Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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DURAN, Martin (doeran'), Mexican priest, born near Santiago, Tlaltelolco, Mexico ; died there in 1584. He was of pure Indian blood, was educated in the Franciscan College established in his native town, and entered the religious order of the Dominican fahers, soon becoming one of the most celebrated pulpit orators of the time. In 1584 he had permission to preach in the Mexican language in the Church of Santiago Tlaltelolco ; and in his first sermon dared to denounce slavery and to support the doctrines of Bartolome de las Casas. Duran was arrested and warned by the Church not to preach to the Indians these sermons against the established order of things. Father Francisco de los Rios was then commissioned by the archbishop to hear the succeeding sermons of Duran, and, after listening to one accused the preacher, before the Inquisition, of propagating among the Indians heretical and immoralideas, and hatred to the Spaniards. The Inquisition seized Duran, and his property, which consisted only of books, was also seized. Among them were found two magnificent works, which had been overlooked by the inquisitors, and the authorities, hearing of the existence of similar works among the Indians, caused Duran to be subjeered to the most cruel torments in order that he should reveal where he had obtained them; but their cruelty was met by the Indian friar with great courage, and he revealed nothing the torment lasted for several days, and at last Duran was burned alive, on suspicion of being a heretic.
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