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Spanish archives.

Spanish archives and libraries hold immense documentary source materials bearing directly and indirectly on the history of the Native peoples of North America. This survey hopes to provide some stimulus to specialists in the field who are contemplating the possibilities of research in Spain, although in these few pages only the most general orientations regarding location and potential interest of the materials can be given.

There are many repositories, both public and private, which conserve documents on American history. Hilton and Labandeira,(1) in their general world survey of archives and libraries holding Americanist sources, include all Spanish collections and their published catalogues or checklists. Similar information for Spain can be found in Guia de fuentes para la Historia de Ibero-America conservadas en Espana,(2) and in the older, but still useful book by Tudela de la Orden.(3) We shall not repeat the bibliographical information readily available in these works, except where it has specific interest for North America or refers to very recent publications.

It is evident that the Spanish action in North American territories affected the Native population in many ways, and it is no less true that the characteristics and conduct of North American Indian peoples, whether in bilateral relations with the advancing Spanish frontiersmen or in the context of intertribal and international rivalry, conditioned the development of Spanish policies.

From the sixteenth century to the early nineteenth century the Spaniards led maritime and overland expeditions. These ranged along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts over the coastal and central plains, across the Appalachian and Rocky mountains, across the southwestern deserts and the Sierra Nevada, up into California and on to the remote Pacific shores of Canada and Alaska. Some were expeditions of discovery and exploration, a few very early ones hunted Indian slaves; many combined the objectives of conquest, colonization, Indian pacification and evangelization; others were punitive military campaigns, or scientific expeditions. Whatever their purpose pose and degree of success or failure, all generated documentary testimonies which are invaluable to the historian of the Native American peoples with whom these Spanish pioneers came into brief contact.

Spanish presence in one form or another was continuous in much of North American for long periods: in Florida and parts of Georgia and Alabama from the sixteenth century to 1763, and again from 1779 to 1821 when Spanish rule extended to southern Mississippi; in the vast Louisiana territory west of the river Mississippi from 1763 to 1803; in the New Mexico-Arizona territory from the end of the sixteenth century, and in Texas and California from the eighteenth century, until the independence of Mexico in the early nineteenth century. It is important to note that, from the perspective of Spanish imperial organization, all of these regions were considered peripheral provinces whose functions were strategic and defensive, and so actions there were of a military as well as missionary character. As such they were conditioned by the density, movements and attitudes of Native populations.

The Indians in these and neighboring regions felt the impact of Spanish policies and institutions in military, economic, social, cultural and religious matters. At first the Spanish had little or no other European competition, but soon the English and French colonies took hold in other parts of North America. The international rivalry which ensued forced the Spanish authorities to adopt radical changes in their attitudes towards Indians, particularly in the southeast and along the Mississippi Valley, where other white men (Europeans and, after 1776, Americans) vied with the Spaniards for lands, trade and alliances.

Holmes has pointed out(4) that most classic studies of North American Indians have relied on information gleaned from accounts of travelers, but that Spanish archives offer a rich lode of first-class material on many Indian peoples, before their clash with American soldiers, speculators and settlers. He cites two good examples of Spanish sources: a Choctaw census of 1795(5) and the texts of Spanish Treaties with West Florida Indians, 1784-1802.(6) Holmes suggests that many opportunities exist for research into Indian factors, interpreters and commissioners, or for analyses of the provision of supplies to Native peoples in the form of hospitality, gifts and trade items.


The General Archive at Simancas, one of the three large national repositories in Spain, is often regarded as the archive of the Austrian or Hapsburg monarchs because most of its documents date from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. In the reign of Charles Ill a royal order of 1778 in motion the transfer from Simancas to Seville of the documents referring to America. However, there remain many papers at Simancas which bear on North American history in the modern age from the sixteenth through the nineteenth century. Shepherd(7) located a good many of these in the Secretariats of State and War.

Section 6 of the Secretaria de Estado [State Papers] contains diplomatic dispatches and related materials in which references to North America abound. Such references are particularly plentiful in the following series: series IV, Spanish negotiations, 1592-1785 (legajos or bundles 2,636-2,841, 7,831-7,913, and 4,1054,125); series XIII, French negotiations, 1500-1789 (legajos 713-805, and 4,1934,70 1); series XIV, English negotiations, 1480-1780 (legajos 806-846, 2,511-2,604, 3,955-3,979, and 6,820-7,040); series XV, English embassy, 1764-1833 (legajos 8,133-8,333); and series LV, Boards of trade, 1706-1765 (legajos 7,582-7,636).

In the series on English negotiations, documents from the latter years of the eighteenth century become especially interesting, where mentions of southeastern peoples are found in connection with treaties, trade, gifts and intrigues. Also mentioned are hostilities of Georgians or Kentuckians among Native peoples under Spanish influence and the activities of the adventurer William Augustus Bowles and his Indian followers in Florida and London.

Parts of the French and English series have been catalogued by Paz and Magdaleno,(8) and more recently in three volumes on late eighteenth century/early nineteenth century documents related to United States independence.(9) A glance through the indexes of these series reveals references to Indians in the United States and North America in general, references to the well-known mixed-blood Creek leader Alexander McGillivray, and to another Indian leader named Francisco [Francis] The Prophet (identified by Hodge(10) as the early nineteenth century Seminole leader Hillis Hadjo), as well as innumerable papers concerned with North American places, events and peoples often in connection with limits of sovereignty, treaties, hostilities, and trade. It is worth noting, that these particular indexes are not necessarily comprehensive, as can be seen from the fact that those of Volume VI (State Papers, France) do not include references to Choctaws, Cherokees and Chickasaws, though these eastern peoples are mentioned in a 1779 letter from the count of Floridablanca to the marquis of Almodovar.

