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An Illustrated history of New Mexico : from the earliest period of its discovery to the present time, together with...biographical mention of many of its pioneers and prominent citizens of today .. online

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. . OF . . .


Containing a History of this Important Section of the Great Southwest, from the Earliest Period of its

Discovery to the Present Time, together with Glimpses of its Auspicious Future ; Illustrations

and Full-page Portraits of some of its Eminent Men, and Biographical Mention

of Many of its Pioneers and Prominent Citizens of To-day.

1 A people that take no pride in the noble achievements of remote ancestors will never achieve anything worthy to be
remembered with pride by remote descendants." MACAULAY.




Spanish "accents," or diacritical marks, not being English, are not used in this volume,
although some names, printed with ny for n, seem odd, simply on account of their unfamiliar
appearance ; as, Canyada for Canada. With the form canyon the reading public has already
become familiar.

ritoia TBI PRIM or



ZTLAN, described as ' ' the
bright land far to the
north," is the name given
by the early Spanish his-
torians, and concurred in
by modern writers of re-
pute, as that of the land
whence came the tribes
found in the valley of Mexico by their Spanish
conquerors. Acosta, one of the historians re-
ferred to, who visited the city of Mexico in
1585, and whose writings on New Spain were
published at Seville in 1589, says: "They
came from distant countries toward the north,
where now they have founded a kingdom which
they call New Mexico." Other historians
make similar statements.

Humboldt, who approaches the subject
with doubts, after naming the banks of the
Navajo, the'Moqui villages and the Gila, writes
in his New Spain: " We are tempted to be-
lieve that at the period of the migration sev-
eral tribes separated from the great mass of
the people to establish themselves in these
northern regions." At that time, indeed,
there were other signs of equal import cover-
ing a much broader country.

Dr. Brinton says: " These traditions, the
Maya Chronicles, go to show that the belief
among the Aztecs was, that the tribes of the
Maya family came originally from the north or
northeast, and were at some remote period
closely connected with their ancestors."

This land " Aztlan " which was for an
indefinite period the home of the aborigines

who became the masters of Anahuac, the Aztec
empire, and who were found and subdued by
Cortez in 1519-21, is a land still occupied in
part by people of the same race and charac-
teristics except so far as changed by the vary-
ing conditions that have intervened during the
centuries since elapsing.

This pre-Columbian country of our South-
west, now known as the Territory of New
Mexico, is peculiar on account of the fact that
extremes of civilization have met here, and are
still conspicuously visible. The "free-for-all"
race of modern energy, enterprise and prosper-
ity, with the coming of steam transportation in
its mighty, irresistible course, has here peace-
ably met face to face the medieval conserva-
tism and the crooked-stick plows and industrial
methods of " ancient times."

(The foregoing paragraphs, as well as the
following up to the year 1 540, are substantially
from the authority of Hon. William G. Ritch.j

" In the sixteenth century a remnant of a
party of explorers found themselves stranded,
wrecked and destitute, upon the western shores
of the Gulf of Mexico. This party was Cabeza
de Vaca and three companions. Thousands
of miles of trackless wilderness, then wholly
unknown to Europeans, and beset with savages,
lay between this small party and their Spanish
brethren in sparsely-settled Mexico. Nothing
daunted, this intrepid little band, with nothing
more of this world's goods at their command
than the indifferent clothing which covered
their nakedness, but with indomitable energy,
the endurance of steel and their own good tact,


entered upon the hazards of traversing this un-
explored and trackless continent, in the forlorn
hope of reaching their countrymen and friends
somewhere upon the other side. The under-
taking antedated any permanent European set-
tlement within the bounds of what has since
become our own beloved country, the United
States. It was less than a decade later than
the conquest of Mexico by Cortez, and nearly
a century previous to the landing of the Pil-
grims upon the shores of Massachusetts bay,
that these Spartan souls departed upon the
most wonderful and successful journey known
to the pages of history. The point of depart-
ure was upon the gulf coast of either Louisiana
or Texas, as known to modern geographers.

