Jalostotitlan (Jalisco), 1611: Petition to Remove Priest

This manuscript was first published in Beyond the Codices, eds. Arthur J.O. Anderson, Frances Berdan, and James Lockhart (Los Angeles: UCLA Latin American Center, 1976), Doc. 27, 166–173. However, the transcription, translation, and a new introduction presented here come from Lockhart's personal papers.

The original manuscript is in the McAfee Collection, Special Collections, UCLA Research Library.

[Introduction by James Lockhart:]
Petitions by indigenous groups accusing the local priest of misbehavior and requesting his removal are a staple of the corpus in Nahuatl (and indeed go beyond that, existing in other indigenous languages too). Neglect of parochial duties, arbitrary and excessive beatings and whippings, sexual misconduct, undue attention to private economic activity, and excessive use of the parishioners for the priest’s private purposes are among the faults commonly alleged, often illustrated by episodes told in the most concrete detail. Without more additional context than we usually have, it is hard to judge what relation petitions of this type bear to the truth. The mere fact that such things were alleged shows that they were credible, common in real life. On the other hand, the great similarity of the complaints shows a strong element of convention, and it is clear that the authors of such texts cared much more about getting rid of the priest than about anything else.

The present text is a perfect example of the genre. It comes from Jalosotitlan, some 80 miles northeast of Guadalajara, thus in the western area and well outside the domain of standard central Nahuatl. The target of the complaint is the secular priest Francisco Muñoz, who was to get into even larger trouble with his flock some years later, in 1618.1 The complaining parties are Juan Vicente, alcalde of Jalostotitlan, and one Miguel López. Juan Vicente seems to be the real author, speaking throughout in the first person singular. The signatures of the original are in the same hand as the body; though it is entirely possible that an anonymous person did the writing, one cannot help wondering if Juan Vicente didn’t do it himself. However that may be, it is clear that the whole cabildo of Jalostotitlan was not at this time ready to support the complaint.

The document as a whole has a very homespun quality; within three or four lines of the beginning Juan Vicente is already telling episodes of the priest beating him and repeating what was said on such occasions. Only a few words of conventional rhetoric appear, concentrated in a concluding paragraph (and negated by some afterthoughts in the same vein as the body). The substance and manner of what is said are so clear that the reader will readily appreciate them from the text and translation themselves. Here let us concentrate on aspects of the language.

Originating in the western region, Jalisco, the text was not necessarily composed by a native speaker of Nahuatl. In 1612, a month after the petition was presented in Guadalajara, an investigator returned to Jalostotitlan and took testimony from five witnesses who were “fluent in Nahuatl,” (“ladino en lengua mexicana”), as though this was something not true of the whole local population. (As usual, the testimony was recorded in Spanish.) The witnesses tended to say, by the way, that Francisco Muñoz did his job and just had a very bad temper, although we cannot lightly give full credence to that any more than to the petition, for those testifying were likely of a faction opposed to Juan Vicente.

Looking at the language itself, its apparent naiveté and simplicity might reinforce a belief that it is some sort of pidgin. Yet such is not the case. A type of Nahuatl with a well defined profile existed in Jalisco and surrounding regions, and the present text conforms to it. If we attend closely, we will see that the writer has quite a large Nahuatl vocabulary and says whatever is needed with adequate words.

The petition does indeed show the usual western traits, seen also in Docs. 8, 28, and 31. The most pronounced characteristic is the manner of formation of the preterits of verbs. In western Nahuatl, Class 2 verbs, which in central Nahuatl lose the final vowel, retain it, falling together with the unreduced preterits of Class 1, whereas the verbs of Class 3, with two final vowels, lose a vowel as they do in the center.

Our text is full of verbs, and they conform fully to the pattern. And as is common in western Nahuatl, they may or may not bear the preterit marker o-, and may or may not show the preterit suffix -c.

