SPANISH COLONIAL LIVES
Documents from the Spanish Colonial Archives of New Mexico, 1705–1774
By Linda Tigges, Editor
A Companion in Part to "The Spanish Archives of New Mexico" by Ralph Emerson Twitchell
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On their return to New Mexico from El Paso after the 1680 Pueblo Revolt, the New Mexican settlers were confronted with continuous raids by hostile Indian tribes, disease and an inhospitable landscape. In spite of this, in the early and mid-eighteenth century, the New Mexicans went about their daily lives as best they could, as shown in original documents from the time. The documents show them making deals, traveling around the countryside and to and from El Paso and Mexico City, complaining about and arguing with each other, holding festivals, and making plans for the future of their children. It also shows them interacting with the presidio soldiers, the Franciscan friars and Inquisition officials, El Paso and Chihuahua merchants, the occasional Frenchman, and their Pueblo Indian allies. Because many of the documents include oral testimony, we are able to read what they had to say, sometimes angry, asking for help, or giving excuses for their behavior, as written down by a scribe at the time. This book includes fifty-four original handwritten documents from the early and mid-eighteenth century. Most of the original documents are located in the Spanish Archives of New Mexico, although some are from the Bancroft Library at the University of California at Berkeley, the Archivo General de la Nacion in Mexico City, and elsewhere. They were selected for their description of Spanish Colonial life, of interest to the many descendants of the characters that appear in them, and because they tell a good story. A translation and transcription of each document is included as well as a synopsis, background notes, and biographical notes. They can be considered a companion, in part, to Ralph Emerson Twitchell’s 1914 two volumes, The Spanish Archives of New Mexico, summarizing the documents of the Spanish Archives of New Mexico, now available in new editions from Sunstone Press.
LINDA TIGGES, PhD, is a retired land planner. While working in the City of Santa Fe in the 1980s and 1990s, she assisted in drafting and staffing the City’s Archaeological Review ordinance, prepared and worked on State Historic Preservation grants and prepared City publications on architectural history and Spanish Colonial Santa Fe. She is a New Mexico certified historian with the New Mexico Historic Preservation Division. Written material includes archival research on historic properties, published work on the Santa Fe presidio in All Trails Lead to Santa Fe, An Anthology Commemorating the 400th Anniversary of the Founding of Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1610, from Sunstone Press, as well as articles for the New Mexico Historical Review and the New Mexico Genealogical Society Journal. Her special interest is early and mid-eighteenth century Spanish Colonial documents. She has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history from Iowa State University and the University of North Carolina, at Chapel Hill, and a PhD in Administration from Iowa State University.
J. RICHARD SALAZAR retired from the New Mexico State Records Center and Archives in 1996 as Director of the Archival Services Division of that agency. Since that time he has been conducting historical research for the various acequia associations of northern New Mexico in their attempt to determine their acequia priority dates. He has worked with New Mexico’s archival documents, including the land grant records, for over forty years.
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