Historical Sketch of the Catholic Church in New Mexico

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Historical Sketch of the Catholic Church in New Mexico was written by the catholic priest, and most reverend, James H. Defouri, pastor of the church of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Santa Fé, and secretary to Jean-Baptiste Lamy, the first bishop, and later archbishop, of Santa Fé. It was published in 1887 by McCormick Brothers, San Francisco, CA. The book was dedicated to Archbishops Lamy and Jean-Baptiste Salpointe. It was written in response to a request in 1884 from the Catholic Congregation de Propaganda Fide in Rome, which desired a succinct history of New Mexico from a religious point of view.

Quotes[edit]

Ch. I First Attempt to Found a Mission.[edit]

  • It is customary for a certain class of men to assert at all times and places, that this continent is indebted entirely to the Saxon or Anglo-Saxon race for its population, its civilization and its progress. ...The world forgets too often that it was a child of the Latin race, a stanch Catholic, a pious hero, who conceived the idea of the Western continent, and it was a Spanish Sovereign, a stout Catholic, Isabella surnamed "the Catholic" who placed at his disposal the means necessary to pursue his researches in the pathless and unknown Western Ocean.
  • Soon after the death of Montezuma, the last of the Incas, the Spaniards were attracted towards what is now New Mexico, by the wonderful tales they heard from the Indians, of its great riches in gold and silver.
  • When Cortez conquered Mexico in 1521, he came across traditions among the Aztecs, who had founded the city of Mexico in 1325—traditions which still exist among the Pueblos of New Mexico, as well remarks Hon. W. G. Ritch ex-Secretary of New Mexico, in his "Chronological Annals of New Mexico," that they came originally from Salt Lakes, Lagunas Saladas, far to the north, and that Montezuma, mounted upon an eagle, subsequently led them from Pecos, where he was born, or at least where he dwelt, to the city of Mexico. They called what is now New Mexico, the "Seven Cities," relating in glowing terms the wealth and greatness, as well as the beauty of that country.
  • Among these Seven Cities was one, pre-eminent even in those remote times, called Tiguex or Tegua, now Santa Fé. That it was renowned at the time of the founding of the Aztec Confederacy in 1426, is very plain from the taxes it had to pay toward the general government, an account of which I have read but cannot now find. It belonged to the Province of the Tarnos (or Tanos) which contained forty-thousand inhabitants. Tiguex played a prominent part at the time of the expedition of Caronado in 1541.
  • More than one writer doubts the identity of Tiguex with Santa Fé. But so far nothing has been brought forward, but mere assertions. On the other hand many others are of the opinion which I follow. I regret the loss of the "List of taxes imposed upon the various pueblos," as it was a document of real value which would go far towards proving my opinion.
    • Footnote to the quote above
  • The land of the "Seven Cities" was called also by the name of Cibola. Under this name, the origin of which is uncertain, it was known by the Spaniards, ten years before the expedition of Caronado. Davis says it means "The Buffalo," but searching Spanish lexicons he finds it translated "a quadruped, called the Mexican bull;" Mexico was then known as the country of the buffaloes.
  • It would carry us too far back to speak in detail of the various expeditions sent from Mexico to Cibola. Nuno de Gusman was the first to start but he never reached it and after numberless difficulties he founded the Kingdom of New Galicia establishing the seat of his Government at Xalisco and Tolona.
  • Marcos and his little army set out from Culiacan, Friday, 7th of March, 1539. He went no further than Cibola; deterred as he was by the dangers surrounding him, for be had been threatened by the Indians, if he proceeded on his journey. He planted a cross and took possession of the country, "In the name of Mendoza, for his Majesty the Emperor," and called the country, El Nuevo Reyno de San Francisco—The new kingdom of St. Francis.
  • A number of priests joined Caronado, and Castaneda, the historian of the expedition, was probably one of them. In any case, he was a man of education and accustomed to writing, and his narrative is far superior to most of the histores composed at that period. His book was translated into French by Ternaux Campans, in 1838.
  • Soon Caronado quartered his troops at Cibola, and sent before him Hernando Alvarado, who with twenty men was to accompany some Indians who had come from Tiguex and Cicuye, to invite them to visit their pueblos. Alvarado treated the pueblo of Tiguex, in a very harsh manner, compelling them to leave their houses, and forbidding them to take anything with them; he sent word to Caronado to come there to make his winter quarters. This action of Alvarado, was the commencement of that terrible hatred of the Indians for the Spaniards, which after centuries of suffering, culminated in the overthrow of the Spanish rule at Tiguex and of the whole of the territory.
  • Many soldiers and even officers, unwilling to return to Mexico, deserted the service and remained at Tiguex, and formed the first white settlement in that renowned place. These events happened at the beginning of April 1543, a date to which we can well assign the foundation of Santa Fé as a Mission, although it was not called by that name until 1598, when we see it called so by Juan de Onate in his Discurso de las jornadas que hizo el Capritan de su Magestad desa de la Nueva Esperna, a la provincia de la Nueva Mexico, September 9, 1598; a la ciudad de San Francisco de los Espanoles que al presente se Edifican. (Discourse of the journeys made by the Captain of His Majesty from New Spain to the Province of New Mexico, September 9, 1598, [to] the city of Saint Francis of the Spaniards, which they are now building.) It was then that the city took the name of Santa Fé.
  • It is possible that in 1543 was built the celebrated church of San Miguel, which stands to-day, at least as far as the lower walls are concerned, for it was destroyed by the Indians in 1680.
    • Footnote

Ch. II History of the Mission of Santa Fé 1543.[edit]

  • The desertion of officers and soldiers became almost a stampede, and Caronado had not a hundred men to return to Mexico, which he reached only to find the Viceroy much displeased with the manner in which he had conducted the expedition. Soon afterwards he was deprived of his province [Kingdom of New Galicia, with seat of government at Xalisco or Tolona] and fell into disgrace.
  • Caronado left with the deserters Fathers Juan de Padilla and Juan de la Cruz, with a Portuguese named Andres de Campo, to wait on them. Father Juan de la Cruz went on a mission to Cibola, and was killed by the Indians. Juan de Padilla remained for some time at Tiguex; soon he extended the sphere of his missions, and hearing of the good disposition of the Indians of Quivira, he went to visit them; but he was killed by Tejas Indians while on his knees at prayer. The Tejas did not wish him to go to Quivira, because they were at war with that pueblo.
  • Father Juan de Padilla was afterwards buried in the church of the Pueblo of La Isleta. ...It is said that no matter how deep he is buried, he always rises in his coffin to the very surface of the ground. ...there is but little doubt that he died the death of a martyr.
  • The Spanish deserters and new settlers, the first Catholic mission at Tiguex, and for all that, in the whole of New Mexico... were not long without priests. The Franciscan Order sent more Religious to search for the lost Spaniards and to convert the Indians. Among many others are named Fathers Augustine Ruiz, Francisco Lopez, and Juan de Santa Maria. They were accompanied by twelve soldiers who came with them as far as the pueblo of Sandia, near Bernalillo. ...Father Juan de Santa Maria came to Tiguex... He succeeded so well that he set out for Mexico to call more priests, and to give an account of his mission; but he was killed by the Teguas Indians near a pueblo called San Pablo, in the neighborhood of El Paso. Father Lopez also was killed while at his devotions outside of the pueblo of Paruay, on the Rio Grande, and Father Ruiz remained alone mourning the loss of his companions. ...The governor of Paruay, much affected by the death of Lopez, resolved to to save Ruiz by removing him to pueblos farther up on the river; but... He was killed a few days afterwards and his body thrown into the river, then in flood, as food for the fishes. Thus, the Teguas Indians completed their bloody and unholy work...
  • Here is the time for saying, "Fear not little flock, for it is well known that the blood of martyrs is the seed of salvation." The work of saving souls was progressing everywhere, and priest suceeded priest in this arduous work.
  • Old chroniclers tell us that by the year 1629, there were baptized, thirty-four thousand six hundred and fifty Indians, and many others were in a state of conversion, and at that time there were already forty three churches in New Mexico, all built by the Indians, except San Miguel, in Santa Fé... and Our Lady of Guadalupe, also in Santa Fé, which may have been built by the Spaniards about 1598, as also other churches now forgotten.
  • A sure fact is that in February 1614, the body of Lopez was disinterred and solemnly deposited in the church of the pueblo of Sandia, with great ceremonies.
  • The Franciscan Order, alarmed at the return of the soldiers to Mexico, knowing well that their priests were without help in a heathen country, immediately appealed to men of good will to go out and rescue them. Antonio de Espejo, a man of courage and faith, offered his services to the Franciscans ... and ...an army was fitted out which left San Bartolomeo, in Mexico, on the 10th of December, 1582.
  • Espejo everywhere pacified the Indians; everywhere the numerous priests, who accompanied him, made conversions. He destroyed no property, and persuaded all of the Indians to stay in their houses and be friendly with the Spaniards. All over he built churches, erected crosses, and formed settlements of white people, alongside of the Indian settlements. ... He returned to Mexico in the beginning of July, 1584. He there wrote the relation of his journey for Conde de Caruna, the Viceroy who forwarded the same to the King of Spain and the lords of the council for the Indians. These documents, with many others before and after, were deposited in the royal library of Seville, and I understand that the government of Spain is about to publish the whole, with magnificent charts, under the name of Cartas de la Indias.
  • It would be out of my purpose to write in detail the successive expeditions of Humana, who on account of his cruelty, had his army almost annihilated by the Quiviras; of Juan de Onate, who brought over three hundred families to settle them in the territory, and established most of them in the country about Santa Cruz and Santa Fé, but obtained permission to reduce "the natives to a state of obedience, which he interpreted by reducing them to slavery." All these facts were written by Padre Geronimo de Yarate Salmeron, a Franciscan who remained eight years in New Mexico...
    • Reference: Geronimo de Zárate Salmerón, Relaciones (1966)
  • In a few years the Spaniards began to assume the prerogatives of masters; a rule of tyranny and slavery was established. Instead of letting the priests alone to see to the conversion of the Indians, fanatical Spaniards tried to convert them with the sword. In a short time they looked upon the Spaniards with intense hatred; low murmurs followed, and then open revolt. They were arrested and severely punished, but never resigned. Thus it went on for centuries; the Church suffered much in those times, and the conversion of the Indians was greatly retarded. Finally it culminated in the great Rebellion of 1680...

