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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 States.
     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.

SCN 2968