Half Title
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 List of Illustrations
 Part one: Foundations
 Part two: Revolution
 Part three: Dictatorship
 Part four: Toward a better...
 Study aids
 Pronouncing glossary

Title: Builders of Latin America
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00073984/00001
 Material Information
Title: Builders of Latin America
Physical Description: xiii, 343 p. : illus. (maps) plates, ports., double diagr. ; 21 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Stewart, Watt, 1892-
Peterson, Harold F
Publisher: Harper & brothers
Place of Publication: New York
Publication Date: [c1942]
Subject: Biography -- Latin America   ( lcsh )
History -- Latin America   ( lcsh )
Genre: collective biography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Statement of Responsibility: by Watt Stewart ... and Harold F. Peterson ...
General Note: "First edition."
General Note: "Study aids": p. 305-328.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00073984
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 000118421
oclc - 22945423
notis - AAN4273

Table of Contents
    Half Title
        Page i
        Page ii
    Title Page
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Table of Contents
        Page v
        Page vi
    List of Illustrations
        Page vii
        Page viii
        Page ix
        Page x
        Page xi
        Page xii
        Page xiii
    Part one: Foundations
        Page 1
        Page 2
            Page 3
            Page 4
            Page 5
            Page 6
            Page 7
            Page 8
        Hernando Cortes: Conqueror of Mexico
            Page 9
            Page 10
            Page 11
            Page 12
            Page 13
            Page 14
            Page 15
            Page 16
            Page 17
            Page 18
            Page 18a
            Page 18b
            Page 19
            Page 20
            Page 21
            Page 22
            Page 23
            Page 24
        Atahualpa: Last of the Incas
            Page 25
            Page 26
            Page 27
            Page 28
            Page 29
            Page 30
            Page 31
            Page 32
            Page 33
            Page 34
            Page 34a
            Page 34b
            Page 34c
            Page 35
            Page 36
            Page 37
            Page 38
        Pedro de Valdivia: Founder of Chile
            Page 39
            Page 40
            Page 41
            Page 42
            Page 43
            Page 44
            Page 45
            Page 46
            Page 47
            Page 48
            Page 49
        Doña Clara and the silver mountain of Potosi
            Page 50
            Page 50a
            Page 50b
            Page 50c
            Page 51
            Page 52
            Page 53
            Page 54
            Page 55
            Page 56
            Page 57
            Page 58
            Page 59
            Page 60
        Francisco de Toledo: Viceroy of Peru
            Page 61
            Page 62
            Page 63
            Page 64
            Page 65
            Page 66
            Page 66a
            Page 66b
            Page 67
            Page 68
            Page 69
            Page 70
            Page 71
            Page 72
        Padre Kino: Man of God
            Page 73
            Page 74
            Page 75
            Page 76
            Page 77
            Page 78
            Page 79
            Page 80
            Page 81
            Page 82
            Page 83
            Page 84
    Part two: Revolution
        Page 85
        Page 86
            Page 87
            Page 88
            Page 89
            Page 90
            Page 91
        Francisco de Miranda: Forerunner of revolution
            Page 92
            Page 93
            Page 94
            Page 95
            Page 96
            Page 97
            Page 98
            Page 98a
            Page 98b
            Page 99
            Page 100
            Page 101
            Page 102
            Page 103
            Page 104
            Page 105
        Mariano Moreno: A founder of the Argentine republic
            Page 106
            Page 107
            Page 108
            Page 109
            Page 110
            Page 111
            Page 112
            Page 113
            Page 114
            Page 114a
            Page 114b
            Page 115
            Page 116
        Bolívar and San Martin: Liberators of a continent
            Page 117
            Page 118
            Page 119
            Page 120
            Page 121
            Page 122
            Page 123
            Page 124
            Page 125
            Page 126
            Page 127
            Page 128
            Page 129
            Page 130
            Page 130a
            Page 130b
            Page 131
            Page 132
        Toussaint L'Ouverture: Haitian Spartacus
            Page 133
            Page 134
            Page 135
            Page 136
            Page 137
            Page 138
            Page 139
            Page 140
            Page 141
            Page 142
            Page 143
            Page 144
            Page 145
        Jose Marti: Apostle of Cuban independence
            Page 146
            Page 146a
            Page 146b
            Page 147
            Page 148
            Page 148a
            Page 149
            Page 150
            Page 151
            Page 152
            Page 153
            Page 154
            Page 155
            Page 156
            Page 157
            Page 158
    Part three: Dictatorship
        Page 159
        Page 160
            Page 161
            Page 162
            Page 162a
            Page 162b
            Page 163
            Page 164
            Page 165
            Page 166
        Juan Manuel de Rosas: Cowboy dictator of Argentina
            Page 167
            Page 168
            Page 169
            Page 170
            Page 171
            Page 172
            Page 173
            Page 174
            Page 175
            Page 176
            Page 177
        Francisco Solano Lopez: Dictator on horseback
            Page 178
            Page 178a
            Page 178b
            Page 179
            Page 180
            Page 181
            Page 182
            Page 183
            Page 184
            Page 185
            Page 186
            Page 187
        Dom Pedro II: New world emperor
            Page 188
            Page 189
            Page 190
            Page 191
            Page 192
            Page 193
            Page 194
            Page 194a
            Page 194b
            Page 195
            Page 196
            Page 197
            Page 198
            Page 199
            Page 200
        Porfirio Diaz: Man of millionaires and misery
            Page 201
            Page 202
            Page 203
            Page 204
            Page 205
            Page 206
            Page 207
            Page 208
            Page 209
            Page 210
            Page 210a
            Page 210b
            Page 211
            Page 212
            Page 213
        Juan Vicente Gómez: A dictator in oil
            Page 214
            Page 215
            Page 216
            Page 217
            Page 218
            Page 219
            Page 220
            Page 221
            Page 222
            Page 223
            Page 224
    Part four: Toward a better future!
        Page 225
        Page 226
            Page 227
            Page 228
            Page 229
            Page 230
            Page 231
        Domingo F. Sarmiento: Educator and statesman
            Page 232
            Page 233
            Page 234
            Page 235
            Page 236
            Page 237
            Page 238
            Page 239
            Page 240
            Page 241
            Page 242
            Page 242a
            Page 242b
            Page 243
            Page 244
        Henry Meiggs: Man of millions
            Page 245
            Page 246
            Page 247
            Page 248
            Page 249
            Page 250
            Page 251
            Page 252
            Page 253
            Page 254
            Page 255
            Page 256
            Page 257
        Ruben Dario: Poet of the Americas
            Page 258
            Page 258a
            Page 258b
            Page 259
            Page 260
            Page 261
            Page 262
            Page 263
            Page 264
            Page 265
            Page 266
            Page 267
            Page 268
        Julio Tello: Peruvian scholar and scientist
            Page 269
            Page 270
            Page 271
            Page 272
            Page 273
            Page 274
            Page 274a
            Page 274b
            Page 275
            Page 276
            Page 277
            Page 278
        Lázaro Cárdenas: Mexico's "new deal" president
            Page 279
            Page 280
            Page 281
            Page 282
            Page 283
            Page 284
            Page 285
            Page 286
            Page 287
            Page 288
            Page 289
            Page 290
            Page 290a
            Page 290b
            Page 291
            Page 292
        Afranio de Mello Franco: Friend of international peace
            Page 293
            Page 294
            Page 295
            Page 296
            Page 297
            Page 298
            Page 299
            Page 300
            Page 301
            Page 302
            Page 303
            Page 304
    Study aids
        Page 305
        Page 306
        Page 307
        Page 308
        Page 309
        Page 310
        Page 311
        Page 312
        Page 313
        Page 314
        Page 315
        Page 316
        Page 317
        Page 318
        Page 319
        Page 320
        Page 321
        Page 322
        Page 323
        Page 324
        Page 325
        Page 326
        Page 327
        Page 328
    Pronouncing glossary
        Page 329
        Page 330
        Page 331
        Page 332
        Page 333
        Page 334
        Page 335
        Page 336
        Page 337
        Page 338
        Page 339
        Page 340
        Page 341
        Page 342
        Page 343
Full Text





New York State College for Teachrs,
Albany, New York
State Teachers College
Buffllo, New York

New York and London


Copyright, 1942, by Harper & Brothers
Printed in tkh Unitce States of America
All rights in this book are reserve. It may not be use
for dramatic, motion- or talking-picture purposes without
written authorization from the holder of these rights.
Nor may the book or ptrt thereof be reproduced in any
manner whatsoever without permission in writing except
in the case of brif quotations embodied in critical articles
and reiews. For information address: Harper & Brothers,
49 East 33rd Street, ew York, N, Y.




Part One: Foundations

Part Two: Revolution

Part Three: Dictatorship

f- 551 3


Part Four: Toward a Better Future!


Popocatepetl and Ixtaccihuatl, Mexican volcanoes 18
Courtesy Cuba Mail Line
Plumed serpents on Pyramid Temple of Quetzalcoatl, Mexico 18
Mission of San Xavier del Bac, Tucson, Arizona 19
Courtesy Southern Pacific Railroad
Navajo blankets 19
Courtesy Museum of Modern Art
Street scene, Cuzco, Peru 34
Photograph by authors
Ruins of Sacsahuaman, near Cuzco, Peru 34
Courtesy Grace Line
Lower wall of Incan Temple of the Sun, Cuzco, Peru 35
Courtesy Grace Line
Statue of Francisco Pizarro, Lima, Peru 35
Photograph by authors
Statue of Pedro de Valdivia, Santiago, Chile 50
Courtesy Grace Line
Statue of Chief Caupolicin, Santiago, Chile 50
Courtesy Grace Line
Potosi Mountain, Bolivia 51
Courtesy Grace Line
San Francisco Church, Potosi, Bolivia 51
Courtesy Grace Line
View of Arequipa, Peru 66
Courtesy Grace Line
Cuzco Indian 66
Courtesy Pan American Airways

Llamas in street, Cuzco, Peru 66
Photograph by authors
Statue of Virgin, Hill of San Crist6bal, Santiago, Chile 67
Courtesy Grace Line
Statue of San Martin, Buenos Aires 98
Courtesy Moore-McCormack Lines
Eucadorean Indians 98
Courtesy Pan American Airways
View of Caracas, Vehezuela 99
Courtesy Grace Line
Statue of Nariano Moreno, Buenos Aires 114
Photograph by authors
The Cabildo, Argentina's Independence Hall, Buenos Aires 114
Photograph by authors
Christ of the Andes, Uspallata Pass 114
Courtesy Pan American Airways
The Andes 115
Courtesy Pan American Airways
Plaza San Martin, Lima 115
Courtesy Grace Line
Casa Bolivar, near Lima 130
Photograph by authors
Native farmers, Port an Prince, Haiti 130
Courtesy Pan American Airways
Haitian woman 131
Courtesy Cuban Mail Line
Street scene, Cape Haitien, Haiti 131
Courtesy Grace Line
Morro Castle, Havana 146
Courtesy Grace Line
Old residence, Havana 146
Courtesy United Fruit Company
National Capitol, Havana 147
Courtesy United Fruit Company
Columbus Cathedral, Havana 147
Courtesy United Fruit Company

Palermo Park, Buenos Aires 162
Courtesy Moore-McCormack Lines
Modern Argentine gauchos 162
Courtesy Moore-McCormack Lines
Bolivian Indian Chief 163
Courtesy Grace Line
La Carreta Monument, Montevideo, Uruguay 163
Courtesy Moore-McCormack Lines
Bernardino Rivadavia 178
Executive Offices, Asunci6n, Paraguay 178
Photograph by authors
Fall of Three Musketeers, Iguassui Falls 179
Courtesy Brazilian Information Bureau
Petropolis, Brazil 179
Courtesy Brazilian Information Bureau, Silva, Jr.
Independence Monument, Sio Paulo, Brazil 194
Courtesy Moore-McCormack Lines
Harbor of Rio de Janeiro 194
Courtesy Moore-McCormack Lines
Dom Pedro II, Emperor of Brazil 195
Brown Brothers
Mexican market, near Mexico City 210
Courtesy Cuba Mail Line
Statue of Sim6n Bolivar, Caracas, Venezuela 210
Courtesy Grace Line
Argentine schoolboy on llama, Buenos Aires Zoo 211
Courtesy Moore-McCormack Lines
Argentine soldiers on parade 211
Courtesy Moore-McCormack Lines
Modern school children, Buenos Aires 242
Courtesy Moore-McCormack Lines
Obelisk, Buenos Aires 242
Courtesy Moore-McCormack Lines
Domingo F. Sarmiento 242
Indians in Peruvian Andes 243
Photograph by authors

Native thatched-roof huts in Peruvian Andes 243
Photograph by authors
Henry Meiggs 258
Courtesy Engineering and Mining Journal
Statue of Ricardo Palma, Miraflores, Peru 258
Photograph by authors
Navajo silver jewelry 259
Helen M. Post
Navajo silversmith at work 259
Courtesy Museum of Moder Art
Ruins of Macchu-Picchu 274
Courtesy Grace Line
Ruins at Tiahuanaco, near Lake Titicaca, Bolivia 274
Courtesy Grace Line
Home ofJulio Tello, Miraflores, Peru 275
Photograph by authors
Castle of Chapultepec, Mexico City 275
Courtesy Cuba Mail Line
Village in state of Michoacin, Mexico 290
Courtesy Cuba Mail Line
Sarape market, Mexico 290
Courtesy Cuba Mail Line
Old Senate Building, Lima 291
Afranio de Mello Franco, Sir Eric Drummond, and Rodrigo Octavio 291


The peoples of the Western Hemisphere have recently be-
come aware of a dangerous menace to their general security
and common welfare. To resist that threat the people and
government of the United States have revealed a deepening
desire to be "good neighbors" to the other American repub-
lics. Similarly, the nations of Latin America have shown a
growing willingness to accept the neighborly gestures of
the United States. The future welfare of all Americans seems
to depend in great measure on the extent to which they can
cooperate in the defense of common interests.
The people of Latin America and their fascinating history
have been largely unknown to young students in the United
States. To them, therefore, this recently-created interest opens
a new field of knowledge, fresh in its appeal and rich in its
new materials for study. Only as they gain a comprehension
of the spirit and traditions of the Latin-Americans can true
inter-American understanding develop and flourish.
In this volume we have tried to fill a gap in the historical
literature of scholars of the earlier high-school years. We have
sought to attract them to the history of Latin America by
introducing them to typical and engaging individuals. The
individual has been made the center of interest in the belief
that young students are more readily interested in a person
than in an idea, a process, or an impersonal fact. But at the


same time, the leading features of a period or an institution
are presented, though incidentally.
We have divided the four and a half centuries of Latin-
American life into four major stages of development, and a
section of the book is devoted to each. In a concise introduc-
tion to each section, lending unity to the separate chapters,
we have summarized Latin-American growth in that stage.
To illustrate each stage we have described the lives and con-
tributions of five or six personalities. We have selected little
known as well as famous persons; evil as well as good; schol-
ars and reformers as well as generals and politicians. We have
given representation to as many of the twenty republics as
possible, in any case to every geographical region. Each per-
son is typical of an age, a country, a movement, or an insti-
tution, sometimes of all four. Considered together, these biog-
raphies comprise a reasonably complete introduction to the
history of Latin America.
In every possible instance, we have sought to correlate the
history of Latin America with the history of the United States
by emphasizing similarities and differences in their develop-
ment. Attention has been given to geographic, economic, and
cultural influences, as well as to the political and military.
Current trends, especially in international affairs, social re-
form, and modern scholarship, have not been overlooked. In
every phase, we have searched for the typical, not the rare,
and the colorful, not the sensational.
Many of the chapters have been used experimentally in
the Milne High School, New York State College for Teach-
ers, Albany, and the Practice School, State Teachers College,
Buffalo, New York. For valued assistance in these experiments
we are indebted to Dr. Wallace W. Taylor, Supervisor of
Social Studies, and Miss Helena McShane, Milne High

School, State College for Teachers, Albany, and Miss Mar-
guerite Stockberger, Practice School, State Teachers College,
Buffalo, New York. Miss Eileen Mulholland, Assistant Pro-
fessor of English, State Teachers College, Buffalo, has read
much of the manuscript with fine critical helpfulness. For aid
with the Pronouncing Glossary we are indebted to Dr. James
Wesley Childers, of the Spanish Department, State College
for Teachers, Albany. Our decision to prepare the book was
the result of the suggestion of Dr. Donnal V. Smith, head of
the Department of History, State College for Teachers, Al-
bany. But the plan of the work and any errors which may
have crept into its writing are our own.
W. S.
H. F. P.



