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The history of the Southwest is Indo-Hispano

Material Information

Title:
The history of the Southwest is Indo-Hispano
Series Title:
This week in history
Creator:
Castro, Richard T.
Place of Publication:
Denver, CO
Publisher:
Richard T. Castron
Publication Date:
Language:
English

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Auraria Library
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Auraria Library
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Copyright [name of copyright holder or Creator or Publisher as appropriate]. Permission granted to University of Colorado Denver to digitize and display this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.

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THIS WEEK IN HISTORY
THE HISTORY OF THE SOUTHWEST IS INDO-HISPANO
by Richard Castro
On September 4, 1781, the Pueblo of Los Angeles was founded by a group of Spaniards, Mexicans, Indians and a Black. What is important about this day in history is the fact that the history of the Southwest was not settled by Anglo pioneers coming westward in covered wagons. Rather, the history of the Southwest is settlement that came "north from Mexico."
As Corky Gonzales once said, "It is important for us to realize that Chicanos did not immigrate to the United States, the United States came to us." The southwest has a rich cultural history that has its roots in Indian and Spanish/Mexican (Indo-Hispano) origin.
Our grade school teachers tried to make us believe that this country's origins began with the landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts, in 1620. In fact, we celebrate this landing every year with Thanksgiving dinner to commemorate the Indians and the first white settlers breaking bread together.
Little mention is made of the fact that by the time the Pilgrims landed, the Spaniards, by 1525, had explored the entire shore line from Cape Breton to Cape Horn. Panfilo de Narvaez had already explored much of Florida in 1528. Cabeza de Vaca and Estevanico had explored much of the Southwest by 1536. Francisco Coronado had led expeditions through New Mexico, Colorado and portions of present day Kansas.
In northern Sonora and southern Arizona, the work of settlement was begun in 1687 by the Jesuit, Father Eusebio Francisco Kino. In twenty-


-2-
four years of service on the border, Father Kino, "the padre on horseback," made over fifty important journeys of exploration and charted the Colorado from the mouth of the Gila to the Gulf of California. Based on these journeys, his map of the region was not improved upon for over a century.
While the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock were feasting on their first Thanksgiving dinner, Juan de Onate had already settled Santa Fe and that city had been flourishing since its settlement in 1610.
While our teachers were spending hours telling us about the American Revolution of 1776 on the eastern seaboard, they should have spent some time on developments in the southwest.
It was from Tubac, in Arizona, that Juan Bautista de Anza set forth on his famous march across the California desert to San Gabriel in 1775. Returning to Tubac the next year, he led a second expedition from that point to the missions of southern California and from there to Monterey and on to San Francisco. While De Anza was exploring the Bay of San Francisco, seeking a site for the presidio, the American colonists on the eastern seaboard, 3,000 miles away, were celebrating the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
The Spaniards established twenty-one missions in California, spread like beads on a necklace at about one day's march apart, along the rim of the seacoast from San Diego to San Francisco; founded four presidial towns - San Diego, Santa Barbara, Monterey, and San Francisco, and two pueblos. None of these settlements were more than a day's ride from the sea. While the Spanish penetrated the Central Valley, they established no colonies there (the Indians of the interior were quite unlike the docile coastal tribes). The Spanish founded 25 missions in Texas. Their principle and ultimately their only settlements between the Sabine and the Rio Grande were San Antonio (1718); Goliad or La Bahia; and Nacogodoches.
The Spanish settlements in the borderlands consisted of a firmly rooted colony in New Mexico, and easily held and fair prosperous chain


-3-
of missions in coastal California, and a number of garrisoned, constantly imperiled settlements in Texas and Arizona.
This is the reason that literally thousands of cities, towns, valleys, and rivers bear Spanish names. All of these names didn't just happen. There is a rich Hispanic history in the Southwest that is over 400 years old.
Why don't we teach this rich history to our children? Why don't we, as a community, see this as a priority? Why doesn't the school system develop curriculum that teaches the true history of the Southwest? If we did, perhaps some of our Hispanic youth would have a better self-concept about themselves and wouldn't drop out.
We need to recapture our history and gain a better understanding of the reality that many of the problems faced by Hispanics today are rooted in history. A person cannot be productive until he feels good about himself, and we cannot move forward as a people until we know where we have been.
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Full Text

