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their existence, and follow their guides to Santa Fe. Believing
they would be allowed to keep their property and be treated
as prisoners of war, the Texans were taken into custody by
the Mexican authorities, who forced them to sign a capitula-
tion. They, too, were marched southward without ever seeing
Santa Fe.

The balance of the work is taken up with an examination
of Loomis' thesis : that the Texas-Santa Fe Expedition was
really not bent on conquest, but was primarily interested in
trade. Early in the book (p. 7), Loomis gravely states
that around 1840 foreign goods were flowing into the Santa
Fe and Chihuahua areas at the rate of $3-5 millions per year,
part from Independence, Missouri, and the rest from the
Mexican west coast [sic'] ports, notably Guaymas. From the
latter point British traders supposedly shipped mountains of
goods over seven hundred miles of rocky trails to Chihuahua.
(In citing Josiah Gregg's Commerce of the Prairies later [p.
167], Loomis indicates that $5 millions covered imports into
all of northern Mexico.) The author seemingly ignores the
disparity of Gregg's estimate that in 1843, the year in which
the Santa Fe Trade reached its greatest volume, only
$450,000 worth of goods moved from Independence, Missouri,
to Santa Fe. Of that, $300,000 worth was shipped south to

There was little northward movement of foreign goods
before the opening of the Santa Fe Trail in 1822, and cer-
tainly less after the introduction of cheaper United States
goods. There is evidence furthermore, that the Missouri mer-
chants had saturated the New Mexican market by the 1830's
(according to a 1958 University of Oklahoma imprint, Max
Moorhead's New Mexico's Royal Road) . Nevertheless, in 1839
Lamar had advocated the opening of a trail across Texas to
Santa Fe in order to provide a trade route for merchandise
from Havana, Cuba. The goods presumably would move from
there to northern Mexico. The author notes elsewhere, how-
ever, that a route was opened from Austin diagonally south-


westward to Chihuahua, and cites a traveler's opinion that
"the North Americans have begun to prefer the much shorter
journey by Texas [to Chihuahua] to the Missouri route." Yet
he uses this to substantiate his own statement, "The evidence
seems to support the idea, then, that the attempt to establish
a trade route across Texas [to Santa Fe] was a good, hard-
headed business venture that might have meant a great deal
to Texas" (p. 168) . Even allowing a wide margin of gulli-
bility among the merchants, this is believable only if the
author intended the word "hard-headed" in its literal sense.

With reference to the implied secondary purpose of the
expedition, political control of New Mexico east of the Rio
Grande, Loomis calls attention to the Texan claim based on
the Treaty of Velasco, in which Mexican General Santa Anna
acknowledged the existence of Texas, "not to extend beyond
the Rio Bravo del Norte." While the author admits that "at
no time was the Rio Grande actually agreed upon as the
boundary," Santa Anna did not protest the Texan claim for
five years, [hence] Texas might well feel a legitimate claim.
Loomis, following this argument ad silenclo, points out that
General Stephen W. Kearny claimed the Rio Grande as the
boundary of American occupation in New Mexico in 1846 on
the basis of the United States* annexation of Texas the prior
year; further, that the U. S. subsequently paid ten million
dollars to Texas to quiet its title to New Mexico. The author
ignores the fact that Texas was annexed subject to adjudica-
tion of all boundary questions. The fact that Texas received
money ignores the political background of this transaction,
and is no evidence the U. S. believed the Texan claim
"reasonably justified."

The author cites several sources to indicate that New
Mexico was in a state of unrest at the time of the Expedition,
and perhaps ripe for a change of sovereignty. Therefore, he
feels, Texan President Lamar had no reason to expect oppo-
sition [although the Santa Feans had not responded to his
invitation the year before!]. He reiterates that "the expedi-
tion's intent was not military conquest," yet cites Lamar's
order, "Upon entering the city of Santa fe [sic], your first


object will be, to endeavor to get into your hands all the public
property . . . you will try all gentle means before resorting
to force . . ." (p. 169) .

