they are killed or fall, or if the engagement begins before they are mounted. They use spurs with disks as large as the palm of the hand, with long points, and this impediment is enough to entangle them.

As one example among many, in the month of November, 1759, it happened that the captain of the El Paso presidio, Don Manuel de San Juan, was returning to his presidio from Chihuahua. Halfway there, when they had already made camp rather early at a place which was a little far from water, he thought it best to go a league farther to a better site. This was possible because there was more than enough time to do so by daylight. Since they had already unloaded, they saddled and the captain set out with most of the escort. He left behind three muleteers to attend to the loading and four soldiers to guard them. The captain departed with his force; they reached the appointed place, and, seeing how late in the afternoon it was now and that there had been more than enough time for the loads to arrive, he sent some soldiers to find out whether they were coming. They went; there was no sign of them; they went on to where they had left them. They saw all of them stretched out, the locks of the chests and trunks removed, and part of the clothing strewed about. Terrified, they hastened to advise the captain, who came immediately and found six men, four already dead and two living, but so badly wounded that one died on the road and the other when they reached El Paso. They had all been pierced through by many arrows. They collected the clothing which they had left behind [and found that the enemy] had carried off the best, as well as the mules and horses and one of the muleteers to help transport the booty. Later they decided to leave him behind and gave him a heavy thrust with a lance. He managed to bind or tie up his wound well and stop the blood. He recovered and he was the one who told me about everything that happened and that the Indian attackers numbered five, and that this number had wreaked such havoc against seven men. Seven months later I passed by the place where so lamentable an event had occurred. It is quite open, with no wood or thicket, completely flat. They say that the enemy came from some hills to the west and must not have been seen at once, and the soldiers had not even taken their shotguns out of their cases. This has given rise to discussion, with varying opinions about the reason for their failure to act.

Although the case which I am about to relate, like the one I have just told, belongs to the New Mexico branch, because those wars resemble the ones in Sonora they are recorded here to illustrate my point. I left New Mexico in July of the year 1760. In December of the same year the cordon, for they so designate the annual departure to Vizcaya for purposes of trade which the settlers make at that season, left. Usually five or six hundred men go. That year there were about two hundred and no more because of fear that the Comanches might invade the kingdom. In the region halfway between El Paso and Chihuahua the Indian enemies attacked them at midnight. Their numbers were not equal to those of the cordon, but the latter took it for granted that they were at the mercy of the Indians, and their tribulation, fright, and confusion was as great as possible. It was their good fortune that the Indians only shot to frighten them, in order to make sure of their booty from the herd of horses, which was what they were after. They carried off most of it. When the members of the cordon recovered from their terror, they undertook to saddle the remaining horses in order to pursue the thieves. They found them after dawn. When the Indians saw that they were being overtaken, they took refuge in some crags where the horses could not go. The Spaniards did, indeed, succeed in recovering most of the booty, but from on high on the rocks the Indians cried to those who followed them and threatened to see them when they returned. If there were infantry, they would not think themselves so safe on their rocks. These reasons seem to lead to the conclusion that said infantry should be tried, for its success will give complete proof. This is true of every war, for one does not sing victory until it is over.

My reasoning on this point has been castigated in Mexico with the specious pretext of the conservation of the royal exchequer, although one of my chief reasons is its increase by safeguarding the wealth of Sonora alone. To gain, it is necessary to spend. This is my aim, and my chief one is the exaltation of the Holy Faith, which is the same motive that impels our very religious Catholic monarchs to such enterprises, as their most just laws and royal cédulas testify and state with extraordinary piety and holy zeal.

The other difficulties which are contemplated will be conquered as time goes on in the same way as in other reductions. One of them is: What should be done with so many Indians as there are in the places to be traversed by the soldiers? Of these, those who are subdued should be established in a pueblo with missionaries to teach them and in order to make these permanent, settlers are necessary to help to hold them in check. It would be advisable to remove the rebels from their native soil and take them elsewhere by sea, in order to avoid what happened with the Seris and many other captives who were sent to Mexico in collars and who have returned more haughty and violent than they went. The other difficulty is that because the regions are so vast, there would always be many Indians in the mountains who would escape. This is very true, for who ever succeeded in putting doors on the field? In time they would diminish. Wolves and other wild beasts ravage the herds, but they do not cease to establish these haciendas for this reason. The owners employ hunters to pursue them, but in spite of such precautions they attack the lambs, the cattle, and the horses. I am ready to answer the many other recriminations of the opposition whenever the occasion may offer, and I would try to satisfy them, with the sole desire of facilitating this matter, the extreme importance of which I have learned. This is the reason why I have deliberated it at such length.

