Page:Notes of the Mexican war 1846-47-48.djvu/238

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

describe the nature of these scenes; and I shall ever remember it the longest day of my life.

Before the time Conqueror Cortez came to this country this city of Chulula contained from twenty to twenty-five thousand houses, and as many more banqueting houses. The number of temples and turrets were equal with that of the number of days in a year. It, at one time, contained (according to the number of houses) a population from one hundred and thirty to one hundred and thirty-five thousand inhabitants. Now its population is scarcely six thousand souls. It, no doubt, must have been at one time a most beautiful city.

It still has the appearance of being a neat city, but the ruins, caused by Cortez and his band of robbers, are numerous.

All this numerous destruction of property and thousands of lives, was all done by Conqueror Fernando Cortez to inspire (he said) new religion among the Mexicans and Indians. Yes, inspired for their gold and nothing else.

The people seemed to me to be nearly all poor, and poorly clad, and not very thriving.

They carry on the manufacturing of all kinds of earthen ware, which seems to be the principal traffic and production of this section of the country. They take it mostly to Puebla and other markets.

After spending several hours in examining and viewing the curiosities, we returned to our quarters well pleased with our trip to the ancient pyramid of Chulula.

The early history of Mexico tells us that it was in this city (Chulula) where King Montezuma was first foretold of the downfall and destruction of his kingdom by several running signs.

It was in the temple of this city where their god, Quezalcoalti, informed the people that a strange and mighty people were coming to take possession of the Mexican dominion, and all the believers and reporters of this sign, were all committed to prison by King Montezuma's orders, and would, doubtless, have put them all to death had they not escaped from prison; yet their wives and children were all put to death upon King Montezuma's command. Quezalcoalti fled and sailed from where Vera Cruz now stands.