** 4 *** ** ***** ***


"A. A

Azbst aond Mag# t
Tuplr and Guroaw


-a3sA".. .J.. A.
.. .: .: ..-. :::;'









Colonial Latin America was a region of immense extent at
a time when English America was but a narrow strip, hug-
ging the irregular shores of the Atlantic from Maine to
Florida. Latin America-controlled by Spain and Portugal-
embraced the whole of South America, Central America,
Mexico, the West Indies, Florida, and most of North
America west of the Mississippi River. It was a truly imperial
At the end of the fifteenth century Spain and Portugal
were well prepared for colonial ventures. After many cen-
turies of struggle they had conquered the invading Moors in
the Hispanic Peninsula. The kings had succeeded in forming
strong governments through which they exercised broad and
effective control of their people. Foreign trade and domestic
activities provided many Spaniards and Portuguese with the
money needed for equipping and sending out expeditions of
exploration and colonization. It was to the advantage of the
Hispanic peoples, moreover, that for still another century
England and France were to be disturbed and weakened by
religious and political conflicts. Too, a new spirit of curiosity
and confidence was rousing the people of Western Europe in
general. Thus Columbus' accidental discovery of the Americas
came at an opportune time, and both Spain and Portugal
were quick to take advantage of it.
As early as the grade school, every American youth learns

something about Columbus, Cortes, Pizarro, De Soto, Balboa,
and Coronado. Not so many are introduced to Valdivia,
Benalc6zar, Orellana, Martim Affonso de Souza, and scores
of others whose activities were of great importance in explor-
ing, subduing, or colonizing Latin America. They were men
like John Smith, Henry Hudson, Lewis and Clark, and many
of our own explorers and pioneers. The history of all these
men is one of bravery and daring, and sometimes of self-
sacrifice and Christian zeal.
French explorers entered the interior of North America by
the great avenue of the St. Lawrence River and the Great
Lakes. The English, to gain the same region, had to cross
the Appalachian Mountains, although they were not very
high nor were they arid and barren. Spaniards in North
America were not so fortunate. To reach the great central
plateau of Mexico they climbed ranges of ten thousand feet.
From that plateau northward, the way led through desert
or semi-arid country where life was hard. In South America,
the Portuguese, coming in from the east, found low-lying
mountains such as those the English encountered. But beyond,
instead of finding in a temperate climate one of the richest
valleys of the world, they found a matted jungle. There life
was a constant struggle with too-opulent nature, with fero-
cious animals and poisonous insects. From the Pacific coast,
either deserts or soaring mountains received the would-be
Spanish settler. And beyond, again there was the forbidding
jungle. Only in the southern regions of South America, both
east and west, were the early comers welcomed by a land
where, with reasonable effort, they could develop the normal
civilized life to which they had been accustomed. Argentine
pampas and Chilean valleys were hospitable to European
cereals and European animals. It is common to speak of the

hardships of frontier life as our ancestors lived it, but in
many parts of Latin America frontier life was far more
difficult, as well as quite different.
In comparing the life of these two groups of settlers, Eng-
lish and Spanish-Portuguese, the Indian factor must be borne
in mind. English and French settlers found Indians of low
development and in small numbers. One of our pious early
settlers rejoiced that "God had seen fit to send a plague to
destroy the Indians" on a certain portion of the Atlantic coast,
and thus to prepare the ground for English settlers. Perhaps
it could be said that God was just as good to the Spaniards
(at that time few persons seemed to think that God had any
thought for the Indian), though in a different fashion. In
Mexico and Peru, the greatest early centers of Spanish coloni-
zation and civilization, the Spaniards found Indians of rela-
tively high development, who had stored up much treasure
which the Spaniards could seize. More important, there were
many millions of them, enough to furnish an inexhaustible
labor supply for the development of the new regions. This
was a "blessing" decidedly different from that of the English
colonizers. Moreover, these Mexican and Peruvian Indians
were not of the fierce, warlike type of the Forest and Plains
Indians of North America, and thus, despite their large
numbers, they were more readily subdued.
Whereas the Englishman solved the problem of the Indians
by killing them or driving them back, the Spaniard found it
essential to "get along" with his Indians. From this necessity
he developed the mission as a great agency of Christianizing
and civilizing. Because few Spanish women came to the Amer-
icas in the early years, the Spaniard intermarried with the
Indian, and soon developed a class of mixed-bloods, the
mestizo, a class which is now of much importance in many of

the Latin-American nations. The Portuguese, on the other
hand, did not encounter Indians in such numbers nor of
such high attainments as did the Spaniard. But the Portu-
guese, like the Spaniard, generally settled the Indian problem
by intermarriage and civilizing. These contrasts in numbers
and types of Indians encountered furnish some of the basic
differences in the history of English and of Spanish-Portuguese
In England, since the drawing of the Magna Carta in
1215, political development had been toward greater par-
ticipation of the people in their government. This was
decidedly not the case in Spain and Portugal, where kings
ruled "by divine right" and with absolute control. In English
America the colonies from the first enjoyed some degree of
self-government. In Latin America no self-government existed
until the wars of independence against Spain. This, of course,
is another factor of the first importance in understanding
differences between Latin-Americans and Anglo-Americans.
The latter had training in self-government; the former did not.
In economic matters Spanish colonial history differed only
in degree from English colonial history. Insofar as it was pos-
sible, England maintained a monopoly of trade and manu-
facturing, a monopoly which the liberty-loving English col
onists struggled to destroy. For a much longer time and to a
greater degree Spain and Portugal were successful in con-
trolling colonial trade. Legally, no Spanish or Portuguese
colony could trade with foreigners. Nevertheless, because
neither Spain nor Portugal was able to supply its colonies
with all the manufactured goods they needed, from early
times the smuggler found a "happy hunting ground" in Latin
America. Over the vast extent of territory that was Latin
America it was impossible to enforce trade regulations. Yet,


in an effort to do so and to protect the trade from foreign
attack, Spain organized a system of merchant fleets. At stated
times each year, great fleets, convoyed by warships, sailed
from the,Spanish peninsula to the "Spanish Main," as the
Caribbean was called. Though it operated with considerable
success for a time, it was finally abandoned. In the long run,
this economic repression was one of the strongest reasons for
discontent among the Spanish colonists in America.
With the passage of time a complex social life was built
up in the Latin Americas. In Spanish America, Indians had
already gathered much wealth in gold and silver. The
Spaniards early discovered rich gold and silver mines which
they worked industriously-with the labor of the enslaved
Indians. Spanish colonists, therefore, had a surplus of wealth
with which to support schools and to import those civilizing
elements which they believed made life worth living. Mexico
City and Lima, Peru, became great cultural centers. The first
two universities of the Western Hemisphere were founded
in those cities in 1551, more than three-quarters of a century
before Harvard University was thought of. Mining and other
technical schools were founded. Art schools flourished; artists
and writers did excellent work. Already, by 1607, when James-
town was settled, these cities and many others in Latin
America were important centers of European culture. Santa
Fe, a distant outpost in what is now New Mexico, was
founded by pioneers from Mexico City at about the time that
colonists from England were settling Jamestown.
Portugal lagged behind Spain in developing social life in
the New World, because in Brazil there was a lack of ready
money and of those materials which could be quickly con-
verted into money. Even there, however, in the cities, Euro-
pean civilization was to be found in a rather high stage of


development. To such an extent had Spain and Portugal got
into the American colonizing field and profited by their cen-
tury's start over England and France.
In general, the luxuries and the graces of life in the Latin-
American colonies were for the ruling classes, the Spaniards
and thePortuguese. Indians lived in poverty, perhaps in many
cases worse than that existing before the conquest. The
mestizo was in somewhat better case, though he was looked
down upon by the pure-blood white and made to feel his
inferior position. But even for these the dreariness of existence
was relieved by numerous religious fiestas, cockfights, and, in
some sections, bullfights. The rich had their beautiful palaces,
their fine horses and carriages, their gorgeous dresses from
Spain and Portugal, and their hosts of servants to do the
actual work. To some extent the rich patronized artists and
actors. In the courts of the colonial viceroys the forms of
Spanish and Portuguese court life were carefully observed.
For the people of the upper classes, therefore, it appears to
have been a grand life.
Though there are some grounds for criticism, the colonial
systems of Spain and Portugal in the Americas cannot be
condemned out of hand. They held their colonies for more
than three hundred years, almost twice as long as did Eng-
land. And in that period they achieved a great work of
colonizing and civilizing. The history of colonial Latin
America has many elements that are worth study, both for
their interest and for the lessons that may be gained from



The Spaniard, Hernando Cortes, contemplated in wonder
the Valley of Mexico. With him were the four hundred
Spanish warriors who had climbed and fought their way up
the mountains from the Gulf of Mexico. Now, as they scaled
a crest in the sierras, they suddenly saw, stretched out below
them, Tenochtitldn, capital of the Aztecs. Weary from three
months of hard marching and fighting, the invaders could
now refresh themselves on the magnificent panorama which
unrolled before them. They beheld a gorgeous landscape of
woods, lakes, and meadows, flanked by towering mountains.
Fields of Indian corn and the flowers of orchards and gardens
added gay tones to the solemn greens of the forest. Here and
there, clinging to the lakes or reposing on the plains, were
villages of crude, white homes. Most impressive of all, on an
island in the center of the largest lake, like a gem in a silver
setting, sat the shining capital city of Mexico. With its massive
temples, its luxurious palaces, and its enchanting gardens, it
was a kind of "Venice in America."
The Aztec chief who ruled his people from this palatial city
was Moctezuma II. During seventeen years before the ap-
pearance of Cort6s in 1519 he had held sway over the Indians
of the valley and the surrounding mountains. Centuries be-
fore, his ancestors had first invaded this area, streaming in

from the lands to the north. After years of wandering and
fighting, in 1325 they had settled down on the shores of Lake
Texcoco. This place they had chosen because there, poised
on the branch of a thorny cactus, they had beheld a mag-
nificent eagle, a serpent in its claws, its wings stretched for
Bight. Legend says that the Indians accepted this spectacle
as a divine command to build there the capital of their king-
dom. They called the place Tenochtitln, although the rest
of the world has come to know it as Mexico, after the Aztec
war god, Mexitli. The eagle, serpent, and cactus are familiar
to modern Mexicans in the coat of arms of the republic.
The Aztecs prospered in Tenochtitldn, soon replaced their
first crude buildings with fine stone ones, and spread their
population over the surrounding valley. Capable chieftains
developed powerful armies, and by conquest and plunder
brought neighboring tribes under their control. Speedily
Aztec lands and those of Indians subject to them stretched
over the mountains and down to the plains, east and west.
By 1500 they controlled or collected tribute from tribes who
lived from the Atlantic to the Pacific and as far south as
present-day Guatemala. Treasure of great value was brought
back to the capital to beautify their city, to enrich the chiefs,
or to increase their power. Tenochtitldn grew to be a city of
several hundred thousand persons, with two stone aqueducts
to furnish drinking water and with three concrete causeways
to connect the city with the mainland. Hospitals, great palaces,
floating gardens, and a zoo contributed to the comfort and
pleasure of the nobles.
The ruler of this "Rome-like" empire was chosen by a
small committee of nobles and installed with the pomp and
ceremony of an Egyptian monarch. Once in office, the chief
ruled with all the powers of an autocrat. He made and ad-

ministered the laws, respecting the lives and property of the
rank and file only when he saw fit. Garrisons were stationed
at key points to enforce the royal will. The communication
system was so effective that fresh fish could be carried the
two hundred miles from the Gulf of Mexico to the royal
table in twenty-four hours. The Aztecs, it is clear, were far
more advanced than the wandering Indians of North America,
such as the Mohawks, the Blackfeet, or the Seminoles.
Still, in another respect, the Aztecs were astonishingly
barbarous, for, in their religion, they practiced human sacri-
fice and cannibalism. Although they believed in a Supreme
Creator of the universe, they worshiped numerous deities,
thirteen principal ones and several hundred others. Almost
every day or week in the year was devoted to the honor of
one of the gods. In the capital city alone there were more
than forty temples, one of which maintained a staff of five
thousand priests. The most important of the temples was a
huge pyramid of earth and stone, four or five stories high,
which covered at least two acres. On this pyramid, captives
taken in battle were sacrificed. Here, six priests, clad in robes
of sable, stretched out the victim on the sacrificial stone and,
to appease their gods, cut the heart from the living body.
Then the body of the prisoner was turned over to the soldier
who had taken him in battle, so that, with appropriate drink
and food, he might entertain his friends at dinner. All of this
was done, not in sheer barbarity, but as a part of a sacred
ritual. It is said that sometimes as many as twenty thou-
sand victims were sacrificed in a single year. It was a curious
mixture of the civilized and the inhuman.
It was, Cort6s said, to rid Mexico of these inhuman prac-
tices that he invaded Tenochtitlin in the early part of
November, 1519. However, before we witness his entry into

the city and his dramatic meeting with Moctezuma II, we
need to explain his sudden appearance on the heights above
the valley. By what strange daring were Cortes and a few
hundred countrymen able to march into the heart of powerful
Tenochtitlan? What promise of reward had persuaded these
adventurous conquistadores (conquerors) from faraway Spain
to invade the New World?
Only twenty-seven years before Cort6s invaded Mexico,
Christopher Columbus had discovered the "Indies." In the
meantime, Spanish adventurers of all types-penniless noble-
men, soldiers of fortune, crusading friars, debtors and
criminals, substantial citizens-flocked to the Caribbean in
search of fame, fortune, or fleeting adventure. Once the West
Indies were well subdued, the more daring conquistadores
penetrated the mainland of North and South America. Within
half a century after Columbus' first voyage, Spain brought
under its yoke all those parts of the Western Hemisphere
now inhabited by Spanish-speaking peoples. Daring, ruthless
sons created an empire for "God, gold, and glory!" They
brought the God of the Old World to the natives of the
New World, but the gold and glory they took for their
king-and for themselves.
Of all the great commanders who conquered an empire for
Spain-Balboa, Magellan, Pizarro, Valdivia, De Soto, Coro-
nado, and dozens of others-none was greater than Hernando
Cort6s. In 1504, at the age of nineteen, he first landed on
the island of Haiti, happy to escape from a life of idleness in
his Spanish home, eager to search for the mystery and
romance, the glory and gold, of the New World. Soon after
his arrival Cort6s received a grant of land and a group of
Indians to work it and, had he chosen, might have settled
down to the life of a prosperous planter. The monotonous life

was not for him, however, and soon he was engaging in duels
over love-affairs, in studying the methods of Indian warfare,
and in learning the acts of cruelty that he was to use-too
often-in his conquest of Mexico.
When, in 1511, the opportunity came to participate in
the subjugation of Cuba, Cort6s eagerly joined. His courage
and good-humor won the respect and favor of the new
governor of the island, for whom he became a secretary. Still
craving action, however, the young adventurer was not ready
to settle down. With other young "hotheads" he conspired
against the governor. He was twice imprisoned, but escaped
on both occasions. He was reconciled with the governor, re-
ceived another grant of land and Indians, and returned to the
life of a cattle-raiser. Then, with a wife, with increasing
income from his plantation and his gold mines, and as an
official in his town, Cort6s was apparently resigned to enjoy-
ing the life of a contented citizen.
This life of repose, however, was abruptly interrupted in
1518 by fantastic tales of new conquests and new sources of
riches in Mexico. The governor of Cuba, searching for a
commander to lead a new expedition and to help finance it,
made Cort6s captain-general of the fleet. This was the great
object for which the young conquistador had come to the
New World fifteen years before. Now he was free to throw
off the monotony of life on the islands and to satisfy the
ambition that had been gnawing within him-the ambition
to discover, to explore, and to conquer. His whole fortune,
together with funds from his friends, went to the outfitting
of vessels, to the purchase of arms and provisions, and to the
recruiting of men. His instructions were broad. He was to
convert the Indians, survey the coasts, and report on the


products, people, and progress of the country-all in the
name of his God and his king.
On February 18, 1519, Cort6s sailed from Cuba with the
strongest force he was able to collect-eleven vessels, seven
hundred men, and sixteen horses. His banner of black velvet,
embroidered with a brilliant red cross, bore, in Latin, this
motto! "Friends, let us follow the Cross; and under this sign,
if we have faith, we shall conquer." W. H. Prescott, the great
American historian, says that, at this time, Cortes
was thirty-three, or perhaps thirty-four years of age. In stature
he was rather above the middle size. His complexion was pale;
and his large dark eye gave an expression of gravity to his counte-
nance, not to have been expected in one of his cheerful tempera-
ment. His figure was slender, at least until later life; but his
chest was deep, his shoulders broad, his frame muscular and well
proportioned. It presented the union of agility and vigor which
qualified him to excel in fencing, horsemanship, and the other
generous exercises of chivalry. In his diet he was temperate, care-
less of what he ate, and drinking little; while to toil and privation
he seemed perfectly indifferent. His dress was such as to
set off his handsome person to advantage; neither gaudy nor
striking but rich. He wore few ornaments, and usually the same;
but those were of great price. His manners, frank and soldierlike,
concealed a most cool and calculating spirit. With his gayest
humor there mingled a settled air of resolution, which made
those who approached him feel they must obey; and which in-
fused something like awe into the attachment of his most devoted
followers. Such a combination, in which love was tempered by
authority, was the one probably best calculated to inspire devo-
tion in the rough and turbulent spirits among whom his lot was
to be cast'.
1 History uf the Conquest of Mexico (First Moder Library edition,
New York, 1936), pp. 142-43.

