Explorers, Traders, and Slavers: Forging the Old Spanish Trail, 1678-1850

By Joseph P. Sánchez | Go to book overview

CHAPTER V
From Santa Fe to the Green River The First Phase of the Dominguez-Escalante Expedition, 1776

STANDING IN THE Plaza de Santa Fe on 29 July 1776, Fray Atanasio Domínguez and Fray Silvestre Vélez de Escalante distributed the Holy Eucharist among the members of their expedition to Monterey, California. Among those accompanying the two Franciscans were Juan Pedro Cisneros, chief magistrate from the Pueblo of Zuñí; Bernardo de Miera y Pacheco, a retired captain of the militia and citizen of Santa Fe; Lorenzo Olivares from the Villa of El Paso; Andrés Muñiz from Bernalillo; Antonio Lucrecio Muñiz, brother of Andrés, from Embudo south of Taos Pueblo; Juan de Aguilar from Santa Clara Pueblo; Joaquín Laín, a blacksmith from Santa Fe; and Simon Lucero, probably from Zuñí, who had served as Cisneros' servant. Of them, Andrés Muñiz, who had been with Juan María Rivera to the Gunnison River in 1765, spoke the Ute language. His brother Lucrecio had also been with the Rivera expedition and likely spoke, or at least understood, the language of the Yutas.132

Perhaps the most notable of the lay people on the expedition was Bernardo de Miera y Pacheco, who would later earn a place in the history of the cartography of New Mexico and the Southwest. In a letter dated 26 October 1777,133 Miera y Pacheco, born in the mountain country of Burgos in Spain, recounted that in 1743 he came from Spain to El Paso del Norte. He participated in five campaigns against hostile Indians, and in 1754 he and his family moved to Santa Fe. In New Mexico,

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