CHAP. VIII. New Mexico.
*NEw Mexico (as 'tis call'd for distinction's sake) is bounded on the South-West, with New Biscay; more directly Westward, with some parts of Quivira; the Countreys Northward of it not yet discover'd; Eastward it extends it self as far as Florida.
This Province doubtless for largeness may compare with New Gallicia, having been search'd and discover'd by the Spaniards above a hundred, some say two hun∣dred Leagues directly Eastward, and to the North-East: and they report Wonders of it, if we may believe them, at least in respect of what was generally found in these Northern parts of America at their first Discovery; as namely, That they have Towns fairly and well built of Lime and Stone, Houses of four Stories high, and most of them provided with Stoves for the Winter Season, as well as any in Europe; the Streets fair and broad, and the People as curious and expert in divers Arts and Manufactures as any of theirs. More particularly they tell us of a Town call'd Chia, of the Province of Cuames, so big, that it is said to contain eight several Mar∣ket-places. Another call'd Acoma, a great Town, but seated on the top of an high Rock, without any ordinary way of access to it, but by a pair of Stairs hewn out of the hard Stone, or else by certain Ladders, which the Inhabitants let down and take up as they please. And likewise of a third, which they call Conibas, containing, as they say, no less than seven Leagues in length, and about half so much in breadth, Page 292seated upon a Lake, but scatteringly built, and much of the space taken up with Mountains and many fair Gardens, in the midst of which the Town standeth; of all which more hereafter. This certain, that the Countrey to which they give the Name of New Mexico, is of a vast extent, reaching from the Mines of St. Barbara in New Biscay Eastward, and to the North-East, above two hundred Leagues al∣ready discorver'd, but doubtless taking up no small part of those Countreys which are sometimes assign'd to Florida, if not of the Confines of Virginia also.
*This Countrey was first, Anno 1581. discover'd by a Franciscan Monk, nam'd Augustine Ruyz, who with two other Monks of his Order, got eight Soldiers of Conde de Coruna, Vice-Roy of New Spain, for his Companions; with whom he tra∣vell'd from the Valley Sant Bartholomew, to the Province De los Tiguas, where one of the two Monks was kill'd by the Natives, which occasion'd such a fear amongst the Souldiers, who judg'd themselves too weak to make any resistance, that they resolv'd to return, notwithstanding all the arguments which Ruyz us'd to disswade them from it; yet nevertheless he and his Brother Franciscus Lopez, and four Indi∣ans, went onward of their Journey; which news the Souldiers carried back to the Franciscans in Sant Bartholomew; who fearing their Brethren would be destroy'd, sent several Souldiers and a Monk, call'd Bernardyn Beltran, after them, who were also accompanied by Antony Espejus, who spent a great part of his Estate in raising of Men, providing Arms and Provisions, loading therewith a hundred and fifty Horses and Mules; with which he travell'd direct North from the fore-mention'd Valley, and after two days Journey found a People call'd Conchi, who went naked, and liv'd in Huts built together like a Village: They were Govern'd by Casiques, fed on Hares, Deer, Rabbets, Maiz, Calabashes, and Melons. Several adjacent Ri∣vers afford them plenty of Fish. They were amaz'd at the Crosses which the Spa∣niards there erected, till they were inform'd of a Crucifi'd Saviour. Espejus being every where kindly Entertain'd amongst them, and conducted twenty two Leagues father, came amongst the Indians call'd Passaguates, of the like Constitution with the Conchi's; who had skill in Minerals, and judg'd that there were many Silver Mines in that Countrey. From whence the Passaguates travell'd with the Spaniards to the Borders of the Los Tobosos, who no sooner saw them, but they fled, because a few years before they had been miserably dealt with by the Spaniards; but being inform'd by the Interpreters, that they needed not be afraid of any thing, they all appear'd, and conducted Espejus to the Borders of the Patarabueyes; which People possess a large Countrey, Stone Houses and Villages built in good order. Great Rivers with come out of the North, and others that disembogu'd into the North Sea, af∣forded them all sorts of Fish; as also the Woods plenty of Venison, Fowls, and wholsom Plants. In some Pools also the salt Water afforded Salt.
