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cerning the reconquest of New Mexico records the discovery
of certain books that had undoubtedly been kept in the con-
vents of the Zuni area. On November 10, 1692, he arrived at
Corn Mountain, on the top of which the Indians of the pueblo
of Alona then were living. The following day he ascended
the rock, and in one of the rooms of the pueblo he found
various ecclesiastical ornaments and seventeen books. With
one exception, a volume of Quevedo's works, they were of
religious character. 13 (See appendix, nos. 60-76.)

In the documentary sources for the period prior to 1659,
we have noted only three references to books in the posses-
sion of provincial governors. The first tells of a work en-

10. This petition, dated in July, 1660, is found in A. G. M., Papeles de Bienes
Nacionales, leg. 1214, exp. 6.

11. A. G. M., Inquisicion, tomo 507.

12. A. G. M., Inquisicion, tomos 507, 587.

13. A. G. I., Guadalajara, leg. 139. Passage translated in J. M. Espinosa, First
Expedition of Vargas into New Mexico, 1692 (Albuquerque, 1940), 199-203.


titled Prdctica criminal eclesidstica (77) owned by Governor
Pedro de Peralta ( 1610-1614) , 14 His possession of a book
of this kind fits in with statements made by Vidania in his
opinions in defense of Rosas to the effect that Peralta was a
bachiller and that he had been trained in canon law ( bien
entendido y graduado en canones). 15 Peralta's term of office
was characterized by a violent controversy with the Fran-
ciscan prelate, Fray Isidro Ordonez, who was bold enough to
arrest the governor and hold him in jail for several months. 16
Subsequent to the arrest Ordonez and Fray Luis De
Tirado, minister at the Santa Fe convent, ransacked Peralta's
papers and personal effects, and Tirado kept the book noted

The second reference relates to books in the hands of
Governor Juan de Eulate (1618-1625). Governor Eulate,
like Peralta, was involved in controversy with the friars,
who accused him, among other things, of asserting authority
over the local prelate, even in spiritual affairs, and of propo-
sitions contrary to the Faith. Eulate's attitude toward eccle-
siastical authority was inspired in part by an exaggerated
notion of his authority as representative of the king, and by
disputes with the friars concerning the general direction of
Indian affairs. The erroneous propostions ascribed to him
were the result of his fondness for theological dispute and
his delight in shocking his listeners by proclaiming scanda-
lous and unorthodox views. 17 It is obvious that he had more
than ordinary interest in doctrinal matters and politico-
ecclesiastical problems and it is not surprising, therefore, to
find references to his ownership of ecclesiastical books. Un-
fortunately, the sources do not record their titles, and only
one author is noted the Portuguese canonist, Fray Manuel
Rodriguez. 18

14. Relacion verdadera q. el p. c predicador fr. Fran. co Perez guerta de la orden
de S. 1 fran. co guardian del convento de galisteo hiyo al R. ino Comiss. Gen. 1 de la dha.
orden de la nueba esp.* .... 1617? A. G. M., Inquisicion. tomo 316.

15. A. G. M., Inquisicion, tomo 595.

16. See Scholes, Church and State, Ch. II.

17. Ibid.. Ch. III.

18. A. G. M., Inquisicion, tomo 356.

BOOKS IN NEW MEXICO, 1598-1680 237

In 1656 Juan Manso de Contreras, brother of Fray
Tomas Manso who successfully directed the mission supply
service for a quarter-century, became governor, and he
served the average three-year term. His successor, Gover-
nor Bernardo Lopez de Mendizabal, conducted his residencies
with considerable severity and held him in jail until the
summer of 1660 when he was able to escape to Mexico City.
Among the effects which he left behind in his cell in the Casa
de Cabildo in Santa Fe was a book entitled Jornadas para el
cielo (79), 19 one of the numerous devotional works of the
popular Franciscan preacher, Fray Cristobal de Moreno.

Such is the information at hand concerning books
owned by governors who served prior to 1659. The paucity
of the data is undoubtedly explained by the character of the
available documentary sources for this period, which deal
mostly with special incidents or special phases of adminis-
tration, in which references to books in the possession of
provincial governors would be only incidental. Except for
Manso we have no inventories or lists of the property and
personal effects of the dozen or more persons who held office,
and even in Manso's case the list is obviously incomplete.

