June 22, 2021

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1680: Pueblo Revolt vs. Spanish in New Mexico today. A census in Barbados.

The major development in the history of imperialism / anti-imperialism in 1680 AD was almost certainly the large-scale uprising that members of various Indigenous-American Pueblos launched against the Spanish colonizers in the area of ​​present-day New Mexico. In today’s bulletin I will gather the information I have time on that uprising, then I will quickly examine the results of a census that the English governor of Barbados conducted in 1680 of the residents of that island colony so crucial to the development of empire and capitalism in England. .

Puebloan revolt in the interior of North America

English Wikipedia has a good one page on this revolt, e another on its chief chief Popé or Po’pay, a Tewa religious chief of Ohkay Owingeh, who was called “San Juan Pueblo” by the Spaniards.

The main page of the WP on the uprising provides ample information about his background:

Sketch of the historic Pueblos in the southwestern United States today

With the establishment of the first permanent colonial settlement in 1598, the Pueblos were forced to provide tributes to the settlers in the form of labor, ground corn, and textiles. Encomiendas [colonial plantations worked by enslaved indigenes] they were soon established by settlers along the Rio Grande, limiting Puebloan access to fertile agricultural land and water supplies and placing a heavy burden on Puebloan labor.

Particularly striking for the Pueblos was the assault on their traditional religion. Franciscan priests established theocracies in many of the Pueblo villages. In 1608, when it seemed that Spain might leave the province, the Franciscans baptized seven thousand Pueblos to try to convince the Crown otherwise.

Interesting! The Spanish metropolitan authorities (the king?) Were considering withdrawing from the area, but the Franciscan messianists were either so involved in their evangelization project or were so happy with the local power it gave them that they wanted to stay… And the Franciscans were strong enough in Madrid to be able to persuade the king to do as they wished?

Here is another window on the power of the Franciscans in the colonization project:

Fray Alonso de Posada (in New Mexico 1656–1665) outlawed [traditional] Kachina dances to the Pueblo people and orders the sixteen-year-old missionaries to burn their masks, prayer sticks and effigies. Franciscan missionaries also banned the use of entheogenic drugs in traditional Puebloan religious ceremonies. Several Spanish officials, such as Nicolas de Aguilar, who attempted to curb the power of the Franciscans were accused of heresy and tried before the Inquisition.

Then in 1670 drought hit the region and this happened:

The riots among the Pueblos reached a climax in 1675. Governor Juan Francisco Treviño ordered the arrest of forty-seven Pueblo medicine men [a colonialist term for traditional religious leaders] and accused them of practicing “witchcraft”. Four medical men were sentenced to death by hanging; three of these sentences were carried out, while the fourth prisoner committed suicide. The remaining men were publicly whipped and sentenced to prison. When this news reached the Pueblo leaders, they moved in force to Santa Fe, where the prisoners were being held. Since a large number of Spanish soldiers were away to fight the Apaches, Governor Treviño was forced to accede to the Pueblos’ request for the release of the prisoners. Among those released was… “Popé”.

After his release, Popé, along with a number of other Pueblo leaders … planned and orchestrated the Puebloan Uprising. Popé … spent the next five years seeking support for an uprising among the 46 Pueblo cities … Spain’s population of about 2,400, including mixed-race mestizos, servants and native servants, was scattered throughout the region. Santa Fe was the only place that came close to a city. The Spaniards could only muster 170 armed men. The Pueblos who joined the revolt likely had 2,000 or more adult men capable of using native weapons such as bows and arrows. It is possible that some Apaches and Navajos participated in the revolt.

… Popé’s plan was that the inhabitants of each Pueblo would rise up and kill the Spaniards in their area and then all would advance on Santa Fe to kill or expel any remaining Spaniards. The date set for the revolt was 11 August 1680. Popé sent runners to all the Pueblos carrying knotted ropes. Every morning the [local] The Pueblo leadership had to untie a knot from the rope, and when the last knot was untied, that would be the signal for them to rise up against the Spaniards in unison. On 9 August, however, the Spaniards were warned of the impending uprising by the leaders of southern Tiwa and captured two young Tesuque Pueblos charged with carrying the message to the pueblos. They were tortured to reveal the meaning of the knotted cord.

Either way, this was a slight mistake in the plan that Popé tackled by bringing the launch date one day forward. (Not everyone has received that message, but enough have.)

