Writing the Women We Admire: The Duchess of Aveiro from Sor Juana¶s Poetry to the Missions in California, Guam

, and China
900 SAMLA 2011 Jeanne Gillespie, PhD The University of Southern Mississippi In the ³Respuesta a Sor Filotea,´ (1691) Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz mentions the Duchess of Aveiro, as one of the three contemporary women she admires. The other two are the Empress Christina Alejandra of Sweden and the Countess of Vllaumbrosa: pues en nuestros tiempos está floreciendo la gran Cristina Alejandra, Reina de Suecia, tan docta como valerosa y magnánima, y las Excelentísimas señoras Duquesa de Aveyro y Condesa de Villaumbrosa. (La respuesta) The Duchess of Aveyro, or Aveiro y Arcos, Maria Guadalupe de Lencastre, was the cousin of Sor Juana¶s friend, Maria Luisa, Countess of Paredes and wife of the Viceroy of New Spain. Sor Juana dedicated the 1689 publication of her collection Inundación castalida to the countess, and one of the romances contained in the collection was dedicated to the Duchess. Georgina Sabat de Rivers and others have written about the literary allusions and aspects of the Romance 37 as well as the Duchess¶s inclusion in the Respuesta. Monica Morales has recently published an excellent study of the transatlantic nature of this poem, highlighting Sor Juana¶s construction of America as a place* desde el cual se corrige la clasificación que lo hegemónico ha hecho con la ayuda del conocimiento producido por la exploración y la cartografía. El nuevo mundo pasa a ser un espacio desde el que se reclama un derecho epistemológico natural que ha sido usurpado.

Bernardo José (or Benart Josep) Zaragoza. María Petronila Niño Enriquez de Porres. She took the throne at the age of 16 and while several attempts to arrange a marriage for here were made. we will examine letters to and from the Duchess related to news of the various colonial enterprises and other important themes of the late seventeenth century Spanish empire. She spent much time in Rome and was close to many high ranking religious and political figures. refused to marry. Zaragoza praised the . In 1654 after 21 years as queen. Morales¶s analysis is spot on. was a patron of the Jesuit astronomer P. Zaragoza dedicated his Tratado de la Esphera en Común.Sor Juana constructs an extended metaphor in perfect baroque sensibilities that establishes the legitimacy of a voice for America. Through correspondence between the Duchess and various missionaries working from California to Guam to China. This study examines the historical context of the Duchess¶s fame and the reasons that Sor Juana may have included her in the Respuesta and in the Romance as an example of a woman on equal footing with the Jesuit administration in Spain and the colonies. like Sor Juana. including several important Jesuits. we might notice that Queen Cristina Alejandra. The Countess of Villa Umbrosa. she refused to marry. but what I am interested in is the selection of the Duchess as Sor Juana¶s European counterpart. Celeste y Terráquea (1675) to the Countess. If we begin with the three contemporaries mentioned in the Respuesta. In addition to the brief mention in the Respuesta and the Romance 37. she converted to Catholicism and abdicated her throne and dedicated herself to the pursuits of the arts and letters. celebrating her indefatigable support for the missionary enterprise. we will be able to tease out some details of this woman that might have interested Sor Juana.

Since the colonial enterprise for the Spanish crown depended upon the conversion of indigenous peoples in the lands claimed by Spain. While the Maria Guadalupe de Lencastre did marry the Spanish Duke of Arcos. The Countess de Villaumbrosa has a Jesuit devotee. we can assume Cristina Alejandra. Ferdinand Verbiest. so good news from the missions was always appreciated. Since the respuesta is staking a claim for the rights of women to seek intellectual pursuits. In addition. were devout Catholics. Her Spanish husband protested. judges. so we can also assume that she was a involved in Catholic life. This also drove the morale of the colonial aristocracy. geometry and astronomy. because of her conversion that led her to abdicate. success in missionary endeavours was imperative. she was also incredibly smart. specifically the Duchess¶s . In addition to her intellectual ability. when she received the title Duchess of Aveiro upon the death of her uncle. these three women fit well with Sor Juana¶s long list of scholars. whose company is eagerly sought for by Philosophy itself and by all Mathematical Sciences. The letters received by the Duchess from the missionaries confirm another of the principal reasons for Sor Juana¶s admiration of the Duchess. the Portuguese king would only allow her to claim the title if she returned to Portugal. the Duchess of Aveyro and. that the duchess was known for her intellectual talents as well as her generosity: he calls her ³the Most Excellent Muse of all the liberal arts.´ Like Christina Alexandra and the Countess of Villa Umbrosa (and Sor Juana). Latin in fewer than six months and mastered arithmetic. we know from the Jesuit mathematician to the Chinese Emperor.Countes for her accomplishments in learning French to perfection in four months. and other women of letters. so she legally separated from him and returned to run the affairs of the Duchy alone.

