Narratives of the career of Hernando de Soto in the conquest of Florida

Material Information

Narratives of the career of Hernando de Soto in the conquest of Florida as told by a knight of Elvas, and in a relation by Luys Hernandez de Biedma factor of the expedition
Series Title:
Bradford club series
Place of Publication:
New York
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
xxviii, 324 p. : front. (port.) pl., map,|illus. ; 27cm.


General Note:
125 copies printed.
General Note:
"This book is a translation of the original Portuguese Relaçam verdadeïra dos trabalhos qÌ„ ho gouernador dō Fernādo de souto e certos fidalgos portugueses passarom no descubrimÄ“to da prouincia da Frolida. Agora novamÄ“te feita per hÅ« fidalgo Deluas, printed at Evora in the year 1557."
Statement of Responsibility:
Tr. by Buckingham Smith.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
024047946 ( ALEPH )
01497867 ( OCLC )
AAN5998 ( NOTIS )
02014279 ( LCCN )

Full Text




announce in preparation for publication, the ensuing season, a new volume, the FIFTH
of their series, entitled



These narratives consist of a new translation of the RELACAM written by one of
the company of Portuguese knights and gentlemen who joined in the expedition, cov-
ering a period from the time of their departure from Elvas in 1538 to the arrival of
the relics of the army at the city of Mexico in 1543 i and a first translation in En-
glish of the RELACION of BIEDMA, a Spanish officer, presented by him in the year 1544
to Charles V. in Councilt
To the narratives will be added a portrait of De Soto, with documents illustrative
of the actions of this period of his life, translated from the originals in Spain by

The volume will contain about two hundred and fifty pages, the subscription price
for which will be TWELVE DOLLARS.
An early application will be necessary to secure a copy.



New York, August, I865.

ar ab forb t (Rlu~


';er rcvt








uLs Sernanber be $iebma





Y U Ii K





Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1S66,
By John B. Moreau,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Conrt of the United States
for the Southern District of New York.








AND DEERFIELD .. .. 1859






FLORIDA .. 1866











UNDER this designation, a few gentlemen, interested in the study
of American History and Literature, propose occasionally to print
limited editions of such manuscripts and scarce pamphlets as may
be deemed of value towards illustrating these subjects. They will
seek to obtain for this purpose unpublished journals or corre-
spondence containing matter worthy of record, and which may not
properly be included in the Historical Collections or Documentary
Histories of the several States. Such unpretending contemporary
chronicles often throw precious light upon the motives of action
and the imperfectly narrated events of bygone days; perhaps
briefly touched upon in dry official documents.
The Club may also issue fac-similes of curious manuscripts, or
documents worthy of notice, which, like the printed issues, will
bear its imprint.
"These are the
Registers, the chronicles of the age
They were written in, and speak the truth of History
Better than a hundred of your printed
Communications."-Shakcerly Marmyon's Antiquary.

WILLIAM BRADFORD-the first New York Printer-whose name
the Club has adopted, came to this country in 1682, and established


his Press in the neighborhood of Philadelphia. In 1693 he removed
to this City-was appointed Royal Printer-and set up his Press
"at the Sign of the Bible." For upwards of thirty years he was
the only Printer in the Province, and in 1725 published our first
Newspaper-The New York Gazette. He conducted this paper
until 1743, when he retired from business. He died in May, 1752,
and was described, in an obituary notice of the day, as "a man of
great sobriety and industry, a real friend to the poor and needy, and
kind and affable to all." He was buried in Trinity Church Yard, by
the side of the wife of his youth; and the loving affection of
relatives and friends reared a simple and unostentatious Monument
to his memory.

(eamJeri'refledL ho
YouI IFind but.. e tostA .
Lif e's full oF Pain' Lo1 ,,6 P
pare, to meeFj
Here lies so c isie Uo` j Act.,.
!"he siiidWifi&m cun &3fna
'' "A~i


1. FE 0 SOTO.

HERNANDO DE SOTO, whose name is conspicuous among the early
enterprises of discovery and conquest in both American continents,
was born at Xerez, in the Province of Estremadura. Hie was of
good origin; his blood what is called noble in Spain, and so derived
from the four quarterings of ancestry. In his early youth, probably
in Sevilla, at the time the splendid armament was prepared at the
royal cost that conveyed Pedrarias to Castilla del Oro, Soto joined
the Governor, as one, perhaps, of the fifteen hundred men whom he
conducted. In the year 1514 he arrived at Nonmbre de Dios, a little
while after Balboa, looking from PanamA, made discovery of the
South Sea, which Magallanes afterwards called Pacifico.
Soto, under Francisco Hernandez de Cordova, was one of the
first settlers of what was afterwards known as Leon in Nicaragua.
He was early sent to drive Gil Gonzalez Davila from that territory ;
but he being still young, and with little military experience, Davila,
under pretext of treating, rose upon him at daylight. Although his
men made brave resistance, they were overcome by a much feebler
force, losing a large amount of gold with their arms. The danger
of keeping so many prisoners induced the victor to set them at lib-
erty at the end of three days, restoring their property, having first
made sure of their peaceful return to Leon.
Subsequently, Francisco Hernandez, finding a large number of
men unemployed about him, and an abundance of every material
for his design, strove to bring about a revolt, intending afterward
to ask of the King the government of the country. For having


opposed the measure, with a dozen others, Soto was seized and sent-
to the fort at Granada. With nine men, the Captain Companon
went to his relief; and, having liberated him, took the field, armed
and on horseback, where he awaited Hernandez, who, although he
had sixty men, would not venture a conflict, knowing that his per-
son would be sought out over every other. Not long afterwards,
Pedrarias captured his ambitious lieutenant and beheaded him.
Towards the year 1524, Hernando de Soto, Francisco Companon,
and Hernan Ponce de Leon resided in the same town, associates
in all that they possessed. They were wealthy, and in the respec-
tability of their standing were equal, as also in their rank in life.
Having good apportionments of Indians, they employed them profit-
ably as herdsmen, and in gathering gold. Of Companon we hear
little. He died early; and in the will of Soto, made many years
afterward, a number of masses are ordered to be said for the repose
of the soul of that Captain.
Such are some of the brief and scattered notices found in the old
books respecting the early days of the future Adelantado of Florida.
The incidents are blended with the subjugation and settlement of
Central America, as the history of his later years is inseparably
connected with that of the conquest of Peru.
While Pedrarias governed Castilla del Oro, he transferred the
capital of the Province across the Isthmus, from Darien to Panamat,
on the ocean which, in the year 1513, his predecessor had beheld.
From this point, in the course of years, small expeditions were fitted
out by the colonists, to go southward by sea for traffic, and on dis-
coveries. Andagoya was another explorer; and, in 1524, Pizarro
followed the coast, in sight of the Andes, to the ninth degree of
latitude south of the equator. The result of these enterprises was
the evidence of the existence of the precious metals in large amount
among the natives, and of emeralds, with the knowledge of an ex-
tensive, populous, and opulent Indian empire.
Pizarro, supplied with means by the friends who had before
assisted him, taking with him the portion of gold that belonged of
right to the crown, with specimens of the cotton and fabrics of the
region which he had visited, as also of the jewels, plumes, and
people of Tumbez, went to Spain to ask for the government of


that country. While absent, in the year 1529, his friends, fearing
that the enterprise might be taken in hand by Pedrarias, applied to
three of the richest citizens of Leon to take part in it with Pizarro
and his companions, Luque and Almagro; and they received the
word of Hernan Ponge that either he, Soto, or Companon would
come to Panaml for that purpose, and there await the arrival of
their leader.
Pizarro returned, bringing with him four brothers, born, like
himself, out of wedlock, and one, Hernando, legitimate. Luque and
Almagro, who had found the means and given him their assistance
(the former as the agent of a silent partner), were not pleased with
the addition to their numbers of this kindred of the newAdelantado,
although for Luque, who was of the Church, a bishopric had been
provided. Alnagro remained inactive until Pizarro promised to
assist him to a government as extensive as the one conceded, when
the territory should be won, and that the treasure, slaves, and
effects of every nature, acquired by him, should be shared among the
three; and that nothing should be asked of the King in behalf of the
brothers until the fulfilment of these stipulations. At this junc-
ture, Ponce arrived with two cargoes of slaves. The vessels were
added to the common stock on condition of paying their charter, the
bestowal on Ponce of one of the largest apportionments of Indians
that should be made, and appointing Soto to be captain of troops,
and governor of the principal place the invaders might occupy.
One hundred and eighty-five capable men embarked, with thirty-
seven horses, the men bearing bucklers made of the staves of wine-
barrels, almost impenetrable to either dart or arrow. Almagro
remained to collect and bring away any other forces that might
arrive. After a few days' navigation the Spaniards landed, and de-
spoiled the unsuspecting inhabitants of Quaque of twenty thousand
pesos' worth of gold and a large amount of precious stones. The ves-
sels were immediately sent to take back the news and bring more
men and horses.
The troops remained in quiet seven months, scourged by a sharp
and novel disease. At that time a vessel arrived with some additional
strength, when, relying upon the promise of soon receiving more, the
army was put in motion. The Indians, alas! soon began to have a


different impression of the white men from that before received;
they were now discovered to be neither good nor averse to rob-
bery; but false, cruel, and destructive. The object was to reach
Tumbez; but the invader had little idea of the vast forces that the
contending brothers, Guascar and Atahualpa, Princes of Peru,- had
marshalled, though, fortunately for him, in view of each other they
regarded his arrival as a matter too trivial for present thought.
On the mainland near the Island of Puna, where the Spaniards
lived for a long while, the force was joined by Belalczar, with a
company of thirty men and twelve horses; and in the year 1531,
Hernando de Soto arrived with two ships, bringing infantry and cav-
alry. The original force, which had been wasting away by a strange
malady, being thus strengthened, the Commander, believing that
the people of Tumbez were sufficiently gratified by the outrages
they had been allowed to commit on those of Puna to give his men
a friendly reception, determined to remove to the main. Oppor-
tunely a note wasfound in the hands of one of the Indians of that
city, written by a Castilian left there on the occasion of its discovery,
which ran: Ye who shall come to this land, know that there are
more gold and silver in it than there is iron in Biscaya." The greater
part of the soldiery, however, only laughed at the paper, as a device
to give them encouragement.
The Spaniards were astonished at the ruin of the city,, wrought
by war with Puna, and, it was said, by pest; but the sorest dis-
appointment was felt by those from Nicaragua, who thought they
had exchanged a paradise for disease and desolation. Some Indians,
seeking to save their property, drew near to the strangers, and in
conversation spoke of Cuzco, Vilcas, Pachacamac; of edifices having
ceilings of gold and silver plate-news ordered to be immediately
spread throughout the camp. Not to remain in idleness, the troops
ranged the arid country in the hot sun; discovered a river in a
green vale, over which passed the great highway of the Incas;
and visited a royal caravansera, where they drank from the cool
Cautious in advancing the next step, only after consultation
with the officers was it resolved to make reconnaissance about the
skirts of the mountains, where were said to be masses of population,