Thus the verb poztequi, “to break something in pieces,” which in the center is a Class 2 verb with the preterit o(tla)poztec, here appears unreduced without -c (“onicpopoztequi,” “I splintered it,” line 13), with -c (“oticpopoztequic,” “you splintered it,” line 12), and also with -c but without o- (“quipoztequic,” “he broke it,” line 8). See also “quinotzac,” “he called him” (line 79) and “oquinotza,” the same (line 80). The suffix -c is included in the text much more often than not.

1John Sullivan has published the substantial Jalostotitlan material of 1618 in Ytechcopa timoteilhuia yn tobicario . . ., Pleito entre los naturales de Jalostotitlán y su sacerdote, 1618. See especially his thorough analysis in “The Jalostotitlan Petitions, 1611–18,” which both describes the language phenomena in detail and puts them in a broader context.

Despite the large number of consistently unreduced Class 2 preterits, however, it must be admitted that in one example the central Nahuatl pattern prevails, though without o-: “quichiuh,” “he did it” (line 71).

The preterits of Class 3 verbs in the document, though like the center in losing the final vowel, also mainly have the -c suffix, which is lacking in the center. Some, however, omit the -c. Thus “oquitoc,” “he said it” (line 23), but “oquito,” the same (line 43); likewise “oniquilhuic,” “I told him” (line 22), but “oniquilhui,” the same (line 24).

What the presence and absence of -c means for pronunciation is hard to say. The versions with no suffix could easily have weakened the consonant [k] to a glottal stop which was still present but not shown in writing. The Class 3 preterits present the problem that in the center the preterit ends in a glottal stop, which is part of the stem; it could not be followed by another consonant. Either the glottal stop is entirely lost, or the -c is its replacement. It is indeed possible that -c here represents the glottal stop or some other weak sound, for in line 74 we find “ycalictic,” “inside his house,” with c in the slot where a glottal stop is expected. The use of c in this position also happens in some unorthodox writing of areas closer to the center, the Toluca Valley and Tulancingo specifically.

To round out the picture with the preterits of verbs, the irregular verb yauh/huallauh, “to go/to come” follows the central pattern in the text; see “oya,” “he went” (line 33), and “ohuala,” “he came,” (line 103, and there are other examples). But the singular present of yauh is archaic, with “yahui,” “he goes,” rather than standard yauh (lines 112, 120.)

In many western texts t appears instead of tl, though never consistently. Some sort of merging was taking place; probably [t] was being pronounced instead of [tl]. In this text tl is orthodox in the great majority of cases, but some t for tl occurs: “esti,” standard eztli, “blood” (line 67), “ytilticauh,” standard itlilticauh, “his black” (line 82); “quiçotahualtic,” standard (o)quiçotlahualti, “he made him faint” (line 104); matlacti,” standard matlactli, “ten” (lines 121, 122).

Another western (and general peripheral) trait is the use of ya instead of central ye, “already.” The former occurs eight times in the text, the latter not at all.

As seen in some other texts here, the western region and perhaps much of the periphery in general used the relational word -nahuac, “close to, next to,” more than the central speech area and in different senses. Here also the word is prominent, at times functioning as it would in the center, but also in senses more peculiar to the west, as in “amoteyxpahui . ynahuac prouiSor . nima¯ . ayaxquia . ynahuac Senr— obispo,” “you complained to the vicar-general, and then you were going to go to the lord bishop” (lines 43–45), where the sense of -nahuac is virtually “to.”

A word not seen in the center but common in the Jalostotitlan corpus is paina, from a verb meaning “to hasten, run,” used as an adverb “quickly”; it occurs here in line 120.

Let it be noted that some characteristic western phenomena are missing in the text, including the present plural of verbs in -lo, seen in Doc. 28, and the retention of the absolutive ending on possessed nouns (Doc. 31). Also, the first person reflexive prefix to, a peculiar trait of the center, is used once (“titotolinia,” “we are afflicted,” line 124), and the western/peripheral mo is missing in that position. However, Sullivan has identified all these things in the larger Jalostotitlan corpus.

The question word cuix, “perhaps,” took on different forms in different regions. Here it is “coz” (line 130). The form is not peculiar to the west; a text in this collection from the Mexico City (Doc. 17) area has “cux.” (In the Jalostotitlan ç/z and x alternate, as we will see in a moment.) In both cases the rounding of the first consonant has been lost while the following vowel has been rounded.

