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SECTION VII. Each workman or servant of the mines, referred to in the preceding Section, must keep in his possession a paper, in which shall be marked the parts of his monthly salary which shall have become due, as well as every thing which he may have received on account, all written by the accountant, (Rayador*), or paymaster of the mine and establishment and the dollars and reals distinguished by circles, lines and half-lines ; so that each workman may adjust and understand his own account, and have a proper statement thereof in his possession.
SECTION VIII. The duties or tasks (tequioso tareas) of the workmen shall be assigned by the captain of the Barrast, who must attend to the hardness or softness of substance, the abundance, scarcity and other circumstances of the work, proceeding with the greatest justice and equity in moderating the said tasks, in allowing good pay to those employed in such tasks, and in encreasing the same, under any change of circumstances; and in case any party should complain of any particular grievance the respective Mining Deputation shall proceed to redress all injuries by a verbal decree, or by judicial process, if the parties cannot otherwise be brought to an agreement, all which shall be done in the form prescribed by Chapter III. of these. Ordinances.
SECTION IX. It is also my Royal will that no supplies shall be afforded to the Indians of allotment1, (repartimiento), in order that immediately on concluding their tasks they may return to their villages and habitations, and others be employed in their stead as the law requires. And that the free Indians alone may receive supplies, as far as five dollars to each, conformably to an act granted by my Royal Audiency of Mexico; although in cases of any peculiar urgency, such as the celebration of their marriages, or the funerals of their wives or children I permit that on the same being proved to the satisfaction of the Mine-owner. Administrator, or Overseer, (Mandon), by a certificate from the curate (of the parish of an Indian so circumstanced), he may be furnished with what is necessary for such purpose.
* Rayador, literally, the inspector or settler of the rayas or tallies, alluded to and explained in Section III. of this Chapter ; as it evidently means accountant, in future that expression will be used for Rayador. † These Barras are the shares, twenty-four in number, into which every mine is divided.
|Indios de repartimiento, the Indians who are lotted in division from time to time, and sent to work in the mines; in opposition to free Indians.
SECTION X. Both the Mine-owners and the workmen shall be entirely at liberty to agree between themselves whether they shall be paid for their work by the task, by a share of the profit, (a partido), or by salary and share of the profit. Supposing this mutual liberty understood, when the mine is not worked by share of the profits merely, the owner or administrator shall pay the workmen such wages or salary as shall be conformable to the First Section of this Chapter; and if, when the arrangement is for task-work, any one of the labourers, called Barreteros', having finished his task, shall continue voluntarily for all or part of the time remaining, to extract further ores, the Mine. owner shall not be obliged to pay otherwise than in money, and in proportion to his daily rate of wages, for all such ore as may be extracted. But if in order to promote and stimulate the exertions of the workmen, the Mineowner or administrator should agree to pay them at a certain rate for every sack or bag (tenate) of metal which they may extract beyond their task, or to pay them for the same with a part of such metal, all such contracts shall be fulfilled according to the engagements on both sides, provided the circumstances shall not have materially changed in the opinion of the respective Mining Deputies; and if these should disagree, the respective Substitutes shall decide according to the rule already established in such cases; but in all that regards the terms on which labourers are to work in the mines, whenever there shall arise any dispute between them and the master or steward of the mine, (Mayordomo), which may occasion injury to its working and progress, and consequently to the State, and either of the parties shall make an appeal, the respective Deputation shall decide the same, and eventually if necessary, the said Substitute, conformably to the practice established in the mine in question, or, if it be a new mine, then in conformity with the practice of the district.
SECTION XI. The ore extracted in the course of the task-work, and that extracted in working for a share of the ore, shall be received and attested by the accountant, or inspector, or other person, appointed for that purpose by the Mineowner; and if he thinks the ore delivered by any labourer as his share-work, better or purer than that of his task, they shall both be mingled together in the presence of the workman interested, and shall be stirred about as much as he may desire, in order that he may chuse, from whatever part of the heap so mingled he may prefer, as many sacks, bags, or measures as there were in his share before such mixture was made : it being understood that no Mine-owner, his steward, overseer, or other servants shall, on any pretence whatever, prevent the labourers interested from being present during all these proceedings, or cause the sacks to be filled from any other part of the heap than that which the said labourers shall choose.
* Barretero, literally, a person employed in such barras or shares as are explained above, Section VIII. Note.
SECTION XII. The Inspector may examine all those who go in and out of the mines, observing, with the greatest care, whether they are in a state of intoxication, or whether they carry with them any intoxicating liquors; and he may also register all that comes in or out of the mine under the head of breakfasts, dinners, &c.; and if he should discover any stolen metal, tools, gunpowder, or any thing of the like kind, he shall preventively apprehend, confine, and secure the thief; and thereby give notice to the Territorial Deputation, in order that due proceedings may be instituted, conformably to the regulations established by Chapter III. of these Ordinances.
SECTION XIII. Idle persons and vagabonds, of whatsoever cast or condition they may be, who shall be met with in the mining districts, or the neighbouring villages, may be seized and compelled to work in the mines, as well also as the labourers who from mere idleness shall have withdrawn themselves from this employment, without engaging in any other; for which purpose the MineOwners may appoint proper officers, (recogedores) by licence of the Courts, and the Territorial Deputations of the districts, as usual in such cases; but it is to be understood, that no Spaniard, or Spanish Mestizo,* the latter being considered as a Spaniard, can be included in such regulation, as both one and the other are by law exempted ; and when such persons have incurred punishment by their idleness or offences, other penalties must be inflicted on them, by the proper judge, according to the nature of their offences.
