HyC Adventures
The Poetics of Perception
Urrutia’s 1767 Map of Santa Fe





Urrutia’s 1767 Map of Santa Fe






The legend of the map in the lower left-hand corner is in Spanish.




PLAN of the Villa of Santa Fe, capital of the Kingdom of New Mexico, situated, according to my observation, at 36° 10' north latitude and 262° 40' longitude measured from the Island of Tenerife.




A. Church and convento of San Francisco.

B. House of the governor.

C. Chapel of Nuestra Señora de la Luz.

D. Church of San Miguel.

E. Pueblo or district of Analco, which owes its origin to the Tlaxcaltecas who accompanied the first Spaniards who came to conquer this kingdom.


NOTE: To the east of the Villa, about one league distant, there is a chain of very high mountains which extends from south to north so far that its limits are unknown, as far as the country of the Comanches, who came from the north always skirting said range during their entire peregrination, which they say had been very long.


Scale of 200 toesas [c. 400 meters]. José de Urrutia



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In his book Old Santa Fe, Ralph Emerson Twitchell gives a good guided tour of life in the early days of Santa Fe and he includes, in the footnotes, some historical documents with colorful details about New Mexico’s ancient capital. Here is the entirety of chapter three, the chapter wherein I discovered Urrutia’s map:





The Plaza—The Palacio Reál—Home of the Governors and Captains-General.

The Church and Monastery of Saint Francis


No strong appeal to the imagination is required in picturing the Spanish conquerors astride their armored chargers, silhouetted against the sky, viewing from Santa Fe’s acropolis the site of the future capital of the “Kingdom and Provinces of New Mexico.” Scanning the beautiful valley through which flowed the little river rapidly descending from the nearby mountains and rushing merrily to its confluence with the Rio Bravo, what thoughts, what hopes, what ambitions must have been theirs! From this commanding height they beheld the horizon. To the east, the lofty mountains clad with royal pine; below, Telaya and the Sierra del Oso; far to the south the Tuertos and Sandias rose boldly against an azure sky; while to the west, dark blue and purple, with its shadows and mysteries, the mighty Sierra of the Jemez, the homes of the ancient dwellers in its cliffs. Two hundred feet below, fed by myriad living fountains, lay beautiful meadows, while over beyond flowed the silvery, rippling waters of the life-giving river. And all around in the canyons and lofty table lands,—the ruins of ancient dwellings of peoples destroyed by those whom they would conquer for His Majesty.


And so the capital was chosen; but how it was built, in precisely what year, how long a time it required, and the details of its construction, we do not know. The records left by the builders were destroyed in the revolution almost a century later.


Other than general statements by historians writing in the Spanish and in the English languages relative to the location of prominent buildings erected in Santa Fe prior to the revolt of the Pueblos in 1680, notably the casas reales and presidial fortress or castle of the capital Villa and the monastery and convent of Saint Francis, in all of the writer’s research, no description of the Villa accurately locating any of the buildings of that period, other than the palacio real, the hermita of San Miguel and the main plaza of the capital, has been discovered. The only map of Santa Fe123 of ancient times which the writer has been privileged to examine was undoubtedly made many years subsequent to the re-conquest, as the castrense or capilla de los soldados, which still stood on the south side of the Plaza in 1855, is shown upon this map. This chapel was built during the rule of General Valverde y Cosio, who, at his own cost constructed the same some time between the years 1717 and 1722. A copy of the map is among the illustrations in this work.


In recent years, while making examination and cursory translations of some old deeds in the Santa Fe archives in the office of the Surveyor General of New Mexico, endeavoring to secure as far as possible from other reliable archive sources in the possession of private persons a list of residents of Santa Fe during the last decade of the 17th and the first half of the 18th centuries, as well as other data in connection with the names of foreigners appearing in those archives, a testimonio was found from which enough information, coupled with other facts and physical conditions well known to have existed and to exist, has been derived to make possible a very fair description of the Villa of Santa Fe, its streets, alleys, public buildings and some private holdings, as they appeared prior to August 8, 1680, and as they probably had existed as far back as the date of the building of the church and monastery by Fr. Benavides, in 1622. And, taken in connection with the map which was made after these proceedings were had, and after the streets and the exits and entrances to the Villa had been restored to their locations “before the revolution,” the map must fairly represent the Villa of Santa Fe as laid out and existing from the earliest times.


From the study made of this archive, as well as others in which grants to small tracts of land were made to the re-conquistadores by General De Vargas and his successors, the Villa of Santa Fe proper was entirely on the north side of the Rio Santa Fe, although there was a numerous settlement and a very considerable number of houses on the south side, which was called the barrio de analcoin which section were settled the Mexican Indian servants of the Spaniards; that the only distinctive building on that side of the river was the ermita de San Miguel, which was used exclusively as a chapel for these Indian servants, although there were in favored localities some residences of Spaniards, particularly in the vicinity of the planted lands—“milpas de San Miguel.” This immediate locality derived its name from a Tlascalan word—analco—meaning “on the other side of the river.” The Villa must have been more compactly settled to the west of the main plaza than in any other direction; that the northeastern part of the Villa was known as the barrio del torreon, corresponding to what is ward eighteen of the present city; that this ward derived its name from a “torreon” built just above the cienaga by the Tano Indians during the time the Villa was in their possession (1680-1693); that the main plaza extended to the east at least as far as the present west line of the property of the Church, including that of the Sisters’ hospital; that very close, slightly to the south of the present main entrance to the grounds of the hospital, facing on the plaza to the west, stood the walls of the old church of Saint Francis, which Fr. Benavides built, and which were still standing in 1714, the church having been destroyed during the revolution, and a new church constructed a few yards further south, facing the calle real de San Franciscoand the plaza (archives Nos. 162, 1074, 1073, 1072), which was built during the years of 1713 and 1714.


