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It is not strange then that the true faith had little attraction for them, or that occasionally they attempted to shake off a yoke which plunged them not only into a condition worse than they had known in aboriginal times, but threatened the extermination of their race. It was seldom, however, that they even temporarily succeeded, and a severe administra
MAP OF YUCATAN.
tion of justice by the Spanish authorities always suppressed their mutinous tendencies for a number of years.
It is thus that, at frequent intervals, we have to record Indian revolts. The first one, in 1610 at Tekax, caused by dissatisfaction with the cacique, was easily quelled, and three of the ringleaders forfeited their lives on the gallows of Mérida. In 1633, owing to a famine some years before, a large number of natives who had abandoned their villages were
brought back by force, the governor Centeno employing to that end energetic measures. A gibbet was erected wherever he went, and death threatened to all who would coöperate in concealing fugitive Indians. Thus in the coast districts alone more than sixteen thousand tributarics were restored in a short time to their settlements.22 A more extensive outbreak, however, occurred in 1636, occasioned probably by the efforts of the governors to exact the contributions for the Barlovento fleet. Gradually the revolt assumed greater dimensions, and in 1639 only the villa of Salamanca had remained faithful, the remainder of the Bacalar district having openly declared its sedition, and relapsed into idolatry. Armed expeditions were proposed, but objected to by the governor, Santo Floro, and after long deliberations only some friars were sent to the seditious region, a proceeding which utterly failed. It was only in 1644 that part of the fugitives were induced to return to their villages.23 Later revolts, though most of them of less importance, occurred in 1653, 1669, and 1670, when the Indians of Sahcabchen rebelled, and again about 1675.24 Still there remains no doubt that the natives were gradually brought under subjection, and the zealous missionaries by their incessant labors obtained more and more influence over the native population.
The successor of Santo Floro, Francisco Nuñez Melian,25 took charge of the government the last day of December 1643, but his sudden death on April 13, 1644,26 again made necessary a temporary appointment by the viceroy at Mexico. Enrique Dávila y
22 For details of this expedition see Cogollvdo, Hist. Yuc., 593-5; also Ancona, Hist. Yuc., ii. 224-5.
23 Governor Francisco Nuñez Melian succeeded in bringing back about 9,000 Indians. Cogollvdo, Hist. Yuc., 679.
2+ The date for the last revolt cannot be exactly fixed, as it is not given by Villagutierre, who, in his Hist. Cong. Itza, 146-7, merely alludes to them.
25 The general Luis Fernandez de Córdoba, previously appointed, was promoted to the government of Cartagena before undertaking the voyage. Cogullvdo, Hist. Yuc., 678.
26 During a review of the military forces at Mérida.
Pacheco was the one selected, and on June 28, 1644, he assumed office, relieving the alcaldes ordinarios, who had ruled in the mean time. His administration is recorded as one of the best ever experienced. At his residencia it is said that only one insignificant charge was brought against him, and after the death of his successor Estévan de Azcárraga, who was in charge from December 4, 1645, to August 8, 1648, he was again summoned by the viceroy of Mexico to represent the crown. He remained in that position from December 15, 1648, to the 19th of October, 1649, at which date a new ruler, appointed by the crown, arrived in the person of the count de Peñalva.29 Under his rule a serious famine occurred, and great numbers died of starvation. The evil was increased by the injudicious though well intended measures of the governor to remedy it. The number of enemies thus created was increased by his avaricious proceedings, and on August 1, 1652, he was found assassinated in his room.30
After the death of Peñalva governors followed in rather quick succession, but nothing important is connected with their time. The temporary rule of the alcaldes ended when on November 19, 1652, Martin de Robles y Villafaña, nominated by Viceroy Alva de Lista, took charge of the government, but being pro
27 Azcárraga died during an epidemic which, in 1648, played havoc in Yucatan to such an extent that no bells were tolled except for mass. Not even the governor's death met with an exception, and the burial took place without any of the usual solemnities. Cogolludo, Hist. Yuc., 714-30, gives many details referring to the pestilence. From 1627 to 1631, and later in 1636, floods and bad crops had also produced famine and epidemics, of which many people died. Cogollvdo, Hist. Yuc., 202-3, 558, 592-3.
28 One of the alcaldes, who in the interim held the goverment, was Juan de Salazar Montejo, a great-great-grandson of the Adelantado Francisco de Montejo.
29 Dávila had been held in such esteem, that after his departure from Yucatan, the city council of Mérida in a letter to the king greatly eulogized his administration. Later, after the death of Peñalva, a petition was sent to Spain, requesting that Dávila be sent as governor for a third time. Cogollvdo, Hist. Yue., 731-3. The full title of his successor was García de Valdés Osorio, first count de Peñalva. Id., 742.