SECTION XIV. In the distribution and allotment of the Indians of the Villages near the mining districts, commonly called the Indians of the Quatequil, or Mita, to the reducing establishments, the rights and pretentions, acquired at different times by the proprietors of such establishments, shall be maintained and observed in those which are in a course of working, and have continued 80 without interruption; but in the establishments which have been deserted and abandoned, and whose allotment of Indians may have passed to others more recently established, the latter are to be maintained in the possession of the same; and, in case the former should be re-established, they shall only be entitled to the quatequil of such villages as shall have before belonged to them, and shall not have since passed to other establishments; and the same is to be observed in respect of the working companies (quadrillas), both of mines and of reducing establishments : but in neither case shall such distribution and allotment of Indians exceed the proportion of four out of every hundred, according to the established practice in New Spain, and in order that the Mitas may be regulated as much as possible in favour of the Indians, I ordain and command, that in the execution and fulfilment of the law, Article 1, Chap. 15, Book 6, and Article 4, Chap. 15, Book 7, the negroes and free mulattoes, who wander about as vagabonds, and the mestizos of the second class, who are without occupation, may be compelled to work in the mines; and that criminals condemned to hard labour, and not excepted by the preceding section, may be taken to work in the mines, with the consent of the Mine Proprietors, who are to be in that respect entirely free, either to admit such criminals to work in the mines, according to the greater or less degree of facility which there may be of guarding them during the intervals of their occupation.
* Mestizos are a mixed race, the offspring of an European and Indian: they are mentioned by Robertson as the third class of inhabitants in the Spanish Colonies. - See Rob. Amer. Vol. iv. p. 33.
+ The Mita, or compulsory labour in the mines, by chosen bands of Indians, so many out of every hundred, is by Humboldt said to be wholly abolished in New Spain -Humb, New Spain, Vol. i. p. 124.
I can find no account of the word Mita. Perhaps the number of Indians taken for this purpose out of every hundred may have been originally the half, (mitad); this conjecture is rendered more probable from the circumstance of the final d being often omitted in the Spanish pronunciation
SECTION XV.. Working Companies belonging to deserted establishments shall not be allowed to establish themselves in villages, even though they may construct a chapel and erect a belfry, because by so doing they appropriate to themselves the earth and water intended for the supply of such establishment; thus impeding and wholly preventing its re-establishment; to avoid which I desire and command them always to bear in mind that such situation may be at any time denounced, and in case of works being re-established there, they are again to become part of the working company, and to be dependant upon the proprietor of such establishment.
The labourers belonging to working companies of mines or establishments, shall be obliged to work on the establishment to which they are attached, rather than elsewhere, and shall only be allowed to work elsewhere by the consent of the proprietor of such establishment, or in case he shall have no employment for them.
SECTION XVII. As it is found by experience, that in unproductive mines there is generally a default of workmen, by reason of their all locking to those mines which are in a course of working, particularly where the proprietors allow them a share of the produce, thereby interrupting and impeding the working of the other mines ; for remedy thereof I ordain and command that the Territorial Deputations shall cause such workmen as are in a vagabond state, and not attached to any establishment, to be alternately employed in each of these classes of mines, so that they may enjoy the benefit of being employed in those which are in a course of profitable working, and not deprive the others altogether of their service ; with the same view, it is my sovereign will that no workman going from one mine into another, shall be admitted by the proprietor of such other without producing a certificate of good behaviour from the master he has left, or his administrator ; otherwise such mine proprietor so admitting him, as well as the workman himself, shall be punished in proportion to the evil intention with which they appear to have acted; the observance of all which things shall be strictly attended to by the Territorial Deputations, as pertaining to their jurisdiction.
SECTION XVIII. Workmen who, having contracted debts while working in any mine, shall engage themselves to work in another, may be compelled to return to the former, with a view to the discharge of such debt by their labour therein, according to the fourth Section of this chapter, unless the creditor shall consent to accept security for his debt from the proprietor of such other mine.
SECTION XIX. In cases of thefis committed by the workmen of mines on the establishments, whether of metallic ores, tools, gunpowder, or quicksilver, punishments shall be inflicted according to the nature and circumstance of the offence, and the repetition of the same ; imposing whatsoever is by law established, and measuring the punishment due to the offences of the Indians by the damage sustained, and the malice evinced ; the respective judges in the cognizance of such causes, regulating themselves by the rules laid down and declared by Chapter III. of these Ordinances.
SECTION XX. Workmen who, for slight offences, debts, or other causes, are imprisoned according to custom, and remain there a long time to their own destruction, and to the distress of their families, may be removed from prison, and placed to work, provided that in the mine or establishment where they are employed, there may be the means of securing them during the intervals of their labour to the end that, after setting apart a proportion of their gains for their own support, and that of their families, the rest may be applied to the discharge of their debts, the confirmation of their marriages, the payment of pecuniary penalties, and the satisfaction of parties whom they may have aggrieved, and of all this the proprietor or administrator of the mine or establishment must keep a clear and distinct account.