The main plaza of the Villa then, had for its eastern limits, a line drawn north and south almost in keeping with the present enclosure of the Church property, except in this that the road 124 immediately in front of the old church instead of turning to the southeast, as it does at the present time, proceeded southward, across the Rio Chiquito (a stream which had for its source the big spring in the present garden of the Archbishop, and continued westerly, almost parallel with the Rio Santa Fe, to a confluence with the latter about half a mile further west) and the Rio Santa Fe, past the ermita de San Miguel, and thence southeast to the pueblo de los Peccos. The road which is now known as Canyon Road, leaving its present route at a point near the first ward public school building, in the 17th century, at first was only a veredaor trail, and later became a “caminoto the monteand the pueblo de los Peccos,” joining the other road further out in the llano.”


All that part of the Villa lying immediately above and below and on both sides of the present court house of Santa Fe county and on the site and to the east of the Sister’s Hospital building was a meadow or cienaga, the cultivated lands lying east of the slope of the cienaga, along the foot of its slope from a point near the rear of the property now belonging to Solomon Spitz, on Palace Avenue, and extending in a southeasterly direction toward the Rio Santa Fe, several springs were located which supplied the water by which the marshy hay-growing locality was created, and which also supplied water to the church and convent which stood at the eastern end of the plaza mayor. At the foot of this slope, and beginning at a point in the Rio Santa Fe, above the source (spring) of the rio chiquito and below the mouth of the arroyo de los Saises, was a small irrigation ditch or acequia, which supplied water to the convent garden, to the settlers whose lands were immediately adjoining; and extended through the lands now the property of the Sisters of Charity and down the present Palace Ave., and prior to the revolution in 1680, and also until very recent times, supplied the dwellers in the palacio real and its capacious inner plaza and garden in the rear with water for domestic and irrigation purposes. It was this source of water supply which was cut off by the Indians during the last days of the siege of Santa Fe. Before the revolt, the acequia passed along the south facade of the palacio real.


On the north side of the plaza stood the casas reales (royal buildings), of which the palacio real was the principal, its south facade extending from the extreme western end of the plaza mayor to the east to the camino real which led to the cienaguilla de Tesuque. This camino real, at the eastern corner of the palacio, before the insurrection, was seven varas and three spans (quartos) in width, or twenty-one and one-half feet. Across this street on the corner of the street and the eastern one-half of the plaza, was located property which belonged to the alferez, Ignacio Roybal, who sold it to captain Diego Arias de Quiros, both of whom were re-conquistadores, taking part in all the campaigns of the re-conquest under General De Vargas. On this property, near the corner, was an adobe building, the garden to the west of which faced the road to Tesuque and was inclosed by an adobe wall and posts (cercado de adobes y palisadas) in 1715. This is the property now owned by the estate of W. W. Griffin, deceased, Frank W. Clancy and the estate of the late L. Bradford Prince. The structure which stood upon the lower portion of this property at the time of the insurrection was destroyed by the Indians at the time of the siege of Santa Fe. In 1738, this property was sold to Don Manuel Sainz de Garbizu for three hundred dollars (en reales platta acuñada del sello Mexicano). At this time (1738), the property immediately adjoining on the north and facing toward the huertaof the palacio real, belonged to the presbytero, Don Santiago Roybal, at that time vicario and juez eclesiastico of the Kingdom. In the early days of the re-conquest it belonged to Alphonso Rael de Aguilar. This would include the property where formerly stood the hotel De Vargas, on the northeast corner of Washington Avenue and Marcy street. The residence of Don Diego Arias de Quiros faced the plaza mayor, having a corridor and hallway (corredor y saguan que hoy miera de sur) looking to the south. On the north side of the cienaga and on the slopes or rise of the land from the cienaga, in ancient times, there was a road which came from the old church of Saint Francis on the plaza, through the lands of Diego Arias de Quiros and connected with the main highway to the cienaguilla de Tesuque, and passed between two houses, which belonged, respectively to Sebastian Gonzales and Inez Griego. This is identified today as being along the street which passes from north to south and immediately east of the property of Solomon Spitz, but continued farther north to a connection with the street which passes along the foot of the loma and heights of old Fort Marcy. The palacio real extended only a few varas east of its present eastern wall; the eastern facade included a tower (torreon) in which with other accommodations, was located the ermita de Nuestra Señora de la Luz;” according to Governor Otermin (Autos tocantes), the doors of which resisted the attacks of the Indians, who attempted to set fire to them during the siege of the palace in 1680. In the rear was a small patio, where De Vargas says “bodies were interred.” At the western end of the palacio real, there was no street, only a foot-path as stated by the old residents, Madrid and Medina, adjoining the garden wall of the palacio real, which enclosed the entire patio around which the casas reales were built; that these buildings extended quite a distance north of the present north line of the present patio for the areas of the cienaga, which the examiners stated would become dry on account of Arias’ pond, was about one-half the size of the patio in 1715, which would make the latter quite an extensive affair. It is more than likely that the patio extended as far north as the northern line of Federal Place, as all of the land lying between Washington and Lincoln avenues between the north boundaries of the present palace patio and buildings in the rear and the property of the Knights of Columbus (which last was the residence of the commander of the military department, in the days of Fort Marcy) was a part of the garden of the palace and was in cultivation until very recent times. In this part also was a part of the soldiers’ barracks, used by the body guard, also a two story coach house in the rule of Governor Flores y Mogollon.


