National Park Service
Kiva, Crown, Crown


The Invaders

The New Mexico: Preliminaries to Conquest

Oñate's Disenchantment

The "Christianization" of Pecos

The Shadow of the Inquisition

Their Own Worst Enemies

Pecos and the Friars

Pecos, the Plains, and the Provincias Internas

Toward Extinction



Appendix V: Miera's 1758 Map of New Mexico

Late in the fall of 1756, while a combined force of more than three hundred presidial soldiers and Indian auxiliaries tracked Apaches on the upper Gila River and cursed the broken terrain, the Viceroy Marqués de las Amarillas fumed. How was be to know where anything was on the northern frontier? What he needed was maps, reliable maps, "showing in detail the rivers, mountains, mining towns or mines discovered, presidios and missions," and more. On December 19, 1756, the viceroy dispatched to each of his six northern governors an order for a map. Because he considered the making of such maps a matter of good administrative practice on their parts, he stipulated that the governors themselves, not the royal treasury, pay costs. Furthermore, the finished products, accompanied by statements of conditions in the respective provinces, were to be in his hands promptly.

Gov. Francisco Antonio Marín del Valle of New Mexico (1754-1760) smiled as he read the order. He had stolen a march on the viceroy. Already he had searched the archives in vain for a map of New Mexico. Then he had searched New Mexico in vain for an individual who could make him one. Strained relations between Marín and the Franciscans all but ruled out a friar as cartographer. Not until early 1756, when don Bernardo de Miera y Pacheco moved to Santa Fe, "of his own free will"—evidently enticed by the offer of a political appointment as alcalde mayor—did the governor have his man.

Miera, a versatile Spaniard who had settled in the El Paso district in 1743, had served as engineer and map maker in the general offensive of 1747, "Father Menchero's campaign," and had thereby gained firsthand knowledge of much of western New Mexico. Two years later, he had plotted the Río del Norte from El Paso downriver to La Junta. Once in New Mexico, as alcalde mayor of Pecos and Galisteo, he rapidly familarized himself with eastern New Mexico on three campaigns against the Comanches.

Don Bernardo would accompany Marín on his official tour of inspection and, at the governor's expense, he would map the entire province. From late June until December 1, 1757, they were in the field. By the end of April 1758, Miera's elaborate map was ready. The governor enclosed, as a letter of transmittal, his own commentary on military and Indian affairs and sent the packet south.

The viceroy was pleased. He complimented Governor Marín for getting the job done despite the lack of previous maps. In addition, he ordered Marín to leave for his successor a map and report similar to those submitted, as well as a detailed diary of campaigns, so that the new governor might orient himself quickly, before self-seeking locals led him astray.

The 1758 Miera map of New Mexico reproduced here is only one—probably the most complete—of several maps drawn by don Bernardo for Marín del Valle. The governor himself mentioned that he had sent the viceroy an earlier one, presumably by Miera since there were no other cartographers about. Later, on a mission to the Hopi pueblos, Miera mapped for Marín the provinces of Hopi and Navajo. And, if the governor obeyed orders, he further commissioned don Bernard to draw for the next executive a chart of all New Mexico similar to the one of 1758. Perhaps as a token of his appreciation for his patron, the artistic Miera created in addition a very special map (reproduced above following page 166). Using as his canvas a thirty-by-forty-inch piece of local cotton cloth treated with size, he painted in color the kingdom of New Mexico and all the surrounding provinces. He dedicated it to Marín.

Well into the twentieth century, the original of Miera's 1758 map and Governor Marín's accompanying report reposed in volume 39 of the Californias section, Archivo General de la Nación, Mexico City. There Herbert E. Bolton catalogued them in 1913. In 1925, don Rafael López, director of the archive, approved a skillful tracing of the map. Only the smallest details and a few words (e.g., ojo for ojos, Comanches for Cumanches, Picuri for Picuris) gave it away. Lansing B. Bloom found map and report still in their assigned place in 1930 when he photographed them and thousands of other documents for the University of New Mexico. But in 1951, when the archive microfilmed Californias 39 for The Bancroft Library, University of California, only a poor photocopy of the tracing remained. Original map and report had vanished.

