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Some General Links/TepetongoDeaths/History of Zacatecas

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By makas_nc - Posted on 02 April 2006

http://familyhistory.byu.edu/nl-2006.asp

http://www.familysearch.org/Eng/Home/News/frameset_news.asp?PAGE=Press/2006-10-3_Finding_Records_Mexico.asp

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Also the below articles were from the latest Somos Primos newletter and
submitted by Leonardo de la Torre y Berumen and John Schmall

DEFUNCIONES DE TEPETONGO, ZACATECAS.

1832 - 1838

Por Leonardo de la Torre y Berumen

BARRAZA Ma. Rosa, adulta, de 60 años de edad, casada con José Manuel
González. Murió del cólera. Recibió los santos sacramentos. Sepultada
con licencia por el señor Cura propio Presbítero don Isidro García
González el 4 de agosto de 1833 en el cementerio de la hacienda de El
Cuidado, con entierro humilde, fabrica de 20 reales.

Libro de defunciones. Foja: 14. Año 1832-1839.

BERUMEN Ma. Antonia Isabel, adulta, de 55 años de edad, Murió en el
Arroyo Seco de Abajo de hidropesía. Dejando viudo a Teodoro Olivo.
Recibió los santos sacramentos. Sepultada el 18 de mayo de 1837 por el
Bachiller don Domingo Álvarez Tostado en el camposanto de Tepetongo, con
entierro mayor y fabrica de diez pesos.

Libro de defunciones. Foja: 101. 101 vuelta. Año 1832-1839.

BERUMEN Ma. Josefa, adulta, de 80 años de edad, viuda en primeras
nupcias de Tomás Rodríguez. Murió de dolor de costado en La Estancia.
Recibió los santos sacramentos. Sepultada el 25 de agosto de 1836 por el
Señor Cura propio Presbítero don Domingo Álvarez Tostado en el
camposanto de Los Sauces con entierro humilde en fabrica de 20 reales.

Libro de defunciones. Foja: 86. Año 1832-1839.

BERUMEN Ma. Paula, adulta, de 86 años de edad, viuda de José Rafael de
Escobedo. Murió en Arroyo Seco de males habituales. Recibió los santos
sacramentos de penitencia y extremaunción. Sepultada el 21 de julio de
1836 por el señor Cura propio Presbítero don Domingo Álvarez Tostado en
el camposanto del pueblo de Tepetongo, con entierro humilde en fabrica
de 20 reales.

Libro de defunciones. Foja: 82. Año 1832-1839.

CABRAL Gregoria, adulta, murió de un dolor, dejando viudo a Andrés
Menchaca. Sepultada el 27 de agosto de 1837 por el Bachiller Domingo
Álvarez Tostado en el camposanto de Tepetongo con entierro humilde y
fabrica de 20 reales.

Libro de defunciones. Foja: 107 vuelta. Año: 1832-1839.

CARLOS Ma. Vicenta, adulta de 35 años de edad, casada con Juan
Nepomuceno González. Murió de Evacuaciones. Recibió los santos
sacramentos. Sepultada por el Presbítero don Isidro García González en
el camposanto de Los Sauces con entierro humilde fabrica de 20 reales el
11 de diciembre de 1834.

Libro de defunciones. Foja: 56 vuelta. Año 1832-1839.

ESCOBEDO Anastasio, adulto, soltero, de 15 años de edad, hijo legítimo
de Ciriaco Escobedo y de Trinidad Fuentes. Murió en el Salitral de dolor
de Costado. Se confesó y recibió los santos sacramentos. Sepultado el 20
de octubre de 1837por el Bachiller Domingo Álvarez Tostado en el
camposanto de Tepetongo con entierro humilde en fabrica de veinte reales.

Libro de defunciones. Foja: 112. Año: 1832-1839.

ESCOBEDO doña Ma. Ana, adulta de 31 años de edad. Murió de hidropesía de
pecho en el pueblo de Tepetongo. Dejó viudo a don Lugardo Escobedo.
Recibió los santos sacramentos. Sepultada por el Presbítero don Isidro
García González en el camposanto del pueblo de Tepetongo el 27 de
octubre de 1833 con entierro menor fabrica de 25 pesos.

Libro de defunciones. Foja: 40. Año 1832-1839.

ESCOBEDO FERNANDEZ doña Ma. de San Pablo, doncella, de 60 años de edad,
murió en La Troje de hidropesía. Sepultada el 22 de abril de 1837 por el
Bachiller don Domingo Álvarez Tostado en el camposanto de Tepetongo con
entierro mayor en fabrica de10 pesos.

Libro de defunciones. Foja: 100 vuelta. Año 1832-1839.

ESCOBEDO Juan José, adulto de 43 años de edad, casado que fue con Ma.
Paulina Correa. Murió en Víboras repentinamente de una caída de una
bestia, sin haber recibido sacramentos. Sepultado por el Presbítero don
Isidro García González con entierro de limosna en el camposanto del
pueblo de Tepetongo el 21 de mayo de 1835.

Libro de defunciones. Foja: 61. Año 1832.

ESCOBEDO Ma. Matiana DE, adulta de 19 años de edad. Murió de parto en el
salitral. Se confesó. Dejó viudo a Faustino Miranda. Sepultada por el
Presbítero don Isidro García González con entierro humilde, fabrica de
20 reales en el camposanto del pueblo de Tepetongo el 11 de noviembre de
1833.

Libro de defunciones. Foja: 41. Año 1832.