To the west of the palacio real, after the conquest, and extending as far as the southern end of what is now Grant avenue, and thence, following the east line of Grant avenue north as far as the locality and park, known as Federal Place, in fact on the exterior lines of the areas bounded by Grant, on the east, and Palace Avenue, on the south, were located cuartelesof the Spanish garrison, and a very large part of this same area was occupied, prior to the re-conquest, by the royal houses (casas reales) prior thereto and in all probability during the first three quarters of the seventeenth century. From time to time during the Spanish rule these cuarteles were rebuilt, repaired and remodeled, but the lands occupied by them during two and one half centuries were used continuously for purposes of the soldiers and officers of the garrison.


Beyond the western end of the plaza and extending as far as the junction of the arroyo mascaras with the Rio Santa Fe, were the houses and cultivated fields or gardens of the Spanish settlers both before and after the re-conquest and this section, including all the areas north of the calle real de San Francisco (main street) has been known as the realitofrom the most ancient times. Subsequent to the re-conquest, on the heights, immediately to the east of the present Scottish Rite Temple, was built what has been known as the garita, at which there was also a mortuary chapel and a cemetery (campo santo). At this place, and extending in a westerly direction, protecting and defending the northern approaches to the Villa, and dating from the days of the re-conquest, stood the muralla, or military wall, of the Villa, Una fabrica qe cine la villa para su defensa,” and beyond this, erected by De Vargas himself, or under the direction of the custodian, who came with him from Mexico, was a church, the walls of which had entirely disappeared in 1738.


This is undoubtedly the church or chapel erected shortly after the conquest out of which has arisen the tradition that the same was built by De Vargas in compliance with a vow that if successful in his assault upon the Villa he would erect a chapel in honor of our Lady of the Conquest—at any rate when the present chapel of San Rosario was built in 1806, in the petition for a license it is stated that the present chapel was to be built at the place where they placed “la santissima Señora del Rosario” at the time of the second conquest.


On the south side of the plaza and all along the calle real de San Francisco, from the church on the east and extending back to the Rio Chiquito and the Rio Santa Fe, were the houses and gardens (huertas) of the Spaniards, the calle real near its western terminus connecting with and being a part of the camino real which led to the settlements of the rio abajo and thence south to the other Spanish provinces, and which later became known as the great southern highway or Chihuahua Trail, the oldest commercial thoroughfare in the United States.


The plaza of this ancient capital Villa then, before the revolution of 1680 and for many years after the re-conquest in 1692-6, was of rectangular shape, being about twice as long from east to west as it was from north to south. The striking features of the center of the Villa, facing the plaza, were the palacio real on the north and the church and monastery, built by Friar Benavides in 1622, on the east. The palacio real had on its eastern and also its western facades, towers, one used as has been stated, as a part of the chapel or “hermita of Nuestra Señora de La Luz, and the other for the storage of gunpowder and a part of the calabozo and “dungeons”125 in the rear.


On July 7th, 1708, the Duke of Alburquerque, then Viceroy126 of New Spain, having been informed that the Governor and Captain General of New Mexico contemplated the demolition of the palacio real, commanded him—the Marques de la Peñuela—to show what royal order he had for its razing and the construction of another in its place. The building was not destroyed, for, seven years later, a survey of its condition, as it existed at that time, during the governorship of Don Felix Martinez, was made, and, owing to the many important facts set forth in this official document, which has not heretofore been published, it is given in full:


