NEW SPAIN. Razon de los Precios a que se Remato el Assiento de Viveres en D. Pedro de Roxas. [Mexico: 1731].
Folio (11 4/8 x 8 inches). 4-pages, printed on 3. 6-line woodcut initial on the first page (a little spotted).
Provenance: signed and initialed by Joseph Delorez Moranz on behalf of Senor Marques de Casa-Fuerte, and with the official ink tariff stamp of Philip V of Spain for 1730-1731, for one quartillo on the first and last pages.
A schedule of fixed prices at which the contracts to supply provisions to the Presidio of San Juan de Ulua in the Gulf of Mexico were sold by auction to Don Pedro de Roxas for a period of 9 years from 19 April 1731. The list includes ingredients by hundredweight for Vizcochos (or Bizcochos) and bread, as well as fresh meat and all sorts of staples, including chocolate, and as such was clearly a very lucrative contract for Don Pedro de Roxas.
The complex of fortresses on the island of San Juan de Ulua guarded the entrance to the strategic port of Veracruz in the Gulf of Mexico, which the Spanish had held since Cortes landed in 1519, and held until the opening decades of the 19th-century, with Mexican Independence in 1821, preceded by the bitter fighting between the British, French and Spanish forces from about 1792 onward.
Spain conquered the Aztec capital, Tenochtitlán, now Mexico City, by 1521 and the Inca capital, Cuzco, by 1535. Both the Aztecs and the Incas had amassed a staggering wealth in exquisite gold and silver objects, which the conquistadors under Hernando Cortés in Mexico set about plundering immediately. Spain quickly established the viceroyalties of New Spain, based in Veracruz, and Peru, and by the mid-1500s Spanish galleons loaded with treasure sailed annually from Veracruz for Europe, frequently becoming prey to pirates based in the Bahamas. A good reason for fortifying the coastline. By 1700, many colonial regions of North America had reached the last stage of imperial colonization. Beginning with King William's War (1689), Spanish, French, and English colonists and their Native allies found themselves involved in repeated wars these European nations contested for dominance in North America.
"Despite their vast claims, European nations in reality occupied only a small portion of the Americas by 1700. Most territory remained in control of Native peoples, on whom Europeans depended for trade, geographic expertise, and military support. While disease, warfare, and expanding settlements continued to decimate many Indian nations, most also found ways to adapt to the presence of Europeans and maintain control over their lives. Some resisted. The Pueblos of New Mexico drove Spaniards out of the region for twelve years in the Great Pueblo Revolt (1680-1692). The Comanche and Apache also rejected missionization and Hispanicization well into the nineteenth century. Others, such as Indian peoples in French-influenced areas, established ties through trade alliances and intermarriage that produced a creole population of mixed-bloods or Métis, who played a major role in North American development after 1700" (William R. Swagerty and Elizabeth Mancke for ANB).
In the 1821 Declaration of Independence of the Mexican Empire, both Mexico and Central America declared their independence after three centuries of Spanish rule and formed the First Mexican Empire, although Central America quickly rejected the union. The new Mexican Empire offered the crown to Ferdinand VII or to a member of the Spanish royal family that he would designate. After the refusal of the Spanish monarchy to recognize the independence of Mexico, the ejército Trigarante (Army of the Three Guarantees), led by Agustin de Iturbide and Vincente Guerrero, cut all political and economic ties with Spain and crowned Agustin I as emperor of Mexico. Central America was originally planned to be part of the Mexican Empire, but seceded peacefully in 1823, forming the United Provinces of Central America. RARE: only one copy located, in the Newberry Library. Catalogued by Kate Hunter