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Provincias Internas:Continuing Frontiers

Proceedings of a Symposium Held at Phoenix College

March 28, 2003

edited by

Pete Dimas

The Arizona Historical Society


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Provincias Internas:Continuing Frontiers

Proceedings of a Symposium Held at Phoenix College

March 28, 2003

edited by

Pete Dimas

The Arizona Historical Society


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The Arizona Historical Society

Museum Monograph No. 12

ISBN 978-0-910037-48-8

Copyright © 2007, The Arizona Historical Society

949 E. 2nd St.

Tucson, Arizona 85719-4898

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Acknowledgments ...................................................................... v

Preface.......................................................................................... viiPete Dimas, Phoenix College

Space, Time, Peoples: Continuities in the Great Spanish

North from Its Beginnings to the Present ................................. 1

Alfredo Jiménez, University of Seville

Missions as Transactional and Transitional Crossroads:

A Case from Nueva Vizcaya ..................................................... 25

Susan M. Deeds, Northern Arizona University

The Hopi Documentary History Project: A Progress Report 53

Hartman H. Lomawaima, Arizona State Museum

Postwar Phoenix: Intentional Change and Essential

Continuities ................................................................................. 67Philip R. VanderMeer, Arizona State University

Drawing the Thin Blue Line: Chicano-Police

Relations since World War II .................................................... 97

Edward J. Escobar, Arizona State University

Summary and Conclusions ........................................................ 117

Pete R. Dimas, Phoenix College


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Planning and putting on the Provincias Internas symposium

was truly a collaborative effort. Without the contributions of thefollowing people, it would not have been possible.

Alfredo Jiménez, of the University of Seville, planted the seed

for this symposium when he asked me to find out more about the

understanding of the concept of continuing frontiers within the

realm of borderlands studies in the United States. He also kindly

agreed to travel to Phoenix to give the keynote address.

Alan Haffa, then director of the Honors Program at Phoenix

College and a colleague in the Liberal Arts Department, agreed to

sponsor the symposium as an Honors Program event. By contribut-

ing funds from his speakers budget, he allowed us to begin planning

the conference.

Noel Stowe, chair of the History Department at Arizona State

University, was a tremendous help with recruiting speakers for thesymposium. He has been a mentor over the years. As my advisor

for my master’s thesis and doctoral dissertation, he helped to shape

my ideas about history, always pressing me to analyze mere histori-

cal facts to extract their meaning for the past and present.

The Arizona Historical Society agreed to underwrite publica-

tion of the conference proceedings, ensuring the topics a perma-

nence and audience beyond the one-day conference event.Corina Gardea, then President of Phoenix College, contributed

both financial and logistical assistance to make this event a reality. I

also owe a debt to Renee Perry, Administrative Assistant to the

President of Phoenix College, for her assistance way beyond her

responsibilities. Frank Luna, Director of Alumni and Development,

and Christy Skeen, former Coordinator of Communications, at

Phoenix College were tremendously helpful with the preparation of

flyers and other publicity.

The Braun–Sacred Heart Center, Inc. and the International

and Intercultural Education Office at the Maricopa Community


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College District contributed funds to support the symposium.

And finally, my friends and colleagues in the Liberal Arts

Department at Phoenix College have been very supportive,

especially my friend, and department chair, Albert Celoza.

Thank you all.

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“Provincias Internas: Continuing Frontiers” was a one-day

symposium held at Phoenix College in which a group of distin-guished panelists explored the concept of frontiers in the region that

was previously the northern frontier of colonial New Spain. The

Provincias Internas are that region that now comprises the U.S.

Southwest and northern Mexico. The symposium explored the

concept of frontiers within this region over several centuries. Each

panelist presented a brief paper, followed by discussion among the

panel members and questions from the audience. Each paper isreprinted in this book with the highlights of the subsequent discus-

sion recorded in question-and-answer form at the end of each paper.

I hope this captures some of the sense of excitement and interaction

of that day.

The Provincias Internas: Continuing Frontiers symposium had

its origins as a result of a sabbatical where I spent a semester in

Seville, Spain. My intentions were to explore the famous Archives

of the Indies in that city and to attend classes in medieval Spanish

history at the University of Seville. I did not expect the intensity of

research and course work that resulted. In the course of interaction

with the faculty at the university, I was fortunate to come to know

Dr. Alfredo Jiménez, a distinguished anthropologist and historian of

America — the Spanish term for the Western Hemisphere. Very well

acquainted with the archives, the repository for the documents of

the Spanish Empire in the Americas, Dr. Jiménez engaged in discus-

sions with me and extended the help of his graduate students. Just

prior to my departure from Seville, we had an extensive discussion

concerning frontiers and his idea that they do not cease to exist; that

their legacies continue beyond the delineations of politically estab-

lished borders. I made a commitment to explore the level of under-standing concerning the continuation of frontiers within the region

of the former Provincias Internas. The commitment was both

professional and personal.

The idea of the continuing frontier, the place where people and

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cultures meet, is something that continues within my being. I am

descended from people who were on the northern frontier from the

late sixteenth century onward. My father’s family is from northern

New Mexico. My mother’s family is from the northern region of

Sonora, the region that now encompasses southern Arizona. Up

until I entered elementary school, my primary language was Span-

ish, but in order to survive within the educational system, a con-

scious decision was made by my parents to not speak Spanish to

me. I never lost the understanding, but speaking fluency was

constricted until I regained it through Spanish classes, and it wasfurther strengthened because of the everyday employment reality

that Spanish is still very widely used in the Southwest. The interest-

ing paradox was that the educational structure insisted on extin-

guishing the Spanish language within me, but when I went into the

world of work, I was expected to speak Spanish because of its utility

in communicating with clients.

I have always had an interest in history in order to understandthe world around me. My father would always remind me that I

was from frontier people, but when I studied history, my family was

not there. I was very American, but I was also something more,

something that was not generally recognized in American society

and academia. In order to understand my family’s place in history

in the pursuit of my Ph.D., I had to study the history of the South-

west as an extension of Latin American history. Dr. Jiménez’s vision

of continuing frontiers was inherent in my own pursuit of under-

standing, and of the doctorate.

What are frontiers? Are they primarily geographic delinea-

tions? Are they the intersection of cultures? Who decides when or

where a frontier exists? When do they cease to exist? In the region

of the former Provinicas Internas, one’s frontier was already some-

one else’s home. The world of the peoples collectively known as

Indians has been impacted upon by two other frontiers. Culturally,

there are at least three frontiers within the old Provinicas Internas:

the Indian, the Hispanic, and the Anglo American frontiers; and

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each continues to impact on, and often mix with, the others.

As a result of the commitment to Dr. Jiménez, I found that the

search for a concise view of the appreciation of continuing frontiers

within the former Provincias Internas was not readily accessible.

Gradually, it became clear that the milieu that exists within the

region has yet to be cohesively and extensively explored. This is

the wellspring of the symposium. The idea took form that the way

to come to understand what has evolved in the frontier region was

to bring scholars together, not simply to talk amongst themselves,

but to also involve the participation of the public, to engage indiscussion between scholars and community. The dynamics would

accomplish little in the way of understanding should the proceed-

ings not be recorded and published. Even if this came to be, little of

lasting import would transpire should the symposium be a singular

effort. With the publication of the proceedings, the procedures are

in place to have regularly held symposia to not only explore the

aspects of continuing frontiers of the region, but more importantly,to enhance the understanding necessary for the continued evolution

of our social and political structures.

In his keynote address, “Space, Time, Peoples: Continuities in

the Great Spanish North from Its Beginnings to the Present,”

Alfredo Jiménez sets the context by defining the notion of frontiers

and the extent of the former Spanish, now U.S.–Mexico frontier. He

presents a positive view of frontiers as zones of contact and interac-

tion between people of different cultures, places where innovation

and cultural rejuvenation occur. In terms of the area variously called

the Spanish borderlands, the Greater Southwest, La Gran

Chichimeca, or La América Septentrional, Jiménez calls for a broad

view in time and space that extends from the colonial period to the

present and transcends the present international boundary and the

value judgments, occasionally ethnocentrism, of U.S. and Mexican

scholars. In comparing the Anglo-American and Spanish frontiers,

Jiménez highlights some important differences. Whereas American

westward expansion spawned a national myth of heroism and

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courage glorified under Manifest Destiny, colonial Spaniards were

highly urban oriented, viewing their frontier negatively as an un-

settled zone. Even today, these divergent histories affect how the

general population on both sides of the border view the border-lands.

Susan Deeds continues the theme of interethnic contact and

negotiation in “Missions as Transactional and Transitional Cross-

roads: A Case from Nueva Vizcaya.” In contrast to the traditional

Boltonian view of missions as stable, pious sites spreading civiliza-

tion to Indian converts, Deeds highlights the porous boundaries of

missions and the ways Indians used mission residence for their own

purposes. She demonstrates the significant economic ties that

existed between missions and surrounding Spanish populations,

creating a web of connections among mission Indians, unconverted

Indians, and various elements of Spanish secular society. Mission

populations fluctuated constantly, as Indians came and went for a

variety of reasons, including employment or repartimientodrafts, or

to practice traditional transhumance patterns. Thus, even in colonial

mission times, the borderlands were a site of intercultural and

interethnic contact, as well as of constant movement and migration.

Hartman Lomawaima describes a unique project underway at

the Arizona State Museum on the University of Arizona campus in

“The Hopi Documentary History Project: A Progress Report.”

Lomawaima and colleagues have searched the Documentary Rela-tions of the Southwest colonial archives housed at the museum for

references to the Hopi people. Relevant documents are being

translated and transliterated into modern Spanish, then into English,

and finally into Hopi, making them accessible to the Pueblo

peoples. By reading the documents to elders in the twelve Hopi

pueblos and getting their commentary on the contents, the project

staff hopes to tie the documentary history to Hopi oral traditions,validating elements of Hopi unwritten history. They also hope to

interest Hopi young people in their own history and in pursuing

documentary and archival research.

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Philip VanderMeer extends the discussion of frontiers into a

twentieth-century urban environment in “Postwar Phoenix: Inten-

tional Change and Essential Continuities.” After reviewing the

phenomenal changes that Phoenix has undergone since World WarII in terms of growth, political structure, and economy, VanderMeer

turns to the less obvious task of identifying continuities. Elements of

stability include collective memory and historical preservation, the

limits imposed by Phoenix’s place as a desert city near an interna-

tional border, and the structure of the city as an automobile-depen-

dent urban zone. In addition, despite the claims of boosters, the

Phoenix economy remains similar to what it was in the 1950s.

VanderMeer concludes that it is important to understand the ele-

ments of continuity and change in Phoenix’s past in order to shape

its future effectively.

Finally, Edward Escobar examines another urban frontier at

the turn of the twenty-first century: Los Angeles and its police

department. In “Drawing the Thin Blue Line: Chicano-Police

Relations since World War II,” Escobar explores how the Los

Angeles Police Department actively polarized communities, particu-

larly communities of color, in order to advance its own interests.

Under longtime police chief William H. Parker, the LAPD cast itself

as the “thin blue line” protecting law-abiding citizens against crime

through the use of aggressive, even violent policing—a war on

crime—against minority youths, who were cast as the principalcriminal element. In addition, the police professionalism model

insulated the department from political oversight, leaving the police

to police themselves. The fallout has been deep-seated distrust of the

police among communities of color and a series of police scandals,

including the Rampart Division scandal and the Rodney King

beating that eventually resulted in the 1992 Los Angeles uprising. In

order to correct the situation, the LAPD will have to cast aside itsinstitutional culture and begin breaking down the barriers built up

in dividing the ethnic communities of Los Angeles.

As this collection of papers illustrates, the topic of frontiers has

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almost limitless possibilities in time and space. It is my hope that the

idea of symposia bringing together scholars, public officials and

leaders, and the general public will take root with resulting publica-

tions of proceedings available to wider audiences.

Pete Dimas

Phoenix College

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Space, Time, Peoples:Continuities in the Great Spanish Northfrom Its Beginnings to the Present

Alfredo Jiménez

University of Seville

This essay is a personal reflection on some assumptions andissues relating to frontiers in North America. (1) The frontier ofnorthern colonial Mexico, or New Spain, was much larger, older,and longer than it is presented in the prevalent U.S. historiography.(2) The history of this frontier should be viewed as an unbrokenprocess, or a continuum, in which the past and the present arelinked on a cultural rather than a political basis. (3) The combinedeffects of popular prejudice and historiographic boundaries erectedby historians have produced serious discontinuities and misunder-standings of the whole process. (4) Consequently, wider and moreobjective approaches are needed to better understand the past andthe present of the U.S. Southwest and northern Mexico.1I begin by

briefly reviewing some theoretical and historiographic consider-ations to serve as a frame of reference for the preceding statements.Some of my assertions may sound blunt, even non–politicallycorrect, but in this chapter I am seeking to be provocative and raiseimportant issues for discussion.

“A world without frontiers” has become a well-intentionedslogan for those who fight sincerely against poverty, sickness, and

injustice all over the world. Unfortunately, the elimination of fron-tiers between rich and poor still seems an impossible goal. In fact,not all frontiers are bad nor should they be eliminated. The termfrontierhas many, sometimes contradictory meanings, but it bears, in

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provincias internas: continuing frontiers

general, a negative connotation. The two basic, opposite meanings:as a line or boundary of separation and as a peripheral or marginalspace with respect to the core or heartland of a region.2In the firstmeaning, frontier implies the absolute limit of a political domain, asbetween two neighboring nations like France and Germany. In itssecond meaning, frontier generally implies great distance from theheartland, or the metropolis, as well as territorial expansion. In anycase, frontiers are areas of interrelationships and negotiation be-tween two or more parties. Some scholars also consider a frontier as

a line between civilization and savagery or, at least, between asuperior or more developed people and an inferior or less devel-oped one.

At times, frontiers have nothing to do with physical limits orcompetition for physical space. I call those frontiers that exist onlyin the mind of an individual or group of people a virtual frontier.Such frontiers are revealed through attitudes and actions of discrimi-

nation, separation, or exclusion toward people with whom oneshares the same physical and social space. Virtual frontiers are themost subtle of all frontiers and the most difficult to erase. Onecannot see them, but one can smell them. Virtual frontiers aretypically found in multiracial, multicultural, civilized, educatedsocieties, and within an environment of social order based in law.

I like the definition of frontier as a place or land where peoples

from different cultures meet and interact.3This type of encounterhas been a universal phenomenon since the beginnings of humanhistory, which is essentially a history of encounters. In fact, humansocieties languish and cultures stagnate when they live in isolation.In contrast, contact; communication; and exchanges of people,ideas, and resources across frontiers are usually invigorating andmay act as a fountain of social and cultural rejuvenation.4I envisiona frontier as both a pane of glass, borrowing Carlos Fuentes’s meta-phor of la frontera de cristal,and as a mirror. We look through thefrontier and see the Other, realizing that we are different from butnot superior to them. The frontier is also like a mirror in which we

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see ourselves as we really are. Exposure to frontier situations helpsto reveal the best and the worst of our personalities and our deepestfeelings. A frontier experience tests our personal beliefs and values,our capacities and limitations.5

A society and its individual members usually have a negativeperception of their own frontier land and its inhabitants, perceivingthat the periphery is less significant than the heartland and is mar-ginal to national interests. Such attitudes are not necessarily accu-rate. In fact, a frontier has often been the vanguard of an expanding

society or a bulwark against invaders or other enemies. Frontiers arelands that usually demand of their residents an extraordinary degreeof courage, initiative, determination, and endurance in order toovercome extremely hard conditions.

* * *

Whatever one’s definition of frontier, there have been and are

many frontiers in North America (defined geographically ratherthan only as the United States of America).6But two frontiers standout from all others: the Spanish frontier, or the Spanish colonialnorthward expansion, and the American frontier, or the westwardAnglo-American expansion. Both frontiers advanced not overempty lands but over lands inhabited by Native Americans, whoshould be given full consideration in any analysis of American

frontiers. The Spanish and American frontiers largely overlap. Theyalso present many differences and similarities that call for scientific,systematic comparison. The quantity and quality of the literature onthe American frontier, that is, the American West, is certainly huge,beginning with Frederick Jackson Turner’s seminal 1893 essay.7Butthe history of the American frontier is domestic;it is a history writtenby Anglos for Anglos. When comparisons with other frontiers aremade, the references are to Canada, South Africa, Australia, andsometimes to independent Brazil and Argentina.8

The history of the so-called Spanish Borderlands is indeed abranch or offshoot of the academic tradition in American frontier

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provincias internas: continuing frontiers

studies, but it immediately became a separate field, never an inte-gral part of western historical scholarship. The Spanish frontier didnot enter into U.S. history, perhaps because the early exploration,conquest, and colonization of the U.S. Southwest was a Spanishenterprise, not an Anglo-American one.9In any case, the history ofthe American frontier is written as a testimony to human greatnessand endurance. It is the epic of men and women who won the Westfor the United States. American frontier history is also an excep-tional case of glorification of pioneers and frontiersmen to the extent

that the conquest of the West became a national myth and wasvirtually consecrated under the doctrine of Manifest Destiny.10Theopposite is true of the perception and evaluation of the SpanishNorth as seen from both within and without. Spaniards and Mexi-cans never held a positive, sympathetic view of their own frontier,probably because they have different cultural values than Anglo-Americans.11Spanish settlers in the New World were very urban

oriented. As soon as the heroic days of initial exploration andconquest were over, urban life became the ideal for men andwomen emigrating from Spain as well as for criollos(Spaniards bornin the Americas).12The countryside was doubtless necessary as asource of food and other supplies. Gold and silver mining in remoteareas was a foundation of the colonial and Spanish economies. Butfarming, ranching, and mining were businesses that primarily

benefited the wealthy owners of lands and mines, who usually didnot live out in the country, much less in frontier lands. Beginning inthe early nineteenth century, Anglo-Americans also developed avery negative view of the Spanish-Mexican North. Americans ingeneral and more than a few U.S. academics subscribe to thisdisparaging view.13

But enough of generalities. Let us now move on to specifics ofthe scope of the Spanish North and how to refer to it. The issue ofwhat we should call this frontier would not be particularly importantexcept that some names are misleading, short-sighted, and evencontrary to fact. Therefore, it is relevant to find an appropriate name

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for a process hundreds of years long and still going on in manyways. Names may operate as straitjackets or as screens behind whicha part of the whole picture is hidden. I believe that dividing thehistory of the Spanish North into discrete periods of time, and ofteninvestigating each as if it were entirely independent, results inseveral shortcomings in our understanding of its history. I am verymuch against breaking apart an immense geographical region onlybecause the old Spanish North was later divided between Mexicoand the United States.

My own preference among various possible names is GreatSpanish North, paralleling the term Great American Desert, whichwas used in the early nineteenth century to refer to the land west ofthe Mississippi.14By the term Great Spanish North I do not mean toimply a value judgment, only a long, complex process that tookplace over a huge territory. I usually speak of the Great North forthe sake of brevity, and to leave open the door of time to extend

beyond the Spanish colonial period. (Incidentally, Great HispanicNorth would be an even more appropriate name in order to encom-pass five hundred years of a cultural tradition.) A neutral term likethe Great North is also free—provided the writer or speaker ispersonally free—from the human and historiographical prejudicescommonly attached to the Mexican frontier and to the SpanishBorderlands, as Herbert E. Bolton named in 1921 the “regions

between Florida and California.”15Spaniards used several descrip-tive names including La Gran Chichimeca, la tierra de guerra, elSeptentrión, and la América Septentrional. From an administrativeand political point of view, Provincias Internas was the most preciseterm to describe the Spanish domains in the north of New Spain.The history of the Great North can be considered equivalent to thehistory of the area where Spanish explorers, conquistadors, mission-aries, and settlers entered tierra adentro,or inland. Whereas theAnglo-American advance was east to west from coast to coast, theSpanish advance was inland toward the north, between two seas andalong three major corridors: eastern, central, and western. Their

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provincias internas: continuing frontiers

goal from the beginning was to penetrate as far as possible to theinterior of the continent.16

I realize that for many Americans it requires a change of

perspective to think of a “north” down there as they look at theSpanish-Mexican frontier. But the North that Spaniards contem-plated from Mexico City was like the West that migrants from theEast faced after crossing the Mississippi. North and West are in bothcases names written on the pages of history describing the relativerealities of the people who wrote those pages. Early in the course ofAnglo settlement, what is now the southeastern United States was

referred to as the “Southwest.” [With later U.S. expansion, it be-came necessary to differentiate the “Old Southwest” (i.e., the south-east) from the new “Southwest.”] There are also significant disagree-ments among anthropologists and historians about the scope of theSpanish North and of the U.S. Southwest. U.S. anthropologists, intheir study of native peoples include northwest Mexico in the so-called Greater Southwest;17on the other hand, Mexican anthropolo-gists and historians reject the term Southwestas ethnocentric, andobviously, they would not accept the term Greater Southwest fordescribing a good part of northern Mexico. But many Mexicanhistorians stop at the present international border when dealing withOld Mexico or colonial New Spain. The reason for this is generallynot made explicit, but it might be due to a narrow conception of

their nation’s history, a sense of delicacy toward their northernneighbor, or an unacknowledged disregard for a land that is nottheirs because it was lost after the Mexican War. However, theAztecs occupy such a prominent space in the national image and inthe identity of Mexicans that they tend to overlook not only theirSpanish ancestry, but also the history of other native peoples andcultures of Mexico.

In short, there are many academic and political dividing linesthat distort history and sometimes make the present difficult toexplain. If nature and history created the Great Spanish North,policymakers drew boundaries on maps, while scholars—with

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outstanding exceptions—created historiographical frontiers that areevident in research and in textbooks. These frontiers have compart-mentalized the region’s history around periods or national bound-

aries: colonial or Latin American history, Mexican history, Ameri-can or U.S. history, western history. My own approach to the GreatNorth seeks to be comprehensive in terms of space, time, andpeoples. I contend that we must begin with the first Indian-Euro-pean encounters and march from central Mexico toward the north,following the course of history. By navigating from the beginningalong the stream of events, we avoid limiting our picture to the tail

of the dog, to use Herbert Bolton’s phrase.18Bolton’s warning wasand still is justified because in American historiography, the Spanishfrontier is usually seen from the top down. I would add that the RioGrande limit reduces the picture to the tip of the dog’s tail. Such arestriction in space and time ignores the longest and most substan-tial part of the frontier process.19Moreover, this shortened storyunderrates the Spanish northern advance and colonization, usuallydescribed as a “failure” in comparison to the “successful” Americanwestern advance.

What do we see when we look at the Spanish North from a fullsouth-north perspective and within a continental, not a national,context? We see an immense territory many times larger than Spainand much larger than the Republic of Mexico. We see an arid,

mostly barren land where agriculture and sedentary life werepossible only in certain portions of New Mexico and Arizona, andnorthern Mexico.20We see a land inhabited by bands and tribes ofnomadic or semi-nomadic hunter-gatherers who maintained apattern of warfare against their neighbors. We see a land that theAztecs and other indigenous city-states of central Mexico ignoredbecause it did not offer them the kind of resources they were after—

mainly tribute extracted from conquered peoples.21

Sedentary and nomadic Indians had been separated for millen-nia by a natural ecological barrier. Indeed, geography conditionedthe history of pre-Hispanic Mexico, the Spanish colonial period,

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provincias internas: continuing frontiers

and independent Mexico, and it still deeply affects the present. Inother words, physical environment is the permanent agent in thecontinuing history of the Great North. A combination of demo-

graphic, economic, and international factors—mostly derived fromgeography—marks the history of the old Spanish North as well as thepresent U.S. Southwest. That is why I stress that the physical envi-ronment is the all-important foundation of the process of “continu-ing frontiers” dwelt upon in these symposium proceedings. I am notdeterministic, but neither can I disregard how much nature condi-tions human life and the course of history. We have only to mention

the kind of warfare hunter-gatherer Indians waged against Span-iards, Mexicans, and Anglo-Americans; the role played in thefrontier economy by silver and cattle, and to a lesser extent, agricul-ture; the role played by northerners, or norteños,in the MexicanRevolution; or the socioeconomic imbalance between northern andcentral Mexico to see nature’s influence. The imbalance is strongerand more dramatic when the two sides of the international borderare compared.22In pre-industrial times, Indians and Spaniards wereforced to adapt to the ecosystem. Spaniards introduced new plantsand animals, and applied more efficient technologies, but theenvironment placed strong limitations on the economy and onsocial development. In contrast, the Anglo-American advance—coincidental with the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution—

progressed side by side with the railway, the telegraph, and theappearance of automatic weapons. These technological innovationsare largely responsible for winning the West.