The two immediate successors of Manso were Bernardo
Lopez de Mendizabal (1659-1661) and Diego de Pefialosa
(1661-1664). These men became involved in prolonged
controversy with the friars and were eventually tried by the
Holy Office of the Inquisition. Lopez' wife, Dona Teresa de
Aguilera y Roche, also stood trial before the tribunal. 20 The
records of these cases and the prolonged litigation over the
property of the defendants constitute the most important
block of sources at present available on the history of New
Mexico prior to the Pueblo Revolt, and they throw a flood of
light on every phase of social life in the province. The papers
contain detailed inventories of the property and personal

19. A. G. M., Tierraa, tomo 3286.

20. For a lengthy account of the administrations of Lopez de Mendizabal and
Pefialosa, see Scholes, Troublous Times in New Mexico, 1659-1670 (Albuquerque, 1942),
Chs. II-X.


effects of the two governors, including numerous books of
various kinds.

Bernardo Lopez de Mendizabal was a native of the prov-
ince of Chietla in New Spain. He received an academic
education in the Jesuit colleges of Mexico City and Puebla,
and in the Royal University where he studied arts and canon
law. After spending a few years in the galleon service, he
went to Cartagena where one of his cousins was bishop. At
the latter's request he prepared to enter the priesthood, but
finally abandoned this vocation and married the daughter of
the local governor. His wife, Dona Teresa de Aguilera y
Roche, was a native of Italy, where her father had held an
administrative post before his transfer to Cartagena. Her
mother was an Irish woman who had been reared in the
household of the Marques de Santa Cruz in Spain. Eventu-
ally Lopez returned to Mexico where he held office as alcalde
mayor, first in the province of San Juan de los Llanos, and
later at Guaiacocotla. In 1658 the viceroy, Duque de Albur-
querque, named him governor and captain general of New

From the beginning of his term of office L6pez antagon-
ized both the Franciscan friars and many of the soldier-
colonists. He introduced innovations in the system of Indian
labor, increasing the wage scale for household servants and
farm laborers and reducing the number of Indians in service
at the missions. Instead of supporting the friars in their
campaign against Indian ceremonial dances, he authorized
the public performance of these pagan ceremonies in all of
the pueblos. He also called into question the authority of the
custodian as ecclesiastical judge ordinary, and in the sum-
mer of 1660 actually forbade the prelate to exercise such
authority pending a decision by the viceroy on the subject.
Resentment against Lopez' governmental policies was ac-
centuated by his personal conduct, negligence in the observ-
ance of his religious obligations, and by tactless remarks
which many persons regarded as bordering on unorthodoxy
and heresy. The gossipmongering servants at the Casa Real

BOOKS IN NEW MEXICO, 1598-1680 239

made things worse by reporting incidents which many per-
sons professed to regard as evidence that both the governor
and his wife were practicing Jews.

The friars sent lengthy reports to Mexico City, and in

1661 Lopez was replaced as governor by Diego de Penalosa.
The residencia proceedings which Penalosa conducted were
unduly severe, and at times were characterized by fraud. In
the midst of the trial ex-governor Manso returned bearing
edicts of the audienda calling for a review of his own
residencia and settlement of claims he had made against
L6pez. To satisfy these claims, part of L6pez' property was
embargoed, and in the inventories made at the time we find
the first references to books in his possession. (See appen-
dix, nos. 80-87.) The books and other property were placed
in deposit with a local citizen, and there is evidence that
that part of these goods, including most of the books, were
later taken over by Penalosa. 21

The complaints against Lopez filed by the friars had
also been referred to the Holy Office, and in the spring of

1662 the tribunal issued orders to arrest him and his wife,
Dona Teresa. Execution of these decrees was carried out on
August 26, 1662, by Fray Alonso de Posada, the local pre-
late and commissary of the Inquisition. The property re-
maining in Lopez' hands was embargoed in the name of the
Inquisition, and elaborate inventories were made prepara-
tory to shipment of the property to Mexico City. In these
lists and in copies later filed during litigation in the vice-
regal capital, we have additional lists of books belonging to
the governor and Dona Teresa. 22 (See appendix, nos. 88-103.)
Additional evidence concerning their book holdings is also
found in the lists of personal effects in their possession when
they entered the jail of the Inquisition, and in numerous inci-

21. Record of the property embargoed to satisfy Manso's claims appears in
A. G. M., Tierras, tomos 3268, 3286.

22. The lists of goods, including books, embargoed by Posada after the arrest of
L6pez and his wife appear in A. G. M., Tierras, tomo 3283.


dental references and passages in the trial proceedings. 23
(See appendix, nos. 104-107.)

