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Expeditions under various officers.


AS the views of Cortes were always lofty and tending towards domination, and as he was well supported by the talents and bravery of his captains and soldiers, after having established his power in the great city of Mexico, and in Guaxaca, Zacatula, Colima, Vera Cruz, Panuco, and Guacacualco, he learned that in the province of Guatimala; there were populous nations, and rich mines. He therefore determined to send a force under Pedro de Alvarado, to conquer and colonize that country, and having first sent an embassy thither, ineffectually, Alvarado at the head of three hundred infantry, and one hundred and thirty five cavalry, two hundred Tlascalans and Cholulans, and one hundred Mexican allies, with four pieces of cannon, was ordered to march to that province.

Cortes gave instructions to Alvarado, that he should if possible bring those nations over to him by peaceable methods, and that Fra Bartholome should preach to them upon the articles of our holy religion; that all prisons and cages should be broken in pieces, and the prisoners set at liberty.

The expedition set out from Mexico, on the thirteenth day of December, one thousand five hundred and twenty three. On his march Alvarado received the submission of the district named the rocks of Guelamo, and there obtained many rich presents of Gold. When the army, passing the provinces of the Zapotecas of Teguantepeque, and by

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Soconusco, which last place contained upwards of fifteen thousand houses, came into the neighbourhood of a place called Zapotitlan, at a river over which there was a bridge, they perceived a number of bodies of warriors drawn up to dispute the passage with them. An action ensued in which many soldiers were wounded, and a horse killed. So numerous were the Indians, that the Spaniards could not break or disperse them without three very hard fought battles.

From this place Alvarado continued his march, under constant alarms from the neighbouring Indians of Quetzaltenango, and after some time he arrived at a defile which ascends a mountain, for the length of about a league and a half. When he arrived at the summit, he found there an Indian woman, very fat, and having with her a dog of that species which they breed in order to eat, and which do not bark. This Indian was a witch; she was in the act of sacrificing the dog, which is a signal of hostility. Shortly after, our army perceived multitudes of armed Indians advancing upon them on all sides, in a difficult broken tract of ground, where the cavalry could not charge. The infantry advanced, but our troops soon perceived that these Indians acted upon a regular plan; for they retreated into the most rough and difficult ground, where above six thousand of the warriors of Utatlan, which is adjacent to Quetzaltenango, fell upon our people. They were however for the present put to flight, but soon rallied, being reinforced by fresh troops in great numbers, who waited our advance, and fought our troops foot to foot parties of three or four of them seizing a horse before and behind, and endeavouring to pull him to the ground. During this time the exertions of Alvarado, and the exhortations of Fra Bartholome, who represented to our soldiers the service which they owed to God, and that they must conquer or die, for the extension of our holy faith, never ceased; thus animated, our troops completely succeeded in dispersing the Indians. They then halted in the field and were unmolested by the enemy for three days; after which they advanced to the town of Quetzaltenango.

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Meaning to give some repose to his troops, Alvarado was disappointed to find that the Indians were now assembled in greater force, and determined to attack him in his post. On their approach, to the number of about sixteen thousand, for their army was composed of two Xiquipils, Alvarado drew out his troops in a plain, and advancing upon the enemy, completely deseated them, with such loss, that for a long time after, they remained completely under awe of the Spaniards.

The chiefs now proposed to treat for a peace, and sent ambassadors to Alvarado who received them kindly, but they had at the same time arranged a plan for the destruction of the Spanish force, and it was this. Not far distant was a place called Utatlan, in a difficult country, and surrounded with defiles, whither they persuaded him to march, and it was determined, that when the Spaniards were arrived, they should be fallen on by surprise with the forces of both the districts. Alvarado marched for Utatlan, but on his arrival remarked the bad situation of the place. This town was of considerable strength, having only two gates, to one of which was an ascent of about five and twenty steps, and the other opened to a very bad and broken causeway. The streets were very narrow, and the houses joined; and in case of being attacked, the ground about the town was unfit for cavalry. The Spaniards observed also that the women and common people had disappeared; and some Indians of the place which they had left told them, that warriors were posted in ambuscade round the town, which it was intended that night to set fire to, and that was to be a signal for a general attack.