Other sections in the Simancas archive also contain documents for North American history: section 8, Guerra y Marina (War and Navy); section 9, Secretaria de Guerra. Siglo XVIII [War: eighteenth century]; section 10, Secretaria de Marina [Navy], series XVII of which contains materials on expeditions to the Indies for the years 171 1 to 1783 (legajos 392-428); section 12, Hacienda. Contaduria de Cruzada [Treasury: "crusade" accounts], series VI of which refers to America from 1535 to 1746 (logajos 554-591); and section 21, Hacienda. Secretaria [Treasury]. This last series offers two interesting groups of documents: series CVIII on the war against England, 1779-1799 (legajos 997-11000) and series CXIV on expeditions to America between 1762 and 1799, a period when Spanish attention was specially focused on the Pacific coast (;egqjos 1,762-1,799).

Perhaps the most interesting of these is section 9. Its series XL contains correspondence and other documents for the Floridas and Louisiana between 1779 and 1807 (legajos 6,912-6,932), many of which deal with aspects of Indian history in or near those borderlands.(11) There are, for example, sources on Bowles's activities, and on the participation of Indian warriors in a joint Franco-American assault against East Florida in July 1795. There are mentions of Alibamus, Caddos, Creeks, Choctaws, Cherokees, Chickasaws, Miamis, Savanas, Talapoosas and Bidals, as well as references to leaders Mistchicho, Mingo Ymita, Perro Rabioso (Mad Dog), the Choctaw leader Franchimastabe, the Alibamu Sulushemastabe, the Talapoosa Topalga, the Chickasaw Ugulayacabe, and Paie Min (perhaps the Chickasaw leader Payemingo).(12) Pedro Olivier and juan de la Villebeuvre, Indian commissioners among the Creeks and the Choctaws respectively, also appear in these documents.

This section 9 also contains series XLII on New Spain between 1748 and 1805 (legijos 6952-7050), which includes letters of viceroys and governors plus other papers relating to Spanish Texas, California, and the northern provinces in general, frontier zones where Indian policy was of continuous significance. Series L contains personnel files on Spanish officers stationed in New Spain from 1786 to 1800 (legajos 7270-7279), and in the Floridas from 1785 to 1805 (legajos 7289-7298). Series LI is concerned with military inspections between 1787 and 1800 (legajos 7299-7300), including Spanish Louisiana and New Spain. Series XLIX (legajos 7220-725 6) offers information on general affairs in America.

The archive at Simancas also houses maps, plans and drawings which contain numerous items of interest from the early modern period.


The National Historical Archive in Madrid also houses many primary sources for North American history. The inquisition section, for example, holds letters, reports, dossiers, consultations and other testimonies regarding not only religious matters but civil, fiscal and criminal proceedings generated by or under the Mexican court of justice. The Councils Section: Council of the Indies has a series on the viceroyalty of New Spain from 1761 to the nineteenth century, and includes documents pertaining to official investigations into the activities in Louisiana and Florida of governors Unzaga, Miro, O'Neill and Carondelet, as well as information about Bowles's subversive activities in Florida. Miscellaneous American matters also are contained in a collection of documents dating from the fifteenth to the nineteenth centuries. This section is called Diversos [Varia], and it includes some materials on sixteenth century Florida and New Mexico. The map section includes a w of areas of North America; most of them date from the last third of the eighteenth century.

By far the most fascinating materials in this archive are to be found in the state or foreign affairs section. Shepherd(13) briefly described these sources, covering the years 1712 to 1855, insofar as they touch on United States history, and a typewritten catalogue has been prepared by Charles Griffin and Roscoe Hill.(14) Much more useful are the two volumes prepared by Gomez del Campillo,(15) who catalogued the diplomatic papers on Spanish relations with Anglo America from 1737 to 1809.

In these legajos or bundles of documents can be found a wealth of sources for Indian peoples such as the Allbamus, Caddos, Cayugas, Cowapees, Creeks, Cherokees, Chickasaws, Choctaws, Iroquois, Kasihtas (Cusitas in Spanish), Lobos,(16) Mandans, Miamis, Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Osages, Otos (Otoctatas), Ricaras, Senecas, Talapoosas, Tuscaroras, Wabashes, Yamacraws and Yuchis (Uchises). Several Indian leaders are mentioned by name, including Achookuhee, the Cherokee Bloody Fellow, Franchimastabe, the Chickasaws Tascaotuca and Payemingo, Chocanosese, Fastonaque, McGillivray, the Ottawa leader Pontiac, the Choctaws Taboca and Teolakta, Tunape, the Alibamu Salusmastabe, Yagamehuma, Pushaouma, Ouma (perhaps Mingo Huma), Mattaha, Taalatoche, Houmastabe, Taskaoumastabe, Ugulayacaba, and Dog (perhaps the Plegan Siksika leader Many Horses also known as Sits in the Middle, and Little Dog).

Information on adventurers, traders, agents and envoys includes William Panton and John Leslie, William A. Bowles, George Clymer, Peter Olivier, james Seagrove, Louis Milfort, juan de la Villebeuvre, Benjamin Fooy, Cyrus Griffin, Joseph Martin, Charles Stuart, and Trouteau, the leader of an expedition to the Mandan country. The abundant primary sources include material on Indian congresses, on Spanish, English and United States treaties with Indian peoples, on trade, on land cessions, on the construction of forts in tribal territories, and in general on Spanish and Anglo-American Indian policy in North America. This last section particularly includes references to the Floridas and the Mississippi Valley, and Spanish policies, as seen through the correspondence of governors, intendents, military commanders, traders and commissioners.

Some specific examples may illustrate the value of these documents:

-- In 1793 Spanish authorities subscribed important treaties with several southeastern Indian peoples at Nogales (Walnut Hills);

-- In 1794, details about the practices and policies of a company formed in St. Louis to trade among the Indians of the Missouri River;

-- In 1795, news of the construction of an English fort in Mandan territory;

-- Official correspondence of 1794-95 concerning the appearance in Texas of thirty-three displaced tribes seeking permission to stay in that Spanish province;

-- Official correspondence of 1816-18 on American attempts to incite the Comanches against the Spanish Internal Provinces (northern frontier provinces of New Spain).

