October 17, 1780
To don Carlos Fernandez,
Because I have a judicial notice of the natural death of the alcalde of Taos, don Manuel Vejil, you will, upon receipt of this, proceed immediately to said pueblo, or any other where he may have had, or may have, property which his recognized as his, and his wife or attorney also whom you shall require to deliver to you immediately his testamentary disposition, books of accounts, notes or instruments that he may have executed with the rest of the documents concerning this matter… October 12, 1780 – Signed Juan Baptista de Anza, rubric.
In this locality of Abiquiu, on the 18th of October 1780, in compliance with the order of don Juan Bauptista de Anza, Lt. Colonel of the royal troops, Governor and commander General of this Kingdom; I, Carlos Fernandez, being in the dwelling house of don Manuel Montes Vegil, alcalde mayor and Captain of War of the pueblo of San Geronimo de Taos, who died on the 13th day of the this current month, notified doña Maria Magdalena Valdes, widow of the said deceased, to present all the papers belonging to her deceased husband, in order to begin the inventories. Upon hearing this, she did obey and said she would deliver to me a great number of papers, among which were many more not pertaining to this present subject, I found the following:
First, a testamentary disposition signed by don Manuel Vegil, executed before the Lt. Alcalde Mayor don Santiago Martin, not dated.
A bill of lading of the merchandise he brought this year, signed by Francisco Arregui, merchant of the villa of Chiguagua, showing the passive debt of said deceased.
A regulation of prices and adjustment of accounts of property of his first marriage, with neither signature, nor date nor the name of the person who made it; on half a sheet of paper.
A list of merchandise received in Chiguagua by four individuals; two of these sons-in-law of said deceased; and the answer including the bill of lading.
A promissory note executed before don Bartolome Fernandez, by Antonio Lucero in favor of said deceased, which, according to what I have understood, is uncollectible.
Another note executed by Marcos Baca, in the same state as the former.
A paper signed by don Pedro Velarde, in which it is evident that 158 pesos, seven reales and three cuartillos which were received by Antonio Jose Lopez and Salbador Salazar shall be charged to don Miguel de Olona by reason of a bond of said deceased, shown in his testamentary disposition.
A receipt executed by Salvador Trugillo before Jabier Gonzales in favor of the deceased.
Another receipt by Juan Torres before the same judge, in favor of same deceased.
A note by Toribio Chaves in favor of this estate, which shows that 80 ewes have been given on account.
A small memorandum without date or signature, pertaining to corn owed the deceased, which is being collected now.
Another memorandum of corn owed this estate, without date or signature, which is being collected.
Another memorandum of buckskins owed this estate in course of collection.
Another memorandum pertaining to the major cattle delivered to Juan Lorenzo Atencio, as herdsman, separating those belonging to the widow.
An instrument conveyed by Manuel Casillas, before don Juan Paez Hurtado, in favor of Juan Vegil, father of deceased.
Another memorandum of debts owed him in Taos, undated.
A note made by don Manuel Vegil and a receipt from Fray Thomas Fernandez.
A letter from Captain don Manuel de Azuela, comprising a debt from don Francisco Diaz Moradillo, as voucher.
Another memorandum of debts without date or signature.
14 bolts of unbleached muslin from Puebla; with four varas more.
11 of said, wide, plus six varas.
4 pieces of Pontibi cloth.
5 pieces of narrow Brittany linen.
13 ½ varas of narrow linen.
6 linen rebozos.
1 silk and linen scarf.
3 large silk handkerchiefs.
4 ½ bunches of beads, most of them white.
13 pesos in coin.
40 pairs of ladies shoes, besides two more pairs.
10 pairs of same in coarse cloth.
7 dozen and 9 heavy Mexican knives.
1 piece of scarlet cloth.
6 ½ varas of same.
24 ore varas of Pontibi cloth.
13 varas of serge.
6 varas of blue Mexican cloth.
3 scarlet cloth wraps of three varas length each.
2 ½ varas of blue plush; 2 ¼ of the same in blue.
1 sleeve of fine scarlet cloth, trimmed in silver lace.
1 cloak of Cholula cloth, lined in plush.
1 cloak lined in Castilian flannel.
1 cloak of Barrascan, completely used.
1 coat of frieze trimmed with braid.
Another of the same of fine scarlet cloth, also trimmed.
1 red velvet waistcoat.
1 waistcoat of embroidered ribbed silk material; one doublet of chamois skin, embroidered, now old.
1 pair of scarlet frieze trousers.
1 pair of brocaded velvet trousers.
1 pair of black velvet, old.
3 ordinary hats.
2 scarlet cloth jackets with serge sleeves.
1 three-yard calico cover.
3 pairs of homemade shoes.
1 ½ varas of old trimming.
19 skins of lustrous silk twist.
2 large, iron stirrups, one of them in open work.
1 cowboy saddle, fully equipped with knapsacks and pads.
1 pair of spurs with silver buckles.
1 cartridge belt, riding boots, powder pouch with ammunition.
21 pounds of old iron.
½ skein of silk floss.
1 good leather jacket.
1 shield painted in oil.
1 shotgun trimmed with brass, broken; one gunlock without any guard.
2 shirts, one of unbleached muslin and another work shirt.
3 jackets made of twisted cloth, one of them old.
2 pairs of white unbleached muslin trousers.
