Huancavelica lies in the highlands of Peru, some 250 kilometers southeast of Lima. On a high hill to the south lies the great mercury mine that, following its discovery in 1563, was the motive for the town’s foundation and the source of its wealth throughout the period of Spanish colonization. The colonial Peruvian economy was heavily dependent on the production of silver in the mining centers of the altiplano, especially at Potosí; from the early 1570s, virtually all Peruvian silver was separated from its ore by a process of amalgamation with mercury. The Huancavelica mine was the only significant source of mercury in the Americas throughout the entire colonial period, and this gave the town a unique importance within both the colonial and imperial economies. Although mercury from Huancavelica was occasionally exported to New Spain, the historic role of the mine was to supply the great silvermining centers of Peru.1 It was a role it performed, aided only by occasional imports from Europe, from the 1570s until the closing decades of Spanish rule in America.
In view of its importance, surprisingly little has been written about colonial Huancavelica. The mines during the Habsburg era have been the subject of a relatively small number of good monographs and articles, while Bourbon Huancavelica was served, for some 40 years following its publication, almost exclusively by Arthur P. Whitaker’s The Huancavelica Mercury Mine.2 The past decade or so has witnessed a minor boom in “Huancavelica studies,” with a number of scholars greatly enhancing our understanding of the late colonial mines.3 But there remains a clear casualty: the early Bourbon period (1700-59), dispatched by Whitaker in a scant 15 pages in the early part of his book, and ignored by most modern commentators since.4 This neglect is the more to be regretted, since not only was the period one of considerable importance in the history of the mines, but developments there constituted a major preoccupation of early Bourbon government in Peru at large.5
This article is intended in part to fill the gap, with an analysis of royal policy toward the administration of the mercury industry in Peru under the early Bourbons, Philip V (1700-46) and Ferdinand VI (1746-59). It begins with a study of the profound crisis that affected Huancavelica in the final years of the seventeenth century and up to around 1720. This crisis conditioned early Bourbon experience of the mercury industry in Peru, and several of its features influenced royal policy throughout the following three decades. The article continues with an outline of the administrative reforms of the industry that were carried out between 1719 and 1735, essentially in response to this crisis. The new framework created by these reforms determined the way in which Huancavelica was governed until 1748. The policies pursued by the governors of the mine during this period are reviewed in the following section, with an emphasis on the administrations of two outstanding officials, the marqués de Casa Concha (1723-26) and Jerónimo de Sola (1736-48). A fourth section begins by considering the new direction that royal policy assumed after 1748, and concludes by discussing the issues and problems facing Huancavelica in the last years of early Bourbon rule.
The Decadent Viceroyalty: Huancavelica, 1700-1718
The first two decades of the eighteenth century formed one of the most calamitous periods in the history of the Huancavelica mines. This was but one facet of a wider contemporary picture, that of the greatest state of decadence suffered by the viceroyalty of Peru during its entire colonial experience. The ambience of decay of the late seventeenth century was compounded by the War of Succession (1702-15), when a beleaguered Bourbon administration in Spain could spare neither attention nor resources for the government of its inheritance in the Americas. The result in Peru was a peculiar interlude of relaxation of administrative control, a slackening of the reins of government that affected virtually every sphere of the colonial reality. One of the period’s chief features was the growth of a massive French contraband trade along the Pacific coast, which created a demand for contraband silver that affected the silver- and mercury-mining sectors alike.6 Another was a sharp increase in sales of office in the viceregal bureaucracy. Such sales clearly had a deleterious effect on standards of administration, not the least because creoles were the chief purchasers and creole influence extended through the centers of viceregal power. Huancavelica was not immune to this process: as early as 1701 a royal decree urged the viceroy to sell posts in the royal treasuries, “and especially those of the Villa de Huancavelica.”7 It is clear that between about 1690 and 1720, the mining center suffered a serious deterioration in the standards of its administration, and that this decline was the single greatest cause of the disasters that afflicted it during this period.
The crisis affected every possible index of the health of the mercury industry, starting with the rate of production. This fell to its lowest mean level for a comparable period in the history of the mine: between 1700 and 1720 an average of less than 3,300 quintals was produced each year. In some years output barely surpassed 2,000 quintals, and in the worst, 1705, it was little more than 1,500 (see table 4 and fig. 2). Of course it is probable that real production levels dropped considerably less than official records show. French contraband at this time created a vast market for unregistered silver from Potosí and the other mining centers.8 This in turn fueled demand for contraband mercury, since silver could only elude official attention if produced with mercury that had not passed through the treasury registers. In the wider climate of administrative disarray, it may be supposed that smuggling of mercury from Huancavelica increased markedly.9 A further index of crisis at the mine was the condition of its labor draft, the mita. Officially the size of the draft remained constant at 620 mitayos from 1645 onward, but the real number of laborers serving bore little relation to this figure. In the 1680s the actual draft fluctuated around 300 to 400 Indians; in the early 1720s the figure had risen slightly to 447.10 And it was increasingly difficult for Huancavelica miners to benefit even from the few Indians who ostensibly served the draft there. On the one hand, the practice of commutation of service in return for a cash payment (the entero en plata) had become widespread: one estimate of 1685 suggested that only a scant 11 percent of the real draft actually served in person, the remainder buying out their obligation by payment of tribute to the miners.11 At least in this way the miners drew an income with which to hire free wage labor; from their point of view far more damaging was the fact that former miners with rights to mitayos were permitted to live in Lima, or individuals quite unrelated to the mercury mine were granted quotas of Huancavelica mitayos by the viceroys as favors or in reward for services performed. These individuals then rented “their” laborers to miners active in the town, at an annual rate that in the 1720s reached 25 pesos per Indian, in this way converting the draft into a straightforward cash income, “a type of encomienda very much against the wishes of the king.”12 In 1684, of the theoretical total of 620 mitayos, 291 were assigned to absentee “miners” in Lima, while the remaining 329 were held by miners actually resident in Huancavelica. By 1726 the respective figures were 303½ (the assignation of half-Indians underlines the cynical nature of the exercise), and 316½; by 1738, the totals were 380 and 240.13 In this context of declining production and growing costs, a further indicator of crisis was the alarming fall in the number of miners active in the miners guild (gremio de mineros). In 1683, 38 miners subscribed the asiento contract agreed to by the gremio and the viceroy, the duque de la Palata. By the early 1720s the guild had just 21 members, and 8 of these were so poor or inexperienced as to take little active part in the exploitation of the mine.14
One of the striking features of this early period was the growth of an immense debt that the gremio de mineros owed the crown. Starting from a base of little more than 125,000 pesos in 1690, by 1718 this debt had ballooned to an immense 1,618,876 pesos (see table 1 and fig. 1), equivalent at the time to almost three years income from the royal quinto on silver production for the entire viceroyalty of Peru.15 The background to this process requires discussion at some length because the debt influenced royal policy for several decades to come and, more importantly, because the issue that underlay it, that of the supply of credit to the mercury industry, was a key element in the policies developed at Huancavelica between 1719 and 1748.
The ready supply of capital was probably the most vital factor in the mining cycle at Huancavelica. This was partly because of the general impecuniousness of the miners, few of whom could finance their operations in advance; but it also reflected the nature of the industry in the town itself, where for four months of the year (January to April, the invernada) the miners could extract ore but could not process it to draw an immediate income because the ichu grass fuel on which the smelting process depended was always too damp. The royal administration at Huancavelica needed a plentiful supply of funds not only to buy the mercury that was produced, but to provide cash advances that the miners could use to pay mitayo salaries and finance necessary repairs and underground maintenance work. It was vital that sufficient funds be available to meet these needs, since otherwise the miners faced the disruption of their operations and dependency on private credit to sustain their activities. Private credit merchants, or aviadores, advanced sums to miners throughout the season (especially during the invernada) and recovered their investment during the period of smelting, or fundición, in the form of refined mercury. This they obtained at a price substantially below the official one—in the early 1720s the going rate to aviadores was 40 pesos per quintal, as against the net 58 pesos that, after taxation, the miners received from the crown.16 The aviador who sold his mercury to the treasury as the law required thus earned a profit of 18 pesos on each quintal. The effects of a shortage of royal credit and its substitution by private capital were doubly harmful.17 On the one hand, either aviadores, or desperate miners themselves, sold their stocks of mercury on the black market rather than face the difficulties and delays involved in selling to an impoverished treasury; as a result registered production dropped. On the other hand, because private credit was so expensive, to make good their losses the miners were driven to work prohibited zones in the mine, or to exploit the valuable rock-supports therein, so threatening the long-term stability of the workings.
