Discover your family's story.

Enter a grandparent's name to get started.

Start Now

Hernando Cortez

The Cuban governor, Velasquez, determined to pursue discoveries and conquest at the west, and appointed Hernando Cortez, a Spanish cavalier, resident upon the island, to command the new expedition. That the reader may judge what strange contradictions may exist in the character of the same individual, how generosity and cupidity, mildness and ferocity, cruelty and kindness, may be combined, let him compare the after conduct of this celebrated hero with his character as sketched by the historian. “Cortez was well made, and of an agreeable countenance; and, besides those common natural endowments, he was of a temper which rendered him very amiable; for he always spoke well of the absent, and was pleasant and discreet in his conversation. His generosity was such that his friends partook of all he had, without being suffered by him to publish their obligations.” In the words of the poet, he “Was one in whom Adventure, and endurance, and emprise Exalted the mind s faculties, and strung The body s sinews. Brave he was in fight, Courteous in banquet, scornful of repose, And bountiful, and cruel, and devout.” Hidalgos of family and wealth crowded eagerly to join the fortunes of the bold and popular leader. “Nothing was to be seen or spoken of,” says Bernal Diaz, “but selling lands to purchase arms and horses, quilting coats of mail, making bread, and salting pork for sea store.” From St. Jago the fleet sailed to Trinidad on the southern coast, where the force was increased by a considerable number of men, and thence round Cape Antonio to Havana. From the latter port the flotilla got under...

Pin It on Pinterest