ERIC Number: ED222969
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980
Reference Count: 0
America's Earliest Revolutionary Voice: Po-Pay--Not Patrick Henry.
Owen, Gordon R.
A full century before Patrick Henry's persuasive battle for the rights of oppressed people, a San Juan Pueblo Indian medicine man known only as Po-Pay was the masterful communicator and agitator who orchestrated the first American revolution to drive the Spanish back into Mexico. Seeking mineral wealth, cheap labor, and the maximum number of Christian converts, the Spanish colonists immediately clashed with their Pueblo hosts in the Rio Grande Valley of northern New Mexico. As Indian-Spanish antagonisms steadily worsened, the period from 1635 to 1665 saw Po-Pay gain considerable renown and respect as a medicine man and leader in San Juan and neighboring pueblos. Po-Pay began to urge unity, establish communication networks, and whisper of armed revolt. He relied on multilingual traders, the strict adherence to Pueblo religious beliefs, and absolute secrecy to spread the word of the planned revolt. Coordinated fury broke out all across the province simultaneously on August 10, 1680, 3 days earlier than the Spanish governor's spies had predicted. Po-Pay proved himself an effective communicator, calling for attacking smaller settlements first to secure horses and weapons and as a psychological boost for the ultimate attack on Santa Fe. He also effectively controlled his followers in victory, ordering them to refrain from further acts of aggression on the long columns of Spanish refugees moving southward from Sante Fe. Many historical assessments of Po-Pay were said again, with modifications, about Patrick Henry's persuasive tactic a century later. (HTH)
Publication Type: Reports - General
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Po Pay; Pueblo (People)