The full content of this document is only available to subscribing institutions. More information can be found via

Title Breve descripción y relacion dela parte mas util y digna de atencion de esta America, en la gobernacion de Sonora y de las misiones que en esta remota provincia administran los PP. Misioneros del Colegio de Propaganda Fide de ls Santa Cruz de Queretaro [manuscript]
Author Reyes, Antonio de los (1729-1787)
Document Type Official Record; Correspondence
Description From the Newberry Library Catalogue: Copy of a report, possibly to Viceroy Bucareli, by Fray Antonio María de los Reyes, on the status of the missions in the province of Sonora administered by the Franciscan missionaries of the Colegio de la Santa Cruz in Querétaro. Reyes briefly describes the early explorations of Nuño de Guzmán in 1531 and Francisco de Ibarra in 1563, and discusses Viceroy Croix’s commission to the Franciscans to evangelize Sonora and assume control of the missions left by the Jesuits after their expulsion from Mexico in 1767. He details the hardships that the missionaries must face, such as hostile Indians and a widely-scattered population, with no formal Spanish settlements. He points out the many abuses of the Indians: settlers seize the best lands, often forcing out Indians already there. Merchants manipulate markets, so that the Indians must sell their crops cheaply but must buy at artifically high prices. Indians are regularly bribed and exploited with mescal, the manufacture of which has been outlawed. Missionaries and church officials often abuse the Indians by making them perform hard labor for little or no pay. Reyes also describes the explorations of 1770 and 1771 by Fray Francisco Garcés from San Xavier del Bac north to the Gila and Colorado Rivers, and emphasizes the need to send more missionaries to this remote region where the Indians seem eager to embrace Catholicism. The report is dated April 2, 1772 in the Colegio de San Fernando in Mexico City.
Names Garcés, Francisco Tomás Hermenegildo (1738-1781); Guzmán, Nuño de; Ibarra, Francisco de; Croix, Viceroy
Places San Xavier del Bac, Arizona, Gila River, Colorado River, Colegio de la Santa Cruz, Querétaro, Sonora, Colegio de San Fernando, Mexico City, Mexico; Spain
Keywords religion, church, missionary, Franciscans, exploration, history, Jesuit, hostility, settlement, Spain, New Spain, colonialism, commerce, money, trade, subsistence, agriculture, alcohol
Theme Indigenous Peoples of Mexico; American Indians and the European Powers; Military Encounters: Conflicts, Rebellions and Alliances
Culture Area Mesoamerica, Southwest
Language Spanish
Library The Newberry Library
Copyright The Newberry Library
Collection The Edward E. Ayer Collection
Reference VAULT box Ayer MS 1122
Catalogue Link The Newberry Library Catalogue