and, if possible, to find Chillemasa, the lord of Tumbez. This duty
being intrusted to Soto, he directly set about to perform it, with a
company of sixty cavalry and a small body of foot. Shortly after,
Juan de la Torre came back, saying that he had fled from the Cap-
tain, who proposed to mutiny with that troop, and return upon
Quito. The Commander passed over the intelligence delicately, and
Soto, having proceeded with his guides as far as Caxas, came back.
He spoke of having seen large edifices, and numerous flocks of the
sheep and camels of the country. Among the articles of plunder
that were displayed, the soldiers were particularly pleased with some
tablets of fine gold. A portion of the royal road of the Inca Guay-
nacapa, for its grandeur, had awakened the highest admiration. The
inhabitants, astonished that these people should venture so far away
from their companions, united for their destruction; but coming hand
to hand, many of the Indians were left dead, while they did little
The people, at hearing the report from Soto, were delighted, and
began to receive with less distrust the story the Indians had told of
the magnificence of Cuzco, in which the great lord held his court
and was served from urns and beakers of gold; where the country
was productive and populous; the fanes lined with the precious
metals--a tale they had before attributed to the fancy only of their
General. Still, there were those who did not believe in the reality
of such riches; and Francisco Ysaga is recorded as one who gave
his steed to procure releasement from the service. Nor should we
smile at the incredulity of what might have been a swine-herd of the
dehesas of Estremadura; since, a few years earlier, in the reign of
Ysabel, the sacred mass-bells were of bronze, and the sceptre of Cas-
tilla, which waved Colon westward, to throw open the Portals of the
Ocean, was light, and only silver-gilded. The prisoners brought by
Soto were questioned, and the objects of spoil being carefully con-
sidered, it was thought best to establish on the spot a permanent
foothold. This, formed of invalid soldiers, was the town of San
Miguel, which became finally seated at the junction of several rivers,
in the broad and fertile vale of Piura.
Hernando de Soto now went forward with a troop of horsemen,
to observe the passing of Atahualpa, who, with a large force, was


rumoured to be marching from Quito to Caxamalca, to oppose his
brother, advancing from Cuzco. The army was found to be very
large, and the Spaniards, at sight of it, quailed in view of the pov-
erty of their numbers. Atahualpa, on the other side, having heard
about the invaders, through the stories in circulation, sent a- lord
to see what people they might be. Wheresoever this emissary went,
the Spaniards were supplied with subsistence from that moment less
willingly than before. Having attired himself in the costume of a
countryman, he set out to visit the camp. With a basket of guavas
as a gift, he presented himself before the Chief, to excuse the
Cacique of Mayabelica for having failed in rendering him obedi-
ence; but Pizarro, displeased, cuffed the Orejon, who thereupon
returned to the Prince, speaking disparagingly of what he had dis-
covered. He said the intruders scarcely numbered two hundred
men, were the wash of the sea, had beards, were thieves, and went
about carried on a kind of sheep, like that of Callao. After hearing
this statement, Atahualpa gave himself no more concern about the
strange people.
While the invaders paused to make the new settlement, informa-
tion was diligently'sought concerning the political difficulties of
Peru, the customs of the inhabitants,' their arms, manner of fighting,
and their military force. The treasure in hand having been divided,
the General borrowed of his friends and sent a large sum to
Almagro, renewing to him the assurances of good faith, and urging
that the forces at his disposal should be sent; for he had suspected
that it was the desire of his companion to push his own fortunes at
a distance, and Pizarro stood in need of his liberality, energy, and
In September, 1532, the troop took its departure from San Miguel,
in quest of Atahualpa-who, having proved successful in repeated
battles over the forces of the legitimate heir of the crimson borla,
held him pent up in Cuzco--and, on the third day, it stopped in the
valley of Pifra, to learn more particulars, and make further pre-
parations. The entire force now consisted of only sixty-seven
cavalry, with a hundred and ten infantry having swords and buck-
lers, some with crossbows, and three or four bearing fire-arms. The
crossbow-men, numbering twenty, were placed apart, under an



officer. The Commander now boldly proclaimed that if there were
any who would go back they might return to the town, where ser-
vants would be allotted them to labour, the same as had been
provided for others who remained there; for the fame of the Indian
strength had alarmed the timid, and it was desirable to have those
only who were willing to go forward, trusting more to the valour
of a few than to the show of many.
Thus provided, the army began its march, the boldness of the
leader well sustained by the courage of his companions. The way
was found to be open and undefended, left so purposely, it was
supposed, to allow them to march as far as they would from sup-
port. Words of peace and greeting were continually received,
with gifts from Atahualpa. A message was returned, to say that
the Spaniards were marching to his assistance, and to make known
to him from the Vicar of Christ, and from the great temporal prince,
the King of Castilla and Leon, that there is a God in heaven and
on earth.
After many days, the Spaniards arrived where from the direct
road to Chincha one forks to Caxamalca, which was chosen, though
less favourable than the other to movement, and where there were
natural defences. The men were told that the success of the enter-
prise was dependent on action; to keep the other road, where they
should be lost in time and place, was not the way to their object;
and that, after all, men have to die, with this difference, that some
leave a name to be famous, while others are forgotten. Stimulated
by this address, and reminded that in such a cause, when the Holy
Faith is to be planted, Christians should look for divine assistance,
the soldiers declared their wish to be led, and that, when the occa-
sion should present itself, they would be mindful of their duty.
After a journey through vales at the foot of the ridge, the troops
were allowed to rest a day before ascending. Forty cavalry and
sixty infantry were selected with which to advance, intrusted to
the experience of guides, leaving the rest in charge of the luggage.
The way was steep and difficult. Fortifications were passed, and
places that might have been favourably held stood vacant. The
war between the brothers alone seemed to awaken interest and
occupy the attention.


After several days' march, through a region cold ftroim elevation,
in the beginning of the year 1533, Caxamalca being at hand, the
force was drawn up in three divisions. The place the Inca occupied
was exactly ascertained, as well as the strength and position of his
troops. On the evening of the 14th of November, the Spaniards
entered the town, but found it nearly uninhabited. In the midst of
a great plaza, within a triangular wall, were only some women in
houses, who gave utterance to their sympathy for the fate that to
them appeared to await the strangers. Nothing anywhere pre-
sented a welcome, or bore a friendly aspect.
A messenger sent to Atahualpa did not return; and it was
thought proper that his army should at once be scrutinized. Her-
nando de Soto, in the character of ambassador, went, attended by
fifteen horsemen, to gain the presence of the great monarch, and
ask a grant of leave for the General to appear before him, and
deliver the words sent by the King. From a tower the Indian
tents were seen extending the distance of more than a league, that
of the Prince rising in the' midst.
At this time Hernando de Soto was in about the thirty-third
year of his age. In person he was of moderate size, with breeding
and manner becoming his condition. A fine equestrian, he was also
skilled in the use of arms. Passing along on his charger, he leaped
the banks of a water-course, and amid an astonished multitude rode
up to where the army lay. In number it was estimated at thirty
thousand strong-the divisions composed of archers, slingers, lan-
cers, and mace-men. He reached the royal tent, and, his presence
being announced, the chief inmates appeared. Atahualpa, accom-
panied by a retinue, sat on a rich stool, the imperial tassel deco-
rating his forehead. In a low voice, with eyes fixed on the ground,
he required that the Christian should be asked his purpose. He
was told that the General of the white men had sent him salutations,
and an invitation to sup with him in Caxamalca, or, if that could
not be, then to dine the next day. The Inca bade him take back
the royal thanks, and promised to come the next day: he after-
wards added that he should be attended by his army, but that it
need excite no apprehension. At this moment, Hernan Pizarro com-
ing up with an equal number of horsemen, hearing what was said,




made obeisance to the Inca. He declared that his Highness would
be very welcome, even though he should bring his men armed, for
nothing so delighted Spaniards as military spectacles. Atahualpa,
understanding this person to be the brother of the General, raised
his eyes and said, that from the banks of the Turicara the Curaca
had sent him an iron collar, with word that, for the ill-treatment the
Caciques had received from the white men, he had killed three of
their number and a horse. Pizarro denied the charge, called Maya-
belica a great knave, and declared that, even though the Chiefs had
been treated badly, the people there were as so many turkeys, and
all on those plains were not enough to take the life of a single horse.
The conversation having ceased, beautiful women handed drink of
maize to the Prince and strangers, in golden cups. Soto, remount-
ing with donaire, coursed his steed in the royal presence. He
skirmished, he charged, wheeled, curvetted, and, returning, halted so
nigh to the royal stool, that Atahualpa felt the impatient blast of the
nostrils of the beast, and the heat of his strength; still the native
remained as composed as though he were accustomed to such pas-
time. Calling to him some people who had fled, he reproved their
timidity, telling them that in the country whence those animals
came, they were like the sheep in Peru. The time, until the morn-
ing, was spent on both sides in watchfulness and care. The captains
visited the guards, the soldiers made every thing ready, and passed
words of encouragement. Indian priests offered sacrifices, uttering
supplications in their temples to the Sun. A squadron of men, apt
in the use of the laso, were added to the warriors.
The next day Atahualpa, in slow and imposing procession,
marched up to where the impatient Spaniards were expecting
him within the walls; and thence he sent word to their com-
mander to tie his horses and bloodhounds, or otherwise he should
come no farther. With a body of eight thousand men, he shortly
afterward entered the plaza, in the middle of which Pizarro
awaited him, having fifteen chosen men, armed with sword and
buckler. The Friar Valverde went forward, exhorting the Inca to
peace. He held up a cross and presented a Bible, in which he said
the commands of God were inscribed. The Prince took the book,
turned it over, examined the leaves, and cast it aside, telling the


friar to bring back the treasure and the thousand things of which
- the inhabitants had been robbed.
At this moment a shout arose from the warriors, which was fol-
lowed by the beating of drums; Pizarro then waved a white shawl,
the signal preconcerted for action. Thereupon Captain Pedro de
Candia caused a gun to be fired, and directly began the discharge of
the arquebuses, followed by the blast of trumpets and roll of kettle-
drums, carrying consternation and fearful panic among the native
host. The charge of horse succeeded. Detached bodies, issuing
from several directions where they had been concealed, were led
upon the defenceless squadrons by IIernan Pizarro and Soto; while
the infantry, under Belalcazar and Mena, joining in the war-cry of
"Santiago," attacked them with sword and crossbow. The General
approached the litter, and, with his band, struck down the bearers;
these were directly replaced, and they again by others, who took
successively the posts of the fallen; first one and then another
soldier rushed upon Atahualpa, till Pizarro interposed for his safety.
Two thousand Indians were slain within a brief period of time, no
one pretending to offer resistance. The spoil was immense. Jars of
silver, jewels of gold, and rich stuffs, strewed the ground. Many
Curacas were killed about the royal litter; many princesses and
priestesses were taken, as well as the wives of nobles.
The Inca, pondering upon tile mutations of fortune, observed that
within a day, as it were, he was a victor over Guascar, and himself
was vanquished. Seeking to extricate himself from present troubles,
the unhappy Prince appeared only to have fallen lower in misfortune.
He reckoned on the avarice of the white man, but had not calcu-
lated his possible perfidy. Thinking to regain his liberty at a price
so extraordinary that when named the payment was considered
impossible, he secretly ordered his brother to be drowned in the
River Andamarca, incited to this course, not unlikely, by the policy
of Pizarro. The room, nevertheless, which was the measure of the
purchase-money, was duly filled from the gold and silver of Cuzco.
of its temple, guacas, or receptacles of deceased kings, and from the
oratories. The Inca, notwithstanding, was still detained. In the
mean time, Almagro, who had been made field-marshal by royal
commission, approached the city, and after being greeted on the