' ' These wanderers traversed by turns the
tangled swamps and bayous of a semi-tropical
latitude; the deep turbid rivers and dense for-
ests of the coast slope; the vast arid plains,
coursed by canyons of dizzy depth, and tower-
ing, rugged mountains and rushing torrents of
the interior; and finally crossing the alkali
plains, sandy desert and coast range before
beholding the blue waters of the Pacific. They
lived upon roots and lizards when naught else
could be found, and slept with the canopy
of heaven only as their covering, except
as varied by the elements, and ever upon
the alert for wild beasts and hostile Indians.
Traversing the streams to their head-waters
northwest from the gulf, and as laid down up-
on the maps of the early voyagers, Vaca and
his companions, after many months of weary
travel, reached the waters (according to some
writers) of the Canadian river, thence pressing
forward, and after three months of uncertain
wanderings, reached the Pueblo Indian villages
of New Mexico, twenty degrees of latitude
north of the city of Mexico.

" Memorable event! Here first came to the
knowledge of the inhabitants of the Old
World the existence of a people living in
permanent houses and homes clustered in vil-
lages, following the pursuits of peace by till-
ing the soil, the administration of wholesome
laws, in making provident care for possible

famines, and in showing kindness and hospi-
tality to these pale-faced strangers in distress.
The people thus met and described by Cabeza
de Vaca and his companions correspond with
those who were found and described by subse-
quent explorers in New Mexico, upon the
slopes of the Rio Grande, at Santa Fe and at
Zunyi. These were the first towns, the first
permanent settlements of a people possessing
habits of civilization, within the borders of
this great nation of free people, who had thus
attained to their estate many generations an-
terior to the landing of Columbus. The same
distinctive people, with the same habits, al-
though greatly reduced in numbers by wars,
aggressive and defensive, still constitute an
important element in the population of New
Mexico in this last quarter of the nineteenth

"Furnished with supplies and such means
of comfort as was possible for this small party
to carry with them, after still another period
of wandering, in all probably five years, they
arrived, in the spring of 1536, at the town of
San Miguel, upon the west coast of Mexico,
and in May following reported to the viceroy
at the city of Mexico. The stories of Cabeza
de Vaca about a great people living in towns
and cities far to the north were in confirmation
of traditions and statements previously made
by the native Mexican people.

" As a consequence expeditions were at
once fitted out the first under the lead of
Friar Marcos de Niza, who took with him as a
guide Estevan, a blackamoor, and one of Vaca's
party. Niza reached only the Cibola country
(Zunyi). Estevan had preceded him a few
days, and was the first to arrive at Zunyi; but
his indiscretion cost him his life and came well
nigh bringing the whole party into difficulty,
and making the return of Niza a necessity; the
report of Niza was confirmatory.

' ' The expedition of General Francisco Vas-
quez de Coronado, governor of New Galicia,
under the patronage of the viceroy, followed
in July, i 540, from the southwest with assured
hopes of finding great stores of gold and silver


among the people, as had been found by Piz-
arro in Peru and by Cortez in Mexico. The
expedition was composed very largely of scions
of royalty and persons of refinement and wealth,
most of whom were illy prepared to withstand
the toil and endure the privations inseparable
from the journey. The expedition, however,
arrived in good spirits at Zunyi. Coronado's
journal speaks of here meeting hostile demon-
strations, and likewise relates of discovering
cities larger than Granada in Spain; of one
town containing 500 houses of stone, some of
them five lofts high and of excellent construc-
tion, and of another, still larger; of the people
complaining of Estevan, and of their killing
him because of insulting their women, whom
' they loved dearly. ' The food of the people
was corn, peas and venison. They had good
salt, wore turquoise, emerald and garnets for
ornaments, made cloth, had mantles of cotton,
painted, and had other articles of dress, which
were embroidered in needlework. Water was
brought then, as now, in irrigating ditches, to
their fields of corn and vegetables. Coronado
also tells of finding gold and silver that was

During the absence of one of his party,
Cardenas, who was visiting the Moqui towns
and Rio Colorado, a party of natives came
from their province, lying eastward, to the
Zunyi towns, with gifts of various leathern
articles and offers of tribal friendship and alli-
ance. Their chief and spokesman was called
Bigotes by the Spaniards, on account of his
long mustaches, and he had much to say con-
cerning the buffaloes of his country.