and geographical concerns of the era.. 1683 Countess de Paredes baby born/ Sacking of Veracruz Those same pirates were one of the subjects of a letter written by the wife of Viceroy Tomas de Cerda..talents in providing the strategies and financial resources necessary for establishing missions throughout the world. to her cousin the Duchess with information about the colonial enterprise. The letter drafts from the Duchess illustrate her global enterprise and her comprehensive grasp of the political. The duchess helped him have an audience with the queen and provided him with letters of introduction to the viceroy of Peru where he traveled to raise money for relief for his community in Baghdad. las novedades de por acá .ver saqueada la Veracruz unos piratas que fue gran lastima y gran desmido de los que debían guardarla el gobernador esta sentenciado a degollaría pesado no se en que parara de todo. ? Elias Ibn Hanna Al-Malawi D. helps him get to Peru We know that the duchess was involved in mission work as early as 1674 when she is credited with facilitating access to the royal court for Assyrio-Chaldean priest Elias Ibn Hanna Al-Malawi. His shipment was lost when pirates sacked the Gulf of Mexico port of Veracruz. Maria Luisa de Paredes. Tuvo la culpa de detenciar [detener] de flota pues tardo noventa y tanto días y como había noticias de que venia muchos se engañaron creyendo eran . Hanna Al-Malawi traveled throughout Peru and the Americas. eventually passing through Mexico in 1682 where he purchased a shipment of cochineal. social.

Sor Juana would have also been participating in these sorts of conversations. As a friend of the Countess. With regard to the missing Manila Galleon. This letter is intriguing because it highlights that these issues were on the minds of not only the men involved in the colonial enterprise. At the same time. but also items of conversation among women. including a mission to the Marianas Islands to help provision a budding settlement on the island of Guam: Letter from Mexico City by Guam/ Marianas missionary Baltasar de Mansilla. and also the free transport of the supplies sent to the missionaries« I am including in the present letter one by Father Eusebio Kino written from California« (Kino Writes to the Duchess 145-149) What I wanted to touch on here was the strategy for moving the goods around the globe and the frustration expressed by each of the correspondents. her dental problems. the missing/ lost the Manila galleon. I would highlight the mechanics for presenting the letter from Kino that would have been . and the missionary efforts of the Jesuits in California. several other efforts were frustrated.J. S. including the Countess¶s newborn baby. The letter treats other issues as well. which did not arrive at all in 1682.navíos de flota y no hicieran el caso que debían mi primo ha basado allá para el despacho. (1683) «the Manila Galleon has failed us this year«I have no chance to come to the aid of those missions for which I had already such abundant provisions«I express my profound gratitude for the decrees which I received through Fr. Manuel Rodriguez in order to promote in every way trade between the Philippines and the Marianas.

