Historic Era

The Revolt of the Pueblo Indians

Charles Wilson Hackett

SWHQ vol 15 No. 2, October 1911



The actual outbreak of the revolt, as has been stated, took place on the morning of the 10th of August. It is my plan now to set forth this revolt as it actually occurred in the different pueblos. In many cases the evidence is far from being as full as is necessary for a clear understanding, while in other places there are conflicting statements not a little confusing. From all the available data bearing on each pueblo, however, an attempt has been made to put together the story for that particular place. The treatment of the subject has been from a purely geographical standpoint, beginning at the north, the hotbed of discontent, and proceeding south, though it has been found that in most cases the geographical divisions agree with the tribal.

1. At Taos and Picurís

In the extreme northern part of the province of New Mexico were the two large and populous Tigua pueblos of Taos and Picurís (Pecuries). These towns were only three leagues apart, the former being situated in a fine valley, the latter upon a height. The native populations in 1680 numbered 2,000 and 3,000 souls respectively. Being of the same tribal stock, these two pueblos were closely and harmoniously allied in all their movements. A previous attempt of the Taoans to free themselves from Spanish rule, which attempt had been harshly suppressed, had doubtless taught them the strength and value of unity. In the organization of the present revolt the chiefs and medicine men of these pueblos, among whom El Saca of Taos and Don Luis Tupatú of Picurís deserve especial mention, played an important part in the councils of the allies. It was to Taos, moreover, that Popé moved his base of operations, when driven from his own pueblo by the threats of the Secretary of Government and War, Francisco Xavier, who desired to punish him for his alleged continued witchcraft. In an estufa of Taos also were the three infernal spirits who were supposed to be guiding the movements of Popé, and it was from here that the knotted cord, calling the Indians to action on a certain day, was despatched to the other pueblos of the province.

The Spanish settlers in the vicinity of these pueblos were not altogether without warning that the Indians were planning a revolt, but at these places, as at the others where the news leaked out, there was confusion as to the date agreed upon; and whereas the revolt was not expected until the night of the 13th, it actually took place, as has been seen, on the 10th of August. Early in the morning of that day the Taoans and their allies, the Apaches, fell upon the settlers and missionaries of the valley, numbering seventy or more persons in all, and, in the general slaughter that followed, only two escaped. These were the sarjentos mayores Sebastian de Herrera and Don Fernando de Chávez, who, leaving their wives and children dead in the pueblo, by fighting and defending themselves as best they could, finally made their way through the devastated districts, and, on the seventh day after the general convocation, came in sight of the villa, which was then being besieged by a large force of the allied nations. Being unable to enter, they continued on their way south, and on the 20th of the month joined García's division of refugees below Isleta. At Picurís there was the same general slaughter of Spaniards and missionaries, there being no record in my sources of any that escaped from there, nor, in fact, of the number that were living there at that time. In both Taos and Picurís the churches were either burned or profaned, the fields and houses of the Spaniards plundered, and many other devastations committed by the Indians.

Meanwhile the Taos and Picurís Indians, having meted out vengeance on the Spaniards in their midst, and having laid waste their fields and other property, joined the Tewa Indians and moved on to Santa Fé, which was already under siege by the Pecos and Tanos Indians. They reached it just in time to furnish much needed reinforcements for the allies.

2. The Revolt of the Tewa Nation

(1) Location, Population, and Revolutionary Activities of the Tewa Pueblos.—Extending north and northwest from the villa of Santa Fé to the junction of Rio Grande and Rio Chama, forming a kind of rough oval, though with no well defined boundaries, was, and still is, the country of the Tewa Indians. In 1680 the population of this nation amounted to about 2,200 people, distributed among six pueblos and two small settlements. Three of the pueblos, San Ildefonso, Santa Clara, and San Juan were on the west bank of the Rio Grande. Of these the largest was that of San Ildefonso, whose population was about eight hundred souls, and, strange to say, it is the only pueblo of this nation whose part in the revolt receives no mention in the documentary sources used, except that one of its chiefs, Francisco, is mentioned as having been a colleague of Popé. The other pueblos, Tesuque, Pojoaque (Posoaque), and Nambé (Nanvé)—the population of the latter included that of the small outlying settlements of Jacona and Cuyamunque (Cuya Mungue)—were all east of the river, and north of the villa of Santa Fé. With respect to its allies—the populous Jemez pueblos to the southwest, Pecos to the southeast, and Taos and Picurís to the north—the Tewa nation, therefore, occupied a most strategic position for organizing and directing the revolutionary movements; and to its inhabitants must be given the chief credit not only for the organization of the revolt, but for its having been so successfully carried out, even when the discovery of the plans called for immediate and premature action on their part.

