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The Workings of Calidad: Honor, Governance, and Social Hierarchies in the Corporations of the Spanish Empire

  • Jorge E. Delgadillo Núñez (a1)

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In her study on the configuration of difference in colonial New Granada, Joanne Rappaport contends that many studies “tend to ignore how different practices of distinguishing one individual from another came into play in concrete situations,” and as a result they “end up labeling as ‘race’ something that was much more multifaceted.” Subsequently, she urges scholars to interpret colonial subjects and their identities on their own terms. This study responds to Rappaport's call by analyzing the workings of the historical concept of calidad in colonial Spanish America.

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Copyright

Footnotes

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I would like to thank Professors Jane Landers and Edward Wright-Ríos for their generous readings of different versions of this article. I am grateful also to Celso Castilho for encouraging me to explore the imperial dimensions of calidad. I thank my colleagues Aaron Van Oosterhout, Brad Wright, and Alexandre Pelegrino for their suggestions and critiques on previous drafts of this text, and I thank my colleagues from the Latin Americanists’ workshop at Vanderbilt University for their incisive comments and questions. Finally, I am grateful to the two anonymous reviewers for The Americas for their generous criticism. Research for this article was funded by a James R. Scobie Award from the Conference on Latin American History and a Tinker Summer Research Award from the Center for Latin American Studies at Vanderbilt University.

To avoid confusion between US American and Spanish colonial usage and convention, the Spanish spelling of “mulato” has been used throughout this article

Footnotes

References

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1. Rappaport, Joanne, The Disappearing Mestizo: Configuring Difference in the Colonial Kingdom of New Granada (Durham: Duke University Press, 2014), 60, 209.

2. Recent works that attempt to understand Spanish America on its own terms are Andrews, Norah, “Calidad, Genealogy, and Disputed Free-Colored Tributary Status in New Spain,” The Americas 73:2 (April 2016): 139170; Earle, Rebecca, “The Pleasures of Taxonomy: Casta Paintings, Classification, and Colonialism,” TWMQ 73:3 (July 2016): 427466; Schwaller, Robert C., Géneros de Gente in Early Colonial Mexico: Defining Racial Difference (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2016); and Vinson, Ben III, Before Mestizaje: The Frontiers of Race and Caste in Colonial Mexico (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2018).

3. Vinson, Ben III, Bearing Arms for His Majesty: The Free Colored Militia in Colonial Mexico (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2001), 3; Cope, Douglas, The Limits of Racial Domination: Plebeian Society in Colonial Mexico City, 1660–1720 (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1994), 19; Martínez, María Elena, Genealogical Fictions: Limpieza de Sangre, Religion, and Gender in Colonial Mexico (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2008), 244262.

4. See for example, Lewis, Laura, Hall of Mirrors: Power, Witchcraft, and Caste in Colonial Mexico (Durham: Duke University Press, 2003); Martínez, Genealogical Fictions; Böttcher, Nikolaus, Hausberger, Bernd, and Torres, Max S. Hering, El peso de la sangre: limpios, mestizos y nobles en el mundo hispánico (Mexico City: El Colegio de México, 2011); and Torres, Max S. Hering, Martínez, María Elena, and Nirenberg, David, eds. Race and Blood in the Iberian World (Zurich: Lit Verlag, 2012).

5. Contestation of this narrative has begun for the early colonial period too. See for example Ireton, Chloe, “‘They Are Blacks of the Caste of Black Christians’: Old Christian Black Blood in the Sixteenth and Early Seventeenth-Century Iberian Atlantic,” Hispanic American Historical Review 97:4 (November 2017): 579612. Ireton herself cannot escape from instilling North American notions of whiteness into her study. On how to use the concept of race in a more historical manner, see Burns, Kathryn, “Unfixing Race,” in Rereading the Black Legend. The Discourses about Religious and Racial Difference in the Renaissance Empires, Greer, Margaret R., Mignolo, Walter D., and Quilligan, Maureen, eds. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008), 188202.

6. For an overview of the historiography, see Fradera, Josep M., “Spanish Colonial Historiography: Everyone in Their Place,” Social History 29:3 (August 2004): 368372; Kamen, Henry, “Depriving the Spaniards of their Empire,” Common Knowledge 11:2 (Spring 2005): 240248; Burnard, Trevor, “Empire Matters? The Historiography of Imperialism in early America, 1492–1830, History of European Ideas 33:1 (2007): 87107.”

