The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 22, July 1918 - April, 1919 Page: 32
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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly
was not issued in Mexico and the other cities of the viceroyalty
until the nao had reached her destination, and the duplicate
pliegos had arrived from Acapulco. However, before the day set
by the viceroy thousands were pouring southward over the "China
RIoad" to the coast of the Pacific. There were traders of every
category,---from Indian hawkers and hucksters to great merchants
of Mexico; soldiers and King's officials; begging friars and curs-
ing muleteers and porters; and the fringe of followers who went
to minister to the pleasures of the rest. In Acapulco they mingled
with those who had come from Peru, or with those whom the
galleon had brought from the Orient. For the greater pictur-
esqueness of the throng the latter added the Filipino and Lascar
seamen, some Chinamen, and perhaps a few Kaffirs that had been
carried from the Mozambique country by way of Goa. Gemnelli
Careri thus writes of the metamorphosis which he saw come over
the town in two days of January, 1697: "Most of the Officers
and Merchants that came aboard the Peru Ships, went to lie
ashore, bringing with them two Millions of pieces of Eight to
lay out in Commodities of China; so that Friday 25 Acapldco was
converted from a rustick Village into a populous City; and the
Huts before inhabited by dark Mulaltos were all fill'd with gay
Spaniards; to which was added on Saturday 26th a great con-
course of Merchants from Mexico, with abundance of pieces of
Eight and Commodities of the Country and of Europe. Sunday
27th there continu'd to come in abundance of Commodities and
Provisions to serve so great a multitude of Strangers."59
For the direction of the actual commercial transactions at the
fair, as distinguished from the supervisory authority of the reg-
ular port officials, the viceroy named two representatives of the
trading interest of the capital. These men, with an agent from
Puebla, were to treat with the com,promisarios, or deputies, of
Manila for the terms of exchange, such as the price at which each
class of goods was to be sold.60 The settlement of the sale
Navidad or thereabout. ITe charged that the person entrusted with them,
who bore the high-sounding title of Capitln Gentil-hombre de los Pliegos,
or "Gentleman-Captain of the Papers," made his journey across country
a business trip, which profited him more than it did the Crown whose com-
mission he bore. Ordenanzas de Marina, Adicion, art. 23, p. 11.
59Op. cit., p. 503.
0Mtodo, op. cit., pp. 44-50.
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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/m1/40/: accessed November 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.