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civilization and savagism, always exaggerated, had
nevertheless much foundation in fact. The Pueblo
tribes of New Mexico and the Moquis of Arizona are
a wonderful people when we consider the wall of sav-
agism which envelopes them; their towns of many-
storied structures are better foundations than usually
exist for travelers' tales of magnificent cities; ruins
are abundant, showing that the pueblo nations were


in the past more numerous, powerful, and cultured,
than Europeans have found them ; rich mines are now
worked, and yet richer ones are awaiting develop-
ment; few greater natural curiosities have been seen
in America than the canon of the Colorado, with per-
pendicular sides in some places a mile in height; and
the Apaches are yet on the war-path, making a trip
through the country much more dangerous now than
at the time when the Spaniards first visited it.

Although a large part of these states is still in the
possession of the natives, and no official or scientific
commission has made explorations which were espe-
cially directed to its antiquarian treasures, yet the
labors of the priest, hunter, immigrant, Indian fighter,
railroad surveyor, and prospector, have left few val-
leys, hills, or canons, mountain passes or desert plains
unvisited. While it is not probable that all even of
the more important ruins have been seen, or described,
we may feel very sure, here as in Yucatan, from the
uniformity of such monuments as have been brought
to light, that no very important developments remain
to be made respecting the character, or type, of the
New Mexican remains.

This country was first visited by the Spaniards in
the middle of the sixteenth century. The part
known to them as New Mexico, and to which their
efforts as conquistadores and missionaries were par-
ticularly directed, was the valley of the Rio Grande
and its tributary streams, but the whole district was
frequently crossed and recrossed by the padres down
to the latter part of the seventeenth century. Re-
ports of large cities and powerful nations far in the
north reached Mexico through the natives as early as
1530; Cabeza de Vaca, ship- wrecked on the coast of
the Mexican gulf, wandered through the central re-
gions, including New Mexico, in 1535; roused by the
ship-wrecked soldier's tale, Fr Marco de Niza pene-
trated at least into Arizona from Sinaloa in 1539,


and Avas followed by Vasquez de Coronado, who
reached the Pueblo towns on the Rio Grande in 1540;
Antonio de Espejo followed the course of the great
river northward to the Pueblos in 1583, and in 1595
New Mexico was brought altogether under Spanish
rule by Juan de Onate. In 1680 the natives threw
off the yoke by revolt, but were again subdued fifteen
years later, and the Spaniards retained the power,
though not always without difficulty until 1848, when
the territory came into the possession of the United
States. The archives of the missions are said to have
been for the most part destroyed in the revolt of
1680, and consequently their history previous to that
date is only known in outline; since 1680 the annals
are tolerably clear and complete. The diaries of the
Spanish pioneers have been, most of them, preserved
in one form or another, and show that the authors
visited many of the ruins that have attracted the
attention of later explorers, and also that they found
many of the towns inhabited that now exist only as
ruins. Their accurate accounts of towns still stand-
ing and inhabited attest, moreover, their general
veracity as explorers.

It is, however, to the explorations undertaken
under the authority of the United States govern-
ment, for the purpose of surveying a practicable
route for an interoceanic railroad, and also to estab-
lish a boundary line between American and Mexican
territory, that we owe nearly all our accurate de-
scriptions of the ancient monuments of this group.
These exploring parties, as well as the military expe-
ditions during the war with Mexico, were accompa-
nied by scientific men and artists, whose observations
were made public in their official reports, together
Avith illustrative plates. They generally followed the
course of the larger rivers, but the ruins discovered
by them show a remarkable similarity one to another,
and consequently the reports of trappers and guides
respecting remains of similar type on the smaller


streams, may be generally accepted as worthy of
more implicit confidence than can generally be ac-
corded to such reports.

In this division of Pacific States antiquities, which
may be spoken of as the New Mexican group, we
shall find, 1st, the remains of ancient stone and adobe
buildinofs in all stashes of disintesi-ration, from stand-
ing walls with roofs and floors to shapeless heaps of
debris or simple lines of foundation-stones ; 2d, anom-
alous structures of stone or earth, the purpose of
which, either by reason of their advanced state of
ruin or of the slight attention given them by travel-
ers, is not apparent; 3d, traces of aboriginal agricul-
ture in the shape of acequias and zanjas, or irrigating
canals and ditches ; 4th, pottery, always in fragments ;
5th, implements and ornaments of stone and shell, not
numerous; and 6th, painted or engraved figures on
cliffs, boulders, and the sides of natural caverns.

