While I have my Historian Hat on this morning, having just written a piece about Pocahontas, the Native American Princess who defied her father Chief Powhatan at Jamestown, Virginia, in the 17th Century. She was the wife of English settler John Rolfe. According to the legend, when Pocahontas was around eleven years, she saved the life of English Captain John Smith.
This American legend…or historical record…I don’t judge here…is strikingly similar in detail to another incident that happened a century earlier during the conquest of Mexico which began in 1519.
After the Aztec Emperor Moctezuma had died, his nephew Cuahtemoc succeeded him in the royal chain, and married his oldest daughter, Tecuichpo, who tried in vain to intercede with the Spanish conqueror Hernan Cortes…to spare Cuahtemoc’s life. The latter was famously tortured to death with his “feet to the fire”–literally. His crime was refusing to tell the Spanish the location of the vast treasures which the Aztecs tossed into the Lake during the early days of the Conquest. Tecuichpo later married a Spaniard, and spent the rest of her life in Spain.
Not to confuse the Cuahtemoc-Tecuichpo story with that of Cortes and his interpretor/mistress called La Malinche, or Doña Marina—who is known variously as heroine or traitor for her assistance in the Spanish Conquest.