The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 35, July 1931 - April, 1932 Page: 249
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Book Reviews and Notices
clusion that Captain Urdifiola was completely cleared of the accusa-
tion and that he was highly regarded by the viceroy, is the fact
that he was appointed in 1603 to the governorship of Nueva
Vizcaya. Nearly the whole term of his incumbency, which did not
expire until about 1612, was marked by exceptional activity and
ability in fighting Indians, founding settlements, and promoting
the welfare of the province.
Since Sefior Robles is a native of Saltillo, and has, consequently,
a special interest in the history of that city, he examines with
particular care another tradition to the effect that Saltillo was
founded by Captain Urdifiola. He finds no evidence to support
this claim, although it has been a well-known fact that the captain
supervised the founding of a Tlaxcaltec colony at San Esteban de
Nueva Tlaxcala, a suburb of Saltillo. The author's skilful handling
of his evidence in exposing these myths constitutes a most excellent
exposition of historical criticism which is worthy of examination
by students of historical methodology.
"The figure of this conquistador [writes Sefior RoblesJ is above
all else interesting. A man of force, of intelligence, and of char-
acter, he was able to elevate himself from the most humble to the
most responsible positions in the viceroyalty. His enemies strong
and powerful strove to put obstacles in his way, but he succeeded
in confounding them and advanced by his own efforts. He was a
valiant and able soldier, a fortunate miner, agriculturalist, grazier
and industrialist. In many respects the figure of Francisco de
Urdifiola has a bolder relief than that other illustrious Basque,
Francisco de Ibarra. He [Urdifiola] was Captain of Mazapil,
founder of the pueblos of San Esteban de Nueva Tlaxcala, con-
tiguous to the villa of Santiago del Saltillo, of Concepci6n del Oro,
of Parras, and of Patos, Lieutenant Governor and Captain-General
of Nueva Galicia, and Governor for many years of Nueva Vizcaya.
He was owner of one of the largest landed estates in the world
which almost a century later comprised the entailed estate of the
Marquisate of San Miguel de Aguayo through the marriage of the
first Marquis of that title with the great-granddaughter of
Although Francisco de Urdifiola was denied the opportunity to
colonize New Mexico, his wealth made it possible for a descendant,
the Marquis de Aguayo, to aid in the colonization of Texas. While
not denying that Francisco de Urdifiola was a truly important
figure and a worthy subject of historical investigation, it seems that
the author has somewhat exaggerated the importance of his hero.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 35, July 1931 - April, 1932, periodical, 1932; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101092/m1/253/: accessed July 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.