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Alberto Francisco Pradeau Collection 1551-1980 (bulk 1910-1979)


Overview of the Collection

Creator: Pradeau, Alberto Francisco, 1894-
Title: Alberto Francisco Pradeau Collection
Inclusive Dates: 1551-1980
Bulk Dates: 1910-1979
Quantity: 7 Boxes (7.0 Linear Feet)
Abstract:The Alberto Francisco Pradeau Collection houses correspondence, typescripts, transcriptions, translations, photocopies, photostats, and printed matter documenting Pradeau's research on colonial and nineteenth century Mexican history and currency. Although the collection extends from 1551 to 1981, the bulk of the material constitutes the products of Pradeau's research from 1910 to 1979. The collection has been arranged into eight series.
Identification: MSS-67
Language: Material in Spanish and Castilian with some English
Repository: Arizona State University Library. Chicano Research Collection
Arizona State University Library
P.O. Box 871006
Tempe, AZ 85287-1006
Phone: (480) 965-4932
Questions? Ask An Archivist!

Biographical Note

Alberto Francisco Pradeau, dentist, historian, and numismatist, was born in Guaymas, Sonora, Mexico on May 15, 1894 to French parents Albert Antoine Pradeau and Guadalupe Aviles Rochin. His father was born on January 7, 1866 in Issoudin, Indre, France and died in France on October 4, 1939. His mother was born on December 24, 1870 in Alamos, Sonora, Mexico and died in Los Angeles, California on December 18, 1935.

Pradeau received his primary education in his home town and his secondary education in Alamos, Sonora, Mexico. He migrated to the United States in 1916 and attended high schools in San Francisco and Los Angeles. He graduated from the University of Southern California College of Dentistry in 1923, specializing in oral diseases. He became a naturalized citizen of the United States in November of 1931.

Although Pradeau maintained a highly successful and lucrative dentistry office near Los Angeles, California, he spent much of his life investigating and writing the history of northern Mexico. His interest in the territory ceded to the United States by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo on February 2, 1848 began in 1908 when he read Samuel Woodworth Cozzens' The Ancient Cibola, the Marvelous Country.

Beginning in 1928, Pradeau published a number of books on the Jesuit spiritual conquest of northwestern New Spain and Mexican numismatic history from pre-Columbian days to 1950. His work on the expulsion of the Jesuits, La Expulsion de los Jesuits de Sonora, Ostimuri y Sinaloa en 1767 (published in Mexico in 1959), is the standard and most recognized work on the subject. His interest in Mexican history also resulted in the 1976 publication of his most important work, an English translation of Father Juan Nentuig's Rudo Ensayo.

Pradeau's second specialty and all-consuming hobby was numismatics. He was awarded the American Numismatic Association's Medal of Merit in 1969 for his contribution to the American Numismatic Association and to numismatics. The Medal read "There can be no separation of your name from the study of coins from our neighbor to the south, Mexico ... Your Numismatic History of Mexico, published in 1938, has been and still is recognized as a standard in the field."

At the age of 82 and recognized nationwide as the Dean of Mexican Numismatics, Pradeau was summoned to Florida in 1976 to authenticate Mel Fisher's 1971 discovery of the cargo of the sunken Spanish galleon, the Nuestra Senora de Atocha. When the Atocha sank off the Florida keys in 1622 during a fierce and violent hurricane, it was on its way from Cuba to Spain. According to the manifest found in an archive in Seville, Spain the Atocha carried 901 silver ingots, 250,000 silver coins, 161 pieces of gold bullion, an unknown quantity of contraband, and some gold and silver coins and personal belongings of some very wealthy merchants who were passengers. Pradeau later said that "[i]t was on the of the most exciting events of my life to see and test the find from the Atocha." His painstaking 10-day efforts were rewarded when the treasure was authenticated and found to be worth millions of dollars.

Pradeau was twice married: first to Mary Ann Zellars on November 16, 1937 (divorced) and second to Martha Carolina Miller on January 7, 1951. Pradeau died on July 29, 1980 in Los Angeles, California.

Scope and Content Note

The Alberto Francisco Pradeau Collection houses correspondence, typescripts, transcriptions, translations, photocopies, photostats, and printed matter documenting Pradeau's research on colonial and nineteenth century Mexican history and currency. Although the collection extends from 1551 to 1981, the bulk of the material constitutes the products of Pradeau's research from 1910 to 1979. The collection has been arranged into eight series.

