The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 79, July 1975 - April, 1976 Page: 167
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New Mexico in Mid-Eighteenth Century
demographic figures and other data were obtained during an extensive
inspection carried out in 1751-1752 by Governor V6lez Cachupin.4
From the governor's point of view, New Mexico's chief problem was the
constant threat posed by the many tribes or bands of hostile nomadic
Indians who completely surrounded the scattered settlements of Spaniards
and their Pueblo Indian allies. These "barbaric and idolatrous" tribes
harassed and raided villages and fields, stealing livestock and crops, and
they even carried off children, some of whom were later ransomed. This
hazard was a deterrent to the growth of the province, according to the
report. Protection for the Spanish settlers, missionaries, and their Indian
allies was the primary responsibility of two Spanish military detachments:
eighty soldiers were stationed at the presidio in the capital of Santa Fe,
while another fifty soldiers were on guard at El Paso del Norte.5 In addi-
tion, there was a militia system incorporating the able-bodied male settlers
of the province, and the loyal Pueblo Indians were armed and served as an
Economic information about colonial New Mexico is also contained in
Governor Velez Cachupin's report. The agricultural fertility of the river
valleys and the grazing potential of the pastures are mentioned along with
references to "known mineral deposits."' Indian weaving of cotton and
woolen blankets and garments is discussed, as well as Indian cambalache or
barter. Reasons for legalizing trade with the six Hopi villages and with the
Comanche groups are stated. Annual trade caravans along the Camino
Real between Santa Fe and Chihuahua City are described, and the use
of regular soldiers to convoy the shipments is mentioned. Some trade items,
along with news, official dispatches, books, and religious articles, had to
come north from Mexico City, a distance of eighteen hundred miles to
Santa Fe. The trip by wagon train took six months.
XV (February, 1954), 34-71. Other eighteenth-century population figures are given in
Charles Wilson Hackett (ed.), Historical Documents relating to New Mexico, Nueva
Vizcaya, and Approaches Thereto, to 1773 (3 vols.; Washington, D.C., 1923-1937), III,
23-26. See also Ralph Emerson Twitchell, The Leading Facts of New Mexican History
(5 vols.; Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 191-1917), I, 443.
4Unless otherwise authorized, governors of New Mexico were legally permitted only
one general inspection during a term of office. See Marc Simmons, Spanish Government
tn New Mexico (Albuquerque, 1968), 65.
5Rosters with names and ranks of officers and soldiers in the presidios of Santa Fe and
El Paso are in the Archivo General de la Naci6n, Mexico City, Provincias Internas,
Volume Io2 (microfilm; The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley).
In 1766 the annual cost of the Santa Fe garrison was 34,070 pesos. See Lawrence Kin-
naird (ed. and trans.), The Frontiers of New Spain: Nicolds de Lafora's Description,
1766-1768, Volume XIII of Quivira Society Publications (Berkeley, 1958), 82-83, 91.
GDetails on mining activity in the colonial era are sketchy; the large-scale mining of
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 79, July 1975 - April, 1976, periodical, 1975/1976; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101203/m1/199/: accessed June 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.