ESCOBEDO ROSALES Ma. del Refugio, adulta, doncella, de 15 años de edad,
hija legítima de Manuel Escobedo y de María Apolonia Rosales. Murió de
fiebre. Recibió los santos sacramentos. Sepultada por el presbítero don
Isidro García González en el camposanto del pueblo de Tepetongo, con
entierro humilde, fabrica de 20 reales el 2 de febrero de 1836

Libro de defunciones. Foja: 72 vuelta. Año 1832.

FELIX GODINA José Refugio, adulto de 20años de edad, murió en La
Estancia del Cólera. Recibió los santos sacramentos, hijo legítimo de
Rafael Félix y de Ma. Gertrudis Godina. Sepultado por el señor Cura
propio don Isidro García González con entierro humilde en el camposanto
de Tepetongo el 28 de septiembre de 1833. .

Libro de defunciones. Foja: 37 vuelta. Año 1832.

GONZALEZ Trinidad, adulto, soltero, de25 años de edad, hijo legítimo de
Miguel Eusebio González y de Ma. del Carmen Correa. Murió en Juanchorrey
de irritación. Se confesó y recibió los santos sacramentos. Sepultado el
24 de abril de 1838 por el Bachiller Domingo Álvarez Tostado en el
camposanto de Los Sauces con entierro humilde en fabrica de veinte reales.

Libro de defunciones. Foja: 123 vuelta. Año: 1832.

JARAMILLO José Ma., adulto, de 66 años de edad. Casado con María Rafaela
de Acevedo. Murió en Santa Gertrudis de enfermedades habituales. Se
confesó y oleó. Sepultado el 3 de abril de 1836 por el Presbítero don
Isidro García González en el camposanto del pueblo de Tepetongo con
entierro humilde y fabrica de 20 reales.

Libro de defunciones. Foja: 75. Año 1832.

MACIAS Juan, adulto, murió en Achimec de un rayo, dejando viuda a
Gregoria González. No se confesó. Sepultado el 26 de julio de 1838 por
el Bachiller Domingo Alvarez Tostado en el camposanto de Tepetongo, con
entierro humilde, fabrica de veinte reales.

Libro de defunciones. Foja: 128. Año 1832.

MARQUEZ doña Dolores, adulta, de32 años de edad. Murió de parto en El
Salitre. Dejó viudo a don Domingo Ollarzabal. No testó ni recibió los
santos sacramentos por descuido de los interesados. Sepultada el 25 de
octubre de 1837 por el Bachiller Domingo Álvarez Tostado en el
camposanto de Tepetongo con entierro humilde en fabrica de veinte reales.

Libro de defunciones. Foja: 112. Año: 1832.

MEJIA Julio, adulto, viudo de María Luisa Pérez- Murió en La Tinaja de
fiebre. Recibió los santos sacramentos. Sepultado el 2 de julio de 1837
por el Bachiller Domingo Álvarez Tostado en el camposanto de Los Sauces
con entierro humilde en fabrica de veinte reales.

Libro de defunciones. Foja: 103 vuelta. Año: 1832.

NAVA don José Magdaleno DE, adulto, de 32 años de edad, casado con doña
Ma. Dionisia de Márquez. Murió de fiebre en Juanchorrey. Recibió los
santos sacramentos. Testo. Sepultado por el Presbítero don Isidro García
González en el camposanto de Los Sauces con entierro humilde fabrica de
20 reales.

Libro de defunciones. Foja: 42 vuelta. Año 1832.

NAVA doña Ma. del Refugio, adulta, de28 años de edad, casada con don
Juan Mejía. Murió de fiebre en Juanchorrey. Recibió los santos
sacramentos. Sepultada por el Presbítero don Isidro García González con
entierro menor, fabrica de 20 reales el 20 de marzo de 1834.

Libro de defunciones. Foja: 45vuelta. Año 1832.

ORELLANA don Pioquinto, adulto, de 60 años de edad, casado con doña Ma.
Ignacia Saldivar. Murió de hidropesía en La Troje. Testó. Sepultado por
el Presbítero don Isidro García González en el camposanto del pueblo de
Tepetongo con entierro humilde en fabrica de 20 reales el 28 de marzo de
1836.

Libro de defunciones. Foja: 74 vuelta. Año 1832.

PEREZ Ma. Luisa, adulta, que murió en laTinaja de fiebre. Dejó viudo a
Julio Mejía. Recibió los santos sacramentos. Sepultada el 14 de abril de
1837 por el Bachiller Domingo Álvarez Tostado en el camposanto de Los
Sauces con entierro humilde en fabrica de 20 reales.

Libro de defunciones. Foja: 99 vuelta - 100. Año 1832.

SALDIVAR Ma. Ignacia, adulta, viuda de Pío Orellano. Murió de
hidropesía. Testó. Recibió los santos sacramentos. Sepultada el 30 de
agosto de 1837 en el camposanto de Tepetongo con entierro humilde.

Libro de defunciones. Foja: 108. Año: 1832.

SILVA don Francisco DE, adulto, de 54 años de edad, casado que fue en
terceras nupcias con doña Ma. Petra Espinoza. Murió de hernia en Arroyo
Seco de Abajo. Recibió los santos sacramentos. Testo. Sepultado el 27 de
febrero de 1834 por el Presbítero don Isidro García González en el
cementerio del pueblo de Tepetongo con entierro menor, fabrica de 20 reales.

Libro de defunciones. Foja: 44 vuelta. Año 1832.

TORRE don Pablo José DE LA, adulto, de 57 años de edad, murió de cólera.
Recibió los santos sacramentos. Dejó viuda a doña Ma. Pioquinta Salazar
en el pueblo de Tepetongo. No testo. Sepultado por el señor Cura Propio
don Isidro García González el 13 de agosto de 1833 con entierro humilde,
fabrica de veinte reales.

