TYPE: Documents (Loose)
DIMENSIONS: 30.3 cm; 11.875 in.
COMPONENTS: [1] page.
CONDITION: Light waterstaining; one short fold tear and a small hole piercing the top line of text without loss of sense. Written in a small and legible hand.
ITEM ID: 449
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Manuscript on Fair Treatment for Mexican Indians

Year: 1628
Decade: 1620s
Century: 17th (1601-1700)
Notes: June 20, 1628

A Spanish manuscript from King Philip IV ordering priests to stop the abuse of native Mexicans. The title reads: “You will Stop Disinheriting the Indians!” and the manuscript Signed (“Yo El Rey”). This copy was sent to the bishop of Guadalajara, Mexico:

“The king has been informed that the vast majority of the Indians of Mexico die without having made a will but that they do make oral declarations that approximate the requirements of Spanish testaments, or they make written declarations in their native languages, all of which are ignored by the priests of the local doctrinas. These priests routinely go to the houses of the recently deceased and take possession of all moveable property, thereby disinheriting all heirs. The priests then use the goods as they see fit. The king orders the bishops of the New World to see that the practice is ended.”

Name: Philip IV, King of Spain
Type: Author