About the mouth of the Colorado there are no
authentic remains of aboriginal work dating back be-
yond the coming of the Spaniards, although Mr
Bartlett found just below the mouth of the Gila
traces of cultivation, which seemed to him, judging
from the growth of trees that covered them, not to
be the work of the present tribes in the vicinity. I
find also an absurd newspaper report — and no part of
the Pacific States has been more prolific of such re-
ports than that now under consideration — of a won-
derful ruined city of hewn stone somewhere about the
head of the Gulf of California. This city included
numerous dwellings, circular walls of granite, sculp-
tured hieroglyphics, and seven great pyramids, not
unlike the famous Central American cities of Palen-
que and Copan. Some rude figures scratched or
painted on the surface of a boulder, seen by a traveler,
have been proved by experience to be ample foundation
for such a rumor. ^

Ascending the Pio Gila eastward from its junction

* Cal., Past, Pres. and Future, p. 145.



With the Colorado, for some two hundred miles we
find nothmg that can be classed with ancient monu-
ments except natural heaps of large boulders at two
pomts, the flat sides of which are ''covered with rude
hgures of men animals, and other objects of grotesque
forms, all pecked in with a sharp instrument " The
accompanying cut shows some of these boulder-sculp-
tures as they were sketched by Bartlett in 1852

Boulder-Sculptures on the Gila,

Some of them seemed of recent origin, while many
were much defaced by exposure, and apparently o^
great age ihe newer carvings in some cases extend
over the older ones, and many are found on the under
side of the rocks, where they must have been ex-
ecuted before they fell to their present position. The



locality of the sculptured rocks is shown on the map ;
the first is about fifty miles east of Fort Yuma,
and the second twenty miles west of the big bend of
the Gila, both on the south bank. Two additional
incised figures are given in the following cut from
Froebel's sketches, since the author thinks that Bart-
lett may have selected his specimens with a view to
strengthen his theory that the figures are not hiero-
glyphics with a definite meaning.^

Boulder-Sculptures on the Gila.

Between the Pima villages and the junction of
the San Pedro with the Gila, stands the most fa-
mous ruin of the whole region — the Casa Grande,
or Casa de Montezuma, which it is safe to say has
been mentioned by every writer on American an-
tiquity. Coronado during his trip from CuHacan to
the 'seven cities' in 1540, visited a building called
Chichilticale, or 'red house,' which is supposed with
much reason to have been the Casa Grande. The
only account of Coronado's trip which gives any de-
scription of the building is that of Castaiieda, who
says, " Chichilticale of which so much had been said
Tprobably by the guides or natives] proved to be a
house in ruins and without a roof; which seemed,
however, to have been fortified. It was clear that

2 Bartleffs Pcrs. Nar., vol. ii., pp. 195, 206; Froebel, Aus Amer., torn,
ii., p. 468; Id., Cent. Amer., pp. 519-24; Emori/s Beconnoissance, pp. 82,
89-91, with plate.


this house, built of red earth, was the work of civ-
iHzed people who had come from far away." "A
house which had long been inhabited by a people who
came from Cibola. The earth in this country is red.
The house was large; it seemed to have served as a

Father Kino heard of the ruin w^hile visiting the
northern missions of Sonora in the early part of 1694.
He was at first incredulous, but the information hav-
ing been confirmed by other reports of the natives,
he visited the Casa Grande later in the same year,
and said mass within its walls. Since Kino was not
accompanied at the time by Padre Mange, his secre-
tary, who usually kept the diary of his expeditions,
no definite account resulted from this first visit.*

In 1697, however. Padre Kino revisited the place,
in company this time with Mange, who in his diary
of the trip wrote what may be regarded as the first
definite description/

3 Castaneda, in Ternaux-Compans, Voy., serie i., torn, ix., pp. 40-1, 161-
2. Two other accounts of the trip were written — one by Juan Jaraniillo,
which may be found in the same volume of Ternaux-Compans' work ; and
the second by Coronado himself, an Italian translation of which apj)eared
in Ramusio, Navigationi, torn, iii., fol. 359, et seq., and an English trans-
lation in Hakluyt's Voy., vol. iii., p. 373, et seq. For an abstract of the
trip and discussion about the location of tlie route, see Gallatin, in Amer.
Ethno. Soc, Transact., vol. ii. ; Sqnicr, in American Review for Novem-
ber, 1848; Whip2ile, et al., in Pac. R. R. Repts., vol. iii.; and Sitnjyson, in
Smithsonian Rept., 1859, p. 309, et seq. Tlie last is the best article on tlie
subject, and is accompanied by a map. All the accounts mention the
fact that the expedition passed through Chichilticale, but only the one
quoted describes the building.

