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, second letter, 166–67.

The following day, as soon as it was light, we resumed our march over a very level road, which led directly to the province of Tlaxcala; a few only of the enemy followed us, although the country around was very populous, and we were still saluted with a hooting noise from the hills at some distance in our rear. On that day, which was Saturday, the 8th of July [1520], we passed out of the territory of the Mexicas, and entered that of the province of Tlaxcala, at a place called Gualipan containing three or four thousand families, where we were well received by the inhabitants, and somewhat refreshed with food and rest, although compelled to pay for the provisions they supplied us with, and they would take nothing but gold in payment, which in our great necessities we were forced to give. I remained in that town three days, during which time Masse Escase and Xicotencatl [from Tlaxcala], together with all the other nobles of that province, and some from Guazucingo, came to see and confer with us; all of whom discovered much grief at what had befallen us, and endeavored to console me, saying that they had often told me the people of Mexico were traitors, and that I should be on my guard against them, not trusting their professions; that I ought to rejoice in having escaped with life; and that they would assist me to the death in obtaining satisfaction for the wrongs we had suffered; to this course they said they were impelled by their allegiance to your Highness, but also the loss of many sons and brothers who had perished in my service, and from a sense of many other injuries that they had suffered from the same quarter in times past; and they assured me that I might rely on their proving sure and fast friends to me until death. They added, that since I had returned wounded, and all my company were worn down with toil, we should go to a city four leagues from this town, where we might obtain repose, and they would strive to cure our wounds and recover us from the effects of our fatigue and exhaustion.

I expressed myself pleased with their offer and accepted it, making them presents of some little jewels that we had saved, with which they were well satisfied; and I accompanied them to the city, where we found a good reception.