I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. — James Madison

Boys' Prescott - Helen Ward Banks



The Conquest of the Empire of the Aztecs by Cortes and his small band of conquistadors is one of the most dramatic and consequential tales in all history. This book tells the story in fascinating detail and is based on Prescott's famous and sympathetic account. The manner in which Cortes was able to rally his desperate band of Spanish followers, conquer and befriend dozens of neighboring tribes, and topple an aggressive empire with hundreds of thousands of warriors in arms, using both military and diplomatic means is worth telling in detail. The characters of all of those who played an important role in the drama--the hero Cortez, his translator and consort Marina, his generals Sandoval and Alvarado, his Spanish enemies Velasquez and Narvaez, the Aztec emperor Montezuma and his warriors and priests, and the Spaniards' Tabascan and Tlascalan allies are all portrayed with great depth and interest. A truly spellbinding story told with supreme insight.

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[Cover] from The Boys' Prescott by Helen Ward Banks
[Frontispiece] from The Boys' Prescott by Helen Ward Banks
CORTES'S MEN WERE ACROSS THE DRAWBRIDGE AND ONCE MORE IN TENOCHTILAN.


[Title Page] from The Boys' Prescott by Helen Ward Banks [Copyright] from The Boys' Prescott by Helen Ward Banks [Dedication] from The Boys' Prescott by Helen Ward Banks [Contents, Page 1 of 2] from The Boys' Prescott by Helen Ward Banks [Contents, Page 2 of 2] from The Boys' Prescott by Helen Ward Banks [Illustrations] from The Boys' Prescott by Helen Ward Banks



The People of the Story




The Spaniards


Hernando Cortes The hero
Martin and Catalina Cortes Hernando's father and mother
Sandoval, Alvarado Cortes' chief captains
Father Olmedo The priest in Cortes' expedition
Leon, Olid, Avila, Ordaz,
Tapia, Lujo, Montejo,
Puertocarrero, Montana, Olea
Cortes' cavaliers
Alaminos Cortes' pilot
Aguilar Cortes' interpreter
Quinones Captain of Cortes' bodyguard
Magarino Keeper of the bridge
Grado, Escalante, Rangre Governors of Vera Cruz
Cordova, Grijalva Early explorers
Velasquez Governor of Cuba
Narvaez Velasquez' lieutenant
Duero Velasquez' secretary
Guevara A priest in Narvaez' expedition
Villafana A soldier in Narvaez' expedition
Charles V King of Spain
Alderete Treasurer to Charles V
Fonesca Bishop of Burgos, President of Council of Indies
Ayllon Member, Commission of Friars in St. Domingo
Orteguilla Montezuma's Spanish page



The Indians


Montezuma King of Mexico and Emperor of Anahuac
Cuitlahua, Guatemozin Emperors of Anahuac after 5 Montezuma
Nezahualcoyotl, Nezahualpilli, Cacama,
Ixtlilzochitl, Coanaco, Cuicuitzca
Kings of Tezcuco
Maxtla King of the Tepanecs
Mixixca, Xicotencatl The Elder Rulers of the Republic of Tlascala
Xicotencatl The Younger, Chichemecatl Tlascalan chiefs
Teuhtlile An Aztec noble
Quauhpopoca An Aztec vassal
Marina, Melchorejo Interpreters for Cortes
Huitzilopotchli The Mexican war-god
Quetzalcoatl The Mexican god of the air
Tezcatlipoca The Mexican god of creation



The Tribes


Toltecs The early inhabitants of Anahuac
Aztecs, Tezcucans, Tlascalans The most powerful tribes in Anahuac in Cortes' time
Cholulans, Tepeacans, Otomies Tribes near Tlascala
Tepanecs A tribe near Tezcuco
Chalcans A tribe near Lake Chalco
Totonacs, Chinantlas Tribes near Vera Cruz




Places of the Story

Mexico Montezuma's kingdom lying in the valley of Mexico
Mexico, Tenochtitlan Two names for Montezuma's capital city
Anahuac An empire ruled by Montezuma, King of Mexico, who had forced all the other tribes of the country—excepting the Tlascalans—to pay his tribute and acknowledge his authority. Anahuac covered about the ground of the present country of Mexico
Tezcuco A kingdom and its capital city
Tlascala A republic and its capital city
Cholula The sacred city of the Aztecs
Cempoalla Capital city of Totonacs
Azcapozalco Capital city of Tepanecs
Villa Rica De Vera Cruz The city founded by the Spaniards where they first landed. This city was soon deserted and the same name was given to the new city founded by Cortes near Chiahuitzla
Tabasco, Iztapalapan, Chinantla,
Xalapa, Chalco, Cojohuacan,
Huaxtepec, Tlacopan,
Xochimilco, Ajotzinco, Chiahuitzla
Cities of Anahuac
Ceutla A plain near Tabasco
Otumba A plain near Tlascala
Tlacopan, Iztapalapan, Tepejacac The three causeways leading from the City of Mexico to the mainland




The Principle Buildings of the Story

  • The great temple of Cholula
  • The great temple of Tenochtitlan
  • Montezuma's palace in Tenochtitlan
  • The old royal palace of Axayactl in Tenochtitlan
  • The royal summer palace at Chapoltepec
  • The fort of Xoloc, built at the point where the causeway running from Cojohuacan cut the main causeway running from Iztapalapan to Tenochtitlan
  • Tlatelolco, the market-place of Tenochtitlan