The lists of their books show an extremely large propor-
tion of religious and didactic works. In spite of the accusa-
tions that they neglected their religious duties and were
even suspect in the Faith, Dona Teresa, at least, seems to
have been devout enough after her own fashion. She ex-
cused their irregularity in attendance at mass on the grounds
of illness and the fact that she was unaccustomed to the
severity of the New Mexico climate. Their critics made a
particular point of an incident which took place while the
procession was passing the Casa Real on Good Friday, 1661,
accusing them of disrespect for the religious ceremony.
Their replies are in essential agreement. Both state that
they were ill, and she adds that she was reading aloud to
him "the passion of Our Lord," while he identifies the book
as Fonseca, Discursos morales para las ferias de la Ciwresma
(82). They alleged the same reason for their absence from
the reading of an Edict of the Faith, and in reply to the
criticism on this point and to the charge that she had never
been known to show particular devotion to any saint,
Dona Teresa more than once went into considerable detail
on the subject of her favorite devotions, the cofradias to
which she belonged, and the devotions and bulls pertaining
to them which she used. She listed among her favorite
prayers those in the Perfecto Cristiano (106) , and this book
was one of the three she had with her when she was admitted
to the jail of the Inquisition in April, 1663. In November of
the same year, at one of her audiences before the tribunal,
she asked to be allowed to have this work.

It is interesting to note that an edict of the Holy Office
to withdraw from circulation certain litanies, books, and
other things was read in Santa Fe during Lopez' stay in New
Mexico. He and his wife were present, and she testifies as
follows :

23. The trial proceedings of Lopez are found in A. G. M., Inquisicion. tomos 587,
593. and 594. The proceso against Dona Teresa is in Ibid., tomo 596.

BOOKS IN NEW MEXICO, 1598-1680 241

And in addition, when Fray Diego de Santan-
der read the first edicts, I handed over to him the
Office of the Pure and Immaculate Conception of
Our Lady and that of the Glorious Patriarch St.
Joseph, and some Litanies of the Most Sweet and
Lovely Mother of God, and the Memorial of the five
greatest sorrows of the Most Holy Virgin, because
all these were among those which the edict of this
Holy Tribunal ordered taken up ; and as a faithful
and Catholic Christian, obedient to its commands, I
was the first to give them up, although they had
been among my particular devotions.

She also claimed that she had been in the habit of reading
devotions to her attendants and presented them with extra
copies of certain ones which she happened to have. Appar-
ently they had also brought almanacs with them, for Dona
Teresa remarked that in case of doubt as to whether a cer-
tain day was a Church feast, the guardian would send to ask
them to look at their calendarios.

In his testimony concerning Lopez' conduct on the way
to Mexico City, Fray Salvador de Guerra says that he was
told by a certain lay brother, Fray Felipe de la Cruz, who
had the task of bringing food to the prisoners during their
stay at the convent of Santo Domingo, that Don Bernardo
had asked him for a spiritual book to read. Fray Felipe
brought him Molina's De oration (59), but said that Lopez
was not satisfied with it and asked him to find a libro de
romances because Molina was to spiritual for him. In his
defense Lopez contradicted this, saying that he read the
book two or three times and kept it until the day he left
Santo Domingo without asking for another, "nor did he
scorn it ; indeed he loved it because it affected him deeply."

Although the number of secular books listed as the
property of Don Bernardo and Dona Teresa is not large,
they had some of the outstanding and most influential works
current at the time. In general there was no occasion to cite
them in the controversies, accusations, and replies recorded
in the documents, but it seems likely that they were read


and enjoyed, for unless they suited the needs and taste of
their owners, there would have been little point in carrying
them on the long and arduous journey to New Mexico.