Ch. III The Great Revolt of 1680.[edit]

  • In the year 1680, Popé, a native of the pueblo of San Juan, a man of decided ability and great eloquence, visited all the pueblos of New Mexico and pictured to them the wrongs they were suffering, and roused them to a desire of throwing off the yoke. ...San Juan, however, remained faithful to the Spaniards, and was on that account called San Juan de los CaballerosThe gentlemanly San Juaners. Nicholas Bua, governor of San Juan, Popé's son-in-law, was put to death at the hand of Popé himself for fear he would betray him to the Spaniards.
  • Popé visited Bua at night, and under the pretext of communicating to him important secrets, drew him out of the pueblo into a dark spot, and while speaking to him, plunged a knife in his heart. Bua did not expect such a treatment, and was unarmed. He fell with a faint cry, and was soon dispatched and buried secretly by the treacherous Popé.
    • Footnote to the above quote
  • All Christians, priests and seculars, women and children, fell under their blows, except a few of the handsomest maidens whom the warriors reserved for wives. General Otermin, the governor, was unprepared and paralyzed with fear; the capital was besieged by an army, and Otermin with a few followers, unable to defend Santa Fé, resolved to leave it to its fate, and with all the Spaniards fled, and never rested till he reached El Paso, where the Franciscans supported him and his followers for a whole winter. Some of the Spaniards settled in Socorro, desiring to return to Santa Fé in a short time.
  • Santa Fé was given up to pillage. The churches were desecrated and partly pulled down. ...The Indians, putting on priestly vestments, were seen riding about the city, drinking from sacred vessels... In other pueblos and villages, the priests and Spaniards, not being aware of the rising, remained quietly in their houses, and were all massacred... then the churches were razed to the ground; the worship of the serpent, with its dances, including the indecent cachina, were prescribed anew to all good Indians, the estufas were reopened, and they were ordered to abandon even the names of their baptism, and take new ones. It was decreed in solemn council that "God, the Father, and Mary, the Mother of the Spaniards were dead, and that the Indian gods alone remained." They made offerings of flour, feathers, corn, tobacco and other articles... After this, all those grim warriors repaired to the little Santa Fé river, and there, divesting themselves of their scant clothing, washed their whole bodies with amole or soap-weed, to "Wash off their baptism."
  • On the 5th of November of the following year, Otermin, equipped by the Franciscans of El Paso, started with an army to reconquer New Mexico. All the old inhabitants of Santa Fé, eager to recover their property, went with him. They suffered greatly while crossing La Jornada del Muerto, where for a distance of ninety miles, water is not to be found, except what collects in holes after a rain. ... It has been named the "Journey of Death," on account of the number of persons killed, either by Mescalero Apache Indians, by want of water, or by storms while crossing it. To-day the A.T.S.F. railroad passes through it, and water has been found in about its center. ... the priests, and in particular, Father Ayeta, of El Paso... baptized many at La Isleta and Sandia, but when the army reached the Pueblo of Cienegilla, near Santa Fé, Juan, a Tozuque Indian, advised them of a plot to destroy them. Afraid of remaining any longer in the country, they set out on their homeward journey and reached El Paso on the 11th of February, 1582.
  • Several other attempts at conquest were made in 1685 by Domingo Jeronza Petrez de Cruzate, the newly appointed governor. ...he was governor until 1689, but never reached his capital.
  • In 1692, a new expedition was entrusted to Don Diego de Vargas Zapate Lujan, by the Viceroy, Count Galvas. ...Diego de Vargas deserves more than a passing notice. It has been said that he was an avaricious and ambitious man. It is true that later on, when he had conquered all the Pueblos, and placed them under the Spanish rule, he seemed to incline to those vices, but he was a man of faith, feared by the Indians who remained his enemies, but kind and generous to those who acknowledged his rule. ...Vargas carried everywhere with him a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and wherever he stopped, a little sanctuary was built, and devotions were offered by the army. We may meet yet several of those places, called by the people los palacios, among others one near Agua Fria, five miles west of Santa Fé. He entered the city by the road called El camino de Vargas, and stood with his troops near the church of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Thence crossing the Rio Santa Fe at a place called yet—Puente de Vargas, he went to the very spot where now stands the Chapel of Our Lady of the Rosary, and there he erected a palacio. On the next day... Vargas with his small troop, attacked the Indians, who were centered on a waste which is now the beautiful plaza of Santa Fé; they had fortified themselves, and were reinforced by the neighboring pueblos, to the number of ten thousand. The battle raged with great ardor on both sides from four in the morning until nightfall, without apparent result. Then Vargas, in the name of his troops on their bended knees, before the statue of Mary, made the solemn vow, that should he take the city, every year that same statue should be brought in solemn procession from the principal church in the city to the spot on which they were camping, where he should build a sanctuary, and there be left for nine days, the people flocking to the chapel to thank Mary for this victory, attributed to her. On the dawn of day, the next morning, he attacked with impetuosity the fortified Indians, and drove them from the plaza; at eight o'clock they retired upon the loma, north of the city where he attacked them, and by noon not an Indian was seen in the neighborhood.
  • Faithful to his promise, Vargas built the Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Rosary, and the fulfilment of the vow, commenced then, still continues every year on the Sunday after the Octave of Corpus Christi, by carrying what is most probably the identical statue possessed by Vargas, and called by the people Nuestra Senora de la Victoria, "Our Lady of the Victory," in great pomp, with music and pious chanting, from the Cathedral of St. Francis to the Chapel of the Rosary, and for nine days mass is chanted there, all the people making daily pilgrimages in thanksgiving for the favor received.
  • Soon universal peace reigned in New Mexico. Vargas then repaired the churches, and among the first the old church of San Miguel, but did not complete it, and it remained in that state until 1710, when the front tower was built by the Marquez de la Penuela... He built the Rosario, and no doubt, repaired the old Castrense, for his own use. This church was on the spot occupied now by the great merchant houses of Spiegelberg and Don Felipe Delgado. The Cathedral of San Francisco was re-built somewhat later, I think about 1730, long after the removal of Vargas. The church of Guadalupe... being somewhat out of the city, seems to have suffered less than the other churches at the time of the Rebellion.
  • The conquest of New Mexico terminated there... At that epoch, the authority of the Spaniards both ecclesiastical and civil, was acknowledged in all the pueblos.