Kino¶s hope was for success in California and then on to China to set up missions to convert the emperor. in 1681 Kino. arrived to the Duchess at the same time.news for many in Mexico City and later in Spain. and Kino approached his study from a very traditional perspective. There was much concern that this comet was the portent of dangerous times. as well as the enclosed letter from Kino. Trained as an astronomer as well as a cartographer. dios traiga las bienes de la que viniere de California se ha tenido noticias de que entraron y parecen los indios muy dóciles habían ya fabricado una ermita de nuestra Señora de Guadalupe para ir los industriando y para decir misa los padres de la compañía. . The missionary efforts to California was one of the most important details of the time. Kino published a book on the behavior of comets after two comets appeared. which conflicted with Sigüenza y Góngora¶s more progressive scientific approach. one that everyone was talking about. We also know that sor Juana was intrigued by astronomy and that she predicted that the Earth¶s trajectory around the sun was elliptical and not circular from her own experiments with gravity and a gyroscope. one in 1681 and another (later to be known as Halley¶s Comet) appeared in 1682. It is possible that both of these letters. the Countess obliges her cousin with a few words about this and the recent good news that they had received from the Jesuits. We know that Aveiro requested 100 copies from the missionary in a letter in 1682. accompanied by a battalion under the command of Isidro de Atondo set off to settle in California. After spending time in Mexico at the court and getting to know Sigüenza y Góngora and other Mexican intellectuals and elites.

the bottom line for the duchess was the success of the missionary enterprise. so it is not a surprise that Kino would send her good news from his efforts in California: Kino letter from San Bruno. the Duchess penned a memorandum (or at least drew up a draft) about several options that would garner continued support for Padre Kino¶s efforts: California is one of the vastest regions of America«Its discovery. putting their weapons on the ground and giving us permission to continue inland by river«(Kino Writes to the Duchess 151-153) Unfortunately. because of his Majesty¶s considerable outlay of money and his need elsewhere of the soldiers«it is feared [the mission] will be ordered withdrawn«it is up to the Viceroy«that he should promote« the protection and attention of those missions by ordering the Jesuits to continue there«three or four of their missionaries«[with an] . the Atondo expedition suffered a setback when the soldiers massacred a group of Amerindians. all the natives scrambled from the highest crags in the mountains and one of their chieftains«with sixteen others come to speak with us in all peace and friendliness. through the failure to discover the riches expected. California (1683) «Best of all. we discovered infallible proof of many tribes and many souls as could be inferred from the recent traces left behind«At the first signs of us. a desired goal for many years. it suffered a severe blow by his killing some of its inhabitants.While the treatise on comets was important and interesting. was recently attempted by Isidro de Atondo. Concerned for the fate of the mission. but as no really useful and signal Enterprise is easy.

that is. and with my hear bowed to the ground«I have read your letter. translated into the language which is most useful in use and I have openly declared it to be the letter with you.J. Ferdinanad. and according to Chinese rite of veneration. with my face turned westward. (Kino Writes to the Duchess 215) 1685 Verbiest reads the Duchess¶s letter to the Emperor of China 6) Verbiest. has deigned to send me«(Classica japónica 83) 7) La mision de la China no se puede du[d]ar en ser la de maior consequencia para la iglesia en tda el Asia assi por lo dilatado de su imperio como por la exacta politica del que todos los mas reynos circumvecinos procuran imitar o emular a porfia =la necessidad de operarios evangelicos es igual a lo vasta de aquellas provincias y a las grandes disposiciones en que se hallan para recibir la fee que el emperador favorece el riesgo que los mahotmetanos se multipliquen yy los griegos seimaticos se intoduzgan por las pazes nuevamente celebradas ya entre el Sino y Moscovita * es urgentissimo para pasar a la China religiosos por . Letter (1685) I received your letter« I perused it again and again with the strongest feeling of gratitude. whose company is eagerly sought for by Philosophy itself and by all Mathematical Sciences.escort of a few soldiers. as the Most Excellent Muse of all the liberal arts. carefully picked. S.

Jeanne Gillespie. and pro-indigenous. She also supported a successful.via de Philipinas tiene embarcaços y ningun sugeito puede lograrlo sin el coste de mil pesos desde España a Manila solamente la via de Portugal padece [matores] inconvenientes porque la navegación es dificil y tarda «(Draft of letter to Jesuit Maria Francisco de Salerno in Palermo 1690 Lilly Library. colonial missionary effort.edu . Boxer Collection) *Treaty of Nerchinsk 1689 1689 C.de Paredes brings Divino Narciso to Spain« Inundación castálida The Duchess was an able administrator as well as a devoted Catholic who committed her energy and her resources to the causes in which she believed.D. Ph. entrepreneurial.gillespie@usm. University of Southern Mississippi Jeanne.

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