Segunda carta de relacion english translation
Letters from Mexico by Hernán CortésHernán Cortés’s Cartas de Relación, written over a seven-year period to Charles V of Spain, provide an extraordinary narrative account of the conquest of Mexico from the founding of the coastal town of Veracruz until Cortés’s journey to Honduras in 1525. Pagden’s English translation has been prepared from a close examination of the earliest surviving manuscript and of the first printed editions, and he also provides a new introduction offering a bold and innovative interpretation of the nature of the conquest and Cortes’s involvement in it. J. H. Elliot’s introductory essay explains Cortes’s conflicts with the Crown and with Diego Velazquez, the governor of Cuba.
“The definitive edition [of the letters] in any language. . . . The book is a ’must’ for all those who are seriously interested in this traumatic clash of civilizations and the consequences, both for good and ill, which ensued.”—C. R. Boxer, English Historical Review
“One of the most fascinating Machiavellian documents to come out of the Renaissance.”—Carlos Fuentes, Guardian
“[Pagden] provides us with two important innovations: the first reliable edition of the most important Spanish text . . . and annotations that draw on Pagden’s own profound knowledge of Mesoamerican cultures.”—Helen Nader, Sixteenth Century Journal
Hernán Cortés, "The Second Letter "
Narrative Letter by Hernán Cortés
Copyright This text is freely available provided the text is distributed with the header information provided. Since that time, from want of opportunity, and being constantly engaged in making conquests and establishing peace, having no ships, nor any intelligence from the one I had sent, or the deputies, I have not been able till now to give your Majesty a further account of our operations; from which God knows how much pain I. I have been desirous that your Highness should be informed concerning the affairs of this country, because, as I have already mentioned in my former relation, such are its extent and importance, that the possession of it would authorize your Majesty to assume anew the title of Emperor, which it is no less worthy of conferring than Germany itself, which, by the grace of God, you already possess. I shall nevertheless use my best efforts to relate the truth as nearly as possible, and to inform your Majesty of what it is important at the present juncture you should know. For, in consequence of a disaster that has recently happened, of which I shall hereafter give your Highness a full account, I have lost all my papers, including the official records of my proceedings with the inhabitants of these countries, and many other things. In my former despatch, Most Excellent Prince, I gave a list of the cities and towns that had to that time voluntarily submitted to your authority, together with those I had reduced by conquest.
This second letter was dated on 30 October The letter begins with the headline: . It began with an apology to the kings for the time he took to write; and continued with the sinking of the brigs to avoid his men regret to go with him and go back to The Spaniard; he exposed his decision to conquer the city and with this justified his expedition. He described the power, wealth and religion of the mexicas. He mentioned the meetings he had with the boss of Tlaxcala , Xicotencatl and the gold that received from the caciques and the tlatoani Moctezuma II , his impressions when knowing the political conflicts within the territory and his visit with natives of Cholula.