Libro de defunciones. Foja: 12. Año 1832.

TORRE José María DE LA. De 57 años de edad, dela Lechuguilla, murió de
apoplejía sin sacramentos. Dejó viuda a doña Quirina Márquez. Sepultado
el 3 de diciembre de 1832 por el Señor Cura propio Presbítero don Isidro
García González en camposanto del pueblo de Tepetongo.

Libro de defunciones. Foja: 2. Año 1832.

TORRE Ma. de Jesús DE LA, adulta, de 48 años de edad, murió en el pueblo
de Tepetongo de fiebre. Dejó viudo a Bernabé Mejía. Se confesó y recibió
los santos sacramentos. Sepultada el 12 de diciembre de 1836 por el
Bachiller don Domingo Álvarez Tostado en el camposanto de Tepetongo, con
entierro humilde en fabrica de 20 reales.

Libro de defunciones. Foja: 93 vuelta. Año 1832.

TORRE Ma. de San Pablo DE LA, de 35 años de edad, murió en La
Lechuguilla de parto, dejando viudo a Nepomuceno Guzmán. No se confesó
por la violencia de su muerte. Sepultada el 25 de mayo de 1838 por el
Bachiller Domingo Álvarez Tostado en el camposanto de Tepetongo con
entierro humilde en fabrica de veinte reales.

Libro de defunciones. Foja: 125 vuelta. Año: 1832.

TORRE Mariana DE LA, párvula, hija legítima de Francisco de la Torre y
de Trinidad Correa. Murió en Juanchorrey de fiebre. Sepultada de limosna
el 18 de junio de 1838 por el Bachiller Domingo Álvarez Tostado en el
camposanto de Los Sauces.

Libro de defunciones. Fojas: 128-128 vuelta. Año 1832.

TORRE don Roque DE LA, adulto, de 59 años de edad, casado con doña María
Gabriela González. Recibió los santos sacramentos. Murió en La
Lechuguilla de hidropesía de pecho. Testó. Sepultado el 22de mayo de
1835 por el Presbítero don Isidro García González en el camposanto del
pueblo de Tepetongo, con entierro mayor, fabrica de 5 pesos.

Libro de defunciones. Foja: 61. Año 1832.

TORRE doña Margarita DE LA, viuda de don Felipe de Jesús González. Murió
en el Salitrillo de hidropesía. Testó. Recibió los santos sacramentos.
Sepultada el 20 de marzo de 1837 por el Bachiller don Domingo Álvarez
Tostado en el camposanto de Tepetongo con entierro mayor en fábrica de
20 pesos.

Libro de defunciones. Foja: 99. Año 1832.

TORRE Isabel DE LA, adulta, viuda de José María González. Murió en
Juanchorrey de dolor cólico. Recibió los santos sacramentos. Sepultada
el 9 de julio de 1837 por el Bachiller Domingo Álvarez Tostado en el
camposanto de Los Sauces con entierro humilde en fabrica de 20 reales.

Libro de defunciones. Foja: 104. Año: 1832.

ZUÑIGA Pedro José DE, adulto, de 25 años de edad. Murió del cólera en La
Estancia. Dejó viuda a Eligia de Vera. Recibió los santos sacramentos.
Sepultado por el señor Cura propio don Isidro García González con
entierro humilde, fabrica de 20 reales.

Libro de defunciones. Foja: 37 vuelta. Año 1832.

VALDEZ don Juan, adulto, de 40 años de edad, dejó viuda a Ma. del
Refugio Berumen. Murió en La Lechuguilla de fiebre. Se confesó y recibió
los santos sacramentos. Sepultado el 26 de julio de 1838 por el
Bachiller Domingo Álvarez Tostado en el camposanto de Tepetongo, con
entierro humilde, fabrica de veinte reales.

Libro de defunciones. Foja: 128. Año 1832.

THE HISTORY OF ZACATECAS

By John P. Schmal

The state of Zacatecas, located in the north-central portion of the
Mexican Republic, is a land rich in cultural, religious, and historical
significance. With a total of 75,040 square kilometers, Zacatecas is
Mexico's eighth largest state and occupies 3.383% of the total surface
of the country. Politically, the state is divided into fifty-six
municipios and has a total of 5,064 localities, 86% of which correspond
to the old haciendas.

With a population of 1,441,734 inhabitants, Zacatecas depends upon
cattle-raising, agriculture, mining, communications, food processing,
tourism, and transportation for its livelihood. Although much of
Zacatecas is desert, the primary economic driver of the state is
agriculture. Zacatecas is Mexico's foremost producer of beans, chili
peppers and cactus leaves, and holds second place in guava production,
third in grapes, and fifth in peaches.

The indigenous history of Zacatecas stretches so far into the past that
we are unable to say exactly when people settled in the area. Even
today, in many parts of Zacatecas, a hundred or more ancient ruins in
the state give testimony to an ancient civilization that flourished in
western Zacatecas along the eastern slopes of the Sierra Madre
Occidental between about 200 and 1250 A.D.

The largest pre-Columbian settlement in Zacatecas can be found in
southwestern Zacatecas. In 1535, when the Spaniards discovered La
Quemada, they commented on its wide streets and "imposing appearance."
The massive ruins at this fortified ceremonial site consist of extensive
terraces and broad stone causeways, as well as gigantic pillars, 18 feet
in height and 17 feet in circumference. First occupied between about 200
and 300 A.D., La Quemada's population probably peaked after 500 A.D.