The Valour of the Inhabitants may sufficiently appear by the rough Entertain∣ment which the Spaniards met withall the first Night; for the Patarabueyes fell so fiercely upon them, that had not the Watch given notice thereof in time, none had escap'd with Life; nevertheless five Horses were kill'd, and a considerable num∣ber of Men wounded: after which retreating, they went upon a neighboring Hill, whither Espejus sent his Interpreter, and an Indian the same Countrey, to inform them, That the Spaniards came not to molest them, and if they pleas'd to come to them, they should meet with none but Friends; which was the more easily credi∣ted, because the Casiques receiv'd some Presents; after which being reconcild, they conducted the Spaniards twelve days Journey up a long River, whose Banks were inhabited in several places. from thence they reach'd to a Place, inhabited by a People richly Cloth'd, who also seem'd to have some knowledge of God; for in Page 293their Discourse they pointed up to Heaven, call'd the Creator and Preserver of all things Apalito, and signifi'd that they had receiv'd that Knowledge formerly from those that were left of Pamphilius Narvaez's Army, who having rang'd through Florida were driven hither.
These People also Presented Espejus many tann'd Skins, with which he went to a great Village, the Inhabitants whereof were very courteous, and barter'd them for brave Plumes of Feathers and Cotton Cloaks, streak'd with blue and white: but Espejus having no Interpreters whom they could understand, could not learn by what Name they were known; yet by signs they express'd what time of the year they had Precious Stones brought to them; and also what their Countrey produ∣ced; and also that abundance of those Riches was to be found in a Province about five days Journey Westward from thence, whither they freely offer'd to conduct the Spaniards, which accordingly they did, bearing them company one and twenty Leagues to the next Province, inhabited by a People whose Name also they could not be inform'd of, yet staying three days amongst them, they were Entertain'd with Presents and Dances both Night and Day. The Countrey afforded them also store of Venison and Fruits: Those that understood Minerals, judg'd that there were likewise several Gold Mines.
Leaving this Province, they entred into a great Wilderness of Pine-Trees, in which they travell'd twelve Leagues in fifteen days, without seeing either Man or House; but at the end of the Wood they spy'd a Village of Straw Huts, where there were great quantities of white Salt, and Deer Skins neatly dress'd. The Peo∣ple of the Place courteously Entertain'd the Spaniards, and conducted them along the River Del Norte, to New Mexico: The Banks of the River on each side was plan∣ted with Nut-Trees and Vines, which spread themselves out above three Leagues; through which they had scarce pass'd three days together, when they saw ten Po∣pulous Villages pleasantly seated on the the said River, from whence came many thou∣sands of the Natives to meet Espejus, who was not so much amaz'd at the great number of People, as at their extraordinary Civility and decent Habits; for they Entertain'd him with well dress'd Meat, roasted Poultrey, and pleasant Fruits: Their Garments were Cotton Cloaks, Deer-skin Breeches, Shoes and Boots of good Leather. The Women wore their Hair neatly Comb'd and Pleited. Their Houses were almost four Stories high, handsomely built, and divided into fair Chambers, had Stoves or Cells under Ground against the Cold in the Winter. Every Village was Govern'd by a Casique, whose Commands were publish'd by the Alguaziles. Each House had a peculiar place in which their Idol stood, before whom they set Meat twice a day. Near the High-ways stood Temples very curiously painted, wherein their Deity, as they say, diverted himself in his Progress from one Village to ano∣ther. At certain Distances near their Plough'd Lands, stood Portico's, supported on four Columns, under which the Husband-man us'd to eat, and take his Noon-sleep. Besides their Swords, which were strong enough to cut a Man through the Middle, they us'd Bowes and Arrows: Their Shields were made of Deer Skins.
Espejus having stay'd here four days, went to the Province De las Tiguas, which had sixteen Villages; in the chiefest whereof, call'd Poala, Augustine Ruyz and his Brother Monk Franciscus de Lopez had been slain, besides four others; wherefore the People being conscious of this Crime, and fearing that Revenge would follow, fled to the Mountains, from whence they could not be enticed, whilst the Spaniards found their Houses full of Provisions and some Minerals.
Now those being dead whom they sought for, some though it convenient to re∣turn; but Espejus and Beltran perswaded the contrary, alledging, That farther up, Page 294according to the Indians information, lay several Provinces which were worth the discovery, and advis'd that the chiefest part of their Forces might stay there, whilst they and some few resolute Men went farther upon the Discovery, which accor∣dingly was perform'd. Espejus having travell'd two days, came into a fruitful Province, jutting against Cibola, in which he found eleven Villages, inhabited by above fourteen thousand People, who were clad in Skins and Cotton, worshipp'd many Idols, and receiv'd the Spaniards with great Civility.
The like Entertainment they met withall in the Countrey Los Quires, wash'd by the River Del Norte; near which stood five Villages, inhabited by about fifteen thousand People.