* 'Lo apuuto en embrion por no haber ido yo a este descubrimento."
Mange, in Doc. Hist. Mex., serie iv., torn, i., jjp. 259, 253, 362-4.

5 In Doc. Hist. Mcx., serie iv., torn, i., pp. 282-3. Mange's description
is as follows: — ' One of them is a large edifice, the principal room in the
centre being four stories high, and those adjoining it on its four sidc^, three
stories; with walls two varas thick, of strong argamasa y harro [that is,
the material of wliich adobes are nnide] so smooth on the inside that they
resemble planed boards, and so polished that they shine like Puebla pot-
tery. The corners of the windows, which are square, are very straight and
without supports or crosspieces of wood, as if made with a mold; the
doors are the same, though, narrow, and by this it is known to be the work
of Indians; it is 36 paces long by 21 wide, and is well built. At the dis-
tance of an arquebuse-shot are seen twelve other buildings half fallen, also
with thick Avails; and all the roofs burned out except one low room, Avhich
has round beams apparently of cedar, or sabino, small and smooth, and
over them otates (reeds) of equal size, and a layer of hard mud and mortar,
forming a very curious roof or floor, lu the vicinity are seen many other


Padre Jacobo Sedelmair visited the Casa Grande
in 1744, but in his narrative he copies Mange's ac-
count. He went further, however, and discovered
other ruins.^

Lieut C. M. Bernal seems to have been miUtary
commandant in Kino's expedition, and he also de-
scribes the ruin in his report.'^ Padres Garces and
Font made a journey in 1775-6, under Capt. Anza,
to the Gila and Colorado valleys, and thence to the
missions of Alta California and the Moqui towns.
Both mention the ruin in their diaries, the latter
giving quite a full account. I know not if Padre
Font's diary has ever been printed, but I have in my
collection an English manuscript translation from the
original in the archives at Guadalajara, — perhaps the
same copy from which Mr Bartlett made the extracts
which he printed in his work.^ Font's plan is not

ruins and stories, and heaps of rubbish Avhich cover the ground for two
leagues; with much broken pottery, pLates, and ollas of fine clay painted
in varioxis colors and resembling the Guadalajara pottery of New Spain;
hence it is inferred that the city was very large and the work of a civilized
people under a government. This is verified by a canal which runs from
the river over the plain, encircling the settlement, which is in the centre,
three leagues in circumference, ten varas wide and four deep, carrying per-
haps half the river, and thus serving as a defensive ditch as well as to sup-
ply water for the houses and to irrigate the surrounding fields.'

^Sedelmair, Rclacion, in Doc. Hist. Mcx., serie iii. , tom. iv., p. 847.
Orozco y Berra, Gcografia, pp. 108-10, takes this description from Sedel-
mair's MS. in the Mexican archives, as being written by one who was 'al-
most tlie discoverer,' but it is a literal copy of Mange's diary. Mange's
diary, so far as it relates to the Casa Grande, is translated in Schoolcraft's
Arch., vol. iii., p. 301; and BartlctCs Fcrs. Nar., vol. ii., pp. 281-2.

^ ' Y vimos toda la vivienda del edificio que es niuy grande de quatro altos,
cuadradas las paredes y muy gruesas conio de dos varas de audio del dicho
barro bianco, y aunque estos jentiles lo han quemado distintas veces, se ven
los quatro altos, con buenas salas, aposentos y ventanas curiosamente embar-
radas por dentro y fuera de manera que estan las ])aredes encaladas y lisas
con un barro algo Colorado, las jmertas muy parcjas. Tambien hay inme-
diatas por fuera once casas algo menores fabricadas con la propia curiosidac'
de la grande y altas. . . .y en largo distrito se vc mucha losa quebraday pin
tada; tambien se ve una sequia maestra de diez varas de ancho y quatro de
alto, y un bordo muy grueso hecho de la misnia tierra que va a la casa por
un llano.' Bernal, in Doc. Hist. Mcx., serie iii., tom. iv., ]>. 804.

