My mandate of the Alcalde Mayor, Señor don Carlos Fernandez, appointed by the Governor, don Francisco Marin del Valle, to take cognizance of these proceedings, I Antonio Martin, after seeing the plea entered by Valentin Martin, and in virtue of Your Honor’s decree, answer as guardian and trustee of the property of my grandchildren, the minor heirs of Marcial Torres, and under the law I allege that I have been unable to discover any relevancy in the testimony of the witnesses of Valentin Martin. As is plain in the declarations made by Bentura Mestas, Capt. Joseph Antonio Naranjo and Miguel be Beitia. These said and declare that said Marcial had this property at Abiquiu, which I do not doubt, but these witnesses do not say that this property was maintained until the said Marcial celebrated his second marriage with my daughter, which was the most necessary, not what he had before.
It is also true that those of Abiquiu, Ojo Caliente and Embudo, when we came down were of the point of perishing, and Marcial Torres the same; as it is also true that when he went up to Santa Barbara, he took along more wants than wealth and Valentin cannot demand something unjust. He asks for additional rights for the minor children, acting and petitioning with such bad faith when he alleges that the Governor did not know and ignored the first heirs, when it is a thing so clearly to be seen in the provision of the Governor “What should there be children of the first marriage, that they be served with these proceedings, which was done by don Carlos Fernandez”, and Valentin cannot well infer from a decree so clear. And should it be unjust that I maintain said property your Honor may so decree, and that it be delivered to whosoever may be best entitled thereto.
I have not kept this property of my own volition, but in obedience to the superior mandate of the Governor, as appears in these proceedings, and if my captive daughter, and my grandchildren have no rights, as alleged by Valentin, then I say, what is the reason that these, my children, should have no rights? If it is apparent to Your Honor, and to all the inhabitants in Taos, how my daughter help her husband, toiling and working, and even trading with the heathen tribes of Utes and Comanche, always with the purpose of adding to their store and to help her husband.
In this way were acquired the gains and profits, and not as claimed by Valentin, holding me responsible for old cart timbers, and for the corn that was in Taos, of which Your Honor is informed by the declarations of Juaquin El Burro and in further compliance I requested the said Valentin, before witnesses who are Francisco Casados, Simon Leyba and Vicente Crespin to go and receive the corn, which I was ordered to do. He refused. I requested him to receive the twenty-five pesos which I am ordered to deliver to him. He has refused, for the reason, as he alleges, that I am the one who wants the property so divided, at the ratio of twenty-five pesos, while I am not authorized so to do without order from Your Honor. I have obeyed the order to deliver to Valentin, as I have stated; and also if it is not just that I charge the estate with the novenary for the redemption of the captives, Your Honor will charge what it may be adequate therefore, which will not be difficult for me to satisfy, as I paid anniversary novenaries of Marcial, as is shown in the voucher of Fray Andres Garcia, which is among these proceedings.
Having examined the depositions introduced last, by request of Valentin Martin, as noted, I admit that the statements of Juan Domingo Lovato and Pablo Pando may be true, but I while living in my house, have seen no other cattle, those mentioned by Juan Fresquez and Juan Angel Pando, who herded these cattle of Marcial.
If this is well established I pray Your Honor may be pleased to heed the claim of these minors, and not permit prejudice be done their small estate as already determined by Your Honor, on third leaf of these proceedings, that no appraisers be appointed because it would incur expense to the said orphans. Therefore I shall expect from Your Honor due consideration toward these innocents that they be not made to suffer the expense occasioned by the action of Valentin Martin. I have given no motive whatever for the disobedience by which I am amenable to all that which Your Honor may decree and that which is legal and right, even though the burden fall upon my grandchildren I shall support them as I have done since they left their mother’s breast.
And if by good fortune, my captives should return again to us, I will support them, with God’s help. I do not want anything unjust. Therefore, I humbly pray that Your Honor order the partition of this property which has been a source of trouble to me, as much for the ill will occasioned, as my mistakes. I shall deem it a favor your hands with which I will be satisfied.
