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teniente had the marks of a real person, and I began looking for one answering the
description a burly negro, perhaps a mulatto with large yellowish eyes. Previous read-
ings of old manuscripts had left snatches of such an individual in my mind, and I looked
them up. And there emerged the person of Diego de Santiago, or Naranjo, a mulato
from New Spain. As early as 1626 we find him as a young servant at the Tunque
hacienda of Don Pedro de Chavez near San Felipe ; Diego, in fact, is married to a San
Felipe woman. He appears to be the same mulatto caught by Bartolome Romero I par-



NUESTRA SENORA DE LA MACANA 95

taking in a cachina orgy inside the church of Alameda pueblo. Then he disappears from
the documents, except for part-Queres individuals near San Felipe whose surname is
Naranjo, and who are sometimes referred to as mulattoes ; see New Mexico Families, 80,
241-42. We can presume that in the meantime Diego Naranjo has been hiding out in
Taos for decades, having impressed the medicinemen from the start with his African
voodoo tricks and his knowledge of the lore and language of Po-he-yemu, while his
youthful appearance persisted as a mythical description. (For the identification of
Po-he-yemu with the Aztec hero-deity Moctezuma, see NEW MEXICO HISTORICAL REVIEW,
I, 350-58.) Then the previous attempts at revolt by the pueblos, as recalled by the colo-
nists throughout Hackett's Revolt, begin to have a unifying principle, for the -modus
operandi suggests the same planner as that of the 1680 Rebellion.

A year after the Rebellion, when Otermin led a futile expedition into New Mexico,
his men captured an old Qu6res medicineman by the name of Naranjo (his first name
transcribed "Pedro" by Hackett), who claimed to be eighty years old, but who was still
very agile ; on being interrogated closely, he furnished full details of the plot, this time
inventing three spirits to throw the Spaniards off the scent the first and only time
they are ever mentioned, though Hackett and others make much of them. Naranjo also
revealed his close acquaintance with the Moctezuma legend and its Lake of Copala
(this lake never mentioned before in these Revolt annals). He went to confession and
had himself absolved of his apostasy, once again fooling the Spaniards, and also later
historians, by shifting the blame onto others. The Naranjo part-Queres individuals near
San Felipe suggest his paternity, as already said, but also others in Taos. To clinch all,
in 1696 a Jos6 Naranjo of Taos, sometimes referred to as a Spaniard, helped Governor
Vargas repress another major rebellion ; later he led pueblo contingents against the
Apaches, and finally became alcalde mayor of Zuni. By 1767, Jos6 Naranjo's son, Jos6
Antonio Naranjo, who was also a military leader, had wangled the title of captain from
the Viceroy himself, upon claiming full descent from the conquistadores of New Mexico ;
but the New Mexico Spaniards protested on the score that Naranjo was not Spanish at
all, but the son of a lobo de yndio mulato whose father, a Domingo or Diego Naranjo,
had apostatized in Taos in 1680 and also had instigated the rebellion of 1696. See New
Mexico Families, loc. cit.

17. This defense refers to the siege of Santa Fe in mid-August, 1680, when all the
people of the villa and from the haciendas of La Canada and Los Cerrillos were crowded
into the palace compound for protection. See Hackett's Revolt. The Bancroft MS men-
tions the memorial service for the twenty-one martyrs which was observed in the
cathedral of Mexico, March 20, 1681, and the sermon preached by Bishop Sarinana. This
sermon was published in Mexico City that same year; it was published in English
translation by the Historical Society of New Mexico (Santa Fe, 1906).

18. This painting no longer exists, and Obregon says he knows nothing about it.
It was done most likely in 1740, when a special Lady chapel was built for La Macana
in the friary of Tlalnepantla, according to the Bancroft MS ; then it was transferred
to the novitiate chapel at the Convento Grande, when the statue went there at the
end of 1754. As Montalvo himself admits, much of his information was taken from the
inscriptions on this painting.

19. Only the Bancroft MS says that the head alone was severed, and that blood
flowed from the severed parts.

20. For us, the house of Bartolome Romero in Santa Fe. Here is further evidence
for the statue being a household saint, and not mission property.