Alvarado therefore ordered his troops under arms, and marched out into the open country, telling the caciques that it was to give his horses grass. They did not seem pleased with this change, and as soon as Alvarado had his troops clear of the town he seized the cacique who governed it, and reproaching him for his treason, ordered that he should be burnt alive, but Olmedo obtained a respite and permission to use his

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endeavours to convert him to our holy faith; he accordingly preached an entire day, and at list succeeded, and as an indulgence, instead of being burned he was hanged, and his territory given to his son. Alvarado now fell upon, and dispersed such of the natives as remained about the town, and his success having become known in Guatimala, previous to his arrival on the frontiers of that nation which was in hostility with the people of Utatlan, they determined to treat; for that purpose they sent an embassy charged with a quantity of gold, and to declare their submission as vassals to his Majesty; they offered at the same time to serve in his wars. Alvarado accepted their submission and their offer of service, desiring them to send to him two thousand of their warriors, which requisition was immediately complied with. As the people had rebelled again, Alvarado continued in the country of Utatlai about eight days, collecting a considerable spoil and many slaves, and then setting forward on his march, he soon arrived at the city of Guatimala, where he was hospitably received.

During this time the greaten harmony prevailed between Alvarado and his troops, and the natives, the chiefs of whom informed him that in their neighbourhood was a nation called the Altitans, who possessed several strong fortresses on the side of a lake, and who refused to come in and make submission. They also represented them as a bad and malicious people. To these Alvarado sent an invitation, but they maltreated the persons who brought it, in consequence of which, he found it necessary to go with an armed force, and taking with him one hundred and forty Spanish soldiers, and two thousand Guatimalans, he marched against them, renewing his offer, which was returned by a discharge of arrows from their warriors, who marched out armed in coats of mail, and sounding warlike instruments. Alvarado put them to flight, and pursued them, with considerable loss, to their fortresses which were over the lake. He then drove them from thence, and making several prisoners, compelled them to take to the water, and cross over to an island. The principal persons whom he had taken, he set at liberty, and bid them go and use their endeavours to persuade their countrymen to a peace. 

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Between threats and promises Alvarado at length succeeded, after which he returned to Guatimala. Fra Bartholome exerted himself with effect in his holy office, for, erecting an altar and an image of our Lady, he explained the mysteries of our faith to the natives, who imitated our example in adoring the Holy Virgin.

A people who came from a distance towards the south, to make submission, and who were named the Pipiles, told our chief, that in their way was a nation called the Izcuintepeques, of a very malignant and obstinate disposition, who maltreated all such as went through their country. To them he sent an invitation to come in and make submission, which they neglecting, he marched against them with his whole force and a body of his allies of Guatimala, and coming on them by surprise he made great destruction among them. This was an unfortunate event, productive of mischief, and directly contrary to his Majesty’s orders. I have now given the reader a summary account of the conquest and pacification of Guatimala and its dependencies, but it may be found at full length as written by Gonzalo de Alvarado. I was not present at it, nor did I go into that province until my return from Higueras. The Indians of this province are not good soldiers; only waiting the attack in broken ground.

Cortes had been informed that the provinces of Higueras and Honduras contained rich mines, and certain sailors also told him, they had met with the natives fishing, and that they used nets which had weights of gold mixed with copper; as also, that a straight, or passage, was probably somewhere about that coast. In compliance with his Majesty’s orders, he therefore determined to send a body of troops thither under Christoval de Oli to search for this passage to the Spice Islands, and to make enquiry concerning the mines. As the way thither by, land was very tedious and difficult, it was determined he should go by sea, and accordingly six ships were provided and three hundred and seventy soldiers embarked, of whom one hundred were musqueteers and crossbow-men, and twenty two, cavalry. Five also of the old conquerors of

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Mexico, the companions of Cortes and his Majesty’s veteran servants, who had retired to their houses and repose, were commanded to take up arms again on this occasion; and it was of no use to tell Cortes that any one had served long enough, or suffered hardships, for when Cortes ordered no remonstrances availed. There was also one Briones, a seafaring man, of a seditious disposition, and a bitter enemy to Cortes, and many of the soldiers who embarked thought they had been ill used in the distribution of lands and property.

The instructions given to De Oli were, to sail to the Havannah, to receive provisions and necessaries, and pursue his voyage to Higueras, where he was to make enquiry whether any harbour, straight, or pottage lay to the southward; also to search for mines of gold, and silver, and in some commodious situation to build a town, not neglecting the interests of the church, for the extension whereof, two reverend friars, one of whom spoke the Mexican language, were to attend the expedition.