The practical usefulness of certain items, such as a
book on surgery (90) and Argiiello's treatise on public
documents (100) makes further comment on them unneces-
sary ; and since there is evidence that the works of Nebrija,
especially the grammar and vocabularies, were popular
among educated persons in the colonies and were imported
in large numbers, it is not surprising to find that Lopez
owned his Latin vocabulary (87). The possession of such
historical works as a life of Philip the Prudent (92) and the
chronicle of the Augustinian Order in New Spain (97) is in
keeping with Lopez* interests as a widely travelled man who
had held military and administrative posts of various kinds.
The same is true of a book in Latin called the Prince (86) .
Although other books, including Machiavelli's famous work,
fit the description given, it may have been Saavedra Fa-
jardo's Empresas. A copy of this turns up later in Peiia-
losa's possession (129) and there is ample evidence that he
kept such of L6pez' books as took his fancy. In fact he prob-
ably acquired some of the volumes which are listed only
among his property when he ransacked Lopez' residence on
different occasions, and he may even have taken books kept
for reference in the library or archive of the Casa Real at
the time when he carried off a large part of the local archive.
Saavedra Fajardo's brilliant work enjoyed great popularity,
and in view of Penalosa's literary tastes, as shown by the
inventories of his books, especially his predilection for
Gracian, it is likely that this book would have appealed to
him if he found it among Lopez* belongings. Lopez owned
another book dealing with the same general subject, which
was among his personal effects when he was brought to the
jail of the Holy Office in Mexico City. This was Fray Juan
Marquez Gobemador Christiana (107), one of the many
Spanish works written to refute Machiavelli's Prince by
setting forth the virtues of the ideal Christian monarch.

BOOKS IN NEW MEXICO, 1598-1680 243

The Lopez inventories show only four books designed
more for amusement than instruction. One of these was
Cervantes' Don Quijote (81). Unfortunately, we have only
the single reference to it at the time it was embargoed by
Penalosa's order in July, 1662. There is no further record
of what happened to it, but it is likely that it remained in
New Mexico. Espiners Marcos de Obregon (94) and a book
of Comedias by different authors (99) were taken to Mexico
City with the rest of the property embargoed by order of the
Holy Office, and they were eventually returned to Dona

Only one of the four, Ariosto's Orlando furioso (104) , is
mentioned other than in the inventories. Dona Teresa had
a copy of this in Italian, which had been given to her by her
father, and her reading of it gave rise to much speculation
and suspicion. It is unlikely that her fondness for it would
have aroused so much comment if her critics in their ignor-
ance had not seized the opportunity to ascribe the worst
possible motives to her obvious enjoyment of a book concern-
ing the contents of which they had only her word to go on.
Although she told at least one of her accusers that it was in
Italian and concerned love, they professed to believe that
because of her character and conduct it was sure to contain
"English heresies" and that she must be a heretic too. It is
not difficult to understand why Dona Teresa inspired suspi-
cion and dislike on the part of the citizens of Santa Fe, for
in that rough and isolated frontier community she must
have seemed a very exotic personality. A fine lady by birth
and upbringing, well travelled, apparently educated above
the average according to the standard of the time, she made
no attempt to conceal her impatience with the follies and
ignorance of her servants and neighbors. They, in turn,
could hardly have been expected not to resent her superiority
and strange ways, especially since she used little tact in her
relationships with them. Many of the accusations against
her and her husband were based on modes of life so foreign
to local custom that they were believed to be Jewish rites.


Her reading of a book in a tongue unknown to them was
merely one item in a long list of actions misunderstood and
criticized because they were out of the common in that place
and time. Nevertheless these accusations were incorporated
in the formal charges against her, and her replies not only
throw light upon conditions in New Mexico but reflect her
own knowledge and opinions concerning the value and stand-
ing of what she read.

Her principal reason for reading Ariosto was to practice
the Italian language which she had learned as a child, and
her father had given her the book so that she would not
forget it.

But the said book contains nothing against our
Holy Faith but only what the books called romances
of chivalry usually contain: enchantments and
wars. And sometimes she could not help laughing
when she was reading those things.

On another occasion she wrote :

If the book had been evil, [my father] would
not have permitted me to read it, nor would he have
done so, for he was a very good Christian. And this
book, according to what I heard from him and
other persons, has been translated into our Castilian
language, like the Petrarch, of which it is a com-
panion volume although the style is different.

