Inside My Desk

History Data Desk
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Message (13 June 2011)

[History Data Desk is no longer available on Comcast servers. It has now been switched to StartLogic servers and can only be accessed through this page. Please reset your bookmarks accordingly.

Two other historical projects of mine - The Comstock and To Rule Oneself - that used to share this space have their own websites and except for links shown below their contents have been removed from herein.

The On-Line Bibliography that was a part of History Data Desk has been retained and can be accessed at the bottom of this page, although it has not been updated for several years and will not be in the future.

Since I have officially retired from doing any more history, all history pages will be maintained but not updated. Thank you.]

Owner of the site: Richard L. Garner, PhD, retired.


Statement of Purpose: Scroll down for access to colonial Latin American datasets, including treasury accounts from cajas reales, to on-line essays analyzing mining statistics, bullion exports and commodity prices, to other publications, some can be downloaded, and to the on-line bibliography.

Data Files: Colonial Latin American datasets on commodity prices, mineral production, agricultural tithes, commercial exchange and royal finances.

Caja Page: Royal treasury accounts from more than 70 cajas in the Spanish colonial Viceroyalties of Mexico and Peru, compiled by John TePaske, Herbert Klein et al. plus the TePaske Page with access to gold and silver series compiled by Tepaske.

Publications, In Print and On-Line: PDF files of printed publications and recently completed on-line essays.

Format: Essays are written in Microsoft Word and converted to pdf files that require Acrobat Reader, and datasets are formatted in Microsoft Excel, except for Caja files, the majority of which are text ("tab delimited") files that can be converted to other programs and a few of which are Microsoft Excel files. To download click on the underlined file title.

Email address:

For more information about Richard Garner, go to

Caja Page

The cajas reales for which accounts have been published are listed below alphabetically. The location of the caja is indicated after the name in parentheses. Most of the accounts of the cajas are stored as text files. A few are Microsoft Excel. When the name of the caja is clicked, the user will see the file, which can be downloaded and saved. How the file is saved will depend on the programs available on the user's computer. The text files are "tab delimited" files, and once saved they should be transferable to a program like Microsoft Excel. Some caja accounts are small and download quickly. Others are large or very large (like the central treasuries of Mexico City and Lima) and will take some minutes.

Printed Sources

John J. TePaske en colaboración con José y Mari Luz Hernández Palomo. La Real Hacienda de Nueva España, la Real Caja de México, 1576-1816. México, D.F.: Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, SEP, Departamento de Investigaciones Históricas, Seminario de Historia Económica, 1976.

John J. TePaske, Herbert S. Klein, et al. Ingresos y egresos de la Real Hacienda de Nueva España. México, D.F.: Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, 1986.

John J. TePaske, Herbert S. Klein et al. The Royal Treasuries of the Spanish Empire in America. 4 volumes. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1982, 1990.


  • For an explanation of how the columns of the accounts are arranged, click here (PDF). Note: When the data were transferred from discs to computer text files, some of the dates did not transfer correctly. If a date appears to be incorrect, check the adjacent column to see if a digit from the date ended up in that column. For example: in the Zacatecas file, under S-842A the date should be 111603 (November, 1603) but appears as 11603 (January, 1603). The misplaced 1 is in the adjacent column, S-842A1. The printed source can be checked if the figures are in doubt.
  • For a list of cajas reales with Format Abbreviations and Symbols click here (PDF).
  • For a list of credit transactions with codes and names click here.
  • For a list of debit transactions with codes and names click here.
  • For a list of accounts by date for each caja click here (PDF).


Caja Page

[Spanish Version of Above Description]


[Deseo dar gracias Matilde Souto Mantécon, Instituto de Mora, Ciudad de México, para su ayuda con la traducción.]

Las cajas reales para cuál cuentas ha sido publicado están enlistados alfabéticamente al final del texto. La ubicación de la caja se indica después del nombre entre paréntesis. La mayor parte de las cuentas de cajas estén almacenadas como archivos de texto. Algunas de las cuentas se han almacenado como archivos de Microsoft Excel. Cuándo se hace clic en el nombre de la caja, el usuario verá un archivo, que puede ser descargado y ser guardar. El modo en el que el archive sea guardado dependerá de los programas disponibles en la computadora de usuario. Los archives de textos son los archivos conocidos como "tab delimited", y una vez que se haya salvado el archivo utilizando alguno de ellos, deberá ser transferible a un programa como Microsoft Excel. Algunas cuentas de caja son pequeñas y se descargarán rápidamente. Otros son grandes o muy grandes (como las de las tesorerías centrales de la Ciudad de México y de Lima), por lo que su descarga tomará algunos minutos. Cuanto más rápida sea la conexión del Internet major sera la descarga.

