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Yucatan Before and After the Conquest, by Diego de Landa, tr. William Gates, [1937], at


The Admiral Montejo did not carry out his settlement as he planned . . . . . . of one who has enemies, * because it was quite far from the sea for entry from and departure for Mexico, and for receiving goods from Spain. The Indians feeling it a hardship to serve strangers where they had been the lords, began to be hostile on all sides, although he defended himself with his horses and men, and killed many. Nevertheless the Indians grew stronger every day, so that he found provisions failing, and at last one night he left the city, leaving a dog tied to the clapper of a bell, near some bread just out of his reach. The day preceding he had harassed the Indians by skirmishes that they might not follow. The dog in trying to reach the bread kept the bell ringing, keeping the Indians uncertain and expecting an attack. When they discovered the ruse, they were furious at what had been played on them, and sought to pursue the Spaniards in all directions, but not knowing what road they had taken. The party that followed in the direction they had gone caught up with the Spaniards, making a great hue and cry as if in a chase of fugitives. Six of the horsemen waited for them in the open and ran many of them down; one of the Indians seized hold of a horse by the leg, and stayed him as if he were a sheep. The Spaniards came to Zilán [Dzilán], a beautiful place, whose chief was a youth of the Chels, and had become a Christian and a friend of the Spaniards; he treated them well. This was near Tikoch, which with all the other towns of that region was under the sway of the Chels; here they remained some months in safety.

The admiral seeing that here they would be unable to receive aid from Spain, and that in case of an uprising by the Indians they would be lost, decided to go to Campeche and Mexico with all his people. From Dzilán to Campeche it was forty-eight leagues, densely populated, so that when he made known his purpose to Namux Chel, the chief of Dzilán, the latter offered to make the road safe and to accompany him. The admiral also arranged with the chief of Yobain, an uncle of him of Dzilán, for the company of his two

p. 23

sons, well disposed youths. Thus with these three youthful cousins, he of Dzilán on horse and the others en croupe, they arrived safely at Campeche and were received there in peace, there taking leave of the Chels who returned to their homes, though the chief of Dzilán died on the way. Thence they departed for Mexico, where Cortés had assigned a quota of Indians to the admiral, notwithstanding his absence.

On arriving at Mexico with his son and nephew, the admiral instituted a search for his wife, Doña Beatrix de Herrera, whom he had married secretly at Sevilla, and a daughter he had had by her, named Beatrix de Mendoza. Some say he refused to recognize her, but Don Antonio de Mendoza, the Viceroy of New Spain, intervened and reconciled them. Thereupon the Viceroy sent him as governor of Honduras, where he married his daughter to the licentiate Alonso Maldonado, president of the Audiencia of the Confines; then after some years they removed to Chiapas, and from there he sent his son, duly empowered, to Yucatan, conquering and reducing it to submission.

This Don Francisco, son of the admiral, was brought up at the court of the Catholic king, and was taken along by his father on his return to the Indies for the conquest of Yucatan; whence he went with him to Mexico. The Viceroy and the Marquis Don Hernando Cortés thought well of him, and he went with the Marquis on the trip to California. On his return the Viceroy made him governor of Tabasco and he married a lady named Doña Andrea del Castillo, who had come to Mexico as a young girl with her parents.


22:* A break in the original here.

Next: XIV. State Of Yucatan After the Departure of the Spaniards. Don Francisco, Son of the Admiral Montejo, Re-Establishes the Spanish Rule in Yucatan