De Oli embarked from Villa Rica, and arrived at the Havannah, where he took on board his provisions and horses and also five persons of those who had come out with Garay, and who had been expelled from the settlement of Panuco for seditious conduct. These persons attached themselves to De Oli, and began to instil their poisonous counsels in his mind, advising him to renounce his obedience to Cortes. Briones also laboured in this, and having concerted matters with Velasquez the mortal enemy of Cortes, it was settled amongst them, that De Oli should put himself under Velasquez, who would support him in his expedition, and also make such representations at court, that the new settlement should be taken out of the hands of Cortes, and the government thereof given to De Oli. This man was of great personal valour; a very good soldier, but unfit to be a commander; he was at this time about thirty six years of age, and was a native of Baeza or Linares; he had a goods person and countenance, a cleft in his under lip, and his voice was rough and fierce; he was endued with many

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good qualities, being sincere, and for a long time much attached to Cortes; until the ambition of governing, and dislike of being governed, perverted his mind, by the influence of bad advisers. He had been brought up in the house of Velasquez, but was under much greater obligations to Cortes.

De Oli set sail from the Havannah, and on the third of May arrived at his station, which he on that account named El Triumpho de la Cruz. Here he appointed his civil administration, making his alcaldes and regidors of those whom Cortes had recommended to him. He also took possession of the country for his Majesty in the name of Cortes. His motive for doing this was, because he wished to conceal from these persons his secession from his general, and wished to keep them his friends until he could ascertain how the business was likely to turn out; for, if the country was as rich as he had reason to suppose, he intended to throw Cortes off and set up an independent government; if on the other hand, it should appear not to be valuable, he could return to his possessions at Mexico, and gloss over to, Cortes his negociations with Velasquez, by pretending it was done in order to put him in good humour, and induce him to give him the necessary supplies. Thus was the new colony of El Triumpho de la Cruz established, from whence no intelligence reached Cortes for upwards of eight months.

In the town of Guacacualco were a considerable number of veterans, and Spaniards of quality, who were entrusted with the government of the province of that name, together with those of Citla, Tabasco, Cimatan, Chontalpa, Cachula, Zoque, the Quilenes, Cinacatan, and Chamuela, Chiapa of the Indians, Papanausta, Pinula, Xaltepeque, Guazpaltepeque, Chinanta, and Tepeque. In the whole of New Spain, the demand of tribute was the signal for an insurrection, and those who attempted the collection of it were killed, as indeed were, all Spaniards who fell into the hands of the natives. In those provinces the resistance was universal, and we were under the necessity of going round from one city or town to another with a company of soldiers, to preserve the peace. 

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The district of Cimatan being particularly refractory, and Captain Luis Marin being unwilling at that time to send a body of troops thither, it was determined that four neighbours, whereof I was one, should be sent to try if we could bring the people to reason. Accordingly, setting out upon our journey, when we approached the principal town, we dispatched messengers to acquaint the people with our business. When we came nearer to it we were met by a large body of Indians, armed with lances, and bows and arrows, who killed two of my comrades, and wounded me desperately in the throat. My surviving companion after a few blows provided for himself by making off to some canoes by the bank of the river Macapa, so that I was left alone; I however retained sufficiently my senses, to creep into some bushes where recovering a little, I addressed myself to heaven, and implored the aid of our Holy Virgin, beseeching her not to let me die in the hands of those dogs of Indians. Then, feeling my powers return to me, I sallied out, and forcing my passage through the natives, giving many good cuts by the way, I made my escape to where my comrade was in the canoes, with four Indians whom we had brought with us to carry our baggage, which they had thrown away, and which the natives quitted us; to pillage. As it was the will of God that we should not lot our lives on this occasion, we then got across the river, which is very broad and deep, and full of alligators. To avoid the Indians we were obliged to remain eight days concealed in the woods, and from our not appearing, we were all concluded to be lost. As was the custom at that time, our property was forthwith divided amongst the other Spaniards, however at the end of twenty three days we returned to our town, to the great joy of our friends, and disappointment of those who had gotten possession of our lands and Indians.

