VEITIA LINAGE, José (c.1620-1688)
Norte de La Contratacion de Las Indias Occidentales
Seville: Juan Francisco de Blas, 1672. 2 volumes in 1; folio. (11 1/2 x 8 1/8 inches). First edition, engraved frontispiece by Marcos Orozco (dated 1671), , 299 pp.; 264 pp., , colophon page.
Contemporary limp vellum with remainder of leather ties. Title boldly lettered in ink on spine.
A very detailed account of Spanish trade practices in the West Indies, describing the organization of the courts, administration of the Armada, work of the missionaries, and the slave trade, as well as general information on the state of commerce in the West Indies through the 17th century.
José de Veitia Linage, a distinguished figure within the esteemed Casa de Contratación and the Consejo de Indias during the period spanning 1653 to his death in 1688, dedicated his attention to the scrupulous examination of Spanish commercial connections with the American colonies. The present endeavor, thus, represents a thorough exploration of the subject matter. Within his introductory address to the reader, Veitia Linage forthrightly proclaimed his intention to compile a comprehensive compendium that would encompass the entirety of the legislation, ordinances, and royal edicts that governed the operations of the Casa de Contratación. To accomplish this formidable task, he diligently immersed himself in the study of the aforementioned legal texts, meticulously preserved within the archives of the Casa de Contratación. Concurrently, he assiduously gathered additional relevant materials that pertained to the broader domain of inquiry. Given his substantial experience in public service, Veitia Linage keenly grasped the imperative nature of such a scholarly pursuit, recognizing that all the aforementioned resources remained largely inaccessible. The present work delves into a multitude of intricacies concerning the organizational mechanisms inherent in colonial trade. In alignment with Veitia Linage's original intent, it assumes the role of an indispensable guidebook for those who seek to comprehend the complexities of commercial affairs. Implicit in the author's choice of title lies a profound acknowledgement of the potential magnitude of his work--a notion he expounded upon while clarifying the somewhat cryptic phrasing of the title. Veitia Linage expressed a fervent hope that, if the ordinances and laws of the Casa de Contratación were to be acknowledged as fundamental pillars in all matters of commerce, then his opus might prove to be a guiding light for those who find themselves adrift in the vast and treacherous seas of business--a celestial navigational aid akin to Polaris, which faithfully directs seafarers in orienting themselves using the steadfast North Star. Notably, the Casa de Contratación, a venerable Spanish institution established in 1503, played a central role in overseeing Spain's transatlantic trade and colonial endeavors. Situated in Seville, Spain, it functioned as the primary regulatory body, wielding a monopoly over commerce with the American colonies and ensuring the passage of goods through its jurisdiction. Operating as a hub of geographical and scientific knowledge, the Casa de Contratación collected and analyzed information about newly discovered lands, contributing to Spain's dominance in exploration and colonization during the Age of Discovery.
Sabin 98780; European Americana 672/234; Medina BHA III: 1544; Palau 356806; Escudero y Perosso, Tipografia Hispalense 1738;.