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“The Department of Justice and Administration of the Villa of Santa Fe, the chief capital of the Kingdom and Provinces of New Mexico, for His Majesty, etc., certifies to the King, our master, the members of the Royal and Supreme Audiencia of the Indies, the Honorable Viceroy of New Spain, and other royal councils and tribunals of His Majesty, to whom these presents may come, that, having been summoned by the captain Don Felix Martinez, who is the life tenant127 of this Presidial Palace of the said Villa of Santa Fe and its perpetual castellan, governor and captain-general of this said Kingdom and warden of its fortresses and garrisons, for his Majesty, for the purpose of making an examination of the Royal Palace of this said Villa, the dwelling of the Governor, and for the purpose of testifying as to the condition in which it was handed over to General Don Juan Ignacio Flores Mogollon, his predecessor; putting this order into execution the cabildo repaired to said palacio real, taking with them Don Roque de Pintto and Pedro de Solis, servants (?) of the said General Don Juan Flores, and also Captain Diego Arias de Quiros; to carry out the purpose with all particularity and clearness, they ordered Juan de Medina, Miguel Duran and Andres Gonzales, master masons, to examine the said palacio real, the shape and size of its rooms and walls, and this having been done, they reported that it was all falling down, and (had it not been) for nine buttresses which had anciently supported it on one side and the other, it would have fallen; that only one lofty hall and a chamber remain (in condition) together with a room that served as a chapel where the soldiers128 recited the rosary of the Blessed Virgin, which chapel fronts on the plaza of the villa; these apartments alone can be used for all the other rooms and the foundations are falling, as has been said, but the buttresses, aforesaid, hold up the outside walls and nearly all the roofs with their dovecotes and the rafters (vigas) of wood. Said palace has a court on the east side with very dilapidated walls. The main entrances to the palace are on the south side, on the royal plaza; through one of them runs a wide covered passageway (saguan), giving admittance to the court yard (patio) where the body-guard is stationed, and the other inside plaza serves for the quarters (cuarteles). In said courtyard is a stable with a coach-house for the light gig, and two rooms, one above and one below, built of adobe, in which the said General Don Juan Flores kept and used a large chopping-block, and there is a dovecote where a small lantern used to hang, but nowhere is there any other article in which to grind grain. At the corners of the palacio real stand two towers (torreones), extremely dilapidated, all of adobe, one of them with seven timbers (props) which hold up the roof, and in that one is now kept the stores of gunpowder. The said governor, Don Felix Martinez, put in a new door as soon as he took possession; realizing that the aforesaid tower ran a great risk, being filled with powder, since its door was broken and it was easy to enter it. He also had a well dug in the patio four varas wide and forty varas in depth, with a curb of earth and stone, which is partly destroyed. At present it has no water but there is a wooden bucket; also said general found in the palacio real and took possession of five broken wooden benches of pine, falling to pieces, six chairs of the same shape, some of. them without backs, two ordinary tables, two plain bedsteads, with pine slats, and a big copper kettle burned and battered. The above comprises all the furnishings the said General Don Juan Ignacio Flores found in the palacio real, with ten keys to the apartments and chambers, and in official proof thereof we submit the present statement, by virtue of the request of the said Governor and Captain General, Don Felix Martinez, and which we sign, together with the secretary of the cabildo, and seal it with the seal of the arms of this Kingdom.


Done at the Villa of Santa Fe, New Mexico, on the thirteenth day of the month of July seventeen hundred and sixteen, and on this ordinary paper because no stamped paper is to be had in these parts.

           Juan Garzia de las Rivas

             Francisco Lorenzo de Cassados

  Salvador de Montoya

  By order of the Cabildo:

     Juan Manuel Chiriños, Secretary to the Cabildo.


Agrees with the original from which Captain Francisco Lorenzo de Cassados, first alcalde of this villa of Santa Fe, had it transcribed and literally copied because the original was delivered to the Governor and Captain-General, Don Felix Martinez; in order to deposit it in the archives it was literally copied, corrected and revised; in perpetual testimony whereof, it was signed before me as judge actuary (Juez receptor) by the above witnesses in default of a Royal notary public in this kingdom.


Done in the said villa of Santa Fe, on the fifteenth day of July, seventeen hundred and sixteen, and on two folios of ordinary paper, there being none stamped in this Kingdom.


In Testimony of the truth whereof I affix my customary signature and rubric.


              Francisco Lorenzo de Cassados

  Witness present:               Witness present

  Joseph Ma Gilthomey       Juan Manuel Chiriños.


(Endorsed) Year 1716. Report to the Señor Governor and Capt. Genl. Don Felix Martinez of the condition in which the Palace was turned ever by him. Made by the Illustrious Department of Justice & Administration of the villa of Santa Fe.”


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This sworn statement of the facts in the matter of the survey of the palacio real is the only testimony we have as to many of the most important points in relation to its general architectural features. General De Vargas also gives an excellent description but that covers its appearance after it had been in the control of the Pueblos for more than twelve years and, while we do not know it to be true, it is more than likely that Governor Rodriguez y Cubero, whom De Vargas accused of having “with utter contempt129 ruined” the structure, merely restored it to its pre-conquest appearance, because General De Vargas did not rebuild the structure during 1703, at the time of his second incumbency of the governor and captain-generalship.


In 1914, when the south facade of this ancient monument was attempted to be restored to its appearance in the days of Spanish occupancy, the work proceeded with only Urrutia’s130 map as a controlling guide and with no effort to secure the historical data which was available, and which is herein cited and quoted, all of which could have been used to advantage and which, it is hoped, will yet be found of some assistance in approximately restoring the front elevation at least to a proper semblance of its original appearance and proportions.


It is also interesting to know that the buildings constituting the cuarteles of the Spanish presidial garrison, which were restored and rebuilt in the last decades of the 18th century, were built upon the lands where were located the casas reales of the Peralta-Otermin periods. This clearly appears from statements made by Pike131 James132 and others who saw them early in the 19th century and from the official correspondence of the last decades of the 18th century when these Spanish133 barracks were built. In Mexican times, also, repairs and additions were made but always upon the lands which had been reserved to the crown in Spanish days for the purposes of the presidio.


It is also interesting to know in what manner these barracks were built, the kind of labor used and how it was obtained. This appears in detail in a bando of Governor Don Fernando134 de la Concha, which is given in the note. Major Pike did not make a fair estimate as there were one hundred and fourteen soldiers’ quarters in all. It must be remembered that these soldiers of Spanish times nearly all had their wives and families with them and these also lived in the cuarteles.


Two years were consumed in the repair and reconstruction of the cuarteles, a portion of the funds used being advanced by the governor and the officers and men of the garrison. In the course of these renewals more than eighty thousand adobes135 were “lost” on account of the unusual rains of the season.