road by his old' comrade, who came out to meet him, he went
directly to call upon the prisoner.
The treasure did not long remain undivided. In the allotment,
Almagro probably shared with Pizarro according to their agree-
ment; the Lieutenant-General, Hernan Pizarro, took the second
portion in magnitude, and Soto the third, in amount twenty-three
thousand five hundred and thirty-two pesos, each of the value of an
ounce of pure silver.
About this time there were rumours of a purpose on the part of
the Inca to bring war upon the Christians. They appear, however,
to have had no better foundation than the tales of servants and the
apprehensions of timidity, if they were not altogether produced by
the Adelantado, in seeking a pretext to place the succession to the
borla in question, by the failure of both pretenders to the empire.
Taking occasion of the absence of Hernan Pizarro on a mission to
Spain, Soto and Guevara, with some others, were sent to ascertain
the truth of the report, that an army was to be found at a distant
point; but before they could get back to make known the falsity of
the news, which had before been suspected, Atahualpa, on a variety
of charges, and with the sanction of the Dominican Valverde, was
beheaded. The officers, on their arrival, reproached the Chief for
the wantonness and excess of the action. Some had sought the
society of the Prince, being interested in him through his admi-
rable conversation, in which they discovered a strong understanding
and an acute intellect. In those personages he might have found
friends. Soto, whom the Adelantado had just before made lieuten-
ant-general, was one of the gentlemen who had most pleased the
captive, having at times, with chess and dice, relieved some of his
heavy hours.
With the death of the two Princes, government was suspended,
and society became entirely disorganized. Distant Provinces and
late territorial accessions withdrew their allegiance: old lords re-
gained their .possessions, or new masters usurped them. Law was
at an end. Life was nowhere safe for the Indian: the highways
became infested with thieves, as the mountains with robbers. The
downfall of the extensive monarchy was complete. It had lasted,
from its rise, according to some computations, nearly four centuries;



but the perfection and extent of the public works on the soil attest
for its civilization a much higher antiquity. In extent, along the
sea, it measured from nigh the equator, southward, a distance of
about thirty-five degrees of coast. One of kin, on the side of
Guascar, was permitted to receive the crimson tassel.
The Spaniards, having tarried seven months in Caxamalca, ad-
vanced towards Cuzco with the newly appointed sovereign, Almagro
conducting the vanguard. As they passed through Yanamarca, there
lay the unburied corses of three thousand men, slain in a contest
between the native factions. Approaching the beautiful valley of
Xauxa, the Marshal was directed to advance with Soto and other
officers. After traversing some distance they met a large body of
Indians, who bade them begone from their country, and charged
them with the murder of their King. The stream was crossed, the
Indians dispersed, and the Spaniards, weary of killing, returned to
find that Pizarro had arrived. Provisions, deposits of fine cloth,
and a large amount "of gold in a temple, were the booty.
Belalcazar had been sent to command in San Miguel. Finding
himself with considerable force from Panama, he became ambitious
to go back to make the conquest of Quito. A rumour prevailed that
the Indians to the north were preparing an independency; and this,
joined to the news brought by the late comers, that the Adelantado
of Guatemala was making ready to subdue the Provinces of Quito,
was enough to satisfy any scruples that might exist in the con-
science of a conquistador as to what should be his proper course in
the face of such temptation; so that when importuned to undertake
the adventure, Belalcazar found no difficulty in acceding to the
desire of his men, who believed the treasure of Caxamalca was as
nothing compared with that of Quito, where the Court once had
been held. One hundred and fifty well-appointed infantry and
cavalry were got in readiness to march; but, as the event proved,
to contend with no other enemies than cold, hunger, and severe
Hernando de Soto went forward from Xauxa with sixty cavalry
towards Cuzco, The soldiers distrusting their abilities to cope with
the Indians in sight, and the Captain, who was considered to be a
mnan of no less judgment than courage, finding himself surrounded,


addressed his men. He declared their only safety to be in giving
battle; that their enemies were preparing, counting the strength
they should meet, and increasing their numbers every hour. The
Spaniards had hitherto met the inhabitants of the plains: these
people were the Ayllos, living on the first ascent to the mountains.
They appeared along the heights in masses, with clubs, darts, and
slings, swearing by the Sun and the Earth to destroy this band of
robbers, or to die themselves. Soto went foremost into action, the
Indians, with yells, holding the ground with desperate firmness.
Five Christians were slain outright, and two horses. The Captain,
with one other, fought his way toward the eminences. Some who
fell in the passage-way impeded the ascent of the rest, until two,
having dismounted, placed themselves one on either side for defence,
thus enabling others to get by. With these succours, the first that
passed returned to assist those advancing; when the Indians, weary
of the contest, drew off to a little distance, and the Spaniards betook
themselves to the margin of a brook at hand. Eleven men and
fourteen horses were injured. That night Almagro reached the
pass, and, sounding a trumpet, was answered from Soto. In the
morning the forces united, and easily scattered the natives. This
rencontre appears to have been the severest the Spaniards expe-
rienced in the subjugation of the Incas.
In the year 1534, Pedro de Alvarado, having, ships in readiness
on the Pacific coast of Guatemala to go on discoveries in the west,
according to the royal permission, hearing of the wealth of Quito,
and considering it not within the limits of country assigned to
Pizarro, directed his ambitious course thither by sea, with five
hundred soldiers, of whom nearly the half were mounted. Among
those he brought in his company was Captain Luis de Moscoso
de Alvarado, the same personage who some years later, on the
death of Soto, successfully conducted the retreat of his followers
down the Mississippi to the shores of Mexico.
Alvarado, having arrived with his army on the coast of Peru,
near the equator, marched into the interior. For a time he met no
serious interruption. Towns of importance were surprised, and
large quantities of gold procured from them. In ascending the
Andes, the severity of the weather caused the loss of eighty-three


soldiers: many negroes and natives of Guatemala likewise perished
by the way. Three and four thousand pesos were given at first for a
horse; but treasure itself was at last abandoned among the snows,
with armour, and the victims of the elements. The mountains,
nevertheless, were pierced, and the Adelantado halted not far from
the River Bamba.
While Alvarado thus contended with hunger and cold, toiling
along the rugged ascent to Quito, Pizarro was approaching Cuzco.
Having overtaken Almagro and Soto, he sent them forward to
meet a force reported to be advancing. It was encountered, and
soon dispersed. Mango Inca, who had been raised by the natives
in those parts to be their sovereign, finding no escape, delivered
himself in state to the victors. The pillage of the city took place
before the arrival of the Spaniards. When Soto entered Cuzco the
Temple of the Sun had been rifled, and valuables to an immense
amount carried away. Nevertheless, the plate remaining was
considerable.' Other things than the precious metals were now
neglected; from their abundance losing all esteem in the eyes of the
conquerors. Even silver, for the time, appeared to be unimportant.
Soto had already shodden with it the horses of his troops. Of the
precious stones, they who wished took what most pleased them.
Wild was the lament of the people on the occupation of their
city by the strangers. Thousands bemoaned the loss of friends
and homes, crying out to their gods, and cursing the dissension of
Guascar and Atahualpa, who had brought desecration to their
temples, and laid waste their most cherished possessions.
The news of the arrival and march of Alvarado having come to
the knowledge of Almagro, he determined at once to oppose him.
He sent word to Pizarro of what was passing, and then set out
for San Miguel. Finding Belalcazar gone, there were not wanting
those to intimate distrust of him-that he had marched to unite
with Alvarado. The resolution of the Marshal was to follow on;
and he came to Quito directly after the arrival of Belalctzar, while
he was yet fruitlessly searching for treasure. Having tenderly
chided the Captain for leaving his post, with a part of his well-
disciplined soldiery he went to look for Alvarado, and found him
near the Rio Bamba.


The fading fortunes of the Adelantado of Guatemala were too
manifest for him to put them at issue even with the feebler force of
Almagro, whose possession already of Quito, and his well-known
liberality, were more than a match for the strength of his adver-
sary. Several days of conference ensued, in which the Marshal
insisted upon nothing less than an abandonment of the expedition,
and the return of Alvarado whence he came. This was finally
assented to on the part of Moscoso and Cladera, with the condition
that one hundred and twenty thousand castellanos should be paid to
the Adelantado, in recompense for the ships, outfit, and men to be
left,-terms to which Almagro acceded.
Pizarro was well pleased with the treaty; but some unquiet
spirits sought to awaken distrust of Almagro in his mind, with fears
of the consequences of the friendship said to exist between him
and Alvarado, that had for its object to unseat him in his govern-
ment. From this time begin the factions and conflicts of the Pizar-
ros and Almagros. Some of the best minded of their companions
sought to restrain them, but only with occasional or momentary
success. The conduct of the brothers of Pizarro was found insuffer-
able to many, and the arrogance of Hernando was regarded to be
as lofty as his aspirations. Soto prominently attempted to quiet the
gathering storm, and, failing of success, prepared to remove from
the scene.
Almagro made ready to accomplish the conquest of Chili, and
Soto had the promise of the post of lieutenant-general; but, .dis-
satisfied, he withdrew at length from the enterprise. This being
the condition of affairs, in the year 1535, some diers, finding themselves in good circumstances of wealth, thought
to fix a limit to their desires and return to their native land, warned
by the rising passions among the conquerors. The love of riches,
having been satisfied, was giving way to ambition of rule; and the
Indian borla, now torn in fragments, no longer held them in broth-
erhood, as before, for safety, wealth, and renown.
In Spain Soto appears to have resided in Xerez, and at court,
probably, he met the widow of Pedrairias, with whom he had been
acquainted in Nicaragua, first cousin to the celebrated Marchioness
of Moya, lady of honour and life-long favourite of Ysabel of Castilla.


With her he contracted for espousals with her daughter, named,
after her, Ysabel de Bobadilla, and sent her in marriage-pledge six
thousand ducats. He became a knight of the Order of Santiago.
Being now in the vigour of life, he sought for a government beyond
sea. His first desire was to obtain one over the country extending
from Panama to San Miguel; though he deemed that the most sterile
and unprofitable territory in the New World, yet he supposed the
unknown region lying to the east of Quito-the country of Canela-
might be made available; and if that concession could not be
secured, then he desired to have the Adelantamiento of Nicaragua,
with the privilege of sailing west towards the Spice Islands of the
South Sea, and the right to one-tenth of whatever he should dis-
cover in that direction, at his own cost.
About this time, the news of the utter loss of the armament
which set out to conquer Florida having arrived, Soto obtained the
grant of that country, from the River Palmas eastwardly to the
"'Island of Florida," once ceded to Narvaez, with the Tierra-Nueva
adjoining it on the ocean, before conferred on Ayll6n, having no
specific limit to the northward, but geographically bounded by the
Land of Estevan Gomez. Within four years from the time of land-
ing in the country, he was to receive two hundred leagues of shore,
to be selected by him from what he might conquer and colonize,
where he should be Governor and Captain-General, with the dignity
of Adelantado for life, and High-Sheriff in perpetuity to his heirs.
Within that territory he had the right to select twelve leagues square
by the sea for his possession. Fifty negro slaves, of which one-
third should be female, were permitted to be taken to Cuba, and,
also by him, other fifty to Florida. If a king or cacique should
be taken, the Adelantado was to receive one-seventh part from his
ransom and the spoil of his goods; but if he should be killed in
any manner, either before or after capture, the King should receive
one-half, after deducting the fifth due to -the Crown. These terms
appear to have been imposed to restrain atrocities such as were
committed by the conquerors on the native sovereigns of M6xico,
Mechoacan, and Peru.
The better to command and afford whatever might be necessary
in the progress of this great undertaking, Soto was made Governor



of Cuba during the pleasure of the sovereign. In consequence, he
subsequently took up stock-farms on the Island, whence to draw
supplies, whether as invader or colonist-a feature in the plan
of subjugation laid down with breadth to be carried out by the
suggestions of experience, sustained by the General's individual
It is to the testament of Soto that we look for more of his
character than can be learned from those who have written rather
of his actions than of his mind, or the kindliness of his heart. The
endowments bespeak his pride, his piety, religious feeling, and mag-
nificence: the bequests mark the munificence with which it was in
his power to bestow. Portions were set apart for five maids of his
wife, dependent on her kind favour; and from a source in perpetual
rents, to be bought by amounts aloof from the hazards of his
adventure, provision is made for marrying annually three destitute
orphans, daughters of persons of his line to the fifth degree, "the
poorest that can be found;" and if there should be none such, then
those of noble ancestry in the same condition, "the poorest in the
City of Xerez." An equal rental is bequeathed to Donia Ysabel, and,
when it can no longer avail her, to the marriage yearly of other
damsels, in number and under circumstances like the first. The
body of his mother, his own tomb and private chapel, his friends
and dependents, with the repose of souls, are provided for.
The history of the life of Hernando de Soto while in Spain, as a
man of fame and fortune, as well as of his subsequent career in
America, may be read in the following account of his attempted
conquest. The author, although a foreigner, has no more than any
other writer allowed a word to fall from his pen disrespectful of the
Adelantado. By him was he seen first in a position of affluence
and splendor; then as he accompanied him thrice through the circle
of the seasons, amid privations, anxieties, and bitter disappointment.
If, in the course of that protracted march over the soil of our
country, Soto should in instances be thought cruel,-as there were
acts of severity he deemed necessary for "pacification," and the
safety of his command,-they are not in excess of those of other
captains of that age; nor must it be forgotten that the people of his
country were as refined, enlightened, and humane as any of Europe.


