Socio-Economic Characteristics of the Royal Fort at Tubac

I.

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

 Troopers  Wives
 Albisu, Julian Antonio1,2,3  Díaz, Facunda3
 Arguelles, Simón de,2,3,4,5   
 Arriola, Francisco Xavier,2,4,6   
 Beldarrain, Juan Thomas,2,4,5,6  Prudhom y Moxica, T.4
 Burruel, Juan Manuel,2,4   
 Burruel, Nicolás, 2,4   
 Carrillo, Andrés,2,5  (Married in 1756)
 Castillo, Ygnacio Joséph,2,3  Buruela, María Josépha,3
 Contreras, Salvador,2,3,5  Ochoa, María Timatea de,3,5
 Corona, Salvador,1,2,4,5  Villa, María Theresa,4,5
 Cota, Juan Ygnacio,2,5   
 España, Joséph Estevan de,2,3,5,7   
 Gallego, Pasqual,2,3   Bravo de Laguna, María Emanuela,3
 Leal, Vicente Ramón,2,3   
  Marques, Carlos,1,2,4,5,8  Atondo, Anna María de,4,5,7
 314Martínez, Juan Manuel,1,2,3,9  Ybarra, María Ysabel,3
 Martínez, Juan Narciso,2,3  Bravo, Anna María,3
 Medina, Santiago,2,3,4,5  Orosco, Manuela,3
 Monrreal, Gregorio,2,3,4  Ochoa, María Barbara de,3
 Munguia, Guillermo,2,10   
 Murrieta, Joséph Ant.o,1,2,3,4  Coronado, M.a Nicolása,3
 Oliva, Juan María,2,5  Lugo, Gertrudis Thadea,5
 Orosco, José María,2,3,5  Salazar, Rosa Ant.a de,3
 Ramirez, Juan Christiano,2,3,4,5,7  Peña, Barthola de la,3,4,5,7
 Ramirez, Manuel,2,3,4  German, Juana,3
 Roxas y Thaboada, Simón,2,4,5  (Married after transfer)
 Salasar, Francisco de,2,3,9  Villa, M.a Rosa de,3
 Torres, Joséph Nicolás,2,4   
 Urquixo, Bernardo,1,2,3,4,5  Gonzales, M.a Dolores,3,4,5
 Usarraga, Joachín de, 1,2,3,5   Calvo, Bonifacia Hernandez de,5
 30 officers and troopers  19 wives
  49 adults
 
 Verified Children:
  Beldarrain, Juan Thomas de (the younger)5
 Beldarrain, María Guadalupe,5
 Beldarrain, Juan Phelipe (see above)
 Contreras, Francisco Antonio,3
 315Orosco, Miguel Francisco,3
 Usaraga, Juana de,5
 6 children

Total Verified Pioneers: 55 person

References:
1Diego Ortiz Parrilla, June 1, 1752.
2Diego Ortiz Parrilla, March 26, 1752c.
3Libro de Bautismos del Partido de San Ygnacio de Caburica.
4Libro de Bautismos y Casamientos de los Pueblos...de Santa Mar&ia$ 5Santos Angeles de Guebavi, Libro de Bautismos.
6Oyctaitonic, November 23, 1752:244.
7San José de Tumacácori, Libro de Bautismos.
8Rubí, December 21, 1766.

9Díaz del Carpio, April 10, 1752.
10Libro de Entierros de San Ygnacio desde 1697.

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.

 Urrutia Map of Tubac: December 1766-1767 [59K]
 Urrutia Map of Tubac: December 1766-1767 [59K]

 

2. Structure of Society

The little community which grew up around the garrison at Tubac must have been a relatively close-knit one in many respects and particularly in day-to-day relationships.  There was little to do for those not in the company once necessary chores were accomplished, and much time was spent in visiting back and forth and in conversation (Treutlein 1949:290). This must have developed quite close affective feelings between the pioneers as long as some personal antagonism did not intervene, and then the rivalries were without doubt bitter.

The small size of the guard detail kept at the post for its protection meant that even within the ranks of the company, men were accustomed to working together in very small units. The post guard detail was not much larger than that mission guard detail at Bac, and smaller than the remount herd guard. An idea of the small scale of social relationships may be gained from the following listing of troopers and officers of the Tubac garrison in December of 1766. Out of a total complement of fifty-one, only these individuals have been identified, and not all of them were on the post at the time of its inspection in the latter part of the month.  Lt. Oliva was on detached duty on the Seri frontier, and none of the men whose ages are not given in the following list was on the post (Rubí Dec. 21 and Dec. 22, 1766).

