By Herman L. Bennett
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After returning to his Italian monastery in 1770, a Capuchin friar named Ilarione da Bergamo wrote an account of his transatlantic crossing and five-year place of dwelling in colonial Mexico. despatched to Mexico to gather alms for missionary paintings, Friar Ilarione lived 4 years within the silver mining camp of actual del Monte, fifty miles north of the vice regal capital.
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Additional resources for Africans in Colonial Mexico: Absolutism, Christianity, and Afro-Creole Consciousness, 1570-1640
The attire of this baser sort of blackamoors and mulattoes . . ”100 In Mexico, a culture of excess had emerged, in which even slaves and their descendants participated. ”103 Present in signi¤cant numbers, both African slaves and Afro-Mexican servants occupied prominent roles in an economy structured by circulation, production, and consumption. But rather than describe Mexico City as a slave society on the basis of the slaves’ role as labor in the economy, Gage captured something much more elusive.
11 In the ¤fteenth and sixteenth centuries, the Church still maintained a hold over the Christian princes’ expansionism and their interactions with the extra ecclesiam both in and beyond Christendom. In regulating this interaction, the Church drew on a rich corpus of texts but relied primarily on canon law, especially the ecclesiastical consensus that formed around Innocent IV’s commentary on Quod super his, a decretal of his predecessor, Innocent III. On the basis of canonical precedent, the Church increasingly intervened in the domain of laws of nations as it adjudicated over the affairs of Christians, in¤dels, and pagans.
African slaves in the urban centers of New Spain ful¤lled multiple roles for their owners. In Mexico City, they represented both labor and symbols of the status of their owners. 31 Thomas Gage, an Englishman and Dominican friar who in 1625 visited Mexico City, observed how the gallants of this city shew themselves, some on horseback, and most in coaches, daily about four of the clock in the afternoon in a pleasant shady ¤eld called la Alameda . . where do meet as constantly as the merchants 18 Africans in Colonial Mexico upon our exchange about two thousand coaches, full of gallants, ladies, and citizens, to see and to be seen, to court and to be courted.
Africans in Colonial Mexico: Absolutism, Christianity, and Afro-Creole Consciousness, 1570-1640 by Herman L. Bennett