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CRITICAL ESSAY ON THE SOURCES OF INFORMATION.
HE bibliography of the history of Spanish North America subsequent to the period
of the Conquest 1 is best represented in the lists which are prefixed to H. H. Bancroft's histories of Central America, Mexico, California, and North Mexican States. At the present writing, other volumes of the series touching this territory have not yet appeared. These lists necessarily duplicate one another somewhat, and include a large mass of manuscript material, particularly as regards California, and still larger masses for the period since the acquisition of California by the United States. They are considerably extended by the enumeration of the separate documents under their authors' names, when they make part of the great collections of published documents, like the Coleccion de documentos inéditos para la historia de España ; 4 and those of Pacheco, 5 Peralta, Icazbalceta," the Cartas de Indias 8 (down to 1586), the Documentos para la historia de Mexico (Mexico, 1853-57, in 20 vols.), 9 Ternaux-Compans' Recueil de documents et mémoires originaux sur l'histoire des possessions Espagnoles dans l'Amérique (Paris, 1840),10 and Juan Suarez de Peralta's Noticias históricas de la Nueva España. Publicadas con la proteccion del ministerio de fomento por Don Justo Zaragoza (Madrid, 1878), which follows an old manuscript, mainly covering the interval 1565-1589, and called Tratado del descubrimiento de las Yndias y su conquista, y los ritos y sacrificios, y costumbres de los yndios; y de los virreyes y gobernadores, que las han gobernado, especialmente en la Nueva España [etc.].
The line of demarcation between the early authorities, who confined their survey of Mexican history to the Conquest and its immediate results, and those whose chronicle and commentary were extended into, for a greater or less extent, the vice-regal period, is well marked. Helps, in ending his Spanish Conquest 11 at the middle of the sixteenth century, says that by this time “most of the chief historians and annalists had died, and the works of those who survived were not carried much beyond that period. Nothing more is to be gained from Peter Martyr, 12 Oviedo, 18 Bernal Diaz,14 Enciso, 16 Las Casas, 16 Garcilasso de la Vega, 17 Cortés,18 or Gomara.19 Herrera, writing in another age, closes his decades
7 Ibid. p. 397
1 Cf. note on the bibliography of Mexico, ante, brief kingship, extracted it. He carried the two II. 429. Bancroft (Mexico, vi. 653) characterizes big volumes with him to the United States, where, the successive Mexican historians, and (p. 660) many years afterwards, he presented them to he describes a large collection of minor Mexi- General Santander, of the republic of Nueva cana which he has used; and he masses (p. 662) Granada. After the dispersion of Santander's a large number of references on institutional library, the MS. found its way back to Europe.” subjects.
3 Cf. ante, II. pp. viii, 430. On the archives of the Indies at Seville, see 4 Cf. ante, Vol. II. p. vii. Calvo, Recueil des Traités (Paris, 1866), X. 258, 6 Ibid. pp. vii, 498. 313.
6 Ibid. p. ix. A considerable collection of Papeles varios de America (17 vols.) constitutes no. xcviii, of the 8 Ibid. p. viii. Cf. Bancroft, Hist. of Mexico, Sparks MSS. in Harvard College library. (Cf. ii. 606. Calendar Sparks MSS., p. 82.)
9 Ibid. pp. 397, 498. 2 Some of those derived from Pinart are enu- 10 Ibid. p. vii. merated in his No. Mex. States, p. xxxix. Qua
11 N. Y. ed., iv. 409. ritch recently held at £ 25 the following MS. in 12 Ante, Vol. I., Introd. two volumes : Resumen del Descubrimiento de la 13 He comes down to 1555. Cf. ante, II. pp. Nueva España, demarcacion y descripcion de 343-5. aquellas provincias divididas en las cinco Audien- 14 Ante, Vols. I. and II. cias, estados de sus Iglesias y sus erecciones, noticia 15 Ante, II. 98, 208. de los Obispos que hasta ahora las han gobernado, 16 Ante, II. 343, and Las Casas titles in Bancon otras noticias muy importantes; calling it “a croft, Mexico, i. p. Ixv. valuable work prepared only for private use by li Ante, II., index. order of the authorities, and kept in the royal 18 Ante, II., index. archives, whence Joseph Bonaparte, during his
