University of Chicago Library

Guide to the Hospicio de Pobres (Puebla, Mexico) Records 1761-1857

© 2006 University of Chicago Library

Descriptive Summary


Hospicio de Pobres. Records




1 linear foot (2 boxes)


Special Collections Research Center
University of Chicago Library
1100 East 57th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.


Consists chiefly of deeds and mortgage records of haciendas relating to the Hospicio de Pobres and other charitable institutions of Puebla, Mexico. Also includes a book of minutes, 1825-1831.

Information on Use


No restrictions.


When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Hospicio de Pobres. Records, [Box #, Folder #], Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library

Historical Note

Most of these materials, which are largely official in character and concern haciendas and properties, were composed or transcribed in Puebla at the direction of city officials. The city of Puebla de los Angeles, founded by the Spaniards in 1532, was a district capital, the seat of a bishopric, and a leading center for the activities of the religious orders. At the end of the eighteenth century it was the capital of an intendancy whose jurisdictional borders, reaching far into Tlaxcala and elsewhere, were far more extensive than those of the later Estado de Puebla.

The original home of the Puebla Papers was probably the Hospicio building in a central city street called Calle del Hospicio, formerly known as the Calle del Colegio. The "Colegio" referred to was the Jesuit College of San Ildefon-so, built in the 1620s, which was turned into the "Hospicio de Pobres" after the expulsion of the Jesuits in 1767. The documents in Box I, folder 6, suggest that mortgage assets held by the extinct Jesuit college were transferred to the Hospicio. According to Hugo Leicht's Las Calles de Puebla (2d ed. [Puebla, 1967], p. 192)-a rich source of antiquarian information about the city-the Hospicio building served as a barracks during the wars of independence and fell into ruins.

In 1825 the Mexican Congress decreed that a Casa de Hospicio, Enseñanza y Correcciòn was to be established, or re-established, in Puebla. The minute book in Box 11, Folder 1-which could be entitled "Actas de las Junta del Hospicio"-gives us a precise view of what occurred in response to the congressional directive. The governor of Puebla, Jose Maria Calderon, called a meeting on 27 July 1825 at which a governing junta was chosen to supervise the activities of the new Hospicio. Antonio Cal was selected president of the junta, with Jose Castillo Rosete as secretary, and five other vocales (directors). The junta was supposed to meet at 5 p.m. in the governor's palace, usually in his presence, every Monday and Friday. The junta met ten times during the first month of activity, plunged into a money-raising campaign, and organized the rebuilding of the Hospicio structure. The first indigents or orphans were supposed to be admitted on 1 September 1825, but the reconstruction was not finished until later.

The Hospicio contained a poorhouse, a home for the aged, an orphanage, and a school-at least in theory. The Monday and Friday schedule of junta meetings was never observed. The junta met only three times in September 1825, twice in October, once in November, and not at all in December. There are no minutes of meetings between 22 February 1826 and 5 January 1828. The Hospicio, nevertheless, seems to have functioned, although Leicht states that it was not inaugurated until 1832, when the directors invested the institution's funds in a paper mill (called La Beneficencia Publica).

The minutes for the thirty-seven meetings recorded in the book show that financial problems dominated the discussions of the junta. Mortgages held on haciendas and other properties, most of them assets inherited by the Hospicio from previous benevolent societies, provided an inadequate source of funds. The hacienda records, which dominate this collection, can be tied in to the minute book and to the fiscal papers of the Hospicio. The documentation is rich for the haciendas of Santa Maria de la Pena Hachichuca, San Diego Jalapaxco, Chapultepec, and San Antonio Tlacamulco-most of which were located in the vicinity of Tapeaca and Chalchicomula. There are many persons named from Puebla families, such as Seoane, Segura y Cevallos, Breton, Castillo Rosete, Calderon, and Furlong. Leicht (pp. 164-70) has a long notice on the Furlongs, the descendants of an Irish immigrant; Leicht also has useful scraps of information on various individuals from the other families mentioned.

The Hospicio owned various houses on the Calle del Hospicio apart from the main building. Aside from a miscellaneous affidavit dated 1857, the Hospicio papers proper end with the year 1846. By the 1860s the main structure of the Hospicio had again fallen into ruins (Leicht, p. 193), although charitable activities apparently continued in other buildings on the same street.

Scope Note

Consists of papers and documents, 1761-1857, chiefly deeds and mortgage records of neighboring haciendas related to the fiscal activities of the Hospicio and other charitable institutions of Puebla. Total of 53 items, with 871 leaves.

Related Resources

The following related resources are located in the Department of Special Collections:


Mexican Confraternity. Records

Subject Headings


Box 1   Folder 1

Aug-Sep 1761 Documents on the complaint of Francisco Xavier, executor of the estate of Francisco de Torija Franco, that the deceased's father-in-law, Manuel Seoane, has ignored the terms of the will.

