Zumárraga, Juan de

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Zumárraga, Juan de

Juan de Zumárraga (hwän dā thōōmä´rägä), 1468–1548, Spanish churchman, first bishop of Mexico, a Franciscan. Going to Mexico in 1528, he became prominent in governmental affairs and opposed Nuño de Guzmán and the audiencia. He was officially made protector of the indigenous peoples and exerted strenuous efforts to convert them and to end human sacrifice. In his zeal to bring Spanish civilization to them, however, he destroyed valuable native manuscripts and remains. He was important in founding the college of Santa Cruz de Tlaltelolco for the education of the indigenous people. A close friend and assistant of Viceroy Antonio de Mendoza, he helped to improve conditions in New Spain. Zumárraga was instrumental in bringing the first printing press to the New World and wrote religious manuals that were among the early products of the press.

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