I provide and command that Valentin Martin be served with this that he may answer and plead according to law. Witness my signature, acting as commissioner, and with attesting witnesses, I certify. Carlos Fernandez and wit/ Miguel de Beitia (rubric) and Juan Doming Lovato (rubric)
Señor Alcalde Mayor, don Carlos Fernandez:
In obedience to Your Honor’s order that I answer to the above writ, I say: that although it is true that said Antonio Martin called me to receive the property of Marcial Torres, belonging to the minor heirs, I was satisfied with twenty-five pesos, which he wanted to deliver for said property; and as to what he says, that he called me to receive the half of the corn; I say he never has spoken to me on that subject; and even had he done so, I would never have been satisfied with five costales of corn, that said Antonio Martin left deposited, for neither the former nor the latter correspond to the property of the deceased, Marcial Torres. I simply expect of Your Honor, that he be held correspondingly, responsible for said property, as I request in the petition, which I have already presented to Your Honor, as commissioned by said heirs.
Relative to the answer to my said charges against Antonio Martin, Your Honor should charge me to make proper answer; as you should also deliver to me the enclosure mentioned in the answer of Antonio Martin, and thereby require of me to make answer, inasmuch as I am ignorant of what the said “enclosure” may be.
Valentin Martin (rubric)
I, Antonio Martin, trustee and guardian of the property of the minor children of the deceased, Marcial Torres, appear before your Honor, in the most agreeable manner and say in answer to the foregoing, that since last year I requested Valentin Martin to receive the part of the estate allotted to him by final decree as shown in the proceedings; and up to the present time he has refused and he has made various charges against me, to which I have been able to answer because the settlement by competent jurisdiction, and thirdly, by order of don Tomas, who answered me what I had to do, and that it was not time yet. All passed before witnesses who were: Leiba, Crespin and Francisco Casados; and relative to the charges made by the said Valentin in his complaint; I acknowledge as true what is said relative to the thirty-two cattle, that is, with the cow that afterwards appeared, and the ox, save the heifer which was said to have been delivered. She never appeared, or was she received. As to the horses, his statement lacks truth, for I received only six. Juan Domingo Lobato does not prove in his declaration that there were seven, his being the one presented by said Valentin. As to the corn, I say it is trued but the Taos Indian delivered seven costales of corn, of fair quality, and three more of inferior grade of tithing, and I acknowledge having received twelve and one half fanegas.
Of the balance that was left, I cannot answer, other than that it is in charge of the Indian; but with the intelligence of what has been done, I will say what the two times I went to his house for corn, I took two mules on each occasion, that I fetched out, and what is left of the twelve fanegas I refer to, I delivered to Reverend Father Fra. Andres Garcia, which is that which was found to be left; and when charge with it, the said Indian gave as excuse that he had found a hole where a Comanche had entered and that he was killed there, and after this encounter the soldiers took what was left and being in his care, without responsibility nothing could be said to his relative to the increase. I should that I will never deny, as I also declare that I was ordered by Señor don Francisco Antonio Marin to replace with them those lost as certified to the Alcalde, don Carlos and that I shall deliver the principal at any time, the cart, old and no account, (bien mala) I gave to the Indian of storage of corn.
To the property which the deceased had, I present as witnesses, Juan Angel Billalpando, Juan Fresques and Diego Gallegos.
This is what I have to answer under the obligation (religion) of the oath made. The fifteenth day of October, in the year seventeen hundred and sixty-two. Antonio Martin (rubric)
Señor Alcalde Mayor:
Leonarda Torres and Petrona Torres, daughters of Marcial Torres and Maria Lujan, deceased, residents of the place call Santa Barbara, we appear before Your Honor in due form of law and as consistent with our rights here involved, and state: That having recognized, after the invasion of the enemy, the Comanches, the property belonging to our father, Marcial Torres, which has been collected by Antonio Martin, it is attested by a paper of Juan Domingo Lovato, that he delivered thirty-two cattle, and seven horses and one mule. In another of Joaquin El Burro in which he declares that he, his people, and an Indian woman of Antonio Martin, harvested twelve cart-loads of corn, which after being shucked measured out seventy costales of good corn, and thirty of inferior quality, this by order and command of Antonio Martin, who delivered as his tithe, seven costales; and we being the legal heirs of our father (peace to his ashes) it appears that in justice Your Honor should cause to be delivered to us the said property taking into your charge as guardian of minors and sole refuge of unprotected orphans, the increase of the breeding stock, which you can cause the said Antonio Martin to definitely account for, and in due legal form order them delivered to us, as also a cow and an ox, that were afterwards found and taken charge of by said Antonio Martin, who being required to make delivery of said property, has endeavored to satisfy us with the least part, denying the receipt of said property, whose delivery to him is clearly evident. It being also true that said Marcial Torres, our father, had this and other property, as may be shown by the statements which Señor Bentura Mestas, Antonio Mestas and Joseph Antonio Naranjo will make to Your Honor, as also those of Juan Domingo Lovato and Joaquin El Burro, who are ready to state the truth before Your Honor, or else here, at such time and place as Your Honor may deem fit and proper. He also appropriated a cart, which is now in possession of Joaquin El Burro who says that Antonio Martin gave it to him, and because the said Antonio Martin does not deliver to us in full, the aforesaid property we refuse to be satisfied otherwise, or with other arrangement. Therefore we ask and beseech that Your Honor order and provide as we have requested, wherein we will receive favor, which justly we ask.
