Jacobo Sedelmayr letters and reports, 1744-1751

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Jacobo Sedelmayr letters and reports, 1744-1751

AZ 437

Collection Summary

Creator: Sedelmayr, Jacobo, 1703-1779
Collection Name:Jacobo Sedelmayr letters and reports,
Inclusive Dates: 1744-1751
Physical Description:.4 linear feet
Abstract:Letters and reports, from Sedelmayr to Christóbal de Escobar y Llamas, Juan Antonio Balthassar, Philipp Segesser, and Andrés Xavier García, relating to conditions in Pimeria Alta at the missions and surrounding areas. Includes reports on explorations to the Gila and Colorado Rivers which describe the terrain and customs of the people encountered.
Collection Number:AZ 437
Repository: University of Arizona Libraries, Special Collections
University of Arizona
PO Box 210055
Tucson, AZ 85721-0055
Phone: 520-621-6423
Fax: 520-621-9733
URL: http://speccoll.library.arizona.edu/

Biographical Note

Jacobo Sedelmayr was born in Freising, Bavaria, on January 12, 1703. A Jesuit missionary, he was sent to New Spain in 1736 and was assigned to the Pimeria Alta region, at the mission at Tubutama. This region, the northernmost frontier of New Spain, now includes Arizona and the Mexican states of Sonora and Sinaloa. It was the northernmost frontier of New Spain. Here he worked to convert the native people to Christianity, to build churches, and to improve living conditions. He also undertook several expeditions to investigate lands and people to the north.

In 1751, eight missions were active in Pimeria Alta. Sedelmayr was Visitador Provincial, located at Tubutama. Also that year, a revolt of the Pimas created a major setback for the Jesuits. Sometime between 1754 and 1762, Sedelmayr was transferred to the mission of Tecoripa, in the province of Sonora. In 1764, he became professor at the College of Matape on the Yaqui River. On June 25, 1767, the Jesuits were expelled from Mexico. Sedelmayr found refuge in Spain and died at Aldea de Avila, Spain on February 12, 1779.

Scope and Content Note

Letters and reports, from Sedelmayr to various Jesuit leaders, describe conditions in Pimeria Alta at the missions and surrounding areas, discuss administrative concerns, and report on explorations along the Gila and Colorado Rivers.

The documents provide a detailed account of the land and people he encountered including Pima, Tohono O'odham, Apache, Yuman, and Seri. They also contain information on the organization and operations of the Jesuit missions in the Pimeria Alta. Correspondents are Christobal de Escobar y Llamas, Juan Antonio Balthassar, Philipp Segesser, and Andres Xavier Garcia.

Three letters and one report are contemporary holograph documents. Seven letters and two reports are photocopies of holograph documents. All are in Spanish, with some lapses into German interspersed; and are accompanied by typescript English translations or summaries.


This collection is organized into two series





It is the responsibility of the user to obtain permission to publish from the owner of the copyright (the institution, the creator of the record, the author or his/her transferees, heirs, legates, or literary executors). The user agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the Arizona Board of Regents for the University of Arizona, its officers, employees, and agents from and against all claims made by any person asserting that he or she is an owner of copyright.

Access Terms

Personal Name(s)
Balthassar, Juan Antonio, 1697-1763
Escobar y Llamas, Christóbal de, d. 1760
García, Andrés Xavier
Sedelmayr, Jacobo, 1703-1779
Segesser, Philipp, 1689-1761

Corporate Name(s)
Jesuits -- Missions -- Southwest, New -- History -- Sources

Geographic Name(s)
Pimeria Alta (Mexico and Ariz.) -- Church history -- Sources
Southwest, New -- Discovery and exploration -- Sources

Explorers -- New Spain -- History -- Sources
Missionaries -- New Spain -- History -- Sources

Genre Form(s)

Administrative Information

Credit Line

Jacobo Sedelmayr letters and reports(AZ 437). Special Collections, University of Arizona Libraries.

Container List

Series I: Holograph Letters and Report, 1744-1751
11 Letter to Father Provincial Cristobal de Escobar y Llamas, from the Mission of Tubutama, Pimeria Alta. , December 31,1744
Holograph in Spanish and Latin describing his travels in southwest Arizona and along the Gila River in October and November 1743. Includes extensive description of people encountered in the region.
12 Report of an exploration, written at Tubutama, and copied by Fr. Bartholome Saenz at Caborca. , November 16,1748
Holograph in Spanish of a 1748 exploration along the Gila River to its confluence with the Colorado River. Extensive description of the geography and the people encountered.
13 Letter to Juan Antonio Balthassar, S.J., from Tubutama. , April 1,1749
Holograph, in Spanish and German. Concerns affairs at the mission, including accounts of trips in the area, relationships with Yuma, Seri, Apache people, and proposals for further missionary work.
14 Letter to Philipp Segesser, S.J., from Tubutama. , January 8,1751
Holograph, in Spanish, relates chiefly to his opposition to the sending of missionaries to certain pueblos in Pimeria Alta. An additional note refers to proposed activities in California.
Series II: Photocopies, from John Galvin, Collector, of Letters and Reports, 1745-1751
15 Letter to Christobal de Escobar y Llamas, from Tubutama. , May 29,1745
Describes his exploration of the Gila and Colorado Rivers, his encounters with the Cocomaricopas, and his mission work in Pimeria Alta.
15 Letter to Juan Antonio Balthassar, from Tubutama. , March 22,1747
Gives information about Franciscan missionary work with the Navajo, and his own work in Pimeria Alta. Includes material about the presidios of Terrenate, San Xavier del Bac, Quevavi, and Fronteras.
15 Letter to Andres Xavier Garcia, from Tubutama. , June 15,1748
Reports on the missions and missionaries in the Pimeria Alta region.
15 Letter with no addressee, from Tubutama. , November 16,1748
Summary of his journey to native villages on the Gila and Colorado Rivers. Describes the Yumas and their land.
15 Report of his explorations of the Colorado and Gila Rivers. , November-December 1750
Describes conditions and makes recommendations for locations of missions.
15 Letter to Father Provincial Juan Antonio Balthassar, from Tubutama. , January 9,1751
Discusses his 1750 explorations, his mission plans, and his work on a History of Pimeria Alta. He suggests measures for the protection of the missions.
15 Letter to Father Provincial Juan Antonio Balthassar, from Tubutama. , January 13,1751
Relates events at San Miguel de Sonoytac and other news.
15 Report on his visitation of the missions of Pimeria Alta, from Tubutama. , May 10,1751
Describes conditions at Quevavi, San Xavier del Bac, Santa Maria Ssuanca, and San Ignacio, and makes recommendations for improvement.
15 Letter to Father Provincial Juan Antonio Balthassar, from Tubutama. , May 21,1751
Relates mission news, gives suggestions for assignment of missionaries, and discourages further exploration beyond the Colorado until natives have been pacified.