Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Cuauhtemotzín

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CUAUHTEMOTZÍN (kwau-tay-mo-tseen'), which means “Eagle's Eyesight,” sometimes called Cuauhtemoc, Quauhtemotzín, Quauhtemoc, Guatemoc, Guatimoc, or Guatimocín, thirteenth and last Mexican king (eleventh monarch, according to other accounts), b. in 1495; d. in 1524. He was the son of Ahuitzol, and married Tecuichpatzín, a daughter of Motecuhzoma (Moctezuma) and the widow of Cuitlahuatl, his own uncle, whom he succeeded on the throne, being elected and crowned about the end of January, 1521. Cuauhtemotzín at once began to strengthen the defences of the city of Mexico; but Cortes, after several successful battles and subsequent agreements with the natives, besieged the city with a large force of Indian allies and his Spanish troops, and finally Cuauhtemotzín and all his warriors surrendered 13 Aug., 1521). The siege lasted 75 days, and cost the Spaniards over 100 men of the 900 present, their allies losing several thousand, while many thousand Mexicans died fighting or from starvation and disease. Cuauhtemotzín had on one occasion, with the approval of the senate, sacrificed four Spaniards and 4,000 Indians, to obtain favor of the gods. The invaders tortured him to make him tell where his treasures and those of the temples were hidden; and three years afterward he was executed, with the kings of Texcoco and Tlacopan, on suspicion that they had conspired against the Spanish rule. The young emperor endured his torture calmly, and when the Texcoco chief groaned in his death-agony, reproved him, saying, “Do you think I am on a bed of roses?” A monument to Cuauhtemotzín, surmounted by a bronze statue, represented in the illustration, was erected in the city of Mexico in January, 1887.