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



Chapter 5: The Shadow of the Inquisition, 1659-1680

Enter Posada and Peñalosa

Custos Posada reached the colony first. On May 9, 1661, as agent of the Inquisition, he began hearing formal testimony that quickly opened his eyes. On May 22, he forbade kachina dances and ordered the missionaries to seize every mask, prayer stick, and effigy they could lay hands on and burn them. This they did, to sixteen hundred such objects by their own count. Still, Custos Posada managed to stay out of López' reach until Governor Peñalosa arrived three months later. Almost immediately Peñalosa announced López' residencia. Posada published an Edict of the Faith. The ex-governor stayed away. He said he was ill. [11]

While still in office, López had sacked Alcalde mayor Diego González Bernal. Something had happened between them. Earlier, González had been a loyal servant, dutifully accusing the friars in the Tano missions of driving Indians out of church and refusing the sacraments to Spaniards. Yet during his residencia, the ex-governor would call González "a man with no sense of responsibility, a mestizo by birth." López had even thrown González Bernal in the public jail once "because he exceeded a commission I gave him to put Jerónimo de Carvajal in possession of certain lands." So upset did the prisoner become that he pretended to have lost his mind, whereupon López had ordered him placed in the stocks "to restrain him." Furthermore, López had banished from the capital Diego's kinswoman Catalina Bernal "for being a scandalous person and the bawd for her daughters."

Fray Alonso de Posada

Don Bernardo had experienced no better luck with his next appointee, Antonio de Salas, whom he removed almost immediately "because of the uproars he caused there and for being a comrade of the friars." Salas, also encomendero of Pojoaque, had fallen out with López when the governor made him raze the house he maintained inside that pueblo. [12]

The third alcalde mayor of Galisteo and its district in less than a year was Jerónimo de Carvajal, thirty years old, born in the Sandía district, and owner of the estancia, or ranch, of Nuestra Señora de los Remedios de los Cerrillos, not far from the present-day town of Cerrillos. It was common knowledge that Carvajal's comely young wife Margarita Márquez had been the mistress of Gov. Juan Manso. [13]

López' Residencia Proclaimed

On Friday afternoon, September 30, 1661, at the bidding of Alcalde mayor Carvajal "all the captains and the people" of Pecos assembled in the pueblo's plaza mayor to hear another proclamation. Carvajal and some other Spaniards had ridden over from Galisteo, Francisco Jutu, a Pecos "conversant in the Spanish language," stood before the crowd as crier and interpreter. Through him they learned that for a period of thirty days any person with complaints or claims, civil or criminal, against former governor López de Mendizábal or his subordinates should appear before the new governor in Santa Fe. Their grievances would be noted, justice would be done, and damages would be compensated. All this the Pecos had heard before. [14]

One of the two witnesses who attested the proclamation at Pecos that afternoon was Diego's younger brother, Antonio González Bernal. He had been named by Governor Peñalosa to act as protector de indios during the López residencia. His job was to compile and present all the Indians' claims against the ex-governor. The Pecos submitted theirs. López still owed them one hundred pesos for "one hundred parchments and fine tanned skins" at a peso each. He also owed them for seven tents of fine tanned skin, worth eight pesos each, or fifty-six pesos. Nor had he paid them for "a great quantity of piñon nuts." They could not remember exactly how many fanegas. They asked that Sargento mayor Diego Romero, who had taken delivery of the nuts on López' account, state the quantity. [15]

Don Diego de Peñalosa Briceño

In all, Governor Peñalosa received more than seventy formal petitions of complaint against his predecessor. Fray García de San Francisco presented the friars' claims, without ever mentioning Pecos. Diego González Bernal as attorney general denounced his former patron on behalf of the Hispanic community, and Antonio González Bernal spoke for the Indians. A parade of individuals added claims of their own. Out of all this, Peñalosa drew up a thirty-three-count indictment against the ex-governor. López answered, as was customary, count by count, denying most of the allegations, identifying his enemies, and explaining the motives for their perjury. Both Father San Francisco and Diego González Bernal recommended to Governor Peñalosa that he confine López. He did. [16]

In his arrogance, don Bernardo had alienated virtually everyone except Fray Juan González of Pecos. In the hundreds of pages of impassioned testimony, there is hardly a mention of ex-custos González or his mission. When summoned to testify before Father Posada, the even-tempered Fray Juan made it very clear that everything he reported against López and his men was hearsay. It was González whom the imprisoned former governor asked to hear his confession and administer communion.

