The Pueblo Revolt

The Pueblo Revolt

The Pueblo Revolt

The Pueblo Revolt

Excerpt

Under a fiery desert sun a caravan of Spaniards trekked up out of Mexico to found a colony in the north. The year was 1598; the Jamestown settlement in Virginia and the landing of the Pilgrims in Massachusetts still lay in the future. Most of the territory that one day would be the United States of America was a geographical mystery; explorers had nibbled at its edges, but knew little of its interior. Here, now, came colonists into a province they planned to call New Mexico. Through the cactus-dotted sandy wasteland marched four hundred men, women, and children, led by the royal governor of the new province, Don Juan de Oñate. Eighty- three creaking wagons carried their worldly goods; seven thousand head of cattle, hogs, mules, goats, oxen, sheep, rams, colts, mares, and jackasses plodded beside them; eleven chaplains, all Franciscan friars, looked after their spiritual needs; a handful of helmeted Spanish troops, in armor of metal and leather, protected them from danger.

On April 20 the barren desert at last gave way to a more encouraging sight: groves of willows, a wall of greenery. The colonists had reached the mighty river, the Rio Grande del . . .

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