Seventeenth-century Spanish court intrigue, Spanish theatre, a conspiracy to murder the king, and the pursuit of ill-fated romances. Another thrillingSeventeenth-century Spanish court intrigue, Spanish theatre, a conspiracy to murder the king, and the pursuit of ill-fated romances. Another thrilling read by a Spanish literary maestro....more
‘Spanish Colonial Lives’ is a gem among a rare genre of books.
A large amount of New Mexico’s history of the 1600s, 1700s and early 1800s is unwritten‘Spanish Colonial Lives’ is a gem among a rare genre of books.
A large amount of New Mexico’s history of the 1600s, 1700s and early 1800s is unwritten. This is due to the fact that archival records are in the Spanish language and only a small portion have been translated and made available to the public. In addition, only a small number of historians have taken the time and effort to study the 17th- and 18th-century archival documents in order to bring to light the history of New Mexico, especially for the periods of the 17th and 18th centuries.
The pages of this book, consisting of the collection of translations and transcriptions of 54 documents from the Spanish Archives of New Mexico, are full of details related to a variety of circumstances that constituted the lives of Spanish citizens of New Mexico between the years 1705 and 1774. These details are related to us in the words and experiences of individuals that were recorded and preserved in archival government documents.
Although described as a companion to the catalogue of ‘The Spanish Archives of New Mexico’ by Ralph Emerson Twicthell (1914), ‘Spanish Colonial Lives’ also serves as an excellent sequel to the ‘Journals of Don Diego de Vargas, 1692-1704’ (Kessell, Hendricks, Dodge,and Miller, eds., 6 Vols., University of New Mexico Press, 1992-2002). Whereas the journals of Governor Vargas are a military account of historical events, the documents collected in ‘Spanish Colonial Lives’ consist of records with personal accounts of specific events in the lives of particular Neuvomeijcanos, revealing the conditions, customs, and challenging circumstances experience by many people who made the dangerous frontier of New Mexico their home.
Each of the documents illustrates the customary Spanish legal processes for handling a variety of complaints and conflicts between citizens, official lawsuits, and legal charges. Central to these processes was the role of the local alcalde mayor (governor appointed regional administrator and chief magistrate) and their assistants who recorded testimony from various parties and ensured that the records were transmitted back and forth, sometimes over long distances, until a resolution was met.
The records collected in this volume emphasize the difficulties and dangers of living in frontier territory with the constant risk of raids on Spanish and Pueblo Indian by nomadic tribes. Yet, the Spanish citizens, Pueblo Indians, and the various nomadic tribes of Apache, Navajo, Comanche, Kiowa and Ute depended on each other for trade of needed goods and food.
There are numerous details within this collection that reveal specific characteristics and customs of 18th century New Mexicans. For instance, when attending Mass men were expected to wear a cloak and have their hair unbraided. We learn that in the case of the death in the line of duty of a married soldier there were provisions for financial support of the soldier’s widow and children. The records also reveal a great deal of mobility of the citizens of New Mexico, especially as related to military service and commerce. Citizens travelled to various communities within and outside New Mexico to trade goods and animals, and trade fairs between citizens and nomadic tribes were carefully regulated, although regulations were not always followed.
The Spanish transcriptions of the documents are a valuable reference and offer insights into the language of the era with a combination of common Spanish legal phrases and local turns of phrases and words specific to New Mexico. A glossary near the end of the book is a useful reference and there are several maps to consult for locating communities mentioned in the documents.
‘Spanish Colonial Lives’ is not a book that has to be read sequentially from cover to cover. Each of the 54 documents of this collection stands on its own as a brief glimpse into the culture and experiences of people of eighteenth-century New Mexico as described in their own words.
The task for transcribing, translating, and editing a volume of archival records is demanding. The dedicated effort of J. Richard Salazar (translator) and Linda Tigges (editor) in producing this volume is a testament to their passion for documenting New Mexico history. Their book joins the ranks of a small number of books the same genre and is a valuable contribution to understanding the history New Mexico as told with the recorded words of 18th-century citizens of New Mexico. ...more
An excellent overview of the early years of development of the government of the United States. Ellis is a very fine writer with an engaging narrativeAn excellent overview of the early years of development of the government of the United States. Ellis is a very fine writer with an engaging narrative style. In addition to describing the remarkable accomplishments of those who shaped the foundation of U.S. governance, he does not gloss over the failings of early government leaders to settle the issue of slavery (which was contrary to core intent of liberty for all) and the numerous issues related to over running Native American lands by the westward movement of settlers....more
This is a gem of a book. although it is challenging to obtain a copy, it can be requested vi Inter-Library loan. Chantal Cramaussel is an outstandingThis is a gem of a book. although it is challenging to obtain a copy, it can be requested vi Inter-Library loan. Chantal Cramaussel is an outstanding research and scholar who has delved into numerous primary documents of the 16th and 17th centuries related to the geographic area Santa Bárbara located in what was once known as the realm of Nueva Vizcaya that today straddles the northern part of the State of Durango and the southern part of the State of Chihuahua.
Part 1 deals with the Spanish settlement of the region and the population of mine owners and mine workers, as well as the Indian groups. Part 2 looks at the development of the communities of San Bartolomé and San José del Parral, including details about haciendas and dwellings. Part 3 offers a study of the demographics of the early settlement years (1567-1630) followed by the population explosion of the region beginning with the major discovery of silver in the area of Parral (1631-1700.
Part 4 of the book offers a unique examination of the Indian and African/Black population that served as worker on the Spanish haciendas and in the numerous mines. Part 5 examines the migration of Spanish citizens and the formation of the dominant class of individuals and families that met with the most success and establish the regional oligarchy that dominated the social, political and economic areas of influence. Part 6 concentrates on the ways the citizens and worker made their living that Cramaussel divides into two main categories: 1) subsistence via mining, livestock, and farming; and 2) commercial trade, transporting goods, artisan skills, domestic work, and professional services.
The appendices contain several very useful transcriptions of original documents. In particular, there are five censuses: 1) Residents of Monserrat, 1646; 2) Residents of Santa Bárbara, 1649; 3) Residents of San Diego, 1649; 3) Residents of Parral, 1650; and 5) a list of Portuguese residents of the region of Santa Bárbara in the 17th century.
"Poblar la Frontera" is an outstanding work of scholarship and a major contribution to understanding the early of the Spanish presence in the northern frontier of the Spanish Americas....more