Having acknowledged the influence of physical environmenton North American frontiers, I should also emphasize that frontiersare the product of human history, resulting essentially from humanaction. The Great Spanish North as a historical entity was born right

after the fall of the Aztecs in 1521. Inland explorations north of theValley of Mexico took many routes, while Spanish vessels sailedalong the Pacific coast as far as northern California.23Thus was borna process that as time passed preserved existing elements while

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incorporating new ones via adaptation, transformation, and innova-tion. It came to be a centuries-long, as-yet-unfinished process, anunbroken chain as resistant as iron yet as flexible as a string of

turquoise beads.A silver strike in Zacatecas in 1546 prompted the first North

American mining boom three hundred years before the Californiagold rush. The search for gold and silver, and the task of Christianiz-ing and educating Indians, whom the Spaniards hoped to put towork, pushed the first conquistadors to cross into the Great North.The Spanish program could hardly be implemented on nomadic

Indians, however. The so-called Indian War in the history of theU.S. West was the rule on the Spanish North for centuries. The lastIndian wars were actually waged by Mexicans and Americans ontheir respective sides of the border only a little more than onehundred years ago.24But despite wars and rebellions, the settling offrontier lands continued throughout the colonial period. Spaniardsfrom Mexico and Spain slowly but steadily populated the North.Indians from central Mexico also participated in the process, andrace mixture, or mestizaje,became a characteristic of frontier society.The earliest front of the Spanish advance was as near to MexicoCity as Guadalajara and Zacatecas. Other smaller settlements wereeven closer to the metropolis.25With the passing of time, some areaslost their frontier character, in the sense that warfare decreased as

crown control increased. But despite the precarious dominion overthe Indians, the poverty of the soil, and the ups and downs ofmining, the Spanish North was an unquestionable reality in thesixteenth century. An audiencia,or higher court of justice, wasfounded in Guadalajara in 1549. The first bishop of Guadalajara hadarrived the year before. The first governor of the huge province ofNueva Vizcaya took possession of his office in Durango in 1562, in

the midst of what was then the frontier. The bishopric of Durangowas founded in 1621. Its jurisdiction included New Mexico until theU.S. annexation of that province. Finally, jumping across space andtime, San Francisco was founded in 1776.

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By the late eighteenth century, the Provincias Internas were awell-defined and better-organized political entity. The Spanishcrown was in those years strongly determined to defend the Far

North from Apaches and Comanches, and from the threat posed byFrench, English, and Russian presence. The Commandancy Generalof the Interior Provinces of Northern New Spain was created in1776, incorporating Sinaloa, Sonora, Baja California, Alta California,Durango, Chihuahua, Nuevo México, and Texas. Coahuila, NuevoLeón, and Nuevo Santander were later added to the ComandanciaGeneral de las Provincias Internas. At the time southern Arizona

was part of Sonora, while northeastern Arizona was part of NewMexico.26The Republic of Mexico inherited this political map, andit remained unchanged until the mid-nineteenth century, when theTexas annexation (1845), the Mexican War (1846–1848), the Treatyof Guadalupe Hidalgo (1848), and the Gadsden Purchase (1853)restructured it.27These events belong to the history of Americanimperial expansion. In any case, my interest is not in summarizingwell-known events but rather in showing how political boundarieschanged over time while the flow of social life and the social interac-tions of the diverse population of the Great North progressed alonga continuum based on culture rather than politics. As a matter offact, the demographic and cultural flow that for generations hasbeen running north into the United States is today wider and stron-

ger than ever before. Indians, Hispanics, Mexicans, Chicanos, andAnglos all share a frontier space, defined once again as a land orplace where diverse people meet and interact.28The old Spanish FarNorth remains a world of continuing, crossing, crossbreeding,intertwining frontiers. Meanwhile, the U.S.–Mexico border is anincreasingly blurred line for millions of Mexicans, American Mexi-cans, Mexican Americans, and Latin Americans in general.29

* * *

To conclude, the dual idea of continuingfrontiers over time andof contiguousfrontiers within a given space seems to me especially

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provincias internas: continuing frontiers

history, some conclusions become evident. The Great SpanishNorth was a subsystem of the viceroyalty of New Spain. Thisviceroyalty was, in turn, the greatest political entity of the Spanish

imperial system in North America.33The Spanish Borderlands werenot just an appendix of the American West—as conventional Ameri-can historiography generally leads us to believe—but the far north ofa continental empire. This historical fact explains the many connec-tions and similarities between the Spanish North—the ProvinciasInternas—and the rest of Mexico and Hispanic America in general.The Mexican War broke the old Spanish North into two unequal

parts, but the Spanish cultural tradition has persisted on both sidesof the border. For Hispanics in the American Southwest, however,the new political situation meant a sudden encounter with anotherfrontier, with other people, and a new feeling that they were nowliving on the periphery of two, not one, American nations—Mexicoand the United States. That is why only history, assisted by othersocial sciences, can explain, for example, why Arizona and NewMexico did not enter the Union until 1912, sixty-two years later thanCalifornia.

The U.S. Southwest, in its broadest sense, became in thenineteenth century the only region in the Americas where the twogreat branches of Western civilization—the Hispanic and the Anglo-Saxon—met and brought about a unique frontier land.34The over-

lapping of space, time, and peoples probably accounts for the keytraits that define the former Spanish Far North and a good part ofthe American West as a whole. A candid acceptance of such overlapmight help to reduce conceptual and intellectual divergences andhistorical and thematic discontinuities. David H. Thomas hasproposed taking a “Cubist perspective” to gain a more thoroughunderstanding of the Spanish borderlands experience; that is,

whereas Renaissance art had a single perspective, cubist artists likePicasso experimented with multiple perpectives.35I would proposestill another metaphor in any attempt to comprehend the past andthe present of the land that stretches from Texas to California. Like

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by a centuries-long interaction with the land and with its Indianpeoples and traditions, particularly in the Southwest. Hispanicsshould be conscious of the importance of being bilingual, to speak

the two most common languages spoken today in an increasinglyglobalized society. Indians, Hispanics, and Anglos have a commonresponsibility: to preserve this region as a land of continuing fron-tiers, provided that frontiers mean dignified human diversity,cultural richness, opportunities for all, and attraction of visitors andprospective residents. The diverse population of the U.S. Southwestis facing increasing challenges for peaceful coexistence but also a

promising future for human relationships. In fact, history has placedthe population of the Southwest in the vanguard of a global processthat I hope might bring about a “world without frontiers,” a worldwhere racial and cultural differences are seen as a sign of nothingmore than human diversity.

DiscussionQ: One thing I think is interesting about what Alfredo said relates

to the whole question of the Turner thesis and the frontier,which is definitely a national myth for us Anglo-Americans.Turner’s idea was that a more egalitarian society developed inthe United States because the expanding frontier constantlyprovided an escape valve. There have been some studies that

looked at why the Turner thesis never applied to northernMexico. Some scholars have tried to apply it, but it didn’t workvery well, and David Weber actually has written about that.Alfredo mentioned that a lot of the difference is accounted forby the fact that colonial Spanish society was very urban ori-ented, where landowners and powerful people in the northdidn’t actually live out in the countryside. But I think there areprobably some other reasons why the Turner thesis didn’t applyin Mexico. Why didn’t it work there?

A: You mean, why were there different perceptions of these

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frontiers? Well, there were several elements or factors. There isthe time factor. The Spanish enterprise began very early in thesixteenth century, essentially in 1492. The American frontier is a

phenomenon of the nineteenth century. Sixteenth-centurySpaniards were leaving Spain for glory, richness, and evangeliz-ing Indians. What was the point of emigrating fromExtremadura, Andalusia, or Castile simply to farm land in theNew World when they had that opportunity in Spain? In con-trast, the people who emigrated from Europe from the time ofthe Mayflowerthrough the nineteenth century were seeking

freedom. They were farming-minded. They wanted a piece ofland to work with their hands—a free land, or an empty land, sothey were happy to have that land. Whether hidalgos(nobles) orvery poor people, the conquerors who came to Mexico dreamedof something else: Only gold and silver could induce them totravel so far from Spain. And the policy of the Spanish crownwas to civilize the New World by establishing pueblos for Indi-ans and cities (villas) for Spaniards. Colonial Spaniards wantedto retain this kind of community—so traditional in Spain butolder than Spain itself, dating back to Greece and Rome—ofcities, of communities, of daily communication. So I think theBritish and the Spaniards had a very different perception orattitude toward life. Even the Spanish governors and bishops

sent to colonize the New World went there when they had noother choice but to go. Even friars in certain times preferred tolive in Mexico City, Guadalajara, or Puebla, in those placeswhere they had the same kind of life they had had in Spain andwere expecting to repeat in the New World.

Q: Your comments, especially your last comments, raise the ques-tion of how Spanish the settlement of the North really was. I’m aU.S. historian, but I do read in Latin America, and if I remem-ber right, from the very earliest Spanish settlements in thenorth—I’m talking about Oñate’s settlement in New Mexico in1598—to the last settlements in California, mestizos and Indians

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Indians. The church also has to be taken into account here.Colonization was a crown and a church enterprise. And thesetwo different philosophies explain why the remote lands were

not appreciated unless there was silver or other possibilitiesfor profit.


1. For practical reasons, in this chapter I will generally use Southwestto refer

to the land that stretches from Texas to California. On the various names

and scopes applied to the Southwest, see below.

2. Several other words are related to the termfrontier.As Edward Spicer

points out, “The term borderlandis ambiguous enough to encompass both

boundary and frontiers. This lack of precision is convenient, since border-

lands scholars are sometimes concerned with one and sometimes with the

other. Boundarydenotes a new concept that dates only from the rise of

nation-states in modern Europe (Spicer, 1976). . . . Frontierdenotes a

phenomenon as old as differences in societies and cultures.” Paul Kutsche,

“Borders and Frontiers,” in Borderlands Sourcebook: A Guide to the Literature on

Northern Mexico and the American Southwest,ed. Ellwyn R. Stoddard, Richard

L. Nostrand, and Jonathan P. West (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press,

1983), 16. Jeremy Adelman and Stephen Aron distinguishfrontierfrom

borderand borderlandin the context of three regions: the Great Lakes, the

lower Missouri Valley, and the greater Rio Grande Basin, saying, “[W]e

seek to disentangle frontiers from borderlands. . . . By frontier, we under-

stand a meeting place of peoples in which geographic and cultural borderswere not clearly defined. . . . [W]e reserve the designation of borderlands

for the contested boundaries between colonial domains. . . . This shift from

inter-imperial struggle to international coexistence turned borderlands into

borderedlands.” Adelman and Aron, “From Borderlands to Borders: Em-

pires, Nation-States, and the People in Between in North American His-

tory,” American Historical Review104 ( June 1999): 815–16.

3. This definition is implicit in the title of a book edited by David J. Weberand Jane M. Rausch, Where Cultures Meet: Frontiers in Latin American History

(Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources, 1994). The editors’ introduction is

in itself an essay about concepts and historical developments related to

frontiers in the Americas.

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provincias internas: continuing frontiers

4. A classic anthropologist said with regard to culture contact that “in so far

as history is more than the story of particular events and particular individu-

als and deals with social and cultural changes, a large part of all history the

world over, possibly more than half of it, deals ultimately with the results ofintercultural influencing—that is, acculturation.” Alfred L. Kroeber, Anthro-

pology (New York and Burlingame: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1947), 425.

5. Mexican Carlos Fuentes authored a collection of short stories under the

general title La frontera de cristal(Madrid: Santillana, 1996), which is also the

title of one story in the book. The Mexican edition (1995) is entitled La

frontera cristalina.

6. See Alfredo Jiménez, “La frontera en América: observaciones críticas ysugerencias,” in Estudios americanistas en homenaje al Dr. José Antonio Calderón

Quijano, ed. Justina Sarabia et al. (Seville: Universidad de Sevilla, Escuela de

Estudios Hispano-Americanos), 475–94.

7. Turner, “The Significance of the Frontier in American History,” in Report

of the American Historical Association(Washington, DC: American Historical

Association, 1894), 199–227. American frontierand American Westbasically

refer to the same phenomenon. It has long been a matter of discussionwhether the American frontier was a place or a process. It may be said to

have been both. This dual quality is clearer still in the case of the Spanish

northern frontier.

8. Jiménez, “La frontera en América,” 488–89.

9. See Alfredo Jiménez, “El Lejano Norte español: cómo escapar del

American Westy de las Spanish Borderlands,” CLAHR(Colonial Latin American

Historical Review) 5 (Fall 1996): 109–23.

10. See Alfredo Jiménez, “La historia como fabricación del pasado: la

frontera del Oeste o American West,” Anuario de Estudios Americanos58 (2001):

737–55. About and against the myth of the American West, see Henry Nash

Smith, Virgin Land: The American West as Symbol and Myth(Cambridge, MA:

Harvard University Press, 1950); Robert G. Athearn, The Mythic West in

Twentieth-Century America(Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1986);

Donald Worster, “Beyond the Agrarian Myth,” in Trails: Toward a New

Western History,ed. Patricia N. Limerick, Clyde A. Millner, and Charles E.

Rankin (Kansas: University Press of Kansas, 1991); Gerald D. Nash, Creating

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the West: Historical Interpretations, 1890–1990(Albuquerque: University of

New Mexico Press, 1991).

11. For a general, one-volume history of Spain in the New World, see

Guillermo Céspedes, La América hispánica, 1492–1898(Barcelona: EditorialLabor, 1983). See also James Lockhart and Stuart B. Schwartz, Early Latin

America: A History of Colonial Spanish America and Brazil(Cambridge: Cam-

bridge University Press, 1983).

12. Though the circ*mstances are different, the contemporary migration

within Latin America in general, and into the United States in particular, is

from rural areas to cities, even megalopolises. Urban frontiers appear to

have replaced the wilderness, or empty, free lands, of old times. The urbanmilieu is not only the destination for millions of people in the Americas, but

is supposedly serving as the “safety valve” that the American West was in

the nineteenth century, in terms of offering opportunities to escape from


13. See, for example, Weber, “‘Scarce More Than Apes’: Historical Roots of

Anglo-American Stereotypes of Mexicans in the Border Region,” in Weber,

Myth and the History of the Hispanic Southwest(Albuquerque: University ofNew Mexico Press, 1988), 153–67. On hispanophobia and hispanophilia see

also Weber, The Spanish Frontier in North America (New Haven and London:

Yale University Press, 1992), 353–60.

14. “It was widely rumored in the early nineteenth century that a vast,

sandy, and essentially worthless tract of Sahara-like land lay somewhere in

the trans-Mississippi River Region. This area was denominated the ‘Great

American Desert’ by the Stephen H. Long expedition of 1819–1820, whichwas a part of the ambitious Yellowstone expedition designed to establish an

American presence in a frontier region only vaguely known, but allegedly

infiltrated by avaricious fur traders of other nationalities.” Terry L. Alford,

“The West as a Desert in American Thought Prior to Long’s 1819–1820

Expedition,”Journal of the West 8 (1969), 515. Walter Prescott Webb spoke of

“the Great Frontier” in reference “to all the new lands discovered [by

Europe] at the opening of the sixteenth century.” Webb, The Great Frontier(Austin: University of Texas Press, 1952), vii.

15. For an enlightening discussion about names, see David J. Weber, “John

Francis Bannon and the Historiography of the Spanish Borderlands:

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Retrospect and Prospect,” in Myth and the History of the Hispanic Southwest

(Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1988), 55–88; Herbert E.

Bolton, The Spanish Borderlands: A Chronicle of Old Florida and the Southwest

(New Haven: Yale University Press, 1921). Bolton’s body of work has beenthe subject of intense criticism for his emphasis on official Spanish institu-

tions—the presidio and the mission—and for his sympathetic view of Spanish

colonization. For a balanced historiographical synthesis of Bolton and his

students, placed in context, see David J. Weber, “Turner, the Boltonians,

and the Borderlands,” and “John Francis Bannon,” both in Myth and the

History of the Hispanic Southwest,33–54 and 55–88, respectively.

16. The Royal Road of the Interior Lands, or El Camino Real de TierraAdentro, was the main axis of the Provincias Internas, connecting Mexico

City with Santa Fe, New Mexico, a distance of 1,800 miles. See Gabrielle G.

Palmer, comp., El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro,Cultural Resources Series

No. 11 (Santa Fe: New Mexico Bureau of Land Management, 1993); María

Luisa Pérez-González, “Royal Roads in the Old and the New World: The

Camino de Oñate and Its Importance in the Spanish Settlement of New

Mexico,” CLAHR7 (Spring 1998): 191–218.17. See the volume organization and individual contributions in Alfonso

Ortiz, ed., Southwest,vol. 10 of Handbook of North American Indians(Washing-

ton, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1983).

18. “With a vision limited by the Rio Grande, and noting that Spain’s

outposts within the area now embraced in the United States were slender,

and that these fringes eventually fell into the hands of the Anglo-Americans,

writers concluded that Spain did not really colonize, and that, after all, shefailed. The fallacy came, of course, from mistaking the tail for the dog, and

then leaving the dog out of the picture. The real Spanish America, the dog,

lay between the Rio Grande and Buenos Aires. The part of the animal lying

north of the Rio Grande was only the tail.” Bolton, “Defensive Spanish

Expansion and the Significance of the Borderlands,” in Bolton and the

Spanish Borderlands,ed. John Francis Bannon (Norman: University of

Oklahoma Press, 1964), 34.19. Howard F. Cline considered an even larger perspective when he

proposed “some general or appropriate synthesis of the Greater Border-

lands, including the Central American, Caribbean, and Gulf peripheries,

together with the vast area of Aridamérica. Although apparently widely

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separated in space, because of their similar relationships to the heartland

and to the metropolis in Spain, I suspect that many important likenesses, as

well as critical divergences, would appear.” Cline, “Imperial Perspectives on

the Borderlands,” in Probing the American West,ed. K. Ross Toole et al. (SantaFe: Museum of New Mexico Press, 1962), 173. The most comprehensive

scope for the Spanish North is given by Peter Gerhard in The North Frontier

of New Spain (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1982). His definition

encompasses Nueva Galicia, Nueva Vizcaya, Sinaloa y Sonora, Baja

California, Alta California, Nuevo México, Coahuila, Texas, Nuevo León,

and Nuevo Santander.I fully endorse such a wide geographic scope. See

also Oakah L. Jones, Los Paisanos: Spanish Settlers on the Northern Frontier ofNew Spain(Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1979). See also Alfredo

Jiménez, El Gran Norte de México. Una frontera imperial en la Nueva España

(1540-1820)(Editorial Tébar, Madrid, 2006).

20. The terms Aridamerica and Oasisamerica have been used to define,

respectively, the majority of the land and the better watered portions of it.

21. On the prevalence of warfare in pre-Hispanic Mesoamerica, especially

the Aztecs’ war against other Mexican states, see Ross Hassig, Aztec Warfare:Imperial Expansion and Political Control(Norman and London: University of

Oklahoma Press, 1988); War and Society in Ancient Mesoamerica(Berkeley and

Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1992); and Mexico and the

Spanish Conquest(London and New York: Longman, 1994).

22. For a complete yet concise geographic and temporal coverage of

Mesoamerica, the northern frontier, and Central America, see Mary W.

Helms, Middle America: A Culture History of Heartland and Frontiers(Englewood, NJ: Prentice Hall., 1975); for a one-volume full history of

Mexico, see Michael C. Meyer, William L. Sherman, and Susan M. Deeds,

The Course of Mexican History(New York and Oxford: Oxford University

Press, 2003); see also Brian Hamnett, A Concise History of Mexico(Cambridge:

Cambridge University Press, 1999). For a brief historical overview and

interpretation of the Mexican north see Miguel León-Portilla, “The Norteño

Variety of Mexican Culture: An Ethnohistorical Approach,” in Plural Societyin the Southwest,ed. Edward H. Spicer and Raymond H. Thompson (New

York: Interbook, 1972), 77-114.

23. Gerhard, North Frontier of New Spain; Weber, Spanish Frontier in North

America.For a summary of the Spanish northward expansion, see Weber,

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provincias internas: continuing frontiers

“The Spanish-Mexican Rim,” in The Oxford History of the American West,ed.

Clyde A. Milner, Carol A. O’Connor, and Martha A. Sandweiss (New York:

Oxford University Press, 1994), 45–77. A variety of topics and authors

appear in David J. Weber, ed., New Spain’s Far Northern Frontier: Essays onSpain in the American West,1540–1821(Albuquerque: University of New

Mexico Press, 1979). The most comprehensive work on the Spanish Border-

lands in terms of scope and content is the three-volume series edited by

David Hurst Thomas under the general title of Columbian Consequences

(Washington and London: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1989–1991).

24. See, for example, several contributions in Ortiz, Southwest.

25. For the Spanish advance and Indian resistance to it in the sixteenthcentury, see Philip Wayne Powell, Soldiers, Indians, and Silver: The Northward

Advance of New Spain, 1500–1600(Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of

California Press, 1952); and The Taming of America’s First Frontier, 1548–1597

(Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1977).

26. Edmundo O’Gorman, Historia de las divisiones territoriales de México

(Mexico: Editorial Porrúa: 1966). The most complete and best-documented

history of the late Spanish period is Luis Navarro García, Don José de Gálvez yla Comandancia General de las Provincias Internas del Norte de Nueva España

(Seville: Escuela de Estudios Hispano-Americanos, 1964). For the last years

of the Provincias Internas, see Navarro García, Las Provincias Internas en el

siglo XIX (Seville: Escuela de Estudios Hispano-Americanos, 1965).

27. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo meant for Mexico the loss of Califor-

nia, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, and parts of Arizona, Colorado, Kansas,

and Wyoming. The treaty also settled the Texas border dispute, placing theTexas-Mexico boundary at the Rio Grande. The United States bought a

strip of land south of the Gila River in Arizona and New Mexico from

Mexico in 1853 for $10 million under the Gadsden Purchase.

28. Short and very much to the point are the contributions regarding

contemporary border life in Stoddard, Nostrand, and West, Borderlands

Sourcebook.A good general reference is Nicolás Kanellos and Claudio

Esteva-Fabregat, gen. eds., Handbook of Hispanic Cultures in the United States(Houston: Arte Público Press, 1994). Volume editors are Alfredo Jiménez,

History;Francisco Lomelí, Literature and Art;Félix Padilla, Sociology;and

Thomas Weaver, Anthropology.

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29. “The convergence of Anglos and Latins has produced a distinctive

Borderlands culture, and while this culture is becoming increasingly

complex, its subcultures are still identifiable as Mexican Americans, His-

panicized southwesterners, ‘American Mexicans,’ Anglicized norteños,andthe hybrid, borderline people. In perspective, the Mexican American

subculture would appear to be the Borderlands’ product of singular impor-

tance.” Richard L. Nostrand, “A Changing Culture Region,” in Stoddard,

Nostrand, and West, Borderlands Sourcebook,13.

30. On the needs and flaws in the history of the Mexican period see David

Weber, “Mexico’s Far Northern Frontier, 1821–1854: Historiography

Askew,” in Weber, Myth and the History of the Hispanic Southwest,89–104. Forthe history of the Mexican period, see Weber, The Mexican Frontier, 1821–

1846: The American Southwest under Mexico(Albuquerque: University of New

Mexico Press, 1982).

31. See contributions in Stoddard, Nostrand, and West, Borderlands


32. A typology is a useful instrument for dealing with complex, diverse

phenomena of this type; see Alfredo Jiménez, “El fenómeno de frontera ysus variables. Notas para una tipología,” Estudios Fronterizos40 (1997): 11–


33. There were three other viceroyalties: Perú (Lima), Río de la Plata

(Buenos Aires), and Nueva Granada (Bogotá). All of native Mesoamerica,

the present-day republics of Central America, and the unending northern

lands comprised the viceroyalty of New Spain. Middle America is generally

defined as the totality of the Republic of Mexico plus the six CentralAmerican republics. There were in pre-Hispanic times some relationships

between Mesoamerica and the Southwest. See Mary W. Helms, Middle

America; R. A. Pailes and Joseph W. Whitecotton, “The Greater Southwest

and the Mesoamerican ‘World’ System: An Exploratory Model of Frontier

Relationship,” in The Frontier: Comparative Studies,ed. William Savage and

Stephen I. Thompson (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1979), 105-

121.34. Bolton expressed this idea in the early years of the last century. See Burl

Noggle, “Anglo Observers of the Southwest Borderlands, 1825–1890: The

Rise of a Concept,” Arizona and the West1 (Summer 1959): 105–31; David

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Missions as Transactional andTransitional Crossroads:A Case from Nueva Vizcaya

Susan M. Deeds

Northern Arizona University

My topic, the mission, is one of the institutions that has beenvery closely connected with the Spanish borderlands, and with thecoiner of the term borderlands, Herbert E. Bolton himself.1(The otherinstitution is, of course, the presidio.) In recent years, Bolton and theborderlands historians who followed him have been criticized for

their excessive attention to the Spanish side of interactions inSpain’s Provincias Internas and the concomitant neglect of indig-enous peoples. But even before that, scholars had begun to remedythis deficiency—most notably Edward H. Spicer whose Cycles of

Conquestis still a powerful synthesis of the indigenous responses toand survivals of colonial rule in the Greater Southwest or, from theMexican perspective, the Greater Northwest or Gran Chichimeca.2

Of course, Spicer was an anthropologist, and it is interesting that ittook historians some time to begin delving into the indigenous pastof the region. Only relatively recently have historians employedethnohistorical approaches in studying the borderlands. Some ofthis work is situated within an evolving “new mission history.”3

Recent studies have led the way in exploring not only how Indiansresponded to reorganization in missions, but also the ties between

missions (Jesuit and Franciscan) and surrounding Spanish settle-ments, especially in terms of the relationships among ethnicity,demography, and subsistence patterns.