30 Cogolludo assigns no cause for his death, but his unusually brief mention of his demise rather confirms the statement of Lava, that such a crime was committed. No clue was ever obtained.
SUCCESSION OF GOVERNORS.
moted to the province of Carácas was relieved by Pedro Saenz Izquierdo in November 1653, also by appointment from Mexico, and it was not until May 1655 that Francisco de Bazan arrived from Spain with a commission from the crown. He was followed by José Campero, who governed from August 1660 till his death on the 29th of December 1662.32 Between his successors, Francisco de Esquivel and Rodrigo Flores Aldana, temporary troubles arose, each claiming the government, and finally the latter, who had been removed by the audiencia of Mexico, was reinstalled on January 29, 1667, by order of the king, with whom he was a favorite. Without any apparent reason he was superseded on December 29, 1669, by Frutos Delgado, oidor of the audiencia of Mexico, who came to take his residencia. But in the following year Fernando Francisco de Escobedo, appointed immediately by the crown, took charge of the government. During his rule, which lasted from October 18, 1670, to March 27, 1672, the governor, who was an experienced soldier, directed his attention to the military affairs of the province, and the improvements which he made were continued by his successors, Miguel Franco Cardoñes and Sancho Fernandez de Angulo y Sandoval, of whom nothing worthy of note is recorded.35
31 Castillo says erroneously in one place that Bazan's successor was Antonio Ancona, whereas in another he gives José Campero. Dicc. Ilist. Yuc., 54, 142-5. His full title was José Campero de Sorrevilla, maestre de campo and knight of Santiago. Órdenes de la Corona, MS., iv. 2.
32 His death was hastened, if not caused, by a trick played on him in the cathedral of Mérida, at a late hour of the night, and the bishop and the Jesuits were supposed to have taken part in it, in order to gain more influence over him. Registro Yucateco, ii. 74-6.
33 Esquivel delivered the government to Flores on July 28, 1664, having ruled since September 4, 1663, but, obtaining his opponent's removal, again took possession on the 28th of March 1665. Guijo calls him Flores de Vera. Diario, in Doc. Hist. Mex,, série i., i. 548.
34 Robles, Diario, i. 140; Juarros, Guat., 265. He was a knight of the grand cross of St John, bailío of Lora, and general of the artillery of Jaen. Ancona, Hist. Yuc., ii. 263, calls him Fernando Franco de Escobedo, and says he was commander of the villas of Samayon and Santi-Estévan. He was later promoted to the presidency of Guatemala.
35 Cordones governed from March 27, 1672, till September 28, 1674, and Angulo from that date to the 18th of December 1677. Ancona, Hist. Yuc., ii. 263–5. HIST. MEX., VOL. III. 11
The following governor, Antonio de la Iseca y Alvarado, an old inhabitant of Mérida, was removed through the intrigues of his enemies on the 20th of February, 1679, by the oidor Juan de Aréchiga, sent by the audiencia of Mexico. He was reinstated, however, one year later, and remained in undisturbed possession till 1683,3 when on July 14th Juan Bruno Tello de Guzman succeeded him. The administration of this governor is marked in the annals of Yucatan by the frequent invasions of pirates, who, owing to the pusillanimity of Tello, met with little resistance. To check such raids the fortification of Campeche was resolved upon, but it was only under the rule of upon, his successor, Juan José de la Bárcena, an experienced soldier and energetic man, that any considerable progress was made with the works. 38
The rule of the last two governors, who at the close of the seventeenth century administered the affairs of the province, is noteworthy for the internal dissensions which prevailed. On August 20, 1693, Roque de Soberanis y Centeno, a man rather young for such high position, was intrusted with the reins of power. Mainly through lack of experience he made, within a short time, a number of enemies, in whose ranks appeared also the bishop of Yucatan, Juan Cano y Sandoval. The dispute became so fierce that Soberanis was excommunicated in July 1694, and upon complaints laid before the audiencia
36 In 1682 a conflagration destroyed half of the town of Campeche. Robles, Diario, i. 343.
3. Castillo, Dicc. Hist. Yuc., 89-91. Robles, Diario, i. 399, calls him BarHe ruled from July 25, 1688, till August 20, 1693.
38 Details are given in Castillo, loc. cit. The total cost of the fortification of Campeche, derived from contributions by the crown and the inhabitants, and from certain imposts, amounted to more than 200,000 pesos. In February, 1690, the first pieces of heavy artillery ever seen in the province were landed at the town.
39 He owed his appointment to his descent from one of the wealthiest and most influential families of Cádiz.
40 Biographers of the bishop, who was a native of Mexico, speak of him in very favorable terms. See Registro Yuc., ii. 278-81; Castillo, Dice. Hist. Yuc., 145; Concilios Prov., 1555-65, 359-60; Figueroa, Vindicias, MS., 70; Robles, Diario, i. 355, 360, 375.