The governor’s bando discloses a system and method of employing the unwilling workers in public labor which must have been commendable at that period and worthy of emulation in more recent years. It will be noticed that the wages were graded according to the amount of industry displayed by the “selected” idlers,vagamondos being the word used in the executive order.


Not the least of the important historical facts disclosed by the archives which gives us a survey of the old palace in the days of the re-conquest is the statement that New Mexico was possessed of a coat-of-arms which was used as the official seal of the kingdom





123 Urrutia’s map, post, note 130. Photographic copy in Collections of New Mexico State Museum. See Descriptive List, Woodbury Lowery Collection, Washington, Gov. Print. Office, 1912.


124 Archives, Nos. 162, 1072, 1073, 1074:


“. . . that this capital Villa has only one outlet, and that is the one on the main street (calle real) of San Francisco on the west side (of the Villa or plaza) the mother church of this Kingdom, Which is the monastery (convento) of our Father St. Francis, being located without any exits whatsoever whence a procession may go, as happened this year with the (procession of) Corpus Cristi, which went, in going and in coming back, by the same route, for all the other entrances, and exits (which should belong to) of a well ordered government (republica) being blocked, this being the first (most important) matter which his Majesty—whom May God Preserve—has provided in his new compilation of the laws of the Indies. And in order that Your Excellency may be advised of the (location of) streets which in ancient times this Capital Villa had, they are: first (the place) where today is built the house or the Captain of Militia, Nicholas Ortiz and Miguel Carillo, that was the main street where the processions went out and came in; the second is the one which begins at the tower (torreon) of the Royal Palace (Palacio Real) and the lot purchased by said Captain Diego Arias de Quiros from the Alferez Ignacio de Roibal and leads toward the Cienaguilla of Tesuque; this one has been lessened so much by Captain Diego Arias, as will be demonstrated by the old foundations; the third one that which starts at the gunpowder tower and the corner of the captain of the company, and in the same manner leads to the Rio de Tesuque; the fourth, the one which passes by the house of Captain Felix Martinez and the garden fence of General Juan Paez, and, in the center of this street is built the house of Juana de Apodaca, widow of Sebastian Rodriguez; that said houses in said public streets, being to the injury, not only of individuals, but to the entire community of this Capital Villa of the Kingdom, May Your Excellency be pleased to order the razing of the said houses, and at the same time take measurements with ropes (cordeles) of the streets by the former foundations, so that the entrances and exits may be ample for the coming and going of cavalry, flocks, carts and everything needful in the carrying on of the commerce of this vicinity. And this Cabildo unitedly begs and requests, for its greater clearness and extensions, that Your Excellency may be pleased to adjudge, as being lands of this Villa, the said Cienaga, it not being the intention of this Cabildo to injure anyone in what may be legitimately his. That Your Excellency, in view of this answer to the Cabildo, may determine what may be most convenient for the service of His Majesty and that what will be determined shall be the most proper. And that it may so appear, this was signed and executed in this Villa of Santa Fe, on the 24th day of the month of July, in the year 1715.


Juan Paez Hurtado   Juan Garcia de la Riva

Felix Martinez         Salvador Montoya

Juan Manuel Chirinos

Secretary of the Cabildo.


Order & Grant for the Cienaga


In the Villa of Santa Fe, New Mexico, on the 27th day of the month of July, in the year 1715, I, Don Juan Ignacio Flores Mogollon, governor and captain-general of this Kingdom and Provinces of New Mexico, by His Majesty, having examined the presentation made by the Illustrious cabildo of this Villa and the reasons which caused them to issue the order and notice to Captain Diego Arias de Quiros, commanding him to fill up the pond that he had opened in the cienaga, which was caused by the desire of said cabildo to look after the public welfare, in order that the residents who enjoy the benefit of cutting hay at said cienaga, may not suffer, although it does not belong to said cabildo, as it is unappropiated; and, in order to ascertain whether said pond will damage and take away the water of another (pond) which has been built for a long time behind the monastery on account of the one built by Diego Arias being deeper and lower down and on that account retarding the waters of the pond which is behind the monastery; if injuring the residents (vecinos) who are enjoying the benefits of planting their gardens along the river, or whether the said pond as made can injure entirely or in part, the cienaga, and whether it will cause the least injury to the grass belonging to the public: It is Ordered that the maestres de campo Lorenzo and Roque Madrid and Miguel Duran shall be summoned, who, with the assistance of my secretary of government and war, and the master carpenter and master mason, Diego de Velasco and Juan de Medina, shall proceed to examine both of the said ponds, making measurements in order to ascertain which is the higher, the one belonging to the convent, or the one built by said Diego Arias, and ascertain if one damages the other; and if any damage will result to the cienaga by the one made by the said Diego Arias, which declarations, according to their legal knowledge and understanding, shall be made before me under oath, and in consideration thereof, to provide that which is most proper. And, whereas, the said illustrious cabildo, in its presentment, give: me to understand the Lack of facilities in which this Villa finds itself in not having but one entrance and outlet which is the street (calle) which leads to the Parroquia or Church of Saint Francis, as the others which this Villa had before the insurrection hate hear obstructed; and the above mentioned examiners (veedores) being old residents of this Villa, there they have lived for many years prior to the insurrection; so, in the same manner, it is Ordered that with the two said master carpenter and master mason, aided by my secretary of government and war, shall extend the ropes on level ground (take measurements) of all the streets in order that they shall become as ample and capacious as they were in ancient times, so that stock and carts shall be able to cone in and go out, declaring, under the same oath, who are the persons who may have obstructed the said inlets and outlets by planting or building on what belongs to this Villa; and, being so informed they shall make the proper disposition thereof. And, whereas, the said cabildo requests me to adjudge the said cienaga as constituting land belonging to the Villa, as they are unappropriated, in order that the community may enjoy the benefit which it has enjoyed up to the present time, and the request being so just I agree to it at once, and by separate order will make the grant in the name of His Majesty—Whom May God Preserve—, making the record in the book of records of this government (See Archive No. 8). And, whereas, Captain Diego Arias has presented the titles (documentos) to his lands, I order that the lands described therein be acknowledged and recognized, and as made to place landmarks, and for this purpose, as required by law, I commission my secretary of government and war, that he may so execute it, with the assistance of the above mentioned examiners ; and the title to the piece of land sold by the captain Ignacio Roybal being detective, inasmuch as the time for settlement has expired and Governor Don Pedro Cubero having declared the time to have expired, anyone could request it, and the said Ignacio Roybal not having taken possession of it, nor the said captain Diego Arias, having purchased it, in relation to this defect, having been acted upon in time, I revalidate and again make the said grant to the above mentioned Diego Arias, without injury to any third party claiming a better right, and my secretary of government and war will put him in possession, placing landmarks, the same as all the others, as he has been ordered and as appears by the title, and all the proceedings having been had and considering the declarations of the examiners, I will justly determine the two matters presented by the illustrious cabildo as to the pond built and the examination of the streets. This I provided, ordered and signed, with my secretary of government and war.