8 Padre Garces says, 'on this river is situated the house which they
call Moctezuma's, and many other ruins of other edifices with very many
fragments of pottery botli painted and plain. From what I afterwards saw
of the Moqui, I have formed a very different idea from that which I before
entertained respecting these buildings,' referring to Padre Font for more
details. Doc. Hist. Alex., serie ii., tom. i., p. 242. Font's account is sub-
stantially as follows: — 'We carefully examined this edifice and its ruins;


given with the translation, but in Beaumont's Crdni-
ca de Meclwacan, a very important work never pub-
lished, of which I have a copy made from the original
for the Mexican Imperial Library of Maximilian, I
find a description of the Casa Grande, which appears
to have been quoted literally from Font's diary, and
which also contains the ground plan of the ruined
edifice. I shall notice hereafter its variations from
the plan which I shall copy.^ A brief account was

the echnographical plan of which I here lay down [The plan does not ac-
comimny the translation, but I have the same plan in another ^IS. Mliich
I shall presently mention] and the better to understand it I give the follow-
ing description and exjjlanation. [Here follows an account of the building
of the Casa by the Aztecs when the Devil led them through tliese regions
on their way to Anahuac]. The site on Mhich this house is built is Hat on
all sides and at the distance of about one league from the river Gila, and the
ruins of the houses which composed the town extend more than a league
towards the East and the Cardinal points; and all this land is partially cov-
ered with pieces of pots, jugs, plates, &c., some common and others painted
of different colours, white, blue, red,' &.c., very different from the work of
the Pimas. A careful measurement made with a lance showed that 'the
house forms an oblong square, facing exactly the four Cardinal points. . . .
and round about it there are ruins indicating a fence or wall Avhich sur-
rounded the house and other buildings, particularly in the corners, where
it aj^pears that there has been some edifice like an interior castle or watch-
tower, for in the angle which faces towards the S. W. there stands a ruin with
its divisions and an upper story. The exterior place [plaza] extends from N.
to S. 420 feet and from E. to W. 260 feet. The interior of the house con-
sists of five halls, the three middle ones being of one size and the two ex-
treme ones longer.' The three middle ones are 26 by 10 feet, and the
others 38 by 12 feet, and all 11 feet high. The inner doors are of equal
size, two by five feet, the outer ones being of double width. The inner walls
are four feet thick and Avell plastered, and the outer walls six feet thick.
The house is 70 by 50 feet, the walls sloping somewhat on the outside.
'Before the Eastern doorway, separate from the house there is another
building,' 26 by 18, feet, 'without counting the thickness of the walls.
The timber, it appears, Avas of pine, and the nearest mountain bearing
pine is at the distance of 25 leagues; it likewise bears some mezquite. All
the building is of earth, and according to appearances the walls are built in
bo.xes [moldes] of different sizes. A trench leads from the river at a
great distance, by which the town was supjilied with water; it is now nearly
buried up. Finally, it is perceptible that the Edifice had three stories, and
if it be true what the Indians say it had 4, the last being a kind of sub-
terranean vault. For the purpose of giving light to the rooms, nothing is
seen but the doors and some round holes in the middle of the walls which
face to the East and West, and the Indians said that the Prince whom they
call the "bitter man" used to salute the sun through these holes (which are
pretty large) at its rising and setting. No signs of stairs remain, and we
therefore suppose that they must have been of wood, and that they were
destroyed when the building was burnt by the Apaches. ' FonVs Journal,
MS., pp. 8-10; also quoted in BartletVs Pcrs. Nar., vol. ii., pp. 278-80;
also French translation in Ternaux-Compans, Vot/., s^rie i., torn, ix., pp.

^Beaumont, Cr6n. Mechoacan, MS., pp. 504-8. See an abridged ac-


given in the Rudo Ensayo, written about 1761, and
by Velarde in his notice of the Pinieria, written
probably toward the close of the eig-hteenth century;
but neither of these descriptions contained any ad-
ditional information, having been made up probably
from the preceding. ^°

Finally the Casa Grande has been visited, sketched,
and described by Emory and Johnston, connected
with Gen. Kearny's military expedition to California
in 1846; by Bartlett with the Mexican Boundary
Commission in 1852; and by Ross Browne in 1863."

The descriptions of different writers do not differ
very materially one from another, Bartlett's among
the later, and Font's of the earlier accounts being the
most complete. From all the authorities I make up
the following description, although the extracts which
I have already given include nearly all that can be
said on the subject. The Casa Grande stands about
two miles and a half south of the bank of the Gila;

count from the same source in Padilla, Conq. K. Galicia, MS., p. 125;
Arricivita, Cronica Serdjica, pp. 462-3.

1" Sonora, Rudo Ensayo, pp. 18-9; same also in Doc. Hist. Mex., serie
iii., torn, iv., pp. 503-4; Velarde, Descrip. de la Pimeria, in Doc. Hist.
Mex., serie iv., torn, i., pp. 362-3. This author speaks of 'algunas paredes
de un gran estanque, hecho d mano de cal y canto.' Similar account in
Alegrc, Hist. Conip. de Jesus, tom. ii., pp. 211-12.