21. A New Mexican Indian with his small stone mallet breaks the little image, which
Maria Romero might have left there to protect her home when she went with the rest
of the people to the palace fortress. But who was this Indian? And why should Diego
Naranjo (or the devil) punish him for such a devilishly laudable deed? Unless this
Indian, having once been a pious Christian, repented of his crime and upbraided the
rebel chiefs afterward. These killed him, and Naranjo hung up his corpse from a moun-
tain poplar of the Santa Fe stream as an example to others. All this brings to mind the
person of Juan el Tano, a pious Galisteo Indian living in Santa Fe whom Otermin
sent out to spy on his pueblo. But to everybody's great surprise, Juan returned as the
chief of the Tanos, first dickering with Otermin to have him leave with the Spaniards



96 NEW MEXICO HISTORICAL REVIEW

in peace, then engaging the Spaniards in combat. Juan's army suffered complete defeat
because the northern tribes arrived too late that evening ; and perhaps he openly blamed
Naranjo for coming too late. (According to Garcia Cubas, the Indian who broke the
statue lost his mind and began running all over the battlefield until he was hanged by
the evil one.) To appreciate this identification of Juan el Tano with the hanged chieftain,
read Hackett's Revolt, I, 12-14.

Bartolome Naranjo, a pious San Felipe Indian working in Santa Fe, was also sent
to spy on his people at the same time that Juan el Tano got his orders. But he was
slain by his people when he scolded them for rebelling, although his fate was not known
until a year later in Otermin's 1681 expedition. It is interesting to speculate that one
of Diego Naranjo's sons died for the Faith.

22. The effective Reconquest of New Mexico by Vargas, and the restoration of the
missions, did not take place until the end of 1693. Montalvo most likely confused the
public image of Nuestra Senora del Rosario, La Conquistadora, which figured prominently
in the Reconquest, with the Macana statue ; see the Chavez article on La Conquistadora
in NEW MEXICO HISTORICAL REVIEW, XXIII, 94-128, 177-216. A similar error was made
by historian Fray Agustin Morfi three decades later, ibid., 183.

23. This Fray Buenaventura de los Garros was none other than Fray Buenaventura
de Contreras, who succeeded Fray Francisco de Ayeta as procurator of the missions and
master of the supply wagons. A good idea of his forward and stubborn character may
be drawn from a few lean sources : Archivo General de Indias, Sevitta, leg. 140 ; Biblioteca
Nacional, Mexico, leg. 2, doc. 6 ; leg. 4, no. 28; leg. 5, nos. 2, 3 ; leg. 9, no. 8; leg. 28, caja
70. He was the type of man to give a fantastic twist to the story of La Macana, and
perhaps leave the impression in Tlalnepantla that he himself had been in New Mexico
during the Rebellion, although he never served there as a missionary. Anyway, the mural
painting and Montalvo imply that he was the one and only missionary to escape the
1680 massacre. The Bancroft MS, and Garcia Cubas also, say that two missionaries
escaped ; here the basic legend as told in some quarters evidently included Father Ayeta
with Brother Contreras, since both were associated with the returning supply train of
1683 which brought the statue to New Spain.

24. Prior to its apotheosis in Tlalnepantla, the badly damaged statue had to be re-
paired quite drastically, and this throws light on a conclusion reached by Don Gonzalo
Obregon : "The study which I made of the image leads me to conclude that we have here
s Mexican work of the second half of the seventeenth century, and therefore it cannot
be the original image taken by the first explorers." In other words, the original pyramidal
torso of sticks and cloth, what with the brittleness of age, was so badly smashed by the
Indian's mallet, that a new one with its horn-like base was made for it around 1684 in
the taUeres of Mexico City. Hence, we must conclude that only the head and hands, or
at least the head only, is all that is left of the household saint of the Robledo family.
Presumably at this same period the little replica of an Aztec macana of wrought copper
was made for it, and this popularized a new name and title which came to supplant
that of the Sagrario of Toledo. Garcia Cubas recalled that it was made of silver, perhaps
a mistaken recollection after some fifty years, or it might have been thinly silverplated
at that time.

25. A direct blow by even a light stone mallet would have smashed the tiny head
beyond repair. Evidently, as the blow swept the battered fragile torso to the floor, the
head came off and got nicked when it struck the floor or a wall. Still, since the whole
frame was so light, the head so loosely attached to it, the total lack of resistance would
allow the head to receive the blow, or part of it, with only a nick to show for it.

26. This quaint legend within the bigger legend undoubtedly arose from actual in-
stances when the new bits of plaster and glue fell out from natural causes. The Chan-
freau photograph brings out a big lump on the tiny brow, indicating that the last
repairer of the face put in an extra supply of plaster for good measure. But when this
happened, or when it will fall out again, nobody knows.