Thus began for Cort6s the career of conquests that was to
lead him up the mountains of Mexico and up the peaks of
fame in the history of the Americas. The army first landed in
Yucat~ri, then moved on to Tabasco on the Gulf of Campeche.
In both places, as indeed, everywhere he went, Cortes under-
took the conquest of the Indians, then their conversion to
Christianity. These first two conquests were chiefly important
because they brought to Cort6s two persons who were to
prove invaluable to him during the next two years-two
interpreters, a man and a girl. The first was Aguilar, a
Spaniard who had been shipwrecked on the coasts of YucatAn
eight years before and who had learned to speak the language
of the Maya Indians of that region. The second was a bright
Indian maiden, who was given to Cortes along with a number
of female slaves. Called Malinche by her people, she was
christened Dofia Marina by the Spaniards. She was able to
speak the languages of both the Mayas and the Aztecs. There-
fore, Cortes could speak to Aguilar in Spanish, Aguilar to
Malinche in Mayan, and Malinche to the Mexican chiefs
in Aztec.
Malinche soon made herself indispensable to Cort6s. First
only his interpreter, she soon became his comrade, his adviser,
and mother of his child. Her admiration for the manly Cortes
changed to devotion, and she quickly learned Spanish in
order that she might speak directly to her lover. Her charm
and sympathy, her knowledge of the languages and the habits
of the Indians, and her loyalty'to the Spaniards made her as
essential to Cort6s as any one of his most trusted lieutenants.
The name of Malinche, or Marina, became known far and
wide throughout Mexico and even in Spain.
From these interpreters Cortes learned of the wealth and
power of the Aztecs, and he determined to set about their

conquest. Moving his fleet northward along the coast of
Mexico, he founded the town of Villa Rica de Vera Cruz
(Rich City of the True Cross). This spot, where the army
landed on April 21, 1519, Good Friday, was to become one
of the greatest ports of Spain in the New World and is today
one of the chief cities of Mexico. Here, on Easter Sunday,
Cort6s received special messengers from Moctezuma, who
brought gifts of richly colored feather work and finely carved
.gold ornaments. From these and other Indians who came
to visit him from time to time, Cortes learned more and more.
of Moctezuma and his kingdom. He learned that the Aztec
chief ruled by the power of his army, and that many of the
tribes were obedient to him only because they were forced
to be. The conqueror was wise enough in the ways of men
to see that this was a source of weakness in the Aztec empire;
he readily saw the possibility of weaning these disloyal tribes
from Moctezuma and using them as allies against the chief.
Cort6s also learned that Quetzalcoatl, the chief god of the
Aztecs, was believed to have white skin and a long beard. He
was also thought to have left Mexico at an earlier day for a
voyage across the Atlantic, with the promise to return at some
future time. This belief, too, Cort6s could use to good advan-
tage. He would pretend to be that fair white god. He was
white, wore a long beard, and, riding his horse, might appear
as something divine. This was all the more possible, since
the Indians had never before seen a horse.
Cort6s now began to prepare for the march to the capital
city of the Aztecs. He ordered the destruction of all but one
of the vessels in the harbor of Vera Cruz so that there might
be no turning back. The little band of four hundred warriors
was now completely on its own, without means of escape,

planning to march into a country of hundreds of thousands
of hostile Indians. With their few horses, seven field guns,
thirteen hundred Indian warriors, and a thousand baggage-
carriers, on August 16, 1519, they set out.
The army marched the first day over the hot, sandy coastal
section of Mexico-the land of vanilla and cacao, of bright
flowers and sweet fruits, of tropical birds and insects, of
burning heat, heavy rains, and malaria. Then they began to
climb the mountains through narrow passes and dense forests,
into clearer air and more temperate climate. By the end of
the third day they had reached the tablelands, seven thousand
feet high, where great trees and fields of corn and cactus were
common. As they proceeded, they passed more frequently
through Indian villages, where the natives marveled at the
horses and dogs, the huge guns, and the strange dress of the
white men. Here and there the commander halted to rest his
men and animals or to treat with the Indians. Always the
invaders must be on their guard against ambush, sleeping
with their weapons at their sides. Always here were diffi-
culties to cope with: changing climate, illness, ferocious ene-
mies, treachery within the ranks.
Before Cortes could enter Tenochtitlan itself, there were
two powerful groups of Indians who must be subdued-those
who resided in the cities of Tlascala and Cholula. By the
massacre of thousands, the conqueror was able to subdue
them, and by appeal to their hatred of Moctezuma, he won
them as allies for the march on the capital. Thousands of
the Tlascalans joined the Spaniards for the march up to the
plateau of Mexico, past one of the highest volcanoes in North
America, Popocatepetl (the mountain that smokes). Slowly
and carefully, the enlarged army crept up into the area of

~. ~--. -

cold winds, snow, and sleet, where cotton clothing provided
inadequate warmth for their tired bodies. Early in November,
they reached the mountain heights above Tenochtitln, where
we first observed them at the beginning of this sketch.
Now there occurred one of the most dramatic incidents in
all history-the march of four hundred Spaniards into the
heart of a city of two or three hundred thousand hostile
Indians. It was a moment from which an ordinary man would
have shrunk in panic, but Cort6s was not an ordinary man..
He marched his little army straight into the villages that lay
about the lakes surrounding the capital city, villages so lovely
that the soldiers could scarcely believe their eyes. One of s
them, Bernal Diaz, described the sight as follows:
... To many of us it appeared doubtful whether we were
asleep or awake; nor is the manner in which I express myself
to be wondered at, for it must be considered, that never yet did
man see, hear, or dream of any thing equal to the spectacle which
appeared to our eyes on this day.
When we approached Iztapalapa, we were received by several
great lords of that country, relations of Montezuma, who con-
ducted us to our lodgings there, in palaces magnificently built of
stone, and the timber of which was cedar, with spacious courts,
and apartments furnished with canopies of the finest cotton.
After having contemplated these noble edifices we walked through
the gardens, which were admirable to behold from the variety
of beautiful and aromatic plants, and the numerous alleys filled
with f.uit trees, roses, and various flowers. Here was also a lake
of the clearest water, which communicated with the grand lake
of Mexico by a channel cut for the purpose, and capable of admit-
ting the largest canoes. The whole was ornamented with works
of art, painted, and admirably plaistered and whitened, and it
was rendered more delightful by numbers of beautiful birds.

"VrYTT rr `-~YWWI ~Zu~i~-rC~y .~Ylpg*. Y

-A a-
relrr cr C1~;,-

a ~-.'-

A view of two Mexican volcanoes, Popocatepetl (left) and Ixtaccihuatl. From the
sulphur of Popocatepetl, the mountain that smokes, Cort6s manufactured gun
powder with which to attack the Aztecs.

These "plumed serpents" are at the base of Pyramid Temple of Quetzalcoatl,
chief god of the Aztecs. The Aztecs believed the god had white skin and a long
beard-a belief which Cort6s used to advantage when he invaded Tenochtitlan,
the Aztec capital.


^ I IJa

The Mission of San Xavier del Bac, Tucson, Arizona, founded by Father Kino.
This was one of his largest and most influential missions, and is still in use today.

Some Navajo woven blankets recently displayed at the Museum of Modern Art,
in New York City. This collection illustrates characteristic Navajo designs-
striping, squares, diamonds, terraced borders, zigzagging.


When I beheld the scenes that were around me, I thought within
myself that this was the garden of the world!2
As the army left the mainland, it was obliged to follow a
narrow causeway, four or five miles in length and only a few
feet wide, which led to the island city. On either side thou-
sands of Indians paddled hundreds of canoes, with the hope
of catching sight of the curious invaders. From the causeway
the Spaniards marched on to the island of Moctezuma, won-
dering what fate awaited them. Would Cortes be greeted as
the returning white god? Would the chief receive them in
friendliness? Would they ever leave the island alive? Sobering
thoughts must have been in their minds as Moctezuma, regal
in his embroidered cloak and precious stones, came forward.
There was a brief interview, during which Cortes placed a
chain of sparkling stones about Moctezuma's neck. The Aztec
chief greeted the Spaniard as the representative of Quetzal-
coatl and invited him and his men to rest in one of the royal
During the next few days, the Spaniards were shown the
sights of the city. They visited the public buildings, chapels,
and temples. On top of one of the temples, built in the form
of a pyramid, a Spanish soldier spent many hours counting
the skulls of the victims who had been sacrificed to the gods.
There were more than one hundred and thirty-six thousand.
All these experiences were, of course, fascinating to the Span-
iards, but Cort6s had come to Mexico as a conqueror, not as
a sightseer. His mind was growing restless; he must be about
his business. After consulting his officers he decided to make
a prisoner of Moctezuma and hold him as a hostage. Within
2Captain Bernal Dfaz del Castillo, The True History of the Con-
quest of Mexico (New York, Robert M. McBride & Company, 1927),
I, 160-61.

a week, the Aztec chief was seized, then forced to see his
highest officials burned alive and to acknowledge the king of
Spain as his master. Moreover, great amounts of treasure were
exacted. Finally, the Aztecs were obliged to cease their practice
of human sacrifice. Cort6s could now feel that he had con-
quered Mexico.
The Spaniards had been in the city of Mexico about six
months when bad news was brought up from the coast-the
news that Panfilo de Narvaez had come to Vera Cruz to
undertake the suppression of Cort6s. The governor of Cuba
who had commissioned Cort6s was by now jealous of his
success and accused him of rebellion. The governor's agent,
De Narviez, was sent to punish Cort6s. This was a threat
which the conqueror of Mexico could not ignore. Leaving
his aide, Pedro de Alvarado, with one hundred and forty men,
in charge of the city, Cort6s marched off to deal with De
Narvaez. With little difficulty, stout Cort6s defeated the army
of De Narvaiez and put his enemy in chains. This was late
in May, 1520.
No sooner had Cort6s crushed the danger from his own
countrymen than bad news again reached him, this time from
Tenochtitldn. The Indians of the capital had revolted and
were besieging Alvarado and his little band in their own
quarters. Immediately, with some hundreds of fresh Spanish
soldiers in his ranks, Cort6s marched again up to the plateau.
This time the Spaniards entered a city of sinister quietness.
There were no canoes, no curious spectators, no chiefs to greet
them, nothing of the formal welcome that had been theirs
only seven months before. From Alvarado, Cort6s soon learned
the cause of this stillness. During a religious festival some
weeks before, Alvarado and his men, in cold blood, had slain
six hundred high-ranking nobles of the Aztec empire. He

said he had learned of a conspiracy among them. Within a
few minutes, the dancing, chanting chiefs, without means of
defense, had been butchered. Almost to a man, the Aztecs
rose against this insult to their religion and to their leaders,
and now, as Cort6s returned, the Indians were waiting until
thirst and famine should force the surrender of Alvarado's
murderers. The conqueror was furious at the action of his
aide. "You have done badly," he said to him. "You have been
false to your trust. Your conduct has been that of a madman!"
But the damage was done. The angered Aztecs now rose
up in all their native ferocity to attack the Spaniards. For a
week the fighting raged, as wave after wave of the Indians
moved on the quarters of the Spaniards, only to be mowed
down by the artillery. Even the appearance of Moctezuma
himself was not enough to quiet the Indian hordes. They
hurled stones at their king with such force that one killed
him. Now, the last great advantage of Cort6s over the Aztecs
was gone; no longer could he hold the chief as a pledge
against the violence of the Indians. Moreover, food and water
were running low in the Spanish camp. There was now no
doubt as to the course to be pursued. Cortes must flee the city.
The Spaniards determined to make a run for it at midnight.
A cold rain was falling, when Cortes, with his Spanish and
native warriors, ventured forth. The city slept, but not the
Aztec sentinels. Their cries of alarm rang through the streets,
and quickly the city was alive with warriors. The Spaniards
sought to flee over one of the causeways leading to the main-
land. Everywhere along the way, Indians in canoes were ready
to pull the Spaniards down into the waters of the lake, where,
laden with golden treasure, their bodies sank to the chilly
depths. Three breaches in the causeway had to be crossed,
two of them without bridges. Wagons, guns, booty, and the


bodies of men and horses piled up in the breaks until the last
to come could climb over them. Cort6s and his leaders tried
to rally the men, but there was only confusion. It was every
man for himself, only the shattered remains of the army cross-
ing safely. This was the awful night of June 30, 1520, that
has come to be known as la noche triste, "the sad night."
It was, indeed, a sad night for Cort6s. As morning came,
he could contemplate only losses and sorrow. He had lost
four or five hundred of his men, many of his Indian allies,
most of the treasure, many of the horses, and every gun. Of
the women, only the faithful Malinche and two others re-
mained. Most damaging of all, the conqueror had lost Tenoch-
titldn. With only their swords and what was left of their
courage remaining, the battered Spaniards dragged themselves
to Tlascala, there to rest among their Indian friends.
The star of Cort6s had sunk very low, but it had certainly
not set. The conqueror was still determined to have Mexico.
Step by step, in the city of the friendly Tlascalans, he pre-
pared for one final assault on the home of the Aztecs. He
secured more men, more horses, and more guns from Spanish
ships which had stopped at Vera Cruz. He manufactured
powder with sulphur taken from inside the crater of the
smoking Popocatapetl. With timber and pitch from nearby
woods and iron from Vera Cruz, he directed the construction
of thirteen sailing vessels. These were taken apart, transported
piece by piece on the backs of thousands of Indian allies sixty
miles to the lakes of Tenochtitlan, and there rebuilt. There,
too, he assembled every man, every gun, every horse he could
muster. By the end of May, 1521, he was ready to attack the
waiting Aztecs.
For nearly three months the city lay besieged. Spanish
ships drove the Indian canoes from the lakes. Many of the

temples and palaces and most of the homes were destroyed.
The natives ate grass and the bark of trees to sustain life.
One hundred thousand, perhaps many more, died from
wounds, famine, or disease. Finally, unable to hold out longer,
the city surrendered, and the remaining defenders, feeble and
stricken, were permitted to straggle out into the countryside.
The Aztecs, once the proud rulers of a mighty empire, had
come to theii end-their chiefs dead, their army wiped out,
and their capital destroyed. Cortes, at last, had conquered
Yes, Cort6s was a conqueror-and a destroyer. With a
handful of men he had conquered one of the two largest
empires in the Western Hemisphere and destroyed its civiliza-
tion. Still, he was a builder too. Upon the ruins of the city he
had destroyed he began the construction of a new capital, the
capital of "New Spain." Swarms of Indians built new homes,
new market places, and new gardens. There was a new temple
as well, a great Christian cathedral, where human sacrifice
would not be practiced. Spanish settlers were brought in, and,
with them, the most important European grains, fruits, and
vegetables. The countryside began to prosper anew, with the
oranges, peaches, vines, and olives of the Old World. Horses,
cattle, sheep, and hogs began to graze for the first time in the
meadows of the Valley of Mexico. New Spain, soon to be
the greatest Spanish colony, had been founded. Unfortu-
nately, however, hundreds of thousands of the defeated In-
dians were reduced to practical slavery by the Spaniards and
were forced to labor on public works, in the mines, or on the
large estates. Only in the last twenty-five years have the In-
dians of Mexico begun to regain some o tuleir lost pride and
Meanwhile, Cort6s continued his conquests and explora-

tions. South he went into Guatemala and Honduras and west
to the Pacific, winning new lands for the Spanish crown. On
one of these expeditions, Malinche, his loyal companion for
years, was turned over to one of his friends who became her
lawful husband. In 1528, for the first time, Cort6s returned
to his native Spain to receive thanks and gifts from his king.
He was given the tite of Marquess of the Valley of Oaxaca,
together with huge grants of land in Mexico and control over
twenty-three thousand Indian vassals. In spite of these great
gifts, however, Cortes was disappointed that he received no
position in the government of the colony he had founded. Two
years later, he returned to take charge of his vast estates in
Mexico, where he lived actively, but unhappily, until 1540.
Then he returned again to Spain. There, old, poor, and almost
forgotten, he lived until his death in 1547.