The Huancavelica treasury did not itself produce funds sufficient to provide the mines with all the credit required and was therefore dependent on regular remissions from the central treasury in Lima. Funds so advanced were not in fact expenditures, since ideally the credit would be recovered at the end of each season. But as income to the central treasury dropped during the seventeenth century, the flow of capital to Huancavelica became increasingly irregular. This was especially notable after the 1650s, and there developed a direct correlation between periods of scarcity of funds in the Huancavelica treasury on the one hand, and drops in registered mercury production and increases in contraband on the other. A number of attempts were made to safeguard against such shortfalls, most notably in the 1680s, when the viceroy duque de la Palata established an annual capital advance of 125,000 pesos to the mining town, to be paid from commercial taxes on maritime trade, then considered the most reliable branch of crown revenue.18 In fact, however, such earmarking was often sacrificed to other urgent needs of state or defense, and the cash advance to Huancavelica was often reduced, delayed, or suspended altogether. By the end of the 1680s, a shortfall had accrued amounting to more than one million pesos, money that the crown owed the miners for mercury purchased in successive campaigns over the previous 30 years.19
Between 1690 and 1718, this pattern of crown indebtedness was reversed as a result of the personal involvement of Huancavelica governors in the private supply of credit. This involvement was quite open, the governors boasting that by advancing their own capital to the miners they were contributing to the development of the mine. In fact they made huge profits, and their activities were directly responsible for the growth of the miners’ debt. From their position of authority they were able to guarantee that the credit they advanced was the first to be repaid; as a result the miners’ profits were largely consumed, leaving insufficient funds to repay crown supplements, which continued to arrive. Later governors drew up tables showing the development of the miners’ debt to the crown that give a good indication of whom among their predecessors were the chief culprits (see table I).20 It may be suspected that some contemporary viceroys collaborated in the fraud: in 1708, on his own initiative, the marqués de Castelldosríus suspiciously wrote off some 440,000 pesos of the debt, then one-half the sum that the miners owed the crown. (This action, presumably prompted by some illicit transaction between the viceroy and the miners, was later annulled by the crown, so that the reduction of the miners’ debt did not take effect.) There was “collateral” damage too, since governors with a large personal stake in mining production were likely to turn a blind eye to irresponsible methods of extraction at the mine. Royal funds dispatched to Huancavelica no longer countered the harmful consequences associated with a lack of credit as already described, since the governors and their allies took the profits, while the miners still obtained the necessary capital only at great expense. Throughout the period from 1690 to 1718, the question of credit thus remained at the heart of the problems afflicting the mercury mining industry, but with the important added factor that this question now involved a heavy additional cost to the royal administration in the form of the miners’ debt to the crown. It is tempting to suppose that it was this debt factor that after 1719 finally provoked the crown into a more active policy of administration at the mine.
Chronic administrative disorder came to threaten the internal stability of the mine itself. Mercury is found not in narrow veins like silver, but in great pockets shaped like a flattened and irregular cone.21 This structure determines the way it must be mined; if all the ore in a pocket is extracted, the resulting subterranean space is too large to support the weight of the rock above, inviting collapse. As a result, as the workings extend through new areas, sections of rock must be marked off and left as natural bastions or rock-supports, so permitting exploitation of the surrounding ore. These supports—puentes (arches of ore) and estribos (free-standing pillars)—must not be removed. At Huancavelica they became permanent features, given their own names and carefully entered on maps. They might be very massive, and some were actually faced with dressed stone. But by their nature the rock-supports contained rich ores, and this made them vulnerable. A perennial problem at Huancavelica was how to stop the miners from thinning them down (the term was “to comb” —peinar) or demolishing them altogether for the quick profits they offered. This seems to have occurred on a large scale in the first two decades of the century: the miners attacked the rock-supports, either to compensate for the high cost of credit obtained from aviadores and the governors, or simply to boost profits in an atmosphere of reduced controls at the mine. The process reached a climax between 1715 and 1718, as a result of policies promoted by a particularly corrupt governor, Andrés de Angulo, and his assistant Juan de Nájera. A local priest, Juan Henríquez de Asturrizaga, wrote scandalized accounts to the crown of the two men’s demolition of many of the principal pillars in the mine, including some dating back to Solórzano’s governorship more than a century before.22 (This may explain the uncharacteristically high output of the mine in the quinquennium 1716-20; see table 4.) The result was that when the marqués de Casa Concha assumed the governorship in the early 1720s, he found the workings so unstable that chunks of rock fell from the roofs and repairs collapsed within a few months. He banned the use of all tools except picks, fearing that staves were too violent, and closed off several sections of the mine altogether.23 Asturrizaga’s denunciations, along with the question of the miners’ debt to the crown, seem to have had a direct role in provoking the series of reforms that began the year after he wrote them.24
Early Bourbon Administrative Reform, 1719-1735
Bourbon reform of the imperial mercury industry began very early. In 1708 the great mercury mine at Almadén in New Castile was placed under the newly constituted Junta de Azogues, which enjoyed responsibility for the mercury industry throughout the empire. This body quickly moved to improve the administration of mercury in America, appointing a superintendente general de azogues, de Beitia, in the viceroyalty of New Spain, whose powers were the clear inspiration for the reforms attempted some years later in the viceroyalty of Peru.25 The Junta de Azogues took no immediate action with regard to Peru, however, and was abolished in 1717 in favor of a superintendente general de azogues for the Peninsula, an official appointed directly by the crown.26 Early Bourbon reform at Huancavelica began some two years later, when in March 1719 the Council of the Indies drew up a series of decrees that together outlined a radical reform of the Peruvian mining sector.27 The centerpiece of the reform was the abolition of the mita in the southern viceroyalty, where the mines would henceforth be worked mainly by voluntary wage labor, supplemented by that of convicts and vagrants. Among the measures intended to compensate the miners for this loss of subsidized labor was a reduction of the royal tax on silver production, from the quinto to diezmo, or tenth of total production. The reform was to be implemented by a powerful new official to be dispatched from Spain, entitled the intendente de azogues because the part of the reform that affected the mercury industry was perhaps the most radical of all. Huancavelica was to be effectively mothballed, and Peru supplied with mercury from Spain, via Buenos Aires. These supplies were to be paid for by the product of mercury sales and diezmos in the viceroyalty, and an important part of the intendant’s responsibilities was the collection and remission of these funds. Among other responsibilities, he was also to administer and distribute mercury throughout Peru. The plan fell victim to institutional turmoil in the peninsular government, and the various decrees were recalled before they could be dispatched.28 But while the reform itself was suppressed, in several important respects the thinking it had expressed continued to influence royal policy toward Huancavelica for the following 30 years.
Within just over a year of its withdrawal, two of the principal elements of the project actually became part of royal policy. On December 6, 1719, the crown moved to create a revised Superintendencia General de Azogues for Peru (though the position was not formally established until three years later). As part of this reform, a titular official was appointed, the marqués de Casa Concha, an oidor in Lima, who was invested with many of the powers outlined in the earlier plan.29 Among these, and in line with powers already accorded to Beitia in New Spain, was exclusive control of revenue produced by the mercury industry (the ramo de azogues), entirely independently of the other viceregal authorities. Casa Concha also retained responsibility for the collection of quintos and other taxes on precious metals. On April 5, 1720, a subsequent decree then abolished the Huancavelica mita in favor of a regime of convict and (predominantly) voluntary labor, the latter to be encouraged by a series of provisions for better working conditions and relief from tribute, among other benefits. The viceroy, príncipe de Santo Buono, was ordered to Huancavelica to personally oversee implementation.30 These measures had no more effect in Peru than had the project that inspired them. Santo Buono’s successor, Diego Morcillo, saw the Superintendencia General de Azogues as a blow to his prestige and the powers accorded the superintendant as an unacceptable curtailment of his own authority. He particularly objected to Casa Concha’s control of the taxes resulting from silver production, “a situation,” he said, “that leaves the high office of viceroy without the power or rights to use these funds in whatever may be of service to the crown.” Morcillo flatly refused to implement the reform, despite Casa Concha’s repeated protests.31 Abolition of the mita, meanwhile, was simply ignored in Huancavelica, the superintendant writing five years later to explain his motives for not bringing it into effect.32 The crown made no effort to pursue the matter, and a royal decree in 1733 officially “restored” the Huancavelica labor draft.33
The long-pursued Superintendencia General de Azogues was finally established by a group of decrees issued on February 13, 1722. These were implemented in the viceroyalty and determined the regime at Huancavelica for the following 14 years.34 As it was finally instituted, the superintendancy, again conferred on the marqués de Casa Concha, had powers that paled in comparison with those that had been planned for its frustrated predecessors, but it nevertheless remained a position of some authority. The one significant power carried over from the former projects was the superintendant’s right to requisition funds required at the mine from any treasury in the viceroyalty, independently of the viceroy, as well as the capacity to remove any treasury official who failed to cooperate. The second major element of the reform altered the system of appointment to the governorship of the mine that had been in effect since the sixteenth century. The reform provided that after a three-year term, Casa Concha be replaced in the posts of superintendant of the mine and governor of the town by his fellow oidores of the Audiencia of Lima, who were to serve similar terms in rotation by order of seniority.35 Previously the governor of Huancavelica had been appointed by the viceroy; the systematic rotation of the oidores, coupled with the powers given the superintendancy, thus lent a significant degree of independence to a post previously directly subordinate to the viceroy in Lima. The change may have reflected a conviction in Madrid of the viceroys’ complicity in the chronic disorders of the preceding decades.36
The midcentury recovery of mercury production at Huancavelica dates from the advent of the oidor governorships. In this sense the system was not an unsuccessful one, but nevertheless the crown remained dissatisfied with the arrangement. Its chief disadvantage was later described as the shortness of the terms of office, which denied the mine the required administrative stability while fostering a lack of a sense of responsibility among the governors. It was also noted that the judges would be missed in Lima, that during their periods at the mine they would be paid a dual salary, and that appointment by rotation would inevitably place ill-suited individuals in the governorship.37 In any case it appears that the system was only intended to have been a temporary expedient. In August 1734 the move toward a further stage of reform began, when the then de facto Spanish chief minister, José Patiño, asked José Cornejo y Ibarra, a recent and successful governor of the mines at Almadén, to report on possible reforms to the Peruvian mercury industry. Cornejo’s report, which began with a severe critique of the existing state of affairs at Huancavelica, proposed a solution based on his experience at the Spanish mine.38 The core proposal was that the gremio system at Huancavelica be abolished and that a regime of direct crown exploitation of the deposits be introduced on the Almadén model. The new regime might work along lines sketched by two Peruvians, Juan Baptista Barreneche and Alonso González, in a report submitted to the crown in 1720.39 To establish this regime in Peru, a peninsular superintendant should be dispatched to govern the mine, familiar with operations at Almadén and accompanied by trained officials from there. To ensure the success of the reform, this official would need to be given a sufficient degree of independence from the viceroy, particularly with regard to his ability to finance operations at the mine.