27. As historians conversant with conditions in seventeenth-century New Mexico will
testify, the reproductions mentioned by Montalvo were an impossibility, and most espe-
cially in the dire straights in which the exiled colony found itself at Guadalupe del Paso



NUESTRA SENORA DE LA MACANA 97

in 1683. Moreover, if this had been the case, the memory of the statue and its story
would have persisted among New Mexicans instead of being forgotten.

28. The mission of Tlalnepantla, near the pyramid of Tenayuca about 15 miles
northwest of Mexico City, was about a century old when the statue arrived in 1683 ;
for dates on it, see George Kubler, Mexican Architecture of the Sixteenth Century (New
Haven, 1948). According to the Bancroft MS, La Macana stayed in the mission church
for 57 years [1683-1740], until a special chapel was built for it within the precincts of
the friary itself in 1740 ; here it stayed for 14 years, until 1754, when it was transferred
to the Convento Grande in Mexico City.

29. The feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, which was the patronal title of the
Franciscan Custody of New Mexico.

30. For a general plan of the Convento Grande, see Montgomery, Brew, and Smith,
Franciscan Awatovi (Cambridge, 1949), 260; see also Garcia Cubas, op. cit., and Fr.
Fidel Chauvet, O.F.M., "The Church of San Francisco in Mexico City," in The Americas,
VII, 13-30.

31. El concurso se hacia lenguas, a pun on the preceding bell's tongue, la lengua de
una esquila.

32. Fray Pedro Navarrete, an outstanding churchman of his day, was signally
devoted to Our Lady of La Macana when the shrine was at Tlalnepantla. Fray Fran-
cisco Antonio de la Rosa Figueroa, Bezerro General, etc., Ayer MSS (Chicago), 40-41.
This author also mentions La Macana when repeating Vetancurt's accounts of the
Rebellion and of Father Trujillo.

33. Eduardo Enriques Rios, Fray Antonio Margil de Jesus (Mexico, 1941), 193-95.

34. Antonio Garcia Cubas, El Libro de mis Recuerdos (Mexico, 1904), 64. The pres-
ence of an Infant seems to be a mistaken recollection of Garcia Cubas, although the old
devotees might have made one for the famous Lady, to be carried by her on occasion as
in the case of the original Virgin of Toledo; see note 24. His account of early New
Mexico is taken from faulty histories of the times. His version of the Macana legend
seems to be a mixture of Montalvo and the Bancroft MS as relayed in other sources
that he might have read. Accompanying his text are much too small and poorly repro-
duced pictures of the statue and of the high altar of San Francisco. Ruben Vargas,
Historia del Culto de Maria en Iberoamerica (Buenos Aires, 1947), 220, states that the
image was at Corpus Christi, his information being taken from Garcia Cubas.

35. Fr. Fidel Chauvet, op. cit. This is a good summary of the fortunes and misfor-
tunes of the Convento Grande from its founding to our times.

36. Corpus Christi was the nunnery church of the royal Franciscan Poor Clares
(Descalzas Reales de Madrid, Capuchinas) ; incidentally, these were the nuns who pub-
lished Montalvo's sermon on St. Clare in 1748, see note 6. The nunnery was founded in
1724 for Indian women of noble blood, and approved by Benedict XIII in 1727.

37. Obregon, loc. cit. The ancient church of San Francisco and the pitiable remnants
of its great convent or friary were restored to the use of the Holy Gospel Franciscans in
1949 ; see Chauvet, op. cit.



THE ITALIANS IN NEW MEXICO*
By FREDERICK G. BOHME



THE people who came to New Mexico following the Ameri-
can Occupation in 1846 to join the Indians and Spanish
already there were not all Anglo-Saxons from the eastern
and southern United States, for even a casual inspection of
the early manuscript censuses reveals a wealth of names from
continental Europe. Although the bulk of New Mexico's immi-
grants during the last century merely crossed the interna-
tional boundary from their homes in Old Mexico, their
number was well leavened by European groups which also
left cultural imprints on the Territory. This study is an at-
tempt to follow the history of just one of these, the Italians.

Although Italians represent one of the largest sources of
American immigration, they have never comprised more than
six-tenths of one per cent of New Mexico's population. In
1910 there were 1,959 foreign-born Italians among 327,301
residents; in 1950, 934 out of 681,187. They are important,
nevertheless, because second to natives of Mexico they com-
prise the largest foreign-born group (8.6 per cent in 1910)
in the state. They are significant because Italian churchmen
and Italian settlers, more than any others, provided a
"bridge" between the Anglo-Saxon and Hispano cultures
found here. Arriving in the Territory during the years when
the transition from one culture to the other was most rapid,
they not only made the necessary adjustment themselves, but
could understand and aid in the accommodation of both cul-
tures to each other.

