Juan de Archuleta (1602 - 1643) MP

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Birthdate:
Birthplace: San Gabriel de Yungue-Ouinge, Nuevo México, Nueva España
Death: Died in Nuevo México, Nueva España
Cause of death: Beheaded
Managed by: Ric Dickinson
Last Updated:

About Juan de Archuleta

He was the son of Asencio de Arechuleta and Ana Pérez de Bustillo, who was the daughter of Juan Pérez de Bustillo. He was also involved in the faction opposing Governor Rosas and was beheaded along with the others in 1643. Antonio Baca was his uncle-by-marriage. Nicolas Ortiz was his cousin by marriage. Nicolas’ wife, María de Bustillo, was his first cousin. _________________________________________________________________________

Juan de Archuleta and his unknown wife were the parents of Juan de Archuleta II. We know this from the well-documented work by Fray Angélico Chávez, Origins of New Mexico Families, Revised Edition, page 6. Juan was born about 1602, probably in San Gabriel, New Mexico, because that is where his parents lived. He was the son of Asencio Archuleta, a conquistador and original settler of New Mexico, and his wife Ana Pérez de Bustillo. He was one of the original settlers of Santa Fe in 1610. Like most of his contemporaries, Juan made a career as a soldier, early rising to the rank of captain. In 1639 Juan was the assistant of Governor Luis Rosas, New Mexico’s corrupt governor. Rosas had alienated the Taos Indians by raiding their Apache friends and selling them into slavery. The Taos fled their pueblo and went to live with a friendly group of Apaches on the present Colorado-Kansas border, or, as the Spanish called Kansas, Quivira. In their new homeland they built a new pueblo, which the Spanish called “El Cuartalejo.” [The far-away room] There they planted crops and planned a new life away from the Spanish. About 1641 Juan was sent with twenty soldiers to capture the Taos and bring them back to New Mexico. He captured most of them. [p. 15, The Comanchero Frontier—A History of New Mexican-Plains Indian Relations, by Charles L. Kenner, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman,1969]

The following is the complete text of Chávez’s mention of Juan in his book:

Juan de Archuleta was an outstanding citizen like his father. [The family dropped the first e of the name at this early stage.] He, too, was most active as a captain in the political life of the times, especially in the drawn-out affair which ended in the assassination of Governor Rosas in 1642. As Regidor of New Mexico at the time, he belonged to the anti-Rosas faction; on July 21, 1643, he was beheaded with some of his political associates and in-laws by Governor Pacheco. I have not encountered his wife’s name or identity. Juan’s name, as Sargento Mayor and captain, is on Inscription Rock, dated 1632, and also in 1636.

                        The writing on Inscription Rock at El Moro states: 
“The Sargento Mayor and Captain, Juan de Archuleta, and Adjutant Diego de Martín Barba and Ensign Agustín de Ynojos [Hinojos] passed through here in the year 1636.”

We have the following from pages 109 and 110 of Spain in the Southwest--A Narrative History of Colonial New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, and California, by John L. Kessell, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, OK, 2002:


When [Governor Luis] Rosas, the king’s representative [in New Mexico] actually struck with a cane and bloodied the heads of two friars who ventured to Santa Fe as emissaries [of the friars, who were in a state of hostilities with the governor], calling them liars, pigs, traitors, heretics, and the like, any hope of reconciliation vanished [between the Catholic Church partisans and Governor Rosas and his backers]. Each side blamed the other for the dismal state of the colony and the discontent of the Indians. The Taos people murdered their missionary, and another was killed among the Jemez, perhaps in an Apache attack. A deadly epidemic in 1640 carried off three thousand Pueblo Indians, more than ten percent of the population.

Morale could hardly have been worse in the spring of 1641 as the heavy, mule-drawn covered wagons of the triennial mission supply service [from the interior of New Spain] crawled northward over the camino real accompanied by armed riders and the retinues of replacements for Rosas and [Head Friar Juan de] Salas. [The new] Gov. Juan Flores de Sierra y Valdez was sick. Trying to supervise the residencia [a sort of trial at the end of a governor’s term] of Luis de Rosas, he accepted the counsel of the former governor’s enemies. Cabildo elections, meanwhile, brought outspoken critics [of Rosas] Francisco de Salazar and Juan de Archuleta [I] [also our ancestor] to power as regidores and Antonio Baca [our uncle] as an alcalde ordinario. Then [the new Governor] Sierra y Valdez died, and the anti-Rosas Cabildo [Santa Fe’s town council], outmaneuvering Lt. Gov. Francisco Gómez, assumed all interim governmental powers. Now they had Rosas just where they wanted him.