Eighteenth Century historians conjectured that this might have been the
legendary Chicomostoc, the place where the Aztecs stayed nine years
during their extended journey from Aztlán to Tenochtitlán (the site of
present day Mexico City). Other interpretations of La Quemada have
speculated that it may have been an enclave of Teotihuacan culture, a
Toltec market site, or a Tarascan fort. Between 500 and 700 A.D., it is
believed that La Quemada was a trade center for the collection and
redistribution of raw materials (such as salt, minerals and shells).
After 850 A.D., however, La Quemada went into decline, and by 900, the
site was abandoned completely.

The archaeological site of Alta Vista, at Chalchihuites, is located 137
miles to the northwest of the City of Zacatecas and 102 miles southeast
of the City of Durango. Located to the west of Sombrerete in the
northwestern corner of the state, it is believed that the site was a
cultural oasis that was occupied more or less continuously from 100 A.D.
to 1400 A.D.

The archaeologist Manuel Gamio referred to Chalchihuites as a "culture
of transition" between the Mesoamerican civilizations and the so-called
Chichimeca hunters/gatherers who lived in the arid plateau of central
Mexico. Chalchihuites and Le Quemada were both outposts of Mesoamerican
settlement in an ecological and cultural frontier area. However, in this
transition zone, climatic changes caused continual shifts in the
available resource base, discouraging most attempts at creating
permanent settlements.

After the conquest of southern Mexico in 1521, Hernán Cortés sent
several expeditions north to explore La Gran Chichimeca. Juan Alvarez
Chico and Alonso de Avalos each led expeditions northward into the land
we now call Zacatecas. By this time, the Aztec and Tlaxcalan nations had
aligned themselves with the Spaniards and most explorations were
undertaken jointly with Spanish soldiers and Indian warriors. These
expeditions went north in the hopes of developing trade relations with
the northern tribes and finding mineral wealth. Each expedition was
accompanied by missionaries who did their part to Christianize the
native peoples.

In December 1529, Nuño de Guzmán, left Mexico City at the head of a
force of five hundred Spaniards and 10,000 Indian soldiers. According to
J. Lloyd Mecham, the author of Francisco de Ibarra and Nueva Vizcaya,
"Guzmán was an able and even brilliant lawyer, a man of great energy and
firmness, but insatiably ambitious, aggressive, wily, and cruel." In a
rapid and brutal campaign lasting from February to June, 1530, Guzmán
traveled through Michoacán, Jalisco, and southern Zacatecas. The
historian Peter Gerhard writes that "Guzmán's strategy throughout was to
terrorize the natives with often unprovoked killing, torture, and
enslavement. The army left a path of corpses and destroyed houses and
crops, impressing surviving males into service and leaving women and
children to starve."

Reports of Guzmán's brutal treatment of the indigenous people got the
attention of the authorities in Mexico City. In 1536, he was arrested,
imprisoned and put on trial. Two years later, his trial was removed to
Spain, where he would die in poverty and disgrace. But the actions of
this man would stir up hatred and resentment that would haunt the
Spaniards for the rest of the Sixteenth Century. In the meantime, the
present-day areas of Zacatecas, Jalisco, and Aguascalientes were all
lumped together as part of the Spanish administrative province, Nueva
Galicia.

One of the earliest encounters that the Zacatecas Indians had with the
Europeans took place in 1530 when Juan de Oñate, a lieutenant of the
conquistador Nuño de Guzmán, began construction of a small town near the
site of present-day Nochistlán in southern Zacatecas. Oñate called this
small village La Villa de Espíritu Santo de Guadalajara in honor of the
Spanish city where Guzmán had been born.

However, from the beginning, the small settlement had come under Indian
attack and in 1531, the Indians of nearby Teul massacred the local
Spanish garrison as well as the reinforcements dispatched to subdue
them. Recognizing that the neighborhood was not very receptive to its
Spanish neighbors, Guzmán, in 1533, decided to move Guadalajara to
another site, closer to the center of the province. The City of
Guadalajara - today the second largest urban center of Mexico - would be
founded at its present location farther south in 1542.

When the Spaniards started exploring Zacatecas in the 1520s and 1530s,
they encountered several nomadic tribes occupying the area. The Aztecs
had collectively referred to these Indians with the all-encompassing
term, Chichimecas. The primary Chichimeca groups that occupied the
present-day area of Zacatecas were the Zacatecos, Cazcanes, Tepehuanes
and Guachichiles.

Although the Aztecs employed the term Chichimeca frequently, they
acknowledged that they themselves were the descendants of Chichimeca
Indians. Mr. Alfredo Moreno González, in his book Santa Maria de Los
Lagos, explains that the word Chichimeca has been subject to various
interpretations over the years. Some of these suggestions included
"linaje de perros" (of dog lineage), "perros altaneros" (arrogant dogs),
or "chupadores de sangre" (blood-suckers). With time, however, the
Aztecs and other Indians came to fear and respect the Chichimeca Indians
as brave and courageous defenders of their ancestral homelands.

The historian Philip Wayne Powell has written several books that dealt
with the Chichimeca Indians and the Spanish encounter with these
Indians. In his publication Soldiers Indians and Silver: North America's
First Frontier War, Mr. Powell noted that "Hernán Cortés, the Conqueror,
defeated the Aztecs in a two-year campaign" but that his "stunning
success created an illusion of European superiority over the Indian as a
warrior." Continuing with this line of thought, Mr. Powell observed that
"this lightning-quick subjugation of such massive and complex peoples as
the Tlaxcalan, Aztec, and Tarascan, proved to be but prelude to a far
longer military struggle against the peculiar and terrifying prowess of
Indian America's more primitive warriors."