… On August 10, the Pueblos rose up, stole the Spanish horses to prevent them from escaping, sealed off the roads leading to Santa Fe and plundered the Spanish settlements. A total of 400 people were killed, including men, women, children and 21 of the 33 Franciscan missionaries in New Mexico. In the rebellion a Tusayan The (Hopi) churches of Awatovi, Shungopavi and Oraibi were destroyed and the priests present were killed. Survivors fled to Santa Fe and Isleta Pueblo, 10 miles south of Albuquerque …

By August 13, all Spanish settlements in New Mexico had been destroyed and Santa Fe had been besieged. The Pueblos surrounded the city and cut off its water supply. Desperate, on August 21, New Mexico Governor Antonio de Otermín … made a sortie out of the palace with all his available men and forced the Pueblos to retreat with heavy losses. He then led the Spaniards out of the city and retreated south along the Rio Grande … The Pueblos followed the Spaniards but did not attack. The Spaniards who had taken refuge in Isleta also retreated south on 15 August and on 6 September the two groups of survivors, 1,946 in number, met in Socorro. About 500 of the survivors were Native American slaves. They were escorted to El Paso by a Spanish supply train. The Pueblos have not blocked their passage from New Mexico.

Then the Popé / Po’pay page the story resumes:

Po’pay had succeeded in expelling the Spaniards from New Mexico and according to later reports, perhaps prejudiced, had established himself as the sole ruler of all the Pueblos. He attempted to destroy all traces of the Spanish presence in New Mexico. “The God of Christians is dead,” he proclaimed. “It was made of rotten wood.”

A 300-man Spanish force attempted to regain a foothold in New Mexico in 1681, but was pushed back by Po’pay’s army. Another Spanish attempt in 1687 also failed …

Inauguration in 2005 of Po’pay statue in the rotunda of the United States Congress building. The artist, Cliff Fragua Fra (right), he was the first American Indian artist to have a statue placed in the Statuary Hall. Look at the knotted rope.

It was not until 1692 that the Spaniards were able to recapture the region, and when they did, their rule was noticeably less harsh than before 1680. These are a couple of summaries of Po’pay’s achievements from his page on WP:

As stated by Matthew Martinez of Po’pay’s home pueblo, Ohkay Owingeh, “it took a unique individual to orchestrate the uprising in two dozen communities that spoke six different languages ​​and were spread over a distance of nearly 400 miles.”

… [T]relations between the Spaniards and the Pueblos were very different after the revolt than before. the feared commendation system (forced labor) was banned in New Mexico. Franciscan priests did not interfere with the religious ceremonies of the Pueblos, provided that the Pueblos observed the outward forms of Catholicism …

Speaking of which, the banner image above here is an image showing something sacred kachina dolls from Pueblos in the area.

The 1680 census of Barbados

I suppose the first European colonies in the non-European world can be thought of as one of the first “planned communities” of the modern world. I mean, throughout human history, wherever there were taxes to pay and conscripts to enlist, the authorities wanted to have a general staff and an idea of ​​how rich people were, etc. But when it came to colonies like Barbados’ hugely profitable British sugar plantations, there were also investors back home to keep informed (or at least, sweetened) and perhaps other reasons to take censuses as well …

Thus we see that in Barbados, censuses of varying degrees of completeness had been carried out and recorded since 1638, while at home, in metropolitan England, the systematic national census it didn’t start until 1801! And some of the Barbados censuses have been very revealing, including that of 1680.

In 1969, historian Richard Dunn tracked down and analyzed a box of census records that Barbados Governor Jonathan Atkins had compiled in 1680. You can find an article Dunn wrote about his findings in The William and Mary Quarterly on JSTOR, Here. He wrote (pp. 3-4):

The detailed lists that Governor Atkins sent home show that an elaborately developed social hierarchy existed in Barbados at the time it was the richest and most populous colony in English America. The correlation between economic wealth, social privilege and political power in Barbados is very striking …

Barbados was at the height of its wealth and power in the 1680s. Undoubtedly the great sugar planters on the island were the richest men in English America. Although they no longer made the fantastic profits they had enjoyed in the 1640s and 1650s when Barbadian sugar first arrived on the London market, their production volume had increased dramatically in thirty years … almost certainly exports to England. from this small island of less than a hundred thousand acres of arable land were more valuable in 1680 than the total exports to England from all [mainland] North American colonies.

So, here are some of the tables Dunn compiled from the Atkins and other documents he found:

In table VI, look at the last row.

In table VIII, see how many of the people (= settlers) who left the island headed for the English colonies on the North American continent.

It is worth reading in full the observations he shared on the number of enslaved people working in Barbados (pp. 25-26):

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