11 Emorifs Reconiioissancc, pp. 81-3; Johnston's Journal, in Id., pp.
567-600; Browne's Apache Country, pp. 114-24; BartletVs Pers. Nar.,
vol. ii. , pp. 271-84. Other authorities, containing, I believe, no original
information, are as follows: Humboldt, Essai Pol., pp. 297-8; Baldwin's
Anc. Amer., p. 82; Mofras, Explor. , tom. ii., p. 361; Gondra, in Prescott,
Hist. Conq. Mex., tom. iii., p. 19; Mayer's Hex. Aztec, etc., vol. ii., p. 396,
with cut; Id., Observations, p. 15; Id., Mex. as it Was, p. 239; Brasseur
de Bourbourg, Hist. Nat. Civ., tom. ii., p. 197; Conder's Mex. Guat., vol.
ii., pp. 68-9; Buschmann, Spuren der Aztek. Spr., p. 297; Cutts' Conq. of
Cal., pp. 186-8; Domenech's Deserts, vol. i., pp. 381-4; Mollhausen, Tage-
buch, pp. 309-14; Lafond, Voyages, tom. i., p. 135; Larenaudidre, Mex. ct
Guat., p. 12; Long's Amer. and IV. I., pp. 180-1; Malte-Brun, Precis de la
Geog., tom. vi., pp. 453; Mill's Hist. Mex., pp. 192-3; Monglave, Resume,
p. 176; Miihlenpfordt, Mcjico, tom. ii., pt ii., pp. 435-6; Muller, Amerika-
nischc Urreligionen, p. 532; Gallatin, uxNouvelles Annates des Voy., 1851,
tom. cxxxi., pp. 284-6, 261; Froebel, Aus Amer., tom. ii., pp. 451-2; Gor-
don's Hist, and Geog. Mem., pp. 86-7; Id., Ancient Mex., vol. i., p. 104;
Shuck's Cal. Scrap-Book, p. 669; Robinson's Cal., pp. 93-4; Velasco, in
Soc. Mex. Geog., Boletin, tom. xi., p. 96; Thiinunel, Mexiko, p. 347; De-
Bercy, L'Europe et L'Amer., pp. 238-9; Riixton, in Nouvelles Annates des
Voy., 1850, tom. cxxvi., pp. 40, 46, 52; San, Francisco Chronicle, Jan. 15,
1875; Schoolcraft's Arch., vol. iii., pp. 299-300; Hughes' Doniphan's Ex., p.

Vol. IV. 4


— that is all the early writers call the distance about
a league ; Bartlett and Emory say nothing of the dis-
tance, and Koss Browne says it is half an hour's ride.
The Gila valley in this region is a level bottom of
varying width, with nearly perpendicular banks of
earth. Opposite the ruin the bottom is about a mile
wide on the southern bank of the river, and the ruin
itself stands on the raised plateau beyond, surrounded
by a thick growth of mesquite with an occasional
pitahaya. The height and nature of the ascent from
the bottom to the plateau at this particular point are
not stated; but from the fact that acequias are re-
ported leading from the river to the buildings, it would
seem that the ascent must be very slight and gradual.
The appearance of the ruins in 1863 is shown in
the cut as sketched by Ross Browne. Other sketches
by Bartlett, Emory, and Johnston, agree very well
with the one given, but none of them indicate the
presence of the mesquite forest mentioned in Mr
Bartlett's text. The material of the buildings is
adobe,^^ that is, the ordinary mud of the locality mixed
with gravel. Most writers say nothing of its color,
although Bernal in 1697 pronounced it 'white clay,'
and Johnston also says it is white, probably with an
admixture of lime, which, as he states, is abundant in
the vicinity. Mr Hutton, a civil engineer well ac-
quainted with the ruins, assured Mr Simpson that the
surrounding earth is of a reddish color, although by
reason of the pebbles the Casa has a whitish ap-
pearance in certain reflections. This matter of color
is of no great importance except to prove the iden-
tity of the building with Castaneda's Chichilticale,
which he expressly states to have been built of red

12 Adobes are properly sun-dried bricks withoixt any particular reference
to the exact quality or proportions of the ingredients, many varieties of
earth or clay being employed, acccording to the locality and the nature of
the structure, with or without a mixture of straw or pebbles. But adobe
is a very convenient word to indicate the material itself without reference
to the form and size of its blocks or the exact nature of its ingredients; and
such a use of the word seems allowable.




,, ',[.


earth." The material instead of being formed into
small rectangular or brick-shaped blocks, as is cus-
tomary in all Spanish American countries to this day,

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