Bishop Tamarón Notes.

1. A silver mining town.

2. P. Tamarón y Romeral, Demostración del vatísimo obispado de la Nueva Vizcaya, 1755. Durango, Sinaloa, Sonora, Arizona, Nuevo Mexico, Chihuahaa y porciones de Texas, Coahuila y Zacatceas. Con una introducción bibliográfica y acotaciones por Vito Alessio Robles. (Biblioteca histories mexicana de obras inéditas, vol. 7), Mexico, 1937, p. 5.

3. Tamarón (1937). Pp. 9‑10.

4. Letter of D. Pedro de Barrientos, Bishop of Durango, to his Majesty. Durango, August 22. 1658. Archivo General de Indies. Sevilla (hereinafter cited as AGI, Audiencia de Guadalajara, leg. 63. Bishop Barrientos stated that New Mexico belonged to his diocese “because it lies within the limits assigned to it as far as the North Sea.” He also pointed out that Bishop Hermosillo “hizo confirmaciones y actos pontificales en los feligreses de ella.” Cf. F. V. Scholes, Troublous Times in New Mexico, 1659‑1670, (New Mexico Historical Society, Publications in History, vol. 11. Albuquerque, 1942), pp. 81‑82; also in New Mexico Historical Review, vol. 12 (1937).

5. For a detailed discussion of the early ecclesiastical organization in New Mexico, see Scholes, “Problems in the early ecclesiastical history of New Mexico,” New Mexico Historical Review, vol. 7 (1932), pp. 32‑74.

6. The royal cedula asking for such reports had been dispatched the previous May. Consulta of the Council of the Indies, September 16, 1651. AGI, And, de Guadalajara, leg. 63.

7. C. W. Hackett, Historical Documents relating to New Mexico, Nueva Vizaya and approaches thereto, to 1773. Vol. 3, Washington, 1937. Introduction, pp. 8‑14; Expediente relating to the provinces of Sinaloa and New Mexico, 1634‑1641, pp. 75‑93; Autos which came with letters from the Viceroy, dated February 28. 1639, concerning whether the division of bishoprics in New Mexico and doctrinas of Sinaloa would be advisable, pp. 94‑127. The quotations from Father Prada’s petition are taken from pp. 113 and 114.

8. For a full discussion of this aspect of New Mexico history see F. V. Scholes’ illuminating studies. Church and State in New Mexico, 1610‑1650 (New Mexico Historical Society Publications in History, vol. 7 (Albuquerque, 1937) ; also in New Mexico Historical Review, vol. 11, 12 (1936 and 1937). Troublous Times in New Mex­ico  The first decade of the Inquisition in New Mexico,” New Mexico Historical Review, vol. 10 (1935), pp. 195‑241.

9. Letter of the Bishop of Duraugo to Dr. Soltero, Durango, March 8, 1657. Archivo General de la Nación, Mexico (cited hereinafter as AGM). Inquisición, tomo 304. Late in 1636 Governor Francisco Martinez de Baeza had compiled evidence concerning the excommunications pronounced by the friars, and Bishop Franco’s in­formant may have been the messenger who took them to New Spain. At the same period the friars dispatched a collection of letters of complaint against the governor. Scholes. Church and State, pp. 106‑114.

10. Hackett (1917). p. 116.

11. Royal cédula to D. Juan Humacero y Carrillo, Cuenca, June 12, 1642. AGI, Indiferente General, leg. 2873.

12. Letter of Bishop Barrientos to his Majesty, Durango, August 22, 1658. AGI Aud. de Guadalajara, leg. 63.

13. Royal cédula to the Viceroy of New Spain, Madrid, December 22, 1656. AGI, Aud. de Guadalajara, leg. 236.

14. Ibid.

15. Letter of Bishop Barricntos to his Majesty, Durango, August 22, 1658. AGI, Aud. de Guadalajara, leg. 63.

16. Biblioteca Nacional, Mexico (herinafter cited as BNM), leg. 1, nos. 22, 26; Diligencias contra el guardián de Santa Fe del Nuevo Mexico, Durango, 1667, in Archivo de la ciudad de Hidalgo del Parral, Chihuahua.

17, “. . . in the year 1666 the holy custodia had increased so much that his Majesty as advised on the part of the Order to form it into a bishopric . . . but the matter had not been decided nor the proposal put in effect when, in the year 1680, the Indians of Moqui, with all those of the interior of the kingdom of New Mexico, revolted.” Declaration of Fray Miguel de Menchero, Santa Barbara, May 10, 1744. Hackett (1937), pp. 396‑397.

