Oñate, Juan de
- Julia C. Frederick
Oñate, Juan de (1551–03 June 1626), frontiersman and colonial administrator, was born in Nueva Galicia, Mexico, the son of Cristóbal de Oñate, a provincial governor, and Doña Cathalina de Salazar. Cristóbal de Oñate is noted for discovering and developing the silver mines at Zacatecas, Mexico. Little is known of Juan’s childhood except that he followed his father’s lead, discovering the rich mines at Zichú, Charcas, and San Luis Potosí and became renowned on the northern frontier of New Spain for fighting the Chichimecas. In August 1595 he was confirmed as guarda mayor de la Casa de la Moneda de Potosí. He married and had two children with Isabel Tolosa, a descendent of both Cortés and Montezuma....