The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 29, July 1925 - April, 1926

Southwester Historical Quarterly

SUPPLEMENTARY DOCUMENTS RELATING TO THE
CHAMUSCADO-RODRIGUEZ EXPEDITION
J. LLOYD MECHAM
Following the ill-fated Coronado Expedition the next white
men, concerning whom we have authentic account, to visit the
pueblos of the upper Rio Grande were members of the Chamuscado-
Rodriguez exploring party. Captain Francisco Sanchez, com-
monly known as Chamuscado because of his flaming red beard,
accompanied by three Franciscan missionaries, Agustin Rodriguez,
Juan de Santa Maria, and Francisco L6pez, and eight soldiers,
entered New Mexico in 1581. Shortly after their arrival in New
Mexico Father Santa Maria left his companions in an attempt to
return to Mexico, but he was killed by the Indians of the Sandia
Mountains. After the desertion of the friar the soldiers and the
two Franciscans explored extensively far to the west and east of
the Rio Grande. When the time came for the return to Mexico
Fathers Rodriguez and L6pez refused to accompany the soldiers
but remained to work among the Indians. In a short time both
of them won crowns of martyrdom.
Responsibility for the deaths of the three padres has been placed
by early writers' upon Chamuscado and his soldier-companions.
They accuse the soldiers of deserting the friars immediately after
the arrival of the expedition in the pueblo country. They also
claim that Father Santa Maria did not make his attempted return
to Mexico until after the departure of the soldiers, and then the
pious father is said to have gone in quest of assistance.
The writer, making use of new materials, attempted to demon-
'Ger6nimo de Mendieta, Historia Eclesiastica Indiana (Mexico, 1870),
pp. 762-765; Juan de Torquemada, Monarquia Indiana (Madrid, 1723),
III, pp. 626-628; Ger6nimo de Zarate Salmer6n, Relaci6n de todas las
cosas que en el Nuevo Mexico se han visto (Doc. Hist. Mex., 3d. ser,
Mexico, 1856), IV, pp. 9-10. The accounts of Medieta, Torquemada, and
ZArate Salmer6n have enjoyed large currency and their conclusions have
been adopted by Augustin Vetancurt (Chr6nice de la Provincia del Sto.
Evangelio de Mexico. Mexico, 1871), Jos6 Arlgui (Chr'nica de la
Provincia de S. Francisco de Zacatecas. Mexico, 1737), H. H. Bancroft
(Arizona and New Mexico. San Francisco, 1889), R. W. Twitchell (The
Leading Facts of New Mexican History. Cedar Rapids, 1911), Father
Engelhardt (The Franciscan Herald, July, 1919), and others.

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 29, July 1925 - April, 1926. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117141/. Accessed October 21, 2014.