18. BNM, leg. 2, no. 2. Apparently this was not the first time that Bishop Escañuela had exercised jurisdiction over El Paso, for he says that he had met Alvarez during a visitation of Casas Grandes. Father Alvarez was then in charge of “the doctrina and mission of the Indians of El Paso and of another new foundation for the erection of which we gave him authority.”

19. BNM, leg. 2, nos. 3 and 4.

20. Ibid.

21. Bishop Benito Crespo to Fray Fernando Altonso González, Durango, August 10, 1728. AGM, Arzobispos, tomo 7. Bishop Crespo based his statements on documents in the episcopal archives of Durango.

22. BNM, leg. 3, no. 3. A royal cédula dated at San Lorenzo el Real, July 10, 1721, summarizes earlier legislation regarding the right 0f the bishops to send visitsdores and appoint vicars in areas assigned to the regular clergy. A dispatch of September 24, 1688, obtained by Fray Francisco de Ayeta as procurator general of the Indies, applied to the bishops of the provinces of New Spain a cédula of October 15. 1505, to the Archbishop of Lima. This ordered that when the bishops were unable to make visitations of doctrinas in charge of the religious Orders in person, they were to send friars of the same Order and not secular priests. Another cédula of October 25, 1624, clarified this further by ordering the archbishops and bishops of the provinces of New Spain and Peru to abstain from appointing outsiders as vicars in the districts of their dioceses and to withdraw any they had placed in the capitals of mission areas. The Franciscan procurator of Lima then complained that not all the bishops were observing the foregoing. After consideration in the Council of the Indies, the preceding cédulas were revoked and recalled by a dispatch dated at Barcelona, October 2, 1701. Now the Archbishop of Mexico charged that the regular clergy’s refusal to observe the 1701 cédula was leading to much unrest and litigation. He therefore requested its revalidation. The Crown ordered its fulfillment by the Archbishop of Mexico and his suffragan bishops. AGM, Arzobispos, torno 7.

23. Crespo to Gonzalez, Durango, August 10. 1728. AGM, Arzobispos, tomo 7.

24. The source material for this suit is voluminous and different parts of it are to he found in a number of archives and collections. I shall not attempt to cite them all in connection with this brief summary. The Archive of the Indies has a comprehensive record of the case up to 1738 in Escribanía de Cámera, leg. 207A. It comprises nearly a thousand folios and undoubtedly contains copies of supporting documents dating from earlier times which might throw much light on some of the gaps and inconsistencies in the present attempt to give the general background of the controversy. This is based on such documents as I have been able to see and occasional references to be found in Bancroft and later authors. The Escribanía de Cámara record of the suit is not available here, and my knowledge of it consists of a brief account of its contents. In a printed memorial to his Majesty, dated at Madrid on April 7, 1724, Fray Mathias Saenz de San Antonio had again suggested that New Mexico needed a bishop of its own. His description of conditions there in ecclesiastical, civil, and military affairs followed the usual depressing pattern. AGI, Aud. de Guadalajara, leg. 209.

25. Some of the correspondence between Crespo and González in 1728 can be found in AGM. Arzobispos, tomo 7.

26. AGI, Aud. de Guadalajara, legs. 206. 209.

27. Don Santiago Roibal was a native of Santa Fe who had been educated for the priesthood in Mexico. When the time came for him to be ordained the Archbishop sent him to the Bishop of Durango, as his “legitimate prelate.” A chaplaincy had been founded for him in Santa Fe a few years earlier after his ordination. AGM, Arzobispos, leg. 7. Cf. note 22, supra, and note 33, infra. See also Fr. Angelico Chavez, “El Vicario Don Santiago Roybal,” El Palacio, vol. 55 (1948), pp. 231‑252.

28. AGI, Aud. de Guadalajara, leg. 79. The Coronado Collection of the Univer­sity of New Mexico Library also has a photograph of a printed memorial of 1731 by Fray Fernando Alonso González from the collection of F, Gómez de Orozco.

29. AGI, Aud. de Guadalajara, leg. 80.

30. The list of the material in AGI, Escribanía de Cámara 207A mentions papers remitted to Spain in the years 1738‑1743. and it may be that these could provide some information about Elizacoechea’s visitation.