In the spring of 1540, the Indian population of western Mexico began a
fierce rebellion against the Spanish rule. The indigenous tribes living
along today's Three-Fingers border region between Jalisco and Zacatecas
led the way in fomenting the insurrection. In the hills near Teul and
Nochistlán, the Indians attacked Spanish settlers and soldiers and
destroyed churches.

By April of 1541, the Cazcanes of southern Zacatecas and northern
Jalisco were waging a full-scale revolt against all symbols of Spanish
rule. Pedro de Alvarado, the conqueror of Guatemala, hastened to
Guadalajara in June 1541 with a force of 400 men. Refusing to await
reinforcements, Alvarado lead a direct attack against the Juchipila
Indians near Nochistlán. On June 24, several thousand Indians attacked
the Spaniards with such ferocity that they were forced to retreat with
heavy losses. In this retreat, Alvarado was crushed when he fell under a
horse. He died in Guadalajara from his injuries on July 4, 1541.

It took the better part of two years to contain the Mixtón Rebellion.
Antonio de Mendoza, who had become the first Viceroy of Nueva España in
1535, quickly assembled a force of 450 Spaniards and 30,000 Aztec and
Tlaxcalan warriors. In a series of short sieges and assaults, Mendoza
captured the native fortresses one by one. By December, 1541, the native
resistance had been completely crushed. The Mixtón Rebellion had a
profound effect upon the Spanish expansion into central and northern
Mexico. The historian J. Lloyd Mecham wrote that "the uprising in Nueva
Galicia not only checked advance in that direction, but even caused a
temporary contraction of the frontiers."

However, in 1546, an event of great magnitude that would change the
dynamics of the Zacatecas frontier took place. On September 8, a Basque
nobleman, Juan de Tolosa, meeting with a small group of Indians near the
site of the present-day city of Zacatecas, was taken to some nearby
mineral outcroppings. Once it was determined that the mineral samples
from this site were silver ore, a small mining settlement was very
quickly established at Zacatecas, 8,148 feet above sea level.

Suddenly, the dream of quick wealth brought a multitude of prospectors,
entrepreneurs, and laborers streaming into Zacatecas. Indians from
southern Mexico, eager to earn the higher wages offered by miners,
flooded into the region. In the next two decades, rich mineral-bearing
deposits would also be discovered farther north in San Martín (1556),
Chalchihuites (1556), Avino (1558), Sombrerete (1558), Fresnillo (1566),
Mazapil (1568), and Nieves (1574). However, "the rather sudden intrusion
of the Spaniards," writes Allen R. Franz, the author of Huichol
Ethnohistory: The View From Zacatecas, soon precipitated a reaction from
these "hostile and intractable natives determined to keep the strangers
out."

Most of the semi-nomadic Indians of Zacatecas shared a primitive
hunting-collecting culture, based on the gathering of mesquite and tunas
(the fruit of the nopal). Some of them also lived off of acorns, roots
and seeds. In some areas, they even cultivated maize and calabashes.
From the mesquite they made white bread and wine. Many Chichimeca
tribes utilized the juice of the agave as a substitute for water when
the latter was in short supply. Several of the Chichimeca Indians are
described in the following paragraphs:

Zacatecos. The Zacatecos Indians occupied much of what is now northern
Zacatecas and northeastern Durango. Their lands bordered with those of
the Tepehuanes on the west and the Guachichiles on the east. Mr. Powell
writes that the Zacatecos were "brave and bellicose warriors and
excellent marksmen." They were greatly feared by the neighboring tribes,
in particular the Cazcanes, whom they attacked constantly.

Although many of the Chichimeca Indians were nomadic, some of the
Zacatecos Indians had dwellings of a more permanent character,
inhabiting areas near the wooded sierras. They inhabited homes
constructed of adobe or sun-dried bricks and stones. They slept on the
floor of their one-room homes. A fireplace in the middle of the floor,
surrounded by rocks, was used for cooking food. The Zacatecos Indians
grew roots, herbs, maize, beans, and some wild fruits. They hunted
rabbits, deer, birds, frogs, snakes, worms, and rats. Eventually, the
Zacatecos would develop a fondness for the meat of the larger animals
brought in to their territory by the Spaniards. During their raids on
Spanish settlements, they frequently stole mules, horses, cattle, and
other livestock, all of which became a part of their diet.

Peter Masten Dunne, the author of Pioneer Jesuits in Northern Mexico,
writes that the Zacatecos were "a tall, well-proportioned, muscular
people." They had oval faces with "long black eyes wide apart, large
mouth, thick lips and small flat noses." The men wore breechcloth, while
the women wore short petticoats of skins or woven maguey. Both sexes
wore their hair long, usually to the waist. The Zacatecos married young,
with most girls being married by the age of fifteen. Monogamy was their
general practice. The Indians smeared their bodies with clay of various
colors and painted them with the forms of reptiles. This paint helped
shield them from the sun's rays but also kept vermin off their skin.

Guachichiles. Of all the Chichimec tribes, the Guachichile Indians
occupied the largest territory, from Saltillo in the north to some parts
of Los Altos (Jalisco) and western Guanajuato in the south. Their
territory extended westward close to the city of Zacatecas. The name
Guachichil - given to them by the Aztecs - meant "head colored red."
They had been given this label, writes Mr. Dunne, because "they were
distinguished by red feather headdresses, by painting themselves red
(especially the hair), or by wearing head coverings (bonetillas) made of
hides and painted red." The archaeologist Paul Kirchhoff wrote that the
following traits characterized the Guachichile Indians: "painting of the
body; coloration of the hair; head gear; matrilocal residence; freedom
of the married woman; special forms of cruelty to enemies."

