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Title Report containing suggestions for revising the project to drain the lagoons around Huehuetoca in the Valley of Mexico [manuscript]: [ca. 1654]
Author Ruiz Venegas, Hernando Bernabé
Document Type Manuscript; Correspondence
Description From the Newberry Library Catalogue: Report, probably from around 1654, by Ruiz Venegas, curate of the church in Michoacán, in which he forwards to the viceroy suggestions for accomplishing the drainage of the area around Huehuetoca quickly, effectively, and economically. Ruiz Venegas, who spent 18 years in Huehuetoca, states that the only way to avoid flooding in the area is to drain the three lagoons of Coyotepeque, Zumpango, and San Cristóbal, formed by the confluence of the Cuatitlán and Pachuca Rivers. Although the existing dikes help somewhat, they constantly need repair and, furthermore, are unreliable. To carry off all the water that must be drained, he suggests widening the gap cut through the mountains in Huehuetoca, 8 leagues from Mexico City, a project begun in 1607 by engineer and entrepreneur Enrico Martínez. Ruiz Venegas’ recommendations include hiring the best expert, not necessarily a Spaniard, to oversee the project; putting the local Indian caciques in charge of the Indian workers in their respective jurisdictions; paying the workers a salary of 2 reales a day plus living expenses; setting a deadline for completion of the project; and offering incentives and prizes for special achievements by the workers. He believes that by eliminating the multitude of supervisors and administrators, the government can save a considerable amount of money. In addition, if the Indians themselves are in charge of the project, they will work more quickly and with greater commitment. Ruiz also proposes that the local magistrate hear cases involving the workers, instead of a specially-appointed judge; and that a priest be paid 60 pesos per month to administer the sacraments to the workers. The report, signed by Ruiz Venegas, was forwarded to the fiscal (attorney for the Crown) on Jan. 18, 1654.
Names Martínez, Enrico (d.1632)
Places Coyotepeque, Zumpango, San Cristóbal, Cuatitlán, Pachuca River, Michoacán, Huehuetoca, Mexico
Keywords church, economy, settlement, white settlers, Spain, New Spain, colonialism, commerce, payment, employment, expenses, government, government relations, law, law and order
Theme Indigenous Peoples of Mexico; American Indians and the European Powers
Culture Area Mesoamerica
Language Spanish
Library The Newberry Library
Copyright The Newberry Library
Collection The Edward E. Ayer Collection
Reference VAULT box Ayer MS 1209
Catalogue Link The Newberry Library Catalogue