Gomez del Campillo's catalogue did not, however, exhaust the available materials in the section of foreign affairs in the National Historical Archive, and several more recent catalogues continue his work into the middle of the nineteenth century.(17) Spanish diplomats in the United States wrote letters very frequently, and included much general information about the new republic. Again, the indexes offer at a glance direct references to many Native peoples: Caddos, Choctaws, Cherokees, Chickasaws, Chippewas, Chuas, Comanches (naming different subgroups), Delawares, Foxes, Kansas, Kaskasklas, Mikasukis, Missouris, Ottowas, Pawnees, Pitavirate Neisy Pawnees, Pawnee Republic, Grand Pawnees, Peorias, Osages, Sauks (Sacs), Seminoles, Senecas, Shawnees, Potawatomies, Quapaws, Weas, Winnebagos and Wyandots. Seminole leader Pen and his brother and successor Boleck (Buleg, Bowlegs) are mentioned, as is leader Black Hawk. A multitude of other references cover the commercial, diplomatic, and military relations between rival powers in North America, all of which must be closely tied in with the life and destiny of Indian communities there.


Toward the end of the eighteenth century the General Archive of the Indies was established in Seville, bringing together the documents of the Casa de la Contratacion, which date from 1503, and a large part of those generated by the Council of the Indies, dating from 1519, plus papers from other organizations associated with the administration, trade and navigation of Spanish America. These documents are organized in sixteen sections, each in turn subdivided. Shepherd(18) described the holdings of interest for United States history, although the organization of the series has changed somewhat since his work by virtue of a 1927 simplification of the shelf and bundle numbers.

Section I, Patronato Real contains 295 legajos dating from 1480 to 1790, concerned with religious matters, particularly the Crown's prerogative of ecclesiastical patronage, and a few referring to early discoveries.

Accounts of explorations and conquests, together with descriptions of provinces in North America, can be found in legajo 19 for Florida (1527-1609), including documents on a 1577 Indian rebellion that destroyed the Santa Elena fort; in legajos 20-22 for New Spain, including New Mexico for the years 1520 to 1627, and in legajos 30 and 31 for the Californias from 1595 to 1685.

Legajos 52 and 53 contain information on the professional merits and services of the Spanish discoverers and conquerors of Florida from 1532 to 1600, while legajos 59-89 offer the same type of data for New Spain from 1524 to 1634.

Legajo 179 has a bundle of letters and other papers concerning the government of Florida between 1559 and 1593, including a report by Luis Mendez Vitoria on an Indian uprising. Legajos 180-184 have similar materials on New Spain, 1519-1648.

Legajos 241-243 cover certain aspects of defense and fortifications in Spanish Florida.

Section II, Contaduria General del Conseio de Indias consists of 1,945 leggios dealing with the general accounts department of the Council of the Indies and spanning the years 15 10 to 1778. This department received and checked the accounts of all the royal treasuries in America, plus those of the

House of Trade, the Seville Consulate, and of fleets and other naval forces operating in American waters. The information given here is detailed and accurate, as can be seen in the small example studied by Hoffman and Lyon.(19) They describe the contents of legajos 941-949, which conserve the accounts kept by royal officials in the province of Florida from 1565 to 1602. They discuss materials on Indian raids and wars, with information on casualties, forts staffed and evacuated, weapons and other supplies, and tributes paid by Natives.

Section III, Casa de la Contraticion de las Indias offers a wealth of information for the years 1492-1795. The 5,873 legajos discuss the organization of trade, fleets and other naval operations, gold and silver arriving in Spain from America, passengers going to America, and, of greater interest for the specific object of this survey, registration books and other documents pertaining to Spanish missionaries and mission posts in America from 1573 to 1786. Diverse aspects of North American borderland missions and Indian reactions are documented for the greater part of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Section IV Justicia contains the papers generated between 1515 and 1617 by the Council of the Indies in its capacity as the supreme court of justice for America, as well as the judicial proceedings of ten American audiencias [courts], the House of Trade and the court of the Canary Islands. The papers include dossiers formed in the course of inspections of American administration, and during the juicios de residencia or inquiries into conduct while in office, to which high officials were required to submit when vacating their posts. For example, legajos 1-106 and 971-1,003 offer information for the years 1515-1600, from the audicncia of Santo Domingo, whose jurisdiction extended to eastern North America. Legajos 107-279 and 1,004-1,029 cover the audiencia of Mexico from 1526 to 1597. Illustrative of these source materials is a case heard by the Santo Domingo court in 1578 concerning a government suit brought against Francisco de Eraso, a naval officer, for having taken an Indian princess [cacica] from Florida to Spain without permission.

Section VI, Escribania de Cimara de Justicia is a continuation of Section IV, and contains similar materials. Legaios 1-158 are concerned with the audiencia of Santo Domingo from 1574 to 1758, and include documents which refer to Florida, the Gulf Coast, and the Mississippi Valley. Likewise, legajos 159-330 refer to the Mexican audiencia between 1541 and 1760, a span which indicates the existence of valuable sources for Spanish activities among the Native peoples of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona.

Section X, Ultramar is made up of 880 legajos, the majority of which refer to the years 1760-1850 (although the complete span is 1605-1870). This is a continuation of section V, and includes materials for Florida and Spanish Louisiana from 1717 to 1822 in legajos 506-513.

Section XVI, Mipas, planos y dibujos constitutes one of the richest collections of early maps, plans and drawings of America In al it holds 3,392 items. Specifically of interest for North America, Torres(20) listed 574 items on Mexico and the Floridas, plus another 209 on Florida and Louisiana. Gonzalez,(21) for his part, has more recently published a catalogue of the Florida-Louisiana materials.

Without a doubt, the richest collections of documents for North American history are to be found in sections V, IX and XI.