Captain Marin now thought proper to go to Cortes to represent the state of affairs, and demand more soldiers. He accordingly set out and waited on Cortes, who gave him thirty soldiers, commanded by Alonzo de Grado, with orders for the whole body of Spaniards to march for the province of Chiapa which was in a state of war. Accordingly we set out

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for the purpose of reducing it, and of building a town there, to keep the inhabitants in check.

The first thing necessary was to make a road through the woods, in a very marshy country where we were obliged to make causeways for the horses to pass. Proceeding thus, we arrived at a place called Tezpuztlan, and continued our route to another town named Cachula, from whence we proceeded, there being no passage previous to our expedition, from the sear the other natives have of those of Chiapa, who undoubtedly were at that time the bravest warriors in America; they also robbed passengers and travelling merchants, and brought off the inhabitants of these districts to colonize and till their ground, nor could the Mexicans, ever subdue them. This our expedition took place in Lent, the year I cannot bring to my recollection, but think it was one thousand five hundred and twenty four. When we came near the city of Chiapa, we made a review of our force, which consisted of twenty seven horse men, twenty three musqueteers, and a field piece under the direction of a gunner who told us that he had served in Italy; however that was, he was of no use, being a very cowardly fellow. We had seventy foot soldiers armed with sword and target, and about eighty Mexicans. The cacique of Cachula with some of his principal people attended us, trembling with fear; four soldiers of the most active of our little army, of whom I was one, were always sent forward to reconnoitre; the ground not being fit for a horse I left mine behind, and we were usually in front of the army about half a league. The people of Chiapa being much accustomed to hunting, some of them who were thus employed perceiving us at a distance gave the alarm, and made signals by smoke.

As we approached their first settlement, which is called Estapa, and is distant four leagues from the principal town, we found the roads, which ran through cultivated grounds, wide and convenient; and on each side were plentiful crops of corn, and vegetables. We entered this town, but the inhabitants had quitted it, and having posted our guards and sent out patroles, the remainder went to rest; but we were soon roused 

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by the arrival of two of our out party, who came in at full speed to tell us, that the natives were collecting from all parts to attack us. We stood to our arms, and advanced to meet them out of the town, where a very severe action ensued, for they were provided with darts hardened in fire, war clubs, and lances larger than ours, and also a good defensive armour made of cotton. As the field of battle was very stoney, their slingers did us infinite mischief. They approached us so close that in the first attack they killed two of our soldiers, and four houses, wounded our reverend father, Fra Juan, and thirteen soldiers, and destroyed many of our allies. Our captain, Marin, also was wounded in two places. This action lasted till dark night, when, having made an unsatisfactory experiment of-the sharpness of our swords and the effect of our musquetry, the enemy retired, leaving behind them fifteen killed, and many wounded, from two of whom, apparently principal people, we learned, that on the next day a general attack was intended upon us.

The manner in which the enemy had fought convinced us that they were no despicable warriors: for when a cavalry man halted to make a thrust the Indians seized the horse, and wrested the lance out of the horseman’s hand, or pulled him to the ground.

On the next day we pursued our route to the city of Chiapa, and a city it might truly be called, from the regularity of its streets and houses. It contained not less than four thousand families, not reckoning the population of the many dependent towns in its neighbourhood. At the distance of about a quarter of a league from the place which we had left, we found the whole force of Chiapa drawn up to receive us. Their troops were adorned with plumage, and well armed, offensively and defensively, and the hills resounded with their shouts on our appearance. It was dreadful to behold the fury with which they threw themselves upon us like enraged lions; as for our black artillery man, and black he was indeed to us, he was so stupified with fear, that he stood trembling and unable to put the match to the gun, and when at 

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last we succeeded in rousing him, he fired the piece with no other effect than that of wounding three of our own men. Our captain gave orders to the cavalry to form in small bodies, and the musqueteers, crossbow-men, and sword and buckler men, to close into one compact battalion, whereby the cavalry and infantry supported each other. The enemy were so numerous that had we not been the men we were, it would have gone very hard with us, and we ourselves were astonished at the bravery of our adversaries; but good father Bartholome stood firmly by us, and administered comfort to us by his exhortations, promising that we should be rewarded for our exertions, both by God and by Caesar. Our Captain Marin likewise frequently encouraged us, calling out to charge them in the name of St. Jago. We at length forced them to fly before us; but as there were hard by, tracts of very rocky ground where the cavalry could not follow them, fresh bodies of Indians fell upon us by surprise, while we, thinking the day our own, were returning thanks to God and our Lady. Of these troops a number were prepared with long thongs to twist round the horses, and throw them down, and they had also stretched out the nets which they used in hunting, for the same purpose. The enemy attacked us here so desperately that hardly one of our soldiers escaped without a wound; they wrested the lances from some of our cavalry, and killed two soldiers and five horses. In the centre of their army was a woman, aged, and immoderately fat, who was esteemed by them a goddess, and had promised them the victory. They had also incense in a pan, and certain idols made of stone. This woman, who had her body painted, and cotton mixed with the paint, advanced without any fear among our allies, who were formed by companies, and by whom this infernal deity was in a very short time torn to pieces.

