One of the few and perhaps only biography of a Basque merchant trading in the New World. Tomás Ruiz de Apodaca was born in the small town of Manurga in the province of Alava to a family of humble means. He went to Cádiz as a youth and through personal efforts became a prosperous merchant and owner of a ship, making eleven voyages to the New World as part of his seagoing enterprises. The author provides in great detail, his voyages, commercial activities, and even small events of daily life, set against national and international events. Ruiz de Apodaca is not considered a “great personage” but his life reveals important parts of Basque history whose intrepid people ventured far and wide in their trading ventures. More importantly the biography provides great insight about his family including his sons who had successful careers in the military and in administration. One son, Juan Ruiz de Apodaca, became Viceroy of New Spain from 1816-1821. Includes one genealogy chart, a list of Alaveses in Cádiz at the end of the 17th century/beginning of the 18th century, among many other lists. Vitoria-Gasteiz, Alava, Spain, 1999 1st Ed., SPTXT 399 pgs., PB.