(2) The Outbreak at Tesuque and Cuyamunque.—About two leagues north of the villa of Santa Fé was the small pueblo of Tesuque, containing some two hundred inhabitants. Of all the Tewa pueblos none was more revolutionary than this, whose chiefs had long occupied a place in the councils of the allies. 52 It is largely to the credit of this pueblo that plans for an immediate revolt were determined upon when the two messengers, Catua and Omtua, were arrested in Tesuque on August 9. For, believing that the conspiracy was discovered, the Indians of Tesuque notified the other pueblos in the province in time to begin the revolt at practically the same hour as had been the original plan. Moreover, Tesuque itself seems to have been the pueblo to strike the first blow in the revolt, for as early as the evening of Friday the 9th—doubtless after the arrest of Catua and Omtua—a Spaniard named Cristóbal de Herrera was killed there, though no details are recorded for this incident. The real character of their determination, however, is shown by their attack the next morning on Father Juan Pio and a soldier named Pedro Hidalgo. According to the statement of the latter, before daybreak on the morning of August 10, he started out from Santa Fé to Tesuque, accompanying Father Pio, who was going there to say mass. On reaching that pueblo they found it entirely deserted. But, proceeding, they overtook the inhabitants of Tesuque and Cuyamunque, about a quarter of a league from the former pueblo, where they found many of the Indians painted in war colors, and armed with bows, arrows, lances, and shields. Father Pio, when he had drawn near to them, boldly asked, “What does this mean, my children, are you crazy? Do not disquiet yourselves, for I will aid you and will die a thousand deaths for you.” And passing quickly on to summon back to the pueblo the main body of the people, who were going toward the mountain, in order that he might say mass for them, he entered a ravine, while Hidalgo was stationed on a knoll to intercept any who might pass that way. While waiting there Hidalgo saw an Indian named El Obi come out of the ravine with a shield which the priest had carried, and also a little later he saw the interpreter of the pueblo, named Nicolás, painted with clay, and bespattered with blood, come out from the same place. These and others approached him, caught his horse by the bridle reins, and took away his sword and hat. Fearing injury at their hands, he seized his arquebus, put spurs to his horse, and was able to escape to the plain below, even dragging for some distance those who held on to him, while those from above shot many arrows at him, without effect. The priest did not come out, and Hidalgo judged, from what he had seen and experienced, that he must have been killed, and so hastened back to the villa, reaching there about seven o'clock in the morning.

(3) The Outbreak at Nambé and Pojoaque.—Closely associated with the neighboring pueblos, and with their chiefs represented in the councils of the allies, were the two small pueblos of Nambé and Pojoaque. The latter was one of the smallest of the Tewa pueblos, though its population at that time cannot be determined, and it was situated less than a league west of Nambé. The pueblo of Nambé was about three leagues from Tesuque, and, including the nearby settlements of Jacona and Cuyamunque, had a population of six hundred Indians. The Indians of Cuyamunque, as has already been noted, joined the Tesuque Indians in the revolt, and, though no mention is made of the fact, it is probable that the small number at the settlement of Jacona joined those of the pueblo of Nambé, doubtless feeling insecure at such a time of unrest.

In both Nambé and Pojoaque (for which the available records are very meagre), the revolt began at about the same time as in the other pueblos. When the maestro de campo, Francisco Gomez, who was despatched by Otermín with a squad of soldiers to reconnoiter the Tewa pueblos, returned to the villa on August 12, he reported among the dead at Nambé, Fray Tomás de Torres, Sebastian de Torres and his wife, and others whose names he did not give. At the same time he found that in the pueblo of Pojoaque the Indians had killed Captain Francisco Ximenes and his family, and also Don Joseph de Goitia; while, among others, Doña Pertonilla de Salas and her eight or ten children were missing.

(4) The Outbreak at Santa Clara and San Juan.—Situated on the west bank of the Rio Grande, only a few leagues apart, were the pueblos of Santa Clara and San Juan, while nearby was the Spanish settlement of La Cañada. These two pueblos contained in 1680 a population of three hundred Indians each, and both were religious visitas of San Ildefonso, the large pueblo of their nation further south. In the revolt both Santa Clara and San Juan took a leading part, it being at the latter pueblo that the first plans were formulated by Popé and the other northern chiefs, before Popé was driven from there to Taos by the persecutions of Francisco Xavier. But, notwithstanding the active part played by these pueblos both before the revolt and afterward, the story of the outbreak as it actually occurred in them is very incomplete, and the few facts that are recorded must not be taken as a complete narrative of the events at those places. It is merely the best possible with the sources available.

