The Upper Rio Grande Essay

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The Upper Rio Grande

Change is an unavoidable part of life. For some, change can bring promise and a new beginning. For others, change disrupts what is routine and normal and makes what is new seem strange and unfamiliar. The history of North America has been shaped by change ever since Columbus first discovered the continent in 1492. With that discovery, the continent would never be the same again. More specifically, the Native American tribes who first inhabited this continent would never be the same.

Over the years the Native Americans would see new explorers and missionaries take over the land that was once theirs and claim it for another country. The traditions, customs, and culture of these Native Americans inevitably
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Finally, this paper will give an overview of the native people of the Upper Rio Grande during the 19th century and their interaction with the rest of New Mexico.

From 1598-1606, Don Juan de Orate colonized the Rio Grande area. The Spanish settlers came with more than just colonization on their minds. Orate and his men were hoping the area would prove to be a huge resource of gold and other valuable resources. Meanwhile, Spanish missionaries brought Christianity to the Indians (White, 6).

Orate entered the area now known as New Mexico with a group made up of “130 families, 276 single men, 83 wagons and carts, 11 Franciscan Friars (and) 7,000 cattle herded by drovers on foot”(Horgan, 161). At a celebration of the settlement, Orate asserted what he believed was a rightful claim to the land that was already occupied by Pueblo Indians. Before kneeling at a cross and asking God for the successful conversion of the native people, he said “I take possession . . .of the lands of the said Rio Grande, without exception whatsoever, with all its meadows and pasture grounds and passes . . . and all its native Indians (Horgan, 165). The Spanish did not take no for an answer.
They took supplies from the Indians; sometimes paying for them, sometimes not. They were ruthless.

Within a year of Onate’s speech, the Indians showed their disapproval of the arrangement as
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