The New Mexico: Preliminaries to Conquest
The "Christianization" of Pecos
The Shadow of the Inquisition
Their Own Worst Enemies
Pecos and the Friars
Pecos, the Plains, and the Provincias Internas
Late in the fall of 1756, while a combined force of
more than three hundred presidial soldiers and Indian auxiliaries
tracked Apaches on the upper Gila River and cursed the broken terrain,
the Viceroy Marqués de las Amarillas fumed. How was be to know
where anything was on the northern frontier? What he needed was maps,
reliable maps, "showing in detail the rivers, mountains, mining towns or
mines discovered, presidios and missions," and more. On December 19,
1756, the viceroy dispatched to each of his six northern governors an
order for a map. Because he considered the making of such maps a matter
of good administrative practice on their parts, he stipulated that the
governors themselves, not the royal treasury, pay costs. Furthermore,
the finished products, accompanied by statements of conditions in the
respective provinces, were to be in his hands promptly.
Gov. Francisco Antonio Marín del Valle of New
Mexico (1754-1760) smiled as he read the order. He had stolen a march on
the viceroy. Already he had searched the archives in vain for a map of
New Mexico. Then he had searched New Mexico in vain for an individual
who could make him one. Strained relations between Marín and the
Franciscans all but ruled out a friar as cartographer. Not until early
1756, when don Bernardo de Miera y Pacheco moved to Santa Fe, "of his
own free will"evidently enticed by the offer of a political
appointment as alcalde mayordid the governor have his man.
Miera, a versatile Spaniard who had settled in the El
Paso district in 1743, had served as engineer and map maker in the
general offensive of 1747, "Father Menchero's campaign," and had thereby
gained firsthand knowledge of much of western New Mexico. Two years
later, he had plotted the Río del Norte from El Paso downriver to
La Junta. Once in New Mexico, as alcalde mayor of Pecos and Galisteo, he
rapidly familarized himself with eastern New Mexico on three campaigns
against the Comanches.
Don Bernardo would accompany Marín on his
official tour of inspection and, at the governor's expense, he would map
the entire province. From late June until December 1, 1757, they were in
the field. By the end of April 1758, Miera's elaborate map was ready.
The governor enclosed, as a letter of transmittal, his own commentary on
military and Indian affairs and sent the packet south.
The viceroy was pleased. He complimented Governor
Marín for getting the job done despite the lack of previous maps.
In addition, he ordered Marín to leave for his successor a map
and report similar to those submitted, as well as a detailed diary of
campaigns, so that the new governor might orient himself quickly, before
self-seeking locals led him astray.
The 1758 Miera map of New Mexico reproduced here is
only oneprobably the most completeof several maps drawn by
don Bernardo for Marín del Valle. The governor himself mentioned
that he had sent the viceroy an earlier one, presumably by Miera since
there were no other cartographers about. Later, on a mission to the Hopi
pueblos, Miera mapped for Marín the provinces of Hopi and Navajo.
And, if the governor obeyed orders, he further commissioned don Bernard
to draw for the next executive a chart of all New Mexico similar to the
one of 1758. Perhaps as a token of his appreciation for his patron, the
artistic Miera created in addition a very special map (reproduced above
following page 166).
Using as his canvas a thirty-by-forty-inch piece of local cotton cloth
treated with size, he painted in color the kingdom of New Mexico and all
the surrounding provinces. He dedicated it to Marín.
Well into the twentieth century, the original of
Miera's 1758 map and Governor Marín's accompanying report reposed
in volume 39 of the Californias section, Archivo General de la
Nación, Mexico City. There Herbert E. Bolton catalogued them in
1913. In 1925, don Rafael López, director of the archive,
approved a skillful tracing of the map. Only the smallest details and a
few words (e.g., ojo for ojos, Comanches for Cumanches, Picuri for
Picuris) gave it away. Lansing B. Bloom found map and report still in
their assigned place in 1930 when he photographed them and thousands of
other documents for the University of New Mexico. But in 1951, when the
archive microfilmed Californias 39 for The Bancroft Library, University
of California, only a poor photocopy of the tracing remained. Original
map and report had vanished.