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THIS WEEK IN HISTORY THE HISTORY OF THE SOUTHWEST IS INDO-HISPANO by Richard Castro On September 4, 1781, the Pueblo of Los Angeles was founded by a group of Spaniards, Mexicans, ln<;lians and a Black. What is important about this day in history is the fact that the history of the Southwest was not settled by Anglo pioneers coming westward in covered wagons. Rather, the history of the Southwest is settlement that came "north from Mexico." As Corky Gonzales once said, "It is important for us to realize that Chicanos did not immigrate to the United States, the United States carne to us." The southwest has a rich cultural history that has its roots . in Indian and Spanish/Mexican (Indo-Hispano) origin. Our grade school teachers tried to make us believe that this country's origins began with the landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts, in 1620. In fact, we celel>rate this la.1ding every year with Thanksgiving dinner to commemorate the Indians and the first white settlers breaking bread together. Little mention is made of the fact that by the time the Pilgrims landed, the Spaniards, by 1525, had explored the entire shore line from Cape Breton to Cape Horn. Panfilo de Narvaez had already explored much of Florida in 1528. Cabeza de Vaca and Estevanico had explored much of the Southwest by 1536. Francisco Coronado had led expeditions through New Mexico, Colorado and portions of present day Kansas. In northern Sonora and southern Arizona, the work of settlement was begun in 1687 by the Jesuit, Father Eusebio Francisco-Kino. In twenty-

PAGE 3

-2-four years of service on the border, Father Kino, "the padre on horseback," made over fifty important journeys of exploration and charted the Colorado from the mouth of the Gila to the Gulf of California. Based on these journeys, his map of the region was not improved upon for over a century. While the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock were feasting on their first Thanksgiving dinner, Juan de Onate had already settled Santa Fe and that city had been flourishing since its settlement in 1610. While our teachers were spending hours telling us about the American Revolution of 1776 on the eastern seaboard, they should have spent some time on developments in the southwest. It was from Tubac, in Arizona, that Juan Bautista de Anza set forth on his famous march across the California desert to San Gabriel in 1775. Returning to Tubac the next year, he led a second expedition from that point to the missions of southern California and from there to Monterey and on to San Francisco. While De Anza was exploring the Bay of San Francisco, seeking a site for the presidio, the American colonists on the eastern seaboard, 3, 000 miles away, were celebrating the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The Spaniards established twenty-one missions in California, spread like beads on a necklace at about one day's march apart, along the rim of the seacoast from San Diego to San Francisco; founded four presidial towns -San Diego, Santa Barbara, Monterey, and San Francisco, and two pueblos. None of these settlements were more than a day's ride from the sea. While the Spanish penetrated the Central Valley, they established no colonies there (the Indians of the interior were quite unlike the docile coastal tribes). The Spanish founded 25 missions in Texas. Their principle and ultimately their only settlements between the Sabine and the Rio Grande were San Antonio (1718); Goliad or La Bahia; and Nacogodoches. The Spanish settlements in the borderlands consisted of a firmly rooted colony in New Mexico, and easily held and fair prosperous chain

PAGE 4

-3-of missions in coastal California, and a number of garrisoned, constantly imperiled settlements in Texas and Arizona. This is the reason that literally thousands of cities, towns, valleys, and rivers bear. Spanish names. All of these names didn't just happen. There is a rich Hispanic history in the Southwest that is over 400 years old. Why don't we teach this rich history to our children? Why don't we, as a community, see this as a priority? Why doesn't the school system develop curriculum that teaches the true history of the Southwest? If we did, perhaps some of our Hispanic youth would have a better self-concept about themselves and wouldn't drop out. We need to recapture our history and gain a better understanding of the reality that many of the problems faced by Hispanics today are rooted in history. A person cannot be productive until he feels good about himself, and we cannot move forward as a people until we know where we have been. # # # 8 26-88