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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ORTIZ, Tomas, South American R. C. bishop, born in Calzadilla, Estremadura, late in the 15th century; died in Tocuyo, Venezuela, in 1538. He entered the order of Dominicans in their convent of Salamanca in 1510, came soon afterward to the missions of Hispaniola, and in 1525 was appointed vicar-general of his order for New Spain. He was later appointed first commissary of the Inquisition, and when the disturbances between Hernan Cortes and the treasurer, Alonso de Estrada, occurred in 1526, Ortiz, together with the Franciscan provincial, Martin de Valencin, appeased the contending parties and restored peace. As some of his monks had died, Ortiz returned to Spain in 1528, and through the president of the council of the Indies, Cardinal Loayza, obtained many favorable concessions for his order, retaining with twenty monks to Mexico. In 1534 he was appointed to the newly created diocese of Venezuela, where he died. He wrote "Relacion curiosa de la Vida, Leyes, Costumbres y Ritos, que los Indios observan en su politic, religion y guerras" (1527), which remains in manuscript in the archives of Simancas.
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