López had sent one of his four guards to Custos Posada during Lent in 1662 requesting the services of a priest. Fray Nicolás del Villar had balked. The confined former governor did not want Fray Nicolás de Freitas, guardian at Santa Fe and fast friend of Governor Peñalosa, for "plenty of reasons." After those two, Father González was closest. Besides, Posada had delegated him to preach the Santa Cruzada and he would be in Santa Fe anyway. López knew that Fray Juan would not refuse him even though it might strain his charity. The guardian of Pecos, unlike the other friars, had not embroiled himself in the affairs of the López administration. For that reason, said don Bernardo, "he always was and is my choice." [17]

Fray Juan González

Inquisition Closes In on López

While López de Mendizábal languished in confinement, his accusers drew the noose tighter and tighter around his neck. The resourceful Governor Peñalosa wanted to ruin his predecessor without assistance. But it was Father Alonso de Posada, brandishing the terrible authority of the Inquisition, who really brought low the unrepentant don Bernardo.

The Holy Office in Mexico City had already ordered the arrest of three prominent members of the López camp—the notorious Nicolás de Aguilar, alcalde mayor of the Salinas district; Sargento mayor Diego Romero, former alcalde ordinario, or municipal magistrate, of Santa Fe; and Sargento mayor Francisco Gómez Robledo, holder of the Pecos encomienda and several others. The arrest of a fourth New Mexican, Cristóbal de Anaya Almazán, was left up to the discretion of Agent Posada. By the spring of 1662, Posada had these orders in hand. Their bearer was none other than ex-governor Juan Manso, spoiling for the chance to square accounts with López de Mendizábal. Another action by the Holy Office made Manso alguacil mayor, chief constable, of the Inquisition in New Mexico and charged him with carrying out the arrests. Thus while a similar fate for López was being sealed in Mexico City, the doughty local agent and his constable moved against the four marked New Mexicans. [18]

Arrest and Ordeal of Gómez Robledo

It was still dark. The first thin light of dawn barely shown behind the mountains to the east. Francisco Gómez Robledo, like nearly everyone else this early Thursday morning, lay in bed asleep. Then something intruded, a heavy banging. It could not have been later than five. He stumbled to the door. "Open," came the command, "open in the name of the Holy Office!" He did. Outside in the chill air stood Alguacil mayor Juan Manso, his nephew Maese de campo Pedro Manso de Valdés, and Father Posada's zealous notary Fray Salvador de la Guerra. Oh, God.

They presented the order for his arrest and entered. After he had put on his clothes, "and with hat and cloak," they led him out of his house "which faces on the corner of the royal plaza of this villa" and across to a cell in the Franciscan convento. Guards were posted at door and window. Alguacil Manso ordered Gómez' possessions attached, including his Santa Fe house, his estancia of San Nicolás de las Barrancas downriver in the vicinity of today's Belen, and his encomiendas. He ordered leg irons and chains placed on the prisoner. He told him to designate a person of his choice to assist in the attachment of his property. Gómez named his brother-in-law and compadre Maese de campo Pedro Lucero de Godoy. Outside, it was getting light this May 4, 1662. [19]

Francisco Gómez Robledo

A bachelor in his early thirties and the father of two natural children five and six years old, Gómez Robledo would not learn the charges against him for more than year. Yet he must have known that someone had whispered the ugly lie that he was a Jew, just as they had about his father. Born in Santa Fe about 1629, the first son of Francisco Gómez and Ana Robledo, he had been baptized by Fray Pedro de Ortega and confirmed by Fray Alonso de Benavides. On both occasions Gov. Felipe Sotelo Osorio stood as godfather. The elder Francisco, a Portuguese in the service of the Oñates, had held subsequently every office of importance New Mexico had to offer, even that of alguacil mayor of the Inquisition. Until his death at age eighty in 1656 or 1657, Francisco Gómez had been the colony's strongest defender of royal authority as vested in the governor.

