Index  Previous  Next 


Before the Spaniards subdued the country the Indians lived together in well ordered communities; they kept the ground in excellent condition, free from noxious vegetation and planted with fine trees. The habitation was as follows: in the center of the town were the temples, with beautiful plazas, and around the temples stood the houses of the chiefs and the priests, and next those of the leading men. Closest to these came the houses of those who were wealthiest and most esteemed, and at the borders of the town were the houses

Photo by Eric Thompson
Click to enlarge

of the common people. The wells, where they were few, were near the houses of the chiefs; their plantations were set out in the trees for making wine, and sown with cotton, pepper and maize. They lived in these communities for fear of their enemies, lest they be taken in captivity; but after the wars with the Spaniards they dispersed through the forests.

Either led on by their evil way or from their bad treatment by the Spaniards, the Indians of Valladolid conspired to slay the Spaniards when they separated to collect the tribute. In one day they killed 17 Spaniards and 400 servants belonging to those they killed and to the others they left alive. Then they sent arms and feet through the whole country in token of what they had done, in order to arouse the rest. These however would not respond, and so the admiral was able to send aid to the Spaniards of Valladolid and to punish the Indians.

p. 27

The admiral had difficulties with those of Mérida, particularly through the royal decree which deprived the governors of their Indians. An actuary came to Yucatan, took his Indians from the admiral and placed them under the royal protection. After this a Residencia was instituted before the Royal Audience of Mexico, which ordered him before the Royal Council of the Indies in Spain. There he died, full of years and labors, leaving his wife Doña Beatrix richer than himself; also his son Don Francisco de Montejo, married in Yucatan, and his daughter Doña Catalina, married to the licentiate Alonso Maldonado in Honduras, president of the Audience of Honduras and San Domingo in the island of Hispaniola; also Don Juan de Montejo, a Spaniard, and Don Diego, a son by an Indian woman.

Don Francisco, after he turned over the government to his father the admiral, lived in his home as a simple citizen, so far as public life went, but much honored by all as having conquered, partitioned and ruled the country. He went to Guatemala to close his Residencia and returned to his home. As children he had Don Juan de Montejo, who married Doña Isabel a native of Salamanca, Doña Beatriz de Montejo who married her uncle, his father's first cousin, and Doña Francisca de Montejo who married Don Carlos de Avellano, a native of Guadalajara. He died after a long sickness, having seen all of his children married.

Next: XVII. Arrival of the Spanish Franciscan Friars in Yucatan. Protection They Gave to the Natives. Their Contests with the Spanish Military Element

Commons Island Community History Visitor Center Goods & Services
Belize Search Messages Belize News

Yucatan Before and After the Conquest, by Diego de Landa, tr. William Gates, [1937]