31. AGI, Escribanía de Cámara, leg. 960.

32. AGI, Aud. de Guadalajara, leg. 80.

33. BNM, leg. 8, no. 57. I have been unable to locate any information about the final disposition of the case. Bishop Tamarón tells us that although he entered New Mexico with some misgivings because of the inflexible opposition of the Franciscan Order to accepting the jurisdiction of the bishops of Durango, he was gratified to find that he “was made free of everything, as if they were secular priests.” The legal situation, however, cannot have been completely clarified, for the royal cédula ordering the removal of the secular vicar had never been revoked, even though the bishops had appealed from it. Roibal had apparently retained his dubious title to the vicarship for thirty years. BNM, leg. 9, no. 59. A translation of part of this manuscript follows Tamarón’s general description of New Mexico and the Itinerary of his visitation, infra. Tamaron’s reports and criticisms raised the usual storm of protest, but once more the Crown seems to have made no final decision in the jurisdictional dispute. It may be that the division made when the new Bishopric of Sonora was erected in 1781 left New Vizcaya’s claim to jurisdiction over New Mexico beyond further argument. The decision to divide the Bishopric of Durango was probably related to the new administrative organization of the frontier provinces, known as the Provincias Internas. The Bishopric of Sonora was given ecclesiastical jurisdiction over Sonora, Sinaloa, and the Californias. If we are to believe Don Pedro Bautista Pino, New Mexico received the minimum of attention from the bishops of Durango after Bishop Tamarón’s visitation in 1760. According to his Exposicion of 1812, 26 Indian pueblos and 102 Spanish settlements were served by 22 Franciscan missionaries, with secular priests at Santa Fe and one pueblo in the El Paso district. “For more than fifty years no one has known that there was a bishop; nor has a bishop been seen in the province during this time. Consequently, the sovereign provisions and the instructions of ecclesiastical discipline have not been fulfilled. The misfortunes suffered by those settlers are infinite because of the lack of a primate. Persons who have been born during these fifty years have not been confirmed. The poor people who wish, by means of a dispensation, to get married to relatives cannot do so because of the great cost of traveling a distance of more than 400 leagues to Durango. Consequently, many people. compelled by love, live and rear families in adultery. The seal of the ministers of the church is unable to prevent this and many other abuses which are suffered because of the aforesaid lack of ministers. It is truly grievous that in spite of the fact that from 9,000 to 10,000 duros are paid by that province in tithes, for fifty years the people have not had an opportunity to see the face of their bishop. I, an old man, did not know how bishops dressed until I came to Cádiz,” Pino, Barreiro, and Escudero, Three New Mexico Chronicles tr. By H. B. Carroll and J. Villasana Haggard (Quivira Soc. PssbL, vol. 11, Albuquerque, 1942), pp. 50‑51.

34. H. W. Kelley has summarized this dispute in “Franciscan missions of New Mexico, 1740‑1760,” New Mexico Historical. Review, vol. 16 (1941), pp. 141‑170. See also Hackett (1937), pp. 36.41.

35. Bishop Bailos y Sotomayor founded and endowed the Seminary of Santa Rosa at Caracas in 1696. By a royal cédula of 1721. which was confirmed by Innocent XIII in 1722, it was elevated to the status of a royal and pontifical university with the same privileges as Salamanca. R. 24. Baralt, Resumen de la historia de Venezuela (Bruges  and Paris, 1939), pp. 435‑436; J. T. Lanning, Academic culture in the Spanish colonies (London, New York, and Toronto. 1940), pp. 30‑31.

36. As in the dedication to him of panegyric sermons preached by José Díaz de Alcántara on the day the high altar of the Durango cathedral was inaugurated, and printed in Mexico in 1760, J. T. Medina, La Imprenta en Mexico, vol. 5 (Santiago de Chile, 1910), pp. 393‑394. See also Tamarón (1937), p. v.

37. Relación de los méritos y grados del Doctor en Sagrados Canones Don Pedro Tamarónp Romeral, Curu Rector actual de he Igiesia de la Ciudad de Santiago de León de Caracas en la Provincia de Venezuela, 1727. Listed by Medina in Biblioteca Hispano Americana, vol. 4 (Santiago de Chile, 1901), p. 191

38. J. M. Beristain de Souza, Biblioteca Hispano Americana Septentrional, 3d ed. (Mexico, [1947]) ; F. A, Lorenzana, Conciliosos provinaciales primero, y segundo, cele­brados en la muy noble, y muy leal ciudad de Méxjco (Mexico. 1769). pp. 374‑375; Tamarón (1917), pp. v‑vi.

39. Letter of Bishop Tamarón to his Majesty, Durango. October 5, 1759. AGI, Aud. de Guadalajara, leg. 206.

40. Tamarón (1937). p. 370.

41. Ibid., pp. 371‑74. The edicts will be translated infra.

42. Ibid., p. 374.

43. Hackett (1937), pp. 438‑459.

44. Letter of Pray Francisco Antonio de (a Rosa Figueroa to Commissary General Fray Manuel de Nájera, October, 1761. BNM, leg. 9, no. 52. Cf. the report of Provincial Serrano to the Viceroy in 1761, Hackett (1937), pp. 480‑482, 496.

