Don Vasco de Quiroga. Documentos. Biografía de Juan José Moreno, Ordenanzas de los Hospitales, Testamento, Información en Derecho, Juicio de Residencia, Litigio por la Isla de Tultepec

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Author: Quiroga, Vasco de (c1470-1565) introduction and notes by Rafael Aguayo Spencer from the library of Professor George M Foster

Year: 1940

Publisher: Talleres Graficos de la Nacion

Place: Mexico City


xxii+473 with facsimiles and indexes. Royal octavo (9 1/4" x 7") bound in half leather with four raised spine bands in gilt lettering over brown boards with original wrappers bound in. From the library of George M Foster. First edition limited to 500 copies.

Vasco de Quiroga was born into a noble family. He studied law and later theology. He became a lawyer in Salamanca in 1515. He took holy orders late in life, but advanced rapidly in the church. He was a judge of the Chancellor's Court of Valladolid at the time of his appointment in 1530 as one of the oidores of the second Audiencia in New Spain. After the disaster of the first Audiencia, Emperor Charles V was determined to find officials of proven humanity and integrity for the second one. This he was able to do by soliciting the recommendations of the archbishop of Santiago, Juan Tavera. The president of this second Audiencia was Bishop Sebastian Ramirez de Fuenleal, and the other members were Quiroga, Juan de Salmeron, Alonso de Maldonado and Francisco Ceinos. They began governing in Mexico City in 1531. Quiroga founded the hospital-pueblo of Santa Fe (Mexico City), with his own money. This was his first attempt at building a Utopia on the model of Sir Thomas More. He converted many Indigenous to Christianity. He sat on the tribunal that ordered the bloody conquistador and president of the first Audiencia, Nuno Beltran de Guzman, be returned to Spain in chains, where he spent the rest of his life in prison. Quiroga and the other oidores of the second Audiencia also conducted the trial of Juan Ortiz de Matienzo and Diego Delgadillo of the first Audiencia. On the emperor's nomination he became the first bishop of Michoacan in 1537. He remained in Michoacan as pastor and protector of the Indians for most of the remainder of his life. As bishop, he transferred the seat of the bishopric from Tzintzuntzan to Patzcuaro. In Patzcuaro he founded the cathedral and the Seminary of San Nicolas. He worked to gather the Indians in large towns near Lake Patzcuaro in the center of Tarascan territory, recently ravaged by Beltran de Guzman. Using Thomas More's Utopia as a model, here the Indians were to be taught religion, crafts and the fundamentals of self-government. Each town was to become the center of an industry. Each person worked six hours a day and contributed on an equal basis to the common welfare. He gradually realized the necessity of restricting the scope of his plans, which he had hoped to apply throughout the colony, to the smaller area over which he had jurisdiction, partially because his personal funds were not unlimited. When the newly conquered Chichimec Indians of Michoacan rebelled in 1533, Quiroga was sent to that province as visitador (inspector). With his prudent and just measures, he soon pacified the rebels. Here he founded another hospital of Santa Fe, also on More's principles. Greatly influenced by More's socialist Utopia, Quiroga believed that applying its principles to the Indian population would be the best way to counteract the earlier depredations of Beltran de Guzman. Bishop Quiroga's efforts were very successful, and he was said to be greatly beloved by the members of his flock. He was known to them as Tata Vasco (Father Vasco). Charles V had prohibited the enslavement of conquered subjects, but in 1534 he revoked that prohibition, at least insofar as to allow slavery of natives captured in a "just war". When Quiroga became aware of this, he wrote to Charles his celebrated Informacion en derecho (1535), in which he strongly condemned the encomenderos, saying that they did not accept the natives as men, but only as beasts. Quiroga passionately defended the Indians, arguing that they did not deserve the loss of liberty. In 1545 Quiroga left for Spain to attend the Council of Trent, but his ship was damaged and he was forced to return to New Spain. He left again in 1547 and did attend some sessions of the Council. He took several Indians with him and presented them at Court. While in Spain he was frequently called upon by the emperor and the Council of the Indies to give advice on colonial questions. He returned to New Spain in 1554. On his stopover in Santo Domingo, he obtained banana seedlings, which he introduced into Michoacan. In 1555 he participated in the first provincial council of the Church. He died in 1565 in his 90's on a pastoral visit in Uruapan.

George McClelland Foster, Jr born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, on October 9, 1913, died on May 18, 2006, at his home in the hills above the campus of the University of California, Berkeley, where he served as a professor from 1953 to his retirement in 1979, when he became professor emeritus. His contributions to anthropological theory and practice still challenge us; in more than 300 publications, his writings encompass a wide diversity of topics, including acculturation, long-term fieldwork, peasant economies, pottery making, public health, social structure, symbolic systems, technological change, theories of illness and wellness, humoral medicine in Latin America, and worldview. The quantity, quality, and long-term value of his scholarly work led to his election to the National Academy of Sciences in 1976. Virtually all of his major publications have been reprinted and/or translated. 


Foster's stamp to title. Light edge wear, some pencil underlining and notation, inner gutter cracked  else very good. 

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