During this time the battle raged, and we and our captain recommending ourselves to our Lady, and beseeching the reverend father to pray for us, threw ourselves into the thickest of it, and forced the enemy to fly, some to the rocks, others to the river, whereby they effected their escape, being excellent swimmers. We then halted to take breath,

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and our good friar, joined by the soldiers, sang the hymn which begins “Salve &c,” and we returned thanks to God for the victory. Our army then advanced towards a town by the side of a river, where we remained the entire day and night, paying particular attention to the concealment of our dead.

About midnight, ten chieftains of the neighbouring districts came down the river which is very broad and deep in five canoes; they disembarked at one of, our posts, and were made prisoners. Being brought before our captain, they told him they belonged to a nation called the Xaltepeques, against whom the people of Chiapa had made war; their object was, to offer their support, and to obtain from us a promise, that in case of success against the Chiapans, we should set free from them the nations to which these Indians belonged; in the hopes of which, they promised us assistance to pass the river, which could not otherwise be done. This was very satisfactory to us, and therefore leaving two of their party behind, the rest went immediately to provide twenty canoes. The remainder of the night was passed under a strict watch, for the drums and horns of the enemy were heard, from the banks of the river, where they were collecting to attack us. As soon as it was light we saw our friends arrive with the canoes; they also shewed us a ford, though a very dangerous one, and were urgent to us to lose no time in passing, to save the lives of come of their countrymen who had been made prisoners. Accordingly we passed the river, formed into a solid column, at the ford, which took us up to our arm-pits, and where we lost one of our cavalry. On the opposite bank we were assailed by the enemy with such a discharge of darts and arrows, that not one of our party escaped without two or three wounds before we could get out of the water, but vast bodies of other Indians appearing in our rear, and declaring for us, by attacking the Chiapans, they, were soon forced to turn their backs and fly towards their city, whither we advanced in good order, with colours flying, and accompanied by our allies. On our arrival there, we found it too close built to be safely occupied by us, and we therefore pitched our camp in the open field. 

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Our captain now sent messengers inviting them to peace, and shortly after, they sent a deputation of their chiefs, praying forgiveness, and requesting to be admitted subjects to his Majesty. They also desired that the neighbouring nations might not be permitted to destroy their houses and plantations, which request was readily granted. When we went into this town we found many prisoners confined it wooden cages, who had been seized by them when travelling. All these were released and sent to their homes. In their temples we found idols of horrid figure, which Fra Juan broke to pieces, and also many remains of men and boys just sacrificed, and other traces of their most abominable customs.

Our captain then lent orders to all the neighbouring nations to come in; amongst the first who obeyed were these of Chinacatan, Gopanaustla, Pinola, Gueguiztlan, Chamula, the Quilenes, and others of the Zoque language, with many more which I do not recollect. These people were much surprised when they perceived with how small a body we had ventured to attack the warlike nation of the Chiapans, whom the Mexicans never could conquer. Fra Juan preached to them with great success, and many came to him to be baptised.

While this was passing, a certain Spanish soldier, attended by eight Mexicans, went to a town called Chamula, and there demanded without any authority a contribution of gold in the name of his captain. A portion was collected for him, but not satisfied therewith he attempted to seize the cacique, which caused an insurrection in that and a neighbouring town named Guehuistlan. As soon as our captain got intelligence of it, he caused him to be seized, and immediately sent him off by express, prisoner, to Mexico. This man was one who considered himself of consequence amongst us, very evil disposed, and cruel to the Indians.