A huge oil painting hangs on a wall of the National Museum
in Lima, Peru. A work of the Peruvian artist, Montero, it is
called "The Funeral of Atahualpa." The scene represents the
great, shadowy interior of the church of San Fernando-a
pagan temple converted into a place of Christian worship.
Slightly removed from the center of the canvas, appearing
serene and noble in death, lies the body of the Inca emperor,
Atahualpa. In the immediate foreground, handsome, bronze-
skinned, dressed in brilliant colors, are several wives of the
dead emperor. The shining armor of a number of Spanish
officers and soldiers highlights the painting and contrasts
strikingly with the somber background and the gaudy dress
of the women. The faces of the Indian women are distorted
with grief and rage as they struggle in the hands of the
Spaniards. The struggle-so unexpected and so unseemly in
the presence of death and in a Christian church-is taking
place because the widows are attempting to commit suicide
and accompany their lord on his journey into the Unknown.
What is the origin of this scene? Why is the emperor dead?
How does it happen that these warriors from across the ocean
are witnesses of and participants in this barbaric incident?
The explanation is found in the story of the conquest of Peru
by the Spaniard, Francisco Pizarro. And to understand that

story one must know something of the Indians whom Pizarro
encountered when he entered Peru in 1532.
The empire of the Incas' was the most completely, and
perhaps the most wisely, organized of all the native govern-
ments which the Spaniards found when they came to the
Americas. It was also the largest. Tahuantinsuyo (four quar-
ters of the world), as the Indians called it, at its greatest
extent, included present Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, the greater
part of Chile, much of Northwestern Argentina, and parts of
Western Brazil. It contained probably ten to fifteen million
inhabitants. All of this immense empire was ruled from the
capital, Cuzco. This city, still existing, though with no more
than thirty thousand inhabitants, deserves special attention.
Cuzco is called by the Peruvians, and quite justly, "the
archeological capital of South America." It lies at the center of
Peru in the Andes at an elevation of eleven thousand feet.
Some authorities estimate that its population once numbered
two hundred thousand. At any rate, it was a large city and,
considering that those who built it were only high-stage bar-
barians, it was a city at which to marvel. The houses of most
of the inhabitants were of mud or other unsubstantial ma-
terials, but the residences of the Inca and the nobles and the
many buildings for religious uses were constructed of stone.
The perfection of that stonework may be observed today, for
some of the streets of Cuzco display on both sides walls of
Inca construction. The great Temple of the Sun in.Cuzco was
the most magnificent structure in the Americas, and, in its
richness of decoration, the Spaniards thought it worthy of
comparison with any building in Europe. The fine stonework
"The word "Inca," properly used, is applied to the ruler himself,
but by usage it has been extended as well to the people whom he

of this temple can still be judged by examining certain por-
tions of the church of Santo Domingo, Cuzco's finest show-
piece. The ancient Peruvians were master masons. Any doubt
on that score must be removed when one examines the ruins
of Sacsahuamin, a strong fortress that crowned a hill which
rises eight hundred feet above the city. Some of the stones of
those walls measure thirty-eight by eighteen by six feet. And
they were brought to the spot from quarries some miles dis-
tant. It is to be doubted that the Egyptians did anything more
difficult when they built the famous pyramids.
Cuzco was the capital of the empire of the Incas. Thence
all lines of power went out. And those lines were very numer-
ous. The government was a despotism, though a somewhat
mild one. Every person's life was completely planned and con-
trolled by the Inca and his officers. One couldn't even enjoy
liimself in his own fashion, for all picnics and celebrations
were planned by the government and supervised by it. The
people were organized into groups of ten families, each with
an official who was responsible for order and for proper per-
formance of duties. Ten groups of ten families made up the
next higher unit, also with its superior officer. Ten of these-
or a thousand families-constituted another unit; and so on
to the top where the four great divisions of the entire empire
were. Over each of these was a lieutenant of the Inca, directly
responsible to him.
The Inca was thought to be a child of the sun. As such he
was not only respected as the head of the political govern-
ment, but he was also venerated as a blood-relative of the
great Sun God. Even the highest officer always removed his
shoes before he entered the presence of the Inca and bore a
small burden on his back in token of humility. There could

be no thought of disrespect for the emperor nor of disobedi-
ence to his command. 4
Everything in the empire belonged to the Inca. The land
in any given. section was divided into three parts. One was
devoted to the support of the Inca and his government; one
was for the gods; the third was for the people. A redistri-
bution of land took place every year, though it is probable that
the same plot was returned to a family more or less regularly.
The law determined the order in which the people should
work these three classes of land. First, that of the gods was
cared for. The people next worked their own fields. Last, they
tilled the lands of the emperor. The third operation was ac-
companied by feasting and singing to show respect for the
emperor and to demonstrate their happiness in serving him.
Not all of the common people worked in the fields. Special
groups manufactured the many necessities other than food-
tools, pottery, weapons, textiles. The ancient Peruvians were
particularly skilled in making fine cloth, beautifully colored
and woven. Cloth made from the wool of the vicufia (a wild
cousin of the llama and the alpaca, all cousins of the camel)
was finest; it could be worn only by the Inca and his family.
Every man's task was assigned him, and usually the son fol-
lowed the occupation of his father, the daughter that of her
mother. Each village specialized in some particular craft. Dis-
tribution of the products of all this labor was made regularly,
each family getting what was needed for its support. The
portion for the gods was turned over to the priests for use or
storage. The share of the Inca was placed in storehouses dis-
tributed about the empire. Wherever the army or the Inca
happened to be, there would be found ample stores of food
and equipment. It is clear that the system did not provide for
idleness. To be idle was to be criminal.

The family was the social ttnit. An interesting feature of
family life was the manner in.which it was begun. At a given
time each year a great wedding festival was held. The young
men and women of marriageable age were paired, according
to their own wishes-if they had a special wish-or by an
official. Then the marriage ceremony was performed, the wed-
ding feast was celebrated, and everyone went back to work.
There were no honeymoon trips. In this fashion, work was
not disorganized. The newlyweds were apportioned a plot of
land (to be increased with the birth of each child). Bachelors
and old maids were exceedingly rare among the ancient
There was little education for the masses except that which
was immediately practical. They were instructed in the op-
erations of farming and the care of stock-that is, of the llama
and the alpaca which were the only domesticated animals.
Those chosen for specialized occupations were taught their
craft, usually by the parents. Sons of the Inca and the nobles
received a special type of training. They, of course, were pre-
pared for holding office. This higher instruction was given by
the priests. As the Incas had no system of writing, the young-
sters spent no time in the painful process of learning to spell
and to read. However, they did have to learn to make knots
in strings-the means by which records were kept.
For all except the ruling class, life among these people was
rather limited. The common people were not permitted to
travel about. However, whole villages, if the Inca decided it
was desirable, might be picked up and moved to form a colony
in a newly-conquered region. Yet no one could starve. There
was a perfect system of old-age pensions. There were no beg-
gars among the Incas. And, for evident reasons, there were
few thieves. A stick set across the doorway was sufficient to


keep everyone out; when the stick was there, the door was
presumed to be "locked." The great criticism, from our point
of view, is that there was no room for ambition, for personal
advancement. One did not advance; he remained where he
was born. Not every boy could, as with us, hope some day to
be the Inca. Even among the more intelligent upper class,
there was little opportunity for developing or exercising ini-
tiative. That is perhaps one of the reasons why the Spaniards
so readily conquered the Peruvians.
Huayna Capac, the father of Atahualpa, was one of the
greatest of the Incas. He ruled his empire with wisdom and
extended its bounds. The greatest extension was in the con-
quest of Quito, now Ecuador. In Quito the Inca found a
beautiful princess whom he added to his harem. This woman
became the mother of Huayna Capac's son, Atahualpa. In
his later years, the Inca spent much time in Quito, and he be-
came very fond of this intelligent, handsome, and energetic
son. He took him on military campaigns and taught him
everything that a young man in his station was expected to
know. The Inca Huayna Capac had many other sons, but the
only one that need be mentioned was Huascar. Huascar's
mother was the Inca's sister and, according to Inca custom,
this son was the legal successor to the throne. However, when
Huayna Capac saw the end of his life approaching, he did a
strange thing, something that none of his predecessors had
ever done: he decreed that on his death the empire should be
divided between Huascar and Atahualpa. Huascar was to
have the southern part with the capital at Cuzco. Atahualpa
was to have for his domain the northern section, including
Quito, the land of his mother.
The death of Huayna Capac and the division of the empire
occurred only a few years before the Spaniards came to Peru.


In the meantime, some unfortunate developments took place.
Huascar, inclined toward a peaceful life, accepted his father's
will in good faith. Atahualpa, however, was ambitious. He
was not content to rule his part of the empire, but encroached
upon the territories of his brother. Huascar resented this un-
fairness, and soon the brothers were engaged in a bloody war.
Atahualpa was the better leader and had two excellent gen-
erals whom he sent to take Huascar's capital. The old city and
the fortress nearby were the scenes of some fierce fighting,
but they fell to Atahualpa's forces. Huascar was captured and
taken with the troops when they returned northward. He was
imprisoned at Jauja, some two hundred miles south of the
city of Cajamarca, where for a time Atahualpa had his head-
quarters. It was at this juncture that Pizarro arrived with his
tiny band of rapacious, but fearless, Spaniards.
Francisco Pizarro was an unlettered Spaniard of humble
birth, who had come to the Isthmus of Panama to seek his
fortune. About 1525, having heard reports of a rich land to
the south, he conceived the idea of leading an expedition in
that direction. Perhaps he could find another native people as
rich as the Mexicans, whom Cortes had just conquered, and
from whom he was taking much gold. With the assistance of
another adventurer and gold-seeker, Diego de Almagro, and
a priest, Hernando de Luque, he made several attempts to
reach Peru. The partners had many misfortunes and made
oily slight progress for some years.
One of the most famous episodes of this period occurred on
the little Island of Gallo, off the coast of Ecuador, only two
degrees north of the equator. On one of his expeditions down
the Pacific, Pizarro had stopped there with half a hundred
men while Almagro returned to Panama for more men and
supplies. Food ran low, the torrid climate was atrocious, and


tropical insects made life miserable. The men became dis-
couraged and threatened to quit the project. In the midst of
their grumblings, Pizarro called them together. With his
sword he drew a line in the sand from. east to west. Then turn-
ing toward the south he said:
Friends and comrades, on that side are toil, hunger, nakedness,
the drenching storm, desertion, and death; on this side, ease and
pleasure. There lies Peru with its riches; here Panama and its
poverty. Choose each man what best becomes a brave Castilian.
For my part, I go to the south.2
Pizarro then stepped across the line. He was followed by
thirteen of his party. The thirteen continued with Pizarro.
The others were permitted to return to Panama where they no
doubt bitterly bewailed their lack of courage. A leader who
possesses as fearless a spirit as Pizarro displayed under these
circumstances seldom fails in his projects. At last, early in
1532, after many additional discouragements, Pizarro found
himself on shore in Northern Peru, not far from the present
'port of Paita.
What a ridiculous venture it seemed-less than two hui-
dred Spaniards setting out to take an empire of more than ten
million! But strangely enough, they succeeded. Pizarro
learned that the Inca was at Cajamarca, so he set out for that
place, sending ahead a messenger to announce his coming.
The party had some very rough country to cover. Cajamarca
lies inland two hundred miles or so beyond one of the ranges
of the Andes. The Spaniards had to ascend ten or twelve
thousand feet before they could go down to the tableland on
which Cajamarca is seated. As they proceeded, they were met
2 Wm. H. Prescott, History of the Conquest of Peru (Home Library
ed.), I, 200.


by messengers from Atahualpa, bearing friendly greetings
and presents of llamas .(a welcome addition to the menu) and
an invitation to visit the Inca. After many hardships, the
crossing was made. As the party approached Cajamarca, they
were appalled by the sight of the encampment of the Peru-
vians spread out on the slopes near the city. The Indians
appeared countless.
When the Spaniards reached the city, they found it de-
serted-to make room for the guests, the Inca later explained.
They established themselves in the chief square of the town
in quarters which were, apparently, intended originally for
the Inca and his soldiers. Then Pizarro sent Hernando de
Soto with fifteen horsemen to call on the emperor and learn,
if possible, how matters stood. Atahualpa received them some-
what silently, explaining that he was engaged in a religious
fast. He promised, however, to come to Cajamarca the follow-
ing day. Though the Spaniards on their horses were strange
sights to the Peruvians and some were frightened by them,
Atahualpa exhibited no concern.
When De Soto returned and reported, the Spaniards began
to take stock of their situation. It would be extremely desper-
ate if the Inca should prove hostile. And though his expres-
sions had been friendly, it was feared that he was planning
treachery. Pizarro had persevered too long in his project to be
scared out at this point. The situation called for desperate
measures, and such were those decided upon. They would
seize Atahualpa! With the emperor in their power, they might
be able to control his subjects. So all arrangements were made
to that end, and the Spaniards lay down to sleep-if they
The following day (it was November 16, 1532), soon after
noon, the Inca with a large retinue and a considerable body

of troops was seen approaching. Pizarro had already placed
his forces in the buildings around the square in which he was
going to receive Atahualpa. The rooms were large with wide
doorways opening on the square. In two of these rooms he
placed bodies of horsemen, in another all the foot soldiers
except a few who were to man two small cannon placed
nearby and twenty who were to be with him. All except
Pizarro and his twenty were to remain under cover until the
sound of a gun, when they were to dash out and seize
Atahualpa and fall upon his men. Then the little group said
mass. At this point in his description of the scene, Prescott
exclaims, "One might have supposed them a company of
martyrs, about to lay down their lives in defense of their
faith, instead of a licentious band of adventurers, meditating
one of the most atrocious acts of perfidy on the record of
The Inca approached, borne on a litter on the shoulders of
his most eminent nobles. He was seated on a throne of mas-
sive gold. The litter was decorated with brilliant feathers and
shining plates of gold and silver. Altogether it was a gorgeous
spectacle, which must have made the eyes of the covetous
Spaniards glisten with desire. After the Inca was borne into
the plaza, he was treated to a sermon by a friar, Vicente de
Valverde. The sermon must have been pretty hard for the
eminent visitor to understand. It included the doctrine of the
Trinity, the story of the creation of man, his fall, his redemp-
tion, the crucifixion of Christ, and many other things. Valverde
at the end signified to the monarch that he was to acknowl-
edge the supremacy of the Spanish king. When Atahualpa
understood what was being demanded of him, he was looking
at a Bible that the friar had placed in his hands. He became
indignant and threw the book to the ground. This seemed the


This scene in modern Cuzco shows how the Spanish built their fashionable
homes on the foundation stones of Incan buildings.