By those who knew him was he deemed brave, prudent, and mag-
nanimous. The estate which beckoned to his ambition was in
extent a principality, the title accessory, a marquisate. These, in
the prime of life, with still greater riches and wider honours than
he possessed, appeared to sway temptingly towards his hand.-
Such is an imperfect sketch of some of the more conspicuous
passages in the life of Hernando de Soto, Captain in Nicaragua,
Lieutenant-General in the conquest of Peru, Governor of Cuba, and
Adelantado of Florida.


THIS book is a translation of the original Portuguese Relapam
verdadeira dos trabalhos q ho gouernador do Fernado de souto e
certosfidalgos portugueses passarom no descubrimeto da prouincia da
Frolida. Agora novamate feita per ht fidalgo Deluas, printed at
Evora in the year 1557, copies of which are very rare. Two trans-
lations into English have been published at London: the earlier,
made by Richard Hakluyt, was first printed in 1609, with the title,
"Virginia richly valued, by the description of the mainland of
Florida, her next neighbour;" the later was printed in 1686, one
year after the first edition in French was issued, of which it is a
translation. The book was also printed in Dutch, in 1706.
The author of the Relapam is unknown. At the time of making
the original-publication, as appears from the printer's notice, he was
yet living. No doubt, he was one of the eight Portuguese gentle-
men, spoken of in the text, who went from Elvas to join Soto at
Sevilla, three of whom lost their lives in Florida. In the order
they are mentioned, it is perhaps worth the remark, as possibly
indicating the writer, that two named Fernandez are placed last;
first Benito, who was drowned near Achese, then Alvaro, a sur-
The narrative, as an early record of the country, and condition
of the inhabitants, merits attention and study. The facts are stated
with clearness and evident care. It is likewise an outward picture
of affairs as they stood in the camp, or appeared from the marquee
of the Adelantado. Some hints of their inner working, up to the

Xxviii PROEM.

time of the death of Soto, may be learned from the Historia General
y Natural de las Indias. Documents of the age, now published,
attest the exactness of many statements, and time simply has un-
veiled the truthfulness of others.
The digression, giving a history of Ortiz among the Indians from
whom he fled, probably the Calosa, a people living about the Capes
of Florida at the earliest day,-to the country of Outina, as appears
from some trace of the language of the people among whom the
Spaniards landed, speaking the Timuqua tongue-is a happy union
of incidents in native life, customs, and superstition.
The speeches of the Indians, however clothed in words, are after
the Indian manner of thought, as they were probably rendered into
Spanish by the ability of the Andaluz, long a captive among them.
In more simple language, the ideas would have been brought nigher
to nature.
That this account, fraught with instructive incident, has come to
us untouched from the hand that wrote it, is matter for gratulation;
since in two chronicles we have to lament over ruins that mark as
many narratives to have existed, possessing a scope and interest not
inferior to the present one. The production of Rodrigo Range], the
private secretary of the Adelantado, afforded the material for the
chapters, now incomplete, of Oviedo; and an account, composed by
a captain who remained in America,-for which pictures, in colours
of the battle-scenes with the Indians of Florida were at one time in
the cabinet of Philip II.-was the source whence Herrera drew
supplies; while the dry and brief itinerary of Biedma has escaped
to us undisturbed in the same official repository-the Council of the
Indias. The Florida of the Ynca, on the same subject, belongs less
to history than to romance.
To avoid confusion and error as to persons, the names of the
Spaniards are given in the translation spelled in their own language,
such as Soto and Anasco, instead of Souto and Dambusco. On the
other hand, the reader is entitled to find the variety in the orthogra-
phy of Indian proper names preserved in their irregularity, for
observation and tthe benefit of criticism,



















HE who would see the New World,
The Golden Pole,* the second,
Other seas, other lands,
Achievements great, and wars,
And such things attempted
As alarm and give pleasure,
Strike terror and lend delight;-
Read of the author this pleasing story,
Where nothing fabulous is told,
All worthy of being esteemed,
Read, considered, used.

We inhabit the Northern Arctic Pole, and that people inhabit the Southern An-
tarctic Pole. Golden Pole is used, because that region is rich.




ARISTOTLE writes that all, or at least most men, are given or prone
to look at and listen to novelties, especially when they are of foreign
or remote countries. These things, he says, enliven the heavy while
they give recreation to delicate and subtile minds, that propensity
moving men not only to see and hear, but, if possible, to take part in
occurrences. This desire exists in the Lusitanians more than in any
other people,-for two reasons: the one, because they are very in-
genious and warlike; the other, because they are by nature great
navigators, having discovered more land, with wider sailing, than all
the nations of the earth beside. So, it appearing to me that I could
do some little service to those who should read this book, I resolved
to imprint it, assured, beyond its being in the Portuguese, that it is
composed by a native, and likewise because citizens of Elvas took
part in the discovery, as the narrative will itself disclose. What he
has written I undoubtingly credit: he tells no tales, nor speaks of
fabulous things; and we may believe that the author-having no
interest in the matter-would not swerve from truth. We have his
assurance besides, that all he has set down passed before him.
Should the language, by chance, appear to you careless, lay not the
fault on me; I imprint and do not write. God be your protector.

: 950 90e 50 g o ao y

Alonzo de Pineat,

1519 wm




C o

1539 1544.
Eugraved for the BRADFORD CLUB.NewTurk ls6i.

800 ./ B,'rn Lith A' Y


Al .4







HERNANDO DE SOTO was the son of an esquire of Xer6z
de Badaj6z,. and went to the Indias of the Ocean Sea,
belonging to Castilla, at the time Pedrarias )Dvila was
the Governor. He had nothing more than blade and
buckler: for his courage and good qualities Pedrarias
appointed him to be captain of a troop of horse, and he
went by his order with Hernando Pizarro to conquer
Peru, According to the report of many persons who
were there, he distinguished himself over all the captains
and principal personages present, not only at the seizure
of Atabalipa, lord of Peru, and in carrying the City of





HERNANDO DE SOTO was the son of an esquire of Xer6z
de Badaj6z,. and went to the Indias of the Ocean Sea,
belonging to Castilla, at the time Pedrarias )Dvila was
the Governor. He had nothing more than blade and
buckler: for his courage and good qualities Pedrarias
appointed him to be captain of a troop of horse, and he
went by his order with Hernando Pizarro to conquer
Peru, According to the report of many persons who
were there, he distinguished himself over all the captains
and principal personages present, not only at the seizure
of Atabalipa, lord of Peru, and in carrying the City of


Cuzco, but at all other places wheresoever he went and
found resistance. Hence, apart from his share in the
treasure of Atabalipa, he got a good amount, bringing
together in time, from portions falling to his lot, one
hundred and eighty thousand cruzados, which he brought
with him to Spain. Of this the Emperor borrowed a
part, which was paid; six hundred thousand reaes in
duties on the silks of Granada, and the rest at the Casa
de Contratacion.
In Sevilla, Soto employed a superintendent of Louse-
hold, an usher, pages, equerry, chamberlain, footmen, and
all the other servants requisite for the establishment of a
gentleman. Thence he went to Court, and while there
was accompanied by Juan de Anasco of Sevilla, Luis
Moscoso de Alvarado, Nuno de Tobar, and Juan Rodri-
guez Lobillo. All, except Anasco, came with him from
Peru; and each brought fourteen or fifteen thousand
cruzados. They went well and costly apparelled; and
Soto, although by nature not profuse, as it was the first
time he was to show himself at Court, spent largely,
and went about closely attended by those I have named,
by his dependents, and by many others who there came
about him. He married Dona Ysabel de Bobadilla,
daughter of Pedrarias D6vila, Count of Punfonrostro.
The Emperor made him .Governor of the Island of Cuba
and Adelantado of Florida, with title of Marquis to a
certain part of the territory he should conquer.




AFTER Don Hernando had obtained the concession, a
fidalgo arrived at Court from the Indias, Cabega de Vaca
by name, who had been in Florida with Narvaez; and
he stated how he with four others had escaped, taking
the way to New Spain; that the Governor had been lost
in the sea, and the rest were all dead. He brought with
him a written relation of adventures, which said in some
places: Here I have seen this; and the rest which I saw
I leave to confer of with His Majesty: generally, how-
ever, he described the poverty of the country, and spoke
of the hardships he had undergone. Some of his kins-
folk, desirous of going to the Indias, strongly urged him
to tell them whether he had seen any rich country in
Florida or not; but he told them that he could not do
so; because he and another (by name Orantes, who had
remained in New Spain with the purpose of returning
into Florida) had sworn not to divulge certain things
-which they had -seen, lest some one might beg the gov-
ernment in advance of them, for which he had come to


Spain; nevertheless, he gave them to understand that it
was the richest country in the world.
Don Hernando de Soto was desirous that Cabega de
Yaca should go with him, and made him favorable -pro-
posals; but after they had come upon terms they disa-
greed, because the Adelantado would not give the money
requisite to pay for a ship that the other had bought.
Baltasar de Gallegos and Crist6bal de Espindola told
Cabega de Yaca, their kinsman, that as they had made
up their minds to go to Florida, in consequence of what
he had told them, they besought him to counsel them;
to which he replied, that the reason he did not go was
because he hoped to receive another government, being
reluctant to march under the standard of another; that he
had himself come to solicit the conquest of Florida, and
though he found it had already been granted to Don
Hernando -de Soto, yet, on account, of his oath, he could
not divulge what they desired to know; nevertheless, he
would advise them to sell their estates and go,-that in so
doing they would act wisely.
As soon as Cabega de Vaca had an opportunity he
spoke with the Emperor; and gave him an account of all
that he had gone through with, seen, and could by any
means ascertain. Of this relation, made by word of
mouth, the Marquis of Astorga was informed. He de-
termined at once to send his brother, Don Antonio
Osorio; and with him Francisco arid Garcia Osorio, two
of his kinsmen, also made ready to go. Don Antonio
disposed of sixty thousand reaes income that he re-
ceived of the Church, and Francisco of a village of vas-


sales he owned in Campos. They joined the Adelan-
tado at Sevilla, as did also Nuno de Tobar. Luis de
Moscoso, and Juan Rcdriguez Lobillo. Moscoso took two
brothers; there went likewise Don Carlos, who had
married the Governor's niece, and he carried her with
him. From Badajoz went Pedro Calderon, and three
kinsmen of the Adelantado: Arias Tinoco, Alonso Romo,
and Diego Tinoco.
As Luis de Moscoso passed through Elvas, Andr6 de
Yasconcelos spoke with him, and requested him to speak
to Don Iernando de Soto in his behalf; and he gave
him warrants, issued by the Marquis of Vilareal, confer-
ring on him the captaincy of Ceuta, that he might show
them; which when the Adelantado saw, and had in-
formed himself of who he was, he wrote to him that he
would favour him in and through all, and would give
him a command in Florida. From Elvas went Andre de
Vasconcelos, Fernan Pegado, Antonio Martinez Segu-
rado, Men Royz Pereyra, loam Cordeiro, Estevan Pe-
gado, Bento Fernandez, Alvaro Fernandez; and from
Salamanca, Jaen, Valencia, Albuquerque, and other
parts of Spain, assembled many persons of noble extrac-
tion in Sevilla; so much so that many men of good con-
dition, who had sold their lands, remained behind in
Sanlicar for want of shipping, when for known countries
and rich it was usual to lack men: and the cause of this
was what Cabega de Yaca had told the Emperor, and
given persons to understand who conversed with him
respecting that country. He went for Governor to Rio
de la Plata, but his kinsmen followed Soto.


