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The True History of the Conquest of New Spain

Overview

Bernal Díaz del Castillo (1492–1584) was a foot soldier in the army of Mexico's conqueror Hernán Cortés, and participated in the campaigns that led to the fall of the Aztec empire in 1521. This 1928 translation of his journals derives from the 1904 edition by the Mexican historian Genaro García - the first edition based on the original manuscript. Written as a corrective to accounts that overemphasised Cortés' exploits, Díaz's epic includes the experiences of the common soldier: hardship, thirst, long marches and...
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Overview

Bernal Díaz del Castillo (1492–1584) was a foot soldier in the army of Mexico's conqueror Hernán Cortés, and participated in the campaigns that led to the fall of the Aztec empire in 1521. This 1928 translation of his journals derives from the 1904 edition by the Mexican historian Genaro García - the first edition based on the original manuscript. Written as a corrective to accounts that overemphasised Cortés' exploits, Díaz's epic includes the experiences of the common soldier: hardship, thirst, long marches and unexpected attacks by rebels. The most complete contemporary chronicle of the Mexican conquest, this important historical document is also a captivating adventure narrative that combines factual accuracy with many dramatic anecdotes. This final volume contains chapters 174–214 and historical appendices by the editor. Díaz describes the aftermath of the Mexican conquest, and outlines how the Spanish established their authority over the land and its inhabitants.
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Table of Contents

Book XIV. The Expedition to Honduras: 174. How Hernando Cortés set out from Mexico on the road to Las Higueras; 175. What Cortés arranged after the factor and Veedor to Mexico; 176. How we had arrived at the town of Ciguatepecad; 177. What Cortés attended to after reaching Acalá; 178. How we went on our way; 179. How Cortés entered the town where the followers of Gil Gonzáles de Ávila were settled; 180. How the day after arriving at that town San Gil de Buena Vista we set out with Captain Luis Marin; 181. How Cortés embarked with all the soldiers and went to settle the place now called Puerto de Caballos; 182. How the Captain Gonzalo de Sandoval began the pacification of that Province of Naco; 183. How Cortés disembarked at the Port of Trujillo; 184. How Captain Gonzalo de Sandoval, who was at Naco, caputed forty Spanish soldiers; 185. How the Licentiate Zuazo sent a letter to Cortés from Havana; 186. How certain friends of Pedrarias de Ávila went post haste from Nicaragua; 187. How Cortés, going by sea in the direction of Mexico, met with a hurricane; 188. How Cortés sent a ship to New Spain; 189. How the Treasurer and many other gentlemen prayed the Franciscan Friars to send one Fray Diego Altamirano to Trujillo; Book XV. The Return to Mexico: 190. How Cortés embarked at Havana to go to New Spain; 191. How the Licentiate Luis Ponce de Leon arrived at the port of Vera Cruz; 192. How the Licentiate Luis Ponce ordered the Residence of Cortés; 193. How, after the death of the Licentiate Luis Ponce de Leon, the Licentiate Marcos de Aguilar began to govern; 194. How Marcos de Aguilar died; 195. How letters came to Cortés from Spain from Don Garcia de Loaysa, Cardinal of Siguenza; Book XVI. The Rule of the Audiencia: 196. How during the time Cortés was in Castile with the title of Marquis; 197. How Nuño de Guzman learned that His Majesty had ordered him to be deprived of the Presidency; 198. How the Royal Audiencia arrived at Mexico; 199. How Don Hernando Cortés, Marques del Valle, came from Spain; 200. Of the expenditure which the Marquis Don Hernando Cortés incurred for the fleet; 201. How great festivities and banquets were celebrated in Mexico; 202. How the Viceroy Don Antonio de Mendoza sent three ships to explore the south coast; 203. About a fleet which the Adelantado Don Pedro de Alvarado fitted out from a port called Acajutla; 204. What the marquis did when he was in Castile; Book XVII. The Record of the Conquistadores: 205. A record of the gallant captains who left the island of Cuba; 206. About the stature and shape of certain of the captains and brave soldiers; 207. About the matters dealt with herein concerning the merits which we the true Conquistadores possess; 208. How the Indians throughout New Spain practised many sacrifices and vices; 209. How we impressed very good and holy doctrines on the Indians of New Spain; 210. About other matters and advantages which have followed from our renowned conquests and labours; 211. How in the year IVVI (1550) when the Court was at Valladolid there met together in the Royal Council of the Indies certain prelates and gentlemen who came from New Spain and Peru as proctors; 212. About other discussions and stories which are here made known and will be pleasant to hear; 213. Why many Indian men and women were branded as slaves in New Spain; 214. About the Governors who have been in New Spain up to the year 1568; Appendices; Index.
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