The ruins of Sacsahuaman, Incan fortress above Cuzco. The huge stones used
were brought from quarries miles away.

- ~;si


P %


Lower wall of the Inca Temple of the Sun at Cuzco, Peru, now
part of the wall of the Church of Santo Domingo. Made of
rounded blocks fitted together without any cement, the wall has
blen in this position at least five centuries.


Statue of Francisco Pizarro, in front of the Cathedral of
Lima, Peru. Pizarro, in conquering Peru for Spain, de-
stroyed the civilization of the Inca Empire, with all its
wealth of art and culture.

proper time for action. So Pizarro blew a whistle, a gun was
fired, and the men rushed from their concealment and fell
upon the emperor and his courtiers. As all of the Peruvians
in the plaza were unarmed, they had no defense. When they
endeavored heroically to protect the Inca, they were slaugh-
tered. Atahualpa was taken, though with some difficulty, and
the horsemen dashed from the plaza and fell upon the Indians
outside, who were seized by panic. The terrible suddenness of
the attack, the sound of firearms, and the horses in action
prevented their taking any adequate means of protection.
They fled, pursued by the Spaniards, who slew them without
mercy. Estimates of the number killed in the massacre vary
from two thousand to ten thousand.
Pizarro's stratagem had succeeded perfectly and with no
loss of life among his men. The only wound was one which
he himself received as he threw out his arm to protect
Atahualpa from a Spanish blow. Holding the Inca they were,
for the time at any rate, safe. Pizarro hoped the Indians
would be disorganized and uncertain for a period long enough
for help to come from Panama. Almagro was already gather-
ing reinforcements and supplies there, when Pizarro started
Atahualpa was greatly shocked by what had happened. His
station all his life had been so far above most other human
beings that he could hardly have believed that such a thing
as this could befall him. However, he conducted himself like
a monarch and was treated as such by the Spaniards. The
people of his household were permitted to serve him; he was
allowed to have visitors.
The Inca soon noticed how much his captors liked gold,
and an idea occurred to him. He bargained with Pizarro for
his freedom in exchange for a golden ransom. He declared


that, given two months' time, he would fill the room in which
he was sitting (a room seventeen by twenty-two feet) with
gold as high as he could reach (about nine feet) if Pizarro
would release him. He would also fill a smaller adjoining room
twice over with silver. Pizarro agreed-it was a fine way to
collect the gold and silver without trouble to himself! The
notary drew up the contract. Then Atahualpa sent out his cour-
iers all over the empire to order the precious metals brought
in. (It should also be said that he ordered the execution of his
brother, Huascar, lest he escape and reestablish himself in his
former position.) After several weeks had passed, the amount
of gold and silver collected was still not equal to that agreed
upon. However, the Spaniards decided that they would de-
clare it sufficient and melt it down. The task of guarding the
metal was proving burdensome. Besides, they feared that all
of that gold might prove too great a temptation to the Indians.
They would divide it, and then each person would be re-
sponsible for his portion. When the gold was melted down
(think of the beautiful pieces of craftmanship that were de-
stroyed!) and weighed for distribution, it was found to rep-
resent a value equal in our money to more than fifteen mil-
lion dollars. This estimate was worked out more than a hun-
dred years ago. Today it would probably be worth much more
than that.
But alas for Atahualpa! Though the ransom had been paid,
he was not released. Pizarro felt that his position was too des-
perate to permit his fulfilling his promise. If Atahualpa were
at large, it was only natural to believe that he would organize
his people against the Spaniards, particularly considering the
way they had used him. So he was held. But he was a liability.
He couldn't be released; it was dangerous to hold him longer.
The alternative was plain, at least to the Spaniards. A long

list of charges-all of them rather childish-was brought
against him and he was tried. He was, of course, found guilty.
And immediately he was executed-by being choked to
death. The decision to try the Inca, the drawing of the
charges, the trial, the verdict, and the execution, all were a
matter of less than one day-an action as unjust as it was
Before his execution Atahualpa begged Pizarro to care for
his children and requested that his body be sent to Quito for
burial. History is silent about what happened to the children,
but it is recorded that the body was buried there in Cajamarca.
And the incident shown in the painting did actually occur in
the course of the burial service. Later, however, the Indians
secured permission to remove the body to Quito.
To anyone who may be critical of the treatment that
Pizarro and his lieutenants meted out to Atahualpa and his
people, it is a matter of satisfaction to know that in the course
of a few years every one of the Spaniards met a violent death
-the result not of quarrels with the Indians but with one
another. The only one who did not suffer this fate was
Hemando de Soto. He was absent from Cajamarca when
Atahualpa was condemned and executed, and when he re-
turned he was exceedingly angry and critical of the act. He
frankly told Pizarro so. Everyone knows, of course, that De
Soto lived to return to North America, where he was buried in
the muddy waters of the Mississippi he explored.
Before Atahualpa was executed, reinforcements had ar-
rived from Panama under command of Almagro. By such
means as those above described, and by later strengthening
of his forces, Pizarro was able to take the city of Cuzco and
eventually the whole of Peru. But many years passed before

a government was established that could control the Spaniards
and reorganize the life of the native Peruvians. The sight of
scores of beggars on the streets of Lima today affords distress-
ing basis of comparison between the present and the past in
the ancient Land of the Incas.



The twelfth day of February, 1941, was a memorable one in
the history of Chile. On that day the country's five million
people celebrated with high enthusiasm and impressive cere-
mony the four hundredth anniversary of the founding of their
capital city, Santiago. It was the first city established by the
Spaniards in that southern nation.
Chile is a museum of geography. Though it is only slightly
larger than our state of Texas, it exhibits almost every type
of geographic feature. It has lofty mountains, barren deserts,
fertile agricultural sections, wonderful grazing country, exten-
sive forests, and frigid wastes. Its climate taxes the thermom-
eter, ranging from the oppressive heat of the northern deserts
to the intense cold of the mountain peaks and the far South.
The country is remarkable in form. It is almost twenty-eight
hundred miles long, though it averages less than two hundred
miles in width-well deserving the name, "the shoestring
republic," which is sometimes applied to it. It might be com-
pared to a steeply sloping, irregular roof with its upper edge
attached to the crest of the Andes Mountains and the lower
resting, far below, in the waves of the Pacific Ocean. Chile is,
moreover, unique in its geographic isolation. At the north is
a desert more than six hundred miles long; at the east is one
of the highest mountain ranges in the world; to the west lies

the widest ocean of the globe; while the southernmost point
at Cape Horn is fifteen hundred miles nearer the South Pole
than the southern tip of the continent of Africa.
The country's products are almost as varied as its geography.
They comprise immense deposits of minerals, of which ni-
trates and copper are the most important, almost every type
of agricultural and pastoral product, and an infinite variety
of foods furnished by the generous Pacific. Though its popula-
tion is a million less than that of Texas, it is one of the
strongest and most advanced of the Latin-American nations.
In many respects, Chile is a remarkable country with a re-
markable history.
In the course of the four hundredth anniversary, the name
of Pedro de Valdivia, founder of the nation and its capital,
was often spoken. However, Valdivia was not the first Spaniard
to enter Chile. That honor belongs to Diego de Almagro,
partner of Pizarro in the conquest of Peru. Almagro spent a
large fortune (his share of the ransom of Atahualpa) in or-
ganizing and carrying out his expedition to Chile. He and his
men suffered tremendous hardships in traversing the wild
country between Cuzco, Peru, and the central region of Chile.
Many died of cold while attempting to cross the Andes. Others
died of thirst in the deserts of Northern Chile. And then, after
enduring all of these hardships, the survivors found only
hostile Indians and, as it seemed to them, an inhospitable
country. To Spaniards of that era, a country that lacked gold
lacked hospitality. Almagro and his men returned to Peru
with their thirst for gold unsatisfied and with very damaging
reports on the land they had visited. It is no wonder that five
years passed before another band of Spaniards entered Chile.
The wonder is that they went so soon.
Pedro de Valdivia organized and led the second expedi-

tion. All of the Spanish conquerors were remarkable for their
courage; some of them for additional reasons. Valdivia was
remarkable because he did not thirst for gold. Almagro's re-
port had shown quite clearly that riches in gold were not to be
found in Chile. What Valdivia sought was glory. To occupy
Chile would be a difficult, but a great, undertaking. All the
more honor then would be due the man who should do it.
Success might gain for him much credit with the Spanish
king. Power and position might be the reward.
Valdivia was born at the beginning of the sixteenth cen-
tury in the Spanish province of Extremadura. He had served
with Spanish armies in Italy before he decided to seek his
fortune in America. Departing, he left his wife in Spain, as
did many of the conquistadores. At that time the Spanish
gentlewoman did not consider America a desirable place of
residence. Besides, most of the Spaniards expected to make
their fortunes and return to Spain to enjoy their riches in
peace and comfort. (Sefiora de Valdivia did at length go to
Chile, but she arrived after the death of her husband) Val-
divia fought against the Indians in Venezuela, and was with
Pizarro in Peru. As a reward for his services, Pizarro had
given him a silver mine together with an allotment of Indians
to work it. However, Valdivia appears not to have profited a
great deal from his mining operations, for when he set about
organizing his Chilean venture, he could raise only nine
thousand dollars. As that was far from enough, he had to
borrow an equal amount from a merchant recently arrived
from Spain.
It was very hard to enlist men for this project. Because of
Almagro's adverse report, Chile had a bad reputation in Peru.
No one was attracted by the prospect of freezing to death or
dying of thirst merely to occupy a poor land, half desert. But


Valdivia persevered. He finally got together a dozen Spaniards
and a thousand Indians. With this small group, he left Cuzco
in January, 1540. He had arranged with a subordinate to
follow within four months with more men and supplies and
two ships. Chilean historians state that with the advance party
went a certain In6s Suarez, a comely and courageous Spanish
woman who was in love with Valdivia.
Valdivia did not follow the trail which Almagro had
pioneered through Northwest Argentina and across the Andes.
Instead, he struck southward along the ocean and crossed
the terrible deserts of North Chile. This route was somewhat
shorter than Almagro's, and it avoided the perils of the Andean
cold. However, it involved much more desert travel. The
northern part of this desert is now called Tarapaci, the south-
ern, Atacama. While his party was crossing Tarapaci, Valdivia
was fortunate in being overtaken by a party of sixty Euro-
peans. Other small groups caught up later, until the number
of whites was raised to one hundred and fifty. These were
important additions, but the party was still perilously small.
However, Valdivia advanced and, toward the end of De-
cember, arrived at the Mapocho River. This march can justly
be compared with those made by some of our pioneers when
they were moving from the Mississippi across the Great West
-with its deserts and its Indians-and occupying the Pacific
coastal region. The dangers encountered in the two cases
were much alike.
There was, it is true, little gold in Chile. But the Spaniards
could have rejoiced, had they but known the future, that all
about them lay the stuff of riches-the fertile soil which has
always been the most important source of the country's
wealth. They were in the middle of the Valley of Chile. This
valley is another of Chile's extraordinary features. It stretches

north-south in the center of the country for a distance of three
hundred miles. Its width, while irregular, averages seventy-
five miles. Always visible to the east are the snows of the
Andes, while toward the ocean is a lower coastal range. The
valley's elevation above sea level is about two thousand feet.
Its climate is splendid. Its southern section has abundant rain-
fall, while the northern portion can be, and is, irrigated by
water from the ocean-flowing mountain streams. As the valley's
climate ranges from semi-tropical to temperate, an infinite
variety of grains and fruits is produced. In the heyday of the
settlement of California, dozens of ships laden with potatoes
and wheat-and migrating Chileans-made the long voyage
to San Francisco. Today its grapes and wines are famous, and
in our winter season (which is Chile's summer) many ship-
loads of delicious Chilean melons, nectarines, and other fruits
find their way to our markets. Yes, truly, the Valley of Chile
is a rich agricultural mine.
But Valdivia's people could not see all of this. They saw a
valley covered with short trees-with bosques (woods), they
said. It was only slightly cultivated in that day, for the Indian
population was scant. Still they arrived at the future site of
Santiago in midsummer and could well have been delighted
with the climate. At the point where there is a fork in the
Mapocho River they found a small Indian settlement and
some crops that were a welcome addition to their supplies.
Lying closely within the fork of the river is a great rock,
perhaps three hundred yards long, a hundred or more wide
and, at its apex, four hundred feet high. Tradition says that
for safety Valdivia made his camp on the elevated portion of
this rock. That verdure-covered rock is now the park of Santa
Lucia, surely one of the loveliest and most unusual city parks
in all the world. One can stand at its highest point and, turn-

ing slowly about, see spread below him, perfectly visible on a
clear day, the entire great Chilean capital with its million
people. Not far away is the hill of San Crist6bal, several
hundred feet higher and crowned by an immense statue of
the Virgin (electrically illuminated at night), while there are
always the Andes and the coastal range, and the vast reaches
of the Vale of Chile. It is a magnificent site for a modern city.
The virtues of the site were apparent to Valdivia, and he
decided to make his settlement there. The official act of
founding the city took place on February 12, 1541. On a
terrace of Santa Lucia is a lovely little square with fountain,
flowers, and tiled seats and walks. At its center stands a marble
statue, the heroic figure of the conquistador, Pedro de Val-
divia, in full armor and looking very much the conqueror.
On the four sides of the base are inscribed the names of the
original band of Spaniards who founded the city along with
the date of that foundation.
Already Valdivia had named the country Nueva Extrema-
dura (New Estremadura), after his home province in Spain.
The name was chosen in part, perhaps, from homesickness,
in part because of natural similarities between the two regions.
The city which he founded at the base of Santa Lucia he
baptized Santiago de Nueva Extremadura, after St. James
(Santiago), the national patron of Spain. When the name
Chile was later adopted for the region, the city became
Santiago de Chile. Within Chile, of course, it is called merely
Santiago. The town was laid out in the usual Spanish style-
streets crossing at right angles with a vacant square or plaza
left in the center. Around this plaza were grouped the gov-
ernor's palace, the market, the cathedral, and dwellings of
some of the leading men. In the earliest days the plaza was
often used for drilling soldiers; hence this chief square in

