Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press, 1940.
First Edition. Hardcover. Very good. xv, 232 pp, including bibliography and index. Original burgundy cloth stamped in gilt. Two gift inscriptions on front free endpaper, minor scuffing to front board, wear/rubbing to bottom edge, some pale discoloration to rear board. Binding tight and square, text unmarked. No dust jacket. Forced by circumstances to take up the control and defense of the Pueblo settlements against nomadic and hostile Plains tribes in their endless search for food and supplies, the Spanish regime faced problems that were not solved for many years. Of the early Spanish governors, only Don Tomas Velez Cachupin grasped the fundamentals of the frontier situation. His solution consisted of securing peace with all tribes on conditions that were mutually satisfactory, rather than attempting to punish raiders by occasional expeditions. Scattered settlements made any form of defense against raiders difficult, but the firm rule of Velez, fear of his punishments, and belief in his justice gained for the frontiersmen some semblance of peace, until another governor with differing theories was appointed. In contrast to Velez, Don Pedro Fermin de Mendinueta resorted to the usual techniques of punitive expeditions. This only resulted in continual raids. His response was to consolidate the scattered settlers into organized towns, which he hoped to be able to defend. The experiences of the frontiersmen during these turbulent times are told poignantly in their own words, ably translated and annotated by Professor Thomas. Virtually all of the documents and reports included in this volume appear in print for the first time.