I. Socio-Economic Characteristics of the Royal Fort at Tubac
1. Secondary Military Mission
Like all Spanish frontier military posts, the royal fort at Tubac had a secondary purpose in the minds of colonial officials, which was gradually sought for while the main military mission was carried out. This secondary mission was the formation of a body of civilian settlers at and near the post which would in time grow large enough to protect itself from enemy Indian attack. Then the professional army garrison could be relocated farther toward the frontier, leaving the civilian town to carry on, and adding one more area to the civilized region of New Spain.
The very foundation of Tubac hung upon this policy. When the Council of Royal Exchequer in the City of Mexico approved Governor Diego Ortiz Parrilla's decision to divide the Upper Pimería company into two detachments in 1752, this viceregal body issued clear instructions for the guidance of the governor in deciding the permanent location of the detachments. The royal officials found that the northern Sonoran pioneers were very transparently concerned with converting the new force to protecting them from hostile Apaches, and nothing else. They countered this frontier self-interest with their succinct restatement of royal policy:
...the general intention should be that the forts be situated in places where not only will they be 307able to contain the enemy and defend the land but also where the soldiers and other populators can take root under its protection. For this is necessary a freedom from want of cultivable lands with the water necessary and sufficient [to irrigate them]. In this respect the writs are not instructive, if they took into consideration this intent, nor if the places suggested-although they may be apt for the containment of the enemy and defense of the land-may also be apt for the planting of soldiers and populators, to the end that the citizenry having taken root, the fort can be advanced and the country remain always protected. The governor, since he should have the knowledge, shall select the best places in which all the expressed qualities are combined, procuring that the fort or its respective detachments be planted and situated in those which are suggested if they are of this quality, or in others apt and the best, giving account for approval of that which he practices in the matter" (Revilla Gigedo Oct. 9, 1752:146-147).
In this sharp instruction which was given the force of law by the viceroy's decree of October 14, 1752 the general colonial policy was specifically applied to the new foundation at Tubac. Nor did the matter end there.
308Deliberate steps were taken by royal officials to foster growth of civilian settlement desired at frontier posts, Tubac included. Forts were located as advantageously as possible in relation to pasturage, woodlots, domestic and irrigation water and arable fields, and an area of land surrounding each post was set aside for its exclusive use. This area was set at four square leagues under a later order of the Comandant of the Frontier Provinces in 1791 (Mattison 1946:281). Post commanders were granted powers of land assignment within this military reservation. They could also regulate irrigation-and very likely the use of pasture lands, woodlots, etc.
Captain Juan Bautista de Anza divided the Santa Cruz River flow between his post at Tubac and the mission Indians at Tumacácori by ordering residents of each settlement to irrigate on alternate weeks (Barragan Nov. 24, 1777:29). In this way a larger head of water could be maintained and fields more efficiently irrigated, whatever the feelings of the natives may have been at Anza's abrogation of what they very likely believed to be their inalienable rights of prior appropriation, and forced changes in their irrigation techniques.
Soldiers were encouraged to take up land grants and cultivate them, both to help provision the post and to motivate them to remain settled there after they retired from active service. The military system itself promoted this end, for 309the Spanish army was organized on medieval lines with small units enjoying a great deal of independence and distinctiveness. Soldiers belonged not so much to the royal armies as to the Dragoons or Fusiliers, etc., and within these broader classifications to specific units such as the Dragoons of Spain or of Mexico at the regimental level, and on the frontiers to particular presidial companies. Each post company was a largely independent military unit. Post commanders were commanders of one specific fort and often held no regular army rank. Although a fort commander nominally ranked as a captain in this capacity, he might be anything from a lieutenant to a lieutenant colonel in the presidial forces or the regular army.
Subordinate officers and non-commissioned officers also held their rank in the particular company in which they served. To be sure they could be transferred, but most men served their terms in the same company. Enlisted men enlisted for service in one particular fort rather than in an army. The situation was like that in the traditional units of the British Army such as the Scots Guards, or the pre-War of the Rebellion United States Army in which officers held rank and man belonged to say, the First Dragoons, or the Corps of Topographical Engineers, or the Second Infantry.
