FERRO MACHADO, JUAN [Text begins:] Senor. El Bachiller Don Juan Ferro Machado, Presbitero, natural, y Domiciliario de la Ciudad de la Havana, Obispado de Cuba, Visitador General de las Provincias de la Florida...
[bound with:] AYETA, FRANCISCO DE, O.F.M. [Text Begins:] Senor. Al mas modesto, y prudente, nunca pudiera causar admiracion...[Madrid?: c. 1689--1690]. 20th century Spanish half calf, marbled sides. 11 x 7 5/8 inches (28 x 19.5 cm); 22 ff.; 227 ff., signed in type at the foot of the final leaf by Fr. Francisco de Ayeta [N.B. the works are complete without title-pages]. Light binding wear, generally a fresh copy, complete without title-pages as noted, but lacking the terminal blank indicated by Lathrop Harper.
A pair of reports, both in the form of letters addressed to the Spanish King, Carlo II, that were issued undated and without a title. Rare Book Hub notes only the Lathrop Harper copy of this work, with no auction records (we note one copy sold subsequently, in 2008, though lacking portions of the final two leaves). Given the dearth of literature on these works, we quote the Lathrop Harper description here: "The first title is a report by Ferro Machado (died March 25, 1724) on his official visitation, under the auspices of the Bishop of Cuba, of the Province of Florida from January to August, 1688--the first in almost 100 years (since 1595)--during which he had traveled over 500 leagues. He speaks of the urgent necessity of establishing a separate bishopric for Florida, due to its distance from Havana and the many hazards and perils that accompany the journey, particularly from pirates infesting the channels between them. He cites as a precedent the recent establishment of the Bishopric of Jamaica. Ferro Machado was a native of Havana educated in Seville who received the post of canon of the church of Valladolid, Mexico, as a reward for his findings and proposed reform in Florida.
Of particular interest are Ferro Machado's recommendations concerning the Indians of Florida, pointing out their ill-treatment under the existing regime, and how their existence would be bettered and their adherence to the Christian faith secured by a local religious establishment. St. Augustine is frequently mentioned in this respect.
The second title present here, a vehement and detailed attack on Ferro Machado's proposals, was written by the eminent Franciscan scholar, Francisco de Ayeta, one of the great figures in Spanish colonial history. As the King's procurador general of the Franciscan province in Mexico he had carefully studied the existing methods of conversion and possible reasons for the large number of Indians relapsing afterwards, thus becoming painful losses in the Order's statistics. Ayeta's rebuttal of Ferro Machado's recommendations, especially those relating to the treatment of the Indians in Florida, may, however, not be entirely based on factual criticism but rather on his preference for a bishopric in Florida under Mexican and not Cuban sovereignty. It is interesting to compare the lengths of both reports present, Ferro Machado's original one occupying only 22 leaves, as against Ayeta's of 227 leaves." European Americana, 688/92, 690/13; not in Palau or Sabin; mentioned in Medina BHA VI:6238, 7136; discussed at length in the 1866 Supplement to the Cyclopædia of American Literature, 13-14.
C The Collection of Jay I. Kislak sold to benefit the Kislak Family Foundation
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