Perhaps anticipating questions on this point, the author
indicates that Lamar was directing this order against Gov-
ernor Armijo and his followers, rather than the people of
New Mexico [who were the ostensible owners of that "public
property"?], and implies that Lamar was altruistically
seeking to rescue the New Mexicans from their oppressors.
Loomis portrays Armijo as an "avid propagandist" who in-
cited his people against the Texans, but uses as evidence only
the words of W. W. H. Davis, whose El Gringo, published in
1857, is by no means the definitive work on early nineteenth
century New Mexico. Further, of the two examples he uses,
neither deals with the Texans. One piece of Armijo's propa-
ganda (of questionable authenticity) was used in his internal
coup against Governor Perez; and the other, legitimately
calling the people to arms against the invader, had reference
to General Kearny's occupation of the Province.

Loomis cannot understand why New Mexicans had any
animosity toward Texas in the first place (if there was any,
he blames it on propaganda), and why it persisted for an-
other hundred years. He does not mention the marauding
bands of Warfield, McDaniel, and Snively, who were com-
missioned by Texas in 1842-43 to harry the Santa Fe Trade ;
he ignores the attempts of Spruce Baird in 1848 and Robert
Neighbors in 1850 to organize New Mexico as part of Texas
(years after the American occupation), and he avoids com-
pletely any hint of Texan attitudes toward Mexicans, whether
citizens of their native land or of the United States.

He defends the size and character of the Santa Fe Expedi-
tion (8-12 merchants, 14 wagons, about 240 soldiers, and 70
other employees and hangers-on) by saying that it was "cus-
tomary" for the Santa Fe Trail caravans to be large and have
many fighting men to defend them against the Indians. As
evidence, he cites four convoys in 1829, 1834, and two in
1843 when escorts of U. S. dragoons were provided. Had he
looked further into the reports (contained in Fred S. Perrine,
"Military Escorts on the Santa Fe Trail," NMHR, II, 175-


193, 269-304; III, 265-300) he would have discovered that
these were the only instances in the history of the Santa Fe
Trade, and only the last one actually entered Mexican

Ultimately, there is the question of whether the captured
men should or should not have been treated as prisoners-of-
war. There is, of course, no satisfactory answer to this, for
Mexico had not recognized the independence of Texas, de-
spite the fact that other nations, including the United States,
had. Whatever their status, Loomis is on safer ground in de-
scribing the unnecessary cruelty which the men suffered. Yet
he undoubtedly saw, but does not quote from the letter of
Waddy Thompson, the U. S. Minister to Mexico, to Secretary
of State Daniel Webster, dated April 29, 1842, in which
Thompson reported that with very few exceptions the pris-
oners were treated kindly. Loomis does quote Webster's prior
letter to Thompson (April 5, 1842), asking to have Mexico
treat all the men as prisoners of war, but seems to pass over
those passages which indicate that Webster also saw sufficient
justification in the entire affair to demand only the release of
non-combatants who were American citizens.

The book takes up many lesser but interesting questions,
such as, was Captain Lewis a traitor? Was the guide, Juan
Carlos, really a spy and informer for Armijo? Did George
Wilkins Kendall (upon whose Narrative Loomis depends for
most of his story) really have a passport?

On the credit side, Mr. Loomis evidently spent many hours
collating various rosters of the Expedition, and choosing
pertinent data from previously translated and selected Mexi-
can archival transcriptions. The book is provided with an
excellent set of maps, numerous appendices, and a compre-
hensive index. Much work still needs to be done, however, in
resolving the acknowledged duplications in his composite
roster (as well as such unacknowledged ones as "Beall, H."
[p. 204] and "Horace, Bealle" [p. 225] ) . There are a number
of "typos": among them, "Castle Coloran" (pp. 259-260)
should be "Casa Colorada," and so appears on p. 278. "Limi-
tar" (p. 263) should be "Lemitar," and "Juan Antonio Mar-
tin," the "second judge of the second department of Taos,"


(p. 267) was really Juan Antonio Martinez, the alcalde of
that pueblo. "Juan Raphael Ortiz" (p. 268) should have his
middle name spelled with an "f " instead of a "ph" to conform
to Spanish usage, and the French ship Atalantique was really
the Atlantique. "Placquemine" (p. 260) should be "Plaque-
mines." Note 1 on page 54 probably belongs on page 51,
following Note 24.

This is an entertaining book, as most of Mr. Loomis'
novels are, but his theses are unconvincing and his methods
are Procrustean. The author falls into the "devil" theory of
history when he opines that the prisoners "had no way of
knowing that the expedition, ignominious as its end then
seemed, would in a few years bring on the Mexican War
. . ." (p. x) , and apparently considers Mexican debts, Cali-
fornia, and the rest of the Southwest of no consequence in
the Mexican War. According to Loomis, "the final outcome of
the Texas-Mexican trouble added to the United States almost
one million square miles . . . Who is to say that the juvenile,
blundering efforts of the Texan-Santa Fe Pioneers were
wasted?" (p. 189) . We would.