Antonio Martin, (rubric)
At this place, La Soledad del Rio Arriba, on the fourteenth day of May, in the year One thousand seven hundred and sixty-three and known to exist. Also to effect the division of the corn seed that is at the Pueblo of Taos in possession of the Indian, Joaquin El Burro, resident of that Pueblo; and Antonio Martin, father of the captive woman, and grandparent of the minors for his part shall exhibit vouchers for the property entering into his possession on belonging to these heirs, which shall be fixed at the end of these proceedings; and relative to the party, Valentin Martin, he has unwarrantably introduced a new article, without proof to support the claim, thereby adding costs, by the unwarranted introduction of this irrelevant article, and to him alone shall be assessed the costs incurred. And the Alcalde Mayor, pursuant to the tariff, shall compel their payment, as scheduled subsequent to the introduction of the new article, exacting to the full extent of the law should it be necessary. And relative to the novenary of prayers said for the captive heirs, which were paid by Antonio Martin, he shall be credited therewith on account that it was an act of charity, renouncing to the benefit of these same parties.
And for the execution of all that is herein ordered, these proceedings shall be returned to the aforesaid Alcalde Mayor, who after the conclusion of the matter will transmit them to this archive of my government.
And I, Thomas Veles Cachupin, Governor and Captain General of this kingdom of New Mexico, have so provided and signed, with two attesting witnesses, in absence of a notary, that there is none in this kingdom, I certify.
Thomas Vales Cachupin (rubric) and wit/ Manuel Antonio Lorenz, (rubric) and Domingo Labidie (rubric)
At this place of La Soledad, on the twenty second day of May, of the year Seventeen hundred and Sixty three, I the aforesaid Alcalde Mayor, in order to put into effect the provisions of the (unreadable), I , don Carlos Fernandez, Alcalde Mayor of this jurisdiction, having examined these proceedings, and attentive to what the witnesses presented by Valentin Martin, relative to the time that Marcial Torres came down from Abiquiu, shortly after becoming a widower, and that they may nothing about when he was married the second time, and those presented by Antonio Martin, who also fail to say anything relative to the time the second marriage was contracted, but only of things before or after that event; and for this reason, nothing is definite to my understanding; and arbitration by a high court appearing to me expedient for the determination of this business, inasmuch as the same doubts exist as when I gave the first decision, except as to the corn and the parties represented by Valentin not being satisfied with said decision and not finding any other course to take, according to my legal knowledge and understanding, I transmit this proceeding to your excellence the Governor and Captain General that he may take such action as may seem just.
Soledad, May fourteenth, in the year of 1763
Carlos Fernandes, (rubric)
City of Santa Fe, 20th of May 1763
Having examined these proceedings with attention as to what is therein set forth, following and in continuing of the first action, taken by the Alcalde Mayor, don Carlos Fernandes, who is now, and was then, a duly appointed administrator for that purpose by the Governor don Francisco Maria del Valle, my predecessor
I should have ordered, and did order, and definitely decreed, that the decision of the aforesaid Commissioner and Alcalde Mayor, don Carlos Fernandes, at last nine of these proceedings, as observed, complied with and executed in the division and partition between the parties, heirs to the property referred to foregoing final decision of don Thomas Vales Cachupin, Governor and Captain General of this kingdom. I should have ordered and so order that there appear before me the contesting parties to make them understand that which is ordered.
I so determined, ordered and signed, acting as said judge, to which I certify.
Carlos Fernandes, (rubric), wit/ Francisco Sanches, (rubric) and Gregorio Lucero, (rubric)
At the said place, I the said Alcalde Mayor, on the Twenty eighth day of May, in the year Seventeen hundred and Sixty three, explained to Antonio Martin and Valentin Martin, who were present, the decision given in these proceedings by Señor don Thomas Vales Cachupin, Governor and Captain General of this kingdom and being fully informed thereof, they said they would obey it, and they do obey. This they gave as their answer.
They did not sign because of not knowing how. I the said Alcalde Mayor signed it, acting as said judge, to which I certify
Carlos Fernandez. (rubric), wit/ Francisco Sanchez, (rubric) and Gregorio Lucero, (rubric)
The costs which the Governor orders to be paid by Valentin Martin, according to the tariff, are as follows:
To four instruments presented one with exhibits five dollars $5.00
To eight writs at one dollar each 8.00
To Two correlative answers at $2.00 2.00
To service of four writs at $1.25 each 5.00
To depositions of nine witnesses examined, less the fifty
cents for each question at $2.00 18.00
To the notification of decision at 50 cts . 50
Which amounts to Thirty eight dollars and four reals.
I swear not to have charged more.
Carlos Fernandez, (rubric)
References: Spanish Archives of New Mexico, Series I, Twitchell 987, Reel 5, Frames 725-824
©Henrietta M. Christmas