Page:The Story of Mexico.djvu/235

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XXI.

FRAY MARTIN DE VALENCIA.

Don Luis de Velasco, second viceroy of New Spain, made his entrance into the capital with great pomp, at the end of the year 1550. He, like his predecessor, had been selected with care by the orders of Charles V., if not from his personal knowledge, and he brought to his new position qualities as admirable. His first decree was one liberating one hundred and fifty Indians from slavery, who were working chiefly in the mines, and when the objection was raised that this industry would be paralyzed by the step, he stated that the liberty of the Indians was of more importance than all the mines in the world, and that the rents due to the crown were not of such a nature that for them must be interrupted laws human and divine.

He established in Mexico, for the security of travellers upon the highway, the tribunal of the Holy Brotherhood, instituted in Spain for the same purpose in the time of Isabella. He founded the Royal University of Mexico, and the Royal Hospital for the exclusive use of the natives. He recognized the capacity of these Indians for developing lands hitherto uncultivated, and, in fact, favored them

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