1 pair of brocaded silk trousers.
1 embroidered silk sun-kerchief.
1 white used hat.
7 old pictures.
1 of St. Joseph of coiled metal.
1 bronze crucifix.
2 old hoes.
5 small china plates; 12 of the same, fine ones from Talavera.
7 glass tumblers, large and small.
1 deerskin camping tent; two pairs of heddles (part of the loom).
2 weaving combs.
1 branding iron.
13 coarse cloth sacks.
2 of the same of white elk skin.
3 Michoacán boxes with locks.
3 locks with their keys.
1 pair of old carding combs.
1 kitchen spoon.
1 bottle with silver stopper.
1 of the same, plain.
5 china chocolate mugs, Talavera.
7 cups of the same.
3 large ones of the same, from Puebla.
1 small glass flask.
1 small bottle of same.
1 Guadalajara jar.
1 of the same of copper.
1 kettle with a hole.
1 bronze candlestick.
1 pocket inkhorn.
3 old kettles.
4 plates of yellow metal.
2 of pewter, very old.
1 copper frying pan.
½ pound, not full, of toilet powders.
45 pounds of ordinary chocolate, 20 cakes per pound.
2 loaves of sugar, not perfect.
242 buckskins, different sizes.
11 buffalo hides.
7 white buckskins.
19 thick buckskins.
4 barrels, two with wine, one not filled.
14 pairs of ordinary stockings.
14 buckskin harnesses with 11 reatas, and same number of lariats.
Inventory of the house and farm products. On the 21st of this current month of October as follows:
One house of four rooms, I mean three.
2 large tables.
20 cows with calves.
10 dry cows.
20 spring lambs, owed by Bernardo Valdes.
120 sacks of corn which have been purchased by the military Sgt. Juan Martin, with merchandise of the deceased; they are being collected.
Juan Torres, son-in-law of the said deceased, declared that Pedro Ygnacio Sanchez, owes this estate a male mule and some pesos; he does not know the amount.
Salbador Salazar declares that Jose Lopes owes 2 ½ varas of plush.
The said Torres also declares that, when the widow of don Manuel Vejil came down from Taos, she left there: two cows with calves, four oxen, a new Castilian cloth cloak piped in velvet and trimmed in gold braid around the collar; these articles to be paid to the Rev. Fr. Tomas Fernandes for the fees for the funeral.
50 ewes, including a ram.
14 seine, boars and sows, small and large; six oxen not counting the two which are in Taos.
2 tame mares.
9 tame mules.
9 tame male mules.
Signed along with the two witnesses before the alcalde mayor, don Santiago Martin of the 21st October 1780. Carlos Fernandez, rubric; wit/ Antonio Baldes, rubric; Salbador Bejil, rubric.
At the said locality on said day, month and year, I, the commissioner, appointed Ygnacio Baldes as trustee of the personal property, Juan Lorenzo Atienso of the major and minor cattle and Francisco Garcia of the mules, all of whom promised to fulfill well and lawfully the charge entrusted to them.
The last disposition of Captain don Manuel Bejil, alcalde mayor and War Captain of the pueblo of San Geronimo de Taos. He did not make a formal testament as his illness did not permit it.
First: 1,300 pesos in silver which were included in the inventories by don Diego Borica. These shall be apportioned among the eight minor heirs; with the notice that their share of the money is fully paid with the exception of the four I keep with me who will receive their share from the bulk of the inventory.
To my wife, Maria Madalena, shall be given a special bequest of 1,000 pesos in silver. [The inventory goes on with prices added to everything]
For 182 pesos 3 ½ reales to be delivered to his four godchildren, to wit: Miguel de Luna 47; to Salbador Salazar 39 pesos and 5 reales; to the brother of the latter, 35 pesos, 6 reales; to Jose Salazar, 60 pesos, the detailed account of which is given separately.
Division by reales dowry of the wife: cattle, cash, 400 ewes, blacksmith shop, total 885 pesos. Other articles on hand, chamois skins, cash, cloth, leather jackets, cattle, mules, merchandise, the ranch in Taos, silver fringe, ewes al partido, kimonos, scarf and a woman’s cape = 1,979 pesos.
Estate brought to the marriage by Vigil: 500 ewes, horses, mules, pictures, petticoats of silk, quilt, hoop-skirts, silver spoons, pewter plates, china mugs, Michoacán boxes, wood, Castilian cloth, griddle and spoon, a house in the villa and land, more land at BuenaVista = 585 pesos, 2 reales.
The four daughters and their husbands, Maria Josefa, Maria Barbara, Maria Manuela, Margarita Serafina, with Juan Torres, Salbador Trujillo, Salbador Salazar who lives in Chama and Salbador Salazar who live in Abiquiu- each daughter received 350 pesos in goods or cash.
Kids of the first marriage who are minors, Jose Antonio, Luisa, Policarpio and Francisco are named. Barbara Vigil whose mother was Getrudis Armijo and her husband Salvador Truxillo also received goods and or cash. The appointment of guardian of the minors was Salbador Salazar the one from Chama.
Signed Carlos Fernandez, rubric; Antonio Baldes, rubric; Salbador Bejil, rubric.
Reference: Spanish Archives of New Mexico, Series I, Twitchell 1060, Reel 9, Frames 209-259.
©Henrietta M. Christmas