19 Ante, II. 414.
soon after the reconquest of Peru.? Remesal 2 has nothing of any general interest to commemorate after narrating the death of Las Casas, and all such writers as Torquemada 3 are merely interesting when they refer to the early periods of the Conquest. It is the same with the ecclesiastical historians, Davila Padilla, Fernandez, Gil Gonçalez Davila, Colancha, and Melendez. The lawyers, also, such as Antonio de Leon and Solorzano, have comparatively little to relate after the time of Philip the Second ; and the German and Italian writers, such as Benzoni,4 Gaspar Ens, and Levinus Apollonius, do not carry us farther."
It is into the collections of documents already mentioned that the official reports and the correspondence of the period beginning with the viceroys have in the main been gathered, and to these there may be added such amassments of manuscripts as Bancroft uses, the accumulations in the Boletin of the Sociedad Mexicana de Geografía, the papers of Ramirez," the general works of Hakluyt, Purchas, Wytfliet, Acosta (who fills out the sixteenth century in a general way), and such conglomerate treatises as those of Gottfriedt, Montanus, De Laet, Ogilby, Heylyn, and the rest.
All such descriptive material touching the laws, methods of government, judicial systems, commerce, revenue and finance, agriculture, manufactures and the arts, social and military life, education, science, and literature, is classified and separately treated in distinct chapters by Bancroft, and generally with a bibliographical apparatus appended.
1 Ante, II. 67. He is scant after the middle 6 Earlier known as the Instituto Nacional de of the sixteenth century.
Geografía, whose Boletin began in 1852. Cf. 2 Ante, II., index.
Bancroft's account, Mexico, vi. 659. 3 Ante, II., index.
7 Bancroft, Mexico, i. p. xciv. 4 Ante, II. 346. He was in Mexico 1541-56. 8 Ante, II. 347, 401. Cf. Bancroft's note, Mex5 Mexico, ii. 785.
ico, iii. p. 550. After a copperpate in the 1703 edition of his Politica Indiana. The original edition was in 1648.
Similar material will be found in the additions which have been made to the Mexican edition of the Diccionario Universal de Historia y de Geografía (Mexico, 1853–55), based upon the original Spanish edition.
The work of Bancroft on Mexico, in six volumes, by all means the most extensive gathering of material which has been made, and he has summarized it in a popular history of a single volume, in which, however, the vice-regal period is hastily gone over. He makes a bibliographical summary at the end of the second and third volumes ? of his larger work of the main sources of information for this period, in which he speaks slightingly of the Los tres Siglos de México of Andrés Cavo,8 of the Historia antigua y moderna de Jalapa of Manuel Rivera,+ and of the same author's Historia de Mejico, criticising them all as neglectful of documentary sources, and as defective in treatment.
