Best Scholarly Edition on the Pueblo Revolt in New Mexico

Popé’s Rebellion Uprising against Spanish Colonization of Santa Fé in 1680

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168. HACKETT, Charles Wilson. Revolt of the Pueblo Indians of New Mexico and Otermín’s Attempted Reconquest 1680-1682.... Albuquerque: The University of New Mexico Press, 1942. Vol. I: [i-viii] ix-ccx, [1-2] 3-262 pp.; Vol. II: [i-viii] ix-xii, [1-2] 3-430 pp. 8vo (27.5 x 18.2 cm), 2 vols. Very fine, fresh, and unopened, in very lightly chipped pictorial dust jackets. Provenance: Charles Wilson Hackett’s Library.

     First edition of the best scholarly edition about the Pueblo uprising against Spanish Colonization of Santa Fé in 1680. Vols. VIII & IX Coronado Quarto Centennial Publications, 1540-1940. Cumberland, Hackett, p. 146. Laird, Hopi Bibliography, 1032: ”The fundamental work on the Pueblo revolt.” Carlos Castañeda’s reviewed work: Revolt of the Pueblo Indians of New Mexico and Otermín’s Attempted Reconquest, 1680-1682 in The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Vol. 46, No. 4 (April, 1943), pp. 381-383:

Of the various native revolts against Spanish rule in America during the colonial period none was as carefully planned, as suddenly sprung, or as successfully executed as that of the Pueblo Indians of New Mexico under the direction of the vengeful and crafty Popé, medicine man of the Texas. Five years in Taos, communicating with three infernal spirits, arousing the dormant spirit of the oppressed natives, playing upon their credulity and occult fears, holding out enticing promises of rich rewards, and raising to a white heat the deep hatred of the Indians produced an upheaval from which only a handful escaped and which completely overthrew Spanish domination in New Mexico for more than ten years. Like an irresistible tornado, the natives swept everything before them, leaving behind only smoldering ruins and devastated fields. The survivors painfully retreated to the area in the vicinity of present El Paso, crossed the river, and halted for breath. With characteristic vigor and determination they soon began to make preparations for the reconquest of their broken homes.

This heroic defense, forced retreat, and subsequent attempts at reconquest are fully and graphically summarized in the scholarly introduction to the publication in English of all the documentary sources available. It is to W.W.H. Davis that we owe the first popular account of this stirring episode, based on such partial sources as were known at that time. Bancroft, in his North Mexican States and Texas, retold the incident but added little to the story. The subsequent discovery of the complete Autos of the revolt, constituting the authenticated record of the depositions made and taken by the chief participants, and the constantly growing interest in the dramatic history of our Spanish Southwest moved the author of the present volumes to undertake years ago a reappraisal of this significant native revolt. He began by publishing a series of monographic studies that remain to this day the most authoritative account of the first successful, although temporary, challenge to Spanish domination in North America. Then followed his scholarly translation and annotation of the invaluable collection of Historical Documents Relating to New Mexico, Nueva Vizcaya, and Approaches Thereto, in three volumes. It was most appropriate that he should have been chosen to contribute these two volumes to the Coronado Cuarto Centennial Series.

Here we have now gathered his monographic studies revised and enlarged in view of all the sources that have since become available, followed by an English translation of all the documents dealing with the revolt and the first attempts to reconquer the lost province to 1682. The monographic studies have been fused in the general introduction, a scholarly and gripping summary of the whole episode, woven into a connected narrative from the conception of the evil idea by Popé, through its accidental discovery of the plot, the hasty decision to accelerate its outbreak, the heroic but futile defense of the Spaniards against overwhelming forces, to the retreat of the brave survivors to the Rio Grande, the taking of the muster roll in the vicinity of present El Paso, and the fruitless effort to reoccupy their broken homes and devastated fields.

Here is a truly remarkable and moving episode in the history of the Southwest, patiently pieced together, impartially presented, and graphically portrayed. The dramatic summary is followed by the English translation of every known documentary source found in the rich archives of Spain, Mexico, and the United States. One marvels at the magnitude of the task and at the painstaking care of the Spaniards in preserving so full and complete a record. They were truly remarkable record keepers. In the translation of the sources Dr. Hackett was ably assisted by Miss Charmion Shelby. The two volumes constitute a lasting and definitive study of one of the most stirring episodes in the history of the Southwest.


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