Baltasar de Gallegos received the appointment of
chief Castellan, and took with him his wife. He sold
houses, vineyards, a rent of wheat, and ninety geiras of
olive-field in the Xarafe of Sevilla. There went also
many other persons of mark. The offices, being desired
of many, were sought through powerful influence: the
place of Factor was held by Antonio de Biedma, that of
Comptroller by Juan de Aniasco, and that of Treasurer
by Juan. Gaytan, nephew of the Cardinal of Ciguenza.





THE Portugues left Elvas the 15th day of January,
and came to Sevilla on the vespers of Saint Sebastian.
They went to the residence of the Governor; and entering
the court, over which were some galleries in which he
stood, he came down and met them at the foot of the
stairs, whence they returned with him; and he ordered
chairs to be brought, in which they might be seated.
Andre de Vasconcelos told him who he was, and who
the others were; that they had all come to go with him
and aid in his enterprise. The Adelantado thanked him,
and appeared well pleased with their coming and proffer.
The table being already laid, he invited them to sit
down; and, while at dinner, he directed his majordomo
to find lodgings for them near his house.
From Sevilla the Governor went to Sanlucar, with
all the people that were to go. He commanded a mus-
ter to be made, to which the Portugues turned out in
polished armor, and the Castilians very showily, in silk
over silk, pinked and slashed. As such luxury did not



appear to him becoming on such occasion, he ordered a
review to be called for the next day, when every man
should appear with his arms; to which the Portugues
came as at first; and the Governor set them in order
near the standard borne by his ensign. The greater
number of the Castilians were in very sorry and rusty
shirts of mail; all wore steel caps or helmets, but had
very poor lances. Some of them sought to get among
the Portugues. Those that Soto liked and accepted of
were passed, counted, and enlisted; six hundred men in
all followed him to Florida. He had bought seven ships;
and the necessary subsistence was already on board. He
appointed captains, delivering to each of them his ship,
with a roll of the people he was to take with him.






IN the month of April, of the year 1538 of the Chris-
tian era, the Adelantado delivered the vessels to their
several captains, took for himself a new ship, fast of sail,
and gave another to Andre de Vasconcelos, in which the
Portugues were to go. He passed over the bar of Sanlid-
car on Sunday, the morning of Saint Lazarus, with great
festivity, commanding the trumpets to be sounded and
many charges of artillery to be fired. With a favourable
wind he sailed four days, when it lulled, the calms con-
tinuing for eight days, with such rolling sea that the
ships made no headway.
The fifteenth day after our departure we came to
Gomera, one of the Canaries, on Easter Sunday, in the
morning. The Governor of the Island was apparelled
all in white, cloak, jerkin, hose, shoes, and cap, so that he
looked like a governor of Gypsies. He received the
Adelantado with much pleasure, lodging him well and
the rest with him gratuitously. To Doria Ysabel he
gave a natural daughter of his to be her waiting-maid.
For our money we got abundant provision of bread, wine,


and meats, bringing off with us what was needful for the
ships. Sunday following, eight days after arrival, we
took our departure.
On Pentecost we came into the harbour of the City of
Santiago, in Cuba of the Antillas. Directly a gentleman
of the town sent to the seaside a splendid roan horse,
well caparisoned, for the Governor to mount, and a mule
for his wife; and all the horsemen and footmen in town
at the time came out to receive him at the landing. He
was well lodged, attentively visited and served by all the
citizens. Quarters were furnished to every one without
cost. Those who wished to go into the country were
divided among the farm-houses, into squads of four and
six persons, according to the several ability of the owners,
who provided them with food.





THE City of Santiago consists of about eighty spacious
and well-contrived dwellings. Some are built of stone
and lime, covered with tiles: the greater part have the
sides of board and the roofs of dried grass. There are
extensive country seats, and on them many trees, which
differ from those of Spain. The fig-tree bears fruit as big
as the fist, yellow within and of little flavour: another
tree with a delicious fruit, called anane, is of the shape
and size of a small pine-apple, the skin of which being
taken off, the pulp appears like a piece of curd. On the
farms about in the country are other larger pines, of
very agreeable and high flavour, produced on low trees
that look like the aloe. Another tree yields a fruit
called mamei, the size of a peach, by the islanders more
esteemed than any other in the country. The guayaba
is in the form of a filbert, and is the size of a fig. There
is a tree, which is a stalk without any branch, the height
of a lance, each leaf the length of a javelin, the fruit of
the size and form of a cucumber, the bunch having
twenty or thirty of them, with which the tree goes on
bending down more and more as they grow: they are
called plantanos in that country, are of good flavour, and


will ripen after they are gathered, although they are
better when they mature on the tree. The stalks yield
fruit but once, when they are cut down, and others, which
spring up at the butt, bear in the coming year. There is
another fruit called batata, the subsistence of a multitude
of people, principally slaves, and now grows in the Island
of Terceira, belonging to this kingdom of Portugal. It is
produced in the earth, and looks like the ynhame, with
nearly the taste of chestnut. The bread of the country
is made from a root that looks like the batata, the stalk
of which is like alder. The ground for planting is pre-
pared in hillocks; into each are laid four or five stalks, and
a year and a half after they have been set the crop is fit
to be dug. Should any one, mistaking the root for batata,
eat any of it, he is in imminent danger; as experience
has shown, in the case of a soldier, who died instantly
from swallowing a very little. The roots being peeled
and crushed, they are squeezed in a sort of press; the
juice that flows has an offensive smell; the bread is of
little taste and less nourishment. The fruit from Spain
are figs and oranges, which are produced the year round,
the soil being very rich and fertile.
There are numerous cattle and horses in the country,
which find fresh grass at all seasons. From the many
wild cows and hogs, the inhabitants everywhere are abun-
dantly supplied with meat. Out of the towns are many
fruits wild over the country; and, as it sometimes hap-
pens, when a Christian misses his way and is lost for fif-
teen or twenty days, because of the many paths through
the thick woods made by the herds traversing to and fro,



he will live on fruit and on wild cabbage, there being
many and large palm-trees everywhere which yield noth-
ing else available beside.
The Island of Cuba is three hundred leagues long
from east to southeast, and in places thirty, in others
forty leagues from north to south. There are six towns
of Christians, which are, Santiago, Baracoa, the Bayamo,
Puerto Principe, Sancti Spiritus, and Havana. They
each have between thirty and forty householders, except
Santiago and Havana, which have some seventy or eighty
dwellings apiece. The towns have all a chaplain to hear
confession, and a church in which to say mass. In San-
tiago is a monastery of the order of Saint Francis; it has
few friars, though well supported by tithes, as the coun-
try is rich. The Church of Santiago is endowed, has a
cura, a prebend, and many priests, as it is the church of
the city which is the metropolis.
Although the earth contains much gold, there are few
slaves to seek it, many having destroyed themselves be-
cause of the hard usage they receive from the Christians
in the mines. The overseer of Vasco Porcallo, a resident
of the Island, having understood that his slaves intended
to hang themselves, went with a cudgel in his hand and
waited for them in the place at which they were to meet,
where he told them that they could do nothing, nor think
of any thing, that he did 'not know beforehand; that he
had come to hang himself with them, to the end that if
he gave them a bad life in this world, a worse would
he give them in that to come. This caused them to alter
their purpose and return to obedience.





THE Governor sent Don Carlos with the ships, in
company with Dona Ysabel, to tarry for him at Havana,
a port in the eastern end of the Island, one hundred and
eighty leagues from Santiago. He and those that re-
mained, having bought horses, set out on their journey,
and at the end of twenty-five leagues came to Bayamo,
the first town. They were lodged, as they arrived, in
parties of four and six, where their food was given to
them; and nothing was paid for any other thing than
maize for the beasts; because the Governor at each town
assessed tax on the tribute paid, and the labour done, by
the Indians.
A deep river runs near Bayamo, larger than the
Guadiana, called Tanto. The monstrous alligators do
harm in it sometimes to the Indians and animals in the
crossing. In all the country there are no wolves, foxes,
bears, lions, nor tigers: there are dogs in the woods,
which have run wild from the houses, that feed upon the
swine: there are snakes, the size of a man's thigh, and
even bigger; but they are very sluggish and do no kind


of injury. From that town to Puerto Principe there are
fifty leagues. The roads throughout the Island are made
by cutting out the undergrowth, which if neglected to be
gone over, though only for a single year, the shrubs
spring up in such manner that the ways disappear: and
so numerous likewise are the paths made by cattle, that
no one can travel without an Indian of the country for a
guide, there being everywhere high and thick woods.
From Puerto Principe the Governor went by sea in a
canoe to the estate of Yasco Porcallo, near the coast, to
get news of Dona Ysabel, who, at the time, although
not then known, was in a situation of distress, the ships
having parted company, two of them being driven in
sight of the coast of Florida, and all on board were suffer-
ing for lack of water and subsistence. The storm over,
and the vessels come together, not knowing where they
had been tossed, Cape San Antonio was-descried, an unin-
habited part of the Island, where they got water; and at the
end of forty days from the time of leaving Santiago, they
arrived at Havana. The Governor presently received
the news and hastened to meet Doiia Ysabel. The troops
that went by land, one hundred and fifty mounted men in
number, not to be burdensome upon the Islanders, were
divided into two squadrons, and marched to Sancti Spi-
rifus, sixty leagues from Puerto Principe. The victual
they carried was the cagabe bread I have spoken of, the
nature of which is such that it directly dissolves from
moisture; whence it happened that some ate meat and
no. bread for many days. They took dogs with them,
and a man of the country, who hunted as they journeyed,


and who killed the hogs at night found further necessary
for provision where they stopped; so that they had abun-
dant supply both of beef and pork. They found immense
annoyance from mosquitos, particularly in a lake called Bog
of Pia, which they had much ado in crossing between mid-
day and dark, it being more than half a league over, full
half a bow-shot of the distance swimming, and all the rest of
the way the water waist deep, having clams on the bot-
tom that sorely cut the feet, for not a boot nor shoe sole
was left entire at half way. The clothing and saddles
were floated over in baskets of palm-leaf. In this time
the insects came in great numbers and settled on the
person where exposed, their bite raising lumps that
smarted keenly, a single blow with the hand sufficing to
kill so many that the blood would run over the arms and
body. There was little rest at night, as happened also
afterwards at like seasons and places.
They came to Sancti Spiritus, a town of thirty houses,
near which passes a little river. The grounds are very
fertile and pleasant, abundant in good oranges, citrons,
and native fruit. Here one half the people were lodged;
the other half went on twenty-five leagues farther, to a
town of fifteen or twenty householders, called Trinidad.
There is a hospital for the poor, the only one in the
Island. They say the town was once the largest of any;
and that before the Christians came into the country a
ship sailing along the coast had in her a very sick man,
who begged to be set on shore, which the captain di-
rectly ordered, and the vessel kept on her way. The
inhabitants, finding him where he had been left, on that



shore which had never yet been hunted up by Christians,
carried him home, and took care of him until he was
well. The Chief of the town gave him a daughter; and
being at war with the country round about, through the
prowess and exertion of the Christian he subdued and
reduced to his control all the people of Cuba. A long
time after, when Diego Velasquez- went to conquer the
Island, whence he made the discovery of New Spain, this
man, then among the natives, brought them, by his man-
agement, to obedience, and put them under the rule of
that Governor.
From Trinidad they travelled a distance of eighty
leagues without a town, and arrived at Havana in the end
of March. They found the Governor there, and the rest
of the people who had come with him from Spain. He sent
Juan de Aiasco in a'caravel, with two pinnaces and
fifty men, to explore the harbour in Florida, who brought
back two Indians taken on the coast. In consequence,
as much because of the necessity of having them for
guides and interpreters, as because they said, by signs,
that there was much gold in Florida, the Governor and
all the company were greatly rejoiced, and longed for the
hour of departure-that land appearing to them to be the
richest of any which until then had been discovered.




