Otermin, Antonio De
OTERMÍN, ANTONIO DE (?–?). The known facts of Antonio de Otermín's life are centered around the Pueblo Indian Revolt, which occurred in New Mexico in 1680. On August 10 of that year Indian discontent with Spanish rule erupted in the revolt, described by Hubert H. Bancroft as “the greatest disaster that ever befell Spain on the northern frontier, if not indeed in any part of America.” From Taos to Santa Fe and from Isleta to Zuñi occurred murder, pillage, devastation, and desecration. For a short time Santa Fe under the leadership of Governor Antonio de Otermín held out, as did Isleta under Capt. Alonso García. But when communication between these two groups became impossible, the two commanders decided independently to flee southward to the comparative safety of the Pass of the North, the future site of El Paso, Texas. The two groups of refugees met at Fray Cristóbal, New Mexico, on September 13, some five weeks after the initial outbreak. Here they rested for a few days before continuing their retreat. On September 18 they reached La Salineta, about four leagues (roughly ten miles) north of the mission Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, founded in 1659 in the El Paso area to convert the Mansos. Their spirits were greatly bolstered with the arrival of a large supply expedition of some twenty-four wagons of provisions led by Fray Francisco de Ayeta coming from the south. Here at La Salineta the refugees remained through the first week of October.
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