The University of New Mexico FREDERICK G. BOHME

Historical Review

Palace of the Governors, Santa Fe

, 1959






VOL. XXXIV APRIL, 1959 No. 2



Nuestra Senora de la Macana

Fray Angelico Chavez 81

The Italians in New Mexico

Frederick G. Bohme 98

Collis P. Huntington and the Texas and Pacific Railroad
Land Grant
Ralph N. Traxler, Jr 117

Arizona's First Newspaper, The Weekly Arizonian, 1859

Marvin Alisky 134

Notes and Documents 144

Book Reviews 153

THE NEW MEXICO HISTORICAL REVIEW is published jointly by the Historical Society
of New Mexico and the University of New Mexico. Subscription to the quarterly is
$3.00 a year in advance ; single numbers, except those which have become scarce, are
(1.00 each.

Business communications should be addressed to Mr. P. A. F. Walter, State
Museum, Santa Fe, N. M. ; manuscripts and editorial correspondence should be
addressed to Prof. Frank D. Reeve, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, N. M.

Entered as second-class matter at Santa Fe, New Mexico

Charfreau, Mexico



VOL. XXXIV APRIL, 1959 No. 2


A MOST colorful and intriguing tidbit of New Mexican his-
tory is the image of Nuestra Senora de la Macana (orig-
inally called Nuestra Senora del Sagrario de Toledo) with its
own peculiar story. For this story is a most curious mixture
of legend and history. Although both the statue and the story
are intimately connected with seventeenth-century New Mex-
ico, particularly with the great Indian Rebellion of 1680,
neither was remembered by New Mexicans since those event-
ful times. But in Mexico City and its environs, the fame of
the Macana Virgin grew from its arrival there in 1683 until
the Mexican revolutionary upheavals of 1861 ; and even after
that until our own day, La Macana has not been entirely

But, first, let us get acquainted with the statue itself, as
it now exists in the ancient friary church of San Francisco
del Convento Grande in Mexico City. It is a very old minia-
ture copy of the famed Nuestra Senora del Sagrario, the age-

* Literal translation : "Our Lady of the Aztec War Club." This Aztec weapon was
a very large wooden sword, or mace, armed with big flint teeth inserted on its point
and along either edge. Spanish dictionaries derive macana from the Nahua macuahuitl;
yet, while conceding some connection here, one cannot help wondering if it might not
descend from the Old French mace, derived from the Latin maceola, whence also our
English "mace." The mace was a common European weapon before the wide use of
firearms and the discovery of America. The sixteenth-century Spanish of New Mexico
still uses macanazo for a swinging blow dealt with the clenched fist, or as with a mace.
And still, the roots of the Aztec word seem to appear in the Delaware tamoihecan,
the Algonquin tomehagen, and the Mohican tumnahegan, whence the English "toma-
hawk." The pioneer Spaniards of New Mexico applied the term macana to the war
club of the Pueblo Indians, but this was a small and light stone mallet, simply a roughly
oval stone tied to a stick with strips of rawhide.



long patronal Madonna of Toledo in Spain. This little copy
came to New Mexico with the Onate colony in 1598 ; after
playing a fantastic role in the Pueblo Rebellion of 1680, it
went down to the valley of Mexico to acquire a new name and
its own peculiar fame. The Chanf reau photograph here repro-
duced was taken in 1957. It shows a small statue dressed in
real clothing in old Spanish fashion. The relatively modern
bronze pedestal, and the rayed metal aureole surrounding the
head and figure, make it appear larger than it actually is. Be-
tween the statue and the pedestal is a horn-like wooden frame
supporting the little torso which, as we shall soon learn, is a
plain flat cone of wood covered with cloth, and not a carved
statue in the round. On this wooden horn is nailed a silver
crescent, the symbol of the Immaculate Conception, but which
Spanish people used to attach to images of the Virgin without
regard to their specific titles. Next to the scepter in the tiny
hands is a stylized miniature replica, in wrought copper, of
an Aztec macana. We also have, fortunately, a recent verbal
description by an expert to complement the photograph:
"The image measures 65 centimetres in height (about 25
inches), a little less than a metre with aureole and pedestal
(about 39 inches). It is fashioned in what used to be called
'media talla,,' that is, only the head and hands are carved
completely in the round ; the rest consists of a wooden frame
covered over with cloth." 1