In terms of modern social theory, the "reference group" (Merton 1957:225 et. seq.) of the Spanish frontier soldier was a comparatively small and tight-knit garrison at his own 310particular presidio. When retirement time came the presidial soldier's natural tendency was, therefore, to remain settled at the post where he had spent the bulk of his adult life. This tendency was reinforced when he held a grant of presidial lands which he could cultivate to provide a living for himself and his family and sell his surplus to his unit for manufactured goods and luxuries. If some of his sons had enlisted in the company and his daughters married other soldiers of the garrison, then his motivation for remaining was so much the stronger.
As a veteran, an experienced fighter, the retired soldier was expected to join others of his kind to form an efficient militia, or reserve force for the post. The citizens of a royal fort were generally armed and mounted-with royal weapons during the period of the St. Ignatius company at Tubac- and able to defend the post in an emergency, or to ride out on expeditions when reinforcements were needed, and if the post were eventually relocated, to defend their homes successfully.
A problem arose when a post moved: the citizens whose reference group it was tended to prefer to move with it rather than stay at the old site! This happened at Tubac (O'Conor Aug. 18, 1775).
a. Retirement. The bulk of the population increase at the royal fort of St. Ignatius at Tubac came from immigration of relatives of soldiers and a high birth rate among the 311families living at the post relative to death rate, rather than from rapid retirement of soldiers, in point of actual fact. Turnover in troops seems to have been relatively small and caused by deaths and transfers more than retirement. The relative youth of the Upper Pimería company recruits helped to delay the accumulation of retired soldiers at Tubac, since they were not ready to retire for many years after the post was founded.
Juan María de Oliva, a non-commissioned officer in the original garrison, was not recommended for retirement until 1775 Then he was sixty years old and a twenty-nine year man (O'Conor Aug. 18, 1775). The king actually granted him retirement with the rank of captain the following year (King Feb. 28, 1776), but he was not relieved of command at Tucson until a year after that (Medina May 3, 1779). Even then he could not stay away from active service so more than fulfilled the administrative objectives in retirement at Tucson.
Lesser men retired sooner when possible. Corporal Juan Ignacio Cota, another veteran of the original garrison, applied for retirement at the age of fifty-eight (Oliva Aug. 13, 1775 No. 4) or forty-six (Rubí Dec. 22, 1766) after twenty-one years service (Oliva Aug. 13, 1775 No. 4). Evidently he had left the service for a couple of years between 1732 and 1775. Corporal Juan Baptista Espinosa also applied for retirement in 1775 at the age of forty-one with twenty-one years service, and José Marcos Ramirez applied at the age of forty after seventeen years, and Juan Ygnacio Valencia 312at forty-two after eighteen years' service (Oliva Aug. 13, 1775, No. 4).
These four candidates for retirement in 1775 comprised exactly ten per cent of the authorized complement of enlisted man in the Tubac garrison. The total prospective loss by retirement was greater, however, since three even younger men with fewer years service also where put up for retirement due to sickness (ibid.).
Not all the retired soldiers and civilians who settled around a fort nor all the other settlers were wealthy enough to equip themselves with arms. Therefore the frontier forts including Tubac maintained a royal arsenal for arming the militia in emergencies (Revilla Gigedo Jan. 31, 1752). By the end of 1766 this auxiliary force arsenal at Tubac provided at the expense of the royal purse, still amounted to the originally purchased fifty rifles and fifty lances but fewer swords and about forty leather armor outfits (Lafora 1939:127). By 1775 only fifteen rifles remained useful, sixteen others were useless, only ten armor outfits remained with six lances and twenty-two new swords (Oliva Aug. 10, 1775 No. 6). Progressively the efficiency of the citizens as auxiliaries had deteriorated during the years of the post's existence.
The success of the policy of encouraging civilian settlement at frontier posts is attested by the historical record. A town did grow up at Tubac (Mattison 1946:281). The original garrison numbered only thirty men (Ortiz Parilla June 2,1752) and not all of them had families in 1752. For example, Andrés 313Carrillo, a soldier of the original garrison, was not even married until March 27, 1756 (Libro de Casamientos, Santos Angeles de Guebavi, p. 37). Of course, thecomplement went up to fifty after the Altar fort was founded two years after Tubac, but the population still remained relatively small.