330 STATUS OF THE TUBAC GARRISON ON DECEMBER 21-22, 1766, ON POST

  Name    Rank    Age    Birthplace  Date Joined Company
 Anza, Juan B. de  Captain   31  Fronteras  1760, Feb.
 Oliva, Juan María   Lieutenant  51  Sinaloa  1752, Apr.
 Huandurraga, Joséph de   Ensign  29   Ostimuri  1765, Nov.
 Marques, Carlos   Sergeant   50  Loreto, BC   1752, Apr.
 Cota, Juan Ignacio   Corporal  37  Monteclaros  1752, Apr.
 Acuña, Miguel de   "  41  Dolores  1752, Apr.
 Acuña, Joséph Manuel de   Trooper  30   Fronteras  1763, Dec.
 Baez, Joséph Pedro  "   26  Divisaderos  1766, Aug.
 Estrada, Simón de  "  36   Motepori  1757, Aug.
 Hurtado, Vizente  "   38  Santa Ana?   --
 Luque, Esteban  "  --   --  --
 Martínez, Francisco Xavier   "   29  Tubutama  1757, Aug.
 Peralta, Gabriel  "   --   --  --
 Perez, Joséph   "   --  --   --
 Rivera, Pasqual de  "   24  Buenavista  1762, Nov.
Romero, Joséph Antonio  "  --  --   --
 Apodaca, Miguel de   Armorer  --  --   --

17 men on post or accounted for

331Small as the total population at and near the royal fort of St. Ignatius at Tubac was during the years from its founding in 1752 until its relocation in 1776, it was never a completely unified society. There were important inherent lines of social cleavage and differentiation within the presidial company and even more important ones in the satellite population.

a. Caste. One of the basic social characteristics of colonial society in New Spain was division of the population into ethnic castes. Tubac became no exception to the general configuration of society. The original and always basic castes were European and Indian, complicated by the importation of African slaves and interbreeding between all three groups. The Europeans occupied the position of military dominance from which flowed social privilege and economic advantage. The Indians were reduced to the position of a subordinate subcultural group although they greatly outnumbered their conquerors, and the Negroes were brought to New Spain in even worse position.

In the course of time, intermediate ethnic groups came into being between the three basic populations. The offspring of Spanish leaders and Indian women were admitted into the Spanish caste during the early years of the conquest-witness the descendents of the Conquistador Hernando de Cortés and his Aztec interpreter. Later on children of mixed marriages or liaisons found admission into the dominant caste progressively more difficult and formed an ever-increasing332amorphous middle group. While it is generally conceded that a perennial shortage of Spanish women in the New World combined with the socially dominant position of the conquerors which permitted them access to native women was a primary cause for the swift growth of a mestizo group, by the time the royal fort at Tubac came into being the mestizo population was being increased by the marriage of Spanish women to Indian men.

This change was only one of the indications that caste lines in Spanish colonies were by no means as rigid as those developed in the English North American colonies and their successor United States of America, particularly along the South Atlantic and Gulf seaboard (Tannenbaum 1947:41-57). The Roman Catholic Church stand that every person had a soul to be saved whatever his color or social status did much to ameliorate caste distinctions and even slavery in New Spain.

b. Class. Each of the major castes was internally divided along class lines. Not all of the classes of the European caste existed in a frontier military post so remote as Tubac, of course, for the upper classes congregated at the centre of colonial government at the City of Mexico and took assignments to even provincial capitals with some reluctance.

Broadly speaking the upper class consisted of Spaniards born on the Peninsula. The elite within this class was very small, made up of the few Spaniards of noble birth who for economic reasons or a sense of duty sought colonial assignments 333far from the life of the court. At any one time the number of noblemen in New Spain was small, consisting primarily of men on short-term colonial assignments as viceroy, top department heads within the viceregal administration in the City of Mexico, members of the Audiencia of Mexico and other major administrative bodies such as that at Guadalajara, and top military commanders.