The only recorded incidents of the uprising in Santa Clara took place about dawn on the morning of Saturday, the 10th of August, when the Indians of that pueblo attacked two soldiers, Marcos Ramos and Felipe López, who were in an escort with six other men led by Captain Francisco de Anaya. The two soldiers in question were slain in the pueblo, while the others, who were guarding a herd of horses on the outside, were able to escape, though the wife and children of Anaya were carried off by the Indians, while a youth named Bartolomé Griego was later reported as having been killed.

Of the outbreak at San Juan no specific details are given, and the only martyr priest mentioned as having met his fate there was Father Juan de Morales; yet we may judge that the scene there was of the same character as that at Santa Clara.

Enough has already been said to show that it was the aim of the Indians to utterly destroy all, and at San Juan and the other Tewa pueblos there was practically nothing to obstruct the vengeance of the natives as it ran its full course. In the whole nation more than thirty Spaniards were known to have been killed, while a number of others were carried off and never heard of again; and there as elsewhere the churches were profaned, the houses and haciendas robbed, and many other devastations committed.

(5) The Escape of the Spaniards at La Cañada.—Of the number of Spaniards living among the Tewa Indians in 1680 no record is given, nor is there any record of any having escaped except those who were able to assemble at La Cañada. Following the outbreak of the revolt the alcalde mayor of that jurisdiction, Luis de Quintana, gathered as many of the settlers as possible at his house, where they prepared to defend themselves. From there on August 10 they sent news of the revolt of the Tewa Indians to Otermín by two messengers from Taos, who halted at La Cañada for a short while on their way to the villa, having been despatched thither by the alcalde mayor of that pueblo with further news of the revolt and conspiracy of the Indians. Davis says that between the 10th and 13th of August the Indians attacked La Cañada, massacred the inhabitants, and drove off the stock, while Bancroft says that such was probably the case. Otermín, however, settles this question by stating that all these people were able to reach the villa on August 13th. A few days after this, the two survivors of Taos, Sebastian de Herrera and Don Fernando de Chávez passed La Cañada on their flight to the south, but they found the whole district entirely depopulated and in ruins.

(6) Defensive and Offensive Measures of the Tewa Indians.—Meanwhile all the inhabitants of the Tewa pueblos from Tesuque to San Juan, having struck the decisive blow for their freedom in their respective pueblos, now united in two divisions, one in the pueblo of Santa Clara, and the other in the Sierra del Arroyo de Tesuque, where they fortified themselves. With those at Santa Clara were gathered many of the rebels of the Jemez nation. In the squares of the pueblo they collected the property of the dead Spaniards, including a great many cattle, executing, as was said by the erstwhile rulers, all such atrocities with unparalleled shamelessness. Moreover, guards were stationed along the roads in order to intercept any attempting to escape, and, in this way, every avenue leading to the villa was blocked. Having thus completely rid themselves of the Spaniards living in their midst, and having robbed their fields and homes, all the Tewa warriors united with those of Taos and Picurís, and joined in the siege of Santa Fé.

3. The Revolt of the Tanos Pueblos, and of San Marcos, La  Ciénega, and Pecos

(1) Location, Population, and Racial Affiliations of these Pueblos.—Directly south of the villa of Santa Fé was the country of the Tanos nation, containing the three pueblos of Galisteo, San Cristóbal, and San Lázaro. Southwest of the villa, and bordering on the district of the Queres pueblos, were the two pueblos of San Marcos and La Ciénega, containing a mixed population of Tanos and Queres Indians, while seven leagues southeast of the villa was the large and influential pueblo of Pecos. It is interesting to note that while Pecos took a very active part with the Tewa and other northern pueblos in the organization of the revolt, nevertheless, after the outbreak, the Pecos warriors co-operated with those of Tanos, San Marcos, and La Ciénega, all of which were closely connected from a geographic and political standpoint, though racially, as has just been shown, there was no close connection. Of the Tanos pueblos Galisteo was the largest, containing a population of eight hundred Indians, though Hodge thinks this number included the inhabitants of San Cristóbal, which was a visita of Galisteo. Of the other pueblos in this group, with the exception of Pecos, San Marcos was the most important, having a native population of six hundred. La Ciénega and San Lázaro were its visitas. Concerning Pecos in 1680 little can be learned, though, according to Hodge, its population at that time was approximately two thousand. Being near the Tanos pueblos, Pecos doubtless exerted a strong influence over them, for in Coronado's time it was the boast of this pueblo that it had never been conquered, and yet could conquer any of its neighbors.

