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Santa Fe in Santa Fe County, New Mexico — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

Don Diego de Vargas Zapata Luján Ponce de León, El Marques de la Nava de Barcinas

1643–1704

 

— Resettled New Mexico Twelve Years after Pueblo Revolt of 1680 —

 
Don Diego de Vargas Statue Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. J. Prats, April 13, 2012
1. Don Diego de Vargas Statue Marker
Inscription.  Don Diego de Vargas Zapata Luján Ponce de León, born 1643 in Madrid, Spain, served the crown as Governor of New Mexico from 1691–1697 and 1703–1704. Vargas was a devout Christian with a strong devotion to Nuestra Señora La Conquistadora, Our Lady of Peace. Recognized for his competency and talent as a royal official, his arrival in February 1691 at El Paso del Norte as Governor marked the beginning of the critical episode in New Mexico’s restoration, resulting in a remarkable reconciliation with Pueblo Indian leaders such as Luis Tupatú, Domingo Tuguaque, Juan de Ye and Bartolomé de Ojeda. Together these men forged a lasting peace that has endured for more than three hundred years. Vargas’ accomplishments in New Mexico will long be remembered by all generations that follow.
 
Erected 2007 by Caballeros de Vargas in commemoration of their 50th anniversary; founded June 25, 1656. City of Santa Fe. State of New Mexico. A special thank you to Representative Jim R. Trujillo.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Colonial EraSettlements & Settlers. A significant historical month for this entry is February 1691.
 
Location.
Don Diego de Vargas Statue and Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. J. Prats, April 13, 2012
2. Don Diego de Vargas Statue and Marker
2006 bronze by Donna Quasthoff is approximately six feet tall (not counting the spear) on a two foot base.
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Marker has been permanently removed. It was located near 35° 41.221′ N, 105° 56.199′ W. Marker was in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in Santa Fe County. Marker was on Cathedral Place north of East San Francisco Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker was in this post office area: Santa Fe NM 87501, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this location. 1598-1890 (a few steps from this marker); The Labyrinth (within shouting distance of this marker); Kateri Tekakwitha (within shouting distance of this marker); Sena Plaza (within shouting distance of this marker); 1598 (within shouting distance of this marker); 1583 (within shouting distance of this marker); 1540 (within shouting distance of this marker); Santa Fe Cathedral Park and Monument (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Santa Fe.
 
Regarding Don Diego de Vargas Zapata Luján Ponce de León, El Marques de la Nava de Barcinas. Marques translates to marquis in English. The title of marquis signifies that the title-holder is a nobleman with a rank above a count and below a duke. Diego de Vargas was the first person to hold the title El Marques de la Nava de Barcinas. It was bestowed by King Carlos II in 1699. The town of Barcinas is no longer in existence but the title is still valid and held at this writing
Detail of the Sculpture image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. J. Prats, April 13, 2012
3. Detail of the Sculpture
by the 12th Marquis. Barcinas was in what is now the municipality of Iznalloz, in the Andalusian province of Granada in Spain.
 
Also see . . .
1. New Mexico History.org Entry for Diego de Vargas. Excerpt: “Spain's rivalry with other European powers, especially France, for control of the Americas raised the reconquest of New Mexico to a very high priority in the early 1690s. Successful reestablishment of Spanish sovereignty would also mean handsome rewards, both financial and social, for the new governor. That success, however, was far from a foregone conclusion. Three previous attempts to reoccupy the Pueblo world had ended in failure.

“Nevertheless, in August 1692, just 18 months after his arrival at El Paso, Vargas led a modest force of less than 200 soldiers, vecinos, and Indian allies north. Following the Rio Grande, don Diego and his expedition found the southern pueblos abandoned, their people having sought refuge in mountainous terrain in anticipation of his arrival. In mid-September, the hopeful reconquerors reached Santa Fe, the former Spanish capital. There, at least 1,000 Pueblo people awaited them.

“After a perfunctory refusal to submit to Spanish rule by the native inhabitants of Santa Fe, Vargas threatened to cut off their water supply. There followed hours of verbal exchange, during which the Pueblos demanded that certain specific settlers
The de Vargas Coat of Arms, Detail of the Sculpture image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. J. Prats, April 13, 2012
4. The de Vargas Coat of Arms, Detail of the Sculpture
not be allowed to return to New Mexico, and the governor consented. Finally, don Diego issued an ultimatum: either submit and be pardoned or undergo an attack by Vargas’ forces. In response, two unarmed Pueblo men left the fortified town to offer peace. They were followed by others, until by nightfall a tense calm existed between the two groups.” (Submitted on August 14, 2014.) 

2. Cathedral Park Vandals Batter de Vargas Statue. 2013 article by Daniel Chacón in The New Mexican. Excerpt: “A fearless Don Diego de Vargas reclaimed Santa Fe from the Pueblo Indians in 1692. But a life-size bronze statue of the Spanish conquistador was no match for modern-day vandals. Since the statue was installed in downtown’s Cathedral Park in 2007, it has been fractured, defaced, sprayed with graffiti and, most recently, nearly knocked off its pedestal.” (Submitted on August 14, 2014.) 

3. De Vargas Statue Removed on June 18, 2020. (Submitted on September 14, 2021, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico.)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 14, 2021. It was originally submitted on August 14, 2014, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 583 times since then and 40 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 14, 2014, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.

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May. 26, 2022