In this thoroughly researched work David M. Gitlitz traces the lives and fortunes of three clusters of sixteenth-century crypto-Jews in Mexico’s silver mining towns. Previous studies of sixteenth-century Mexican crypto-Jews focus on the merchant community centered in Mexico City, but here Gitlitz looks beyond Mexico’s major population center to explore how clandestine religious communities were established in the reales, the hinterland mining camps, and how they differed from those of the capital in their struggles to retain their Jewish identity in a world dominated economically by silver and religiously by the Catholic Church.In Living in Silverado Gitlitz paints an unusually vivid portrait of the lives of Mexico’s early settlers. Unlike traditional scholarship that has focused mainly on macro issues of the silver boom, Gitlitz closely analyzes the complex workings of the haciendas that mined and refined silver, and in doing so he provides a wonderfully detailed sense of the daily experiences of Mexico’s early secret Jews.
Subjects: Jewish StudiesHistoryLatin America
List of IllustrationsAcknowledgmentsIntroductionChapter One. Beginnings in the Raya de PortugalChapter Two. Going to MexicoChapter Three. The Castellanos’s Jewish Life in Mexico City in the 1530s and 1540sChapter Four. Tomás’s First Mine: AyotecoChapter Five. Tomás de Fonseca’s Pachuca Mine and the Mining RevolutionChapter Six. Tomás’s Mine in TlalpujahuaChapter Seven. Tomás de Fonseca ReconnectsChapter Eight. The Portuguese Come to AmericaChapter Nine. From Solitary Worship to CommunityChapter Ten. The Taxco MinersChapter Eleven. The Jewish Life of the Taxco MinersChapter Twelve. Pachuca and Manuel de Lucena’s General StoreChapter Thirteen. Lucena’s Judaizing Community in Mexico City and PachucaChapter Fourteen. Judaizing from TlalpujahuaChapter Fifteen. Destruction and SurvivalChapter Sixteen. Some ConclusionsAppendix One. Origins and ArrivalsAppendix Two. Holiday ObservancesAppendix Three. Enríquez-Lucena Holiday AttendeesBibliographyIndex