Cornejo’s proposals were adopted in full. The official chosen to implement the reform was Jerónimo de Sola y Fuente, then a member of the Consejo de Hacienda, whose commission and jurisdiction were set out in papers dated January 22, 1735.40 These revoked the decrees of December 1719 and February 1722, and named Sola superintendant of the mine and governor of the town, with an initial five-year term of office. From this time up to the 1760s, the governors of Huancavelica were all similarly high-ranking peninsular officials appointed directly by the crown. Sola’s chief commission was to establish a regime of direct crown exploitation of the Huancavelica mines. This would end the system whereby the mine was exploited by members of the gremio de mineros; henceforth, private individuals would have no part in the extraction and processing of the ores, which instead would be undertaken by a labor force of mitayos under the direction of a corps of royal administrators. To advise him, and to assist with the introduction in Peru of the working practices and techniques employed at Almadén, Sola was assigned a group of technicians from the Spanish mine. Most significantly, to ensure that his office carried sufficient weight, in addition to the powers enjoyed by the oidor-governors since 1722, he was given exclusive control over the ramo de azogues, a faculty last conceded in the abortive Superintendencia General de Azogues of December 1719. He was to use the funds to guarantee an annual output of 5,000 quintals of mercury, and any surplus income was to be remitted directly to Spain, via Buenos Aires. As the supreme local authority in everything relating to mercury sales, Sola would correspond with the treasury officials in the silver-mining centers quite independently of the viceroy, and indeed might remove those officials he considered unsatisfactory. The viceroy and other local officials were forbidden to touch the income from the ramo de azogues, which during Sola’s administration ceased to be calculated as part of viceregal income.41 Recognizing that conditions in Huancavelica might differ greatly from those at Almadén, a final clause in Sola’s commission empowered him to suspend any of the new measures found to be unsuited to Peru. After a period of instruction under Cornejo’s direction at Almadén, and accompanied by five selected officials from the Spanish mine, Sola set sail for Peru in April 1735 in the same flotilla that carried the new viceroy, the marqués de Villagarcía.42
The reform that Jerónimo de Sola was to implement was not an isolated measure but, like most Bourbon reforms, responded to criteria that were ultimately commercial. By the early 1730s, the great early Bourbon program for commercial renovation, the cornerstone of which was the Proyecto para galeones y flotas of April 5, 1720, was in a clear state of bankruptcy. The Portobelo trade fairs of 1722 and 1726 had been failures, and that of 1731 was so catastrophic that it ruined a large number of Andalusian merchants. Beginning in 1734, José Patiño headed a series of juntas that were convened to discuss the trade issue and were attended by a delegate of the Lima merchant guild, Juan de Berría, among many other participants.43 The end result of these meetings was the royal cedula of January 21, 1735, which temporarily suspended the departure of the Peruvian trade fleets. But, recognizing that the ultimate reason for the deterioration of the Peruvian trade was the great decline in silver production in the viceroyalty since the end of the sixteenth century, the same decree also introduced a striking measure of reform intended to stimulate the production of this precious metal: the reduction of the royal tax on silver from the quinto to the diezmo.44 The taxation burden at Potosí and elsewhere was one of the factors that Berría claimed had hindered economic growth in Peru; another was the scarcity of mercury at the silver-mining centers. One of Sola’s commissions explicitly stated that the reforms he was to introduce at Huancavelica were to bring about higher levels of mercury production to meet the demand of a silver industry that, it was anticipated, would boom in the wake of the reduction of taxes on silver mining.45 The year 1735 was thus one of concerted reform across the Peruvian mining sector, aimed at achieving a renaissance in silver production and, as a consequence, the restoration of trade by the southern fleets.
The real significance of the reforms of 1722 and 1735 to the Peruvian mercury industry is best understood in the light of the importance to the mining cycle of an external supply of capital, as described above. Credit was vital to the normal development of that cycle. In the latter part of the seventeenth century, the increasingly irregular remissions of capital from Lima led to a whole series of harmful consequences, of which a drop in registered production was only the most obvious. Attempts to guarantee sufficient funds for Huancavelica, such as that of the duque de la Plata in the 1680s, failed because as long as the viceroy or royal treasury officials in Lima controlled these funds, they were always liable to be diverted to ends that these authorities considered more pressing.46 The single great innovation of the mining regimes introduced in 1722 and 1735 was a shift in control over these funds away from the viceroy and treasury officials in Lima, and their placement under the direct control of the governors in Huancavelica itself. In principle, the marqués de Casa Concha and his fellow oidores had enjoyed the power to requisition whatever funds were required from any treasury in Peru, independently of the viceroy; Sola’s powers were far greater, since they were based on the complete separation of the ramo de azogues from the viceregal exchequer as a whole. The importance of this point cannot be overemphasized: contemporary commentators repeatedly stressed that the key to successful administration of the mine lay fundamentally in the prompt and plentiful supply of credit.47 No factor so well explains the relative stability and prosperity of midcentury Huancavelica as does the governors’ ability to guarantee such credit.
Throughout the period from 1722 to 1748, sufficient funds were always advanced to Huancavelica from the central Peruvian treasury. Neither Casa Concha, the other oidores, or Sola ever invoked their powers to requisition funds independently of the viceroys. Casa Concha noted that this was never necessary, since viceroys Morcillo (1720-24) and Castelfuerte (1724-36) always advanced sufficient funds without being prompted, and the same was true of viceroys Villagarcía (1736-45) and Manso de Velasco (1745-61). It is probable, however, that the viceroys’ continued willingness to remit sufficient funds to Huancavelica was in fact a consequence of the governors’ newly achieved power. On one occasion Casa Concha seems to have threatened to invoke his powers to ensure Morcillo’s cooperation, and the later viceroys’ awareness of Sola’s powers was likewise probably sufficient to guarantee cooperation, though Sola’s exclusive control over the ramo de azogues clearly rankled them. Although the circumstances were somewhat unusual, the first credit crisis at Huancavelica since the early eighteenth century only occurred in the 1750s, after the governors’ powers had been substantially reduced.
Administration at the Mines: The Governorships, 1723-1748
The regime established by the reforms of 1722 and 1735 defined the conditions of government at Huancavelica from the arrival of the marqués de Casa Concha in May 1723 to the departure of Jerónimo de Sola in August 1748. During this interlude five officials held the governorship: Casa Concha was succeeded by Alvaro Cabero (1726-29), the conde de las Torres (1729-32), the fiscal Gaspar Pérez Suelta (1732-36), and then by Sola himself. The administrations of these men have so far largely escaped scholarly attention. This is regrettable, since two of them were arguably among the foremost servants of early Bourbon rule in the southern viceroyalty. The least that can be said for all of them—no mean claim in view of the immediate precedents—is that for the most part they seem to have been honest, perhaps because their greater authority brought with it an enhanced sense of personal responsibility for the correct administration of the mine. The policies they pursued built on the essential financial security conferred by the administrative context to contribute substantially to the prosperity of the mercury industry in the middle decades of the eighteenth century.
The first of the new class of governors, the marqués de Casa Concha, wrote a long and detailed relación of his experience at the mine, which came to serve rather as a guide or manual for his successors.48 Except in one notable respect, his was a conservative administration. He carried out few real innovations, but instead claimed to have concentrated on efforts to eliminate fraud in the financial administration of the mine and in the supply and distribution of mitayos. Coincident with this basic conservatism, he rejected two substantial royal reforms that, had they been implemented, might have threatened the survival of the mine. The first was the 1720 order for the abolition of the Huancavelica mita. Casa Concha’s immediate pretext for suspending this decree was the great epidemic of 1718-23, which had already devastated the local workforce; but he later claimed that experience demonstrated that the mine could not be worked by voluntary labor alone, since too few Indians were willing to do the work and the miners could not afford the wages they demandedd.49 The second measure he suppressed was an arbitrary reduction in 1722 of the net price paid the miners for each quintal of mercury, from its historic level of 58 pesos after tax, to 40 pesos. This reduction provoked the bitter opposition of the miners, who claimed, probably with justice, that mercury could not be extracted at so low a price. Reiterated in 1725, it took a subsequent suspension by Alvaro Cabero, and two miners’ strikes in protest, before the measure was finally withdrawn, in the same decree that restored the mita.50
The marqués de Casa Concha’s principal achievement at Huancavelica was the reintroduction and development of a system for the distribution of credit to the miners, in abeyance since at least the 1690s, which remained in use until the mid-1750s and was widely acclaimed as the basis for the prosperity of the mine during this period: “in all truth it can be said . . . that had he not been the inventor of so beneficial a scheme, then either this guild would no longer exist, or it would be in such a poor condition as to be incapable of supplying the kingdom with mercury, which doubtless makes him worthy of the greatest recognition.”51 (Such statements should not, of course, obscure the basic point that the credit system depended on adequate remissions of capital from elsewhere to work at all.) The credit system prescribed that 125,000 pesos, the amount established by Palata 40 years earlier, be advanced to the miners by the exchequer each year. The real innovations initiated by the marqués de Casa Concha were two.52 Royal credit was normally used as part-payment for mercury produced, for mitayo salaries, and for the repair and maintenance costs known as ratas y desmontes. Casa Concha reintroduced a further supplement, paid to the miners during the invernada season when their need of credit was greatest. The crown thus assumed the role previously exercised by private credit merchants (aviadores); in effect the scheme was a prototype of the later Compañía de Azogueros and bancos de rescate in the silver-mining sector.53 The advantages were mutual: the miners received most of their credit at no cost, since the crown supplements were repaid in mercury purchased by the treasury at the full post-tax rate of 58 pesos per quintal. And the crown guaranteed the continuity of operations at the mine, while eliminating, along with illicit sales of mercury by cash-starved miners, the single greatest source of smuggling. Casa Concha’s second innovation, this one wholly novel, was the provision that all mercury remaining with the miners after repayment of the royal supplements be purchased by the treasury at a rate of 40 pesos per quintal. The savings of 18 pesos per quintal were credited as repayment toward the miners’ long-standing debt to the crown. During Casa Concha’s administration, the crown recovered 55,000 pesos in this way; by 1736 this had increased to 150,000 pesos, to which Jerónimo de Sola added another 96,000 pesos.54 The credit system was maintained and perfected by successive governors: Sola, for example, both increased its total value and extended it to poorer miners, excluded by Casa Concha as presenting too great a risk of default. For as long as it functioned, the system constituted the vital complement to full yearly remissions of capital from Lima to the Huancavelica treasury, the efficient and honest distribution of credit to the miners providing the firm foundation upon which a stable and reasonably prosperous mining regime was built.