A young soldier, Nicolás Ortiz, became their means of revenge. Born in Zacatecas, Ortiz had first appeared in Santa Fe about 1634 as a teenaged member of an armed escort; he stayed on and married María de Bustillo, niece of Antonio Baca. After the new Governor, Luis Rosas, arrived in Santa Fe in 1637, Nicolás was again assigned to do escort duty, departing for Mexico City with the caravan that had brought Rosas to New Mexico. He would not appear in New Mexico again until 1641 when he arrived escorting the train conveying the next governor, Sierra y Valdez. Upon Ortiz’ return to Santa Fe, he found his wife María visibly pregnant. Later she would testify that she had been Governor Rosas’ mistress for four years. Ortiz masked his rage for several months and left town for the Zuni-Hopi country on an Apache campaign. Meanwhile the anti-Rosas faction, led by Antonio Baca, grabbed control of the government, confined Rosas, seized his property, and recorded the discovery of María in a chest under Don Luis’s mattress.

It was a cold January 25, 1642, when the cuckolded Ortiz finally avenged his shame.  Out of the darkness with a party of masked men, he burst into the house where Rosas was being held and dispatched the notorious ex-governor with a dozen thrusts of his sword. When Baca returned from his campaign, he presided over the murderer’s acquittal and sent him with the record of the proceedings to Mexico City.  Taken into custody enroute and retried by the governor of Nueva Vizcaya in Parral, the hapless Ortiz was condemned to be hanged, after which his severed head and sword hand were to be displayed on the gibbet.  But he escaped.
     Antonio Baca did not. Along with brother-in-law Juan de Archuleta and other relatives and associates in the anti-Rosas clique, the incredulous Baca found himself in the summer of 1643 confined by order of the new governor,. Alonso Pacheco y Heredia, and sentenced to be beheaded.  The Custos [head friar] Hernando de Covarrubias insisted on administering the last rites to the eight men facing death.  Baca could not believe that he was to be executed, but he was.  Armed with secret and detailed instructions from the unbending  Bishop-Viceroy Juan de Palafox y Mendoza, who considered the friars and their faction guilty of treason, Pacheco had resolved to carry out the harshest possible punishment against the lay leaders, “to get rid of them by a brief and exemplary punishment.”
    Father Covarrubias and the New Mexicans who carried out the gory business on the morning of July 21 must have experienced conflicting emotions.  Self-serving or not, these men had stood by the Franciscans, and their executioners were kin to the condemned.  Covarrubias reported that when Francisco de Salazar’s punishers tried to behead him with his own dagger, they made a bad job of it. “For God’s sake,” he screamed, “sharpen that thing and put me out of my misery!” Then, claimed Covarrubias, Salazar’s severed head recited the entire true and essential creed of the Roman Catholic faith.

The crowd summoned to the plaza that afternoon included Juan de Archuleta II and other relatives of the victims. [no doubt including Francisco Salazar’s son, Bartolomé] Governor Pacheco addressed them gravely, reiterating the pardon to the majority of the anti-Rosas partisans, revealing his secret instructions from Mexico City, and announcing the executions. As a mute warning to associates of the executed eight, Antonio Baca’s head was nailed to the gibbet. The governor also told the assembled people that he had ordered the traitors’ property seized; the proceeds would pay for a peacekeeping force of thirty men enlisted that very day. And when the governors and friars clashed violently again during the 1650’s and 1660’s, Juan de Archuleta II sided with the civil authorities at that time.

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Juan de Archuleta's Timeline

1602
1602
Nuevo México, Nueva España
1624
1624
Age 22
New Mexico, United States
1626
1626
Age 24
1631
1631
Age 29
Provincia de Nuevo Mexico, Virreinato de Nueva España
1643
July 21, 1643
Age 41
Nuevo México, Nueva España
1991
August 3, 1991
Age 41
1992
February 12, 1992
Age 41
April 7, 1992
Age 41