Series I: Fraternal Organizations includes correspondence, pamphlets, records, and publications documenting the Alianza Hispano Americana (in which Pradeau was an active member) from 1919 to 1930. Founded in Tucson, Arizona in 1894, the Alianza was a fraternal organization that offered insurance and burial benefits to its members. Also included are rare Spanish documents and publications showing various Mexican fraternal organizations from 1862 to 1930.

Series II: History of Mexico is comprised of Pradeau's writings, personal notes, and unpublished manuscripts showing his interest in Mexican history and especially in the 17th and 18th centuries. Series III: History of the Mission System and the Jesuits in Mexico contains Pradeau's personal research in Mexican religious history. The bulk of the series houses his writings, drafts, notes, and meticulous research that resulted in major publications on themes related to the expulsion of the Jesuits from Mexico in the 1700s. Pradeau was also interested in the history and origins of the mission system that the Spaniards established throughout Mexico.

Series IV: Numismatic History of Mexico houses handwritten notes, reports, writings, and drafts of many unpublished manuscripts regarding the Mexican numismatics, including coins and the Mexican mint. Series V: Manuscripts, Drafts, Research Notes for Publications consists of Pradeau's personal research notes, which he compiled and used for many of his own publications. His notes are written in Spanish; other items are typed drafts and copies of his manuscripts.

Series VI: Personal Correspondence contains letters to and from fellow researchers, scholars, students, and colleagues in Mexican and Jesuit history and in Mexican numismatic history. The personal letters date from the 1930s to the 1970s and reveal Pradeau's national reputation and the high esteem that some who read Pradeau's work held him in. Much of the correspondence is written in Spanish.

Series VII: Research Files/Notes consists of personal files and notes taken on a wide variety of subjects that Pradeau was interested in. The majority of these notes document various periods in Mexican history. Series VIII: Personal Documents/Records includes original letters, birth certificates, tourist records, and marriage records documenting Alberto Pradeau and his family. Of particular interest is a Mexican Naturalization Certificate dated March 5, 1885 signed by Mexican President Porfiro Diaz.


This collection consists of seven boxes divided into eight series:
Series I: Fraternal Organizations
Series II: History of Mexico
Series III: History of the Mission System and the Jesuits in Mexico
Series IV: Numismatic History of Mexico
Series V: Manuscripts, Drafts, Research Notes for Publications
Series VI: Personal Correspondence
Series VII: Research Files/Notes
Series VIII: Personal Documents/Records


Access Restrictions

To view this collection, make an appointment at least five business days prior to your visit by contacting Ask an Archivist or calling (480) 965-4932. Appointments in the Distinctive Collections Wurzburger Reading Room at Hayden Library (rm. 138) on the Tempe campus are available on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Friday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Note: All library reading rooms are currently closed as part of the ASU Library's COVID-19 response. Ask an Archivist is available Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m., for reference assistance regarding collection materials.


Arizona State University does not own copyright to this collection. Distinctive Collections recognizes that it is incumbent upon the researcher to procure permission to publish information from this collection from the owner of the copyright.

Related Material

Interested researchers may also wish to consult CP SPC 121: Alberto Francisco Pradeau Photographs (guide available at

Access Terms

Personal Name(s)
Kino, Eusebio Francisco, 1644-1711.
Pradeau, Alberto Francisco, 1894-.

Corporate Name(s)
Alianza Hispano-Americana.

Geographic Name(s)
Mexico -- History -- 19th Century.
Mexico -- History -- Spanish Colony, 1540-1810.
New Spain -- History.
Sonora (Mexico : State) -- History.

Fraternal organizations -- United States.
Jesuits -- Mexico -- History -- 18th Century.
Jesuits -- Missions -- Mexico -- History.
Numismatics -- Mexico -- History.

Administrative Information

Credit Line

Alberto Francisco Pradeau Collection, MSS-67. Arizona State University Library: Chicano Research Collection.


Martha (Miller) Pradeau donated these papers to the Chicano Research Collection in 1982 and 1986 (Accession #1990-00368A and 1995-01511).

Processing Note

Folder titles used in this guide were transcribed directly from those used by Pradeau in his original file folders. Information in brackets was added by the archivist. Virtually all of the pre-twentieth century materials in this collection are photocopies, photostats, translations, or transcriptions of original documents not held by the Chicano Research Collection. Inclusive dates represent the dates of the original documents rather than the date of their reproduction.