The three oidor-governors who served from 1726 to 1736, between the administrations of Casa Concha and Sola, maintained the proper flow of capital to the miners and recovered a further portion of the gremio’s debt. A second adit, named San Javier, was completed in 1732, and by the mid-1730s annual mercury production had risen to almost 4,500 quintals. Nevertheless, Cabero, las Torres, and Pérez Buelta were generally unremarkable officials;55 by contrast, their successor, Jerónimo de Sola y Fuente, was without question the most notable of the eighteenth-century governors of Huancavelica. His administration was the longest of the colonial period, some twelve years and two months.56 Like Casa Concha, he left a detailed report of his government, written this time at express royal instruction.57 As we have seen, he came to Huancavelica with the commission to completely change the regime of exploitation then in effect. He brought powers greater than those enjoyed by any governor before or after him, including autonomous control of a significant branch of the viceregal exchequer. He also brought the prestige of his seat on the Council of Hacienda, and this was substantially enhanced in 1742 when he was appointed to the Council of the Indies itself. In 1744 he subscribed a new asiento with the gremio de mineros, the first in over 60 years and the last of its kind. This “nuevo Assiento,” along with the relaciones of both Sola and Casa Concha, completes a trio of first-rate sources both for the administration and for the early-eighteenth-century history of the mine and mercury industry.
Within months of his arrival, Sola abandoned the principal objective of his commission, the establishment of direct crown exploitation of the mine. He did so after discussions in Lima with Casa Concha, and in Huancavelica with the officials from Almadén. He concluded that Barreneche and González’s report, on which Cornejo had hoped that the reform might be based, was worthless, and that more broadly, conditions at Huancavelica were quite unsuited to the operative regime in use at Almadén.58 Crown operation would be extremely costly, since the exchequer would lose its income from the royal quinto on mercury production and other taxes, while having to shoulder the infrastructure and maintenance costs currently assumed by the gremio. Progress in recovering the miners’ debt would be threatened. A further obstacle was the sloth and unreliability of the Peruvian workforce, since instead of each miner being personally responsible for supervising his laborers, this task would be entrusted to a legion of paid royal officials. Given that mitayos were not trained to perform the most skilled tasks, the crown would face the expense of hiring free wage labor. These arguments were accepted in Madrid, and in 1742 a decree sanctioned Sola’s preservation of the existing system.59
Having discounted crown operation, Sola set about constructing a system of operations at the mine that, he later claimed, guaranteed it a prosperous future, with consistent levels of production and substantial profits for the crown. The ruling principle of his “New System” was the need to improve physical conditions and to guarantee the long-term stability of the workings. This was done by widening and bolstering the main galleries—the whole of the Calle Real was given wooden supports at a cost of 25,000 pesos—and by ensuring that newly developed workings were fully endowed with arch- and pillar-supports, the celebrated puentes and estribos. There were several advantages to this procedure. The greater solidity of the mine reduced cave-ins and permitted that at first staves (barretas) and then blasting with powder could be used in place of the traditional picks. Sola was at first extremely cautious with blasting, restricting its use to the safest zones; but he claimed that by the end of his administration it was employed almost throughout the entire mine.60 This in turn greatly increased the speed of mining and the volume of ore extracted. A greater extent of face could be worked, and new underground areas came under exploitation; one of Sola’s proudest claims was that he rediscovered the Veta Real, the mother lode that had been lost behind a chalk fault in 1648.61 Whether this claim was warranted is doubtful; the conde de las Torres made a similar one some years before. But it is quite likely that the new workings encountered some pockets of unusually rich ore.62 Sola also claimed that the system greatly improved working conditions for Indian laborers, partly by reducing the risk of cave-ins, but mainly because it greatly improved ventilation throughout the mine. To ensure that his procedures were followed, and that the new supports were left intact, he placed a representative, the subdelegado de la Real Mina, above the notoriously corruptible veedores, and laid down that a detailed list of puentes and estribos should be handed over at each change of governorship, elaborated so as to facilitate comparison with earlier such lists.63
We have seen that Sola developed Casa Concha’s credit system, extending it to poorer miners. He also raised the part-payment for mercury deposited at the royal stores during the smelting period from 20 pesos per quintal to 30, by way of further credit. Elsewhere, he ceded to the gremio the right of appointment to the sobreestancia de velas, an old source of grievance, and clamped down on the market in stolen ore, controlled by Indians.64 More significant were reforms to the labor system at the mine: he altered the conditions of the mita, placing limits on the potential daily earnings of the most skilled Indian workers.65 He also more or less openly condoned the practice of cash commutation by mitayos, aware that the miners themselves preferred such payments, which they used to hire skilled wage labor.66 By far the most important of his labor reforms, however, was his suppression of the abusive usufruct of Huancavelica mitayos by members of the elite in Lima.67 Sola quickly identified the urgency of correcting this problem, and in May 1738 banned all assignments of draft laborers to absentee “proprietors.” But the power of the interested parties obliged him to proceed with caution, and it was not until Sola obtained a royal decree, that of March 14, 1742, which explicitly prohibited absentee usufruct, that he took more direct action. All titles to mitayos held by miners not in residence at Huancavelica were then annulled and the draft laborers reassigned to active and resident miners.68 This was an important reform. Even though some widows and orphans were allowed to retain rights to the mitayos they had inherited, and even if illicit subletting of draftees between miners continued, the reform effectively increased both the labor and capital resources at the disposal of Huancavelica mining entrepreneurs. And it may have had a further significance. One of the key aspects of Sola’s administration were the amicable relations he maintained with Huancavelica miners. In a time of ready credit and expanding production, it was clearly easier to maintain such relations, but he also seems to have actively solicited them. This is a theme that runs through the policies described above, and the reforms of 1738 and 1742 had the additional effect of overtly aligning Sola with the miners against an essentially parasitic Lima “interest” that, moreover, enjoyed the sympathy of viceroy Villagarcía. Later governors, most famously Antonio de Ulloa, found their projects frustrated by the close alliance between the Huancavelica gremio and corrupt officials in Lima; it may be that by winning the cooperation of the miners, Sola was the better able to withstand hostile pressure from other factions in the viceregal administration. Certainly the miners cooperated with him at a basic level, and they respected the tenets of his New System at the mine, most notably by leaving the pillar- and arch-supports inviolate.69 Governor and gremio exchanged frequent mutual declarations of esteem, an unusual feature in a corporation notorious for its hostility toward intruders from the central government.
Sola’s policies, building on the abundant influx of capital and efficient distribution of credit secured after 1722, brought a period of genuine prosperity to the industry that seemed to justify the epithet the miners accorded him, of “El Restaurador de la Mina.” Mercury production reached a high for the century, with an annual average of close to 5,000 quintals throughout his administration. In 1741, when transatlantic shipments were threatened by war, a total of 4,000 quintals were exported to New Spain, and Sola subsequently offered to send an additional 2,000 (the offer was rejected). These exports lend credit to his repeated claim that since supply outstripped demand (which toward the end of his administration was 4,500 quintals per year), he was obliged to artificially restrict production at the mine.70 In a typical year, the crown’s revenue on production from the royal quinto on mercury production alone was nearly 80,000 pesos; in addition to this income, Sola also retired an additional portion of the miners’ debt to the exchequer. The miners of the gremio also earned large profits, probably the highest of the century.71 Significantly, the number of miners in the gremio rose to 30 by the mid-1740s.
A New Phase: Huancavelica, 1748-1759
Despite what must on balance be considered its success, the experiment with an alternative form of administration for Huancavelica that began in 1722 and reached its apogee in the person of Jerónimo de Sola did not endure past his administration. Initially, the commission to Sola’s successor, Gaspar de la Cerda y Leiva, conveyed to him all the powers enjoyed by his predecessor.72 But at the same time his authority was seriously compromised by the provision that in all his actions de la Cerda y Leiva was to proceed in accordance with the viceroy, a clause that prompted viceroy Manso de Velasco to observe that de la Cerda came to his post “rather more subordinate” (bastantemente subordinado).73 Though couched in rather diffuse language, the effect of this clause was clear: the independence of the Huancavelica governors with regard to their control over the financing of mercury production, as well as in other matters pertaining to their jurisdictional authority, was at an end.