Spanish-American cities is frequently called the Plaza de
Arms. That is the case in Santiago.
The native inhabitants of the place were forced to ac-
knowledge the lordship of the Spanish king. Soon the natives
were divided among the Spaniards and compelled to work the
fields for them. Each Spaniard was allotted a tract of land for
his use. As time passed such allotments became very large, in
part through new grants and in part through the action of
the individual himself in securing land from natives who had
been left in possession of it. In such manner developed one
of Chile's fundamental institutions-even to the present day
-the hacienda. In colonial times these early land grants were
called encomiendas. The encomienda, or the hacienda, may
be compared to one of our large southern plantations of the
pre-Civil War period. In Chile, in colonial times, the hacienda
was worked by the Indians. Gradually, as intermarriage con-
tinued between Indian and white, the worker on the hacienda
became a man of mixed blood, now often called a roto. There
are many great haciendas in Chile (the late president, Pedro
Aguirre Cerda, owned one) and tens of thousands of agri-
cultural workers, peons, underpaid and underprivileged. The
existence of the hacienda means, of course, that there is
not enough land for distribution to the agricultural workers.
It is a problem which has received a great deal of attention in
Chile for more than a hundred years, but which is not yet
satisfactorily solved.
The first years in Chile were very difficult ones. Peru was
the nearest source of supplies and new colonists. The trip by
land was a matter of many weeks. The distance by sea was
some fifteen hundred miles, and in the ships of those days
the voyage required weeks. Even today, by passenger steamer,
the trip from Valparaiso to Callao requires six days. And

added to the slowness of communications was the distressing
fact that, until the first bad period had been weathered suc-
cessfully, nobody really wanted to go to Chile.
One of the first crises of the young colony was a rebellion
of the natives in the immediate vicinity of Santiago. They
had been greatly embittered, quite naturally, by the seizure
of their lands and houses. In September of the first year, when
Valdivia was absent from the town, they rose and attacked
the fifty Spaniards and some hundreds of Peruvian Indians
who remained. The town was taken and the public and pri-
vate buildings burned; clothing, utensils, foodstuffs were
destroyed. The fight lasted the whole day. All of the Spaniards
were wounded and perhaps would have been killed if the
Indians had not given up the attack at nightfall. The chroni-
clers declare that the retreat of the Indians was owing to
"the happy daring of In6s SuArez, who conceived the plan,
immediately put into execution, of cutting off the heads of
the Indian chiefs who were held as prisoners because of a
former attempt." At the next counter-attack the Indians fled,
and the day was saved-or at any rate, partly saved.
A very serious result of this attack was the destruction of
domestic animals and seed grain. Only three milk goats, a
hen and a rooster, and a few handfuls of wheat escaped the
fury and fire of the Indians. Fifteen horses were killed-and
horses under the circumstances were worth almost their weight
in gold. From these scant remainders, herds, flocks, and field
crops had to be slowly rebuilt. The seriousness of this situ-
ation is fully appreciated only when it is remembered that for
a number of years there was practically no communication
with Peru or aid from that colony. It is interesting to reflect
on the possible importance to a nation of a few goats and a
hen and a rooster! At once Valdivia sent to Peru for succor,

but it was two years before any aid arrived. In the meantime,
the people in Santiago lived, as a Chilean historian has
described it, "without clothing, which they had lost in the
attack of the Indians, and covered with the skins of animals,
suffering the horrors of hunger; and they had to defend them-
selves from continuous attacks of the enemy."
This experience proved the necessity of building a town
nearer Peru to aid communication with that colony. Soon,
therefore, Chile's second city, La Serena, was founded on the
coast some hundreds of miles north of Santiago. Other estab-
lishments were also made, among them Concepci6n, 1550,
and Imperial, 1552, south of Santiago. From time to time
other additions to the colony were made. Valdivia even went
so far as to establish settlements on the eastern side of the
Andes in the region of what is now the important Argentine
city of Mendoza. For two hundred years an extensive trans-
Andean district was administered from Santiago de Chile.
Wars with the natives continued. When Valdivia arrived,
the central and southern region of Chile was occupied by the
Araucanian Indians. They might be compared to the Navajos
or Apaches of the Southwest or the savages of the Northwest,
whom our government was not able to pacify completely until
long after the Civil War. Tecumseh and Sitting Bull had
their counterparts in Lautaro and Caupolican, heroic and
ferocious leaders of the Araucanians. While we were driving
and crowding the Indians westward and eventually settling
them on reservations, the Chilean descendants of Valdivia and
his party were struggling with the Araucanians. In that case
the Indians were crowded southward into the forests or east-
ward into the broken foothills of the Andes. The Bio-Bio
River was for many years the boundary between Chilean


whites and Indians, as was the Mississippi with us. The his-
tory of relations with the Indians in the two cases is a parallel.
In Chile in the early 1550's, the most skillful leader of the
Araucanians was one Lautaro. He had served for a time in the
armed forces of Valdivia where he had learned Spanish arms
and methods of fighting. But, offended at his treatment by
the Spaniards, he had deserted the whites and rejoined his
people, becoming a valiant and brave leader in their struggle
against the invader.
The year 1553 was fateful in the history of the Chilean
colony and in the life of Valdivia. Some gold deposits had
been discovered not far from Concepci6n, and great expecta-
tions were held. In the region to the south were some frontier
posts. Late in the year, when movements of the Indians and
rumors of revolt caused uneasiness, Valdivia led a force south-
ward to this frontier to pacify the natives. Such movements
as these became the themes of Spanish and Chilean writers.
One of the great epics of Spanish literature is concerned with
the wars of the Spaniards with the Araucanians in the period
immediately following that of Valdivia. At that time the
great Indian hero was CaupolicAn, successor of Lautaro. The
epic, La Araucana, was written by the Spanish poet, Ercilla,
who participated in the war against Caupolican. The poem
might in some ways be compared to our Hiawatha. That
Caupolicin was a respected opponent of the Spaniards in
the Chilean colony is proved by the fact that today a fine
bronze statue of the chief stands tensely on a ledgebof rock
on the side of Santa Lucia, staring alertly and fiercely down
one of the main business streets of the Chilean capital. And
just below the bronze Caupolican is the fine National Library
of Chile.
Valdivia no doubt anticipated a ready victory over the

Indians. He had beaten them before; he could do it again.
But the situation was different now. The Araucanians had
a great leader, who had inspired them with deep hatred of
their foes and with an ardent determination to drive them
from their country. As a Chilean historian puts it, the entire
southern district was a "human furnace." A Spanish fort,
Tucapel, fell before the Indian attack. Valdivia, then in
Concepci6n, decided to retake it. He set out for the campaign
with fifty Spaniards and a considerable number of Indians,
most of them probably Peruvian. He sent orders to a lieu-
tenant in a nearby fort to join him at Tucapel on December 25.
The lieutenant was delayed in starting. When he arrived
at Tucapel he was too late, for Valdivia and his entire force
had been destroyed by the Araucanians. Horrible tales are
told of the tortures which Valdivia was forced to suffer before
he died, but as they are not historically provable, it is vain to
recount them. It is quite possible that he was submitted to
However, before his death, Valdivia had seen his colony--
so poor, so struggling in its first years-firmly established. It
was destined to have other leaders able to 'guide its develop-
ment. Its founder deserves to be ranked with Cortes and
Pizarro in the list of the conquistadores. Perhaps in some
respects he deserves to be placed above Pizarro. And today,
the white-marble Valdivia and the green-painted bronze Cau-
policAn are justified in gazing down proudly from the heights
of Santa Lucia on the great Chilean city which has passed
its four hundredth birthday. It represents the work of their
people-a people in whom is united the strength and vigor
and courage of the Spaniard and the Araucanian.



Like lava from a mighty volcano silver flowed down the
mountain of Potosi. With this silver Potosi for more than a
century brought the world to its feet. It practically paid for
the "Invincible Armada" and helped to make Spain the
mightiest nation in the world. Queen Elizabeth sent Drake
and her plundering "sea dogs" to seize Spanish ships laden
with Potosi's fabulous riches. The gleaming ore, like the rich
veins of California or the Klondike, brought boom times.
The conquistadores, the colonial officials, all the nobility and
dregs of humanity, rushed in to stake their claims. The boom
town of Potosi flashed into being, shone brilliantly as the
metropolis of the New World fifty years before Jamestown
was settled, then faded into a ghost city. Like any mining
town of Colorado, Alaska, or South Africa, Potosi had its fleet-
ing day of greatness. But Potosf was the greatest of them all.
Potosi was founded in 1545 in one of the cold, forbidding
valleys of Upper Peru (present-day Bolivia). The valley lies
almost fourteen thousand feet above the sea, as high as Pike's
Peak, where frigid winds and violent storms make life diffi-
cult during much of the year. The horizon around the valley
is broken by towering mountain peaks, majestically piercing
the thin air. Like a mammoth cone, the hill of Potosi rises

This statue of Pedro de Valdivia stands on Santa Lucia Hill in Santiago, Chile.
The conquistador, who for safety first made his camp on this elevated rock, now
looks down on the great Chilean capital which he founded.

Chief CaupolicAn, leader of Araucanian Indians, was a respected opponent of
the Spaniards. The Chief's statue in bronze stands on a ledge of rock on the side
of Santa Lucia, commanding a view of the main business streets of Santiago.


Potosi Mountain, seen from Cobija Arch in Potosi, Bolivia. This
mountain, barren today, was the scene of a tremendous boom when
silver ore was found in it. Fortunes were made before the mines
were exhausted.


-s;. ~ -
5 i' '


San Francisco Church in Potosi was one of the few buildings
which escaped the damage caused by the bursting of the dams
around Potosi in 1626. The superstitious saw the flood as a sign
of divine disapproval for the evils which the silver mine riches
had.l 1r<~ught tto the citv.


two thousand feet above the floor of the valley, defying the
puny efforts of man and nature to turn it inside out. The
soft pinks, lavenders, browns, and yellows of its barren slopes
lend dashes of color to the cold, somber setting. There is little
about the mountain of Potosi today to suggest that hundreds
of Spaniards struggled and thousands of Indians died to
obtain its mines of wealth.
Among the Indians of Bolivia there are many legends about
the discovery of the mountain of silver. According to one, an
Inca chief encamped during one of his military campaigns
near the site of Potosi. Suspecting that the hill might contain
silver, he ordered Indian miners to dig for the ore. No sooner
had the digging commenced than a mysterious voice com-
manded, "Take no silver from this hill which is destined for
other owners."' Following this command, the Indians say, no
ore was taken from the hill until its rediscovery in 1545. In
that year an Indian herdsman accidentally came upon the
rich veins. There are several versions of the manner of his
discovery. Perhaps, in tending his llamas, he tied some of
them to shrubs which the animals pulled out, revealing the
shining metal. Perhaps the fire which he built of dry grass
and twigs to warm himself from the chilly, night air melted
the ore near the surface, causing it to run in little trickles of
pure silver. Perhaps the Indian, in chasing a stray animal,
clutched at a bush to avoid slipping over a precipice and thus
laid bare the silver ore.2 In any case, the Indian kept his secret
for a few weeks. Soon, however, his Spanish master learned
of it and immediately began operations. The news quickly
I Quoted in Bernard Moses, "Flush Times at Potosf," in University
of California Chronicle, XI (July, 1909), 217.
2 These versions are recounted from Vicente G. Quesada, Crdnicas
Potosinas, I, 25-27, in Moses, op. cit., pp. 218-19.

spread, and within a few weeks the "silver rush" to Potosf
was on. As in the California gold rush days of 1849, miners,
adventurers, and camp followers appeared as if by magic to get
in on the ground floor.
The earliest arrivals, eager to begin digging, did not even
bother to build shelters for themselves. They lived in the open
air, exposed to the rough mountain winds, and forced the
Indians of the nearby valleys to bring them what foods they
needed. As the population increased, however, and the storms
of winter became violent, more Indians were brought in to
construct houses, stores, and other buildings necessary for a
growing community. By September, 1546, some fourteen
thousand persons had flocked to Potosi, more than overflow-
ing the twenty-five hundred houses built to shelter them.
A swamp was drained to provide space for the spreading
town, and a church was erected to care for the spiritual needs
of the people. Even revolts by the conscripted Indian laborers
failed to slacken the amazing growth. All sea routes from
Spain and all roads in America led to Potosi, for Potosi was
These thousands of early settlers, together with other thou-
sands who followed, took millions of dollars of silver from
their mines. Scratch the surface a little, burrow ever so slightly
into the mountainside-there lay the rich ore, almost pure
silver! Before 1600, the kings of Spain, who were supposed
to receive one-fifth of all silver mined, had collected
$396,000,000. In less than fifty years, therefore, the miners
of Potosi made for themselves more than a billion and a half
dollars. Many collected small fortunes, but the more fortunate
-or the more ruthless-became millionaires. These newly-
rich, even in far-off Potosi, demanded all the comforts and
luxuries that money could buy and bring to them. No


extravagance was too expensive for their inflated pocketbooks.
They made Potosi the metropolis and the showplace of the
New World.
No person better illustrates the fabulous growth and rich-
ness of Potosi than Dofia Clara, truly a glamorous, mysterious
"woman of silver." As in any mining town that enjoys boom
days, the men of Potosi loved to gamble, loved to pay attention
to beautiful women, and loved to bestow rich gifts on their
favorites. Of all those who won the favor of wealthy miners
Dofia Clara was "the gayest, the most beautiful, the most
accomplished, and the most elegant."8 Her richly adorned
home became the gathering place of the wealthiest men of
the city, and she sought to cater to their every desire. They
came to her palace to gamble, to give her lavish presents, and
to enjoy the friendliness of her social circle. Dofia Clara was
typical of the best and the worst of her city. The worst that
can be said of her is that she was a woman of the world;
the best, that she was a product of the wild life of a mining
town, and that she died sorrowful for the evil of her ways.
Soon after the discovery of silver Dofia Clara came to Potosi
from-no one knows where. Setting up her gambling room at
first in modest quarters, by her charm and gaiety she soon
attracted men who came to gamble and enjoy her attention.
As the silver flowed out of the mountain in ever-increasing
quantities, the stakes on her gambling tables grew ever
larger, and her profits steadily mounted. Within a few months
she was rich enough to build one of the most splendid of all
the new palatial homes that were going up around Potosi.
Her wealth, or the wealth of her patrons, brought to her door
comforts and luxuries from all parts of the world. In the
words of a Bolivian writer,
Moses, op. cit., p. 224.

Her table service was all of silver and gold; filigree with
emeralds and rubies was abundant among her ornaments....
Her reception room was magnificent. The Venetian mirrors had
frames of burnished silver; her furniture was adorned with gold
and mother of pearl, upholstered with cloth of gold and silver
from Milan; figures of gold taken from Quichuan antiquities
adorned her tables.4
She received rugs from Persia and Turkey, tapestries and
embroideries from Flanders, ivory and precious stones from
India and Ceylon, and crystal glass from Venice.
In her more personal possessions, too, Dofia Clara revealed
the same sumptuous tastes. As Martinez y Vela wrote,
She had as many chemises of fine cambric and Dutch linen as
there are days in the year, and a change was made every night;
four rich bedsteads of wood and bronze, with featherbeds and
draperies of beautiful cloths; and she changed from one to
another every three months.5
For her wardrobe she imported silks and knitted goods from
Granada, stockings from Toledo, linen from Portugal, felt
hats from France, satins from Florence, gold and silver braid
from Milan, and laces from Flanders. She used perfume from
Arabia. For her table, China sent white porcelain, the Malay
Peninsula furnished all kinds of spices, and South America
gave vanilla and cocoa. Indian slaves and white servants were
at her command. The world was Dofia Clara's supply house,
and her wealthy friends enabled her to draw on it freely.
But the glamorous Dofia Clara was not the only glittering
woman in Potosi. There were many Dofia Claras, women of
the type to be found in any society that grows up about a
'Quoted from Don Bartolom6 Martinez y Vela, Anales de la Villa
Imperial de Potosi, in Moses, op. cit., pp. 224-25.
Ibid., p. 224.


