NEW SPAIN'S TREATY WITH THE NAVAJOS, 18191

Internal Provinces of the East

Office of the Most Excellent Commander-General,
Field Marshal Don Alejo Garcia Conde.

Most Excellent Sir - On the 18th of last August the Interim-Governor of New Mexico, Lieutenant-Colonel Don Facundo Melgares, gave me news that as a result of Your Excellency's superior foresight that he should proceed to conclude peace with the Navajos according to the proper terms, the principal leader, 4 headmen and 18 warriors of said nation recently presented themselves to him in the capital of Santa Fe.

These being drawn up under the conditions and procedures that the attached document relates, he sent them to me by special courier the 25th of the same August; and although nothing appears that would not be favorable, and even advantageous, with respect to us, I have acknowledged receipt warning him to await Your Excellency's decision, to whom I report all so that you may be served, if you consider it well, to dispense your higher approval, or to make to me the advice that you might consider proper.

And that expressed being as much as has come to my attention from the time of the last report until the present date that is worthy of Your Excellency's attention with relation to news of enemies in the area of the provinces of Nueva Viscaya (Chihuahua), Sonora and New Mexico of the district of my command, I report it to Your Excellency for your information, satisfaction and other corresponding reasons.

May God keep Your Excellency many years.
Durango, September 20, 1819.
Most Excellent Sir
(Field Marshal) Alejo Garcia Conde
Most Excellent Viceroy Count of Venadito.

Agreement of peace with the Navajo Nation between the Governor of the Province of New Mexico, the principal leader of said nation, the Peace Chief (Cacique) and three captains.

1. On the 1st of last April acceding to the requests of the Navajos, I conceded them peace and friendship in the name of our beloved Sovereign of the Spains and of the Indies, Seņor Don Fernando VII (May God keep him), and it being arranged by the orders of the authority of this government, the tribe ceasing to make war. I offered them the conditions under which peace would be granted to them, and they are as follows:
   
2. A general of the Navajo Nation will be named so that this government of New Mexico might have someone to address regarding what might happen and who might govern and direct it. - Agreed.
   
3. The general will be the captain, Joaquin, due to his abilities and friendship with the Spaniards or another whom the tribe might name, proposing as many captains as might be sufficient to govern the different families or bands, who this government will approve and grant the corresponding appointments. - Agreed.
   
4. The general will live as close as might be possible to Jemez, in order that the Spaniards and Navajos might meet thus for the prompt settlement of business that might arise. - Agreed.
   
5. This chief and the others of the bands will take care that their people plant and work to aid their subsistence. - Agreed, giving thanks.
   
6. The general will be responsible to this government for happenings that occur between Spaniards and Navajos and the captains to the Navajo general for what might be relative to their bands. - Agreed.
   
7. If some misfortune should occur between Spaniards and Navajos, common cause will not be made of it and the punishment of the culprit or culprits with their accomplices will be negotiated. - Agreed.
   
8. If the aggressor is Navajo and is known, he will be sent under arrest by the general of the nation and will be handed over to this government in just fulfillment so that it may punish him in accordance with his crime, that it will always be mercifully, since their way of life and other circumstances do not permit them the facilities for punishing offenders, compensating for damages if it should be possible or convenient; if the offender should be Spanish, the general or the injured party will make representation to this government, from whom he will receive satisfaction with the punishment that the culprit deserves and repayment if it should be necessary. - Agreed.
   
9. The peace will be broken for no personal or private incident, and this government will religiously observe that conceded, so much so that the Navajos will not break it by their own interests nor make unjust demands upon nor molest the citizens, shepherds and others of the province. - Agreed.
   
10. In the name of the Sovereign (although with their ill-timed and senseless hostilities they have been made undeserving) there is conceded to the said Navajo Tribe the lands that until now they have made use of for plantings, pastures and other uses that might be applicable to them, with such reforms as have been repeatedly proposed, they should observe peace and harmony with the Spanish, half-breed and Indian people of the province. - Agreed, with thanks.
   