Section V, Gobierno holds 18,422 legajos covering the years 1492-1858, and dealing with all government affairs except accounts and justice. The documents, classified in geographical divisions, are grouped by auadiencias, plus a final subdivision called Indiferente General which holds documents of general scope or application.

Here a very few examples will illustrate the possibilities. Amomg the papers of the audiencia of Santo Domingo one legajo tells of Spanish attempts to convert the Indians of the Florida Keys from 1715 to 1743, and another offers insights into the Franciscan missions and their official subsidies from 1713 to 1749.

The audiencia of Guadalajara includes a collection of documents about the conquest and pacification of the Indians in New Mexico from 1639 to 1754; consideration in 1758 of moving the fort at San Javier in Texas to a new site at San Saba; and a dossier on a 1775 uprising of the Indians in Pimeria Alta (Arizona).

The audiencia of Mexico contains sources on missions and military posts in eighteenth century Texas, and on expeditions to punish recurrent Apache raids.

Indiferente General includes complaints by Ponce de Leon about the capture of Florida Indians by other Spaniards in search of laborers; royal permission for him to send some Florida Natives to Spain to learn Spanish and to inform the authorities about their homeland; and several documents about juan de Onate's activities in New Mexico between 1597 and 1603.

Chapman(22) combed the papers of the audiencias of Mexico and Guadalajara in Section V to compile his calendar of source materials for the history of the Pacific coast and the Southwest. One need only work carefully through his indexes to amass a treasure-trove of references for the history of Native peoples of western North America. Apart from general and indirect information, the documents listed mention the following specific peoples: Apaches, Bidais, Carrizos, Chafalotes, Cholones, Cimarrones, Comanches, Karankawas, Limas, Lipans, Mayos, Mescaleros, Moquis, Natages, Navajos, Norterios, Opatas, Orcoquizas, Papagos, Pericus, Platos, Pimas, Pueblos, Salineros, Seris, Sibupapas, Sobaipuris, Sumas, Tarahumares, Texas, Tepocas, Tiburones, Tumanes, Yaquis, Yumas, and Yutas. Also mentioned are Indian leaders (sometimes styled as captains by Spanish authorities) Cabello Largo [Long Hair], Calixto, Chilitipage, Cueras, Cuerno Verde [Green Horn], Manuel, Marcos, Naspre, and Pascual.

Again, the particular subjects arising under the general heading of Spanish-Indian relations in the Southwest are far too varied to recount, and a handful of examples must suffice to whet the researcher's curiosity.

The marquis of Casafuerte informs the king in 1730 about the measures taken to send missionaries among the Pimas Altos; a 1751 report tells of robberies attributed to the Suma Indians and their alliance with the Mescalero Apaches, Salineros and Cholones.

Many documents dated from 1752 to 1755 examine the 1751 uprising of 3,000 warriors in the province of Pimeria Alta and attempts to suppress it without pushing the Pimas into an alliance with the hostile Apaches and Seris.

Jose Tiena de Cuervo tells the marquis of Cruillas (5 April 1762) that 250 Sobaipuris have been gathered at the mission in Tucson and more are expected to arrive. If well-treated, they are said to be likely to influence the Papagos as well as to help check the Apache raids.

Pedro Fermin de Mendinueta reports in 1768 that the hostile Comanches have received guns from the English in the Mississippi Valley.

Several Indian nations, including the Yaquis, present memorials in 1769 requesting that their missions be secularized and land distributed, offering to pay the usual tribute as an expression of their submission to the king.

Bernardo de Galvez informs the marquis de Croix in 1771 of a successful campaign against the Apaches and the recovery of stolen horses. Jose Rayni reports that Galvez's capture of an Indian village was possible only after he furnished 240 well-armed men.

Domingo Elizodo suggests that conquered Native peoples should not be removed from their own lands, but should be treated well, instructed in the faith, and constantly watched.

In 1772 Viceroy Bucareli tells the intendent of Sonora, Pedro Corbalan, to contrive to get the Indians to pay tribute, though granting them delays when necessary, and to make sure they go to work in order to acquire needed supplies. A 1773 dossier tells of financial help given to Pedro Jose Morales, captain of the Opata nation, and his companions,(22) so that they could return home. Viceroy Bucareli reviews the chronic Apache problem in 1773 and calls for a joint operation by the provincial governors under Oconor's coordination to save the provinces from ruin. Some weeks later Bucarell tells O'Reilly that the presidios [forts] of Monclova and Santa Rosa have been refounded at new sites, and the Indians of that neighborhood have consented to move north of the Rio Grande. In September of the following year, the viceroy was happy to inform Madrid about the friendship negotiated with the Lipan Indians and the bestowal of the rank of general of the Lipan nation on their leader Cabello Largo. Juan Bautista de Anza explains to Teodoro de Croix (30 June 1777) the complaints put forward by the Opata Indians and what he has done about them. On 20 November 1778, the Opata general Juan Manuel Varela thanks Croix for favors to his people and asks for permission to form a presidio of Opata soldiers against the Apaches, requesting also that Father Nunez be allowed to stay among them. Several 1779 letters tell of hostilities between the Lippas and the Mescalero Apaches. Felipe de Neve tells Anza not to claim that he discovered the land route to Alta California or that he defeated the Comanche leader Cuerno Verde, because the first was due to the Indian Taraval, and the other to captain Manuel de la Azuela. Some 1818-19 documents refer to campaigns against the Navajos of New Mexico and their pacification, as well as to the arrival in Tucson of the Apache leader Chilitipage and 78 Apache men, asking for peace.

A more recent, two-volume catalogue,(23) of 140,000 manuscript pages is to be found in the audiencia of Santo Domingo. Section V is concerned specifically with materials on Spanish Louisiana and offers much information well worth sifting through, for the historian of Native peoples in or near this vast province.(24) This work is complemented by Medina's catalogue of section V(25) which presents a list of documents, each briefly summarized, contained in the audiencia of Santo Domingo, the audiencia of Guadalajara, and Indiferente General These date from 1752 to 1822, and bear on Spanish relations with Anglo Americans and on the process of emancipation of the United States. The geographical areas and chronological period offer a wealth of information on Indian history in North America.

