William L. Sherman has written a good book on the personal service of the Indians, a theme so important in the society of Spanish America but here limited to Central America.
Series of studies exist on this topic for the viceroyalties of New Spain and Peru but Central America, the intermediate region, has received only sporadic attention. Now it receives an impressive and more complete study, based on documents from the archives of Central America and Spain: actas de cabildo, letters, official depositions, law suits, juicios de residencia and notarial registers. Both the old and modern bibliography is cited, with some omissions.
In his volume, Professor Sherman includes all the distinct institutional forms of Indian labor. The first is Indian slavery either as the result of war or barter. This section enlarges our understanding of that topic for the entire region. Of special interest is the trade in Honduran Indians to the Antilles and those of Nicaragua to Panama and Peru. The Peruvian sources consulted are limited. In this connection, he recalls (p. 387, note 11), even though the matter does not concern Central America, the exportation of the Indians from the Province of Panuco in New Spain to the Spanish Islander of the Caribbean.