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Finding Aid for the Mexico City Treasury (Tesorería) - Account book for the year 1715, under the charge of Don Juan Antonio Vasquez Yañes, 1714-1717; bulk 1715
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Indexing Terms
  • Related Material

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Mexico City Treasury (Tesorería) - Account book for the year 1715, under the charge of Don Juan Antonio Vasquez Yañes
    Date (inclusive): 1714-1717; bulk 1715
    Collection number: 170/462
    Creator: Gabriel de Mendieta Revollo (b. 1660-d.?)
    Extent: 270 leaves : paper; 315 mm x 220 mm, bound to 325 mm x 225 mm.
    Abstract: Account book written by Gabriel Mendieta Revollo for the Mexico City treasury in the year 1715, when under the charge of Don Juan Antonio Vasquez Yañes. Primarily consists of payment receipts for high officials and local merchants that assisted the city government (cabildo) in its quotidian operations.
    Language: Finding aid is written in English.
    Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library Special Collections.
    Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
    Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

    Administrative Information

    Restrictions on Access

    COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

    Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

    Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

    Processing Note

    Cataloged by Pablo Sierra with assistance from Kelly Bachli, May 2008, in the Center For Primary Research and Training (CFPRT).

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Mexico City Treasury (Tesorería) - Account book for the year 1715, under the charge of Don Juan Antonio Vasquez Yañes (Collection 170/462). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library.

    UCLA Catalog Record ID

    UCLA Catalog Record ID: 4230403 


    The scribe responsible for the existence of the account book, Gabriel de Mendieta Revollo (or Rebollo), was a well-known public notary of Mexico City during the late 17th and early 18th centuries ("ssno. Ma. De el Cabildo, Justicia y Reximiento desta muy noble ciudad"). According to Irving A. Leonard, Mendieta Revollo was a "former student of the foremost Creole savant of his time, Don Carlos de Siguenza y Gongora," who often had this particular scribe draw up his private papers. Born in 1660, he appears as early as 1686 in a famous document related to the exhumation of Hernan Cortes' remains. Mendieta Revollo also authored an important document in relation to the 1692 riot and burning of Mexico City's municipal building, a document that has been preserved among the royal decrees of the Archivo Histórico del Distrito Federal (AHDF). Judging by Don Pedro de Avendaño Suarez de Sousa's 1697 dedication of a book in his honor, the scribe seems to have been a man of significance in New Spain's viceregal capital. The famed public notary was working as late as 1732, when his name appears in a cabildo document under the name Gabriel de Mendieta Rebollo, "escribano mayor de cabildo". At the time this account book was written, Fernando de Alencastre Noroña y Silva, the Duke of Linares, was the current viceroy (1710-1716), with Don Juan Antonio Vazquez Yañes as treasurer for Mexico City, "thesorero mayordomo de dichos proprios y ventas," a position he had held since at least 1698.

    Scope and Content

    The 1715 account book is divided into two main sections, the first consisting of building inspections and the many receipts of salary payments for government officials and local merchants. The text does not follow a chronological order, but instead provides a vague thematic organization based on the type of payment being made by the city cabildo (e.g. holiday expenses, officials salaries, merchant wares, etc.) Brief expense reports for various construction projects, which list the daily wages paid to architects, overseers and peons, are also included within this first section. In addition, several receipts confirming payment for the Corpus Christi celebrations, which would either take place in early May or June, highlight the extreme importance the holiday had as a popular festival in which all sectors of Mexico City's population participated. For instance, the political leaders of San Juan, Santiago Tlatituilco and other indigenous communities all received payment for their participation in the afore-mentioned holiday. Other remarkable documents include the payment receipts for two choreographers, Thomas Moreno Pacheco and Juan de Chaves, "maestros de danza" (93r-96v). As the cultural center of New Spain, the treasury records provide fascinating insight into the political elite's predilection for luxury as seen in the considerable sums of money spent on food and wine at two state dinners (128r-129v).
    The bulk of the documents contained in this first section of the account book is comprised of signed receipts acknowledging the government's payments or reimbursements of local officials for their services. Yearly salaries were systematically divided into three installments (tercios) leading to the need of dividing entire peso sums into fractions consisting of tomines and granos. Nonetheless, several prominent administrators such as the powerful Don Francisco de Urrua Muñarris, Conde del Fresno de la Fuente, received payments continuously throughout the entire year of 1715. As a result, the treasury's records illustrate the degree to which the political elite succeeded in working the colony's bureaucratic apparatus for its own benefit. The payment, transfer and partitioning of Bartholome Rodriguez de los Rios' inheritance seems to have benefitted a significant group of individuals, although its distribution within official treasury records is unusual. Several of the prominent magistrates featured within the 1715 account book, such as Don Juan Manuel de Aguirre y Espinosa, Don Ambrosio Melgarejo and Don Miguel de Cuevas Davalos y Luna, also appear as high officials during the documentation related to the famine of 1741 (UCLA Special Collections, Bound Manuscripts, No. 170/654). It may be worthwhile to examine the "Guía de las actas de Cabildo de la Ciudad de México, 1711-1720" published by Universidad Iberoamericana (1988) for further information on these well-documented individuals.
    Text in Spanish.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.

    Genres and Forms of Material


    Related Material

    Bound Manuscripts Collection (Collection 170)  . Available at UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library.