The history of the Church, the religious orders and missions, in Mexico is necessarily an essential part of the progress of the country. Bancroft has epitomized much of it in a single chapter, and it is interwoven with a considerable portion of his book elsewhere.? His references to manuscript sources, like the records of the Concilios Provinciales and Concilios Mexicanos, though in considerable part in print ;8 to collections of papal bulls and other documents, also in part in type, indicate something of the restricted opportunities of a student not so well equipped as he is.9
The better part of the material, however, in one form or another, is in books not difficult to meet with. Bancroft in a long note 10 indicates some of the more essential printed sources for the period immediately following the Conquest, introducing us at once to the Franciscan Order, the earliest of all to appear in Mexican history. The Historia de los Indios of Father Toribio de Benavente, known as Motolinía, — which was left in MS. at his death in 1568,11 and which, as well as the Historia eclesiástica indiana of Gerónimo de Mendieta, likewise kept for a long time in manuscript,12 were used by Torquemada in his Monarquia Indiana, - eked out by his own observations over the period following the Conquest, brings the chronicle down to 1612.13
1 Bancroft's Mexico, iii. 511 ; vi. 659. The etc., vi. ch. 24, not to mention other chapters Liceo mexicano (Mexico, 1844) offers a “Galería where it is less prominent. de los vireyes de México," — being memoirs of 8 Cf. ante, II. p. 399. On Lorenzana's edit. the viceroys of Mexico down to the 26th, ap- ing of these records, see Bancroft, ii. 379. Cf. pointed in 1673, with portraits accompanying Carter-Brown, iii. 1686. them. Cf. Bancroft, Mexico, iii. 509, on diaries 9 Mexico, i. p. xli; iii. pp. 724, 725, 727. of this period; and the observations of Samuel 10 Mexico, ii. 187. de Champlain in his Narrative of a voyage to the 11 Ante, I. 156; II. 397. West Indies and Mexico, 1599-1002, with maps 12 Cf. ante, II. 422. It was edited by Icazbal. and illus. Transl. from the original and unpub- ceta in 1871. lished manuscript, with a biographical notice and 13 Cf. ante, Vol. I. 157 ; II. 399, 421, 422 ; Bannotes by Alice Wilmere. Edited by Norton Shaw croft, Mexico, ii. 787, and iii. 512, 722, where (London, 1859); Martinez's Repertorio covers mention is made of other Franciscan chroniclers : 1520–1590. (See ante, II. 421.)
Balthassar de Medina's Chronica de la Santa 2 Vol. ii. 784; iii. 505; also vi. 654.
Provincia de San Diego de Mexico (Mexico, 1862), 3 Mexico, 1836–38, 1852, and Jalapa, 1860. Cf. with its map showing the various Franciscan ante, II. 428; and Bancroft, Mexico, iii. 508. convents in New Spain. He died in 1697, and
4 Mexico, 1869-71, in 5 vols. It is mainly Beristain gives the best list of his works. Franconcerned with the modern history, comprehen- cisco de Ayeta's Defensa de la Verdad (1683 or sive enough to be national, beginning with 1808. thereabouts) shows the efforts of the FrancisCf. Bancroft's Mexico, v. 806.
cans of Jalisco to maintain their rights against 5 Barcelona, 1877-80, in eleven vols.
the bishop. Bancroft (iii. 725), who cites a MS. 6 Mexico, iii. ch. 33.
of Francisco Antonio de la Rosa Figueroa, and ? As on the secular clergy, 1600-1800, in Mex- notes others in his list (i. p. lii), – one of which ico, iii. ch. 32; and on ecclesiastical affairs, 1800, Quaritch (no. 363, of 1885, under 29,088) seems Cf. Apostolicos afanes de la Compañia de menológico y chronológico de todos los Religiosos Jesus escritos por un Padre de la misma sagrada (Mexico, 1755-64), which enumerates the mem- religion de su provincia de Mexico (Barcelona, bers of the order in New Spain down to 1764. 1754). Beaumont's Friar Pablo de la purisima Concep- 9 Ante, II. 399; Bancroft, Mexico, ii. 190. cion (Mexico, 1873-74) gives the Franciscan 10 Ante, II. 399, 400; Bancroft, Mexico, ii. 189. story of the missions in Michoacan down to Bancroft also makes considerable use of Fran1565-66. The Glorious Franciscus of Marianus cisco Sosa's Episcopado Méxicano, a series of (Ingolstadt, 1625) also follows the Franciscan biographies, and of Andrés Perez de Ribas' Hist. missions in America, with portraits and lives of de los triumphos de nuestra Santa Fe (Madrid, the leading missionaries. Cf. Isidro Felis de 1645). Icazbalceta has edited Cartas de religioEspinosa's Chronica Apostolica (Mexico, 1746). sos de Nueva España, 1539–1594, in his Nueva 1 Cf. ante, II. 399; Bancroft, ii. 189.
