Family Papers of José Mariano Sánchez y Mora, Third Conde de Peñasco, 1699-1888
In 1767 Captain Francisco de Mora y Luna was awarded by King Carlos III the title of Conde de Santa María de Guadalupe del Peñasco. A miner and soldier from San Luis Potosí, Mora had distinguished himself in the establishment of the Mission of La Divina Pastora, where more than a thousand Indians were brought together on land that he had donated from his hacienda La Angostura. He supplied the mission with seeds, livestock, and brought a priest to educate the residents. For the Conde title, Captain Mora and his wife established a mayorazgo that included their haciendas of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe del Peñasco and Santa Rosa de La Angostura in San Luis Potosí. The couple had three children: Juan, who became the second Conde after his father’s death in 1788; Manuela, who entered the religious life; and Mariana Paula, who married José Sánchez Espinosa, the administrator of a large obra pía in San Luis Potosí and Querétaro.
Sánchez Espinosa’s obra pía was established in the early 18th century when José Torres y Vergara, an archdeacon of the Mexico City cathedral, consolidated his estates and reserved a portion of estate proceeds to support pious works. In 1753 Dr. Francisco Espinosa Navarijo, the great-nephew of Torres y Vergara, inherited the position of administrator of the obra pía. José Sánchez Espinosa, Espinosa Navarijo’s nephew, became the obra pía’s administrator after Espinosa’s death around 1781.
Sánchez Espinosa, one of the founding members of the Sociedad Económica Mexicana de Amigos del País, himself owned several haciendas in the state of Mexico. He married the Conde del Peñasco’s daughter Mariana Paula Mora y Luna, on March 15, 1774. They had two sons: José Mariano, born in 1777 in San Luis Potosí, and José Joaquín, born in 1778. After the death of his wife in 1783, Sánchez Espinosa joined the clergy, and some time later he served as the temporary administrator for his brother-in-law Juan, the second Conde del Peñasco.
José Mariano Sánchez Mora, Sánchez Espinosa’s eldest son and nephew of the second Conde del Peñasco, married María Antonia Flores Alatorre in 1801, and the couple had four children: Guadalupe, Manuela, José Mariano and Juana. In 1805, after the death of his uncle, Sánchez Mora inherited the title as third Conde, together with the haciendas of Peñasco and La Angostura and other properties belonging to the mayorazgo. In 1808 Sánchez Espinosa ceded the administration of the obra pía to Sánchez Mora, though he remained active in the management of family affairs until his death around 1826. In 1834 Sánchez Mora divided the administration of the properties under the obra pía with his brother Joaquín.
Sánchez Mora had a distinguished career as a soldier, public servant, and businessman. In 1810 he joined the Escuadrón de Patriotas Distinguidos de Fernando VII in Mexico City, where he served as captain of the 4th Company. He formed a squadron of 150 cavalry soldiers who wore leather jackets due to the lack of cloth, and whom the public called Los Tamarindos. The squadron, which distinguished itself battling insurgents, included a large number of the haciendas’ employees, and was led by Captain Juan Nepomuceno de Oviedo. Oviedo was administrator of the haciendas of Bocas and Cruces. He died at the battle of Cuautla in 1812. Sánchez Mora was attached to the Batallón de Infantería Provincial of San Luis Potosí, where he served as lieutenant colonel. In 1815, in response to the poor economic situation of the country, Sánchez Mora donated his officer’s salary—also including the amounts he had loaned the government—to the King. He retired from active service in May 9, 1817, as lieutenant colonel of the Brigada Ligera de Cazadores de San Luis Potosí.
Sánchez Mora was named diputado for the legislature, a position he resigned in April 1821[?], and that same year, together with the Conde de Regla and the Marqués de Salvatierra, he was named ayudante de campo to the Generalísimo Almirante Agustín de Iturbide. He served as a member of the Comisión de Diputados that accompanied the Emperor Agustín to his coronation on July 21, 1822. Later, he was elected diputado to the Congreso Constituyente for San Luis Potosí, and became a member of the Ayuntamiento Constitucional of Mexico City.
