The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 22, July 1918 - April, 1919 Page: 28
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28 The South western Historical Quarterly
the cedula of 1Y34 were by no, means innovations, though some
were suggested by the results of the recent investigations at Acapul-
co. But for the most part they were the incorporation in more sys-
tematic or codified form of viceregal instructions and ordinances,
as well as slightly modified restatements of the directions contained
in the earlier statutes governing the conduct of the trade.47 There
is displayed, however, a more meticulous anxiety to secure their
scrupulous observance, a more highly complicated system of precau-
tions, dictated by a realization of the futility of former prescrip-
tions to secure an honest administration of the galleon traffic.
On the first sight of the approaching nao by the lookout sta-
tioned on the high Mira to the rear of the town a launch was sent
out to meet her and escort her into the harbor. This boat was to
see that no one approached the galleon before she was moored, and
turned over to the custody of the port officials. In case the gal-
leon reached the vicinity of the entrance during the night she had
to lie to. in the offing, until daylight and the veering of the breeze
to landward enabled her to work her way in through the narrow
channel of the Boca Chica. At such a time contraband goods
were often lowered over the sides into boats under cover of the
darkness, and carried to a place of concealment on shore. Once
inside the harbor and the formal salutes exchanged with the guns
of the castle, an additional guard was placed upon her, with orders
to prevent any unauthorized communication between vessel and
shore. Any craft which approached without permission from the
guardamayor, or his superiors, was promptly turned away.
As soon as the galleon was at her place in front of the town, the
castellan and oficiales resales went on board to make their first visit
of inspection. The latter received the ship's register and book of
manifests, or libro, de sobordo, from the hands of the contador and
the veedor of the nao. The register was then sent off to the
capital by special courier, and delivered over to the superior bureau
of accounts, which assessed the duties for the cargo, on the basis
of its contents, and then returned it to the coast.48 The regula-
tions designed the first visit of inspection to be a zealous search for
contraband lading, but it usually amounted in reality to a very
peremptory scrutiny of the hold. When the letter of the law had
M6todo, op. cit.
4"Leyes, lib. 9, tit. 45, ley 60.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 22, July 1918 - April, 1919, periodical, 1919; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117156/m1/36/: accessed May 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.