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HISTORY OF MEXICO.
OPENING OF THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY.
CHARACTER OF VICEROY MONTEREY_Vizcaino's EXPLORATION-ATTEMPTED
INTERCOURSE WITH JAPAN— MONTESCLAROS' FIRM RULE— VELASCO
We have learned something of the count of Monterey, of his character and abilities as a governor and representative of royalty; we have noted his policy with regard to the Indians and other affairs, and have seen how his name has been retained for the capitals of two provinces, namely, those of Nuevo Leon and of California, to both of which countries he despatched expeditions.
Little remains to be said in taking leave of him. We have found him on the whole a well-meaning man, and rather inclined to caution. He was deeply enough impressed with the duties of a ruler, and quite ready to carry out reforms. He fell into few serious errors, and these he was prepared to acknowledge and remedy so that even the Indians, the
main sufferers by reason of his mistakes, recognized the benevolence of his motives. Certain measures toward the last, and the attendant vacillations, seemed to indicate less of that soundness of judgment and firmness which were at first ascribed to him. This verdict is sustained by his leniency toward those who by their corrupt dealings contributed to his failures. The absence of severity, and the neglect to enforce other needed reforms, may have been dictated by a prudential regard for powerful Spaniards, who had shown themselves so ready to retaliate in malignant letters to the home government whenever their interests were assailed. Nevertheless, the reports on the whole must have been rather favorable, for, the viceroyalty of Peru becoming vacant soon after the turn of the century, Monterey was advanced to this more lucrative place. His departure was generally regretted, and the Indians filled the air with lamentation. One reason for his popularity lay in a showy openhandedness which spared not even the royal coffers, as we have seen. He did not long survive the change, for he died in Peru in March, 1606.2
Of the foundation of the capital of Nuevo Leon I have already spoken. California's capital was not established till nearly two centuries later, when it assumed the name of the bay discovered by Sebastian Vizcaino. This navigator, to whom the north-west latitudes were already somewhat familiar, had been despatched from Acapulco in May 1602, with three vessels carrying nearly two hundred men, having instructions to examine the coast of California for a suitable port wherein vessels from the Philippines
Felipe III. fixed the salary at 30,000 ducats, due from the date of setting out for Peru. Montemayor, Svmarios, 158. That of the Mexican viceroy was 20,000, with a smaller guard of honor than was granted to the Peruvian. Monterey received 8,000 ducats to aid him in entering his new office, and 10,000 he borrowed. Caile, Mem. y Not., 55.
2 After a rule of a little over two years. Vetancvrt, Trat. Mex., 12; Noreri, Gran. Dic., viii. 152. He was affable but slow to determine. "Sino se huviera metido en estas Congregaciones. . .avia sido de los mejores, y mas acertados Governadores.' Torquemalla, i. 726-7.