Lost History USA History Florida Expedition of Hernando De Soto

Florida Expedition of Hernando De Soto

Florida Expedition of Hernando De Soto
Catalog # SKU3750
Publisher TGS Publishing
Weight 1.00 lbs
Author Name Gentleman of Elvas, Richard Hackluyt
ISBN 10: 0000000000
ISBN 13: 0000000000000


The Florida Expedition
of Hernando De Soto

A Gentleman of Elvas
Translator: Richard Hackluyt

CAPTAIN SOTO was the son of a squire of Xerez of Badajoz. He went into the Spanish Indies, when Peter Arias of Avila was Governor of the West Indies. And there he was without anything else of his own, save his sword and target.

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From the time that the Governor entered into Florida, until his departure from Mavilla, there died a hundred and two Christians, some of sickness, and others which the Indians slew. He stayed in Mavilla, because of the wounded men, eight-and-twenty days; all which time he lay in the field. It was a well inhabited and a fat country, there were some great and walled towns, and many houses scattered all about the fields, to wit, a crossbow shot or two, the one from the other. Upon Sunday, the eighteenth of November (1540), when the hurt men were known to be healed, the Governor departed from Mavilla.

Every one furnished himself with maize for two days, and they traveled five days through a desert: they came to a province called Pafallaya, unto a town named Taliepatava: and from thence they went to another, called Cabusto: near unto it ran a great river. The Indians on the other side cried out, threatening the Christians to kill them, if they sought to pass it. The Governor commanded his men to make a barge within the town, because the Indians should not perceive it: it was finished in four days, and being ended, he commanded it to be carried one night upon sleds half a league up the river. In the morning there entered into it thirteen men well armed.

The Indians perceived what was attempted, and those which were nearest, came to defend the passage. They resisted what they could, till the Christians came near them; and seeing that the barge came to the shore, they fled away into the groves of canes. The Christians mounted on horseback, and went up the river to make good the passage, whereby the Governor and his company passed the river. There were along the river some towns well stored with maize and French beans. From thence to Chicaca the Governor traveled five days through a desert. He came to a river, where on the other side were Indians to defend the passage. He made another barge in two days; and when it was finished, the Governor sent an Indian to request the cacique to accept of his friendship, and peaceably to expect his coming: whom the Indians that were on the other side the river slew before his face, and presently making a great shout went their way.

Having passed the river, the next day, being the 17th of December, the Governor came to Chicaca, a small town of twenty houses. And after they were come to Chicaca, they were much troubled with cold, because it was now winter and it snowed, while most of them were lodged in the field, before they had time to make themselves houses. This country was very well peopled, and the houses scattered like those of Mavilla, fat and plentiful of maize, and the most part of it was fielding: they gathered as much as sufficed to pass the winter. Some Indians were taken, among which was one whom the cacique esteemed greatly.

The Governor sent an Indian to signify to the cacique that he desired to see him and to have his friendship. The cacique came unto him, to offer him his person, country and subjects, and told him that he would cause two other caciques to come to him in peace; who within a few days after came with him and with their Indians. The one was called Alimamu, the other Nicalasa. They gave a present unto the Governor of a hundred and fifty coneys, and of the country garments, to wit, of mantles and skins. The Cacique of Chicaca came to visit him many times; and sometimes the Governor sent to call him, and sent him a horse to go and come. He complained unto him that a subject of his was risen against him and deprived him of his tribute, requesting his aid against him, for he meant to seek him in his country, and to punish him according to his desert. Which was nothing else but a feigned plot. For they determined, as soon as the Governor was gone with him, and the camp was divided into two parts, the one part of them to set upon the Governor and the other upon them that remained in Chicaca. He went to the town where he used to keep his residence, and brought with him two hundred Indians with their bows and arrows.

The Governor took thirty horsemen and eighty footmen, and they went to Saquechuma (for so was the province called of that chief man, which he said had rebelled). They found a walled town, without any men: and those which went with the cacique set fire on the houses, to dissemble their treason. But by reason of the great care and heedfulness, that was as well in the Governor's people which he carried with him, as of those which remained in Chicaca, they dare not assault them at that time. The Governor invited the cacique, and certain principal Indians, and gave them hog's flesh to eat. And though they did not commonly use it, yet they were so greedy of it, that every night there came Indians to certain houses a crossbow shot from the camp, where the hogs lay, and killed, and carried away as many as they could. And three Indians were taken in the manner.

Two of them the Governor commanded to be shot to death with arrows; and to cut off the hands of the other; and he sent him so handled to the cacique. Who made as though it grieved him; yet they had offended the Governor, and that he was glad that he had executed that punishment on them. He lay in a plain country, half a league from the place where the Christians lodged. Four horsemen went a straggling thither, to wit, Francisco Osorio, and a servant of the Marquis of Astorga, called Reynoso, and two servants of the Governor, the one his page, called Ribera, and the other Fuentes, his chamberlain: and these had taken from the Indians some skins, and some mantles, wherewith they were offended, and forsook their houses. The Governor knew of it, and commanded them to be apprehended; and condemned to death Francisco Osorio, and the chamberlain as principals, and all of them to loss of goods.

The friars and priests and other principal persons were earnest with him to pardon Francisco Osorio his life, and to moderate his sentence, which he would not grant for any of them. While he was ready to command them to be drawn to the market-place to cut off their heads, there came certain Indians from the cacique to complain of them. John Ortiz, at the request of Baltasar de Gallegos and other persons, changed their words, and told the Governor, that the cacique said, he had notice how his lordship held those Christians in prison for his sake, and that they were in no fault, neither had they done him any wrong, and that if he would do him any favor, he should set them free. And he told the Indians, that the Governor said he had them in prison, and that he would punish them in such sort, that they should be an example to others. Hereupon the Governor commanded the prisoners to be loosed.

As soon as March was come, he determined to depart from Chicaca, and demanded of the cacique two hundred men for carriages. He sent him answer that he would speak with his principal men. Upon Tuesday, the eighth of March, 1541, the Governor went to the town where he was, to ask him for the men: he told him he would send them the next day. As soon as the Governor was come to Chicaca, he told Luys de Moscoso, the camp-master, that he misliked the Indians, and that he should keep a strong watch that night, which he remembered but a little. The Indians came at the second watch in four squadrons, every one by itself, and as soon as they were descried, they sounded a drum, and gave the assault with a great cry, and with so great celerity, that presently they entered with the scouts, that were somewhat distant from the camp. And when they were perceived of them which were in the town, half the houses were on fire, which they had kindled.

200 pages - 7 x 8½ softcover

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