In the development of tribal alliances, the Guachichiles were considered
the most advanced of the Chichimec tribes. They were a major catalyst in
provoking the other tribes to resist the Spanish settlement and
exploitation of Indian lands. "Their strategic position in relation to
Spanish mines and highways," wrote Mr. Powell, "made them especially
effective in raiding and in escape from Spanish reprisal." The Spanish
frontiersmen and contemporary writers referred to the Guachichiles "as
being the most ferocious, the most valiant, and the most elusive" of all
their indigenous adversaries. In addition, the Christian missionaries
found their language difficult to learn because of its "many sharply
variant dialects." As a result, the conversion of these natives to
Christianity did not come easy.

Cazcanes. The Cazcanes Indians occupied southern Zacatecas and northern
Jalisco. Occupying territory to the west of the Guamares and Tecuexes
and south of the Zacatecos Indians, they were a partly nomadic people
whose principal religious and population centers were in Teul,
Tlaltenango, Juchipila, and Teocaltiche. After their defeat in the
Mixtón Rebellion, the Cazcanes began serving as auxiliaries to the
northward Spanish advance. For this reason, they would occasionally come
under attack by the Zacatecos Indians.

The Chichimeca War (1550-1590). Mr. Powell writes that rush to establish
new settlements and pave new roads through Zacatecas, "left in its wake
a long stretch of unsettled and unexplored territory..." As these
settlements and the mineral output of the mines grew in numbers, "the
needs to transport to and from it became a vital concern of miners,
merchants, and government." To function properly, the Zacatecas silver
mines "required well-defined and easily traveled routes." These routes
brought in badly-needed supplies and equipment from distant towns and
also delivered the silver to smelters and royal counting houses in the
south.

Mr. Powell wrote that these highways "became the tangible, most
frequently visible evidence of the white man's permanent intrusion" into
their land. As the natives learned about the usefulness of the goods
being transported (silver, food, and clothing), "they quickly
appreciated the vulnerability of this highway movement to any attack
they might launch."

In time, the Zacatecos and Guachachile Indians, in whose territory most
of the silver mines could be found, started to resist the intrusion by
assaulting the travelers and merchants using the roads. And thus began
La Guerra de los Chichimecas (The War of the Chichimecas), which
eventually became the longest and most expensive conflict between
Spaniards and the indigenous peoples of New Spain in the history of the
colony.

The attacks against the silver caravans usually took place in a narrow
pass, in rocky terrain, at the mouth of a ravine, or in a place with
sufficient forestation to conceal their approach. They usually ambushed
their victims at dawn or dusk and struck with great speed. Mr. Powell
wrote that "surprise, nudity, body paint, shouting, and rapid shooting
were all aimed at terrifying the intended victims and their animals.
There is ample evidence that they usually succeeded in this." The
Spaniards' superiority in arms was not effective when they were taken by
surprise.

In hand-to-hand combat, the Chichimeca warriors gained a reputation for
courage and ferocity. Even when the Chichimeca warrior was attacked in
his hideout or stronghold, Mr. Powell writes, "he usually put up
vigorous resistance, especially if unable to escape the onslaught. In
such cases, he fought - with arrows, clubs, or even rocks! Even the
women might take up the fight, using the weapons of fallen braves. The
warriors did not readily surrender and were known to fight on with great
strength even after receiving mortal wounds."

The intensity of the attacks increased with each year. Then, in 1554,
the worst disaster of all occurred when a train of sixty wagons with an
armed escort was attacked by the Chichimecas in the Ojuelos Pass. In
addition to inflicting great loss of life, the Chichimecas carried off
more than 30,000 pesos worth of clothing, silver, and other valuables.
By the late 1580s, thousands had died and a general depopulation of the
Zacatecas mining camps became a matter of concern for the Spanish
authorities.

If there was any single date that represented a turning of the tide in
the Chichimec War, it would be October 18, 1585. On this day, Alonso
Manrique de Zuñiga, the Marqués de Villamanrique, became the seventh
viceroy of Mexico. Mr. Powell writes that "to this great viceroy must go
the major share of credit for planning and largely effecting the end" of
the war and "the development of basic policies to guarantee a sound
pacification of the northern frontier." Villamanrique evaluated the
deteriorating situation, consulted expert advice, and reversed the
practices of the past.

The Viceroy learned that many Spanish soldiers had begun raiding
peaceful Indians for the purpose of enslavement. Infuriated by this
practice, the Marqués prohibited further enslavement of all captured
Indians and freed or placed under religious care those who had already
been captured. He also appointed Don Antonio de Monroy to conduct
investigations into this conduct and punish the Spaniards involved in
the slave trade.

Villamanrique also launched a full-scale peace offensive. He opened
negotiations with the principal Chichimeca leaders, and, according to
Mr. Powell, made to them promises of food, clothing, lands, religious
administration, and agricultural implements to attract them to peaceful
settlement. As it turns out, the olive branch proved to be more
persuasive than the sword, and on November 25, 1589, the Viceroy was
able to report to the King that the state of war had ended.

The policy of peace by persuasion was continued under the next Viceroy,
Luis de Velasco. He sent Franciscan and Jesuit missionaries into the
former war zone and spent more money on food and agricultural tools for
the Chichimecas. He also recruited some 400 families of Tlaxcalans from
the south and settled them in eight towns of the war zone. Velasco's
successor, the Conde de Monterrey, completed Velasco's work by
establishing a language school at Zacatecas to teach missionaries the
various Chichimeca dialects. Through this effort, the conversion of the
Chichimeca Indians to Christianity would be streamlined.

