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Estado de los contratos del R[eal] D[e]r[ech]o de Alcavala para su Magestad, en los pueblos y campaña de la jurisdiccion de la Capital de Buenos Ayres. [and:] Pulperos ajustados en los pueblos de dicha campaña convenidos a contribuir a Su Magestad el Real D[e]r[ech]o de Alcavala para el presente año de 1797.
[Buenos Aires, 1797]. - Manuscript on paper written in 3 different coloured inks. Small folio. 1 blank leaf + [22]p + 2 blank leaves + [12]p. With 2 illuminated calligraphic title-pages, first title with arms of Buenos Aires in tailend section, a variety of exquisite floral and animal ornamentation on titles and in 21 headings, including 6 charming landscape vignettes, decorative initials. Text ruled in 9 columns, one of which represents cattle-brand marks; line borders in red throughout. Calf folder; slipcase. A colonial manuscript of extraordinary rarity and quality executed in the best tradition of Spanish calligraphy, and in an excellent state of preservation. Comprising detailed government reports on fiscal contributions for the year 1797 from estancias (farms) and pulperias (general store owners) in the districts and villages in the vicinity of Buenos Aires, capital of the Viceroyalty of Rio de la Plata, in the closing years of the 18th century. The ‘alcavala’ (or 'alcabala') of the title was a Spanish sales tax applicable to all property contracts. The five regions ('partidos') specified in the first report are: Rio de los Arrecifes, San Antonio de Areco, Rio de Luján, Rio de Las Conchas and La Magdalena. Within each region the approximate location of a farm is given in relation to specific geographical features – a watercourse ('arroyo'), river bank ('costa'), stretch of river ('vanda'), village ('pueblo') or cattle pasture trail ('cañada'). In the register the farm is numbered, and the table provides the name of the owner, the amount of their livestock (cattle, sheep, mules) the individual brand mark, the farm’s location and its distance in relation to nearby estates. The final column lists the tax paid in pesos. Among owners some 25 women are named. Three notes ('notas') in the addenda of the first report, list: firstly, eight individuals who could not be found on their farms as they were in Buenos Aires (their head of cattle is noticeably high); secondly, a further eight assessed (owning even larger numbers of cattle, though brand marks are not given), whose owners were not to be found (all are of noble origin and were possibly in Spain). The third group of two named individuals refused to pay the tax, including Don Joaquin Molina, who also denies owning 3000 head of cattle. Four farmers are additionally finally listed with approximate location of their farms, they too refused the tax, though admitted to owning livestock. This first section is signed by the assessor, Vicente Benito Cretel. He points out, in conclusion, that the sum total of cattle here listed comprises bulls, steers, cows, oxen and other pasture animals, but it is only the second category (steers, nobillos) sold for the provision of supplies (hides, meat etc) which are liable for the tax. The second report lists some 115 'pulperos' liable to pay the tax. These too are divided under five areas ('partidos'): Arrecifes, Rio de Arèco, Rio de Luxàn, Rio de las Conchas, La Magdalena. Each store with its named owner is further numerically listed and located according to their proximity to a named town. The latter pages of this second report list in sections the provisions stores attached to six forts ('fortines') of the border guards ('guardias'). These are Guardia de Chascosmùs, Guardia de los Ranchos, Guardia d[e] Monte, (in between which, Fortin de los Lobos), Guardia de Luxan, Guardia de Salto, Guardia de Roxas. The headings of each of these are of particular iconographic interest for the delicately painted landscape vignettes which are among the earliest known graphic representations of the local topography and its flora and fauna. Each of the two reports is signed by the government official Don Vicente Benito Cretel and dated respectively 17th March and 30th April 1797. Cretel is not included in any of the Argentine biographical dictionaries, though he features in a list of 23 patriotic citizens who were granted the title ‘ciudadanos americanos de la Provincias Unidad’. [Attributes: Hard Cover]
      [Bookseller: Hünersdorff Rare Books ABA ILAB]
Last Found On: 2017-11-22           Check availability:      IberLibro    


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