Ch IV Los Pueblos.[edit]

  • The Pueblos, then as now, were a distinct people... They lived in villages, cultivated the soil, and had trades and manufacture. The Navajoes and Apaches of to-day are as easily distinguished from the Pueblos as in the time of the earliest conquerors of New Mexico.
  • Learned treatises have been written on the subject; some contending that the Pueblos are of Aztec, others that they are of Toltec origin. ...Their traditions say that they came from the north. ...I think the opinion which says that they are the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel, mixed with some Tartars, is not at all improbable. I lately saw a work in which the author tries to prove they were Phonicians and not Jews.
  • Classed by dialects, the pueblos of New Mexico, at the period of the arrival of the Spaniards, spoke four separate and distinct languages, called the Tegua, the Piro, the Queres and the Tagnos. This classification has passed away, and today all the Pueblos of New Mexico are divided, as to dialect, into five classes: 1, Sandia, Isleta, Picuris and Taos; 2, Cochiti, Santo Domingo, San Felipe, Santa Ana, Laguna and Acoma; 3, Jemes; 4, Zuni; 5, San Juan, Santa Clara, Nambe, San Ildefonso, Pojuaque and Tezuque.
    Thus by language, these Indians are nearly all cut off from verbal communication, not only with Mexicans, but with Pueblos of a different dialect.
  • I have visited several pueblos in New Mexico; everywhere you find a square, small or large, according to the size of the village; around the "plaza," the dwellings are erected close together, so as to present outwardly an unbroken line of wall to the height of two or three stories. Viewed from the inner square, it presents the appearance of a succession of terraces with doors and windows opening upon them. To go to the house of the governor of Tezuque, for instance, you go up a ladder of about ten feet. There you meet a terrace about six feet wide, and the door of the sleeping apartment opens on that terrace, which has another ladder to go higher. To go to the lower apartments, you place the ladder and descend through a hole; these apartments have no windows, and this hole is the door and the chimney. This description, with slight variations, is applicable to all the pueblo villages...
  • Time, decay and want of proper care, are rapidly carrying off forever many documents of great importance, sole survivors of many more, which formed a part of the archives of Santa Fé. Papers of value... have disappeared; many others are in a perishing condition, and it is said that in 1846, Governor Armijo used up a large quantity of them for cartridges; and alas! he was not the only one that did it.
  • Under the Spanish governments the whole military, civil and ecclesiastical administration was admirably carried out, and the official reports are models of completeness and brevity.
  • Many stories are told of what passes in their Estuva, but all this is exaggeration. However, it must be acknowledged that they have... among them many secret societies that no one outside of the pueblo can ever penetrate. They are good tillers of the ground, and some pueblos have great herds of cattle and horses; their principal manufacture consists of pottery. The vases and other article's they make are all of classic and Biblical shapes. These vases are extensively used through the territory.

Ch. V Governors of New Mexico.[edit]

  • From 1692 to 1694, and again in 1703, New Mexico was ruled by General Don Diego de Vargas Zapatoz Lujan Ponce de Leon, who signs himself, Marquez de la naba de Brazinas, gobernado, capitan, restorador, conquistador, a sa Casta, reconquissador y poblador castellano, por sa Majestad, etc., etc. (Marquis of the root of Brazinas, governor, captain, general, restaurer, conqueror at his cost, reconquerer, Castilian and Castilian founder for His Majesty, etc. etc.)
  • Don Gaspar de Sandaval Zerda Silva y Mandoza succeeded Vargas in 1694; he was succeeded himself in 1697 by Don Pedro Rodriguez Cubero, who gave way for the second term of Vargas in 1703. From 1704 to 1710 the Duke of Albuquerque governed the Territory; but during an absence of the Duke of Albuquerque in 1705 we find a governor ad interim in the General Francisco Cuerbo y Valdez. The Marquis de la Penuela was another governor ad interim in 1708, and succeeded the Duke of Albuquerque in 1710 to 1712. He was the first to use the word Nuevo Mexico; all the documents so far give the name feminui la Nueva Mexico. Juan Paez de Hurnado was governor for a short time in 1712, and was ad interim at different other periods. In 1712 Don Fernando de Alencaster Morena y Silva, etc, etc., the Viceroy of New Spain, administered the Territory and visited New Mexico, when he confirmed, as governor, the appointee of King Phillip himself. Juan Ignacio Flores Magallon; who governed five years, entering into office October 5, 1712. In 1721, he was tried at Santa Fé for malfeasance in office, and condemned to pay one hundred dollars costs, but no effects were found wherewith to satisfy the bill of costs, and as the document says: "The governor himself non est inventus [not found]; supposed to be absent in the city of Mexico.
  • The following, who was a Capuchin Friar, Don Thomas Velez, was three times governor, during the years from 1749 to 1773, at intervals.
  • Still in 1811, we see as governor with headquarters at Chihuahua, Nemecio Salcedo; in 1815 Alberto Maynez, and in 1816, Pedro Maria de Allande.
  • Finally, from 1818 to 1822, Facundo Melgares governed the Territory. He is the last governor under the Spanish rule. He is represented by Pike, whom he [under Alencaster]... imprisoned for being an officer, as a "gentleman and gallant soldier."
  • Although Facundo Melgares remained in the Territory till 1822; the New Mexican government sent as "Commanding and political chief," (gefe superior politico) Don Alejo Garcia Conde, in the commencement of the year 1821. He was succeeded as political chief by Antonio Viscarra, who was removed at the end of 1823, and in 1824 Bartolome Baca took the gubernatorial chair to September 13, 1825; when Antonia Narbona, a Canadian by birth, took the chair, followed by Manuel Armijo in 1827; Jose Antonio Chavez in 1828; Santiago Abreu, 1831; Francesco Sarracino, 1833; Mariano Chavez, 1835; Albino Perez, 1837; In January of that year, New Mexico, until then a Territory, was made a department of the Republic [of Mexico], and Perez confirmed as governor. He was assassinated in Santa Fé by the Pueblo Indians on the 9th of August 1837, and on the following day Jose Gonzales, a Pueblo Indian, was proclaimed governor of New Mexico by the insurgents, and as such placed in possession of the "Palace," in Santa Fé. Manuel Armijo, at the head of the military, had him executed on the 27th of January, 1838. Armijo then took the power in his hands, but was subsequently confirmed by the national government of Mexico. He remained governor till 1844, when in January of that year he was suspended from office by the Inspector-General, and Mariano Martinez acted as governor to September 18th, when Jose Chavez superceded him to December, at which epoch Manuel Armijo was again chosen governor.
  • Gabino [Albino] Perez... was a native of the city of Mexico; a man of education, he established schools everywhere. He never missed church on Sunday, going as military commander to the Castrense, or military chapel, and as political chief to the church of San Francisco, now the Cathedral. It is known that the garrison who lived in the Garita near the palace, said their Rosary every day.
    In order to sustain his schools, he established a commission to levy taxes to pay half of the salary of the teachers, the general government paying the other half. This angered some men of weight in the Territory, and they formed a plot against him in Taos and Rio Arriba. They roused all the Pueblos, of the north, persuading them that the Governor desired all to learn the language of the Americans, in order to deliver them to the strangers. In a short while a thousand men were under arms, massed at Santa Cruz. They marched upon Santa Fé; Perez with twenty-five soldiers went to meet them, and he had the courage to attack them at a place called Puertecito. Two of his officers and some soldiers fell on the field; Perez fled to Santa Fé with some of his officers, closely pursued by the rebels. They at once mounted horses, and started for Mexico on the large road called Camino de Vargas, but the Indians of Santo Domingo were awaiting them, lying in ambuscade.
    • This quote is a footnote to the prededing quote. Note also that Pérez was decapitated and some of his supporters killed by the people of Santo Domingo.
  • Manuel Armijo is the last governor under the Mexican rule. He remained in office till August 18, 1846, when the United States troops took formal possession of New Mexico. By proclamation from General S. W. Kearny, who commanded the troops, Charles Bent was duly appointed the first U. S. Governor of New Mexico.
  • Charles Bent was assassinated at Taos, July 17, 1847, and Donaciano Vigil was confirmed in his place; the following years to March, 1851, were without a civil governor, the Territory being successively under the command of J. M. Washington and John Monroe, commandants of the Department.
  • This list [of governors]... could be found in the office of the Surveyor General H. M. Atkinson when he was in office.

