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MENDOZA


1S6


MENDOZA


afterwards its president. Ovando no doubt already knew Mcndictii by name, through his letters written from Now Spain in \MV2 and irili") to the commissary, Bustaniante, and to King Pliilip II. The questions propounded to Mendieta by Ovando concerned the civil as well as the religious administration, the two being, in con.sequence of the existing relations between Church and Crown, very closely interwoven; and Mendieta's replies reveal, not merely isolated opinions, but a fairly complete and systematic theory of govern- ment. In his view the authority of the Viceroy of New Spain should be increased ; that of the Andicncia diminished, and limited exclusively to judicial matters. In the administration of justice, except in criminal cases, he would desire separate tribunals for Spaniards and for Indians, particularly in suits concerning the

Possession of land. As to the question of compulsory ndian labour, in agriculture and mining, he was per- plexed. The difficulty was a serious one: if the In- dians were not compelled to work, then, perhaps con- tent with their land and what little they olitained from it, they would not assist the Spaniards, and these lat- ter could not by their own unaided efforts [provide for themselves and for the otherSpaninrds who inhabited the cities, nor could they, without the Indians, derive from the mines the profit which they looked for. Lastly, however, Mendieta pointed out that in some cases the Indians vohmtarily entered into contracts to work for hire, and that this ought to be wisely en- couraged and facilitated. His love of the Indians im- pelled him to speak unfavourably of the Spanish colonists. He a.dvocated complete separation of the two races in different towns and villages, saying that the Spaniards ought to have only such settlements as might be necessarj' to secure the country against for- eign invasion; and he would have these Spanish settlements situated on the borders of the Chichimecas and the savage tribes, with the sole object of guarding the frontier. The Indians, he said, ought all to be confined to certain towns chosen by themselves, and some of these towns ought to be transferred from their actual sites to others more suitable. To Ovando's inquiry, by what means the friars and the bishops could be made to dwell together in peace, his answer clearly betrays his fiery character and the partiality of his views. He suggests the appointment of two bishops in each diocese, one for the Spaniards and one for the Indians, clearly giving it to be understood, at the same time, that the bishops ought all to be chosen from the religious orders. The secular clergy he treats without either mercy or justice, although it ap- pears from the testimony of Bishop Montufar that at that time they were performing their duties correctly, that they knew the language of the aborigines, and were on good terms with the friars. Mendieta con- cluded by proposing that a commissary-general of the Indies should be appointed, with residence at Se- ville, who should arrange all the affairs of his order with the Council of the Indies. Tliis last was the only one of his suggestions which met with approval, the first commissary-general appointed being Francisco de Guzman, in 1572, to whom Mendieta immediately wrote his congratulations.

On 26 June, 1571, his general ordered liim back to New Spain, asking permission, as was usual, from the Council of the Indies. Jeronimo de Albornoz, Bishop of Tucuman, a member of the council, opposed the granting of the permission, but these difficulties were overcome in 1573, when Mendieta set out, taking with him several religious of his order. In 1575 and 1576 he was guardian of Xochimilco; in 1580 he was at Tlaltelolco, and in 15S5 was superior of the convent of Tlaxcala. Soon after this he accompanied the com- missary, Alonso Ponce, on visitations, and by his ad- mirable tact and prudence kept himself out of those troubles which arose within t he order from the opposi- tion of the provincial and liis partisans to Ponce's


execution of his commission. In 1591 he was guar- dian in Santa Ana of Tlaxcala, and in 1597 of Xochi- milco. He was buried in the convent of Mexico.

Having undertaken to write the history of the In- dies on his return from Spain, he was delayed in exe- cuting the work for twenty-five years by the large number of duties which he had to discharge, and, in addition, the consultations and negotiations with which he was charged by the Ciovernment. It is known, for instance, that, while he was guardian at Tlaxcala, he was busy with the work of removing four hundred families of Christian Indians, to colonize among the Chichimecas. Mendieta's principal work is his "Ilistoria Eclesiastica Indiana". The general, Cristobal de Capitefontium, gave him the command to write on 27 June, 1571; the work was not completed until 1596. He sent it immediately to Spain, as he had been ordered to do, and never had any further knowledge of it. No writer later than Torquemada ever q^uoted it, until, through the exertions of Senor Joaqum Garcia Icazhalceta, the manuscript, acquired at Madrid, was printed in Mexico in 1870. It is di- vided into five books. The first book, consisting of seventeen chapters and a prologue, treats "Of the in- troduction of the Gospel and the Cliristian religion in the islands of Espanola and the neighbouring regions which were first discovered ". The second, containing forty-one chapters and a prologue, tells " Of the rites and customs of the Indians of New Spain and their infidelity". The third, containing sixty chapters and a prologue, treats " Of the manner in which the Faith of Our Lord Jesus Chri.st was introduced and planted among the Indians of New Spain". The fourth, con- taining forty-six chapters and a prologue, treats "Of the improvement of the Indians of New Spain and the progress of their conversion." The fifth book is di- vided into two parts: the first contains fifty-eight chapters, and "There are related the lives of the noble men, apostolic workers of this new conversion, who have ended in peace with a natural death"; the second part., only ten chapters, treats "Of the Friars Minor who have died for the preaching of the Gospel in this New Spain". In this work he displays, without fear or human respect, and even exaggerates at times, the vices, disorders, abuses, tyrannies, and wrongs done by the colonists; he goes so far as to flout the Government, not excepting the sovereign himself. The lofty spirit of rectitude and justice which domi- nates the work enhances the value of its simple, terse narration, while the vigour and freedom with which it is written, as well as its clarity and propriety of lan- guage, render it pleasing to the reader.

Mendikta, Historia EclesifiMica Indiana (Me.xico, 1870); IcAZBALCETA, Obras (Mexico. 1905): Berlstain, Bibliotera his- paTW-americana septentrional (Amecameca, 1883); Betan- COVRT, Menalogio franciscano (Mexico, 1873).

Camillus Ceivelli.

Mendoza, Diego Hurtade de, a Spanish diplomat and writer, and one of the greatest figures in the his- tory of Spanish politics and letters; b. in Granada, of noble parentage, about 1.503; d. in Madrid, 1575. He received his early education under private tutors and later at the University of Salamanca. A powerful personality, he was a man who carried to a successful termination whatever he undertook. He was des- tined originally for the Church, and acquired much knowledge suited to further his ecclesiastical advance- ment, both at home, where he learned to speak Arabic fluently, and at Salamanca, where he studied Latin, Greek, philosophy, civil and canon law. But he preferred politics and literature, and attracted the notice of Charles V, who sent him in 1530 as ambassa^ dor to the Republic of Venice. In 1543 the em- peror sent him as one of his representatives to the Council of Trent, where he successfully sustained the imperial interests. Wliile at the Council he was appointed in 15-17 special ambassador to Rome and