In 1752, corregidor Antonio Gutiérrez, who was the main official

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Nueva Vizcaya (Durango and Chihuahua) in the eighteenth century.

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of Chihuahua City, complained to the viceroy of New Spain that theFranciscan missions of his jurisdiction were not really missions, butrather opulent haciendas.4This was not a new charge by civil

officials of northern New Spain against Franciscan and Jesuit mis-sions. A century earlier, not long after initiating their evangelizationprogram in Nueva Vizcaya, the Jesuits had been forced to defendthemselves in the audienciacourt in Guadalajara against accusationsthat they were earning huge profits from the grain and livestockproduction of their missions.5Royal officials were especiallytroubled by the fact that the religious orders claimed exemption

from the tithe on agricultural produce; they also charged thatmission Indians did not receive compensation for their labor. In thisinstance, the Jesuits succeeded in avoiding tithe payments, but in1670 royal officials ordered that they had to pay Indians who pro-vided labor on lands destined for the support of the mission churchor for commercial production.6In both of these cases, as in therepeated allegations that intervened, secular claims were exagger-ated since, for the most part, the Jesuit missionary enterprise was notprofitable for the order.

Nonetheless, these cases do point to the myriad economicconnections between missions and surrounding Spanish settlements.I have detailed many of these ties regarding land and labor inprevious articles and in my book on Chihuahua and Durango for

the period from 1600 to 1750.7

In Wandering Peoples,CynthiaRadding not only delineates these economic relationships fornorthern Sonora in the period from 1750 to 1850, she also associatesthem with changes in ethnicity and subsistence patterns. For thislater period, Steven Hackel has also contributed nuanced explana-tions of the participation of mission Indians in California’s colonialeconomy.8These and other studies of the past decade have increas-

ingly revealed demographic patterns and other previously unex-plored facets of mission history, highlighting, in particular, theirporous boundaries and the ways in which they were “contestedground.”9Some very early studies had pointed the way; for

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Administrative jurisdictions of the Provincias Internas.

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example, Robert West’s 1949 study of silver mining in Parral al-luded to labor and commercial relationships with mission Indians.Nonetheless, the longstanding and now outdated view of missions

portrayed them idealistically as bounded, disciplined communities,forged out of conditions of savagery by heroic, occasionallymartyred, religious fathers.10A quite different perspective empha-sizes not only the material ways missions were linked to the outsideworld, but also their persistent cultural and ethnic interchanges,explaining why they were inherently unstable.11

The missions I have studied among five different Indian

groups—Tarahumaras, Conchos, Tepehuanes, Acaxees, andXiximes—in Nueva Vizcaya (today’s Chihuahua, Durango, andeastern Sinaloa) also counterpose a different panorama. Many of theindigenous peoples in the north were semi-sedentary, practicingsome agriculture complemented by hunting and gathering. But theintensity of these practices differed across groups. The Acaxees andXiximes exhibited more settled features in common with groupsfarther to the south in the area that we would consider to beMesoamerica. The Conchos perhaps were the least sedentary,although some anthropologists have argued that they actuallybecame more mobile after Europeans arrived, taking up the horseand using it as a way to avoid incorporation by the Spaniards. TheTepehuanes and Tarahumaras fell between these two poles, exhibit-

ing the ranchería features described by Spicer for many of the“greater southwestern” groups including Yaquis and Pimas.12Weshould note that there was a good deal of interaction (peaceful andhostile) between groups in the larger border region both before andafter conquest. Among mission peoples many factors—includingmining and agricultural economies, ecology, disease and its effectson demography, geographic mobility, raiding by non-sedentary

groups, ethnic mixing, popular beliefs, and even the mission regimeitself—contributed to forging new networks of social, economic, andcultural exchange. These factors interacted in variable ways indifferent mission areas and produced divergent outcomes for

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indigenous groups, but in no case was a mission a closed commu-nity. Missions were transactional and transitional crossroads whereethnic identities, subsistence patterns, and cultural beliefs evolved in

uneven metamorphoses at the same time that the attempted Spanishconquest of this frontier operated in fits and starts. The delays andintermittent character of this conquest were dictated by unfavorablegeography and ecology, logistical problems of distance and supply,and the hostility of indigenous groups unused to incorporation in astate (albeit a weak one in this frontier situation).

Transactions and transitions in the missions clearly imply

exchanges—however unequal—between and among different groups.Since they were carried out under fluctuating conditions, neitherSpaniards nor Indians had concerted, consistent strategies fordealing with each other, but over time the balance shifted to facili-tate incorporation of mission pueblos into the Spanish orbit. Ofcourse, not all Indians acquiesced to pueblo life, and a topic I amparticularly interested in is why and how some groups were able topersist as distinct ethnic groups, whereas others were incorporatedinto the Spanish mission system and lost their Indian identities.

Part of the answer to this question lies in flight and isolation.This is the story of those Tarahumaras and Tepehuanes who fledwest to establish rancheríasin the rugged and inhospitable canyonsof the Sierra Madre after their attempted insurrections to expel

Spaniards were defeated, respectively, in the second and last de-cades of the seventeenth century. In areas of little material interestto Spanish miners and ranchers, they were able to persist as distinctethnic groups, in contrast to the Conchos, Acaxees, and Xiximes.Other southwestern peoples, for example Hopis and Navajos, aidedby isolation from resources coveted by Spaniards also resistedincorporation in missions.

But even incorporation was not a phenomenon that can becharacterized only as exploitation and destructuration. Missions didserve Spanish interests by congregating previously dispersed popu-lations and making them available for labor service, and they did

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propagate a new set of moral rules about monogamy, marriage, andproperty that disrupted native ritual practices designed to fosterharmony in relations with supernatural forces and material suste-

nance. In the process, however, indigenous peoples demonstratedgreat ingenuity in carving out spaces and benefits for themselvesboth within and outside the missions. As time went on they alsomixed rather freely with non-Indians in forging new social net-works. How did these patterns manifest themselves? Obviously, I donot have the scope here to provide a detailed answer to this ques-tion. First let me suggest how this worked in very general ways, then

I will try to illustrate with specific examples for a particular placeand time.13

I’ll begin by taking an inventory of the ways in which Indiansselectively used missions. Mission populations were notoriouslyunstable, as their nominal inhabitants frequently deserted thepueblos to dodge the labor regimes imposed by the missionariesand to use ranchería locations for hunting and gathering or ritualcelebrations.14Not only did Indians adjust mission residence to suittheir traditional seasonal migratory patterns in mostly arid lands, butthis transhumance took a new twist with the introduction of sheepand the need for additional pastures.15Forced labor drafts alsostripped mission pueblos of not only men to work in mines and onhaciendas, but also the women and children who regularly accom-

panied them. These repartimientoworkers may have left the missionsinvoluntarily, but there were countless other mission Indians whochose to seek work on Spanish haciendas and in mines.16

Many native peoples resided in the missions largely at theirconvenience. In the early life of a mission, Indians were oftenattracted by the promise of food for subsistence and a place wherethey could devise reorganizing strategies in the face of epidemic

disease and demographic collapse.17Epidemic diseases arrivedbefore the Spaniards themselves through trade routes and othercommunication, so some scholars suggest that Indians were willingto accept missionaries who might provide protection against disease

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or a sort of crisis aid. Yet nursing and spiritual consolation were notas seductive after epidemics claimed mission converts anduncongregated Indians alike. In a region of continuous precontact

intertribal warfare, some groups used the mission pueblos as placesof refuge from enemy Indians.18Gifts of food, clothing, and metaltools also lured Indians, at least at certain times of the year, as didsaints days and other religious holidays accompanied by ritualfeasting.19Missions also offered opportunities for pilfering suppliesand livestock.20And there were situations where non-sedentaryIndian raiders who had been congregated in missions after capture

continued to raid clandestinely (and in concert with non-missionIndians), using the pueblos as cover. A clandestine trade in livestockwas a permanent feature from the seventeenth century on, but itexpanded dramatically in the late eighteenth century.21

I do not want to suggest that none of the Nueva VizcayanIndians lived permanently in missions. When times were good andcrops were plentiful, missions had substantial core populations.22

Certain individuals acquired special benefits from continuousresidence; the Indian officials appointed by the priests had moreaccess to prestige and spoils, and they received kickbacks for supply-ing repartimiento workers.23The more entrepreneurial natives usedmissions as petty trading hubs, perhaps as substitutes for earlierports of trade that had brought Indian groups together to barter.24

Finally, missionaries could be called upon to defend Indian land userights in the Spanish legal system, and mission residence meantexemption from commodity tribute.25

Some of these manipulations allowed indigenous peoples toisolate themselves from outsiders, at least at times, but the bulk ofthese patterns brought them into contact with other ethnic groups.Interethnic connections are difficult to identify and document since

the main source of documentation for missions is the body ofreports by the missionaries, who would not serve their own interestsby demonstrating the absence of boundaries and control. Nonethe-less even their reports can be read critically with an eye to hidden

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meanings and omissions, and there are several other types ofsources that reveal ethnic interactions and evolving multiethnic folkpractices. Among these are parish records and criminal and Inquisi-

tion cases.Let me highlight types of interethnic activity before providing

specific examples. Within the mission pueblos themselves, a varietyof transactions crossed ethnic boundaries. Various kinds of tradingactivities brought outsiders into the villages. Some of the missionslocated on the Camino Real, which carried silver to Mexico City, oron the trans-Sierran route that linked the central plateau to the

Sinaloa coast hosted intermittent trading and bartering.26At leastsome of these sites may have been precontact port-of-trade en-claves—neutral zones where different groups carried out trade andsometimes marriage negotiations. Grain brokers (rescatadores) cameto missions and rancherías to purchase surplus corn.27Muleteersdelivered annual shipments of supplies to the missions from MexicoCity. Spanish and other non-Indian travelers used the missions asway stations on their journeys—as places to secure lodging, meals,and the coveted cup of chocolate.28Most passed through quickly,but occasional drifters (of all ethnicities) lingered, conning the localsand marrying their daughters. Despite Spanish legal prohibitions,outsiders increasingly obtained lots in the villages, and by the mid-eighteenth century, many of the Nueva Vizcayan mission Indians

had rented lands to non-Indians.29

As time went on, Indians fre-quently complained that the missionaries appointed non-Indians(mestizos and mulattos) as governors and other village officials.30 Inthe Topia missions that straddled the sierra between Durango andSinaloa, women were weaving cotton cloth at the behest of middle-men. Some enterprising villagers worked as muleteers in the tradethat carried wax and honey to the coast, bringing back salt, fish, and

other foods.31

Religious celebrations also attracted Spanish settlers fromsurrounding ranchos and haciendas that had no resident priests. Thepopular mission fiestas of Corpus Christi and Semana Santa drew

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adjacent populations of non-natives. One of the most lavish wasthe Feast of the Presentation of the Virgin Mary at Zape, held onNovember 21. Coincidentally, Zape, in northern Durango, was the

site of a large preconquest stone icon. By the mid-seventeenthcentury, the shrine had been transformed or replaced to accommo-date cofradíadevotions.32In those missions where outsider presencewas greatest, cofradías, or confraternities, emerged to supportpatron-saint and other feast-day celebrations.33Religious authoritiescomplained that the nominally Catholic cofradías provided a coverfor idolatrous practices and deviant behavior. They also provided a

reason for Indians to leave their missions to beg for contributions tosupport their cofradías in neighboring Spanish towns.34

Indians of different ethnicities also mingled in missions. Theearliest Nueva Vizcayan missions were founded with the help ofNahuatl-speaking Indians from central Mexico (Tlaxcalan andTarascan) who helped dig acequias,plant milpas, and buildchurches—thus providing the “civilized” example for local Indians toemulate. Nahuatl became a kind of lingua franca in many of themissions.35Not all of the Indian outsiders were acculturated, how-ever; non-sedentary raiders and rebellious neophytes were alsodeposited in the missions nearest to presidios where they might be“tamed.”36Some missions even mixed formerly adversarial groupslike Tarahumaras and Tepehuanes or Acaxees and Xiximes.

If interethnic contacts within missions were myriad, they wereeven more abundant outside. Some mission converts served asethnic soldiers, fighting under presidial soldiers against rebelliousand hostile natives, including members of their own groups.37Themost common reason why Indians left the missions was to work insilver mines, on haciendas, and in domestic service. In some casesthese were forced departures, the result of frequent repartimiento

drafts. In many others they were deliberate migratory strategies foracquiring material goods, marriage partners, or freedom fromoppressive, demanding missionaries.38Missionaries also usedIndians as messengers and as transporters of goods. Royal officials

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were concerned about these peregrinations, attributing to them agrowing incidence in the eighteenth century of raiding, livestocktheft, and highway robbery. Through ordinances they attempted to

regulate travel that promoted social intercourse and vagabondage inrural areas and to control the ethnically heterogeneous workingclasses of growing towns.39These measures were not terriblyeffective, however.

In the countryside, mission Indians who were herders came incontact with Indian and mixed-race cowboys and herders on Span-ish ranches, sometimes sharing camaraderie, food, and drink around

the campfire.40Occasional visits to kin in rancherías exposed themnot only to unconverted members of their own groups, but also torenegade non-Indians fleeing Spanish justice.41On haciendas,mission Indians socialized and occasionally had sexual relationswith mixed-race groups and African slaves.42In mining towns,mission Indians mingled with Indians from other northern regionsas well as with mixed-race workers. They gambled and dranktogether, enjoying the pleasures of co*ckfighting and other pas-times.43

Since most of these contacts were casual, unsupervised, andamicable, they were infrequently documented, but the randomreferences are suggestive and invite imaginative analysis. The mostfrequent glimpses appear when the associations are classified as

aberrant, illegal, or morally reprehensible, as in the case of criminalacts such as murder. Another source is the corpus of MexicanInquisition cases, which in the Mexican north primarily involvesorcery for healing, love magic, and protection from abusive rela-tionships. Folk practices of diverse racial groups commonly inter-sected in the areas of healing and casting spells on enemies orprospective lovers, and brought Indians, mestizos, mulattos, and

Spaniards into close contact.44

Such interactions and selective uses of missions are illustratedby the particular happenings in a mission area of southern Chihua-hua during the last few decades of the seventeenth century. Here, to

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the north and east of the mining realesof Parral and Santa Bárbaraand the fertile Valle de San Bartolomé, the Jesuits had establishedmissions among eastern Tarahumaras beginning in the 1630s. The

six missions of Las Bocas, San Pablo, Huejotitlán, Santa Cruz,Cuevas, and Satevó, located in valleys of the Conchos River and itstributaries, were founded after Spaniards had already initiatedmining and agricultural activities nearby.

Relying almost exclusively on Jesuit annual letters to superiors,Peter Masten Dunne, a latter-day Jesuit and student of Bolton whowrote in the 1940s, paints the missionary endeavor as a “piously

picturesque” scene of prosperous missions: “With the natural fertilityof the land in field, river, and wood, the Christian neophytes wereable not only to raise what was necessary for their sustenance, thusmaking the missions self-supporting, but tutored by the padres, toconserve in times of abundance what would be good to have inperiods of drought or famine.” Using a 1668 report by PadreGerónimo de Figueroa, Dunne describes the church at San Miguelde las Bocas as “decorated with statues, laces and cloths for the altar,and with pictures to adorn the walls. Such ornamentations delightedthe childish mind of the poor savage. . . . The feasts of Blessed Marythe Virgin were given an especial solemnity. . . . The training of theboys gave a touch of culture to their savagery, and when to this wasadded, whenever possible, instruction in the learning of Spanish . . .

we can understand that the Indian must have taken on some tinc-ture of refinement from association with these arts. The padre tellsus that the Indians became Hispanicized.” True, says Dunne, therewere backsliders and Indians were dying from diseases, but “whenthe hour of death approached, [they] called for the padre anddesired through the sacraments to be purified and strengthened forthe dread departure.”45

What strikes me when I read Padre Figueroa’s report, with avery different perspective from Dunne’s, is how he emphasized theimportance of establishing a solid material foundation in a missionas the surest means of fomenting and assuring its spiritual base.

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Many Jesuit sources that illuminate the material/fiscal nature of theirendeavor are not included in the standard sources of Jesuit scholarslike Dunne or the earlier Francisco Javier Alegre. This lacuna points

up another problem with Boltonian historiographies. Bolton trainedmany Jesuits and Franciscans who did not choose to write criticalhistories of their own orders.

Tarahumaras were in fact lured to missions with gifts of knives,axes, blankets, and livestock. But the storing of provisions for timesof scarcity was a feat rarely achieved, as is evident when, a few yearslater in 1666 and 1667, drought, hunger, and epidemic disease

struck these missions, prompting many Indians to flee in order toforage for food. Many died on the roads.46In fact, in San Miguel delas Bocas, which did have a number of non-Indian residents, most ofthe several hundred survivors did not reside permanently in themission. Many of these Tarahumaras worked on haciendas in theValle de San Bartolomé; most owned horses and frequented themission primarily on feast days. A good number spoke Rarámuri,Nahuatl, and Spanish. Dozens of neighboring Spanish settlersattended church at the mission, and they supported it with endow-ments.47

As Dunne notes, the Jesuits also reported prosperity in theother Tarahumara missions, where Corpus Christi and Holy Weekwere celebrated with great shows of devotion.48What we are not

told is that these missions were surrounded by extensive ranch lands(comprising more than 60,000 acres) owned by Valerio Cortés delRey. This powerful landowner (the first to establish an entailedestate in northern Mexico) employed Spanish overseers for his cattleoperations, mestizos and mulatto slaves as cowboys, and a widearray of indigenous peoples as herders and servants. The mission ofSatevó was embroiled in a legal dispute with Cortés del Rey regard-

ing charges that his sheep had wrecked the mission’s milpas and thathis vaqueros were abusing mission women.49The mission did have acattle operation and was selling yearlings to hacendadosin the Parralarea.50In these connections to the larger ranching economy, the

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mission and its environs served as a meeting place for neophyteChristians; unconverted Tarahumaras; and Indian, mestizo, andmulatto outsiders—many of whom worked for Cortés del Rey.

Sinaloan and Sonoran Indians also journeyed across the area ontheir way to look for work in the mines. Yet this picture would nothave been so graphically apparent to me had I not discovered anInquisition case from 1673 that describes interactions among thesegroups, who were brought together by occasional fiestas, amorousrelationships, and folk curing practices. From this and other secularrecords, a picture emerges of violence in the countryside, due partly

to the impunity enjoyed by Cortés del Rey and his adherents.51

Huejotitlán and Santa Cruz did have fertile maize and wheatfields, but these missions lost both crop and grazing lands to Spanishencroachments in the 1670s.52The demographic instability andfrequent movements in and out of Tarahumara missions, as well asthose of the Franciscans to the east, were noted by the bishop ofDurango, Bartolomé de Escanuela, in 1681, who also commented ontheir multiethnic character.53In addition, the easternmost missionswere subject to heavy labor drafts and frequent raiding by non-sedentary groups. The raiders often received from hacienda servantsinside information for planning their attacks on missions and haci-endas.54

Other sources corroborate the volatility of the area in the

1680s. In 1683, silver mining began just to the west in Cusiguiriachi,attracting migrants of all classes. Demands for labor and foodprovoked considerable unrest among not only the recentlymissionized western Tarahumaras (who in the 1690s staged severaluprisings), but also the more established eastern missions, wheremany Tarahumaras tried to circumvent their obligations to missionproduction in order to sell corn and small animals in the new

market. Serious disagreements arose between Jesuits and secularofficials, emboldening Tarahumara leaders to flout missionarycontrol.55

I have just given you two readings of a place and time. If

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Dunne’s is overtly celebratory of the Jesuits and evangelization,mine mirrors my penchant for highlighting contestation and indig-enous agency. And, in common with Dunne, I have perhaps taken

myself too seriously. If the dead could talk, the last laugh would beon both of us. And it might come from Antonia de Soto, whotraversed this region in the 1680s.

Mission San Miguel de las Bocas, the site of Dunne’s faithfulcongregation, also served as the locus of Antonia’s transvestitetransformation in the 1680s. There, this mulatta slave, having fledher master in Durango, found a temporary hiding place. Her flight

had already taken her to Parral and Cusiguiriachi; along the way shefound many willing collaborators in her attempts to elude pursuit. InParral, a mestiza named Juana Golpazos gave Antonia floweringherbs to render her unrecognizable to the overseer sent to fetch her.From there, her Indian companion, Matías de Rentería, accompa-nied her to Cusiguiriachi, where he introduced her to peyote as wellas a variety of magical stones and rosettes. They traveled on to SanMiguel de las Bocas, where Matías hoped to meet up with hisbrother. There Antonia began to experiment with the stones,through which she made a pact with the devil. Her unholy bargaintransformed her into a skilled horseman and bullfighter. She donnedmen’s clothing and contemplated a new life of empowerment. In1684, the faithful and the miscreants in Las Bocas witnessed her

“dread departure” as she set off from their village to begin anodyssey of adventure and crime that crisscrossed the region andentangled her life with those of many others in this fast-changingethnic and cultural frontier.56I wonder how she might tell the storyof this mission.I imagine that she would in part corroborate mycharacterization of missions as places of refuge, for making newacquaintances, and that people traveled between. Antonia’s story

adds another facet to the multidimensional account of missions Ihave tried to create in broad strokes here. Such a narrative encom-passes the daily economic labors and transactions that went on withor without missionary supervision, as well as gossip that revealed

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beliefs and attitudes, reported sexual liaisons, and shared localknowledge of cures and remedies. It recounts the movements notonly of the nominal mission residents as they went to and from their

fields and pastures or those of Spanish landowners, but also ofassorted travelers who tarried at mission crossroads. The fluid,porous boundaries of Nueva Vizcayan missions accommodatedmultiple types of transactions, licit and illicit, that produced varyingpatterns of material, cultural, ethnic—and, in the case of Antonia,even gender—change.

How does the case of Nueva Vizcayan missions relate to the

larger picture in the borderlands of yesterday and today? Perhapsmost strikingly the history of these missions highlights how theseparticular frontiers and borderlands have always been places ofintercultural and interethnic contact. In addition, the region hashistorically been a place of constant movement and migration, oftransborder flows and mixes of people, another characteristic thatcontinues today. Missions were never really isolated (nor werepresidios for that matter)—and their populations were often unstableand transitory.

Another topic suggested by the study of these missions is thequestion of ethnic persistence and identity. How should we charac-terize the Spanish colonial system in terms of its efforts to incorpo-rate indigenous peoples, in comparison with the English system or

the later U.S. conquest? Spicer talked about enduring peoples,especially in the case of Yaquis, and other scholars have looked atethnic persistence and change, but much more can be done toenhance our understanding of how ethnic identities have developedin the borderlands. In spite of colonial and neocolonial (Spanish,Mexican, and U.S.) attempts to eradicate autochthonous beliefs andpractices, there have been many survivals among indigenous and

mestizo cultures. And the results of cultural mestizaje themselves arefascinating.

The complex and shifting nature of borderlands identities canbest be understood from an interdisciplinary perspective. Cross-

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disciplinary dialogue among historians, archaeologists, ethnogra-phers, ethnohistorians, environmentalists, and the holders of tradi-tional knowledge would be especially valuable. More cross-border

collaboration is also needed, with the participation of U.S.–andLatin American–trained scholars, as well as indigenous peoples whoare trying to recover their past. Now, more than ever, at a timewhen globalization and hom*ogenization threaten to impoverish usintellectually and culturally, we need to breathe new life into ethnicand cultural distinctions and traits that have been enriching life inthe U.S.–Mexican borderlands for centuries.


Q: A question that immediately comes to mind regards the rela-tionship between the Jesuits and the Franciscans. How did theindigenous peoples fit into that competition, and how were theyused to further it?