Ch. VI Religious State of New Mexico under the Mexican Rule.[edit]

  • Napoleon had passed away, pining on the "Forlorn rock," amid the billows of the Mediterranean, the Bonapartes of Spain had quickly descended the steps of the throne, and the treaty of Paris had restored to the Bourbons the throne of Isabella, the "Catholic," but—oh ! what ruins ! what weakness !
  • Now was the time. The Mexicans assembled in ayuntamientos and ordered away all Spaniards from Mexican soil, and on September 28th, 1821, Mexico published her Declaration of Independence of the Spanish rule. The rising succeeded at once... It was not a bloody revolution, although a few lives were lost here and there, and many a Caballero [Spanish gentleman] returned penniless to the mother country.
    Even before the uprising of 1821, New Mexico had felt the commotions of the volcano upon which the country stood. In 1812, [Robert Mc]Knight, [James] Baird and [Samuel] Chambers brought merchandise overland [from St. Louis], but were treated as spies [being imprisoned in Chihuahua] and their goods were confiscated. No serious troubles were felt, however, owing to the strength of the governor Joaquin del Real Alencaster.
  • One of the first acts of the new Republic was from the Legislature, called "Provincial deputation," April 27th, 1822, which issued a decree to establish public schools, as follows: Resolved, "That the said ayuntamientos [municipalities] be officially notified to complete the formation of primary public schools, as soon as possible, according to the circumstances of each community."
  • On April 5th [1822], Francis Xavier Chaves reached Santa Fé as political chief, and with him a government was inaugurated. The overland trade with the United States virtually dates from the same year.
  • In the year 1824, Bartolome Baca was sent as political chief, with the instruction of forming one State of Durango, Chihuahua and New Mexico. Baca resided at Chihuahua for a short time. New Mexico became dissatisfied about the new arrangement, and lent an ear to overtures made by the United States to join the American Union.
  • From its first settlement, the Province of New Mexico had been under the Bishop of Guadalajara. But about 1730, the See of Durango having been erected by the Holy See, all the churches of New Mexico were placed under the care of its Bishop, who for the first time in 1737 visited this vast Province, the northern part of his diocese. From that time, for nearly one hundred years, hardly any Bishop visited this country, till the Most Rev. Zubiria who at great peril and hardship visited the New Mexican part of his diocese.
  • After the Mexican Revolution of 1821 and the expulsion of the Spanish Franciscans, the wants of the parishes at first so flourishing under the saintly Friars, were supplied by secular priests sent from Durango. It is easy to understand that all the missions could not be supplied, and that living thousands of miles away from the bishops of the diocese, the discipline must have considerably relaxed.
  • New Mexico suffered greatly from the frequent revolutions and pronunciamientos, issued in the mother country. The provincial deputation had given way as a power; a President of the Republic was created in 1825 and Guadalupe Victorio was inaugurated April 1. He was succeeded by Santa Anna in 1833, who himself was overthrown in 1835 and a new constitution adopted. All these revolutions were felt in New Mexico both by the Church and the State, and religious as well as civil progress was retarded.
  • Much dissatisfaction was felt with the new constitution and it culminated in a conspiracy by the Indians in 1837, against the governor Albino Perez, and he was assassinated by them... and the half breed Indian Jose Gonzalez, proclaimed provisional governor.
  • It was this dissatisfaction of a part of the people of New Mexico, which gave rise to the famous Texas-Santa Fe expedition, which terminated so disastrously for the Texans. ...Many of those who composed it had nothing else in view than trading, and brought a great amount of merchandise. But this was not the view of General Lamar, the President of the "Lone Star republic." Texas claimed the Rio Grande as her western boundary; many in that eastern half of New Mexico, seemed to desire their coming and throw off the galling yoke of Mexico, and Lamar with his associates, who kept their secret, wished these young men to reduce Santa Fé under the rule of Texas. All know how they were roughly handled by General Armijo, when, after untold hardships, they were met at Apache Canon, made prisoners, and, tied together like cattle, sent to the city of Mexico.
  • August 18, 1846, brings us to the American occupation of New Mexico, by General S. W. Kearny, and to an era of prosperity, both religious and political, for the Territory.
    New Mexico was so far back, on that year, that it is asserted that "adobe palaces," alone in the Territory had window glass.

Ch. VII Erection of the See of Santa Fé.[edit]

  • Eleven years were thus spent for the Lord, when in 1850, Father Lamy was created by the Holy See, Bishop of Agathon in part. inf. and Vicar Apostolic of New Mexico. No time was to be lost, and so with his usual energy, the young Bishop, only thirty-six years of age, repaired to Cincinnati, was consecrated by Dr. Purcell on the 24th of November, 1850, and immediately after set out to "conquer" his See... Leaving his sister at the hospital of the Sisters of Charity, and his niece, Mother Francisca, then a young lady, at the Ursuline Convent in New Orleans, he embarked alone on a vessel sailing for Galveston...
  • Once, while a guest of Dr. Lamy, I espied some volumes in his library, that seemed to have received a thorough soaking, and looked like veterans battered in war, amid new recruits. I inquired of the venerable Archbishop the meaning of it. His eyes sparkled; a smile lit up his kindly face, and he told me that they were fished out of the waters of the Gulf. With great kindness, and even joy at the remembrance, he described to me his shipwreck, his desolation at having lost everything, till spying quite near the shore one of his trunks drifting seaward, he offered a small sum of money to a young negro boy, who swam to the trunk, and, pushing it before him as he swam shoreward, brought it to land. It was opened. Oh ! in what condition ! The books in my hands were of those saved in that one trunk, all else was lost.
  • In Santa Fé, old persons relate a fact which shows their faith. The ground was parched for want of water, all the water courses and ditches were dried up, sheep and cattle were in a dying condition, and poverty was staring in the face of the people. But on the day of the Bishop's arrival, a bountiful rain fell, animate and inanimate nature was refreshed, grass sprung up, and the year was one of plenty.
  • Though arrived at his destination, the Bishop soon found himself surrounded by great difficulties. Both the clergy and the people were unwilling to acknowledge the new prelate's authority. ...before its annexation to the United States, New Mexico being under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Durango, in Mexico... The saintly Bishop of Durango, Dr. Zubiria, had been advised in time, and had immediately set out for New Mexico, visiting every mission of the diocese, and performing everywhere his episcopal duties. But he had not been consulted in the dismemberment of his diocese, and he felt quite unwilling to quietly stand by it. The clergy had another reason, they had been living at ease twelve hundred miles from their Bishop, and they dreaded the presence of the new prelate among them; I might add, that many of them were utterly opposed to American rule, either civil or ecclesiastical.
  • The indefatigable Dr. Lamy set out on horseback, with a solitary guide, for the city of Durango; he had an interview with its Bishop, and everything was settled amicably. Without taking time for rest, he returned, having performed a journey of three thousand miles on horseback.
  • In his new diocese he found but few priests, while it was destitute of educational establishments of any kind. The young bishop put his hand to the grand work of building up Catholicity... His adventures and long journeys over the vast plains extending from Kansas City to Fort Union, plains with no inhabitants, then, save wild beasts and roving Indians, border on romance. Though about nine hundred miles in extent, Dr. Lamy crossed these plains twelve times for the welfare of his vast diocese.

Ch. VIII Dr. Lamy Obtains Sisters of Loreto.—Their Arrival at Santa Fé.—Their Success.[edit]