Cast in the same mold, Francisco the younger, a heavy-set individual with straight dark chestnut hair, had begun soldiering at age thirteen and had served as councilman and municipal magistrate of Santa Fe. He had carried out numerous commissions for the governors, and like his father had more than once stepped on the friars' toes. His knowledge of the Indian languages served him well. During López de Mendizábal's visitation, Gómez Robledo had stood close at hand. According to some, it was he who counseled the governor that kachina dances were simply not as diabolical as the missionaries avowed. When everyone else backed away from the assignment, it was Gómez Robledo who had ridden for Mexico City with López' defense of himself. That he had been forced at Zacatecas to surrender the dispatch to the northbound Peñalosa was not, he maintained, his fault. In 1662, don Francisco, pater familias of the large Gómez clan and pillar of the Hispanic community, held the rank of sargento mayor and served as mayordomo of the religious confraternity of Nuestra Señora del Rosario. [20]

That same Thursday, in the presence of Pedro Lucero de Godoy, Alguacil Manso and the others inventoried Gómez Robledo's house on the plaza. It had "a sala, three rooms, and a patio, with its kitchen garden at the rear." Beginning with "an arquebus, a sword hilt, and a dagger," item by item they proceeded to list all of don Francisco's personal effects—his weapons, horse gear, his complete set of tools for making gun stocks, his household furnishings, clothing, and papers. Among the latter were titles to the Gómez encomiendas:

All of the pueblo of Pecos, except for twenty-four houses held by Pedro Lucero de Godoy
Two and a half parts of the pueblo of Taos
Half the Hopi pueblo of Shongopovi
Half the pueblo of Ácoma, except for twenty houses
Half the pueblo of Abó, which Gómez Robledo had received in exchange for half of Sandía
All the pueblo of Tesuque, which for more than forty years neither Gómez Robledo nor his father had collected because of service rendered on contract in lieu of tribute

There were in addition estancia grants, not only for San Nicolás de las Barrancas but also for a piece of land one league above San Juan pueblo and another on the Arroyo de Tesuque. [21]

After three days, they transferred Gómez to a cell at Santa Domingo next to those occupied by the other prisoners of the Holy Office. There they stagnated and sweat for five months, through the entire summer, seeing "neither sun nor moon." Meanwhile, Father Posada and Alguacil Manso embargoed their properties and sold off enough of their goods to cover the expenses of their imprisonment, their impending journey to Mexico City, and their trials.

At a public auction cried June 30, July 1, and July 2 in the Santa Fe plaza, a variety of Francisco Gómez Robledo's possessions brought 325 pesos. He later charged that Governor Peñalosa rigged the bidding and through his agents knocked down whatever he wanted at a fraction of its value. When Manso had trouble rounding up and separating out don Francisco's stock on the estancia of Las Barrancas, he attached it all with a warning to the other Gómez brothers that they not remove a single head on pain of excommunication and a five-hundred peso fine. The same penalty applied to unauthorized persons collecting the revenue from the prisoners' encomiendas. [22]

Posada and Peñalosa Quarrel

Up to the time the Holy Office made its sudden arrests, New Mexico had seemed big enough for both Custos Posada and Governor Peñalosa. They had even cooperated. In November 1661, for instance, Peñalosa had reaffirmed the exemption from tribute of ten Indians per mission to assist the friars. But when the prelate, officiating as agent of the Inquisition, began ordering alcaldes mayores to impound encomienda revenues, the governor got his back up. Without mincing words, he challenged the Franciscan's jurisdiction over encomiendas, which were royal grants, and admonished him for giving orders to alcaldes. Posada responded that his instructions from the Holy Office were to embargo all property belonging to the prisoners, and encomienda tribute was plainly property. From the summer of 1662 until their showdown at Pecos fourteen months later, relations between governor and prelate degenerated notably.

Francisco Gómez Robledo and Diego Romero were encomederos. Cristóbal de Anaya Almazán, as the eldest son in his family, became one soon after his arrest when his father died. By viceregal decree, the number of encomenderos in New Mexico had been limited to thirty-five. These men were the backbone of the colony's defense. In turn for the privilege of collecting the tribute from specified pueblos—customarily twice a year in May and October—they maintained horses and weapons and responded to the governor's call to arms. When a woman or a minor inherited encomiendas, an escudero, literally a shield bearer or squire, was appointed as a substitute to render the military service for a share of the tribute. Governor Peñalosa was quite right in insisting on escuderos to serve in lieu of the arrested encomenderos. But the way he handled the matter left little doubt that personal advantage, not defense, was uppermost in his mind. [23]

When they met on the street leading to the governor's palace, Father Posada asked Peñalosa just what he intended to do. Don Diego replied that since Posada had collected the tributes in full for May 1662, without waiting for him to name escuderos, the governor should collect and hold in trust for the escuderos the full proceeds in October. After that, from May 1663 until Mexico City resolved the issue, the revenues should be divided evenly, half for the Holy Office and half to pay the escuderos. When the friar pointed out that he had ordered the May 1662 tribute collected in full because the prisoners had already earned it, Peñalosa turned a deaf ear. Worse, he set up two of his retainers as dummy escuderos so that he could pocket their share of the tribute. In the case of Francisco Gómez Robledo, he passed over four able-bodied brothers to pick Martín Carranza, described by Gómez as "a boy about twelve or fourteen years old whom he [Peñalosa] brought with him, a criollo from Pátzcuaro." [24]