Why was the reform abandoned? One of the reasons may be found in the views that in response to a crown request Sola y Fuente himself expressed on the future administration of the mine.74 Sola had been the most fervent defender of the value of the governors’ maintaining autonomous control over the financing of the mercury industry; and yet he had also experienced firsthand the difficulties that such a control entailed. The viceroys regarded both the removal of the mercury funds from their control, and the autonomy the governor enjoyed as a result, as an intolerable restriction of their authority. As a result they refused to cooperate with, and indeed at times were openly hostile to, Sola, who wrote of his “continual battle” with the higher authorities of the viceroyalty.75 While these authorities always advanced sufficient funds to the Huancavelica treasury, they also found a variety of pretexts to requisition sums from the ramo de azogues. This was in open violation of Sola’s authority, although the governor found it prudent to acquiesce to these affronts.76 From the outset of the War of Jenkins’ Ear, the viceroys insisted that all funds in Huancavelica that were in excess of the mine’s operating requirements be remitted to Lima; in this way they frustrated the clause of Sola’s commission that ordered all such surplus to be sent directly to Spain (in fact, only one such remission was made, of 116,000 pesos in 1747). After some reflection. Sola proposed a solution that sought to reconcile the crucial goal of guaranteeing an adequate supply of capital for Huancavelica with viceregal insistence on terminating the governors’ independent control over the ramo de azogues. He suggested that the product of the mercury industry and the responsibility for remitting funds to Huancavelica should be placed under the authority of a minister dedicated to this charge, but that this minister (who Sola suggested be a member of the Audiencia) should reside in Lima and operate under the immediate authority of the viceroy. The proposal, which was ignored, seems to have recognized that however desirable or effective the reforms that had preceded Sola’s governship might be in theory, they were simply impracticable as a permanent solution in Peru.
In any case, royal policy was now taking a different course, quite incompatible with the thrust of the administrative reforms at Huancavelica of the past quarter-century. In 1743 the marqués de la Ensenada stepped into the ministerial vacuum left by the death of José del Campillo, eager for a rapid reform and capitalization of the American territories to help fund his program of domestic renewal.77 He quickly placed trusted men of ability, many of them riojanos like himself, in high positions throughout the administration. Two such men were the viceroys of Peru and New Spain, Manso de Velasco and Güemes y Horcasitas, who began their administrations in 1745 and 1746, respectively.78 Ensenada was willing to give these men any powers they required to purge the colonial administration, especially in the treasuries, not the least so as to secure a more copious remission of surplus revenue to Spain.79 Over the following years, the result was a considerable reinforcement of viceregal powers, especially in the fiscal sphere. In Peru this process began with decrees of 1746 and 1747, which increased the viceroys’ legal jurisdiction over the exchequer.80 It was consummated in 1751, with the important reform that conferred on the viceroys the Superintendencia General de Real Hacienda, which incorporated under one person the authority to collect, administer, and farm out the royal revenues.81 This decree explicitly returned control of the ramo de azogues to the viceroy. As his commissioning papers indicate, de la Cerda’s subordination was part of the crown’s conscious effort to “conserve and maintain [viceregal authority] in all its breadth and magnitude.” The reforms of 1722 and 1735 had sought to improve administration at Huancavelica by strengthening the powers of the governors; in 1748 this concern was sacrificed to the wider aim of enhancing that of the viceroys.
In most respects, de la Cerda’s administration was an unfortunate one. Like Sola, he was a member of the Council of the Indies and a direct appointee of the crown. He was already old at the time of his appointment and, after a serious accident in Huancavelica, repeatedly pressed for relief from his post. He seems to have been honest (Antonio de Ulloa, the best-known governor of Huancavelica, praised him without qualification), but he lacked Sola’s political skills and, unlike his predecessor, maintained a relationship of open hostility with the miners of the gremio.82 Nevertheless, despite the restrictions placed on his control of the ramo de azogues, greater remissions were made to Spain from this branch during de la Cerda’s administration than during that of his predecessor: some 413,000 pesos, the entire surplus for his first four years.83 This was possible due to the support of Manso de Velasco, who was well aware that such remissions were an important part of his own responsibilities in Peru. De la Cerda’s greatest initiative at the mine was the Compañía de Azogues, a formally structured company that he intended should replace the gremio. He saw this innovation as a means to regulate levels of production, to better guarantee royal credits to the miners, and to ensure that proper principles of exploitation were respected at the mine.84 He also hoped to eliminate competition between the mine operators. Manso de Velasco regarded the project as a novelty of dubious benefit and cancelled it. De la Cerda was replaced in July 1754 and died, still in Peru, early the following year.
De la Cerda’s administration coincided with the culmination of a process of debate that, for the first time since 1719, brought into question the very survival of mercury production at Huancavelica. As early as January 1746, Ensenada brought the whole enterprise of mercury production in Peru under review.85 The motive most frequently offered for the project he came to consider, which contemplated closure of the mine and the use of mercury from Almadén to supply the Peruvian silver industry, was the toll the Huancavelica mita exacted among the subject Indian population. But Ensenada’s chief interest seems to have been the possibility of supplying Peruvian miners with cheaper mercury, and so further stimulating silver production. In 1748 he asked Manso de Velasco to consider the cost of transporting mercury from the Isthmus of Panama to the silver mines, and the price at which it might then be sold. Privately he acknowledged that the Huancavelica mine would probably be closed, though at this point the official position was that it had to be kept in readiness to supply Peru in case of any interruption in remissions from Almadén.86 Manso replied the following year with the considered opinion of a group of local experts: the Huancavelica mine could not sustain being left idle for any lengthy period of time, so that if the project were to go ahead, the mine had to be closed altogether. In this case it would be necessary to maintain at least a four years’ supply of mercury in reserve, in the event that supplies from Almadén were delayed.87 Ensenada then solicited further opinions among experts resident in Madrid. Interestingly, his inquiries of Jerónimo de Sola centered on the question of the miners’ historic debt to the crown, and of how it might be recovered if mining at Huancavelica were to cease; Sola replied emphatically that the system perfected by Casa Concha offered the only means of retiring the debt.88 Nevertheless, in October 1750 Manso was advised that a trial remission of mercury from Almadén was to be made, via the Buenos Aires route. Miguel de Escurrechea, a former silver merchant at Potosí, was charged with the transport of the mercury and its sale in Peru, at a price not to exceed 70 pesos per quintal.89 A total of 1,300 quintals were eventually distributed in Potosí and Oruro, amid a vigorous debate as to the efficacy of Almadén mercury relative to that of Huancavelica. But the whole project was then abandoned when a serious collapse at Almadén left the Spanish mine unable to supply the requirements even of New Spain, much less those of Peru as well.
This disaster, and a similar one in 1758, opened a new episode at Huancavelica, that of large-scale remissions of mercury to New Spain. To make good the temporary insufficiency of supply from Almadén, between October 1753 and 1759 a total of 15,000 quintals were exported from Peru to Mexico and Guatemala (see table 3). This was a heavy charge, around 2,500 quintals in each of six years, and it still further increased the strain the mine was already experiencing.