  • Bishop Lamy, ever anxious for the good of his diocese, desired to enrich it with devoted Sisters, to teach the young, knowing well that this was the best way to reach the people. Having heard of the self-denial of Father Nerinckx's spiritual children, and of the severe training they had gone through, he concluded that they were the very ones whom Divine Providence had designed for the laborious missions which the Holy See had confided to his care. He applied for a colony of Sisters, and his request was cheerfully granted. Faithful to its traditions, and to the injunctions of its founder, Loretto could not refuse a mission which seemed to promise nothing but hardships and privations.
  • As soon as they heard of the Bishop's return from New Orleans, they joined him at St. Louis and on the 10th of July left by the steamer "Kansas," which was to convey them as far as Independence. ...There had already been some cases of cholera on board, when, on Friday, the 16th... Mother Mathilda was attacked... she gave her soul into the hands of her Maker... Two hours later the steamer landed at Todd's Warehouse, six miles from Independence. In the meantime Sister Monica had also contracted the disease, and the landing was truly affecting, the Sisters following the couch of their dying Sister and the coffin of their dear Mother. The inhabitants stood in such dread of the cholera that the Sisters were not allowed to enter their houses, and were therefore obliged to remain in the warehouse.
    The next morning, July 17th, three of the Sisters, with the Bishop and some other persons, accompanied the carriage which conveyed the corpse of Mother Mathilda to its last resting place, in the graveyard of Independence. But on the way they were met by a Sheriff who had been deputed by the authorities to forbid entrance into the town, for fear of contagion. However, the Bishop's firm attitude, and perhaps, too, compassion for the sad spectacle, caused this official to relent. They continued their way to the graveyard, and there they saw the cold earth receive into its bosom the remains of her whom they had loved and reverenced.
    The Bishop... now took the three Sisters, Catherine, Hilaria and Roberta, to the town and left them there, whilst Sister Magdalen remained in the warehouse with Sister Monica. But... Sister Magdalen herself was attacked with the cholera, and made what she believed to be her last confession. ...the Bishop, unable to make better arrangements, had the two dying sisters removed to tents about two miles from the town... After a few days, Sister Magdalen began to recover. ...It was impossible for Sister Monica to proceed any further, her recovery being doubtful, and in spite of her great desire to pursue the journey to New Mexico, she returned to Independence... As Sister Magdalen could travel in a carriage, although very weak, they left Independence on Saturday, July 31st, to go into camp some four miles distant, where the Bishop and part of his Suite... had already encamped.
  • After the death of Mother Mathilda, Sister Magdalen was chosen to fill the office of Superior, and this election was promptly approved and confirmed at Loretto. Thus was Mother Magdalen chosen in the designs of Providence to guide this young colony of Sisters to Santa Fé; to protect them against all the blasts of trials and difficulties; to build for them the material and spiritual edifice of their order in Santa Fé; to create schools and academies to the honor of Our Lady of Light...
  • On the evening of August 1st they reached Willow Springs, a fine watering place a few miles from Westport, and there found the other party, ready to start. ...but they had proceeded only a few miles when one of the wagons broke down, and there they were obliged to camp in order to repair the wagon.
  • On the 7th of September they passed the then existing Fort Atkinson, and encamped some miles beyond, but still in Kansas, when a party of Indian warriors four hundred strong fell upon them and surrounded them. All were terrified, particularly the ladies. This was the Indians hunting ground, and whenever they could do so with impunity, they would attack caravans. On this occasion they seemed peaceable; the Bishop was even enabled to baptize the child of a captive Mexican woman. Still ...the Bishop thought prudent not to make any move, hoping they would retire; but as they seemed disposed to remain, he ordered his company to march in the evening, and the caravan traveled all night, as the Indians do not generally make their attacks in the dark.
  • ... and no mass was said until they reached Pawnee Fork, on the spot where now stands the town of Larned, at the junction of the Pawnee river and the Arkansas. For the first time, buffaloes were killed by the party, and fresh meat enjoyed.
  • Las Vegas was reached on the 18th. This was the first Mexican town reached. The next morning the Bishop... sent Father Machebeuf with the Sisters to what was then called the Bishop's rancho or farm, a little over fifteen miles from Santa Fé.
  • During the journey he [Father Lamy] said mass and preached every Sunday but one, when it was absolutely impossible, but prayers were said in common.
  • The Bishop set out from Las Vegas on Wednesday, and on Thursday, 23d of September, quietly entered his episcopal city to prepare the way for the coming caravan... On Sunday, 26th, the party... started for Santa Fe where they arrived at four P.M. The people, led by Father Ortiz, and other Mexican priests, went several miles to meet them. As they approached the city, the crowd increased so much that the carriages could scarcely pass through the streets of the ancient metropolis. Triumphal arches had been erected, and the bells of the different churches were pealing. They were received at the door of the cathedral, presented with holy water, and led to the foot of the altar. The Te Deum was sung, accompanied by Mexican music, violin, guitars, etc., and the ceremony terminated with the episcopal blessing. Thence the Sisters were conducted by the Bishop, Vicar-General and clergy to the house prepared for them... and thus ended this long and painful journey, full of accidents and dangers. All felt glad at being finally at home in Santa Fé.
  • Afterwards the Sisters obtained, on very reasonable terms, a piece of property in a secluded part of the city, and containing the best looking house in town, and called La Casa Americana, the American house, because it had a shingle roof, all the other roofs in town being flat and covered with earth. An orchard and grounds were laid out, and the Sisters began to occupy their new home in September, 1855.
  • Since then the new province has prospered beyond all human expectations, and besides the house of Santa Fé, in which is the novitiate, and which has been called the Convent of Our Lady of Light, it possesses the following houses: The Convent of the Annunciation, in Mora, was established in 1854, whilst Father J. B. Salpointe, now Archbishop of Santa Fé, was parish priest at that place. In 1853 the Convent of St. Joseph was established in Taos, under the care of the Rev. Gabriel Ussel, the parish priest of Taos. The Convent of Our Lady of Guadalupe was first established in Albuquerque in 1866, but that mission was given up in 1869. In the same year was established the Convent of the Immaculate Conception, in Las Vegas. In 1870 the Visitation Academy was established at Las Cruces, through the generosity of the Rt. Rev. J. B. Salpointe, then Vicar Apostolic of Arizona, in whose diocese Las Cruces was included. The Convent of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart was established in 1875 in Bernalillo. Later, in 1879, the Convent of Mount Carmel was established in Socorro.
    In 1864 the Convent and Academy of Denver was established. The zealous and untiring Father Machebeuf, the pastor of that rising city, and now its worthy Bishop, came himself to Santa Fé, and brought a colony of Sisters to the capital of Colorado. Since then the novitiate of Santa Fé, being unable to supply them with a sufficient number of Sisters, they are supplied from Loretto, and have themselves formed missions at Pueblo, Conejos and elsewhere, spreading everywhere the light of the knowledge of God and the sweet odor of the most exalted virtues.
  • I could not pass over in silence the fine chapel and the Academy of Our Lady of Light, built entirely by the energy of Mother Magdalen and the self-abnegation of the Sisters, who many times deprived themselves of the necessary wants of life, in order to be able to erect a suitable temple to the Almighty and an Academy worthy of the high renown of the sister institution of Our Lady of Light. The chapel, commenced in 1873, is built of stone, with veins and arches of the purest Gothic style, constructed entirely of native material. This chapel... is a monument to the devotion of all interested in that great enterprise—a chapel which can compare favorably with the finest in the largest cities of the land. The Academy was commenced in the spring of 1880.

Ch. IX Bishop Lamy Goes to Rome—He Brings with Him, on his Return, the First Caravan of French Priests[edit]