A: The Franciscans were the missionaries sent first to the north, upthrough the central corridor of northern Mexico from Durangoto New Mexico. The Jesuits arrived in New Spain much laterbecause the order wasn’t founded until the 1540s. In the 1570s,they had to fill niches that had been left vacant by other orders.One of these was the northwest region, with its mainly semi-

sedentary groups that turned out to be relatively receptive tomissions. In the central corridor and the northeast, theFranciscans, except in the case of the Pueblos of New Mexico,ended up with the least sedentary and most difficult groups toresettle. Therefore, their missions, at least those in Chihuahuaand Durango, tended to be very unstable and were often short-lived. Furthermore, the Jesuits had a better support system for

supplying their missions. In the case of Nueva Vizcaya, theyfrequently received logistical and military support from officialsbecause they cooperated with the state in providing labor toSpanish enterprises. Interestingly, however, that practice

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actually made missions more unstable in the long run, becauseIndians were sent out of missions to work for Spaniards atprecisely the times they needed to plant or harvest their own

fields. Both Jesuits and Franciscans exploited Indians in theircharge even as they took their evangelizing efforts very seri-ously. The two orders engaged in occasional jurisdictionaldisputes in the north, but for the most part their programs forconversion were similar.

Q: What did the expulsion of the Jesuits do to the missions?

A: When the Jesuits were expelled in 1767, the Franciscans tookover many of their missions in Chihuahua and Sonora andremained in them until the early nineteenth century in the earlyperiod of Mexican independence. They also undertook theconversion of California Indians (an area that had been desig-nated for Jesuit missions). The cases that I chose to study aremissions that the Jesuits themselves voluntarily gave up to the

bishop of Durango in the 1750s, ten years before the expulsion,because they were the poorest of the missions, and their resi-dents were not primarily Indian. For the most part, these werevery much mestizo communities, and the ethnic interactions thatI have been talking about were very pronounced. Eventually,racial and cultural mixing took place in all the northernmissions.

Q: You mentioned disease. Were the diseases brought by both theRoman Catholic Church and the Spanish?

A: Yes, both priests and Spanish explorers and miners went to thenorth. But what happened first was that Indians from areas tothe south, who experienced European contact earlier, got thesediseases and carried them up the trade routes to the north.Frequently, by the time there was effective Spanish penetrationin the north, the indigenous populations had already experi-enced tremendous population decline. I do not believe that theintroduction of disease was deliberate, but it is clear that

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Spaniards believed that the high death toll was a punishmentexacted on Indians because they were pagans.

Q: Can you tell us more about the kinds of cases the Inquisitionprosecuted? Where did witchcraft practices and pacts with thedevil come from?

A: Pacts with the devil clearly spring from a Christian context.They represented a means for enlisting supernatural force fromChrist’s great nemesis, the devil. Indigenous people didn’t havethe same idea of the devil, and we commonly find pacts being

made by Christianized black and mulatto slaves. There are folkpractices centered on curing and love magic that have roots inindigenous, African, and Catholic religions. As interethnicmixing increased, specific shared practices often evolved acrossdifferent groups. I should note that the Inquisition in Mexico didnot have jurisdiction over indigenous people after the 1570s, butIndians often appear as witnesses and actors in cases involving

Spaniards and mixed-race peoples. These records contain someof the richest evidence for how different ethnic groups interactedin many different situations, information that does not appear inthe missionary accounts.

Q: Have you studied the origins of traditional music in the mis-sion? Did the same kind of interethnic mixing occur in terms of

music?A: That’s a good question. We have some studies for New Mexico

and California, but this is an area that scholars are just beginningto investigate. One of my doctoral students, Kristin Mann, iscompleting a book on the use of music by both Jesuits andFranciscans in “southwestern” missions. Depending upon theiraptitude for music, all missionaries used it to one degree oranother as an evangelical tool. We know that Indians did incor-porate Spanish musical elements. For example, in theTarahumara area, the Jesuits taught the Indians to make violins.And the Tarahumaras who live in the Sierra Madre today still

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make them. The missionaries were trying to use music as a toolof conversion and indoctrination, but indigenous peoples modi-fied it and probably used it in ways that served to perpetuate

some of their own customs and to reinforce ethnic and culturalsolidarity.

Q: What was the incentive for Indians to stay in the Jesuit missionsafter the Jesuits were expelled? Was it because mission residentswere exempt from tribute payments and other expenses?

A: Yes, mission Indians were exempt from tribute in almost all

areas of the north except for southern Sinaloa. Of course, forcedlabor is also a form of tribute. By the time the Jesuits wereexpelled, multiethnic communities had evolved and manymission residents were accustomed to the economic and culturalpatterns of their pueblos. Many developed forms of communalsolidarity with or without missionaries.


This paper was published in revised form as part of Susan M. Deeds,

Defiance and Deference in Mexico’s Colonial North: Indians under Spanish Rule in

Nueva Vizcaya(Austin: University of Texas Press, 2003). It is reprinted here

with permission of the University of Texas Press.

1. Herbert E. Bolton, “The Mission as a Frontier Institution in the Spanish

American Colonies,” American Historical Review23, no. 1 (Oct. 1917), 42–61.2. Edward H. Spicer, Cycles of Conquest: The Impact of Spain, Mexico, and the

United States on the Indians of the Southwest, 1533–1960(Tucson: University of

Arizona Press, 1962); and The Yaquis: A Cultural History (Tucson: University

of Arizona Press, 1980).See also Thomas E. Sheridan and Nancy J. Parezo,

eds., Paths of Life: American Indians of the Southwest and Northern Mexico

(Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1996).

3. Erick Langer and Robert H. Jackson, eds., The New Latin American MissionHistory(Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1995). In one of the essays,

“The Ibero-American Frontier Mission in Native American History” (pp.

1–48), David Sweet, reassesses Bolton’s classic study, “The Mission as a

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Frontier Institution in the Spanish American Colonies,” within a critical

postcolonial framework.

4. Informe contra algunas misiones de la Santa Provincia de Zacatecas que

hizo el Corregidor de Chihuahua Don Antonio Gutiérrez de Noriega,Chihuahua, July 21, 1752, Biblioteca Nacional (Mexico City), Archivo

Franciscano [hereafter BN, AF], caja 15, exp. 274. As it turned out, the

corregidorhad worked out a scheme to take control of the most productive

mission lands.

5. Apologetico defensorio . . . [reply by Jesuits], Nov. 1657, in Archivo

General de la Nación (Mexico City) [hereafter AGN], Historia, vol. 316.

6. Decree of Audiencia of Guadalajara, 1671, in Charles W. Hackett, ed.,Historical Documents Relating to New Mexico, Nueva Vizcaya, and Approaches

Thereto, to 1773,2 vols. (Washington, DC: Carnegie Institution, 1926), II:

201, 207. (The tithe dispute was not resolved until the 1730s.)

7. Susan M. Deeds, “Rural Work in Nueva Vizcaya: Forms of Labor Coer-

cion in the Periphery,” Hispanic American Historical Review69, no. 3 (1989),

425–49; “Mission Villages and Agrarian Patterns in a Nueva Vizcayan

Heartland, 1600–1750,”Journal of the Southwest33, no. 3 (1991), 345–65; andDefiance and Deference in Mexico’s Colonial North: Indians under Spanish Rule in

Nueva Vizcaya(Austin: University of Texas Press, 2003).

8. Cynthia Radding, Wandering Peoples: Colonialism, Ethnic Spaces, and

Ecological Frontiers in Northwestern Mexico, 1700–1850(Durham: University of

North Carolina Press, 1997); Steven W. Hackel, “Land, Labor, and Produc-

tion: The Colonial Economy of Spanish and Mexican California,” in

Contested Eden: California before the Gold Rush,ed. Ramón A. Gutiérrez andRichard J. Orsi (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998), 111-46.

9. Examples can be found in the work of Robert H. Jackson, including

Indian Population Decline: The Missions of Northwestern New Spain, 1687–1840

(Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1994) and (with Edward

Castillo), Indians, Franciscans, and Spanish Colonization: The Impact of the

Mission System on California Indians(Albuquerque: University of New Mexico

Press, 1995). See also the various essays in Jackson, ed., New Views of

Borderlands History(Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1998),

including Ross Frank, “Demographic, Economic and Social Change in New

Mexico,” 41–72. Other collections of relevant essays include Langer and

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provincias internas: continuing frontiers

Jackson, The New Latin American Mission History,and Donna J. Guy and

Thomas E. Sheridan, eds., Contested Ground: Comparative Frontiers on the

Northern and Southern Edges of the Spanish Empire(Tucson: University of

Arizona Press, 1998). See also Jesús F. de la Teja, San Antonio de Béxar: ACommunity on New Spain’s Northern Frontier(Albuquerque: University of New

Mexico Press, 1995); and William L. Merrill, “Cultural Creativity and

Raiding Bands in Eighteenth-Century Northern New Spain,” in Violence,

Resistance and Survival in the Americas,ed. William B. Taylor and Franklin

Pease G. Y. (Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1994), 124–42.

10. The many works of Peter Masten Dunne on the Jesuits stand out in this

genre, but other Jesuits and Franciscans wrote in the same vein. Even thework of Herbert E. Bolton contributed to the heroic literature, although his

important contribution was to emphasize that the United States had more

than English colonial roots.

11. Deeds, Defiance and Deference,7–11. Robert C. West, The Mining Commu-

nity in Northern New Spain: The Parral Mining District(Berkeley: University of

California Press, 1949), was an early exception in making these connections.

12. The ranchería pattern of settlement characterized these Nueva Vizcayangroups at the time of effective Spanish contact. Living in dispersed settle-

ments of only a few to perhaps several hundred households, ranchería

inhabitants cultivated corn, beans, squash, chiles, and cotton. Rancherías

were relocated in accordance with seasonal cycles and soil fertility and the

need to supplement agriculture with hunting and gathering.

13. I will provide only selected references for the general patterns I de-

scribe; many other sources are provided in Defiance and Deference.

14. P. Juan Font to P. Provincial Ildefonso de Castro, Guadiana, Apr. 22,

1608, in Crónicas de la Sierra Tarahumara,ed. Luis González Rodríguez

(Mexico City: Secretaría de Educación Pública, 1984), 178–81; P. Provincial

Rodrigo de Cabredo to viceroy, Aug. 5, 1614, AGN, Archivo Histórico de

Hacienda, Temporalidades [hereafter AHH, Temp.], leg. 278, exp. 7; report

of P. Juan Florencio, May 16, 1624, AGN, Misiones, vol. 25, fols. 90–92.

15. Robert H. Hard and William L. Merrill, “Mobile Agriculturalists and theEmergence of Sedentism: Perspectives from Northern Mexico,” American

Anthropologist94, no. 3 (1992), 601–20.

16. Deeds, “Rural Work”; petitions for repartimiento labor, 1640s, Archivo

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de Hidalgo de Parral (microfilm copy at the University of Arizona), [hereaf-

ter AHP], reel 1648, frames 12–57; report of P. Nicolás de Zepeda to P.

Prov. Francisco Calderón, San Miguel de Bocas, Apr. 28, 1645, AGN,

Historia, vol. 19, fols. 121–35; petitions of Guanaceví miners, Feb. 8, 1648,AHP, r. 1648, fr. 188ff.

17. Daniel T. Reff, Disease, Depopulation, and Culture Change in Northwestern

New Spain(Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1991); puntos de ánua

de la misión de Tepehuana, 1630, AGN, Misiones, vol. 25, fol. 229.

18. Carta ánua de P. Juan Florencio, San Pablo, May 30, 1627, AGN,

Misiones, vol. 25, fol. 164; Deeds, “Indigenous Rebellions on the Northern

Mexican Frontier: From First-Generation to Later Colonial Responses,” inGuy and Sheridan, Contested Ground,36–37.

19. Autos sobre Topia, 1609–1614, AGN, Jesuitas, leg. II-12, exp. 4.

20. Report of P. Diego Larios, 1614, AGN, AHH, Temp., leg. 278, exp. 7;

declarations of Joseph and Antonio of Yepómera, Santo Tomás and

Carichic, Sept.–Oct. 1690, Archivo General de Indias (Sevilla) [hereafter

AGI], Patronato 236, fols. 347, 396–97.

21. Medrano report, 1654, in The Presidio and Militia on the Northern Frontier

of New Spain: A Documentary History,vol. 1, ed. Thomas H. Naylor and

Charles W. Polzer (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1986), 419–21;

William L. Merrill, “Cultural Creativity and Raiding Bands in Eighteenth-

Century Northern New Spain,” in Taylor and Pease G. Y., Violence, Resistance

and Survival in the Americas,124–42. For comparison, see James S. Saeger,

“Eighteenth-Century Guaycurú Missions in Paraguay,” in Indian Religious

Relations in Colonial Spanish America,ed. Susan Ramirez (Syracuse: MaxwellSchool of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University, 1989), 55-86.

22. Carta ánua de P. José Pascual, San Felipe, June 24, 1651, AGN, Jesuitas,

III-15, exp. 7; visita reports of P. Juan Antonio Balthasar and P. Agustín

Carta, 1743 and 1753, in AGN, AHH, Temp. leg. 2009, exps. 20, 41.

23. Tepehuan visita of 1651, AHP, r. 1651a, fr. 186–205; respuesta . . . de

Fray Juan Antonio de Abasolo, Comisario General, México, Mar. 9, 1753,

BN, AF, caja 15.

24. Report of Padres José Tardá and Tomás de Guadalajara to P. General

Francisco Ximénez, Aug. 15, 1676, Archivum Romanum Societatis Jesu,

Mexicana, 17, 355–92 [translated copy furnished by William Merrill];

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P. Juan Ratkay to P. Nicolás Avancini, Feb. 25, 1681, in Cartas e informes de

misioneros jesuitas extranjeros en Hispanoamérica,ed. Mauro Matthei (Santiago,

Chile: Universidad Católica de Chile, 1970), 155–159; relación simple de las

misiones que tienen los padres de la compañía en Parral, n.d. [eighteenthcentury], by a Franciscan, Thomas Gilcrease Institute (Tulsa), Hispanic

Documents, 176-6.

25. Various land cases in the Archivo de Instrumentos Públicos,

Guadalajara, Tierras y Aguas, lib. 15, exp. 1, lib. 22, exp. 2; lib. 28, exp. 141.

P. Lorenzo Reino to P. Prov. Escobar y Llamas, Chihuahua, Jan. 19, 1745,

AGN, Jesuitas, I-16, exp. 32. Declarations of Spaniards in Los Remedios,

May 23, 1749, Archivo de la Catedral de Durango [hereafter ACD], Varios1749; P. Agustín carta to P. Provincial, Santiago Papasquiaro, Aug. 14, 1753,

Archivo Histórico de la Provincia Mexicana ( Jesuits), no. 1391.

26. Robert West and J. J. Parsons, “The Topia Road: A Trans-sierran Trail of

Colonial Mexico,” Geographical Review31 (1941), 406–16. On port-of-trade

enclaves, see Karl Polanyi, Conrad M. Arensberg, and Harry W. Pearson,

eds., Trade and Market in the Early Empires: Economies in History and Theory

(Glencoe, IL: Free Press, 1957), 51–55.27. Carta ánua de 1608, P. Juan Font, in González Rodríguez, Crónicas,160–


28. Jesuit report, 1623, AGN, Jesuitas III-16, exp. 7; denunciación que

contra si hizo Antonio de Soto mulata esclava . . . , 1691, AGN, Inquisición

525, exp. 48.

29. Mayra M. Meza, “Tierra y misión: la situación agraria en Chihuahua

durante los siglos XVIII y XIX,” in Transformations on the Mission Frontier:

Texas and Northern Mexico,ed. Grace Keyes (San Antonio: Our Lady of the

Lake University, 1998), 37-48; Deeds, “Double Jeopardy: Indian Women in

Jesuit Missions,” in Indian Women of Early Mexico,ed. Susan Schroeder,

Stephanie Wood, and Robert Haskett (Norman: University of Oklahoma

Press, 1997), 265-66; report of Bishop Bartolomé de Escanuela, Durango,

Nov. 13, 1681, BN, AF, caja 12, f. 200; que los españoles no se introduzcan a

los pueblos de indios, Jan. 18, 1718, AHP, reel 1718a, fr. 12–17.30. Jesuit reports dated 1754 and 1764 in the University of Texas Nettie Lee

Benson Library, W. B. Stephens Collection, 66: 17–19.

31. Juan Ortiz Zapata visita, 1678, in Documentos para la historia de México

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(México, 1853–57), 4th series, vol. 3, 412–19; P. Marcelo de León to bishop,

San Ignacio, June–Aug. 1749, Archivo de la Catedral de Durango, Varios


32. Carta ánua de P. Francisco de Mendoza, Zape, June 6, 1662, AGN,Misiones, vol. 26, fols. 167–71.

33. Carta ánua de P. Pedro Gravina, Santa María Utais, Mar. 11, 1629,

AGN, Misiones, vol. 25, fols. 241–42.

34. Various Jesuit reports to bishop, June–Aug. 1749, in ACD, Varios 1749.

35. Cuentas de la Real Caja de Durango, May 22, 1599, AGI, Contaduría,

925; Clara Bargellini, “Three Jesuit Churches of the Baja Tarahumara,” in

Keyes, ed., Transformations on the Mission Frontier,49–53; carta ánua, 1662,

San Miguel de Bocas, AGN, Misiones, vol. 26.

36. Reports of P. Nicolás de Zepeda, San Miguel de las Bocas, Apr.–Sept.

1643, AGN, Historia, vol. 19, fols. 121–66.

37. Deeds, “First-Generation Rebellions in 17th-Century Nueva Vizcaya,” in

Native Resistance and the Pax Colonial in New Spain,ed. Susan Schroeder

(Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1998), 1-29; report of Junta deGuerra, México, Aug. 4, 1704, AGN, Historia, vol. 20, exp. 1.

38. Order of Gov. Ignacio Francisco de Barrutia, June 18, 1729, in Genea-

logical Society of Utah, marriage registers, Santiago Papasquiaro, microfilm

658011; P. Balthasar to viceroy, 1754, W. B. Stephens Collection, #1719,

University of Texas Nettie Lee Benson Library.

39. Testimonio sobre indios vagos y ocios, AGN, Provincias Internas, vol.

69, exp. 7; Jesuit reports, 1757, AGN, Jesuitas, II-7, exps. 14–23.40. Testimony in the case of Juan, a Concho Indian, Parral, Nov. 29, 1652,

AHP, r. 1652d, fr. 1736 ff; causa criminal contra Andrés Pérez y otros indios,

Parral, June 1660, AHP, r. 1660c, fr. 1692–1724; testimonies before Gov.

Enrique de Avila Pacheco, 1653, BN, AF, caja 11, exp. 180; autos en razón

de haverse retirado indios, 1689, AGN, Provincias Internas, vol. 30, exp. 6.

41. Peter Stern, “Marginals and Acculturation in Frontier Society,” in

Jackson, ed., New Views of Borderlands History,157–88.42. Denuncia contra Nicolás Guzmán, Parral, Sept. 9, 1673, AGN,

Inquisición, vol. 516, fols. 405–31.

43. Cheryl Martin, “Public Celebrations, Popular Culture, and Labor

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Discipline in Eighteenth-Century Chihuahua,” in Rituals of Rule, Rituals of

Resistance: Public Celebrations and Popular Culture in Mexico,ed. William H.

Beezley, Cheryl English Martin, and William E. French (Wilmington, DE:

SR Books, 1994), 95-114. For an example, see the case of Antonio Gamboa,Santa Eulalia, 1716–1717, AGN, Inquisición, vol. 777-1, exp. 24, fols. 208–22.

44. Examples are in AGN, Inquisición vol. 516, exp. 7; vol. 528, exp. 48;

vol. 605-1, exp. 7; vol. 661, exp. 22; vol. 791, exp. 31; vol. 912, exp. 29; vol.

1234, exp. 3

45. P. M. Dunne, Early Jesuit Missions in Tarahumara(Berkeley: University of

California Press, 1948), 90–103 passim.

46. Puntas de ánua, San Pablo, Nov. 14, 1668, in Documentos para la historia

de México,223–30.

47. The report is found in AGN, Misiones, vol. 26. See also report of P.

Francisco Xavier de Medrano, Las Bocas, ca. 1690, AGN, AHH, Temp.,

leg. 279, exp. 69; and testimony of Juana de Aguilar, Parral, Mar. 9, 1686,

AGN, Inquisición, vol. 1551, part 2, exp. 39, fols. 563–71.

48. Memoria de P. Antonio de Herrera, Santa Cruz, ca. 1690, AGN, AHH,

Temp. leg. 279, exp. 115; report of P. Juan María Ratkay, Carichic, March

20, 1683 [translation from Latin ms. in the Bolton Collection, Bancroft

Library, University of California, Mexicana 17]; libro de alajas de

Huexotitlán, Dec. 27, 1690, AGN, AHH, Temp., leg. 279, exp. 65.

49. Details of this case can be found in AGN, Historia, vol. 20, exp. 9;

AGN, AHH, Temp., leg. 2009, exps. 26, 30; leg. 324, exps. 13–14; leg. 325,

exp. 64.

50. Sugerencias de un padre jesuita, ca. 1673, AGN, Jesuitas I-17, exp. 41;

memoria de P. Domingo de Lizarralde, San Francisco Xavier de Satevó,

Dec. 26, 1690, AGN, AHH, Temp. leg. 270, exp. 67.

51. Case of Nicolás de Guzmán, 1673, AGN, Inquisición, vol. 516, fols. 405–

31; letters of Nueva Vizcayan Governor Antonio Oca de Sarmiento, Mar. 12

and 19, 1667, in Hackett, Historical Documents,II: 188–95.

52. Registro de un sitio que llaman Valsequillo en términos de Huejotitlán,Nov. 3, 1670, AHP, r. 1669a, fr. 282–99; case of Capt. Diego de Quiros,

June 1674–Jan. 1675, AHP, r. 1671a, fr. 379–95.

53. Report of the bishop to the king, Durango, Apr. 18, 1681, AGI,

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The Hopi Documentary History Project:A Progress Report

Hartman H. Lomawaima

Arizona State Museum

Buenos dias,good day,pay itamungem sonwayteni.These threephrases of greeting have approximately the same meaning but mayvary greatly with regard to context, who is speaking, who theaudience is and, if this communication is recorded, who records ordocuments it. These issues of variation, understanding, transcription,and translation are at the heart of a documentary research projectunderway at the Arizona State Museum.

Since 1975, the Arizona State Museum has been collecting andmicrofilming Spanish colonial documents that date from the earliestexplorations into the northern reaches of New Spain to the time ofMexican independence. Nearly one million pages of documents onmicrofilm form the Documentary Relations of the Southwest(DRSW) files. The museum and DRSW staff have published a seriesof documentary histories, two of which relate specifically to nativepeoples: Raramuri: A Tarahumara Colonial Chronicle 1607–1791,editedby Thomas Sheridan and Thomas Naylor, and Empire of Sand: The

Seri Indians and the Struggle for Spanish Sonora, 1645–1803,edited bySheridan.1 The Hopi documentary project follows a similar method-ology to the two previous works: Archaic Spanish is translated andtranscribed into modern Spanish, then the modern Spanish is

translated into English. In this project we go one step further:English into Hopi, with commentary about the translated docu-ments from Hopi community members in all twelve villages. Thisextra step is made possible by the development of a Hopi dictionary

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and syllabary that took nearly two decades to complete.2Thisdictionary has more than 30,000 entries.

The Hopi documentary history has its beginnings in 1541,

when Coronado dispatched Don Pedro de Tovar to Tusayan, aprovince of seven pueblos similar to ones visited in the province ofSuni, or Zuni as it is called today. Twenty years later, PedroCastañeda de Nájera documented this first wintertime exchangebetween Spaniards and Hopis.3There would be more exchanges,campaigns, conversions, and rebellions to document.

In the DRSW files, we have identified 171 documents that

contain the terms Tusayan, Moqui, Moquenos, Mohoce, and othersthat refer to the Hopi people. We will very likely treat about aquarter of these 171 documents in this project. We hope that theproject will inspire Hopi high school students and entering collegestudents to consider acquiring experience in documentary andarchival research. The Hopi Cultural Preservation Office and theArizona State Museum are reaching out to Hopi youth in this and avariety of other ways.

The project came about as one of mutual interest to the Hopitribe and to researchers at the museum. In 1992 the Spanish govern-ment invited Hopi government leaders to attend festivities in asso-ciation with Expo, a World’s Fair held in Spain. Spanish govern-ment representatives gave the Hopi officials copies of archival

materials and documents related to their history. But the Hopi foundthem impossible to read or comprehend. We do not know whetherHopis were ever literate in Castilian Spanish. What we do know isthat today none of us is literate in Castilian Spanish. Moreover, weare only now becoming literate in Hopi.

In 1998 the Hopi dictionary was published, and its authorswere searching for relevant applications of this important piece of

scholarship. In 1999 the museum completed its online finding aid tothe DRSW files, which is now accessible to the public. The variouspartners in the Hopi documentary project came together in Septem-ber 2000, and the project began in earnest in 2001.