As was mentioned at the start, New Mexico forgot this
historic and religious treasure of hers almost three centuries
ago. Unless some New Mexican of the last century had a
copy of Barreiro's Ojeada, 2 the first one to apprise modern
New Mexico of La Macana was Davis, her pioneer American
historian. In his account of the Indian Rebellion of 1680, we
find this comment in a footnote : "Among those who escaped
was a Franciscan friar, who went to Mexico and carried with
him an image of our Lady of Macana, which was preserved
for a long time in the convent of that city." 3 Davis claims that
he found this item in the archives of the secretary's office in
Santa Fe; but this is so much like a footnote in Barreiro's
work that we wonder whether it was a manuscript copy or a


printed copy of the Ojeada which Davis came across in the
Palace of the Governors.

Barreiro's own and very first footnote runs as follows:
"Another missionary escaped to Mexico and carried with him
an image of the Virgin, called N. S. de la Macana, which is
venerated in the Convento Grande of San Francisco in Mex-
ico." 4 This Barreiro was a Mexican barrister sent up by the
infant Mexican Republic to make a report on its distant and
little known Department of New Mexico. It is evident from
the tenor of the whole report that the author did not get this
information from the people and country he was describing ;
it was an item which he already knew as a citizen of Mexico
City, addressed as an aside to officials there who also were
familiar with it.

The able historian Bancroft, in criticizing Davis' garbled
account of early New Mexican history quotes his comment on
La Macana. Then Bancroft himself contributes new informa-
tion : "On this image of Nra Sra de la Macana we have a MS.
in Papeles de Jesuitas, no. 10, written in 1754, which tells us
that in the great N. Mex. Revolt of '83 ('80) a chief raised a
macana and cut off the head of an image of Our Lady. Blood
flowed from the wound; the devil (?) hanged the impious
wretch to a tree ; but the image was venerated in Mex. for
many years." 5

These enticing but meager bits of information were the
only ones we had until the recent acquisition of a brief but
detailed history of La Macana, 6 which was edited at the same
time, and in the same place, as the Bancroft MS. Evidently
a preacher of parts, 7 Fray Felipe Montalvo put his whole
heart and soul into his Novena and History. After the first
two pages of titles there is a short introduction (3-7) in which
the author regrets the dearth of documents on the subject,
and his having to depend on the oral traditions of his brethren
and of people in general. Here he also discourses on the ven-
eration paid to Marian images in Spanish lands under various
titles; he makes his bow to the religious superiors who or-
dered him to undertake the literary task, and ends by quoting
two octavos of rhymed quatrains to the Virgin Mary by a


bygone Cistercian poet, Bernardo de Alvarez. 8 Then comes
the brief history of La Macana (7-13), followed by the
Novena devotional prayers and meditations (14-24), which
are a set of cleverly wrought pieces to be said on each of the
nine days of the novena, each orison a poetic play on several
Marian titles in their connection with salient events in this
particular image's history.

It is this brief history that interests us here, and which
is herewith translated in full. Its detailed points are a mix-
ture of erroneous history and utterly fantastic legend, since
Montalvo gathered his items from the faulty histories of his
times, from popular tradition, and (as he himself tells us)
from certain inscriptions upon a painting which depicted the
Indian Rebellion of 1680 in New Mexico. However, with our
modern trove of detailed documents on early New Mexican
times, discovered in the past few decades and ably edited by
various historians of note in our day, we can easily correct
Montalvo and, in doing so, separate fact from legend. In this
process, moreover, we begin to suspect that even the most
outlandish legendary parts have a basis in factual history ; in
fact, we find the legend filling out historical gaps and throw-
ing new light on the events of the Rebellion of 1680. Because
of it, we might have to revise our picture of that Rebellion

To save time and space, but also to present the whole mat-
ter more concisely and in more graphic form, I have decided
to place these corrections and gap-filling theories as editorial
footnotes to Montalvo's own text, which is as follows :


