History : Sep-Oct 2018
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC HISTORY 61 shoulders with descriptions of a country torn apart by war and in- stability, with tales of bandits roaming the country. Amid the turmoil and discomfort, Ste- phens found time to sketch the people he met, and revels in quirky, colorful details, such as detailing the clutter of a priest’s room, encumbered with:“a cruet of mustard and another of oil . . . cups, plates, a sauce-boat, a large lump of sugar, skulls, bones, books, cheese, and manuscripts.” Once Catherwood had recovered, the pair planned for another journey to Yucatán. Despite his air of a flamboyant adventurer, Stephens was a meticulous organizer, and prepared for the second trip in minute detail. Leaving in October 1841, they were accompanied by the naturalist Sam- uel Cabot, who wanted to study the local fauna. Among other sites, the team explored the cities of Kabáh, Chichén Itzá, and Labná, and revisited sites from their earlier visit, including Uxmal. A second book, entitled Incidents of Travel in Yu- catán, containing 120 engravings by Catherwood, was published in two volumes in New York in 1843. A year later, Catherwood published a stand- alone work containing a selection of his color lithographs of the sites. The two men never traveled together again. Stephens joined the board of the Ocean Steam Navigation Company, and in 1850 he was offered a chance to participate in the construction of the Panama railway. Although he died in 1852 in New York, a romantic legend emerged that he had met his end in Panama in the shade of a ceiba tree, sa- cred to the Maya. In 1947 Maya hieroglyphs were added to his gravestone, recognizing his contri- bution to the study of Maya civilization. Frederick Catherwood died under tragic cir- cumstances in September 1854, when the paddle steamer on which he was traveling was wrecked, and he perished alongside some 350 others. The death of the man whose artwork had immortal- ized the rediscovered Maya cities passed almost unnoticed by public opinion of the time. KAY MAERITZ/AGE FOTOSTOCK A CASTLE ON THE COAST THE PYRAMID, OR CASTILLO, OF THE MAYA CITY OF TULUM LOOMS OVER THE RUGGED YUCATÁN COAST. STEPHENS AND CATHERWOOD VISITED THE RUINS DURING THEIR SECOND JOURNEY IN 1841-42. GULF OF MEXICO CaRIBBEaN SEa Tikal (not visited) Jaina Island YucatánPeninsulaChiapas Chichén Itzá (2) Kabáh (2) Labná (2) (1) Quiriguá (1, 2) Uxmal Tulum (2) (1) Palenque Copán (1) GUATEMALA HONDURAS MEXICO BELIZE Sites visited on the journeys of Stephens and Catherwood: (1) 1839-1840 (2) 1841-1842 EOSGIS.COM ISABEL BUENO IS AN HONORARY MEMBER OF THE VICENTE LOMBARDO TOLEDANO CENTER IN MEXICO, ON WHOSE CULTURE AND HISTORY SHE HAS WRITTEN EXTENSIVELY.