History Talk: What A Price A Human: Indian Captives in NM by Robert Torrez


Saturday, January 21 at 2 pm

On January 21 at 2pm, Placitas Community Library will host former New Mexico State Historian, Robert J. Torrez. Mr. Torrez will share his knowledge of the practice of incorporating Indian Captives into Hispano households in Spanish, Mexican and Territorial-era New Mexico. He will review the process by which Indian Captives were acquired and how they were valued—ranging from those who were regarded as adopted children to those who were consider chattel to be purchased, sold, and even given away as inheritances and as parts of commercial trade. Yes, some Native people were treated as slaves here in New Mexico.

Robert J. Torrez was born and raised in northern New Mexico. He received his undergraduate and graduate education at New Mexico Highlands and UNM and served as the New Mexico State Historian from 1987 until his retirement in December 2000. In addition to the more than three hundred columns he has published under his Voices from the Past byline in Round the Roundhouse, he is author of dozens of scholarly and popular articles in regional and national publications and contributed to nearly two dozen anthologies, including a recent New Mexico history textbook for use in New Mexico schools. He has a special interest in the judicial systems of Spanish, Mexican, and Territorial-era New Mexico, Spanish-Indian relations, and land grant issues. He is an award-winning author of UFO’s over Galisteo; New Mexico in 1876-1877:   A Newspaperman’s View; Rio Arriba, a New Mexico County (with co-author Robert Trapp); Myth of the Hanging Tree:  Stories of Crime and Punishment in Territorial New Mexico; and Voices from the Past:  The Comanche Raid of 1776 and Other Tales of New Mexico History.

This event is being sponsored by the Historical Society of New Mexico. Click here for the flier.