The story of Spanish settlement in New Mexico begins with Francisco Vasquez de Coronado's expedition into the territory in 1540-1542. The conquistadors were seeking new lands, gold, and converts to Christianity. In 1598, Juan de Onate's expedition of soldiers, settlers and indigenous Mexicans arrived, charged by the Crown to colonize the northern frontier of New Spain. Far from Mexico and the seat of Spanish government, in a land of extremes already inhabited by the First Americans, these settlers proved their tenacity. Farmers, shepherds and townspeople, they lived off the land: they built houses and churches, constructed irrigation ditches, raised crops, wove cloth and hunted for food in an often hostile land. They borrowed, bartered and intermarried with their Pueblo neighbors and weathered an occasional uprising; they battled with Comanche, Apache, and Navajo for control of land and resources. When the American army arrived, they chose sides and paid the consequences. Between 1936 and 1940, field workers in the New Deal Works Project Administration's Federal Writers' Project (WPA) recorded authentic accounts of life in the early days of New Mexico. Happily for us, Hispano settlers were avid storytellers and gave the field writers detailed descriptions of village life, battles with Indians, encounters with Billy the Kid, witchcraft, marriages, festivals and floods. The result is a rich and uniquely regional literature. "Stories from Hispano New Mexico" is the fourth volume in the New Mexico Federal Writers' Project Book series. The first three titles in the series are "Outlaws & Desperados," "Frontier Stories" and "Lost Treasures & Old Mines," all from Sunstone Press.