Chapter Seven

Cortés Founder of Nueva España (New Spain)

 Once again, our thanks to the many sources available on the Internet

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For most people who only casually understand the Spanish colonization of the Americas, the name Hernándo Cortés de Monroy y Pizarro (1485 C.E.-1547 C.E.) is a familiar one.  To be sure, he has both admirers and detractors.  That being said, he remains an important part of the history of the Spanish Nuevo Mundo (New World).  Thus, he’s included in this family history of the de Riberas.  

His treatment by historians is an object lesson for those of us who have learned how biased non-Spanish historians and commentators are when presenting entrants to the Spanish Nuevo Mundo as one dimensional cardboard cut outs.  

In all fairness, Cortés was more than a “Conquistador.”  He was a law student at the University of Salamanca, a notary in Sevilla, and a New World settler on the Island of Hispaniola.  At the age of twenty-six, he served as clerk to the treasurer of Cuba where he kept account of the King's fifth (The Quinto Real or the Quinto del rey, the "King's fifth", the 20% tax established in 1504 C.E. that Spain levied on the mining of precious metals.).  He was also the mayor of the capital of Cuba. He did all of this before he entered Méjico to engage upon his fantastic journey into history.

Instead of exploring the entire life experience of the man, these historians and commentators offer an image of “Cortés the Conqueror,” and that of his men as only having a limited mission in life.  That mission was presumably to be bloodthirsty killers of innocents (Nobel Savages) in order to relieve them of their riches (Gold and more gold) and to force Christian conversion upon those remaining.  

Comments:  

As my progenitors, the de Riberas, were Españoles (Spanish) and settled North America’s Nuevo Méjico (New Mexico) by 1599, it is left to me to defend the long dead.  Often times it isn’t the content of what one says.  It just may be simply what one doesn’t say, or how one says what they say.  Given the obvious bias of these historians and commentators against the Spanish who settled the Nuevo Mundo, I feel duty bound to protect the good name and character of these Spanish families.  Remember, their entry into Nuevo Méjico was only some eighty years (Two generations) after Cortés entered Méjico.  These men and women of the Spanish Empire held many of the same world views as their predecessors, those for which they’ve been disparaged.  

While preparing for this family history, I assessed Spanish New World historical material published earlier by British, Northern European, Anglo-Saxon Americans, and Indigenous with regard to the Spanish, their empire, and the methods used in the conquest and settlement of South, Central, and North America.  As a result, I felt it necessary to offer some objectivity on the matter of the Españoles, their culture, and settlement practices.  And yes, there were several De Riberas with Cortés.  These were Juan Martin Ribera, Pedro, Ribera (Rivera), Diego de Ribera, Alvarado de Ribera (Rivera), Juan de Ribera.  

One of these was Lieutenant Juan de Ribera (Rivera).  He was from Badajoz, the capital of the Province of Badajoz in the autonomous community of Extremadura, Spain.  It is situated close to the Portuguese border, on the left bank of the river Guadiana.  De Ribera went to Méjico from Cuba with Narvaez in 1520 C.E.  Cortés, anxious to inform and to impress Charles V, sent his Juan de Ribera in 1522 C.E. to deliver samples of Aztec objets d'art and treasure to the royal court.  Ribera also carried maps of Mexica origin.  For a period of time he lived in Coyoacán and Veracruz.  As did many, de Ribera traveled back and forth to Spain, finally leaving Méjico for Spain in 1529 C.E., where he died.  

At best, I found non-Spanish historians to be prejudiced on the matter of Spanish colonization of the Americas.  To be precise, we Americans think nothing of the removal of tyrants, nation building, and the placement of our cultural stamp of democracy and free market economics upon those that we deem Americanization able (My new phrase).  Yet, non-Spanish historians and commentators look askance at what the Spanish Monarchy did in a world without the benefit of modern-day democracy, participatory citizenship, and capitalism.  What arrogance these historians exhibit looking back decades or centuries later, into the murky past.  They offer judgments on the actions and activities of Spanish men and women through the lens and prejudices of modern, present-day laws, standards, ethics, morals, etc.  This is as if to say that these men and women should have known better.  Really!  

At worst these historians, willingly or unwillingly, could be viewed as playing the part of intelligence operatives for their respective non-Spanish governments.  For those historians who do not understand what an Intelligence Operative is, he/she carries out various intelligence-gathering activities such as casing targets, testing security, or denial and deception.  It would appear that these historians were guilty of political spinning and created images of the Spaniards and their empire as religious fanatics bent upon dominating and subjugating the “Noble Savage” of the New World in order to steal away with their wealth.  To better inform those who follow in their footsteps, I’ve provided an explanation of those activities in which they engaged.  

In public relations, the “Spin” is a form of propaganda.  It is achieved through providing a biased interpretation of an event, such as those of Spanish conquest of the New World.  It is also the campaigning to persuade public opinion (Publications, film, other) in favor or against some organization (Non-Spanish governments vs. Spain) or public figure (Cortés).  It is accepted that traditional public relations relies on creative presentation of the facts, the "Spin."  It may also imply the use of disingenuous, deceptive, and highly manipulative tactics (The Black Legend, etc.).  This has been the case with non-Spanish historians and commentators (Intelligence Operatives) for hundreds of years.  

This they’ve done over generations, seeking to play up Spanish cruelty and greed and play down the rapacious appetite for land and gold of their own nations.  They appear to have conveniently forgotten that their own nations aggressively coveted and greedily grasped the lands of those same “Noble Savages.”  The term "rapacious landlords" comes to mind when one thinks of British colonial policy in North America.  

Putting those issues aside, we must first broaden the themes of the conquest and greed in the New World to include the other “guilty” European nations.  As outlined in earlier chapters of this family history, Northern European nations are guilty of historical covering-over.  One such case is that of anti-Semitism.  These have down played their anti-Semitic behavior, actions, activities, and practices and played up those anti-Semitic actions of the Spaniards.  What an effective and efficient smoke screen.  Here we find the same processes being employed by the Northern European nations in regard to their activities against the Indigenous of the New World.  

Before beginning to reviewing Cortés and the Spanish conquest and colonization of the Americas, it’s necessary to place the conquest and colonization methods of the other European powers in their proper light.   

Estimated population figures for Indigenous peoples of the Americas before the 1492 C.E. voyage of Christopher Columbus are difficult to establish.  Scholars have relied on written records from governments and their colonists and archaeological data.  Most scholars of the end of the 19th Century C.E. estimated the pre-Columbian population to be at approximately 10 million.  However, by the end of the 20th Century C.E., the consensus had shifted to about 50 million.  Others argued that the population was in excess of 100 million.  

Here we shall focus on the land area defined as the 48 contiguous states of America, where my progenitors, the de Ribera, settled around 1599 C.E.  It is suggested that prior to the arrival of Columbus this indigenous population numbered in excess of 12 million.  Some suggest that four centuries later, it had been reduced to 237 thousand or by 95%.  This area of land (contiguous 48 states) was by and large dominated and exploited by the Anglo-American powers, not Spain.  Who then is responsible for the deaths of 95% of that Indigenous population? 

To be fair, Europeans unknowingly introduced diseases into North America which accounted for the vast majority of Indigenous deaths.  Each brought destruction via sweeping epidemics which involved illness and death.  Many Indigenous tribes experienced great depopulation, some suggesting they averaged 25-50 percent of tribal members lost to disease.  In addition, some of the smaller tribes neared extinction after facing the spread of these diseases.  These included measles, scarlet fever, typhoid, typhus, influenza, pertussis (whooping cough), tuberculosis, cholera, diphtheria, chickenpox and sexually transmitted diseases.  

Non-Spanish European colonization of North America took on its own methods and policies.  John Willard Toland, the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian writes in his book Adolph Hitler, “Hitler’s concept of concentration camps as well as the practicality of genocide owed much, so he claimed, to his studies of English and United States history.  He admired the camps for Boer prisoners in South Africa and for the Indians in the Wild West; and often praised to his inner circle the efficiency of America’s extermination – by starvation and uneven combat – of the red savages who could not be tamed by captivity.”  I leave interpretation of Hitler’s comments and intentions for the reader to determine.  

The North American Indigenous found that they were the proud inheritors of the British Plantation Policy toward Ireland made to work for the Americas.  The plantations in 16th and 17th Century C.E. Ireland were the result of Irish land confiscation by the English Crown.  The Crown then encouraged and assisted in the colonization of these lands by settlers from England, as they would do later in the Americas.  The traditional counties of Ireland were subjected to the plantations system from 1556 C.E. through 1620 C.E.  This allowed the English the time necessary to refine their methods of conquest,  control, and displacement of their new wards.  It is probable that Ireland lost over a million souls during this process.  

Throughout the country of Ireland plantations of 16th Century C.E. were established.  This was done through the confiscation of lands long occupied by Gaelic clans and Hiberno-Norman dynasties.  These plantations tended to be based on small "exemplary" colonies.  The English Crown granted these Irish lands to "planters" (colonists) from England.  The process began during the reign of Henry VIII (1509 C.E.-1547 C.E.) and continued under Mary I (1516 C.E.-1558 C.E.) and Elizabeth I (r.1558 C.E.-1603 C.E.).  The process was accelerated by granting land to Scottish planters under James I (1566 C.E.-1625 C.E.), Charles I (1625 C.E.-1649 C.E.) and Oliver Cromwell (1599 C.E.-1658 C.E.).  In short, these later plantations were based on mass confiscations of land from Irish landowners.  It succeeded via the subsequent importation of numerous settlers and laborers from England and Wales, and later from Scotland.  

The plantation approach for the British Americas was well-crafted, effectively planned, efficiently implemented, and tailor made to provide for the final Indigenous (Indian) solution.  I call it the British-American Pagan/Racial Plantation Solution.  The official approach of the English Crown was followed by the “turn a blind eye” solution.  What their English subjects did to the Indian was forgiven or forgotten.  

We will first begin with the British policy of “Dispossession.”  Here we find the colonists initially bartering for Indigenous lands.  They claimed that they could make the region more profitable.  When the Indigenous refused to sell, the colonists resorted to dispossessing lands by simply claiming the land, moving onto it, and refusing to leave. 

Next we have British Removal Policy.  The colonists reasoned that because they could use the land more profitably than tribal nations.  Therefore, the Indigenous would have to remove themselves from their ancestral lands and relocate beyond the boundaries of colonial settlement.  In the event that the Indigenous refused to relocate, colonists threatened that they would be forcibly removed.  Which the English subsequently did!   

Thirdly, we will entertain the Policy of Assimilation.  While the colonists preferred that Indigenous people remove themselves from their settlements, they were also reluctantly willing to accept some Indigenous presence within the colonies.  This was, however, with the caveat that they assimilated into their society, accept Christianity, and adopt British culture and traditions.   These activities speak volumes for British openness, racial, religious, and cultural tolerance.  

Finally, we must deal with the policy of Elimination.  If the Indigenous refused to leave their lands, accept assimilate, and accept colonial governance the colonists had the right to wage a "just war" upon them.  Here are a few examples:

 

17th Century C.E.  

Powhatan Confederacy-1622 C.E.-1644 C.E.  

Virginia-Following an initial period of peaceful relations, a 12-year conflict left many natives and colonists dead, but the remaining colonists were victorious.  

Pequot War-1637 C.E.  

Connecticut and Rhode Island-The death of a colonist eventually led to the immolation of 600-700 natives.  Those that remained were sold into slavery in Bermuda.  

King Philip's War 1675 C.E.-1678 C.E.

Massachusetts and Rhode Island, Philip's attempt to drive out the settlers, beginning at Swansea, Massachusetts, led to slaughter on both sides and his own death.

 

18th Century C.E.  

Tuscarora War-1711 C.E.  

Northern Carolina-The Tuscarora under Chief Hancock attacked several settlements, killing settlers and destroying farms.  In 1713 C.E., James Moore and Yamasee warriors defeated the raiders.  

Yamasee War-1715 C.E.-1718 C.E.  

Southern Carolina, An Indian confederation led by the Yamasee came close to exterminating white settlement in their region.  

Pontiac’s Conspiracy-1763 C.E.  

Ohio River Valley, Warrior chief Pontiac and a large alliance drove out the British at every post except Detroit. After besieging the fort for five months, they withdrew to find food for the winter.  

Lord Dunsmore’s War-1774 C.E.  

Southern Ohio River Valley, Alarmed tribes raided a wave of traders and settlers. Dunmore, governor of Virginia, sent in 3,000 soldiers and defeated 1,000 natives.  

As provided above, one can see the extent to which the British went to ensure their total control and confiscation of the lands of their Nobel Savage vassals.  As the reader moves forward into this chapter, it will become apparent that British responsibility for the killing of tens of millions of Indigenous hardly qualifies them as arbiters of morality and ethics of the Spanish.

 

Now, we will return to Cortés.  

It was during this period, that Cortés and the other Spanish explorers, conquerors, colonizers, and settlers came from all regions of Spain.  Each region would contribute men and arms to follow the cause of Columbus to the New World.  However, it is the province of Estremadura that is often called the “Cradle of the Conquistadors,” from which came both Hernán Cortés de Monroy y Pizarro and Francisco Pizarro.  And it was from that province they recruited their best men.  

Today, this region looks much as it did five hundred years ago.  A stark landscape with a high inland plateau and wide vistas, one finds small villages perched on rocky outcroppings of the hills.  In that land ancient castles and broken fortresses dot a harsh landscape.  

We know Hernán Cortés was a religious man, a man with virtues, spiritual, and had theological education.  But, what were his religious beliefs.  Some have suggested that he may have been of Sephardic Jewish origin.  Cortéz or Cortés was originally a Jewish Family name.  During the Spanish inquisition when the many were forced to become Christians, the Jewish families to protect their heritage added the suffix "ez" for "eres Zion" meaning "you are of Zion" to remind the descendants that they were from the House of Israel.  When Cortés, the famous Conquistador of Méjico, entered the military he may have changed the spelling of his name hiding his heritage.  The suggestion may also be due to the fact that he had many Conversos with him during and after his expedition to Méjico and that he treated them well.  

He first married first to Catalina Xuares, from which there were no children.  After her death, Cortés married Doña Juana de Zuñiga, niece of the Duke of Bejar in 1529 C.E.  From this union there were several children, sons and daughters.  1. Luis - died a child in 1530 C.E. in Texcoco, 2. Catalina - died a short time after birth in 1531 C.E.-1533 C.E.  Martin - 2nd Marquis of the Valley of Oaxaca, born in Cuernavaca in 1532 C.E.-1534 C.E. Maria - married Don Luis de Quinones, Count of Luna, 5. Catalina - died unmarried in Sevilla after the funeral of her father, 6. Juana - married the duke Don Fernando Enriquez de Ribera and was given the title duchess of Alcala and Marquesa of Tarifa.  They had 3 daughters born in Cuernavaca between 1533 C.E.-1536 C.E.  

Natural children of Don Hernándo Cortés: 1. Martin - son of Dona Marina (Malinche), 2. Luis - son of Doña Antonia Hermosillo, 3. Doña Catalina Pizarro - daughter of Leonor Pizarro, 4. Doña Leonor - oldest legitimate daughter of Montezuma, Emperor of Méjico, 5. Doña Maria - daughter of a Mexica (Aztec) princess.  She was of the Mexica or Mexicas people.  They were an indigenous people of the Valley of Méjico, the rulers of the Aztec empire.  The Mexica were a Nahua people that founded their two cities Tenochtitlán and Tlatelolco on raised islets in Lake Texcoco around 1200 C.E.  

Both Cortés and Pizarro had incredible courage.  Each was a colorful explorer, adventurer, soldier of fortune, and ambitious for advancement.  This I see as a far cry from the traits found in those historians that are defenders of British Imperialism, arm chair experts of everything, and of a lesser kind of courage and distinction.  One can only guess how these would have fared under the conditions experienced by Cortés and Pizarro.  

The stories of the conquest of Méjico and Peru by these two men dominate Spanish lore.  However, it is Hernán Cortés Captain-General, that born leader of men, who stands above and beyond Pizarro.  To his misfortune, Pizarro's treachery and crudeness have always followed him and taint even his greatest victories.  It was with such leaders that the self-confidence Spaniards advanced using Old World military strategy against what might seem like impossible odds.  However, before we proceed, one must remember the enormity and complexity of their exploration and final conquests.  

From a 21st Century C.E. vantage point traveling to distant lands is an easy task.  Today, jets, sea craft of many kinds, all terrain vehicles, communications technology, powerful weapons, and modern conveniences are the norm.  The Spaniards went it alone in strange and unfamiliar lands without the aforementioned.  These men and women had very little with which to overcome their circumstances other than sheer force of will and tenacity.  They had no logistical or technical support.  They carried what was needed with them and relied upon themselves for technical fixes.  There were no avenues for guidance.  

Lesser men would have given in to fear early on and despaired.  Surely greed can do many things, but even the love of treasure has its limits.  These men and women must have been driven by more that greed.  Very little of this is accentuated as it should be in the writings of the non-Spanish historians.  If these admirable qualities are commented upon in regards to the Spanish, it’s as an aside.  For these historians, positive attributes appear to only apply to Anglo-Saxon or other Norther European trail blazers.  

In 1485 C.E., Martin Cortés de Monroy and Dona Catalina Pizarro Altamarino, a distant cousin of the Pizarro's, gave birth to their son, Hernán.  He was born at the small Spanish town of Medellín, España (Spain).  The Cortés de Monroy family was of minor nobility with little means.  

