Repartimiento labor request authorized by the Viceroy of New Spain

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Author: Fernández de Córdoba y López de las Roelas, Diego (1578-1630)

Year: 1613

Place: Mexico City


One page folio 12 1/4 x 8 1/2 inches, with docketing on verso, plus separate cover leaf reading only "Juan Garcia Mercado, No. 2" in script, document signed "Marqués de Guadalcazar," as Viceroy; and by his scribe. housed in a custom made enclosure.

Diego Fernández de Córdoba was named viceroy of New Spain by King Philip III of Spain, for whom he had served as lord of the bedchamber. Early in his mandate in New Spain, he sent Captain Diego Martínez de Hurdáiz to suppress an uprising of the Tehuecos, an ethnic subgroup of the Cahuitas of Sinaloa. Martínez de Hurdáiz was successful after fighting several battles. The viceroy also founded many cities, including Lerma (1613), Córdoba (1618), and Guadalcázar (1620).

The repartimiento system, frequently called the mita in Peru and the cuatequil (a Spanish-language corruption of Nahuatl coatequitl or cohuatequitl) in New Spain (Mexico), was in operation as early as 1499 and was given definite form about 1575. About 5 percent of the indigenous peoples in a given district might be subject to labor in mines and about 10 percent more for seasonal agricultural work. A colonist who wanted a repartimiento had to apply to the viceroy or the audiencia (provincial appeals court), stating that the supplemental labor required on his plantation or ranch or in his mine would provide the country with essential food and goods. Condition: Moderate wear with slight loss at intersection of folds else very good. 

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