  • In the fall of 1853 the energetic young Bishop set out from Santa Fé with a caravan to cross those formidable plains, the American Desert, the home of the Indian and coyote, a desert extending nearly nine hundred miles in breadth, from New Mexico to the Missouri river. ...he made a flying visit to Loretto... to petition for more Sisters. ...The Bishop... embarked at New York, soon reached France, and at once visited Monsignor Ferron, the old bishop of Clermont, who had ordained him priest and had blessed his vocation to the missions of Cincinnati. From him also he received warm and fair promises to permit young apostles from his diocese to help him in his missions of New Mexico. ...In the meanwhile, the Bishop... set out for Rome where he was kindly received by Pius IX and Cardinal Barnabo, Prefect of the Propaganda. ...He soon afterward left Rome... and early in the spring of 1854 reached the city of Clermont. A number of young levites presented themselves to him, and to him expressed their willingness to cross the ocean and work under his careful direction.
  • Among the saintly men who heard the voice of God in their hearts were the Reverends Taladrid, a priest from Madrid, Spain, whom the Bishop had met in Rome, Martin of the diocese of St. Flour, France, an old missionary in Africa, met also at Rome; Anthony Galiard, from Clermont, who stayed three years and then returned to France, where he soon died; Stephen Abel of Clermont, who subsequently died parish priest of Moro; Peter Eguillon, the actual Vicar-General of Santa Fé and parish priest of the cathedral, also a priest from the diocese of Clermont.
    Among the Seminarians were the Reverend Joseph Guérin, who died recently, parish priest of Mora. He was then deacon, and was ordained priest on the 23d of December of the past year, at Santa Fé, by Bishop Lamy; Eugene Pallet, parish priest of Belen, then a Subdeacon; and X. Vaure, a cleric in minor orders, who became sick with dysentery on the plains of Kansas, and died on the day of their arrival at Santa Fé.
    Forming the caravan were also the Reverend Eulogio Ortiz, a priest from New Mexico, who had accompanied the Bishop to Europe; Messrs. Jesus M. Ortiz and Florencio Gonzalez, who had been sent previously to France for a course in the Seminary of Clermont; an Irish family named Covington; and Mr. Macarthy, a lawyer, wbo acted as major domo for the Bishop on the journey.
  • Dr. Lamy and his band of priests and levites arrived at Louisville, Kentucky, towards the end of May, 1854. Without going to Loretto, they reached Cincinnati, thence by boat to St. Louis, and in the summer arrived at Kansas City and Westport, being thence directed to camp at Willow Spring, a romantic spot, with a fine spring of icy water gushing from under a huge boulder surrounded by trees, particularly willows of good size, with an abundance of grass for the animals. There they remained for six weeks waiting for the colony of Sisters who were to come and join them. In this, however, the Bishop was disappointed, as the Sisters were unable to send any of their number to the missions of New Mexico. The Bishop had his hands full buying animals, wagons and provisions, and perfecting all arrangements for a speedy departure.
  • During their stay at Willow Spring... while waiting for the arrival of the Bishop... the party in camp had more than once been obliged to supply their larder by hunting for game, which was then abundant in Kansas. Father Equillon, with the rest, strove to do his best for the common good. But, alas ! one day, after returning from a successful hunt, while putting his gun into the wagon, it slipped through an opening in the bed, exploded, and the unfortunate priest received the entire discharge in his right hand.
  • Another incident.. during their stay at Willow Spring... One day they were surprised by the arrival in the camp of a lonely stranger, with beard unshaven, wearing a summer linen coat and carrying a gun upon his shoulder. The Stranger was tall and muscular, and there is no denying that they felt ill at ease. He spoke French to them, and they were glad to find an American with whom they could converse. ...He asked them many... questions and thus rendered them more uneasy. They told him all. He finally smiled and told them he was acquainted with their Bishop. "Who are you," they said, Smiling still more, he said, "I am Bishop Miège, the Vicar Apostolic of these Territories." Oh ! the joy then ! the petition for blessings ! the kissing of the ring ! Bishop Miège at that time was purely a missionary bishop, without any fixed residence... He was on his way from the Osage Mission to that of the Pottawattomies, and having heard of our party, had left the ambulance with its solitary driver to go to camp, while he made a little turn to see the young levites and cheer them in their dreary solitude. Of course he had no other means to provide for his evening meal than his gun. Thence the surprise of the party at seeing a Bishop in that accoutrement and engaged in such a work.
  • The caravan consisted of four wagons and three carriages, and strange to say, as soon as they had left Willow Springs, Father Equillon, who was very sick and whose hand had been in such a terrible condition that the physicians had nearly resolved to amputate it, felt at once better. ...So, a mattress was brought, and the future Vicar-General was stretched upon it in a carriage, as a victim for the sacrifice. They left Willow Springs on the 18th of September, 1854. ...They suffered greatly for want of provisions, much of what they had having spoiled, and also from want of water, and later in the season from snow and from cold winds... Finally they entered Santa Fé... on the 15th of November, 1854, having spent two months in crossing the plains. On that evening young Vaure died... and the next day the young travelers laid their late companion in his grave. ...The priests were soon placed on missions, and the levites, after completing their theological studies, followed, and have worked most faithfully for years.

Ch. X Necessity for More Schools—Arrival of the Christian Brothers.[edit]

  • The greatest trouble for the young Bishop and his faithful Vicar was the great necessity of schools. The girls were provided for in Santa Fé, but the boys! oh, in what ignorance were they growing! Something must be done to remedy the evil.
  • Schools had been established in New Mexico by the early missionaries among the descendants of the first Spanish conquerors and the children of the converted Pueblo Indians. It was the holy practice of the Franciscans to establish schools along side of the churches they erected. But, alas! during the Mexican rule, every vestige of school had vanished; churches and school houses were in a crumbling state, and ignorance reigned in the land. ...This could not last under the rule of the active and zealous Dr. Lamy. ...He cast his eyes upon the learned and pious Congregation of the Christian Brothers.
  • There was then in existence on the plaza of Santa Fé, the church of the Castrense... This church, which had been used by the governors and troops of Spain, as well as those of Mexico, had been closed to public worship since 1846. It had been for a long time the only church opened in Santa Fé, particularly under the Mexican rule. But Father T. J. Ortiz, in 1846, after the annexation to the United States, opened the Church, now Cathedral, of San Francisco and it [instead,] became the parish church.
    The Bishop obtained from the Holy See permission to sell the Yglesia Castrense, and in the year 1859 he conveyed it in a legal form to Don Simon Delgado and his mother, Doña Maria de la Luy Baca de Delgado, for the consideration of one thousand dollars and a parcel of land with building thereon, adjoining the old church of San Miguel. The land had a frontage of three hundred and twenty-eight feet on what afterwards became College street, and six hundred and twenty four feet upon the Camino Real, or Alto street. Having by this transaction secured a spacious house, well adapted by its situation for a college, his next step was to procure the necessary teachers.
  • In the summer of 1858, the Very Re. Peter Equillon, who had succeeded as Vicar-General to the Very Rev. P. J. Machebeuf, then in Arizona, was sent to France with orders to treat with the Superior-General of the Christian Brothers the venerable Brother Philip... He at first met with very little encouragement, but finally, through the influence of Brother Artème... several brothers were found willing, with their superior's permission, to go on the far-distant mission. The brothers were appointed by Brother Artème, subject to the Superior's approval. He chose the following: Brothers Hilarien, Director of the schools at Billom; Gondulph, Director of that at Ramagnat; Geramius, teacher of the school of the Clermont Cathedral; and Galmier-Joseph, teacher in the Orphanage of that city. They set out in the summer of 1859 with Father Equillon and nine priests and ecclesiastics. Without accident they arrived in New York, where they were given another companion in Brother Optatien, belonging to the Second Street Community. Making haste, they reached Kansas City, then the outpost of civilization. They crossed the plains in caravans, exposed to every kind of danger, and after untold wants and sufferings, reached Santa Fé on the 27th day of October, 1859.
  • Brother Hilarien was unwilling to assume the responsibility of debts in establishing a boarding school, as furniture and almost all kinds of provisions were of exorbitant price, owing to the remoteness of Santa Fé from all commercial centers, and also owing to the failure of crops in that year. The Bishop, with his ordinary kindness, assumed all the responsibility, paying the five Brothers eight hundred dollars per annum; furnishing them with board, lodging, washing of linen, etc. ...The Brothers, on their side, were to work for the Bishop as if it were on their own account, and this agreement was made for two years.
    The day school was opened December 22, 1859. The number of day scholars varied from one hundred and fifty to two hundred and fifty from 1859 to 1869. The boarders for the first year were thirty... the number reached, with slight variations, as far as fifty to 1868.
  • In 1863, Brother Gondolph had an adobe class-room put up, erected porticos around the inner court, repaired the roofs of the houses, and laid a floor in San Miguel Church. Brother Geramius was appointed to succeed him September 10, 1867. Under Brother Geramius the boarding school of San Miguel took the title of San Miguel College. ...It was under the wise direction of Brother Botulph that the College took rapid strides and became an establishment of much note in the West. ...The College has continued to prosper, and new additions became necessary. The number of boarders for the year 1883 was ninety-four, and that number was increased in the two following years.
  • In the year 1879 there were twenty-two Pueblo Indians attending school in a separate department of the College. I have examined them myself, and like many others who had visited them, was astonished at their remarkable proficiency in reading and writing English and Spanish. Their progress in arithmetic was astonishing. I mention this because it is thought and said by many who know not what they say that the Indian is sluggish and slow in learning, whereas the reverse is the case, and this can be proved conclusively by every Catholic school established in pueblos throughout the Territory.
  • If, instead of insisting on sending these boys and girls to Carlisle and Albuquerque, under the special direction of Presbyterians and Methodists, where they are made to forget their faith, the Government would help the Church to form schools in every pueblo, the race would in a short time possess the requirements of civilization. I will mention one case in point, that of the Pueblo of Tezuque, where Father Equillon, V. G., has kept a teacher at his own expense for two years, against the commands and threats of the pliant tools who abuse their little authority. The children in so short a time could spell and read well the Spanish second and third books.
  • Since their establishment in Santa Fé, the good Brothers have established several schools through the Territory. As early as 1864 Rev. Gabriel Ussel, then Pastor of Taos, visiting France, was authorized by the Bishop to bring priests and Brothers for the missions of New Mexico. ...Brother Domitian being appointed Director of the school of Mora, and Brother Osmund of that of Taos. Many difficulties obliged the Brothers to close this latter school in the year 1867; that of Mora still continued doing good for years, although much cramped owing to the hard times and to the monetary crisis of the few past years, and finally closed in September 1884.
    Later, in 1872, was founded the Brothers' school at Bernalillo, and Brother Galmier-Joseph was appointed its first Director. It has continued to prosper under the directorship of Brother Gabriel, and the fostering care of the good pastor of Bernalillo, Father Stephen Parisis, and promises to have a bright future in a few years. Thus boys were given a splendid chance for learning, of which the youth of many other localities are deprived. ...both the Sisters' and Brothers' establishments in Bernalillo owe a great debt of gratitude to the late Don Leandro Perea and his family.
  • Many who claim Saint Michael as their Alma Mater have been heard in the halls of our Legislature; others are prominent in different callings, and others, though following humbler vocations have honored the Territory by their integrity and staunch virtues.

