Sunday, July 29, 2012
The Abandoned Lands...A Journey Through the Colorado Plateau: Twitter and Facebook, circa 1605; exploring El Morro National Monument
"Passed by here the Governor Don Juan De Oñate, from the discovery of the Sea of the South on the 16th of April, 1605."
The next oldest inscription is what made me think of Facebook...it was made by Governor Don Juan de Eulate in 1620 (below):
"I am the captain general of the provinces of New Mexico for the King, our lord, passed by here, returning from the Zuni pueblos on July 29, 1620; he left them in peace, at their request; asking his favor as vassals of his majesty, they again rendered their obedience, he did all this with attention, zeal, and prudence, as such a particularly Christian (gentleman) and gallant soldier of unending, praiseworthy memory."
Why Facebook? First, he's bragging. And then someone added a comment putting him in his place. Note how the word "gentleman" is scraped out. No one knows who did it (an anonymous hacker?). I like to imagine a servant or foot soldier rolling his eyes at the vanity of the governor. During the night before they left, the guy snuck up to the cliff and scratched out the offending word...
"Here was the General Don Diego de Vargas, who conquered to our Holy Faith and to the Royal Crown all of the New Mexico at his own expense, year of 1692."
A bit of bragging again ("at his own expense"?), but this was a terrible time for the people of the Pueblos. Twelve years earlier, in 1680, they had had enough of the Spanish overlords, and they violently expelled them from New Mexico. After a dozen years the Spaniards reconquered the pueblos, and there would be centuries of domination ahead.
Well, mostly changed. I just spent a long time telling you "I was here", but I suspect my version will not last as long as Oñate's or Eulate's.