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Cortesian Dispatches: a Chronology

An ongoing general chronology of Cortesian dispatches (documents and objects).


Date Event
1518 Grijalba dispatches the first American treasure to Spain.
Feb 11-8 Cortés sails from Cuba
Apr 22 Foundation of the Villa Rica de la Vera Cruz.
Apr 24 First gifts from Moctezuma (acc. to Fees also local gifts.)
Apr 30 yet more gifts from Moctezuma.
Jun 18 “Cortés recibe el gran presente de joyas, oro, plumajes y ropas de Motecuhzoma.”
Jun 28 Electors meet to name Charles emperor.
Jul 6 Inventory signed.
Jul 10 Writing of letters, memorials and instructions, incl. Carta de Cabildo (signed). Includes detailed inventory and treasures for Carlos I and queen Juana.
Jul 16 Ship with letter and “Moctezuma’s treasure” (Fees 1990) sets sail. Brough by Alaminos.
Oct Treasure and Carta arrive to San Lucar de Barrameda (Russo 7.)
Nov The treasure and Carta de Cabildo arrive to Seville. It’s first seized and the exhibited in the Casa.
Nov 5 Arrival date according to Saville (13), based on the two Actas publ. by f. Müller (1871) and Muñoz’s list at the Casa de Contratación.
Nov 8 Cortés arrives to Tenochtitlan
Nov 14 Moctezuma taken prisioner.
Nov 1519 - May 1520 Likely time for a topographic making acc. to Gresle-Pouligny (26.)
Nov 1519 - Mar 5, 1520 (More precisely, based on info from the Third Letter.)
Mar-Apr Carlos I receives 1st shipment in Valladolid (on March 3, acc. to Martinez 241).
Mar 5 Sends the Second L. to Spain (acc. to the Third L.), accompanied by “la figura de la civdad de Temixtitlan que yo enviéa vuestra Magestad”.
Mar 17 In Nüremberg, Pepius publishes Ein Auzug…
May 20 Charles I sails from Coruña to Flandes.
Jul 6 Receives news that he’s been named King of the Romans in Barcelona.
Aug Treasure is seen by Dürer in Bruxelles.
Oct 22 After a delay caused by the plague, Charles I enters Arquisgran, Charlemagne’s capital, to be crowned Emperor
Oct Cortés prepares the reconquest of Tenochtitlan.
Oct 30 Without knowing the above, Cortés signs the Second Letter in Segura de la Frontera (Tepeaca), addressed to the “invictisimo emperador y nuestro señor,” and offers him another empire: “nuevo emperador della (i.e. NE) y con título y no menos mérito que el de Alemaña”… 10 months before capturing Mexico!
Dec Final assault on Mexico is plotted.
May 30 Begins the siege of Mexico.
Jun-Jul Diego Velázquez acusses Cortés.
Aug 13 Mexico-Tenochtitlan falls. Cuahutemoc is taken prisioner.
May 15 Cortés signs the Tercera Carta in Coyoacán. Mentions the map sent with the Segunda Carta.
May Shipment of objects and inventories: (22) “Relación del oro” (Coyoacán, May 19), (23 )”Memorial de piezas, joyas y plumajes” (gifts for the Emperor, acc. to Martínez), (24) “Memoria de los plumajes” (Coyoacán, May 19). This is famous inventory detailen 117 objects for 13 churches and monasteries and 23 dignitaries.
Jul Ávila and Quiñones sail from Veracruz bringing Cortesian gifts and the 3rd Letter. Treasure is seized by French pirates.
Jul-Nov Juan de Rivera sails from Veracruz (acc. to Anghiera, shortly after Ávila and Quiñones.) Acc. to Wagner (1969), he brings his own collection of curioisities. Anghiera mentions objects not mentioned in the inventory.
October 15 In Valladolid, Charles V confirms Cortés gobernador, capitan general and justicia mayor. The Cédula Real mentions “donde está la gran laguna donde está edificada la gran cibdad de Temixtitlán-México.”
Nov 8 Rivera arrives acc. to Wagner (1969, double check.)
Nov 8 Second Letter is printed in Sevilla.
Nov?? Rivera arrives to Sevilla with objects and the 2nd Letter.???
Nov 15ca El autor anónimo de la gaceta publicada en Augsburgo a principos 1523 (Ein Schone Newe Zeytung…) y que según Wagner se basó en la 2a original y quizá en la carta de Zuazo o de alguien más) pudor ver algunos objetos cortesianos