Beyond the Grave 2023: An Evening with Bram Stoker * Click here for tickets:
June 29, 2023

Episode 140 - Spellbound in the Southwest: The Witch Trials of Abiquiu with Rick Hendricks, PhD

Episode 140 - Spellbound in the Southwest: The Witch Trials of Abiquiu with Rick Hendricks, PhD

Jennie and Dianne are joined by Rick Hendricks, PhD to learn about a series of fascinating witch trials that took place not in New England, but in the border town Abiquiu, New Mexico beginning in 1756 and spanning over the course of ten years ending in 1766.  Governor Tomás Vélez Cachupin had a plan to bring peace to the early settlers of New Mexico by granting land to the Genizaros, who were indigenous peoples with a Hispanic influence. The colony was in danger due to the resistance of the Pueblos against Christianization and the attacks by nomadic tribes including the Utes and Comanches. At the same time, Father Juan José Toledo, claimed that the Genizaros had cast a spell on him. In response, Governor Vélez Cachupín gathered religious leaders to discuss the unusual events in Abiquiu. Rick Hendricks explains the finer points of these Ordinary Extraordinary witch trials while also explaining the differences and similarities to the more widely known Salem witch trials of the 1692.

Illustrations of events related to the Abiquiu witch trials and posted to social media and our website, are by Glen Strock and are shared with permission.

To purchase the book, "The Witches of Abiquiu: The Governor, The Priest, The Genízaro Indians, And the Devil", follow this link:

Rick Hendricks, PhD.Profile Photo

Rick Hendricks, PhD.

New Mexico State Records Administrator

Rick Hendricks, PhD, is the New Mexico state records administrator. He was state historian from 2010 until 2019. He received his BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1977 and his PhD from the University of New Mexico in 1985. He also studied history of Spain in the Americas at the Universidad de Sevilla. Rick is a former editor of the Vargas Project at the University of New Mexico. After the conclusion of the Vargas Project, he worked at New Mexico State University, most notably on the Durango Microfilming Project, helping to produce and edit a 1,400-page guide to the collection. At NMSU Rick also taught courses in colonial Latin America and Mexican history. He has written extensively on the history of the American Southwest and Mexico. He has written, cowritten, and coedited more than twenty books. Among his recent books are Pueblo Indian Sovereignty: Land and Water in New Mexico and Texas (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2019) and Pablo Abeita: The Life of Times of a Native Statesman of Isleta Pueblo, 1871-1940 (2023) coauthored with his long-time writing partner, Malcolm Ebright.