El hombre más rico de la Nueva España

En un año no muy seguro (1699 o 1700), y en un lugar no muy seguro: Aragón, España, o Bearne, Francia) nació Joseph Gouaux de Laborde Sánchez, para nosotros José de la Borda. Fue hijo de un oficial del rey Luis XIV de Francia llamado Pierre Laborde, y de una mujer de nombre Magdalena Sánchez.

Leyenda Mexicana. El hombre más rico de la Nueva españa

Don José decidió viajar a México invitado por su hermano, Francisco que le decían, para que le ayudase a trabajar en la mina llamada La Lajuela, situada cerca de Taxco, Guerrero, en un pueblo de nombre Tehuilotepec, zona fabulosamente rica en metales como la plata, el oro y el hierro. Hacia el año de 1720, don José decidió casarse con su cuñada, una joven de nombre Teresa Verdugo. El matrimonio procreó un hijo y una hija, quien murió siendo todavía una niña.

José se quiso independizar de su hermano y decidió probar fortuna en Tlalpujahua, donde fundó una mina. Poco tiempo después, en 1738, su hermano se murió y le heredó, entre otras cosas, la mina de La Lajuela, que le produjo mucho más dinero, lo cual le permitió edificar el famoso Templo de Santa Prisca, cuya construcción duró siete años y medio, y donde oficiaba su hijo Manuel. Se empleó el churrigueresco y su capilla fue totalmente decorada con azulejos de talavera. Su retablo mayor fue dedicado a la Purísima Concepción y a los santos patronos de Taxco; a saber, Santa Prisca y San Sebastián.

Como La Lajuela estaba ya bastante explotada y a punto de agotarse, don José tuvo la suerte de encontrar otra a la que llamó San Ignacio, que no duró en explotación muchos años: nueve. El buen hombre estaba casi en la quiebra, por lo cual tomó la decisión de ir a Zacatecas para trabajar en la mina La Quebradilla, lo cual no le sacó mucho de apremios, y así decidió invertir todo lo que la quedaba en  la mina La Esperanza, cuya explotación le convirtió en el hombre más rico de Zacatecas, ciudad de la cual fue nombrado regente.

Para 1776, Borda se encontraba muy envenenado por mercurio, a más de padecer otras enfermedades, por lo cual su hijo clérigo le convenció de irse a refugiar a su casa de Cuernavaca, donde él mismo residía. Dos años después don José de la Borda murió.

La fortuna de este minero alcanzó la fabulosa suma de cuarenta millones de pesos, que le convirtió en el hombre más rico del Virreinato de la Nueva España.

Sonia Iglesias y Cabrera

201 Responses to "El hombre más rico de la Nueva España"

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