ORIGINAL SETTLERS AT THE ROYAL FORT OF ST. IGNATIUS AT TUBAC
Total Verified Pioneers: 55 person
Despite such small beginnings, roughly fifteen years after the royal fort of St. Ignatius at Tubac wad founded the population was nearly 500 individuals (Bancroft 1889:382). When the garrison was ultimately relocated the remaining population was able to maintain itself, however reluctantly (Barragan Nov. 24, 1777:29).
316There were few enthusiastic farmers on the Sonoran frontier despite the royal policy of encouraging agricultural settlement at the frontier posts and the practical measures taken to encourage them. Farm practices at Tubac were generally not very efficient despite the food requirements of the post and the opportunity for profit. The fertility of the river bottom fields sustained the farmers (Treutlein 1949:290). The irrigated land was divided into too many small plots -- sixty-four by 1766 -- for efficient cultivation within a few years after the post was founded (Urrutia 1766).
Still the population of Tubac increased through immigration, which was the crown's desire. "In the shelter of the equity, sweetness, and fair administration of justice of this captain, the population of this fort has been increasing with notable advantage over the others of this Province, from which can result in time the advancing of its situation to a place which will allow greater discoveries and the chastisement or resettlement of the Apaches. May the piety of the king serve to reward him"-thus Field Marshal Calletano María Pignatelly y de Rubí, Marques de Rubí on February 21, 1767, describing the growth of Tubac under Captain Juan Bautista de Anza.
On the other hand the royal inspector reprimanded Anza for one of the measures he had taken to attract civilians to Tubac-allowing them to run their cattle, horses and mules with the post remount herd so as to be under the protection of the guard detail. Anza quite frankly followed this practice 317to encourage immigration to the post at a rate which would permit the removal of the garrison within three to four years of the end of 1766. Since the troops were continually engaged in campaigns on the Seri frontier, the citizens had to help guard the post and herds, so Anza lightened their burden as much as he could so as not to shut off the trickle of immigration. The mission cattle were guarded for the Jesuit fathers in gratitude recompense for their having "taken the trouble to administer to our spiritual necessities without accepting any recompense". The post had no chaplain, and one could say that it had no curate, since it seldom saw him because of distance and the risk of the road, commented the captain.
The horses of San Ignacio Mission were protected with the post remount herd for a simple commercial reason. That mission was the only available source of beef cattle for the troop rations, and its missionary (Francisco Pauer, formerly at Guebavi and great friends with Captain Beldarrain) had laid down the condition that the troop guard his horses. Otherwise the mission would not be able to supply beef for lack of steeds, since the horse-flesh-hungry Apaches would steal them all (Anza Dec. 30, 1766) was the excuse.
b. Mining Interests. The heritage of conquest for gold and silver was passed down through generations of aspiring Spaniards in New Spain. Long after the ready-smelted precious metal ornaments of the Indian civilizations had all been garnered, poor prospectors sought rich ore deposits, 318always hoping to strike it rich. The optimistic prospector was perhaps even more common on the Spanish frontier in New Spain than on the Anglo-American frontier in North America.
Tubac, located near many mineralized mountains, never ceased to have some residents convinced they would find great riches just over the next hill, or if the Apaches could just be subdued so they could prospect in safety. The ores Francisco Xavier Padilla had worked in the Santa Rita Mountains prior to the Pima Revolt of 1751 were proved. There is some indication that these deposits were being worked again shortly after the founding of the royal fort at Tubac, for Governor Diego Ortiz Parrilla referred to the "Mineral de la Sierra de Santa Rita" in the fall of 1753 in describing the province for his successor (Ortiz Parrilia Oct. 22, 1753:33). The expression may only have meant that the governor was aware of Padilla's proved ore deposits, however, not that they were being currently worked.