Ch. XI Missions in Arizona[edit]

  • In the year 1859 the missions of Arizona were annexed by the Holy See to the diocese of Santa Fé. ...What I call Arizona missions are those contained within the Territory of that name, which, before the treaty of Guadalupe, in 1848, formed a part of the province of Sonora in Mexico. The history of these missions, as of those of New Mexico, is naturally divided into three different epochs, according to the different civil governments which have succeeded one another—the Spanish, the Mexican and the American.
    • Mexican Government. February 24, 1824.
  • While what is now northern Texas and New Mexico received the light of faith as early as the expedition of Coronado, but more strongly [eight years later] in 1550, Arizona does not seem to have been taken possession of by the missionaries until 1682. The difference between these two dates is explained by the progressive march of the government after the conquest of Mexico. The march of the victorious armies took place first on the eastern slope of the Sierra Madre, as it was by far the more settled, from south to north, and it was over a century later when it reached the western slope, to the banks of the Gila river.
  • At this time Arizona was inhabited solely by Indians and a few Mexican families, who had settled here and there upon the lands of the old missions. However, the discovery of gold in California brought many people from Mexico, who in their emigration, had to cross Arizona, many of whom, later, when tired of mining or despairing of rich finds, came back to settle there. ...in 1859, Vicar General Machebeuf, came to take formal possession in the name of the Bishop of Santa Fe, of the Arizona missions, recently annexed to the diocese of Santa Fé...
    • United States Government. August 18, 1846.
  • There was then no church in Tucson, that of the old mission having long since fallen into ruins, but the good missionary [Machebeuf] knew how to improvise a church, at least for the present. A good Mexican Catholic offered for that purpose a lot on which there was a house with two rooms, each of about twelve by fifteen feet. It was a beginning, and one day after mass he invited the congregation to go with him to a neighboring wood, the men to cut and the women to carry the material for the construction of a jacal or Indian hut. The same day saw the completion of the new addition. ...It was a modest edifice, it must be acknowledged, and yet it had the honor of being the only church in Tucson till the year 1866. ...at these times the houses of the people were of very simple construction, and they did not think much of adorning the house of God in any better manner.
  • The San Xavier Indian mission was the object of the particular care of the Vicar General during his stay in Tucson. He... caused the exterior of the grand church to be repaired in the places which had suffered most injury by winds and rains. He was on the point of starting for a complete journey through all the missions in the different pueblos upon the Gila, when he was recalled to Santa Fé by his Bishop.
  • At his return... it was determined not to leave these missions without priests. Father Manuel Chavez was sent there... Father Donato, an Italian Franciscan friar, succeeded him, and laid the foundation of the present cathedral of Tucson. The Jesuit fathers, Luis Bosco and Carlos Mesea, succeeded him on the 5th of April, 1863. In March, 1864, Bishop Lamy... went to Tucson on a pastoral visit and celebrated the offices of Holy Week and of Easter within the walls of the new church adorned with evergreens and with an impromptu roof only over the sanctuary. ...Probably on account of the bad health of Father Bosco, both Jesuit fathers left their missions on the 8th of August, 1864.
  • The good Bishop of Santa Fé was alarmed for that portion of his flock left thus so long without shepherds. He made a new appeal to the good will of his clergy; three presented themselves were accepted, and left Santa Fé on January 7, 1866... This time measures were agreed upon with General Carlton, post commander at Santa Fé, who had them conveyed as far as Camp Bowie, the limit of his department. At Camp Bowie Major McFarland, post commander, offered the missionaries his services, and under his escort they reached Tucson safely on the 7th of February, one month after their leaving Santa Fé. ...The three heroes, who had thus left New Mexico for the wilds of Arizona, were the now Most Rev J. B. Salpointe, D. D., and Fathers Boucart, and Birmingham. ...Father Salpointe was given the mission of Tucson with the title of Vicar, Father Boucard went to San Xavier, and Father Birmingham to Yuma.
  • In 1867 a house was built with the intention of obtaining Sisters to teach the girls of Tucson. The building of the walls was accomplished without difficulty, but a roof was necessary... The school became the help of the church... The people, anxious to have Sisters in their midst as soon as possible, collected some money which they gave to the priest to have wood cut and hauled for the roofs of both the schoolhouse and the church. Father Salpointe hastened to send a number of men into the mountains of Huachuca, sixty five miles from Tucson. The timbers were cut and hewed, but... no cars could be found to haul them, and the Apaches were lying in wait to bum them, should the wood cutters abandon their post. ...The lumber reached Tucson in the fall of 1868, and work was soon commenced upon both church and school.

Ch. XIII The Very Reverand P. J. Machebeuf goes to Sonora[edit]

  • The States of Sonora and Sinaloa, along with Arizona, had formed the diocese of Sinaloa, that episcopal see being then occupied by the saintly Dr. Losa, and Father Machebeuf had to communicate to him the decree of the Propaganda annexing Arizona to the diocese of Santa Fé. ...All the documents necessary for the cession of the Arizona missions to the diocese of Santa Fé were placed by Bishop Losa in the hands of Father Machebeuf. ...the Vicario resolved at first to continue his journey by the means of the boat waiting for him at the mouth of the Santa Cruz in order to reach Mazatlan, but ...navigation by sail being very slow up the Gulf of California, owing to the strong current caused by the influx of the great Colorado river, it was resolved that he should leave the boat, give up his commission as captain, and go by land, crossing the magnificent valleys of the Rio Mayo and Yaqui, occupied almost entirely by Catholic Indians. ...Forming ...a caravan, they bade adieu to their kind hosts, and started on their journey.
    When at some distance from the Rio Mayo, the guide started ahead to announce the arrival of the Vicario of Santa Fé. ...twenty Indians on horseback came to meet the travelers five miles from the place The chief, and after him all the Indians, leaped from their horses and begged the blessing of the venerable Vicar, after which each one kissed his hand, and, re-mounting, escorted him to the village. There the whole population were assembled, and all fell on their knees and received the Father's blessing. The old chief, or governor, invited him into his house, and the greatest joy reigned in the pueblo.
  • The officer and the guide, accompanying the Vicario and his men, reached on a Saturday evening the banks of the Yaqui river, and soon afterwards, arrived at the village of Torin. The governor came to meet them with his Indians, and the reception was of the kindest nature. Mass was said on Sunday morning, and the governor insisted on waiting on the padre at his meals, which consisted chiefly of milk and dried fish.
    The journey through these populations took two weeks.

Ch. XIV Missions of Colorado—Journey of Bishop Lamy to Denver[edit]