BEFORE our departure, the Governor deprived Nunio
de Tobir of the rank of Captain-General, and conferred it
on a resident of Cuba, Vasco Porcallo de Figueroa, which
caused the vessels to be well provisioned, he giving a great
many hogs and loads of cagabe bread. That was done
because Nuno de Tobar had made love to Dona Ysabel's
waiting-maid, daughter of the Governor of Gomera; and
though he had lost his place, yet, to return to Soto's
favour, for she was with child by him, he took her to wife
and went to Florida. Dona Ysabel remained, and with
her the wife of Don Carlos, of Baltasar de Gallegos, and
of Nufo de Tobar. The Governor left, as his lieutenant
over the Island, Juan de Rojas, a fidalgo of Havana.
On Sunday, the 18th day of May, in the. year 1539,
the Adelantado sailed from Havana with a fleet of nine
vessels, five of them ships, two caravels, two pinnaces;
and he ran seven days with favourable weather. On the
25th of the month, being the festival of Espiritu Santo,
the land was seen, and anchor cast a league from shore,
because of the shoals. On Friday, the 30th, the army
landed in Florida, two leagues from the town of an



Indian chief named Ucita. Two hundred and thirteen
horses were set on shore, to unburthen the ships, that
they should draw the less water; the seamen only re-
mained on board, who going up every day a little with the
tide, the end of eight days brought them near to the town.
So soon as the people were come to land, the camp
was pitched on the sea-side, nigh the bay, which goes up
close to the town. Presently the Captain-General, Vasco
Porcallo, taking seven horsemen-with him, beat up the
country half a league about, and discovered six Indians,
who tried to resist him with arrows, the weapons they
are accustomed to use. The horsemen killed two, and
the four others escaped, the country being obstructed
by bushes and ponds, in which the horses bogged and
fell, with their riders, of weakness from the voyage. At
night the Governor, with a hundred men in the pinnaces,
came upon a deserted town; for, so soon as the Christians
appeared in sight of land, they were described, aid all
along on the coast many smokes were seen to rise, which
the Indians make to warn one another. The next day,
Luis de Moscoso, master of the camp, set the men in
order. The horsemen he put in three squadrons-the
vanguard, battalion, and rearward; and thus they marched
that day and the next, compassing great creeks which
run up from the bay; and on the first of June, being
Trinity Sunday, they arrived at the town of Ucita, where
the Governor tarried.
SThe town was of seven or eight houses, built of tim-
ber, and covered with palm-leaves. The Chief's house
stood near the beach, upon a very high mount made by



hand for defence;. at the other end of the town was a
temple, on the top of which perched a wooden fowl with
gilded eyes, and within were found some pearls of small
value, injured by fire, such as the Indians pierce for
beads, much esteeming them, and string to wear about
the neck and wrists. The Governor lodged in the house
of the Chief, and with him Vasco Porcallo and Luis de
Moscoso; in other houses, midway in the town, was
lodged the Chief Castellan, Baltasar de Gallegos, where
were set apart the provisions brought in the vessels.
The rest of the dwellings, with the temple, were thrown
down, and every mess of three or four soldiers made a
cabin, wherein they lodged. The ground about was very
fenny, and encumbered with dense thicket and high trees.
The Governor ordered the woods to be felled the distance
of a crossbow-shot around the place, that the horses might
run, and the Christians have the advantage, should the
Indians make an attack at night. In the paths, and at
proper points, sentinels of foot-soldiers were set in cou-
ples, who watched by turns; the horsemen, going the
rounds, were ready to support them should there be an
The Governor made four captains of horsemen and
two of footmen: those of the horse were Andre de Yas-
concelos, Pedro Calderon of Badaj6z, and the two Carde-
nosas his kinsmen (Arias Tinoco and Alfonso Romo),
also natives of Badaj6z; those of the foot were Francisco
Maldonado of Salamanca, and Juan Rodriguez Lobillo.
While we were in this town of Ucita, the Indians which
Juan de Anasco had taken on that coast, and were with



the Governor as guides and interpreters, through the
carelessness of two men who had charge of them, got
away one night. For this the Governor felt very sorry,
as did every one else; for some excursions had already
been made, and no Indians could be taken, the country
being of very high and thick woods, and in many places
was marshy.





FROM the town of Ucita the Governor sent the Chief
Castellan, Baltasar de Gallegos, into the country, with
forty horsemen and eighty footmen, to procure an Indian
if possible. In another direction he also sent, for the
same purpose, Captain Juan Rodriguez Lobillo, with fifty
infantry: the greater part were of sword and buckler;
the remainder were crossbow and gun men. The com-
mand of Lobillo marched over a swampy land, where
horses could not travel; and, half a league from camp,
came upon some huts near a river. The people in them
plunged into the water; nevertheless, four women were
secured; and twenty warriors, who attacked our people,
so pressed us that we were forced to retire into camp.
The Indians are exceedingly ready with their weapons,
and so warlike and nimble, that they have no fear of foot-
men; for if these charge them they flee, and when they
turn their backs they are presently upon them. They
avoid nothing more easily than the flight of an arrow.
They never remain quiet, but are continually running,
traversing from place to place, so that neither crossbow


nor arquebuse can be aimed at them, Before a Christian
can make a single shot with either, an Indian will dis-
charge three or four arrows; and he seldom misses of his
object. Where the arrow meets with no armour, it pierces
as deeply as the shaft from a crossbow. Their bows are
very perfect; the arrows are made of certain canes, like
reeds, very heavy, and so stiff that one of them, when
sharpened, will pass through a target. Some are pointed
with the bone of a fish, sharp and like a chisel; others
with some stone like a point of diamond: of such the
greater number, when they strike upon armour, break at
the place the parts are put together; those of cane split,
and will enter a shirt of mail, doing more injury than
when armed.
Juan Rodriguez Lobillo got back to camp with six
men wounded, of whom one died, and he brought with him
the four women taken in the huts, or cabins. When Bal-
tasar de Gallegos came into the open field, he discovered
ten or eleven Indians, among whom was a Christian,
naked and sun-burnt, his arms tattooed after their man-
ner, and he in no respect differing from them. As soon
as the horsemen came in sight, they ran upon the Indians,
who fled, hiding themselves in a thicket, though not be-
fore two or three of them were overtaken and wounded.
The Christian, seeing a horseman coming upon him with
a lance, began to cry out: Do not kill me, cavalier; I
am a Christian! Do not slay these people; they have
given me my life !" Directly he called to the Indians,
putting them out of fear, when they left the wood
and came to him. The horsemen took up the Chris-


tian and Indians behind them on their beasts, and,
greatly rejoicing, got back to the Governor at night-
fall. When he and the rest who had remained in camp
heard the news, they were no less pleased than the


f s







THE name of the Christian was Juan Ortiz, a

of Sevilla, and of noble parentage.


He had been twelve

years among the Indians,

having gone

into the coun-


de Narvaez, and


in the

ships to the Island of Cuba, where the wife of the Gover-

nor remained;

whence, by her command, he

went back

to Florida, with some twenty or thirty others, in a pin-
nace; and coming to the port in sight of the town, they
saw a cane sticking upright in the ground, with a split in
the top, holding a letter, which they supposed the Gover-
nor had left there, to give information of himself before

marching into the interior.

They asked it, to be given to

them, of four or five Indians walking

along the beach,

who, by signs, bade them come to land for it, which Ortiz

and another

did, though contrary to the wishes

of the


No sooner had they got on shore, when many

natives came out of the houses, and, drawing near, held

them in such way that they could not escape.

One, who

would have defended himself, they slew on the spot;


hands, and took him to Ucita,



other they seized by the


their chief. The people in the pinnace, unwilling to
land, kept along the coast and returned to Cuba.
By command of Ucita, Juan Ortiz was bound hand
and foot to four stakes, and laid upon scaffolding, beneath
which a fire was kindled, that he might be burned ; -but a
daughter of the Chief entreated that he might be spared.
Though one Christian, she said, might do no good, cer-
tainly he could do no harm, and it would be an honour to
have one for a captive; to which the father acceded,
directing the injuries to be healed. When Ortiz got
well, he was put to watching a temple, that the wolves,
in the night-time, might not carry off the dead there,
which charge he took in hand, having commended him-
self to God. One night they snatched away from him
the body of a little child, son of a principal man; and,
going after them, he threw a dart at the wolf that was
escaping, which, feeling itself wounded, let go its hold,
and went off to die; and he returned, without knowing
what he had done in the dark. In the morning, finding
the body of the little boy gone, he became very sober;
and Ucita, when he heard what had happened, deter-
mined he should be killed; but having sent on the trail
which Ortiz pointed out as that the wolves had made, the
body of the child was found, and a little farther on a
dead wolf; at which circumstance the Chief became well
pleased with the Christian, and satisfied with the guard
he had kept, ever after taking much notice of him.
Three years having gone by since he had fallen into
the hands of this Chief, there came another, named Mo-
cogo, living two days' journey distant from that port, and



burnt the town, when Ucita fled to one he had in another
seaport, whereby Ortiz lost his occupation, and with it
the favour of his master. The Indians are worshippers of
the Devil, and it is their custom to make sacrifices of the
blood and bodies of their people, or of those of any other
they can come by; and they affirm, too, that when he
would have them make an offering, he speaks, telling
them that he is athirst, and that they must sacrifice to
him. The girl who had delivered Ortiz from the fire,
told him how her father had the mind to sacrifice him
the next day, and that he must flee to Mocogo, who she
knew would receive him with regard, as she had heard
that he had asked for him, and said he would like to see
him: and as he knew not the way, she went half a league
out of town with him at dark, to put him on the road,
returning early so as not to be missed.
Ortiz travelled all night, and in the morning came to
a river, the boundary of the territory of Mocogo, where
he discovered two men fishing. As this people were at
war with those of Ucita, and their languages different, he
did not know how he should be able to tell them who he
was, and why he came, or make other explanation, that
they might not kill him as one of the enemy. It was
not, however, until he had come up to where their arms
were placed that he was discovered, when they fled to-
wards the town; and though he called out to them to
wait, that he would do them no injury, they only ran the
faster for not understanding him. As they arrived, shout-
ing, many Indians came out of the town, and began sur-
rounding, in order to shoot him with their arrows, when



he, finding himself pressed, took shelter behind trees,
crying aloud that he was a Christian fled from Ucita,
come to visit and serve Mocogo. At the moment, it
pleased God that an Indian should come up, who, speak-
ing the language, understood him and quieted the others,
telling them what was said. Three or four ran to carry
the news, when the Cacique, much gratified, came a
quarter of a league on the way to receive him. He
caused the Christian immediately to swear to him, accord-
ing to the custom of his country, that he would not leave
him for any other master; and, in return, he promised to
show him much honour, and if at any time Christians
should come to that land, he would let him go freely,
and give him his permission to return to them, pledging
his oath to this after the Indian usage.
Three years from that time, some people fishing out
at sea, three leagues from land, brought news of having
seen ships; when Mocogo, calling Ortiz, gave him per-
mission to depart, who, taking leave, made all haste pos-
sible to the shore, where, finding no vessels, he supposed
the story to be only a device of the Cacique to discover
his inclination. In this way he remained with him nine
years, having little hope of ever seeing Christians more;
but no sooner had the arrival of the Governor in Florida
taken place, when it was known to Mocogo, who directly
told Ortiz that Christians were in the town of Ucita.
The captive, thinking himself jested with, as he had sup-
posed himself to be before, said that his thoughts no
longer dwelt on his people, and that his only wish now
was to serve him. Still the Cacique assured him that it



was even as he stated, and gave him leave to go, telling
him that if he did not, and the Christians should depart,
he must not blame him, for he had fulfilled his promise.
Great was the joy of Ortiz at this news, though still
doubtful of its truth; however, he thanked Mocogo, and
went his way. A dozen principal Indians were sent to
accompany him; and on their way to the port, they met
Baltasar de Gallegos, in the manner that has been related.
Arrived at the camp, the Governor ordered that apparel
be given to him, good armour, and a fine horse. When
asked if he knew of any country where there was either
gold or silver, he said that he had not been ten leagues in
any direction from where he lived; but that thirty leagues
distant was a chief named Paracoxi, to whom Mocogo,
Ucita, and all they that dwelt along the coast paid tribute,
and that he perhaps had knowledge of some good coun-
try, as his land was better than theirs, being more fertile,
abounding in maize. Hearing this, the Governor was
well pleased, and said he only desired to find subsistence,
that he might be enabled to go inland with safety; for
that Florida was so wide, in some part or other of it,
there could not fail to be a rich country. The Cacique
of Mocogo came to the port, and calling on the Governor,
he thus spoke:-

