Appendix F
Population, Ethnicity, Family, and Work
in Rural Communities, 1791–1792
The analysis of rural communities in chapter 4 focuses on La Griega and Puerto
de Nieto, Bajío estates within the Obra Pía properties controlled by don José
Sánchez Espinosa from the 1780s to the 1820s. The two communities are open
to analysis thanks to a unique confluence of sources: census manuscripts from
1791–92, managers’ letters from 1780 to 1826, and operating accounts cover-
ing production, prices, sales, work, wages, and rents from 1811 to 1826 for La
Griega and from 1820 to 1826 for Puerto de Nieto.
But could the two communities represent the region, the eastern Bajío?
Chapter 7 shows that La Griega and Puerto de Nieto participated in the same
regional economy and shared general economic operations. Yet the two estate
communities differed sharply in social composition: La Griega was divided be-
tween a large Spanish minority and an indigenous majority, while Puerto de
Nieto integrated Spaniards, mestizos, mulattoes, and indios. To place the two
communities in context this appendix offers quantitative portraits of ten es-
tates (and two towns) from La Griega, east of Querétaro, northwest to Puerto
de Nieto, at the eastern edge of the jurisdiction of San Miguel, based on the
militia census of 1791–92.
The census reports are exceptionally detailed, yet limited. Militia service
excluded indio men. The census thus reports only households headed by men
classed as Spaniards, mestizos, and mulattoes. It reports name, age, ethnic
status, place of birth, and economic role, wives’ names and ethnic categories,
plus the ages and economic roles of adult male children. It also reports the
number of adult dependent women and minor children, male and female. Be-
cause indigenous men and the households they headed are excluded, we can
only estimate the indigenous presence in estate communities. But because the
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