We swear that this, our petition, in due form of law, is made in good faith as necessary, etc. etc.
Leonarda Torres (rubric)
Petrona Torres (rubric)
At this place called Soledad, of Rio Arriba, on the eleventh day of the month of October, in the year seventeen hundred and sixty two, before me, don Carlos Fernandes, Alcalde Mayor of this jurisdiction was presented the foregoing petition by Valentin Martin, and although it should have been represented as his own, inasmuch as he is the person represented in the foregoing proceedings, and the one not satisfied with the division made, and introducing it as a new article; notwithstanding this I admitted it insofar as related to its legal form, and agreeable to the prayer aforesaid I should have ordered, and did order, that a copy hereof be furnished Antonio Martin, that he may answer and plead, as the father of the late wife of Marcial Torres, who is now a captive, and as guardian of his grandchildren, that which may be just and proper.
I so ordered and provided, and signed as such judge, to which I certify.
Carlos Fernandes, (rubric), wit/ Miguel de Beitia, (rubric) and Juan Domingo Lovato, (rubric)
Señor Alcalde Mayor:
I, Antonio Martin, say that I answer to the petition presented by Valentin, in the name of Leonarda and Petrona Torres, and I have nothing more to say. Mister Alcalde Mayor, it is due me from Your Honor that you cite the witnesses that I offer, who are Juan Fresques, Diego Gallegos and Juan Angel Pando (Vialpando) and in all that may be required, etc. etc.
Antonio Martin, (rubric)
At this place called Nuestra Senora de la Soledad del Rio Arriba, on the eighteenth day of October, in the year seventeen hundred and sixty-two, I, the said Alcalde Mayor, having examined the answer given by Antonio Martin, decreed that the witnesses cited by the parties be examined before me, that in view of that may be deduced from their declarations proper action may be taken.
I so provided and signed, acting as said judge, to which I certify.
Carlos Fernandes, (rubric), wit/ Juan Doming Lovato, (rubric) and Miguel de Beitia, (rubric)
At this said place, said day, month and year, I said Alcalde Mayor, in virtue of the foregoing by me ordered.
Juan Fresques, a resident of Embudo, appearing as a witness in behalf of Antonio Martin, was sworn by me in due form of law under which oath he promised to tell the truth in that which he knows and may be asked, and it being if he knows what property Marcial Torres, deceased, had at the time of the death of the first wife of Marcial Torres; he said he did not know. And being asked if he knows what property said Torres had when he married the second time with Maria Martin. He said that he knows that when Marcial Torres moved from Rio Arriba to Santa Barbara, he took along with him two cows with calves and three dry cows, one yoke of oxen, one mule and two horses; and that he also knows that seven or eight months afterwards, he married Maria Martin, at Santa Barbara, and that he heard Marcial himself say, the day of the wedding, but before the ceremony was performed, that he had disposed of four cows, one for a serge dress pattern, one for a shirt, another for the officiating minister, for his fee, and another he killed for the feast.
Being asked if he knew anything else in connection with the case, he said; that after the aforementioned Marcial had moved to Taos he said to this affiant, “God has been pleased to turn things, my friend; I have now purchased seven cattle, two from Diego Gallegos, two of Juan Miribal, two of Talache and one of Joseph Delgado, at which purchase the affiant was present, it being made with a black horse, which he (Torres) had bought from the Comanches for a bridle; and he said that he knew no more than that already stated, which is true under the oath he had made.
