Because of a royal order of the intendants of New Spain of 1786 and royal instructions of September 23, 1803, to the governing president and captain general of San Salvador, don Antonio Gutíerrez y Ulloa undertook the preparation of this report; it was first published in San Salvador in 1926, more than a century after its compilation. This second printing is Volume IX of the Colección Historia of the Ministry of Education of El Salvador.

Sr. Gutíerrez y Ulloa divided the material into two parts: the general status of the population and the actual state of the Royal Treasury in the year 1807. In the first part a rather detailed description was given of the families, the classes, the estates, the public offices, the clergy, the character and customs of the people, the topographic division of the land, and the produce of consumption and commerce. In the second the objects of domestic and foreign produce were well covered and numerous helpful tables and charts were included. A good index makes the volume very useable.

This definitely is not a trade book nor was one intended. With little difficulty one may find the type of government in a city, province, or town; the number of Spanish, Indians, Ladinos, mulattoes, or Negroes living in any area; the rivers, lakes, and climatic conditions; the crops grown or the industries in a locale, or even the economic basis of a particular hacienda. Since this was the first and only such major work for the intendancy, it is a valuable source for the period just prior to the independence movements. The printing was superior to that usually done in Central America, and no errata was necessary.