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(MEXICAN MANUSCRIPTS.) Volume of Maya litigation over hacienda land in Campeche, illustrated with 4 maps. 165 manuscript leaves, mostly on sealed paper, including 4 manuscript maps. Folio, contemporary limp calf, moderate wear; front hinge split, large folding map worn and separated at fold. Campeche, 1730-1819
This volume contains records relating to a hacienda, San Agustín de Olá and San Cayetano, in the city of Campeche, including maps of the surrounding area. Beginning with acquisition records for the hacienda and its surrounding land from 1730, first from local indigenous Maya people and later Spaniards, the documents soon turn to litigation. As in other similar volumes from colonial Latin America tracing land ownership, local indigenous people appear throughout, disputing non-indigenous purchases and acquisition of lands in and around their communities. In this case, the governor of Campeche had authorized the original sale and creation of the hacienda on the condition that the Indians of the nearby town, San Diego, would approve it and not have their crops harmed by the hacienda's cattle. A local official, the Defender of Indians charged with preventing the exploitation of the indigenous, also had to approve the deal. The cacique or leader of the town, Sebastián Chuc, had approved the sale of the hacienda for 50 pesos to non-Indians. His descendants some decades later, however, argued that the transaction was illegal and fraudulent. They claimed, among other things, that the required witnesses were not present. For the case, a map was made in 1761 of the hacienda and parts of the communities it bordered; wear to the original map and the continuing importance of the matter led to the creation of a copy in the nineteenth century, also included. Both maps are in vivid color and record not only the buildings of the hacienda, but also the fields and boundary markers that separated San Agustín de Olá and San Cayetano from other haciendas and towns. Two other maps are bound in the text as well, both of them more modest line drawings that examine details of the territory. The Mayans of San Diego were at least partially successful in their legal efforts; the hacendado Miguel Martínez de Miranda relinquished some of the land. The volume ends with documents from 1819, years after the controversy, when the government of Campeche auctioned off the hacienda.