Rada, Manuel de Jesús

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Rada, Manuel de Jesús

Manuel de Jesús Rada (early 1800s), priest, politician, and author. Rada was pastor of the parish of Villa de Santa Cruz de la Cañada, northwest of Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 1821. Santa Cruz, the seat of regional government, incorporated the Indian pueblos of Santa Clara, San Ildefonso, Pojoaque, Nambé, San Juan, Taos, Picuris, and Abiquiú, with a population of just over 6,500. As the community leader, Rada delivered a trapping license from Governor Bartolomé Baca to William Becknell, establisher of the Sante Fe Trail, on 29 October 1824.

Rada was pastor of San Juan pueblo and vicar of Río Arriba from 1826 to 1828. He was elected as a deputy to the national Congress in October 1828; his report to New Mexico constituents in Chihuahua, dated 13 November 1828 and printed in Zacatecas, was later used by Deputy Diego Archuleta in 1845 to promote development of New Mexico. In January 1829, Rada presented Proposición hecha al Soberano congreso general de la unión, which called for increased spending on defense and education; development of industry; foreign investment; efficient, qualified government; abolition of taxes on tobacco and gunpowder; and abolition of tithes.

See alsoNew Mexico; Pueblo Indians.


David J. Weber, ed., Northern Mexico on the Eve of the United States Invasion (1976).

David J. Weber, The Mexican Frontier, 1821–1846 (1982).

Additional Bibliography

Esquibel, José Antonio. Seeds of Struggle, Harvest of Faith. Albuquerque, NM: LPD Press, 1998.

                                     W. Michael Mathes