Collection ID: LMC 1620
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Collection context


The Latin American mss. Mexico, 1502-1925, is an extensive collection covering much of Mexican history in depth.
3075 Items
Materials are in English .
Preferred citation:

[Item], Latin American mss. Mexico, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.


Biographical / Historical:

Beginning around 1517, Spanish explorers and conquistadors wrested control of Mexico from its indigenous inhabitants, most notably the Aztec Empire. Spanish rule was maintained through secular channels by the Spanish colonial government and through religious channels by Catholic priests and members of Franciscan and Jesuit orders. The Mexican struggle for independence was long and bloody. Independence was declared on September 16, 1810, but was not consummated until 1821 and not fully recognized until 1836. The country has been organized through a series of republics, with a first constitution ratified in 1824, a second in 1857, and the current constitution in 1917. Many of these transitions were also hotly contested and bloody.

Scope and Content:

The colonial period has much material about governmental administration and finances, the Catholic Church and religious orders, and the Indians and missions to the Indians in Florida, California, and Texas, as well as in Mexico. There is also a large body of decrees and royal cedulas concerning a wide variety of topics. Several manuscripts deal with the sale and condition of slaves in Mexico. Land grants, deeds, titles, and transfers for all periods of Mexican history are in the collection.

One important manuscript is the Chronica Evangelica y Seraphica de las Probincias de los Texas Reyno de la Nuevas Philipinas by the missionary Francisco Celiz, written in 1719. This is apparently an incomplete, earlier draft of a diary published by Vito Alessio Robles as "Unas paginas traspapelados de la historia de Coahuila y Texas" in Universidad de Mexico, Tomo V, no. 25/26 (nov.-dic., 1932): 48-69 and Tomo V, no. 27/28 (ene.-feb., 1933): 217-239, and then translated into English and published as Diary of the Alarcon Expedition into Texas, 1718-1719, Los Angeles, The Quivira Society, 1935 (Ellison F389 .C3).

A box of materials relating to the Discalced Franciscans of the province of San Diego de Mexico covers the period Dec. 17, 1596 to the nineteenth century. The thirty-seven items in this collection contain administrative and biographical information about the Discalced Franciscans and their mission.

Another box of materials contains correspondence and documents relating to Jose Servando Teresa de Mier Noriega y Guerra and covers the period from 1794 to 1823. There are notes and drafts of his famous sermon about the Virgin of Guadalupe, information about his trials and his invasion of Mexico with Francisco Javier Mina in 1817, and an apparently unpublished Manifiesto apologetico.

The wars of independence are covered in depth. Registers, payrolls, and correspondence of the Spanish army are in the collection, as well as extensive information by and about the insurgents. Of particular interest is a large amount of correspondence by Spanish army officers and soldiers in Oaxaca in 1815. There is much propaganda material by both sides in the conflict. One such item is the Originales que sirvieron para la impresion del "Manifiesto del Exmo. e Ilmo. Senor Obispo de Puebla, con otros documentos para el desengano de los incautos", Sept. 15, 1811-Jan. 13, 1813, by Manuel Ignacio Gonzalez del Campillo and has been published as Manifiesto del Exmo e illmo senor obispo de Puebla, con otros documentos para desengano de los incautos ... Mexico, Arizpe, 1812 (Lilly F1232 .G64). The manuscript version also has one document not published, dated Jan. 13, 1813.

There is considerable material about the national period of Mexican history until the late nineteenth century. There are several items by and about the colorful Agustin de Iturbide, including correspondence and documents concerning an attempt to restore him to the throne shortly before his death and a eulogy Los ultimos Suspiros de Yturbide ... by Carlos Beneski de Beaufort which was translated into English and published as A narrative of the last moments of the life of Don Agustin de Iturbide, ex-emperor of Mexico, New York, Printed by Tyrell and Tompkins, 1825.

Most of the material for the national period concerns the political and military events taking place. The entire period from 1821 to 1861 is covered, including the revolution of Texas in 1835-1836 and the war with the United States, 1845-1848. There is also material on the European intervention, 1861-1867, particularly from the military standpoint early in the intervention.

Virtually no information for the Diaz period is available except for some correspondence. There is one item related to the United States' occupation of Vera Cruz in 1914 and two items pertaining to the Revolution: a proclamation by Venustiano Carranza in 1913 and a dossier concerning the attempt to capture Francisco Villa in 1916.

