Diary of Alonso Jimenez- Entry 1

Journal Entry #1: January 12, 1519

Right now, my suitcase, full of clothes for a few days, is being pulled onto the beautiful deck of our Spanish ship. Today is the day that I will sail as a part of Hernan Cortes’s men to the new world. My Madre and Hermanita even on her deathbed tried to stop me from leaving, believing that I would never make it back. To help her, I told her that I would make her a necklace of the things that I would find on my journey, and she was immediately overjoyed and said she was fine with me leaving. However, the thing is I don’t have much of choice, I have to get the money for my Hermanita, as she is sick, and with our plummeting economy, there is no way that we can afford any medicine for her. Although, I cannot blame our monarchs for the terrible amount of money, as they are only trying to create a Spain that is religiously unified due to their expanding fear that the Muslims would take over. They had started to kill anyone that was suspected of having faith in another religion than Catholicism, I had only attended one of these, although there are many more. The Spanish Inquisition would be the judge of the person rumoured to be of another religion when I had attended I knew that the consequences would be brutal, but I had not expected the execution sentenced to the man. All of this is because the Muslims came and conquered a significant portion of Spain and Portugal, and their religion started spreading and taking over the rest of Spain. They started to create large universities in the cities they had taken over and began to settle into their stolen land, but unlike us, they allowed other religions to live amongst them, which I believe is a huge mistake, and eventually, we had defeated them. However because of the executions, it started to cause a dip in our economy, as the Jews, and many others had held up the base of our economy. Now, it has plummeted, but the others who have land, had money, the nobles, and are not affected as much like me and many others, and many didn’t have to join any wars or go on expeditions. However, the other nobles that did not own any land had to join the fight, to gain money. Unlike them, I did not have a choice, and my money has decreased, which is why I believe that the condition of America may be the best way for me to support my family.

Cortes believes that the Americas will hold all the gold and resources that we need, and that we will get all the fame for it. Even though I am very skeptical about it, I still intend to follow, so that I may have a chance of getting land or gold to bring home. The journey to the new world had revealed that there was a tribe that was very powerful, and so once we convert them to Catholicism, we are also helping our duty to our God. There are some on this mission who are very afraid of the so-called ‘strong,’ indigenous tribe, but as Cortes had said, they are inferior, and they can readily be righted and changed into our pristine ways.

Now, as I watch the ship bobbing on the ocean, I have just realized that the frequent dizziness and sickness was not due to my anticipation of our trip ahead of us, rather, the early symptoms of disease. I don’t believe that it’s very powerful, as I am sure I have had it for the few days I have gone without washing. Although, I must find some way to get medicine in case it happens to be a much deadlier illness. However, I sincerely doubt that I will be affected as much, since many fatal diseases have been passing through our family for generations, and yet many survived. This must be the conclusion of the day, as the men have started to board the ship, and I am being urged to board the ship soon as well.

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