Notes:  

In all nations, the distinction between that of major nobility and minor nobility was not always a sharp one.  Nobility descended from the first person of a family who was raised to the nobility (or recognized as belonging to the hereditary nobility) then to all their legitimate descendants, male and female, in the male line.  Thus, most persons who are legally noble hold no noble title.  

To make a point, generally the precedence of the ranks of a Baronet or a Knight is accepted for where this distinction exists for most nations.  The rank of Baronet (ranking above a Knight) is taken as the highest rank among the minor nobility or gentry.  The Cortés de Monroy family must have fallen into this category of gentry as a condition of rank.  The title of Baronet is a hereditary title ranking below Baron, but above Knight.  As this title is granted only in the British Isles and does not confer nobility, it is only used to make the point of demarcation between major nobility and minor nobility.  

The meaning of the rank of a minor Portuguese and Spanish aristocrat is taken respectively from filho d'algo, literally son of wealth, mediaeval Galician-Portuguese "algo" = wealth, riches, fortune, nowadays "algo" = something) Fidalgo or Hidalgo.

The ordinary Spanish nobility is divided into six ranks.  From highest to lowest, these are: Duque (Duke), Marqués (Marquis), Conde (Count), Vizconde (Viscount), Barón (Baron), and Señor (Lord) (as well as the feminine forms of these titles).  

The title of Señor is, together with that of Conde, the oldest in seniority of the Spanish realms.  Many of these lordships are among the oldest titles of nobility in Spain, and the Señor usually exercised military and administrative powers over the lordship.  Although some lordships were created by the kings of Spain, others existed before them and have not been created by any known king.  

Hidalgos, such as Cortés’ family, were a member of the minor nobility in Spain.  The term Hidalgo is taken from Spanish, from Old Spanish fijo dalgo nobleman.  In some cases, these were exempted from taxation.  The hidalguía has its origins in fighting men of the Reconquista.  

By the 10th Century C.E., the term infanzón appeared in Asturian-Leónese documents as a synonym for the Spanish and Medieval Latin terms caballero and miles (both, "Knight").  These infanzones were members of the middle and petty nobility in Castilla and Aragón from the 10th C.E.-15th Century C.E.  These were vassals of the great magnates and prelates and managed their estates for them as petty nobility.  In these first centuries it was still possible to become a “miles” (The medieval knight was called miles in Latin.  In classical Latin it meant "soldier", normally infantry.).  One simply had to have the ability to and afford the costs of, and provide, mounted military service.  

Cortés and many of the other entrants into the New World were of this redundant nobility.  When he and the others left for Hispaniola in 1503 C.E., it had only been eleven years since the fall of the last Moorish stronghold, Granada.  Spain was still an armed Christian camp of young warriors in waiting.  They sought any opportunity for glory on a battlefield.  With fewer opportunities for advancement and little wealth at their disposal, their move out of and away from Spain was inevitable.

 

Cortés’ biographer and friend, Francisco López de Gómara, described him as being a sickly child, hardly the metal that heroes are forged from.  By the age of fourteen, he was sent to study at the University of Salamanca.  For its time, it was considered a great center of learning in Spain.  Accounts do vary as to the nature of Cortés' studies.  However, his later writings and actions suggest that he studied law and probably Latin.  To the annoyance of his parents, after two years, he left his schooling and returned home to Medellín.  These had hoped to see him prepared for a profitable career at law.  Despite his leaving his studies, it is believed that those two years at Salamanca did have a profound effect on his life.  

As would be expected, when the young sixteen-year old boy returned home to his small provincial town, he became frustrated and bored with life.  Gómara also described Cortés as restless, haughty, and mischievous.  These attributes probably served him well in his role of Conqueror.  

Later, his long period of training and experience as a notary in Sevilla, Spain and in Hispaniola gave him a fine grasp of the legal codes of Castille.  This knowledge was to assist him greatly in justifying the unauthorized conquest of New Spain (Today’ Méjico).  

Soon, the young adventurous man made plans in 1502 C.E., to sail for the Americas with a family acquaintance, Ovando, the newly appointed governor of Hispaniola.  Fray Nicolás de Ovando y Cáceres (Brozas, Extremadura, 1460 C.E.-Madrid, May 29, 1511 C.E.) was born into a noble and pious family.  He was the second son of Diego Fernández de Cáceres y Ovando, 1st Lord of the Manor House del Alcázar Viejo, and his first wife Isabel Flores de las Varillas (a distant relative of Hernán Cortés).  Ovando entered the military Order of Alcántara, where he became a Master (Mestre or Maitre) or a Commander-Major (Comendador-Mayor).  He became a Spanish soldier and later, Governor of the Indies (Hispaniola) from 1502 C.E.-1509 C.E.  

But as fate would have it, an injury prevented Cortés from making the journey.  Instead, Hernán spent the next year wandering the country, probably spending most of his time in the heady atmosphere of Spain's southern ports.  There he must have listened to the tales told by those returning from the Indies, telling of magical discoveries, conquest, great storerooms of gold, wildly fierce Indians, and strange exotic unknown lands.  

By 1503 C.E., the eighteen year old, Cortés finally sailed in a convoy of merchant ships bound for Santo Domingo, the capital of Hispaniola.  Upon his arrival, he registered as a citizen entitling him to a building plot and land for cultivation.  Once settled in his new land, his friend Ovando, the governor, presented him a repartimiento of Indians and made him a notary of the town of Azuza.  The Repartimiento or Colonial forced labor was imposed upon the indigenous population of Spanish America.  Conceptually it was similar to tribute-labor systems, such as the mita of the Inca Empire or the Corvée of Ancien Régime France.  To be clear, this was not a Spanish invention for the New World, but instead used regularly elsewhere.  Natives were forced to do low-paid or unpaid labor for a certain number of weeks or months each year on Spanish-owned farms, mines, workshops or Obrajes, and public projects.  Cortés' next five years would see him established in the colony.  

Notes:  

To clarify for non-Spanish historians and commentators, Cortés became a settler.  A settler is a person who settles in an area, typically one with no or few previous inhabitants.  Synonyms include colonist, colonizer, frontiersman, frontierswoman, pioneer, immigrant, newcomer homesteader.  Here I must stress that American, Anglo-Saxon, and Northern European historians and commentators appear bent upon viewing him solely as a conquistador, conqueror.  This has served many aims for those who wish to promote an anti-Spanish agenda.  As the reader will doubtlessly become aware, Spain fought many wars and had many, many detractors and/or outright enemies.  Among these were England, France, the Netherlands, and the United States, among others.  

In 1511 C.E., Cortés was sent with Diego Velázquez and three hundred men to conquer Cuba.  He would later serve as clerk to the treasurer keeping account of the King's fifth at the age of twenty-six.  While in Cuba, Cortés would become a man of substance with a repartimiento of Indians, mines, and cattle.  As a man of means, Cortés would become related to Governor Velázquez by a marriage to his sister-in-law, Catalina.  

Later, two voyages of New World discovery were funded by Governor Velázquez.  One took place in 1517 C.E., and the second in the early part of 1518 C.E.  The Córdoba Expedition to the Yucatán Peninsula from the western end of Cuba brought back gold, idols, and tales of large cities with sophisticated Indigenous populations.  This was enough to suggest that in the Yucatán lay the wealth the Spaniards had been hoping for since the days of Columbus.  

Velázquez immediately outfitted and dispatched another expedition.  Under the command of Juan de Grijalva, the Spaniards first discovered the island of Cozumel and then sailed up the Gulf Coast of Méjico.  The expedition went almost as far as the modern port of Veracruz but returned to Cuba.  It was Grijalva that opened the door to Méjico, but it was to be Cortés who walked through it and claimed the prize.  

After almost fifteen years in the Indies, Cortés began to look beyond his substantial status as mayor of the capital of Cuba.  By then, he was a man of position, wealth, and power in a thriving colony.  It would appear that this powerful position allowed him many opportunities.  Now experienced in politics, law, and with considerable financial resources he could take advantage of whatever opportunities might come his way.  And toward the end of 1518 C.E., a great opportunity finally presented itself.  

Before we proceed further, we should provide a broader context from which to gain a better vantage point of the Spanish entry into Méjico, actions taken there, and how other European nations conducted themselves in the New World.  

Comments:  

Here I’m forced to contextualize the situation for the non-Spanish historians and commentators before entering further into Spain’s efforts in the New World of the Americas.  I do this in order to offer some fairness to the Spanish.  To clarify for the non-Spanish historians an enemy (England, France, The Netherlands, and others vs. Spain) is one who is actively opposed or hostile to someone or something.  Synonyms include opponent, adversary, foe, archenemy, rival, antagonist, combatant, challenger, competitor, the opposition, the competition, the other side, the opposing side.  This aptly describes the other European monarchies.  Each of the aforementioned had much to gain.  Spain would soon have huge amounts of gold and silver from its New World colonies.  This in turn would make it the first European superpower of its time.  These enemy nations wanted its gold, silver, and to become superpowers to be reckoned with.  

The second determinant was the all powerful issue of religion.  Most of her enemies were Protestants with its beginning in 1517 C.E. or Protestants in making.  These viewed the Spanish Catholics as heretics and the embodiment of antichrist religious practices which emanated from Roman Catholicism.  This alone forever made them determined enemies.  

The third impediment to civility between the parties was land.  Spain held it all over the globe and the others wanted it.  The non-Spanish, Old World saw an immediate and urgent need to expand its ownership of the New World.  Their roadblock was Spain.  That blockage had to be removed by any means necessary.  What was lacking was a pretext.  Here we must offer our non-Spanish historian friends a better understanding of how.  Obviously there was a need for cover stories.  These are reasons given for the justification of necessary actions against Spain.  These justifications promulgated by non-Spanish historians and commentators hid the real reasons, greed and more greed.  Justifications included a war of lies (Bloodthirsty conquest, The Black Legend - oppression of helpless Indians, etc.).  There were also the wars of justification to protect Protestant religious freedom.  

Fourthly, Spain’s enemies practiced outright theft of Spanish cargo ships (Spanish Galleys) and wealth (Precious metals and gems) shipped to Spain.  They also attacked Spanish New World cities and towns using pirates, or privateers if you like.  Of importance was the distinction between a pirate and privateer which has been historically subjective.  It has often depended on the source (Governments) as to which label was correct in a particular circumstance (England vs. Spain). A privateer, corsair, or buccaneer was a private person or ship authorized by a government by letters of marque.  A government issued a license (marque) authorizing a person, known as a privateer, to attack and capture enemy vessels.  They then brought them before admiralty courts of their nation for condemnation and sale.  This was usually done against foreign vessels during wartime, not as an expedient way to steal from their neighbors in peacetime.  In short, privateering was a covert, clandestine method used by Spain’s enemies to mobilize and launch armed ships and sailors without having the vessels commissioned into regular service (England, France, etc.) as warships.  Thus, war with no war.  

This ongoing demonization of Spain over hundreds of years is exemplified by the art of the positive spin as practiced perfectly by England and the others.  It was, and is, no small feat.  They did an excellent job of providing the many necessary pretexts for their New World antics at the expense of the Spanish  The darkly painted picture of Spain and its people by Britain, France, the Netherlands, American Anglo-Saxons, Méjico, and Central and South American historians has been wildly successful.  It was so successful that the United States used the same methods (Yellow journalism) in its war against Spain, in 1898 C.E.  

By the late-1890s C.E., anti-Spanish propaganda fostered by journalists such as Joseph Pulitzer and William Hearst, agitated United States public opinion.  Called “yellow journalism”, it was used to criticize the Spanish administration of Cuba.  With the mysterious sinking of the U.S. Navy battleship, Maine, in Havana harbor, political pressures by the Democratic Party and certain industrialists became unbearable for the Republican administration of President William McKinley.  It led to his being forced into a war he’d wished to avoid.  

To be sure, the implication that the Aztecs exemplified the Nobel Savage has been the underlying basis to legitimizing the theft of Spanish treasure by its enemies.  As the thought runs, the Spanish deserved it.  Didn’t they?  The kind and caring Aztecs are depicted as buying and selling beautiful garments, food, and other needs at their various city shops.  They lived quiet lives in their wonderfully built stone palaces.  They’re pictured as worshipping humbly and peacefully at their great stone temples.  But is this the whole, true story?  I think not!  

At this juncture, we must explore further the concept of, and the term "noble savage", in order to understand its strength and power as it swayed the minds of so many.  It expresses the concept of the so-called “natural man,” untouched by the corrupting influences of civilization.  The term is based upon the belief that in a state of nature, human beings are essentially good.  Evil impulses such as slavery and ritual murder, sacrifice, and other destructive behavior, manifest themselves only as a result of societal stresses.  However, what if a nation and its people celebrate death and blood sacrifices as an acceptable norm of the human condition?  One would assume that there are no conditions of societal stresses forcing such conditions.  

Moral decrepitude in Europe was showcased during the late-16th and 17 centuries C.E., by those wishing to highlight just how morally decrepit their so-called advanced civilization was.  Continuous European religious wars were seen as the cause of horrifying mass slaughters and the breakdown of civilized attitudes across the continent.  Would this not also apply to Aztec actions in the areas of Mesoamerica?

In 1587 C.E., Michel de Montaigne, a Catholic, wrote his famous essay "Of Cannibals."  The author’s essay noted how the Tupinamba people of Brazil ceremoniously ate the corpses of their slain enemies.  He saw this as a matter of honor.  He proposed that they were not nearly as barbarous as Europeans who he saw as killing one another over disputes about religion.  Would the Aztec’s need to make their gods greater than that of the other tribes and city-states through barbarous wars and human sacrifice not qualify them as religious haters?  

Later, Western literature would spotlight the indigene (Indigenous person) or "savage" and gradually expanded this vision to include the "Good Savage."  This aspect of Romantic "Primitivism", the figure of the "Good Savage" was held up by many as a reproach to European civilization.  The logical outgrowth of the Good Savage would appear to be the label applied to whichever Indigenous group the writes saw fit.  Here the Aztecs come to mind.  

By 1672 C.E., John Dryden's heroic play, The Conquest of Granada included the actual phrase “noble savage.”  The term subsequently was identified with the idealized figure of "nature's gentleman," as an aspect of 18th-Century C.E. sentimentalism.  At this time, the word "savage" didn’t connote cruelty as it is applied today.  Rather it meant a sort of unencumbered freedom of an individual living in harmony with nature.  To drive home this point Montaigne wrote, “Each man calls barbarism whatever is not his own practice.”  He offered that we as people are not usually accepting of others, who are not like ourselves.  If others do not do things as we do, we refer to them barbarians.  One could hardly assume that Aztec barbarism and human sacrifice qualified them as misunderstood noble savages.  

The Earl of Shaftesbury also advanced the notion that in a state of nature mankind was essentially good.  In his 1699 C.E., Inquiry Concerning Virtue Shaftesbury, he proposed that people could form a proper sense of morality via their natural and innate emotions.  He felt strongly that there was no need for indoctrination by any particular religion.  However, what if a religion as practiced by the Aztecs indoctrinated their society with the idea of warrior castes, enslavement of others, blood cults, and ritual murder?  Would his principles not apply in this case?  

At the start of the early-18th-Century C.E., the French Baron de Lahontan wrote a memoir in which he included an account of his experiences while living among the Huron Indians.  It is suggested that during the first half of the 18th-Century C.E. Lahontan's attacks on established religion and social customs were immensely popular.  He described one particular Canadian Indian, Adario, as the embodiment of the "Good" (or "Noble") Savage.  He asserted that, though Adario lived under comparatively primitive conditions, he was in the author's estimation, measurably more enlightened than the more "civilized" Europeans.  

It was also common for 17th- and 18th-Century C.E. literature to take up the theme of voyages to distant, unspoiled, undiscovered lands, untouched by modern Western thought.  Life in these primitive outposts was typically considered to be of higher quality and was superior to that of its Western counterpart.  In the late-18th-Century C.E., various published accounts of the voyages of Captain James Cook and Louis Antoine de Bougainville suggested a glimpse of those unspoiled Edenic cultures, delightful places, virtual paradises still in existence in the un-Christianized South Seas.  If one could ask a non-Aztec Mesoamerican of the time whether they viewed their life under Aztec domination as one of higher quality to that of their Western counterpart, one can only guess the response.  I venture to say, no!  

Whereas, Thomas Hobbes made his famous assertion (in justification of royal absolutism) that in a state of nature men are depraved and their lives are "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short."  His view was offered as one who was considered the odd man out.  

Unlike Hobbes, the 21st Century C.E. political socialist left offers a similar perspective by romanticizing the "Noble Savage" who has no need for property or technology.  The political left forgives unsavory and/or barbaric elements of the non-Western "Noble Savages" and whitewashes them, while condemning the failings and transgressions of the West.  This they do because the west epitomizes for them greed and corruption.  

It is with this in mind, one should examine how the Spaniards are depicted by most non-Spanish historians and commentators when conquering Méjico with its Aztec warrior culture and castes and blood cults.  Today, it would appear that many believe that the Aztecs would have done alright without an intervention by an external force.  After all, slavery of surrounding tribes and the tens of thousands of annual blood sacrifices of these captives is a small price to pay for the allowances necessary for Aztec and other indigenous populations to maintain existing social interactions.  This being the case, Western media should immediately cease their unkind and unfounded denunciation of the grossly misunderstood deeds of ISIS (The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) or ISIL (The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant).  After all, ISIL, that wonderful Islamist group of misunderstood warriors, is just trying to get along and needs no repression by external powers using outdated Judeo-Christian ethics and morality.  

