Although famous people often attract many supporters as well as many detractors, bits and pieces of truth will swirl around those people like mosquitoes or flies. Hernando Cortes, “La Malinche” (his translator and mistress) and the Aztec ruler, Montezuma, were some of the most extraordinary people who lived, suffered and died in the great unknown and uncertain time period of the New World. Hernando Cortes did write five letters to the King of Spain. I’ve read a lot of information over the years regarding this man. None of it ever mentioned that he was a liar. Therefore he provided some valuable firsthand information regarding his explorations and conquests of Mexico.
Hernando Cortes lived during a fabulous period of discovery, exploration and expansion. One of his titles was “Conqueror of Mexico”. He dedicated himself to that task with energy, recklessness, zeal and rapidity. He did not explore the Mexican lands with a calm, polite demeanor. He savagely attacked them. He did not go into this “new” world alone. He took along six hundred men and approximately twenty horses.
The Conqueror of Mexico paid a visit to Veracruz. He landed there in 1519. It was at the onset of his unpleasant adventures in Mexico. Tabasco, Mexico was another location where Hernando Cortes chose to disembark. He probably assumed that he would be successful in his efforts of controlling and conquering the indigenous people in that area. Cortes was certainly wrong. He was quickly driven out by the natives. But the Cacique of Tabasco “gave” Cortes twenty young women. One of those native women became invaluable to him in his great “exploration” of Mexico. She was “La Malinche” also known as Dona Marina. She actually encouraged Hernando Cortes to work at negotiating instead of constantly slaughtering native people. Still many were murdered.
Cholula, Mexico was the unfortunate site of one of Hernando Cortes’ visitations. It was a veritable massacre. Cortes had noticed that a trap had been set for him by the people of Cholula. They had invited him to come visit them after they’d discovered that Cortes had set up an alliance with the Tlaxcalan people. If the Tlaxcalan people had not helped Cortes, he would never have been able to conquer the Aztecs. The Aztecs had never been able to conquer the Tlaxcalan people. Hernando Cortes not only prevented these indigenous people from attacking himhe quickly subdued the unlucky people of Cholula. At the time of Cortes’ arrival in the New World, Cholula had been Mexico’s second largest city with approximately 100,000 residents.
Tenochtitlan was a flourishing city. 1521 was not an outstanding year for the famous Aztec ruler, Montezuma. Hernando Cortes successfully invaded and captured the city. This was a devastating time period for the New World. 150,000 to 300,000 people lived in that marvelous metropolis. It was one of the largest cities in the world at that time. It was gorgeous. It was orderly and clean. This great city suffered an enormous indignity. Tenochtitlan finally died on August 13, 1521.
Cuernavaca, Mexico can also be associated with Hernando Cortes. He had an estate in that city. Hernando Cortes actually explored Baja California. Depending on which source you utilize, Hernando Cortes discovered Baja California some time between 1534 and 1536. Some may claim that he “explored” the other cities I already mentioned but his true intentions regarding those famous cities had NOTHING to due with exploration. He was after wealth and with that wealth came polluted power.