TRES ALAMOS, 1751 PIMA REVOLT REFUGEE SITES
Most work carried out on the historic period in southern Arizona focuses on missions and presidios, even when
discussing the local indigenous populations. In the last decade I have carried out a substantial amount of work on
native settlements, both at mission sites and independent of them. The O'odham had variable responses to
colonialism, unlike the documentary record which states that they welcomed Kino and the new religion and social
order in general. Yet, at least a portion of O'odham tradition tells another story. Many O'odham rejected the new
circumstances and did not embrase the new religion. One of the most important protests occurred in 1751 when a
widespread rebellion occurred that is referred to as the Pima Revolt. This rebellion was led in part by Luis
Oacpicagigua, an O'odham from Saric.
By 1751 Tres Alamo was occupied. The location does not seem to have been occupied during the Kino period as no
settlements were mentioned in the Los Alamos area.
Documentary sources tell us that during the Pima Revolt of 1751, Sobaipuri settlements on the Santa Cruz moved to
the lower San Pedro:
“Very soon after the unpropitious beginning of their own rebellion, the
Indians of Tubaca [near Tubac] packed up and moved to Tres Alamos on the
lower San Pedro River, where they were joined by their neighbors from
Tumacacori who had departed from their homes on receiving word of the
uprising from Guebavi. A couple of other small rancherías also took refuge at
Tres Alamos. There the people of Tubac seem to have remained through the
winter, although they may have joined Captain-General Oacpicagigua's force
in the Santa Catalina mountains.”
Recently identified Sobaipuri sites are shown as circles in this image. There are 12 total within about
a mile long stretch of the river. None of these Sobaipuri sites on the west side of the San Pedro were
previously known, even though surveys had been conducted in the area. The location and nature of
these sites suggest that they are the refugee villages related to the 1751 Pima Revolt.
In support of the hypothesis that this cluster of sites might be Tres Alamos, one chronometric date has been
obtained so far. A Whetstone Plain sherd was collected from the surface of a house at AZ BB:15:57. This
produced an age of AD 1758-1786 (UW2521) which is consistent with a mid-century occupation related to the
Pima Revolt and potentially indicates a continued occupation of the area by recalcitrant O'odham who did
not return to the mission settlements even after the uprising.
This map, originally drawn in 1732 shows the village of Tres Alamos, which is not occupied during Kino's time.
Large segments of the O'odham population rose in protest. The documentary record indicates that many left their
mission settlements and fled to refugee sites in the Santa Catalina Mountains, on the slopes of Baboquivuri Peak,
and to Tres Alamos.
General location of Tres Alamos.
Maps from the period also show an indigenous settlement in this area, called Tres Alamos.
Recently we have found several Sobaipuri-O'odham sites in the area inferred to be the historically referenced Tres Alamos.
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