mining camp. Few of the Spaniards who came to get rich
quickly brought European wives with them. There were few
homes, therefore, in which family life of the usual sort could
be practiced, and in which children could be raised according
to decent, Christian standards. Potosi was filled with adven-
turers, with men attracted by the tales of quick riches. Drink-
ing, gambling, and fighting, rather than normal home living-
this was the Potosi of Dofia Clara.
Nevertheless, there is much about the early growth of
Potosi to excite wonder and admiration. As the city grew by
thousands each year, new homes, churches, and public build-
ings were erected to meet the needs of the population. Modest
homes, as well as palatial ones, stretched out over the valley
at the foot of the mountain. High balconies, huge double
doors, and wrought-iron grilles were used in the construction
of the homes of the wealthy. Master architects came from
Spain to direct the building of beautiful churches, and re-
ligious paintings and carved figures were brought from Rome
to decorate them. Local craftsmen designed silver chalices and
sacred vessels of pure metal to adorn the altars. In the course
of time, all the principal religious orders built convents and
The immense quantities of silver which flowed from the
mountain had to be collected, stored, and coined. The king's
fifth had to be counted and shipped. For these purposes
special public buildings were erected, such as the Royal
Mint, the Exchange Bank, and the Royal Coffers. The first
of these was built in 1572. Partially rebuilt since that time,
it is still standing, one of the most beautiful buildings of
modern Bolivia.
This growing city at the foot of the silver mountain came
to be known as the "Imperial City." The first coat of arms,

granted by the Emperor Charles V of Spain, bore the words:
"I am the rich Potosi, the treasure of the world, the king of
mountains and the envy of kings." Philip II, emperor of
Spain after 1556, sent a shield, bearing the motto, still used
by Potosi: "For the powerful Emperor, for the wise King this
lofty mountain of silver could conquer the whole world."'
When Philip was crowned emperor in Spain, only eleven
years after the founding of Potosi, the city honored him with
an enormous celebration costing eight million dollars. Upon
the death in 1559 of the former emperor, Charles V, the city
spent one hundred and forty thousand dollars on funeral
ceremonies. Thus did the people of Potosi prove the truth of
the oft-quoted statement, "Easy come, easy go!"
The population of Potosi continued to grow until by 1570
there were probably one hundred and twenty thousand in-
habitants. As the numbers increased, life became gayer and
more lavish. At least fourteen dancing schools were founded,
and at one time thirty-six gambling houses were operating.
There was a theater, which Dofia Clara often attended in
the company of her wealthy friends, and to which the admis-
sion was as high as fifty dollars. But most exciting to Donia
Clara and to all the people of the city were the days of fiesta-
feastdays of saints or national holidays in honor of the king's
birthday. Upon such occasions Dofia Clara put on her most
expensive gowns, some of them costing as much as fourteen
thousand dollars. She wore sandals of silk and gold, decorated
with pearls and rubies, and embroidered overshoes, ornate
with pearls worth hundreds of dollars. Gold bracelets and
necklaces, set with other precious stones, hung about her
These mottoes are quoted in William E. Rudolph, "The Lakes
of Potosi," in The Geographic Review, XXVI (October, 1926),

wrists and neck. With all this display of luxury, Dofia Clara
and many others like her would drive down the stony streets
in beautiful carriages drawn by sumptuously decorated horses.
Wealthy miners clad in rich apparel and mounted on prancing
horses bowed as she passed; others came to share her carriage.
Sometimes the feature attractions of these fiestas were
tournaments, staged with all the color and pageantry of
feudal times. One of the most famous of these took place in
January, 1552. Montejo, a celebrated horseman from Cuzco,
Peru, had come armed with lances to fight a duel on horse-
back against Godines, the champion of Potosi. The two men
first met in the house of Dofia Clara, where Montejo, her
favorite, challenged Godines. The duel attracted half the
population of the community-men and women, Indians,
Spaniards, and Negroes. On foot and on horseback they came
to view the tournament, with its fine horses, its colorful cos-
tumes, and its bloody duel. For these people it was a gala
event, much more like Europe than America. But for Dofia
Clara it was a sad occasion, for Montejo, the man who had
won her favor, was killed. This tragedy brought to Dbfia Clara
a long illness, from which she never fully recovered. When
she did finally improve, it was only to discover that she was
a poor woman; her Indian servants had disappeared, taking
with them most of her wealth. In sorrow and mourning she
turned now to the church she had so often shunned. The
gaiety and proud revelry she had once known now changed
to humble prayer and meditation.
But, with or without Dofia Clara, life in Potosi went on.
There were other women to take her place in the gay fes-
tivities; Dofia Clara was not missed. There was still silver
in the mountain of Potosi, and for many years more it con-
tinued to flow. For twenty years after the discovery of the

silver mountain the ores were so high in silver content that
only a little smelting was necessary to extract the pure metal.
By 1566, however, the rich veins were exhausted, and new
methods had to be devised. When Viceroy Toledo visited
Potosi in 1573, he introduced the use of quicksilver or mer-
cury in the process of refining the silver-ore. This was simple
enough, for the mercury could be brought from the royal
mines recently opened in Peru.
At about the same time a dam was built in the mountains
above Potosi so that the summer rains might be caught and
water furnished to the ore mills during the whole year. The
viceroy ordered twenty thousand Indians to be brought to
construct the huge dam. Within fifty years, thirty-two such
lakes were built to furnish enough water to wash the ore and
to supply the needs of the entire population of the city.
A channel, with tunnels and twenty-two bridges, was con-
structed to carry the water three miles from the lakes to the
mills in the city. One hundred and thirty-two mills thus
received the water they needed. Much of the work on this
construction, like that in the mines, was carried on by the
Indians working under the Spanish system called the mita.
Under this system adult males might be forced to work for
the king, usually for pay. Sometimes, however, the Indians
were not protected by the law, and many fled to escape the
By these methods did the Spaniards and their Indian
laborers turn the mountain of Potosi inside out to get its
silver. But get the silver they did-hundreds of millions of
dollars' worth! Nevertheless, there was more to be done than
simply to mine the ore; the royal fifth must be transported to
faraway Spain. At fairly regular intervals shipments of silver
were made on the backs of llamas and mules over the moun-


tains and down to the Pacific, a journey of at least two weeks.
Another month was required to ship by boat to the Isthmus
of Panama. There the bars of silver were again loaded on the
backs of mules to be carried forty miles over mountains and
through the jungles to the Atlantic shores. Sailing into the
harbors came the famed Spanish galleons, armed ships which
bore the riches of Potosi to the kings of Spain. By such a hard
and dangerous route was the wealth of the New World trans-
ported to fill the treasuries of the Old World.
The boom days of Potosi, however, could not last forever.
The city, which, even before the landing of the Mayflower,
had grown to be the largest in the Western Hemisphere,
could not always remain unsurpassed. The mighty mountain
of silver must one day begin to run out. That day was March
16, 1626. It was Sunday afternoon. Without the least warn-
ing one of the huge dams burst, hurling its waters over the
city and valley below. Within two hours the work of half
a century was wiped out. All but six of the one hundred and
thirty-two mills were demolished, and a thousand homes
were destroyed. Hundreds of people lost their lives. The dam
was repaired, mills were rebuilt, and more Spaniards came
in search of silver, but the great days of Potosi were at an
end. Many of the miners saw the destruction of the city of
evil and riches as a sign of divine disapproval. This interpre-
tation was emphasized by the remarkable escape from the
raging waters of the old and hallowed San Francisco church.
Many miners became superstitious and lost their zeal for
gain. Moreover, the bulk of Potosi's silver had already been
taken. Potosi slowly declined until by 1825 the once largest
city in the New World numbered only eight thousand persons.
Symbolic both of the rise and of the decline of Potosi was
the career of Dofia Clara. Even before the destruction of the

city that had given her wealth and pleasure, she had dis-
appeared from its streets. A Bolivian historian wrote that
on a day that was comparatively warm for the frigid climate of
Potosf, an old woman of ninety-two years entered the church of
Merced. She was poorly clothed, for she was accustomed to beg
and lived from charity. She knelt and heard mass with great
devotion, and prayed for a long time. This beggar was the
splendid Dorfa Clara.7
SQuoted from Quesada, Cr6nicas Potosinas, I, 231, in Moses,
op. cit., p. 227.



The dusty, narrow streets of Lima, Peru, on November 30,
1569, presented a scene of excited movement and bright
color. On that hot and humid mid-summer day, the new
viceroy, Francisco de Toledo, just arrived from Spain, made
his official entry into his capital city. Wishing to save the
people needless expense, the viceroy had asked that no special
ceremony be held to celebrate his coming. The request was
ignored. Men have always liked a pageant, the Peruvians
perhaps more than most. They arranged for the new official
a reception so magnificent that it served as a model for more
than two centuries.
When Toledo came to Lima, he found the viceregal palace
not prepared to receive him and his household, so he had
taken temporary quarters in a village not far from the city.
Here he had received callers and exchanged social courtesies
with them. In the meantime, preparations for the official
reception were being made in the city. Finally, all was in
readiness. Decorations hung everywhere; imposing arches
spanned the streets. Every soldier's equipment and uniform
were shining and spotless, and every official of whatever rank
was starched and dignified in the garb that his office required.
Many ladies and gentlemen had spent more than they could
well afford to secure the richest clothing that was obtainable.

The viceroy set out for Lima in a litter carried by footmen.
Soon he mounted a horse, richly bedecked as befitted the horse
that bore a man of the viceroy's rank. He was preceded by a
body of men equipped with firearms and followed by a corps
of pikemen. At the city limits an official presented the viceroy
with another horse, much more brilliantly adorned than the
first. A party of footmen in black, scarlet, and yellow livery
joined his train. Proceeding, the viceroy met a company of
infantrymen whose commander delivered an address of wel-
come. Presently the cavalcade came to an arch. Here it paused
while Toledo took the oath of office. This ceremony com-
pleted, the regular judges of Lima took the reins of the
viceroy's horse. Other high-ranking city officials took up the
poles that supported a canopy over the viceroy, and the pro-
cession advanced. By this time it had become a thing mag-
nificent to behold. It contained, besides the viceroy and his
household, various bodies of soldiers in colorful uniform, the
members of the faculty of the University of St. Mark, the
officials of the city, the supreme court of the viceroyalty, and
the officials of the church. Like a brilliantly colored serpent,
the procession wound its way through the streets to the
cathedral. The viceroy and the archbishop greeted each other,
and a brief ceremony was held. The march then continued
to the palace, now ready for occupancy. Here Toledo spoke
a word of appreciation to the various elements of the proces-
sion, and they disbanded, going about their separate affairs.
In this manner Peru's first great viceroy began his official
Before going ahead, we must go back a bit; some explana-
tions are in order. Every American, whether of North or
South America, knows that Francisco Pizarro conquered
Peru in 1532. An earlier section of this book has described

the manner in which he captured and killed the Inca em-
peror, Atahualpa. The Spanish conquerors were a group of
very courageous, but very hard, men. They may have feared
God, but certainly they feared neither the Indians nor each
other. One of Pizarro's lieutenants was Diego de Almagro.
Almagro had reason, in fact, to consider himself a partner in
the conquest of Peru rather than a subordinate of Pizarro.
He became dissatisfied and, after Peru was more or less
conquered, secured from Pizarro authority to lead an expedi-
tion to the southward. Setting out with a small number of
Spanish soldiers and some hundreds of Indians, he crossed
the Andes through Bolivia and went southward to Chile,
touching Northwestern Argentina. In Chile Almagro found
no natives with rooms full of gold. Instead, he found only
deadly deserts and the fierce and inhospitable Araucanian
Indians. He quickly decided that Chile had nothing for him
and returned to Peru. There he got into a quarrel with
Pizarro and his brothers. Hernando Pizarro's hatred could
be washed away only by Almagro's blood, so Alqagro was
slain at Cuzco.
This quarrel was very serious for the Spaniards in Peru.
Before long in Lima the son of the dead Almagro stabbed
Francisco Pizarro, the conqueror. Dying, Pizarro dipped his
finger in his own blood and traced a cross on the pavement.
However, the spirit of the cross lacked much of determining
the relations among the conquistadores. They became divided
into two groups, "Men of Pizarro" and "Men of Almagro,"
and for a quarter of a century the history of Peru was mostly
a matter of bloody feuds between the men of these groups
and between them and the Indians back in the high Andean
The government in Spain, headed in the latter half of the


sixteenth century by Philip II, found it impossible to control
the Peruvian Spaniards. Communication between Spain and
Peru was exceedingly slow. It sometimes required as much as
two months for a ship to cross the Atlantic to the Isthmus of
Panama. And the voyage from the other side of the Isthmus
to Callao, seaport of Lima, often cost another month. The
distance from Spain was more than five thousand miles. To
the Peruvians, the king and his authority seemed very far
away and the necessity for obedience correspondingly slight.
In the absence of effective control, Peru had never actually
been organized, although it had been made a viceroyalty
in 1544.
A viceroyalty in the Spanish colonial system was some-
thing like one of our own English colonies-Virginia, for
instance-before the Revolution. But there were some very
important differences between our colonies and the Spanish
viceroyalties. The viceroyalties were much greater in area
than any of the English colonies; there were but four of them
in all Spanish America at the end of the colonial period.
Territorial extent alone would have made it hard to control
from the viceregal capital all parts of one of these divisions.
Moreover, the Spaniards in America did not enjoy any rights
of self-government as did our English colonial forefathers.
The powers of government in the viceroyalty were concen-
trated in the viceroy-the governor we would call him. The
word viceroy might be translated "vice-king." And as a king
is usually more powerful than a governor, so were the viceroys
stronger than our colonial governors. Another important ele-
ment of the governmental machinery of the Spanish colony
was the audiencia. The English word that comes nearest
expressing the idea is "court." However, the Spanish audiencia
was something more than a court. If there was no viceroy

or other executive officer at the capital, the audiencia acted as
the executive. Sometimes, too, it exercised the law-making
The viceroy who was sent to Peru when it was made a
viceroyalty had not been strong enough to control the situ-
ation. Nor were his successors. They fought with the
audiencia. They were ignored by the church. The conquista-
dores refused to obey them. As late as 1568, Peru was still in
a bad way. The church officials felt themselves above the
civil authority and acted accordingly. They were not as
conscientious as they should have been about caring for the
souls of the Indians-and the Spaniards. The conquistadores
-now owners of mines and plantations-were quarreling
and fighting among themselves about land claims, mining
claims, about the right to use the labor of the Indians. The
civil power was unable to enforce obedience to itself. Taxes
could not be collected properly, and the government in Spain
was being cheated of a great part of its revenue.
Perhaps worst of all these evils was the plight of the Indians.
Under the empire of the Incas, before the Spaniards came,
the Indians had been dominated. There was order, and
everyone had the necessities of life-though he had no free-
dom. With the destruction of the native government, the
life of the Indians was completely disorganized. As the
Spaniards had not yet been able to regulate themselves
properly, they could not of course organize the Indians. The
natives were idle, many of them in want, many of them
vagrants. They were subject to mistreatment, even to enslave-
ment, by the Spaniards. Churchmen, mine owners, planta-
tion owners, even royal officials abused them.
This was the condition of affairs when Francisco de Toledo
was appointed viceroy. A strong man was needed. No other


type would have the authority necessary to dominate the scene
in Peru. The man who went to Peru to rule was in the situ-
ation of the broncho-buster who prepared to mount the
wildest, most undisciplined pony of the entire herd. He must
be strong and skillful if he were to "ride 'em."
The viceroyalty of Peru at that time was a vast unit. It
included the Isthmus of Panama and all of South America
that was not claimed by Portugal-an area of more than six
million square miles. However, Viceroy Toledo's attention
was chiefly devoted to that part now included in Peru and
En route to Panama, the new appointee made brief stops
at Cartagena, in Colombia, and Panama. One of the "good
deeds" he performed in both places was to round up and send
back to Spain all of the married men who had left their wives
in Spain years before-and apparently forgotten about them.
He also drove out of Panama-for immorality-all bachelors
and unmarried women. It must have seemed to those wrong-
doers that "the sword of the Lord and of Gideon" was swish-
ing about their ears. At Panama the viceroy took ship for
Callao. However, he stopped in Northern Peru and, being
tired of the sea, decided to make the remainder of the
journey to Lima by land. From Paita, where he landed, to
Lima is a distance of about six hundred miles-the distance
from Washington to Chicago. And there were in those days
no broad concrete roads. As the viceroy progressed slowly, he
gathered information about the country and the people. The
journey required several weeks.
After his entry into Lima, the viceroy consulted the leading
men in order to inform himself of the needs of the vice-
royalty. The king had instructed Toledo to make a tour of
inspection. This was one of the matters on which he needed

L ..

(Left) A Cuzco Indian of today. It was for the social and economic good of In-
dians like this that Francisco de Toledo worked. (Right) A street scene in modem
Cuzco, where llamas are used as beasts of burden.

Arequipa, now the second city of Peru, was one of the stopping places of Viceroy
Francisco de Toledo in his five-year tour of his viceroyalty. Here we see, tower-
ing over the modem city, El Misti, one of the most beautiful volcanic cones in
the world.

