About Santa Fe » General » History » Spanish Settlements

Albuquerque was founded near the Rio Grande by Captain Hurtado, Father Juan Minguez, and 252 original settlers who acquired land from the Spanish government on a provisional basis. Other settlements were established as far north as Ojo Caliente and beyond the Pecos. The Genizaro settlements of Abiquiu, Tome, Belen, and San Miguel were established as defensive zones on the outer areas of the province.

New crops, including wheat, were introduced, planted, and grown throughout the province. Grapes for wine were introduced to the region. Apple, cherry, and apricot trees were brought into the area. Sheep were more prevalent than cattle in New Mexico and the Indians used the wool for weaving instead of cotton. Punche, a native false tobacco was being planted to replace the tobacco plant. A few vegetables were also planted to supplement the food supply of the settlers and the Indians. After these crops were harvested, they became trade goods.