Sánchez Mora was a member of the board of several artistic and charitable societies in Mexico City, including the Junta de Caridad del Hospicio de Pobres and the Museo Nacional. He was well known for his interest in the fine arts and as a collector, and was also interested in the native flora and fauna. He authored a short work titled Memoria instructiva sobre el maguey o agave mexicano, published in 1837.
In 1830 Sánchez Mora was elected vice-president of the newly created Banco de Avío para Fomento de la Industria Nacional, the bank created by President Bustamante to offer loans to companies and private individuals and to purchase and distribute machinery for several branches of industry. In 1831 the bank, which had a special interest in the textile industry, imported merino sheep from Tibet to improve the native wool industry and the animals were kept at one of Sánchez Mora’s haciendas in San Luis Potosí. In the following years, however, the bank had serious economic difficulties due to a crisis in the textile industry and the poor economic conditions of the State, and the government dissolved it toward the end of 1842.
In April 1840 Sánchez Mora, who had become a widower, married Vicenta Irolo. The couple did not have any children, and she later served as administrator of one of the pulque haciendas in the state of Mexico. Sánchez Mora died in Mexico City in May 14, 1845, and the properties and title passed to his son José Mariano Sánchez Espinosa y Flores Alatorre.
Collection includes correspondence, legal and financial documents, reports, and other materials relating to the management of haciendas and other properties in San Luis Potosí, Querétaro, and Mexico during the 18th and 19th centuries. Inclusive dates for the collection are 1699-1888 (bulk 1753-1844).
Correspondence concerns livestock and crops, pulque production, weather and natural disasters, water resources, illnesses and deaths, debts, labor problems, robberies, boundary disputes, as well as military, legal, and political problems. A large part of the correspondence concerns the larger haciendas entailed to the title, Peñasco and Angostura, and the properties under the obra pía. Juan Nepomuceno de Oviedo, administrator (ca. 1781-1812) of the Haciendas of Bocas and Cruces, the two largest properties of the obra pía, figures prominently in the correspondence.
The papers also include correspondence from religious officials about support for various church activities, as well as receipts paid on legacies and personal requests for economic assistance.
The papers reflect various events of Mexican history as they affected the occupants and owners of the haciendas. They are organized into series in roughly chronological order based on the family member to whom the documents most pertain.
The family members included in the collection are:
Standard copyright restrictions apply.
Cite as: Family Papers of José Mariano Sánchez y Mora, Third Conde de Peñasco, Benson Latin American Collection, University of Texas Libraries, the University of Texas at Austin.
The Family Papers of José Mariano Sánchez y Mora, Third Conde de Peñasco form part of the Genaro García Collection, which was purchased by the University of Texas in 1921 from the heirs of Genaro García.
The Family Papers of José Mariano Sánchez y Mora, Third Conde de Peñasco were originally described in Carlos E. Castañeda and Jack Autry Dabbs' Guide to the Latin American Manuscripts in the University of Texas Library as García Collection manuscripts G149B and G211-215. This previous arrangement is still reflected in the microfilm copy of the papers as available from the Benson Latin American Collection. Subsequent arrangement by Benson staff in accordance with modern archival practices resulted in those papers previously at G211-215 being made into this collection (now G212-215) and those of Atilano Sánchez (now G211) and Joaquín Garcilaso de la Vega (G27A).
Benson processing staff noted: "At some time during the 1980s two patrons informed us of a few errors in the files for the Conde del Peñasco collection. The papers of one gentleman, who was not related to the family, were found as part of the family papers. Also, Sánchez y Mora Family documents were found in García folders G149B, G211-215, and G27A under different names, and mixed with other documents. After examining the different collections, several people were properly identified as members of the family, other names were identified as their employees and a very large number of properties were identified as either the family’s property or being under their administration. Documents were sorted, interfiled, and re-organized into correct series.
Box and Folder Inventory
Note: All boxes and folders are located at García Numbers G212-215.