(2) Hostility of the Tanos Chiefs, and the Friendly Attitude of the Natives toward the Revolt.—Perhaps the most noteworthy point in connection with the revolt of these Indians is that, although the people as a whole seem to have been in a very revolutionary attitude, their chiefs were hostile to, and refused co-operation in, the execution of the plans of the allies. Notwithstanding that the captains of the Tanos had treated of rebellion for more than twelve years, yet when Catua and Omtua, the Indian ambassadors from Tesuque, came to announce the plans that had been agreed upon, they found the chiefs of the Tanos, to all of whom they spoke, none too enthusiastic about the revolt, while the Indians of San Cristóbal were unwilling to give assent to the message which they brought, calling as it did for a general revolt. As has been stated, the real date of the planned revolt was doubtless withheld by Catua and Omtua when they realized the opposition among the leading men. The chiefs at San Cristóbal at once advised those of the other pueblos of their unwillingness to join in the rebellion, and on the 9th of August the governors and captains of the Tanos, San Marcos, and La Ciénega Indians appeared in the villa to give an account of the treason, saying that it was to be put into execution on the night of the 13th. The same opposition must have been met among the chiefs of Pecos at about the same time, for on the very day that news came to Otermín from Fray Juan Bernal at Galisteo of the plans as told by the Tanos chiefs, he also received a similar report from Fray Fernando de Velasco, the minister guardian at Pecos.

The questions now arise, why did the chiefs of the Tanos and neighboring pueblos announce to Otermín that the day set for the revolt was the 13th, when as a matter of fact it was executed on the morning of the 10th, and why did the inhabitants of these pueblos take part in the revolt in spite of the unwillingness of their chiefs to do so? The explanation of the first of these points has already been attempted (see page 103, note 4) in another connection, and the following explanation of the second, while largely inferential, seems reasonable. Since the Tanos pueblos and their neighbors did take an active part in the revolt, it is probable that the main body of the people were desirous of joining the allies from the very first, though their chiefs were not, and accordingly, when they departed for Santa Fé to divulge the plans to Otermín, the main body of the people, either because they were really desirous of revolting, or through fear of the threat which Catua and Omtua brought them from the allies to the effect that the Indian or pueblo which did not join in the revolt would be destroyed, or for some other reason, took matters into their own hands, fell into line with the other revolters throughout the whole province, and, as will be seen, carried out their part of the plans in no half-hearted way.

(3) The Outbreak at Galisteo.—Following the news that the Indians of the province were planning a general convocation, a number of Spaniards living among the Tanos Indians assembled at the pueblo of Galisteo on August 9 in anticipation of any possible danger. But their number and strength were insignificant compared with that of the rebel natives, and as a result not one escaped. The missionaries are the first mentioned among those slain, Father Antonio and Fray Domingo de Bera being killed in the pueblo, while in a field in sight of it a similar fate befell Fray Fernando de Velasco and Fray Manuel Tinoco, minister guardians of Pecos and San Marcos, who were doubtless going to Galisteo to determine upon some action for the expected revolt of August 13. Next the Indians took possession of the cattle and property of the convent, and then falling upon the Spaniards, killed Captain Joseph Nieto, Juan de Leiva, Nicolás de Leiva, their wives and sons, robbed at the same time their haciendas, and later carried off three of the women. These three women, whom Pedro García designated as his mistresses (amas), were named Lucía, María, and Juana, and they were held in captivity until after the siege of Santa Fé. In this siege the losses of the Tanos were so heavy in killed and wounded that in revenge the warriors who returned slew these captives, and likewise another girl, named Dorotea, the daughter of the maestro de campo, Pedro de Leiva.

(4) The Revolt in the Other Pueblos.—All that can be learned from the documents of the revolt at the other pueblos in this group is that after the uprising was agreed upon it was the aim of the Indians to kill all the Spaniards and missionaries among them, and, to encourage their warriors in this work, they were promised one woman for every Spaniard killed. This does not mean, as might be inferred, that they promised Spanish women for wives. Having made this offer, they ordered the rosaries to be taken off and burned, after which the massacres began. At Pecos, where the chiefs had planned for the revolt with the Tewa, Taos, Picurís, and Jemez Indians for a long time, the only death specifically reported was that of Fray Juan de Pedrosa, though none are mentioned as having escaped, and the outrages perpetrated there, as at many of the other pueblos, must simply be taken for granted.