45. BNM, leg. 9, no. 49.

46. Fray Juan Sanz de Lezaún, Noticias Lamentables. 1760. Translated in Hackett (1937), pp. 468‑479. from the Bandelier transcript of the manuscript in ACM. His­toria 25. There is another copy in BNM, leg. 9, no. 46. See also Hackett (1937). p. 497.

47. Letter of Fray Jacobo de Castro to Governor Manuel Portillo Urrisola, El Paso, August 10, 1761. BNM, leg. 9, no. 47.

48. Letter of Fray Jacobo de Castro to Provincial Fray Juan José Moreyra. El Paso. January 14, 1758. BNM, leg. 9, no. 44.

49. Ibid. Cf. Hackett (1937), pp. 470‑477, 498.

50. Informe del estado de la Nuva México a su Majestad según su cédula de 1748. BNM, leg. 8, no. 57. H. R. Wagner, The Spanish Southwest, 1542‑1794 (Quivira Soc. PuSL, vol. 7, Albuquerque, 1937), Part II, pp. 388‑389 lists an informe by P.I. Altamirano, the Jesuit representative at court, submitted in a lawsuit with Bishop Pedro Sanchez de Tagle (1749‑1757) over visitations of Sinalos, Sonora, and other mission areas. If there was a decision in favor of the bishop in this case, it might also have applied to the New Mexico Franciscans and explain their changed attitude when Bishop Tamarón came. In any case, it indicates that the matter of the jurisdiction of the Bishopric of Durango over mission areas in charge of the religious Orders was still in the courts in the 1750’s.

51. Hackett (1937). p. 470.

52. A distinction must be made between obventions and first‑fruits and tithes (obvenciones, primicias, and diezmos). Obventions were the fees for baptisms, marriages, funerals, etc. These were usually levied in accordance with a fixed schedule, with one at a lower rate for the Indians. In the sense used here, first‑fruits were an offering from the harvests and herds, and the Indians seldom paid this.

53. The exact date when Marín del Valle left New Mexico in not known. A statement by Bishop Tamarón, infra, mentioning a campaign against the Comanches indicates that he could not have left before September, 1760. After his departure Don Mateo Antonio de Mendoza apparently served as governor ad interim until early January, 1761. He was succeeded by another interim governor. Don Manuel del Portillo y Urrisola, who held the office until February, 1762.

54. Tamarón (1937), p. 219.

55. E. B. Adams, “Two colonial New Mexico libraries, 1704, 1776,” New Mexico Historical Review, vol. 19 (1944), pp. 141‑143. The relevant part of this article was based on letters and reports by Fray Francisco Atanasio Dominguez, who made a visitation of New Mexico in 1776, in BNM, leg. 10, nos. 42‑19. A translation of the documents concerning Dominguez’ visitation is now being prepared for publication.

56. In the same year that Tamarón visited New Mexico, one of the governors, apparently Don Mateo Antonio de Mendoza, tried to impose his own solutions and implement his dislike of the New Mexico Franciscans from the Province of the Holy Gospel, He told Fathers Lezaún and Abadiano that he had decided, as vice‑patron, to “turn over the missions of the north to the province of Zacatecas.” This was after he “had felt out the minds of the Jesuit fathers in various conversations, with a view to introducing them into these missions.” The Jesuit visitador had replied “that this could not be, in view of the fact that the Franciscan fathers were in possession and, as he had been credibly informed, had failed in nothing.” Hackett (1937), pp. 499-500. As a matter of fact, the Jesuits had similar troubles, more serious in the end than those of the Franciscans, for they were expelled from New Spain in 1767. Bishop Tamarón was chagrined because the Franciscans forestalled him by placing their friars in many of the former Jesuit missions to which he had hoped to send secular clergy, Tamarón (1937), pp. x‑xi.

57. Cf. note 33, supra.

58. BNM, leg. 9. no. 59.

59. For further bibliographical information, see Tamarón (1937). pp. xii‑xiv.

60. Translated from Tamarón (1937), pp. 325‑355.

61. “Gente de razón.” This term is sometimes translated as “whites.” It was generally applied to all those of mixed blood, including mestizos and mulattoes, whose way of life followed Spanish rather than indigenous customs. By contrast the Indians were sometimes detractively referred to as “sin razón.” The term “gente blanca,” literally “white people,” was applied to a certain mixture of Spanish and mulatto blood. N. León, Las castss del México colonial, o Nueva España (Mexico, 1024), pp. 23. 27. It will be noted that Bishop Tamarón distinguished among Spaniards, i.e. individuals of pure European blood, gente de razón, and Indians.