7. For example, see Bryant, Sherwin K., Rivers of Gold, Lives of Bondage: Governing through Slavery in Colonial Quito (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2014); Sartorius, David, Ever Faithful: Race, Loyalty, and the Ends of Empire in Spanish Cuba (Durham: Duke University Press, 2014); and Echeverri, Marcela, Indian and Slave Royalists in the Age of Revolution: Reform, Revolution, and Royalism in the Northern Andes, 1780–1825 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016).

8. See for example the correspondence between the High Court of Guadalajara and the Royal Council of the Indies during the late seventeenth century, in which the council asked the court not to label the offspring of Spaniards and mulatos as moriscos. Archivo General de Indias [Hereafter AGI], Audiencia de Guadalajara, 232, Libro 8, fol. 68, and Libro 9, fol. 10, in Richard Konetzke, Colección de documentos para la historia de la formación social de Hispano-América (Madrid: CSIC, 1962), vol. 3, tomo 1, 61–62, 81–82.

9. For the notion of calidad, I build upon Restall, Matthew, The Black Middle: Africans, Mayas, and Spaniards in Colonial Yucatan (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2009), 92; McCaa, Robert, “Calidad, Clase, and Marriage: The Case of Parral, 1788-90,” Hispanic American Historical Review 64:3 (August 1984): 477501; Joanne Rappaport, The Disappearing Mestizo, 204, 235–236; Aizpuru, Pilar Gonzalbo, “La trampa de las castas,” in Alberro, Solange and Aizpuru, Pilar Gonzalbo, La sociedad Novohispana: estereotipos y realidades (Mexico City: El Colegio de México, 2013), Kindle edition, position 403.

10. On the importance of honor in the Spanish world, see for example Boyer, Richard, “Negotiating Calidad: The Everyday Struggle for Status in Mexico,” Historical Archeology 31:1 (1997): 6473; Johnson, Lyman and Rivera, Sonya Lipsett, eds. The Faces of Honor: Sex, Shame, and Violence in Colonial Latin America (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1998); and Twinam, Ann, Public Lives, Private Secrets: Gender, Honor, Sexuality, and Illegitimacy in Colonial Spanish America (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1998). For an example that shows these notions were Iberian, and not just Hispanic, see Raminelli, Ronald, “Impedimentos da cor: mulatos no Brasil e em Portugal c. 1640–1750,” Varia História 28:48 (July–December 2012): 699723.

11. Guardino, Peter, “La identidad nacional y los Afromexicanos en el siglo XIX,” in Prácticas populares, cultura política y poder en México, siglo XIX, Connaughton, Brian coord. (Mexico City: Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana- Casa Juan Pablos, 2008), 265266, 271.

12. Cedulario de Ayala, tomo 48, fol. 171v., no. 187, in Richard Konetzke, Colección de documentos, vol. 3, tomo 2, 539–540. For some examples of the authorization of illegitimates to be notaries or priests, see AGI, Audiencia de Cuzco 17; Cedulario de Ayala, tomo 83, fol. 254, no. 133; and AGI, Indiferente 1535, in Konetzke, Colección de documentos, vol. 3, tomo 2, 654–656, 685–686, 691–692.

13. Acad. Hist. Colección Mata Linares, tomos 77, 122, in Konetzke, Colección de documentos, vol. 3, tomo 2, 814–815, 832–834.

14. López, David Carbajal, La población de Bolaños, 1740–1848. Dinámica demográfica, familia y mestizaje (Zamora: El Colegio de Michoacán, 2008); Introducción,” in Familias pluriétnicas y mestizaje en la Nueva España y el Río de la Plata, López, David Carbajal, coord. (Guadalajara: Universidad de Guadalajara, 2014), 715. From the same volume, see Celina G. Becerra Jiménez, “¿Familias pluriétnicas o procesos de mestizaje? Calidad étnica y familia en Santa María de los Lagos en el siglo XVIII,” 83–114; and Norma Angélica Castillo Palma, “Calidad socio racial, condición estamental, su variabilidad en el mestizaje novohispano: ¿Familias pluriétnicas?” 173–210.