To further make the point, today’s Islamists represent many states and cultures dominated by a religious bent.  At the extreme is ISIS or ISIL, who revere a religious book (The Koran) which is used to espouse conquest for the purpose of religious domination, slavery, torture, and murder of Muslims and non-Muslims alike to further those ends.  To facilitate these religious ends this so-called extreme Islamic tendency beheads (Sacrifices) its victims (Captured Believers and Non-believers) and places their severed heads on poles, fences, and other well traveled locations.  They do this to appease their god (Allah) and gain his favor.  This cannot be reasonably differentiated from Aztec religious practices.  

Would today’s United Nations accept the Aztec’s endless conquests of peaceful neighboring tribes and city-states?  Would modern governments accept wholesale slavery by the Aztecs of helpless surrounding tribes?  Could today’s religions accept or condone the tens of thousands of Aztec blood sacrifices made to their gods on an annual basis?  The obvious answer to these questions is, no!  Noble Savage or not, that dog don’t hunt.  

With these thoughts in mind, we return to Cortés.  On October 23, 1518 C.E. Velázquez and Cortés signed an agreement appointing Hernán Captain-General of a third expedition.  To be sure, it was his willingness to help finance the expedition that gained him the appointment.  At one fell swoop, Cortés’ could add to his résumé entrepreneur, financier, and venture capitalist by using his personal wealth and mortgaging his lands in Cuba to finance the expedition.  Calling on friends, they helped prepare for the trip and to join his small army.  The enterprising Cortés also borrowed an additional thousand gold pesos from the merchants of Santiago.  Hernán was prepared to gamble everything he owned on the success of the venture.  

The agreement clearly stated the mission and objectives of the voyage.  Hernán was only to explore and discover lands, convert of the natives to Christianity, and ensure their acceptance of Spanish sovereignty.  But jealous gossip recommended to the governor that Cortés was the wrong man for the command.  Accused of being ambitious, it was suggested that Cortés might take the prizes of the voyage for himself, eliminating the Governor's claims.  Velázquez's suspicions grew and Cortés, fearing he might be recalled as captain of the venture, ordered his ships to sail for Trinidad.  

While there, he finished provisioning and took under his command two hundred of Grijalva's (The governor’s nephew) soldiers who had recently returned from the Yucatán voyage.  By this action, Cortés recruited to his standard several experienced captains, each a veteran.  These included Montejo, Sandoval and the now famous, four Alvarado brothers.  

Most certainly, Cortés may not have been the most qualified to lead the expedition.  However, fate would ready him quickly.  He would gain the necessary experience and be forced to prove his courage.  He finally set sail on February 19, 1519.  Under his command were eleven ships, five hundred and eight soldiers (32 ballestero (crossbowmen), 16 harquebusiers (cavalry), 508 rodeleros (swordsmen), 13 musketeers, and others), one hundred sailors, two hundred Cubans, several blacks, a number of Indian women, and sixteen horses.  For its time, the expedition was a well-equipped and superbly manned.  It was this group of men that was soon to become a disciplined fighting force under the unique leadership of Cortés.

 

 

 

   

Comments:  

The first Jewish presence in Méjico came with the arrival of Conversos who accompanied Hernán Cortés in 1519 C.E.  These were members of Jewish families, “Marranos” or “Crypto-Jews,” forcibly converted to Catholicism due to the Spanish Inquisition.  Over the colonial period, a number came to Méjico despite Mexican Inquisition persecutions in the late 16th and mid-17th centuries C.E.  However, most Conversos eventually assimilated into Mexican society with no immigration of observant Jews allowed into the country until the 19th Century C.E.  Religious freedom was established in the second half of that century and around that time, Jews began emigrating to Méjico from Europe and later from the crumbling Ottoman Empire and what is now Syria continuing into the first half of the 20th Century.  

The persecution of Jews came to New Spain along with the conquistadors.  Bernal Díaz del Castillo described in his writings various execution of soldiers during the conquest of Méjico because they were accused of being observant Jews, including Hernándo Alonzo, who built the boats Cortés used to assault Tenochtitlán.  Alonso was the first Jew to be burned at the stake in North America on October 17, 1528 C.E.  He was a successful colonizer who served under Cortés and officially lived as a Christian until a Dominican friar accused him of secretly observing the Jewish faith.  

Alonso was a Jew, a secret Jew, as was his deceased first wife Beatriz, the sister of Diego Ordaz, one of Cortés’ five captains.  The Dominican friar who charged him claimed that years previous in Santo Domingo he had secretly observed Alonso and Beatriz, following their son’s baptismal ceremony, “washing the boy’s head with wine to cleanse him of the Holy Water.”  Alonso when threatened with torture confessed that after the wine ran down the child’s body and “dripped from his organ,” he caught it in a cup and drank it “in mockery of the sacrament of baptism.”  

Cortés bookkeeper, a Converso named Alonso de Ávila, reached a high position as mayor of the new Spanish city of Veracruz.  He was later arrested by the Mexican Inquisition on a trumped-up charge, accused of stepping on a crucifix under his desk.

The Spanish expedition with great hopes of expanding the Spanish Empire followed the news given to Velázquez, the governor of Cuba.  Cortés and his party had found the land past the oceanic horizon where the sun sets.  Velázquez was proven right for having appointed Cortés as his Captain-General of the Armada and for having sent him off to follow that foolish rumor.  After sailing up the Gulf Coast of Méjico, Cortés finally landed in March 1519 C.E.  During that spring, he quickly founded a base of operations there at Veracruz, later building a small settlement.  

Cortés was the first to set to work at the settlement at Veracruz.  He carried the earth and stone on his back.  He dug foundations.  All of his captains and soldiers followed his example.  “……and we kept on laboring without pause so as to finish the work quickly, some of us digging foundations and others building walls, carrying water, working in the lime kilns, making bricks and tiles, or seeking for food.  Others worked at the timber, and the blacksmiths, for we had two blacksmiths with us, made nails.  In this way we all labored without ceasing, from the highest to the lowest; the Indians helping us, so that the church and some of the houses were soon built and the fort almost finished.  …..As soon as we had made this federation and friendship with more than twenty of the hill towns, known as the towns of the Totonacs, which at this time rebelled against the great Montezuma, and gave their allegiance to His Majesty, and offered to serve us--we determined with their ready help at once to found the Villa Rica de la Vera Cruz on a plain half a league [a mile and a half] from this fortress-like town called Quiahuitzlan, and we laid out plans of a church, market-place and arsenals, and all those things that are needed for a town, and we built a fort, and from the laying of the foundations until the walls were high enough to receive the woodwork, loopholes, watch-towers, and barbicans, we worked with the greatest haste.”  Bernal Diaz del Castillo, The Discovery and Conquest of Méjico, XXXIII, pages 94-95.  

He manned it with appropriate forces.  Had he left it poorly protected it could have been easily destroyed.  From there, the ill-prepared force would begin moving inland in search of fabled riches.  What he wound find is the great empire of the Aztecs, the largest and strongest empire in the history of pre-Hispanic Méjico.  The size and strength of the Aztec Empire was massive and disciplined.  A warrior race, they were born to war.  

As Cortés’ forces marched inland toward the central plateau of Méjico and the great Aztec capital of Tenochtitlán, along the way he studiously attracted and recruited thousands of Indian warriors to his army.  Capitalizing brilliantly on the obvious discontent of the local populations, he stoked the fires of their resentment for the heavy burden of tribute imposed by the fighting forces of the Aztec emperor Moctezuma, the ninth tlatoani or ruler of Tenochtitlán (Reigned 1502 C.E.-1520 C.E.).  His new allies were ready and willing to follow his lead.  There was no “love loss” between the hated Aztecs and the other Indigenous tribes and city-states.  These were only too willing to destroy their enemy.  

Comments:  

One must keep in mind the sophistication of the Aztec Empire’s strategy for political expansion, dominance, and tribute from conquered states.  When one reads most comments on the Aztecs, they are seen as master builders and warriors.  Few are aware of the complexity and highly developed nature of their governmental structures, religious functions, and society.  This was not a simple tribal environment.  On the contrary, the Aztecs were a well-organized bureaucratic state with strategic planners like none other in the Americas.  They should be more likened to Nazi Germany of the 1930s C.E. and 1940s C.E.  

The anti-Spanish sentiments of the non-Spanish historians caused them to simply neglect the obvious.  They purposefully did not properly accentuating these points.  The concept of the “Noble Savage” aside, the Aztecs were hardly defenseless, backward Indians.  They were in fact a highly-evolved society.  The Aztecs, without provocation, seized any opportunity to take over other city states and tribes.  In fact, once the Spanish arrived they were under constant threat of being attacked, overcome, and sacrificed to the Aztec gods as part of their cultural and religious norms.  

Secondly, warfare was the underpinning of Aztec politics.  Their society celebrated war and its accompanying atrocities.  Basic military training was provided to every Aztec male from an early age.  To encourage warlike behavior, upward social mobility was only possible for commoners through military achievement, the taking of captives, and their subsequent murder.  The Aztec military was composed of a large number of commoners, "those who have gone to war" who possessed basic military training.  A smaller, but considerable number of professional warriors belonged to the nobility.  It was these that organized themselves into warrior societies and were ranked according to their warrior caste and death cult accomplishments.  Thus, warfare became the main driving force both behind the Aztec economy and its blood cult religion.  The sacrificing of war captives became all important for the many Aztec religious festivals.  

Aztec history records that once they decided to conquer a particular city they sent an ambassador from Tenochtitlán to offer the city protection, which one might call an attempt at extortion.  However, this does not suggest that the Aztecs did not practice diplomacy.  For those anti-Spanish historians and commentators who are unaware, diplomacy is the profession, activity, or skill of managing international relations typically conducted by a country's representatives abroad.  The Aztec government assigned the equivalent of an ambassador-at-large to oversee diplomacy in a region.  They in fact, practiced statesmanship, statecraft, negotiation(s,) discussion(s), held talks, and carried on a dialogue with their neighbors.  This in essence constituted something akin to international relations and foreign affairs.  This level of sophistication suggests that the Aztecs were something other than simple tribesmen.  

The Aztecs were hardly naive or ignorant.  To the contrary, they were clearly shrewd and calculating.  Again, an attempt by anti-Spanish historians at coloring them as the “Noble Savage” is in the best case, an error.  In the worst case, these historians practiced calculated and gross distortions of the realities at-hand.  

The Aztecs would then point out very politely the advantages of being able to trade with the Empire.  They first asked only for was a small gift of gold or precious stones for their emperor.  The targeted city was allowed twenty days to ponder the request.  If the city refused, additional ambassadors arrived.  The ongoing discussions would then move to destruction and death for those who did not submit.  The Aztecs then gave the enemy chief, magic potion to make him strong in battle. They also provided presents of weapons for his warriors.  This they did to exhibit their confidence in the successful outcome of a future war.  If this failed, within twenty days a third ambassador arrived.  He persuaded with threats in which he outlined what was about happen after the city lost the war.  Included in the fate of the fallen city was the destruction of the city's temples, enslavement of its people, and large and crippling tributes which would be forthcoming for decades.  If the city remained steadfast in its resistance and refused to join the Aztecs, a war of vengeance was waged.

 

Immediately this highly organized Empire began to gather its forces.  War messengers were sent to cities throughout the Empire spreading the news of the glorious upcoming war.  Aztec priests then chose the most favorable day to start the campaign.  Sounds from great Aztec war drum exploded over all of Tenochtitlán.  Once ready, the army gathered in a Temple Precinct to prepare for the attack.  Next, the priests and nobles presided over their war councils.  Finally, the huge military force set out.  It was complete with priests, women cooks, porters, and engineers.  Soldiers from each city were organized and marched off to war as separate groups.  The large Aztec army was fed by the allied cities it passed through.  Strong military discipline was maintained.  Should a warrior steal from a civilian who was about to be attacked or had been attacked, the warrior was executed.  

Experienced Aztec generals always sought to attack from high ground.  Victories were often taken by shattering the enemy’s center with the use of shock troops.  They also used enveloping strategies for one or both flanks.  Aztec armies often seized the advantage by turning a flank in battle, though difficult.  Signal flags were used.  Reserve units would be assigned to weak areas of the Aztec line, also in places where the enemy line was weakened.  

Feints and concealment were Aztec strategies.  Often they used a feigned retreat to lure the enemy into a chosen killing ground.  To compliment this, they sometimes hid their troops in prepared positions.  They also outfitted their youths as false army forces.  They then used them to fool the enemy into moving against them.  This put the enemy in an inferior battle position once the real Aztec forces closed on them.  

Military membership for a warrior was based upon ferocity and success in personal combat.  The Aztecs established two military brotherhoods or fraternities.  These wore distinctive suits based upon their namesakes, the Eagle and Jaguars.  They formed the tough backbone of the Aztec armies.  

Eagle and Jaguar Warriors were the only two types of Aztec warriors who would be considered full-time warriors.  These warriors were the leaders and commanders on and off the battlefield.  Upon reaching this rank, they were considered nobles and elite members of Aztec society.  The warrior's path was one way to change one’s social status in Aztec culture.  These were granted many of the same privileges as the nobles.  After becoming an Eagle or Jaguar Warrior, he was allowed to drink pulque, have concubines, and dine at the royal palace.  They also worked for the city-state protecting its merchants and the city itself.  The Warriors resembled a police force in Aztec society.  Jaguar warriors were participants in gladiatorial sacrifices.  

The First class of Aztec warrior was the Eagle Warrior.  These were well-trained, excellent fighters.  The Eagle Warriors acted as scouts, the eyes and ears of the army.  As messengers, they would gather necessary information with which to lead and strategize for an attack.  They often wore helmets adorned with eagle feathers and heads, carried brightly colored shields, and adorned their armor with feathers.  

The second class of Aztec warrior was the Jaguar Warrior.  The Jaguars were the main battle group, fighting troops.  They were the brute force of the Aztec army.  These wore Jaguar skins over their heads, with their faces peering out from beneath the jaguar’s mouth.  

Upon closing on an enemy city, the army sent Jaguar Knights to spy out the land.  Jaguar Knights were an elite military unit similar to the Eagle Warriors.  To become a Jaguar Warrior, a member of the Aztec army had to capture twelve enemies during two consecutive battles.  It was considered clumsy for a warrior to kill an enemy.  Therefore, capturing an enemy was said to honor their gods in a way far greater than killing him on the battlefield.

 

Jaguar Warriors were used at the battlefront of a military campaign.  As the Jaguar Knights encircled their enemy, they signaled one another by imitating bird calls.  The Eagle knights attacked at dawn, with a great noise, stamping their feet, chanting, and whistling loudly to frighten the enemy.  They were also used to capture prisoners for sacrifice to the Aztec gods.  They fought with a wooden sword studded with obsidian volcanic glass blades, spears, and atlatls.  These Aztec warriors used the atlatls to great effect.  It used leverage to achieve greater velocity in dart-throwing.  It included a bearing surface which allowed the user to store energy during the throw.  It consisted of a shaft with a cup or a spur at the end which supported and propelled the butt of the dart.  

Most Aztec warriors wore only a quilted vest made of cotton as their armor.  Some warriors wore tight-fitting body suits which indicated their rank.  These suits conveyed a great deal of information about the wearer and not a matter of personal choice.  The information included status, relative experience, and ability in battle.  The suits were brilliantly colored with paint or meticulous layers of feathers.  The warriors often combined these with semi-heraldic helmets.  

The most respected and prestigious Aztec warrior rank was the “Shorn Ones”.  This Aztec warrior’s dress was unique to his rank.  The Shorn Ones had cleanly shaved heads with a single long braid at the back of their head.  They painted their faces with vivid colors which showed their ferocity.  These were renowned for not taking a backwards step in combat, forever moving forward against an enemy.  

Aztec warriors called “Quachic veterans were among the fiercest and most skillful.  They were used as elite shock troops, often placed in ambush.  These refused promotion to officer in order that they could remain in the front lines of combat. They wore distinctive uniforms and Mohawk haircuts.  

A small number of Toltec-Chichimec mercenaries were common in Aztec armies.  In the 15th Century C.E., for a couple of decades one or more Chichimec city-states were allied to the Aztecs, supplying major allied contingents for their constant wars. These represented many bands and tribes of nomadic and semi-nomadic peoples who inhabited northern modern-day Mexico.  The word Chichimeca carried the same sense as the Roman term "barbarian."  It described a people living outside settled, agricultural areas.  The name, and its pejorative sense, was adopted by the Spanish to describe this wild, nomadic people who lived north of the Valley of Méjico.  They wore no clothes, lived by hunting, had no fixed dwelling places, and resisted fiercely any foreign intrusion into their territory.  

Otomi mercenaries inhabited the central Altiplano (Mexican Plateau) region of Méjico were favored and widely respected for their fierceness by the Aztecs and all the Mexican city states.  They were one of the early complex cultures of Mesoamerica.  The Otomi were likely the original inhabitants of the central Mexican Altiplano before the arrival of Nahuatl speakers around ca. 1000 C.E.  The Otomi name is based upon the Otomi, who were respected for their vicious fighting style.  What is unclear is whether the Otomi held an Aztec rank or whether it was a band of outsiders who fought alongside the Aztec’s.  

The Aztecs also employed large contingents of peasants as light troops as an important component of their armies.  These were equipped with slings and some bows, to shower the enemy with missiles before the initial attack.  These troops closed on the enemy at a run, making loud noises in an effort to frighten the enemy.  

