Recasting New Mexico History
It's been more than four centuries since Don Juan de Oñate led the first group of Spanish colonists into New Mexico, but the new monument commemorating the Spanish settlement has a history all its own.
Throughout New Mexico's proud but troubled history, Don Juan de Oñate has remained a divisive figure. Oñate brought Spanish culture to the region in 1598 when he led the first Spanish settlers to New Mexico and established the first capital. Yet by 1608 the Spanish Crown had removed Oñate from his position as governor and sent him back to Mexico City where he was tried for mistreating Pueblo Indians and abusing his power.