The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 19, July 1915 - April, 1916 Page: 87
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Local Government in the Spanish Colonies 87
Indian village- was even more so. The viceroy, the governors, and
the ecclesiastical courts all had original jurisdiction in the Indian
towns.' Many attempts were made to guard the rights and cus-
toms of the caciques, although seigneurial jurisdiction was, in the
main, denied them.2 Such rights as they retained, however, were
handed down from father to son.8 The ordinary provincial jus-
tices could not try a cacique for anything but a grave offence and
even then a report of the case had to go to the audiencia.4 The
caciques had criminal jurisdiction in minor offences.5
The governors were forbidden to put proprietary alguaciles
mayores in the Indian towns, but they were authorized to appoint
an Indian alguacil if they saw fit.8 The regular officials of a re-
duccion were to consist of the following,-all Indians: for the
smaller villages, one alcalde; if more than forty houses, one alcalde
and one regidor; if more than eighty houses, two alcaldes and two
regidores, and in the very large pueblos two alcaldes and four regi-
dores. These offices were elective as in the Spanish towns, but the
elections were to be held in the presence of the curate.7
The Indian alcalde could only make inquiry, arrest the delin-
quent and take him to the prison of the Spanish town of that dis-
trict. Where the delinquent was guilty of missing mass on a
fiesta day, of getting drunk, or a similar offence, the Indian alcalde
could punish him with a day in prison and eight lashes. In case
of habitual drunkenness more severe punishment was permissible.8
The Indian alcalde ordinario could arrest and detain in prison for
cause any negro or mestizo until a justice of the province could
arrive to hear the case.0 This Indian alcalde was exempt from
taxation and personal services.0o
The assessment of the mita was left to the cacique, but the rest
of the local government was in the hands of the alcalde and regi-
dores in so far as it was not reserved to the provincial authorities."
Where there was a common chest (caxa de comunidad) the audi-
encia appointed a cobrador who handled the property of the com-
munity, and collected the tercias and censos.:" He had to give a
16:1:1, 1580, Carlos II. 26:7:1-15, 1537 to Carlos II.
86:7:3, 1614, 1628. '6:7:12, 1549. 66:7:13, 1551, 1558.
85:7:17, 1631, Carlos II. '6:3:15, 1618.
'6:3:16, 1618. '6:3:17, 1563. 106:5:20, 1618.
116:3:16, 1618. 126:4:26, Carlos II.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 19, July 1915 - April, 1916, periodical, 1916; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101067/m1/96/: accessed August 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.