Thirteen Leagues farther they found De los Cunames, having also five Villages, the chiefest of which being Cia, boasted (as above mention'd) eight Market-places: The Houses, made of Lime, were neatly Painted, and compris'd in all above twenty thousand Persons, and civil People, who presented Espejus and his Company with handsom Cloaks, set good boyl'd Meat before them, and shew'd them rich Minerals, and the Mountains out of which they got the same.
Of the like Constitution were the Inhabitants De los Amires, which being thirty thousand in number, resided in seven well built Villages, lying North-West from Cunames.
After this they march'd Westward, and found the eminent Village Acoma, men∣tion'd before, built on an exceeding high Rock, to which led onely a narrow Path up a pair of Stairs cut in the Rock; as also many Wells to receive Rain, besides what they have out of a River, led by moats round about their Plough'd Lands. The Spaniards staying here three days, were Entertain'd with all sorts of good Meat, Dances and Drolls.
From hence travelling twenty four Leagues more Westerly, they entred the Pro∣vince of Zuny; where the erected Crosses which had remain'd there till that time, were sufficient testimonies of Cornaro's having been there, after he was deserted by Andreas de Cuyocan. Casper de Mexico, and Antonius de Guadalajara, being setled on Zuny, (otherwise call'd Cibola) and speaking the Indian Tongue better than their Native Language, inform'd Espejus, that sixty days Journey farther lay a great Lake, whose Shores were crown'd with many brave Villages, inhabited by a People which wore Golden Armlets and Ear-rings; whither Franciscus Vasquez had gone a second time, had not Death prevented him. This Information so encourag'd Espejus, that notwithstanding it was so great a Journey, yet he resolv'd to venture thither, though the Monk Beltran and most of his Company perswaded him to the contrary; whereupon Beltran return'd: After which Espejus went on to the said Lake; wither he was accompanied with a hundred and fifty Indians. Having gone twenty six Leagues, he found a populous Province, whose Borders he no sooner approach'd, but he was told, That if he was willing to lose his Life, he and his Party might enter into a forbidden Dominion; yet notwithstanding this threatnign Message, he wrought so much upon the Casique by the Presents which he sent him, that he was permitted to come in freely; nay, the Inhabitants of Zaguato strow'd Meal on the Earth for the Spaniards to go over, and presented Espejus at his departure with forty thousand Cotton Cloaks, and a considerable quantity of Plate, which he sent with five of his Soldiers, and all the Cibolan Indians, back to Cibola, keeping onely four Companions and one Guide, with whom he travell'd forty one Leagues Westward; where he found a Mountain, to the top whereof led a broad Path; which ascend∣ing, he took up Silver Oar with his own Hand. The several sorts of People that inhabited here were all civil and courteous, living in good fashion, in pretty large Page 295Houses, built on the Banks of a pleasant River, shaded with Vines and Nut-Trees, and thick planted with Flax: They inform'd Espejus, that near a River which runs eight Miles towards the North Sea, were such stately Places, as could not be beheld without great admiration. But Espejus going back a plain Road to Cibola, found not onely those whom he had sent from Zaguato, but also Beltran, with the other Soldiers, who having been detained where by the Civilities and kind Entertain∣ments of the Indians, were now upon returning home; so that Espejus was left alone with eight Soldiers, who resolv'd to venture their Lives and Fortunes with him. They travell'd along the River Del Norte, through the Provinces De los Guires and Habutas, whose Mountains, over-spread with Pine-Trees and Cedars, have many rich Mines. The Natives wore painted Cotton Cloaks, and dwelt in stately Houses five Stories high. At the Borders of the Realm Los Tamos they were stopt, and not permitted to come on farther; wherefore being but few in number, and several of them sick, they judg'd it convenient to cross the River De las Vaccas (so call'd from the abundance of Cows that were thereabouts) to the River Conchos and the Village Bartholomew, where Espejus was inform'd, that Beltran was long before his arrival gone to Guadiana.
And now that we may have the better Account of New Mexico (which Ruyz Espejus, and Beltran endeavor'd to discover) it will be necessary to begin with the first original thereof, according as several ancient. Histories make mention.
*The most ancient Possessors of that part of Northern America call'd New Spain, were for their fierce and salvage Nature call'd Chichimecae, who dwelling in Caves, fed on Moles, Rabbets, Hedghogs, Serpents, Roots and Herbs. Whilst the Women accompanied their Husbands in their Travels, the Children were put into Baskets, and hang'd in a Tree. No manner of Government was to be found amongst them. They never Till'd their Ground till the Navatlacans came from New Mexico (which was anciently divided into two Countreys, Aztlan and Teuculhuacan) to New Spain; after which they Sow'd their Lands.