The bulk of the upper class held lower echelon military commands and civilian governmental offices throughout New Spain. Many of these Spaniards settled in New Spain and reared families in the New World. The ultimate goal of most of them was eventual return to Spain with riches wrested from the natives in New Spain, or retirement to the Peninsula with a royal pension, but many never achieved that goal. Thus the Spaniards born in the New World came through time greatly to outnumber the officials dispatched from Spain, and a very important class distinction arose within the Spanish upper class. Those born in Europe were known as Peninsulares or less respectfully as Gauchupines. Those born in the New World were known as criollos, Spaniards of the country, and other circumlocutions.

In the nature of colonial society the criollo group was particularly open to invasion by mestizos and tended to develop attitudes more in agreement with those of the native mixed-blood population than those of the haughty Europeans.  When New Spain eventually freed itself from Spain, leadership for the successful revolution came primarily from the native-born 334Spaniards who abandoned their caste allegiance to the Gauchupines in favor of class alliance with the mestizos.

c. Tubac Dominant Caste: The Provincial Elite. At the royal fort at Tubac the local upper class con-sisted of members of the criollo class whose descendents led the revolution against Spain a couple of generations later. During the period from 1752 to 1776, these Mexican-born Spaniards were still completely loyal subjects of the Spanish King, but they were already developing a social system of their own which filled a vacuum left by the failure of the royal honors system to percolate all the way down the chain of command and colonial society. This upper class social system never became wholly independent of the royal system but the degree of de facto independence it achieved reflected a serious shortcoming in Spanish colonial bureaucracy and endowed its members with great latitude for action within what was in theory a pyramidal, authoritarian, bureaucratic governmental structure.

In terms of practical politics, the proposition might have been stated thus: "Royal governors come to the Province of Sonora but royal governors also always go, while we stay on forever-and frequently become interim governors." The "we" of such a statement was the provincial elite composed of the extended families of the frontier post commanders. Since such commanders held office virtually for life if not promoted, they did actually out-last a long succession of provincial governors. Furthermore they were able to secure 335royal commissions for their sons and nephews so that when a post comandant eventually died the chances were very high that his successor would be a son or close relative of another post comandant. The first Captain Anza commanded the fort at Janos, his son the fort at Corodéguachi and Fronteras, and the third captain Anza the royal fort at Tubac beginning in 1760. This last Juan Bautista de Anza was a member of the provincial elite with the best of credentials. His sponsorship of the son of the first Tubac commander has been described above. If Phelipe Beldarrain had been a better man, he would one day have commanded the fort at Tucson.

In the same way Captain Bernardo de Urrea, the founding comandant of the fort at Altar made his sons officers in his company and their descendents became important leaders all over the province. Maríano de Urrea, a grandson of Bernardo, commanded the Altar post from 1805 to 1811 when he went into action against the rebels in Nayarit and went on to greater things. Maríano's son José de Urrea became one of the notable and notorious militares in early republican Mexico (Almada 1952:806-807). Maríano's wife was Gertrudis Elias Gonzales, daughter of Francisco Elias Gonzales, comandant at Terrenate. Elias Gonzales founded a large family of officers including Simón Elias Gonzales, one-time comandant of the Pima Company at Tubac, later commander of the post at Santa Cruz (Mattison 1946:304) and later second in command of military forces in the State of Sonora. Ygnacio Elias Gonzales, another comandant at Tubac, was another son.

336The social position of the frontier post commanders was, of course, further enhanced by their tremendous economic power in their posts prior to the New Regulations of 1772. This does not mean they necessarily used their commercial monopolies purely to enrich themselves. Anza's forbearance in this field has already been indicated. Bernardo de Urrea was a large-scale rancher on the northern frontier years before the Pima Revolt of 1751 and his commissioning as captain of the Sinaloa company which he took to Altar. The base of his fortune was laid long before he became a fort commander, but he was already part of the provincial elite, too. Anza's fortune, like Urrea's, included large ranches in the territory adjacent to or near his presidio but was apparently founded on inherited wealth.

