Illinois Representative Abraham Lincoln

Pachacuti leveled villages for six miles in every directionin order to build a large city at Cuzco. Pachacuti's armies begantheir conquest by killing the men of their nearby enemies. Thesurrounding mountains were taken over next. After the Chanca weresubdued at Ichupampa, their skulls and skins were turned intodrums. Urcon was declared an outlaw and was hunted down and killed;Viracocha Inca submitted, and Pachacuti was crowned and probablywedded to Urcon's sister and wife. The new Inca emperor set aboutexpanding and integrating his empire. Pachacuti made his oldestson Amaru Inca co-regent, and after a drought he was worshipedfor feeding the hungry with corn, potatoes, and quinoa. A Collacoalition was defeated, and its leader Chuchi Capac was sacrificedat Coricancha. However, Amaru Inca was not a strong military leader,and his father deposed him after about five years.

Indigenous territories within Mexico, 1830s

The Alamo mission near San Antonio

Henry Clay & Theodore Frelinghuysen poster

After the fall of Tollan, the Toltec decline was gradual. Fortwo centuries the basin of Mexico was ruled by various Mexicagroups and Chichimecs (Dog People), who invaded the Toltecs fromthe northwest after their defenses were removed. Chichimec leaderXolotl settled at Tenayuca about 1201 and then made Texcoco acapital. Xolotl's son Nopaltzin killed Topiltzin's grandson Nauhyotl,the ruler of Culhuacan, possibly in 1248. Tochintecuhtli and Huetzinseem to have established a kingdom, and the latter was succeededby Nonoalcatl in 1272.

James K. Polk & George Dallas poster, 1844

In the central highlands of Mexico the Toltecs were dominantfrom the 10th to the 12th century with their major city at Tollan(Tula). Itzas arrived at Chichén about 918, and ToltecChichén was not destroyed until about 1250. A Mixtec legendtells of a ruler named Eight-Deer Ocelot-Claw, who succeeded hisfather as king of Tilantongo at age 19 in 1030, won several battles,married many wives and sired numerous children, went to Tollan,and tried to set up a bureaucratic empire at Tutupec by unitingit with Mixteca Alta and Baja. Eight-Deer had the men of the royalfamilies he conquered sacrificed, and he or his sons married theirwidows and daughters. When the ruler of Xipe-Bundle died in 1047,Eight-Deer was concerned that some of his relatives would tryto rule the city. So he allied himself with the Toltec Four-Tigerand sacrificed his half-brother Twelve-Earthquake. However, hislittle empire soon failed, and in 1063 Eight-Deer was defeated,captured and sacrificed.

General José Joaquín de Herrera
“Let the half-civilized Mexicans hear the crack of the unerring New Hampshire riflemen.”

War news from Mexico (1851 hand-colored engraving by Richard Caton}

The Chavin people apparently worshipped a feline symbol representinga jaguar or puma. Evidence of bows and arrows have been found,but the primary weapons were the spear and spear-thrower. To thesepeople religion seems to have been much more important than waror widespread trade. Coca plants were grown, and an oracle wasestablished at Pachacamac and other sites. Trade and communicationseems to have been good along the central Peruvian coast. TheChavin culture spread from the northern highlands south and, aftera devastating tidal wave inundated the coastal area about 500BC, into that region following its climatic deterioration. However,after about two centuries of intensive influence in most areasthe Chavin culture began to fade away. Unfortunately there isno writing describing this religious movement.

Commemorative plaque in Mexico City honoring 71 members of the San Patricio Battalion

Texas Ranger (wood engraving 1848)

From the mid-7th century until the decline, two centuries ofwars occurred as massive fortifications were erected. A Tikalprince founded Dos Pilas about 640, but later he defeated Tikalin two wars. The 25th ruler of Tikal, Shield Skull, was capturedand sacrificed by this first Petexbatun ruler in 679 accordingto the hieroglyphics at Dos Pilas. The second Petexbatun rulerShield God K (r. 698-727) expanded his kingdom by military forcein the southwestern lowlands, while Naranjo's Smoking Squirrelraided the Yaxha region in 710. The third Petexbatun ruler in735 portrayed the Seibal king beneath his feet and married a princessfrom Cancuen. Petexbatun power, which controlled the largest lowlandMayan kingdom ever, was suddenly curtailed in 760 when the 4thking after ruling twenty years was captured and sacrificed atTamarindito, and the capital at Dos Pilas was overcome. The kingdombroke up into warring chiefdoms for a half century, and then thearea was abandoned. At Bonampak wall paintings depicted bloodysacrifices of nine captives.

Early photo of U.S. soldiers entering Saltillo

Col. Kearny informs New Mexicans of their new status

For fans of Jaime Martín del Campo and Ramiro Arvizu who feared that the soulful Mexican cooking at their flagship Bell restaurant might languish after they opened their new concept, Mexicano, at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza last year, we have this to say: Don’t worry. The stellar cooking and rustic charm of one of the city’s most iconic and revered Mexican restaurants is as pronounced as ever, even as its chef duo rises to new levels of stardom. The heart of the menu is the lush moles, each as vivid and distinct as a Frida Kahlo portrait. But there’s a great deal of pleasure in less publicized dishes, too: meltingly tender beef shank in tangy guajillo chili sauce, unabashedly gooey and smoky sheets of carne asada with grilled cactus. The hardest decision, though, comes at dessert, when you’ll be forced to choose between caramel-filled churros and ultra-rich flan. A trip to Bell without at least one seems unthinkable.G.S.