Mexican Inquisition Collection
Scope and Content Note
The collection contains twenty-four processos (transcripts of trials) of individuals accused of Judaizing. Eight of the processos are originals; sixteen are typed transcriptions from the Inquisition Records of the Archivo General de la Naciâon (Mexico). Three of the transcriptions are also translated into English (including two trials of the same individual). The trials range in date from 1572 to 1768. The proceedings occurred principally in Mexico, although some of the individuals are identified as being of Portuguese decent. The collection also includes correspondence of Cyrus Adler, Samuel Oppenheim, and E. Nott Anable relating to the Mexican Inquisition Collection. Two oversized items include official declarations of the Inquisition.
- Creation: undated, 1572-1914
- Mexican Inquisition (Organization)
Language of Materials
The collection is in Spanish, with some English.
The collection is open to all researchers, except items that may be restricted due to their fragility, or privacy.
No permission is required to quote, reproduce or otherwise publish manuscript materials found in this collection, as long as the usage is scholarly, educational, and non-commercial. For inquiries about other usage, please contact the Director of Collections and Engagement at email@example.com.
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The Inquisition was established in 13th-century Europe to counter heresy. Over time, and particularly in the Americas, the Inquisition focused on combating crimes of the clergy. However, the Inquisition regularly monitored and tried accused Crypto-Jews, Jews who converted to Christianity publically but were believed to secretly practice Judaism.
Crypto-Jews of Portuguese descent came under close scrutiny after Jewish expulsion from Portugal in 1537. The case of the Carabajal family of 1590 is particularly well-known. Louis de Carabajal was governor of New Leon (Nuevo León, Mexico) and many family members were tried.
The later trial of Thomas Trevino de Sobremote is also well-known. He is considered a Jewish martyr and led a Jewish community in Mexico City for 10 years before his arrest.
Accused individuals were said to follow the “law of Moses.” Many were accused of keeping the Sabbath, of practicing Jewish purification rituals, or of avoiding pork. While a number of crypto-Jews were put to death, many others were required to do penance, forced to give up their property, or exiled.
15.7 Linear Feet (1 Manuscript box, 19 SB2 boxes [w9.5"xd13"xh3"], and 1 OS1 folder in shared box.)
The Mexican Inquisition collection contains twenty-four processos (transcripts of trials) of individuals accused of Judaizing. The Mexican Inquisition tried accused Crypto-Jews, Jews who converted to Christianity but were believed to secretly practice Judaism. Eight of the processos are originals; sixteen are typed transcriptions from the Inquisition Records of the Archivo General de la Naciâon (Mexico). Three of the transcriptions are also translated into English (including two trials of the same individual). The trials range in date from 1572 to 1768.
The collection is arranged into 2 series as follows:
- Series I: Original Processos and Correspondence, 1590-1768,1896-1914
- Series II: Processos, Transcriptions and Translations, 1572-1656
- Series III: Oversized Material, undated.
Located in AJHS New York, NY
Donated by various donors, some unknown. Donors include G. R. C. Conway who donated transcripts in the 1930s. Some material acquired as early as 1895.
Box 2 Folder 2, Box 4 Folder 2, Box 8 Folder 1 and Box 10 Folders 1-3 have been digitized as part of an ongoing digitization-on-demand program at the Center for Jewish History.
- Guide to the Mexican Inquisition Collection, undated, 1572-1914 I-3
- Processed by Christine McEvilly and AJHS Staff
- © 2013
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