By Arnold Sommerfeld
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Cicuyo (Cicuye or Pecos) 101 43. Quivira 102 Postscript: Letter From Fray Juan de Santander to the King of Spain 104 For Further Reading 106 Index 108 Page ix Acknowledgments Calvin Horn, eminent Southwestern historian and publisher, was kind enough to provide me with a pristine copy of his 1965 reprint of the Ayer translation of Fray Alonso de Benavides's Memorial as I began my work. It contains a very useful and clear photofacsimile of the Newberry Library/Ayer copy of the original Spanish edition of 1630, as well as copious notes.
As his own words indicate, our order has accomplished a great deal in that most remote of your kingdoms. We have made a great deal of progress in terms of the souls of those utterly barbarous heathens, who have now come to know our good God and Lord. Your Majesty enjoys His principal favor. And the memorial narrative is in the following form. Fray Juan de Santander Commissary General of the Indies Page xxvii MY LORD I, Fray Alonso de Benavides of the Order of Saint Francis, Custodian of the Conversions and Custody of New Mexico, do say: The events and things of that Kingdom, or, better put, New World, which we have converted in these recent years and pacified for Our Lord God, are so many and of such nature that I cannot properly represent them to you briefly and in only one pass.
Benavides tells a great story of the meeting of quite distinct peoples from different continents, and I have nowhere attempted to dress him or his prose up with new ideas or words to suit modern tastes. He wrote perhaps the clearest, most succinct, and most accessible account of New Mexico's early Spanish period in existence. It is frequently a somber and poignant story, and it still has a great deal to say about the nature of society in the Southwest. It is compelling and very old music, and like any translator I am pleased to be the most recent instrument to tune up and play it.