There are several bound volumes in the collection. The Escrituras Casa En la Calle Real, Mexico was bound in the mid-eighteenth century and contains land transactions. The earliest item in this is a land grant by Hernando Cortes to Juan Ximenez in 1524.

The volume Letters patent of nobility for Juan de Vargas, Mar. 9, 1502-June 19, 1582, has a full morocco extra binding and the Vargas coat of arms on leaf 1. There are also coats of arms at leaves 17 and 19 and a drawing of San Nicolas de Bari at leaf 20 in the Filiacion y ampara de Noblessa Que Pertenesen y estan Declarado a fabor de Don Nicolas de Rosas Vargas y Valades ..., July 12, 1625-Sept. 1, 1687. The Libro Del Estado y Mayorazgo del Marquesado de Villamayor del apellido por Varonia de Cordova ... is dated Aug. 12, 1734, but contains information on the family previous to that date.

Juan de Palafox y Mendoza's Al Rey Nuestro Senor Satisfaccion Al memorial de los Religiosos de la Compania de Jhs de la Nueba Espana has been published as Al rey nvestro senor. Satisfacion al Memorial de los religiosos de la Compania del nombre de Iesvs de la Nveva-Espana ... [n.p.] Ano de M.DC.LII. (Lilly BX4705 .C3 C3). There are two eighteenth century copies of Juan Bautista Zappa's seventeenth century work El Dulce Panal De La Devocion ..., edited by the Jesuit Miguel Venegas. There is also a two volume work by Venegas on the life and virtues of Zappa with the title Templo Mystico De La Gracia ... Y Delineado En La Vida Admirable y Virtudes heroicas del Venerable Padre Juan Bautista Zappa ... This may be the same as the published work by Venegas, Vida, y virtudes del v. p. Juan Bautista Zappa ... Barcelona, P. Nadal, impresor, 1754.

The Nomina de los Religiosos de que se compone esta Provincia ... contains the ages, places of birth, and occupations of the Franciscans of the province of Santo Evangelio in Mexico. A biography of the Franciscan Antonio de Jesus Maria Linaz is contained in the Breve Relacio De Algunas Virtudes Del V. P. F. Antonio Linaz de Jesus ... by Pedro de la Concepcion Urtiaga y Salazar, written Feb. 15, 1705. The Miscelanea de Documentos Historicos y curiosos Pertenecientes al Apostolico Colegio de N. S. de Guadalupe de Zacatecas, by Diego de la Concepcion Palomar, was completed between February of 1852 and January of 1853. This contains copies of documents, severa by Antonio Margil de Jesus. There is also biographical data on Franciscans associated with the college.

Varios Papeles is dated Jan. 24, 1780-June 26, 1787, and contains first a copy of Joseph Perez Calama's Nuevo Arcano de Theolo-Chimia, O Metodo para propagar infinitamente los Stos Oleos ... There are also three essays pertaining to relations between the Catholic Church and Spanish crown.

The five volumes of Cedulas Reales, sixteenth to eighteenth centuries, concern a variety of subjects relating to Mexico. The first item in Volume I was removed and transferred to the Book Department of Lilly on May 3, 1974. This was Francisco Maria Picolo's Informe del estado de la nueva cristiandad de California ... [En Mexico, por Carrascosco, 1702] (Lilly F851.5 .P598 Mendel Vault). A separate item is a Real Provicion by Felipe V, king of Spain, on Sept. 7, 1944, and pertains to the land tenure of the Indians of Coapan.

An apparently unpublished treatise concerning finances of the Catholic Church in the Indies and relations with the Spanish crown is the Defensorio Memorial De las Santas Yglesias Cathedrales de las Indias by Lucas de las Casas Mota y Flores, written in 1738. An expediente from the Tesoreria of Zacatecas concerning ecclesiastical subsidies granted by the Holy See to the Spanish crown is entitled Expediente sobre el Subcidio Eclasiastico de America ... This has both manuscript and printed materials and dates from Mar. 8, 1721 to Feb. 21, 1794.

