Pope Sends Franciscan Missionaries to Northern New Spain
Printed by the Premier 18th-century Spanish printer
423. [MISSIONS]. CATHOLIC CHURCH. POPE. Breve apostólico de Pio Sexto, y estatutos generales para la erección y gobierno de las custodias de misioneros Franciscos Observantes de propaganda fide en las provincias internas de Nueva España. Madrid: Por D. Joachín Ibarra, Impresor de Cámara de S.M. Con superior permiso, 1781. [Caption title to second part following p. 42] Bulas Apostólicas a favor de los misioneros de la seráfica orden. , 1-42, 1-122, 121-210 pp. (text complete), printer’s device on title. 8vo (27.2 x 15.2 cm), contemporary full mottled calf, edges sprinkled blue. Rebacked, original spine preserved. Light shelf wear, no front free endpaper, hinges cracked but holding well, old paper repair to second leaf (in blank margin), several leaves at end with old paper repairs at gutters, occasional light stains (including small ink spot on title), overall a good copy with contemporary marginal ink notes, inserted leaf of manuscript exhortation quoting San Francisco between pp. 182 and 183, contemporary ink ownership note on title partially effaced. Very scarce.
First edition. The work is divided into two parts: Pius VI’s Breve Apostólico de Pio Sexto… (pp. 1-42), followed by Bulas Apostólicos a favor de los misioneros de la seráfica orden…. (pp. 1-210), which includes papal bulls. The work is found in two basic versions: first part only (42 pp.), and second part (210 pp.). Copies exist, as here, with both parts bound together. Furthermore, within those two versions are variations, with some copies containing extra leaves, such as in this copy, which has an inserted leaf (pp. 121/122) certifying Francisco de Vera y Valencia’s position, dated July 13, 1716. JCB II:2:2860 (42 pp.). Medina, Hispano-Americana 4983. Palau 226994. Sabin 7748 (no collation) & 63168 (42 pp.). Wagner, A Bibliography of Printed Works Relating to those Portions of the United States which formerly belonged to Mexico, Santiago: La Imprenta Diener,  #115 (42 + 210 pp). Wagner, Spanish Southwest 163 (noting that his copy contains 122 pages of Bullas and an index to same, 121-133 pp.; Wagner states he has not seen any copy with the 210 pages of Bullas, as in the present copy; Wagner remarks that at least one copy known to him lacks the Bullas).
John Carter Brown Exhibit, Incunables: The Birth of Printing in the Americas 47: “This published edition of Pope Pius’s Breve (Rome, 17 Nov. 1779) conceded to the King of Spain the right to establish custodias in the northern frontier provinces of New Spain. This concession was designed to address the religious vacuum in these provinces which followed the expulsion of the Jesuits from the Spanish colonies. With this authority, the King established San Carlos in Sonora, San Gabriel in California, San Antonio in Nueva Viscaya [Texas-Mexico Borderlands], and Concepción in New Mexico. These published statutes governed those ecclesiastical establishments and continued to do so until secularization in the nineteenth century. Among other things, they specify which of the various Franciscan provinces (i.e., religious administrative districts) were to supply missionaries for each custodia. This important work exists in two editions of differing length, both very scarce.” This book was printed by Ibarra, Spain’s greatest printer of the eighteenth century.
Copyright Dorothy Sloan 2009