As the aforementioned indicates, the Aztec Empire’s military was well-structured, highly organized, and well-trained.  Its officer class was composed of seasoned veterans and it had excellent planning, logistics, communications, and support functions.  This was not a simple tribal arrangement.  It was in fact a well-oiled killing machine quite good at its job and capable of wreaking great havoc on those it wished to offend.  It also served the priestly caste very well.  

Though the fighting could be fierce, Aztecs attempted to only wound or capture their enemies rather than kill them.  The Aztec general would decide when the battle was won.  Messengers were then sent to call on the enemy to surrender.  Once the beaten enemy surrendered, a peace treaty was drawn up.  It listed the amount of tribute to be paid and other demands.  The conquered city would then be governed by an Aztec noble.

 

Rather than kill their enemies in battle, Aztec warriors preferred to capture them and lead them back to the capital to be offered up to the gods.  Prisoners (Men, women, and children) were taken back to each of the respective, victorious Aztec cities until time for sacrificing them.  Victims were stretched out over the sacrificial stone.  Then within seconds, a priest broke open the prisoner’s chest with an obsidian knife and ripped out his/her heart while still beating.  It was then dashed against the sacrificial stone.  This was the highly ritualized act of human sacrifice as practiced by Aztec priests.  

To close on this point, a bit of instruction is in order for those anti-Spanish historians that preferred to view the Aztecs as misunderstood and maligned Noble Savages.  In one Aztec religious ritual, the terrified prisoners were forced to walk up the many stairs of the temple until they reached the top where they were to meet their expected fate.  What must they have been going through their minds as they were led up those stairs, knowing what was in store for them once they reached the top?  

Once there, the victim without struggle awaited the priest’s actions.  The priest would then ceremoniously cut them open from throat to stomach and rip out their beating heart as an offering to the Aztec gods.  The writhing bodies vacant of its heart continually twisted, made squirming movements or contortions of the body.  For a very short time, the offering writhed in agony on the ground.  The body might squirm and wriggle.  It may have thrashed about, flailing, as it tossed then turned.  It would have twisted in agony before being tossed down the many, many steps until it hit bottom as a lifeless heap.  The body would then be dismembered or carried off depending on the ritual.

In their defense, these non-Spanish historians argued that human sacrifice was not only an Aztec event.  It happened all over the world in several different cultures.  However, it’s hard to believe this type of Aztec religious ceremony happened regularly and as such a celebrated public event in many other nations.  The idea that Aztecs gathered in the square to watch and take part in the savagery, leaves one speechless.  The excuse used is that it was a part of their religion, a way to please their gods.  It was for the Aztecs the only way that they felt they could avoid disaster.  That being said, no amount of human sacrifice stopped their collapse and demise at the hands of the Spaniards who were rightfully revolted by the carnage of innocents.  

There were, however, periods of peace.  In those times, the three city-states of the triple alliance of Nahua “altepetl" of Méjico - Tenochtitlán, Texcoco, and Tlacopan ruled the area in and around the Valley of Méjico would arrange to fight "Wars of the flowers."  This they did with certain neighbors, such as Tlaxcala.  The Aztecs particularly valued these as offerings.  These battles functioned as ceremonial tournaments.  The battle ended, when each side decided that they had enough prisoners and the armies returned home with their spoils.  

It should now be amply clear to the reader that for many, many years the Aztecs had been terrorizing their neighbors.  Those conquered were forced to pay crippling taxes as tribute and many of their brethren were taken into slavery.  Even more odious was the Aztec practice of sacrificing tens of thousands of captives to their gods on an annual basis.  Thus, the conquered tribes would willingly join the Spanish in the destruction of their bloodthirsty enemy and future captors, the Aztecs. This they did to end being offerings to the Aztec gods.   

The superstitious Aztecs lived as if the end of the world was imminent.  As such, they continually sacrificed many in order to appease their gods in the hope that they would postpone the world’s end.  One god, Quetzalcoatl, was a very important to the Aztecs.  He was described as having pale skin, red hair, and light eyes.  According to legend, he had left vowing to return to the earth when the end of the world was near to save his Aztec people.

 

When the Spanish conquistador, Hernán Cortés, first entered Aztec territory with a small band of men, this left the Aztecs confused as to why they were there.  They soon came to believe that the Spaniards had been sent by their god, Quetzalcoatl, and greeted them with food, gold, and women.  This was due to the remarkably similar physical appearance of the Europeans to that of a Quetzalcoatl.  Under normal circumstances the Spanish would have been attacked, captured, and sacrificed immediately upon arrival, as was the Aztec religious custom.  

                                    

Hernán Cortés had no such confusion about why he was there.  He had
landed with his 600 soldiers on the Yucatán Peninsula of Méjico in 1519 C.E., to begin his conquest the Aztecs.  This was not for the gods, but for the Spanish Monarchs and the Catholic Church.  The Spanish had arrived seeking natives to convert to the Catholic religion and for gold.  
 

One such Spaniard was General Alvarado.  While traveling ahead of Cortés, he attacked a Maya temple.  Cortés had lingered behind the rest of the fleet to bring in a vessel that had been disabled during a storm, when he reached the island of Cozumel or Kùutsmil, known by the local Maya as the Island of Swallows.  Upon landing, he was informed that Alvarado, one of his officers, had spent the short time on the island robbing the temples of their valuable possessions and terrifying the natives.  Cortés later reprimanded him for such impetuous aggression which could have brought their expedition to a disastrous and sudden end.  

Pedro de Alvarado y Contreras (Badajoz, Extremadura, Spain, ca. 1485 C.E.-Guadalajara, New Spain, July 4, 1541 C.E.) was one of the many multi-faceted Spanish conquistadors.  Like other younger sons of minor nobility, Pedro and his brothers (Jorge, Gómez, and Juan "El Bastardo") could not expect much of an inheritance.  It was expected that they would become priests or soldiers, as working the land was considered beneath those of their social class.  As a result, by 1510 C.E., he made his way to the New World with several brothers and an uncle to find their fortunes.  

They would soon find work as soldiers on various expeditions of conquest that originated from the Island of Hispaniola.  By the time he had arrived Puerto Rico had been conquered in 1508 C.E., and Jamaica in 1509 C.E.  He participated in the conquest of Cuba in 1511 C.E.  In 1518 C.E., he joined Juan de Grijalva's exploration of the coasts of the Yucatán Peninsula and the Gulf of Méjico.  By 1519 C.E., Alvarado and his brothers quickly signed on with Hernán Cortés for his expedition to Méjico.  Alvarado commanded one of the eleven vessels in the fleet and his leadership was soon recognized by Cortés.  He would later take part in the conquest of Méjico led by Hernán Cortés.  

Alvarado would prove himself time and again as a brave, capable soldier as the conquistadores moved into central Méjico for the inevitable and decisive confrontation with the Aztecs.  He would later be referred to as "Tonatiuh" or "Sun God" by the Aztecs because of his blonde hair, blue eyes, and white skin.  Unfortunately, he had a cruel streak.  He was also known to be violent and ruthless.  Despite his shortcomings, he eventually became Cortés' right-hand man and was often entrusted with important missions and reconnaissance.  

As the expedition moved to Punta Catoche, Cortés came across the sailor, Geronimo de Aguilar, a native of Écija, Spain.  Aguilar had survived a shipwreck and spent nine years as a slave to a warlord.  He had previously been at the colony of Darien.  Eight years previous, on a voyage to Hispaniola, he was wrecked near the coast of Yucatán.  He escaped with several of his companions in the ship s boat.  Some later perished from hunger and exposure, while others were sacrificed by cannibal natives of the peninsula upon their reaching land.  

Aguilar had been preserved from the same fate by escaping into the interior where he fell into the hands of a powerful cacique (A leader of an indigenous group) and his life spared.  His initial treatment was quite harsh.  However Aguilar’s patience and humility touched the chieftain.  He soon was entrusted with the care of his master’s household and numerous wives.  Aguilar was a considered by the chieftain to be a man of discretion, virtue, and he was consulted on all important matters.  In short, Aguilar became a great man among the Maya.  When his master received the Spanish proposals for his return, the rich treasures of glass beads, hawk-bells, and other jewels sent for his ransom were accepted and he was released.  

Aguilar's long residence in the Yucatán had made him familiar with Mayan dialects.  As he gradually revived his Castillian, he became essential as an interpreter.  Cortés saw the advantage of this and quickly enlisted the man.  His knowledge of Maya would prove invaluable to the explorer.  The conquest of the Aztec Empire would take two long, hard years.  Many good men were lost on both sides.  

As Cortés' forces closed on the Aztec Empire's capitol in November of 1519 C.E., Moctezuma sent envoys to greet the newcomers.  The Spaniards fired shots to intimidate the greeting party.  They reported back to Moctezuma, saying: "The noise weakened one, dizzied one.  Something like a stone came out of their weapons in a shower of fire and sparks.  The smoke was foul; it had a sickening, fetid smell."  Another message characterized the visitors as people with "very light skin, much lighter than ours.  They all have long beards and their hair comes only to their ears."

 

Conquistador Paintings - Incas  by James Edwin McConnellThe envoys also described the visitors who traveled on horseback as beasts with "two heads and six legs".  Upon hearing these reports Montezuma decided to meet Cortés.   Ultimately, aware of his superiority, Cortés entered Tenochtitlán, the capitol of the Aztecs on November 8, 1519 C.E.  Fortunately, Cortés was aided by the legend of Queztalcoatl, the feathered serpent god who was to return one day from the east as a fair-skinned, bearded god.  Since the Aztecs believed Cortés to be a god, he gained easy access to the Tenochtitlán.  Upon entering the island city of Tenochtitlán, the capital of the Aztec Empire, the Spaniards found it to be a city with a population of approximately 300,000.

 

Empire itself was comprised of some 15 million people, living in thirty-eight provinces.  At least 490 communities paid tribute to the Aztec emperor.  The Empire’s land mass at that point extended from the Gulf of México to the Pacific Ocean, and southward to Oaxaca, over 80,000 square miles of territory.  

In the beginning, the Spanish had no idea how fortunate they were to be alive after they entered the Aztecs’ magnificent capital city.  About 60,000 people sold and bought in the shops each day.  The city was kept very clean.  It had restaurants, hairdressers, and many shops.  There were many fine pieces of gold jewelry intricately encrusted with jewels offered for sale in shops.  Other displayed gold statues.  Aztec artisans were everywhere painting, sculpting, and exhibiting.  

The Spanish remained as guests of Emperor Montezuma for quite a while.  Cortés later wrote a letter to the Spanish Emperor in which he said, “We lodged in the chief’s house, situated in the most refreshing gardens ever seen.  In their midst flows a beautiful stream, beset with gay flower beds, an infinite number of different fruit trees, many herbs and fragrant flowers.  Three hundred men had charge of these birds for their sole employment.  Over each pool there were beautifully decorated galleries and corridors, where Moctezuma came to amuse himself by watching them.  I do not mention the other diverting things Moctezuma had in the city, because they were so many and so various.”  

Unfortunately, in 1520 C.E., Cortés had to leave the Aztec capital to meet an opposing Spanish force.  This was to be a bad omen.  It would be no easy matter to meet and defeat his Spanish rival, Pánfilo de Narváez, who had been sent to Méjico by the Governor of Cuba, Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar.  His mission was to stop the invasion of Méjico by Hernán Cortés which had not been authorized by the Governor.  Even though Narváez had 900 men and out-manned those of Cortés 3 to 1, Narváez was outmaneuvered and taken prisoner.  

During his absence, Alvarado acted as Cortés' second in command during the expedition's first stay in Tenochtitlán.  While there, relations between the Spaniards and their hosts had become strained.  This was as a direct result of Cortés' repeated insistence that the Aztecs cease idol worship and the act of human sacrifice.  As tensions grew, the Spaniards took the Aztec king Moctezuma hostage in an effort to ensure their own safety.  As fate would have it, Cortés was forced to return to the Gulf Coast to deal with the newly arrived hostile expedition of Pánfilo de Narváez.  Alvarado was appointed commander of the Spanish garrison and remained in Tenochtitlán.  He had strict orders to make sure that Moctezuma was not permitted to be rescued by the Aztecs or escape.  

Inevitably, during Cortés' absence from Tenochtitlán relations between the Spanish and their unhappy hosts continued to worsen.  The tension soon reached a fevered pitch between the Aztecs and the Spanish.  The noble class and priests were angered by the audacious invaders who were demanding their wealth and property, and taking their women.  

The Aztecs had requested permission of Alvarado to hold their traditional celebration of Toxcatl.  This he granted.  Alvarado then heard rumors that the Mexica (Aztecs) were about to rise up and slaughter the intruders during the festival.  According Spanish records, they attacked those assembled because they had proof that the festivities were a prelude to an attack designed to kill all of the Spanish in the city.  Clearly, the Spaniards did not want to take the long walk up the pyramid to their deaths by sacrifice.  

In fairness, the Aztecs later claimed that the Spanish intent was to secure the ornaments of gold worn by many of the nobility.  Whatever was the truth of the matter, on May 20, 1520 C.E. as the Aztec nobles and priests gathered for the celebration to observe their Festival’s religious activities, Alvarado ordered a pre-emptive attack.  His men fell on the unarmed nobles, slaughtering thousands during the Festival.  

When Cortés hurriedly returned to Tenochtitlán, he found the Aztecs in complete rebellion and his Spanish force under siege.  On June 29, 1520 C.E. or July 1, 1520 C.E., the Spanish then forced Moctezuma to appear on the balcony of his palace and appeal to his countrymen to retreat.  The Aztec people were appalled by their emperor's complicity in the Festival massacre which had led to the Aztec revolt and began pelting him with rocks and darts.  Moctezuma (Motecuhzoma Xocoyotzin or Moctezuma the Young), the ninth tlatoani or ruler of Tenochtitlán, who had reigned from 1502 C.E. to 1520 C.E, was killed by the wounds he suffered at the hands of his own people.  

Cuauhtémoc, Moctezuma’s young nephew, then succeeded him as emperor.  The Aztecs soon attempted to drive the Spaniards from the city.  The Spanish determined to escape across one of the causeways that led from the city across the lake, fought their way to the mainland.  Alvarado led the rear-guard and was badly wounded in a bloody nocturnal action of July 1, 1520 C.E., known as La Noche Triste.  According to sources, Alvarado employed his lance to vault across a gap in the causeway.  This valiant feat has come to be known as the Salto de Alvarado ("Alvarado's Leap").  

Later, Cortés mounted an offensive against Tenochtitlán with the help of the Aztecs’ native rivals.  He finally defeated Cuauhtémoc’s resistance on August 13, 1521 C.E.  In all, some 240,000 Aztecs are believed to have died in the city’s conquest, thus effectively ending the Aztec civilization.  After Cortés victory, he razed Tenochtitlán and built Méjico City on its ruins.  It was to quickly become the New World’s premier European center.  

Undoubtedly, Alvarado’s bravery and skill aided in his being forgiven for the episode.  He is renowned for his skill as a soldier and considered the conquistador of much of Central America, including Guatemala and El Salvador.  In fact, he would become the governor of Guatemala.  

Notes:  

Pedro de Alvarado (1485 C.E.-1541 C.E.) led the Conquest of the Maya in 1523 C.E. and destroyed the Quiché capital city of Utatlán.  The Mayan culture had by that time grown to encompass the Yucatán and Chiapas regions of Méjico, Guatemala, and even parts of El Salvador.  The total area once occupied by the Maya was around 400,000 to 500,000 square kilometers and is referred to collectively as El Mundo Maya or in Spanish “the Maya World.”  After the Conquest of Guatemala, he served as governor of the region, although he continued to campaign until his death in 1541 C.E.  Indeed, Alvarado would become known as one of Cortés’ “great captains.”  

It is well to remember that the average Spanish soldier who came to settle the New World were generally not farmers and craftsmen but soldiers, adventurers, and mercenaries looking for fortune and possibly fame.  And yet, given their small numbers, how were these Spanish conquistadors able to accomplish their feats?  Perhaps, in some small part it was Spanish armor and weapons that had to do with their success.  

There were two sorts of Spanish conquistadors: horsemen or cavalry and foot soldiers or infantry.  It was the cavalry that would usually carry the day in the battles of the day.  They received a much higher share of the treasure than foot soldiers when the spoils were divided.  Perhaps this is why some Spanish soldiers would save up and purchase a horse as an investment which could pay off on future conquests.  

Many people assume incorrectly that it was the use of firearms and other technically advanced European weaponry doomed the New World inhabitants.  This was not the case.  Spanish horsemen generally carried two weapons, lances and swords.  Their lances were long wooden spears with iron or steel points on the ends.  These were used with devastating effect on masses of Indigenous foot soldiers.  In close combat, a rider used his sword.  Spanish steel swords used during the conquest were approximately three feet long and relatively narrow, sharpen on both sides.  

The Spanish city of Toledo was known as one of the best places in the world for making arms and armor.  A fine Toledo sword was considered a valuable weapon for its time.  Toledan steel and sword blades have been well known since the 1st Century B.C.  These finely crafted weapons did not pass inspection until they could bend in a half-circle and survive a full-force impact with a metal helmet.  The fine Spanish steel sword was of such an advantage that for quite some time after a conquest, it was illegal for natives to obtain or own one.  