The text shows much variation in the department of sibilants and affricates. The letter ç (normally [s]) alternates at times with x (normally [sh]); thus for “to faint” we see both çotlahua (the standard) and “xotlahua.” Alternation also occurs between ch (normally [tsh]) and tz (normally [ts]). The verb choloa, “to flee,” occurs only as “tzoloa.” On the other hand, the second person singular object prefix mitz occurs only as “mich.”

Overall, then, whether or not the present text is by a native speaker of Nahuatl, it conforms well with patterns seen in other western texts and to some extent those from the south as well.

In matters of Spanish influence, the document is full of loan nouns and some other Stage 2 traits, but has no obvious phenomena of the type associated with Stage 3 in the central area. Sullivan, however, has found two common loan particles in the 1618 documents, indicating that Stage 3 may have impinged on the periphery, or at least the west, earlier than on the center.

Throughout the text we see pia, which in the center by this time had added the meaning of Spanish tener, “to have,” to its traditional meanings centered on “to keep.” Here the verb is much as in central Mexico at the same time, sometimes meaning to have, sometimes to keep. The center was also adding meanings to create calques translating Spanish phrases using tener in extended meanings, and one of the most common of these is found in our text in “. 8 . xihuitl. quipia,” “tiene ocho años,” “he is eight years old” (line 57). Also in these years, the verb huiquilia was becoming dominant in the center in the meaning to owe money, and we find it here (line 30). In fact, in Doc. 4, done near to Mexico City in 1622, huiquilia has not yet shown itself, the older pialia still being used instead. Thus Jalostotitlan was at least abreast of central Mexico in matters of language contact phenomena, and perhaps ahead.

Several times the text uses the word macehualtin, literally “commoners (etc.),” and it is so translated here. That sense fits the context, yet the reference seems to be to the local population generally. In the center by this time, the word was becoming the main way of speaking of indigenous people as opposed to Spaniards. In fact, the Spanish translator rendered it as naturales or indios. In this way too, western and central Nahuatl were going parallel.

In line 21, “tlaco yohuac” looks as if it could mean midnight, but the usual expression for that is different, and the context demands dawn; the literal meaning seems to be “half dark.”

In line 40, “proui” is for “prouisor,” “vicar-general.”

In line 62, “oticmacahuitequic” is a slip for “oticmecahuitequic,” “you whipped him, struck him with a rope.”

In line 66, “pilton” is for “piltontli,” “little child.”

In line 87, no doubt only one of the two occurrences of ayac, “no one,” was intended.

In lines 104–05, “estan . yca” is for “estançia,” estancia, a Spanish rural enterprise, usually for livestock.

In line 105, “quine” is for “quinequi,” “he wants it.”

In line 106, “ySeno—ra” is tentatively taken to mean “his Spanish woman,” but another possibility is “y Seno—ra,” “the Spanish woman,” with y for standard in. However, this writer generally gives in the full spelling “yn.” In Nahuatl señora meant any Spanish woman and not specifically a lady; it is often seen as xinola.

In line 139, “miec tlaca,” “many people,” is probably intended as “miec tlacatl,” the usual form and the one the phrase takes elsewhere in the text.

Title variants: 
Beyond the Codices, Document 27
Principal editor: 
James Lockhart

