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, 277.

The combat in the city lasted two days, as I have above described; and besides these succors, the inhabitants of the city of Suchimilco, situated on the lake, and certain villages of the Utumies, (Otomites,) a mountain race, more numerous than those of Suchimilco, and slaves of the lord of Tenochtitlan, came to offer themselves as vassals of your Majesty, begging me to pardon their dilatoriness. I received them well, and was much gratified by their arrival, as they were more likely than any others to make an impression on the people of Cuyoacan.

As from the camp of the causeway where I was posted, we had by means of the brigantines burned many houses in the suburbs of the city, and no canoe dared to make its appearance in that quarter, it seemed to me that seven would be sufficient for the security of our position, and I therefore determined to send three to the alguazil mayor [Gonzalo de Sandoval], and the same number to that of Pedro de Alvarado. I gave particular instructions to the commanders of these brigantines, to run day and night from one camp to the other, some one way and some to the other, since the enemy were in the habit of visiting part of the main land in the vicinity of the two camps with their canoes, which they loaded with water, fruits, maize, and other supplies; and besides I directed them to aid the two divisions of the army stationed at those places, whenever they should seek to enter the city for the purpose of provoking hostilities. Six brigantines accordingly departed to the two camps; a necessary measure, that proved of great advantage, for every day and night they made incursions upon the enemy, and took many canoes and prisoners.