62. These were the patron saints of the presidio. The mission was dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe and El Paso is usually called by this name.

63. BNM, leg. 9, no. 59, part of which will be translated infra, gives a briefer account of Bishop Tamarón’s visitation but does include further details in a few cases. Variations and additions will be given in this and succeeding notes. With regard to El Paso, this manuscript adds that the soldiers of the presidio were mounted. One of the secular priests in residence there, who holds the title of parish priest and vicar of Nuestra Señora de las Caldas, which was abandoned because of the continual incursions by the enemy [Indians], handed over to me the parish books, which were placed in my secretariat, and I deposited the vestments and sacred vessels with him.” Cf. note 113, infra. The Indian population is given as 27 families, with 294 persons, but this may be a mistake by the copyist. The figures for the citizens included the soldiers of the presidio. In 1749 Father Varo had reported that the mission of Our Lady of Guadalupe of El Paso had a population of more than 200 Indians and more than 1000 Spaniards and other Europeanized individuals.” BNM, leg. 8, no. 81.

64. It is impossible to translate this term which has reference to the type and quality of certain wines.

65. BNM, leg. 9, no. 59 gives the distance as three leagues from El Paso and three from Senecu. Cf. Itinerary, infra. According to Father Varo, it had about 150 Suma Indians and 150 Spaniards in the vicinity in 1749. BNM, leg. 8, no. 81.

66. BNM, leg. 9, no. 59 gives the number of Suma families as 12. Varo’s figures for 1749 are about 384 Indians and 102 Spaniards and Europeanized mixtures. BNM, leg. 8, no. 81.

67. About 500 Indians and 54 Spaniards in 1749. Ibid.

68. BNM, leg. 9, no. 59, gives the number of citizens as 444. According to the 1749 estimate, there were about 250 Indians, including children receiving religious instruction, and about 250 Spaniards and half‑breeds, including children. BNM, leg. 8, no. 81.

69. Cf. Itinerary, infra, which gives the number of confirmations as 606. BNM, leg. 9, no. 59, agrees with the above.

70. I have used the modern spelling of the name of this city. The original, of course, has the old and correct version, Alburquerque.

71. The census for 1710 in BNM, leg. 8, no. 81, shows 191 families with about 1312 persons. Father Varos 1749 estimate was 500 non‑Indians and 200 Indians. Possibly Varo’s estimate did not include the subordinate settlements.

72. A note in BNM, leg. 8, no. 81. stales that the convoy of Nuestra Señora de Dolores of Sandia, which was resettled in 1748 with Tigua and Moqui Indians, had not arrived, but that there were about 440 Indians.

73. According to the census of 1750, Santo Domingo had about 42 households with 300 Indians, including children. Ibid.

74. Don Santiago Roibal was the only secular priest in interior New Mexico. “He has been serving as vicar for more than twenty years, and when he is gone, it will be difficult to find another one.” BNM, leg. 9, no. 59.

75. BNM, leg. 8, no. 81, gives three figures for the population of Santa Fe in 1749‑1750. After listing the names of the inhabitants by households, Fray Manuel de San Juan said there were 1205 adults and 514 children, making a total of 1715. including all races. In the margin, however, he gave the figure for adults ss 1025, in which case the total would be 1530. A note citing Father Varo says that in 1719 there were 965 Spaniards and half‑castes, and 570 Indians, or a total of 1535.

76. For an account of the founding and later history of this church, see A. von Wuthenau, “The Spanish military chapels in Santa Fe and reredos of Our Lady of Light,” New Mexico Historical Review, vol. 10 (1535). pp. 175‑154 E. 11. Adams, “The chapel and cofradia of Our Lady of Light in Santa Fe,” Ibid., vol. 22 (1947), pp. 527‑341.

77. The 1750 census lists about 300 persons, although Father Varo’s estimate of 1749 had been more than a thousand adults and children. BNM, leg. 8, no. 81.

78. The bishop was more successful in fomenting language studies elsewhere in his diocese. A Doctrina Christiana in the Opata language by Father Manuel de Aguirre, a Jesuit, was printed in Mexico, 1705, and dedicated to Bishop Tamarón. Wagner, Spanish Southwest, II, 410‑117.

79. Bishop Tamarón published his account of this episode in the same words under the title: Relación del atentado sacrilegio cometido por tres indios de un pueblo de la provincia del Nuevo México; y del severo castigo, que executó la divina Justicia con el fautor principal de ellos, Mexico, 1763. The Coronado Collection of the University of New Mexico Library has a photograph of the copy in the collection of F. Gómez de Orozco. See also Wagner, Spanish Southwest, II, 433‑439.

