Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

hundred pesos a year. Later the former received the title of governor, but in 1730 his civil functions were the same, though he received from the viceroy the rank of lieutenant captain-general and military governor. Between 1730 and 1733 it was ordered that this official should also have authority over the garrison of Ulúa, a resident commander of the fortress being appointed as his subordinate." After the establishment of intendencias in 1787 the powers of the former were greatly enlarged, the offices of governor and intendente being afterward combined.18

At the close of the eighteenth century the intendencia of Vera Cruz contained a population of about one hundred and fifty-four thousand.19 The second town in importance was Córdoba, founded, it will be remembered, in 1618.20 In 1746 it contained over seven hundred families." About thirty years later its population was about the same. Most of the houses were of stone; the streets were wide and well paved, and a plentiful supply of water was obtained from the mountain streams in its neighborhood. In the center of the plaza was a large fountain, and on one side of it stood the cathedral, the three remaining sides being adorned with Gothic arches. The surrounding vegetation was rich and of many hues, and

17 Reales Cédulas, MS., ii. 233-4. It is there stated that Antonio de Benavides was the first one vested with these powers. He was appointed about the year 1734.

18 The intendente was also subdelegado of the city of Vera Cruz and its district. Rivera, Hist. Jalapa, 164. The first intendente of Vera Cruz was Pedro Corvalan, appointed in 1788. [In Id., i. 165, Cervalan.] In 1792 Pedro Gorostiza held that office. Id., 164. In 1795 Diego García Panes received the appointment. Gomez, Diario, in Doc. Hist. Mex., série ii. tom. vii. 436; and in 1798-Plan de Defensa de San Juan de Ulúa, in Col. de Diario, MS., 510.

19 Distributed among 372 poblados. Cancelada, Ruina de la Nueva España, 73-5. Lerdo de Tejada states that there were 2 cities, 5 villas, 147 pueblos, 60 haciendas, and 157 ranchos. Apunt. Hist., 365-6. It extended from the bay of Términos to Tampico, a distance of 210 leagues, with a varying width of 25 to 35 leagues. Its boundaries are defined in Rivera, Hist. Jalapa, i. 150-1, and remained the same until 1824.

20 See p. 27, this vol.

21 Two hundred and sixty Spanish families, 126 of mestizos, 60 of mulattoes and negroes, and 263 of Indians. The town had now an alcalde mayor. Villa-Señor y Sanchez, Teatro, i. 265.

TOWNS AND COUNTRY.

on its deep soil of red clay 22 were produced most of the tropical and subtropical fruits. The raising of tobacco and sugar, of which plantations were first established early in the seventeenth century, was still the leading industry, but here, as elsewhere in New Spain, nature was so prodigal of her gifts that little effort was needed on the part of man, and many of the Spaniards grew wealthy almost without exertion. 23 Although in 1790 an earthquake demolished or dam

[subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed]

219

[graphic]

VERA CRUZ PROVINCE.

aged nearly all the buildings, the town appears to have steadily increased in prosperity, for in 1810 it contained at least eight thousand inhabitants.2

24

Among the most flourishing towns in the province was Jalapa, where, between 1720 and 1777, the annual fair was held, on the arrival of the fleet from Spain,

22 The depth was at least ten feet.

The principal industry was sugar-raising, and at this date there were more than 30 sugar-mills in Córdoba, worked mainly by Indians.

24 Eight thousand to 10,000, of whom five eighths were Spaniards. Diario Mex., xii. 233-4.

being transferred thence from Vera Cruz. Before the former date half a dozen commercial houses, established by merchants in the capital, had monopolized the entire trade of the surrounding district, but within a few years afterward goods to the value of thirty millions of pesos changed hands at each fair. This increased circulation of wealth caused people to abandon their simple habits, and to adopt the dress and amusements and most of the vices of the Spaniards in the Old World. In 1794 Jalapa was declared a city,25 and together with Córdoba and Orizaba was a favorite summer resort for the merchants of Vera Cruz.

Orizaba stood on the high road from Mexico to Vera Cruz, being distant about thirty-eight leagues from the latter city and forty-six from the capital. It was situated in a beautiful valley and surrounded with forest-clad mountains, high above which towered the snow-capped volcano of Orizaba. So luxuriant was the surrounding vegetation that a square league of land sufficed for the pasturage of about seven thousand sheep.26 Here was a halting-place for caravans laden with merchandise, and the point where goods in transit were appraised. In 1777 its population numbered about forty-five hundred, of whom it was estimated that nearly three thousand were of Spanish descent.27

[graphic]
[ocr errors]

COAT OF ARMS OF JALAPA.

25 In 1746 there were 786 resident families of Spaniards, mestizos, and Indians. Villa-Señor y Sanchez, Theatro, i. Later the population appears to have decreased, for Humboldt states that in 1803 its population was only 1,300.

26 A traveller passing through the province of Vera Cruz in 1777 states that within the space of a Spanish league he counted 11 flocks of sheep, each numbering over 600. Thiery, ii. 71.