We then proceeded to Chamula, which in consequence of the above related outrage continued in rebellion. We were assisted on our march 

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by the people of Cinacatan, a polished and mercantile nation, and arriving at Chamula, we found this place strongly fortified by nature, and the inhabitants well armed, having a large kind of shield with which they could cover the whole body, and which when not wanted was rolled up. When we approached we were attacked with showers of arrows, upon which our captain ordered the cavalry to go into the plain, there to watch the insurgents of the neighbouring districts of Quiabuitlan. Our musqueteers then fired upon the enemy, but with very little effect, whereas their muffle weapons injured us who were uncovered, materially. We were during this whole day sighting thus, to very little purpose, and when we attempted to force the ramparts, we found them guarded by above two thousand men armed with lances. Finding our endeavours ineffectual, it was determined to procure timber from another town which was depopulated, and to construct of it the machines named burros or mantas, under cover of which twenty men or more could approach, and remain under the walls, so as to work an entrance. We therefore drew off for that time, and having procured the timber and constructed these machines, we again proceeded to the attack. Under cover of them our men endeavoured to undermine the wall, the enemy throwing down upon us scalding water mixed with blood, fire, and heavy stones, insomuch that we were quite in despair, and forced to retreat to repair the machines, which having done, we again brought them to the walls, and working under them we made different breaches. As soon as the enemy perceived this, they sent up to the top of their ramparts four of their principal persons, priests, and others, who addressed us covered with their thick shields, and told us, that since we wanted gold we might have it; and therewith threw over seven crowns of fine gold, together with a quantity of gold trinkets, and other things made of that metal, cast in the forms of shells and birds; and they also at the same time sent among us fresh showers of arrows, darts, and stones. We had succeeded in making two considerable breaches in the walls, but it was now dark, and a heavy rain began to fall; we were therefore obliged to desist for that night, keeping good watch all round our post, and the cavalry remaining on the plain

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ground, saddled and bridled. The enemy during the, whole night were sounding their warlike instruments, such as timbals, and small trumpets, yelling, and threatening us with destruction on the next day, which they said had been promised to them by their gods.

At day break we again brought forward our machines, to work at their walls, which the enemy defended with the greatest obstinacy, wounding five of our people, and amongst them myself by a thrust, and were it not for the strength of my cotton quilted armour, the lance would have gone through me. Thus we were employed during the whole day, and the evening was drawing on, with a heavy fall of rain and a very thick mist, as is frequently the case in that mountainous country. In consequence of this our captain called us off from the engagement, and about the same time the enemy ceasing to shout and make the noises they had hitherto done, I, who was accustomed to business of the kind, and also perceived that their lances were rested against the walls, barbicans, and battlements, except about two hundred that still appeared to be in hand, began to suspect they were going to abandon the place; in consequence whereof, I and one of my comrades getting in at a small breach in the wall, to see what they were doing, fell suddenly in upon upwards of two hundred of them in arms, who attacked us with their lances, and would speedily have put an end to us, but that some of our Indian allies who perceived our situation, called out to the rest of our soldiers, who crouded in to where we were surrounded by these Indians, who only composed the rear guard of the garrison, for all the rest, men, women, and children, had evacuated the place by the other gate.

These who remained we quickly put to flight, and pursuing them, we came up with many of the others, and made prisoners several men, women, and children. We now quitted the town, and pursued our route towards Chinacatan, halting for that night at a place where at present the city of Chiapa de los Espanoles is built. Being arrived here, our captain discharged six of his prisoners, with orders to inform their

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countrymen that if they submitted, he would deliver up to them the whole of those he had taken, which message was delivered, and chearfully complied with.

In consequence of the orders which Cortes had given to our captain, who was also my particular friend, to give me some good situation, I was appointed to the command of this encomienda which I held for eight years. The first thing I did was, to get a reverend father to preach to the Indians, and convert them to the christian faith; we accordingly creed an altar and crucifix, and he preached to them to good effect. The first day we baptised fifteen, to my great satisfaction, for I loved and wished well to them, they being now my own. There was in this neighbourhood a people who inhabited three fortified towns, and were in rebellion against us, named the Gueguestitlans, and it became necessary to march against and reduce them. Leaving therefore our wounded and baggage behind, the most stout and active among us proceeded against them; they had barricaded all their approaches with fallen trees, which we cleared by the assistance of our Indian allies, and arrived under their fortresses, which appeared likely to give us enough to do, for the first we came to was full of warriors who were well appointed, offensively and defensively. When we mounted to the assault they all fled and left the place to us, but our allies made two of them prisoners, who were immediately released, and sent with offers of peace and good treatment to their friends, on submission. These conditions they accepted and came in, bringing with them some trifling presents of gold, and feathers of the quetzal.

