(Federalist) The New York Times officially announced its new 1619 Project to “to reframe the country’s history, understanding 1619 as our true founding, and placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are.” Constantly now, Americans are called upon to reflect on European villains and indigenous victims. However, the story of European civilization reaching the North American continent did not begin with the first arrival of slave ships at Jamestown in 1619.
Let’s take a brief recess from the 1619 Project to explore another project. Call it the “1519 Project.” A full century before The New York Times’ proposed re-dating of the American founding and 2,200 miles southwest of Jamestown, European contact sparked a native uprising against a gruesome cult of cannibalism and mass murder.
Graphically described in the 1855 book, “Makers of History: Hernando Cortez,” John S.C. Abbott paints a picture of desperation for a tiny band of Spanish soldiers and their native allies. Next year marks the 500th anniversary of the Battle of the Dismal Night, where an initially successful Cortez was nearly crushed by superior Aztec forces.
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