Container List

Series I: Fraternal Organizations
11 Alianza Hispano Americana: Correspondence, 1919-1930
12 Alianza Hispano Americana: Magazines/Newspapers, 1929
13 Alianza Hispano Americana: Membership Badge, Convention Pamphlets, 1927-1931
14 Constitutions/By-Laws: Fraternal Organizations in Mexico, 1862-1930
Series II: History of Mexico
15 Notes, Newspapers, Printed Matter, 1954, Undated
16 The Mexican Eagle, 1748, 1773, 1952 (Research Notes)
17 Luciano A. Peralta Correspondence re: Mexican Revolution, 1964-1977, Undated
18 Resumen de Noticias, 1734-1777
19 Noticias de las Expediciones Que Han Hecho los Espanoles, Undated (Typescript)
110 Private Memoirs of General Victoriano Huerta, 1915 (Typescript Translation by Alberto Francisco Pradeau)
111 The Statement of Juan Alfredo Robinson, circa 1890
112 The Declaration of Juan Alfredo Robinson: Datos biograficas, Undated
113 The History of Sonora, 1843
114 Informe Sobre la Provincia de Sonora, 1734
115 La Jornada del 13 de Julio de 1854, 1907, 1939, 1945
116 Mexican Military Decorations, Undated (Research Compilation)
Series III: History of the Mission System and the Jesuits in Mexico
117 Los Jesuitas en Sonora, 1751
118A-B The Mission of Nuestra Senora de la Asuncion de Arizpe, Sonora, 1833, 1955, 1962-1979,
119A-C The Jesuits in Sonora: Biographical Sketches of the Jesuits, Undated (Research Notes Arranged Alphabetically by Name)
21 Misioneros Jesuitas en el Noroeste de Nueva Espana, 1593-1767, 1962, Undated
22 Jesuit Missions and the Missionaries in Sonora, Mexico, 164-1767, Undated (Typescript)
23 History of the Sonoran Missions, 1600-1767, Undated (Translations and Research Notes)
24 Jesuits in Sonora, 1751, 1973-1975, Undated (Correspondence and Typescript)
25 Concordia Que Hizo los Padres de la Compania de Jesus y de la Orden de San Francisco, 1650, 1972-1973, Undated (Correspondence and Typescript)
26 Correspondence/Newsclippings: Father Eusebio Francisco Kino, 1962-1975
27 The Tragedy of 1767: the Expulsion of the Jesuits, by Francis J. Fox, 1972, Undated (Correspondence and Typescript)
28 Father Eusebio Kino: His Life and Works, 1968-1971 (Publications)
29 Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, 1811, 1945, Undated (Publications, Typescripts, and Photocopies)
210A-C Coleccion Jaime Metou, S.J., Undated (Typescript)
211 Jose Rafael Rodriguez Gallardo, Gobernatdo de Sonora, 1749-1750, 1750, Undated (Research Notes and Photocopies)
212 The Pious Fund of the Californias, 1968, Undated (Typescript and Correspondence)
213 Spain and its Spiritual Conquest of Mexico, Undated (Typescript)
214 Franciscan Replies Renouncing Temporalities and Refusing to Take Oaths of Allegiance, Undated (Typescript)
215 Informe Sobre las Misiones de la Baja California, 1770 [typescript], Undated (Typescript)
216A-B La Expulsion de los Jesuitas de las Provincias do Sonora, 1767, 1954-1968 (Monograph with Correspondence)
Series IV: Numismatic History of Mexico
217 El Lic. Gutierrez Velazquez del Consejo de su Magestad, 1544, Undated (Photographic Reproduction with Notes)
218 Visitacion de la Casa de la Moneda de la Ciudad de Mexico, 1546, 1949 (Photographic Reproduction)
219 Casa de Moneda de Alamos, Undated (Typescript)
220 The Alamos Mint, 1933 (Typescript)
221 Casa Moneda de Durango, 1811-1895, 1952-1953 (Typescript)
222 Casa de Moneda de Catorce, 1863-1867, 1953 (Typescript)
223 Casa Monada de Guadalajara, 1811-1895, 1959 (Typescript)
31 Historia Numismatica de Chihuahua, 1810-1895, 1950, Undated (Typescript)
32 Casa de Moneda de Culiacan, 1842-1905, 1952-1959 (Typescript)
