Literature and Southwest

Defying the Inquisition in Colonial New Mexico: Miguel de Quintana's Life and Writings

Edited by Francisco A. Lomelí
Edited by Clark Colahan
Translated by Francisco A. Lomelí
Translated by Clark Colahan

Miguel de Quintana was among those arriving in New Mexico with Diego de Vargas in 1694. He was active in his village of Santa Cruz de la Cañada, where he was a notary and secretary to the alcalde mayor, functioning as a quasi-attorney. Being unusually literate, he also wrote personal poetry for himself and religious plays for his community. His conflicted life with local authorities began in 1734 when he was accused of being a heretic. What unfolded was a personal drama of intrigue before the colonial Inquisition.

In this fascinating volume Lomelí and Colahan reveal Quintana’s writings from deep within Inquisition archives and provide a translation of and critical look at Quintana’s poetry and religious plays.


Francisco A. Lomelí is a professor of Spanish and Portuguese and Chicana/Chicano studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is also the coeditor of The Writings of Eusebio Chacón.

Clark A. Colahan is a professor emeritus of Spanish at Whitman College, Walla Walla, Washington. He is also the author of The Visions of Sor María de Agreda: Writing Knowledge and Power.


"Lomelí and Colahan's translation breathes life into Quintana's poems and prose."


American Catholic Studies

"This excellent work is a very welcome addition to the historiography of colonial New Mexico."


The Journal of Arizona History

"We are in debt to Francisco Lomeli and Clark Colahan for rediscovering an author who certainly deserves a place in the history of literature in New Mexico, the Spanish borderlands, and Chicano/Latino culture in general."


Hispanic American Historical Review

6 x 9 in. 248 pages 18 halftones, 1 map