The most important component of the "peace by purchase" policy involved
the shipment and distribution of food, clothing, and agricultural
implements to strategically located depots. The clothing shipped,
according to Mr. Powell, included coarse woolen cloth, coarse blankets,
woven petticoats, shirts, hats and capes. The agricultural implements
included plows, hoes, axes, hatchets, leather saddles, and slaughtering
knives. "However," writes Mr. Powell, "the most fundamental contribution
to the pacification process at century's end was the vast quantity of
food, mostly maize and beef." Another important element of the
pacification was the maintenance of freedom. Many of the Indians had
been granted exemption from forced service and tribute and had thus
retained their independence of action.

As the Chichimeca War ended and the Zacatecos and Guachichile Indians
settled down to work for their former enemies, the nomadic tribes of
Zacatecas disappeared. In the meantime, Catholic missionaries had begun
a vigorous campaign to win the hearts and souls of the native people of
Zacatecas. By 1596, fourteen monasteries dotted the present-day area of
Zacatecas. The peace offensive and missionary efforts were so successful
that within a few years, the Zacatecos and Guachichile Indians had
settled down to peaceful living within the small settlements that now
dotted the Zacatecas landscape. Working in the fields and mines
alongside the Aztec, Tlaxcalan, Otomí and Tarascan Indians who had also
settled in Zacatecas, the Chichimeca Indians were very rapidly
assimilated into the more dominant cultures. Absorbed into the Spanish
and Indian groups that had invaded their lands half-a-century earlier,
the Guachichiles and Zacatecas Indians disappeared as distinguishable
cultural entities. And thus, Mr. Powell concludes, "the
sixteenth-century land of war thus became fully Mexican in its mixture."

Although most Zacatecanos and Mexican Americans can look to the
indigenous peoples of Zacatecas as their ancestors, there is virtually
nothing left of the old cultures. The languages they spoke, the
religions they adhered to, the cultures they practiced are today
unknown. Professor Julian Nava, in this videotape production about
Zacatecas, explains that there are many architectural monuments left by
ancient inhabitants of the area, and few have been studied so far.

The Huicholes and Tepehuanes who occupied portions of far western
Zacatecas have survived to this day, but most of them now live in the
neighboring states of Durango, Chihuahua, Nayarit and Jalisco. In the
1930 census, only 27 persons in Zacatecas were tallied as persons over
the age of five who spoke an indigenous language. This number increased
to 284 in 1950 and to 1,000 in the 1970 census.

In the 2000 census, a mere 1,837 persons in Zacatecas spoke indigenous
languages, with the main languages spoken being the Tepehuán (358
persons), Huichol (330 persons), Náhuatl (330), Otomí (119), Mazahua
(101), and Purépecha (80). The majority of these speakers of Indian
languages are transplants from other states.

Most of the Indigenous peoples of Zacatecas do not exist as individual
cultural entities anymore, but genetically their blood has been passed
forward to present generations of Zacatecanos and Mexican Americans. The
fifty-year struggle of the Zacatecas Indians is a tribute to their
resolve and independence, and the fact that they could not be defeated
through war along, but had to be bribed into peace, is a testimony to
their tenacity and strength.

Starting in the Seventeenth Century, the prosperity of Zacatecas
corresponded with the vagaries of its silver industry. A period of great
prosperity from 1690 to 1752 was followed by a period of economic
depression in which the value of silver dropped. However, in 1768, the
silver industry rallied and the next period of expansion lasted until
1810. This period of prosperity led to a significant increase in the
population of the city of Zacatecas from 15,000 in 1777 to 33,000 in
1803. A census tally in the latter year also revealed the ethnic
composition of the city: 42% Spanish and mestizo extraction; 27% Indian;
and 31% Black and mulato. A mestizo is a person of mixed Spanish and
Indian heritage, while a mulato is a person of mixed Spanish and African
ancestry.

In September 1810, Father Miguel Hidalgo raised the standard of revolt
in nearby Guanajuato. For several months, Father Hidalgo's rebel forces
occupied Zacatecas and other areas of Mexico. However, eventually
Royalist forces routed the insurgents and captured Father Hidalgo, who
was executed on July 31, 1811 by a firing squad. The war for
independence continued for ten more years before the Spanish Empire was
finally forced to give up its prized colony at the Treaty of Cordoba on
August 24, 1821.

Two years later, on July 12, 1823, Zacatecas declared itself an
independent state within the Mexican Republic. In the years to follow,
many of the Mexican states, including Zacatecas, would seek provincial
self-government and political autonomy from Mexico City. However, the
self-determination that Zacatecas sought for itself came into direct
conflict with the Federal government.

In the early years of the independent republic, two factions dominated
Mexican politics. The Conservatives, backed by the large landowners, the
Catholic Church and the federal army, favored the old system that had
dominated colonial Mexico for three centuries. The Liberals, however,
challenged the old order. In 1832, Federal forces under President
Anastacio Bustamante, representing Conservative interests, defeated
rebellious Zacatecas forces under the command of General Esteban
Moctezuma in the Battle of Gallinero.

Three years later, Zacatecas once again revolted against the national
government. On May 11, 1835, the Zacatecas militia, under the command of
Francisco García, was defeated at the Battle of Guadalupe by the Federal
forces of General Santa Anna. Soon after this victory, Santa Anna's
forces ransacked the city of Zacatecas and the rich silver mines at
Fresnillo.