The Spanish foot soldier differed greatly from the horsemen.  He used a variety of weapons.  Like the cavalry, Spanish foot soldiers made good use of swords.  A heavily armored Spanish foot soldier could devastate large numbers of the enemy within minutes with a well crafted Toledan blade.  

Some Spanish soldiers used a harquebus, a type of early musket.  Undeniably, the harquebus could be an effective weapon against any one opponent.  However, it was difficult and slow to load and quite heavy.  It also fired only once, which was a complicated process involving the use of a wick which must be kept lit.  The harquebus therefore was most probably effective only for terrorizing native soldiers, who believed the Spaniards could create thunder.  

Unlike the harquebus, the crossbow was a European weapon designed to defeat armored knights.  It too was bulky and cumbersome.  The weapon was not of much use in the conquest, especially against the lightly armored, maneuverable Indigenous.  Few soldiers used the crossbow.  They were very slow loading, broke easily and/or malfunction easily.  In short, their use was not terribly common.  

Spanish armor was in the main crafted in Toledo.  Their armor was some of the finest in the world.  A Spanish conquistador encased from head to foot in a steel shell, was all but invincible when engaging Indigenous in battle.  It is an accepted fact that in Europe, the armored knight with horse, lance, and sword had dominated the battlefield for centuries.  The harquebus, crossbow, and other such weapons were specifically designed to pierce armor and defeat the wearer.  The New World Indigenous had no such weapons therefore they were able to kill few armored Spanish in battle.  Is this true? Or, does technology always favor the victor in war?  

Perhaps, here we should ask the question, how significant of a role does technological superiority assume in the determination of victory?  Though the study of 20th Century C.E. warfare, it provides interesting cases in military history.  War can be a chaotic system, complex, with many variables and conditions.  Analysts of both recent and historical conflicts suggest that there are factors that play larger roles than others in the decisiveness of battle or war.  Advancement of weapons technology changes how wars are fought.  However, it is political strategy that dictates how wars are won and morale, training, and leadership fall closely behind.  

In this regard, the 20th Century C.E., Russian army is a prime example.  It surprised the world and prevailed in several conflicts against modernized Western nations.  Lacking comparable armaments, Russia repeatedly won engagements it should have lost against superior firepower and the obvious advantages of modern weaponry.  After initial devastating losses, it fought the militarily superior German Army to a standstill and then after many set-backs, overcame them.  

To further drive home this point, we will use the United States, with its technologically advanced military capabilities of land, air, and sea.  Today, she struggles to overcome and destroy ISIL insurgents across the Levant.  Yet ISIL is comprised of an ongoing flood of new recruits, largely untrained volunteers, poorly armed, and led only by religious Islamist zealots.  These have held the world at bay.  

All of this is to say that Spain may have had superior weaponry.  However, the Aztecs were incredibly advanced, had superior numbers, well-trained and well-led troops, used excellent strategies, had proper logistical support, were motivated by religious zeal, knew the terrain, and fought on home ground.  Given all of this they should have won.  To make a point, the Aztec’s lost not due to being the Noble Savage, but due to the overwhelming convictions held by those Indigenous tribes and city states supporting Cortés.  

Cortés was quick to exploit Aztec weakness.  First, he encouraged the belief that he was Divine with "supernatural powers."  Next, and most importantly, he exploited the hatred among neighboring tribes that the Aztec's had created in their endless wars for human sacrifices to their gods.  It would be these Indigenous allies that would eventually reach more than 50,000 warriors, join with Cortés, and help defeat the Aztec Armies.  

On August 13, 1521 C.E., the Aztec Empire fell.  With five hundred Spanish soldiers and ten thousand Indian allies behind him, Cortés charged the Aztec capital.  In the summer of 1521 C.E., Spanish cannons and guns proved too much for the Aztecs.  They were quickly defeated and their last king executed.  At the campaign's end, a final three-month siege brought the downfall of Tenochtitlán.  The victorious Spanish and their brave Indian allies took the magnificent capital City.  

Clearly fate had smiled upon Cortés for a while.  It must be remembered that Hernán Cortés had only a small army of soldiers, sailors, slaves, several horses, and cannons when he landed on the shores of modern day Méjico in 1519 C.E.  This was not an army of tens of thousands of Europeans.  It was instead a small, quickly gathered force of soldiers under the new inexperienced leadership of Cortés.  Yet the Spanish Conquistador defeated tens of thousands of Aztec warriors.  

However, he did have superior Spanish armaments.  Cortés had firearms and armor.  No Aztec weapon made from stone or bone could compete with cannon, gun, and armor of metal.  Although, the armor of a 15th Century C.E. Spanish halberdier and the Early-16th Century C.E. armor of King Charles V. were limited, Cortés’ Spanish arms were for the moment superior to those of the enemy.

The soldier's armor was made simply with some type of fabric or tinning covering large, wide, bands of metal.  Brads were connecting both the metal and cloth together.  Chain mail and stiff metal armor rounded out his outfit.  The armor was enough to give the Spanish a great advantage.  

An upper class gentleman’s armor was very finely crafted.  The metal bands were thinner and much more numerous.  The rivets were also more numerous and positioned closer together and were monogrammed with royal markings.  The king's armor also had full sleeves along with a pair of shorts.  Some historians have speculated that this fine form of brigandine armor was the fashion for upper class gentlemen who need good protection from a knife or rapier blade, but probably not from a heavy sword or crossbow bolt.

At Choctawhatchee in Emerald Coast region of the Florida Panhandle, in 1955 C.E., brigandine armor was found.  It appears to be better made than the halberdiers but less finely than a gentleman’s.  Historically, the cavalry and the crossbowmen of Spain favored this type of armor since it was lighter and allowed more flexibility.  Hale Smith, an expert in the field wrote of the Choctawhatchee find.  Mendel Peterson, another expert in Spanish armor, stated "most of the identifiable fragments of the brigandine came from the back of the garment.  The armor appears to be Italian made and tests indicate that the plates were originally tinned on the outside (This tinning may approximate the armor of the halberdier, see picture).  It dates from the Early-16th Century C.E., but to no later than 1525 C.E."  This date seems to suggest that the armor came from a pre-Luna (1559 C.E.) contact group.  This armor is similar to that worn by Cortés’ troops.  

Later, when it was found out that the natives of the Southeast and Southwest could penetrate much of the armor with their arrows and spears, the Spanish abandoned some of their body armor in favor of heavy layers of cloth and cotton sewn together.  They discovered that this was a more practical way of stopping the wooden and stone-tipped projectiles of the Native-Americans.  

The superiority of armaments aside, Cortés viewed the death of Indians as a tragedy.  This fateful encounter of two different worlds would result in the rapid disintegration of the Aztec world.  Death from war and European diseases would hasten the destruction of one of the greatest empires of the New World.  These Spanish explorers would soon come to regard their defeated Indians as subjects of the Crown, to be converted to Christianity, and taught useful crafts in order to ensure their contribution to the Spanish colonization efforts.  Cortés sincerely believed that he could be of help to the Spanish Crown in exploring and developing the resources of the land.  

Throughout the warfare, the Spaniards would be aided by the gruesome advantage of disease, for the Europeans brought ailments that the Aztecs had no immunity to.  It is estimated that three-quarters of the native population died of violence or diseases like small pox and measles in just the first century of the conquest.  After capturing Tenochtitlán on August 13, 1521 C.E., the Spaniards destroyed the city, and built Mexico City on top of it.  In doing so, he destroyed Aztec temples previously used for blood sacrifice and other buildings.  

It is an important fact that King Charles I of Spain, who had become Holy Roman Emperor Charles V in 1519 C.E., had appointed Cortés as governor, captain general, and chief justice of the newly conquered territory which had been dubbed "New Spain of the Ocean Sea".  Additionally, a surprised Cortés was now only one of five royal officials appointed to govern.  He would then be under close observation and administration.  Despite these inconveniences, Cortés initiated the construction of Mexico City on the Aztec ruins what would soon become the most important European city in the Americas.  The new city was laid out in essentially the same grid pattern of the Aztec capital and all of the major plazas were established in locations that had been occupied by Aztec ceremonial centers.  
 

By 1521 C.E., Velázquez then in Spain mounted an insidious political campaign against Cortés through Bishop Juan Rodríguez de Fonseca (1451 C.E.-1524 C.E.) and the fearful Council of the Indies.  Rodríguez de Fonseca was a worthy advisory.  Juan Rodríguez de Fonseca (1451 C.E.-1524 C.E.) was the first President of the Indies (1493 C.E.-1523 C.E.).  He came from a distinguished Castillian family.  It gave the Church no fewer than four archbishops and one bishop during the period of America's discovery.  His father was Alonso de Fonseca.  He held an ancestral title that had been in the family for many generations, the Senoria of Coca and Alaejos.  An older brother of Bishop Juan, Don Antonio, succeeded at his father's death in 1505 C.E.  Don Antonio was Ambassador to the Holy See in 1495 C.E. and later held the important post of Comptroller-General of Castille.  The family was connected by marriage with some of the most influential nobles of the time, including the families of Gonzalez de Mendoza, the "Great Cardinal of Spain," and of Henry, Count of Nassau.  

The Sovereigns, Ferdinand and Isabella, had entrusted Fonseca with the development and implementation of a colonial administration from as early as Columbus’ second voyage in 1493 C.E.  By 1496 C.E., Columbus was brought back to Spain from the Indies for a trial of charges akin to misuse of power against him.  It was at this time that Columbus considered Fonseca as an enemy.  

Fonseca was an excellent organizer.  He steadily had gained increasing influence over Castillian colonial policy.  So much so as to and emerge as the kingdom’s de facto Minister of Colonial Affairs.  By 1503 C.E., Fonseca had organized and supervised the important new institution called, “the Board of Trade.”  It soon assumed major responsibilities over the management of the new overseas settlements.  He also took a leading role in the evolving “Council of the Indies,” which in time would become the most influential royal institution governing new settlements.  Upon the death of Queen Isabella in 1504 C.E., King Ferdinand allowed him almost unlimited control over the administration the overseas colonies.  

It was Cortés’ acceptance by the Indigenous city states and their inhabitants, his popularity as a relatively benign ruler, and the fact that Cortés could establish Méjico as an independent kingdom that the Council of the Indies feared.  However, it was his family’s position as nobility and Cortés’ upbringing in Spain’s feudal system where the king commanded absolute allegiance that he would not allow it.  Yet, Cortés was fully conscious of his vulnerability as the successful conqueror of Méjico with his operations 5,000 miles away from the center of political power.  As a result, he countered with five lengthy, detailed letters to the Spanish king Charles V.  

Despite his letters, Velázquez and Fonseca persuaded the regent to appoint a commissioner empowered (a Juez de residencia, Luis Ponce de León) to investigate Cortés's conduct and arrest him.  One can accept why Cortés was once quoted as saying that it was "more difficult to contend against (his) own countrymen than against the Aztecs."  Governor Diego Velázquez would continue to undermine Cortés as he joined with Fonseca, chief of the Spanish colonial department, in the Council of the Indies.

Cortés's fifth letter to Charles V attempts to justify his conduct: “It happened...that a Spaniard saw an Indian...eating a piece of flesh taken from the body of an Indian who had been killed.... I had the culprit burned, explaining that the cause was his having killed that Indian and eaten him which was prohibited by Your Majesty, and by me in Your Royal name. I further made the chief understand that all the people...must abstain from this custom.... I came...to protect their lives as well as their property, and to teach them that they were to adore but one God...that they must turn from their idols, and the rites they had practiced until then, for these were lies and deceptions which the devil...had invented.... I, likewise, had come to teach them that Your Majesty, by the will of Divine Providence, rules the universe, and that they also must submit themselves to the imperial yoke, and do all that we who are Your Majesty's ministers here might order them....”), concludes with a bitter attack on “various and powerful rivals and enemies” who have “obscured the eyes of your Majesty.”  

Unfortunately for Cortés, the Holy Roman Emperor had little time for distant colonies.  Much of his reign was taken up with wars with France, the German Protestants, and the expanding Ottoman Empire.  In 1521 C.E., year of the Conquest, Charles V was attending to matters in his German domains and Spain was ruled by Bishop, and later Pope, Adrian of Utrecht, who functioned as regent.  

By 1523 C.E., the Crown sent a military force under the command of Juan de Garay to conquer and settle the northern part of Méjico, the region of Pánuco.  It is suggested that this move was influenced by Cortés' enemy, Bishop Fonseca.  This became another setback for Cortés who mentions it in his fourth letter to the King.  In the letter he describes himself as the victim of a conspiracy by his archenemies.  These included Diego Velázquez, Diego Columbus, Bishop Fonseca, and Juan Garay.  The influence of Garay was effectively stopped by Cortés' appeal to the King.  Charles V sent out a decree forbidding Garay to interfere in the politics of New Spain.  This caused Garay to give up without a fight.  

Despite the politics of Spain, Cortés managed to found of new cities and appointed men to extend Spanish rule to all of New Spain.  He also imposed the encomienda land tenure system by 1524 C.E.  He supported efforts to evangelize the Indigenous to Christianity and sponsored new explorations.  He then spent the next seven years establishing peace among the Indians of Méjico and developing mines and farmlands.  

Cortés was also one of the first Spaniards to attempt to grow sugar in Méjico.  He was one of the first to import African slaves.  At the time of his death his estate contained at least 200 slaves who were either of native Africans or African descent.  

His restless nature which had brought him to explore and conquer Honduras took him south into the jungles of that country.  Through 1526 C.E., Cortés remained head of the expedition to Honduras where he defeated Cristóbal de Olid, who had claimed Honduras as his own under the influence of the Governor of Cuba Diego Velázquez.  Fearing that Cuauhtémoc might head an insurrection in Méjico, he brought him with him in Honduras and hanged him during the journey.  Raging over Olid's treason, Cortés issued a decree to arrest Velázquez, whom he was sure, was behind Olid's treason.  Those two difficult years which he spent on that disastrous expedition damaged both his health and position.  However, the decree to arrest Velázquez only served to further estrange the Crown of Castille and the Council of Indies.  

While on expedition, Cortés's property had been seized by the officials he had left in charge.  Reports of the cruelty of their administration and the chaos it created aroused further concern in Spain.  Both the Crown of Castille and the Council of Indies were already anxious about Cortés's power.  It was Cortés’ need for power and wealth was one of the keys to his success, but would eventually prove to be his downfall.  A few days after Cortés's return (1526 C.E.) from his expedition, Ponce de León suspended Cortés from his office of governor of New Spain.  The Licentiate then fell ill and died shortly after his arrival, appointing Marcos de Aguilar as alcalde mayor.  

Despite all of these difficulties, Cortés had the first cathedral built in 1525 C.E., although it was little more than a tiny church by European standards.  It an important concern for him, as it was at this time that the teaching of Christianity to the Indigenous was beginning.  

By 1527 C.E., the Spanish Crown revoked Cortés’ title of governor.  It did so because the Crown feared it was losing its sovereignty over New Spain.  Cortés was replaced with a five person ruling council.  However, eventually that power would find itself back in the hands of a single viceroy who would ensure efficient administration of the new colony.

By August 1527 C.E., Aguilar became sick and appointed Alonso de Estrada as governor.  His new functions were confirmed by royal decree.  Cortés, who had earlier been suspected of poisoning them, refrained from taking over the reins of government. Estrada then sent Diego de Figueroa to the south; but de Figueroa raided graveyards and extorted contributions.  He would meet his end when the ship carrying these treasures sunk.  Later, when Cortés complained angrily after one of his men's hands was cut off, Estrada ordered him exiled.  Cortés sailed for Spain in 1528 C.E. to appeal personally to Emperor Charles V.  

By 1528 C.E., Cortés had returned to Spain to appeal for justice from Charles V, who had just returned.  He presented himself at court in great splendor.  Cortés responded forthrightly to his enemy's charges.  He denied that he had held back any wealth due the Crown.  Cortés provided evidence that he had contributed more than the quinto, the King’s one-fifth.  Indeed, he reminded as many as would listen that he had spent lavishly to rebuild Tenochtitlán which had been damaged during the siege that brought down the Aztec empire.  

It is recorded that he was respectfully received by Charles and decorated with the Order of Santiago (Christian military-religious order of knights).  In return for his efforts, Cortés was rewarded in 1529 C.E. by being named the "Marqués del Valle de Oaxaca" (Marquis of the Oaxaca Valley).  It was a noble title and senorial estate with 23 000 vassals which was passed down to his descendants until 1811 C.E.  The Oaxaca Valley was one of the wealthiest regions of New Spain.  Yet, while given his land holdings and vassals, he was not reinstated as governor.  

He would return to Méjico in 1530 C.E. with new titles and honors.  However, Cortés would never again be given any important office in the administration of New Spain.  It had been power which he had enjoyed and had sustained him.  It was from that point forward diminished.  Unfortunately, during his travel to Spain his property had been mismanaged by unscrupulous colonial administrators.  Without power, his means of overcoming his enemies was also diminished.  He would later side with local Indians in a lawsuit over abuses which they documented in the Huexotzinco Codex.

The country was in a state of anarchy.  There were strong suspicions at Court of an intended rebellion by Cortés.  Charges were soon brought against him.  These cast several doubts about his character, allegiance to the Crown, and his plans for the future.  Then he was accused of murdering his first wife.  The investigation and proceedings were kept secret.  No report was published, either exonerating or condemning Cortés.  Had the Government declared him innocent, his popularity would have greatly increased.  Had the investigation declared him a criminal, a crisis would have been precipitated by his popularity and his associates.  He remained silent, the only safe course of action.  He would remain a danger and be feared by those in power.

