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I, Hernán Cortés

The (Second) Trial of Residency


Francisco Manzo-Robledo

I, Hernán Cortés: The (Second) Trial of Residency is a literary analysis of the most important documents in the Hernán Cortés trial of residency (juicio de residencia) using some proposed literary tools created for that purpose and the original documents in the Archivo General de Indias in Seville as well as a great variety of books on Hernán Cortés. Francisco Manzo-Robledo reveals how Hernán Cortés re-creates himself, from being the first illegal immigrant in the continent to becoming, for a short time, the highest authority in New Spain before falling into a legal limbo in the Council of Indies. This book is useful in any course dealing with Spanish colonial history or literature.


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Conclusions: “Let’s Not Answer” 217


CONCLUSIONS: “LET’S NOT ANSWER” What there is to say: that I have been and am a martyr after I came, for not answering to the charges these [men] give me, although if I did not expect so soon a remedy it would have been impossible to suffer them, but with this hope one could suffer all, because I don’t want more than to be known that here I have not done nor I’ll do what I can but what I ought to. Letter from Hernán Cortés to his lawyer Francisco Núñez, Nueva España, October 22, 1530. (In Martínez y Martínez, 209) Each civilization, though, applies to human conduct its own sense of morality. Richard Lee Marks, Cortés (28) According to the letter that Hernán Cortés, marquis of the Valle de Oaxaca, sent to the King, dated Nueva España, October 10, 1530,1 when he was coming back from their meeting in Barcelona, and Cortés’ stayed in Spain, the marquis arrives to Veracruz on July 15, 1530, and there he is ordered by a royal command not to enter the city of México until the arrival of the second Audiencia. In another letter sent by Cortés before that, Nueva España, October 22, 1530 (the first epigram comes from there), to Francisco Núñez his cousin and legal representative in Spain, Cortés complains about not having money, saying that one hundred people in his group have died...

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