In 1850 there was only one Italian in New Mexico Terri-
tory, and he lived in Arizona which was part of New Mexico
until 1863. In 1860 there were only eleven, and several of
these lived in Arizona too. It was not until the 1880's that any
significant number of these people settled in the Territory.
They reached a high point during the first decade of the

* This article is based on the author's "A History of the Italians in New Mexico"
(unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of New Mexico, 1958). Visiting: In-
structor, Department of History, University of New Mexico.

98



THE ITALIANS IN NEW MEXICO 99

twentieth century, but following the national trend, their
immigration dropped off sharply after World War I.

Contrary to the pattern for this period in the eastern
United States where most Italian immigrants reside, the ma-
jority of Italians in New Mexico came from northern and
central Italy rather than the southern part of that peninsula.
The earliest emigrants to New Mexico came from the com-
partimento of Piedmont, in northern Italy, followed by others
from Lombardy and Tuscany, and finally around the time
of World War I by inhabitants of Abruzzi and Molise, in
central Italy. They were usually miners, stone cutters, or
farmers, beset by unemployment and the carving up of their
fathers' small landholdings into even smaller plots. The
skilled miners and stone cutters moved to identical positions
in New Mexico, and they were followed by an increasing num-
ber of farm laborers who had no money to buy land, but could
easily adapt to mining or other types of manual labor among
their compatriots. One may well ask why these people came
to New Mexico, rather than settle among other Italians in the
eastern states or California. The answer was, and still is, eco-
nomic opportunity.

The first arrivals saw a vast territory, just beginning to be
populated, and relatively free from the economic competition
they would find elsewhere. If one were willing to work hard
and live frugally, ignoring the hardships of frontier life, then
just a little capital invested in a saloon or a grocery store
occupations often scorned by other settlers would bring
great returns. With this thought constantly in mind, many
Italians mined coal or obtained employment as skilled or un-
skilled laborers. As soon as they had accumulated sufficient
funds they would open small businesses, become citizens of
the United States, homestead ranches, and send for their
relatives to come and repeat the process.

A combination of circumstances brought Italian members
of religious orders to New Mexico at least a decade before
their countrymen began settling in the Territory in any num-
bers. The Roman Catholic Church's local needs were very
great, for the end of the Civil War brought renewed migra-
tion to the West. In 1865 Bishop (later Archbishop) Jean



100 NEW MEXICO HISTORICAL REVIEW

Baptiste Lamy had but thirty-seven secular priests, mostly
Frenchmen, to serve a hundred thousand members of his
faith. On a trip to Rome the next year, Lamy sought to have
some Jesuits sent to his diocese. The Superior General of the
Order, at the same time, was looking for a foreign mission
field for some of his own priests, a group of Neapolitan Jesuits
who had been expelled by Garibaldi for political activity
against his regime. New Mexico and Colorado were immedi-
ately assigned to them. Several priests then working in Spain,
and able to speak Spanish, were put at the Bishop's disposal,
and arrangements were made for them to join him for the re-
turn trip to America. These men were Fathers Donato Gas-
parri and Rafaelle Bianchi, and Brother Rafaelle La Vezza.
Another brother, Priscus Caso, was sent from Naples and met
the party in Paris. A fifth member, Father Livio Vigilante,
was already in America, and he was detached from the staff
of Holy Cross College, at Worcester, Massachusetts, to be-
come the mission's English-speaking superior.

They reached Santa Fe on August 15, 1867, and were as-
signed to the parish at Bernalillo. From there the group min-
istered to families northward along the Rio Grande and
westward into the Jemez Mountains, and also conducted
preaching missions in various parts of the Territory. Father
Bianchi died of pneumonia while on a mission to Mora, where
it was reportedly so cold that the consecrated wine froze in
the chalice at mass. Gasparri, on his part, was instrumental
in healing the famous "Taos Schism," in which Father Jose
Antonio Martinez figured so prominently. In 1870, Gasparri
also attempted to open a mission among the Navahos, but
transportation, among other things, proved too great a prob-
lem to surmount. Another of his efforts, at Sandia Pueblo,
was brought to a precipitate end when he discovered a live
rattlesnake had been placed under his altar.

