2. Socio-Economic Characteristics of the Royal Fort at Tubac, concluded
346 The Provincial Lower Class -- The dominant white caste included a lower class which, while numerous, was possibly not as large as its middle class. The lower class was made up of chronic ne'er-do-wells in the garrison ranks who were usually heavily indebted to the company funds, who either did not seek land grants for farming or were unsuccessful farmers if they had grants, who had no occupational specialty or other means of augmenting their income, and who lacked the training or force of personality to acquire the social graces and abilities required for upward social mobility. They were illiterate and thus subject to many forms of economic exploitation by the better-educated classes.
On the other hand, it is quite probable that most of the members of the lower class at Tubac were relatively happy with their lot, for it actually represented a step upward on the social ladder for many. It was this lower class of the dominant caste which absorbed most of the upwardly aspiring mestizos and pure-blood Indians who wished to abandon their tribal customs and acquire Spanish culture. Enlistment in a presidial company was one of the best ways for such a subordinate caste member to cross the caste line.
The Tubac company at the terminal period of its existence numbered five ethnic groups in its complement: the Opata Indian scouts, criollo Spaniards of the provincial elite, upper and middle classes, a sizeable group of Spanish-Indian men, and a few mulatos and some moriscos.
347SOCIO-ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS OF THE TUBAC GARRISON, AUGUST 16, 1775
The sixteen men identified as Coyotes in the roll above were half-bloods, offspring of a Spaniard and an Indian (Treutlein 1949:284; Espinosa 1773:5; Moyano 1786:50; 1791:41). The term coyote was employed in Sonora instead of the more general term mestizo which came into use in the northwest province around the beginning of the nineteenth century (Lopez 1800:12).
The foregoing roll shows that a few mulatos-the term meaning what it does in the U. S.-and descendants of Moorish converts reached Tubac, but not in significant numbers.
350d. Tubac Subordinate Caste. The subordinate caste at the military post at Tubac itself was not as large in proportion to the dominant caste as in many cities and towns in the more settled portions of New Spain. Especially after the Tubac natives beat their retreat to Tumacácori was the proportion of subject Indians in the post population low. On the other hand the post's very reason for existence was domination of thousands of subordinated Indians and they comprised by extension the great subordinate caste of Tubac.
Acculturated Independents--Since dominant caste individuals kept the records which provide historians with information on social characteristics of frontier society, he can not avoid presenting a view of the subordinate caste classes which corresponds more or less with that of the ruling group. The ranking of classes within the subordinate caste presented here coincides much more with that of the Spaniards than the independent Indians whose ranking would probably reverse that of the dominant group.
The "upper" class of the Indian caste seems to have been a relatively small group of Indians who had acquired sufficient familiarity with Spanish culture and social organization to enable them to imitate the dominant group successfully enough to be rewarded by them. This class was represented at Tubac principally by the Indian scouts whom Captain Anza secured as a permanent detachment assigned to his command in 1774. During the earlier years of his command, Anza attempted 351 to utilize volunteer Pimas for scouting duty, but found serious limitations in such a system. So he finally succeeded in recruiting Opata Indian scouts from outside the area to serve on a permanent basis as professional scouts.
This class of Indians was probably more numerous at the Tumacácori Mission than at Tubac proper.
Acculturated Semi-Independents--The "middle class" of the Indian caste at Tubac was made up of Indian servants and laborers who worked for the provincial elite families and such of the upper and middle class families in the dominant caste as could afford them. Most of this group were Yaqui or Opata Indians from farther south in Sonora who had been under Spanish control for a longer time and had therefore acquired more understanding of Spanish ways and in many cases more taste for Spanish than tribal life.
The origins of this class of Indians extend back to the so-called Republic of Tlaxcala, whose citizens voluntarily acceded to the Spanish cause during Cortez's conquest of the Aztec Empire. Later the Tlaxcalans dispersed to many parts of colonial New Spain as colonists on hostile frontiers. This class was evidently relatively small at the royal fort at Tubac and its environs because of the large number of Indian slaves acquired through capture or purchase.
Slaves--It may strike North Americans as strange to label slaves as a class rather than a caste, but this is a more accurate assessment of the actual social situation in New Spain and frontier Sonora than a projection of United States 352social institutions into a completely foreign context would produce.
In Europe, any Spaniard might be enslaved if he were captured by Moslems during the periodic politico-religious wars in the Peninsula and later in North Africa, and if fortune were reversed he could and would take Moslem slaves (Tannenbaum 1947:44). In the New World a Spaniard could still become a slave if captured by an Indian tribe powerful enough to hold him, as happened to a few explorers in Mayan country prior to the conquest (Bernal Díaz 1956:43) and untold numbers captured by Apaches in the latter years of the northern frontier. In general the Spaniard was in little danger of being enslaved while the hostile Indian was quite likely to be. By the time the Spanish frontier reached northern Piman territory, this was a long-accepted social fact. Since there were no Moors handy to capture, and Africa was far away and African slaves expensive to import, the Spanish practice of enslavement of war captives resulted in slaves on the northern frontier being nearly one hundred per cent Indians.