Fuentes Impresas:

John J. Te Paske en colaboración con José y Mari Luz Hernández Palomo. La Real Hacienda de Nueva España, la Real Caja de México, 1576-1816. México, D.F.: Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, SEP, Departamento de Investigaciones Históricas, Seminario de Historia Económica, 1976.

John J. TePaske, Herbert S. Klein, et al. Ingresos y egresos de la Real Hacienda de Nueva España. México, D.F.: Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, 1986.

John J. TePaske, Herbert S. Klein et al. The Royal Treasuries of the Spanish Empire in America. 4 volumes. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1982, 1990.


  • Para una explicación de cómo las columnas de las cuentas se arreglan, clic aquí (PDF). Nota: Cuándo los datos fueron transferidos de los discos a los archivos de texto de computadora, algunos de las fechas no transfirieron correctamente. Si una fecha aparece ser inexacto, verifica la columna adyacente para ver si un dígito de la fecha acabó en esa columna. Por ejemplo: en el archivo de Zacatecas, bajo S 842A, la fecha debe ser 111603 (noviembre, 1603) pero aparece como 11603 (enero, 1603). El 1 colocado mal está en la columna adyacente, S-842A1. Las fuentes impresas pueden ser consultadas si las figuras están en duda.
  • Para una lista de las cajas reales con las abreviaciones del formato y de los símbolos, haga clic aquí (PDF).
  • Para una lista de las transacciones de crédito con los códigos y nombres, haga clic aquí.
  • Para una lista de las transacciones de débito con los códigos y nombres, haga clic aquí.
  • Para una lists de las cuentas por la fecha para cada caja, haga clic aquí (PDF).


TePaske Page

Gold and Silver Registrations for the Spanish Colonial Viceroyalties and for the Colony of Brazil, 1492-1810

For several decades the late Professor John TePaske collected data on gold and silver mining in the Spanish and Portuguese colonies from 1500 to 1810. His data were mainly assembled from the treasury records, which TePaske, Herbert Klein and their collaborators began to publish 25 years ago. Since those publications TePaske continued working to refine the original gold and silver series. Before his death Professor TePaske generously permitted the posting herein of his revised gold and silver series for Spanish and Portuguese America for other scholars to use.

Users of these datasets should take note of the following:

  1. As a matter of professional courtesy when any of the data from these files are used, please acknowledge the contribution of Professor TePaske and his colleagues in an appropriate citation.
  2. Questions relating to sources, monies of account, conversions from pesos to kilograms, data estimating and correcting procedures and other technical issues are addressed in the introductions to the four published volumes of The Royal Treasuries of the Spanish Empire in America (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1982, 1990). A brief discussion of these matters with reference to how the downloadable files have been organized is given below.
  3. All the files have been formatted in Microsoft Excel. Each folder (listed below) contains several files that are identified by a Tab at the bottom of the folder. The entire folder must be downloaded. Download time will depend on the type of connection a user has. Although the files were created in Office 2007, they have been saved and uploaded as Office 2000-2003 files. I cannot advise users on the compatibility of Excel and other spreadsheets. I do not use Excel any longer, but I have had no trouble importing the data into Apple's Numbers.
  4. The downloadable files appear in three subsets: (1) decennial totals of registrations of gold and silver in pesos and kilograms for all colonies and regions in Spanish and Portuguese America; (2) annual totals for registrations of gold and silver in pesos and kilograms for most of the Spanish mining districts; (3) decennial and annual totals from mint records and printed sources.
  5. Finally, I had originally planned to use TePaske's datasets plus my own revisions and expansions to write a book on long-term mining trends in Colonial Latin America. I have abandoned that project. I am no longer active in research and publication on Latin American history. I provide these files for the use of other scholars. Since I created these files, Prof TePaske's manuscript A New World of Gold and Silver has been published by Brill Academic Publishers in the Series: The Atlantic World, 2010. I have not read the book. I urge scholars who use these pages to consult the Brill publication to check sources and to ensure accuracy.
  • Further Comments on Data and Data Files
  • List of printed sources which TePaske consulted beyond the caja accounts to create his Gold and Silver dataset.
  • Datasets:

    Click on underlined, highlighted word or phrase to download. It is not possible to download a single caja file (e.g. the file for Potosí) or a single mint file (e.g. Chile).

    • Decennial Gold & Silver Registrations (1 file): Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, New Granada, Ecuador, Peru (Lower & Upper), Chile, Río de la Plata, Brazil; in pesos & kilograms; including regional percentage share & percentage change; summaries by North & South American.

    Annual Gold & Silver Registrations by Cajas (4 files): Gold & Silver, in pesos & kilograms, percentage share & percentage change.