11. As a prevention of disturbances and for the conservation of peace, it agrees to determine the limits for the livestock of the province, in order to be understood by use and the other, neither might they allege ignorance, nor make a reason for complaints and disputes, and although the condition of the arms of His Majesty permitted more extension, it will be limited to the old demarcation. - Agreed.
   
12. The line remains established on the old footing without alteration as far as Canyon Largo, the mouth of Chaco Canyon and Bluewater, lands which the livestock of the province has generally reached in past years, in which peace happily reigned, and to which they will arrive now, without passing the set limits. - Agreed.
   
13. In order that this may be more secure and durable, four youths will stay as hostages in this capital and they will be relieved each year by an equal number at the decision of the Navajo General, or before, when and how said Navajo General, or before, when and how said Navajo chief might decide. And that a captain will substitute for the youths. - Agreed.
   
14. The hostages will be well treated and they will be supplied with that necessary for their subsistence from the account of His Majesty, the Sovereign of the Spains. - The captain that will replace the youths will enjoy the said benefit. - Agreed.
   
15. Although this measure assures to said nation its tranquility as much as this government wishes that which is good form it, it is proper to make it understand most patently the benign ideas in its favor that nourish a paternal government that proceeds from the most amiable and benign Sovereign in the world, a feat of generosity that would do credit to it: handling over to them the prisoners that exist in this capital, as in fact there will be handed over when these conditions are fulfilled, by which it could be realized promptly. - Agreed, giving thanks.
   
16. They will respect the persons and property of the Moqui Pueblos, because this government takes them under the protection of its amiable Sovereign, in whose shadow they have been placed. - Agreed.
   
17. In just return this govenment expects a perpetual peace and sincere and cordial harmony, to which on its part it will contribute with great care, rejoicing henceforth, so that saturated by so much kindness they will comport themselves gratefully, and the Navajo general, the captains and other individuals will carefully flee from all that could alter such a beneficial situation, they will raise their livestock, will tranquilly cultivate their lands, and enjoy the fruits of their labors in abundance and the energetic protection of the Monarch of the Spains that loves them tenderly, desiring their happiness as the superior government. - Agreed, giving thanks.
   
18. It will be sent to the Most Excellent Seņor Commander-General so that by this channel it might reach the Most Excellent Seņor Viceroy, Count of Venadito, so that if His Excellency considers it well, to give his approval, or to resolve that which might be to his superior liking concerning all. In Santa Fe on the 21st of August, 1819. - Agreed.

Facundo Melgares, Governor
Joaquin, Principal Leader (of the Navajos)
Gordo, for the (Navajo) Peace Chief (Cacique)
Vicente, (Navajo) Captain
Salvador, (Navajo) Captain
Francisco, (Navajo) Captain

Mexico, October 26, 1819. - I approve this agreement in the name of the King, Our Lord (May God Keep him) - Viceroy of New Spain, Count of Venadito.

Answer that His Excellency gave to the office of the Most Excellent Seņor Field Marshal Don Alejo Garcia Conde.

Most Excellent Sir - With reference to Your Excellency's letter number 349 of last September 20th which I answer, I have received the agreement of peace executed with the Navajo Nation by Lieutenant-Colonel Don Facundo Melgares, Interim-Governor of the Province of New Mexico, and having understood its different articles. I have come to approve in the name of the King, Our Lord (May God keep him) said agreement in all its parts, and I have ordered that for greater authority and firmness it be published in the gazette of this government, advising Your Excellency for your knowledge, and remitting ten copies so that giving six to the principal persons of the Navajo Nation, two might remain in that general headquarters and the other two with the government of New Mexico for its proper conservation and fulfillment, and to whose chief Your Excellency will give thanks in the name of His Majesty for this new service, as well as to the Navajos for their adherence to his paternal government and Sovereign Royal Person. Mexico, October 26, 1819.

FOOTNOTES

  1. Treaty of Aug. 21, 1819; Translation by David M. Brugge and Harrison Lapahie Jr.

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