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Mexican Inquisition Collection

 Collection
Identifier: I-3

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.

Dates

  • undated, 1572-1914

Creator

Language of Materials

The collection is in Spanish, with some English.

Access Restrictions

The collection is open to all researchers, except items that may be restricted due to their fragility, or privacy.

Use Restrictions

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 mmeyers@ajhs.org.

For reference questions, please email: inquiries@cjh.org

Historical Note

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.

Extent

15.7 Linear Feet (1 Manuscript box, 19 SB2 boxes [w9.5"xd13"xh3"], and 1 OS1 folder in shared box.)

Abstract

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.

Arrangement

The collection is arranged into 2 series as follows:
  1. Series I: Original Processos and Correspondence, 1590-1768,1896-1914
  2. Series II: Processos, Transcriptions and Translations, 1572-1656
  3. Series III: Oversized Material, undated.

Physical Location

Located in AJHS New York, NY

Acquisition Information

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.

Digitization Note

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.

Creator

Title
Guide to the Mexican Inquisition Collection, undated, 1572-1914   I-3
Status
Completed
Author
Processed by Christine McEvilly and AJHS Staff
Date
© 2013
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Description is in English.

Revision Statements

  • April, December 2020: EHyman: post-ASpace migration cleanup.

Repository Details

Part of the American Jewish Historical Society Repository

Contact:
15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States