None of these men was a self-made man in the capitalistic sense commonly understood in the United States. Every one of them functioned as one member of a family unit which shared his successes and vicissitudes and with which he shared his losses and gains. Thus the third Captain Anza's brother Francisco came to Tubac with him and shared in the financial management of the family estates. Francisco's daughters eventually inherited Juan Bautista de Anza's estate when he died without surviving offspring,

Nothing that has been said of the Sonoran provincial elite thus far would account for the persistence of this social unit through time nor its efficiency as a governing and leadership mechanism. The key to its role in government 337and commerce and politics in Sonora for generations was the fact that the provincial elite consisted not so much of a social class as a large extended kindred. The techniques by which they reinforced one another's leadership roles and access to privilege and advantage were matters not only of correct choices by like-minded individuals, but also of strong obligation between genetic or ritual kinsmen.

The members of the provincial elite sought their mates as a rule among the other families of the group and in some cases this elite endogamy extended to the point of back-crossing in genetic terms. Members of the same extended kin-group married who were so closely related that special dispensation from Church rules against marriages within specified degrees of consanguinity had to be obtained from the governor (Libro de las Partidas de...Casamientos de Tropa...de Tubac..., f. 10v).

The intermarriage of families of the provincial elite was readily apparent at Tubac. The third Captain Anza's wife was a daughter of Captain Joséph Díaz del Carpio (if Tamarón was correct about the brother-in-law priest), former comandant of Terrenate. Captain Juan Thomas Beldarrain's wife María Theresa was a daughter of the former provincial governor Captain Gabriel Prudhom Butron y Muxica, Baron of Heyder. Over at Altar Captain Bernardo de Urrea's son Ignacio Miguel married the daughter of the militia captain Joséph de Mesa whose son Joséph was long curate at San Ildefonso de la Cieneguilla mine camp. Bernardo's grandson Maríano married 338Gertrudis Elias Gonzales, daughter of Captain Francisco Elias Gonzales of Terrenate, and so on.

Moreover the actual genetic relationships existing in the provincial elite were reinforced by a web of ritual kinship relationships established by the compadrazco system.  Characteristically Spanish parents preferred to obtain godparents for their children from among their own peers or betters. Since the provincial elite families lived in relative isolation because of their small numbers at any military post, they tended to turn infant baptisms into social occasions. Suitable godparents could be found for a few offspring among close relatives living at or near the same post, and the other eligibles such as priests. Sooner or later peers had to be sought among the other families of the provincial elite residing at other posts. Those who accepted the new relationship had to make the hazardous trip to the post where the infant was to be baptized, creating a flurry of excitement by their visit and the opportunities it offered for genteel social intercourse, exchange of news andgossip, and renewing affective ties between geographically isolated segments of the elite.

Captain Juan Thomas de Beldarrain's choices of godfathers illustrate the pattern. Young Lt. Juan Bautista de Anza was tapped as godfather of little Juan Phelipe born in 1750 and the Jesuit missionary priest Francisco Pauer was nominated as sponsor for a son born at Tubac a few years later. Both came from the top drawer of provincial society.

The following kinship chart with the ones presented previously should be sufficient to make the points most significant to this discussion: the actual genetic relationships between the various leading families of the province of Sonora induced by class endogamy and frequent recurrence of familial endogamy.

341The Provincial Upper Class--The provincial elite of Sonora was the top echelon of and originally grew out of a rather more amorphous social class which may be termed the provincial upper class. This was made up of army officers, officials of the royal civil government, clergymen, big businessman, landed proprietors and wealthy miners who were not quite equal in rank and position to the members of the elite, and who were not joined into a single integrated kinship group as were the members of the elite. This group was much more of a true class distinguished by shared values and attitudes than was the elite with its readily apparent social organization. It could be defined only in contradistinction to classes above and below it in the social scale. Aside from the occupation differences between members of this provincial upper class there was the very important distinction and potentially or actually divisive matter of place of birth. Many of the civil officials and particularly the priests were European-born and looked down their supposedly more aristocratic noses at the Mexican-born Spaniards-especially as considerable upward social mobility was possible for mestizos living on the frontier so that the purity of caste of Sonoran upper class families was not always above question. This attitude of social superiority on the part of European-born members of the class is well illustrated by one of the Spanish-born priests at Tumacácori Mission who served Tubac also, Fray Pedro Antonio de Arriquibar, 342a member of the humble Order of Friars Minor, sons of St. Francis of Assisi. Sworn to poverty and humility, this Spaniard was yet haughty enough to identify New World-born Spaniards whom he suspected might not be of pure caste as "Spaniards of the country" implying that they might be considered Spaniards more by social fiction than genetic reality (Stoner & Dobyns 1959).

