common and public lands, meadows, or pastures belonging to other mining districts, or through places not possessing any mines, without paying any thing on that account, although their masters may not reside in such district; and they shall enjoy the like exemption from such payments on lands belonging to individuals where it is not the custom for other passengers or mule drivers to pay ; but where it is the custom for others to pay, then they also shall pay what is usual and just; and I declare that persons going about to search for mines shall be allowed to have one beast to ride on, and one to carry their luggage, without paying any thing for their pasture, either on public or private property, and whether it be customary or not to pay for the same; but, in order that this privilege may not be abused, any excess shall be watched with the greatest care, and if such be committed, to the prejudice of a third person, application shall be made to the respective Royal Court, for the proper remedy.

SECTION y. In order to restrain any extraordinary rise in the price of provisions and clothing in the mining districts, when they are in a flourishing state, and that the same may be equitably regulated according to the circumstances which ought to influence it, the Territorial Deputations shall make proper representations thereupon to the Courts of the District, according to what is laid down in Section xxxv. of Chapter III. of these Ordinances; and also for the restraining and punishment of monopolies, extortions, usuries, and all unfair or fraudulent contracts or practices whatsoever.


All persons shall be at liberty to carry to the mines maize, wheat, barley, and other provisions and necessaries, such as charcoal, wood, tallow, hides, &c.; more especially when they have been sent for them by the miners themselves; and for this purpose I grant them permission to bring such provisions from all cities, - towns, villages, and establishments whatsoever, even if situated in other districts, provinces, or governments, provided there be just cause for so doing; and therefore I command all governors and magistrates of the different places not to obstruct them in so doing, nor to allow the price of such articles to be improperly raised, but rather to assist and favour them, in order that the mines and the persons employed in them, may be always sufficiently provided with what is necessary.

SECTION VII. Without prejudice to the jurisdiction and cognizance granted to the Royal Courts by Section xxx. of Chapter III. of these Ordinances, the Territorial Deputations are to be allowed frequently to visit and inspect the fountains and sources wbich supply the waters for putting the machinery of the mines

in motion, in order that they may be able to make representations thereupon to the said Courts as occasion may require, and in order that all persons may be prevented from cutting down any of the woods in tne neighbourhood which serve to protect them, or clearing them away for tillago, or otherwise reducing them; as also from making any hollows in the neighbourhood lower than the waters, or doing any other thing by which they may be drained off, or diminished; but on the contrary that they may be cleansed and purified with all the precautions of scientific practice.

SECTION VIII. The said Deputations shall likewise take care that the rivers and streams preserve their ancient courses and beds, representing to the Royal Courts in proper time, and before the said evils shall have become irremediable, the impediments which have occurred, either from the current leaving islands, or banks which change the direction of the stream, or from the overflowing of the banks, or from other causes, which might be remedied by proper diligenco in many cases; and, to the end that the provisions of this and the preceding Section may be carried into effect, the Deputies and the Surveyor of each mining district shall twice in every year visit the fountains and springs, within their boundaries, once just before the rains, and once immediately after, carefully examining them, and if they find that they require any cleansing, repairing, alteration, or amendment, in order to preserve their proper channel and direction, they shall make representation thereof to the Royal Courts, who shall, with the intervention of the said Deputies and Surveyor, order the same to be repaired at the expence of the owners of the estates and others interested in such waters; and in case of there being no such interested persons, or their contributions not being sufficient, the said Deputies shall appoint such arbitrators as they shall consider competent and impartial, who are to determine according to the provisions of Section XXXVI. of Chapter III. of these Ordinances, whether or no such repairs shall be undertaken at the public expence.

SECTION IX. To the end that the high roads and private ways necessary for the inter. course of villages in the neighbourhood of mines, with the rest of the district on which they depend for supplies, may be kept in as good and secure a condition as possible, considering, that generally those in the immediate neighbourhood of the mine districts are much broken up, difficult, and dangerous, particularly during the rainy season, I ordain and command that the Territorial Deputations shall promote this important object by all the means in their power, before the respective Royal Courts, by carrying the same into effect, either at the expence of the owners of mines or establishments, or by impos. ing a toll upon passengers and mule drivers, if this be agreeable to the practice of such place, or in any other manner, provided only, that the Court be guided in this respect by the provisions of the said Section XXXVI. of Chapter III.

SECTION X. For the better preservation and security of private roads between villages and mines, between mines and mines, and also between mines ard establishments, the provisions of the preceding Section shall be acted upon, even though such works ought in the particular case to have been effected by the owners of the respective mines or establishments; moreover, the Territorial Deputations are enjoined to visit the said roads frequently, with the utmost attention and care, inasmuch as the said roads and ways, being in general narrow and broken, are rendered still more dangerous by the constant traffic, carelessness, and negligence of those who frequent them.