Because of inefficient technology and cultural conditioning, the Tubac and other frontier Spaniards were interested only in very high grade ores which would yield a profit with a minimum of work (Treutlein 1949:290).
c. Ranching Interests. The rich grasslands of the upper Santa Cruz River Valley and its bordering mountains attracted Spanish ranchers just as the irrigable bottom lands attracted farmers. As early as 1754 pioneers at the new post were already spreading out with stock to graze these grassy uplands. A Tubac citizen named Lorenzo Sanchez was 319operating a ranch at Síbuta (not far south of the present international boundary) in October of 1754 (Sanchez Oct. 30, 1754). The ranches stocked after the Pima Revolt was quelled founded the permanent range cattle industry in modern Arizona. Father Kino may have been the first cattle rancher in Arizona but his accomplishments were largely swept away by the revolt. Any cattle the northern Pimans kept were handled on a semi-wild hunting basis for subsistence and not for profits. Ranching as a business activity had to be re-instituted after Tubac was founded. The large number of ranch properties developed by Captain Juan B. de Anza in the Tubac region has already been indicated.
Cattle ranching was the one economic activity which the Spanish civilians at Tubac really enjoyed. The long advance of the frontier through New Spain seems to have filtered out the sturdy peasant farmers of Spain, few of whom emigrated in the first place. Cattle ranching fitted the predilections of the frontiersman much better, and they willingly rode herd through the thorny brush and over the steep slopes during round up time, day after day (Treutlein 1949:290).
The ever-menacing threat of Apache raids after some years forced abandonment of many outlying ranches as already discussed. This kept ranching in the upper Santa Cruz River Valley area reduced much below the carrying capacity of the range, and helped preserve it into Anglo-American times without serious erosion and arroyo cutting and mesquite invasion.
320With the in-gathering of ranchers, Captain Anza encouraged them to stay at Tubac by allowing civilian cattle and horses to be herded with the guarded post remount herd. This swollen herd at times numbered over a thousand head, and the soldiers protested the increase in their duties entailed in keeping so many animals under control.
The large number of mules included in the guarded herd further compounded the problem by spoiling and deteriorating the pasturage. The troopers objected to being forced to act as servants and herders rather than simply armed guards. This situation called forth one of the three reprimands given Captain Juan Bautista de Anza by Field Marshal Pignatelly y Rubí, although the inspector granted that he had to resort to carping to find these three issues. All the frontier posts were actually in the same situation with regard to horse guarding, although Anza may have been overenthusiastic in running mission and civilian cattle with his remount herd (Rubí Dec. 21, 1766).
The royal inspector ordered Captain Anza to improve the lot of the post horse guard. Field Marshal Pignatelly y Rubí consented to temporary continuation of the practice of running the citizens' stock with the post remount herd, but he ordered the citizens to take up their share@of the burden of herding. They were to release the troopers from public service by herding their own animals or sending their servants to do it, freeing the soldiers from the role of cowboy and leaving them to devote their time to guard duty (and very likely 321much loafing, gambling, triping and inattention to the Apache infested terrain).
As for the San Ignacio Mission herd, the inspector informed the missionary that he could keep his stock at the post for protection but it would have to be herded by mission personnel entirely separate from the post herd. The mission herd could be grazed near enough to the guard detail to receive assistance in case of attack, but it would have to be herded, rounded up, and otherwise managed entirely by mission servants "this being a labor attending to and inseparable from the possession of such goods" (Rubí Dec. 31, 1766b).
d. Costume. The troops and citizens of Tubac dressed much like the other Sonorans of their period until Charles III's army reforms caught up with the troopers. Since the general description of Sonoran dress written by the Jesuit priest Ignaz Pfefferkorn was based partly upon his observation of the people of Tubac while he was stationed at Guebavi Mission in 1761-1763, it may be taken to apply to residents of that post.
Men--The scoffing German Jesuit left in doubt the matter of underwear, but it would appear that little or none was worn by the men. There were few men who possessed more than two shirts, so one had to be in the wash for the owner to appear at church services on Sunday in a clean one. (One gathers that Spanish women on the frontier followed the European custom of washing on only one day of the week.)
322Socks were also lacking. Although stockings were worn, they ended at the heel so the foot was wrapped with cloth-red by preference-to show to advantage through the slits between the straps of the type of huarache worn. Deerskin leggins protected the calves of the legs against venomous reptiles and sharp-thorned vegetation.