The Pecos Encomienda

Pecos was the richest encomienda in New Mexico, even after a couple of generations of marked population decline. Gómez Robledo reckoned the revenue at 170 units per collection, or 340 per year, "in buckskins, mantas, buffalo hides, and light and heavy buffalo or elkskins." The number of units, or piezas, was equivalent to the number of indios tributarios, that is, heads of household, a figure the encomendero was doubtless slow to adjust in relation to population decrease. If the twenty-four households of Pedro Lucero de Godoy and the ten households of mission helpers exempt from tribute were added, the total for the pueblo came to 374. Using an average of three persons per household on the low side and four on the high side, a rough estimate of Pecos' population in 1662 fell between 1,122 and 1,496. Compared to his 340 units from Pecos annually, Gómez received 110 from his share of Taos, 80 from half of Shongopovi, 50 from half of Ácoma, and 30 from half of Abó. [25]

Despite the imprisonment of their encomendero and the legal tangle that ensued, someone always came round to collect from the Pecos. For May 1662, Father Posada acknowledged receipt of: "one hundred sixty-eight units in poor buffalo hides, light buffalo or elkskins good only for sacks, heavy buffalo or elkskins, seventy-two buckskins large and small, and some cotton and wool mantas, all of which was valued at one hundred and fifty pesos" [26]

St. Joseph painted on hide. Fred Harvey Collection, Museum of New Mexico.

In October 1662, by Governor Peñalosa's order, Alcalde mayor Jerónimo de Carvajal, evidently accompanied by Lt. Gov. Pedro Manso de Valdés and Antonio González Bernal, directed the Pecos "captains" to gather in the entire fall tribute and lay it before him. Carvajal then delivered the bundles in person to the governor in Santa Fe, testifying later that Peñalosa kept everything for himself. This collection amounted to: "nineteen cotton mantas, forty-four assorted pieces [of skins], sixty-six buckskins, twenty-one white buffalo or elk skins, eighteen buffalo hides, sixteen heavy buffalo or elkskins." The Pecos captains also collected what was due from the twenty-four households of Pedro Lucero de Godoy and took it to him at his home.

Again in April 1663, Carvajal returned to Pecos at Peñalosa's bidding, this time to take up half the May tribute: "twenty-nine large buckskins, forty-two assorted pieces of buckskins, eighteen buffalo hides, sixteen heavy buffalo or elkskins." seven heavy buffalo or elkskins." When he turned it over in Santa Fe, the governor forced him, said Carvajal, to alter his statement to read twenty-nine heavy buffalo or elkskins instead of large buckskins. Peñalosa then kept the buckskins, the statement, and all the rest of the delivery. The other half of the May 1663 tribute Pedro Lucero de Godoy, as receiver of his brother-in-law's income, collected on instructions from Father Posada: "thirteen buffalo hides, twenty-two light white buffalo or elkskins, eighteen heavy buffalo or elkskins, thirty buckskins good and bad but most of them good, which in all makes eighty-three units." [27]

It did not seem to worry Diego de Peñalosa that he was twisting the tail of the Inquisition every time his men brought in another load of goods from an embargoed encomienda. The fact was he rather enjoyed it. "And the comisario of this Holy Office," declared a concerned Francisco Gómez Robledo, "seems not to have prevented it, for in such remote places [as New Mexico] there is no justice other than the will of the governor." [28]

López Found Guilty

In the case of ex-governor López de Mendizábal, still under guard in August 1662, nothing could have been further from the truth. In rapid succession, the long arms of the audiencia and the Holy Office reached out to chastise him. Found guilty by the audiencia, or high court of Mexico, on sixteen of the thirty-three charges brought against him during his residencia, López was ordered to pay 3,500 pesos in fines, plus costs, and to settle his debts with friars, colonists, and Indians. Governor Peñalosa stood to profit handsomely. However, at ten o'clock on the night of August 26, Father Posada and Alguacil Manso arrested López. Two hours later, they took into custody his literate, Italian-born, Spanish-Irish wife. All their possessions were attached. Again the Holy Office had foiled the wily Peñalosa.

