Records of the Spanish Governors of Puerto Rico
(Record Group 186)
Table of Contents
Established: With the appointment of Ponce de Leon as governor, by King Ferdinand II of Aragon, 1509.
Abolished: With the cession of Puerto Rico by Spain to the United States, specified in Article II of the Treaty of Paris, ending the Spanish-American War, signed December 10, 1898, and entered into force April 11, 1899.
Finding Aids: Preliminary Inventory in National Archives microfiche edition of preliminary inventories.
Article VIII of the Treaty of Paris, 1898, divested Spain of any rights to official records relating to Puerto Rico, and directed that such records be "carefully preserved." Accordingly, between June 1899 and March 1900, U.S. authorities in San Juan, in consultation with the Puerto Rican scholar, Cayetano Coll y Toste, sent the executive archives and library of the former Office of the Governor to the Library of Congress (LC) for the purpose of examination and disposition. The records measured 1,000 cubic feet and covered the approximate period 1750-1898. LC officials, having examined the records, retained the library materials for integration into the LC's collections, and sent all but 130 cubic feet of the archival records back to Puerto Rico. (Many of the returned archival records were destroyed in a 1926 fire that gutted the Historical Archives in San Juan.) The archival records remaining in LC custody were transferred to the National Archives in 1943. In accordance with a joint resolution of August 21, 1957 (71 Stat. 400), the archival records were transferred from the National Archives to the Archives of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, with the National Archives accessioning microfilm copies of selected portions of the records. In 1978, the LC located two additional volumes of archival records and transferred them to the National Archives. These two volumes constitute the only paper records of this record group; they are not at present available as a microfilm publication.
Language Note: All records are in Spanish.
Textual Records: Microfilm copy of royal orders and decrees (Reales ordenes, 1792-93, y reales ordenes y decretos, 1767- 1854), 1767-1854 (1 roll). Microfilm copy of the case file on the rebellion of Lares (Expediente sobre la rebelion de Lares), 1868- 69 (6 rolls). Slave schedules (Registro central de esclavos), two volumes on paper, 1872 (1 lin. ft.); and on microfilm, 1872 (8 rolls). Microfilm copy of records concerning foreigners in Puerto Rico (Extranjeros in Puerto Rico), 1872-80 (19 rolls).
Microfilm Publications: T1120, T1121, T1122, T1170.
Bibliographic note: Web version based on Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States. Compiled by Robert B. Matchette et al. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 1995.
3 volumes, 2428 pages.
This Web version is updated from time to time to include records processed since 1995.