1810] · [Mexico
Publications in Nahuatl, the indigenous imperial language of Mexico, were not uncommon in the colonial era. The first came off the press of Juan Pablos, the earliest known printer in the New World, in 1543, but virtually all were meant to be used by Spaniards either wishing to learn the language or interacting with the indigenous population either as catechizers, confessors, or bosses. => The notable exception to the rule were the broadside decrees that were published for promulgation to the Indians during the war of independence. Two were issued by Viceroy Venegas in 1810 shortly after he arrived in New Spain: They were an effort to quell the recently declared Hidalgo revolt. The present one, which alludes to the revolt, announces an end to the required payment of tribute by Mexico's Indians and is a printing in Mexico of a decree that the Regency had issued in Spanish on 26 May. At the same time it is a plea for donations from the Indians to fight the French!
This broadside also importantly marks the end of the 40-year ban on the use of Nahuatl in official publications. Venegas adds (in translation): "And so every one may know the king's desires, and so they may be realized, we order this decree be promulgated everywhere in the Mexican language, the Otomí language, and every other Indian language." No examples of its publication in those other indigenous languages have been found.
=> The broadside was not intended to be read by the natives, most of whom were illiterate, but rather was to be read by Nahuatl-speaking town criers.
Searches of NUC and WorldCat locate only four U.S. libraries (UC-San Diego, Lilly, John Carter Brown, and Cushing at Texas A&M) reporting ownership.
Garritz, Impresos novohispanos, 914; Medina, Mexico, 10533; Torres Lanzas 2609; Ugarte, Obras escritas en lenguas indigenas de Mexico, 421; H. de León-Portilla, Tepuztlahcuilolll, 2812. See also: Mark Morris, "Language in Service of the State: The Nahuatl Counterinsurgency Broadsides of 1810," in Hispanic American Historical Review 87:3 (2007), pp. 433–70. Removed from a bound volume, printed on pale blue paper. Two tears in text area with old repair. => The bottom margin shows the faintly visible transfer from another copy of the broadside while wet and stacked in the print shop! (Inventory #: 41014)