El Camino Real
Don Juan de Oņate
was given the responsibility to explore the area north of the Rio
Grande and claim it for Spain. In 1597 he took 400 colonists, 129
soldiers, 5 priests, women, children, livestock and supplies and
crossed the river near present-day El Paso on April 30, 1598. He took
possession of the territory of Nuevo Mexico.
He was one of the last Spanish conquerors, and died in
1625. In 1846 the territory of New Mexico became part of the United
A two stamp set was issued by Spain to mark the 400th
anniversary of the expedition and the founding of New Mexico. The map
stamp shows an old map of El Camino Real, the road Oņate followed from
Zacatecas in Nuevo Espaņa (Mexico) to Nuevo Mexico in 1598.