Choctaws, Cherokees, Chickasaws and Creeks appear frequently in these documents, as do Ahuahes, Alibamus, Bidais, Comanches, Kawitas, Miamis, Orcoquizas, Seminoles, Taguacanes, Talapoosas, and Yuchis. The history of tribal relations with Euroamericans can be analyzed in source materials which refer to trading posts (in Pensacola, Mobile, and elsewhere), types and quantities of merchandise used in trade, friendship agreements, gifts, food supplies, weapons and ammunition distributed among the Indians, hostilities, Indian congresses and treaties, Indian concern over land rights, and Euroamerican officials. Also mentioned are individual leaders like the Cherokee Bloody Fellow, the Chickasaws Chamby and Tascaotuca, the Creek Intipaya Masla, the Yuchi Mataliche, or Chetonaque, and Mingo Huma. Nor does the career of Alexander McGillivray go unnoticed.

Despite these notable efforts to bring the section's holdings to the attention of researchers, the cataloguing yet is incomplete. Much work remains in the audiencia of Santo Domingo, spanning the years from 1512 to 1858 and including the Floridas; in the audiencia of Mexico for the years 1519 to 1856; and the 257 legajos on New Spain from 1600 to 1834 in the Indiferente General division.

In short, the research opportunities in section V, Government of the Seville archive are stimulating, if somewhat overwhelming.

Section IX, Estado also is of great interest because its documents are of a diplomatic nature and deal with matters closely linked to North American Indian history. It details the role played by different Native peoples particularly those in the southeast and the Mississippi Valley) in Anglo-Spanish and Franco-Spanish relations in these areas. Bermudez Plata(26) catalogued the documentary series in this section referring to Louisiana, Florida, and Mexico. The series mirrors that of the state papers already discussed in the National Historical Archive. Correspondence and other papers of the 1790s, for example, deal with the activities of Panton, McGillivray, and Bowles; a Spanish-Indian agreement on the treatment and surrender of deserters; tribal permission for the construction of a Spanish fort at Los Nogales; and Indian resistance to the American occupation of West Florida territories and forts evacuated by the Spanish.

Section XI, Capitania General de la Isla de Cuba, often called more simply Papeles de Cuba, consists of 2,375 legajos dating from 1580 to 1872, although nearly all of the documents refer to the years 1760-1840. These papers were transferred from Havana to Seville around the end of the nineteenth century (1888-89), and include a great number of essential source materials for the history of Louisiana and the Floridas. The materials cover a time when Indian relations occupied asignificant place among Euroamerican concerns about North America. The main series are:

-- West Florida and Louisiana, 1729-1824, in legajos 1-282, 2,328-2,334, and 2,351-2,375

-- East Florida, 1580-1825, in legajos 283A87, and 2,322-2,327

-- Louisiana, 1585-1821, in legajos 488-706; 772; 830; 2,317-2,321; 2,335-2,338; and 2,343.

Hill(27) described these holdings, indicating the subject matters of each legajo, and many historical works on those Spanish North American provinces have relied on Hill's pioneering work. More recently, Medina and Siles(28) have prepared three good catalogues of the papers in legajos 1-149 of section XI referring to Louisiana and the Floridas between 1764 and 1819. This section contains letters written by and to Spanish authorities like Bernardo de Galvez, Esteban Miro, Arturo O'Neill, Manuel Gayoso, Vincente Folch, Jose Masot, Mauricio de Zuniga, Hector de Carondelet, the marquis of Casa Calvo, Manuel Salcedo, Martin Navarro, Francisco Rendon, Juan Ventura Morales, and many others, in places like New Orleans, Natchez, Mobile, Pensacola, Baton Rouge, San Carlos (Arkansas), New Madrid, St. Louis, and so on. Each document is briefly abstracted, and the analytical indexes offer numerous references to Indian affairs.

The Native peoples mentioned are the Abnakis, Alibamus, Apaches, Arkansas, Atakapas, Biloxies, Caddos, Cances, Choctaws, Chawanons, Cherokees, Chickasaws, Creeks, Delawares, Loups, Nahas, Mascoutens, Mesquakis (Mascokees is here the Spanish version of the tribe more commonly known as Fox), Mikasuki (the Spanish rendering here is Mecasuques), Miamis, Opelousas, Osages, Plankashaws, Sauks, Seminoles, Sioux, Talapoosas, Tawehashes, Tunicas, Wabashes, and Yuchis.

A good many individuals are mentioned in these sources, including the Choctaw leaders Franchimastabe, Ittehoumastabe, Payemataha, Phastabe, Pouchimastabe, Toklatelaemastube, Yokenahumo, and Soulier Rouge (Zapato Colorado, or Red Shoes), the leader of a faction friendly to the South Carolina English, in defiance of the mid-1700s tribal preference for French alliances. Creek leaders mentioned are Mad Dog, Siasheha, and Opayamicko (also rendered Hopou Micco and Hopoie Mico). Cherokees included are Bloody Fellow, Detentres, Double Tete, Little Turkey, Oulettays, Spockahoma and Tinctimingo. Chickasaws named are Oklanyockabby, Oleta Opaye, Payemingo, Takapatapo, Tascaotuka (probably the same as Taske Etoka), and Ugulayacabe. Other Native leaders are the Seminole Autassle Micco; Canard; Chactamathaha; Esau Haujo, for whom Hodge offers several variations if this man is to be identified as Hillis Hadjo (known to the English as Francis the Prophet); Joanny, Kehigee; the Mikasuki leader Kinache; Mislague; Mongoulacha Mingo; Peck Cornel; Stonahuma; Tamiatcho; Alibamu Sulumastabe; and the Talapoosas Paucho and Topalca.