80. BNM, leg. 9, no. 59, gives the number of persons as 225. Fray Juan José Toledo’s census of 1750 shows 52 households with 220 persons. Father Varo’s estimate of 1749 was 350 persons. BNM, leg. 8, no. 81.

81. A subordinate mission administered by a friar in residence at another mission in the vicinity.

82. BNM, leg. 9, no. 59, gives the number of persons as 223. The 1750 census shows 44 households with 171 persons. BNM, leg. 8, no. 81.

83. BNM, leg. 9, no. 50, gives the number of persons as 107. The 1750 census shows 46 households with 109 persons. Father Varos estimate for 1749 seems to have been 100 settlers and 350 Indians. This may have included Pojoaque. BNM, leg. 8, no. 81.

84. According to the 1750 census the pueblo of “Pojoaque and Cuyamungue” had 15 ranchos and houses with 130 persons. Ibid.

85. None of the possible meanings of this word make sense in relation to the location. Pehaps the original was misread.

86. BNM, leg. 9, no. 59, gives the following figures: 55 Indian families with 328 persons; 39 families of citizens with 208 persons. The 1750 census says there were 150 settlers, including 20 married couples, 2 widowers, 4 widows. 49 unmarried men. 38 unmarried women, 3 men servants, and 14 women servants. The Indians numbered 247: 47 married men, 15 widowers, 3 unmarried men, 29 widows, 2 unmarried women. 50 boys under religious instruction, 65 girls under religious instruction, 26 small boys. 10 small girls. The figures in the table, apparently based on Father Vao’s estimate of 1740, state that there were 50 settlers and 400 Indians. BNM, leg. 8, no. 81.

87. The 1750 census shows approximately 148 households with 456 persons, including a number of Apaches. The number of Indians given in the table is 540. There were 9 Spanish households with about 57 persons: 6 coyote, or mestizo, households, with about 55 persons: and 8 genízaro households with about 25 persons. According to the table, the number of non‑Indians was 125. BNM, leg. 8, no. 81. The genízaros were Indians who had been recovered from the predatory tribes.

88. This tribe has not been identified. Two French traders who came to Pecos in August, 1752, were guided by an Indian woman of the “Aé” tribe, who met them on the other side of the Rio Napestle. Letter of Governor Vlez CachupIn to Viceroy Revilla Gigedo, September 18, 1752, in A. B. Thomas, The Plains Indians and New Mexico, 1751‑1758 (Albuquerque, 1940), P. 100 and note 37. Thomas says that this is the earliest reference he has seen to the “A” or “Aé” tribe, although he has found others as late as 1819. The “A” or “Aé” might possibly be an abbreviation for Apache.

89. Don Tomás Vélez Cachupin became governor for the second time in 1762 and served until 1767. L. B. Bloom, “The governors of New Mexico,” New Mexico Historical Review, vol. 10 (1935), p. 155.

90. BNM, leg. 9, no. 59, gives the last figure as 175, obviously an error by the copyist. The 1750 census of San Juan shows 67 households with 261 persons. The number of Indians given in the table in 500. At Nuestra Señora de la Soledad del Rio del Norte Arriba, which was in the parish of San Juan, there were 36 Spanish households with 330 persons, including servants: and 14 households of genízaros with 58 persons. According to the table, the number of non‑Indians was 300. BNM, leg. 8, no. 81.

91. The 1750 census shows 197 families with approximately 1303 persons, including servants. A note states that there were scarcely 100 Indians there. The table gives the number of non‑Indians as 1205 and the number of Indians as 580. Ibid.

92. BNM, leg. 9. no. 59, gives the following figures: 75 families of genízaros with 166 persons; 24 families of citizens with 612 persons. These must be errors by the copyist.

93. The 1750 census shows 40 Indian families with about 188 persons. The table gives the number of Indians as 272. The settlers at Chama, part of the parish of Santa Clara, numbered 39 households with about 412 persons. Father Varo’s figures for 1749, used in the table, were 21 non‑Indians. BNM, leg. 8, no. 81.

94. The 1750 census gives the number of Indians, adults and children, as 371. There were 66 married couples and 26 widows and widowers. There were 7 Spanish families with 56 persons including Indian servants. The figures in the table are 68 non‑Indians and 354 Indians. Ibid.

95. According to the 1750 census there were 64 Indian households with 521 persons, adults and children. There were 6 non‑Indian households with 35 persons, including children and Indian servants. The same figures are used in the table. ibid.

