To the End of the Earth

A History of the Crypto-Jews of New Mexico

Stanley M. Hordes

Columbia University Press

To the End of the Earth

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Pub Date: April 2008

ISBN: 9780231129374

376 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $35.00£27.95

Pub Date: August 2005

ISBN: 9780231129367

376 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $90.00£74.95

Pub Date: August 2005

ISBN: 9780231503181

376 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $34.99£27.95

To the End of the Earth

A History of the Crypto-Jews of New Mexico

Stanley M. Hordes

Columbia University Press

In 1981, while working as New Mexico State Historian, Stanley M. Hordes began to hear stories of Hispanos who lit candles on Friday night and abstained from eating pork. Puzzling over the matter, Hordes realized that these practices might very well have been passed down through the centuries from early crypto-Jewish settlers in New Spain. After extensive research and hundreds of interviews, Hordes concluded that there was, in New Mexico and the Southwest, a Sephardic legacy derived from the converso community of Spanish Jews.

In To the End of the Earth, Hordes explores the remarkable story of crypto-Jews and the tenuous preservation of Jewish rituals and traditions in Mexico and New Mexico over the past five hundred years. He follows the crypto-Jews from their Jewish origins in medieval Spain and Portugal to their efforts to escape persecution by migrating to the New World and settling in the far reaches of the northern Mexican frontier.

Drawing on individual biographies (including those of colonial officials accused of secretly practicing Judaism), family histories, Inquisition records, letters, and other primary sources, Hordes provides a richly detailed account of the economic, social and religious lives of crypto-Jews during the colonial period and after the annexation of New Mexico by the United States in 1846. While the American government offered more religious freedom than had the Spanish colonial rulers, cultural assimilation into Anglo-American society weakened many elements of the crypto-Jewish tradition.

Hordes concludes with a discussion of the reemergence of crypto-Jewish culture and the reclamation of Jewish ancestry within the Hispano community in the late twentieth century. He examines the publicity surrounding the rediscovery of the crypto-Jewish community and explores the challenges inherent in a study that attempts to reconstruct the history of a people who tried to leave no documentary record.
To the End of the Earth is a true magnum opus and a fitting conclusion to decades of research. David Caffey, Prime Time
For those tracking... family histories, this may prove invaluable... For any reader interested in how culture survives, this book is an inspiring one. New Mexico
For any reader interested in how culture survives, this book is an inspiring one. New Mexico Magazine
The most extensively researched book on the subject to date... a compelling sociological study. Ze'ev Glicenstein, The Canadian Jewish News
This book, honestly researched and beautifully written, can enlarge understanding of the troubled road followed by our evolving Western civilization. Marc Simmons, Santa Fe New Mexican
A compelling sociological study. Bill Gladstone, AVOTAYNU
This is a well told and stunningly researched detective story. David J. Webber, Western Historical Quarterly
Remarkable-even astonishing-though, that we have had to wait until 2005 for a book to appear on a topic that is so intrinsically interesting and that so directly links North American history with that of the Iberian Peninsula. Hispanic American Historical Review
Hordes builds a compelling case that can not be easily dismissed. Dr. Fred Reiss, The Midwest Book Review
Hordes has made an important contribution to our understanding of the religious and ethnic diversity of the Southwest and of the force that the beliefs and practices he has brought to light continues to exert in the lives of the people of the region. Thomas M. Cohen, The Americas
[Hordes] reasons from past to present, and the present back to the past, constructing a message about the role of history in understanding how we see ourselves and how others see us. El Palacio
By both assembling the genealogical legacy of Judaism in New Mexico, and supplementing it with rich insight into the everyday practices of crypto-Jewish communities in New Spain, Hordes has made a remarkable contribution to the study of these people. Kathleen Holscher, H-NewMexico
Any scholar seriously interested in global history or putting the "American experience" in a global context would be well served to pick up a copy. Paul Kahan, Religious Studies Review
This book's combination of traditional archival research and oral history makes it a valuable addition to syllabi. Andrea Orzoff, The Public Historian
Table of Contents
Foreword
1 The origins of crypto-Judaism on the Iberian Peninsula, 200 B.C.E.-1492 13
2 The crypto-Jewish experience in New Spain, 1521-1649 30
3 The origins of the first crypto-Jewish settlement in New Mexico : Luis de Carvajal and the failed colony of Gaspar Castano de Sosa, 1579-1591 72
4 Juan de Onate and the participation of crypto-Jews in the first permanent colony in New Mexico, 1595-1607 104
5 Franciscans, the Inquisition, and secret Judaism in New Mexico, 1610-1680 133
6 The role of crypto-Jews in the life of the New Mexico colony, 1680-1846 177
7 Adjustments to Anglo-American society, 1846-1950 215
8 Vestiges of crypto-Judaism in New Mexico at the turn of the twenty-first century 243
App Pemphigus Vulgaris among Hispanos in New Mexico and its possible connection with crypto-Jewish populations 289

About the Author

Stanley M. Hordes is adjunct research professor at the Latin American and Iberian Institute at the University of New Mexico. He earned his Ph.D. in Mexican History at Tulane University, where he received a Fulbright Dissertation Fellowship to perform research in Mexico and Spain. He is the author of numerous articles on the history of crypto-Judaism in Mexico and the U.S. Southwest.