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What have we learned thus far? Some of the documents areethnographic in nature.4They offer glimpses of people, places, andthings. For example, population estimates in the various villages

range from 5,000 to 50,000. There is detailed information aboutarchitecture—in some instances documents describe seven-storyskyscrapers fitted within a well-planned urban layout. There arenarratives about cultivated lands and high crop yields—of cotton, inparticular, and of maize (corn) and other crops. Discussions detailmethods of storing food in granaries and methods of food process-ing—cooking and culinary skills and arts. There are also descriptions

of men’s and women’s hairstyles. The people’s remarkably goodhealth also merited comment. Wild game and domesticated ani-mals, including ground hens and domesticated turkeys, were abun-dant. Fishing was especially good in the Río Bravo del Norte (nowthe Rio Grande to Americans); salt lakes and salt deposits providedsources for food seasoning and curing of meats. Beekeeping andwhite honey were documented. Vegetation included food sourcessuch as grapes, oaks, acorns, pine nuts, Castilian plums, and piñonnuts.

Descriptions of political organization most often characterizedit as free and disorderly. The Spaniards interpreted native religionsas idolatrous, involving offerings to the devil. References to thosedastardly Apaches are numerous. And one that I am especially fond

of is the exclamation Santiago! as a cry before one makes an attackor a calculated leap. Today, American paratroopers, and maybeeven Spanish paratroopers, offer the cry Geronimo! before leapingout of the bellies of airplanes.5

An abundance of woven or painted cotton cloth or textiles,which held great value for Hopis and for Spaniards, became thecurrency of the time. The textiles and garments are written about

over and over in the documents, recording a continuing traditionthat began well before the Spanish colonial period. Several types ofmaterials are described repeatedly in the documents. One is a

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woman’s shawl, atuuiin Hopi. This is what a Hopi woman wouldwear, particularly during the winter months, for warmth as well asfor special occasions such as weddings and births, naming parties,

and the various cycles in the ceremonial structure at Hopi. Todaysuch a garment is woven from a blend of cotton and wool. In earlierdays it would have been woven of cotton with blends of agave fiber.

A kwasa,or dress, is another commonly described garment,referred to by the Spanish as a manta. On various occasions whenSpaniards were to arrive at a village, stacks of some six hundred ofthese would be presented to the guests. In part, some of them

simply needed clothing. And in part this practice was probably aholdover from a time when Hopis, or the people who becameHopis, were used to offering tribute to various powers that theyencountered. Again, traditionally such a dress would have beenwoven from cotton and agave; today, they are a blend of sheep’swool and cotton and are calledganelkwasa. Ganelois the Hopi termfor sheep, a borrowing from the Spanishganado,so ganelkwasaliterally means sheep-dress.

The final textile is not woven; it’s braided. The Hopi name isweko kwewa.Wekois belt, and weko kwewa means large or wide belt.In the documents this is often referred to as a rain sash because thatis exactly what it symbolizes: The white color represents purity; thelittle balls, cumulus clouds; and the tassels, rain coming down in

sheets, just like in an eagerly awaited thunderstorm. Both men andwomen would wear this, but during a wedding ceremony, it is thebride who wears it (see figures on pages 57, 58).

In the accounts, there is also frequent mention of giving tur-quoise as gifts, as well as of turquoise being fashioned into jewelry.Finally, there is frequent discussion of cornmeal being presented tothe Spaniards when their processions arrived at or departed from

various villages. In Hopi, this is hooma,sacred cornmeal, which theSpaniards refer to aspinole. I believe Hopi religious leaders viewedthe Spanish processions as a type of religion and believed that theway to honor it was to offer hooma. Hooma throughout Hopi

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ASM #67082 shows a Hopi mother, Delores Tootsie, holding a cat tail

with gifts that were probably presented to her son or nephew by the NIMAN

Katsinas. The NIMAN ceremony takes place at several Hopi villages in the

month of July. Throughout the day, the Katsinam bring gifts to the Hopi

children; bow & arrow for the boys and “tihu” Katsina carvings for the girls.

In many cases these gifts are tied to cat tails so that, after all the gifts are

presented to each recipient, one can look around the dance plaza and see all

the cat tails symbolizing a wetland where the plants naturally grow. This is

a symbol and prayer for much needed rain to sustain life in the high desert

region. Helga Teiwes photograph. Courtesy Arizona State Museum.

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ASM #67106 shows two brides, Sarah Honanie and Delores Tootsie.

New brides are presented at the last presentation of the day at the NIMAN

ceremony. It is a beautiful occasion. The bride receives her last Katsina

carving as she transitions into woman and motherhood. The two women

wear their “Oova,” or wedding robes, that were handwoven by their

husbands’ male relatives (usually uncles and godfather). In fact, their entire

wedding garments are newly made, from the buckskin shoes on their feet to

their dresses, belts, and robes. Helga Teiwes photograph. Courtesy Arizona

State Museum.

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history to the present can be compared to the tag line of an Ameri-can Express Card commercial: Hopis never leave home without it.Offering prayers and blessings with sacred cornmeal is a daily

occurrence.Those are only a few of the items that are vividly and fre-

quently described in the documents as existing in mass quantities.Clearly, there was a surplus. And clearly the Hopi had the infra-structure to produce them through farming and mining, and totransport them to the urban centers.

Some of the writers show a growing understanding of language

differences among the people with whom they developed political,military, and missionary relationships. They tried very hard to learnand record native place-names and community names. But becausethe Spaniards claimed the land, people, natural resources, and justabout everything else under requerimiento,they overlaid their ownterms as part of the claim. Requerimiento was a formal decreeclaiming title and control over newly discovered lands. In theAmericas it announced the divine authority of the pope in Romeover all nations, the donation of the islands and mainlands of theAmericas by the pope to the Spanish crown, the absolute moralobligation of the Indians to accept the authority of the RomanCatholic Church and the Spanish crown, and the right of Spaniardsto wage war against and enslave the Indians if they did not submit.

As an instrument of conquest, it was supposed to be read to Indiansbefore battle, thereby placing the fault on the Indians if they re-sisted. Resist they did, and the survivors of such conflicts weresubject to harsh punishment for their actions. The 1598 trial at thepueblo of Ácoma, recorded in one of the DRSW documents, is oneexample of the consequences of such resistance:

In the lawsuit between parties, one being the RealJusticia and the other being the Indians of the pueblos andfortress of Ácoma [represented by] Captain Alonso GómezMontesinos, their defender, for having treacherously mur-dered Don Juan de Zaldívar Oñate, of this expedition;

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Felipe de Escalante, captain of [the expedition]; CaptainDiego Núñez and eight soldiers; and two servants, as well asother crimes; and furthermore, reiterating that when Vicente

de Zaldívar Mendoza, my sargento mayor whom I sent inmy place to [Ácoma], called them to peace, they not onlydid not surrender, but met him with warfare; this beingevident, I find, in view of the autos and merits of this pro-ceeding and its resulting [verdict of] guilt, that I am obligedto condemn and do condemn all the male and femaleIndians of the aforementioned pueblo who are prisoners [as

follows]: The Indian men of twenty-five years or more are tohave one foot cut off and twenty years of personal service.The Indian men of less than twenty-five years down totwelve [years of age], I likewise condemn to twenty years ofpersonal service. The Indian women of twelve years ormore, I likewise condemn to twenty years of personalservice. Two Indians from the province of Moqui [Hopi]who were present and fought in the aforementioned puebloof Ácoma and were apprehended, I sentence to have theirright hands cut off and to be set free, so that they may makeknown in their land the punishment given them.6

Native oral historical accounts of the trial and punishment atÁcoma and other villages continue to be retold today. The year

1598 marked the beginning of preparation among the provinces ofnorthern New Spain that would lead to the Pueblo Revolt of 1680.

My colleague and co–principal investigator, Tom Sheridan,observes that the Spanish colonial documentary record, like therecords of any imperial power, squints at the lives of native peoples.Soldiers and missionaries were not privy to entire domains of native

culture, such as religious ceremonies or healing practices. He goeson to point out that the Spaniards viewed events and peoplethrough a myopic lens clouded by their own prejudices and precon-ceptions.7The value of the documents is that they do offer descrip-tions of ceremonies and other traditions. They offer names of

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political leaders and community members whom the writers viewedas important to identify. The documents indicate that after a halfcentury of Spanish and missionary presence, the Indians commemo-

rated the comings and goings of Spaniards and their Mexicancompany as religious processionals that were acknowledged withpinole or sacred cornmeal, hooma.

The Hopi tribal government today seeks to glean from thedocuments information on a wide variety of subjects, includingHopi trading networks and trail systems, Hopi cultural affiliationswith other tribal groups, Hopi tribal resistance and sovereignty, and

the Spanish perception of Hopi land occupation at contact. Hopipeople with whom we have talked thus far want to learn more abouthow the Spanish Empire functioned and why it was unable toreconquer and reincorporate the Hopi into the imperial system afterthe Pueblo Revolt of 1680. They are also interested in knowingwhether these documents support Hopi history as documented inHopi oral tradition. That remains to be seen.


Q: Are you going to deal with Awátovi in your volume, and isthere any Spanish documentation at all about Awátovi?

A: Awátovi was a stronghold of one important clan called Bow,

and literally translated from Hopi to English, Awátovi is thePlace of the Bow. A lot of the documents talk about Awátovi. Alot of archaeologists over the years have talked about Awátovi.So, one of the things we are going to do in this project, now thatthere are practicing Hopi archaeologists, is to invite their per-spectives on what the documentary records are saying, then tiethat in to the archaeology.

Q: Do the documents describe the Hopis being involved in anywarfare or major revolts other than the 1680 rebellion?

A: Well, yes. Many of the documents written after the Revolt of1680 had to do with petitions to the Spanish capital in Santa Fe,

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and a lot of them related to the business of the dastardlyApaches, because they were the source of several problems, notonly for the Spaniards—that’s why the presidio system was

established in the first place—but also for some of the locals. Thatkind of intertribal warfare was going on. And the Hopi wereseeking assistance, not only from the priests and the missionestablishment, but also from the capital city of Santa Fe. As faras all-out rebellions, depending on your definition of rebellion, Imean, 1680 was huge, it covered a huge geographical area;some of these others were ongoing conflicts that flared up on

occasion and were written about at those times.

Panel: In the case of almost all of the indigenous groups I’vestudied, every one of them rebelled, at one point or another,and I’ve called the rebellions that occurred within a generationof being congregated in missions the first-generation revolts.Then there were later revolts; the Pueblo Revolt occurred after

Spaniards had been in the pueblos for almost one hundredyears. There are a couple of others like that. In almost all cases,there is at least one armed revolt against Spanish control but, ofcourse, the Pueblo Revolt was the only one where the Indiansactually got rid of the Spaniards for a while, for twelve years.The other revolts didn’t last long, and the Spaniards were ableto assert their control in a particular area and stay there.

Q: Does the documentary record talk about tales of the SevenCities of Gold and the Spanish preoccupation with gold?

A: Well, until I began reading the translations of these documents,I thought that was folklore, about the Spaniards asking, “Whereis the gold? Where are the seven cities paved with gold?” And inthe documents we are reading now, every one of the native

communities replied, “Oh, it’s right over there. It’s over at Hopi.It’s over at Tusayan. No, no, the Comanches have it in northernTexas. No, no. It’s over in Gran Quivira. Oh, no, it’s over incentral Kansas.” As a kid growing up, I remember stories about

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campuses outside to participate in this project, to continue it, Idon’t know.

Q: Has the project been publicized among the Pueblos, and whatkind of reception has there been?

A: Oh yes, 1980 didn’t go by without some commemorations, justlike 1992. The Hopi government, in conjunction with all thevillages that participated in the revolt of 1680, got together andstaged a run, reenacting the way the messages were deliveredfrom one point to another, from northernmost New Mexico all

the way down into the Rio Grande Valley and across, and thento the final destination at Old Oraibi on Third Mesa. There wasso much interest that the government decided not to waitanother three hundred years to do it again. And so, in the firstyear of this project, the cultural committee at Hopi wanted us toset up an exhibit, because people from all the villages wereeventually going to arrive at Hopi, where there was going to be

several days of feasting and camping and retelling of the story ofthe Pueblo Revolt and its aftermath. So we put up an exhibit,and people were absolutely fascinated, especially the peoplefrom New Mexico. And we don’t have anywhere near all thedocuments. What we have is the tip of the iceberg. The Museumof New Mexico, the University of New Mexico, Tulane, andvarious repositories in Mexico, Spain, and Rome have the lion’sshare of what has survived. But people were fascinated to see theexhibit, to see the original documents and the translations.

Q: You talked about getting commentary from Hopis in all thevillages. Have you started that process, and, if so, how have yougone about it?

A: Yes, we have. At least for us, this is our first experience withsuch a collaboration. We’ve collaborated in other ways withregard to protection of archaeological sites and cultural proper-ties, but this is a first for us. And last summer, we took the Hopitranslations that we’ve done so far—we’ve done about seven—to

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the Hopi villages. We asked them whether or not they wantedthese sessions recorded, the reading of the Hopi translations andthe comments about them, or how they wanted to organize that

process. And each village was able to say how wanted to do it.We’ve also worked through the Hopi Cultural PreservationOffice, the principal staff members as well as their advisorygroup, which is about twenty-five people. Some of the commen-taries so far have just been very surprising, particularly to me.About three weeks ago, we took two sets of documents up to Mr.Morgan Saufkie, who is a religious leader in Shungopavy, and

one of his clan brothers, Mr. Eljean Joshongva, Sr. And theyonly needed to hear two or three sentences at a time, and theyhad extensive comments. So, it’s going to be a great experience.And I would think the present-day Hopis would want to havetheir comments documented as well. Where else are we going toget them after these people pass on? And part of the HopiCultural Preservation Office’s mission is to preserve this record,in whatever form, oral or written. I don’t anticipate any problemwith getting the project to publication in some form.


I owe special thanks to Diana Hadley, head of the Office of Ethnohistorical

Research at the Arizona State Museum, for supplying the documentation

for this article. I also wish to acknowledge the following for their generoussupport and cooperation: the National Historical Publications and Records

Commission, the American Division of the Jesuit Historical Institute, the

Hopi Tribe and chairman Wayne Taylor Jr., Hopi Cultural Preservation

Office Director Leigh Kuwanwisiwma and staff, my co–principal investiga-

tor on the project, Tom Sheridan, and our project staff. And finally, a very

special thanks to Professor Pete Dimas, Phoenix College, and the sponsors

of the Provincias Internas symposium.1. Thomas E. Sheridan and Thomas Naylor, eds., Rarámuri: A Tarahumara

Colonial Chronicle 1607–1791(Flagstaff: Northland Press, 1979); Thomas, E.

Sheridan, ed., Empire of Sand: The Seri Indians and the Struggle for Spanish

Sonora, 1645–1803(Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1999).

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provincias internas: continuing frontiers

2. Kenneth C. Hill, Emory Sekaquaptewa, Mary E. Black, and Ekkehart

Malotki, Hopi Dictionary: Hopìikwa Lavàytutuveni: A Hopi-English Dictionary of

the Third Mesa Dialect with an English-Hopi Finder List and a Sketch of Hopi

Grammar(Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1998).3. Pedro Castañeda de Nájera, 1596, Relación de la jornada de Cibola

conpuesta por Pedro de Castañeda de Nájera donde se trata de todos

aquellas pobladas y ritos, y costumbres, la cual fue el año de 1540, manu-

script on file, Rich Collection (no. 63), Rare Books and Manuscripts Divi-

sion, New York Public Library.

4. Silvestre Vélez de Escalante, Diario, June 22, 1775, Biblioteca Nacional

229 / 642, Universidad Nacional de México, IX-D-14; Diego Pérez deLuxan, Diario de Luxan, 1582–83, Archivo General de las Indias, Patronato

22; Antonio de Espejo, Diario 1582, Archivo General de las Indias,

Patronato 22, est. 1, caja 1.

5. John L. Kessell, Spain in the Southwest: A Narrative History of Colonial New

Mexico, Arizona, Texas, and California(Norman: University of Oklahoma

Press, 2002).

6. Juan Gutierrez Bocanegra and Juan de Saldivar Oñate, Hopi-AcomaTrial, December 28, 1598–February 12, 1599, Archivo General de las Indias,

Patronato 22, ramo 13, pt. 7, doc. 26.

7. Charles W. Polzer and Thomas E. Sheridan, The Presidio and Militia on the

Northern Frontier of New Spain: A Documentary History, vol. 2, pt. 1,The

Californias and Sinaloa-Sonora, 1700–1765(Tucson: University of Arizona

Press, 1997), 253 ff.

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Postwar Phoenix: Intentional Changeand Essential Continuities

Philip R. VanderMeer

Arizona State University

The theme of continuing frontiers raises interesting ways ofthinking about the historical development of the U.S. Southwest.From the sixteenth century through the beginning of the twentieth,this region existed as some type of frontier, or at least it retainedfrontier elements. But the clear usefulness of this concept for discuss-ing those earlier four centuries seems to blur when focusing on thetwentieth century, and especially when looking at particular parts ofthis region. Over the last half-century the various developed areasthroughout this region, including metropolitan Phoenix, wouldseem to confound the use of this approach. What possible meaningcould the notion of continuing frontiers have for this area and time?

The idea of continuity seems woefully inappropriate in applica-tion to the Southwest and especially to Arizona’s Salt River Valley,

since change seems so obviously their dominant characteristic.Furthermore, in such an urbanized, “settled” area, the termfrontier

seems a misnomer. Yet we can develop new insights into the recenthistory of this area by broadening our notions of frontier and bythinking more about the issues of boundaries, the varieties ofchange, and human efforts to create new worlds.1To start, we mustconsider the recent history of Phoenix and the Valley in terms of the

nature and extent of change; i.e., to highlight the familiar issues ofdiscontinuity. Thereafter, we can examine whether or in what waysthe patterns of the last half-century reflect continuity.

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than the namesake city of this region—another indication of changesin store for the Valley.5

The look of Phoenix also changed fundamentally during this

era. The 1940s downtown of department stores and shops, numer-ous small hotels and restaurants, and offices has been virtuallyerased. In its place are tall banks and a few large hotels, numerouspublic facilities like the Science and History museums and theconvention center, sports facilities like America West Arena andBank One Ballpark, numerous government buildings, and a prolifer-ating number of upscale residential units.

Residentially, the initial predominance of bungalows andSouthwest-style homes was followed by neighborhoods of modestranch homes. The styles of these “older homes” (which in localrealtor parlance means any structure built before 1970) were subse-quently lost in a sea of suburbs with stucco walls and red tile roofs.The spread of planned communities (now half of all new housing),gated communities, and neighborhood associations represents avery different residential pattern and experience than what 1950ssubdivisions provided.

These changes dramatically affected the nature of life in theValley. The new Phoenix skyline is blurred or obscured by a low-lying, brown haze of pollution, which results mostly from automo-bile traffic. The number of vehicle miles traveled in the Valley has

increased 700 percent in only the last thirty years. This dramaticchange was made possible, of course, by enormous amounts of roadconstruction: In 1960 the Valley boasted a meager ten miles ofhighway; now it is ringed and crisscrossed by bands of concrete,which are covered with rubberized asphalt to reduce the noise ofconstant traffic. The expanding scope of daily commutes andshopping trips has shrunk people’s perspective of distance. As one

resident observed in the 1970s, “Way, way out used to be more thanfive minutes. . . . Today it’s more than an hour.”6The size of contem-porary shopping malls and grocery stores makes their predecessorsseem incomprehensibly small. People work in increasingly large

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institutions. Manufacturers like Honeywell and Intel, retailers likeAlbertsons and Bashas’, and service providers like Banner Healthemploy ten thousand or more persons. Before World War II Arizona

State College in Tempe served some 1,500 students; today, ArizonaState University (ASU) enrolls more than 57,000 students, making itone of the three largest universities in the nation. Even employmentin professional sectors has taken on factory-like aspects. For ex-ample, Frank Snell and Mark Wilmer formed a partnership in 1938;today, the Snell and Wilmer law firm employs more than 350lawyers.7Changes in scope also affected the nature of public leader-

ship. Former mayor John Driggs noted this in 1978 when he ob-served that Phoenix was no longer “a little city where the peoplewho influenced commerce and industry here could almost all befound at a service club luncheon.”8

The extent of this transformation and its implications forindividual lives are relatively clear, but other, larger issues are not.Was such growth anticipated? How did Phoenicians react to thesedevelopments? Most important, to what extent did growth create itsown momentum or to what degree did individuals stimulate anddirect it? The answers to these questions have implications not onlyfor understanding the city’s past, but also for making decisions aboutit* future.

Intentional Growth

In 1945 Phoenicians expected their city would grow rapidly.The possibilities suggested by the war-years boom simply added tothe evidence from the preceding four decades of growth. No oneanticipated, however, the extent or speed of this expansion. Further-more, despite occasional periods of criticism or complaints aboutparticular issues, for roughly half a century most Phoenicians viewed

growth positively. Many spoke proudly of the city’s transformationand rising status, and longtime residents saw the fulfillment of theirdreams in the establishment of museums and cultural institutions,the proliferation of restaurants, and the acquisition of professional

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teams in each of the four major sports. Indeed, residents oftendiscussed the city’s rising population and ranking in terms thatresembled keeping score in a sporting contest. Each decade the new

census population figures were greeted as a sign of increasing status.In 1990 citizens applauded a preliminary census report that Phoenixhad bypassed Detroit to become the eighth largest city in the UnitedStates. When recounts, prompted by the Detroit mayor, eventuallychanged that ranking, city leaders approached the 2000 census as acontest to be won. Pleasure at ranking sixth in 2000 was followed byglee in 2004 at passing Philadelphia to rank fifth. Barry Goldwater,

who was part of the initial shift toward development around 1950,reflected these attitudes in 1995 when he attempted to deflectcriticism of the consequences of such enormous growth: “You can’tcomplain about progress. My God, in 20 to 25 years this is going tobe the fourth biggest city in the U.S.”9

Growth has been more than just a striking feature of the city; ithas been a constant and expected part of the city’s life, and, morethan that, it has been one of the city’s dominant goals. In the wordsof one observer, growth has been to Phoenix “like cars to Detroit.”10

In a country of instant todays and forgotten yesterdays, Phoenix hasled in rushing pell-mell into the future. Ever since its frontier begin-nings Phoenix has been praised by dreamers, promoted by boosters,and sold by hucksters. In this respect Phoenix reflects traditional

national values: a belief in limitless possibilities and that the futurewould be whatever one wished to make of it. In a nation and societyconvinced of the power of human endeavor, the seeming ability ofscience to solve virtually any problem, and the readily availableresources of the federal government, growth and expansion seemedalmost inevitable.

But the Valley also had particular attributes that made it

amenable to dreaming—characteristics that encouraged residents tobelieve in a malleable environment and a blank canvas. Abundantsun, water, and level land—made attractive after the advent ofclimate controls like evaporative coolers and air conditioning—

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seemingly allowed migrants to remake the land with structures andlandscaping into whatever kind of place they wished.

