Surrender and Aftermath August 13th, 1521 – a few months later
Spanish Account August 13th, 1521 The Lord of Mexica, Cuauhtemoc, was captured by García Holguin and brought before Hernan Cortés. Standing before Cortés, he said: “Señor Malinche, I have surley done my duty in deference of my city, and I can do no more and I come by force and a prisoner into your presence and into your power, take that dagger that you have in your belt and kill me at once with it.” 1
Spanish Account Cortés told Cuauhtemoc that he only wished all the bloodshed had not been necessary, nor the city so destroyed. He told them all that as “both had happened and it could not be mended, let his spirit and the spirit of his captains take rest, and he should rule in Mexico and over his provinces as he did before,” 2 which Cuauhtemoc accepted.
Spanish Account Díaz’s account ends, but Cortéscontinued by concluding the surrender with the following: “On the day that Guatimucin was captured and the city taken, we gather up all the spoils we could find and returned to our camp, giving thanks to Our Lord for such a favor and the much desired victory which He had granted us.” 3
Spanish Account The following months Cortés traveled to the city of Cuyocan and continued to write his letters to King Charles V. He wrote: “It came to the notice of the Lord of a very great province in Mechuacan how we had destroyed and razed it [Temixitan] to the ground.” 4
Spanish Account Shortly thereafter the Lord surrendered his land. Discovering that the Sourthern Seas could be accessed from Mechuacan, Cortés decided to go there. Once there he encountered problematic provinces, four of them were Tatactetelco, Tuxtepeque, Guatuxco and Aulicaba.
Spanish Account And so Cortés and his Spanish Conquistadors continued to quell Indian rebellion in effort to find treasure, as Cortés wrote in his letter’s: “We shall find many islands rich in gold, pearls, precious stones and spices, and many wonderful and unknown things will be disclosed to us.” 5
Indigenous Account August 13th, 1521 The Lord of Mexica, Cuauhtemoc, was captured and brought before Hernan Cortés. He did not ask Cortés to kill him.
Indigenous Account Afterwards, Cortés wrote that the Spaniards “gathered up all the spoils.” 3 The indigenous accounts elaborate more on the Conquistador’s behavior: Instead, the Spaniards “took a cannon, and took it up on the roof. Then again they killed people; many died there. But [the Mexica] just fled, and the war came to an end.” 6
Indigenous Account And [the Spaniards] took, picked out the beautiful women, with yellow bodies. “And along every stretch [of road] the Spaniards took things from people by force. They were looking for gold; they cared nothing for green-stone, precious feathers, or turquoise.
Indigenous Account And some men were picked out, those who were strong and in the prime of life. Then they burned some of them on the mouth [branded them].” 7 This was the Spanish-Indigenous relationship.
Indigenous Account The following days Hernan Cortés decided to ask Cuauhtemoc and his captians about the gold they had scattered in the canal. He asked them, “Where is the gold that was kept in Mexico?” ⁸
Indigenous Account After receiving no sufficient answers, Cortés told them that “you are to produce two hundred pieces of gold of this size,” ⁹ and Marina, the translator, indicated the size with her hands.