Though less able, I believe, to serve you than the least of these
under your control, but with the wish to do more than even the
greatest of them can accomplish, I appear before you in the full
confidence of receiving your favour, as much so as though I deserved
it, not in requital of the trifling service I rendered in setting free the
Christian while he was in my power, which I did, not for the sake



of my honour and of my promise, but because I hold that great
men should be liberal. As much as in your bodily perfections you
exceed all, and in your command over fine men are you superior to
others, so in your nature are you equal to the full enjoyment of
earthly things. The favour I hope for, great Lord, is that you will
hold me to be your own, calling on me freely to do whatever may
be your wish.

The Governor answered him, that although it were
true, in freeing and sending him the Christian, he had
done no more than to keep his word and preserve his
honour, nevertheless he thanked him for an act so valuable,
that there was no other for him that could be compared
to it; and that, holding him henceforth to be a brother,
he should in all, and through all, favour him. Then a
shirt and some other articles of clothing were directed to
be: given to the Chief, who, thankfully receiving them,
took leave and went to his town.










FROM the port of Espiritu Santo,


where the Governor

was, he sent the

Chief Castellan, with

fifty cavalry and

thirty or forty infantry, to the Province of Paracoxi, to
observe the character of the country, inquire of that far-
ther on, and to let him hear by message of what he should
discover; he also sent the vessels to Cuba, that, at an

appointed time, they might return with provisions.


the principal


of Vasco


de Figueroa

coming to Florida had been to get slaves for his planta-

tion and mines, finding,

after some incursions, that no

seizures could be made, because of dense forest

and ex-

tensive bogs, he determined to go back to Cuba; and in
consequence of that resolution, there grew up such a dif-

ference between him

and Soto,

that neither

of them

treated nor spoke to the other kindly.

Still, with words

of courtesy, he
took his leave.

asked permission

of him to return, and


de Gallegos



at Paracoxi,

thirty Indians came to him

on the part

of the

Cacique, one of whom said:

of this



11 King Paracoxi, lord


Province, whose vassals we are, sends us to ask of you
what it is you seek in his country, and in what he can
serve you ;" to which the Chief Castellan replied, that he
much thanked the Cacique for his proffer, and bade them
tell him to return to his town, where they would talk
together of a peace and friendship he greatly desired to
establish. They went off, and came again the next day,
reporting that as their lord could not appear, being very
unwell, they had come in his stead to see what might be
wanted. They were asked if they had knowledge or in-
formation of any country where gold and silver might be
found in plenty; to which they answered yes; that to-
wards the sunset was a Province called Cale, the inhabi-
tants of which were at war with those of territories where
the greater portion of the year was summer, and where
there was so much gold, that when the people came to
make war upon those of Cale, they wore golden hats like
As the Cacique had not come, Gallegos, reflecting,
suspected the message designed for delay, that he might
put himself in a condition of safety; and fearing that, if
those men were suffered to depart, they might never re-
turn, he ordered them to be chained together, and sent
the news to camp by eight men on horseback. The Gov-
ernor, hearing what had passed, showed great pleasure, as
did the rest who were with him, believing what the Indians
said might be true. He left thirty cavalry and seventy
infantry at the port, with provisions for two years, under
command of Captain Calderon, marching with the others
inland to Paracoxi; thence, having united with the force


already there, he passed through a small town named
Acela, and came to another called Tocaste, whence he
advanced with fifty of foot and thirty horse towards Cale;
and having gone through an untenanted town, some
natives were seen in a lake, to whom having spoken by
an interpreter, they came out and gave him a guide.
From there he went to a river of powerful current, in the
midst of which was a tree, whereon they made a bridge.
Over this the people passed in safety, the horses being
crossed swimming to a hawser, by which they were
drawn to the other bank, the first that entered the water
having been drowned for the want of one.
The Governor sent two men on horseback, with word
to those in the rear that they should advance rapidly, for
that the way was becoming toilsome and the provisions
were short. He came to Cale and found the town aban-
doned; but he seized three spies, and tarried there until
the people should arrive, they travelling hungry and on
bad roads, the country being very thin of maize, low,
very wet, pondy, and thickly covered with trees. Where
there were inhabitants, some water-cresses could be found,
which they who arrived first would gather, and, cooking
them in water with salt, ate them without other thing;
and they who could get none, would seize the stalks of
maize and eat them, the ear, being young, as yet contain-
ing no grain. Having come to the river, which the Gov-
ernor had passed, they got cabbage from the low palmetto
growing there, like that of Andaluzia. There they were
met by the messengers, who, reporting a great deal of
maize in Cale, gave much satisfaction.


While the people should be coming up, the Governor
ordered all the ripe grain in the fields, enough for three
months, to be secured. In gathering it three Christians
were slain. One of two Indians who were made pris-
oners stated that seven days' journey distant was a large
Province, abounding in maize, called Apalache. Pres-
ently, with fifty cavalry and sixty infantry, he set out
from Cale, leaving Luis de Moscoso, the Field Marshal, in
command, with directions not to move until he should be
ordered. Up to that time, no one had been able to
get servants who should make his bread; and the method
being to beat out the maize in log mortars with a one-
handed pestle of wood, some also sifting the flour after-
ward through their shirts of mail, the process was found
so laborious, that many, rather than crush the grain,
preferred to eat it parched and sodden. The mass was
baked in clay dishes, set over fire, in the manner that I
have described as done in Cuba.






ON the eleventh day of August, in the year 1539, the Gov-
ernor left Cale, and arrived to sleep at a small town called
Ytara, and the-next day at another called Potano, and
the third at Utinama, and then at another named Malapaz.
This place was so called because one, representing himself
to be its Cacique, came peacefully saying, that he wished
to serve the Governor with his people, and asked that he
would cause the twenty-eight men and women, prisoners
taken the night before, to be set at liberty; that provisions
should be brought, and that he would furnish a guide for
the country in advance of us; whereupon, the Governor
having ordered the prisoners to be let loose, and the
Indian put under guard, the next day in the morning
came many natives close to a scrub surrounding the town,
near which the prisoner asked to be taken, that he might
speak and satisfy them, as they would obey in whatever
he commanded; but no sooner had he found himself close
to them, than he boldly started away, and fled so swiftly


that no one could overtake him, going off with the rest
into the woods. The Governor ordered a bloodhound,
already fleshed upon him, to be let loose, which, passing
by many, seized upon the faithless Cacique, and held him
until the Christians had come up.
From this town the people went to sleep at the one of
Cholupaha, which, for its abundance of maize, received
the name of Villafarta; thence, crossing a river before it,
by a bridge they had made of wood, the Christians marched
two days through an uninhabited country.
On the seventeenth day of August they arrived at
Caliquen, where they heard of the Province of Apalache,
of Narvaez having been there and embarked, because no
road was to be found over which to go forward, and of
there being no other town, and that water was on all
sides. Every mind was depressed at this information,
and all counselled the Governor to go back to the port,
that they might not be lost, as Narvaez had been, and to
leave the land of Florida; that, should they go further,
they might not be able to get back, as the little maize
that was yet left the Indians would secure: to which
Soto replied, that he would never return until he had
seen with his own eyes what was asserted, things that to
him appeared incredible. Then he ordered us to be in
readiness for the saddle, sending word to Luis de Moscoso
to advance from Cale, that he waited. for him; and, as in
the judgment of the Field Marshal, and of many others,
they should have to return from Apalache, they buried in
Cale some iron implements with other things. They
reached Caliquen through much suffering; for the land


over which the Governor had marched lay wasted and
was without maize.
All the people having come up, a bridge was ordered
to be made over a river that passed near the town,
whereon we crossed, the tenth day of September, taking
with us the Cacique. When three days on our journey,
some Indians arrived to visit their lord; and every day
they came out to the road, playing upon flutes, a token
among them that they come in peace. They stated that
further on there was a Cacique named Uzachil, kins-
man of the Chief of Caliquen, their lord, who waited the
arrival of the Governor, prepared to do great services;
and they besought him to set their Cacique free, which
he feared to do, lest they should go off without giving
him any guides; so he got rid of them from day to day
with specious excuses.
We marched five days, passing through some small
towns, and arrived at Napetaca on the fifteenth day of
September, where we found fourteen or fifteen Indians
who begged for the release of the Cacique of Cali-
quen, to whom the Governor declared that their lord
was no prisoner, his attendance being wished only as
far as Uzachil. Having learned from Juan Ortiz, to
whom a native had made it known, that the Indians
had determined to assemble and fall upon the Chris-
tians, for the recovery of their Chief, the Governor, on
the day for which the attack was concerted, commanded
his men to be in readiness, the cavalry to be armed and
on horseback, each one so disposed of in his lodge as not
to be seen of the Indians, that they might come to the


town without reserve. Four hundred warriors, with bows
and arrows, appeared in sight of the camp; and, going
into a thicket, they sent two of their number to demand
the Cacique: the Governor, with six men on foot, taking
the Chief by the hand, conversing with him the while to
assure the Indians, went towards the place where they
were, when, finding the moment propitious, he ordered
a trumpet to be sounded: directly, they who were in
the houses, foot as well as horse, set upon the natives,
who, assailed unexpectedly, thought only of their safety.
Of two horses killed, one was that of the Governor,
who was mounted instantly on another. From thirty
to forty natives fell by the lance; the rest escaped
into two very large ponds, situated some way apart,
wherein they swam about; and, being surrounded by the
Christians, they were shot at with crossbow and arque-
buse, although to no purpose, because of the long distance
they were off.
At night, one of the lakes was ordered to be guarded,
the people not being sufficient to encircle both. The In-
dians, in attempting to escape in the dark, would come
swimming noiselessly to the shore, with a leaf of water-
lily on the head, that they might pass unobserved; when
those mounted, at sight'of any ruffle on the surface, would
dash into the water up to the breasts of the horses, and
the natives would again retire. In such way passed the
night, neither party taking any rest. Juan Ortiz told
them that, as escape was impossible, they would do well
to give up; which they did, driven by extreme chillness
of the water; and one after another, as cold overpowered,


called out to him, asking not to be killed-that he was
coming straightway to put himself in the hands of the
Governor. At four o'clock in the morning they had all
surrendered, save twelve of the principal men, who, as of
more distinction and valiant than the rest, preferred to
die rather than yield: then the Indians of Paracoxi, who
were going about unshackled, went in after them, swim-
ming, and pulled them out by the hair. They were all
put in chains, and, on the day following, were divided
among the Christians for their service.
While captives, these men determined to rebel, and
gave the lead to an interpreter, one reputed brave, that
when the Governor might come near to speak with him,
he should strangle him; but no sooner was the occasion
presented, and before his hands could be thrown about
the neck of Soto, his purpose was discovered, and he re-
ceived so heavy a blow from him in the nostrils, that
they gushed with blood. The Indians all rose together.
He who could only catch up a pestle from a mortar,
as well he who could grasp a weapon, equally exerted
himself to kill his master, or the first one he met; and
he whose fortune it was to light on a lance, or a sword,
handled it in a manner as though he had been accus-
tomed to use it all his days. One Indian, in the public
yard of the town, with blade in hand, fought like a
bull in the arena, until the halberdiers of the Governor,
arriving, put an end to him. Another got up, with a
lance, into a maize crib, made of cane, called by Indians
barbacoa, and defended the entrance with the uproar
of ten men, until he was stricken down with a battle-



axe. They who were subdued may have been in all
two hundred men: some of the youngest the Governor
gave to those who had good chains and -were vigilant;
all the rest were ordered to execution, and, being bound
to a post in the middle of the town yard, they were shot
to death with arrows by the people of Paracoxi.









