Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Latin American mss. Chile, 1548-1890, contain material covering the early history of Chile through its national period.

The colonial period is characterized by documents concerning colonial administration and histories and reports of voyages. The earliest piece is a carta de poder general issued by Bernardino de Mella in 1548. Seven expedientes document services rendered to the crown, 1555-1564 and 1644-1678; an Indian uprising, 1653-1656; the ornamentation of a church of the Monasterio de Santa Clara, 1785-1787; and administrative problems in the use of governmental funds, 1769-1797. Carlos II, king of Spain, is represented by two cedulas, one concerning a census of the Indians in 1691. Domingo Marin's late seventeenth century Estado de las Missiones de Chile is primarily an essay justifying the activities of the Jesuits, but does contain historical and descriptive information. A copy of Memorias de los subcesos de la Guerra de Chile recogidas por Geronimo de Quiroga soldado de este exercito y con exercicio su persona en la frontera written about 1700 provides a detailed narrative of Chile's early years. Part of this manuscript has been condensed and published as Compendio historico de los mas principales sucesos de la conquista i guerra del reino de Chile hasta el ano de 1659, sacado fielmente del manuscrito del maestre de campo, don Geronimo de Quiroga, in Coleccion de historiadores de Chile ... Santiago de Chile, 1878, t. 11, p. [99]-152 (F 3051 .C69). Pascual de Iriarte's Relacion Diaria Del Viaje Maritimo, y descubrimiento de las costas del sur ... written from September 21, 1675 to March 7, 1676, has Iriarte's autograph signature. This volume was part of the collection of Sir Thomas Phillips and has the Phillips number 11875. A similar work is the Diario de la Navegacion de la Fragata del Rei Santa Maria de la Cabeza del mando del Capitan de Navio Don Antonio de Cordova al Reconocimiento del Estrecho de Magallanes ... by Dionisio Alcala Galiano, written from September 1, 1785 to June 11, 1786, and contains maps of the Strait of Magellan. Other colonial documents include five anonymous reports and essays concerning mining, the tax on sugar, a military expedition to the province of Osorno in the eighteenth century, facilities for the army, and a summary of political events in 1808 in Spain; two invoices for tobacco; a 1787 map noting Franciscan missions in Chile by Pedro Gonzalez Agueros; and a letter to the viceroy Ambrosio O'Higgins in 1795.

A February, 1810, report to Fernando VII, king of Spain, contains information about Chile's history and political, social, and economic conditions on the eve of the revolution. A draft of a proclamation in 1810 by the junta de gobierno of Santiago de Chile was an initial step in Chile's independence.

Illustrating the role of the Spanish army in Chile's war of Independence are over one hundred and thirty papers concerning the Spanish forces in Chile from May 4, 1812, to July 1, 1820; the accounts of the Caja Principal de Concepcion for December 1, 1817, to August 21, 1818; and General Vicente Benavides' Ordenes generales for December 16, 1819, to November 23, 1820. An essay by Camilo Henriquez Gonzalez in 1818; registers for the battle of Maipo in 1818 and supplies for the revolutionary armies from December 1, 1818, to March 2, 1819; items relating to Bernardo O'Higgins; and a series of five letters from Jose Ignacio Zenteno to Jose de San Martin, 1820-1821, give information about the revolutionary forces in Chile.

Representing Chile's national period are a letter from Simon Rodriguez, tutor of Simon Bolivar, in 1835; an 1836 letter of the diplomat Ventura Lavalle; a certificate of membership for Bernardo O'Higgins in the Sociedad Chilena de Agricultura dated January 17, 1841; a letter about Chile's war with Spain in 1866; statistics on the size of Chile's army in 1866; and a letter from Jose Toribio Medina to the historian Carlos Alberto Romero in 1890.

The correspondents in this collection are Juan Alcalde; Anonymous; Antonio Gonzalez Balcarce; Francisco Calderon; Joaquin Echeverria; Ramon Freire Serrano; Diego Jose Fuensalida; Ventura Lavalle; Juan Gregorio Lemos; Juan E. Lopez; Francisco Mariluan; Nicolas Marzan; Jose Toribio Medina; Manuel Jose Antonio Hilario Negrete y de la Torre, conde de Campo de Alange; Bernardo O'Higgins; Mariano Osorio; Juan Manuel de Pico; Joaquin Prieto; Jose Santiago Rodriguez; Simon Rodriguez; and Jose Ignacio Zenteno.

An inventory is available

Collection size: 266 items

For more information about this collection and any related materials contact the Public Services Department, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. Call (812) 855-2452 or send an email using our Ask a Question form.