On this date… September 8, 1598… New Mexico

On this date, Pueblo leaders were summoned to San Juan Pueblo to pledge their allegiance to King Phillip of Spain, represented by Governor Juan de Oñate, and to God, represented by Fray Alonso Martinez.

They gathered under the shade of cottonwood trees on a warm September afternoon for a version of the Requerimiento.  The Pueblo leaders were asked to care of priests assigned to them, lest they and their towns be put to the sword and destroyed by fire and their wives and children sold into slavery.  This instruction was repeated three times.

An official scribe of New Spain provided legal documentation:

They, of their own free will, as has been set forth, wished to have Don Philip, our lord, as their king, and to render obedience and vassalage to him voluntarily, without compulsion from anyone.

Before the year was over, this ceremony was repeated throughout all the pueblos of New Mexico.

Image

San Juan Pueblo in 1906

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