             Don Juan Ignacio Flores Mogollon

 By order of His Excellency, the governor and captain-general.

         Roque de Pintto, Secretary of Govmt. & War.



Examination of the ancient Streets of this Villa and the depositions of the maestres de campo Roque Madrid, Miguel Moran and Diego Velasco and Juan Lorenzo de Medina:


In the Villa of Santa Fe, New Mexico, on the 28th day of the month of July, in the year 1715, I Don Juan Ignacio Flores Mogollon, Governor and captain-general of New Mexico, by His Majesty, do say: By virtue of the order issued by me on the 27th instant, by which I appointed the maestres de campo Lorenzo and Roque Madrid and masters Juan Lorenzo de Medina and Diego de Velasco, with Miguel Moran, old residents of this kingdom as examiners for an inspection of the streets of this Villa, and the other matters set forth in said order, according to the representations made by the illustrious cabildo, all the above mentioned persons, with the aid of my secretary of government and war; except the maestre de campo Lorenzo Madrid, who did not assist on account of being ill, proceeded to the examination of what had been ordered by me, and having complied, returned and took their oath before me, which they made before Our Lord and the sign of the cross, under which they promised to state the truth Accordingly the two old residents, maestre de campo Roque Madrid and Miguel Moran, as well as the other two masters, stated that they began the examination from the street which corners with the tower of the palace (torreon del palacio) and the house and residence of Captain Diego Arias and having made the measurements, leaving the width what it had been in ancient times (antiguamente), which was seven varas and three spans (quartos) and following the ancient foundations, it was ascertained that he had encroached upon the street about two varas with a piece of land he has planted; and, following in a straight line, on the outside in front, they found that the sargento mayor, Alfonso Rael de Aguilar, has encroached upon the street with his plantings, taking about four varas of the street, Remanding these persons to their lines, the streets will remain as they were in ancient time with no damage to anyone. Then they went to examine the property and land which captain Diego Arias de Quiros has by virtue of his titles and documents and found that he has gone into the cienaga beyond his holdings and has planted on the north side of said cienega about twenty-five varas which run straight to the east, making a slope, and these are known to belong to said cienaga or a road that anciently came from the church and passed between the houses of Sebastian Gonzales and Inez Griego and went on by the lands of Diego Arias and the cienaga to the main street (calle real); that the said street is closed and the lands planted by the said Diego Arias. Then they made an examination of the pond constructed by Diego Arias and the ancient one which lays behind the convent, and having made the measurements, they found the pond made by the said captain Diego Arias to he higher than the one behind the convent; therefore it cannot damage it in any manner, or call the waters of the one made by the said Diego Arias: and, having been interrogated by me, whether there were any pond or ponds anciently opened they said that one or two small ponds or little holes were opened by the old inhabitants, but were not so large as the one opened now by the said Diego Arias, nor do they know for what purpose they were made, as they were very young, or whether this spring falls into the cienaga or into the ditch (acequia) which runs to the plaza, they said it was divided in the cienaga and that very little or nothing ran into the ditch; and having been interrogated by me again if they find that by keeping this pond open will that be reason for the drying up of the cienaga in whole or in part, the four jointly stated that it would damage the said cienaga entirely as it will dry up, for it will call all the waters of that portion, as the cienaga is higher; that this portion will be damaged and not the entire cienaga, which they believe will be a third part of the said cienaga, which is the tipper part of the pond on the east side and that which extends down to the house of Diego Arias is what they recognized would dry up, and that is a portion of about one-half the size of the patio of this palace; and having been again interrogated by me as to the portion towards the east which they fear will dry up, whether they found it green or dry, and if that which is dry extends toward the house of Diego Arias, could it dry up in a period of twenty or twenty-five days, which is the time elapsed since he made the pond; they stated that the upper part is green with grass and they did not notice the lower part which is dry, whether it was dry before the building of the pond, but they found it so now. Then they made the measurements in front of tile house of Diego Arias extending toward the cienaga and found that at the outlet of the street, he had encroached about four varas as there ought to be seven varas and a half where it commences and was in ancient times, as they did not find but three varas and a half net; they then returned to the street which looks toward the church on the left side and looking to the east, the houses of Diego Duran are out in the street, and running a straight line to the church, leaving twelve varas in width which it anciently had, and known by the foundations they found that one-half of the street is cultivated and obstructed by the house of captain Nicolas Ortiz, and across the mouth of the main street, looking towards the church, about six varas are encroached upon by the house of Miguel Carrillo; as the street extending to San Miguel follows the line it is obstructed by the plantings of Angela Sicilia, which take all of tile street. Then they went to the main street which runs from the church of San Francisco to the plaza on a straight line, and find in an alley (callejon) which was anciently there, which ran toward the river, on the turn to the south, there is taken about seven varas by the houses of alderman Salvador Montoya; and following tile main street (San Francisco street) they found the street which on the right side led towards the north, closed and now occupied by the houses of General Juan Paez (Hurtado) and following a straight line on said street, they found that there was anciently a very ample street which ran towards the north and to the hills, and that it was being cultivated by tile widow of Diego Abeytia and Juana de Apodaca, and at its outlet are found the plantings of Don Felix Martinez, captain of this garrison and alderman of this villa, and lands of Juan Archibeque, and that ho has planted and occupied the street which runs to the Arroyo (de las Mascaras): then they went to the main street (San Francisco), which passes in front of the houses of Don Felix, and, on the front were the corrals of General Juan Paez; and looking towards tile plaza and the outlet of said street in a straight line, at the said outlet the house of Juana de Apodaca is inside about one vara; and tin the other side is Don Felix Martinez occupying all the street with his lands, leaving when he plants only a trail wide enough for a horse to pass, when, in ancient times the street was sufficiently ample for carts to pass each other, and now, in the middle of said street, there is a deep excavation where Don Felix Martinez is making adobes; and, looking toward the plaza and the tower of the palace, the alley proposed by the said illustrious cabildo, between said tower and the house of Pedro Lujan, the two old residents stated there never was any street; that only a foot trail was there adjoining the wall which the garden of this palace had. And having gone into the plaza and examined the former foundations, they found that the houses of Magdalena Ogama, Antonio Tafoya, Jose Rodriguez and Diego Marquez had encroached upon the plaza about two varas; and looking toward the center of the plaza, they found that the old church San Francisco had encroached upon it, about sewn varas from north to south. That everything above stated, they have examined according to their legal knowledge and understanding, together with the additions referred to; and so they declared under the oath which they made, which they affirm and ratify, and which was signed by two who knew how, with me and my secretary of government and war.