It is quite clear that it never entered her head that the book
in itself might be frowned upon as improper reading for
good Catholics, let alone that it might actually be forbidden.
This may serve as some commentary on how dead the letter
of the laws forbidding the exportation to the New World of
romances of chivalry and similar fiction was, even though
clerical opinion in Spain itself tended to consider such works
dangerous to the morals of the majority because of inability
to distinguish facts from fiction. Moreover, this aspect of
the matter did not come up in her hearings before the tri-
bunal of the Inquisition. The fiscal's charge was founded,
not upon the identity of the book as the Orlando furioso, but

BOOKS IN NEW MEXICO, 1598-1680 245

upon the statements of witnesses concerning the probable
heretical nature of a book in an unknown tongue which they
had seen Dona Teresa read. He added that the charge could
not be dismissed until "it is proved what the book is and it
is examined and found to contain no tainted doctrines con-
demned by our Mother the Church." To this she replied as
follows :

She said that the book referred to in the
charge can only be the one she has already men-
tioned . . . , that it is current and widely read in
both Italy and Spain by persons who understand it,
for at the beginning of each chapter there is a
statement called the allegory which says that only
the good is to be taken from it and not the bad ; and
it inculcates great morality and good doctrine ; and
God help the witness who had such suspicions.

Later on, written statements which she made in her defense
show the influence of her lawyer. In them she reiterates her
declaration that the book was "the works of Ariosto, which
are not condemned," and qualifies the testimony of her
accusers as "not testifying but jumping to a rash conclusion
and injuring me." Then she goes on to say:

But the chief thing is that in order to be able
to proceed with this charge, it was absolutely nec-
essary to prove what this book was and that it was
heretical or condemned, because owning and read-
ing books, even though they may be in a foreign
language, for the Italian, or Tuscan, language is
not unintelligible or unknown as the charge says,
are not prohibited but regularly allowed and per-
mitted. The witness was under obligation to say
that it was a forbidden book and the charge should
have been based on this condition and proof of it,
for to presume such a thing is a violation of law,
which regularly allows books. And no book is as-
sumed to be forbidden unless proof is offered, espe-
cially in this kingdom where the vigilance of this
Holy Tribunal is so astute in the examination and
expurgation of books and in withdrawing from cir-
culation those which should not be current. . . . And
it is not the obligation of the accused, but of the


plaintiff, who is the fiscal, to prove that it is for-
bidden, because even if forbidden books are found
in anyone's possession, it is necessary to prove two
things in order to give origin to presumption of
heresy: first, that the books are by a heretical
author; second, that the person who has them
knows this. Moreover, there is still a dispute among
the doctors as to whether the presumption which
arises from this is valid. But in this case there can
be none, nor any motive for suspicion or surprise
that, knowing the Italian language, I should have a
book in it, nor is it my fault that the servants who
saw me read are ignorant.

Here the matter rested, for in December, 1664, the pro-
ceedings against her were suspended and some of her own
and her husband's property, including the books taken by
the Holy Office (see appendix nos. 88-103) was returned to
her. Don Bernardo had died in prison on September 16,
1664, before his case was settled. Some years later, in
April, 1671, a sentence absolving him was pronounced by the
Inquisitors, and his remains were transferred to the con-
vent of Santo Domingo in Mexico City for ecclesiastical

Diego de Penalosa, the successor of Lopez de Mendiza-
bal as governor of New Mexico, was an adventurer who had
an eventful career in various parts of the New World and
later in London and Paris. A native of Lima, he spent his
youth in that city and in La Paz, where his family had prop-
erty holdings and enjoyed a certain local prestige. He was
tutored by one of his uncles who was in holy orders, and
later studied "grammar and rhetoric" with the Jesuits in
Lima. His public career began as regidor of La Paz, and
when only eighteen years of age he served as procurador of
that city in litigation before the audiencia of Charcas. Later
on, while serving as alcalde provincial of the Santa Her-
mandad in the La Paz area, serious complaints were filed
against him and he was summoned before the viceroy in
Lima. To escape arrest he took refuge in the Augustinian
college, and a short time later his friends put him on board

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