Few New Mexicans today are familiar with the Marqués de Rubí. A member of the Spanish nobility, he carried royal orders in 1766 to conduct a major inspection of all 21 presidios guarding the frontier of northern New Spain (Mexico).
Those presidios, or forts, had been intended to hold in check Indian raiders, especially Apaches who terrorized Spanish settlements from Texas to the Gulf of California, but they had been largely ineffective.
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