              Don Juan Ignacio Flores Mogollon

        Roque Madrid          Diego de Velasco

   By order of His Excellency, the Governor and Captain-General.

              Roque de Pintto.


125 Some persons, given to taking exceptions to historical research when not performed by themselves, have quite gratuitously declared that there never were any dungeons in the palacio real. There were several in the western end of the building. Auguste P. Chouteau, Joseph De Munn and Governor Merriwether have testified to the fact as they were each confined there in irons. (See letter to Governor William Clark of Missouri by Joseph De Munn. reprinted in Old Santa Fe, Vol. i, pp. 378-385. The calabozo of the palace occupied this part of the ancient structure.


126 R. E. Twitchell, The Spanish Archives of New Mexico, vol. ii., archives 142:


“The General Council I ordered to be held during the present month having taken place, decided that the Marques de la Peñuela, Governor and Captain-General of New Mexico (should be asked why) (Torn) to pull down and destroy the palacio real  . . . (obliterated) . . . all the Villa of Santa Fe and to decide . . . (obliterated) in this province was the sole defense (of its) inhabitants, soldiers, and Religious from the 4th of June, 1696 in Santa Fe and its vicinity, and remaining there since the restoration of that Provinca and settled there pay taxes to His Majesty’s agent since the 30th of last June. For the present and in conformity with the decision of the council, I ordered the said Marques de la Peñuela to inform me whether he had an order of His Majesty to proceed to pull down and destroy the said palace, his motives for its demolition, and the time it would require to construct a new building. By reason of the doubts of myself and the council aforesaid, as to his ability to hold the place until the construction and finishing of the said building, they must defend themselves and take special pains to pay the Indians for their labor out of his means, and not to allow any extortions or complaints from the chiefs, soldiers or any other persons. (He shall tell me) if they do not voluntarily and cheerfully come down by sending me any information he may have and the certified royal order, if he has it, by the first opportunity that presents itself.”


   Mexico, July 7. 1708.     F. P. Duke of Albuquerque

     By the hand of Francisco de Morales.


Endorsed: “Your Excellency. In conformity with the decision of the General Council; order to the Marques de la Peñuela, Governor and Captain-General of New Mexico sent to Your Excellency to ask if he has official royal orders for the demolition of the presidial palace of Santa Fe.”


127 Martinez was made such on account of distinguished services rendered to the Crown in the re-conquest and later.


128 General De Vargas also mentions this chapel in the palacio as used by his soldiers in 1693-6, saying “men at arms of the fortress where they should be, having also its chapel which served as a (parroquia) parochial church.” Archive 94-a, The Spanish Archives of New Mexico, vol. ii, p. 119.