While rooted in a national development ideology and reflect-

ing specific advantages of the area, the transformation of Phoenixalso resulted from the conscious planning of a select group ofleaders.11The nation’s involvement in World War II, which broughtindustry and manufacturing, military bases, and air transportation,struck a chord with these leaders, who saw the possibility of funda-mentally shifting the direction in which the Valley was growing. Forthe next quarter-century three men—Frank Snell, cofounder of the

Snell and Wilmer law firm; Walter Bimson, president of ValleyNational Bank; and Eugene Pulliam, publisher of the Valley’s twonewspapers—played vital roles in reshaping the history of metropoli-tan Phoenix. Working with and through the Chamber of Commerceand the Charter Government Committee, an upper-middle-classpublic leadership group, they successfully pushed for three things:reform of municipal government, a campaign of annexation, and anaggressive drive to transform the economy.12

Creating new governmental and political systems, tasks com-pleted in 1949, involved important changes. The commission-manager form of government that Phoenix had used since the 1910shad suited a small city, but by the 1940s the complex tasks facingPhoenix government required the managerial expertise of a council-

manager system. Changing the political system by adopting nonpar-tisan, at-large elections for city council members was less obviouslynecessary. Proponents of this system claimed that partisanshipinterfered with city governance, that at-large representation wouldencourage attention to citywide rather than neighborhood concerns,and that this broader perspective was essential for achieving signifi-cant development. Initially this argument made sense, but during

the 1960s the city’s increased size and diversity undermined thisjustification.13A major reason this election system remained botheffective and problematic was the continuing role of the CharterGovernment Committee. Biennially it selected a slate of candidates,

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which it financed and for which it campaigned. This system discour-aged popular participation in politics, reducing voter turnout from40 percent to near 20 percent, and effectively put the selection of

city elected officials in the hands of a self-appointed elite.14

This system began collapsing in the 1970s because of competi-tion among elites and opposition from groups excluded by thisprocess. The turning point came in 1975, when Margaret Hance waselected mayor and Rosendo Gutierrez and Calvin Goode won re-election to the city council—all overcoming Charter GovernmentCommittee candidates. The adoption of a district election system in

1982, the election of Terry Goddard as mayor, and increases ininstitutional and financial support for city council members thereaf-ter created a new system for selecting leaders and a very differentenvironment for decision making.15

While the political system did change, city government didnot. Phoenix retained a strong city manager system and providedreasonable city services for relatively low cost, as reflected in itsmultiple awards as an All American City. Governmental efficiencywas always an important political goal, but in the 1940s and 1950s ithad been essential for achieving expansion, the second goal ofpostwar Phoenix leaders. Only by convincing residents of thesurrounding neighborhoods that Phoenix government was efficient(and honest) and that city services were valuable could the city

expand. During the 1950s Phoenix struggled with several surround-ing communities that were considering incorporating themselves,and it competed with Tempe and Scottsdale over annexing territory.The city’s success in those contests guaranteed its role as the Valley’sdominant city and enabled it to avoid the suburban strangulationthat afflicted Eastern and Midwestern cities.16

The postwar leadership’s third goal was economic develop-

ment. They carefully determined the types of companies theywished to attract—clean industries with large numbers of well-paid,educated employees—and how to do so. Besides reforming Phoenixgovernment, they pursued tax and labor policies that companies

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would find attractive. Finally, they concluded that successful recruit-ment of such companies and their employees would require improv-ing various aspects of the community, particularly schools, libraries,

and cultural institutions. In this area, too, their concerted strategywas relatively effective, especially in the early decades.17

Even before World War II, Phoenicians had begun thinkingabout the benefits of aviation. Unlike train travel, which allowed oreven required frequent stops, air travel was point-to-point, and thespeed overcame the city’s previous disadvantage of being too distantfrom other population centers. Thus, initially to encourage tourism,

city leaders recruited TWA to provide a second airline connectionfor the Valley. The prewar training of pilots at Sky Harbor airport,followed by the wartime construction of six airfields in the Valleyfor training pilots, encouraged those leaders to think more broadly.After the war, city leaders actively pursued federal dollars to expandthe airport and passed local bond measures to continue that expan-sion at regular intervals. By the mid-1950s Sky Harbor was the tenthbusiest airport in the nation; by 1961 it ranked sixth, and subsequentexpansions have kept it one of the nation’s busiest airports, for bothpassengers and freight.18

By the late 1940s the Chamber of Commerce was workingassiduously and effectively to recruit new businesses, includingAiResearch, Honeywell, GE, Sperry, and Motorola. Each of these

businesses involved electronics, but even more important, eachfocused on aviation, aerospace, and military-related production. Notuntil the 1960s did nonmilitary manufacturing develop to a substan-tial extent.19By that time the electronics industry was well estab-lished in the Valley, particularly through the sizable presence ofMotorola. Subsequently, Intel constructed microchip plants in thearea, and the growth of several computer distribution companies

added to the high-tech sector of the Valley’s economy.20

After the early 1960s Valley leaders paid less and less attentionto planning economic development, concern about the quality ofjobs faded, and the boom of the 1970s and 1980s discouraged

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Center for Science, Policy and Outcomes from ColumbiaUniversity.22

The connection between universities and business predates

these efforts, of course, and the founding of the ASU Research Parkin the early 1980s is one notable example. But an even more signifi-cant connection began during the 1950s. Motorola Vice PresidentDaniel Noble campaigned publicly and privately for engineeringdegree and graduate programs at Arizona State College, explainingthat both the narrow and broader expansions were crucial for thesuccess of Motorola and the Valley. He was joined in this successful

campaign by other industry leaders. These leaders were also crucialin the public battle and statewide referendum in 1958 to raise theinstitution to university status—a campaign that the University ofArizona and Tucson opposed, and lost.23

Continuities and Limits

This brief analysis demonstrates that fundamental changes

have occurred in the Valley’s demographic, political, and economiccharacter during the past fifty years. The great deal of consciousplanning that led to these changes does show similarities with theintentional behavior of persons living on the frontier. Beyond that,however, how much continuity exists between the two eras? In theface of such transformations, can we talk meaningfully about conti-nuity?

The starting point for my evaluation is the simple but impor-tant truism that change is at the center of all human history. Evenperiods of seeming stasis can be seen in retrospect to have harboredshifting undercurrents of change. The issue is not whether changeoccurred, but the type, degree, and nature of responses to change.Historical comparisons are a helpful tool of analysis, and the many

studies of nineteenth-century American population mobility offeruseful insights. Much of American society in that era, like Phoenixin the twentieth century, experienced change that was profound,constant, and thus, ironically, predictable. Studies of various types of

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places throughout the nation and across the century reveal tremen-dous population growth and mobility. The American populationgrew dramatically, but net population increase provides only a weak

sign of how frequently and how many people moved. A betterindication is that during each decade roughly 50 percent of an area’spopulation left and was replaced (or exceeded); a still more usefulmeasure is that approximately one in three persons moved everyyear. In much of the nation the passage of westward-bound wagonswas an ever-present reality for decades, and mapmakers wereconstantly busy, as towns sprang up like mushrooms and railroad

lines boosted populations.24

Yet despite such a churning population and obvious growth,communities maintained significant stability in politics, economy,and social relationships. One of the stability factors that fairly recentstudies discuss is that populations migrated according to relativelypersistent social patterns. Second, the range of possible differencewas limited by where in the country a community was—in Ohio, forexample, or Kentucky, or Louisiana. Finally, settlers quickly estab-lished institutions to channel, reinforce, and possibly convert peoplein cultural, religious, social, and political ways. These social mecha-nisms, as well as the historically significant role of geography, helpexplain why, despite growth, even places like Phoenix have experi-enced much continuity.

One important and visible element of continuity in the Valley’shistory is people, especially families. Names familiar in Phoenix—like Goldwater, Snell, and Korrick—or names familiar in the state—like Udall and Babbitt—remind residents of personal connections tothe past. People also connect through memory, both individual andcreated, collective memories. Much as the Old Pioneer societies ofthe late nineteenth century represented a blend of personal and

historical interest—turning in most cases into historical societies (asdid the Arizona Historical Society)—similar efforts to combine theseattitudes are seen in the more recent past. Although the state’sWestern lore retains interest for some, the 1970s marked a turning

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point in the historical focus of Arizonans. Establishment of thePhoenix History Project was symbolic of this shift, but also in thatdecade various Valley communities began organizing historical

societies. By the 1990s many had metamorphosed into museums,joined by the substantial Phoenix Museum of History and theArizona Historical Society Museum. A growing interest in the area’sprehistory is represented in the Pueblo Grande Museum and otherarea sites. Equally striking is the expanding interest in preserving thephysical history of the Valley. The city’s Historic PreservationOffice, started in 1985, had by 2003 identified 6,926 structures of

historic value and designated thirty-five historic districts. And effortsby the state office have added to the success of these efforts.25

The reality of place constitutes another important element ofcontinuity.26At some stage and in some ways all immigrants to theValley have had to confront the fact that they are no longer inKansas—or in California, Hawaii, or Minnesota. The starting point inthinking about this Valley is that it is located in a desert—a desertwith fair access to water, but still a desert. The past, present, andfuture of the area are linked to water; it is a continuing and unavoid-able issue. Of course, a persistent tradition has people seeking todeny this, particularly by creating landscapes more reflective oftropical areas or eastern woodlands. (Reacting to the near-universalpresence of “lakes” in new developments, one wag claimed that

inside the head of every Valley developer was a map of Minnesota.)And in one sense the Valley’s twentieth-century history reflects

a series of efforts to overcome the reality of being located in adesert. At great expense the Salt River Project dams, starting withRoosevelt Dam in 1911, and the Central Arizona Project haveattempted to protect residents against the harsh realities of thisenvironment. Yet the recurrence of floods (a dozen serious floods

occurred in the Valley between 1966 and 1996) and drought (whichhas also occurred with some frequency and has hit with particularseverity recently) provide crucial reminders of the limitations facingValley residents. Prompted by the outside force of the federal

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government, Arizona enacted the Groundwater Management Act of1980, which imposed some restraints on the use of groundwater. Forthe next decade water usage actually declined in most communities.

Unfortunately, the trend reversed in the mid-1990s. Together withsurprisingly rapid growth and drought, this reversal has led someresidents to anticipate water-use restrictions.27

An increasing recognition of place has been appearing invarious forms. One example is the rising popularity of xeriscaping,i.e., the use of drought-tolerant plants in landscaping. Perhaps thegreatest influence in this regard was the Desert Botanical Garden,

which started in the 1930s but in the 1970s began engaging in publiceducation regarding desert plants. The Boyce Thompson Arbore-tum began pursuing similar activities, and beginning in the 1980sValley nurseries became more likely to stock desert plants. Develop-ers, who have great influence over landscaping and water use, madesome adjustments to accommodate changing ideas, but by the late1970s golf courses had become a standard feature of housing devel-opments. Yet even in this area important changes have occurred. In2004 roughly two-thirds of the water used by golf courses wastreated effluent, and courses were increasingly designed to recycletheir water.28

Water usage also ties into the use of land for agriculture. Anglossettled this valley, like Indians before them, in order to farm, and

through the 1930s this remained a major purpose. Clearly theeconomic impact of and use of land for agriculture have diminishedsince then. However, the bulk of the Valley’s water still goes tofarms, the importance of agriculture in terms of land use is quicklyevident to the air traveler, and economic reports demonstrate itscontinued place in the area’s economy. For economic, political, andsocial reasons, agriculture will persist in the Valley.29

The land itself constitutes another aspect of place. A significantshare of the land in Arizona is owned by the federal government,the state government, or various Indian nations. Although theseproportions have changed slightly over time, as have the rules

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regarding the use of lands, that basic fact has had and will continueto have a pronounced effect on this area. The most volatile elementin this mix is state trust land—land to be sold in order to fund public

education. The difficult choices between maximizing income forschools versus protecting the environment and avoiding unwisedevelopment have posed persistent challenges requiring Solomon-like wisdom.30

A final aspect of place concerns location. Arizona shares aninternational border with Mexico, which involves it, inevitably andon an ongoing basis, in larger discussions about national purpose

and policies such as immigration and trade. The state also bordersNew Mexico and California, connections that have increased inimportance after World War II. The roles of both states in defensecontracting, especially related to aerospace and nuclear weapons,have had a continuing effect on Arizona’s manufacturing sector andeconomy in general. Economic and personal connections withCalifornia loom very large. California has consistently been themost common destination for out-migrants from Arizona, as well asthe most common source for in-migrants. Partly as a result, fromhighways to housing styles to clothing styles, California’s cultureheavily influences Arizona. As Kathleen Ingley commented, “If youwonder about Arizona’s future, just look west. California is shapingour destiny.” But the relationship has always had its difficulties, and

a century-long battle with California over Colorado River water willcontinue to complicate relations between the two states.31

People, both separately and in relation to place, constitute athird element of continuity. Native Americans have never com-prised more than 2 percent of the population in Phoenix orMaricopa County, but urban sprawl has made the distinct SaltRiver, Fort McDowell, and Gila River Indian communities parts of

the larger metropolitan area. The development of prominent institu-tions like the Heard Museum and the Pueblo Grande Museum, aswell as events like the Heard’s Indian Fair and Market, have madeIndian people more visible within the area. Moreover, their notions

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of place and their historical connections with this particular placeframe the ongoing discussions over the environment.32

The connection between people and place is true as well for

Mexico and the Mexican American population. Mexican immi-grants have played a significant if unappreciated role throughout thestate’s history. Earlier in the century their presence led to restrictivedefinitions of the franchise, to scapegoating in major labor disputes,and to forced repatriation. Nevertheless, their importance in theworkforce continued throughout the century, although it has shiftedfrom being divided between working as miners and agricultural

laborers, to working in factories, construction, and service industries.Within Phoenix from 1940 to 1990 the Mexican proportion of thepopulation remained strikingly constant at roughly 15 percent. Thatpattern changed dramatically during the 1990s, however, when theMexican proportion of the Phoenix population more than doubled.This change is reflected in many other measures as well: in a grow-ing proportion of Mexican Americans attending and graduatingfrom college, in more Mexican American men and women inbusiness and professional positions, in the creation of numerousHispanic organizations, and in the proliferation of Spanish-languagemedia.33

A fourth constant in the history of the Valley is the basicstructure of this urban area, the built environment. Phoenix has

grown substantially and changed in numerous ways, but it is andwill remain different than Baltimore—or St. Louis or Cleveland orother older cities. Despite its smaller size, Phoenix has always beenmore like Los Angeles, a diffuse, multicentered, “postmodern city.”Nothing has or will alter the fundamental differences in urbanstructure, heritage, and perspective between cities built during theautomobile era and those structured in earlier times around other

transportation systems. The layout of Phoenix, the basic density ofmost of its neighborhoods, and its structural components are hereand will not change. Efforts to create residential sections in thedowntowns of Phoenix and several other Valley cities may be

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successful and represent some shift in building patterns, but anysignificant opportunities for the emergence of different patterns areon the fringe, in areas of new building. It is here that the issues of

environment, ecology, and land use will be worked out, possibly innew ways.34

A final, somewhat surprising but only partial element of conti-nuity is the economy. Despite its touted growth and development,the Valley’s economy looks much like it did in the 1950s:

❑ the manufacturing workforce doubled during the 1950s, butin the 1990s the proportion fell back to 10 percent;

❑ construction remains roughly the same: volatile, employingunderpaid labor, and dependent on a constant stream of in-migrants, legal and illegal;

❑ service remains the largest economic sector;

❑ the high-tech workforce has remained concentrated in thelower-end fabrication area; and

❑ most disturbing, after making some improvement after 1950,the average wage in Phoenix has fallen further behind thenational average since the 1970s.35

Of course, economic structures are more malleable than watersupplies or climate, and the efforts of the last decade to redirect theeconomy may bear significant fruit. Yet growth alone cannot foster a

willingness to support education, and the creation of wealth doesnot guarantee philanthropic giving to Valley charities.By the 1990s Phoenicians had formed conflicting conclu-

sions about the balance between continuity and change in the city’shistory. Looking back over some sixty years in the Valley, FrankSnell, one of the leaders who had shaped and encouraged the city’sgrowth, confessed that he had “liked Phoenix best when it had

about 400,000 people,” the city’s size in the late 1950s.36

By contrast,his friend Barry Goldwater, although regretting some environmentalconsequences of growth, generally felt enthusiastic about the city’srising national status, a view also held by other Valley residents.

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Tom Chauncey, another Phoenix power broker, expressed morereservations, judging that “we’ve grown too fast.” Novelist GlendonSwarthout voiced much stronger criticisms about the path Phoenix

had followed. “When we came, the Valley was an Eden,” he wrotein 1991. “There was ample room, a population which fit, air as cleanas a mirror, and a lovely lifestyle. Then for thirty years we let thebusinessmen and politicians who ran the Valley lead us down thegarden path of unplanned growth. Crime, traffic, heat, air pollution,bankruptcies, unemployment, corruption—the quality of our lives ispathetically diminished and what have we been given as compensa-

tion? Professional sports.”37

After six decades of tremendous growth, the Phoenix areafinds itself caught between two powerful elements: the irresistibleforce of growth and the immovable reality of the desert. The area’scontinuing transformation resembles both the change that character-ized many frontiers and the perpetuation of familiar elements—suchas suburbs as far as the eye can see. People, by staying in this areaand through creating institutions and culture, have produced conti-nuity amidst the growth. What have proved even more impressiveand effective, however, have been efforts to envision and realize asociety that fits within this environment. The struggle to shape thefuture of Phoenix is thus linked with efforts to describe and under-stand its past.


Q: I’m not sure how to phrase this, but I think your commentabout sporting complexes is an important one: Are we willing,as citizens of this region, to allow sporting complexes to defineour place in history? Sports seem to drive other cities, and thesame thing is happening here.

A: I think that actually sports have become extremely important inthe last twenty-five years. I think they have particular resonancehere because there are so many in-migrants. They provide a

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sense of identification for people who don’t know where theboundary between Tempe and Mesa is, or can’t identify aneighborhood—for whom greater Phoenix all seems one vast

area. It is also important to note that sports are not just social orrecreational activities—this is a political issue because everymajor sporting facility is connected to public funds. That’s notunique here, of course. Since 1962, every major football orbaseball stadium, except one, has been built completely or withat least a substantial amount of public money. Of course, then,this issue relates to a whole series of other questions about how

you fund education or cultural events, and so you start gettinginto trade-offs. In this day and age, it’s impossible to understandeither sense of identity or public policy questions withoutlooking at sports.

Q: How do people who live in the Valley self-identify? Are theyjust so disparate that there is no Valley identity?

A: Well, different Valley cities have had different strategies. I thinkTempe’s strategy, both economically and in terms of identifica-tion, has been to try to focus on higher-level types of develop-ment, to focus primarily on Tempe Town Lake and downtown.Mesa doesn’t have a strategy, it will never have a strategy, and Idon’t think it will ever have an identity. So the answer ratherdepends. I think that most people in the Valley have some sortof connection to downtown Phoenix, but it varies, particularlydepending on how long they have lived in the Valley.

Q: I had a couple of thoughts about the water issue. One is thecyclical problem of the Hohokam and the decline of that classicperiod civilization because of water problems—I’ve actuallyheard people make that argument. You said that most water is

used for agriculture, but that Phoenicians really don’t see that asthe problem in the long run; rather, it is population growththat’s the problem for water. What do you think about that?

A: The answer depends on how far we project into the future. In

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1980, agriculture used 90 percent of the state’s water. That figureis down to about 80 percent now. Obviously, when you considerpopulation growth, if you want to save water, the answer seems

simple: We just take out some farms and put in some subdivi-sions, and we’ll use less water. That’s certainly what developersargue. In his book on the Valley, Grady Gammage proposes asimple calculation. He says that the Valley, given the amount ofavailable water, could actually support ten million people—ofcourse, that would mean getting rid of all agriculture and no-body could breathe, but it would be an option. Gammage

actually suggests saving some agriculture. It seems to me thatthere are rather important political issues here. We are talkingabout farmers who actually have lobbyists. They’re an importantpart of the political debate here. So, to think, as we sometimesdo, that housing developments are inevitably going to be builteverywhere and anywhere is not necessarily the case.

Panel: With respect to agriculture, farms, and people, what to dowith water is a big issue in Spain today. In the north there is a lotof water; in the south there are different situations. We have theDesert of Almería and the Ebro. Water is a major political issuethat cuts across party lines. Members of one party in the northsay one thing; members of the same party in the south argueexactly the opposite. One argument is that agriculture is the life

of Spain, and it needs water. The opposite argument is thatSpain depends on its tourist industry, so the best use for water isgolf courses. So you have business and big money interestspromoting tourism as the best use of water, because we canproduce agricultural products in other places or import themfrom other countries. And this issue is being hotly debated, withmany demonstrations in every major city favoring one or theother position.

Panel: Well, as in Europe, in this country agriculture is heavilyinvolved with government money, whether through crop

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subsidies or water allocations. I think we have a tradition thatrelies on the invocation of family farms (which is somewhat of amyth these days). So it is hard to talk about where agriculture

should take place, and where maybe it should not. If we hadrational national planning, we would probably figure out thatmaybe there are some areas where agriculture shouldn’t beengaged in. Clearly golf is another one of those sports issues;there are more than 225 golf courses in the Valley now, and thisnumber is increasing rapidly. And golf courses are clearly amajor use of water.

Q: Having moved here 5½ years ago from Houston, which hasexperienced unrestricted growth, and comparing that with thecarefully controlled growth in Portland, I wonder: Do you haveany suggestions or proposals on how Phoenix could managegrowth?

A: I think, and this is what Grady Gammage says as well, that

water is the easiest way to control growth. That doesn’t alwayswork, of course. Anthem, north of Phoenix, is a thriving me-tropolis, and there’s no water there. The ground is solid bed-rock, so digging wells was not an option. The developers figuredout that they could lease water rights from the Ak Chin IndianCommunity. But, I do think in fact that there is a growingconcern about controlling growth, and my marker is to look atwhat was actually legislated in 1998 and 2000 when the legisla-tors were scared into acting out of fear that a citizens’ growthinitiative was going to pass.

Q: I recall very well when the Apache tribe refused to renew theninety-nine-year leases of expensive summer homes at HawleyLake. If the Ak Chin tribe owns that water, why should we

expect them to renew the lease when it runs out?

A: Envision ninety-four or ninety-five years from now, whenAnthem has fifty thousand people (which in fact, it is going tohave in a few years). I’m convinced Phoenix politicians cannot

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say, “You’re just out of luck. We won’t sell you water.” I’mconvinced Anthem will end up buying its water from some-where else.

Q: In connection with the importation of water from outsidesources—specifically the Central Arizona Project—and Indianwater rights, can you give us your take on that?

A: There are a lot of people who can do that better than I can. It isan incredibly complex issue in terms of law but probably not interms of basic ownership. We’re talking about people who for

various reasons lost their water rights, and now they need toreclaim them. The question is one of method, not of what theoutcome ought to be.

Panel: Of course, using the Winters decision to regain their water ispart of the strategy. But another issue is that people in Arizonadevelop projects with eyes bigger than their pockets. In terms of

Central Arizona Project water, the farmers, or whoever ends upusing it, have to pay back the federal government for the cost ofgetting the water. And the money is not there. So all of a sud-den, the responsibility comes to the surface to provide sufficientwater to Native Americans.

Q: Phoenix essentially lacks a viable downtown. What are theimplications of that for culture and life in the Valley?

A: I remember growing up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in the1950s and 1960s and seeing the downtown there disappear. Atthe time I thought, “This is the result of people in the area doingfoolish things.” I no longer think that. Fundamental factorssimply developed in the nation and, in fact, hit everywhere. Thedowntown declined in Chicago ten years ago. The southern end

of the Loop was in serious trouble; it was closed after fiveo’clock. What has changed in Phoenix, it seems to me, is thesame thing that has happened in lots of places. You have adifferent kind of downtown, one that is not focused on retail.

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Many cities spent decades trying to get retail to move back todowntown, and that will never happen. Instead, what you haveare sports complexes, cultural institutions, and restaurants.

Residential areas are also an important component of a success-ful downtown, and in the last five years in Phoenix, there hasbeen important development along those lines.

Q: What elements do you think are needed to make a successfuldowntown area? Will the recent introduction of light rail theremake a difference?

A: To have a successful downtown, I think you need a wholevariety of things that reinforce different aspects of life. Animportant question is how expensive the housing is and who isgoing to live in it. I believe there needs to be a blend of housingto attract different types of people with different income levels.In terms of light rail, I think it’s better to have some than none,but there are more effective options. I am a little concerned

about a surface-level system that is basically confined by trafficlights and cross streets—that it will have the same problems asbusses.


1. Attempting to discuss the frontier is like walking through a minefield.

Although I consider it important to study the frontier and the West asplaces, I also find it valuable to think about the frontier as process, and over

the years various authors have provided ways to do this. Useful sources to

investigate this concept include William Cronon, George Miles, and Jay

Gitlin, eds.,Under an Open Sky: Rethinking America’s Western Past(New York:

W.W. Norton, 1992), note especially Cronon’s comment on page 6 that

“comparative study of parallel regional changes—‘frontier processes’—has

much to offer”; and Walter Nugent, “Comparing Wests and Frontiers,” in

The Oxford History of the American West,ed. Clyde A. Milner, Carol A.

O’Connor, and Martha A. Sandweiss (New York: Oxford University Press,

1994), 803–33. Useful critiques of the debate include William G. Robbins,

“Laying Siege to Western History: The Emergence of New Paradigms,”

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Reviews in American History19 (September 1991): 313–31; and William

Cronon, “Revisiting the Vanishing Frontier: The Legacy of Frederick

Jackson Turner,” Western Historical Quarterly18 (April 1987): 157–76.

2. A convenient source for state population data over time is the CensusBureau’s Mini Historical Statistics site, in this case the table entitled “Resi-

dent Population by State: 1900–2002,” March 16, 2004 (accessed June 14,

2004), available from

3. See, e.g., William Cronon, Nature’s Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West

(New York: Norton, 1991); Oliver Zunz, The Changing Face of Inequality:

Urbanization, Industrial Development, and Immigrants in Detroit, 1880–1920

(Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982); Robert Fogelson, The Frag-mented Metropolis: Los Angeles, 1850–1930(Berkeley: University of California

Press, 1967); and Sam Bass Warner, The Urban Wilderness: A History of the

American City(New York: Harper & Row, 1972).

4. Morrison Institute for Public Policy, Hits and Misses: Fast Growth in

Metropolitan Phoenix (Tempe: Morrison Institute for Public Policy, 2000), 8–9,


5. Ibid.; “Cities with 100,000 or More Population Ranked by SelectedSubject, Land Area, 2000,” table in County and City Data Book, 2000(U.S.

Bureau of the Census), March 16, 2004 (accessed June 14, 2004), available

from By a strict measure

Phoenix ranked fifth in area, after the cities of Anchorage, Jacksonville, and

Oklahoma City. However, their sizes reflect not their populations (and,

perhaps, a sense of population sprawl) but a political strategy of incorporat-

ing the surrounding and relatively unpopulated county. My concern, inother words, is not with political boundaries but with a reasonable sense of

the built city.