(5) The Escape of the Spaniards at Los Cerrillos.—The number of Spaniards in the Tanos and neighboring districts in 1680 is not recorded, though if any escaped the revolt of that year they were doubtless among the refugees at Los Cerrillos. These people, mentioned as being “from the estancias and haciendas of Los Serrillos,” and whose numbers are not given, were defending themselves in the house of the sarjento mayor, Vernabe Marquez, when on the 12th of August their situation became critical, and they sent notice of their condition to the Governor, asking that aid be furnished them in order that they might be able to join him in Santa Fé. Otermín despatched the necessary aid to them that night, and they and the Spaniards at La Cañada are the only two bodies of refugees that are mentioned by Otermín as being able to join him in the villa after the outbreak of August 10.

4. The Revolt of the Queres and Jemez Indians

(1) Location and Population of their Pueblos.—Occupying a central position in the northern Rio Grande valley and extending from the pueblo of Santo Domingo on the east to the Jemez River on the west, and from the junction of that river with the Rio Grande in the south to the Tewa nation in the north was the country of the Queres and Jemez Indians, which for administrative purposes the Spaniards organized into one jurisdiction, known as “La Jurisdicion de Yndios Xemes y Queres.” Of the Queres pueblos Cochití, Santo Domingo, and San Felipe were situated on the Rio Grande; Santa Ana and Sia, two other small Queres pueblos were on the north bank of the lower Rio Jemez; while sixty miles west of the Rio Grande settlements was another large pueblo of that tribe, called Acoma. Cochití, the most northern of the valley pueblos, was on the west bank of the Rio Grande, and contained in 1680 a population of three hundred natives. Three leagues south, though on the opposite bank of the river, was the pueblo of Santo Domingo, containing a population of one hundred and fifty Indians. Here was located one of the oldest and best convents in the province. Two leagues south of Santo Domingo was the pueblo of San Felipe, the population of which, including that of the small pueblo of Santa Ana was six hundred. The population of Sia cannot be determined, while Acoma, which contained about fifteen hundred Indians, and which was the largest of all the Keresean pueblos, was too far removed from the sphere of activity of the valley pueblos to exert much, if any, influence upon them. It would thus be safe to say that the total population of the Queres taking an active part in the revolt of 1680 was approximately twelve hundred.

Concerning the Jemez pueblos, mention has already been made of the fact that Pecos was of that nation, and the part which it took in the affairs of 1680 and in the events leading up to them has been noticed. The only other large Jemez pueblo was that of San Diego de Jemez, the population of which, including that of five smaller pueblos, was about five thousand. These Indians according to Hodge abandoned their pueblos after the introduction by the Spaniards of improved methods of irrigation, since in that period their chief enemy, the Navajos, were not troublesome, and the pueblos were not needed for defense, while smaller settlements nearer their irrigated fields were more suitable.

(2) The Revolt at Cochití and San Felipe.—For the events of the revolt in the pueblo of Cochití practically nothing is known. No mention whatever is made of any Spaniards having visited it after the general outbreak and prior to their departure from the province, nor was there any Indian testimony taken that throws any light on the events attending the revolt there, except the statement of an Indian ambassador at the pueblo of Jemez on August 10 to the effect that all the Spaniards at Cochití, Santo Domingo, and San Felipe had been killed.

For the outbreak at San Felipe the only other contemporary reference is the statement of Otermín that when passed by him on his retreat down the river, that pueblo was found deserted. The testimony of two natives of San Felipe who were captured the next year by Otermín, however, is interesting not only in regard to the events as they occurred there, but also for the light that it throws on the whole situation. These two Indians, who were brothers, and whose names were Juan and Francisco Lorenzo, were living at the time of the revolt on a small ranch near the pueblo of San Felipe. According to their testimony, on Saturday, “the glorious day of San Lorenzo,” they both went peaceably and as Christians to the pueblo to hear the padre say mass. But they were surprised on reaching San Felipe to be seized and held as prisoners in the plaza, while a number of the natives set out for Santo Domingo to kill, as was told them, the alcalde, mayor, the missionaries, and the rest of the people who might be there, as indeed they did. And that same evening, near prayer time, there arrived at the pueblo their elder brother named Bartolomé Naranjo, whom the Indians approached and asked if he would be on their side in helping to kill all the Spaniards and missionaries, to which their brother replied: “You are crazy in what you do, and I do not wish to join you because it is not right.” Thereupon the other Indians seized him and “treacherously” killed him. And these Indians stated further that the cause of the revolt as they heard it was that Francisco Xavier, and the sarjentos mayores Luis de Quintana and Diego López would not let them alone, and burned their estufas, and that the order to revolt came to San Felipe from the pueblos of the Tewa, having been planned, as was generally said by a native of San Juan, named Popé.