The matters dealt with in this correspondence include trade and navigation along the Mississippi; trading posts and fortifications; diplomatic negotiations; commercial companies; Euroamerican colonization; Indian petitions for asylum; Indian assemblies; Indian hostilities against Anglo Americans as well as among themselves; horse theft; lances, firearms and munitions supplied to Indians; activities among Native peoples by Jacob Dubreuil and Jua de la Villebeuvre; the interpreters Simon Favre and Mr. Langlade; General Wilkinson; Indian land rights; Indian villages; and intertribal treaties.


Apart from the three large national archives at Simancas, Madrid and Seville, many other public and private collections in Spain contain documents bearing on North American history. Of the regional archives, an interesting example is the Regional Archive of Galicia in La Coruna, which includes the papers of Jose Cornide Saavedra and a fair number of documents concerning New Spain under viceroy marquis de Croix (1766-71). These papers were collected by Jose's uncle, Diego A. Cornide, a member of the royal audiencia of Mexico and Croix's secretary, and include reports on frontier defenses against the Indians, accounts of discoveries in California, and documents connected with the official inquiry into Croix's term as viceroy.

Of the archives pertaining to Spanish government departments, perhaps the most obvious example would be that of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Madrid. This archive holds the correspondence generated through diplomatic channels between Spain and the United States during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, including treaties and their negotiations, and a lot of general information about the United States culled by Spanish envoys from a myriad of sources. Not well catalogued, these series may well contain useful data illustrative of the Spanish perspective on American Indian policy. In addition, the library adjoining this archive holds a sizable collection of manuscripts, collected by Jose Antonio Pichado after the cession of the western Louisiana territory by Spain to France and by France to the United States (1800-1803). These documents relate to the historical limits between this province and Texas (tomes 13-20, 23, and 25-30), and contain references to Spanish activities among the Native peoples of the southwest.

Military archives also are rich sources for North American Indian history, considering the largely military character of Spain's presence in these latitudes. In Madrid, the archive of the Military Geographical Service, and the archive of the Military Historical Service hold very large collections of maps, many of which refer to North America.(29) They also include documents on New Spain's northern frontiers: explorations, missions, defense (troops, fortifications, supplies, enemy movements, and so on), limits, treaties, Anglo American expansionism, and general news. In Madrid, the Naval Museum archive contains maritime and coastal maps, and accounts of naval operations along the Mexican Gulf and Pacific coasts of North America. Many of these include references to the Native populations of the areas, particularly the northwestern coasts.

Eccleslastical archives offer another perspective on Spanish relations with Indian communities as well as information on the circumstances and problems of missionary work. As an example, the archive of the Province of Toledo of the Society of Jesus, in Alcala de Henares (Madrid), contains source materials on Jesuit missions in Florida and New Spain.

The libraries of many cultural institutions sometimes offer unexpected primary sources. The library of the Royal Consulate in La Coruna, for example, has a few documents concerning the northern confines of New Spain, from Texas to California, in the eighteenth century, while the library of the Institute of Valencia de Don Juan in Madrid holds materials concerning the activities of Pedro Menendez de Aviles in Florida (1565-70). Of greater importance in this category are the National Library, the library of the Royal Academy of History, and the Library of the National Patrimony, housed in the Royal Palace, all three of which are in Madrid.

In the manuscript section of the National Library one can find references to Alibamus, Apaches, Choctaws, Talapoosas, Yuchis and Yumas, while many North American placenames offer other clues to research. A few specific examples will illustrate the possibilities: Friar Manuel Arroyo's account of Apache attacks on the Texas frontier in May 1758; Gabriel Antonio Vildozola's 1766 inquiry to Jose de Galvez concerning the pacification of the Seri and Apache Indians, Pedro Fernandez de Pulgar's unpublished "General History of Florida," or diaries and letters written by people like Juan de Onate, Nicolis de Lafora and the marquis of Rubi, juan Bautista de Anza, Blas Fernandez y Somera, juan Francisco de la Bodega, Miquel Costanso, and Gaspar de Portola, who took part in expeditions and campaigns to the northern frontiers of New Spain. In addition, the historical documents collected by Pascual de Gayangos, now conserved in the National Library, include three manuscript volumes (19,246, 19,247 and 19,248) mainly concerning Louisiana from 1767 to 1792, and another two volumes (19,508 and 19,509) mainly referring to the Floridas, from 1709 to 1819. Finally, this library also has a good cartographic section, that includes a number of important maps of North America, like Simon de Evia's 1736 map of Louisiana, Antonio de Arrendondo's 1737 maps of Florida, several 1743 and 1767 French maps of the Mississippi Valley, Francisco Ferten's 1767 map of Sonora "showing the position of the enemy, wild Indians," and so on.

The library of the Royal Academy of History houses a number of documentary collections. A few of these are made up entirely of source materials on American history: the 95 manuscript volumes of the Munoz Collection; the 32 volumes of the Boturini Collection solely on New Spain; the 96 volumes of the Mata Linares Collection; and the Caballero de Rodas and the Fernandez Duro Collections on Cuba. Documents illustrating North American Indian history abound in this library. A few examples will suffice: "News concerning men and women captives found in the Indian villages of the River Colorado, and rescued in 1781 "; Francisco Vazquez de Coronado's "Letter to the king about the population, character and customs of the Indians of the province of Quivira, 1541"; Father Juan Augustin de Morfi's "Diary of the journey among the Indians of New Mexico"; Jeronimo de Zarate Salmeron's "Account of all the things seen and heard in New Mexico from 1538 to 1626"; two volumes of seventeenth century documents for the civil and ecclesiastical history of Texas, another two volumes for New Mexico, one volume on Nootka (Vancouver), and an eighteenth century Spanish-Yaqui vocabulary.

