This ecclesiastical case disputes the rights to parishioners between two parishes in what is today Sonora. It is titled "Expediente sobre pertenencias de los curatos de S. Ign'o y S. Xabier" (or "Proceedings regarding the properties of the parishes of San Ignacio and San Javier"). The cura of San Javier had long argued that the clergy of neighboring San Ignacio were unfairly allowing his rightful parishioners to receive services, robbing him of revenue. Moreover, many of the supposed residents of San Ignacio were illegal squatters who did not possess a valid license to settle in the area. The two parishes had agreed in 1793 that San Ignacio would pay San Javier an annual sum of 50 pesos to compensate, but the cura of San Ignacio stopped making the agreed-upon payments after two years. The cura of San Javier complained to an ecclesiastical judge, sending him this description of the events, a copy of the agreement between the two parishes, and a map. The centerpiece of the file, the map, is a detailed depiction of the parishes and towns in the area, and the river and mountains (Sierra de los Frailes, known today as Picacho de los Frailes) that surrounded them. All of the local ranchos are included and named, as these were central to the dispute. Much of the longer history of the region is explained throughout, revealing, for example, that San Javier had long been the only parish since the Conquest, and that San Ignacio arose only recently when some settlers felt disaffection toward the clergy of the former. A fascinating text for those interested in the history of the settlement and organization of Mexico's north.
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