Pants of red or blue plush were preferred for their durability, but the rough frontier life caused almost daily tears. The shirt was truly treated as underclothing, for a jacket with long sleeves, usually made from blue cloth, was worn over it and under the coat. This was trimmed with silver like the pants if the wearer could afford such ostentation.
The men of Tubac wore a type of short-coat in blue or scarlet which reached just below their hips and was trimmed with silver or copper decorative buttons. The sleeves were not sewn in front, so they hung down even when the wearer's arms were raised. The really vital part of the well-dressed man's costume was his blue cloak faced with red. This outer garment was required uniform for churchgoing by social custom, however warm it might be. Otherwise the cloak was used only when traveling, as a rain cover and blanket for sleeping.
The civilian hat was a small, round stiff piece with silver trimming. Perhaps there were men in Tubac who put on airs and shaved their heads, wearing a head-cap of muslin trimmed with fine lace. Most men braided their hair (Treutlein 1949:286-287).
Women--The women of Tubac probably wore as little underclothing as their men. While a Jesuit missionary might be expected to lack intimacy with such items, the general dearth of it in Sonora until recent years and among the wealthier classes suggests that the original colonists at Tubac got along without. As in other European societies, frontier Spanish women wore notably lighter clothing than the men. They usually wore a shirtwaist usually closed at the neck and embroidered with silk and even gold and silver on holiday apparel. The basic garment was a gown, pleated from the belt down about a third of its length. (The colorful costume worn by Navaho Indian women in recent years as the "traditional" costume is a fairly faithful copy of the female dress found in colonial New Spain on the frontier).
Only women who wished to display their social position burdened themselves with jackets. Jacket and gown had to be made of the same material to be in proper style, and for church feast days silk was the proper material, putting husbands of vain women to great expense.
In place of jackets, the women of Tubac used rebozos, a form of scarf about twice the size as long as wide. The material from which the rebozo was made ranged from simple cotton to the finest silk, always with a fringe at the ends. It was, moreover, worked with flower designs woven in with gold and silver in the fine silk examples, or less costly materials in 324the humbler varieties. The paths of Tubac undoubtedly represented a somewhat north African aspect, for the women always wore a rebozo over the head outside their homes. Even today the women in such a village as Oquitoa generally cover their heads with their scarves when outside their homes, leaving no more than one eye visible to the passerby as a rule. The shy manner of the women, and their black-covered heads scurrying by adobe walls shaded by palm trees are strongly reminiscent of the southern shores of the Mediterranean Sea!
Women wore their hair braided and those to the manor born decorated their braids with silk ribbon embroidered in silver and gold. This ribbon was wrapped into the braid-ends (ibid., p. 287-288).
When Father Pfefferkorn stated that the Sonoran women were as greedy as those in Germany for fine, showy clothing, he was understating the case if anything. The long list of fine yard goods Captain Juan Bautista de Anza stocked in the post store (Rubí Dec. 21, 1766) testifies to the variety of clothing the women made for themselves and their families. There was cloth manufactured in the City of Mexico, in Querétaro, shirting from Puebla and skirts and rebozos from that same manufacturing city, sackcloth from Coauttitlan, Pekin silk, Bengal linen, Rouen lace, Silesian, Mexican and Spanish linens, Satin from Valencia and Toledo, tafetta from Granada, English textiles and thread from Muñequilla to sew with!
325e. Housing. The basic building material for Spanish Tubac was the earth on which it stood. Like other Sonorans the people there constructed their dwellings of adobes. These were bricks of mud mixed with straw or stones or broken Indian pot sherds for tempering, molded in wooden forms or by hand and allowed to dry in the sun.
The majority of houses consisted of two small rooms, and none had more than three (Treutlein 1949:288) save the captain-s quarters and possibly a few homes of rich settlers. In time, the Tubac people developed long rows of contiguous rooms as families expanded.
