PART-INDIAN STAYED LOYAL TO SPANISH CAUSE.Byline: MARC SIMMONS
Long known to historians of colonial New Mexico New Mexico, state in the SW United States. At its northwestern corner are the so-called Four Corners, where Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah meet at right angles; New Mexico is also bordered by Oklahoma (NE), Texas (E, S), and Mexico (S). is the name of Jose Lopez Naranjo. In the years after 1700, he played a key role in defending the province from hostile Indians.
Details of his career are thin, but the scraps of information we do have suggest that he was a multitalented individual.
The late Fray Angelico Chavez indicated that Jose's father was Domingo Naranjo, an Indian from Mexico, probably an Aztec or Tlaxcalan. The mother is not identified, but Fray Angelico said that records classify Jose as a lobo lo·bo
n. pl. lo·bos Chiefly Texas
The gray wolf.
[Spanish, wolf, from Latin lupus; see w , or person of mixed ancestry.
Oddly, writers of history have usually identified Naranjo as a native of Santa Clara Santa Clara, city, Cuba
Santa Clara (sän`tä klä`rä), city (1994 est. pop. 217,000), capital of Villa Clara prov., central Cuba. Pueblo, perhaps because that surname is not uncommon there. In fact, his residence as early as 1696 was in the newly established town of Santa Cruz Santa Cruz, city, United States
Santa Cruz (săn`tə krz), city (1990 pop. 49,040), seat of Santa Cruz co., W Calif., on the north shore of Monterey Bay; inc. 1866. de la Canada, a short distance east of Santa Clara.
Not long ago, while visiting Belen, I met his direct descendant, Orlando A. Naranjo Orlando A. Naranjo is a Venezuelan astronomer born in 1951. He is professor at the University of the Andes.
He is a prolific discoverer of asteroids, having found about 500. See also
They way he expressed it, Jose Lopez Naranjo was predominantly Indian, but "he led the life of a Spaniard among Spaniards." Dr. Rick Hendricks of Las Cruces Las Cruces (läs kr`sĭs), city (1990 pop. 62,126), seat of Dona Ana co., SW N.Mex., on the Rio Grande, in a farm area irrigated by the Elephant Butte system; founded 1848, inc. 1907. has said of Jose Naranjo something similar. "He looked and acted the part (of a Spaniard)."
What we seem to have here is an Indian who successfully assimilated into Hispano culture. We know that happened fairly often in the 18th century. The remarkable thing in this case is the list of achievements compiled by Jose Naranjo.
In late March of 1704, he is listed as a capitan mayor de guerra, that is, war captain and chief of scouts for a body of 120 Pueblo auxiliaries, or Indian militia. They had been called up by Gov. Diego de Vargas Diego de Vargas Zapata y Luján Ponce de León y Contreras (born in Spain, 1643 – 1704), commonly known as Don Diego de Vargas, was a Spanish Governor of the New Spain territory of Santa Fe de Nuevo México, today the U.S. to accompany his troops on an expedition against Apaches in the Sandia Mountains The Sandia Mountains are a mountain range located in Bernalillo and Sandoval counties, immediately to the northeast of the city of Albuquerque in New Mexico in the southwestern United States. .
Naranjo with 30 Pueblos was detached and sent ahead to scout the Apache position. They fought a brief skirmish, but then withdrew upon receiving word that Vargas was seriously ill A patient is seriously ill when his or her illness is of such severity that there is cause for immediate concern but there is no imminent danger to life. See also very seriously ill. . The governor died at Bernalillo on April 8, 1704.
Thereafter, Jose Naranjo would play a similar role in at least five large-scale expeditions against hostile Indians. Rather quickly, the viceroy in Mexico City confirmed his formal appointment as capitan mayor de guerra, a measure of the value the central government placed on his service.
When in the field, Naranjo was called upon as a guide to select the travel routes and appeared always to know where water and grazing for the horses could be found.
Further, he was much in demand as an interpreter. Besides Spanish, he spoke several Pueblo languages and was said to be well-versed in the he Apache tongue. How he acquired these useful skills remains a mystery.
1. In addition; besides: "And, withal, a wider publicity was given to thought-provoking ideas" Holbrook Jackson.
2. Despite that; nevertheless. Naranjo was illiterate, not then rare, even among army officers. Upon being summoned to Santa Fe in 1719 to give advice at a war council dealing with a proposal to punish raiding Utes, he did not sign the official copy of his testimony. Gov. Antonio Valverde certified that Jose did not know how.
The following year, the governor had alarming news that Frenchmen were on the Great Plains making alliances with the Indians and threatening New Mexico. He assembled an armed force and sent it out to investigate.
Lt. Gen. Pedro de Villasur commanded the troops that included 42 men from the Santa Fe presidio, 70 Pueblo Indian auxiliaries under Naranjo, three private citizens and an army chaplain, Fray Juan Minguez.
Another participant was Juan de Archibeque, a survivor of the ill-fated French colonizing venture under La Salle. He went along to serve as interpreter should any of his fellow countrymen be encountered.
Naranjo and Archibeque had served together on previous expeditions and were probably good friends.
This expedition struck out in a northeasterly north·east·er·ly
1. Situated toward the northeast.
2. Coming or being from the northeast.
north·east direction. In a matter of weeks, it reached the Platte River in Nebraska.
Downstream, Villasur went into camp amid thick grass. Nearby was a village of Pawnees, rumored to have several Frenchmen in it, trading weapons to the Indians.
Near dawn, Naranjo's Pueblo sentinels were surprised as a whooping whoop
a. A loud cry of exultation or excitement.
b. A shout uttered by a hunter or warrior.
2. A hooting cry, as of a bird.
3. The paroxysmal gasp characteristic of whooping cough. horde of Pawnee warriors rushed the encampment. Commander Villasur and Jose Naranjo were killed in the first wave. Then the leaderless army was engulfed and shattered. Archibeque and Father Minguez perished as did 33 presidial pre·sid·i·al also pre·sid·i·ar·y
Of, relating to, possessing, or being a garrison. soldiers and 11 Pueblo allies. It was an out-and-out disaster.
When Jose Lopez died on the banks of the far away Platte, he was approximately 44 years old. The hardy frontiersman left behind a wife, Catalina, and at least one son, Jose Antonio.
What he did not leave was a dictated memoir of his adventurous life, during which he gave loyal and unwavering support to the Spanish cause.
Historian Marc Simmons is author of numerous books on New Mexico and the Southwest. His column appears Saturdays.