In 1868 the Jesuit fathers moved to Albuquerque and lit-
erally "bought out" the incumbent priest at San Felipe de
Neri Church for $3,600. Here, augmented by the arrival of
more Neapolitans, they developed some four acres of gardens
which contained many vines and fruit trees from Italy. The
old campo santo around the church was replaced by buildings,



THE ITALIANS IN NEW MEXICO 101

and a new cemetery, Santa Barbara (now Mount Calvary)
was begun on higher ground several miles east. Albuquerque
became the headquarters for further missionary expansion
as more priests and brothers became available. In 1871 the
fathers took over the church at Conejos, in the San Luis Val-
ley of Colorado ; the next year Pueblo ; and in 1874, Trinidad.
With the full approval of Bishop Joseph P. Macheboeuf , their
work continued to expand in later years. The church at So-
corro, New Mexico, became a temporary Jesuit charge in
1872, and in 1874 the fathers built a church at La Junta
(called Tiptonville after 1876). This parish included ten vil-
lages, the most distant of which was Fort Bascom, northeast
of the present-day city of Tucumcari. In the early 1880's the
Neapolitans extended their work to Isleta and El Paso, Texas,
where the coming of the Southern Pacific Railroad brought
social changes similar to those in New Mexico.

Coincident with the geographical expansion was a move to
establish parochial schools. Their first attempt in 1870 was
abandoned, but in 1872 the fathers opened the Holy Family
Select School for Boys in Albuquerque, supported by public
funds and dignified by the title of collegium inchoatum, or
"elementary college." Another school was operated in connec-
tion with the parish at La Junta.

In 1874 a Jesuit house was established in Las Vegas, as a
result of enthusiasm engendered by a preaching mission. In
this year the mission had thirteen priests and nine lay broth-
ers. Almost at once Las Vegas became the political and intel-
lectual headquarters of the mission as it related to its entire
territory, while Albuquerque became more and more con-
cerned with the immediate local problems of the coming of the
railroad and the accompanying influx of "Anglos." The Im-
prenta del Rio Grande, a press established by the Jesuits at
Albuquerque in 1873 to provide schoolbooks and devotional
works for the mission, was moved to Las Vegas to escape
flood waters, and in 1875 it began publishing the Revista
Catolica to fill the need for a weekly Spanish-language jour-
nal. It was an immediate success, for within six months it had
seven hundred subscribers.

The establishment of the Revista at Las Vegas in 1875



102 NEW MEXICO HISTORICAL REVIEW

coincided with the opening of a period of Territory-wide con-
troversy over the separation of church and state in the public
school system. Father Gasparri and the Revista promptly
took the lead in defending the Roman Catholic Church's posi-
tion over the next five years. In doing so they became rather
deeply involved in politics, although at first they avoided
stands along party lines. With the influx of English speaking
migrants in the 1870's, pressure for more public schools in
New Mexico was increased (from none in 1870, there were
138 by 1875). As these were opened, they tended to come
under the direct or indirect control of the Roman Catholic
Church, usually by default. School boards were organized in
each county, but in some cases priests sat as board officials.
The textbooks in the majority of the schools were those
printed on the Jesuits' press, and a number of parochial
schools were aided with public funds. Father Gasparri was
even made Superintendent of Schools in Bernalillo County.

In the face of growing opposition Gasparri combatted re-
strictive laws in the Territorial Legislature, and a Territory-
wide press battle ensued. After a period of relative peace from
1876 to 1878, the issue exploded anew when the Jesuits suc-
ceeded in having repassed over Governor Samuel B. Axtell's
veto a bill incorporating the Society as a tax-free educational
institution with wide, uncontrolled powers. This incorpora-
tion act was then annulled by the United States Congress, the
first time that body had ever overturned a territorial measure
through direct legislation. Governor Axtell, who was subse-
quently removed from office ostensibly because he had taken
sides in the so-called "Lincoln County War," attributed his
fall to Gasparri and his supporters.

In 1877 the fathers began teaching grammar and high
school classes in Don Manuel Romero's "Casa Redonda" on
Pacific Street in Las Vegas, and early the next year began
using the name "Las Vegas College" for this educational ven-
ture. They had 25 boarders, 4 half -boarders, and 85 day schol-
ars at the school's opening, and with an increase in enrollment
found it necessary to build a new adobe structure on the
nearby Calle de la Acequia. Most of the boarding students
came from Mexico, and one of them, Francisco Madero, later



THE ITALIANS IN NEW MEXICO 103

became president of his country. For a time the fathers also



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