Published Date

May 1, 2004

Resource Type

Primary Source

This resource was developed in 2004 as part of “The Conquest of Mexico” by Nancy Fitch.

From Hernán Cortés, Cartas y relaciones de Hernan Cortés al emperador Carlos V, third letter, 283–85.

During all this time the inhabitants of lztapalapa, Oichilobuzco, Mexicacingo, Culuacan, Mizquique and Taguaca, which, as I have mentioned, are situated on the fresh lake, had never come to desire peace with us, nor had we suffered any annoyance from them. But, the people of Chalco were loyal vassals of your Majesty, and seeing that we were fully occupied with our operations against the great city, they united with others who dwelt around the lakes, and did all the mischief in their power to the above mentioned towns on the water. These perceiving that every day we were victorious over the inhabitants of Tenochtitlan, and taking into consideration what they suffered and would suffer from our allies, resolved to come in; they arrived at our camp and begged me to pardon the past, and order the Chalconians and their neighbors not to injure them any more. I answered them that I was pleased with their coming, and had no unfriendly feelings, towards any but the inhabitants of the city; but in order to prove the sincerity of their professions, I requested them, as it was my determination not to remove my camp till by peace or war I had obtained possession of the city, and as they had many canoes that might afford me aid, that they would get ready as many as they could, with all their most warlike people, in order to come to our assistance hereafter. I also desired, as the Spaniards had only a few, mean huts, and it was now the season for heavy rains, that they would erect as many barracks as possible at the camp, and bring in their canoes bricks and timber from the houses of the city that were nearest to us. They replied that their canoes and warriors would be in readiness every day; and in building the barracks they worked with great diligence, and on both sides of the two towers of the causeway where I was encamped, they erected so many, that it was a distance of more than three or four bowshots from the first to the last.

[Cortés added that these people also brought the Spaniards fish and cherries.]