(3) The Revolt at Santo Domingo.—For Santo Domingo and the outlying districts the records are fuller, and quite a vivid picture of the revolt as it occurred there can be drawn. In the pueblo itself the massacre began as elsewhere on August 10. It cannot be determined who were the first to fall there, though the deaths of the Reverend Fathers Juan de Talaban, Antonio de Lorenzana, the minister guardian of the convent, and Joseph Montes de Oca are first mentioned. These three fathers were in the convent when attacked by the Indians, and from there, where were afterwards found signs of resistance on their part, they were dragged to the nearby church. Here all three were piled in a heap, and their decaying bodies were found two weeks later by the straggling army of refugees on its retreat from Santa Fé. Doubtless by thus piling the dead bodies of the missionaries before the Christian altars, which for eighty years had symbolized the hated domination of an unknown religion, the Indian idea of vengeance found its fullest expression. On the other hand, it is doubtful if there could have been for the padres a sweeter death, a grander sepulchre, or a crown of martyrdom quite so coveted or so glorious as that which they earned for themselves while defending the Holy Faith in the convent of Santo Domingo on San Lorenzo day.

But the slaughter was not confined to the missionaries alone, and soon a similar fate befell the other Spaniards of the pueblo, the bodies of the men later being thrown behind the church. Of those who fell there are mentioned the names of the sarjento mayor, Andres de Peralta, Chief Justice and Captain of War of the pueblo, the alférez Esteban Barcía and Nicolás López, who were commanding the small group of the besieged; and Joseph de Guadarrama and wife. The Indians were led in their attack on these by an interpreter of the pueblo named Alonzo Catití, who came to exercise a great deal of authority and power after the revolt.

In the outlying districts around Santo Domingo the devastations and atrocities committed were typical of those in other parts of the province. Between that pueblo and San Felipe, a distance of two leagues, the bodies of six dead men were left in the road. Below San Felipe a little more than two leagues, at the estancia of the sarjento mayor Cristóbal de Anaya, were afterwards found the naked bodies of twelve persons, including Anaya himself, his wife, Doña Leonor de Mendosa, two soldier sons, and three children. A quarter of a league further on, the house of Pedro de Cuellar was sacked and destroyed; and still a little distance further, the house of Captain Augustin de Carbajal was robbed. Here Carbajal, his wife, Doña Damiana Dominges de Mendosa, a daughter, and another woman were killed, and their stripped bodies left in the open house. All these murders were committed on Sunday, the day following the massacre in the pueblo of Santo Domingo, and the fact that as many as twelve persons had assembled at one house indicates that they had done so in the futile attempt to protect themselves after having learned of the movements and plans of the Indians.

(4) The Revolt at the Jemez Pueblos, and at Sia and Santa Ana.—For the events of the revolt at the Jemez pueblos and at the Queres pueblos of Sia and Santa Ana we have the testimony of Louis de Granillo, alcalde mayor and captain of war of “La Jurisdicion de Yndios Xemes y Queres,” who with several other soldiers and one missionary escaped from the pueblo of San Diego de Jemez, being aided in so doing by the Lieutenant-General of Rio Abajo, Alonso García, who also made two autos summarizing the events of the revolt in those places. According to the testimony of Granillo, he was advised by an Indian of the pueblo of Jemez, named Lorenzo Musa, that all the natives of the province desired to revolt, and had set the night of August 10 to execute it. About mid-day of the 10th of August an ambassador of the enemy rode up to the pueblo singing of victory and announcing to the Indians there that already the Governor and all the Spaniards, including the missionaries, women, and children from Taos to Santo Domingo were dead; that their houses and fields had all been robbed; that only the Rio Abajo country was yet to be devastated; and that even that district was at that very moment being sacked by the Indians. “Since none of the Spaniards will remain alive,” he said, “because the number of their enemies, composed of the heathen Apaches, as well as the Christian Indians, is greater, seize, therefore, your arms and kill the Spaniards and friars who are here.” The brief and terse statement of Granillo, “and this in fact the said Jemez Indians did,” suggests all too plainly with what receptiveness the message was received by these people who for a number of years had longed and planned to revolt.

