The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 16, July 1912 - April, 1913 Page: 276
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276 The Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Alvaro de Zavaleta and other religious. The arrangements were
probably completed by October 20, when Otermin wrote to the
viceroy: "I am bivouacked and fortified on this Rio del Norte,
waiting Your Excellency's order as to what ought to be done."
(3) Provision of a Presidio.-As far as the documents now
available indicate, the paramount interest of Otermin and the
Cabildo, during the next twelve months, was the question of a
presidio of El Paso. In compliance with the recommendations
of the governor, the central authorities took the matter under ad-
visement in January, 1681, and in the same month decided to
grant it, empowering the governor to carry out the plans. Whether
or not Otermin attempted to found the presidio is not clear from
the documents, but he appears to have formed some kind of guard
to protect the citizens during his absence on the entrada made in
November, 1681, with the intention of reconquering New Mexico.
While it is not purposed at the present time to continue the
history of the El Paso settlements further than the departure of
Otermin's army from El Paso for New Mexico on November 5,
1681, a few words will not be out of place here on subsequent events
there. As has already been noted the presidio and the settle-
ment at El Paso were not meant to be permanent. However,
when Otermin returned in the winter of 1681-2 from his unsuc-
cessful attempt to reconquer the province, it was realized by the
authorities that several expeditions might have to be made before
the people at El Paso could re-enter New Mexico. Accordingly,
the Spaniards were required to settle in several pueblos and to
make preparations for planting crops to maintain themselves there
indefinitely. In this way the plans for settlements were given a
sort of permanence. Events of the next few years, as will be
shown later, served to make them entirely permanent.2
'Letter of Otern)dn, in Auttos tocantes, 102.
'The summary given above is based on material gathered from the four
expedientes: Auttos tocantes, Autos Pertenecientes, Auttos sobre los
Socorros, and an expediente without a title. For aid in the revision of
the last few paragraphs of this paper, acknowledgments are due to Miss
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 16, July 1912 - April, 1913, periodical, 1913; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101058/m1/284/: accessed September 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.