33 Casa de Moneda de Guanajuato, 1960 (Typescript)
34 Casa de Moneda de Hermosillo, 1933 (Typescript with Photographs)
35 Casa de Moneda de Zacatecas, Undated (Typescript)
36 Fineza de la Amonedacion Oro y Plata, 1975 (Typescript)
37 American Numismatic Society, 1938-1959 (Correspondence)
38 History of the First Coins Minted "R", 1946-1947, Undated (Typescript and Correspondence)
39A-B History of Numismatics in Mexico, 1952-1961 (Correspondence Regarding Publication)
310A-D Casa Moneda de Chihuahua, 1818-1895, 1941- (Typescripts, Correspondence, Research Notes, and Transcriptions)
311A-C The Azteca Numismatic Society Bulletin, 1963-1968, 1973-
41A-B Historia de la Casa Moneda de Mexico, 1536-1952, Undated (Typescript)
42 Sociedad Numismatica de Sonora, 1972-1979 (Correspondence)
43 Miscellaneous notes re: Mexican Mints, 1551-1865, 1977- (Correspondence, Photocopies, and Transcriptions)
44 La Casa Moneda de Guadalajara, Mexico, 1813-1815, 1821, 1970 (Typescript and Photocopy)
45 Guadelajara y su Deseada Cases de Moneda, 1571-1788, 1974, Undated (Typescript and Photocopy)
46 Bibliografia Numismatica de Mexico, 1535-1938, 1945, Undated (Correspondence, Publications, Transcriptions, and Photocopies)
47 The Arizpe Mint, 1776-1784, 1974 (Typescript and Publication)
48 The Coinage of Emiliano Zapata, 1969, Undated (Typescript and Publication)
49 Caborca: Medalla Commeroativa, 1959 (Typescript)
410 The Coinage of Sonora During the 19th Century, 1962 (Typescript)
411 Henry Mieggs Medals, 1944 (Typescript)
412 Guaymas Medal, 1854, 1954 (Typescript)
413 California Mediae of Exchange, 1500-1847, 1939 (Typescript)
414 The Liberty Cap as a Symbol, 1954 (Typescript)
415 Store-cards or Tokens of Mexico, 1955 (Typescript)
416 Fake Kino Slugs, 1968 (Typescript)
417 Coinage of San Luis Potosi, 1827-1893, 1938 (Typescript)
418 La Sentencia de Manuel Rionada, 1830, Undated (Typescript)
419 Republican Mexico Estados: Notes on Mints, 1947-1948 (Typescript)
420 Numismatic History of Sinaloa, 1846-1905, 1950, 1952 (Typescript)
421 Culiacan: Documents Pertaining to the Mint, 1858, 1940-1941 (Typescript, Correspondence, and Original Material)
422 Asociacion Numismatica de Mexico, 1948-1949 (Correspondence)
423 French Intervention: Maximilian Coinage, 1864-1867, 1949 (Typescript)
424 Paper Money of the Mexican Revolution, 1950-1954, 1963- (Typescript and Publications)
425 Manuscrito del Capitan Diego Martinez de Hurdaide, 1606, 1910 (Transcription)
426 Manuscrito de la Relacion de Saguaripa, 1540-1967, 1965-1969 (Transcriptions, Correspondence, and Typescripts)
427 A Summary of Batopilas Native Silver Mines. Their Past Record of Production and Outlook for Future Yield, 1932, Undated (Typescript and Correspondence)
Series V: Manuscripts, Drafts, Research Notes for Publications
51A-D Original Draft and Notes for Rudo Ensayo: A Description of Sonora and Arizona in 1764, by Juan Nentuig, S.J., 1947-1948, Undated
Translated and annotated by A. F. Pradeau, 1976.
52A-C Rudo Ensayo, 1976 (Typed Draft; Chapters 1-9)
53 The Province of Ostimuri, 1939, Undated
54 Father Juan Nentuig, 1764-1767, 1952,
Includes photographs and transcriptions.
55 Correspondence Regarding Father Juan Nentuig, 1947-1955, 1969
56 The Plan of Pitic, 1946, 1971-1979,
Includes correspondence.
57A-B Captain Diego Martinez de Hurdaide, 1622, Undated
58 Jose Luis Rodriguez Alconedo, 1844, 1881, 1940
59 Juan Maria Salvatierra, 1648-1717, 1957, Undated
510 Rudo Ensayo, 1970-1976, Undated
English translation by A. F. Pradeau.