In view of the manifest danger in which they were, leaving one of the missionaries dead in the pueblo, Granillo, in company with the father preacher, Fray Francisco Muñoz, and three other soldiers attempted to escape. The Indians, however, who had already announced their intention to kill them, on seeing them mount their horses, attacked them and with the whole community of the pueblo followed, fighting them as they fled across the fields, for a distance of more than two leagues, when, as Granillo stated it, God was pleased that they should meet the Lieutenant-General, Alonso García, with four soldiers, to whom a despatch had previously been sent for aid. It was past midnight on the night of August 10 when García met Granillo and his party with the religious guardian, Fray Muñoz, fleeing in advance on horseback. And the Indians, seeing the aid which the alcalde thus received, ceased fighting and following them, and the party made its way to the pueblo of Sia.

At Sia they found the padre Nicolás Hurtado with three Spaniards defending themselves in the strongest part of the convent, with the beasts locked in with them. And “God was pleased” that they should escape with García and Granillo, though when the Indians noticed that they were going out, with great shouts and the ringing of bells, “they attempted to execute their treason on the said religious and Spaniards.” Thus it was with much danger that the entire party was able to make its way to the pueblo of Santa Ana, which was found deserted by men, though the women there said with much impudence that their husbands had gone to kill all the Spaniards. Leaving this place, the refugees proceeded to the pueblo of Sandia in the Rio Abajo country.

(5) The Revolt at Acoma.—Acoma played no important part in the events as related in the Spanish documents of 1680, since it was too far away to successfully co-operate with the valley pueblos. Otermín, however, learned from the Indian besiegers of Santa Fé that all the Spaniards there were dead. Vetancur says the padre there in 1680 was Father Lucas Maldonado.

(6) The Number of Spaniards Escaping from these Pueblos.—As to the number of Spaniards who escaped from this jurisdiction, it is almost impossible to make an estimate. The only ones mentioned are those who were able to do so through the aid of García and Granillo, who spent the whole night of August 10 after their meeting, and the next day, in assisting refugees to a place of safety, though their activities were confined chiefly to the district of Rio Abajo. It is very improbable, therefore, that many of the Spaniards who assembled at Isleta were settlers living outside of the Rio Abajo jurisdiction.

5. The Revolt of the Tigua Pueblos of Rio Abajo

(1) Location and Population of these Pueblos.—In 1680 the Tigua Indians were divided into two geographic groups, one occupying, as has already been noted, the pueblos of Taos and Picurís, the most northerly of the New Mexican pueblos, and the other located further south on the Rio Grande, and occupying the pueblos of Puaray, Sandia, Alameda, and Isleta. The largest of these latter pueblos was Sandia, with three thousand inhabitants, while only one league north was the small pueblo of Puaray with two hundred Indians, and about the same distance south was the pueblo of Alameda, with about three hundred inhabitants. Eight leagues south of Alameda, where a small stream, with the Rio Grande, enclosed a fertile tract containing seven Spanish ranchos, was the pueblo and Spanish convent of Isleta, containing a native population of two thousand Indians. It was in this latter pueblo, as we shall see, that the Spanish inhabitants of Rio Abajo assembled after the revolt under the Lieutenant-General, Alonzo García, and later went out from that place, marching toward Mexico, thinking all the other Spaniards of the province were dead.

(2) The Outbreak at Puaray, Sandia, and Alameda.—In the pueblos of Puaray, Sandia, and Alameda, all of which had been planning a revolt for a long time, and in the districts surrounding these pueblos, the atrocities and outrages committed were of the same fierce and unrelenting character as elsewhere, though the details for the outbreak in them were unfortunately omitted by García when he made autos summarizing the revolt in Rio Abajo. In connection with the general facts regarding the revolt of these pueblos, mention has already been made of the small force of refugees from Jemez and Sia having escaped from “La Jurisdicion de Yndio Xemes y Queres,” to Sandia in Rio Abajo, being aided in doing so by Alonzo García, to whom an appeal for aid had been previously despatched. Arriving at that pueblo García and his small body of refugees found that in his absence the news of the revolt had been published among the Tigua Indians, and that all the inhabitants of Puaray, Alameda, and Sandia were under arms, having already killed many of the inhabitants of the valley, and robbed their estancias of horses, cattle, and other property, all of which they were collecting in the latter pueblo. These atrocities were begun in the afternoon of August 10, doubtless as soon as news of the premature outbreak was received from Tesuque, and were continued with unabated fury, until late the next day, at which time all the settlers who had not been killed had taken refuge in the pueblo of Isleta farther south.