15. Restall, The Black Middle, 95–96; Gonzalbo Aizpuru, “La trampa”; Rappaport, The Disappearing Mestizo.

16. For scholarship on Afro Mexicans, see Vinson, Ben III, “Afro-Mexican History: Trends and Directions in Scholarship,” History Compass 3 (2005): 114; and Gutiérrez, María Elisa Velázquez and Duró, Ethel Correa, coords., Poblaciones y culturas de origen africano en México (Mexico City: INAH, 2005).

17. See for example Gross, Ariela and de la Fuente, Alejandro, “Slaves, Free Blacks, and Race in the Legal Regimes of Cuba, Louisiana, and Virginia: A Comparison,” North Carolina Law Review 91 (2013): 16991756.

18. For pioneering studies, see Soberón, Estela Roselló, “La cofradía de San Benito de Palermo y la integración de los negros y los mulatos en la ciudad de Nuevo Veracruz en el siglo XVII,” in Formaciones religiosas en la América Colonial, Pastor, Marialba and Mayer, Alicia, coords. (Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 2000); Soberón, Estela Roselló, “Iglesia y religiosidad en las colonias de la América española y portuguesa. Las cofradías de San Benito de Palermo y Nuestra Señora del Rosario: una propuesta comparativa,” Destiempos 3:14 (2008): 335353; Calvo, Thomas, Poder, religion y sociedad en la Guadalajara del siglo XVII (Guadalajara: Ayuntamiento de Guadalajara, 1989), 187188; León, Cristina Verónica Masferrer, “Por las ánimas de los negros bozales. Las cofradías de personas de origen africano en la Ciudad de México (siglo XVII),” Cuicuilco 51 (2011): 83103; Mancuso, Lara, Cofradías mineras. Religiosidad popular en México y Brasil, siglo XVIII (Mexico City: El Colegio de México, 2007); Rosa Elena Rojas, “Esclavos de obraje: consuelo en la devoción. La cofradía de la Santa Veracruz nueva fundada por mulatos, mestizos y negros. Coyoacan, siglo XVII,” Nuevo Mundo/Mundos Nuevos (December 2012), http://nuevomundo.revues.org/64339, accessed December 2015; and Rafael Castañeda García, “Piedad y participación femenina en la cofradía de negros y mulatos de San Benito de Palermo en el Bajío novohispano, siglo XVIII,” Nuevo Mundo/Mundos Nuevos (December 2012), http://nuevomundo.revues.org/64478, accessed December 2015.

19. Petition of José Francisco Osorio, Archivo de la Real Audiencia de Guadalajara [hereafter ARAG], Ramo Civil, caja 401, exp. 5, fol. 16.

20. In these cases, the soldiers used pardo and mulato interchangeably, so I use the terms in the same way. For classic studies on the Spanish army, see McAlister, Lyle, The Fuero Militar in New Spain 1764–1800 (Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 1957); Archer, Christon I., The Army in Bourbon Mexico, 1760–1810 (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1978); and Vinson, Bearing Arms.

21. These were the first, second, third, and fifth companies of the second division of the Costa Sur militia.

22. Petitions of José Miguel Brizuela and Francisco Osorio, ARAG, Ramo Civil, caja 401, exp. 5, fols. 3, 16.

23. This article stated: “Equal circumstances of age, size, complexion, conduct, and residence shall concur in the free pardos enlisted in their respective companies.” See Reglamento provisional para el régimen, gobierno y nueva planta de las Compañías de Milicias de la Costa Sur del Reyno de Nueva España, desde la jurisdicción de Acaponeta hasta la de Tehuantepec, ARAG, Ramo Civil, caja 174, exp. 2, fol. 5.

24. Petitions of Juan Nepomuceno Solórzano, Joaquín Salazar, and José Ygnacio Mendoza, ARAG, Ramo Civil, caja 401, exp. 5, fols. 14-15, 18, 20-21. It is interesting to note how Spanish soldiers used the word calidad when referring to themselves, but when talking about pardos or mulatos they used the word clase.

25. Petition of José Enrique Solórzano, ARAG, Ramo Civil, caja 401, exp. 5, fols. 68-69.

26. Petitions of Ramón Leandro, Marcos Silva, and José Francisco Alcaraz, ARAG, Ramo Civil, caja 401, exp. 5, fols. 5, 11-12.