As to rivers, streams, and currents, which it is necessary to pass over, in order to go to or from the mining districts, there shall be built substantial bridges of stone and lime-work, or at least of timber, on solid foundations of stone and cement, which are more proper for such rivers, as those which run between high grounds, at no great distance from each other, are generally deep and rapid, rather than of great width ; for the necessity of their construction, the amount of their expence, and the ascertaining of the parties upon whom such expence is to be levied, proceedings are to be had according to Section XXXV. and xxxvI. of Chapter III. of these Ordinances.

SECTION XII. The mountains and woods in the neighbourhood of mines, are to be used for the purpose of providing them with timber for their machinery, and with wood and charcoal for the reduction of the ores, and the same is to be understood with regard to those which are private property, provided a fair price be paid to the owners; and I hereby prohibit all persons from exporting or removing their timber, wood, or charcoal from their respective districts, to others which might be more properly supplied elsewhere.

SECTION XIII. The cutters and carriers of wood shall not cut at any other time nor deliver in any other manner than shall be prescribed by the particular regu. lations which are to be drawn up by the Royal Tribunal General of Miners, by wbich they are to be regulated, provided that these regulations shall in the first instance be approved by the Viceroy, and authorized by my Royal approbation.

SECTION XIV. All dealers in wood and charcoal are strictly prohibited from cutting young shoots for fire-wood or charcoal, and I ordain that plantations of young trees shall be formed, where there are none; particularly in those places where there have been such plantations formerly, as from the consumption and failure of re-production, the two species of wood most necessary in the working of mines and reduction of metals have become scarce ; and be it understood, in order to attain this important object the Royal Tribunal of Miners shall draw up particular instructions and directions, which must be observed under certain penalties, to be named therein for that purpose, there being the same necessity for the approval of the Viceroy, and my approbation as in the preceding Section.

SECTION XV. Wells of salt water and veins of rock-salt, which are frequently met with in some mining districts, may be denounced, the greatest care being used to authenticate such discoveries, and no impediment being thrown in the way thereof by any judge or individual ; provided however, that notice thereof, and of such denouncement, be given to the superior Government, in order that they may take account of and determine as to the working, and distribution and price of the salt, so that no injury shall accrue to my Royal Revenue, and that the miners, and more particularly the discoverer and denouncer, may derive the utmost benefit therefrom ; observing, however, that the Indians, are by no means to be deprived of the salt works which are conceded to them by law, nor prevented from the use thereof, in the same manner as is now permitted to them.

SECTION XVI. The judge and deputies of each mine-establishment shall take particular care that in the prices of timber, wood, charcoal, hides, tallow, cordage, salt, magistral, (sulphate of iron) (chalk), ashes, barley, straw, and other things of indispensable necessity in the working of mines, the sellers thereof shall not act with extortion; for which purpose the said judge, acting in concert with the Territorial Deputation, shall fix the prices of the said articles, with due regard to justice and equity, so that neither the seller shall lose the regular profit of his trade, to which he is justly entitled, nor fall into the other extreme of demanding exorbitant prices, which would paralyse the labour of miners, who, generally speaking, are not in flourishing circumstances.

SECTION XVII. The distribution by retail or parcelling out of quicksilver in small quantities, shall be provided for in the manner directed by my Royal Orders of the 12th of November, 1773, and 5th of October, 1774.

SECTION XVIII. Whoever shall work mines in a different district to that in which he resides, and shall derive considerable advantage from such working, shall be obliged either to build a house in that village which is in the neighbourhood of his mine, or to construct some work of public utility to be estimated by the Deputies of Miners, and shall also be liable to all the charges which are or ought to be paid by the miners of the said district.

SECTION XIX. No dealer or miner shall, under any pretence, whatsoever, intercept on the roads, the sellers of fruit, grain, or other commodity, even though they pretend that they are buying for their own consumption, and not for the purpose of selling such articles again; but I grant the mine-owners liberty to purchase such articles in other villages, and to conduct them, on their own account, to the mines, and I permit the sellers generally to carry them thither without obstruction.




SECTION 1. CONSIDERING the measures which may best promote the advancement of the mines, as well the increase and support of the mining population, and observing the customs which have hitherto prevailed in New Spain, by which it is permitted to all persons to buy and sell ores, and also to erect establishments for reducing the same, although they may not themselves be the possessors of mines, I will and ordain that both these customs be kept up and encouraged, provided that in so doing, the strictest attention be paid to the enactments of the eleven following Sections.

SECTION II. All persons are prohibited from purchasing ores, otherwise than in the outer courts of the mines, or in some public place adjoining thereto, within the view, and by the permission of the owner, administrator, or accountant of the mine, from whom such purchaser must receive a ticket, expressing the day on which the metal is purchased, its weight, quality, and price, and whether it be the property of the master, or of any person working or serying in the mine.

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