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message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 30587 comments This is the thread to discuss the Pueblo Revolt.

Wars and Battles, 1680-1692

The high water mark of the Spanish Empire's expansion into the New World reached North America. Spaniards commenced to expand into what is now New Mexico and Arizona around 1540. They seized more than 100 Indian pueblos (villages).

Spanish soldiers and priests imposed a forced-labor system, encomienda, which resembled slavery, and prevented the Pueblo Indians from communing with their gods.

Eventually, the Indians retaliated. Led by Popé, a medicine man from the pueblo of San Juan south of Taos pueblo*, they assaulted several Spanish settlements in August 1680, and achieved overwhelming success thanks to superior numbers – more than 8,000 warriors against fewer than 200 armed settlers.

Despite different dialects, they coordinated their attack to occur everywhere at once. They killed 21 Franciscan friars and more than 400 Spaniards. One thousand survivors fled to the governor's palace in Sante Fe, where the Indians laid siege. Deprived of water for several days, the Spaniards managed to escape to El Paso del Norte (now El Paso, Texas). Popé became the ruler of New Mexico.

The dynamic leader had engineered the most successful Indian uprising in the history of the West. The Pueblo Indians remained independent for a dozen years and during that time, Popé ordered the eradication of almost every vestige of the Roman Catholic Church. He also penalized Spanish language use and discouraged surnames – and even preached against using the plow, a Spanish tool.

Less than a year after Popé's death in 1692, soldiers under Diego de Vargas easily reconquered New Mexico for Spain.

message 2: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

message 3: by Bryan, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS (new)

Bryan Craig | 11593 comments Picks this up in New Mexico last year:

Po'pay Leader of the First American Revolution by Herman AgoyoHerman Agoyo

message 4: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) Sounds like an interesting book there Bryan.

message 5: by Bryan, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS (new)

Bryan Craig | 11593 comments Thanks, it does. One of the very few who successfully threw out the Spanish.

message 6: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) I think I will have to do some more reading on this area of history. I've found this book that looks pretty good; "The Pueblo Revolt: The Secret Rebellion that Drove the Spaniards Out of the Southwest" by David Roberts.

The Pueblo Revolt The Secret Rebellion that Drove the Spaniards Out of the Southwest by David Roberts by David Roberts
With the conquest of New Mexico in 1598, Spanish governors, soldiers, and missionaries began their brutal subjugation of the Pueblo Indians in what is today the Southwestern United States. This oppression continued for decades, until, in the summer of 1680, led by a visionary shaman named Pope, the Puebloans revolted. Before then the many different Pueblo villages had never acted in concert (and never would again). Now, in total secrecy they coordinated an attack, killing 401 settlers and soldiers and routing the rulers in Santa Fe. Every Spaniard was driven from the Pueblo homeland, the only time in North American history that conquering Europeans were thoroughly expelled from Indian territory.
Yet today, more than three centuries later, crucial questions about the Pueblo Revolt remain unanswered. How did Pope succeed in his brilliant plot? And what happened in the Pueblo world between 1680 and 1692, when a new Spanish force reconquered the Pueblo peoples with relative ease?

David Roberts set out to try to answer these questions and to bring this remarkable historical episode to life. He visited Pueblo villages, talked with Native American and Anglo historians, combed through archives, discovered backcountry ruins, sought out the vivid rock art panels carved and painted by Puebloans contemporary with the events, and pondered the existence of centuries-old Spanish documents never seen by Anglos.

"In 1598, Spain established a colony in what is today New Mexico; roughly 80 years later, more than 75% of the indigenous population was dead. A Pueblo shaman named Popé led survivors in a violent uprising in 1680 that resulted in a decade and a half of independence before the Spanish reasserted dominion over the territory. Delving into the few primary sources available, journalist Roberts (Four Against the Arctic, etc.) tries to set the record straight on this little-known, sometimes fancifully remembered event. Most notably, he corrects for the bias in surviving Spanish documents by adopting a more empathetic stance toward the Pueblo. Yet this project is hampered by the intense secrecy of modern Pueblo, which forces Roberts to incorporate into his account the struggle to find people willing to share their oral history with him. Gaining access to sacred sites and settlement ruins proves difficult, but vivid descriptions of the sites he did visit add a welcome immediacy to the tale. Roberts's enthusiastic descriptions of Pueblo art, which played a crucial role in the religious conflict behind the rebellion, would have benefited from the inclusion of photographs. For the most part, however, this chronicle admirably illuminates the historical record while highlighting the problems inherent in re-creating history from fragmentary evidence." - Publishers Weekly

