Finding Aid for the Compuestas por Don Pedro Anselmo Chreslos Jache - Analysis of the social and economic state of Mexico,
Cataloged by Pablo Sierra with assistance from Kelley Bachli, May 2008, in the Center For Primary Research and Training (CFPRT);
machine-readable finding aid created by Caroline Cubé.
UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections
Room A1713, Charles E. Young Research Library
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1575
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.
Title: Compuestas por Don Pedro Anselmo Chreslos Jache - Analysis of the social and economic state of Mexico
Date (inclusive): 1734
Collection number: 170/513
Chreslos Jache (Don Pedro Anselmo)
155 leaves : paper ; 235 x 165 mm. bound to 240 x 180 mm.
Abstract: This humorous and sarcastic mid-eighteenth century treatise attributes a heavily anti-Spaniard perspective to Mexico City's
multiracial lower-class population, particularly in relation to themes such as peninsular privilege and racial discrimination.
Taking the form of traditional Spanish legal codes, the text describes the nature, attitudes and material conditions prevalent
in creole society, while ridiculizing peninsular or "Gachupin" tendencies through a collection of mock ordinances.
Language: Finding aid is written in
University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Department of Special Collections.
Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library, Department
of Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.
Restrictions on Access
COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Library, Department
of Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.
Restrictions on Use and Reproduction
Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library,
Department of Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright,
are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of
the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the
copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC
Regents do not hold the copyright.
Provenance/Source of Acquisition
Formerly Phillipps Manuscript no. 21332.
Cataloged by Pablo Sierra with assistance from Kelley Bachli, May 2008, in the Center For Primary Research and Training (CFPRT).
[Identification of item], Compuestas por Don Pedro Anselmo Chreslos Jache - Analysis of the social and economic state of Mexico.
(Collection Number 170/513). Department of Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.
Almost nothing is known about the text's purported author, Don Pedro Anselmo Chreslos Jache. Given the manuscript's extremely
critical nature, Chreslos Jache was surely a pen name for a highly educated individual that was undoubtedly very familiar
with the particularities of urban life in New Spain. Although the text takes on creole tendencies, several passages throughout
the narrative (and the introductory letter) suggest that its author may have in fact been a Peninsular Spaniard. At one point,
the "Ordenanzas" slip into first person in order for the narrator to admit his lower-class origins, when he declares "fui
zapatero" (I was a shoemaker). Nothing else is known in relation to Chreslos Jachme, with exception of what can be gleaned
from the manuscript.
According to a nineteenth century catalogue entitled "Bibliotheca Mexicana," a copy of the "Ordenanzas" was put up for auction
in 1869 by the London-based rare book traders Messrs. Puttick & Simpson. Listed as item #1958, the book was described as "an
anonymous work full of humour and satire on the respective customs and relations between Spaniards and the native born Mexicans."
At 310 pages long, the copy described in the catalogue coincides exactly in length with the current extant version.
Scope and Content
The "Ordenanzas del Baratillo", which has been described as Mexico's earliest major satire, is divided into three sections:
an introductory letter, a prologue and a collection of ordinances. While the largest number of pages concern the latter section,
a lengthy introductory letter and a shorter prologue provide dubious (albeit humorous) background information on its anonymous
author. The letter, addressed from a Spaniard living in the Indies to one living in Madrid, makes several fascinating references
not just to travels through Mexico and Spain, but to Peru as well (thereby explaining the multiple references to "peruleros").
The brief prologue contextualizes the introductory letter in relation to the ensuing collection of ordinances, while setting
the tone as a sarcastic anti-Spaniard treatise.
The bulk of the narrative consists of 377 decrees which enumerate the norms regulating the behavior of the lower-class brotherhood,
"la Hermandad". Often quite vulgar, the "ordenanzas" nonetheless follow the formulaic and ostentatiously elegant format so
prevalent in Spanish notarial documentation and personal correspondences of the colonial period. The text is thematically
restricted to the general poverty, material culture, and political reality encountered by the kind of people that would frequent
the "baratillo" (the notorious secondhand black markets of Mexico City and Puebla). As a result, those traditionally rejected
by elite society (mulatto, black, and indigenous people) feature prominently throughout the development of the narrative.
Underlying the entire text is a generalized sentiment of creole dissatisfaction with the status quo and in particular with
the privileged Peninsular elite. In the words of Ilona Katzew, the text "describes and demythologizes the colony's social
situation by inverting its commonly acknowledged power dynamic… and provides a fascinating glimpse into the mentality of the
period regarding mixed-bloods and their purported negative effects on the Spanish body politic."
Text in Spanish.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Genres and Forms of Material
Ordenanzas del Baratillo de Mexico dada per via de exortazion o consejo a sus dotores. Compuestas por Don Pedro Anselmo Chreslos
Introductory statement describes the particularities of life in New Spain and Peru, written
from perspective of a Peninsular Spaniard, "gachupin".
Prologue to the "ordenanzas", sarcastic explanation of the organization, authorship, and
inclusion of the introductory letter in the manuscript.
Collection of ordinances, authored by "doctors" of Mexico City's university of cheating
and addressed to the low-life brotherhood, "la Hermandad."