129 The Spanish Archives of New Mexico, vol. ii, pp. 118-119, Archive 94-a.


130 Joseph de Urrutia. Plano de la Villa de Santa Fee Capital del Reino del nuebo Mexico, situada segun mi observacion en 36 grados, y 10 minutos de latitud boreal y en 262 deg. y 40 de longitud contados desde la Ysla de Tenerife, 54.3 x 42.5 cms. In colors. Undated. Org. in Brit. Mus. Add. Ms. 17.662.


131 Zebulon M. Pike, Travels through the Interior of New Spain. “On the north side of the town (Santa Fe) is the square of soldier’s houses, one hundred and twenty or one hundred and forty on each flank. The public square is in the center of the town, on the north side of which is situated the palace . . .”


132 Three Years among the Mexicans and Indians, Gen. Thomas James, pp. 136 et. seq.


133 The Spanish Archives of New Mexico, vol. ii, pp. 310, No. 1029, 311, No. 1642, 323, No. 1098, 328, No. 1117, 330, No. 1131, 333, No. 1137, 339, No. 1174, 343, 1190-a and in 1187-a.


134 Don Fernando de la Concha. governor, Bando, March 27, 1789:


“Having received an order from my superior for the construction of quarters

(cuarteles) for the presidial company of this province, and desiring that those persons shall take part in tile work who have no land to sow this Year, either their own or rented, so that they can contribute to the maintenance and subsistence of their families by means of the wages which will be given them according to their industry and labor; and also with the just object of relieving the industrious residents of the burden and trouble caused by maintaining a lot of idle men, who are detrimental to their neighborhood; I have directed in accordance with His Majesty’s directions, and following the practice in all his dominions, that the magistrates themselves, their deputies and agents in all sections and districts of their respective jurisdictions, shall make an exact and full list or the inhabitants and half-breeds in said place between the ages of 16 and 50. At the end of eight days. counting from the publication of this decree, they are ordered to come to this Villa and present themselves to Captain Manuel Delgado, with a letter and their list of names signed by the alcalde of each jurisdiction, in order that this officer may make a general list, as I have ordered, in which will be noted the numbers, the necessary memorandum of the day when they presented themselves, and the wages which were assigned to them. All those who voluntarily prevent themselves, after the publication of this decree, will he marked in this particular by the same magistrate, so that they may be preferred. and it will serve as a recommendation. As it is proper that some farmers should have servants for the cultivation of their fields, it is not my intention that they should suffer the annoyance of having them quit, even when they are of the class mentioned, because the measure is not directed against any but those who are actually out of a place and without work. It is also to be feared that many of’ the farmers, out of a mistaken kindness. may certify and swear that some person. of the latter class are in their service when it is really not soon which point, I particularly charge the alcaldes to investigate with the greatest care for whatsoever fraud I may discover in the future they will he responsible for, and will suffer exemplary punishment. Any farmer or proprietor who shall be guilty of the misdemeanor stated in the preceding sentence, will unfailingly suffer the punishment of being shackled and working himself without wages until these buildings are finished. To prevent anyone suffering lies on this Point, the effect of which might be injurious to innocent persons: It is provided as a general rule that whenever any servant is discharged by his master, or leaves his service, the former must report to the nearest alcalde and commissioner with a description of the person and the name of the servant leaving, so that, through the magistrate to whom the commissioner shall immediately report, I shall he advised of the action taken after the departure, in order that I may act knowingly and with justice.


That this may he known to all persons, it will be published in a manner usual in the jurisdiction comprised. Santa Fe, 77th of March, 1789, N. M.”


135 Fernando de la Concha to Dn Jacobo Ugarte y Loyola, Commandante, Chihuahua, Nov. 15, 1790, Letter. “The rains this summer having continued incessantly, many of the adobes which were being made for the construction of the new quarters have been lost, and it has been impossible to finish the work this year; but there are already completed and to be seen the quarters for ninety soldiers, out of the one hundred and fourteen which will constitute the total. Notwithstanding that the rains have destroyed and washed away about eighty thousand adobes, and that many days’ work have been interrupted. I am of the opinion that as soon as the paymaster brings the thousand pesos to replace the fund for the employment of men, which I asked of Your Excellency in my official letter of July 10th, this year. No. 173, 1 shall have sufficient means to finish and complete the said work by the middle of next summer. God Preserve Your Excellency many years, etc.”


In another archive, we find that the hardware, particularly the locks or “latches” (chapas) were all brought to New Mexico from New Spain and were not made at Santa Fe. As stated in the text, the governor and the subaltern officers helped pay for these buildings as appears from a letter from Don Pedro de Nava, who succeeded Ugarte y Loyola in the comandancia of Chihuahua, in which he says:


“I extend to you many thanks in the name of His Majesty for the voluntary contribution of 538 pesos made by Your Excellency to finish it. This worthy example having been imitated by the subaltern officers of the Company, Your Excellency will extend to them the expression of my pleasure at this proof of the interest taken by them in what concerns the King’s service and the comfort of the soldiers.”


The citizens also were required to aid in the work by “the help of carts for transporting material, and in any other way they can help, in view of the usefulness of the work, although they are not receiving pensions like the rest of the provincial subjects.”



Excerpted from:


Old Santa Fe: The Story of New Mexico’s Ancient Capital

Facsimile of Number 281 of the Original 1925 Edition

by Ralph Emerson Twitchell




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