The best known record of the Augustine order is Juan de Grijalva's Crónica de la orden de N. P. S. Augustin en las provincias de la Nueva España (Mexico, 1624), which covers a period from 1533 to 1592.1
Of the Dominicans, the account by Remesal of the history of the order in Chiapas, and the Historia de la fundacion y discurso de la provincia, de Santiago de México de la orden de Predicadores por las vidas de sus varones insignes y casos notables de Nueua España of Augustin Davila Padilla,3 are the most important, the latter work giving sketches of leading Dominicans from 1540 to 1590.
There is little in the best known Benedictine work, the Nova typis transacta navigatio of the so-called Philoponus, to concern us in this period. The Bethlehemites were not founded till the middle of the seventeenth century, and we have the only considerable account of their missions America in the Historia Bethlehemitica (Seville, 1723) of Friar Joseph Garcia de la Concepcion. Concerning the Jesuit missions, the two most important books are Francisco Javier Alegre's Historia de la Compañia de Jesus en Nueva España (Mexico, 1841-42), in three volumes, covering the period from their establishment in Florida in 1566 to about 1765, and based so far as its scope permitted on Francisco de Florencia’s Hist. de la Provincia de la Compañia de Jesus de Nueva España (Mexico, 1694). These two works may be supplemented by the Lettres Édifantes.
Of the general church histories of New Spain, the places of most importance must be given to Alonso Hernandez' Historia eclesiástica de nuestros tiempos (Toledo, 1611); 8 the Teatro eclesiástico de la primitiva iglesia de las Indias occidentales (Madrid, 1640–55) of Gil Gonzales Davila.10 There are helps to perfect the survey in the local treatment of Juan de Villagutierre Soto-Mayor in his Conquista de la Provincia de el Itza (Madrid, 1701); of Francisco Burgoa's Geográfica Descripcion ... de la America (Mexico, 1674) as touching Oajaca ; of Cayetano de Cabrera y Quintero's Escudo de armas de México (Mexico, 1746); of Matias de la Mota Padilla's Conquista de la Nueva Galicia (Mexico, 1870); 11 and of Beaumont's Crónica de Michoacan. On the course of the Inquisition there are references in Bancroft.12 to have had a duplicate of, — Bezerro general,
Colección de documentos para la historia de Méx2 Ante, II. 399.
ico (Mexico, 1886). (Cf. on Icazbalceta's writ3 The author lived 1562-1604, and his work, ings, Boletin de la sociedad de geografia de la reoriginally appearing at Madrid in 1596, was re- pub. Méxicana, 1870, p 642.) The new world has printed at Brussels in 1625, and at Valladolid in also treatment in Cornelius Hazart's Dutch his1634. Cf. ante, II. 400, and Bancroft, Mexico, tory of the Church (Antwerp, 1667), better known iii. 512, 723.
in Souterman's German adaptation, Kirchen-Ge4 Ante, II. 58; Bancroft, Mexico, ii. 189. schichte (Vienna, 1678–1701), and the clerically
5 Bancroft, Mexico, ii. 189. Cf. Betancur's flavored Histoire générale de l'Amérique (Paris, Regla y Constituciones of the order (Mexico, 1768) of Touron, both of whom are character1751). Betancur, the founder, died in 1667. ized by Bancroft (iii. 190, 191). Morelli's Fasti
6 Ante, II. 399; Bancroft, Mexico, iii. 447. Novi Orbis, etc. (Venice, 1776), gives us the offi7 Ante, II. 399; Bancroft, Mexico, iii. 447. cial decrees from Rome and Madrid respecting
8 For bibliographical detail, see ante, IV. p. the American Church (Carter-Brown, iii. no. 316; Bancroft, Mexico, ii. 191; and A. A. De 2282). Backer's Bibliothèque des Ecrivains de la Com- 11 Cf. ante, II. p. 633. pagne de Jésus (Liege, 1853–61), in seven vol- 12 Mexico, iii. 701. Quaritch (Jan., 1888, no.
The history of the commerce of New Spain has been epitomized by Bancroft (Mexico, iii. ch. 30, etc.), and in a note (p. 645) he has indicated the main sources of his treatment, in addition to the correspondence of the viceroys. The laws and customs regulating the trade of Spain and her colonies are explained in Linage's Norte de la Contratacion (Seville, 1672), of which there is an English translation by Capt. John Stevens (1702). Cf. also Viscount Bury's Exodus of the western nations, ii. ch. 2.