27. Petitions of José Martín Cárdenas, and Juan José Vizcaíno, ARAG, Ramo Civil, caja 401, exp. 5, fols. 7-9.

28. Petitions of Vicente Solórzano, José Simón Banegas, José Miguel Rubio and José Vicente Ulloa, ARAG, Ramo Civil, caja 401, exp. 5, fols. 56, 60, 88, 94.

29. Petition of don José Lucas Sandoval, ARAG, Ramo Civil, caja 401, exp. 5, fol. 2.

30. Petitions of José Vicente Suárez, José María Suárez and José Luis Carrión, ARAG, Ramo Civil, caja 401, exp. 5, fols. 86, 87, 92.

31. Cope has signaled this feature, calling it “reputational race.” See Cope, The Limits, 57.

32. Petition of José Francisco Trillo to the royal court of Guadalajara, 1798, ARAG, Ramo Civil, caja 375, exp. 9. On conflicts over marriage choice, see for example Patricia Seed, To Love, Honor, and Obey in Colonial Mexico: Conflicts over Marriage Choice, 1574–1821 (Stanford: Stanford University Press: 1988).

33. Petition of don Juan Antonio Moreno de Ortega to the royal court of Guadalajara, 1772, ARAG, Ramo Civil, caja 342, exp. 1, fols. 1-2.

34. Don Mateo Ruiz de Aumada against Efigenio Solórzano, 1776, ARAG, Ramo Civil, caja 331, exp. 12.

35. Petition of doña María Beas to the royal court, 1792, ARAG, Ramo Civil, caja 365, exp. 13; petition of the Indians of Santa Ana to the royal court, caja 243, exp. 6, fol. 1; and petition of several Indians to be exempt of tribute, 1793, caja 312, exp. 15.

36. Vinson, Bearing Arms; Cope, The Limits; Martínez, Genealogical Fictions.

37. Joanne Rappaport has also noticed this attentiveness to beards. The Disappearing Mestizo, chapt. 5.

38. For instance, noses were described with the adjectives chata, corva, corta, gruesa, ancha, arremangada, hundida, caída, afilada, abultada, and tuerta. Lips were: gruesos, belfos, and arremangados.

39. Rules of the 1st company of riflemen from the pardo militia of Guadalajara, ARAG, Ramo Fiscal, caja 20, libro 100, fols. 43, 85, 121. It is worth noting that soldiers from pardo units across the viceroyalty were described with similar words. See Vinson, Bearing Arms, 96–97, 201.

40. Rappaport, The Disappearing Mestizo, 196.

41. For this point, see Gonzalbo, “La trampa,” positions 297, 3026. Even in modern Mexico a white identity remains weak at best. See Sue, Christina A., Land of the Cosmic Race: Race Mixture, Racism, and Blackness in Mexico (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013).

42. Examinations for the grade of master of the Taylor's guild, Archivo Municipal de Guadalajara [hereafter AMG], Gremios, caja 2, fols. 14v, 15v.

43. Sartorius, Ever Faithful, 22–23.

44. Petitions of José Ignacio Espinoza, Felipe Silva, Manuel Brizuela and José María Suárez ARAG, Ramo Civil, caja 401, exp. 5, fols. 71, 74, 81-82, 86.

45. Petitions of José Vicente Suárez and don José María Díaz, ARAG, Ramo Civil, caja 401, exp. 5, fols. 86, 96.

46. Bonil Gómez, Gobierno y calidad, 53–72.

47. For example, see AGI, Guadalajara, 231, Libro 4, fol. 319; Libro 5, fol. 267; and Libro 6, fol. 131, in Correspondence between the council of the Indies and the audiencia of Guadalajara, Konetzke, Colección de documentos, vol. 2, tomo 2, 674–675, 760–761, 790–791.

48. Account of merits of Vicente Méndez, 1683, AGI, Panama, 105, in Konetzke, Colección de documentos, vol. 2, tomo 2, 799–801.

49. AGI, Panama, 100, in Konetzke, Colección de documentos, vol. 3, tomo 1, 142–143. “That this type of people, who are so rare in character, that their natural defect fades completely with their honest deeds, of quality that has not existed captain, nor white soldier in those garrisons.”

50. Qualification of Joseph Francisco Baez to be a surgeon, 1760, AGI, Santo Domingo, 1607, in Konetzke, Colección de documentos, vol. 3, tomo 1, 293–294.

51. The king to the archbishop of Santo Domingo, 1707, AGI, Santo Domingo 879, libro 33, fol. 250, in Konetzke, Colección de documentos, vol. 3, tomo 1, 107–108.

