On June 21, 1779, Carlos II, King of Spain issued a decree opening declaring as his enemy the King of Great Britain and their subjects. This declaration set forth what would become the support of the American colonies by Spain and its American realm. For New Mexico, this meant a donativo made by Spanish citizens capable of giving at least two pesos and Indian citizens who gave one peso.
Over the last 20 years or so, the Daughters of the American Revolution have researched and members conducted a more formal documentation of the donativo that was made by individuals of the Spanish Americas. This means that all presidio soldiers during specific dates qualify for recognition not only by the DAR but also the Sons of the American Revolution or SAR.
It was acknowledged that 3,677 pesos were collected from New Mexico, broken down it was 3,533 pesos and 3 reales in cash plus 133 pesos and 5 reales in form of grain; 247 pesos collected from the presidio soldiers.
The DAR recognizes 122 soldiers and the SAR 186 soldiers as their qualifying times vary, one priest and the alcalde mayores of the villas throughout New Mexico.
If you have done research and know that one of your ancestors qualifies for recognition, consider one of the two named organizations and submit your application. The easiest way is to contact a local chapter in your area. Although, not all chapters are aware of the Santa Fe Presidio Soldiers, this process will help them become more educated and it will also honor your ancestor who served during the time that the United States Declared their Independence.
Happy July 4, 2012!