Transcriptions and Translations

Analytic Transcription English Translation Spanish Translation
Juo . vicenti . allde . miguelopez . tochan . Salustutitlan . mixpantzinco . titoteyxpahuia . yn titohueytlatocauh yn titorrey . mixpantzinco . titoteyxpahuia . ytechcopa . toteopixcauh . tovicaria . franco . munus . cenca . techtolinia . mochipa . techmictia techmecahuitequi . quimecahuitequi . macehualtin . auh y nehuatl . niJuo vicenti . allde . cenca . onechmictic . yexpa . onechyxtlatzintic . onechmayahuic . cenca . onixotlahuac . yhuan . quipopoztequic . nobara . oncā . teopan . sachristan . yn iquac ya oquimoquentic . alba . yhuā . ystula . manipulo yquac . onechmictic. auh yn oniquilhuic . padre tle ypampa . tinechmictia ca mochi nobara . oticpopoztequic . niman oquitoc quema . onimichmictic . onicpopoztequi mobara . ca yhuā . mochi . motzontecon . nictlapanaz — v 1 amo ça çan tlapic . ypampa . yehuatl . totatzin . quipia . ce Senra ompa estancia . mochipa . ompa motlalia . estancia . cepa ompa . estāçia . motlalia . auh yn yehuantin . mizquitic tlaca . quihualhuiquiliq¯ . michim . auh y nehuatl . nicpielia . cemilhuitl . yquac . ypā . vigilia . San andres nicchixtica . auh yn yehuatl . totatzin . ohuala tlaco yohuac ye tzatzic . totoli . ypan San andres . oquitoc . catia . michim nimā . oniquilhuic . padre . nican ca . nicā . nicpia nimā . oquitoc . tle ypampa . amo tinechtitlanilic yalhua . ompa estançia . niman oniquilhui padre . quenin nicmatiz . yntla otinechnahuati . ca nimichtitlanilizquia . nimā . oncā . pehua . nechmictia . quitoa ca huel titlahueliloc . yuhqui ynin . onechtolinic — v 2o yhuā . ca ypampa . cenca . nechcocolia . 15 . pos 2 to quihuiquilia . huey . yglesia yhuā . ce caxa . yyaxca Sancto . Sacramento . yquac . Jueves Sancto . oncā calaqui . quitlaçotla . quimaxcatia . çan campa quipia yquac . oya . mexico . ynahuac . ce tlacatl . coçinero . quicahuac . yquac . ohuala . cepa conanac quicahuac ynahuac . Senora . yn iquac . cepa . onicteyxpahuic . yxpan . Senr . prouiSor . yhuā . san gaspar tlaca . allde ome altepetl . oticteyxpahuiq¯ auh yn Senr prouiSor oquinonotzac . oquitlacaquiti quitlacuilhuic . yhuā . Senr prouiSor quinonotzac . Su Señoria . obispo . auh yn Senr obispo . yhuan proui . [sic] quitlacuilhuique oquilhuique xiquinyolali . macehualtin . ca mopilhuan xiquintlaçotla . auh yn iquac . oquicaquic . yamauh . Senr obispo . yhuā prouisor . nimā oquito tle ypāpa . ayahui . amoteyxpahui . ynahuac prouiSor . nimā . ayaxquia . ynahuac Senr obispo çan monequi . xihuian . mexico . ca ompa oniquixtic nonahuatil . ynic nicā nivicario – ypampa . ynin . nechcocolia . quicocolia . mochi altepetl . — v 3o nimā . cepa . onechmictic . yquac . oquitac yamauh . Senr prouisor axcā . ya opa nechmictia . ocepa . ompa . mizquitic onechmictic teyxpā . ypan . ylhuitl . santa maria natiuitas . oc cepa . nimā . ypā . oc ce domingo onechmictic . ya axca . nauhpa nechmictia ypampa . ynon . amatl . yamauh . Senr prouiSor ypampa . onicteyxpahuic ypampa . nechmictic . — v 4o oc cepa . ce piltonti . sachristan . 8 . xihuitl . quipia cepa . cenca . miec . oquimecahuitequic . cenca oquixiehuac . ynacayo . oçotlahua . ce Semana huetztoc . omoquetzac nimā . otzoloc . auh yn totatzin quitlatlania . ynātzin . quilhuia . catia . moconeuh quitoa . ynantzin . oticmacahuitequic [sic] . otzoloc auh yca . oqualanic . totatzin . auh yn iquac . ypā domingo . ya teteochihua . yca tlateochihualatl . yquac . mitoa . asperges . oncā. nepantla teopan . yahui . teteochihua . yca . ySopo . oquihuitequic . cihuatzintli . ynantzin pilton [sic] . Sacristan quiquatzayanac . yxquich . esti . oquiquixtilic v 5o oc cepa . ce fiscal . ya otlamic ytequiuh . ce xihuitl quichiuh . ya quinahuatia quitoa . padre . ya otlamic notequiuh . nifiscal . auh yn yehuatl . totatzin amo oquinequi . mopatlaz . cepa . cenca oquimecahuitequi - ycalictic . quicaltzaquac . cenca quitolinic v 6o auh yn oc cepa otictemoque . ce tlacatl . yancuic fiscal . mochihuaz . cepa . amo quicelia . quitoa . amo nicnequi . fiscal mochihuaz . ynin . baquero nimā oquitotocac . auh yn oc cepa . quinotzac . quitoa . xicnotzacā . yehuatl . yn oanquitlaliq¯ fiscal nimā . oquinotza . yehuatl . fiscal catca quihualhuiquilic . nimā . quinahuatic ytilticauh quiquixtilic . ycalson . mochi . ycamissa . mochi quipetlahuac ocacopiloc . cepa . cenca . oquimecahuitequic cenca oquiçotlahualtic . yhuā . nehuatl . nictlatlauhtia . nictlacahualtia . amo oquinequi motlacahualtia auh yn iquac . oquicahuac nimā . otzoloc . campa hueca . ayac axcan . ayac fiscal . mochi tlacatl quimacaxi . totatzin ayac aquin . mochicahua mochihuaz fiscal — v 7o yhuan . oc cepa . ce tlacatl quititlanic . ompa . atotonilco . quicahuaz . ome caxas . ya mohuicac . quihuicac . caxas . auh yn totatzin oquilhuic . yquac tiaz ompa . mitic . tinechitas . nimichmaca . ce carta ticmacaz . allde mayor ompa . atotonilco . auh ynin tlacatl . quihuica . caxas . açito . mitic . quitemoc . totatzin . ayac onca . çan ompa . mocahuato . estançia . ynahuac . Senora auh y niman ompa . mocuepac . mitic . oya . ompa . estançia ypan açito . totatzin . nima¯ . oquilhui . tle ypampa nican. estançia . tihuala . oquilhuic . padre niconanaznequi . moamauh . nimā . yc oqualanic . oquilhui . xiyauh . ompa . mitic . xinechia ompa niaz . nimichmacaz . amatl . niman tlacatl . mocuepac . mitic nimā . ohuala totatzin . mitic . nima¯ . oncan . cepa . miec oquimictic . quiçotahualtic . ypa¯pa . oquitocac ompa es-tan . yca [sic] . oqualanic totatzin . amo quine [sic] aquin . quitocaz . yaz estançia . ynahuac ySenora . yn quemanian . aquin . motitlaniz . mitic . quitemoz . cepa . yaz . estançia nimā . ompa . quimictiz yuhqui techtoli- nia . v 8o cepa . nochpoch . catalina Juana . ompa yahui . teopan . teotlac . tlachpanaz . auh yn totatzin . ompa teopan . quitzitzquic . quiyecoznequi . amo quicelia . cepa . oncan . teopancalitic . oquimictic nima¯ . ohuala . moteyxpahuico . nixpan . v 9 yuhqui techtolinia auh y¯ miec tlacatl macehualtin . quimacaxi . miec tlacatl . tzoloa yhuā . ayac aquin quicelia mochihuaz fiscal . — v 10 no yhuā . yn iquac yahui estançia amo payna huala . quemanian . matlacti oras huala . auh yn macehualtin amo mochicahua quichiaz . yca . matlacti oras quemanian tzatziz totolin hualaz . anoço . quemanian tlahuiti-huitz . auh in tehuātin . ypampa cēca . titotolinia . ynic ticchiazq¯ — v 11 no yhuā . amo techmachtia . teotlatoli . Sermon ca çan . yxquich techcocolitinemi . techtolinitinemi yn iquac Senr prouiSor quitlacuilhuic oquilhui . xiquinyolali macehualtin ca mopilhuā . nimā quicaquic quitoa . tle ypampa . niquinyolaliz . niquintlaçotlaz. coz nopilhuā ca ypilhuā . diablo . ca niquintoliniz . amo quitlacamati . ytlanahuatil . Senr prouiSor yhuā . obispo . — v 12 auh ynic axcā . tiquitlanico . yn motetlaocoliliz yn titotlatocauh . yn titorrey . titechtlaocoliz titechmomaquiliz . ce quali . teopixqui . techtlaçotlaz no yuhqui . tictlazotlazq¯ . ynin . tovicario . ma xicmoquixtili . ma quiça . ypāpa . cēca . techtolinia . amo techtlaçotla . yntlacamo quiçaz ca miec tlaca [sic] mopilhuā . momacehualhuā. tzolozq¯ . ypampa tovicario . auh no yhuā . polihuiz yn itlacalaquil . tohueytlatoca rrey . campa ticanazq¯ . ticaxitiz.que . yxquich . totlatol . timomacehualhuan juo bicenti allde miguel lopez v 13 yhuā . quinequi toyolo . techcuepiliz 15 . pos 2 to yhuā . caxa . yyaxca . Sanctissimo . Sacramo toyolo pachihuiz ca mochipa ynin . techcocolia — v 14 no yhuā . quintitlania macehualtin campa hueca . yhuā . nicā . molino quintitlania amo tlaxtlahua — yhuā macehualtin . quinahuatia quimachtia ypotros . amo tlaxtlahua [Transcription by James Lockhart; with minor reformatting by Stephanie Wood] We, Juan Vicente, alcalde, and Miguel López, our home being Jalostotitlan, bring a complaint before you, our great lord and king; before you we bring complaint about our