This statement was then read to him, which he ratified and affirmed, stating that he was fifty-one years of age. He did not sign because he could not write.
I, the said Alcalde Mayor signed with the witnesses, acting as said judge, to which I certify.
Carlos Fernandez, (rubric), wit/ Francisco Sanches, (rubric) and Juan Domingo Lovato, (rubric)
At the aforesaid place, on the second day of the month of November in the year seventeen hundred and sixty-two, before me, the said alcalde mayor, came as a witness in behalf of said trustee, Antonio Martin, Juan Angel del Vialpando, who was duly sworn by me in the name of God our Lord and the Holy Crown, under which oath he promised to truthfully answer all questions asked him in so far as he knew, and being asked if he knew what property Marcial Torres, now deceased, possessed at the time of his second marriage, with Maria Martin, now a captive, he said that what he knew was, that soon after Marcial Torres married Maria Martin, he went from Santa Barbara to Embudo to live, and what he took with him were five grown cows and three heifers, and three oxen; of these he killed one. Of the heifers he sold one. As to the horse stock he only knew of one sorrel mule, which died on the porch of affiant’s house, and that he knew of no other property belonging to deceased. That what he has stated he knows to be true and he (affiant) herded and milked the cows, and that the statement he has made is true, and of his own knowledge, under the oath he has made.
And this his statement being read to him, he ratified and affirmed it, stating his age as thirty years. He did not sign because he could not write.
I, said Alcalde Mayor, signed it, acting as said judge, to which I certify.Carlos Fernandez, (rubric), wit/ Juan Domingo Lovato, (rubric) and Miguel de Beita, (rubric)
Señor Antonio Martin,
Uncle and very dear Sir;
I shall be happy if upon the receipt of these my affectionate lines you will be found enjoying health, in company of my Aunt, and the rest of the family.
Dear Sir: I saw Petrona relative to the decision of don Carlos, as to the division of the property, and she says that she is not satisfied with that division, the best I have been able to do with her. She says the only way she will be satisfied is that all the property be accounted for that was left, and equal division be made thereof, one part for your grandchildren, and the other part for her and her brothers and sisters, and she says she agrees to this, simple to obviate controversy. And if you admit to this arrangement, and if you wish to keep the mule you may do so, at its just value, and if you will admit to a division of the profits from the corn, and all else there may have been, in equal parts.
Therefore I shall esteem an answer as to whether you will admit or not, before taking further steps, that there be no resentment for having requested that which belongs to me and to my brothers and sisters.
Because you know that we were captured while working at the side of my father and stepmother and that you cannot deprive us of our right to the property, and no more. May God grant you many years.
Your obedient servant,
Said place on the sixth day of the month of November, of the current year, before me the said Alcalde Mayor, appeared Diego Gallegos, as the witness in behalf of Antonio Martin, who being sworn by me, in due form of law, under which oath he promised to truthfully answer all questions put to him, so far as he knew, Being asked if he knew what property Marcial Torres possessed at the time of the death of his first wife, he answered: that he did not know, being asked if he knew what he possessed when he married Maria Martin, who is now a captive, he said that he knew that when Marcial Torres went to live at Taos, he only took five cattle and two oxen, one mule and one mare, and that he know of no other stock, being as they were, great friends. And being asked what time passed between his second marriage and his removal to Taos, he said he did not remember, but that it was not very long. And being asked if he knew about the portion of corn that was harvested at Taos after the death of said of corn that was harvested at Taos after the death of said deceased, he said that when the Comanches were killed in the community in a room of the Pueblo, and belonging thereto there was a dead Commanche on top of the corn, which was said to belong to Torres, and that to the affiant there appeared to be a small quantity of corn, and of inferior quality. Being asked if he knew anything more about the case, he said that he knew that after Torres lived at Taos he bought many cows and horses, some of which were bought from Affiant; that he know no more that already stated, under oath, which is true.
This statement being read to him he ratified it and affirmed it, stating that he was thirty-four years old. He did not sign because he could not write. I, said Alcalde Mayor signed it, with the witnesses, acting as such judge, to which I certify.
Carlos Fernandez, (rubric), wit/ Juan Domingo Lovato, (rubric) and Miguel de Beitia, (rubric)
'to be continued.
References: Spanish Archives of New Mexico, Series I, Twitchell 987, Reel 5, Frames 725-824©Henrietta M. Christmas