Ip.. ~i~ *~iTy

r r.
~L r

This statue of the Virgin crowns the Hill of San Crist6bal in Santiago, Chile.


advice. Considering the size of the viceroyalty, it was not a
question to be decided lightly. Aside from the huge size of
this unit, there were the Andes everywhere-one of the
highest and most rugged mountain systems in the world. And
the roads of the country were only those of the Incas, good in
some places but inadequate, generally speaking. Particularly
was this true for horsemen. The inns which the Incas had
built along these roads had not been kept up. That tour
would be a difficult undertaking even for a strong, perfectly
healthy man-and the viceroy was not that. However, his
sense of duty was such that he decided, against some advice to
the contrary, to make it. Of course he could not penetrate
the jungles of the Amazon or go to far Chile and Argentina.
But he could, and did, visit all of the important population
centers of Peru and Bolivia. At each place he stopped to study
local problems and to draw and proclaim reform laws. He also
directed a number of campaigns against rebellious Indians.
The tour required five years and covered a distance of some
five thousand miles.
The viceroy traveled with a large retinue of officials and
soldiers. The route led up to the high puna, or tableland,
northeast of Lima, then along it southeasterly to Cuzco, the
old Incan capital. Several months were passed there, in the
course of which Toledo directed a campaign against some
rebellious Indians. The viceroy then journeyed around Lake
Titicaca into Bolivia. One of the places he visited in that
section was the great silver mining city of Potosi, with a
population at that time of a hundred and twenty thousand.
Returning to Cuzco for another stay of some months-and
correcting some abuses which had developed in his absence-
he went down the western slope toward Arequipa. Here, in
what is now the second city of Peru, some additional weeks


were spent. Then the party continued down to the sea, cross-
ing a great mesa of sand and descending narrow, precipitous
canyons. A ship was awaiting them, and in it they sailed
back to Callao and returned thence to Lima.
Many of the wise laws of Toledo's almost thirteen years in
office were made while he was on this tour. Some had been
decreed before he left Lima, others were drawn after his
return. The most important of these laws are summarized
briefly as a means of indicating the general nature of the
colonial problems which the Spaniards had to face and show-
ing the way in which Toledo tried to solve them.
One of the most serious of these problems concerned the
church. There were many churches and convents in Lima
and in other parts of Peru. But there were not enough ordi-
nary priests, and there were more friars (or monks) than were
needed. Toledo caused the establishment of schools for train-
ing priests and saw that the curricula included courses in the
Indian languages. He ordered that friars be assigned to native
villages to instruct the Indians in the Christian religion. On
Toledo's arrival in Lima he found there many hundreds of
natives who were living very miserably and were receiving
no religious instruction despite the great number of church-
men in the city. He ordered a special section to be built for
the Indians and required that two Jesuit fathers reside in the
section and instruct its inhabitants. His reforms increased the
general efficiency of the church, especially as it related to
caring for the natives. He also brought the church under sub-
jection to the civil authority, which is to say to his authority.
Toledo (and all of his predecessors and most of his suc-
cessors) had much trouble in regulating the possession of
land. Pizarro had begun the practice of distributing land-
along with the Indians who lived on it-to his lieutenants.

A grant of land of this sort was called an encomienda. The
Indians living on it were "commended" to the holder of the
land, the encomendero. The encomendero could collect trib-
ute from the Indians or require them to work for him. He
was supposed to pay for this labor, and he was obliged to care
for the Indians and make them Christians. From the begin-
ning, there had been much trouble in Peru about these
encomiendas. When one faction defeated another in a feud,
lads were confiscated and redistributed. When Toledo
arrived, he found many of these holdings in the possession
of unauthorized persons or groups. He regranted many of
them, usually to the great dissatisfaction of someone. There
was difference of opinion concerning the period over which
these grants should extend. Some wanted them to be per-
petual; others believed they ought to expire in the course
of one or two generations. The encomienda gave much
trouble to Toledo and later viceroys.
Mining was in need of attention. Quicksilver and silver
mines were at the time the most profitable. Toledo took pos-
session of the former for the king, thus securing an important
source of revenue. The silver mines were carefully inspected
and placed under new regulations. These regulations made
possible the honest collection of the percentage of metal which
was due the king, usually a fifth. One of the king's most
insistent instructions to Toledo was that he should increase
the royal revenue. As another means of attaining that end,
Toledo placed a head tax on the Indians. Thus the revenue
was increased, but the viceroy was charged with being unjust
to miners and Indians.
The regulation of the life of the Indians was one of
Toledo's greatest cares. It has been shown that he cared for
their spiritual interests in his reforms of church practices. For

the social and economic good of the Indian, the viceroy de-
creed laws that regulated the terms on which he might be
required to labor. These laws included rigid scales of pay for
different types of service. The Indian was not to be enslaved.
But, as the mines needed labor, the viceroy ordered that shifts
of laborers be furnished by Indian villages, and he organized
a system to govern them. He also drew up laws that forbade
the use of the Indian as a beast of burden to carry heavy
loads. The Indians were badly scattered throughout the mo0n-
tains in small villages. In such a situation it was hard t'
Christianize them or to manage them for labor. Toledo ordered
that they be brought together into larger towns. This would
afford opportunity for the priests to reach them-and the
labor agent as well. In the region of Cuzco, twenty-one thou-
sand Indians who had previously lived in three hundred and
nine villages were relocated in but forty.
One of the happiest features of Toledo's Indian reforms was
that of using native Indians as village chiefs, elected by the
Indians themselves. Such chiefs, appointed by the Inca, had
been the rule in earlier times and in using them Toledo was
continuing a tradition. The Indians were thus much more
easily controlled. Tribute was to be collected by these chiefs.
It was they who should provide the labor squads for the mines.
Through them, most of the contacts between Indian and
white were to be made. To this day in Peru the village chief
may be seen proudly carrying his heavy, silver-decorated staff
of office. Its survival for more than three hundred years sug-
gests that the device was successful.
Toledo had trouble with the audiencia. Because of the suc-
cession of inefficient executives who had preceded Toledo,
the audiencia had grown accustomed to acting quite inde-
pendently. Its members wished to continue to do so. As a

consequence, they frequently quarreled with the viceroy.
They wrote letters to the king criticizing Toledo; he wrote
the king criticising them. It was one of the viceroy's duties to
preside at the meetings of the audiencia, though he had no
vote in deciding points of law. On the other hand, the
audiencia was the viceroy's council, and he had to consult it
on certain matters. Perhaps, under these circumstances, it is
not strange that there should have been differences. Before
he left Peru, however, Toledo had succeeded in limiting the
audiencia pretty much to its judicial functions.
The Inquisition was established in Peru at the beginning
of Toledo's term. This was a special church court whose duty
it was to try offenses against religion. There was no such
thing as religious freedom in Spain or in Spanish America at
that time-nor in most of the rest of the world. Any departure
from strict obedience to the teachings of the church might
bring the offender arrest and trial. If the accused were found
guilty, his property was often confiscated. If the offense were
a very serious one, death by burning might be the punishment.
In Peru and Mexico (the viceroyalty of New Spaid) during
the entire colonial period, one hundred persons were burned
after conviction by the Inquisition. One of the duties of the
Inquisiton was to see that no books which the church con-
sidered a bad influence were sold or read. Toledo had some
trouble with the judges of the Inquisition because of their
independent attitude but, as he held the purse strings and
paid their salaries, he was able to control them and prevent
their interfering with any of his civil functions.
The activities of the viceroy included, of course, a great
many that have not been mentioned. One of them was his
effort to preserve the history of the Indians. As these people
had no written language, we owe much of our knowledge of

them to this interest of the viceroy. He appointed Pedro
Sarmiento, a learned Spaniard who had spent many years in
Peru and had traveled over most of it, to write a history of
the ancient inhabitants. The book was written, and it is still
considered one of the best sources of information on the
An American historian has written, 'Toledo himself de-
scribed the condition in Peru as being one in which the
difficulty was not in making laws, but rather in getting
obedience to the laws that were made."' Though Francisco
de Toledo did not succeed in developing among the Peruvians
a spirit that caused perfect obedience to the laws, he did much
to lessen lawlessness. When he returned to Spain-after
many pleas to the king to be permitted to do so-he left
Peru with a well-organized government. The system of laws
for which he is chiefly responsible was so well adapted to the
conditions of the country that not only were many of them
used in Peru for the remainder of the colonial period, but
they became the basis of Spanish law in other parts of Spain's
American possessions. He was one of Peru's best viceroys,
perhaps the very best. He did not long survive his return
to Spain, for he died in April, 1582. It would seem that his
work had not been greatly appreciated by his sovereign. At
any rate, Philip gave him no special gift or honor when he
returned and, for many years after his death, Toledo's heirs
were trying to secure-from the government what they con-
sidered just rewards for their father's service in Peru. Through-
out history, kings have not been noted for their gratitude.
S1 Arthur Franklin Zimmerman, Francisco de Toledo, Fifth Viceroy
of Peru, 1569-1581 (Caldwell, Idaho, Caxton Printers, 1938), p. 285.



"God, gold, and glory" were the great forces that moved the
Spaniards in their work of exploration, conquest, and coloniza-
tion in North and South America. These forces caused them
to dare the perils of the Atlantic crossing and, once they had
reached the American shores in safety, led them inland. These
forces-sometimes "will-o'-the-wisps" they proved to be-
drew them across almost limitless deserts, through well-nigh
impassable jungles, or over the frigid, sky-piercing crests of
some of the highest ranges of mountains on the globe.
Which of these forces was strongest it would be difficult
to say with certainty. But it cannot be denied that religion
was an exceedingly important feature of the lives of the
conquerors and those who accompanied them. No Spaniard
was permitted to come to America unless he was known to be
a faithful Catholic and to have several generations of ances-
tors who also had been good Catholics. When some of the
things that the Spaniards did are judged by the standards of
our day (which would, however, be unfair to the Spaniards),
it is found that they were not very Christ-like, to put it
mildly. While this can be said of the soldier element of the
early colonials, it cannot fairly be said of some who accom-
panied them. Many of the members of the Franciscan,
Dominican, Augustinian, Jesuit, and other religious orders

were in the highest degree Christian-wholly interested in
saving the souls and bettering the physical conditions of the
American natives, self-sacrificing to the point of martyrdom.
One of the very best examples of this type of pioneer was the
Jesuit, Eusebio Francisco Kino. Padre Kino was admirable for
his character and his work. He is interesting, too, because he
was active among the Indians in a region which is now a part
of the United States. He broke the trail into Mexico's Lower
California and our Arizona.
Father Kino was born of Italian parents in Trent in 1645.
In due time he gained an excellent education in universities
of Austria. He made so fine a record in his studies that he
was offered a place as professor of mathematics in the royal
university of Bavaria. But already this man, who was to be-
come an heroic American figure, had determined to offer
himself for missionary service as a follower of Saint Francis
Xavier. He made this decision because he credited his re-
covery from a serious illness to the intercession of that saint.
As Saint Francis had spent many years in the Far East, in
the Dutch East Indies in particular, Kino hoped to go there.
However, when a call came for missionaries in New Spain
(the name by which Mexico was then known), he came
instead to America, arriving in the year 1681.
In the period between Cort6s' conquest of Mexico and
Kino's arrival in New Spain, the movement of colonization
of the newly-discovered lands had been extending slowly
southward and northward from Mexico City. In 1681 there
were great areas in Northern and Northwestern Mexico
which had not yet been settled and where the Indians were
of course, living as they had lived before Columbus made his
great discovery. Texas had not been occupied, nor had Lower
California, Upper California, Arizona, and New Mexico.


Much of Northwestern Mexico was also unoccupied by
white men. It was in the northern part of the Mexican
province of Sonora and in Arizona that Father Kino was to
do his great work. That region was known as Pimeria Alta,
its Indian inhabitants, Pimans. It was practically virgin terri-
tory, for missions had previously been established only on its
extreme southern border.
Padre Kino arrived in 1687 on the scene of his life's future
labors. (In the same year the French explorer La Salle met
his death in Central Texas.) The new missionary went first
to the northernmost mission in the Sonora region. It was
located at Cucurpe on a little river called the San Miguel.
The village is still there, nestling among the mountains and
inhabited in large measure no doubt by the sons and daugh-
ters, many generations removed, of the Indians of Padre
Kino's time.
Father Kino's first new mission foundation was that of
Nuestra Sefiora de los Dolores (Our Lady of Sorrows), also
on the San Miguel River. Nearby are fertile and easily irri-
gated bottom lands, necessary to settled life in that semi-arid
region where rainfall alone is seldom sufficient to produce
a crop. All about towered the mountains. The mission was
placed on a high point, protected on three sides by steep
cliffs. This was a very important consideration in a frontier
region where, on occasion and perhaps not infrequently, the
occupants would have to defend themselves against attackers.
Of this mission, Professor Herbert E. Bolton, one of our great
American historians, writes:
Here still stand its ruins, in full view of the valley above and
below, of the mountain walls on the east and west, the north and
south, and within the sound of the rushing cataract of the San
Miguel as it courses through the gorge. This meager ruin on the

cliff, consisting now of a mere fragment of an adobe wall and sad-
dening piles of debris, is the most venerable of all the many
mission remains in Arizona and northern Sonora, for Our Lady
of Sorrows was mother of them all, and for nearly a quarter of a
century was the home of the remarkable missionary who built
Operating from this Mission of Dolores, Father Kino
extended his work across Arizona as far as the Gila and
Colorado Rivers. Often he was aided by small details of
soldiers. Particularly was he assisted by a fellow Jesuit, Father
Salvatierra. It was while he was on a journey of exploration
with this companion that Father Kino first saw the San Pedro
River near the present location of Douglas, Arizona. In this
region, not far from Tucson, he later built the mission of
San Xavier del Bac, which is still in use.
Father Kino had a great interest in the Indians of Lower
California. In 1695, as the result of much effort, he and Padre
Salvatierra were commissioned by the king of Spain to found
missions there. However, it was Padre Salvatierra who was
to found those missions, as Padre Kino was not able to leave
his red charges in Pimeria Alta. It may be remarked in pass-
ing that it was Father Kino who first proved to the Spaniards
in Mexico that Lower California was a peninsula rather than
an island as was long thought. After Padre Salvatierra had
planted a number of missions in Lower California (crossing
the gulf by boat), food became scarce in the peninsula.
Assistance was needed. Father Kino was the nearest source
of possible aid, and he was appealed to. It was while he was
seeking a way to drive cattle to the starving missions of Salva-
tierra that the good Padre Kino found that Lower California
1 From "The Spanish Borderlands," Vol. 23, The Chronicles of
America, 194. Copyright Yale University Press.


was connected to the mainland. After this discovery was
made, cattle were driven to the assistance of the suffering mis-
sions-an aid that later was repeatedly given. Father Kino
made a map of the region which was not improved upon for
many, many years.
Padre Kino had a positive thirst for knowing the wild, but
in many respects impressive and beautiful, country of the
Southwest (i.e., our Southwest). He made scores of journeys,
some of them covering distances as great as a thousand miles.
As he traveled about over these sandy wastes or threaded his
way through the passes of towering mountains, he made
friends with the Indians. He taught them the simpler ele-
ments of the Christian religion and baptized them. He had
them build many small huts, usually of stone or adobe, which
served as chapels when he made his later visits. Father Kino
was a most earnest Christian, and he had a great love for the
humble Indians among whom he lived and worked. Merely
to visit them at extended intervals was not enough to make
and keep them good Christians. In the long periods between
his visits they would slip back into their pagan tribal prac-
tices. He wished to teach them a settled way of life, to civilize
them, as that was the only way to keep them Christians. So
he built missions in many places in the extensive region under
his spiritual control.
It is not to be thought that the institution which we call a
mission was originated by Padre Kino. Already the Spaniards
had built many missions on the frontiers throughout the two
Americas, and they continued to build them during the
entire colonial period. In fact, the twenty-three Franciscan
missions which were built in Upper California (now the state
of California) were founded as late as the years between 1776
and 1823, the last one after Mexico had become independent

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