  • Colorado was contained within the Vicariate East of the Rocky Mountains, a limitless expanse of territory wisely ruled over by the Right Reverend J. B. Miège, S. J. ...In the Summer of 1860, Bishop Miège made a long and tedious journey to the gold diggings of Pike's Peak and the newly laid out town of Denver. On account of the immense distance from Leavenworth, the difficulties of travel over the plains, the vast deserts that separated Bishop Miège from the new populations, the scarcity of priests in his own Vicariate, Colorado was annexed to the Diocese of Santa Fé by order of the Holy See...
  • Already Vicar-General Machebeuf had made a journey to Colorado, immediately after his return from Arizona, and as soon as Colorado was annexed to Santa Fé he was sent to open missions in that Territory. ...he at once started... and taking with him only one companion, in the person of his worthy Vicar-General, Father J. B. Raverdy he, set out for his far-distant charge... In a very short time Colorado saw numberless mining camps arising suddenly within her Territory; Denver also grew in population. The indefatigable Vicar-General was everywhere, preaching hearing confessions, saying mass, and administering the Sacraments. Thus passed the years 1861 and 1862.
  • In the Summer of 1863, Bishop Lamy received a letter from his Vicar-General... It related a terrible accident of a fall on precipitous rocks from a carriage drawn by fiery steeds. ...and left the good Bishop in mortal fear that Father Machebeuf was no more. ...he set out from Santa Fé at once to bring help to his missionary, in the hope he could yet find him alive. The prelate went directly to Mora, to invite the Pastor there, now the Most Rev. J. B. Salpointe, to accompany him... in those times all journeys were made in a being primitive manner, were very slow, and attended with many dangers. No time was to be lost. The next day after his arrival, with his traveling companion, the Bishop set out from Mora, forgetting that the country he was to travel through was almost uninhabited, and without taking provisions, which were most necessary for such a long journey. From the evening of the first day it was easy to see that their supper had not the proportions of what Americans call a square meal. ...In the afternoon of that day the Bishop and his companion, with a servant... reached the distance of four or five miles from the village of Rayado. There the travelers halted, and it was voted by acclamation that the servant should go to the nearest houses and procure the necessary provisions, the Bishop being unwilling to derogate from the established custom of travelers in those countries where the hostelries were few and far between—that is, camping out, cooking your own victuals, and sleeping under the wagon. The servant said a word for Don Jesus Abreu, and it required no more. Soon after the little camp was furnished with all the provisions necessary to bring the travelers as far as the Rio de las Animas, to-day the city of Trinidad.
  • The travelers reached the Huerfano River, and stopped at the rancho of Mr. Doyle. There the Bishop and his companion learned with unspeakable joy that the life of Vicar-General Machebeuf was out of danger, although it was almost certain, according to the opinion of the physicians, that he would remain a cripple for the balance of his days. Alas that opinion was but too true... But his natural activity and his great mental energy make one forget that he is crippled... From that time Bishop Lamy, reassured upon the actual state of his Vicar-General, took more leisure in his rapid march.
  • Leaving Doyle's rancho, it was agreed that the travelers on that day would go no further than Pueblo, about twenty five miles.
    "We had promised ourselves," continues Archbishop Salpointe, "to take a good view of that city, so recent and already so much talked of. We had a map of the city, a second New York, with splendid streets and blocks, banks and public buildings, parks and public gardens, all with high sounding names. Eager to see the wonderful city, we hasten our march. What deception! What do we see? A few miserable huts of frame. On one of them was written in large letters, with charcoal, upon a board, the word Saloon. ...So we left the city behind us and went about two miles further and for the night camped
    in a cool place on the low and grassy banks of the Fontaine-qui-bouille, a limpid little river which rises north of Pike's Peak, forms the Ute Falls, just above Manitou, and rushes madly over its pebbly bed until it loses itself in the Arkansas River east of Pueblo. The place was indeed very beautiful, and far better than the city we had just left."
  • The journey was continued the next day, but no habitation was to be found before reaching Cherry Creek, close to Denver. All was a waste where now stands Colorado Springs... The travelers, although in constant fear of robbers and Indians who then infested that country, nevertheless met with no accidents, and were subject to no inconveniencies excepting the trials incident to their laborsome mode of travel, the crudeness of camp cooking, and sleeping under the stars of heaven. After several days of travel they reached safely the end of their journey and knocked at the house of their sick friend.
  • The travelers remained five days with the sick Vicar and then thought of their return journey,
    This was made more at leisure than in going. They took time to visit Ute Pass, the Fontaine qui Bouille, or as it is now called, Fountain river, they saw Monument Rock and the Garden of the Gods. Nothing disturbed them but the reports about Indians, which all proved false, but still deprived them of sleep. ...provisions were scarce; the gun was then put into requisition and the hares and rabbits of the neighborhood had to make up the dificiency in provender.
  • "I never shall forget," says Archbishop Salpointe, "how the Bishop seemed to enjoy those meals consisting only of a rabbit roasted at the end of a stick, eaten without salt or pepper. I thought this mode of life exceedingly hard, because I was still young in the missions, whereas they seemed of familiar occurrence to my Bishop."

Ch. XV Bishop Lamy undertakes a Journey of Four Thousand Miles, with Rev. J. M. Coudert for a Companion.[edit]

  • On the 26th day of September, 1863, Bishop Lamy left his Episcopal city with his traveling companion and secretary, the Rev.J. M. Coudert. They started on horseback; two servants followed with covered wagon for provisions. Their first stay was at La Isleta, where the Bishop administered the sacrament of confirmation to a number of Indians. This excellent parish was then in charge of the Rev. Felix Jovet, who died there in 1865. From Isleta, the Bishop and suite went to Ciboyeta, and there also on October 1st, he administered confirmation, the Parish Priest being Rev. Augustine Redon, at present Rector of Antonchico. Six days afterwards he left Ciboyeta for the Fort of El Gallo, subsequently changed to San Rafael. Don Francisco Chaves was then in command of the Fort, as Lieutenant-Colonel. The Bishop and suite remained the guests of the commanding officer for several days, awaiting the departure of three companies for the west, to accompany the Bishop. ...Don Francisco Chaves did all in his power to receive and entertain the travelers with becoming dignity. The three companies of soldiers were placed under the command of Major Willis, and thus escorted the travelers set out on their long journey.
  • The travelers reached a large and beautiful spring called El Oyo Del Pescador, which is situated at the head of the great valley of Zuni and forms the head of the fine, though small river that waters the valley. Close by on each side are the well preserved ruins of two ancient Pueblos, probably of those which formed the famous seven cities of Ciboya, of which the capital was undoubtedly Zuni, where it is, and as it is.
  • The next day the Bishop... escorted by four soldiers, started for the Pueblo of Zuni, six miles distant. There he was received with great demonstrations of joy by the Indians... The travelers were received in the house of one of the Chiefs named Juan Septimo. ...who was very rich, had a large mansion in which was an extensive hall paved with flagstones, which he put entirely at the disposal of the Bishop and Secretary. ...these were to be their only bed for the seven or eight days they remained at Zuni. Spreading upon them their buffalo-robes, wrapping themselves in their blankets there they had to sleep on a hard and cold bed which brought on the pains of rheumatism. Their stay at the Pueblo was occupied in administering the sacraments. One hundred children were baptized, about three hundred were instructed and confirmed, for the Pueblo of Zuni was very much populated.
  • The party... reached the Little Colorado River. There the good Bishop, meeting a train of provisions belonging to Don Prefecto Armijo, of Albuquerque, bought a wagon with its mules, and all its merchandise, for the purpose of procuring funds for the journey, but particularly in order to travel with more celerity, as the soldiers... caused the Bishop much delay... Of course, the drivers of the wagon entered the service of the Bishop. They therefore left the soldiers on the banks of the Little Colorado, and proceeded with two saddle horses, an ambulance with two mules, a wagon with eight mules, two men also with mules... A tent had been added to their baggage. "There," says the good Bishop, with a laugh, "we commenced to travel in good style."
  • The spot where the travelers stood opened before them the magnificent vista of a beautiful valley, watered by the Little Colorado. ...The next day the party reached the foot of the valley, where they were to bid adieu to the Little Colorado and turn to the northwest. Before leaving it they resolved to give a rest to their jaded animals and repair the wagon and ambulance. The spot was delightful and comfortable; shaded by fine alamos [poplars] and other trees, with an abundance of water and grass. There was only one drawback to all this—from one end of the country to the other, over all the lomas [hills] and mesas, as in the most shady nook, the Indian war-cry had been heard, and should they surprise a party, all were cruelly put to death and scalped, their provisions stolen and beasts stampeded. It became an absolute duty, therefore, to have a constant watch kept, with arms in readiness at all times.
  • They met a small caravan of Mexicans bound for Cañon del Diablo. As this was their route, they joined the caravan for the sake of having more security against Indian attacks. ...This cañon, which is now crossed by the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad, was then a totally unexplored region. It is a deep chasm of several hundred feet, narrow, with a dry, sandy bed, without a tree or a shrub... How the waters ever cut such a bed in the rock is a mystery, for by the configuration of the land about it, it could never have been a great water-course. A probable theory is that it never was a water-course, but a crack in the soil and rocks after the cooling of the immense volcanos, now extinct, of the Rocky Mountains.
  • "I remember well the encampment near the Cañon del Diablo," says F. Coudert, "for the good Bishop suffered so much from cold that he could not sleep, and had to walk about in order to warm his frozen feet, Fire, we had none. The wind was terrific; the storm lasted the whole night. I slept quite comfortably by the means of a little ingenuity. I had on furred boots; I drew a box under the wagon, placing the bottom towards the wind; I put myself in it, so that it covered my head and shoulders; I put both feet in one boot, and suffered little from the storm. It was not Diogenes in a barrel, but Father Coudert in a box. I have kept a vivid remembrance of that night on the brink of the Cañon del Diablo."

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