The dramatic and tragic story of the only successful Native American uprising against the Spanish, the Pueblo Revolt of 1680.
With the conquest of New Mexico in 1598, Spanish governors, soldiers, and missionaries began their brutal subjugation of the Pueblo Indians in what is today the Southwestern United States. This oppression continued for decades, until, in the summer of 1680, led by a visionary shaman named Pope, the Puebloans revolted. In total secrecy they coordinated an attack, killing 401 settlers and soldiers and routing the rulers in Santa Fe. Every Spaniard was driven from the Pueblo homeland, the only time in North American history that conquering Europeans were thoroughly expelled from Indian territory.
Yet today, more than three centuries later, crucial questions about the Pueblo Revolt remain unanswered. How did Pope succeed in his brilliant plot? And what happened in the Pueblo world between 1680 and 1692, when a new Spanish force reconquered the Pueblo peoples with relative ease?
David Roberts set out to try to answer these questions and to bring this remarkable historical episode to life. He visited Pueblo villages, talked with Native American and Anglo historians, combed through archives, discovered backcountry ruins, sought out the vivid rock art panels carved and painted by Puebloans contemporary with the events, and pondered the existence of centuries-old Spanish documents never seen by Anglos.
David Roberts (1943–2021) was the author of dozens of books on mountaineering, adventure, and the history of the American Southwest. His essays and articles have appeared in National Geographic, National Geographic Adventure, and The Atlantic Monthly, among other publications.
"A close look at one of the most bloody, mysterious episodes in the history of what's now the Southwest....enticing stuff for buffs of things Southwestern, but more so to readers with an eye to the ironies and paradoxes of history."
-- Kirkus Reviews
"Roberts...tells this story with skill, passion, and a deep reverence for the traditions of the diverse Pueblo groups."