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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MOTA-PADILLA, Matias de la, Mexican historian, born in Guadalajara, 2 October, 1688; died there in 1776. Very little is known about his youth, but it is believed that he studied in the College of San Jose de Gracia. On 4 May, 1711, he was graduated in law in Mexico. From 1713 till 1739 he obtained different employments, and he was then appointed treasurer of the audiencia of Guadalajara, and from 1744 till 1748 served as associate judge of the criminal court. He began the establishment of the University of Guadalajara and urged the merchants of the latter city to open trade with Guatemala by the South sea. Padilla owes his celebrity specially to the work that, under the title of "Historia de la Nueva Galicia," he wrote by order of the king to celebrate the heroic feats of the conquerors, among whom were his ancestors. This work was finished in 1742 and was sent to Spain, but, as it had not reached its destination, the king ordered in 1747 two more copies, which were made at the expense of Padilla ; but, notwithstanding all his efforts and expense, his work not only was left unprinted, but the copies never reached Spain. By order of the king, on 21 February, 1790, it was copied again and forms the fifth and sixth volumes of the collection of "Memorias historicas." In 1871 it was printed by the Mexican "Sociedad de Geografiay Estadistica."
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