52. The king to the bishop of Caracas, 1709, AGI, Santo Domingo 879, libro 33, fol. 353, in Konetzke, Colección de documentos, vol. 3, tomo 1, 111.

53. The king to the audiencia of Lima, 1714, AGI, Lima 577, libro 35, fol. 326, in Konetzke, Colección de documentos, vol. 3, tomo 1, 118.

54. Account of merits of Bernardo Ramírez, 1783, AGI, Guatemala 411, in Konetzke, Colección de documentos, vol. 3, tomo 2, 535. Italics mine.

55. See for example The King to the University of Santa Fe, 1765, Archivo Histórico Nacional de Bogotá, Colegios 2, fol. 233, in Konetzke, Colección de documentos, vol. 3, tomo 1, 331–332; Cedúla de gracias al sacar, AGI, Audiencia de Santa Fe 542; Acad. Hist. Colección Mata Linares, tomo 122; and cédula de gracias al sacar, AGI, Audiencia de Caracas 404, in Konetzke, Colección de documentos, vol. 3, tomo 2, 754, 814–816, 829–831. For an in-depth analysis of gracias al sacar, see Twinam, Ann, Purchasing Whiteness: Pardos, Mulatos, and the Quest for Social Mobility in the Spanish Indies (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2015).

56. Qualification of pardos for jobs and matrimony, 1806, Acad. Hist. Colección Mata Linares, tomo 77, in Konetzke, Colección de documentos, vol. 3, tomo 2,821–828.

57. Sartorius, Ever Faithful, 28–30.

58. Von Germeten, Black Blood Brothers, chapt. 7.

59. Confraternities were voluntary organizations of Catholic laymen that gathered for purposes of Christian piety and were devoted to a saint or virgin. There were confraternities that accepted members of any calidad, and confraternities that accepted only persons from certain groups. Urban confraternities acted as mutual aid societies that conferred benefits to members’ families. Some authors have offered their own definitions of these collectivities. See Introduction,” in Cofradías,capellanías y obras pías en la América colonial, López-Cano, Pilar Martínez, Von Wobeser, Gisela, and Muñoz, Juan Guillermo, coords. (Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 1998), 13; Ayluardo, Clara García, “El privilegio de pertenecer: las comunidades de fieles y la crisis de la monarquía católica,” in Cuerpo político y pluralidad de derechos. Los privilegios de las corporaciones novohispanas, Rojas, Beatriz, coord. (Mexico City: Instituto Mora-Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas, 2007), 8991.

60. On the first confraternities of the Iberian Peninsula, see Sagrista, Rafael Ortega, “La cofradía de los negros en el Jaén del siglo XVII,” Boletín de Estudios Giennenses 12 (1957): 125-134; Martínez, Iván Armenteros, “De hermandades y procesiones. La cofradía de esclavos y libertos de Sant Jaume de Barcelona y la asimilación de la negritud en la Europa premoderna (siglos XV-XVI),” Clio: Revista de Pesquisa Histórica 29:2 (2011); Von Germeten, Black Blood Brothers, 13–14; Ildefonso Gutiérrez Azopardo, “Las cofradías de negros en la América Hispana. Siglos XVI-XVIII,” http://www.africafundacion.org/spip.php?article2293, accessed August 28, 2012, 1–2; and Martínez, Alicia Bazarte, “Las limosnas de las cofradías: su administración y destino,” in Cofradías, capellanías y obras pías en la América colonial, López-Cano, Pilar Martínez, Von Wobeser, Gisela, and Muñoz, Juan Guillermo, coords. (Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 1998), 65.

61. For a comparative view of the relative importance of Guadalajara within New Spain, focused on its population, see Rabell, Cecilia, Oaxaca en el siglo XVIII: población, familia y economía (Mexico City: UNAM, 2008), 53; and Grijalva, Manuel Miño, El mundo novohispano. Población, ciudades y economía, siglos XVII y XVIII (Mexico City: FCE-Colmex, 2001), especially chapt. 2.