The following reproduction of Miera's 1758 map is, strictly speaking, a 1977 tracing, slightly restored, based on inferior prints from Bloom's film of the missing original. Because of the map's size, about 26 X 32 inches, Bloom had shot it in eight sections. Unfortunately he did not keep the camera at the same distance from the object or even level. The several sections, as a result, were somewhat distorted and did not match up. The negatives had been destroyed. By rephotographing the old prints and using an enlarger to bring all sections to the same scale, and by tilting the easel to minimize the distortion, National Park Service photographer Gary G. Lister pieced the whole thing together again.

Time and wear had partially effaced a few words on the original. By comparing various prints of the 1758 map, the 1925 tracing, and other Miera maps, each such word was recovered. A complete transcription was compiled. Thus armed, Jerry L. Livingston, a talented Park Service illustrator, began the painstaking business of tracing and redrawing Miera's New Mexico.

So little graphic material has survived from eighteenth-century New Mexico that the 1758 Miera map is important in itself. It is of even more interest when compared with known examples of don Bernardo's later cartography. The statistical data found in the map's margins were compiled during Governor Marín's inspection tour of 1757. Full title, legend, and text follow in translation.

Miera's 1758 Map of New Mexico
(clic on image for an enlargement in a new window)

MAP which don Francisco Antonio Marín del Valle, Governor and Captain General of this kingdom of New Mexico, ordered drawn in conjunction with the tour of inspection he made of his jurisdiction, to which is added part of [Nueva] Vizcaya and Sonora and the provinces of Navajo, Hopi, and Gila, and in the margins of which are set forth the people who compose this jurisdictions Indians as well as Spaniards, non-Indians, and soldiers, all vassals of His Majesty.

DESCRIPTION This province of New Mexico is composed of sixteen settlements of Spanish and non-Indian citizens; three are villas: the capital of Santa Fe, Santa Cruz de la Cañada, and San Felipe de Albuquerque. In these settlements there are 1,032 heads of family, including the soldiers of the garrison of the Santa Fe presidio, with 3,297 children. Their total population is 5,170, with 1,360 men between the ages of fifteen and sixty capable of bearing arms. They have 531 muskets, 266 pistols, 2,543 horses, 367 lances, 248 swords, 230 buffcoats, 7,832 head of cattle, and 47,621 head of sheep.

Likewise there live among the Spaniards 58 heads of family of genízaro Indians, who have 116 children, and a total of 225 persons, with 63 men capable of bearing arms. They have 3 muskets, 2,056 arrows, 11 lances, 48 head of cattle, and 89 head of sheep.

DESCRIPTION of Indians. This province of New Mexico is made up of twenty-two pueblos of Indians of different tribes with distinct languages. They are Tanos, Pecos, Tewas, Picurís, Taos, genízaros of Abiquiú, Queres, Jémez, Zuñis, Tiwas, and Hopis. All of the said twenty-two pueblos are converted to the Catholic religion and obedience to our Catholic Monarch. There are 2,346 heads of family, with 4,419 children, and the total is 8,694, with 2,800 men between fifteen and sixty capable of bearing arms. They have 48 muskets, 17 pistols, 82,520 arrows, 602 lances, 103 swords, 4,813 horses, 193 buffcoats, 8,325 head of cattle, and 64,561 head of sheep.

DESCRIPTION of the Indians of El Paso del Río del Norte. This district is made up of five pueblos of Indians of the Piro, Suma, and Tiwa tribes converted to the Catholic religion and obedience to our Catholic Monarch. There are 314 heads of family, with 506 children, and the total is 1,065, with 327 men capable of bearing arms. They have 2 muskets, 16,350 arrows, 159 horses, 2 lances, 1 sword, 9 buffcoats, 187 head of cattle, and 783 head of sheep.

DESCRIPTION of the citizenry of the district of El Paso del Río del Norte. This district is composed of 563 heads of family, including the soldiers of the garrison of the royal presidio, who among them have 1,561 children. The total of all is 2,568, with 744 men capable of bearing arms. They have 262 muskets, 70 pistols, 915 horses, 162 lances, 194 swords, 211 buffcoats, 855 head of cattle, and 2,772 head of sheep.

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