"In 1680, led by a charismatic shaman named Pope, the fiercely independent Pueblos of New Mexico united to drive out Spanish priests, administrators, and settlers. Although their newly won independence lasted only a dozen years, this was the only successful effort by Native Americans to remove European colonial control. Roberts, who has written extensively on southwestern history, tells this story with skill, passion, and a deep reverence for the traditions of the diverse Pueblo groups. Although his narrative style is quirky, it is effective. He bounces back and forth in time, moving from fascinating descriptions of Anasazi (the ancestors of the Pueblo Indians) culture to the age of the conquistadores to examinations of contemporary Pueblo life. Roberts, of course, is clearly sympathetic to the rebel cause, so he provides ample details of Spanish cruelty and oppression while ignoring some of the unsavory aspects of Pueblo traditions. Still, this work, which combines elements of narrative history, ethnography, and travelogue, is consistently interesting and will be a fine addition to Native American collections." - Booklist

message 7: by Bryan, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS (new)

Bryan Craig | 11593 comments Good add, A.R. I figure it is hard to piece together this history where documents are scarce. Looks good.

message 8: by K.A. (new)

K.A. Krisko (KAKrisko) | 3 comments Ah...I've been looking for some more info on the Pueblo Revolt. Looks like an interesting book...think I'll add it to my wish list.

message 9: by Bryan, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS (new)

Bryan Craig | 11593 comments Awesome, K.A. We add a lot of books on our reading list around here :-)

message 10: by Belinda (last edited Apr 18, 2013 07:49PM) (new)

Belinda Vasquez Garcia (BelindaVasquezGarcia) Popé was able to coordinate the Pueblo Revolt by using ropes, where each pueblo would tie a knot in a rope each day until the "Big day" when they rose up against their conquerors.

message 11: by Bryan, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS (new)

Bryan Craig | 11593 comments So true, Belinda, it is amazing!

message 12: by Jerome (new)

Jerome | 3275 comments Uprising: The Pueblo Indians and the First American War for Religious Freedom

Uprising The Pueblo Indians and the First American War for Religious Freedom by Jake Page by Jake PageJake Page


The Pueblo Revolt of 1680 changed the course of history. It was the only war that American Indians ever won against the Europeans. In this new nonfiction account, Jake Page delves into the events leading up to the revolt, its aftermath, and the less well-known second revolt. In this new nonfiction account, Jake Page delves into the event leading up to the revolt, its aftermath, and the less well-known second revolt. Includes insights from Hopi oral history, and more fully explores the role of the Hopis in the revolt.

message 13: by Jerome (new)

Jerome | 3275 comments The Pueblo Indian Revolt of 1696 and the Franciscan Missions in New Mexico

The Pueblo Indian Revolt of 1696 and the Franciscan Missions in New Mexico by J. Manuel Espinosa by J. Manuel Espinosa (no photo)


The Franciscan letters and related documents, translated into English and published here for the first time, describe in detail the Pueblo Indian revolt of 1696 in New Mexico and the destruction of the Franciscan missions. The events are related by the missionaries themselves as they lived side by side with their Indian charges. The suppression of the revolt by the Spaniards, and the reestablishment of the missions, was a turning point in the history of the Southwest.

The New Mexican colony had been founded and settled in 1598 and had endured until 1680, when an earlier Pueblo Indian revolt had forced the Spaniards co retreat south co El Paso. In 1692, Governor Diego de Vargas led a military expedition into New Mexico that met virtually no resistance, convincing him that he could return and reconquer and resettle the region for Spain. In 1693, after a bloody battle at Santa Fe, the Spanish colony was reestablished in the midst of the concentration of Indian pueblos along the upper Rio Grande. It was then that hostile Pueblo Indian leaders, recalling their victory in 1680, secretly plotted the revolt that cook place in 1696.

J. Manuel Espinosa has written a superb introduction placing the Pueblo Indian revolt of 1696 in historical perspective and presenting the important events recorded in the documents that constitute the major part of the book. The letters and writs, by mission friars and Spanish military authorities, reveal the agonizing decisions that the colony of priests, soldiers, and farmers faced in meeting the challenge of undaunted Indian leaders. The documents also contain information on the pueblos and Indian life not found in any other source.