The collection has two of thirty manuscript volumes, later published in six volumes as: Historia general de real hacienda ... Mexico, Impr. pro V.G. Torres, 1845-53. These two volumes, by Fabi n de Fonseca, are entitled De la razon general de Real Hacienda, tomos 10 and 13. The Extracto De los principales expedientes, que se han tenido a la vista, para deducir de ellos las refleciones, o pedimento Fiscal, que sigue en cumplimiento de los puntos que incluie la Real Orden de 20 de Octubre, de 1774, written May 26, 1776, concerns the Real Hacienda of Vera Cruz.

The Ynstruccion Reservada del Reyno de N. E. Que El Exmþ. Sen Virrey Conde de Revilla Gigedo Dio A su Subsesor el Exmþ Sþr. Marques de Bransfort was written June 19, 1794 by Juan Vicente Geumez Pacheco de Padilla Horcasitas y Aguayo, conde de Revilla Gigedo. This was published as Instruccion reservada que el conde de Revilla Gigedo, dio a su succesor en el mando, marques de Branciforte, sobre el gobierno de este continente en el tiempo que fue su virey ... Mexico, Imprenta, a cargo del C.A. Guirol, 1831 (Lilly JL1226 1794 .A3).

Alonso de Zurita's sixteenth century Manuscrito inedito ... was copied and annotated by Carlos Maria de Bustamante in the nineteenth century. This manuscript examines the laws and customs of the Aztecs and apparently differs from Zurita's published works. The Cronica Mexicana of Fernando Alvarado Tezozomoc was first published by Edward King, viscount Kingsborough, in his Antiquities of Mexico, London, 1848 (Lilly F1219 .K55) in Vol. IX, pp. 1-196. The original manuscript was once part of the Boturini collection and the manuscript in this collection is an eighteenth century copy. Kingsborough may have used this copy for his edition. Agustin de Villarroel's Ymbacion del Enemigo en esta ciudad de la Nueva Vercruz ... is a short piece giving information on a pirate attack on that city in May 1683.

The Conspiracion de Abril is a dossier on insurgents charged with conspiracy and rebellion in April 1813. The title on the spine reads: Proceso Contra Insurgentes, 1813- 1819. Apuntaciones que en sus viages a Ultramar ha tomado el Oficial de infanteria ..., May 29, 1821-June 2, 1827, is the diary of the Spanish soldier Modesto de la Torre who was in Mexico. On pp. 415-529 are copies of letters and documents pertaining to Mexican history, on pp. 530-534 is a chronology of Mexican history, and on pp. 535-541 is a chronology of revolutions from 1808 to 1827.

The Traduccion del Discurzo de JJR sobre esta cuestion; ¨Qual es la virtud mas necessaria a los Heroes, y quales son los Heroes, que han faltado a ella? is an eighteenth century copy and translation of Jean Jacques Rousseau's Discours ... sur cette question: Quelle est la vertu la plus necessaire aux heros, et quels sont les heros, a qui cette vertu a manque?, Amsterdam, 1769. Also in this volume is a treatise, in a different hand, beginning: Capit[ul]o 1 Division de la Obra ... which is a translation, with some revision, of Niccolo Machiavelli's Il principe ... A third section of the volume is entitled Formulario de causas criminales and is of unknown authorship.

The manuscript Catalogo De La Celeccion De Manuscritos Relativos A La Historia De America by Joaquin Garcia Icazbalceta is the one owned by Nicolas Leon and published as Catalogo de la coleccion de manuscritos relativos a la historia de America ... Mexico [Impr. de la secretaria de relaciones exteriores] 1927.

Note on Indexing Terms - "Law": There is a large quantity of legal material pertaining to Latin America in these collections. Royal and viceregal decrees, both de oficio and de parte, are especially numerous.

Note on Indexing Term - "Religion": A large quantity of this material relates to religious matters.

Note on Indexing Term - "West (U.S.)" and "Americana": There are items pertaining to early settlements and colonial government in Texas, California and New Mexico, and information on Texas independence.

Physical location:
ALF (Auxiliary Library Facility) (Box 4); Lilly - Stacks; Lilly - Map Case



This collection is open for research.


Prior arrangements are not necessary before coming to the Library, however, patrons from out of town are encouraged to communicate with the Library in advance of their visits to ascertain availability of materials.

Photocopying permitted only with permission of the Curator of Manuscripts, Lilly Library.


[Item], Latin American mss. Mexico, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.

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