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Travel Journal of a Spanish Conquistador
Transcript of Travel Journal of a Spanish Conquistador
By Meg Casanova
Diary Entry #1
Dear Diary, 1492
I have been selected by Christopher Columbus himself to accompany him on his boat, the Santa Maria, on his journey west to find land and wealth.
We are traveling to find a new trade route because the Silk Road has become too dangerous after the Mongols fell nearly two-hundred years ago.
Although our primary goal is trade routes I've been ordered to promote Christianity as Queen Isabella wishes to spread the true religion.
I will be happy to leave soon because I find all the art, literature and theatre to be stuffy and boring. This will be quite an adventure to find trade routes and wealth.
Diary Entry #46
Our ship ran aground today of the coast of a small archipelago, which Christopher Columbus first believed to be Japan, however we were rescued by the native people who were called the Taino.
They used long canoes and saved nearly all of our supplies and thankfully no one drowned.
Christopher Columbus set us to work building a fort with the remains of the Santa Maria while he spoke with the chief.
Christopher gave the leader of the Taino a red cape and in return he was given the leader's golden crown.
Afterward Christopher was mumbling something about gold and wealth that was his for the taking. How weird.
The Taino have offered to build boats for Christopher's return to Spain. I've been chosen to return with him to Spain.
Journal Entry #122
We have arrived back in Spain and Christopher Columbus had a meeting with Queen Isabella about returning to the New World and mining the land an taking the gold and silver.
It went well and I have once again been chosen to return to the Taino people and the rest of our crew that was left behind.
We will be bringing cattle, sheep, pigs and horses along with wheat, rice, barley, oats and other fruits that we wish to grow in the New World.
I'm happy to return and see how the rest of our crew fared in the New World.
Journal Entry #158
Disaster! When we returned to the islands where we had left the 39 other crew members we found them killed and the fort destroyed.
We had left on good terms with the Taino but those left behind had treated the natives badly.
Christopher Columbus has ordered the crew to build a new settlement, better protected than before in the hopes of finding gold and silver in this land.
We have seen now that the Taino are not as peaceful as we first thought, they are uncillised and only useful for labour.
Over the past four years we have treated the Taino very cruelly, torturing them, enslaving them, attacking inncoent woman and children and if they disagreed or fought ack we killed them.
Nearly two-thirds of the Taino people have been killed and more and more are escaping every day, soon we will have to travel further to find more wealth, land and slaves.
Hernan Cortes has spoken of going west even more to larger land.
I am going with him to find people the Taino called Aztecs.
We have found the Aztec people and they are more advanced than we first thought. They live in a large city in the middle of a swamp called Tenochtitlan. From what we have seen they seem to be very religious and not opposed to human sacrifice.
The Aztecs welcomed Hernan with welcome arms, showering him with gifts and honouring him. With two translators it is difficult to translate fully but Hernan has the Aztecs convinced that he is a White-skinned God from the East, who was prophesised to arrive.
He has quickly gained Montezuma II's trust and the people already respect him which should make it easier to conquer them.
Hernan led the conquest against the Aztecs in Tenochtitlan. Hernan had quickly become well respected in the city but he betrayed their leader, killed him and helped the Spanish to attack the city.
We besieged the city for nearly three months, starving the poeple out and waiting for them to give in.
Many died from a disease that is common back in Spain but they were not ready for it; smallpox.
It was so simple but brilliant. We have started to build a new city called New Mexico which Hernan will be the leader of.
I'm glad this fighting is over, but tomorrow I leave on my next adventure to the South.
We have travelled down the coast and discovered the Incas. They were peaceful people, gaining land and wealth by giving and helping the nearby states rather than conquering and taking land by force.
They didn't have a writing system but they were able to convey numbers and messages, using a Quipus which is a series of coloured ropes and knots. They used a roads carved into the mountains and runners who passed on the messages in a relay. The roads were linked together and stretched from
The Santa Maria
Santa Maria crashing
Four years later