For its part, the library of the Royal Palace holds a few interesting American documents, including diaries and reports on expeditions into North American territories (for example by Fathers Francisco Garces, Francisco Atanasio Dominguez, Silvestre Velez de Escalante, and Pedro Font, describing their eighteenth century travels), as well as works like Juan de Villagutierre Sotomayor's "History of the conquest of New Mexico," Antonio Ladron de Guevara's 1739 report on southwestern villages and Indian populations, an official complaint from the provinces of Sonora, Ostimuri and Sinaloa to governor Juan Pineda about the "cruel and daily hostilities of the Seri, Pima and Yaqui Indians," and a report on the 1788 Spanish expedition to Nootka Sound, which includes information about Native religious practices together with vocabularies of the Nootka and other Indian languages.

One must not forget the possibilities of Spain's many private archives. That of the Ducal House of Alba in Madrid is perhaps the best known, but others include the archive of the Ducal House of the Infantado, also in Madrid, which offers a 1642 report on an Indian uprising in New Mexico; and the archive of the counts of Revillagigedo (Madrid). Among its series on Menendez de Aviles, the last archive includes references to the complaints made in 1573 by the Indian leaders of the San Mateo area against Tinicuba, the leader of the Tacatacoru, and his people, together with Juan de Vandera's description of his journey through southeastern territories in search of a route westwards to New Spain in 1566 and 1567.

In short, Spanish sources tell of a time when unconquered North American Indians were adapting to rapid and often bewildering changes in their world, as the white newcomers staked out their various personal and national claims, banishing forever the Native people's "Old World."