    • Mexico Silver (1 file): Chihuahua, San Luis Potosí, Durango, Sombrerete, Zacatecas, Guanajuato, Guadalajara, Bolaños, Pachuca, Rosario/Los Álamos, Veracruz, Zimapán & Mexico City.
    • Mexico Gold (1 file): Chihuahua, San Luis Potosí, Durango, Zacatecas, Guanajuato, Guadalajara, Pachuca, Rosario/Los Álamos, Zimapán & Mexico City.
    • Peru Silver (1 file): Potosí, Cuzco, Huancavelica, Castrovirreyna, Arequipa, Oruro, Trujillo, La Paz, Cailloma, Carangas, Chucuito, Pasco, Juaja, Arica, Huamanga, Puno & Lima.
    • Peru Gold (1 file): Cuzco, Huancavelica, Trujillo, La Paz, Potosí, Carabaya, Oruro, Chucuito, Arequipa, Arica, Puno & Lima.

    Gold & Silver Series from Mint and Other Records (2 files):

    • Silver (1 file): series (some annual but not all) based on mint and other records for Mexico, Guatemala, New Granada, Peru, Potosí & Chile.
    • Gold (1 file): series (some annual but not all) based on mint and other records for Mexico, Caribbean, Guatemala, New Granada, Peru, Brazil, Chile & Periphery.

    Data Files

    These files consist of two parts. One part is data I’ve collected from archives in Latin America, Europe and the United States. I have used these data in my own publications. I am making them available to other scholars to use in their own research. These datasets are formatted as Microsoft Excel files and should be easily downloadable. They may contain results from my own statistical analysis - correlations, regressions, etc. - but scholars may ignore those findings and analyze the data in accord with their own interests and goals. I cannot attest to absolute accuracy in copying the data from the documents and then into Microsoft Excel. I am fallible.

    I would be happy to respond to queries. It should be understood that I have retired “completely” from doing any further historical research, analysis or writing. My responses, therefore, may be slow in coming and limited. or



    Publications listed and underscored below are available for download as PDF files. Some of the essays, listed below, have written since my retirement and have not been submitted to any publishers or journals. They have not been peer-reviewed, and I have no interest ever in submitting them for such review in order for them to appeared in a printed format. I’m assuming those who read them will be able to detect where I’ve gone astray. They are fairly long essays with numerous tables and graphs and extensive footnotes. All downloads are free.

    [Artcles written since my retirement in 1996]


  • [This article, more than 100 pages long, originally was posted in 2007. I have recently revisited the article to clean up some unfinished business. This mainly concerned the formatting tables and charts of which there are 47 (Figure is used instead of table or chart). I also introduced a revised index for Potosí to include more products and prices. That changed the composite index for all seven cities. The changes in the index numbers are small but they are different from the 2007 version. In the 2013 version several tables and most of the charts were reformatted to improve clarity and accuracy. Misspellings, incorrect transcriptions and similar errors in the text and the tables and charts were also corrected. Basically the text in the 2007 and 2013 versions are almost identical. Unfortunately, for anyone who used the 2007 version the reformatting in the current version changed the pagination. I regret any inconvenience this may cause.I am certain, though, that the changes and corrections were needed and will be an improvement.]

    Price series have been assembled and published for a few dozen cities and regions in Latin America during the colonial period. The time span and product list vary from study to study. Also indices, which are computed to measure relative price changes over time, are constructed with different parameters. This study examines prices for seven cities - Zacatecas (Mexico), Lima, Arequipa, Potosí, Santiago (Chile), Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro. Since there are two price series for Lima, the total will be eight series. All the series have been organized around a common baseline - series averages. Indices have been constructed for individual products and for all selected products in each city from 1750 through the independence decade. The search is for evidence of price inflation in the decades leading up to the independence movements. The findings on inflation are mixed - from none to some - but in all cases the price indices are well-behaved prior to 1810. After 1810 the indices show much stronger inflationary pressures, although the dataset are not always as reliable. I have not tried in this study to assess the impact of inflation vis-à-vis wage rates and living standards. Most of the studies from which I have taken data do consider those issues and should be directly consulted. I have made a preliminary inquiry into the relative prices of similar products in several urban markets. The essay contains numerous tables and graphs, and the dataset from which these tables and graphs were built can be accessed by clicking on the item below.


    In 1988 I published "Long-Term Silver Mining Trends in Spanish America" in the American Historical Review, 93. Since then I have added new data to the original dataset, and this essay is the result of the analysis of the additions and revisions. This essay focuses more directly on the trends themselves and includes data on gold and silver in Spanish and Portuguese America. It also re-examines trends in supplies of mercury, a mineral that was essential to the processing of silver ore. Finally it reviews in light of new research the important circumstances that affected colonial production from the types of ores to the royal reforms. This essay may be considered as an extension of the earlier essay, and since it does not cover the same ground, it can be read in conjunction with the 1988 article. I have used three different datasets to construct the tables and charts in this essay.



