Lot 47 of 96:
Troubles on Arizona frontier, 1720 document  

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Lot closed - unsold
Estimate:
$10,000 - $15,000

Title:
Manuscript document containing complaints about unjust actions and dereliction of duty by Joachin Joseph de Rivera, the Chief Justice of Sonora, and other government and military officials

Author:
Anza, Juan Bautista de, et al.

Place:
Sonora & Parral, northern New Spain

Publisher:

Date:
February 22 & May 19, 1720

Description:

12 pp. on three double-page folios, stitched together, now coming loose. Signed by Juan Bautista de Anza (1693-1740) and 10 other complainants. 31x21.5 cm (12¼x8"), housed in modern custom cloth & boards folder.

Important manuscript on the troubles that ensued in the Presidios of the frontier (the region today comprehending northern Mexico and Southern United States), which involved, amongst others, Juan Bautista de Anza. The document contains a complaint started by various residents of Sonora province regarding the injustices generated by Joachin Joseph de Rivera, appointed as Chief Justice of Sonora. It also contains a complaint about Captain's Gregorio Álvarez de Tuñón y Quirós who, in the view of the residents of Sonora, lacks commitment to his duties. Finally, it also includes the ruling on these claims by the Governor of Nueva Vizcaya, Martin de Alday. The most notable of the 10 persons who signed the complaint, with their rubrics, is Juan Bautista de Anza (1693-1740), a Basque officer and explorer, founder of a large portion of the province of Sonora in the American Southwest (not to be confused with his son of the same name, 1736-1788, notable for his explorations of California).  A document that includes the signature of the elder Anza is very rare. He arrived at Fronteras to replace Captain Don Gregorio Álvarez Tuñón y Quirós, who had arrived at this Presidio (also known as Presidio de Santa Rosa de Corodéguachi) amid an administrative crisis after committing multiple offenses for which he was tried. There he was ordered to protect the area from attacks by the Apaches. In this Presidio, he found a location that, militarily, offered great advantages. From the top of the Sierras, and provided with watchtowers, this location offered great visibility and allowed to closely monitor the movements of the enemy. The present document is of great import in recording and reporting the events and activities on the northern frontier at the time.

The manuscript includes:
 
The Complaints and Requests from the residents:
 
Declaration and pleadings from various residents of the province to Sonora to Martin de Alday, Governor and Capitán General of Nueva Vizcaya, about injustices they claim the appointment of Joachin Joseph de Rivera as Chief Justice of Sonora is generating. It also includes complaints about the poor job performance on the part of Captain Gregorio Álvarez de Tuñón y Quirós. Dated in Sonora, February 22, 1720. Title: Declaration where various Sonora residents list their complaints regarding two matters.
 
In the first complaint, regarding the naming of Joachín Joseph de Rivera as Chief Justice, the residents point out that it is well known that he is not of noble blood and therefore not suited to a position that requires the candidate to certify his "clean blood". Furthermore, they report he is known to incite quarrels and fear among the residents, who do not recognize him as Chief Justice. In return, they say, Rivera counters to this opposition by abolishing established laws and calling armed Indians against them, who are labeled as “Spanish rebels”. They list various disorders that are incited by Joachín Rivera in the province.
 
The second complaint centers on the lack of zeal Captain Gregorio Álvarez Tuñón y Quirós shows for his job. It describes Álvarez's properties and mines, and how he neglects his duties as Captain to focus on his private affairs, to the extent of not even residing in the Presidio. He is accused of governing for his personal benefit and the profit of his mining business in detriment of the province's residents. "And because the Tapisques he wanted to work in his mines in detriment of the other neighbors were denied, the most faithful Pima nation had to intervene on our behalf, and if it was not for this, Sonora would be no more." This complaint further states that the Captain busies himself with political and not military matters like he is supposed to. 
 
For all of these reasons, the residents request that Joachin de Rivera not be recognized, and be deprived of his position of the Chief Justice. They also request that a neutral person be appointed to observe and report about the activities of Captain Álvarez, and that he should either be a miner or a Captain, but not both. 
 
Date and validation: Sonora Province, February 22, 1720. Roque Patiño, Francisco de Amabiscar, Antonio de Miranda, Francisco Xavier Barcel[on, Juan Matheo Mangé, Juan Domínguez de Berrote, Pedro López de Zequeira, Ygnasio de Sotomayor, Juan Bautista de Anssa, Pedro de Arguelles, and Joseph de Goicoechea. All of the above have signed and added their rubrics to this document. 
 
The Secretary’s Form:
 
A document by Alonso de Servantes, Martín de Alday's secretary, indicating that the complaint and request are not accepted because it is presented on common paper. Dated in Parral, May 14, 1720.
 
Review and Sentence:
 
The review and sentence come from Martín de Alday where he answers the document and rules. Dated in Parral, May 19, 1720.
 
In his sentence, Alday summarized the previous declaration and decides to confirm, temporarily, the nomination of Raphael Pacheco Cevallos, Chief Mayor of the Province, to handle the matters listed in the request until they are resolved. 
 
He also rules that an order should be given to the said Chief Mayor to notify Gregorio Álvarez to leave the area and the mines and relocate to the Fort of Santa Rosa (de Corodeguachi, Presidio Fronteras, Arizona - Sonora) under penalty of a fine should he not comply. 
 
Alday also indicates that, for now, he will not notify the Viceroy of these complaints until the effect these resolutions have is known. 
 
Finally, he instructs that the Chief Mayor should notify Rivera that he should not generate fear or arguments among his neighbors and that if he fails to comply, he will be evicted from the province. 
 
All of this will be enforced by Captain Pacheco, also under penalty of a fine for non-compliance. 
 
Date and validation: Parral, May 19, 1720. Martín de Alday (signature and rubric). Witness: Alonso de Servantes. Dispatched on June 11, 1720. Servantes (rubric).
 
 

Lot Amendments

Condition:
Moderate wear to edges and elsewhere, as may expected


 
Item number:
343856
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