Antonio Valverde y Cosío

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Antonio Valverde y Cosío
38th Spanish Governor of New Mexico
In office
Preceded by Félix Martínez
Succeeded by Juan Páez Hurtado
40th Spanish Governor of New Mexico
In office
Preceded by Juan Páez Hurtado
Succeeded by Juan Estrada de Austria
Personal details
Born 1670
Villapresente, Cantabria, Spain
Died December 1728
El Paso, Texas
Profession Political and military

Antonio Valverde y Cosío (born 1670 - died 1728) was a prominent entrepreneur and Spanish soldier who served as interim governor of New Mexico in 1716 and 1718 - 1721. His politics was based, in large part, on stopping the French invasion of New Mexico.


Early life[edit]

Antonio Valverde y Cosío was born around 1670 at Villapresente, Cantabria, Spain.[1] He was son of Antonio Velarde and Juana de Velarde y Cosío. [1][2] Valverde emigrated to New Spain attracted by various business interests he had in the region. Thus, he began working in Sombrerete, Zacatecas, (México), as there was discovered rich minerals were in 1646. Over time, he and his associates created an important business in the area. The success of their partnership transanlántica grew throughout the next twentyfour years. In 1693, Diego de Vargas, governor of New Mexico, recruited settlers and soldiers from Sombrerete. Thus, Valverde decided to join the group and eventually reached the position of secretary of Vargas. From June 1694 Until July 1697, he served as military in New Mexico to impose Spanish authority there and restore the region's Hispanic population. Over the next two years (1694–96), he and Vargas participated in the war against the Puebloan peoples. who had rebelled against Spanish sovereignty since 1980, because of the bad politics of Juan Francisco Treviño, who subjected them and tortured them. He had a bloody fight with Taos and Picuris. In December 1695, Valverde was promoted as captain of the presidio. In early June 1696 started a new war with the revolt the Tewa, along with Tewas, some Tiwas, Keres, and Jemez. He participated in many battles during this year, between them in the assault on the Mesa at Acoma. In that year, Valverde suffered a serious illness, so Vargas gave permission to go to Mexico City to get treatment for their disease. In July 1697 don Pedro Rodríguez Cubero replaced to Vargas as governor. Rodríguez Cubero presented complaints against Vargas and Antonio Valverde de Cosío. However, as Valverde was in this moment in Spain, those allegations affected him not, while Vargas had to spend several years in prison. Valverde shared with Juan Bautista de Saldúa the captaincy of the El Paso presidio, having that position for the remainder of his life. Also, was become to the chief civilian governmental office at El Paso, its alcalde mayor. He developed New Mexico’s most lucrative farming, wine-producing, and stock-raising property, the hacienda of San Antonio de Padua and the downriver from El Paso. In addition, he controlled much of the economy of El Paso and trade and business of whole territory of New Mexico. In 1705, he become in teniente general serving to governor Francisco Cuervo y Valdés. In 1708, he also was named regidor de primer voto (councilman) and alguacil mayor of the city council of Santa Fe. In 1712 and 1714 he fight against the among Suma Indians and Faraón Apaches, that be had revolted against the Spanish.[1]

Government from New Mexico[edit]

He was appointed acting governor of New Mexico in 1716 replacing to Félix Martínez , governor of this territory. After being replaced in the same year by Juan Paez Hurtado, he regained the government of the Spanish province in 1718.[1][3] His politically was based in the encroachment of French invasion of the Great Plains on New Mexico’s eastern and northeastern fringe. In 1719 Spain and France joined forces to cope with the Comanches and Utes, as Valverde y Cosío led a column of Spanish troops and auxiliary Amerindian tribes to punish enemies of the crown. Upon reaching the Arkansas River, south the Colorado, the Apaches of El Cuartelejo told him of the French presence in palnicies. One of the Apaches also said him that the French build two villages among the Amerindians Pawnee, west of the Missouri River, as big as Taos in New Mexico. He also said that the French were arming the Indians and they dedicated themselves to insult the Spanish.[3] Therefore, Valverde went to North of New Mexico by try braked at French expansion establishing a mission on the northeastern flank of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and to set up a presidio in El Cuartelejo (Colorado). In September start looking to Comanches (in his zones had a French expansion) with 600 men, but he never be meet with them. In 1720, in Santa Fe, he went with a small group of explorer to farther north on the Plains.[1] On his return to Santa Fe, the governor sent a report to the viceroy in concluding that the French were preparing to enter New Mexico gradually attracting the tribes with gifts and giveaways that included firearms. On January 10, 1720 the viceroy Valero ordered the governor Valverde to establish a Presidio in the settlement of El Cuartelejo Apache, and he launched another expedition in search of the French settlements among the Pawnee. The governor Valverde suggested the viceroy that he the placed among the Native American peoples, the Jicarilla, just 40 miles from Santa Fe, and the cultivated fields, yet the Apaches of El Cuartelejo, allies of the Spanish, were at 130 miles and they don't supplies as they could not adequately defend themselves. The viceroy agreed to the suggestion. The Spanish troops fulfilled their orders and they into unknown territory further north. In June 1720, Villasur, chosen to lead that expedition, went with 100 men, between them many Pueblo, to the confluence of the Loup and North Platte River in Nebraska. In New Mexico, were attacked by the Pawnees and Otos. The Plains natives had used some firearms in the attack. They killed many explorers.[1] Valverde y Cosío He stepped down as governor of the province in 1721 because this year the viceroy of New Spain appointed the new governor of the province, Juan Estrada de Austria.[3]

Last years[edit]

Valverde was accused of having facilitated the murder of his explorers with the expedition of Villasur, giving this a fine of 200 pesos. however, the prosecution took place after 7 years of research on the subject and Valverde had again become rancher in El Paso. city where he lived until his last days.[1] Antonio Cosío died on December 15, 1728 in El Paso, Texas.[2] He was buried in the mission at Guadalupe del Paso[1]

Personal life[edit]

Although Cosío never married, had several children: Antonia de Valverde, María Rosa de Valverde, Juana de Valverde and Antonio de Valverde. He also was the uncle of Juan Domingo Bustamante, future governor of Spanish New Mexico. He was perhaps the wealthiest man in New Mexico, having the hacienda San Antonio de Padua that had large wheat fields, a flour mill, a vineyard, a farm (comprising sheep and cattle, hundreds of horses and mules, hogs and goats), 9 black and mulato slaves, and more of 30 Apache and farm laborers, etc....[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i New Mexico Office of the State Historian: Antonio de Valverde Cosio. by Richard Flint and Shirley Cushing Flint. Retrieved February 24, 2015.
  2. ^ a b Valverde y Cosío. Genealogies. consulted in may 07, 2011, to 13:09 pm.
  3. ^ a b c Martínez Laínez, Fernando and Canales Torres, Carlos. Banderas lejanas: La exploración, conquista y defensa por parte de España del Territorio de los actuales Estados Unidos (Flags far: The exploration, conquest and defense by Spain of the Territory of the present United States). Page 228-229. Fourth edition: September 2009.