In the very illustrious and Imperial City of Toledo, there
its Cathedral Church, the Primate of the Spanish realms, has
a Chapel in which Christendom venerates the Mother of God
and most pure Virgin Mary with an especial devotion through
a miraculous Image of hers, which they invoke under the
title of Nuestra Senora del Sagrario. Q The Reverend Father
Fray Agustin de Carrion, in his sermon preached in that Holy
Church as an Act of thanksgiving for a happy rainfall, relates


concerning it that, when they carried it because of a drought
from its Chapel to the main part of the august Temple, the
Mother of God and Our Lady embraced it, for being a living
portrait of hers. 10

The Franciscan Friars brought from Europe to this New
Spain, as a copy of that most holy Image, and with its same
title of Nuestra Senora del Sagrario, this sacred Image which
we today call LA MACANA. And as their Protectress for
their better safeguard on their journey, they took it to the
still active Missions of the Evangelical Custody of New Mex-
ico. 11 This divine Image belongs by tradition to the Friars
of that Custody and the inhabitants of that Kingdom. 12 The
Reverend Father Fray Agustin de Vetancurt wrote of the
wonder concerning it, which he relates in his Chronicle of this
Province of the Holy Gospel: Theatro Mexicano, 4th part,
treatise 3, number 64, where he says : 13

"Six years before (he speaks of the Indian Rebellion) , a
girl of ten, the daughter of the High Sheriff, and who was
suffering great pains, commended herself in her paralysis to
an Image of N. S. del Sagrario which she had before her. 14 In-
stantly she found herself cured. And in describing the miracle
with wonder, she said that the Virgin had told her: 'Child,
arise and announce that this Custody will soon see itself de-
stroyed because of the poor regard that it has for my Priests,
and that this miracle shall be witness to this truth : let them
make amends for the fault if they do not wish to undergo the
punishment/ "

This conspiracy of the Indians came to pass in the year
1680, when the Christian ones, joined in confederation with
the barbarians, rebelled against the Friars and Spaniards of
that Kingdom, burning down the temples, violating the sacred
vessels, and tearing up the vestments. 15 For they had been
incited to it by the common enemy of souls who, as they said
after being returned to the Faith, had appeared to them in the
form of a giant, exhorting them to shake off the yoke of the
Gospel and to serve him as their former master. 16 In one and
the same day, and in distantly separated missions, they took
the lives of twenty-one Friars and then turned on the Span-
iards, who proceeded to defend themselves. 17


Many of the incidents of this Rebellion can be seen on a
large and beautiful painting which formerly adorned the
Chapel of N. S. de la Macana in the Convent of Tlalnepantla,
and today contributes to the decoration of the Chapel in this
Convent where it now hangs. 18 Across that painting may be
seen the bloody fury of the Indians killing various Friars. As
the most vivid and ardent feature of the battle against the
Spaniards there can be seen toward its center a most beauti-
ful reproduction of this most Holy Image, and an Indian de-
livering the blow with a macana on its head. 19 It also shows
this Indian hanging from a tree, and at the bottom of the
canvas there is an inscription relating the uprising of the
Indians, their apostasy from the Catholic Faith, their attack
on the Friars. And it goes on to relate, for a better grasp and
understanding of the painting, what is transcribed word for
word in the following paragraph.

The Devil, who visibly helped them in the war against the
Spaniards, inspired an Indian Chieftain to enter a house
where this Holy Image of Holy Mary was, 20 and which the
Christians had hidden out of fear. Removing the Crown with
an unspeakable lack of reverence, and vested with hellish
fury, he struck the Holy Image on the head with a sharp
macana, a weapon which they use. However, lest this
execrable misdeed go unpunished, the Devil himself became
his executioner by hanging him on a tree of that miserable
battlefield. 21 After the Spaniards triumphed, and the Faith
was planted once more by influence of this Divine Aurora, 22
this Holy Image was brought by Fray Buenaventura of the
Wagons, a laybrother of this Province 23 to this Convent of
Tlalnepantla, where it is venerated under the Title of Nuestra
Senora de la MACANA. 24

On each side of this inscription which gives the foregoing
information, there may be seen among others, the two


Barbara accion inhumana
De quien fee no ha recibido;
Sin dispensar lo atrevido


De una violencia tan vana:
Al golpe de una macana
Hirio tan Sagrado bulto,
Sin reparar que su insulto
May ores lustres abona,
Pues de un golpe otra Corona
Did a MARIA de mayor culto.
Pago el Barbaro fatal

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