The ideal of a tight-knit easily-defensible post protected by a high adobe wall seems not to have been realized at Tubac during the sojourn there of the St. Ignatius company, at least it had not been achieved in any sense by the end of1766 or later. The settlement pattern featured homes scattered in every direction from the central plaza where the headquarters and captain's quarters were located. By the late 1760's there were some fifteen buildings north of the plaza, three of them with four to six rooms if not more, indicating they had become multi-family residences. West of the plaza there were only a couple of houses. East of the plaza downslope toward the agricultural fields stood four large structures which probably included the post store, barracks for unmarried soldiers and warehouses, a smithy, stables, and other military buildings. Three apparent family 326dwellings stood just above the main irrigation ditch. Forty-seven more houses strung out to the south toward Tumacácori. One of these was a small structure just below the main irrigation ditch, possibly not inhabited, possibly the post powder magazine (Urrutia 1766). Every single one of these buildings was constructed of adobes [see Urruttia map on next page].
A total of some sixty-seven family dwellings, some of them multi-unit structures, suggests that under Captain Juan B. de Anza's leadership there were nearly half as many families of civilian pioneers living at Tubac as troops, depending on the number of multi-family units. The total of sixty-four irrigated field plots mapped at Tubac during Anza's administration (ibid.) supports the estimate of perhaps seventy-five families at the post, for some families such as the captain's undoubtedly did not farm. Captain Juan Bautista de Anza's brother Francisco seems to have been a ranch supervisor rather than a farmer, and enterprise and keep its books. He could not have burdened himself with all these tasks and been the army officer he was, nor could he have spent as much time away from the post as he did unless there was a staff there to keep the store. The storekeepers and occupational specialists such as the armorer of the garrison would have had no time for agricultural pursuits. This estimate for the late 1760's gains credence from the number of families counted at Tubac in November of 1761 by the 327representative of the governor of Durango-sixty-two including those of the garrison (Tamarón 1937:305; Santos Angeles de Guebavi p. 129-130), and the captain's figure of forty citizens in 1766 (Anza Dec. 30, 1766).
It is worth noting that despite the Sonoran frontiersmen's recommendation in the public meeting at San Ignacio in the spring of 1752 that the frontier posts be protected by heavy adobe walls, and the adoption of such a policy at the viceregal level, Tubac remained unprotected for fifteen years after its founding, at least (Treutlein 1949:294; Urrutia 1766).
f. Furnishings. The interiors of the homes at Tubac contained few furnishings, and those fairly simple, for the Spaniards on the frontier did not accumulate much in the way of material belongings.
Perhaps the principal prestige item among the house furniture was the large carved chest for clothing.
When people sat down, it was on benches or simply logs used as seats. Tables were lacking, meals being eaten off the raw ox hide used for a bed at night. To make the bed, the woman of the house spread a woolen blanket over the hide andsuch clothing as people removed they rolled up to form a pillow.
Meals were served in earthenware plates and prepared in similar pots (Treutlein 1949:288-289). These the poorer people purchased or bartered from northern Piman women who 328manuactured plain wares for this "foreign" trade, but the better-off families hauled better-quality glazed dishes and pots up from more sophisticated potteries to the south. The captain's table, at least, was probably set with real porcelain of the majolica types produced in Mexico or even in Spain.
Some Tubac residents cooked in copper pots and kettles which they purchased at the post store for two pesos (Rubí Dec. 21, 1766) instead of employing the humble local earthenware utensils. Tortillas were probably uniformly cooked over a local pottery comal.
Somewhere in the house, a niche was probably built into one of the adobe walls where a household santo could be placed, with room to set a few votary candles burning in glass containers if the owners were well enough off to afford glass. A religious print or two might grace the dimly lighted walls along with perhaps an Indian bow and quiver of arrows or some other trophy of war hung up as a curiosity.
The surface remains of occupation of the site of Tubac during historic times suggest that the residents of Tubac had somewhat more in the way of Urrutia map-supplied sepoarately personal possessions and house furnishings than the bitter Jesuit Pfefferkorn gave frontier Sonorans credit for. Precise information on the range and quality of the tools and utensils and furniture of the people of Tubac may be gained by scientific excavation of the head-quarters building, captains' quarters, military structures and dwellings of the post populace.
View an image of the Urrutia Map of Tubac: December 1766-1767 [59K]