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Incidents of Travel in Yucatan, Vol. I.   By:

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Transcriber's Notes: 1. Page scan source: http://www.archive.org/details/incidentstravel37stepgoog

2. The diphthong oe is represented by [oe].

[Engraving 1: Frontispiece Casa del Gobernador, Uxmal]

INCIDENTS OF TRAVEL

IN

YUCATAN.

BY JOHN L. STEPHENS,

AUTHOR OF "INCIDENTS OF TRAVEL IN EGYPT, ARABIA PETRÆA, AND THE HOLY LAND," "INCIDENTS OF TRAVEL IN CENTRAL AMERICA," ETC.

ILLUSTRATED BY 120 ENGRAVINGS.

IN TWO VOLUMES.

VOL. I.

NEW YORK: PUBLISHED BY HARPER & BROTHERS FOR HENRY BILL. 1848.

Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1843, by HARPER & BROTHERS, In the Clerk's Office of the Southern District of New York

PREFACE.

In his "Incidents of Travel in Central America, Chiapas, and Yucatan," the author intimated his intention to make a more thorough exploration of the ruins of the latter country. That intention has since been carried into effect, and the following pages are the result. They describe, as the author has reason to believe, the most extensive journey ever made by a stranger in that peninsula, and contain the account of visits to forty four ruined cities, or places in which remains or vestiges of ancient population were found. The existence of most of these ruins was entirely unknown to the residents of the capital; but few had ever been visited by white inhabitants; they were desolate, and overgrown with trees. For a brief space the stillness that reigned around them was broken, and they were again left to solitude and silence. Time and the elements are hastening them to utter destruction. In a few generations, great edifices, their façades covered with sculptured ornaments, already cracked and yawning, must fall, and become mere shapeless mounds. It has been the fortune of the author to step between them and the entire destruction to which they are destined; and it is his hope to snatch from oblivion these perishing, but still gigantic memorials of a mysterious people. The descriptions are accompanied by full illustrations from Daguerreotype views and drawings taken on the spot by Mr. Catherwood, and the engravings were executed under his personal superintendence.

CONTENTS OF THE FIRST VOLUME.

CHAPTER I.

Embarcation. Fellow passengers. A Gale at Sea. Arrival at Sisal. Orinthological Specimens. Merida. Fête of San Cristoval. The Lottery. A Scene of Confusion. Principle of the Game. Passion for Gambling. A deformed Indian.

CHAPTER II.

Housekeeping. Description of a Bull ring. A Bull fight. Spectators. Brutal Torments inflicted on the Bulls. Serious Accidents. A noble Beast. An exciting Scene. Victims to Bullfighting. Danger and Ferocity of Bull fights. Effects on moral Character. Grand Mass. A grand Procession. The Alameda. Calesas. A Concert, and its Arrangements. Fête of Todos Santos. A singular Custom. An Incident.

CHAPTER III.

An Old Friend. Brief Account of Yucatan. Early Voyages of Discovery. Columbus. De Solis and Pinzon. Expedition of Cordova. Voyages of Grijalva. Expedition of Cortez. Mission of Montejo, who receives a Grant from Charles V. Discoveries, Conquests, and Sufferings of Montejo and his Companions. Efforts to convert the Natives. Contreras. Farther Particulars relating to the Conquest of Yucatan.

CHAPTER IV.

Political State of Yucatan. Alliance with Texas... Continue reading book >>




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