He remained in Méjico between 1530 C.E. and 1541 C.E.  Cortés quarreled with the powerful Nuño Beltrán de Guzmán (ca. 1490 C.E.-1558 C.E.).  He was a Spanish conquistador and colonial administrator in New Spain.  He had originally been a bodyguard of Charles V of Spain, and sent to Méjico to counterbalance the influence of Hernán Cortés.  He was Governor of the province of Pánuco from 1525 C.E.-1533 C.E., and of Nueva Galicia from 1529 C.E.-1534 C.E., President of the first Royal Audiencia of Mexico (High Court) from 1528 C.E.-1530 C.E.  Guzmán also founded several cities in Northwestern Méjico, including Guadalajara.  Cortés also disputed the right to explore the territory that is today California with Antonio de Mendoza, the first viceroy (1535 C.E.).  Mendoza had been entrusted with the administration of civil affairs.  Cortés was allowed to retain military authority and with permission to continue his conquests.  This division of power led to continual dissension.  It also caused the failure of several enterprises in which Cortés was involved.  

By 1536 C.E., Cortés had explored the northwestern part of Méjico.  He also discovered the Baja California Peninsula.  In addition, he spent time exploring the Pacific coast of Méjico.  This was his last major expedition by Cortés.  The Gulf of California was originally named the Sea of Cortés by its discoverer Francisco de Ulloa in 1539 C.E.  

For a while, Cortés would retire to his estates at Cuernavaca, about 30 miles south of Méjico City, after he had reasserted his position and reestablished order.  There he concentrated on the building of his palace and on Pacific exploration.  

Cortés was forced to return to Spain in 1541 C.E.  He hoped to win against angry civilians who had brought many lawsuits against him for debts, abuse of power, etc.  Upon his return, he was shunned and unable to obtain an audience.  In desperation, he forced his way through a crowd that surrounded the emperor's carriage.  Cortés then mounted himself on the carriage footstep.  The emperor, astounded his audacity, demanded to know who he was.  Cortés responded proudly, "I am a man, who has given you more provinces than your ancestors left you cities."  Perhaps, this incident caused the Emperor to rethink his feelings about Cortés.   

Later, Emperor Charles V, permitted Cortés to join him and his fleet commanded by Andrea Doria or D'Oria (November 30, 1466 C.E.-November 25, 1560 C.E.).  Doria was a Genoese admiral, at the great expedition against Algiers in the Barbary Coast in 1541 C.E.  Algiers, then part of the Ottoman Empire, was used as a base by the famous Turkish corsair Hayreddin Barbarossa who was also the Admiral-in-Chief of the Ottoman Fleet.  

During Cortés’ last campaign he was almost drowned in a storm that battered his fleet.  This occurred while he was pursuing Barbarossa Hayreddin Pasha, who had managed to defeat the fleet of Charles V for a second time after the 1538 C.E. battle of Preveza.   

By then, he had spent a great deal of his own money to finance expeditions.  By February 1544 C.E., he was heavily in debt.  To improve his situation, Cortés made a claim on the royal treasury for which he spent the next three years attempting to satisfy.  In 1547 C.E., frustrated at the inability to obtain his claimed monies, he decided to return to Méjico.  Unfortunately when he reached Sevilla, he was stricken with dysentery and died on December 2, 1547 C.E. at the age of 62.  The great Cortés met his end not on a battlefield, but at Castilleja de la Cuesta, Sevilla province from a case of pleurisy.  

Like Columbus, Cortés died a wealthy but embittered man.  Before his death, he had the Pope remove the "natural" status of three of his children (legitimizing them in the eyes of the church).  This included Martin, the son he had with Doña Marina (also known as La Malinche).  She was said to have been his favorite.  He would leave his many children, both mestizo and white, well cared.  He provided for their mothers as well.  In his will, he also requested that his remains eventually be buried in Méjico in the monastery he had ordered to be built in Coyoacán, but the monastery was never built.  

After his death, his body has been moved more than eight times for several reasons.  On December 4, 1547 C.E., he was buried in the mausoleum of the Duke of Medina in the church of San Isidoro del Campo, Sevilla.  Three years later (1550 C.E.), due to the space being required by the duke, his body was moved to the altar of Santa Catarina in the same church.  By 1566 C.E., his body was finally sent to New Spain and buried in the church of "San Francisco de Texcoco", where his mother and one of his sisters were buried.  

In 1629 C.E., Don Pedro Cortés fourth "Marquez del Valle, his last male descendant, died.  The viceroy decided to move the bones of Cortés along with those of his descendant to the Franciscan church in México.  This was delayed for nine years, while his body stayed in the main room of the palace of the viceroy.  Eventually it was moved the Sagrario (Sanctuary) of Franciscan church, where it stayed for 87 years.  In 1716 C.E., it was moved to another place in the same church.  In 1794 C.E., his bones were moved to the "Hospital de Jesus" (founded by Cortés), where a statue by Tolsa and a mausoleum were made.  There was a public ceremony and all the churches in the city rang their bells.  

In 1823 C.E., after the independence of México, it seemed imminent that his body would be desecrated.  As a result, the mausoleum was removed.  The statue and the coat of arms were sent to Palermo in Sicily, Italy to be protected by the Duke of Terranova.  Cortés’ bones were hidden, and everyone thought that they had been sent out of México.  By 1836 C.E., his bones were moved to another place in the same building.  

It was not until 1947 C.E. that they were rediscovered, thanks to the discovery of a secret document by Lucas Alemán.  Cortés’ bones were placed in the care of the "Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia" (INAH).  Once the remains were authenticated, they were then restored to the same place, this time with a bronze inscription and his coat of arms.  In 1981 C.E., when a copy of the bust by Tolsa was put in the church, there was a failed attempt to destroy his bones.  

In both life and death, Cortés never ceased to be a controversial figure.  Loved and feared, in life he was a celebrated hero of Spain and much feared by the Spanish Monarchy and their political appointees.  His position and power were continually challenged by his detractors and enemies.  Cortés’ lands and wealth would be fought over, even after his death.  In life his restless soul experienced little peace.  In death, Cortés’ remains were subject to abuse and precious little respect.  

He has been the subject of much historical treatment by anti-Spanish commentators who saw him only as a one dimensional figure, a conquistador.  It is their negligence that has allowed generations to see him as less than he was, a man of many gifts and talents.  This is the same legacy that the anti-Spanish historians have left for his men.  They have been characterized as greedy, bloodthirsty, warriors.  These have also painted the Aztecs as “Good Savages”, misunderstood by Europe and its peoples.  Aztec blood lust and savagery has been set aside in order that Spain’s fall from the world stage can be understood as payment in full for its deeds against the “Noble Savage”.  

These Spanish that served with Cortés were only flesh and blood men.  Yes they were Spanish soldiers with a warrior’s spirit, but still only men.  This list of Cortés’ soldiers taken from http://garyfelix.tripod.com/~GaryFelix/index1A.htm  

List of Those Who Served with Cortés (A-E)  

Abarca, Pedro

Aguilar, Francisco de

Aguilar, Garcia de

Abascal, Pedro de

Abendano, Indigo de

Abrego, Gonzalo de

Abrego, Gonzalo de

Acevedo, Bartolome

Acevedo, Francisco

Acevedo, Luis

Adalama, Juan

Aguayo, Lorenzo

Aguilar, Alonso

Aguilar, Diego

Aguilar, Hernando

Aguilar, Jeronimo de

Aguilar, Juan de

Aguilar, Pedro de

Aguilar de Campoo, Juan

Aguilera, Garcia de

Aguilera, Juan de

Agundel, Diego de

Alamilla, Francisco de

Alamilla, Sebastian

Albaida, Antonio de

Alburquerque, Domingo Garcia de

Alburquerque, Domingo de

Alaminos, Gonzalo de

Alanis, Alonso

Alanis, Pedro

Alarcon, Francisco de

Albacete, Benito

Albarca, Rodrigo

Alanes, Melchor de

Alanis, Jeron

Alaminos, Antonio de (2)

Alba, Juan de

Alberza, ?

Alcantara, Juan de

Alderete, Julian de

Alduines, Alonso de

Aleman, Gaspar

Alfaro, Elias

Allende, Antonio de

Almesto, Juan de

Almodovar, Alvaro

Almodovar, Diego

Almodovar, Juan

Almodovar, Antonio

Almonte, Pedro de

Alonso, Martin

Almonte, Juan

Alonso, Andres

Alonso, Luis

Alonso, Alvaro

Alonso, Hernando

Alonso Roldan, Pedro

Alonso, Rodrigo

Alonso, Rui

Alonso, Ruy

Alonso, Hernando

Alonso Gamboa, Cristobal

Alonso de Portillo, Pedro

Altamirano, Juan

Alva, Lorenzo de

Alvarado, ?

Aldama, Juan

Alvarado, Garcia de

Alvarado, Gomez de

Alvarado, Francisco de

Alvarez, Alonso (2)

Alvarez, Juan

Alvarado, Gonzalo de

Alvarado, Juan de

Alvarado, Jorge de

Alvarado, Pedro de

Alvarez Chico, Rodrigo

Alvarez Chico, Juan

Alvarez Chico, Francisco

Alvarez Galeote, Juan

Alvarez Rubazo, Juan

Alvarez Chico, Garci

Alvarez, Pedro

Almesta, Alonso de

Alvarez Santarem, Juan

Alvarez de Espinoza, Alonso

Amaya, Antonio de

Amaya, Pedro

Alaejos, Juan de

Alvaro, ?

Anaya, Pedro de

Ancielos, Joan de

Anguiano, Antonio

Anasco, Rodrigo de

Angulo y Garciano, Juan

Aparicio, Francisco

Anton, Martin

Aparicio, Juan de

Aparicio, Martin

Aponte, Esteban de

Arevalo, Alonso

Arevalo, Melchor

Aracena, Juan de

Aragon, Hernando

Aragon, Juan

Aragon, Pedro de

Arbolanche, ?

Arriaga, Antonio de

Aranda, Juan de

Archiaga, ?

Arcos, Francisco de

Arcos, Gonzalo de

Arcos, Hernando de

Arcos, Juan de

Arcos Cervero, Gonzalo de

Arevalo, Antonio

Arevalo, Francisco

Arevalo, Luis de

Arevalo, Pedro

Argueta, Hernando

Arias, Antonio

Arias de Avila, Gaspar

Arias de Sopuerta, Pedro

Arizavalo, Antonio

Armeno, Juan

Armenta, Pedro

Arriaga, Juan de

Arbenga, ?

Arguello, Juan de

Arpa, Pedro de

Arriaga, Juan de

Arroyo, Antonio

Arteaga, Domingo (2)

Asencio, Pedro

Aserrador, Clemente

Arroyuelo, ?

Astorga, Bartolome

Asturiano, Francisco de

Assia, Ochoa de

Asturiano, Alonso

Asturias, Pedro de

Avalano, Juan

Avalos, Melchor de

Avelica, ?

Avesala, Hernando de

Avila, Alonso de

Avila, Diego

Avila, Francisco de

Avila, Gonzalo de

Avila, Sancho de

Avila, Juan de

Avila, Rodrigo de

Avila (Quinones), Gaspar de

Avila (Quinones), Juan de

Aviles, Pedrarias de

Avila, Luis de

Avila y Benevides, Alonso

Aviles, Lope de

Avo, Juan de

Axeces, Juan de

Ayamonte, Diego de

Ayllon, ?

Ayllon, Juan de

Azamar, Diego de

Azedo, Bartolome

Aznar, Antonio

Azpeitia, Juanes

Barrera, Cristobal

Bachiller, Martin

Bardales, Diego

Badillo, Rodrigo

Baena, ?

Baena (Lores), Alonso

Baez, Jorge

Baez, Martin

Baez, Rodrigo

Baeza, Diego de

Baeza, Pedro de

Balades, ?

Baldelomar, ?

Baldivia, ?

Baldovinas, ?

Ballestero, Juan

Badajoz, Gutierre de

Ballestero, Francisco de

Ballesteros, Rodrigo

Balmaseda (Valmaseda), Pedro de

Bamba Cabeza de Vaca, Pedro

Bandadas, ?

Bandoy, Juan de

Banegas (Vanegas), Cristobal

Baptista (Bautista), ?

Balvas, Pedro de

Barco, Francisco del

Barrios, Don Andres de

Barahona, Martin de

Barahona, Sancho de

Barcelona, Clemente de

Barcena, Pedro de

Barco, Pedro del

Barrientos, Alvaro

Bargas, Francisco de

Batista de Rapalo, Juan

Baptista, Juan

Barba, Pedro

Barrientos, Hernando de

Berlanga, ?

Barrios, Cristobal de

Barro, Juan

Basurto, Alonso de

Bautista, Juan

Bautista de Grimaldo, Juan

Bazan, Gonzalo

Becerra, Alonso

Becerra, Alvaro

Becerra, Andres

Becerril, Santiago

Bejerano, Diego

Bellido, Alonso

Bejerano, Servan

Bello, Juan

Benavides, Alonso

Bellido, Juan

Bello, Alonso

Benavente, Cristobal

Benavente, Pedro de

Benavides, Muflo (Nuno) de

Benavides, Nicolas de

Benitez, Alonso

Benitez, Juan

Benitez, Sebastian

Benavides, Nuno (Ruflo) de

Bernal, Francisco

Bernal, Juan

Benito, ?

Berganciano, Juan

Berganciano, Pedro

Bergara, Juan de

Bergueno (Burgueno), Hernando

Bermudez de Velasco, Beatriz

Bermudez, Baltasar

Bermudez, Diego

Bernal, Cristobal

Bernaldino, ?

Berra, Pedro de

Berrio, Francisco

Berrio, Luis de

Berrio, Pedro de

Blanco, Hernando

Blanco, Juan

Blanco, Pedro

Blanes, Pedro

Blasco (Blanco), Pedro

Bocanegra, ?

Bocanegra, Pedro de

Bocarez (Bacaraez), Pedro de

Bola, Martin

Bolees, Antonio

Bonar, Francisco de

Bonilla (Bonella), Joan Carlos de

Borges, Pedro

Borjes, Pedro de

Bonal, Francisco

Bono de Quejo, Juan

Borja, Antonio

Botello, Blas

Botello, Juan

Bono Vizcaiano, Juan

Briones, Gonzalo

Briones, Pedro

Bosque, Gabriel

Borgona, Esteban de

Brabo, Cristobal

Bravo, Anton

Burgueno, Fernando

Briviesca, Garcia de

Bretes, Gonzalo de

Bribiescas, Garcia de

Brica, Joan de

Bueno, Alonso

Bueno, Juan

Bueno, Tomas

Bustamante, Luis de

Burgos, Juan de

Burguillos, Gaspar de

Burgos, Rodrigo de

Briones, Francisco

Caballeria, ?

Caballero, Alonso

Cabra, Juan

Cabezon, Cristobal

Caballero, Pedro

Caballos, Francisco de

Caballos, Hernando

Caballos (Cabello), Alonso

Cabezas, Alonso

Cabeza de Vaca, Luis

Cabrera, Gabriel de

Cabrera, Hernando

Cabrera, Juan de

Caceras Delgado, Juan (2)

Caceras, Manuel de

Caceres, Jeronimo

Caicedo (Cayzedo), Anton

Calero, Diego

Camargo, Diego de

Calvo, Pedro

Camacho, Pedro

Camacho Triana, Diego

Camargo, Toribio

Camino, Diego

Campanario, Sebastian

Campito (Campos?), ?

Campo, Blas de

Campos, Andres de

Campos, Bartolome de

Canamera, Juan Garcia de

Canillas, ?

Cansino, Juan

Cansino, Pedro

Cano, Juan

Cano, Alonso

Cantillana, Hernando

Carmona, Juan de

Cano, Luis

Cansino (Cansono), Diego

Cantillana, Diego

Cantillana, Fernando

Cantillana, Francisco

Canto, Andres del

Carabasa, ?

Carabaza, ?

Cardenas, Luis de

Carmona, Esteban de

Cardenas, Alonso

Cardenas, Juan de

Carmona, Antonio

Caro Gutierrez, Garci

Carpues, Santiago de

Carralero, Antonio

Carranza, Dorantes de

Carranza, Pedro de

Carretero, Juan de

Carrillo, Hernando

Carrillo, Jorge

Carrillo, Juan

Carrion, Diego

Carrion, Gines de

Carrion, Gregorio de

Carsenel, Alfonso

Cartagena, Juan de

Carteo, Andres de

Carullola (Carniela), ?

Carvajal, Hernando de

Carvajal Turrencaos, Antonio

Casamori, Gutierre de

Casas, Francisco de las

Carvajal, Antonio de

Carrasco, Gonzalo

Carrascosa, Juan

Casanuevo, Francisco

Carrion, Hipolito

Carrion, Rodrigo

Casco, Francisco

Cascorro, ?

Casillas, Juan de

Castaneda, Diego de

Castaneda, Hernando de

Castaneda, Joan de

Castano, Juan

Castellano, Diego

Castellanos, Pedro

Castellar, Pedro de

Castellon, ?

Castillo, Antonio del

Castaneda, Rodrigo de

Castillo, Alonso del

Castillo, Pedro del

Castillo, Diego del

Castillo, Francisco

Castillo, Melchor de

Castrillo, Alonso de

Castro, Andres

Castro, Francisco

Castro, Pedro

Castromorcho, ?