(1.) Sylvia L. Hilton and Amancio Labandeira Fernindez, Bibliografia hispanoamericana y filipina. Manual de repertorios bibliogriticos para la investigacion de la historia y la literatura hisponoamericanas y fili]pinas. Madrid, Fundacion Universitaria Espanola, 1983. (2.) Guia de fuentes para la historia de Ibero-America conservadas en Espena. Madrid, Direccion General de Archivos y Bibliotecas, 1966-1969, 2 vols. (3.) Jose Tudela de la Orden, Los manuscritos de America en las bibliotecas de Espana. Madrid, Ediciones de Cultura Hispinica, 1954. (4.) Jack D. L. Holmes, "Resources Outside the United States and Research Opportunities for Spanish Florida, 1781-1821." In E. F. Dibble and E. W. Newton (eds.), In Search of Gulf Coast Coloni History. Pensacola, Historica Pensacola Preservation Board, 1970, pp. 1-13. (5.) Alabama Historical Quarterly, XXX, No. 1, Spring 1968, 5, pp. 33-49. (6.) Florida Historical Quarterly, XLVIII, July 1969-April 1970, pp. 140-154. (7.) William R. Shepherd, Guide to the Materials for the History of the United States in Spanish Archives (Simancas, the Archivo Historico Nocional, and Seville). Washington, Carnegie Institution, Kraus Reprint, New York, 1965, pp. 15-28. (8.) Julian Paz, Archivo Generil de Simancas. Catalogo IV. Secretaria de Estado. Capitulaciones con Francia y negociaciones diplomiticas de los embajadores de Espana en aquella Corte, seguido de u serie cronologica de estos. Madrid, Centro de Estudios Historicos, 1914. Julian Paz and Ricardo Magdaleno, Archivo General de Simancas. Catalogo XVII. Secretaria de Estado. Documentos relativos a Inglaterra (1254-1834). Madrid, Artes Graficas Diana, 1947. This catalogue of papers dealing with Anglo-Spanish diplomatic affairs dedicates pages 457A73 to American matters. (9.) Maria Francisca Represa Fernandez, Carlos Alvarez Garcia and Miguel Represa Fernandez, Documentos relativos a la Independencia de Norteamerica existentes en archivos espanoles. V, I y 2. Archivo General de Simancas. Secretaria de Estado: Inglaterra (anos 1750-1820). Madrid, Ministerio d Asuntos Exteriores, 1976, 2 vols. Maria Francisca Represa Fernandez and Maria del Camino Represa Fernandez, Documentos relativos a la Independencia de Norteamerica existentes en archivos espanoles. VI. Archivo General de Simincas. Secretaria de Estado: Francia (anos 1774-1786). Madrid, Ministerio Asuntos Exteriores, 1981. These catalogues contain ample summaries of the individual documents liste (10.) Frederick W. Hodge, The Handbook of North American Indians. Washington, Smithsonian Institution, 1907-1910, 2 vols. (11.) The documents in this series have been listed and summarized individually in Milagros Alarios Trigueros and Maria del Camino Represa Fernandez, Documentos relativos 2 12 Independenci2 de Norte-America existentes en archivos espanoles XI Archivo General de Simancas Secretaria de Guerr Florida y Luisiana (anos 1779-1802). Madrid, Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores, 1985. (12.) I have attempted to adopt the standard English spelling of Indian tribal names mentioned throughout this article, but have preferred to maintain the different Spanish versions of individual personal names, as reflected in the diverse catalogues cited, with occasional bracketed indications of probable equivalents in different documentary series. (13.) Shepherd, [note 7], pp. 29-54. (14.) Charles Griffin and Roscoe R. Hill, "Descriptive Catalogue of the Documents Relating to the History of the United States in the Archivo Historico Nacional at Madrid." Original typewritten copy in the Library of Congress, Washington. (15.) Miguel Gomez del Campillo, Reliciones diplomaticas entre Espana y los Estados Unidos segun los documentos del archivo Historico Nacional. Madrid, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, 1944-45, 2 vols. (16.) An examination of the documents themselves would be needed to clarify which group of wolves" is meant here. (17.) Pilar Leon Tello, Concepcion Menendez, and Carmen Herrero, Documentos relativos a la Independencia de Norteamerica existentes en archivos espanoles. 111, 1 y 2. Archivo Historico Nac Correspondencia diplomitica (anos 1801-1820). Madrid, Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores, 1976, 2 vols (Covers legajos 5,630-5,646 and 5,660-5,662). Pilar Leon Tello, Concepcion Menedez, and Carmen Torro Documentos relativos a 12 Independencia de Norteamerica existentes en archivos espanoles. IV, Archiv Historico Nacional Embajada en Washington. Expedientes (anos 1801-1820). Madrid, Ministerior de Asuntos Exteriores, 1980. (Covers legajos 5537 to 5565). Leon Tello, Menendez, and Torroja, Document relativos a la Independencia de Norteamerica existentes en archivos espanoles VIII, Archivo Historic Nacional. Embajada en Washington. Correspondencia diplomitica (anos 1821-1833). Madrid, Ministerior de Asuntos Exteriores, 1982. (Covers legajos 5,647 to 5,659). Leon Tello, Menendez, and Torroja, Documentos relativos a la Independencia de Norteamerica existentes en archivos espanoles. X Archivo Historico Nicional Embajada de Washington. Expedientes (anos 1821-1850). Madrid, Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores, 1984. Catalogue X contains few references to North American Indians. Commercial matters are discussed, in particular those connected with maritime traffic. Nevertheless, a few ment do crop up, as when Jose de Heredia, writing on diverse aspects of the 1819 treaty, says: "The belic tribes of the Floridas have been urged to settle in Texas, where they will be given lands in order t tribes very attached to Spain between our territories and the United States." (p. 14). (18.) Shephered, (see note 7), pp. 55-95. (19.) Paul E. Hoffman and Eugene Lyon, "Accounts of the Real Hacienda, Florida, 1565 to 1602," Florida Historical Ouarterly, XLVIII, July 1969-April 1970, pp. 57-69. (20.) Pedro Torres Lanzas, Relacion descriptiva de los mapas, planos, etc. de Mexico y Floridas existentes en el Archivo General de Indias. Sevilla, Imprenta de El Mercantil, 1900-1901, 2 vols. Re Madrid, Ministerior de Cultura, Direccion General de Bellas Artes y Archivos, 1985, 2 vols. (21.) Julio Gonzalez, Catalogo de mapa y planos de la Florida y la Luisiana existentes en el Archivo General de Indias. Madrid, Ministerior de Cultura, Direccion General del Patrimonio Artistic Archivos y Museos, 1979. (22.) Charles E. Chapman, Catalogue of Materials in the Archivo General de Indias for the History of the Pacific Coast and the American Southwest Berkeley, University of California Press, 19 (23.) Jose de la Pena y Camara, Ernest J. Burrus, Charles E. O'Neill, and Maria Teresa Garcia Fernandez, Catalogo de documentos del Archivo General de Indias, Seccion V Gobierno, Audiencia de Santo Doningo, sobre la epoca espanola de Luisiana. Madrid and New Orleans, Direccion General de Archivos y Bibliotecas, and Loyola University, 1968, 2 vols. This catalogue covers legajos 2,528-2,6 (24.) Charles E. O'Neill (S. J.), "Catalogues and Microfilm: The Louisiana Project of Loyola University (New Orleans) in the Archivo General de Indias." Homenaje a Don Jose Maria de la Pena y Camara. Madrid, Ediciones Jose Porrua Turanzas, 1969, pp. 83-91, briefly describes the project not o to catalogue but also to microfilm these materials for Loyola University. (25.) Purificacion Medina Encina, Documentos relativos a la Independencia de Norteamerica existentes in archivos espanoles. I. 1 y 2, Archivo General de Indias. Seccion de Gobierno (anos 175 Madrid, Ministerior de Asuntos Exteriores, 1976, 2 vols. (26.) Cristobal Bermudez Plata, Archivo General de Indias. Catalogo de documentos de la Seccion Novena. Vol. 1, Series 1a 2a: Santo Domingo, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Luisiana, Florida y Mexico. Sevilla, Escuela de Estudios Hispano-Americanos, 1949. This work supersedes the typewritten guide prepared in the 1930s by Irene A. Wright, "Descriptive Lists of Documents Relating to the History of Louisiana and Floridas in the Papers of the Audiencia de Santo Domingo," for the Library of Congress in Washington. (27.) Roscoe R. Hill, Descriptive Catalogue or the Documents Relating to the History of the United States in the Papeles Procedentes de Cuba Deposited in the Archivo General de Indias at Sevil Washington, Carnegie Institution, 1916. Kraus Reprint, New York, 1965. (28.) Reyes Siles Saturnino, Documentos relativos a la Independencia de Norteamerica existentes en archivos espanoles. 11: Archivo General de Indias. Seccion Papeles de Cuba: Correspondencia y documentacion oficial de los gobernadores de Luisiana (anos 1777-1803). Madrid, Ministerio de Asunto Exteriores, 1980. (Covers legajos 1-40). Purificacion Medina Encina and Reyes Siles Saturnino, Docum relativos a la Independencia de Norteamerica existentes en archivos espanoles. VII: Archivo General Indias Seccion Papeles de Cuba: Correspondencia y documentacion oficial de varias autoridades de Luisiana y de las dos Floridas (anos 1778-1817). Madrid, Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores, 1981. (Co legajos 41-100). Siles Saturnino and Medina Encina, Documentos relativos a la Independencia de Norteamerica existentes en archivos espanoles. IX: Archivo General de Indias. Seccion Papeles de Cub Correspondencia y documentacion oficial de autoridades de Luisiana y de Florida Occidental (anos 1764-181.9). Madrid, Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores, 1986. (Covers legajos 101-149). (29.) Cartografia de Ultramar. Carpeta 11: Estados Unidos, Canada. Madrid, Imprenta del Servicio Geografico del Ejercito, 1953, publishes and transcribes a good selection of the maps in th collections.
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Title Annotation:Sources for North American Indian History
Author:Hilton, Sylvia L.
Publication:The American Indian Quarterly
Date:Mar 22, 1993
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