Luis de Carabajal The Younger

Luis de Carabajal the younger (d. December 8, 1596, Mexico City), son of Doña Francisca Nuñez de Carabajal and nephew of Luis de Carabajal y Cueva, governor of Nuevo León, was the first Jewish author in America. He was a Castilian by birth, and a resident of Mexico City; he died there in an auto-da-fé in 1596. He had been "reconciled" at that city on February 24, 1590, being sentenced to perpetual imprisonment in the lunatic hospital of San Hipolito. On February 9, 1595, he was again arraigned as a "relapso," subsequently testifying against his mother and sisters (if the records are to be believed). At one of the hearings (February 25) he was shown a manuscript book beginning with the words: "In the name of the Lord of Hosts" (a translation of the Hebrew invocation, "be shem Adonay Tzevaot"), which he acknowledged as his own book, and which contained his autobiography. On February 8, 1596, he was put on the rack from 9:30 in the morning until 2 in the afternoon, and then denounced no less than 121 persons, though he afterward repudiated his confession. He threw himself out of a window to escape further torture. He and his brother Baltasar composed hymns and dirges for the Jewish fasts: one of them, a kind of "viddui" (confession of sin) in sonnet form, is given in El Libro Rojo.

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