This book presents a remarkable view, from the Spaniards' perspective, of the clash of cultures in the pueblos, as well as insights into the causes and results of the Pueblo revolt. The documents contribute greatly to our knowledge of events in northern New Spain that proved very significant in the development of the region. No other work deals in such detail with this period in New Mexico history or provides such broad documentary coverage.

message 14: by Jerome (new)

Jerome | 3275 comments The Pueblo Revolt

The Pueblo Revolt by Robert Silverberg by Robert SilverbergRobert Silverberg


The peaceable Pueblo Indians seemed an unlikely people to rise emphatically and successfully against the Spanish Empire. For eighty-two years the Pueblos had lived under Spanish domination in the northern part of present-day New Mexico. The Spanish administration had been led not by Coronado’s earlier vision of god but by a desire to convert the Indians to Christianity and eke a living from the country north of Mexico. The situation made conflict inevitable, with devastating results.Robert Silverberg writes: "While the missionaries flogged and even hanged the Indians to save their souls, the civil authorities enslaved them, plundered the wealth of their cornfields, forced them to abide by incomprehensible Spanish laws." A long drought beginning in the 1660s and the accelerated raids of nomadic tribes contributed to the spontaneous revolt to the Pueblos in August 1680.

How the Pueblos maintained their independence for a dozen years in plain view of the ambitious Spaniards and how they finally expelled the Spanish is the exciting story of The Pueblo Revolt. Robert Silverberg’s descriptions yield a rich picture of the Pueblo culture.

message 15: by Jerome (new)

Jerome | 3275 comments Indian Uprising on the Rio Grande: The Pueblo Revolt of 1680

Indian Uprising on the Rio Grande The Pueblo Revolt of 1680 by Franklin Folsom by Franklin Folsom (no photo)


This award-winning account of the Pueblo Revolt, originally published in 1973 as "Red Power on the Rio Grande, " is told from the point of view of the Native American villagers of the Rio Grande Valley. Folsom equates the Pueblos' desire to control their own destiny to that of the Americans in 1776 and reveals the harshness of Spanish rule.

Not only were the Pueblos taxed and forced to labor for the Spanish, they were frequently sold into slavery and their religion was attacked and suppressed by missionaries. Under the direction of Pop, the Pueblos overcame their traditional reliance on local leadership and joined together in a brilliantly conceived and successful attack on Spanish power. This pivotal time in Pueblo history is powerfully and compelling retold here.

message 16: by Bryan, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS (new)

Bryan Craig | 11593 comments The Pueblo Revolt and the Mythology of Conquest: An Indigenous Archaeology of Contact

The Pueblo Revolt and the Mythology of Conquest An Indigenous Archaeology of Contact by Michael V. Wilcox by Michael V. Wilcox (no photo)


In a groundbreaking book that challenges familiar narratives of discontinuity, disease-based demographic collapse, and acculturation, Michael V. Wilcox upends many deeply held assumptions about native peoples in North America. His provocative book poses the question, What if we attempted to explain their presence in contemporary society five hundred years after Columbus instead of their disappearance or marginalization? Wilcox looks in particular at the 1680 Pueblo Revolt in colonial New Mexico, the most successful indigenous rebellion in the Americas, as a case study for dismantling the mythology of the perpetually vanishing Indian. Bringing recent archaeological findings to bear on traditional historical accounts, Wilcox suggests that a more profitable direction for understanding the history of Native cultures should involve analyses of issues such as violence, slavery, and the creative responses they generated. His book is a powerful demonstration of the ways in which archeology, history, and anthropology can be brought in closer engagement with the narratives of contemporary native Americans themselves.

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Books mentioned in this topic

Po'Pay: Leader of the First American Revolution (other topics)
The Pueblo Revolt: The Secret Rebellion that Drove the Spaniards Out of the Southwest (other topics)
Uprising: The Pueblo Indians and the First American War for Religious Freedom (other topics)
The Pueblo Indian Revolt of 1696 and the Franciscan Missions in New Mexico (other topics)
The Pueblo Revolt (other topics)

Authors mentioned in this topic

David Roberts (other topics)
Jake Page (other topics)
J. Manuel Espinosa (other topics)
Robert Silverberg (other topics)
Franklin Folsom (other topics)