27 In the town were several tanneries, and factories for the making of coarse cloth. A large quantity of tobacco was raised in its neighborhood. Pinkerton's Mod. Geog., iii. 214.

CHAPTER XII.

FLOOD, FAMINE, AND ECLIPSE.

1688-1692.

LAGUNA'S ADMINISTRATION-HIS SUCCESSOR, THE CONDE DE GALVE-THE PIRATES DRIVEN FROM THE SOUTH SEA-WAR WITH FRANCE-PIRATES IN THE NORTH SEA-THE ARMADA DE BARLOVENTO-UNION OF SPANISH AND ENGLISH AGAINST THE FRENCH-DROUGHT AND FLOOD-LOSS OF CROPS EXCESSES OF THE SOLDIERY-DEATH OF MARÍA LUISA-THE DRAINAGE SYSTEM-PORTENTOUS EVENTS-THE BAKERS REFUSE TO BAKE-EFFORTS OF THE VICEROY.

THE successor to the marqués de la Laguna was the conde de Monclova,' who made his public entry into the capital on the 30th of November 1686, and whose administration lasted for nearly two years, when he was appointed viceroy of Peru. He is represented by the chroniclers of the period as an upright and vigilant ruler, and the charges brought against him at his residencia were even more frivolous than those preferred against his predecessor.3 Little worthy of

2

1Don Melchor Portocarrero, Lasso de la Vega, conde de Monclova, comendador de la Sarza en la orden de Alcántara, of the royal council of war, and of the junta of war of the Indies. Reales Cédulas, ii. 3. He was commonly known as Brazo de la Plata on account of his false arm, his own having been lost in battle. Lorenzana, Hist. Nueva España, 27. His wife was the Doña Antonia de Urréa. Ibid. He had several children, of whom four accompanied him. Vetancvrt, Trat. Mex., 16.

2 October 15, 1688. Ibid. He embarked at Acapulco, May 11, 1689. Rivera, Gob. Mex., i. 264.

There were but six trifling charges. Zamacois, v. 445. Among other measures adopted by the viceroy was one compelling all the religious who were without license to return to Spain. He also enforced a law forbidding creoles to serve among the troops in Vera Cruz. During his administration the condition of the natives did not improve. They suffered most in the missions of Rio Verde and Tampico, and in Nuevo Leon. There the Spaniards robbed them of their wives and daughters, sold their young children as slaves, and deprived them of their best lands. The friars appealed to the king in their behalf, but to little purpose. Id., 263–4.

note occurred during his administration, but the next seven years form an exciting epoch in the annals of the capital. During this time New Spain was governed by Gaspar de la Cerda Sandoval Silva y Mendoza, conde de Galve, a gentleman of the royal bed-chamber, and knight of the order of Alcántara. He arrived at Vera Cruz, accompanied by his wife," on the 18th of September 1688, and about two months later took formal possession of office."

8

One of his first acts was to adopt measures for the extermination of the corsairs, whose increasing numbers and daring kept the coast settlements, both in the North and South seas, in constant alarm." Soon after his arrival he applied to the church authorities for money to aid in making the necessary preparations, to which appeal the archbishop and several of the bishops responded with contributions amounting to nearly eighty-nine thousand pesos. Hardly had he assumed office when news reached the capital of the capture by corsairs of Acaponeta, a small town on the coast of Nueva Galicia. Besides a quantity of silver the enemy carried off many prisoners, including forty women and two friars, an outrage which caused the viceroy at once to despatch an expedition in their pursuit. Troops were sent from Mexico City, and there being no other vessel available, a Peruvian frigate, recently arrived at Acapulco, was ordered to go in search of the enemy. The capture of Acapo

4 Cavo, Tres Siglos, ii. 72; Reales Cédulas, MS., ii. 4; Lorenzana, Hist. N. Esp., 27; Rivera, Gob. Mex., i. 265. By some authorities his name is variously given as Gaspar de Silva Cerda; Gaspar de Sandoval Cerda Silva y Mendoza, Robles, Diario, i. 500; Parian, Col. Doc., 16.

5 Doña Elvira de Toledo, daughter of the marqués de Villafranca. Robles, Diario, i. 500.

On November 20th. He made his public entry December 4th. Robles, Diario, i. 501-2, 505-6; or, according to Cavo, Tres Siglos, ii. 72, Sept. 17th; in this statement Cavo is followed by Lorenzana, Hist. N. Esp., 27. See also Rivera, Gob. Mex., i. 265; Mayer's Mex. Aztec, i. 217.

7 While en route to Vera Cruz he captured a corsair frigate in the gulf of Mexico. Sigüenza y Góngora, Carta al Almirante, MS., 3.

8The archbishop and his clergy gave 80,000 pesos; the bishop of Puebla 5,700; of Guadalajara 1,700, and of Oajaca 1,500. Rivera, Gob. Mex., i. 268.

« AnteriorContinuar »