(3) The Escape of the Spaniards to Isleta, and the Numbers Killed in Rio Abajo.—Immediately upon arriving at Sandia on the night of August 10, and finding that the Indians of Rio Abajo were in full revolt as elsewhere, García and his small force, assisted by the two religious in their company, now formed themselves into rescue parties and that night and the following day explored all of the nearby country, as far north as Santo Domingo, collecting the men, women, and children whom they found alive. Without sparing the time to take anything at all from the houses, by much effort and by literally “dragging themselves and the women and children along” in their haste, the stragglers later in the day reached Isleta, the large Tigua pueblo which did not take part in the general revolt against the Spaniards. The number of settlers who were finally able to assemble in Isleta, including seven missionaries, was approximately fifteen hundred. Of these there were only one hundred and twenty men capable of bearing arms, and these were poorly equipped, the Indians having possessed themselves of more than two hundred firearms and a large quantity of ammunition.

The total number killed, as reported by García, was one hundred and twenty, or less than one-third of the total number killed throughout the whole province. These must have been for the most part inhabitants of Rio Abajo, though some accounted for by him were settlers of Santo Domingo and of other northern jurisdictions. In the vicinity of Sandia, which was the real center of the revolt in Rio Abajo, the slaughter must have been terrible, for this was one of the most thickly settled districts in the whole province, mention being made in the documents of seventeen haciendas and estancias on one side of the river alone from Alameda to the estancia of Juan Dominguez, three leagues below that pueblo. All of these were completely devastated by the Indians, and from many of them none of the settlers escaped.

6. The Revolt at Zuñi and Other Outlying Pueblos

The part played in the revolt of the outlying pueblo of Acoma has already been treated in connection with the uprising of the Queres nation. The only mention made in the documentary sources of 1680 concerning the part taken by the distant Zuñi pueblos is the statement of Otermín to the effect that the Indian besiegers of Santa Fé told him that the Spanish inhabitants of Zuñi were all dead.

At the Moqui towns, in Arizona, inhabited by a tribe of Indians similar in their habits and customs to the Pueblos of New Mexico, though speaking a Shoshonean dialect, and who had refused on a former occasion to take part in another planned revolt headed by the pueblo of Taos, the revolutionary influence was also felt, and it resulted in the death of the four resident missionaries, and the destruction of the Christian churches.

Thus it will be seen how extensive was the revolt started by the northern pueblos of the province of New Mexico, who had not only these tribes as their allies, but also the inhabitants of other districts distant as far as two hundred leagues from the villa.

7. The Condition of the Province Following the Outbreak in the  Pueblos

The condition of the province of New Mexico now beggared description. From Taos to Isleta, a distance of over fifty leagues, the whole country, with the exception of Santa Fé was devastated and depopulated. The estancias and haciendas of the Spanish settlers had been robbed both of household goods and of the horses and cattle of the fields, while many of the houses had been destroyed by fire. The churches, where not burned, had been stripped of their sacred vessels, robbed of their ornaments, and in every way as completely and foully desecrated as Indian sacrilege and indecency could suggest, while the sacred vestments had been made use of by the Indians as trophies in the dances and festivities celebrating their success. But sadder and more serious than all this was the number that had been killed. Throughout the entire province it had been the aim of the Indians to totally exterminate the Spaniards, and consequently no mercy had been shown, as the Spaniards never tired of telling, even to the children at the breast, nor to the zealous padres who administered the Holy Faith. In all there were more than three hundred and eighty Spanish men, women, and children, including servants, who were killed, while this number did not include the eighteen priests, two lay religious, and the prelate of the church of Santa Fé. Those who were not killed, as quickly as possible after the revolt began to assemble in Isleta and in the villa, and, in this way, the Indians having got possession of more than thirty leagues in the center of the province, the two divisions of refugees were completely cut off from each other, and each was led by the Indians to believe that the other had been destroyed.

Having thus seen how the Indians took measures to rid themselves of the Spaniards all over the province, the motives that prompted them, the execution of their designs in the different pueblos, and the resultant condition of the province, we come now to the measures that were adopted by the refugees in Santa Fé and Isleta for their defense.







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