96. B.N.M, leg. 9, no. 59, gives the number of families as 98. The 1750 census gives the following figures for the Indians of San Felipe: 71 households with 218 children under religious instruction, 26 widows and widowers, 164 married people, 51 babies, or a sum of 453 persons. The table states that there were 70 non‑Indians and 400 Indians. BNM, leg. 8, no. 81.

97. BNM, leg. 9, no. 59, gives the number of families as 98. The 1750 census shows 20 households of widows and widowers and 68 households of married couples with approximately 353 persons. The table gives 100 non‑Indians and 600 Indians. BNM, leg. 8, no. 81.

98. The 1750 census shows 131 Indian households with approximately 481 persons; and about 28 non‑Indians. The table gives 600 Indians and 100 non‑Indians. Ibid.

99. BNM, leg. 9, no. 59, gives the number of persons as 378. According to the 1750 census, there were 81 Indian dwellings with about 383 persons. The table uses Varo’s estimate, 574 persons. BNM, leg. 8, no. 81.

100. I am indebted to F. D. Reeve for the information that there is a small settlement of three or four families, called La Cueva, in the Puerco Valley on the east side of the river. T12N, R1W,  New Mexico Principal Meridian. As of June 21, 1886. Federal Land Office, Santa Fe, Land Grant File no. 49 (F93).

101. BNM, leg. 9, no. 59, gives the number of persons as 85. According to the 1750 census, there were 65 Indian households with about 528 persons. BNM, leg. 8, no. 81.

102. BNM leg. 9, no. 59. gives the number of families as 181. The 1750 census of Nuestra Señora de Alona y Zuñi gives the number of Indians as 824. The table, however, says there were 2000, probably Father Varo’s estimate. BNM, leg. 8, no. 81. Cf. Tamarón’s comment on the population, infra.

103. The 1750 census of Acorna says that there were 960 Indians, of whom 247 were capable of bearing arms. There were 302 married people, 44 widowers, 68 widows, 91 unmarried men, 94 unmarried women, 361 children. BNM, leg. 8, no. 81.

104. BNM, leg. 9, no. 59, gives the number of Indian families as 102, and of Spanish families as 242. According to the 1750 census, there were 79 Indian households with 421 persons. The Spaniards, Europeanized mixtures, and genízaros were as follows Pajarito, 9 households with 82 persons; Ranchode Padilla, 4 households with 31 persons; Sitio de Gutiérrez, 10 households with 59 persons: San Clemente, 12 households with 95 persons: Belén, 13 households with 98 persons; genízaros,  20 households with 68 persons. A note in another hand says: “The number of Indians here will be about 600.” The table gives 100 non‑Indians and 500 Indians. BNM, leg. 8, no. 81.

105. “Estamos bonos.”

106. Bishop Tamarón’s knowledge of early New Mexico history was rather sketchy. Benavides also uses the form Ruiz instead of Rodríguez.

107. Tamarón (1937). pp. 382‑384.

108. BNM, leg. 9. no. 59.

109. As a measure for grain the fanega varies greatly in different localities. The Spanish fanega is somewhat more than one and a half bushels, the Mexican, more than two and a half bushels.

110. The almud as a dry measure varies even more than the fanega according to the locality. It can be from three to twenty‑three liters.

111. “Habas.” Vicia. faba.

112. “Alberjones.” Arvejón or almorta; lathyrus sativus L. or vicia sativa L.

113. We do not know just when Roibal was at Santa María de las Caldas. In his report to Provincial Fray José Ximeno, dated at El Paso, February 5, 1751, Fray Andrés Varo gave an account of the history of this mission under the secular clergy. His picture of conditions there before its destruction in 1749 is in strong contrast to the idyllic scene suggested by Roibal’s letter. Therefore a translation of Varo’s statement will be found infra.

114. Tamarón (1937). pp. 370‑374.

115. “La procuración quo por derecho nos pertenece.” According to canon law, procuraciones were the food and lodging the bishop was entitled to exact when making a visitation. See P. B. Golmayo, Instituciones del derecho canónico, vol. 1 (Madrid. 1896), pp. 158‑161; J. Donoso, Instituciones de derecho canónico, 3d ed. (Freiburg, 1909), p. 169.

116. Tamarón (1937), pp. 268‑273. This passage occurs in a general commentary on the state of affairs in Sonora and the terrible ravages by the hostile Indian tribes. The campaign against the Seris to which he refers was that of Don Gabriel Vildósola, whose expedition left San Miguel de Horcasitas on November 7, 1761, by order of the interim governor, Lieutenant Colonel José Tienda de Cuerbo.