The last governor of Huancavelica during the early Bourbon period was Pablo de la Vega, a judge of the Audiencia of Charcas who was appointed by Manso de Velasco as interim successor to de la Cerda y Leiva. Few of de la Vega’s own papers appear to have survived, thus our understanding of his administration is based almost entirely on the reports of Antonio de Ulloa, who succeeded him in November 1758. Ulloa claimed to have arrived to find the mercury industry in a disastrous state of disarray and blamed de la Vega almost exclusively for this situation, accusing him of gross corruption and mismanagement of the mines.90 The interim governor was said to have been guilty of flagrant self-enrichment (inter alia by selling contraband mercury on his own account in the main square of the town), and of presiding over the wholesale abandonment of the good working practice established at the mines by Sola and de la Cerda. Ulloa’s views on previous governors are not always reliable, and other contemporaries were generous in their praise of de la Vega.91 But it is sufficiently clear that the mid- to late-1750s were years of increasing crisis at Huancavelica. After 1748, when responsibility for remission of funds to the mines was reinvested in the viceroy, Huancavelica suffered its first shortage of capital when the crown, quite irresponsibly, ordered the Mexican viceroy to remit the value of the 5,000 quintals received from Peru in 1753 to Cádiz instead of to the Peruvian authorities in Callao. This measure effectively imposed an extraordinary levy of some 470,000 pesos on Peru.92 About the same time, Casa Concha’s credit distribution scheme seems to have fallen into disuse; certainly there was no further attempt to recover the historic miners’ debt, while under de la Vega fresh debts to the tune of several hundred thousand pesos were allowed to accumulate against mercury distributed on credit in treasuries throughout the viceroyalty.93 The gremio de mineros exploited the increasingly difficult climate to obtain fiscal concessions from the government. One of these was an increase in the part-payment the crown made for mercury deposited in the royal stores during fundiciones, from 30 pesos per quintal to 35; another was the permanent suspension of the royal quinto on mercury production, enacted as a temporary measure in 1760 and never repealed thereafter.94 Demand for mercury now outstripped Huancavelica’s capacity to supply it. We have seen that the mine was producing slightly less than 5,000 quintals per year by the late 1740s, while Peru’s demand for mercury was about 4,500 quintals. Around 1750 production of silver in the Potosí district showed its first strong signs of growth after the early-eighteenth-century depression, and demand for mercury increased accordingly, while from 1753 to 1759 the mine also remitted substantial quantities of mercury to New Spain.95 The dual demand became increasingly difficult to satisfy; in 1754-55 the Peruvian mines suffered a serious shortage of mercury; the last of the remissions to New Spain exhausted the stores and left Peruvian consumption perilously dependent upon day-to-day production.96 Potentially most serious of all, a sudden sharp drop in the quality of mercury ores suggested that the mine, after more than two hundred years of continuous production, was finally approaching exhaustion. Ulloa claimed that average ores were less than one-quarter as rich as they had been at the end of Jerónimo de Sola’s governorship, while an inspection of 1762 noted that three-fifths of the workings had been abandoned as no longer productive.97 When Ulloa arrived in Huancavelica, it was thus to find a mine and mercury industry in the worst condition it had been in for some 40 years. The story of his unhappy experience as governor of the mine is amply known. It ushered in half a century of disastrous decline for the mercury industry in Peru.98
Between 1719 and the early 1750s, the crown pursued an active process of inquiry into the mercury industry in Peru, which spawned a significant program of reforms in the administration of the Huancavelica mines. The key element in the major reforms of 1722 and 1735 was the guarantee of a regular, ample supply of royal credit to the miners, the sine qua non of a healthy mercury industry in Peru. The reforms were broadly successful: the period from 1723 to 1753 was one of unusual stability and prosperity at Huancavelica, the last period during which the mine fulfilled its historic role of supplying the Peruvian silver mines with the mercury needed for amalgamation, while simultaneously making large profits for crown and miners alike. The regular supply of mercury at a stable price can only have contributed to the growth of Peruvian silver production during this period. These largely successful reforms were reversed in the years around 1750, and a renewed crisis at the mine followed soon after. But even this reversal was the product of a planned shift of policy toward enhancing viceregal authority in pursuit of wider imperial aims. And in a broader sense, the Huancavelica example surely deals another blow to the notion of early Bourbon government in America as devoid of active or intelligent administrative initiative.
The author thanks Professor John Fisher for valuable comments on a draff of this article.
Mervyn F. Lang, “New Spain’s Mining Depression and the Supply of Quicksilver from Peru, 1600-1700,” HAHR 48 (1968).
For the Habsburg era, the basic survey is still Guillermo Lohmarm Villena, Las minas de Huancavelica en los siglos XVI y XVII (Seville: Escuela de Estudios Hispano-Americanos, 1949). See also Carlos Contreras, La ciudad del mercurio: Huancavelica, 1570-1700 (Lima: Instituto de Estudios Peruanos, 1982), a good urban history; Henri Favre, “L’évolution des haciendas de Huancavelica,” Cahiers des Amériques Latines 3 (1969), briefly treats the rural structure of the province in the colonial period; and Gwendolyn Ballantine Cobb, Potosí y Huancavelica: bases económicas del Perú, 1545-1640 (La Paz: Academia Boliviana de la Historia, 1977), describes the operation of the mercury trade to Potosí. Useful early sources include Pedro P. Arana, Las minas de azogue del Perú (Lima: Impr. de “El Lucero,” 1901); and Mariano Eduardo de Rivero y Ustáriz, “Memoria sobre la mina de azogue de Huancavelica y la de Chonta,” in Colección de memorias cientificas, agrícolas é industriales publicadas en distintas épocas, 2 vols. (Brussels: Impr. de H. Goemaere, 1857), 2:85-176.
For the Bourbon period, besides Arthur P. Whitaker, The Huancavelica Mercury Mine: A Contribution to the Bourbon Renaissance in the Spanish Empire (Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Press, 1941), see Vicente Palacio Atard, “El asiento de la mina de Huancavelica en 1779,” Revista de Indias 5 (1944).
María Dolores Fuentes Bajo, “El azogue en las postrimerías del Perú colonial,” Revista de Indias 46 (1986); Mervyn F. Lang, “El derrumbe de Huancavelica en 1786: fracaso de una reforma borbónica,” Histórica (Lima) 10 (1986); Miguel Molina Martínez, “Técnica y laboreo en Huancavelica a mediados del siglo XVIII,” in Congreso Internacional de Historia de América, IX Congreso Internacional de Historia de América: Europa e Iberoamérica: cinco siglos de intercambios, 3 vols. (Seville: Asociación de Historiadores Latinoamercanistas Europeos; Consejería de Cultura y Medio Ambiente, Junta de Andalucía, 1992), 2:395-405, and Antonio de Ulloa en Huancavelica (Granada: Univ. de Granada, 1995); Kendall W. Brown, “The Spanish Imperial Mercury Trade and the American Mining Expansion under the Bourbon Monarchy,” in The Political Economy of Spanish America in the Age of Revolution, 1750-1850, eds. Kenneth J. Andrien and Lyman L. Johnson (Albuquerque: Univ. of New Mexico Press, 1994), and “La recepción de la tecnología minera española en las minas de Huancavelica, siglo XVIII,” in Saberes andinos: ciencia y tecnología en Bolivia, Ecuador y Perú, ed. Marcos Cueto (Lima: Instituto de Estudios Peruanos, 1995); and María del Carmen Navarro Abrines, “El Gobierno de Carlos de Beranger en Huancavelica (1764-1767)," Jahrbuch für Geschichte von Staat, Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft Lateinamerikas 34 (1997). See also the chapter on mercury in John R. Fisher’s Silver Mines and Silver Miners in Colonial Peru, 1776-1824 (Liverpool: Univ. of Liverpool, Centre for Latin American Studies, 1977), 74-85.
The valuable exception is Kendall W. Brown’s “La crisis financiera peruana al comienzo del siglo XVIII, la minería de plata y la mina de azogues de Huancavelica,” Revista de Indias 48 (1988).
For a detailed overview of early Bourbon colonial policy in Peru, see Adrian J. Pearce, “Early Bourbon Government in the Viceroyalty of Peru, 1700-1759” (Ph.D. diss., Univ. of Liverpool, 1998).
E. W. Dahlgren, Les relations commerciales et maritimes entre la France et les côtes de l’océan Pacifique (commencement du XVIIIième siècle) (Paris: H. Champion, 1909); Carlos Daniel Malamud Rikles, Cádiz y Saint Malo en el comercio colonial peruano (1698-1725) (Cádiz: Diputación Provincial de Cádiz, 1986); Charles Frostin, “Les Pontchartrain et la pénétration commerciale française en Amérique espagnole (1690-1715),” Revue Historique (Paris) 245 (1971); and Sergio Villalobos R., “Contrabando francés en el Pacífico, 1700-1724,” Revista de Historia de América 51 (1961).
Juan Joseph Matraya y Ricci, Catálogo cronológico de las pragmáticas, cedulas, decretos, órdenes y resoluciones reales generales emanadas después de la Recopilación de las leyes de Indias (1819; reprint, Buenos Aires: Instituto de Investigaciones de Historia del Derecho, 1978), 283, decree of 17 June 1701.
Enrique Tandeter, Coacción y mercado: la minería de plata en el Potosí colonial, 1692-1826 (Cuzco: Centro de Estudios Regionales Andinos “Bartolomé de las Casas,” 1992), 25-29.
Brown, “Crisis financiera peruana,” esp. 370-75, considers the possible scale of mercury smuggling during these years.
Lohmann Villena, Minas de Huancavelica, 396, 404; and Marqués de Casa Concha, “Relación del estado que ha tenido, y tiene la Real Mina de Guancavelica . . . año de 1726,” Archivo General de Indias, Seville, Audiencia de Lima (hereafter AGI, Lima), copies in legs. 469, 479, chap. 4.
Lohmann Villena, Minas de Huancavelica, 404.
José Antonio Manso de Velasco, Relación y documentos de gobierno del virrey del Perú, José A. Manso de Velasco, conde de Superunda (1745-1761), ed. Alfredo Moreno Cebrián (Madrid: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Instituto “Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo, 1983), 297. For aspects of this problem, see the sources cited in n. 68 below.
Lohmann Villena, Minas de Huancavelica, 403; Casa Concha, “Relación del estado,” chap. 9; and Gerónimo de Sola y Fuente to Crown, Huancavelica, 30 Dec. 1738, AGI, Lima, leg. 1326.
Casa Concha, “Relación del estado,” chap. 9.
Marqués de Villagarcía to Crown, Callao, 19 June 1739, AGI, Lima, leg. 639, shows average annual income for the royal fifth from 1726 to 1736 as 561,199 pesos 4½ reales.
Casa Concha, “Relación del estado,” chap. 8.
For a good general statement of the problem, see Lohmann Villena, Minas de Huancavelica, 434-35.
Duque de la Palata, Asiento . . . con el gremio de mineros . . . 1683, AGI, Lima, leg. 469, chap. 13, and “Relación de gobierno,” in Los virreyes españoles en America durante el gobierno de la casa de Austria: Perú, eds. Lewis Hanke and Celso Rodríguez, 7 vols. (Madrid: Atlas, 1978-80), 6:11-318, 7:9-77; see 6:155-73, esp. nos. 582-84, 594, 604.
Lohmann Villena, Minas de Huancavelica, 354, 360, 363, 371, 374, 379-80, 386, 394, 425-26. Lohmann Villena offers no information as to what became of this royal debt, which disappears from the sources after ca. 1690.