The following reproduction of Miera's 1758 map is,
strictly speaking, a 1977 tracing, slightly restored, based on inferior
prints from Bloom's film of the missing original. Because of the map's
size, about 26 X 32 inches, Bloom had shot it in eight sections.
Unfortunately he did not keep the camera at the same distance from the
object or even level. The several sections, as a result, were somewhat
distorted and did not match up. The negatives had been destroyed. By
rephotographing the old prints and using an enlarger to bring all
sections to the same scale, and by tilting the easel to minimize the
distortion, National Park Service photographer Gary G. Lister pieced the
whole thing together again.
Time and wear had partially effaced a few words on
the original. By comparing various prints of the 1758 map, the 1925
tracing, and other Miera maps, each such word was recovered. A complete
transcription was compiled. Thus armed, Jerry L. Livingston, a talented
Park Service illustrator, began the painstaking business of tracing and
redrawing Miera's New Mexico.
So little graphic material has survived from
eighteenth-century New Mexico that the 1758 Miera map is important in
itself. It is of even more interest when compared with known examples of
don Bernardo's later cartography. The statistical data found in the
map's margins were compiled during Governor Marín's inspection
tour of 1757. Full title, legend, and text follow in translation.
(clic on image for an enlargement in a new window)
MAP which don Francisco Antonio Marín del
Valle, Governor and Captain General of this kingdom of New Mexico,
ordered drawn in conjunction with the tour of inspection he made of his
jurisdiction, to which is added part of [Nueva] Vizcaya and Sonora and
the provinces of Navajo, Hopi, and Gila, and in the margins of which are
set forth the people who compose this jurisdictions Indians as well as
Spaniards, non-Indians, and soldiers, all vassals of His Majesty.
DESCRIPTION This province of New Mexico is composed
of sixteen settlements of Spanish and non-Indian citizens; three are
villas: the capital of Santa Fe, Santa Cruz de la Cañada, and San
Felipe de Albuquerque. In these settlements there are 1,032 heads of
family, including the soldiers of the garrison of the Santa Fe presidio,
with 3,297 children. Their total population is 5,170, with 1,360 men
between the ages of fifteen and sixty capable of bearing arms. They have
531 muskets, 266 pistols, 2,543 horses, 367 lances, 248 swords, 230
buffcoats, 7,832 head of cattle, and 47,621 head of sheep.
Likewise there live among the Spaniards 58 heads of
family of genízaro Indians, who have 116 children, and a total of
225 persons, with 63 men capable of bearing arms. They have 3 muskets,
2,056 arrows, 11 lances, 48 head of cattle, and 89 head of sheep.
DESCRIPTION of Indians. This province of New Mexico
is made up of twenty-two pueblos of Indians of different tribes with
distinct languages. They are Tanos, Pecos, Tewas, Picurís, Taos,
genízaros of Abiquiú, Queres, Jémez, Zuñis,
Tiwas, and Hopis. All of the said twenty-two pueblos are converted to
the Catholic religion and obedience to our Catholic Monarch. There are
2,346 heads of family, with 4,419 children, and the total is 8,694, with
2,800 men between fifteen and sixty capable of bearing arms. They have
48 muskets, 17 pistols, 82,520 arrows, 602 lances, 103 swords, 4,813
horses, 193 buffcoats, 8,325 head of cattle, and 64,561 head of
DESCRIPTION of the Indians of El Paso del Río
del Norte. This district is made up of five pueblos of Indians of the
Piro, Suma, and Tiwa tribes converted to the Catholic religion and
obedience to our Catholic Monarch. There are 314 heads of family, with
506 children, and the total is 1,065, with 327 men capable of bearing
arms. They have 2 muskets, 16,350 arrows, 159 horses, 2 lances, 1 sword,
9 buffcoats, 187 head of cattle, and 783 head of sheep.
DESCRIPTION of the citizenry of the district of El
Paso del Río del Norte. This district is composed of 563 heads of
family, including the soldiers of the garrison of the royal presidio,
who among them have 1,561 children. The total of all is 2,568, with 744
men capable of bearing arms. They have 262 muskets, 70 pistols, 915
horses, 162 lances, 194 swords, 211 buffcoats, 855 head of cattle, and
2,772 head of sheep.