62. On the Portuguese traders in seventeenth century Guadalajara, see Stanley M. Hordes, “The Crypto-Jewish Community of New Spain, 1620–1649: A Collective Biography” (PhD diss.: Tulane University, 1980), 49–50, 96–98; and Vizcarra, Irma Eugenia y Vizcarra, Miguel Claudio Jiménez, Noticias biográficas contenidas en las partidas de entierro del primer libro mixto de Archivo del Sagrario Metropolitano de la ciudad de Guadalajara, 1634–1667 (Guadalajara: Sociedad de Historia, Genealogía y Heráldica de Jalisco, 1975), http://www.museocjv.com/publicacionesmcjv.html, accessed January 15, 2019. On the Japanese merchants, see Thomas Calvo, “Japoneses en Guadalajara: ‘blancos de honor’ durante el seiscientos mexicano,” in Thomas Calvo, La Nueva Galicia en los siglos XVI y XVII (Guadalajara: El Colegio de Jalisco-CEMCA, 1989); and Melba Falck and Héctor Palacios, El japonés que conquistó Guadalajara: la historia de Juan de Paez en la Guadalajara del siglo XVII (Guadalajara: University of Guadalajara, 2009). On the Filipino slaves, see Seijas, Tatiana, Asian Slaves in Colonial Mexico: From Chinos to Indians (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014).

63. Calvo, , Guadalajara y su región en el siglo XVII. Población y economía (Guadalajara: Ayuntamiento de Guadalajara-CEMCA, 1992), 4752.

64. Calvo, Guadalajara y su región, 52; Anderson, Rodney, Guadalajara a la consumación de la independencia. Estudio de su población según los padrones de 1821–1822 (Guadalajara: UNED, 1983), 139; and Anderson, Rodney, “Race and Social Stratification: A Comparison of Working Class Spaniards, Indians, and Castas in Guadalajara, Mexico in 1821,” Hispanic American Historical Review, 68: 2 (May, 1988): 215, 240. The “disappearance” of Afro-descendants in Guadalajara was part of a broader trend in late colonial demography; scholars have noted a similar phenomenon in cities such as Oaxaca and Mexico City. See Chance, John, Race and Class in Colonial Oaxaca (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1978), 155157, 175; and Dennis Noldin Valdes, “The Decline of the Sociedad de Castas in Mexico City,” (PhD. diss.: University of Michigan, 1978), 27.

65. For an analysis of the various officials’ tasks within confraternities, see Domínguez, Héctor Martínez, “Las cofradías en la Nueva España,” Primer Anuario (Veracruz: Universidad Veracruzana, 1975): 5155; and Garibi, José Ignacio Dávila, Apuntes para la historia de la Iglesia en Guadalajara (Mexico City: Editorial Cultura T. G. S. A, 1957), tomo 2, 438.

66. Constitutions of the Confraternity of Nuestra Señora de Zapopan, AAG, Gobierno, Cofradías, Letra “Z,” caja 3, exp. 26, fol. 2r. The quote suggests that the word gremio was used for the categories of Spaniard, mestizo, and others. This is indeed a rare usage, and this is the only document I know of in which this word is deployed in that manner.

67. Constitutions of the Confraternity of Nuestra Señora de Zapopan, AAG, Gobierno, Cofradías, Letra “Z,” caja 3, exp. 26, fol. 2v.

68. Constitutions of the Confraternity of Nuestra Señora de Zapopan, AAG, Gobierno, Cofradías, Letra “Z,” caja 3, exp. 26, fols. 2-3.

69. Account of the history of the confraternity of Nuestra Señora de Zapopan, AAG, Gobierno, Cofradías, Letra “Z,” caja 3, exp. 27, fol. 1.

70. Account of the history of the confraternity of Nuestra Señora de Zapopan, AAG, Gobierno, Cofradías, Letra “Z,” caja 3, exp. 27, fol. 2v.

71. “Constituciones de la Cofradía del Glorioso San Antonio,” AAG, Gobierno, Cofradías, Letra “G,” caja 12, exp. 7, 3 fols.

72. Dispute over the government of the confraternity of San Antonio de Padua, AAG, Gobierno, Cofradías, Letra “G,” caja 12, exp. 8, fol. 1. Words shown in italics here were underlined in the original.

73. Dispute over the government of the confraternity of San Antonio de Padua, AAG, Gobierno, Cofradías, Letra “G,” caja 12, exp. 8, fols. 4-5, 12-12v.

74. See Mancuso, Cofradías mineras, 143; de Carvalho Soares, Mariza, People of Faith: Slavery and African Catholics in Eighteenth-Century Rio de Janeiro (Durham: Duke University Press, 2011), 6974, and chapt. 5; and Von Germeten, Black Blood Brothers, 192–193.

