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Document Number: AJ-005
Author: Barrado, Hernando
Title: Declaration of Hernando Barrado, 1582
Source: Bolton, Herbert Eugene (editor). Spanish Exploration in the Southwest, 1542-1706. (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1916). Pages 151-153.
Pages/Illustrations: 5 / 0
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Author Note

Hernando Barrado was one of the soldiers accompanying the expedition led by Brother (Fray) Agustín Rodríguez in 1581-1582. Francisco Sanchez Chamuscado commanded the detachment of soldiers.

Rodríguez Expedition of 1581-1582

Forty years after Coronado’s unsuccessful attempt to discover the golden kingdom of Quivira, a new expedition formed. In 1581, the Spanish colonial viceroy decided to send Roman Catholic missionaries accompanied by soldiers to colonize the Native American pueblos of northern New Spain (New Mexico). This change made missionaries the principal agents for exploration of new lands and pacification of Native Americans. Led by Fray Agustín Rodríguez, two other missionaries and nine soldiers opened a trail along the upper Rio Grande into the Pueblo region of New Mexico. Their expedition sought to explore the region where Coronado reported many large settlements of people who raised cotton and food.

The expedition began June 5, 1581, from Santa Bárbara, Mexico. It proceeded north along the Conchos River to the Rio Grande and then northwest along the Rio Grande to central New Mexico. Francisco Sanchez Chamuscado commanded the soldiers, and two soldiers, Phelipe de Escalante and Hernando Barrado, wrote the expedition accounts. Barrado and de Escalante’s report urges royal colonization of the region (because only the Spanish crown could license any exploration or colonial missions). Led by Fray Rodríguez, the expedition explored areas around present-day Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Escalante and Barrado described the expedition’s route and the Native Americans encountered on their travels. They describe the pueblo homes and villages, Native American clothing and food, and wildlife. Their report includes interactions between the expedition party and Native Americans and the results of their assay of mine prospects. One missionary was killed by the Tano on the way north. Chamuscado returned with his soldiers to Mexico, leaving Fray Rodríguez and another missionary at the Puruay pueblo. The two were martyred by the Tiwa by the time another expedition (Antonio de Espejo) returned to retrieve them.

Document Note

Barrado prepared this account in September or October 1583. The original document is in the Archivo de Indias in Seville, Spain. It was published in Spanish in Pacheco and Cárdenas, Colección de Documentos Inéditos, XV (Madrid, 1864-1884). The first English translation was published in Herbert Eugene Bolton, ed., Spanish Exploration in the Southwest, 1542-1706 (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1916).

Other Internet and Reference Sources

Aleman, Blanca and Rebecca Blancarte, “America’s First Highway: El Camino Real.” Borderlands: An El Paso Community College Local History Project. 17_americas_first_highway.htm

Long, Christopher. "Rodríguez, Agustín." The Handbook of Texas Online.

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