On the development of the debt, see Sola y Fuente to Crown, Huancavelica, 20 Oct. 1743, and 14 June 1750, AGI, Lima, leg. 1326; Casa Concha, “Relación del estado,” chap. 8; Jerónimo de Sola y Fuente, Relación e informe, que haze el Doc. d. Gerónymo de Sola y Fuente . . . governador, que acaba de ser de la villa, y mina de Guancavelica (Lima: Impr. de la Plazuela de San Christóbal, 1748), copy in AGI, Lima, leg. 1326, chap. 8; and Lohmann Villena, Minas de Huancavelica, 436-40. See also the sources for table 1.
Lohmann Villena, Minas de Huancavelica, 171-72, 313-14; see also Molina Martínez, “Técnica y laboreo,” 2:400.
Juan Henríquez de Asturrizaga to Crown, Huancavelica, 23 Dec. 1718, AGI, Lima, leg. 469.
Casa Concha, “Relación del estado,” chap. 1.
Annotation to Juan Henríquez de Asturrizaga to Crown, duplicado, Huancavelica, 23 Dec. 1718, AGI, Lima, leg. 469.
Early Bourbon reform to the mercury industry in New Spain is discussed by Antonia Heredia Herrera, La renta del azogue en Nueva España: 1709-1757 (Seville: Escuela de Estudios Hispanoamericanos, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, 1978), passim, esp. 1-3, 13-32.
Heredia Herrera, Renta del azogue, 13-17; and Antonio Matilla Tascón, Historia de las minas de Almadén, 2 vols. (Madrid: Gráficas Osea, 1958-87), 2:36, 121-26.
In AGI, Audiencia de Charcas (hereafter AGI, Charcas), leg. 274; one of these, dated 3 Mar. 1719, is reproduced in Colección de documentos para la historia de Ia formación social de Hispanoamérica, 1493-1810, ed. Richard Konetzke, 3 vols. (Madrid: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, 1953-62), 3:160-62.
Adrian J. Pearce, “Economy and Society in Early Eighteenth-Century Peru: The Viceregal Administration of José de Armendáriz, Marqués de Castelfuerte (1724-1736)” (M.A. thesis, Univ. of Liverpool, 1994), 27-38; and Antonio Rodriguez Villa, Patino y Campillo: reseña histórico-biográfica de estos dos ministros de Felipe V. . . (Madrid: Sucesores de Rivadeneyra, 1882), 44-45.
The relevant decrees are in AGI, Lima, leg. 479.
Cedula to President and Oidores of the Audiencia of Lima, 5 Apr. 1720, AGI, Lima, leg. 376; José de Armendáriz, marqués de Castelfuerte, “Relación del estado de los reynos del Perú . . .,” in Memorias de los virreyes que han gobernado el Perú, durante el tiempo del coloniaje español, ed. Manuel Atanascio Fuentes, 6 vols. (Lima; Felipe Bailly, 1859), 3:152. Santo Buono had himself proposed abolition of the mita and closure of the mine, one of a number of projects for major reform that met with a withering response from the Council of the Indies; see Crown to President of Council of the Indies, 2 Dec. 1719, AGI, Lima, leg. 410, and related material.
Diego Morcillo to Crown, Lima, 26 Oct. 1720, AGI, Lima, leg. 469, with related correspondence.
Casa Concha to Crown, Huancavelica, 25 Oct. 1725, AGI, Charcas, leg. 275; reproduced in Casa Concha, “Relación del estado,” chap. 4.
International Mining Congress (1959-1975), La minería hispana e iberoamericana: contribución a su investigación histórica, vol. 8: Documentos existentes en el Archivo General de Indias, sección de Lima (León: Cátedra de San Isidro, 1974), item 1535, decree of 17 Apr. 1733.
Ihid., items 1509-12, decrees of 13 Feb. 1722; and Casa Concha, “Relación del estado,” chap. to.
José Eusebio de Llano Zapata, Memorias histórico-fîsicas-apologéticas de la America meridional. . . (Lima: Impr. y Librería de San Pedro, 1904), 145-46.
A decree of 1696 had already foreshadowed the end of viceregal provision of the governorship; see Documentos existentes en el Archivo General de Indias, item 52, decree of 12 Dec. 1696.
See Superintendente General de Azogues to Crown, Madrid, 20 May 1741, AGI, Lima, leg. 1326; and Sola y Fuente to Crown, Huancavelica, 20 Oct. 1743, AGI, Lima, leg. 1326.
Cornejo y Ibarra to José Patiño, Madrid, 17 Aug. 1734, AGI, Lima, leg. 442. For Cornejo at Almadén, see Matilla Tascón, Historia de las minas de Almadén, 2:127-31, 347-48. After leaving the mines Cornejo was appointed Superintendente general de azogues in the peninsula (1734 to 1737).
Copy dated 18 Feb. 1720, AGI, Lima, leg. 479. González was sometimes described as a royal engineer.
In AGI, Lima, leg. 775.
See Manso de Velasco, Relación y documentos, 231-32, 350; comments in Manso de Velasco to Crown, Lima, 31 July 1746, AGI, Lima, leg. 416; and Manso de Velasco to Crown, Lima, 14 Aug. 1748, AGI, Lima, leg. 643.
Cornejo to Patiño, Madrid, 2 Jan. 1735, AGI, Lima, leg. 1326; Jorge Juan and Antonio de Ulloa, Relación histórica del viaje a la América meridional, eds. José P. Merino Navarro and Miguel M. Rodríguez San Vicente, 2 vols. (1748; facsimile ed., Madrid: Fundación Universitaria Española, 1978), 2: fol. 167; and Matilla Tascón, Historia de las minas de Almadén, 2:286.
Geoffrey J. Walker, Spanish Politics and Imperial Trade, 1700-1789 (London: Macmillan, 1979), 137-56, 177-88; for the meetings of 1734-35, ibid., 195.
Printed cedula, El Pardo, 21 Jan. 1735, AGI, Juzgado de Arribadas, leg. 191; discussed in Walker, Spanish Politics, 195-200. De Berría’s arguments are advanced in an undated printed memorial, AGI, Audiencia de Mexico, leg. 2978.
See the “Facultad a Dn Gerónimo de Sola,” El Pardo, 22 Jan. 1735, AGI, Lima, leg. 775. While in Lima, Sola renegotiated the contracts for transport of mercury from Huancavelica to the various mining centers, saving the crown some 13,000 pesos. By royal decree this saving was passed on to Potosí miners through a reduction in the price of mercury; see Sola y Fuente to Patiño, Huancavelica, 14 June 1736, AGI, Lima, leg. 1326; royal cedula, El Pardo, 14 Mar. 1742, AGI, Lima, leg. 1326; and Sola y Fuente to Crown, Huancavelica, 20 Oct. 1743, AGI, Lima, leg. 1326. Also Pedro Vicente Cañete y Domínguez, Guía histórica, geográfica, física, política, civil y legal del gobierno e intendencia de la provincia de Potosí (1791; Potosí: Ed. Potosí, 1952), 80-82, where the contracts are erroneously dated 1756 instead of 1736.
See Sola y Fuente, Relación e informe, 51: “Si los caudales para el fomento [de la mina] han de venir del Superior Govierno, siempre havrá trabajos para la subsistencia de esta tan substancial parte del Reyno; y que los mineros puedan proseguir con algún empeño.”
E.g. Gerónimo de Sola y Fuente, Nuevo Assiento, que de orden de el rey, ha celebrado el señor don Gerónimo de Sola y Fuente . . . govemador de la villa de Guancavelica . . . con el gremio de mineros . . . de Guancavelica . . . (Lima: Impr. de la Calle de S. Ildephonso, 1745), copy in AGI, Libros antiguos S XVIII 348, fol. Qv: “y assí se repite, por circunstancia la más principal, el que haya siempre en la Real Caxa, plata prompta, assí para los referidos socorros, como para la paga puntual, de los alcanzes”; and Castelfuerte, “Relación del estado,” 362, where he calis prompt provision of credit to the miners “the whole essence” (todo el ser) of the administration of Huancavelica.
On Casa Concha, see Manuel de Mendiburu, Diccionario histórico-biográfico del Perú, 2d ed., 11 vols. (Lima: Impr. “Enrique Palacios,” 1931-35), entry “Concha, Dr. D. José de Santiago,” the dates for whom, however, are unreliable; and Mark A. Burkholder and D. S. Chandler, Biographical Dictionary of Audiencia Ministers in the Americas, 1687-1821 (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1982), 317. The only published account of Casa Concha’s administration at Huancavelica is Brown, “Crisis financiera peruana,” 375-81; Casa Concha’s “Relación del estado” (cited n. 10 above) remains unpublished. For the influence of this work, see, for example. Sola y Fuente, Relación e informe, 2: “aqui no se conoce este Escripto por otro nombre, que el de Cartilla.”
Casa Concha to Crown, Huancavelica, 25 Oct. 1725, AGI, Charcas, leg. 275; reproduced in Casa Concha, “Relación del estado,” chap. 4.
Casa Concha, “Relación del estado,” chap. 6; Castelfuerte, “Relación del estado,” 163-69; Casa Concha to Crown, Huancavelica, 30 Jan. 1724, AGI, Lima, leg. 479; and Marqués de Castelfuerte to Crown, Lima, 10 Oct. 1726, AGI, Lima, leg. 469.
Sola y Fuente, Relación e informe, 60.