The Navatlacans (who us'd to dwell in Houses, worship Images, plough their Lands, and obey their Governors) were divided into six Tribes, each Tribe posses∣sing their limited Bounds: and there goes a Tradition, That out of six Pits that are to be seen in New Mexico, the Navatlacans had their original. The time when they deserted New Mexico, as their most authentick Histories or Records declare, was (according to our computation) Anno 940. and they farther affirm, that they spent forty years in a Journey, which might have been travell'd in a Moneth: The reason of which tediousness was, because they rested in all places where they found a fruitful Countrey; but as they had advice from their diabolical Spirits, which (as they say) appear'd visibly to them, they still went on farther and farther, yet left behind those that were aged, sick, and decrepid, building convenient Houses for them, and appointing Overseers to look after them. The Ruins of the Houses are yet to be seen on the Way along which they pass'd.
The six Tribes divided themselves after this manner: Four of them setled round about the great Lake of Mexico. The Sichumilans taking the South part, built, besides two other Towns, a Metropolis of their own Name, as the Chalcans on the North. The Tapunecans built Azcapuzalco in the West, which signifies A Pismires Hole, because of the abundance of Inhabitants. The Eastern part was taken up by the Chalhuans. And all these Names have a peculiar signification; the first signifies People of Flowry Fields; the second, People of Mouthes; the third, People of Bridges; and the fourth, Crooked People. Not long after, the Tatluicans, a strong People, went over the Mountains on the other side of the Mexican Lake, where they built several Towns Page 296on a hot, yet fruitful Soil, the chiefest whereof they call'd Quahunachua, that is, A Place where an Eagles Voice is heard. The Tlascaltecans went near the Snowy Moun∣tains, one, of which, being between Mexico and De los Angelos, vomits horrid Flames and Smoke up into the Skie. Here scattering up and down, they built several Vil∣lages, besides the City Tlascalla; the Inhabitants whereof assisted the Spaniards, as hath been related in the taking of Mexico, for which good Service they live free, without paying any Tribute.
When these six Tribes came first from Mexico thither, the Chichimecans made little or no resistance against them, but hid themselves amongst the Rocks: yet some of them not long after taking courage, flew to Arms, and had without doubt destroy'd the Tlascallans, had not a subtile Plot sav'd them: for under a shew of Friendship they falling on the unarm'd Chichimecans, kill'd every Man of them.
Joseph de Acosta tells us, that Anno 1586. he saw a Grave in Mexico, wherein a Chi∣chimecan of a Gygantick size lay buried.
After this Conquest gotten by the Tlascallans, the fore-mention'd six Tribes liv'd in Peace and Quiet, and strengthned themselves the more by Marrying into one anothers Families.
The Chichimecae keeping on the Mountains left the new People in quiet posses∣sion of their Lands, nay, learnt some of their Customs, insomuch that they be∣gan to build Huts, chuse Governors, and live according to their Laws.
*The Tlascallans having possess'd New Spain three hundred and two years, a seventh Tribe (a valiant and civiliz'd People) came thither, upon their Daemon Viztli∣puztli's promise of having the supream Government: wherefore he was carried in an Ark by four chief Priests, whom he inform'd whither and when they should travel or rest, for where ever they stopt, they built a Tent in the middle of their Army for their Idol, whom they set on an Altar; which done, they Sow'd the Ground about them: yet if their Daemon commanded them to march before Harvest, then they left the Product to the ancient and sick People. But at last Mexi, from whence the Name of Mexico is deriv'd, conducted the Army into Mechaocan, where the pleasant Soil among the Lakes entic'd many to take up their Habitation. But Mexi proceeded on his Journey, yet not without great Crosses, in regard Viztli∣puztli's Sister (some Inchantress probably so call'd) did much hurt to the whole Army by her Sorceries, because they would not honor her as a Goddess, till Viztli∣puztli inform'd one of them that carried the Ark, that the Army should march on, and banish the Witch from them: whereupon she accordingly being driven away, built the Village Malinalco, as a Habitation for Conjurers. Mean while, the Army grew weaker and weaker by their leaving so many People behind them in most places; therefore they judg'd it convenient to rest a while in Tula, where a great River water'd the Countrey; which, according to Viztlipuztli's Commands, being dry'd up, made a large Lake about the Mountain Coatepeck, whose Banks being planted with Willow and Poplar-Trees, were exceeding pleasant, and the more, because of the variety of Birds that made their Nests in the same; which so delighted ma∣ny of the People, that being tir'd with travelling, they resolv'd to settle there; which Resolution was so ill resented by Viztlipuztli, that he commanded the Bank to be broken, that the Water might have liberty to flow its former Course, and threat∣ned them with heavy punishments: after which in the Night a terrible Cry of Murder was heard in one part of the Army; which being inquir'd after the next Morning, they found divers People lying on the Ground with their Breasts cut open, and their Hearts pull'd out: whereupon those that remain'd went on to Chapultepec, where they fortifi'd themselves in the Mountains against the adjacent Page [unnumbered]Page [unnumbered]
