Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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ORTEGA, Jose (or-tay'-gah), Mexican clergyman, born in Tlaxcala, Mexico, 15 April, 1700; died probably in California after 1754. He entered the Jesuit novitiate in Tepozotlan, 20 April, 1717. As soon as his studies were finished he was sent to the Nayarit mission, where he labored for the conversion of the Indians for more than thirty years. He possessed a thorough knowledge of the native dialects, and gave his leisure to linguistic studies. He wrote "doctrina cristiana, oraciones, confesionario, arte y vocabulario de la lengua Cora" (Guadalajara, 1729); "Vocabulario en lengua Castelhma y Cora " (Mexico, 1732) ; and "Apostelicos afanes de la Compariia de Jesus en la America, Septentrional" (Barcelona, 1754). The last-named work gives the history of the conversion of the Indians of Nayarit and of Pimeria Alta, the upper Pima country, embracing much of the present territory of Arizona. It also describes their manners and customs, and, besides being written in an interesting style, is one of the principal sources of information for the history of Arizona, New Mexico, and Upper California during the 17th century and the first half of the 18th.
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