Accordingly Captain Alvarado was or-
dered, with twenty men, to accompany the
natives on their return, and to report within
eighty days respecting their country and its
wonderful animals. In a journey of five days
Alvarado came to Acuco (now Acoma), a town
built upon a rock, and accessible only by a
narrow stairway, terminating in mere holes for
the hands and feet. At first the inhabitants
there showed signs of resistance, but were
easily subdued by threats of battle.

The explorers, passing Zunyi for the east,
passed Acus (Acoma), a town upon an exceed-
ing strong hill, whose people grew cotton.
Thence they journeyed to the province of
Tiguex, located upon the banks of a great river,
running southward. Here they found large
mantles, feathers and precious things, and the
inhabitants were raising melons and white and
red cotton. The Tiguex valley seemed to be
well settled to a distance of fifty to sixty miles
out from the river, and contained within its
bounds twelve towns, which were along this
large river. The province afterward became
the center of operations upon the part of the
Spanish. Alvarado at once recommended it as
a place for the winter quarters of his general.
Then he went on with Bigotes for five days
further, to the province of Cicuye (probably the
pueblo of Pecos) on the border of the plains,
the inhabitants of which made to the Spaniards
presents of hides, cloth and turquoises.

But at this point the captain was particu-
larly attracted by the statements of an Indian,
who claimed to be a native of a province about
2,000 miles to the southeast. On account of
his appearance the Spaniards called him "The
Turk. " He spoke at length concerning the
cities of his country, and also of gold and
silver, the latter being particularly attractive
to the Spaniard. After receiving such news
the buffaloes of the Rio Grande seemed to be
of little importance. Alvarado, however, carry-
ing out his instructions, made a trip out into the
plains in search of the animals, with the Turk
as a guide, and he found the buffaloes, indeed,
in large numbers. In this tour he followed the
river for about 300 miles toward the southwest.
Then he returned to Tiguex (Rio Grande),
where he found that Cardenas had arrived
from Cibola (the Zunyi towns) to prepare
winter quarters for the army and where Alva-
rado now remained to await the general.

Coronado, after dispatching Alvarado to the
east, and Cardenas to prepare winter quarters
at Tiguex, remained at Cibola to await the
arrival of the main army under Arellano, who
carne late in the autumn from Sonora. The


general, ordering the army to rest for twenty
days before following him, started for Tiguex
with thirty men, going by a new route in order
to make new discoveries. His party suffered
severely for want of water on the way, which
they could find only in the mountains, where
they suffered from cold about as much as they
had previously suffered from thirst. Alvarado
reached the Rio Grande in the province of
Tutahaco (probably in the vicinity of the mod-
ern Isleta), with its eight villages, where he
heard of other villages further south. Thence
he followed up the river twelve miles to Tiguex.
At this place Coronado found Cardenas
and Alvarado awaiting him, together with the
"Turk," to whose tales of eastern wealth he
listened with the greatest pleasure and credul-
ity, and all his companions immediately be-
came enthusiastic in their hopes of a grand
conquest in the near future. The enthusiasm
led them into too great haste in their dealings
with the natives at' Tiguex; for on their arrival
there they at once turned out without cere-
mony the inhabitants, who had previously
treated them so kindly, from their best houses,
in order to occupy them for their own rapa-
cious purposes, and all this, too, contrary to
the viceroy's instructions! The friendly people
at Cicuye received no better treatment, except
that as yet they had not the army to support.
Alvarado, being sent to obtain certain gold-
en bracelets which the Turk falsely claimed to
have left at Cicuye, arrested Bigotes and an-
other chief because the ornaments were not
brought forth, and brought his prisoners in
chains back to Tiguex. He also called upon
the natives for a large quantity of clothing, for
the army soon expected to arrive, refused
them to call a council to apportion the tax
among the towns, as was their custom, and
sent soldiers to take the clothing by force, the
Indians being obliged in many cases to take
the garments off their backs! One pueblo
was burned for some offence of the inhabitants
not clearly specified, and many other outrages
were committed, including violations of chas-
tity. Such horrible "truths" as these we

learn from the practice of envious and revenge-
ful Spaniards "telling on" one another. Of
course it was impossible for the untutored
"heathen" there, far more virtuous than their
invaders, to distinguish Christianity from high-
way robbery.