511 Descripcio Geografica Natural y Curiosa de la Provincia de Sonora, 1764, 1962, Undated
512 Convite Evangelico: The Uprising of the Pimas in Sonora, 1751-1760, 1766, 1966-1972,
513 Rudo Ensayo, Undated
English translation by A. F. Pradeau.
514 Numismatic History of Mexico, 1938, Undated (With Holograph Annotations)
Series VI: Personal Correspondence
61 Paul Hoffman Correspondence, 1966-1979
62 E. Y. Lopez Correspondence, 1970-1979
63 Bert Fireman Correspondence, 1962-1971
64 A. J. Moreno Correspondence, 1977-1980
65 Jose M. Iturbide Correspondence, 1966-1978
66 Manuel Romero de Terreros Correspondence, 1937-1960
67 Fernando Pesqueira Correspondence, 1962-1963
68A-B Ramon Torres Fuentes Correspondence, 1952-1959
69 Robert Nesmith Correspondence, 1947-1952
610 Ruth M. Reinhold Correspondence, 1971-1972
611 Manuel Larraguibel Correspondence, 1933
612 Ramon A. Corral Correspondence, 1933
Series VII: Research Files/Notes
613 List of Monetary Laws of Mexico, 1940
614 Sistema Decimal: Mexico, 1857
615 Obisbos de Sonora, 1940, 1944, 1967
616 World Calendars, 1912, 1955, Undated
617 Sonora y Baja, California, 1835, 1869, 1873
618 La Invasion Filibustera, Baja, California, 1911
619 California y Sonora, 1753, 1772, 1939
620 Secretaria Guerra y Marina: el Ataque de Guaymas, 1854
621 The History of Sonora, 1865, 1919, 1941
622A-B The History of Guaymas: Personal Notes, 1767-1969, Undated
623 Sonoran Educators: Biographies, 1937, Undated
624 Isla de Tiburon: Viaje de Tomas Spence, 1844
625 Los Cristeros, Undated
626 Captain Francisco de Lucenilla, 1668, 1672, 1757
627 Santa Ana y sus Medallas, 1977, Undated
71 Noticia Brava: Expedicion Elizondo, 1767, 1771, Undated
72 Padre Augustin de Campos, 1711-1966, Undated
73 Memoria Estadistica: Estado de Occidente, 1828, 1940, Undated
74 Jose S. Schiafino, 1883, 1936
75 Alamos, Sonora, Mexico, 1828, 1948-1959,
76 Miscellaneous Articles re: A. F. Pradeau, 1938, 1960-1961,
77 Salvador Ignacio de la Pena, S.J., 1969, Undated
78 Michael Wadding: Mystic and Missionary, 1954
79 Mission San Marcelo del Sonoydag, 1958, 1963, Undated
710 El Avion Sonora, 1913
711 Father Joseph Maria Genovese, Undated
712 Comercio y Comerciantes de Guaymas, 1967-1969, Undated
713 Juan A. Mendoza, Governor of Mexico, 1760, Undated
714 The Nentuig Map of Sonora, 1964, 1967, Undated
715 Archivo Francisco y Sonora, Undated
716 Nuestra Senora de Atocha: The Spanish Wreckage of 1622, 1970, 1974-1976,
717 American Numismatic Association: Correspondence, 1928, 1935-1938
718 Santa Rita Mine, Chihuahua, Mexico, 1952-1953, Undated
719 Miscellaneous Periodicals: Mexican Numismatics, 1933-1971
720 Isla de Tiburon: Diaro de Francisco Andrade, 1844
721 Isla de Tiburon: Expedicion, 1930
722 List of Assayers, Undated
723 Counterfeiting in Mexico, 1961, Undated
724 Philippine Coinage, Undated
Series VIII: Personal Documents/Records
725A Clifford Hollcroft and Marie G. M. Rosse Marriage Certificate, 1899
725B Maria Victoria de la Concepcion Montero Pascua Birth Certificate, 1900
725C Alberto Francis Pradeau Character Reference [by Austin Sherman, Hallett Manufacturing Company], 1945
725D Alberto Pradeau Report Card, 1901
725E Letter: Manuel Guerrero to Mrs. Guadalupe A. de Pradeau re: moral character and conduct of Alberto Pradeau, 1901
725F Alberto Francisco Pradeau Tourist Certificate for Argentina, 1945
725G Pradeau Statement re: Denial of Tourist Visa by France, 1930
725H Pradeau Biographical Information/Bibliographies, Undated
726 Nicholas Charet Mexican Naturalization Record, 1885
Signed by Porfiro Diaz.