Catalan, Anton

Cavras (Cabras), Bartolome

Cayas (Zayas), Diego de

Celi, Bartolome

Centeno, Pedro

Cepeda, Gaspar de

Cerbera, Assensio

Cardenal, Alonso

Cerezo, Gonzalo

Cermino, Juan

Cermino, Diego

Catalan, Alonso de

Catalan, Juan de

Cervantes, Lionel de

Cieza, Juan de

Cisneros, Alberto de

Cifontes, Francisco

Cisneros, Juan de

Cuellar Verdugo, Juan de

Cervantes, Francisco de

Clemente, ?

Cimancas, Pedro

Chaves, Hernando de

Chavarrin(ia), Bartolome

Colio, Diego de

Collazos, Pedro de

Colmenero, Juan Esteban

Comontes, Cristobal de

Conellar Verdugo, Juan de

Conilien, Francisco

Contreras y Figueroa, Alonso de

Coria, Diego de

Contreras, Alonso de

Coronel, Juan

Corbera, Asencio

Cordero, Anton

Cordero, Gregorio

Cordon, Antonio

Cordonel, Alonso

Coria, Bernardino de

Coronado, ?

Corral, Cristobal del

Corral, Francisco

Corral, Juan del

Corrasco, Juan

Correa, Juan

Correas, Diego

Chiclana, Anton de

Corral, Juan

Cortés de Merida, Gonzalo

Cortés de San Buenaventura, Francisco

Cortés de Zuniga, Alonso

Cortés, Francisco

Cristobal, Martin

Cuellar, Bartolome

Cosana, Pedro de

Coto (Soto), ?

Cristobal, Gil

Cruz, Martin de la

Cuadras, Francisco de

Cuadras, Pedro de

Cubia (Zubia), Juan de

Cubiertas, Sebastian

Cubillas, Juan de

Cuellar, Francisco de

Cuenca, Anton de

Cuesta, Alonso de la

Cuellar, Juan de

Cuenca, Benito de

Cuenca, Simon de

Cueto, Pedro de

Cuevas, Juan de

Chacon, Gonzalo de

Chavelas, Francisco de

Chaves, Martin

Chaves, "el Vizcayno"

Chico, Pedro

Chinantla, Nicolas de

Corco, Bicencio

Calahorra, Martin de

Dam, Joan

Dava, Lorenzo

Davila, Rodrigo

Davila (de Avila), Juan

Delgado, Alonso

Daza (Daca) de Alconchel, Francisco

Delezcano, Xoan

Delgado, Juan

Del Campo, Blas

Del Castellar, Pedro

Del Castillo, Francisco

Del Puerto, Martin

Destacio, Joan

De Losa, Juan

Delguerrero, Hernando

Diaz de Aux, Miguel

Diaz del Castillo, Bernal

Diaz, Bartolome

Diaz, Miguel

Diaz Peon, Diego

Diaz, Cristoval

Diaz, Diego

Diaz, Domingo

Diaz Galafate, Francisco

Diaz, Gaspar

Diaz, Juan

Diaz de Alcala, Diego

Diaz de Arauz, Melchor

Diaz de Azpeitia, Juan

Diaz de Medina, Bernardino

Diaz de Penalosa, Rui

Diaz de Sotomayor, Pedro

Diaz de la Reguera, Alonso

Diego, Maestre

Diego Halcon, ?

Diosdado, Antonio

Docampo, ?

Domingo, ?

Dominguez, Gonzalo

Dominguez Arias, Francisco

Donaire, Francisco

Doria, Cristobal

Duenas, Beatriz

Duero, Sebastian de

Duero, Andres

Duran, Juan

Dorantes, Martin

Duran, Alonso

Duran, Rodrigo

Dominguez, Pero

Eibar, Andres de

Elgueta (Helgueta), Hernando de

Enamorado, Juan

Enriquez de Guzman, Juan

Eraso, Juan de

Escalante, Pedro de

Escalona, Hernando de

Escacena, Antonio

Escalante, Juan

Escalona, Alejo

Escalona, Francisco

Escalona, Juan

Escalona, Lucas

Escalona, Pedro

Ebora, Sabastian de

Escalona, Pedro de

Escobar, ?

Escobar, Alonso

Ecija, Andres

Escobedo, Francisco de

Escobar, Juan

Escobar, Pedro de

Escobar, Rodrigo

Espindola, Gonzalo

Escudero, Juan

Espinal, Juan de

Espinar, Juan D'

Espinosa, Alonso

Espinosa, Garcia de

Espinosa, Gaspar de

Espinosa, Juan

Espinosa, Martin de

Espinosa, Rodrigo de

Esquival, Juan de

Esteban, ?

Esteban, Miguel

Espindola, Juan de

Esquivel, Alonso

Estrada, Francisco

Estrada, Maria

Evia, Francisco de

Evia, Rodrigo de

 

List of Those Who Served with Cortés (F-L)

Farfan, Andres

Farfan, Cristoval

Farfan, Luis

Farfan de Gaona, Juan

Fernandez, Alonso

Fernandez, Juan

Flamenco, Juan de

Fernandez de Portocarrero, Alonso

Fernandez, Bartolome

Fernandez, Beatriz

Fernandez, Cristoval

Fernandez de Cordoba, Cristoval

Fernandez de Nieto, Diego

Fernandez, Francisco

Fernandez, Gonzalo

Fernandez, Martin

Fernandez de Merida, Juan

Fernandez de Ocampo, Juan

Fernandez, Juan

Fernandez de Navarrete, Pedro

Fernandez, Rodrigo

Fernandez, Santos

Flores, Cristoval

Flores, Francisco

Fernandez Macias, Juan

Figueroa, Diego de

Flandes, Juan de

Floriano, ?

Floriano, Jeronimo de

Fonseca, Diego de

Frances, Juan

Francisco, Julian

Francisco, Pedro

Franco, Alonso

Franco, Bartolome

Franco, Francisco

Franco, Pedro de

Frias, Luis

Fuenterrabia, Juanes de

Frias, Hernando de

Fuenllama, Luis de

Fuentes, Pedro de

Fuentes, Diego de

Fuentes de Solis, Garcia

Gabarro, Antonio

Galeote, Alonso

Galindo, Juan (Sanchez)

Gallardo, Alvaro

Gallardo, Antonio

Gallego, Francisco

Gallego, Benito

Gallego, Diego

Gallego, Alvaro

Gallegos, Andres

Gallego, Hernando

Gallego, Lepe

Gallego, Lope

Gallego, Pedro

Gallego, Rivadeo

Gallego de Vigo, Diego

Gallego, Juan Cristoval

Gallego, Juan

Gallego, Alvaro

Gallego, Bartolome

Gallego, Cristoval

Gallego Hernandez, Gonzalo

Gallego de Andrade, Juan

Galeote Garcia, Alonso

Galoete, Antonio

Galoete, Gonzalo

Gallo, Gomez

Galan, Juan

Gallardo, Pedro

Gallego, Lucas

Galvez, Melchor

Gamarra, Juan de

Gamito, Bartolomeo

Gaona, Tomas de

Garcia, Alonso

Garcia, Andres

Garcia, Anton

Garcia, Bartolome

Garcia, Diego

Garcia, Domingo

Garcia, Esteban

Garcia, Gines

Garcia, Hernando

Garcia, Julian

Garcia Albani, Alonso

Garcia Bravo, Alonso

Garcia Camacho, Juan

Garcia Casado, Pedro

Garcia Mendez, Juan

Garcia de Berlanga, Diego

Garcia, Francisco (3)

Garcia Galdin, Francisco

Garcia Jaramillo, Diego

Garcia, Gonzalo

Garcia de Goldino, Gonzalo

Garcia, Juan (4)

Garcia de Veas, Juan

Garcia de Canamera, Juan

Garcia, Luis

Garcia, Martin

Garcia de Jaen, Pedro

Garcia de Contreras, Juan

Garcia de Lucas, Juan

Garcia de Merida, ?

Garcia de Rivera, Francisco

Garrido, Cristobal

Garrido, Diego

Garnica, Gasper de

Garrido, Juan

Garrido, Pedro de

Garro, Pedro de

Garzon, Francisco

Gentil Rey, Nuno

Geronimo, Pedro de

Gibraltar, Alonso de

Gibraltar, Nicolas de

Gil, Alonso

Gil, Cristobal

Gines, Martin

Ginoves, Diego

Ginoves, Lucas

Ginoves, Tomas

Genoves, Alonso

Ginoves, Bautista

Ginoves, Domingo

Genoves, Esteban

Ginoves, Juan

Genoves, Lorenzo

Genoves, Luis

Genoves, Marcos

Ginoves, Ramon

Gil, Francisco

Giraldo, Alonso

Godoy, Diego

Giron, Francisco

Godoy, Bernardino (2)

Godoy, Gabriel de

Goleste, Antonio

Gollovin (Gullorin), Francisco

Gomez, Bartolome

Gomez, Beatriz

Gomez, Domingo

Gomez, Francisco

Gomez, Alonso (2)

Gomez Ballestero, Andres

Gomez de Jerez, Hernando

Gomez Cornejo, Diego

Gomez, Miguel

Gomez, Nicolas

Gomez, Pedro

Gomez, Pierrez

Gomez de Avila, Rodrigo

Gomez Hidalgo, Alonso

Gomez de Guebar (Guevara), Juan

Gomez de Lepe, Juan

Gomez de Moguer, Pedro

Gomez de Penaparda, Juan

Gomez de Sotomaor, Juan

Gomez, Juan (2)

Gonzalez de Hortegosa, Fernan

Gonzalez, Alonso (2)

Gonzalez, Alvaro

Gonzalez, Bartolome (2)

Gonzalez, Beatriz

Gonzalez, Hernan

Gonzalez Herrero, Bartolome

Gonzalez, Nuno

Gonzalez, Diego

Gonzalez, Francisco

Gonzalez de Najera, Francisco

Gonzalez, Rodrigo

Gonzalez Casado, Juan

Gonzalez Gallego, Alonso

Gonzalez de Avila, Gil

Gonzalez de Najera, Pedro

Gonzalez, Juan (2)

Gonzalez de Heredia, Juan

Gonzalez de Trujillo, Pedro

Gonzalez, Ruy (2)

Gonzalez Reales, Juan

Gonzalez Sabiote, Pedro

Gonzalez de Granada, Francisco

Gonzalez de Granada, Hernando

Gonzalez (de Harinas Alcazar), Pero

Gonzalez de Najera, Alonso

Gonzalez de Najera, Hernando

Gonzalez de Najera, Pedro (Pero) "El Mozo"

Gonzalez de Penafiel, Diego

Gonzalez, Sancho

Gordillo, Gonzalo

Grado, Alonso de

Granada, Francisco de

Grande, Francisco

Griego, Juan

Griego Negrete, Martin

Grijalba, Juan de

Grijalva, Alonso de

Grijalba, Fernando

Grijalba, Francisco

Grisalba, Juan

Grijalba, Rodrigo

Grijalva, Sebastian

Guana, (?)

Gris, Francisco

Gudiel, Francisco

Guecho, Martin

Guemes, Miguel de

Guerba, Baltasar

Guernica, Gaspar de

Guerra, Martin

Guerrero (or Guerra), ?

Guerrero de Luna, Lic. Juan

Guerrero, Lazaro (Alvaro)

Guillen, Francisco

Gutierrez de Badajoz, Alonso

Guevara, Luis de

Guia de Salcedo, Sabastian

Guillan, Juan

Guerrero, Gonzalo

Guia, Fernando

Guia, Juan de (2)

Guinea, Diego de

Guisado, Francisco

Gutierrez, Alvaro

Gutierrez, Anton

Gutierrez, Gaspar

Gutierrez, Gomez

Gutierrez, Gonzalo

Gutierrez, Hernando

Gutierrez, Nuno

Gutierrez Duran, Juan

Gutierrez Trujillo, Pedro

Gutierrez de Najera, Alonso

Gutierrez de las Huertas, Francisco

Gutierrez, Diego (2)

Gutierrez de Escalante, Juan

Gutierrez, Antonio (2)

Gutierrez, Pedro (2)

Gutierrez de Salamanca, Fernando

Gutierrez, Francisco (2)

Guisado, Alonso

Guipuzcoano, Rodrigo

Guzman, Cristobal de

Guzman, Esteban (Juan)

Guzman, Pedro (2)

Guzman, Gabriel

Guzman, Luis de

Guzman, Manuel

Guzman, Nuno

Heredia, ?

Hernandez Portocarrero, Alonso de

Hernandez(or Herrera), Elvira

Hernandez, Alonso

Hernandez, Beatriz

Hernandez, Blas (Blasco)

Hernandez, Catalina

Hernandez, Cristobal

Hernandez, Diego

Hernandez, Francisco

Hernandez, Garcia

Hernandez, Gonzalo

Hernandez, Jorge

Hernandez, Juan

Hernandez, Luis

Hernandez, Mari

Hernandez, Maria

Hernandez, Martin

Hernandez, Pedro

Hernandez, Pero

Hernandez Balsa, Francisco

Hernandez Bejarano, Gonzalo

Hernandez Calvo, Diego

Hernandez Carreter, Alonso

Hernandez Carretero, Alonso

Hernandez Garijo, Luis

Hernandez Hermosa, Gonzalo

Hernandez Maya, Alonso

Hernandez Mirallo, Francisco

Hernandez de Nava, Bartolome

Hernandez Mosquera, Cristobal

Hernandez Calvo, Gonzalo

Hernandez Mosquera, Gonzalo

Hernandez de Prado, Juan

Hernandez, Pedro

Hernandez Montemayor, Gonzalo

Hernandez Morallos, Francisco

Hernandez Nieto, Diego

Hernandez Paulo, Alonso

Hernandez Perez, Francisco

Hernandez Puebles, Alonso

Hernandez Rendon, Gonzalo

Hernandez Roldan, Pedro

Hernandez Sevillano, Pedro

Hernandez de Alanis, Gonzalo

Hernandez de Cordoba, Rodrigo

Hernandez de Herrera, Garcia (Garu)

Hernandez de Jerez, Francisco

Hernandez de Merida, Garcia

Hernandez de Merida, Juan

Hernandez de Mosquera, Cristobal

Hernandez de Pablos, Alonso

Hernandez de Tavira, Juan

Hernandez de Zahori, Gonzalo

Hernandez de Ziusto, Diego

Hernandez, Santos "el buen viejo"

Hermosillo, Juan de

Herrera, Alonso

Herrera, Bartolome

Herrera, Fernando de

Herrera, Juan de

Herrera, Pedro de

Herrero, Hernando Alonso

Herrero, Lazaro

Herreros, Santos

Hidalgo, Alonso

Hidalgo Montemayor, Gonzalo

Hoces, Andres

Heredia (d'Evia), Rodrigo

Hidalgo, Alonso

Hoyos, Gomez de

Holguin, Diego de

Holguin, Garcia

Hurtado, Gaspar

Hoyos, Gonzalo

Huelano, Alonso

Huemes, Miguel

Huerto, Juan del

Hurones, Gonzalo

Hurtado, Alonso

Hurtado, Hernando de

Hurtado, Luis

Illan, Luis

Illan, Diego

Illescas, Fernando de

Infante, Luis

Inhiesta, Juan de

Iniesta, Juan de

Iniguez, Bernardino

Ircio, Juan de

Iricio, Martin de

Iricio, Pedro de

Irejo, Antonio

Izquierdo, ?

Izquierdo, Martin

Jaen, Cristoval de

Jaen, Gonzalo de

Jaen, Hernando de

Jaen, Martin de

Jara, Cristobal

Jara, Rodrigo de

Jaramillo, Cristobal

Jasso, Juan de

Juan, ?

Jerez, Alonso de

Jerez, Cristobal de

Jerez, Fernando

Jerez, Joan de

Jerez, Hernando de

Jarramillo de Salvatierra, Juan

Jeronimo, Martin

Jibaja, Pedro de

Jimenez, ?

Jimenez, Alonso

Jimenez, Fernando de

Jimenez, Francisco de

Jimenez, Fortun

Jimenez, Francisco

Jimenez, Juan

Jimenez, Gonzalo

Jimenez, Juan

Jimenez de Rivera, Juan

Jimenez (Ximenez), Gonzalo

Juarez, Gaspar

Juarez, Juan

Jimenez, Miguel

Juan, Maestre

Juan, Martin

Juanes, ?

Julian, Francisco

Julian, Gonzalo

Juarez, Lorenzo

Juliano, Juan

Lagos, Gonzalo de

Lanoz, Miguel de

Lara, Juan de

Larios, Juan

Laris, Luis de

Laso, Alonso

Laso, Pedro

Lares, Amador de

Lares, Pedro de

Larez, Rodrigo

Laso, Guillen de

Lasso de la Vega, Pedro

Las Casas, Martin de

Las Mozas, Cristobal de

Las Ribas, Gregorio de

Lazaro Martin, Fabian

Lazo, Pedro

La Cueva, Luis de

La Encina, Juan de

La Fuente, Hernando de

La Garcia, Alonso de

La Malfa, Miguel de

La Malfa, Pedro de

La Mezquita, Diego de

La Milla, Francisco de

La Nao, Rodrigo de

La Palma, Miguel de

La Pandilla, Amado de

La Pena, Francisco de

La Pena (y Vallejo), Juan de

La Pieza, Martin de

La Reguera, Alonso (Diaz)

La Torre, Juan de

La Torre, Luis de

La Tovilla, Andres de

Ledesma, Alonso de

Ledesma, Pedro de

Ledesma, Juan de (3)

Ledesma, Francisco

Lerma, Fernando de

Leiva, Juan de

Lema, Fernando

Lencero, Pedro

Leon, Alonso de

Leon, Alvaro de

Leon, Diego de

Leon, Fr Juan de

Lezama, Fernando de

Limpias de Carvajal, Juan

Leon, Gonzalo de

Leon, Juan de

Leon Cardona, Juan

Lepuzcano, Rodrigo

Lerma, Lepe de

Lezcano, Juan de

Limon, Juan

Linterno, ?