The main primary accounts of this complex affair are: Casa Concha, “Relación del estado,” chap. 8, also chap. 7; Sola y Fuente, Relación e informe, chaps. 8-9; Sola y Fuente, Nuevo Assiemo, fols. L, N-Q; Castelfuerte, “Relación del estado,” 164-65; and Manso de Velasco, Relación y documentos, 298, also 309-10.
For comparison, see Vicente Palacio Atard, “La incorporación a la corona del Banco de Rescates de Potosí,” Anuario de Estudios Americanos (Seville) 2 (1945); and Tandeter, Coacción y mercado, 161-6.
For the 1736 figure, see Castelfuerte, “Relación del estado,” 362.
For brief accounts of two of these administrations, see Conde de las Torres to Crown, Lima, 18 Apr. 1733, AGI, Lima, leg. 469; and Gaspar Pérez Buelta to Crown, Lima, 6 Feb. 1737, AGI, Lima, leg. 423.
On Sola’s administration we have only Whitaker’s brief and unsatisfactory account, Huancavelica Mercury Mine, 22-26.
Sola y Fuente, Relación e infoiane; further copies in U.S. Library of Congress and Biblioteca del Palacio Real, Madrid.
Sola y Fuente to Crown, Huancavelica, 27 Oct. 1736; and Huancavelica, 30 Dec. 1737, AGI, Lima, leg. 1326.
Royal cedula, El Pardo, 14 Mar. 1742, AGI, Lima, leg. 1326.
Sola y Fuente, Relación e informe, chap. 4. This was a major innovation. Apparently the only previous use of blasting at Huancavelica was a brief experiment in 1631; see Lohmann Villena, Minas de Huancavelica, 292.
Sola y Fuente to Crown, Huancavelica, 20 Oct. 1743; and Huancavelica, 1 Nov. 1743, AGI, Lima, leg. 1326. The discovery, if such it was, occurred in July 1743.
For the claim of the conde de las Torres, see Castelfuerte, “Relación del estado,” 156.
Sola’s subdelegado, Manuel de Saldaña y Pineda, marqués de San Antonio, left a further important source for his governorship: Puntual descripción, juycioso calculo y chronologica demarcación de la Real Mina de Huancavelica (Lima, 1748). It happens that the only vestige of the colonial mines still surviving at Huancavelica is part of the portal to the great adit, built by Sola with a shield bearing the inscription: “Esta Portada se Yso Syendo Gove el D D Geronimo de Sola y Fuente del Conse de S.M. en el Re y Supremo de Yndias [?] Subdelegado el Gral Manuel de Saldaña Marqués de San Antonio [?] Año de 174-” (the author thanks Ed Mairena White).
Sola y Fuente, Relación e informe, 94. The sobreestante de velas essentially held a monopoly of basic supplies to the mine (chalk, stone, sand, wood); it was thus a lucrative position, and one easily abused.
See pp. 672-673 above.
Sola y Fuente, Nuevo Assiento, fols. B (reproduces decree of 1742), F-G; Sola y Fuente, Relación e informe, chap. 9; and Manso de Velasco, Relación y documentos, 297-98. The number of mitayos actually serving at Huancavelica also probably rose at this time as a result of the population census undertaken by viceroy Castelfuerte; see his “Relación del estado,” 156-58.
I found no allegations of “combing” or the demolition of rock-supports during Sola’s administration, or indeed between 1718 and the late 1750s. While it would be naive to suppose that the practice ceased altogether, it is quite clear that its incidence decreased markedly during this period.
See, for example, Sola y Fuente to Marqués de Torrenueva, Huancavelica, 20 May 1738, AGI, Lima, leg. 1326; and Marqués de la Ensenada to Sola y Fuente, Aranjuez, 12 June 1750, ibid.
Molina Martínez, Antonio de Ulloa en Huancavelica, 53, graph 1.
Draft cedula, Buen Retiro, 20 Aug. 1746, AGI, Lima, leg. 775.
Manso de Velasco, Relación y documentos, 231, also 299; see also Manso de Velasco to Crown, Lima, 20 July 1748, AGI, Lima, leg. 775.
Sola y Fuente to Crown, Huancavelica, 20 Oct. 1743, AGI, Lima, leg. 1326.
Sola y Fuente to José del Campillo, Huancavelica, 30 Apr. 1742, AGI, Lima, leg, 1326.
Sola y Fuente, Relación e informe, 55-56.
On Ensenada, see Antonio Rodríguez Villa, Don Cenón de Somodevilla, marqués de la Ensenada: ensayo biográfico, formado con documentos en su mayor parte originales, inéditos y desconosidos (Madrid: Librería de M. Murillo, 1878); and John Lynch, Bourbon Spain, 1700-1808 (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1989), 97-99, 158-75, 182-86.
These men later became the conde de Superunda and 1st conde de Revillagigedo, respectively.
See his private correspondence with Manso de Velasco in AGI, Lima, legs. 642-43; for example, Ensenada to Manso, Buen Retiro, 17 Aug. 1748, AGI, Lima, leg. 643: “Facultades para ello se han concedido a VM, y si más quisiere, más se le darán”; and Ensenada to Manso, Aranjuez, 26 May 1748, AGI, Lima, leg. 643: “y assí pues tiene facultades, y se le darán todas las que quiera.”
Carta órden, Aranjuez, 20 June 1746, AGI, Lima, leg. 642; and royal cedula, Aranjuez, 30 June 1751, AGI, Lima, leg. 643, for the decree of 26 Aug. 1747.
Royal cedula, Aranjuez, 30 June 1751, AGI, Lima, leg. 643; and Guillermo Céspedes del Castillo, Reorganización de la hacienda virreinal peruana en [el] siglo XVIII (Madrid: [Ministerio de Justicia], 1953), 8-9.
Ulloa to Julián de Arriaga, Huancavelica, 10 Dec. 1761, AGI, Lima, leg. 1326; this document includes Ulloa’s views on all the governors since the reform of 1722.
Gaspar de la Cerda y Leiva to Ensenada, Huancavelica, 29 Nov. 1752, AGI, Lima, leg. 1326.
AGI, Lima, leg. 1325, passim; and Whitaker, Huancavelica Mercury Mine, 29-30.
Ensenada to Conde del Montijo, El Pardo, 6 Jan. 1746, AGI, Lima, leg. 1326. Montijo was superintendente general de azogues in Madrid.
Ensenada to Manso de Velasco, Buen Retiro, 30 Nov. 1748, AGI, Lima, leg. 643: “Casi he consentido en que enviándose de acá el Azogue y cerrando la Mina de Guancavelica.”
See Manso de Velasco, Relación y documentos, 299-303, which reproduces key correspondence; originals and related material in AGI, Lima, leg. 1326, bundle marked “1748-1749.”
Ensenada to Sola y Fuente, Aranjuez, 12 June 1750, AGI, Lima, leg. 1326; and Sola y Fuente to Ensenada, Madrid, 14 June 1750, AGI, Lima, leg. 1326.
On Escurrechea, see Tandeter, Coacción y mercado, 158-59, 163-64; and Maúlla Tascón, Historia de las minas de Ahnadén, 2:135, 349–50. The idea of supplying Potosí with mercury from Almadén via Buenos Aires may have been that of Escurrechea, since he made several proposals along these lines to the Madrid government.
See Molina Martínez, Antonio de Ulloa en Huancavelica, 37-38, 47-49, 54, 57-58, 69, 97, 153, for the critical view of de la Vega’s administration; further references are in ibid., 71, 77, 114, 140-41. Vicente Rodriguez Casado, “Huancavelica en el siglo XVIII,” Revista de Indias 2 (1941), is largely a description of the mines as Ulloa found them.
Molina Martínez, Antonio de Ulloa en Huancavelica, 58.
Manso de Velasco, Relación y documentos, 308-9: “Esta providencia estrechó mucho las que se estaban dando para el beneficio de los metales [de Huancavelica] y continuación del trabajo de sus labores, y las cajas reales se vieron sumamente escasas.”
Collection of the historie debt was officially suspended in 1763; see Brown, “Crisis financiera peruana,” 369. For debts accruing under de la Vega, see Molina Martínez, Antonio de Ulloa en Huancavelica, 112; and Rodríguez Casado, “Huancavelica en el siglo XVIII,” 92.
Manso de Velasco, Relación y documentos, 426; and Manuel de Amar y Junient, Memoria de gobierno, eds. and preliminary study Vicente Rodríguez Casado and Florentino Pérez Embid (1776; reedition, Seville: Escuela de Estudios Hispano-Americanos, 1947), 242.
For the recovery of Potosí, see Peter Bakewell, “Mining,” in Colonial Spanish America, ed. Leslie Bethell (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1987), 203-49, p. 240, fig. 4.
Whitaker, Huancavelica Mercury Mine, 31.
Rodriguez Casado, “Huancavelica en el siglo XVIII,” 87; and Amat, Memoria de gobierno, 241-42. The rise in mercury production at Huancavelica evident between 1759 and ca.1770 appears to have been secured by renewed mining of the rock-supports by Ulloa (see Molina Martínez, Antonio de Ulloa en Huancavelica, 116-23) his immediate successors. I believe that this activity was responsible both for the rapid decline in output that followed and for the great collapse that struck the mine in 1786.
Molina Martínez, Antonio de Ulloa en Huancavelica, passim; Whitaker, Huancavelica Mercury Mine, 32-52; Vicente Rodríguez Casado, “Amat y Ulloa,” part of the preliminary study to Amat, Memoria de gobierno, xciii–cvi; and Navarro Abrines, “Gobierno de Carlos de Beranger,” 109-18.