When it formed up in early October that year, the southbound supply train carried six unwilling passengers. Like his erstwhile aides, the distraught ex-governor López rode fettered in a wagon, doña Teresa, his wife, in a carriage behind. Careful provisions had been made for the security and safe delivery of each prisoner. At Santo Domingo on October 5, for example, Father Posada had turned over Francisco Gómez Robledo to Ensign Pedro de Arteaga who, for one hundred and fifty pesos, guaranteed to see the prisoner behind bars in Mexico City. Arteaga swore to conduct Gómez in shackles "not allowing him the least communication, nor that he be given letter, ink, or paper, nor that said prisoner be permitted to leave his wagon." Should he fail to carry out his commission, Ensign Arteaga obligated himself to pay back double his salary and suffer whatever other penalties the Inquisition might impose.

hearing before the Inquisition
A hearing before the Inquisition, by Mexican artist Constantino Escalante. D. Guillén de Lampart, La Inquisición y la independencia en el siglo XVII (México, 1908).

The costs for guard, shackles, food, and incidentals, were born by the prisoner and paid for out of the sale of his possessions. In addition, the Holy Office required three hundred pesos in security to cover prison expenses in Mexico City. In the wagon with Gómez rode two bales wrapped in buffalo or elkskins, worth two pesos each, containing three hundred buckskins valued at one peso a piece, along with a single trunk of his clothing. The dismal journey lasted from fall through winter to spring. Finally, in April 1663, the head jailer at the secret prison of the Holy Office checked in one Francisco Gómez Robledo of New Mexico. Ensign Arteaga had earned his pay. [29]

Gómez Robledo Tried and Acquitted

Gómez Robledo fared better before the inquisitors than any of the others. Even though the case against him included the ominous accusation of Judaism, it proved to be based mainly on hearsay. Bodily examination by physicians showed that don Francisco had no "little tail," as one of his brothers was alleged to have, nor could the scars on his penis be positively identified as an attempt at circumcision. In audience after audience, answering forcefully and directly, and utilizing to the best advantage the long and loyal Christian service of his father, Gómez Robledo earned himself a verdict of unqualified acquittal. [30]

two pages from Inquisitions order
The Inquisitions order for the arrest of Capt. Diego Romero, dated in Mexico City, August 29, 1661 (AGN, Inq., 586).

From the pounding on his door that early morning of May 4, 1662, until September 17, 1665, when again in Santa Fe he signed a release of all claims against Father Posada and Pedro Lucero de Godoy, "content and satisfied entirely and fully," the ordeal had cost Francisco Gómez Robledo three years, four months, and fourteen days of his life. In assets, it had cost him several thousand pesos. He got back his personal belongings that had not been sold, his house on the plaza, his titles to lands and encomiendas, as well as an accumulated 875 units of tribute. As for the value of tribute usurped by Governor Peñalosa, 831 pesos, Gómez judiciously requested that the sum be collected by the Holy Office and applied to its chapel in Mexico City. Not that it mattered to them, but in the fall of 1665, the Pecos Indians once again paid their tribute to don Francisco. [31]

The Fate of the Others

The long-suffering Bernardo López de Mendizábal died in the Inquisition jail before a verdict was reached. The case against doña Teresa was dropped. Ex-alcalde mayor Nicolás de Aguilar, found guilty, had to appear in auto de fe, the public procession of Inquisition prisoners in penitential garb, and to abjure his errors before the tribunal. He was forbidden for life to hold public office and banished from New Mexico for ten years. Cristóbal de Anaya Almazán abjured his errors before the inquisitors and was released. As a condition of his sentence, they ordered don Cristóbal, once he returned to New Mexico, to stand up during Mass on a feast day and publicly recant his false doctrine. [32]

Diego Romero, who appeared as a condemned apostate and heretic in the same auto de fe with Aguilar, made a pathetic showing during his trial. At first he had tried to bluff. Gradually he broke down, implicating his fellow prisoners and admitting what a crude, ignorant, low-life person he was. Accused of incest with Juana Romero, allegedly his cousin and the mother of his son, Romero swore that she was no relative at all, but rather "a native of Pecos, of whose issue he does not know, and that his mother raised her from infancy as a mestiza." Later, Juana had fallen in with accused madam Catalina Bernal and, according to Romero, had slept with the Father Guardian of the Santa Fe convento. The blond son born to Juana was not Romero's but the friar's, as the resemblance of father and son would prove. [33]

Diego Romero

Diego Romero Feted by the Plains Apaches

Certain of the other charges against Diego Romero stemmed from a trading excursion he had led to the plains at the behest of Governor López de Mendizábal. One of Romero's motives, which he admitted during his trial, was to have the Apaches install him "as their captain, as they had done with Capt. Antonio [Alonso] Baca, Francisco Luján, and Gaspar Pérez, father of the one who confesses, and with a religious of the Order of St. Francis named Fray Andrés Juárez." [34] Some Pecos Indians joined Romero. Their leader, called El Carpintero, but obviously a trader and diplomat as well, seems to have been a sort of seventeenth-century Bigotes.

