History and Southwest

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Blood on the Boulders: The Journals of don Diego de Vargas, 1694-1697

Edited by John L. Kessell
Edited by Rick Hendricks
Edited by Meredith Dodge

Having retaken Santa Fe by force of arms late in 1693, Diego de Vargas faces unrelenting challenges, waging active warfare against defiant Pueblo Indian resisters while maintaining peace with Pueblo allies; providing homes, food, and supplies for 1,500 unsure colonists; and bidding unceasingly for greater support from viceregal authorities in Mexico City.

At the head of combined units of Spanish and Pueblo fighting men, the governor in 1694 leads repeated assaults on castle-like fortified sites. Through combat, prisoner exchange, and negotiation, he reestablishes the kingdom. Franciscans reopen some of the missions. Vargas founds the villa of Santa Cruz de la CaƱada. Pueblos north and west of Santa Fe rebel again in 1696; wearily, Vargas reports more blood on the boulders.

Through The Journals of don Diego de Vargas, translated from official and private correspondence, we are drawn back, through conflict and compromise, into New Mexico's formative era.


Meredith D. Dodge, an independent historian, has devoted nearly two decades compiling, translating, and editing the Vargas papers along with John Kessell, Rick Hendricks, and Larry D. Miller.

Rick Hendricks is an historical consultant to the Rio Grande Historical Collections at New Mexico State University. He is also the author of The Navajos in 1705 and was an editor of the six-volume Vargas Project (both UNM Press).

Historian John L. Kessell, professor emeritus of history at the University of New Mexico, has devoted nearly two decades compiling, translating, and editing the Vargas papers along with Rick Hendricks, Meredith D. Dodge, and Larry D. Miller.


"The Vargas journals are pleasing on a number of levels. . . . this accessible work will inform future public policy debate in the Southwest and beyond."


New Mexico Historical Review

" . . . the editorial work is superb . . . Blood on the Boulders is a rich-read as well as an important research tool."


The Journal of Arizona History

"The Vargas books are spectacular . . . They should be collected at once, for copies probably will not be available long."


Socorro Defensor Chieftain

6.13 x 9.25 in. 1279 pages 24 halftones, 3 maps