Francisco Garcia de La Rosa Figueroa
Franciscan; b. in the latter part of the eighteenth century at Toluca, in the Archdiocese of Mexico; date of death unknown
Figueroa, FRANCISCO GARCIA DE LA ROSA, Franciscan; b. in the latter part of the eighteenth century at Toluca, in the Archdiocese of Mexico; date of death unknown. Figueroa possessed extraordinary administrative powers and for more than forty years directed the affairs of his order with singular prudence and ability, being lector emeritus of his order, prefect of studies of the college of Tlaltelulco, superior of several convents, definitor, custodian, twice provincial of the province of Santo Evangelio, and visitor to the other provinces of New Spain. He was much beloved by the people, and highly esteemed by the viceroys and bishops. On February 21, 1790, a royal order was received directing that all documents shedding light on the history of New Spain should be copied and sent to Spain, the order designating in some instances special documents which were wanted. D. Juan Vicente de Guemes Pacheco de Padilla, second Count of Revillagigedo, viceroy from 1789 to 1794, entrusted to Father Figueroa the work of selecting, arranging, and copying these manuscripts. To this task Father Figueroa brought such marvellous activity and rare judgment, both in selecting the material and the copyists, that in less than three years he turned over to the Government thirty-two folio volumes of almost a thousand pages each, in duplicate, containing copies of original documents collected from the archives of convents and from private collections, for the most part almost forgotten, and of the greatest value for the knowledge of the political and ecclesiastical history of the provinces. Such a collection contained quite inevitably some material not of the first importance; there were documents of all kinds, but the collection as a whole was one of great value. One copy, which was sent to Spain and examined by the chronicler Munoz, is preserved in the Academia de Historia; the other was kept in Mexico in the Secretaria del Virreinado, and from there was transferred to the general archives of the Palacio National, where it is still kept. The first volume of this was missing, but about 1872 a copy of it was made from that preserved in Madrid. To the original thirty-two volumes another was added, compiled years afterwards by some Franciscans, which contains a minute index of the contents of the work. Two other copies of the thirty-two volumes were found; one is in Mexico, the property of Senor Agueda, and the other in the United States in the H. H. Bancroft collection.