6. Travel and highway information from Morrison Institute, Hits and Misses,

14; quotation from interview with William Beardsley, October 11, 1978, p.

24, transcript in Phoenix History Project Collection, Arizona Historical

Society, Tempe.

7. For contemporary employment data see the Arizona Republic,October 5,2003, sec. D, pp. 3–4; ASU enrollment data are available from the annual

reports of the Arizona Statistical Review(Phoenix: Valley National Bank,

1949–1994). For information on the Snell firm, see interview with Frank

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Snell, May 25, 1978, p. 81, transcript in Phoenix History Project Collection,

Arizona Historical Society, Tempe; Snell & Wilmer, “History” (accessed

March 18, 2003), available at

8. Interview with John Driggs, July 13, 1978, pp. 38-39, transcript in PhoenixHistory Project Collection, Arizona Historical Society, Tempe.

9. See, for example, the headline “Git Along, Little Philly,” Arizona Republic,

June 20, 2004, sec. V, p. 1. Goldwater is quoted in Peter Iverson, Barry

Goldwater: Native Arizonan(Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1997),


10. Quoted by John Stuart Hall, “Arizona’s Growth Continuum and Policy

Choices,” in Morrison Institute for Public Policy, Growth in Arizona: The

Machine in the Garden(Tempe: Morrison Institute for Public Policy, 1998), 9.

11. To demonstrate and explain the unique success of Phoenix requires

more space than I can devote here. One can get a rough sense of the

pattern by comparing the decadal population figures for cities in the West,

especially in the Intermountain West. For a confirmation in two compara-

tive cases, see Michael F. Logan, Fighting Sprawl and City Hall: Resistance to

Urban Growth in the Southwest(Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1995).

12. I have written about these developments at greater length in Philip R.

VanderMeer, Phoenix Rising: The Making of a Desert Metropolis(Carlsbad, CA:

Heritage Media, 2002), 26–27.

13. See ibid., 26–33, 46–51. Earlier historians focused on arguments about

corruption and urban vice. See Michael Konig, “Toward Metropolis Status:

Charter Government and the Rise of Phoenix, Arizona, 1945–1960” (Ph.D.

diss., Arizona State University, 1983); and Bradford Luckingham, Phoenix:

The History of a Southwestern Metropolis(Tucson: University of Arizona Press,

1989), 146–51. Others were more critical of government in the 1950s. See

Brent Whiting Brown, “An Analysis of the Phoenix Charter Government

Committee as a Political Entity” (Master’s thesis, Arizona State University,

1968); and Leonard E. Goodall, “Phoenix: Reformers at Work,” in Goodall,

ed., Urban Politics in the Southwest(Tempe: Arizona State University, 1967),


14. This analysis is based on calculations from election data in Registered

Voters and Votes Cast for Mayor and Council, Primary and General Election,

Phoenix, 1949–1979(Phoenix: City of Phoenix, 1980) and linear interpola-

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tion of population data (corrected for age and citizenship) from the U.S.

Census, 1950–1970.

15. Arizona Republic,December 1–2, 1982, and November 2, 1983; interview

with Terry Goddard, October 2, 2001, in possession of the author.16. On services see Amy Bridges, Morning Glories: Municipal Reform in the

Southwest(Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1997); on annexation

see John Dale Wenum, Annexation as a Technique for Metropolitan Growth: The

Case of Phoenix, Arizona(Tempe: Institute of Public Administration, Arizona

State University, 1970); and Edna McEwen Ellis, Sunny Slope: A History of the

North Desert Area of Phoenix(Phoenix: Art Press, 1990).

17. On tax and labor policies see Luckingham, Phoenix,157–59. On culturesee VanderMeer, Phoenix Rising,117–20.

18. Matt McCoy describes the establishment of the various World War II

bases in “The Desert Metropolis: Image Building and the Growth of

Phoenix, 1940–1965” (Ph.D. diss., Arizona State University, 2000), 47–54.

Michael D. Jones provides a fairly comprehensive, descriptive history of the

development of Sky Harbor airport in Desert Wings: A History of Phoenix Sky

Harbor International Airport(Tempe: Jetblast Publications, 1997); “Phoenix:City on Wings,” Arizona Highways33 (April 1957): 26. For data on airport

traffic see the annual reports of the Arizona Statistical Review.Grady

Gammage, Jr., comments insightfully on the nature of air transportation in

Phoenix in Perspective: Reflections on Developing the Desert(Tempe: Herberger

Center for Design Excellence, Arizona State University, 1999), 32–33.

19. “Shifting Trends in Employment, 1939–1953: Arizona and the United

States,” Arizona Business and Economic Review3 (September 1954): 1–6;Arizona Republic,November 9, 1952, sec. 7, entitled “Production for Free-

dom Week”; Judith Anne Jacobson, “The Phoenix Chamber of Commerce:

A Case Study of Economic Development in Central Arizona” (Master’s

thesis, Arizona State University, 1992), 36–43; interviews in the Phoenix

History Project Collection, Arizona Historical Society, Tempe, with Carl

Bimson (July 23, 1976), Frank Snell (September 28, 1978) transcript, 107–9,

and (December 7, 1978) transcript, 112–7, and Nicholas Udall (December21, 1977) transcript, 22; Lynne Pierson Doti and Larry Schweikart, “Financ-

ing the Postwar Housing Boom in Phoenix and Los Angeles, 1945–1960,”

Pacific Historical Review58 (May 1989): 183; and 290 New Manufacturers in the

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Phoenix Area since March 1, 1948(Phoenix: Industrial Department, Phoenix

Chamber of Commerce, 1960).

20. See “January 1974 Marks Motorola’s 25th Year in Phoenix!” Motorola

Collection, Arizona Historical Society, Tempe; interview with Daniel Noble,September 26, 1976, Phoenix History Project Collection, Arizona Historical

Society, Tempe; John Shirer, “The Motorola Research Laboratory in

Phoenix,” Arizona Business and Economic Review2 (February 1953): 1–4;

Daniel E. Noble, “Motorola Expands in Phoenix,” Arizona Business and

Economic Review3 ( June 1954): 1–2; “About Intel Arizona,” company history

(accessed June 24, 2004) available at

arizona/aboutsite.htm.21. Morrison Institute for Public Policy, Five Shoes Waiting to Drop on

Arizona’s Future(Tempe: Morrison Institute for Public Policy, 2001), 24–32.

22. “Translational Genomics Research Institute Formally Launches in

Arizona: Dr. Jeffrey Trent to Be Named President and Chief Scientific

Officer,” City of Phoenix news release, June 26, 2003 (accessed June 22,

2004), available from

tgri.html; “Mayo Clinic, ASU Form Research, Development Collabora-tion,” Arizona State University news release, July 18, 2003 (accessed June

22, 2004), available at

mayoclinic_agr_071803.htm; “About the School of Life Sciences,” descrip-

tion from (accessed June 24, 2004);

Kerry Fehr-Snyder, “ASU Chief Lures Science Think Tank; Group Seeks to

Develop Policy,” Arizona Republic,January 23, 2004 (accessed June 15,

2004), available at

23. Noble played an extremely important role in this, arguing for the

general importance of higher education in terms of knowledge and culture,

in addition to the narrower benefit of training Motorola engineers. See the

articles clipped from the Arizona Republic (March 18, 1956, March 23, 1956,

March 25, 1956, June 1, 1957, and February 6, 1962) for Daniel E. Noble, in

the Biographical Collection Files, Arizona Collection, Arizona State Univer-sity; also see the Noble interview, Arizona Historical Society. On ASU’s

development and the struggle over university status, see Ernest J. Hopkins

and Alfred Thomas Jr., The Arizona State University Story(Tempe: Arizona

State University, 1960), 245–304.

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24. Peter R. Knights, Yankee Destinies: The Lives of Ordinary Nineteenth-Century

Bostonians(Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1991); Kenneth

J. Winkle, The Politics of Community: Migration and Politics in Antebellum Ohio

(New York: Cambridge University Press, 1988); George W. Pierson, TheMoving American(New York: Knopf, 1973); Stephan Thernstrom, The Other

Bostonians: Poverty and Progress in the American Metropolis, 1880–1970(Cam-

bridge: Harvard University Press, 1973). See also Bernard L. Weinstein and

Robert E. Firestine, Regional Growth and Decline in the United States: The Rise

of the Sunbelt and the Decline of the Northeast(New York: Praeger, 1978).

25. Arizona Historical Society, “A Brief History of the Arizona Historical

Society” (accessed June 28, 2004) available at; VanderMeer, Phoenix

Rising,111; museums and websites (accessed 28 June 2004) available at; Morrison Institute for

Public Policy, “A Place for Arts & Culture: A Maricopa County Overview,”

draft report for the Maricopa Regional Arts & Culture Task Force (Tempe:

Morrison Institute for Public Policy, September 2003), 37–40 (accessed June

28, 2004), available at; and Historic Preservation

Commission and Office, Annual Report, Fiscal Year 2002–2003(Phoenix:

Historic Preservation Commission, 2003), 4.

26. For useful discussions of place see D. W. Meinig, Southwest: Three Peoples

in Geographical Change 1600–1970(New York: Oxford University Press,

1971); John Brickerhoff Jackson, American Space(New York: Norton, 1972);

David M. Wrobel and Michael C. Steiner, eds., Many Wests: Place, Culture, &Regional Identity(Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1997); and Stephen

M. Sloan, “Negotiating a Sense of Place in the Salt River Valley: Urbanites

and the Desert” (Ph.D. diss., Arizona State University, 2003).

27. Karen L. Smith provides a good overview of water in the Valley in

“‘Water, Water Everywhere, Nor . . . ,’” in Beth Luey and Noel J. Stowe,

eds., Arizona at Seventy-Five: The Next Twenty-Five Years(Tucson: University of

Arizona Press, 1987), 149–72; and the Salt River Project published a usefulcelebratory history booklet entitled A Valley Reborn (Phoenix: SRP, 2002).

Andrew M. Honker analyzes flooding and the Salt River in “A River

Sometimes Runs Through It: A History of Salt River Flooding and Phoe-

nix” (Ph.D. diss., Arizona State University, 2002). On the Groundwater

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provincias internas: continuing frontiers

Management Act (GMA), see Athia Hardt, ed., Arizona Waterline([Phoenix:]

Salt River Project, 1989), 165–94. In Phoenix in Perspective,28–30, Gammage

discusses the GMA, but he also evaluates the role of water in the Valley

throughout his insightful work. Also see Governor’s Water ManagementCommission, Final Report(Phoenix: Governor of Arizona, 2001), 57, 60

(accessed February 10, 2003), available at

Content/Publications/files/FinalReport.pdf; Mark Frank, “Municipal Water

Use in the Phoenix Active Management Area” (accessed February 22, 2003)

available at Also see

Greater Phoenix 2100, Greater Phoenix Regional Atlas(Tempe: Arizona State

University, 2003), 30–36. City of Phoenix, “Why a Drought Plan?” July 10,2002 (accessed June 29, 2004) available at


28. Tara A. Blanc, Oasis in the City: The History of the Desert Botanical Garden

(Phoenix: Heritage Publishers, 2000); Arizona Republic,June 5, 2004, sec. C;

and Koren Capozza, “Desperately Seeking a Sustainable Vacation: Phoenix

Begins to Meet the Challenge,” Environmental News Network, March 1,

2002 (accessed June 29, 2004), available at

29. Tom Rex, “Development of Metropolitan Phoenix: Historical, Current,

and Future Trends,” report prepared for the Morrison Institute of Public

Policy, August 2000, 11–12, 15 (accessed June 26, 2004), available at http://; Morrison Institute,

Hits and Misses, 18–19; Greater Phoenix Regional Atlas,30–35; Gammage,

Phoenix in Perspective,91–92.30. Greater Phoenix Regional Atlas,14–20; Gammage, Phoenix in Perspective,

101–2, 114–20; and Grady Gammage, Jr., and Jonathan Fink, “The Phoenix

Experiment,” March 1, 2004, 9–13 (accessed June 29, 2004) available at


31. Roger W. Lotchin, Fortress California, 1910–1961: From Warfare to Welfare

(New York: Oxford University Press, 1992); Hal Rothman, Rims and Ridges:The Los Alamos Area since 1880 (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1992);

Kathleen Ingley, “Arizona’s ‘Golden’ Future: California, Here We Come—

Following the Trends You Set,” Arizona Republic,November 17, 2002, sec. V,

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p. 1; and Philip L. Fradkin, A River No More: The Colorado River and the West

(Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1981).

32. For convenient access to population figures for 1990 through 2000, see

the tables available at, provided March 12, 2003 (accessed April 20, 2004). On the

Heard Museum see Ann E. Marshall, Mary H. Brennan, and Juliet Martin,

The Heard Museum: History & Collections,rev. ed. (Phoenix: Heard Museum,

2002); and Michelle M. Bayes, “Collecting Culture: A History of the Heard

Museum, 1929–1999” (Master’s thesis, Arizona State University, 2000). For

the Indian experience in Phoenix see Dorothy R. Parker, Phoenix Indian

School: The Second Half-Century(Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1996);and more generally Stephen Kent Amerman, “Making an Indian Place in

Urban Schools: Native Americans and Education in Phoenix, 1941–1984”

(Ph.D. diss., Arizona State University, 2002), and Edward B. Liebow, “A

Sense of Place: Urban Indians and the History of Pan-Tribal Institutions in

Phoenix, Arizona” (Ph.D. diss., Arizona State University, 1986).

33. Thomas E. Sheridan, Arizona: A History(Tucson: University of Arizona

Press, 1995); Bradford Luckingham, Minorities in Phoenix: A Profile of MexicanAmerican, Chinese American, and African American Communities, 1860-1992

(Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1994), 15–75; VanderMeer, Phoenix

Rising,77, 79. For population figures for 1990 through 2000 see the tables

available at,

provided March 12, 2003 (accessed April 20, 2004).

34. On urban structure see Dolores Hayden, Building Suburbia: Green Fields

and Urban Growth, 1820–2000(New York: Pantheon, 2003); and MichaelDear and Steven Flusty, “Postmodern Urbanism,” Annals of the Association of

American Geographers,88 (March 1998): 50–72. The discussion in Morrison

Institute, Hits and Misses,10, indicates some increase in development

density, but this mainly reflects infill on the periphery and lower vacancies

in the center city. For developments on the periphery see, for example, the

East Valley development of Agritopia (information available at http://, accessed June 28, 2004) and the WestValley development of Verrado (information at

index.html, accessed June 28, 2004).

35. Jon Talton, “Where, Oh Where, Is the Boom for Phoenix?” Arizona

Republic,May 30, 2004, at

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articles/0530talton30.html; Arizona Republic,November 23, 2003, sec. D, p.

1; Greater Phoenix Regional Atlas,46–47; Morrison Institute, Five Shoes,24–32.

36. Quotation from “Frank Snell Dies at 94,” Phoenix Gazette,September 7,

1994, A8.37. Quotations from Pat Murphy, “Riding a Racehorse Named Growth,”

Phoenix(November 1991), 89.

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Drawing the Thin Blue Line:Chicano-Police Relations since World War II

Edward J. Escobar

Arizona State University

The topic of this volume has been frontiers: various types ofboundaries and lines of demarcation. One would hope that thoseboundaries that divide people would be disappearing, but in fact,this paper explores the opposite trend: the construction of bound-aries by a critical urban institution, the police. As I will describe, theLos Angeles Police Department (LAPD) actively polarized commu-nities for their own internal interests. Because throughout thetwentieth century the LAPD was one of the most influential depart-ments in the United States in terms of its structure and operations,the situation in Los Angeles has implications for all of SouthernCalifornia, and perhaps other large urban areas.

In September 1999, scandal once again engulfed the LAPD.News stories announced that as part of a plea bargain on an unre-

lated conviction, a former officer had implicated himself and otherofficers in committing perjury, planting evidence, and even shootingsuspects under arrest. Rafael Pérez, a highly respected member ofthe LAPD Rampart Division’s CRASH (Community ResourcesAgainst Street Hoodlums) anti-gang unit, told investigators that heand his partner had shot a suspected gang member, Javier FranciscoOvando, after taking him into custody. Pérez, who had gained the

admiration of fellow officers for his aggressive work against Latinostreet gangs, also stated that he and his partner had planted a gun onthe wounded nineteen-year-old and later at trial had testified falselythat Ovando had tried to shoot them.1Pérez told investigators that

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the Ovando case was only one example of his and other CRASHofficers committing perjury and fabricating evidence in order toprosecute suspected Latino gang members.

Over the next year and a half, the consequences of whatbecame known as the Rampart scandal rose exponentially. Firstcame further revelations of widespread misconduct in the RampartDivision, particularly in the CRASH unit. Scores, perhaps hun-dreds, of Latino youths whom officers suspected of being gangmembers were convicted of crimes and sentenced to prison termsbased on perjured testimony and other fabricated evidence. By 2002

approximately one hundred convictions had been overturned andthe city had awarded more than $30 million in damages, $15 mil-lion to Javier Ovando alone.2Dozens of officers had resigned orbeen fired by the department, seventy were under investigation, andeight had been charged with criminal offenses. Los Angeles MayorRichard Riordan, who entered office in 1993 on the promise ofexpanding police services, had to submit a budget that cut fourhundred officers from the LAPD in order to pay for costs related tothe scandal. Finally, the city had to agree to a consent decree thatinitiated wide-ranging reforms of the LAPD under the supervisionof the U.S. Justice Department.3Without a doubt, the Rampartscandal has become a disaster of yet undetermined consequencesfor the city of Los Angeles.

As in all such situations (at least as we historians believe), thedifficulties that have befallen the LAPD demand a historical expla-nation. How can it be that a law enforcement agency that as late asthe mid-1980s was touted as the best big-city police department inthe nation could, in the nineties, be pummeled by the multiplecalamities of the Rodney King beating, the 1992 Los Angelesuprising, the O. J. Simpson case, and now the Rampart scandal?

The answer, I believe, lies not simply in poor personnel decisions orfaulty management, as official explanations have claimed, but ratherin an organizational culture that sees itself as society’s principaldefender against crime; that views minority youths as the “criminal

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The concept of police autonomy and its institutionalization inthe LAPD’s disciplinary procedures had a profound effect onresidents’ ability to lodge successful complaints against police

officers. Part of the problem lay with departmental policies thatactively discouraged residents from lodging complaints. In the1950s, for example, the department regularly prosecuted for filingfalse police reports those individuals whose complaints the reviewboard declared unfounded.8In addition, throughout the period, thedepartment sustained only a tiny fraction of the citizen complaints itreceived. Finally, citizens regularly received an indifferent or even

hostile reception from police personnel when they tried to make acomplaint.9Minority residents’ inability to file a successful com-plaint contributed not only to their frustration, but also to officers’sense of invulnerability from the consequences of their misconduct.

In the past fifty years, the LAPD has gone to great lengths toprotect its vaunted independence. The pattern was set during theinfamous Bloody Christmas incident of the early 1950s, in whichofficers brutally beat Mexican American youths held at the city jail.Faced with demands for public accountability in the department’sdisciplinary procedures, Chief Parker and his allies in city govern-ment attacked the department’s critics as communists and allies oforganized crime, and ignored obvious cases of perjury and suborna-tion of perjury on the part of officers. Subsequent police administra-

tions have continued the practice of attacking their critics, claimingthat criticism hurts officers’ morale and ignoring what is now called“the blue code of silence,” that is, police officers never speakingabout the misconduct of fellow officers.10

In addition to the principle of police autonomy, professional-ism also brought a “war-on-crime” orientation to the police functionthat further degraded the relationship between the police and the

community. Under this orientation, as the front line of the war oncrime, officers needed to prevent crime by aggressively confrontingthe “criminal elements” in society and through a show of force thatwould convince potential criminals that violation of the law would

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bring swift and severe punishment. Officers aggressively patrolledneighborhoods that arrest statistics identified as “high-crime areas.”Since most Americans violated some law (liquor or traffic laws, for

example) on a regular basis, the emphasis on crime fighting createdan “us against them” mentality within law enforcement. Wheneverpolice gave out traffic citations or made arrests for violation ofsumptuary laws, they not only angered otherwise law-abidingcitizens, they also provided further evidence for themselves that thepopulation at large disregarded the law. The police thus becamealienated from the society they were supposed to serve.11

The war-on-crime metaphor also increased police officers’sensitivity to all forms of criticism, especially to perceived attacks ontheir authority. After all, in a theater of war, which for the policewere the streets of urban America, there could be only two sides,and they came to believe that those who criticized them favoredlawlessness and disorder. The police therefore reacted negatively tocharges of police brutality and other forms of public criticism.This attitude merged with the professionalism principle of policeautonomy to make officers not only unsympathetic to but practicallyinvulnerable from complaints of police misconduct. The profession-alism model and its war-on-crime orientation thus strained therelationship between law enforcement and society in general.12

The war-on-crime mentality also put police in direct conflict

with the city’s minority communities. That conflict resulted from theLAPD’s belief that Mexican American youth were inclined towardcriminality. In 1942–43 hysteria swept over Los Angeles emanatingfrom the belief that a Mexican American crime wave was engulfingthe city. Evidence suggests that no such crime wave existed, but abroad spectrum of observers concluded that the zoot suit fad amongMexican American juveniles was a sign of their delinquency.

Whereas ultimately most analysts agreed that such delinquencyresulted from poverty and discrimination, law enforcement officialsat the time argued that Mexican American criminality sprang from

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biological factors and that people of Mexican descent were inher-ently inclined toward violent crime.13

In the years after World War II, the LAPD extended the

linkage between race and criminality to African Americans andinstitutionalized it into the training and deployment of officers. Theadoption of the war-on-crime orientation and the labeling of racialgroups as thecriminal element in society resulted in chronic conflictbetween the LAPD and minority communities. Officers who be-lieved that Mexican Americans, for example, were criminallyinclined were more likely to be on the lookout for crime in this

population and thus to find it and make arrests. Similarly, officerswho believed that Mexican Americans were naturally violent weremore likely to use force in what they regarded as dangerous situa-tions. These factors fused with Mexican Americans’ growing vigi-lance regarding police misconduct to provoke a series of spectacularcontroversies between the Mexican American community and theLAPD over the next several decades.14

The LAPD has for the most part been successful in fighting offthese challenges. Part of the reason for this success has been thedepartment’s promotion of the idea that the police are a centralcomponent in maintaining a civilized society. The chief metaphorby which the department promoted this idea was the “thin blueline.” Chief Parker first articulated the idea in the midst of the 1952

Bloody Christmas scandal, which threatened LAPD autonomy. Hestarted a television program that he called “The Thin Blue Line,”whose purpose it was to counteract “current attempts to underminepublic confidence in the Police.”15

The idea of the thin blue line would become a central organiz-ing metaphor for the LAPD. At its essence was Parker’s belief thatonly the police protected “civilized” society from anarchy. Parker

saw society as two competing forces. On one side stood law-abidingwhite middle-class Americans who longed for security and sup-ported, and even appreciated, the need for strong law enforcementinstitutions. In opposition were the forces of chaos and iniquity.

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family,” Parker warned, “you’re going to have to get in and supporta strong police department. If you don’t do that, come 1970, Godhelp you!”17

The idea that the police were the main “line of defense” againstthe forces of darkness had consequences for the nature of the sup-port that police expected from the public. Parker explicitly calledfor extending the use of coercive, military-like measures and bud-gets against internal enemies. “We expend vast resources fightingforeign enemies,” Parker told a business group in 1952; “let us notbe blind to the internal dangers which can destroy us as quickly and

as certainly.”18Parker and succeeding chiefs repeatedly used thespecter of crime, in particular minority crime, to gain increasedappropriations for the department.

