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Title: Muster Roll

Source(s): Majestic Journey: Coronado’s Inland Empire

Author(s): Stewart L. Udall (Author)

Before Coronado’s expedition into New Mexico, a muster roll was taken describing each traveler in detail.

We know a lot about events that day at Compostela— exactly 192 years before George Washington was born in 1732—because Don Antonio had issued an order that each soldier would pass before an inspector and declare his possessions. Thus, diligent sc...

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Title: Acoma

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

An introduction to the history and culture of the people of Acoma.

Tribal elders say that Acoma (sometimes spelled Akome, Acuo, Acuco, Ako and A’ku-me) means “a place that always was.” Archaeologists have found artifacts at digs on Acoma Mesa that speak of prehistoric times. Like its near neighbors Hopi and Zu...

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Title: The Bird Man

Source(s): Two Guadalupes: Hispanic Legends and Magic Tales from Northern New Mexico

Author(s): Traditional; Marta Weigle (Editor)

A traditional Spanish tale about a prince who became a bird and then a king.

Once upon a time there lived a king who had three sons. Now the first wife of the king had died and the king had married again. The stepmother of the three boys was very mean. She treated her stepsons very badly. One day she stood in the door of t...

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Title: Two Lives for Oñate

Author(s): Miguel Encinias (Author)

An excerpt from a novel about Juan de Oñate's campaign to conquer New Mexico in 1598-99.

On 12 January 1599, Zaldívar set out for Acoma with seventy soldiers and instructions to demand the delivery of those guilty for the attack on the Spaniards and, failing to achieve that, to wage relentless war and to take all of the inhabitants pris...

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Title: Declaration of Status

Source(s): Don Juan de Oñate, Colonizer of New Mexico, 1595-1628

Author(s): Isabel la mulata (Author); George Hammond (Editor); Agapito Rey (Editor)

Isabel, a woman of Indian and African descent, obtains proof of her freedom before traveling to New Mexico in 1600.

In the town of Querétaro in New Spain, January 8, 1600, there appeared before Don Pedro Lorenzo de Castilla, his majesty's alcalde mayor in this town, a mulatto woman named Isabel, who presented herself before his grace in the appropriate legal mann...

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Title: Gaspar Villagrá and the Story of His Epic Adventure in the Upper Rio Grande

Source(s): Trail Dust

Author(s): Marc Simmons (Author); Gaspar Pérez de Villagrá (Author)

Historian Marc Simmons sketches the life of Gaspar Pérez de Villagrá, poet-historian of the Spanish conquest.

Captain Gaspar Pérez de Villagrá published an epic poem in 1610. Written in classical style, it was fashioned in imitation of the Aeneid by the Roman poet Virgil. The poem bore the rather colorless name, Historia de la Nueva Mexico. Villagrá is...

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Title: Martyrdom of the Blessed Father

Source(s): Fray Alonso de Benavides' Revised Memorial of 1634

Author(s): Fray Francisco de Porras, at Moqui (Author); George P. Hammond (Editor); Agapito Rey (Editor)

How Fray Francisco de Porras cured a blind boy through prayer, and converted many of the Moqui Indians.

From the time this blessed father [Fray Francisco de Porras] took holy orders in San Francisco de México, he had been a religious of exemplary life. For this reason, the order retained him as master of novices for so many years that they considered ...

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Title: Navajo

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

Navajo history: early migration from Alaska and Canada to encounters with the Spanish and war with the United States; concludes with an account of contemporary Navajo life.

Traditional Navajo, or Diné, stories tell that First Man, First Woman, the Holy People, and all the animals had to pass through three different worlds before emerging into the Fourth or Glittering World. Here, the People saw four rivers bounded by f...

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Title: Laguna

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

People from neighboring Acoma and other pueblos established Laguna Pueblo in the last years of the 1600s. In 1699, Governor Cubero of Nuevo México formally named the pueblo San José de la Laguna (“Saint Joseph of the Lake”). The name refers to ...

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Title: Trading in the Americas

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

A brief overview of trading in the Americas.

For hundreds of years, indigenous people of the American Southwest, whether on the move or in permanent settlements, traded among themselves. Archeologists have found shells from the Pacific Ocean, parrot feathers from Mexico, and turquoise from dist...

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