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Francisco García de la Rosa Figueroa
Franciscan, b. in the latter part of the eighteenth century at Toluca, in the Archdiocese of Mexico; date of death unknown. Figueroa possessed extraordinary administrative powers and for more than forty years directed the affairs of his order with singular prudence and ability, being lector emeritus of his order, prefect of studies of the college of Tlaltelulco, superior of general convents, definitor, custodian, twice provincial of the province of Santo Evangelio, and visitor to the other provinces of New-Spain. He was much beloved by the people and highly esteemed by the viceroys and bishops. On 21 Feb., 1790, a royal order was received directing that all documents shedding light on the history of New Spain should be copied and sent to Spain, the order designating in some instances special documents which were wanted. D. Juan Vincente de Guemes Pacheco de Padilla, second Count of Revillagigedo, viceroy from 1789 to 1794, entrusted to Father Figueroa the work od selecting, arranging, and copying these manuscripts. To this task Father Figueroa brought such marvellous activity and rare judgment, both in selecting the material and the copyists, that in less than three years he turned over to the Government thirty-two folio volumes of almost a thousand pages each, in duplicate, containing copies of original documents collected from the archives of convents and private collections, for the most part almost forgotten, and of greatest value for the knowledge of political and ecclesiastical history of the provinces. Such a collection contained quite inevitably some material not of the first importance; there were documents of all kinds, but the collection as a whole was one of great value. One copy, which was sent to Spain and examined by the chronicler Muñoz, is preserved in the Academia de Historia; the other was kept in Mexico in the Secretaría del Virreinado, and from there was transferred to the general archives of the Palacio Nacional where it is still kept. The first volume of this was missing, but about 1872 a copy of it was made from that preserved in Madrid. To the original thirty-two volumes another was added, compiled years afterwards by some Franciscans, which contains a minute index of the contents of the work. Two other copies of the thirty-two volumes were found; one is in Mexico, the property of Senor Agueda, and the other in the United States in the H.H. Bancroft collection.
As this work of Figueroa's has never been published it may be of interest to summarize the contents of the different volumes. They are as follows: I. Thirty fragments from the Museo de Boturini, among them four letters from Father Salvatierra. II. Treatise on political virtues by D. Carlos Sigüenza; life and matyrdom of the children of Tlaxcala; narrative of Mexico by Father Geronimo Salmeron, Father Velez, and others. III. Report of Father Posadas on Texas; three fragments on ancient history, Canticles of Netzahualcoyotl, etc. IV. Narrative of Ixtlixochitl. V-VI. Conquest of the Kingdom of New Galicia by D. Matías de la Mota Padilla. VII-VIII. Introduction to the history of Michoacán. IX-X-XI. Chronicle of Michoacán by Fray Pablo Beaumont. XII. Mexican Chronicle by D. Hernando Alvarado Tezozomoc. XIII. History of the Chichimces by Ixtlilxochitl. XIV. Reminiscences of the City of Mexico. Reminiscences for tlie history of Sinaloa. XVI-XVII. Notes for the history of Sonora. XVIII. Important letters to elucidate the history of Sonora and Snaloa. XIX-XX. Documents for the history of New vizcaya (Durango). XXI. Establishment and progress of the Missions of Old California. XXII-XXIII. Notes on New California. XXIV. Log-book kept by the Fathers Garcés, Barbastro, Font, and Capellio; voyage of the frigate "Santiago"; "Diario" of Urrea and of D.J.B. Anza, etc. XXV-XXVI. Documents for the ecclesiastical and civil history of New Mexico. XXVII-XXVIII. Documents for the civil and ecclesiastical history of the Province of Texas. XXIX. Documents for the history of Coahuila and Central Mexico (Seno Mexicano). XXX. Tampico, Rio Verde, and Nuevo León. XXXI. Notes on the cities of Vera Cruz, Cordova, Oaxaca, Puebla, Tepotzotlan, Querétaro, Guanajuato, Guadalajara, Zacatecas, Nootka. XXXII. Pious reminiscences of the Indian nation.