Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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FIGUEROA, Francisco, Mexican historian, born in Toluca about 1730; died in the City of Mexico about 1800. He entered in his youth the order of St. Francis, and was at different times lecturer and rector of studies of the College of Tlaltelolco, superior of the convent in Mexico, and provincial of New Spain. When a royal decree of 21 February 1790, ordered the viceroy to collect and send to Spain all the documents that might be useful for compiling the history of Mexico, the task was entrusted to Figueroa, and in less than three years he collected thirty-two folio manuscript volumes in duplicate. One copy was sent to the council of the Indies, and exists today, although mutilated, in the Spanish academy of history. The other copy remained in the office of the secretary of the viceroyalty, and was afterward transferred to the national general archives, where they still existed in 1853, but at present their resting place is unknown. They include diaries of missionaries in the northern provinces (3 vols.); a "History of the Conquest of New Galicia," by Mota Padilla (2 vols. : afterward published by the Mexican geographical society); the Indian songs of Nezahualcoyot and tales of Ixtlilcochitl, "Croniea Mexicana por Hernando Alvarado Tezozomoc," and "Historia Chichimeca por Ixtlilcochitl" (all three published partly in a translation in Kingsborough's "Antiquities of Mexico); "Crdnica de Miehoacan pot Fr. Pablo Beaumont," partly published in Spanish, French, and Italian (3 vols.); "History of the Missions in Old California" (English translation, New York); and "Notes on New California" (partly published in French and English translations). Figueroa was also the author of several theological works, most of the manuscripts of which have disappeared; but one of them is still preserved in the Biblioteca National of Mexico.
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