75. Mateo de Vergara against the confraternity of San Antonio de Padua, 1675, AAG, Gobierno, Cofradías, Letra “G,” caja 12, exp. 10, fols. 1-19; dispute over the precedence during the Maundy Thursday procession, 1674, caja 20, exp. 4, fol. 1; and the confraternity of Nuestra Señora del Tránsito against its mayordomo and rector, 1684, exp. 7, fol. 4r.

76. Mateo de Vergara against the confraternity of San Antonio de Padua, 1675, AAG, Gobierno, Cofradías, Letra “G,” caja 12, exp. 10, fols. 1-3.

77. Book of expenses of the confraternity of Nuestra Señora del Tránsito, 1642, AAG, Gobierno, Cofradías, Letra “G,” caja 20, exp. 1, fols. 8-10.

78. Dispute over the precedence during the Maundy Thursday procession, 1674, AAG, Gobierno, Cofradías, Letra “G,” caja 20, exp. 4, fols. 3-6.

79. Dispute over the precedence during the Maundy Thursday procession, 1674, AAG, Gobierno, Cofradías, Letra “G,” caja 20, exp. 4, fols. 5-8.

80. On the antiquity of Nuestra Señora del Tránsito, see Decree asking the confraternities of the city to keep a ledger and records of their members, 1620, AAG, Gobierno, Cofradías, Letra “G,” caja 18, exp. 39, fol. 3v. On the foundation of San José de Analco, see testimony of Pedro Martin de Guzmán, 1674, AAG, Gobierno, Cofradías, Letra “G,” caja 20, exp. 4, fol. 3. The Jesuits’ yearly letters corroborate the existence of a black confraternity in Guadalajara in 1595. See Felix Zubillaga, Monumenta Mexicana, vol. 6 (Rome: IHSI, 1976), 30.

81. Dispute over the precedence during the Maundy Thursday procession, 1674, AAG, Gobierno, Cofradías, Letra “G,” caja 20, exp. 4, fols. 1-4.

82. Dispute over the precedence during the Maundy Thursday procession, 1674, AAG, Gobierno, Cofradías, Letra “G,” caja 20, exp. 4, fols. 5, 8. It is worth noting that many confraternities of Afro-descendants were devoted to San Benito de Palermo. For the life of this African saint, see Roselló Soberón, “Iglesia y religiosidad,” 232.

83. Displaying religious piety or devotion was a way in which blacks and mulatos could get recognition from other groups. For example, on June 8, 1637, the city council gave blacks and mulatos 12 pesos to buy shoes for their dances during Corpus Christi, “because it was a devout act and due to that festivity.” Paradoxically, as argued thus far, by doing this they legitimized the empire. AMG, Libro de Actas de Cabildo de 1607–1680, fol. 165r.

84. Dispute over the precedence during processions, AAG, Gobierno, Cofradías, Letra “A,” caja 7, exp. 31, fol. 1; dispute over the precedence during the Corpus Christi procession, 1685 and 1753, Letra “G,” caja 18, exps. 1, 8.

85. Twinam, Purchasing Whiteness, 43.

86. Gross, Ariela, What Blood Won't Tell: A History of Race on Trial in America (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2008), 20, 3839, 48.

I would like to thank Professors Jane Landers and Edward Wright-Ríos for their generous readings of different versions of this article. I am grateful also to Celso Castilho for encouraging me to explore the imperial dimensions of calidad. I thank my colleagues Aaron Van Oosterhout, Brad Wright, and Alexandre Pelegrino for their suggestions and critiques on previous drafts of this text, and I thank my colleagues from the Latin Americanists’ workshop at Vanderbilt University for their incisive comments and questions. Finally, I am grateful to the two anonymous reviewers for The Americas for their generous criticism. Research for this article was funded by a James R. Scobie Award from the Conference on Latin American History and a Tinker Summer Research Award from the Center for Latin American Studies at Vanderbilt University.

To avoid confusion between US American and Spanish colonial usage and convention, the Spanish spelling of “mulato” has been used throughout this article

The Workings of Calidad: Honor, Governance, and Social Hierarchies in the Corporations of the Spanish Empire

  • Jorge E. Delgadillo Núñez (a1)

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