When Arellano arrived with the main army
from Cibola, in December, the whole province
was naturally in open revolt, and the succeed-
ing winter was spent, so far as the severity of
a winter to which the unaccli mated invaders
and their animals were unused would permit,
in efforts either to reconcile the natives to the
new regime or to conquer them by force; and
force they finally resorted to, even massacring
a hundred prisoners at one time! From this
time on the Indians refused to listen to any
proposition of peace from a race they could
not trust. They defended themselves by bar-
ricading their towns or ran away to the moun-
tains, and to every offer of pardon and conso-
lation they simply pointed to past acts of bad
faith. Cardenas, going with thirty men to the
pueblo of Tiguex to propose terms, was re-
quired to advance alone and unarmed, and be-
ing knocked down was with difficulty rescued,
several others also being seriously wounded.
Nearly all the natives of the province had
taken refuge in this pueblo, and in another
three or four miles distant. Some authorities
state that Cardenas was afterward punished by
the Spanish government for his cruelties in this

Then Coronado, as vicious as his lieutanant,
Cardenas, attacked Tiguex, but was repulsed
in the first assault by the stones and arrows of
the defenders, with twenty men wounded,
several of them fatally. Next followed a siege
of fifty days, with many assaults and sorties,
in which were killed some 200 Indians and a
number of Spaniards. The besieged, suffering
for want of water, dug a well inside the town,
which caved in and buried thirty of their num-
ber. A little later they were allowed to send
away women and children, about 2OO of whom
departed; and after about two weeks more of
resistance they all attempted to escape by


night. The movement being discovered, the
fugitives bravely attacked their foe and were
either cut down or driven to perish in the ice-
cold waters of the Rio Grande. A similar fate
befell those who had taken refuge in the other
town, and all the villages were taken and plun-
dered, the inhabitants being killed, enslaved or
driven from the province. Not one submitted,
or would accept the conqueror's permission to
return to his home. Some of the provinces,
however, surrendered.

In May, 1541, Coronado marched with his
entire force in search of the reported wealth
of the regions beyond Tiguex. At Cicuye he
was received in a friendly manner, and a guide
was obtained there named Xabe, who claimed
to be a native of Quivira. The "Turk" had
been discharged on account of his unreliability
and general depravity. A march of three or
four days over a mountainous country brought
them to a large river, which they named Rio
de Cicuye, and may have been what is now
known as the Gallinas, the eastern and larger
branch of the Pecos. A little later they en-
tered the great buffalo plains, and in ten days
came to the first habitation of the wandering
tribes. They continued their march for about
two weeks more, in a northeasterly direction.

On this trip Coronado left the main army,
and went northward for forty days over the
plains until he reached Quivira, late in July,
remained there twenty-five days, and arrived
at Tiguex on his return, in August or Septem-
ber. Quivira proved to be one of several In-
dian villages of straw huts or wigwams, on or
near a large river. The inhabitants resembled
the roving Querechos and Teyas in most re-
spects, but were somewhat superior, raising a
small quantity of maize. The country was an
excellent one in respect of soil, climate and
natural productions, but the people had no
knowledge of the precious metals, and even in
their reports of large tribes beyond there was
but slight indication of either wealth or civili-
zation. Besides, even the "Turk" now con-
fessed that all his tales had been lies, told for
the purpose of decoying the Spaniards upon a

route to suit his own convenience, and also for
a sort of patriotic purpose. The general put
the "Turk" to death, and returned to Cicuye,
by a more direct route, where Arellano came
to meet him, and they proceeded together to

Coronado and his associates believed
Quivira to be in latitude forty degrees, and
about 600 miles northeast of Tiguex. The
point they reached must have been in Kansas,
between the Arkansas and Missouri rivers.
Lecturers and writers upon the subject in vari-
ous States and localities have been ever ready
to catch upon the descriptions of the country
given in the journals of the expedition, and
who ingeniously credit their locality with being
a seat entitled to a chapter on early Spanish
explorations. Thus, Nebraska has a theorist
who claims that the southern and central por-
tion of that State was the remotest point
reached by Coronado. Another theory quotes
Quivira, the outlying terminus of the expedi-
tion, at or near Kansas City; while still another
locates the province further south, possibly in
Arkansas. However all this theorizing may be,
there is no doubt about Coronado having ex-
tended his march far to the northeast, over
treeless plains, where large herds of buffalo
roamed, extending, no doubt, to some point
well toward the Missouri river. Wherever
Quivira may have been located, we are
told that there he met Tatarrax, the king of
the province, and that his people gave no
greater sign of being possessed of the precious
metals of which they were in search than a
"jewel of copper about the neck of the king. "
The men of Quivira lived principally upon
buffalo meat, slept in tents made of buffalo
hides, wore shoes and clothing made of buffalo
leather, and "wandered about like the Arab."

