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tv   New Mexicos Palace of the Govenors  CSPAN  November 25, 2016 12:34pm-12:44pm EST

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of a building and even in the mid-19th century some of the territorial governors debated should we just tear it down and start over? there was nothing about the palace of the governors that made it appear to be what we consider a great national historic landmark so calling it a balance was more pretense than reality for much of its history. the spanish occupied new mexico from 1598 until 1821 when mexico declared independence from spain and in that period of 1598 to 1609 the new mexico seat of government was at a pueblo in the northern part of the state. in 1609 the governors moved here, governor pedro de peralta moved to santa fe and established this as the first -- what was called the casas
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reactior reactiregio reacti reactionles. so so from the palace of the governors the governors directed the exploration of new mexico, the settlement of new mexico, the establishment of the spanish land tenure system here in the southwest, they received directives from the voice roy in mcmcand sent reports from this far northern colony back to mexico and back to spain. one of my favorite characters, as i said, is governor bernardo lopez demendisabal and his wife dona teresa aguilera iroce. it's rare to know as much about a colonial woman as we know about dona teresa. that's because very few colonial
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women wrote their own stories but dona teresa did and she wrote that as a result of being arrested by the spanish inquisition. dona teresa and the governor arrived in new mexico in the summer of 1659. by the summer of 1662, the governor and his wife had criticized local authority. they were in conflict with the sheriff, they were in conflict with the priest late in august of 1662 the governor was arrested. early the next morn his wife was arrested by inquisition officials who felt their disrespectful behavior must be a sign that they were jews. and to be a jew in colonial mexico, colonial spain, was a crime so they were arrested by the inquisition, they were taken to mexico city to be tried before the inquisition panels.
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and governor mendisabal died before they got to mexico city and dona teresa stood before the inquisition for almost 20 months of hearings. and she finally in the -- in january of 1663 she asked for paper and pen and she wrote a seven-page double-sided single-spaced exposition of everything that had gone on in santa fe when she lived here. she wrote about her life. what misery it was living here in the palace. she wrote about the conflicts that she had with her kitchen staff, she wrote about the affairs that her husband had with women in town. she wrote about the illegitimate children the sheriff had. she wrote about the complicity of the clergy and it gives us this picture of colonial new mexico unlike anything we had
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ever had. dona teresa was ultimately let go. she left prison and turned around and sued the inquisition. early in our history, between 1598 and 1680 the church had real primacy in the lives of pueblo people, in the lives of colonists and in 1680 the pueblos united, there are 19 pueblo communities here in new mexico and before the pueblo revolt there were many more communities. they united and drove the spanish from new mexico. and many of those enormous dramas over the last days of the spanish here in new mexico took place here in the palace of the governors where governor otramin and the colonists were finally trapped by the pueblo insurgents. as a result of the pueblo revolt of 1680, the spanish colonists
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fled south to the area around el paso and were in exile. it was a government in exile for 12 years. governor vargas was sent here to reclaim the pueblo homeland as part of spain. governor vargas was a brilliant military strategist, he was a diplomat but he was also a soldier and when he came he stood in front of the balance of the governors and appealed to the pueblo forces that were holding the palace and they said if you're really a spanish soldier, take of all that awe mort -- armor so we can see who you are. and he does and he gives this speech where he takes off his mortar rye i don't know, which is a kind of helmet, and he begins a negotiation with the pueblo people who are holding the palace of the governors. later he invites the pueblo leaders to his tent to drink hot
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chocolate and over chocolate and discussion he negotiates some of that -- those pragmatic accommodations that will characterize the spanish resettlement of new mexico. we're walking east in the palace of the governors and we're walking into one of my favorite rooms that has some of the earliest evidence of the pueblo revolt era. here in this room. and under each of the wooden floors here in the palace we're really right on top of the 17-century archaeology. when this building was renovated in the early 20th century they removed a lot of fill in the rooms and they -- and in some ways came right down on to the 17th century so we're in a room that during the pueblo revolt era was actually a room that was used as a storeroom and this
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photograph shows the archaeology in progress, all of these pits that we see are actually food storage pits. this is a major foundation of a wall and right there is a hearth as well where some of the cooking took place so we know from the archaeology that this is a room that pueblo people used for food preparation, food storage and wherever i take a step across these wooden floors i wonder what's happening underneath me, what happened here 200 years ago. what happened here 400 years ago underneath these floors? in 1821, mexico declared independence from spain and it took several months for that news to reach santa fe and we had one of the governors who is sometimes called the last royalist because when he got the
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notice when our governor got the notice that mexico had declared its independence from spain, he was a little uncertain of what this meant for new mexico and finally he received copies of all the decrees, remember, we're at the very end of the camino real, we're 1200 miles from the capital in mexico city so when fecundo malgares got that decree he said "okay, i guess we'll celebrate our independence." and that took place outdoors on the plaza. i always like to tell the fact that the palace of the governors was 200 years old already when the white house was built. the white house was built 1804, 1805, we were still at that time a part of spain but we had so many governors who served here between 1609 when the building was build and 1909 when we
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became a museum. one of the reasons this building is a national historical landmark, one of the reasons that it is such an important building in the history of the united states is because it does put us in touch with this 400-year history. it's a constant reminder that our history begins far to the south. that our history has enormous roots that reach into mexico, into spain and it's a great symbol of the hispanic history of the united states. the roots that we have in this countr country. >> to mark the centennial of the national park service, american history tv is featuring historic sites and national parks from c-span cities tour. for more information about our travels, check out our web site,


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