Morfi, Juan Agustín de

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Franciscan chronicler; b. Asturias, Spain, exact place and date unknown; d. Mexico City, Oct. 20, 1783. He arrived in New Spain as a layman c. 1756. He made his profession in the Franciscan province of the Holy Ghost on May 3, 1761. Morfi was a great orator and noted teacher of oratory and of theology. He wrote the unpublished "Tractatus de Fide, Spe et Charitate" in 1766 and Diálogos Sobre la elocuencia (Madrid 1795). Against his will and only under obedience, he accompanied Teodoro de la Croix on his expedition to Coahuila, Texas, and New Mexico. On the trip he assembled a large amount of geographical, historical, and ethnographic information, which he included in Descripción del Presidio de San Juan Bautista del Río Grande, dated Jan. 23, 1778, but not published until 1950. Morfi elaborated on that manuscript in Viaje de Indios y Diario del Nuevo México (Mexico City 1935), which he finished about April 1778. He also wrote Memorias para la Historia de Texas and Historia de Texas, which are frequently confused by historiographers. The Memorias has been known since the end of the eighteenth century, and four manuscript copies are extant. The Historia, which Morfi did not finish, was found in the twentieth century, translated into English, and published as History of Texas 16731779 (Albuquerque 1935) by the Quivira Society. Morfi was one of the most vigorous religious writers of the eighteenth century in New Spain.

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Morfi, Juan Agustín de

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