Lizana, Juan de

Llanimpinto, Hernando

Llanos, Hernando de

Llerena, Diego de

Llerena, Juan de

Llerena, Garcia de

Loa, Guillen de

Lobos de Sotomayor, Ruy

Lopez, Bernardino

Lopez, Cristobal

Lobato, Cristobal

Lopez, Alonso

Lopez, Alvaro

Lopez, Andres

Lopez, Antonio

Lopez, Bartolome (2)

Lopez, Diego

Lopez, Benyto

Lopez, Garcia

Lopez, Lazaro

Lopez, Miguel

Lopez, Vicente

Lopez (Zaragozano), Juan

Lopez Benguidino, ?

Lopez Cabeza, Bartolome

Lopez Cano, Rodrigo

Lopez Gabriel, Simon

Lopez Marroqui, Pedro

Lopez Montealegre, Pedro

Lopez Sanchez, ?

Lopez de Aguirre, Juan

Lopez de Baena, Alonso

Lopez de Ballesteros, Diego

Lopez de Barbas, Pero

Lopez de Luquera, Francisco de

Lopez de Mena, Juan

Lopez de Salinas, Diego de

Lopez de Avila, Fernando

Lopez, Francisco

Lopez Morales, Francisco

Lopez, Gonzalo

Lopez de Zuniga, Inigo

Lopez, Jeronimo

Lopez, Juan (3)

Lopez, Martin (2)

Lopez, Pedro (2)

Lopez, Roman

Lopez de Ximena (Jimena), Juan

Lopez de Ximena (Jimena), Gonzalo

Lorca, Sebastian de

Lorda Carranda, Martin de

Lorenzo, ?

Lorenzo, Juan

Lorita, Hernando de

Los Rios, Diego de

Loza(n), Juan

Loza, Juan de

Loza, Pedro de

Lozano, Francisco de

Lozano, Hernando

Lozano, Juan

Lozano, Pedro

Lucas, ?

Lucas (Montanchez), Alfonso (Alonso)

Lugo, Alonso de

Lugo, Luis de

Lugo de Penaranda, Alonso

Lugo, Francisco

Lugon, Pablo de

Luis, ?

Luis, Alonso

Luna, Antonio de

Luzon, Pablo de

 

List of Those Who Served with Cortés (M-Q)  

Macias, Alonso de

Madrid, Francisco

Madrigal, Juan de

Madrid, ?

Madrid, Alonso

Maeda, Cristobal de

Maeda, Juan

Maeda, Telmo

Maestre, Juan

Magallanes, Juan

Maldonado, Alvaro "The Iron Man"

Maldonado, Francisco

Mafla, ?

Maldonado, ?

Maldonado, Manuel

Maldonado, Pedro

Mallorquin, Antonio

Mallorquin, Gabriel

Mallorquin, Juan

Maluenda, Alonso (or Antonio)

Maluenda, Pedro de

Mansilla, Juan de

Manueto, Rodrigo de

Manusco, Rodrigo

Manzanilla, Juan de

Manzanilla, Pedro de

Mar, Miguel de la

Marco, Anton

Marin, Cristobal

Marin, Jeronimo

Marin, Luis "Captain"

Marin, Jeron

Marmolejo, Antonio

Marmolejo, Diego (Luis)

Marmolejo, Francisco de

Marques Gallego, Juan

Marquez, Catalina

Marroquin, Bartolome

Marroquino, Miguel

Marquez, Francisco

Marquez, Juan

Marroquin, Francisco

Marta, Pedro de

Martin, ?

Marticote, Francisco

Martin, Antonio

Martin, Aparicio

Martin, Cristobal

Martin, Jeronimo

Martin, Juan

Martin, Luis

Martin, Pedro

Martin Carpintero, Francisco

Martin Granado, Alonso de

Martin, Lazaro

Martin de Alperdrino, Alonso

Martin de Cadiz, Alonso

Martin Jaca, Alonso

Martin, Anton

Martin, Bartolome

Martin Camacho, Cristoval

Martin de Lieva, Cristoval

Martin de Zafra, Cristoval

Martin, Diego

Martin, Domingo

Martin, Esteban

Martin, Hernando

Martin Vizcaino , Francisco

Martin, Gonzalo

Martin Millan de Gamboa, Cristobal

Martin, Gines

Martin, Maya

Martin, Juan (2)

Martin de Villanueva, Juan

Martin de Coria, Pedro

Martin Munoz, Gregorio

Martin Portugues, ?

Martin Ruimon, Pedro

Martin Sashe, ?

Martin Vendaval, Francisco de

Martin Xaid, Alonso

Martin de Aguado, Juan

Martin de Aguado, Pedro

Martin de Alburquerque, Francisco

Martin de Ayamonte, Diego

Martin de Cuellar, Juan

Martin de Gamboa, Cristobal

Martin de Jerez, Alonso

Martin de Porras, Pedro

Martin de Trejo, Alonso

Martin de Escobar, Pedro

Martin del Alberca, Juan

Martinez, Andres

Martinez, ?

Martinez, Cristobal

Martinez, Francisco

Martinez, Hernando

Martinez, Joan

Martinez, Juan

Martinez, Valenciano

Martinez Cueva, Joan

Martinez de Cebrian, ?

Martinez de Billoria, Juan

Martinez de Fregenal, Juan

Martin(ez) de Gallegos, Juan

Martinez de Salvatierra, Jeronimo

Martinez Mercado, Juan

Masariegos (Mazariegos), Diego de

Mateos (Matas), Alonso

Matienzo, Alonso de

Mata, Alonso

Maya, Antonio de

Maya, Juan de

Maya, Pedro de

Mayor, Juan

Mayorga, Baltasar de

Mazuela, Juan de

Mazariegos, Diego de

Mazas, Cristobal

Medel, Hernando

Medel, Francisco

Medina, Francisco

Medina, Francisco

Medina, Gonzalo de

Medina, Jeronimo de

Medina, Juan de (2)

Mejia, Francisco

Melgarejo, Juan de

Melgarejo de Urrea, Melchor

Mena, Diego

Mendez, Benito

Mendez de Alcantara, Juan

Mendez de Sotomayor, Fernando

Mendez de Sotomayor, Juan

Mendia, Pedro de

Mendoza, Alonso

Meneses, Pedro de

Merida, Antonio de

Merida, Garcia de

Mesa, Francisco

Mesta, Alonso

Mexia, Aparicio

Mexia, Diego

Mexia (Mejia), Gonzalo

Mexia, Gonzalo (Rapapelo)

Mezquita, Martin de

Mibiercas, Francisco

Miguel de Salamanca, Francisco

Miguel, Esteban

Milla, Francisco

Millan, Juan

Milles, Juan

Minana, Francisco de

Mino, Rodrigo de

Miranda, Francisco de

Moguer, Francisco de

Moguer, Juan de

Moguer, Rodrigo de

Mol, Andres de

Mola, Andres de

Mola, Diego de

Molina, Alonso de

Molina, Antonio de

Molinero, Juan

Mondragon, Pedro de

Monjaraz, Andres de

Monjaraz, Gregorio de

Monjaraz, Martin

Monjaraz, Martin Ruiz de

Monjaraz, Ruiz

Monje, Martin de

Monroy, Alonso de

Montanes, Juan

Montanes, Lucas

Montanes, Pedro

Monte, Hernando de

Montejo, Diego de

Montano, Francisco de

Montejo, Francisco

Monterroso, Blas de

Montalvo, Alonso de

Montes, Juan Alcantara

Mora, Alonso de

Montero, Diego

Montero, Francisco

Montes, Alonso

Montes, Pedro

Montesinos, Juan (Pedro) de

Montes de Oca, Hernando

Mora, ?

Morales, ?

Morales, Alonso

Morales, Bartolome de

Morales, Cristobal

Morales, Cristobal de

Morales, Esteban

Morales, Martin de

Morales (Netros), Francisco

Morales, Francisco

Morales, Juan de

Morales, Miguel de

Morales Coronel, Juan de

Morante, Francisco

Mora Jimenez, Juan de

Morcillo, Alvaro de

Morcillo, Andres

Moreno, ?

Morante, Cristoval de

Morcillo, Alonso de

Morcillo, Francisco de

Morejon de Lobera, Rodrigo

Moreno, Diego

Moreno de Medrano, Pedro

Moreno, Bachiller Pedro

Moreno, Blas

Moreno, Pedro

Moreno, Isidro

Moreno, Juan

Moreno Cendejas, Pedro

Moreno de Najera, Pedro

Moreno de Zaragosa, Pedro

Moria, Francisco de

Morillas, ?

Morisco, Pedro

Morla, ?

Moro, Alonso de

Moron, Pedro

Motrico, Francisco

Motrico, Pedro de

Moya, Joan

Muda (Muela), Julian de la

Moron, Alonso

Mosquero, Juan

Muniz, Fernando

Moscoso, Sabastian

Motrico, Diego de

Muniz, Gregorio

Munoz, Juan

Murcia, Pedro de

Naipes, Diego de

Najera, Rodrigo de

Najera Batihoja, Juan de

Napolitano, Luis

Nao, Rodrigo de

Narvaez, Gonzalo de

Narvaez, Panfilo

Nasciel, Alonso de

Navarette, Alonso

Navarro, Felipe

Navarro, Juan (4)

Nebreda, Hernando de

Niano, Lope de

Niebla, Fernando

Nieto, Antonio

Nieto, Diego

Nieto, Gomez

Nieto, Pedro

Nino, Domingo

Nino, Juan

Nino de Escobar, Alonso de

Nobucas (Noburias), Francisco

Nortes, Alonso

Nortes. Jines

Nunez, Alonso

Nunez. Andres

Nunez, Anton

Nunez, Juan

Nunez de Duerla, Juan

Nunez Gallego, Joan

Nunez Gallego, Juan

Nunez de Guzman, Pero

Nunez de San Miguel, Diego

Nunez Trejo, Diego

Nunez Mercado, Juan

Nunez Sedeno, Juan

Nunez Mancheno, Cerrana

Oblanco, Gonzalo

Ocampo, Alonso de

Ocampo, Alvaro

Ocampo, Andres de

Ocampo (Campo), Bartolome de

Ocampo, Diego

Ocampo, Gonzalo de

Ocampo, Gregorio de

Ocampo, Pedro de

Ocana, Alonso de

Ocana, Francisco

Ocana, Gonzalo

Ocana, Juan de

Ocana, Pedro

Ochoa, ?

Ochoa, Gonzalo de

Ochoa, Juan

Ochoa de Verazu (Vergara), Pedro

Ochoa de Lexalde, Juan

Ojeda, Alonso (El Viejo)

Ojeda, Alonso

Ojeda, Cristobal (Doctor)

Ojeda, Luis de

Olano, Francisco D'

Olanos, Sebastian D'

Olbera (Olvera), Diego de

Olea, Hernando de

Olea, Cristoval

Oliberos, Francisco de

Oliver, Antonio de

Olmedo, Juan de

Olid, Cristoval de

Oliveros, Francisco de

Olmedo, Bartolome

Olmos, Francisco de

Olvera, Diego de

Olvera, Martin

Ona, Pedro de

Ordaz, Diego

Ordana, Francisco

Ordaz, Beatriz de

Ordaz, Francisca de

Ordaz, Pedro

Orduna, Francisco

Orduna, Pedro de

Orduna, ?

Orduna, Alonso

Orduna, Alonso de

Orozco, Francisco (2)

Ortega, Juan de

Ortiz de Zuniga, Alonso

Oredo, Martin de

Orellana, Pedro de

Orozco, Juan

Ortiz, Cristoval (2)

Ortiz, Juan

Osorio, (?)

Orozco Acevedo, Hernando de

Ortacho, Francisco de

Ortega, Cristobal de

Ortega, Hernando de

Ortega (Orteguilla), Juan

Ortiz, ?

Osma (Ozma,Dozma), Hernando de

Osorio, Juan

Ovalle, Juan de

Ovando, Diego de

Ovide, Pedro de

Oviedo, Bernardo

Pablo, ?

Pablo, Pedro

Paez, Francisco Bernal

Paez, Lorenzo

Pacheco, Cristobal

Padilla, Fernando de

Paez (Paz), Juan de

Page, Juan

Palacios, Beatriz de

Palacios, Cristobal de

Palacios, Nicolas

Palacios Rubios, ?

Palencia, Pedro de

Palencia, Pedro de

Pantoja, Juan

Palma, Pedro de

Palomares, Nicolas de

Pandilla, Amado de la

Paniagua, Gomez de

Papelero, Anton

Parada, Alonso de

Paradinas, Cristobal de

Paradinas, Sebastian

Pardo, Bartolome

Pardo, Rodrigo

Paredes, Alonso de

Paredes, Bernardino de

Pardo, Julian

Paredes, Bernal de

Payo, Lorenzo

Paredes, Juan de

Partidor, Martin

Pastrana, Alonso de

Paz, Garcia de

Paz, Martin de

Pedro, Maestro

Paz, Pedro de

Pedraza, Diego de

Pena, Rodrigo de la

Pedro, Martin

Pedro, Pablo

Peinado, Antonio

Pena, Francisco de la

Pena, Juan de la

Pena, Pablo

Penaflor, Alonso

Penalosa, Diego de

Penalosa, Francisco de

Penaranda, ?

Penaranda, Alonso

Pena Vallejo, Juan de la

Pencon, Juan

Peral, Pedro

Perales, Bartolome de

Perales, Juan

Perez, Augustin

Perez, Alonso (2)

Perez, Alfonso

Perez, Antonio

Perez, Bartolome

Perez, Blas

Perez, Garcia

Perez, Gines

Perez, Hernan

Perez, Hernando

Perez, Juan

Perez, Alvaro (2)

Perez, Francisco (2)

Perez de Arteaga, Juan

Perez, Pedro

Perez Cuenca, Benito

Perez Maite, Alonso

Perez Pareja, Alonso

Perez Zambrano, Juan

Perez de Aquitania, Juan

Perez de Ardon(a), Juan

Perez de Arevalo, Alonso

Perez de Donce, Juan

Perez de Mondragon, Juan

Perez de Tuesta, Juan

Perol, Pero

Perez de la Gama, Juan

Perez de Herrera, Juan

Perez de la Hiniesta, Juan

Perez, Martin

Peron (Peton) de Toledo, Pedro

Pilar, Garcia del

Penate, (?)

Penate, Alonso

Pineda, Diego de

Pinedo, Cristobal

Pinto, Antonio

Pinto, Martin

Pinto, Nuno

Pinzon, Gines

Pinzon, Juan

Pizarro, Diego

Pizarro, Fernando

Pizarro, Pablo

Plasencia, Juan de

Plazuela. ?

Plaza, Juan de la

Ponce, Diego

Ponce, Pedro

Ponte, Esteban de

Polanco, Gaspar de

Porcallo, Vasco

Portillo, Francisco

Porego, Hernando

Porras, Hernando de

Porras, Sebastian de

Portillo, Juan de

Portillo-Villacinda, Cindos

Porras, Bartolome

Portillo, Alonso de

Portillo, Juan de

Portillo, Pedro Alfonso de

Porras, Diego

Porras, Diego de

Porras, Francisco de

Portillo, Vasco de

Portillo Salcedo, Juan de

Prado, Alonso

Pregonero, Cristobal

Prieto, Pedro

Prieto, Sebastian

Prisa, Martin de la

Puebla, ?

Puebla, Bartolome Alonso de la

Prado, Juan

Puebla, Juan de la

Puente, Alonso de la

Puerto, Juan del

Quadras, Pedro de

Quemada, Antonio de

Quemado, Bartolome

Quesada, Bernardino

Quejada, Diego

Quesada, Cristoval

Quesada, Rodrigo

Quevedo, Francisco de

Quijada, Bernardino

Quintalle, Juan de

Quintana, Francisco

Quinones, Antonio

Quinones, Gaspar

Quintero, Alonso

Quintana, Hernando de

Quintero, ?

Quisada, Diego

Quintero, Francisco

Quintero, Juan

 

 

List of Those Who Served with Cortés (R-T)

Rapalo, Batista

Rabanel, (?)

Ramirez, Diego

Ramirez, Francisco

Ramirez, Gonzalo

Ramirez, Rodrigo

Ramirez, ?

Ramirez, Gregorio

Ramirez, Pedro

Ramirez, Pero

Ramirez de Bozmediano, Juan

Ramirez de Vazquez (Vargas), Juan

Ramiro, Bartolome

Rangino, ?

Rascon, Alonso

Ramos de Lares, Martin

Rangel, Rodrigo de

Reina, Antonio

Recino, Juan Anton de

Redondela, Francisco de la

Reina, Juan de

Rellero, Gonzalo

Remo, Juan

Rengifo, Luis

Retamales, Pablo

Ribadeo, Francisco de

Ribadeo Gallego, Pedro

Requena, Pedro de

Reynoso, Alonso de

Ribera, Hernando de

Ribera, Juan Martin