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Historia mexicana

versión On-line ISSN 2448-6531versión impresa ISSN 0185-0172


TORRE CURIEL, José Refugio de la  y  PEREZ GONZALEZ, Ana Isabel. “We Haven’t Kept Our Word”: Peace Negotiations Between Apaches and Spaniards in New Biscay, 1787. Hist. mex. [online]. 2020, vol.69, n.3, pp.1023-1089.  Epub 09-Sep-2020. ISSN 2448-6531.

Since the end of the 16th Century, different primary sources have recorded the presence of groups known as Apaches throughout the northern border region of New Spain. As Spanish settlements advanced north in the 17th Century, and as these indigenous groups were displaced to the south, violent confrontations between the two became recurrent. The classic studies on this subject, produced by American and Spanish authors, have shown that the Spanish Crown erratically oscillated between policies of war and negotiation as a response to the Apache threat, and that the critical point in terms of the definition of a firm policy regarding these indigenous groups came in 1786, under Viceroy Bernardo de Gálvez. This article argues that the fluctuation between war (offensive or defensive) and peace treaties (through gifts and the settlement of Apaches near forts) not only obeyed changes in Spanish diplomatic policy at a higher level, but also arose from the distance that separated high-ranking military commanders from the lived experiences of both Apaches and Spaniards at the local level. The case of the failed attempt to negotiate peace with the Mescaleros of New Biscay in 1787 reveals the way in which fissures in the Spanish chain of command and the cultural distance between the Apaches and the military hierarchy made it difficult to build lasting peace at the end of the 18th Century.

Palabras llave : Mescaleros; Comanches; Domingo Díaz; Presidio del Norte; Junta de los Ríos.

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