I’m currently translating Hernán Cortés’ letters to Charles V into modern English. The reason for this is that I would like to re-trace his footsteps through Mexico by foot. I will update this page as time allows.

Sent to your majesty, by the Captain general of the New Spain, don Fernando Cortés, in which he describes the unparalleled lands and provinces that he has rediscovered in Yucatán, year 1519, which have been subjugated to your majesty.

This letter tells about an enormous and rich province called Culúa, in which there are very large cities with marvelous buildings, abundant commerce, and many riches. Among these, Tenochtitlán is the most prosperous. By amazing arts, it is built over a large lake. The ruler of these lands is a great lord called Motecuzoma. In this region horrible things happened to the captain and our Spaniards. The letter also tells about the enormous kingdom of Motecuzoma, of their rites, ceremonies and customs. Oh my king: