Vargas, Diego de
- John L. Kessell
Vargas, Diego de (baptized 8 Nov. 1643–08 April 1704), Spanish governor and recolonizer of New Mexico, was born in Madrid, Spain, the son of Alonso de Vargas Zapata, a cavalry captain, and María Margarita Contreras y Arráiz, the daughter of a royal treasury official. His mother died when he was five, and his father straightaway took a post in Guatemala. Benefiting from the amenities and home schooling of his class, young Vargas was raised in Spain by a caring extended family. By 1660 Vargas had outlived his older brother to become the family’s sole male heir. Briefly, he attended the University of Valladolid but gave it up to court and wed in 1664 his childhood friend, Beatriz Pimentel de Prado. Within six years they had five children, one of whom died in infancy. Meanwhile, news reached them of his father’s death in Santiago de Guatemala....