priest and vicar Francisco Muñoz, who greatly mistreats us. He is always beating and whipping us; he whips the common people, and he has severely beaten me, Juan Vicente, alcalde. Three times he has given me blows and knocked me down, and I fainted. And he broke my staff into pieces at the church, in the sacristy; when he was already dressed in the alb, stole, and maniple, he beat me, and I said to him: “Father, why are you beating me, you have broken my staff to bits.” Then he said, “Yes, I beat you and splintered your staff, and I will break your whole head.” — v 1. [Our accusation] is not invented, because our father keeps a Spanish woman there at the estancia; he is always staying at the estancia. Once he was staying at the estancia and the people of Mizquitic came bringing him fish. I kept it for him for a day, waiting for him during the vigil of San Andrés. And our father came very early, when the cocks were already crowing on the day of San Andrés, and said: What has come of the fish? Then I told him: “Father, here it is, I am keeping it here.” Then he said: “Why didn't you send it to me yesterday at the estancia?” Then I said to him: “Father, how am I to know? If you had notified me, I would have sent it to you.” Then at that point he began to beat me, and said: “You are a great rogue.” Like this he mistreated me. — v 2. Also he greatly hates me because of 15 pesos, 2 reales, that he owes to the main church, and a chest belonging to the cofradía of the Holy Sacrament; on Holy Thursday the Sacrament is put in there. He prizes it, he appropriates it, he keeps it just anywhere. When he went to Mexico City, he left it with a person who is a cook; when he came back he took it again and left it with the Spanish woman. Once I complained about him to the vicar-general along with the alcalde of the people of San Gaspar, so that we two altepetl complained, and the vicar-general admonished him, censured him, and wrote him, and the vicar-general conferred with his lordship the bishop, and the bishop and vicar-general wrote him saying: “Console the commoners, for they are your children; love them.” But when he read the letter of the bishop and the vicar-general, he said: “Why do you go and complain to the vicar-general, and then you were going to go to the bishop? You need to go to Mexico City instead, since there I got my orders to be vicar here.” Because of this he hates me; he hates the whole altepetl. — v 3. Then once he beat me when he saw the vicar-general’s letter. Recently he beat me a second time, and another time in Mizquitic he beat me in public, on the day of St. Mary's Nativity, and another time on another Sunday he beat me. Now it is four times he has beaten me on account of that letter, the vicar-general's letter, because I complained because he beat me. — v 4. Another time there was a child, a sacristan, eight years old; he whipped him very severely, he stripped off much of his skin, and he fainted. He lay in bed for a week; when he got up, he ran away. And our father asked his mother, saying to her: “What has come of your child?” His mother said: “You whipped him and he ran away”; and our father became angry at her. And on Sunday when he was already blessing people with holy water, while Asperges was being said, there in the middle of the church he was going along blessing people, and with the sprinkler he hit the woman who is the child sacristan’s mother, and he broke open her head and made much blood spurt out. v 5. Another time a fiscal had already finished his term and served a year, and went to notify the priest of it. He said: “Father, my term as fiscal has ended.” But our father did not want him to be replaced. Once he whipped him severely; he closed him up inside his house and greatly mistreated him. v 6. Another time we sought a person to be made the new fiscal. Once he would not accept him, and said: “I don't want this cow herder to be made fiscal.” Then