Having thus effected our business here, we proceeded according to the directions of Cortes, to establish a colony. Hereupon there was a difference of opinion amongst us, for some were for it, but others who had plantations and Indians in Guacacualco were adverse, objecting to it as an unfit situation for cavalry, and saying also that our force in its present reduced state was insufficient, the district being populous, and the towns built in the fastnesses of the mountains. Thus our party fell

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into disputes upon this and other subjects, for our captain, Marin, and Diego de Godoy who was a royal notary and a very busy person, were adverse to the plan. That troublesome fellow Alonzo de Grado, also it appeared, was possessed of a patent from Cortes, giving him an encomienda in the province of Chiapa, when it was reduced to obedience. By virtue of this he demanded from Marin the gold which had been obtained from the Indians of Chiapa, and also that which had been found in the temples, amounting to one thousand five hundred crowns. This Marin refused, alledging that it was necessary to employ it in replacing the horses which had been killed in the expedition. All these differences together brought matters to such an extremity, that our captain put both of them in irons, determining to send De Grado to Mexico; as to Godoy, by dint of intercession and promises he obtained his release. Godoy made but a very bad return to Marin for his lenity, for he immediately entered into a cabal with De Grado, and it was agreed between them to make a formal complaint to Cortes against him. I was applied to also to write to him in exculpation of De Grado, because they said that Cortes would believe my representations. I did write indeed, but it was to let Cortes know the true state of the case, and by no means charging Marin with any impropriety. De Grado was sent to Mexico under an oath to present himself to Cortes within eighty days; that time being allowed on account of the distance, which is upwards of one hundred and ninety leagues.

It was now determined by us, to chastise those people who killed the two soldiers of that party wherewith I was sent, as formerly mentioned. In our way we marched through a district so very rugged, that the passage was impossible to our horses without assistance, which, on an application to the caciques was readily afforded us. These people are named Tapelola. Continuing our route by the Silo, Suchiapa, and Coyumelapa districts we came to those of the Tecomayatacal and Ateapan Indians. The houses in the chief town, which belonged to my district, joined each other, and formed a very populous and extensive place. 

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Near this was a large and deep river, which it was necessary to pass, and here we were opposed by the people of the town and vicinity, but after a sharp action, wherein we had six soldiers wounded and three horses killed, we put them to flight, they all taking to the mountains and woods, having first set fire to their town. We stayed here five days taking care of the wounded, and having made many of the women of this place prisoners, our captain sent to invite the people to peace, which was accepted, and they returned to their homes. Godoy was averse from this lenity, and told our captain that these people who had revolted without any reason should be punished, or at any rate made to pay for the horses which were killed in the action. I was of a different opinion, and thought that since they came peaceably they should not be made to suffer; and giving my opinion freely, Godoy became enraged and broke out into angry words, from which we came to blows, and drew our swords. A good many cuts passed between us before we could be parted, and if we had not been so, one or other of us would have lost his life. Marin, who was a good and mild man, saw the impropriety of using harsh measures with these people, and restoring all their property to them, left them in peace.

We continued our march, and passing by other districts of Cimatlan, and Talatiopan, we were assailed by a number of their archers, who gave us a volley whereby above twenty of our soldiers were wounded, and two horses killed; and but that we immediately attacked and drove them from their post, they would have done us much mischief. I must observe, that these are the strongest archers that ever I met with, for they drive their arrows through two suits of cotton mail well quilted; which is a wonderful force. Their country is in great part marsh, which shakes when a foot-man walks upon it. It was therefore in vain to pursue the natives, and as for our offers of peace they treated them with neglect. We therefore thought it best to make our shortest way to our town of Guacacualco. We took our route for it by the district of Guimango, Nacaxa, Xuica, Teotitlan, Copilco, and others which

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I do not recollect, to Ulapa, and across the rivers Agaqualulco, and Tonala, to Guacacualco, where the killed horses were paid for at a penny a pound.

As to De Grado, when he arrived at Mexico and waited on Cortes, the general was highly displeased with him, telling him to take three thousand crowns and go to the Island of Cuba, and give him and others no farther trouble. De Grado however made such apologies that they were afterwards good friends.