The merchants who lived at Tubac competing with the liberal Captain Anza and profiteering off the soldiers under Lt. Oliva (O'Conor Aug. 16, 1775) belonged to this upper class group unless they were petty traders, indeed.

The upper class at Tubac included somewhat more families than those residing within the confines of the military post itself. It extended to the top administrative assistants at the neighboring missions such as the interpreter at Tumacácori, Juan Joséph Ramirez, and his family. The social identification with the Spaniards of the fort felt by such relatively isolated white families living in the midst of mission Indians is illustrated by the tendency of the women of such families to go to Tubac to give birth to their babies among Spaniards rather than Indians. For example, Manuala Sosa, wife of the interpreter Ramirez, bore a daughter at Tubac on December 2, 1774, who was baptized Viviana Jacoba at Tumacácori Mission three days later (San José de Tumacácori, Libro de Bautismos, f. 14). Another citizen women living at the mission also went to the fort to have her child on December 20 343that same year (ibid., f. 14v). That the military post functioned as the critical reference group for the Ramirez family is also shown in its choice of godparents of baptism for another daughter (Gabriela) born March 12, 1776, from among the citizens of Tubac (ibid., f. 17v).

This Ramirez family had been founded by an officer of the original Tubac garrison as already related. He was not a member of the provincial elite, yet could hardly be considered middle class. He was a member of the provincial upper class and such his descendents continued to be through his son Juan José working as an interpreter, and his grandson Teodoro, a rancher and storekeeper. Neither worked with his hands, the critical cutting point in Spanish America between upper class and lower status.

The Provincial Middle Class--There exists a widespread misconception that Spanish-speaking countries historically have not had any appreciable middle class. This may have been true to some extent and in certain areas such as major cities (Guthrie 1945:250) but it probably was not true of the royal fort at Tubac and the immediate area in the years from 1752 to 1776. The provincial middle class in existence there may have been different from the middle classes in Great Britain or Franco or Germany at that time but one did exist after a fashion. It is probably this difference which tends to confuse historians-they are not willing to concede the existence of a middle class unless it displays attributes 344and behaviors identical or closely similar to those of the Northwestern European middle classes. This cultural myopia overlooks the actual persistence through colonial times of a significant group of people with fairly common attributes and values who occupied a socioeconomic position between the upper classes and the lower classes.

At the royal fort of Tubac and similar frontier posts, this middle class consisted of a miscellaneous group of civilians and soldiers. There were the non-commissioned officers and the occupational specialists in the garrison who did not pull the same duty as the line troops and who were able to work at some profit to themselves. Such was the armorer, for instance, who was a sort of master smith whose jobs ranged from gunsmithing to crude blacksmithing and horseshoeing. In addition there were the soldiers who obtained land grants within the fort reservation which they farmed in their spare time and with the aid of their families in order to increase their income by selling their produce to the comandant or to independent traders, besides Elias Gen.

feeding the family. Over a period of years they could improve their lot considerably and achieve quite a comfortable living and a secure social status within the middle class, particularly when they retired from the service and devoted themselves full-time to farming and/or other economic activities. These man can be distinguished in the financial records of the post by their credit balances in the company funds. These men and their 345families corresponded to the official model of good burghers which was in part responsible for the policy of granting farm lands from the post reservation to those desirous of farming. For similar middle-class independent farmers had survived the feudalization of Spain in independent, self-governing towns and villages where each family possessed one or more house lots and one or more strips of farm land, grazing stock on a community common. These middle-class communities supplied a model for the frontier fort desired by high officials as a colonizing and defensive institution.

Besides the land-holders still in service in the Tubac garrison and the handful of retired troopers whose social success was already achieved, there were out and out lifetime civilians attracted to the post by agricultural or other economic opportunities on the frontier. The most numerous group of this category was undoubtedly made up of miners and prospectors. They were congregated in mine camps all over Sonora but some undoubtedly wandered to Tubac. When such a miner struck it rich, he might very easily move rapidly into the upper class and the elite. The colonizer of New Mexico, Juan de Oñate, was a captain-general of Spanish troops partly because his father Christoval had found some of the richest mines in San Luís Potosí.

Unfortunately for the middle-class miners in the Tubac area, none of them had similar luck, so far as the record shows. All remained middle class hopefuls.

