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Domingo Jironza Pétriz de Cruzate

Born: 9-11-1640 - Died: 1708

Governor Domingo Jironza Pétriz de Cruzate, 1683-1686, 1689-1691

By Rick Hendricks

Some of the precise details of the early life of Domingo Jironza Pétriz de Cruzate are murky. He appears to have been baptized in Hecho in the Spanish province of Huesca in the Kingdom of Aragon on 11 September 1640. According to a marriage record for one Domingo Xironza who wed Sebastiana de Oquendo in Mexico City on 30 April 1663, he was the son of Antonio Xironza and Ana Mangues Pérez.[1] The family of the Aragonese surname Pétriz had its seat in Hecho.[2] Three of his uncles bore the name Redín y Cruzate: fray Martín, Miguel Antonio, and Tiburcio.[3] All of these men performed notable service to the Spanish crown, especially Tiburcio who successfully drove corsairs from Spanish coasts until he joined the Capuchin Order and served twenty years as a missionary in Africa and the Indies.

Domingo was also related to his contemporary, Fausto Cruzat y Góngora, who was governor of the Philippines from 1690 to1700 and the son of the first Marqués de Góngora, a title created by Carlos II in 1695.[4] Fausto and Domingo were relatives of Gervasio Cruzat y Góngora, who was governor of New Mexico from 1736 to 1739. Domingo's nephew, Juan Mateo Manje, added the surname Góngora to Jironza's string of names, and the Mexican intellectual giant Carlos de Sigüenza y Góngora, in a 1692 letter to Andrés de Pez, mentioned that Jironza was his uncle.[5] Although a strict interpretation of this statement suggests that Jironza would probably have been married to a sister of Sigüenza y Góngora’s mother, Dionisia Suárez de Figueroa y Góngora, it has not been possible to corroborate this supposition, and other male relatives used the combined surname Cruzat y Góngora, so it would not have been necessary for him to acquire the surname Góngora from his wife.

            Assuming the Domingo Xironza who married in Mexico City was the same individual who became governor of New Mexico, he was back in Spain a dozen years later. In Madrid in 1675, Jironza executed the conveyance of a 3,000-peso credit to Francisco Freire de Andrade, who from time to time had loaned him cash for various trips, illnesses, and other reasons.[6] When Francisca María Osorio conveyed 3,000 pesos to Jironza two months earlier she referred to him as licenciado, or licenciate, implying that he had a university degree. There is no evidence he had been to a university, and he is not known to have referred to himself as a licenciado. Osorio was probably mistaken.

            Jironza sailed from Cadiz on 10 April 1680 aboard the warship San José with the rank of captain in command of fifty soldiers.[7] He held the title of inspector of the presidios of the Windward Islands and was also acting as a royal courier to the viceroy of New Spain. Among the messages he carried to the viceroy was an order to reward Jironza with a suitable post in the Indies. The viceroy, Payo de Rivera Enríquez, named Jironza to the only available post, the alcaldía of Mestitlán. Jironza served in this position with distinction until 1682.

            In May 1683, already using the title of governor of New Mexico, Jironza executed a power of attorney to Diego Ignacio de Córdoba and Juan Pascual Lalana in Zacatecas.[8] Córdoba was a business agent and resident of Madrid.[9] Lalana was also a resident of Madrid, but no occupation was noted for him. Jironza wanted Córdoba and Lalana to represent him before the king and his councils to seek preferment to any military or judicial position in the Spanish empire. In order to do this, Jironza indicated that he would send documents attesting to his service record and the service of his ancestors. As was the custom among royal officials, Governor Jironza was attempting to line up a future position as he was on his way to take up his current post as governor of New Mexico.

            In 1684 Jironza led an expedition against the Apaches. The following year he tried to gather and return the many New Mexico refugees who had fled the El Paso area against royal orders. In 1686 Pedro Reneros Posada replaced Jironza, serving until 1689. Upon his return to El Paso, Jironza led an expedition in an attempted reconquest of New Mexico in 1689. The main event of the expedition was the destruction of Zia Pueblo. During the day-long battle fifty of Jironza’s eighty men were wounded. An estimated six hundred Indians were killed and seventy were taken back to El Paso as captives. In 1691 Jironza planned another attempt at reconquering New Mexico, but Suma uprisings south of El Paso forced him to cancel the expedition. He was in Mexico City in early September when he acted as guarantor for Sargento Mayor Francisco Antonio Castellanos, a citizen of Puebla residing in Mexico City, for four hundres pesos that Pedro de la Parra loaned to Castellanos for outfitting him in Puebla.[10]

            King Carlos II was pleased with Jironza’s service and would have reappointed him to the governorship of New Mexico had Diego de Vargas not already taken up the post.[11] In those circumstances, the king directed his viceroy in Mexico City to find another governorship for Jironza. He also granted Jironza membership in one of the military orders, although there is no evidence that he ever became a knight.

            After leaving New Mexico, Jironza commanded a highly mobile unit in Sonora. In 1693 he became captain for life of the Presidio of Fronteras and alcalde mayor of Sonora.[12] Created in 1690, the Presidio de las Fronteras de Sonora was for the first ten years of its existence a flying company with no permanent base.[13] Initially, the flying company operated out of the mining camp of San Juan Bautista.[14] Jironza's nephew, Juan Mateo Mange, came to Sonora from Spain in 1693, and his uncle made him a lieutenant in the presidial company.[15]

In March 1695 Jironza granted power of attorney, first to Manuel Tirrado, an official in the office of the secretary and then acting secretary to the Viceroy of New Spain, and second to Luis Ibáñez de Ozerín, another official in the office of the secretary.[16] The holders of power of attorney were to collect from the royal treasury in Mexico City, 2,086 pesos the crown owed Jironza for the period beginning on 2 May 1694 and lasting until 20 October 1695 for campaigns and other activities performed in the royal service. Jironza also established his temporary headquarters during his 1695 campaign against rebellious Pimas in Cucurpe.[17] During his period of service in Sonora, Jironza led campaigns against Apaches, Janos, Jocomes, Upper Pimas, and Sumas.