Box 1   Folder 2

28 Sep 1774 Affidavits affirming the limpieza de sangre of captain Don Gabriel de Segura y Zeballos.

Box 1   Folder 3

1775-76 Hacienda de Santa Maria Hachichuca (Tepeaca) was unable to meet annual payment of 800 pesos. Papers on ensuing litigation involve creditors, fiadores, and the Indian laborers. Concerns Torija and Seoane families.

Box 1   Folder 4

27 May 1778 List of properties left by Jose de Segura Zeballos, deceased, with arrangements for division among his heirs. Included were five haciendas, four houses, and other property, to a total value of 559,000 pesos.

Box 1   Folder 5

8 Jun 1785 Incomes of the Casa de Hospicio of Puebla; total comes to 93,805 persos.

Box 1   Folder 6

20 May 1789 Two copies of lists of money still owed to the extinct Jesuit College of Puebla, and available for charitable purposes; with accounts of the Hospicio and one fragment.

Box 1   Folder 7

1791 Concerns a small mortgage held by the cathedral church of Puebla on two houses in San Roque square. Incomplete.

Box 1   Folder 8

1800-01 Documents concerning the public auction of the hacienda San Diego Jalapaxco; involve the Torija family and the convents of Puebla.

Box 1   Folder 9

Mar-Jul 1810 Hacienda of Maria de la Pena Hachichuca (Tepeaca): lawyers of the local clergy attempt to stop Jose Dionisio Sandobal, purchaser of the hacienda incomes, from moving in and disturbing the Indians.

Box 1   Folder 10

1817-18 Hacienda Jalapaxco (Tepeaca) put up for auction on 17 March 1817; the successful bidder, Jose Maria Breton, was dilatory in fulfilling the terms of the sale.

Box 1   Folder 11

1819-27 Extensive papers on a prolonged legal dispute. Hacienda Jalapaxco owed 2,500 pesos to the Purissima Concepcion convent of Puebla and 1,336 pesos to Jose Antonio Jimenez. Action for the recovery of these sums was overtaken by a suit brought against Miguel Dominguez, treasurer of the convents; after repeated court orders, Dominguez finally produced accounting records for the years 1808-21 (bound in with these papers). Litigants then contested the accuracy of the accounts; etc. Litigation continued even in the face of major political changes, as recorded in the papel sellado: seal of Charles IV, of Ferdinand VII, of Ferdinand VII as constitutional king, and then of the Estado de Puebla in an independent Mexico.

Box 1   Folder 12

1819-25 Additional papers on the Jalapaxco litigation

Box 1   Folder 13

1824-25 Receipts and accounts of Ignacio Francisco Castrillo, treasurer of the hacienda de Santa Maria de la Pena Halchichuca. With two miscellaneous certificates.

Box 1   Folder 14

25 Sep 1826 Comprehensive collection of fiscal documents of the hacienda Halchichuca, on which the religious bodies of Puebla hold mortgages to the value of 11,800 pesos.

Box 1   Folder 15

1825-29 Minute book of the governing (1830-31 addenda) junta of the Hospicio of Puebla, from the election of the junta until its collective resignation. Bound notebook.

Box 1   Folder 16

30 Nov 1827 Record of money gifts to the hospicio.

Box 1   Folder 17

22 Dec 1827 List of moneys owed by the hacien- da de Jalapaxco to various religious bodies in Puebla.

Box 1   Folder 18

9-12 May 1831 Receipts issued to Baltasar Furlong by Rafael de Nos and Mariano Palacios.

Box 1   Folder 19

10-15 Sep 1831 Record of Diego Breton's bequest to the hospicio.

Box 2   Folder 1

1832-34 Detailed accounts of incomes and expenditures of the hospicio of Puebla.

Box 2   Folder 2

1833-34 Detailed accounts of incomes and expenditures of the hospicio of Puebla.

Box 2   Folder 3

16 Jul 1835 List of assets of the hospicio of Puebla.

Box 2   Folder 4

1832-39 (1845-46 addenda) Accounts of the hacienda of Chapultepec (in Tlaxcala?)

Box 2   Folder 5

1837-42 Expenditures of the rancho San Antonio Tlacamulco, including sums paid to the hospicio of Puebla, and payroll of peones.

Box 2   Folder 6

23 Oct 1840 Payments of six houses in Puebla to the hospital of San Sebastian.

Box 2   Folder 7

1844-45 "Libro de las rayas que se administran a los operarios de la hacienda de Bonifacio" (payroll).

Box 2   Folder 8

1844-46 Expenditures of the hacienda of Chapultepec, including payroll of peones.

Box 2   Folder 9

1845-46 Fragments of accounts [of the hospicio?].

Box 2   Folder 10

2 Jun 1857 Affidavit for the Cordoba widow Ana Maria Segura, affirming her rights to full ownership, enjoyment, and control of inherited property.