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

    Name     Age     Birthplace     Caste   Years Served   Credit Debit
  Anza, Juan B. de   40   Fronteras   Spaniard   20   +
  Oliva, Juan María     60   Sinaloa   "   29   -+
  Beldarrain, Juan Phelipe   25   Sonora   "   4      
  Cota, Juan Ignacio   58   El Fuerte   "   21   +
  Espinosa, Juan Bautista   41   Fronteras   "   21   +
  Ureña, José Antonio   29   Aguascalientes   "   0   +
  Troopers                    
  Albizu, Luís   37   San Juan   Spaniard   15   +
  Arias, Ygnacio   27   Mexico City   "   4   +
  Ayala, José Manuel   42   Leon   Coyote   1   +
  Azedo, José Antonio   28   Fronteras   Spaniard   8   +
  Baez, José Pedro   35   San Luís   Mulato   13   +
  Barrios, José Antonio   39   Fronteras   Spaniard   5   +
  Castillo, Juan Angel   46   San Mgl de Gde   Coyote   11   +
  Corona, José Ramón   27   San Juan   Morisco   3   +
  Corona, Pablo José   31   "   "   11   +
  Dias, Francisco Xavier   26   San Luís   Spaniard   4   +
  Dias, Joaquin   23   Terrenate   "   4   +
  Esoinosa, Francisco X.r     31   Fronteras   "   9   +
  Figueroa, Francisco X.r   37   Matape   Coyote   7   -
  348Gonzales, Asencio   32   Sta Marta   Coyote   12   +
  Granillo, José Domingo   21   Sópori   "   2   +
  Grijalva, Andrés   36   Sta Barbara   "   13   +
  Marques, Francisco X.r   37   Sinaloa   Mulato   5   +
  Martínes, José Vizente   26   Buenavista   Spaniard   4   +
  Martínez, José Ygnacio   28   San Juan   Coyote   1   +
  Martínez, Ysidro   37   S. Lorenzo   Morisco   7   -
  Medina, Juan José   28   Sta Ana   Coyote   4   +
  Mesa, José Cayetano   35   San Migl   Spaniard   7   +
  Mesa, Juan de   17   Sinaloa   "   0   -
  Morales, Bernardo   29   Sta Ana   Coyote   1   -
  Oliva, Juan Antonio de   19   Tubac   Coyote   0   -
  Palomino, José Antonio   35   Tubutama   Morisco   11   +
  Palomino, Juan Miguel   31   "   "   11   +
  Ramirez, José Marcos   40   Fronteras   Spaniard   19   +
  Rivera, Pasqual   33   San Luís   Coyote   13   +
  Rodriguez, Juan José   32   San Juan   Spaniard   14   +
  Romero, José Antonio   33   "   Morisco   15   +
  Salazar, Juan Andrés   25   Mistepori   Coyote   3   +
  Santa Cruz, Modesto H.   23   Mortero   Spaniard   3   +
  Santos, Francisco   24   Terrenate   Coyote   0   +
  Sosa, José María   28   Tecori   Spaniard   5   +
  Valencia, Juan Ygnacio   42   Fronteras   Coyote   18   +
  Villa, Juan José   32   Pitic   Spaniard   6   +
  Ximenez, José María   33   Tubutama   Coyote   12   +
  Zamora, José Ygnacio   23   Sinaloa   Spaniard   0   -
  349Zamora, Miguel   42   Sinaloa   Coyote   2   -
  Indian Scouts                    
  Bavoca, José Lazaro   25   Opatería   Opata   1   -
  Chacón, Asencio   25   Opatería   Opata   1   -
  Chivorro, Xavier   39   Opatería   Opata   1   -
  Grijalva, Buenaventura   30   Opatería   Opata   1   +
  Higuera, Juan de la     Opatería   Opata   1   -
  Miranda, Francisco X.r   32   Opatería   Opata   1   -
  Miranda, Salvador Manuel   29   Opatería   Opata   1   -
  Montaño, José Leandro   30   Opatería   Opata   1   -
  Salazar, Francisco   38   Opatería   Opata   1   -
  Sequi, Ygnacio   27   Opatería   Opata   1   -

From O'Conor Aug. 16, 1775; Oliva Aug. 13, 1775, Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 7.

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).

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