In addition to seizing large quantities of Zacatecan silver, Santa Anna
punished Zacatecas by separating Aguascalientes from Zacatecas and
making it into an independent territory. Aguascalientes would achieve
the status of state in 1857. The loss of Aguascalientes and its rich
agricultural terrain would be a severe blow to the economy and the
spirit of Zacatecas. Soon after his victory over the Zacatecas forces,
General Santa Ana moved north to deal with another rebellious province
called Tejas. Santa Ana's attempt to subdue the rebellious
Texicans/Tejanos would meet with failure after an initial victory at the
Alamo in San Antonio.

The War of the Reform, lasting from 1858 to 1861, pitted the
Conservatives against the Liberals one more time. Once again, Zacatecas
became a battleground and its capital was occupied alternatively by both
sides. Finally, in 1859, the Liberal leader Jesus Gonzalez Ortega seized
control of the government in Zacatecas. However, the Catholic Church,
which strongly endorsed Conservative ideals, found itself in direct
opposition with the state government. When, on June 16, 1859, Governor
González Ortega decreed a penal law against the Conservative elements in
Zacatecas, causing many Catholic priests to flee the state.

The French invasion of Mexico in 1861 was just another extension of the
conflict between the Conservatives and Liberals. Invited by the
Conservative faction to invade Mexico, the French forces, against great
resistance, were able to make their way to Mexico City and occupy the
capital. In 1864, the French forces occupied Zacatecas as well. However,
the occupation of Zacatecas lasted only two years and by 1867, the
French were expelled from all of Mexico.

In the 1880s, a transportation revolution brought the railroad to
Zacatecas. By the end of the decade, in fact, Zacatecas was linked by
rail with several northern cities, including Ciudad Juarez. The Mexican
Central Railway, which ran from Mexico City through Aguascalientes,
Zacatecas, and Chihuahua, became a major catalyst for the massive
immigration from Zacatecas to the United States during the Twentieth
Century. At the same time, the silver industry, which had declined
dramatically during and after the Independence War, started to rebound.
By 1877-1878, silver alone accounted for 60 percent of the value of all
Mexican exports.

During the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920), Zacatecas, with its central
location in the Republic, was unable to escape the devastation of war.
In June 1914, the City of Zacatecas was the center of national attention
when the city was taken by Pancho Villa and his Dorados in the famous
battle known as La Toma de Zacatecas (The Taking of Zacatecas). The City
of Zacatecas, now a town of 30,000, witnessed the largest and bloodiest
battle that took place in the fighting against General Victoriano
Huerta. When the battle ended, some 7,000 soldiers lay dead. In
addition, 5,000 combatants were wounded and a large number of civilians
were injured or killed.

Today, Zacatecas has more than fifteen mining districts which yield
silver, lead, zinc, gold, phosphorite, wollastonite, fluorite, and
barium. The Zacatecas region hosts the Fresnillo and Zacatecas silver
mines which combined have produced over 1.5 billion ounces of silver to
date. As a matter of fact, thanks to Zacatecas, even today Mexico is the
largest producer of silver in the world, contributing 17% of the world's
total output.

The Zacatecas of the present day offers a view into the past for the
average tourist. The City of Zacatecas, in particular, has retained some
of its colonial flavor and is a favored tourist destination for many
Americans, seeking to gain some insight into their ancestral homeland.

This history of Zacatecas has been designed to help Zacatecanos and
other Mexican Americans to understand Zacatecas' long and very complex
history. Understanding the history of your ancestral homeland is an
important element in understanding your own family history.
Copyright © 2006 by John P. Schmal. All Rights Reserved.

Sources:
Bakewell, P.J. Silver Mining and Society in Colonial Mexico: Zacatecas,
1546-1700. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1971.

Dunne, Peter Masten. Pioneer Jesuits in Northern Mexico. Berkeley:
University of California Press, 1944.

Franz, Allen R., "Huichol Introduction: The View From Zacatecas," in
Stacy B. Schaefer and Peter T. Furst (eds.), People of the Peyote:
Huichol Indian History, Religion, and Survival. Albuquerque: University
of New Mexico Press, 1996.

Hedrick, Basil C. et al., The North Mexican Frontier: Readings in
Archaeology, Ethnohistory, and Ethnography. Carbondale: Southern
Illinois University Press, 1971.

Katz, Friedrich, The Life and Times of Pancho Villa. Stanford,
California: Stanford University Press, 1998.

Kirchoff, Paul, "The Hunter-Gathering People of North Mexico," in the
North Mexican Frontier: Readings in Archaeology, Ethnohistory, and
Ethnography. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1971.

Moreno González, Alfredo. Santa Maria de Los Lagos. Lagos de Moreno:
D.R.H. Ayuntamiento de Los Lagos de Moreno, 1999.

Olague, Jesus et al., Breve Historia de Zacatecas. Mexico City, 1996.

Powell, Philip Wayne. Soldiers, Indians and Silver: North America's
First Frontier War. Tempe, Arizona: Center for Latin American Studies,
Arizona State University, 1973..

Wasserman, Mark. Everyday Life and Politics in Nineteenth Century
Mexico: Men, Women, and War. Albuquerque: The University of New Mexico
Press, 2000.

I am curious about this cemetery in Tepetongo called Campo Santo de los Sauces. I have ancestors who were interred there. Where would that be located today? Is it still there? Does it have a different name now? I see on Google maps that there is a cemetery in the town of Tepetongo and another just outside of La Lechiguita, in the general vicinity of Juanchorrey, Estancia de los Berumen, and Arroyo Seco.

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