We have often made mention heretofore of the Governor of this Journey, Viztlipuztli, it will therefore be necessary to give an exacter Description of him, as followeth:
*He was a woodden Image like a Man, sitting on a blue Seat in a triumphant Chair; at each end of which was plac'd a Staff with a Serpents Head upon it, from whose Forehead, which was Painted blue, ran a Streak of the same colour, cross his Nose to both his Ears; upon his Head stood a Plume of Feathers, the ends whereof were tipp'd with a golden Varnish; his left Hand held a white Shield, on which stuck five Feathers, and on the top a Laurel Bough; next the Shield lay four Arrows, pretended to be sent from Heaven; in his right Hand a Truncheon, full of blue crooked Streaks like Serpents; behind on his Shoulders appear'd Wings, not unlike those of a Bat, his Eyes large and round, and his Mouth reaching from Ear to Ear, made him terrible to behold, also gaping, and full of Teeth, which stuck out of his Belly; in his Breast also were two fiery Eyes, and under them a shrivell'd Nose; his Feet ended in Claws, hung round about with Precious Jems, golden Boxes and Shields set out with divers colour'd Feathers. The Curtain be∣hind which this Idol sat, was not drawn open except on a Feast-Day.
Next Viztlipuztli stood generally a lesser Image, call'd Tlaboc, and also the God∣dess Tocci, Daughter to the Prince of Culhuacan, who (as before mention'd) was flay'd by their Daemon's Command. Since which time they suppos'd, that they were never more acceptable to their Gods, than when they appear'd Cloth'd in an∣other Man's Skin; and accounted no Offering better, than a Heart taken out of their Enemies Breast, since their Spirit destroy'd so many after that manner in the Army at Tula.
But Tocci, they say, had also a Son much inclin'd to Hunting,* whose Image they carry, attended by a thousand People, with the sound of Horns and Trumpets, to an Arbor on a high Mountain; which being made of green Leaves pleited, had in the middle an Altar, on which they set the Idol, whilst the Multitude surrounded Page 298the Foot of the Mountain, and set all the Bushes about the same on Fire; which done, they shouted and hollow'd, and play'd on several Instruments; which fright∣ing the wild Beasts that lay shelter'd in the Woods, made them run to the top of the Mountain, where they were more and more inclos'd by the People, insomuch that many of them were slain for an Offering before Tocci's Son's Altar; which done, they carried the Idol back to his Temple, and the People made Merry with the slain Venison.
*As great Reverence they shew'd to Tezcatlipuca, because (as they said) he pardon'd their Sins. This Idol was made of a black shining Stone, richly Apparell'd, having Golden Ear-rings; in his undermost Lip a Silver Sheath, in which stuck some∣times a green, and sometimes a blue Plume of Feathers; his Hair was ty'd with an embroider'd String, at the end of which hung a Golden Ear, whereon Smoak was Painted, signifying the Prayers of oppress'd Sinners; moreover, the String hung full of Pearls, and about the Neck in a String hung a Jewel; on his Breast, as al∣so on his Navel, a green Stone; in his left Hand he held a Fan made of a Gold Plate, in which stuck many colour'd Feathers: this Plate glittering like Glass, was in stead of a Mirrour for Tezcatlipuca, to observe all worldly Transactions in the same: and to punish Criminals, he held four Darts in his right Hand. His Feast they kept once in four years.
This Idol also had the Command of Hunger, Drought, Famine, and pestilen∣tial Distempers; wherefore he had quite another shape, sat on a Stool behind a red Curtain embroider'd with dead Mens Bones and Sculls; his Body Coal black, his Head stuck full of Quails Feathers, a Quiver with four Arrows in his left, and a Rod in his right Hand, which made the Image seem very terrible.
The Idol Quetzalcoalt, being their Guardian over the Merchants, was plac'd in a high Temple, being shap'd like a Man, his Face onely excepted; for that resem∣bled a Bird's Head, with a red Bill full of Teeth, a Comb, and a long Tongue; on the hind-part of his Head stood a Mitre, and about his Legs Silk Garters beset with Pearls.