The thinness of the blue line was also of crucial importance.The fact that the line was thin meant that police protection wasfragile. That fragility, in turn, meant that the line could be easilybroken either by questioning from irresolute allies or by pressurefrom the forces of darkness. Parker and practically every chief ofpolice since has complained bitterly about the restraints put onpolice by the courts and about criticism from the press and thepublic.19Thus, during various crises over the past fifty years, policeofficials have asserted that allegations of police misconduct hurtofficers’ morale, making them disinclined to make arrests and

enforce the law. Since such a consequence was only to be expected,officials charged, the critics must be in league with the forces ofdarkness in trying to undermine police effectiveness. Parker lumpedall the critics together when he charged that “the criminal, thecommunist, and the self-appointed defender of civil liberties” weretrying to limit the authority of police.20By the late 1960s, all suchcritics simply became “subversive” or “anti-police” and at least some

officers came to see themselves as another minority group.21

The final significance of the thinness of the blue line lies in thehighly aggressive, “masculinist” manner in which the LAPD re-sponds to criminal activity. Throughout its history, the LAPD has

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had the lowest ratio of officer per resident, and one of the lowestratios of officer per square mile, of the nation’s largest police depart-ments. On the other hand, the department has had to contend with

one of the highest violent and property crime rates in the country.22

In order to cope with these demographic realities, the LAPD hasinstituted training techniques that lead to a very aggressive style ofpolicing. According to geographer Steve Herbert, “the LAPD haslong distinguished itself among American police departments” by a“masculinist aggressiveness” in the way it interacts with the public.“This aggressiveness has manifested itself in frequent recourses to

force, large numbers of felony arrests, and random stops andsearches of potential suspects.”23 This generally aggressive attitudehas had a serious effect on city’s residents. During the 1980s, thedepartment had the highest ratio of civilians killed or wounded pernumber of officers of the largest police forces in the nation.24

The concept of the thin blue line has combined with the war-on-crime mentality to create within the LAPD a preoccupation withChicano youth gangs. That preoccupation began during the WorldWar II–era zoot suit hysteria. Because of that experience and theattention paid to Chicano gangs, the LAPD developed a reputationas an authority on the subject in the postwar period. It created ajuvenile division and a special gang detail staffed primarily withMexican American officers. Police departments from all over the

nation asked the department for advice on aspects of gang culture.25

During the 1960s and 1970s, the Chicano Movement, composedprimarily of high school and college age youths, for a time divertedthe department’s attention.26With the rise of crack cocaine in the1980s, the LAPD again turned its attention to gangs, this time toAfrican American youth gangs.27The significant increase in theLatino population in the 1990s saw the department refocus on gangs

from these communities.It is not difficult to understand the LAPD’s preoccupation with

gangs. One does not have to be a strict Weberian to see that policeand gangs compete for control of space. As geographer Steve

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Herbert has noted, “[C]ontrol of space is a fundamental of overallpolice efforts at social control.”28At the same time, gangs, particu-larly Chicano gangs, are all about territoriality, with disputes over

boundaries being central to many gang conflicts. Because gangsfunction outside the law and often in violation of it, they provokebitter conflict with and the enmity of the police. Officers see them asthe very antithesis of police, as “terrorists” who prey on the innocentand against whom the harshest of methods are justified.29It was forthis reason that the LAPD created CRASH. In the end, of course,the Rampart CRASH unit, with its lawlessness and ganglike behav-

ior, became a mirror image of the gangs the unit was supposed tocontrol as evidenced perhaps most dramatically by the insignia theunit chose as its emblem, an insignia many officers in CRASH hadtattooed on their arms.* As a result of the Rampart scandal, theLAPD disbanded the CRASH unit and prohibited officers fromwearing its insignia while on duty.

In the final analysis, the intermingling of these forces createdthe culture that has led the LAPD into the morass of the Rampartscandal. The linkage between race and criminality defined Latinoand black youths as the criminal element against whom the LAPDwould make war. Officers in CRASH units did not, after all, framejust any suspected criminals, they framed Latino and African Ameri-can youths whom they believed to be gang members. Thus, despite

the refusal of public officials and the press to acknowledge the fact,the Rampart scandal is at its core a racial conflict. It is also clear thatthe effect of the twin metaphors of the war on crime and the thinblue line gave officers a no-holds-barred attitude toward dealingwith Latino and black gang members. These were the “bad guys,”the criminal element, and whatever officers could do to get the

* The insignia consists of a skull wearing a cowboy hat with menacing red eyes and openmouth. The skull is backed by black aces and eights playing cards, the so-called deadman’s hand. While the insignia in various forms is viewable and available for purchaseon the internet, the LAPD was unable to provide permission to reproduce it for thispublication. Those interested in seeing it can go to

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gangs off the streets was justifiable. Finally, the concept of policeautonomy must have made officers feel invulnerable to the conse-quences of their illegal acts. Although clearly only a small percent-

age of LAPD personnel were actually involved in illegal activities,those officers must have believed that their fellow officers wouldnever find them guilty of wrongdoing. They were, after all, actingwithin the aggressive style of policing that was part of the LAPD’sinstitutional culture. The respect and admiration from fellow officersthat Officer Rafael Pérez enjoyed was proof positive of that belief.30

That admiration was just another symptom of the culture that led to

the Rampart scandal in the first place and that the LAPD mustdiscard if it is to overcome this latest crisis.


Q: A lot of what you said reminded me of Michael Moore’s Bowl-ing for Columbine, where he explores the causes of violenceand concludes that the important factor is not the presence ofguns but fear of difference, basically racism. Do you think this isa general characteristic of our society that the LAPD draws on?

A: I don’t know that racism is necessarily a fundamental elementin our society. The point I was trying to make is that race is asocial construction: The differences we create among people aresocially constructed. But in this case, the LAPD is an institution

that to a great extent created these divisions to enhance itspolitical status and position during budget wars in the city of LosAngeles. So, I wouldn’t say that a fundamental essence of oursociety creates racial conflict, but I think there are institutionsthat are promoting racism for their own interests.

Q: I would like to know about your methodology. Did you follow

an anthropological model and use participant observation? If so,did you take the perspective of the police or the MexicanAmerican community? Specifically, did you find any significantrelationship between Mexican American police officers and theMexican American community?

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A: First, in terms of methodology, I’m not an anthropologist, I’m ahistorian, and I relied primarily on documents from within theLos Angeles Police Department. I was lucky enough to get full

access to the LAPD’s internal documents, and I focused myresearch on thousands upon thousands of documents, from theChief of Police files within the LAPD; that’s my main source ofinformation, along with newspapers. I did conduct oral inter-views and do oral histories but not from the perspective oftrying to become part of the police community. From a broadermethodological perspective, I don’t believe that the idea of

earlier generations of historians of having a universalist perspec-tive to the study of your subject—and therefore, complete objec-tivity—is either possible or perhaps even desirable. I do believein a perspectivist approach to writing history, so I tried to lookat this from the point of view of the Mexican Americancommunity.

Now, with regard to your question on Mexican American policeofficers. There have been Mexican American police officers inthe department probably from the very beginning. The depart-ment, as it’s now organized, came into being in 1886; there werecertainly Mexican American police officers as early as the turnof the last century. Latino officers have become somewhat moreintegrated in the last twenty years, but traditionally, their role

was one of being experts on the Mexican/Latino communityand, to a certain extent, to attempt to control that communitywhen police officials and other elites within the city felt it wasgetting out of control. Key examples are revolutionary activityduring the time of the Mexican Revolution (1910s), or during thetime of the Chicano Movement (1960s), or during the Depres-sion years (1930s) and labor organizing. At those times MexicanAmerican police officers actually rose in prominence because ofthe work they could do within the department.

Q: You mentioned newspapers, and I’m curious. I assume the

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uniformly enforced. Police chiefs of that period said that theyreally enforced it only in certain parts of the city, in the MexicanAmerican community, not in white sections of the city. We get

our notions of what group is a criminal group within societybased on crime statistics, but those are terribly suspect becausecrime statistics come from arrest statistics. In an arrest, theperson being arrested is not the active agent; it’s the policeofficers. And clearly an arrest does not even imply that a crimehas been committed, much less that the person arrested commit-ted the crime. And what happened often is that police would go

through Mexican American communities and arrest largenumbers of people in blanket arrests. That raises the statistics,and in turn it affects deployment and training within the depart-ment.

Q: The perception seems to be that poverty breeds lawlessness anddelinquency. Yet we have examples of Rampart LAPD—which isa very white, very middle class institution—and also the FBI of J.Edgar Hoover, and then the Guardia Civil under Franco. All ofthem were really establishment institutions run by middle-classpersonalities. They’re really the law breakers in each of the threedifferent settings. All three institutions promoted the element offear in order to retain control and sustain their positions inpower. How do you reconcile their roles?

A: What Parker did, you may call it criminal and I would agree itwas wrong, but it was officially sanctioned. And what J. EdgarHoover did was in violation of various sections of the Constitu-tion and was probably illegal. But they held the reins to power:They were the police, and the police police themselves. There’sno one overseeing them and they have so much political powerthat no one was able to call them into question until well after

the fact. There are different kinds of crimes. Gangs are indeed amenace. Gangs as they exist today are doing terrible things inour community. But the kinds of crimes that Mexican Americanyouths commit are public crimes: They’re doing something out

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in the street, or something that’s violent. Those crimes quicklybecome evident and citizens call the police and people getarrested. Crimes that the leaders of Enron and other corpora-

tions committed are committed behind closed doors. There areall kinds of crimes that occur behind closed doors that we neverhear of. If you look at other forms of statistics, in white middle-class and upper-class communities crimes are being committedall the time that are every bit as awful as anything that is goingon in our barrios and in African American communities. Butbecause they’re done in private and often never reported, arrests

aren’t made and therefore they don’t enter into the publicdebate in the same way.

With regard to the Rampart scandal, the LAPD is now beingcalled into question on it. We know now that gross misconductoccurred, and there is an inquiry about it. I’m not a greatbeliever in the system—that everything is working out justwonderfully—but when something like this does become public,the institution has to protect itself. Look at Rodney King and theChristopher Commission Report—this was a report that cameout in the wake of the Rodney King beating—like Bloody Christ-mas, it was a very narrow report. The response was very narrow.All the commission examined was how such a thing couldhappen, why those officers did what they did. They didn’t take

into consideration the larger question. With Rodney King fiveofficers were involved in the beating, but twenty-one officerswere standing around watching. None of those other twenty-oneofficers reported the beating. And no one would ever even haveknown about it—even though all those other officers knew—hadit not been for George Holiday turning that cassette over to aLos Angeles television station. That’s the culture I’m talking

about. These types of things don’t get out very often because thepolice are the gatekeepers: They have the discretion to make anarrest or not. And that determines who is a criminal or not, orwho gets pulled into crime statistics.

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I would like to thank Phoenix College, the Arizona Historical Society, my

own school, Arizona State University, particularly the Department of

Chicana and Chicano Studies and the History Department, the Universityof Arizona, and finally my colleagues on the panel. The dedication and

thought they put into their presentations helped make the symposium a


1. Los Angeles Times(hereafter Times), September 16, 1999.

2. Ibid., April 20, 2001.

3. Ibid., April 20, 2001.

4. Joseph Gerald Woods, “The Progressives and the Police: Urban Reform

and the Professionalization of the Los Angeles Police” (Ph.D. diss., Univer-

sity of California, Los Angeles, 1973), 360–64, 397–416; also see Edward J.

Escobar, Race, Police and the Making of a Political Identity: Mexican Americans

and the Los Angeles Police Department, 1900–1945 (Berkeley: University of

California Press, 1999), 155–56.

5. Woods, “The Progressives and the Police,” 417–36; Los Angeles DailyNews, April 9, 1952. For the LAPD’s prestigious reputation, see the series of

articles in the Chicago Sun Timesextolling the department as one of the best

police departments in the nation: Chicago Sun Times, March 11 and 13–14,

1952; O. W. Wilson, ed., Parker on Police(Springfield, IL: Charles C. Tho-

mas, 1957), vii–xi; Steve Herbert, Policing Space: Territoriality and the Los

Angeles Police Department(Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1997),


6. Robert M. Fogelson, Big City Police(Cambridge: Harvard University

Press, 1977), 142–43, 145–59, 99–100, 104–5, 142–45, 158–60, 175–76, 184,

223–24, 225, 282–87.

7. Woods, “Progressives and the Police,” 337–38; Escobar, Race, Police and the

Making of a Political Identity,163–64.

8. William H. Parker to Henry N. Ohland, October 31, 1955, Chief of Police

(henceforth COP), General Files, Los Angeles City Records Center (hence-forth CRC), Box 35288, Los Angeles, California; J. C. Moore, Jr., to Hugh

R. Manes, May 17, 1961, Sam Yorty Papers, CRC, Box 15471; Captain O.

C. Woods to Richard Simon, December 11, 1962; Simon to Roger

Arnebergh, December 16, 1962, COP, General Files, CRC, Box 35286.

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provincias internas: continuing frontiers

9. Independent Commission of the Los Angeles Police Department,

“Report of the Independent Commission of the Los Angeles Police Depart-

ment,” Los Angeles, 1991 (henceforth Christopher Commission Report),

158.10. Edward J. Escobar, “Bloody Christmas and the Irony of Police Reform:

The Los Angeles Police Department and the Mexican American Commu-

nity in the 1950s,” unpublished manuscript in the author’s possession.

11. Fogelson, Big City Police, 220–21, 231–32; also see Herbert, Policing Space,


12. Fogelson, Big City Police,99–100, 104–5, 112–16, 158–60, 236–42.

13. Escobar, Race, Police and the Making of a Political Identity, 186–202, 207–27.

14. Probably the most spectacular incident was the Salcido case, in which an

LAPD officer stood trial for killing a Mexican American teenager. See the

Times, April 13, 1948, and other Los Angeles dailies for coverage of this


15. Parker to Police Commission, April 1, 1952, COP, General Files, CRC,

Box 35306.16. William H. Parker, “Invasion from Within,” in Wilson, Parker on Police,


17. Quoted in Herbert, Policing Space,81.

18. Parker, “Invasion from Within,” 65.

19. Parker, for example, claimed that a court decision excluding the use of

illegally obtained evidence from a criminal trial had “catastrophic” conse-

quences for the war against organized crime. William H. Parker, “TheCahan Decision Made Life Easier for the Criminal,” in Wilson, Parker on

Police,114. Thirty years later Police Chief Daryl Gates, a Parker protégé,

complained similarly about restrictions placed on the LAPD’s domestic

spying apparatus. Daryl Gates with Diane K. Shaw, Chief: My Life in the

LAPD(New York: Bantam, 1992), 232. Parker, for example, believed that

the “caustic ridicule and censure of the police . . . is seriously interfering

with society’s ability to protect itself.” Parker to Pat Brown, March 20, 1959,COP, General Files, CRC, Box 35304.

20. Parker, “Invasion from Within,” 64.

21. Gates and Shaw, Chief.

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22. Christopher Commission Report, 22–23.

23. Herbert, Policing Space, 80.

24. Christopher Commission Report, 23–24.

25. See a host of documents in COP, General Files, CRC, Box 35288.

26. Edward J. Escobar, “The Dialectics of Repression: The Los Angeles

Police Department and the Chicano Movement, 1968–1971,”Journal of

American History79, no. 4 (March 1993): 1483–1514.

27. Gates and Shaw, Chief,289–94.

28. Herbert, Policing Space,10.

29. Ibid., 87–88.30. New York Times, October 1, 2000.

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Summary and ConclusionsPete Dimas

Phoenix College

The Provincias Internas, the Spanish Borderlands, the U.S.

Southwest, these terms are all attempts to encapsulate, across thecenturies, the diverse peoples, politics, cultures, economies, andboundaries of this region that includes modern northern Mexicoand the southwestern United States. While they convey inclusionbeyond the presentfronteras, or boundaries, they inadequatelyexpress the profundity of the pre-existing and continuing Indianworld. Yet, all of them impart images of a frontier world. For

purposes of conclusion, this complex region will be referred to asthe Borderlands.

The Borderlands are indeed vast in their space, time, andpeoples, as Jiménez so forcefully reminds us. His metaphor ofcontinuing, contiguous, and virtual frontiers highlights how manydifferent ways there are to examine the frontiers in this complex

region. Perhaps no other theme could encompass topics as diverseas colonial missions, the recovery of Native American history, andpolitical issues in contemporary Phoenix and Los Angeles.

The Borderlands are made up of distinct political entities, aswell as pluralities of cultures. All the contributors to this symposiumin some way highlight issues of interethnic contact and conflict. AsDeeds makes clear, this feature has existed at least from the earliest

Spanish attempts to settle the region. We see it continuing in thecourse of Hopi-Spanish contacts and the interpretations—andmisinterpretations—of Pueblo culture recorded in colonial Spanishdocuments. And unfortunately, the postwar history of the Los

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provincias internas: continuing frontiers

Angeles Police Department shows that cultural misunderstandingsand stereotypes continue to erect virtual frontiers separating Border-lands residents even today.

Although people often think of Mexican migration and immi-gration as a recent political issue, Deeds reminds us that migrationsand flows of people have always been a feature of any frontier zone.Yet as VanderMeer points out, the level of relocation and migrationin the postwar U.S. Southwest is the highest of any time since theAnglo western migrations of the nineteenth century. In Phoenix,the Mexican and Mexican American presence is increasing dramati-

cally owing to the combination of migration, low median age, andhigh fertility rates; and this results in increasingly visible growth inHispanic culture and power in this historically Anglo-dominatedcity. At the same time, the growing population, wealth, and politicalclout of Native American nations are helping them to restore theirregional importance. But these demographic and cultural transfor-mations are taking place alongside a dramatic in-migration to theSunbelt from throughout the United States. These newcomers bringa variety of attitudes about, and levels of sensitivity to, the Border-lands environment, ranging from those who transplant their Easternor Midwestern lifestyles—complete with green lawns and lakes—tothose who embrace the cultural and climatic implications of livingin a desert frontier zone. As Oscar Martínez documented in Border

People,both Mexicans and Anglos have a continuum of responses toliving along the border, ranging from those who remain monocul-tural and are virtually unaffected by living on an internationalboundary to those who become bilingual and bicultural, functioningwith near-equal comfort on either side of the current politicalboundary, a reflection of Jiménez’s call for a multifaceted culturalview.1

So, can the multifaceted, Cubist view of the Borderlands thatJiménez advocates be constructed? Some beginnings are evident increative uses of traditional historical sources in this volume. Al-though colonial documentary evidence inherently presents the view

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of the conquerors, Deeds shows us that it is possible to read betweenthe lines and glimpse the divergent world views of subordinatedcommunities—including those of Native Americans, mestizos, and

slaves—as well as the processes of negotiation and contestationamong them. Continuing this topic, Lomawaima describes for us afascinating attempt to recover the history of a people without writ-ten records. Comparing the knowledge of Hopi elders with thecolonial documentary evidence is validating Hopi oral history as ameans of preserving the past. Chicano historians are extensivelymining oral histories and archives, in Spanish and English, to

uncover the history of those who never left the Borderlands andthose from Mexico who have augmented the Hispanic presencewithin the borders of the United States. Escobar relies heavily onthe voluminous internal documents of the LAPD, along with someoral histories and newspaper articles, to construct his analysis of thepolice department’s culture. VanderMeer, perhaps the most “tradi-tional” of the presenters, delivers the dilemma of culture and place;the culture of unrestrained growth running headlong into the limita-tions of the desert environment.

All of these papers, while providing insights to some of thefacets of the continuing frontiers, illustrate a generalized publicunfamiliarity with the historical contours of the multiple frontiers ofthe Borderlands. In Arizona, large-scale migrations and the global-

ization of the economy, while breathtakingly transformative, reflectcenturies-old continuities. Migrations and trans-border commercepreexisted the arrival of Spanish power, and borders. The SpanishEmpire was a global empire, ergo the introduction of the globaleconomy, and the migrations from the south. The Anglo Americanexpansion into—the conquest of — northern Mexico brought with itmodern technology, with its contemporary capitalist component,

and migration from the east. Each new element, each new frontier,brings change to all of them, but none completely extinguishes whatexisted before. To a great extent, migrations from the south and theNorth American Free Trade Agreement are continuations of the

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provincias internas: continuing frontiers

Borderlands legacies that are part of the transformations takingplace. How many people understand this? Would understandinghelp correct the imperfections of policies we see all around us?

Could this understanding help shape our mutual future in a produc-tive manner?

The Provinicias Internas: Continuing Frontiers Symposiumbrought together scholars, students, community leaders, and thegeneral public in order to stimulate discussion, and thereby promoteunderstanding, of what has created this visible multicultural regionmarked by an international border over 2,000 miles in length. The

tenor of the proceedings, the open interaction with an audience thatremained engaged throughout the daylong event, was fully em-braced by the participating scholars. In an era where the terms“globalization,” “transnational economies,” or “terrorism” canconjure spectres of social and economic ruin, or worse, symposiasuch as this one can bring together scholars, political leaders, andthe general public to examine how our contemporary conditionsand situations have developed and evolved, and begin to explorewhat beneficial opportunities can be derived from such examina-tions. Future symposia could be hosted at different locations inArizona and should include scholars and leaders from the entireregion, including Mexico. Where Borderlands issues touch onmore universal themes, scholars from other areas of the world—

Spain for example—should be invited to participate. All of theproceedings should be published, in print or on-line, and madeavailable to the widest possible audience. The Arizona HistoricalSociety has stepped forward to publish the proceedings of thisparticular symposium. The Society inherently recognizes that tounderstand Arizona, one has to reach beyond domestic and interna-tional borders. The Society’s bylaws state: “Pursuant to the statutes

of the State of Arizona, the purpose of the Arizona HistoricalSociety is to collect, preserve, interpret, and disseminate the historyof Arizona, the West, and northern Mexico as it pertains toArizona.” VanderMeer’s statement, “The struggle to shape the

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future of Phoenix is . . . linked with efforts to describe and under-stand its past,” applies to the entire Borderlands. On this, theelimination of some of the virtual frontiers described by Jiménez



1. Oscar J. Martínez, Border People: Life and Society in the U.S. Borderlands

(Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1994).

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About the Editor

Pete Dimasreceived his Ph.D. from Arizona State University and

has been on the faculty at Phoenix College since 1990, where he isalso director of Southwest Studies. His teaching areas include:American history, Arizona history, Mexican history, MexicanAmerican history, and Chicana/Chicano studies. He is a formerstate board member of the Arizona Historical Society and is on theboard of the Braun-Sacred Heart Center. Works he has doneinclude Progress and a Mexican American Community’s Struggle for

Existence: Phoenix’s Golden Gate Barrio, published in 1999, and thedocumentary Los Veteranos of World War II: A Mission for Social Change

in Central Arizona(2005).

About the Contributors

Susan M. Deedsis professor of history at Northern Arizona

University, where her teaching areas include the colonial andmodern history of Latin America with special emphasis on Mexicanethnohistory and the U.S.–Mexico borderlands. Her researchexamines the effects of Spanish colonialism on indigenous peoplesof northern Mexico, particularly in Chihuahua and Durango, whocame under the purview of Jesuit and Franciscan missionaries.Among her publications are “Legacies of Resistance, Adaptation,and Tenacity: History of the Native Peoples of Northwest Mexico,”in The Cambridge History of the Native Peoples of the Americas(Cam-bridge University Press, 2000); and Defiance and Deference in Colonial

Mexico: Indians under Spanish Rule in Nueva Vizcaya(University ofTexas Press, 2003). She is also a co-author (with Michael C. Meyerand William L. Sherman) of the textbook, The Course of Mexican

History, 7th ed. (Oxford University Press, 2003). She received theNorthern Arizona University Teaching Scholar Award for 2002 andwas recognized as Northern Arizona University Arts and SciencesDistinguished Professor for 2002–2003.

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Spain in conjunction with the Spanish Colonial Research Center atthe University of New Mexico. He has done fieldwork and archivalresearch in New Mexico, Guatemala, and southern Spain. In addi-

tion to his numerous articles, he is the author of Los hispanos de NuevoMéxico: Contribución a una antropología de la cultura hispana en los

Estados Unidos, Biografía de un campesino andaluz, La historia oral como

etnografía, and Antropología histórica: La audiencia de Guatemala en el

siglo XVI. In addition he is coeditor of the Handbook of Hispanic

Cultures in the United States: History(Arte Público Press and Institutode Cooperación Iberoamericana, 1993–94). Currently his research

interests focus on the Spanish north via the historiography of theAmerican West and the Spanish Borderlands.

Hartman H. Lomawaimais director of the Arizona State Museumat the University of Arizona in Tucson and an affiliate faculty mem-ber in the University of Arizona American Indian Studies Program.He is the 1998 recipient of the Museum Association Award for

Distinguished Service to the Museum in Historical Fields. Theimmediate past chair of the Natural Cultural Heritage Alliance ofPima County, he has served as council member of the AmericanAssociation for State and Local History and has chaired theAssociation’s Committee on Standards and Ethics. He is a foundingmember of the American Indian Museums Association and is pastboard president of the Hopi Foundation. In March 2000, he was

elected by his peers in the museum community to the board ofdirectors of the American Association of Museums. In January 2001,he began a three-year term as member of the board of trustees forthe National Museum of the American Indian at the SmithsonianInstitution and chairs the board’s committee on research. Hisinterests lie in three areas: museum organizational development,

with a focus on the American Indian, Alaskan Native, and FirstNations museums and heritage centers; American Indian contribu-tions to U.S. transportation history, with particular focus on the

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The Arizona Historical Society, 2007

ANNEI. WOOSLEY, PH.D., Executive Director


BRUCEJ. DINGES, PH.D., Director of Publications

The Publications Committee

William Porter, Chairperson

Walter Armer, Jr.

James AyresJames Babbitt

Norma Jean Coulter

Lynn Haak

John Lacy

Jim Ronstadt

Robert Trennert, Ph.D.

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