    An examination of the statistical and non-statistical sources dealing with trade between the Spanish colonies and the Philippines from the late sixteenth century through the first half of the seventeenth century. An attempt is made to establish a statistical baseline, based on the official records, from to describe and measure the movement and flow of merchandise from the Philippines to the Spanish colonies and of bullion from Acapulco to Manila within the context of a cyclical mining sector and a vacillating royal policy. I have assembled and analyzed some new datasets based on the research of Engel Sluiter, John TePaske, etc., and I have tried to weigh these results against the robust projections of merchandise imports and bullion exports by Dennis Flynn. Although the portrait remains unfinished, it appears to have an ebb and flow that is somewhat different from the prevailing interpretations.

      Dataset for tables and charts that appear in "Where Did the Silver Go?". Data (Excel Format) assembled from published works of John TePaske, Engal Sluiter, Michel Morineau, Earl Hamilton, Pierre Chaunu, Richard von Glahn, William Atwell, etc.


  • "Zacatecas, 1750-1821: A Study of a Late Colonial Mexican City." (Ph. D. dissertation, University of Michigan).
  • 1972

  • "Problémes d'une ville miniére mexicaine á la fin de l'époque coloniale: prix et salaires á Zacatecas (1760-1821)," Cahiers des Amériques Latines, 6, 75-111.

    [This article was scanned more than a decade ago and may be difficult to read in the version posted. I regret the inconvenience. If the journal is not available to you, I can send you a copy of the article. Write me at the email noted below.]

  • 1974

  • With Donald C Henderson. Columbus and Related Family Papers, 1451-1902: An Inventory of the Boal Collection. University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1974.

  • 1978

  • "Reformas borbónicas y operaciones hacendarias — La real caja de Zacatecas - 1750-1821," Historia Mexicana, 27:4, 542-587.

  • 1980

  • "Silver Production and Entrepreneurial Structure in Eighteenth-Century Mexico," Jahrbuch für Geschichte von Staat, Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft Lateinamerikas, 17, 157-185.

  • 1982

  • "Exportaciones de circulante en el siglo XVIII," Historia Mexicana, 31:4, 544-598.

  • 1985

  • With William Taylor, eds., Iberian Colonies, New World Societies: Essays in Memory of Charles Gibson. State College, PA: Privately published.

  • 1985

  • "Price Trends in Eighteenth-Century Mexico," Hispanic American Historical Review, 65:2, 279-326.

  • 1987

  • "Further Consideration of 'Facts and Figments in Bourbon Mexico,'" Bulletin of Latin American Research, 6:1, 55-63.

  • 1988

  • "Long-Term Silver Mining Trends in Spanish America: A Comparative Analysis of Peru and Mexico," American Historical Review, 93:4, 889-914. [Reprinted in Peter Bakewell, ed., Mines of Silver and Gold in the Americas. Vol. 19 of A. J. R. Russell-Wood, ed., An Expanding World. The European Impact on World History, 1450-1800. 30 vols. Brookfield, VT: Ashgate, 1997.]

  • 1990

  • "Prices and Wages in Eighteenth-Century Mexico," in Lyman Johnson and Enrique Tandeter, eds., Essays on the Price History of Eighteenth-Century Latin America. Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press, 73-108.

  • 1993

  • With Spiro Stefanou. Economic Growth and Change in Bourbon Mexico. Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida.

  • 1995

  • With Virginia García Acosta. "En torno al debate sobre la inflación en México durante el siglo XVIII," in Jorge Silva Riquer, Juan Grosso and Carmen Yuste, eds., Circuitos mercantiles y mercados en Latinoamérica. Siglos XVIII-XIX. Mexico: Instituto de Investigaciones Dr. José María Luis Mora, 161-178.

  • 1997

  • "An Exchange on the Eighteenth-Century Mexican Economy," The Americas, 54:1, 109-123.

  • "Mining: Colonial" in Michael Werner, ed., Encyclopedia of Mexico, History, Society & Culture. 2 vols. Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, 2: 914-917.

  • "Prices and the Economic History of Colonial Mexico," in Alain Musset and Thomas Calvo, eds., Des Indes occidentales á l'Amérique latine: à Jean-Pierre Berthe. 2 vols. Fontenay-aux-Roses (France): ENS Éditions Fontenay/Saint-Cloud, 439-452. Series: Sociétés, Espaces, Temps.


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