Back in the summer of 1660, at the head of a half-dozen Hispanos, their servants, the Pecos contingent, and a pack string of supplies and trade knives, Diego Romero rode tall in the saddle. A large, heavy-set man with curly black hair, he looked forward to cementing trade relations with the Plains Apaches. He would earn the gratitude of Governor López, have some fun, and turn a profit to boot. "Some two hundred leagues" east of the custody of New Mexico, on the "Río Colorado," the traders made camp near the Apache "rancheria or pueblo of don Pedro." Here the heathens feted Romero and El Carpintero with such gusto that the Inquisition knew about it almost before they reached home.

One afternoon a group of about thirty Apaches appeared at the Spaniards' camp and formed a circle around Romero. They wanted to make him their "capitán grande de toda la Nación apache," their chief captain of the entire Apache nation. Four of the heathens left the circle, picked up Romero, and laid him face down on a new buffalo hide spread on the ground. They did the same to El Carpintero. Then they hoisted them shoulder high and began carrying them on the hides in procession "with singing and the sound of reed whistles and flutes, performing their rites."

Arriving at their rancheria, the Apache bearers sat the honored guests on piles of skins in the midst of a circle of two or three hundred Indians. There followed more singing and dancing, during which natives stood on either side of the two men "shaking them." The celebration went on all through the night. There were orations, a mock battle, the smoking of a peace pipe, and, according to Romero's accusers, a heathen marriage rite.

cartoon drawing of Plains Apaches
Plains Apaches. After an 18th-century painting on hide (Segesser I) in Gottfried Hotz, Indian Skin Paintings from the American Southwest (Norman, 1970).

The Spaniard had reminded his hosts that his father Gaspar Pérez—whose surname, he later told the inquisitors, he had not taken because of don Gaspar's unchristian behavior—had "left a son" among them. He too should have the honor. Accordingly, a new tipi was set up and a maiden brought. Inside on a bed of skins Romero deflowered her. Afterwards the heathens daubed his chest—some said his face and beard—with the girl's blood. They presented him with the tipi and the skins as gifts. They tied a white feather on his head. From then on, said an eyewitness, "he always wore that feather stuck in his hatband." And he swaggered.

Had he not swaggered so much and had the zealous Fray Alonso de Posada not been building his case against the López regime, Romero's feat on the plains might have been told and retold only around campfires. But because it reached the halls of the Holy Office, it was set down and preserved. Here, thanks to that tribunal, is documentary evidence that by 1660 the Spaniards of New Mexico had been using "the French system" for a couple of generations to bind trade connections with Plains Indians. The participation of El Carpintero confirms the continuing role of the Pecos in this trade. Romero, denying that he ever was "married" on the plains, did admit trading a knife for sex on two occasions at another rancheria where the party stayed nine days. He called this place "la rancheria de la Porciúncula," an intriguing link to Pecos, and perhaps to the seminal ministry of Fray Andrés Juárez. [35]

Romero, by throwing his miserable self on the mercy of the inquisitors, had his harsh sentence of service in the Philippine galleys commuted to banishment from New Mexico. But he had not learned his lesson.

Several years later in Guanajuato, under the name Diego Pérez de Salazar, he married a mestiza. The trouble was, he already had a legal wife residing in New Mexico. Before he knew it, he was back in Mexico City, back in the stinking cárceles secretas, accused of polygamy. This time, the inquisitors were harsh with Romero. In addition to his appearance in a public auto de fe, "with insignia of a man twice married, conical hat on his head, rope around his neck, and wax candle in his hands," they sentenced him to two hundred lashes, administered as he was paraded through the streets with a crier, and to six years' labor as a galley slave. On October 23, 1678, poor Diego Romero died of "natural causes" in the public jail at Veracruz still waiting for his first galley. [36]

El Carpintero, the "Christian" Pecos Indian, was of course exempt from prosecution by the Inquisition. If, as Franciscan prelate, Father Posada moved to discipline him for his part in the plains episode; the record has not come to light.

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