            In the spring of 1700, Father Melchor Bartiromo, S. J., lavished praise on Jironza for bringing Indians of the Tepoca, Salinero, and Seri nations to peace.[18] Relying on zeal and hard work, Jironza had used his skill to bring about tranquility on the Sonora frontier. He demonstrated gentleness and Christian piety when possible and deployed his forces when necessary. Jironza and his company were campaigning in the fall of 1701 at the request of another Jesuit priest, Miguel Guerrero, who had asked him to punish some witches who were killing people in Nácori and Vacadéguachi.[19]

When Jironza and his troops returned to San Juan Bautista, they found General Jacinto de Fuensaldaña, captain of the presidio in Sinaloa, had taken over the captaincy of the flying company. Fuensaldaña purchased a post on the northern frontier for one thousand doubloons, serving first in Sonora. On 21 March 1701 he took possession of the lifetime captaincy of Fronteras.

Apparently Jironza remained in San Juan Bautista in retirement. In September 1708 he was mayordomo of the community church when he gave a receipt to Bachiller Antonio Fuertes de Sierra for a hundred reales to cover the burial expenses of Bachiller Urbano de Noriega.[20] Nothing more is known of Domingo Jironza Pétriz de Cruzate.


[1] All of the Jironzas recorded in the sacramental books of Hecho for this period spell the name Xironza. It seems plausible that "Mangues" was written in error for "Mange" and that “Pérez” could have been written for “Pétriz” given the rarity of the names. Domingo Jironza and Sebastiana de Oquendo, Marriage information, Mexico City, 21 April 1663, LDS, 0035255.

[2] Alberto García Carraffa and Arturo García Carraffa, Enciclopedia heráldica y genealógica hispano-americana (Madrid: Nueva Imprenta Radio), 1963), 69:158.

[3] Ernest J. Burrus, Kino and Manje, Explorers of Sonora and Arizona. Their Vision of the Future. A Study of Their Expeditions and Plans. With an Appendix of Thirty Documents (Rome: Jesuit Historical Institute, 1971), 354-55.

[4] Emilio de Cardenas Piera, Caballeros de la Orden de Santiago, siglo XVIII. Caballeros De La Orden De Santiago, Siglo XVIII. 6-7 (Madrid: Hidalguía, 1994), 52.

[5] Carlos de Sigüenza y Góngora, Alboroto y motín de México del 8 de junio de 1692: Relación de don Carlos de Sigüenza y Góngora en una carta dirigida al almirante don Andrés de Pez, Annotated edition by Irving A. Leonard (Mexico City: Mexico, Talleres Gráficos del Museo Nacional de Arqueología, Historia y Etnografía, 1932), 29.

[6] Francisca María Osorio to Domingo Jironza Pétriz de Cruzate, Conveyance, Madrid, 29 August 1675, Archivo Histórico de Protocolos de Madrid, P. 11.319, and Domingo Jironza Pétriz de Cruzate to Francisco Freire de Andrade, Conveyance, Madrid, 7 Nov. 1675, AHPM, P. 12.357.

[7] John  L. Kessell and Rick Hendricks, eds., By Force of Arms: The Journals of don  Diego de Vargas, 1691-1693 (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1992), 100 n. 3.

[8] Domingo Jironza Pétriz de Cruzate to Diego Ignacio de Córdoba and Juan Pascual Lalana, Power of attorney, Zacatecas, 5 May 1683, Archivo Histórico de Zacatecas, Blas Núñez Hurtado.

[9] Máximo Diago Hernando, "Diego Ignacio de Córdoba y el papel de Madrid en el mercado crediticio en la Castilla del siglo XVII," Anales del Instituto de Estudios Madrileños, No. 44 (2004): 59-96.

[10] Francisco Antonio Castellanos and Domingo Jironza Pétriz de Cruzate, Obligation, Mexico City, 3 September 1691, Registro de Fernando Veedor, 687-4633, 1691-92, Archivo Histórico de Notarías de la Ciudad de México.

[11] Kessell and Hendricks, By Force of Arms, 101 n. 3.

[12] Thomas E. Sheridan, Empire of sand: the Seri Indians and the struggle for Spanish Sonora, 1645-1803 (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1999), 37 n. 27.

[13] Ibid., 36.

[14] Fay Jackson Smith, Captain of the Phantom Presidio: A History of the Presidio of Fronteras, Sonora, New Spain, 1686-1735, Including the Inspection by Brigadier Pedro De Rivera, 1726 (Spokane, Washington: A.H. Clark, 1993), 19.

[15] Ibid., 20.

[16] Domingo Jironza Pétriz de Cruzate to Manuel Tirrado and Luis Ibáñez de Ozerín, Power of attorney, Real y Minas de San Juan Bautista, 20 March 1695, Registro de Tomás Fernández de Guevara, 229-1456, 1695-96, Archivo Histórico de Notarías de la Ciudad de México.

[17] Sheridan, Empire of sand, 26 n. 16.

[18] Ibid., 58.

[19] Smith, Captain of the Phantom Presidio, 21.

[20] Domingo Jironza Pétriz de Cruzate to Bach. Antonio  Fuerte de Sierra, Reciept, San Juan  Bautista, 15 September 1708, Archivos Históricos del Arzobispado de Durango, roll 12, frame 196.