The history of the Philippine trade is to be followed in an Extracto Historial del Expediente que pende en el consejo de las indias, etc., published at Madrid by royal command in 1736.
Bancroft (iii. 646 ; vi. 662) particularly emphasizes the value, in this commercial study, of Lerdo de Tejada's Apuntes históricos de Vera Cruz (Mexico, 1850) and his Comercio Esterior de México (Mexico, 1853). His survey also includes some of the general treatises on the history of commerce, like the Origin of Commerce (London, 1764, 1787, 1801), by Adam Anderson, a clerk of the South Sea Company, who had chances of close observation of the British operations at Porto Bello; like David Macpherson's revision and continuation of Anderson, known as Annals of Commerce (London, 1805); like John Macgregor's Progress of America (London, 1847), and G. T. Raynal's Histoire philosophique et politique des Etablissements et du Commerce des Européens dans les deux Indes (Genève, 1780; Paris, 1820-21, etc.); and he closes his note with a list of minor references (p. 649).
The exploits of the English freebooters, the French Alibustiers, and the Dutch zeeroovers the pirates and buccaneers of the Spanish Main ? as they appear in history and romance - are an essential part of the history of the lands contiguous to the Gulf of Mexico during the seventeenth and a part of the eighteenth century. The earliest separate account which we have of them is usually held to be that in Kleas Compaen's Zee-Rover (Amsterdam, 1663), though there are earlier narratives of distinct episodes, like that in the Discurso Politico of Montemaior de Cuenca (Mexico, 1658) 8 of the expulsion of the buccaneers at the island of Tortuga. The events of the preceding century were also in part covered in Père J. B. du Tertre's Histoire général des Antilles habitées par les François (Paris, 1667-1671).
The most famous early general account of the buccaneers, however, and the source of a great variety of publications in the chief modern languages, is a Dutch publication of one Alexander Olivier Exquemelin, who is known in English as Esquemeling, and in French as Oexmelin, and who deserted the employ of the French West India Company, and joined the marauders in 1672. His book, De Americaensche Zee-Roovers, was published at Amsterdam in 1678.4 This was followed in 1679 by a German edition at Nuremberg, Americanische Seeräuber; by a Spanish, Piratas de la America (Colonia Agrippina, 1681, 1682; again, Madrid, 1793); by a French, based by Frontignières on the Spanish version, and called Histoire des Avanturiers (Paris, 1686). The earliest English
134) held a collection of documents, many of says Muller knew but one other copy beside his them MS., on the progress of the Inquisition (Bancroft's) own. The Murphy sale shows a from its institution in Mexico in 1571 down. It copy (no. 909*). The best bibliography of this wholly ceased its action in 1820.
book is in Sabin, iv. p. 319. Cf. Bancroft, Cent. 1 Derived from the English freebooter, and in America, ii. 567. A new and much-changed turn converted by the English into filibusters. Dutch edition, with a second part added from
2 This term was applied to the northern coast Ringrose and Lussan, Historie der Boecaniers, of South America in contradiction to the islands appeared at Amsterdam, 1700. Raveneau de neighboring to it; though sometimes later writ. Lussan's Journal du Voyage fait à la Mer du ers have used it as if it referred to the interja. Sud en 1681 (Paris, 1689; again 1692) is later,
generally found in the Exquemelin collections. 3 With map showing the attack. Sabin, xii. Again, 1688, 1699. “Corrigée et augmentée 50,106.
de l'histoire des pirates anglois depuis leur étab4 The book is very rare.
Muller in 1872 had lissement dans l'isle de Providence,” (Trevoux, two copies, one large paper (no. 578, etc.), and 1744, 1775; Lyon, 1774.) Cf. Diego Barras he enters a copy in 1877 (no. 1090). Bancroft Arana's Notas para una bibliografía, no. 213.