Thus it was at the royal fort at Tubac. The incessant campaigns against the Apaches afforded ample opportunities for capturing likely young Apache girls and children to be reared as slaves or sold farther south. For Tubac the most important booty of Captain Anza's February-March campaign in 1766 was a group of fifteen Apache young women his detachment brought back to the post. Their age and likely 353destiny was indicated in Anza's remark that some of them had recently become mothers (Anza Mar. 17, 1766:111). On a later campaign in the early 1770's, Captain Anza personally captured two young Apache children, a boy and a girl who were baptized at Tumacácori Mission on February 13, 1774 (San José de Tumacácori, Libro de Bautismos, f. 10v), while Anza was on his historic exploration of the land route to upper California (Bolton 1930:II:57). The boy was seven years old when baptized and the girl estimated to be eight to ten years. The priest who baptized them made a point of stating that Anza had "taken in just war" these two captives (San José de Tumacácori, Libro de Bautismos f. 10v).
Another important source of Indian slaves at Tubac was the border warfare between the Gila River Pimas and their Yuman-speaking allies the Gila River Maricopas and Colorado River Cocopa and Cocomaricopas, against the opposing alliance of Yumas and Mohaves plus the upland-dwelling Yavapais. Capturing children and young women was a major goal of warriors on both sides of this periodic but unceasing war (Dobyns, Ezell, Jones & Ezell 1957:49). The Pima-Maricopa-Cocopa-Coco-Maricopa alliance found a ready market for its captives who were known collectively at this time as Níxoras in the Spanish frontier settlements, and this traffic extended to the royal fort at Tubac. The acquisition of such slaves by early officers has already been mentioned. The custom continued: on Aug. 20, 1774, Sergeant Joséph Tonini became baptismal godfather to a Níxora boy aged five or six (San José de Tumacácori, Libro de Bautismos f. 13).
354Mission Indians--The large Indian caste included fairly large numbers of people who did not reside right at the royal fort of St. Ignatius at Tubac but lived near enough to form an integral part of its immediate social system.
Closest to the post were the mission Indians at the nearby missions of Tumacácori, Guebavi, Sonoita and Soamca. While these Christianized converts formed a part of the total Spanish colonial society, they lived rather distinctly apart from the normal class structure, if not from the caste lines. The Spanish Indian mission was legally and administratively anomalous within the hierarchical structure of colonial society and roughly analogous to the reservation system in the United States during the period following the War of the Rebellion when missionaries approved by Boards of Home Missions of various religious denominations were appointed by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs as agents of the several reservations.
While the mission Indians were being taught the catechism and Spanish prayers, the proper responses for mass and other church rituals, they were not exposed to the same range of Spanish culture and society that Indians living in the military posts were. They learned much about Spanish ways over a period of time and worked out an adjustment to life in the special mission institution, but they were not under nearly as great pressure for thorough-going acceptance of Spanish ways and behaviors as the Indians living at the frontier forts. They remained a social island in the sea of 355consciously directed transculturation until such time as the missions were secularized-which did not happen in Upper Pimería until republican times.
Allies--The situation of the bulk of the northern Piman Indians living north and especially west of Tubac remained anomalous throughout the colonial period in that they were able to maintain their economic and political independence from the Spaniards to a very large degree. They were thus to a large extent not participants in the colonial caste system: they were to some extent outcastes. This term does not imply degradation. In fact, the non-missionized Pimans were treated by the Spaniards rather more like allies than like depressed castes, for their military prowess was no small factor in Spanish frontier military strategy and policy.
When the Indians of the Gila River sent Captain Anza news of the Colorado River Indians having seen Spaniards advancing north through upper California in 1769, he rewarded them for their trouble with gifts (Anza Aug. 20, 1769:118).
This long continued geographic isolation of the Gila River Pimas and the desert dwelling Pápagos played a very important part in their survival as independent self governing societies (Ezell 1955:397-400). Had the Spanish colonial juggernaut kept rolling northward, these Indians would have been forcibly absorbed into the bottom of the caste structure, but since it stalled they were able to maintain a relatively advantageous independent social position. At the same time, they were frequent visitors at the royal fort of 356St. Ignatius at Tubac, and learned much about Spanish customs and technology which they adopted to their own uses through the decades of frontier life.
e. Marriage. During the period from 1752 to 1776, the settlement of Tubac appears to have been primarily an endogamous community. That is, most of the mates taken during those years were found within the community. This was the case in ten of twelve known marriages, only two spouses coming from outside the community (from the Altar fort). This appearance of endogamy is actually deceptive, for marriages of Tubac people away from the post are difficult to find record of so are without a doubt under-represented even in this small sample. Furthermore, most of the persons living at Tubac who were of marriageable age had themselves immigrated to the community. The fact remains, however, that most spouses acquired by inhabitants of the Tubac community were found among fellow-immigrants and not in other settlements.
Seven of the twelve marriages in the known sample involved remarriage for one or both partners-three couples had both been married before, two widows married single men and two widowers married single women.
The favorite months for marriage were May and June when half the marriages in the sample were celebrated, but December was close behind-probably because of the speed-up in the banns permitted by the Christmas season (Santos Angeles de Guebavi, San José de Tumacácori and San Antonio de Oquitoa).