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The story of Governor Bent’s massacre as told by his daughter Teresina Bent Scheurich

He was killed on January 19, 1847, at about six in the morning. We were in bed when the Mexicans and Indians came to the house, breaking the doors. Some of them were on the top of the house, tearing the roofs, so we got up, and father stepped to the porch asking them what they wanted. They answered him, we want your head gringo. We do not want for any of you gringos to govern us, as we have come to kill you.
Father told them, “What wrong have I done to you? When you come to me for help, I always help you and your families. I have cured you people and never charged you anything.”
“Yes, you did, but you have to die now so that no American is going to govern us.” Then they commenced shooting with the arrows and guns while he was talking to them.
Mother went to him and said, “Why don’t you jump on one of those horses that you have in the corral and go somewhere?”
Father told her, “It would not do for a Governor to run away and leave his family in danger. If they want to kill me, they can kill me here with my family.”

Mrs. Carson and Mrs. Boggs, and an Indian slave dug a hole to the next house; so between the four women, they took him where they had dug out the wall. So he commenced putting all of us children first, then Mrs. Carson and Mrs. Boggs. He wanted my mother to go next, but she told him, “You go first, as I do not think they want to kill me but you.”

Governor Bent Museum
Governor Bent Museum, location where the hole was carved into the wall.

So she had him go first, but when he was going through, the arrows he had in his head hurt him, so he pulled them out and crushed them against the wall. Then, he went through the hole into the next house. Then mother was going, and an Indian had found where they went. He was going to shoot Mama, but the slave woman stood in front of mother, and the poor Indian was killed. Then he struck mother on the back with the butt of the gun.

Father went with all of us to a little room, and he sat and took his memoranda book. I suppose he wanted to write something, but by that time, the whole crowd of Mexicans and Indians got to the room where we were. They commenced to shoot at him, scalp him and strip him of his clothes. When they had killed him, some of the crowd wanted to kill all the family, but some of the Mexicans said, “No women folks, and children.” We must not kill, but we will not help them in anything.

So they left us about three o’clock. A man by the name of Manuel Gregorio Martin came to see us. He asked mother, “What are you going to do about the burial of the Governor?
She said, “I have nobody to see about it. I have no clothes for him nor nothing.” So this man told her that he had a pair of trousers and a vest. So he went to his house and brought the clothes and then he went to see if he would find somebody to make the coffin.

The next day, he had the coffin, and he buried him. So we stayed in the Lashones house for three days till Mrs. Catalina Lovato de Valdez sent for us. Before we went to a man by the name of Juan Bautista vigil, one of the best to do gentlemen. He came to the house of Lashones about three o’clock in the morning and brought us provisions and clothes as we did not have anything, as they stole everything from our house and all of us were with our nightgowns.
We stayed at the house of Mrs. Valdez till the Americans came. That was 15 days after Father was killed, and the American soldiers got here on the 3rd of February 1847. They went to fight the Mexicans and the Indians on the 4th of February. They killed about 250 there in the Pueblo and had 6 Mexicans hanging here in the middle of the Plaza. If I am not mistaken, 16 Indians were hung too somewhere neat Mr. Phillips Studio.
At the same time that father was killed, they also killed the town Sheriff Luis Estaven Lee, Cornelio Vigil, Mother’s Uncle, Provote Judge Lawyer Lea, Pablo Jaramillo, mother’s brother, and Narcizo Beaublen. In Arroyo Hondo, they killed Turley, the owner of the Distillery, and seven men that were working there.
This is my recollections, as a child of 5 years.

 

References:
Bents’ Stockade: Hidden in the Hills by Hurd, C. W.: Very …. https://www.abebooks.com/Bents-Stockade-Hidden-Hills-Hurd-Bent/22628884922/bd

Voces de Santa Fé – The Murder of Governor Charles Bent …. http://vocesdesantafe.org/explore-our-history/taos/1687-the-murder-of-governor-charles-bent-january-19-1847

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