he chased him away. But another time he called him, saying: “Call that person you have made fiscal.” Then the person who had been fiscal called [the new fiscal] and brought him back to him. Then [the priest] gave orders to his black, who took off the new fiscal's pants and shirt and stripped him completely, and hung him up. He whipped him severely and made him faint away. I begged him and tried to hold him back, but he would not be held back. When he let [the new fiscal] go he ran far away. Now no one is fiscal, everyone is afraid of our father, no one dares become fiscal. — v 7. And another time he sent a person to Atotonilco to deliver two chests. He was already going and taking the chests, and our father told him: “When you get to Mitic, you are to see me. I will give you a letter that you are to give to the alcalde mayor in Atotonilco.” And this person taking the chests arrived at Mitic and looked for our father. He was not there; he had gone to stay at the estancia with the Spanish woman, and then [was going to] return to Mitic. [So] he went to the estancia. He found our father there, who said to him, “Why did you come here to the estancia?” He told him: “Father, I want to take your letter.” At that he became angry and told him: “Go back to Mitic and wait for me. I will come there to give you the letter.” Then the person returned to Mitic. Then our father came to Mitic, and then at that point he beat him severely and made him faint because he followed him to the estancia, which made our father angry. He doesn”t want anyone to follow him and go to the estancia where his [or the?] Spanish woman is. Whenever someone is sent to Mitic and [from there] goes to look for him at the estancia, he beats him. Like this he mistreats us. v 8. Once my daughter Catalina Juana went to the church in the afternoon to sweep, and there at the church our father seized her and wanted to have her. She would not receive him, and there inside the church he beat her. Then she came to complain to me. v 9. Thus he mistreats us, and many of the common people are afraid of him. Many people run away, and there is no one who will let himself be made fiscal. — v 10. And also, when he goes to the estancia he does not return quickly: sometimes he returns at ten o'clock, and the commoners are unable to wait until ten. Sometimes he will come when the cocks are crowing, or he comes at dawn, and because of it we suffer greatly waiting for him. — v 11. And also, he does not teach us the divine words, the sermon, but only hates us and mistreats us constantly. When the vicar-general wrote him, saying: “Console the commoners, for they are your children,” as soon as he read it, he said: “Why am I to console and love them? Are they my children? They are children of the devil, and I will mistreat them.” And he did not obey the order of the vicar-general and the bishop. — v 12. And now we have come in order to request your compassion, you our ruler and king, that you do us the favor of giving us a good priest who will love us and whom we likewise will love. Send away this vicar of ours, let him leave, because he greatly mistreats us and does not love us. If he does not leave, many of your children and subjects will flee because of our vicar, and also the tribute of our great ruler the king will be lost; where will we get enough to pay it all? This is all the statement of us your subjects. Juan Vicente, alcalde. Miguel López. v 13. And we want him to return us 15 pesos, 2 reales, and the chest belonging to [the cofradía of] the Most Holy Sacrament, and we will be satisfied; for he always hates us. v 14. And also he sends the commoners to distant places, and he sends them here to the mill and does not pay for it. — And he orders the commoners to break his colts and does not pay for it. [Translation by James Lockhart, with minor reformatting by Stephanie Wood]
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