Apr 12, 2018 - Sale 2473

Sale 2473 - Lot 299

Price Realized: $ 8,125
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 3,000 - $ 4,000
(MEXICAN MANUSCRIPTS.) Documents on the maintenance of aqueducts, roads, and dikes in Mexico City. [419] manuscript pages. Folio, contemporary vellum, minor wear; minor foxing to contents. Mexico, 1686-98

Additional Details

A large volume containing records from the years 1686 to 1698 regarding public works and labor in Mexico City, particularly the maintenance of canals, aqueducts, causeways and roads. During this period, a severe famine caused unrest among the indigenous inhabitants. Rioting by Indians caused extensive damage to the city in 1692. These documents show that much of the basic infrastructure of the city was in a weakened state, worsened by the scarcity indigenous workers willing and able to maintain it. One canal that passed by the convent of Regina Coeli, for example, was overflowing and flooding the streets because it was clogged with garbage. A road going from Chapultepec to Tacubaya was almost entirely in ruins. Some of the documents suggest offering maize to entice the starving Indians to provide much-needed labor. Nonetheless, the city's officials did manage to secure some laborers, and there are several documents listing the names of Indian workers and the money paid to each. Expenses for various projects are also provided. These texts offer a rare glimpse into the management of colonial Mexico City's infrastructure during an especially challenging period. They also give insight into the relations between indigenous laborers and colonial authorities. Many of the documents are by the regidores of Mexico City, Juan Núñez de Villavicencio and Juan de Aguirre y Espinosa. Also included are documents signed by José Sarmiento Valladares, the Duke of Montezuma, as Viceroy of New Spain from 1696 to 1701.