Brackenridge says that the first explorer of
New Mexico was Marcos de Nicia, a friar,
about the year 1539, coming with a small
party from Pitatlan, on the gulf of California,
in latitude twenty-four degrees, and traveling
east and north until he heard of the Pueblo
Indians, coming within sight of Cibola.



Then he sent a negro and some Indians in ad-
vance. Some of the latter returned after a
time, and reported that they had reached
Cibola, where they had been badly treated,
and the negro killed. Upon this Marcos re-
turned, and published an account, which has
generally been regarded as highly exaggerated.

Cibola is the name of the province of the
pueblo region. The pueblo towns did not
seem to be mutually interdependent in their
government. The government of each was re-
publican, the supreme governing body in each
being elected by the people. They were not
Aztecs. The roofs of the houses consisted of
unhewn pines, covered with a thick coating of
clay, so as to form terraces. The walls were
perfectly smooth. The central portions of a
pueblo building were much higher than the
outer, extending sometimes to a height of fifty
feet or more. These buildings were sometimes
in groups, connected by lower structures. One
group measured 800 feet or more north and
south, and about 250 feet east and west.
There seems to have been courts within the
enclosure. These buildings, had their doors
only in the roof, or at least high up, and entry
was always made by ladder, a custom derived
probably from the effort to make the building
a kind of fort difficult to enter or destroy in
case of war.

Captain Arellano made preparations for
passing a second winter at Tiguex, meeting
with many difficulties on account of the con-
tinued hostility of the natives, who still re-
fused to occupy their towns. Meanwhile he
caused some further explorations to be made.
He sent Captain Barrio-nuevo northward, who
visited the province of Hemes (or Jemez), with
seven towns, one of which still retains the
name. The inhabitants of this province sub-
mitted and furnished supplies; but those of an
adjoining province Yuque-Yunque did not
do so, but fled to the mountains, leaving con-
siderable food in their towns. Their fine earth-
enware had such a glaze as indicated the exist-
ence of silver mines in the vicinity. Sixty
miles further up the river Barrio-nuevo came

to a large town built on both banks of the
stream, with wooden bridges connecting the
two divisions. This place the explorers named
Valladolid, but the native name was Braba or
Yuraba. It was probably Taos. Barrio-nuevo
returned to Tiguex, leaving the northern coun-
try in peace.

Another officer was dispatched down the
river to explore its lower branches. Travel-
ing about 240 miles he reached a point where
the river disappeared under ground, to reap-
pear, the natives said, further down larger than
ever. On this journey the party passed the
southernmost pueblos, which were abandoned
during the wars of the next century. They
were in the Socorro region. Tljis concludes
the list of the New-Mexican pueblos visited
by Coronado or his officers. The group of
pueblos between Zunyi and Tiguex, repre-
sented by Laguna, Cebolleta, Moquina and
Pujuaque, did not exist until a later period.

Captain Arellano set out with forty horse-
men to meet General Coronado on his return
from Quivira, the report concerning which
was that of bitter disappointment. Xabe, the
new guide, failed to verify his reports con-
cerning the existence of gold and silver in his

During the succeeding winter the Spaniards
suffered a great deal for want of clothing, as
the natives still refused to occupy their towns
and furnish supplies. In the spring (i 542) the
contemplated expedition into the plains was
abandoned on account of the injury received
by Coronado, being thrown from a horse by
the breaking of a girth. The soldiery became
discouraged and induced the general to give
them permission to return to their homes ;
but Fray Juan de Padilla and Padre Luis, a

Online LibraryLewis Publishing CompanyAn Illustrated history of New Mexico : from the earliest period of its discovery to the present time, together with...biographical mention of many of its pioneers and prominent citizens of today .. → online text (page 1 of 111)