ON the twenty-third day of September the Governor
left Napetaca, and went 'to rest at a river, where two In-

dians brought him a deer from

the Cacique of Uzachil;

and the next day, having passed through a large town

called Hapaluya, he slept at Uzachil.

son there; for the

He found no per-

inhabitants, informed of the deaths at


dared not remain.

In the town was found

their food, much maize, beans, and pumpkins, on


the Christians lived.

The maize

is like coarse millet;

the pumpkins are better and more savoury than those of

Two captains having been sent in opposite

in quest of Indians,


a hundred men and women were

taken, one or two of whom were chosen out for the Gov-

ernor, as was always

customary for

officers to

do after

successful inroads, dividing the others among themselves

and companions.

They were led off in chains, with col-

lars about

the neck, to carry


and grind

doing the labour proper to servants. Sometimes it


that, going

with them

for wood

or maize, they

kill the Christian,




and flee, with

the chain



which others would file at night with a splinter of
stone, in the place of iron, at which work, when caught,
they were punished, as a warning to others, and that
they might not do the like. The women and youths,
when removed a hundred leagues from their country,
no longer cared, and were taken along loose, doing
the work, and in a very little time learning the Spanish
From Uzachill the Governor went towards Apalache,
and at the end of two days' travel arrived at a town called
Axille. After that, the Indians having no knowledge of
the Christians, they were come upon unawares, the greater
part escaping, nevertheless, because there were woods
near town. The next day, the first of October, the Gov-
ernor took his departure in the morning, and ordered a
bridge to be made over a river which he had to cross.
The depth there, for a stone's throw, was over the head,
and afterward the water came to the waist, for the dis-
tance of a crossbow-shot, where was a growth of tall and
dense forest, into which the Indians came, to ascertain if
they could assail the men at work and prevent a passage;
but they were dispersed by the arrival of crossbow-men,
and some timbers being thrown in, the men gained the
opposite side and secured the way. On the fourth day
of the week, Wednesday of St. Francis, the Governor
crossed over and reached Uitachuco, a town subject to
Apalache, where he slept. He found it burning, the
Indians having set it on fire.
Thenceforward the country was well inhabited, pro-
ducing much corn, the way leading by many habitations



like villages. Sunday, the twenty-fifth of October, he
arrived at the town of Uzela, and on Monday at Anhayca
Apalache, where the.lord of all that country and Province
resided. The Camp-master, whose duty it is to divide
and lodge the men, quartered them about the town, at
the distance of half a league to a league apart. There
were other towns which had much maize, pumpkins,
beans, and dried plums of the country, whence were
brought together at Anhaica Apalache what appeared to
be sufficient provision for the winter. These ameixas are
better than those of Spain, and come from trees that
grow in the fields without being planted.
Informed that the sea was eight leagues distant, the
Governor directly sent a captain thither, with cavalry
and infantry, who found a town called Ochete, eight
leagues on the way; and, coming to the coast, he saw
where a great tree had been felled, the trunk split up
into stakes, and with the. limbs made into mangers. He
found also the skulls of horses. With these discoveries
he returned, and what was said of Narvaez was believed
to be certain, that he had there made boats, in which he
left the country, and was lost in them at sea. Presently,
Juan de Anasco made ready to go to the port of Espiritu
Santo, taking thirty cavalry, with orders from the Gov-
ernor to Calderon, who had remained there, that he
should abandon the town, and bring all the people to
In Uzachil, and other towns on the way, Aniasco found
many people who had already become careless; still, to
avoid detention, no captures were made, as it was -not


well to give the Indians sufficient time to come together.
He went through the towns at night, stopping at a dis-
tance from the population for three or four hours, to rest,
and at the end of ten days arrived at the port. He dis-
patched two caravels to Cuba, in which he sent to Dona
Ysabel twenty women brought by him from Ytara and
Potano, near Cale; and, taking with him the foot-soldiers
in the brigantines, from point to point along the coast by
sea, he went towards Palache. Calderon with the cav-
alry, and some crossbow-men of foot, went by land. The
Indians at several places beset him, and wounded.some
of the men. On his arrival, the Governor ordered planks
and spikes to be taken to the coast for building a piragua,
into which thirty men entered well armed from the bay,
going to and coming from sea, waiting the arrival of the
brigantines, and sometimes fighting with the natives,
who went up and down the estuary in canoes. On Satur-
day, the twenty-ninth of November, in a high wind, an
Indian passed through the sentries undiscovered, and set
fire to the town, two portions of which, in consequence,
were instantly consumed.
On Sunday, the twenty-eighth of December, Juan de
Anasco arrived; and the Governor directed Francisco Mal-
donado, Captain of Infantry, to run the coast to the west-
ward with fifty men, and look for an entrance; proposing
to go himself in that direction by land on discoveries. The
same day, eight men rode two leagues about the town in
pursuit of Indians, who had become so bold that they would
venture up within two crossbow-shot of the camp to kill
our people. Two were discovered engaged in picking



beans, and

might have

present, the wife


Before they could be

escaped, but a woman

one of them, they stood to


killed, three horses were wounded,

one of which died in a few days.

Calderon going along

the coast near by, the Indians came out against him from
a wood, driving him from his course, and capturing from

many of his company a part

of their indispensable sub-

Three or four days having elapsed

beyond the time

set for the going and return of Maldonado, the Governor


that, should he not appear at the end of eight

days, he would go thence and wait no longer; when the


arrived, bringing

with him an Indian

Province called Ochus, sixty leagues from Apalache, and

the news of having found


of water.

a sheltered Iort with

The Governor was highly

a good

hoping to find a good country ahead;

him at

and he sent Mal-

to Havana for provisions, with which to meet

that port of his

discovery, to which

he would

himself come by land;

but should he not reach there

that summer, then he directed him to go back to Havana
and return there the next season to await him, as he

would make it

his express object to march in





and Juan de





of his


Of the

dians taken in Napetuca, the treasurer, Juan Gaytan,
brought a youth with him, who stated that he did not
belong to that country, but to one afar in the direction of

he had been a long time






the sun's


from which


absent visiting other lands; that its name was Yupaha,
and was governed by a woman, the town she lived in
being of astonishing size, and many neighboring lords
her tributaries, some of whom gave her clothing, others
gold in quantity. He showed how the metal was taken
from the earth, melted, and refined, exactly as though he
had seen it all done, or else the Devil had taught him
how it was; so that they who knew aught of such mat-
ter declared it impossible that he could give that account
without having been an eye-witness; and they who beheld
the signs he made credited all that was understood as





ON Wednesday, the third of March, in the year 1540,
the Governor left Anhaica Apalache to seek Yupaha.
He had ordered his men to go provided with maize for a
march through sixty leagues of desert. The cavalry car-
ried their grain on the horses, and the infantry theirs on
the back; because the Indians they brought with them
for service, being naked and in chains, had perished in
great part during the winter. On the fourth day of the
journey they arrived at a deep river, where a piragua
was made; and, in consequence of the violence of the
current, a cable of chains was extended from shore to
shore, along which the boat passed, and the horses were
drawn over, swimming thereto, by means of a windlass to
the other side.
A day and a half afterwards, they arrived at a town
by the name of Capachiqui, and on Friday, the eleventh,
the inhabitants were found to have gone off. The follow-
ing day, five Christians, going in the rear of the camp to
search for mortars, in which the natives beat maize, went
to some houses surrounded by a thicket, where many In-
dians lurked as spies, an equal number of whom, separa-


ting from the rest, set upon our men, one of whom fled
back, crying out to arms. When they who could first
answer to the call reached the spot, they found one of the
Christians killed, and the three others badly wounded,
the Indians fleeing into a sheet of water, full of woods,
into which the horses could not go. The Governor left
Capachiqui, passing through a desert; and on Wednes-
day, the twenty-first of the month, came to Toalli.
The houses of this town were different from those be-
hind, which were covered with dry grass; thenceforward
they were roofed with cane, after the fashion of tile.
They are kept very clean: some have their sides so made
of clay as to look like tapia. Throughout the cold coun-
try every Indian has a winter house, plastered inside and
out, with a very small door, which is closed at dark, and
a fire being made within, it remains heated like an oven,
so that clothing is not needed during the night-time.
He has likewise a house for summer, and near it a kit-
chen, where fire is made and bread baked. Maize is kept
in barbacoa, which is a house with wooden sides, like a
room, raised aloft on four posts, and has a floor of cane.
The difference between the houses of the masters, or
principal men, and those of the common people is, be-
sides being larger than the others, they have deep balco-
nies on the front side, with cane seats, like benches; and
about are many large barbacoas, in which they bring
together the tribute their people give them of maize, skins
of deer, and blankets of the country. These are like
shawls, some of them made from the inner bark of trees,
and others of a grass resembling nettle, which, by tread-



ing out, becomes like flax. The women use them for
covering, wearing one about the body from the waist
downward, and another over the shoulder, with the right
arm left free, after the manner of the Gypsies: the men
wear but one, which they carry over the shoulder in the
same way, the loins being covered with a bragueiro of
deer-skin, after the fashion of the woollen breech-cloth
that was once the custom of Spain. The skins arewell
dressed, the colour being given to them that is wished,
and in such perfection, that, when of vermilion, they
look like very fine red broadcloth; and when black, the
sort in use for shoes, they are of the purest. The same
hues are given to blankets.
The Governor left Toalli on the twenty-fourth day of
March, and arrived on Thursday, in the evening, at a
little stream where a small bridge was made, and the
people passed to the opposite side. Benito Fernandes, a
Portuguese, fell off from it, and was drowned. So soon
as the Governor had crossed, he found a town, a short
way on, by the name of Achese, the people of which,
having had no knowledge of the Christians, plunged into
a river; nevertheless, some men and women were taken,
among whom was found one who understood the youth,
the guide to Yupaha, which rather confirmed what he
stated, as they had come through regions speaking differ-
ent languages, some of which he did not understand.
By one of the Indians taken there, the Governor sent to
call the Cacique from the farther side of the river, who,
having come to him, thus spoke:-



The things that seldom happen bring astonishment. Think,
then, what must be the effect on me and mine, the sight of you and
your people, whom we have at no time seen, astride the fierce
brutes, your horses, entering with such speed and fury into my
country, that we had no tidings of your coming-things so alto-
gether new, as to strike awe and terror to our hearts, which it was
not nature to resist, so that we should receive you with the sobriety
due to so kingly and famous a lord. Trusting to your greatness
and personal qualities, I hope no fault will be found in me, and that
I shall rather receive favours, of which one is that with my person,
my country, and my vassals, you will do as with your own things;
and another, that you tell me who you are, whence you come,
whither you go, and what it is you seek,, that I may the better
serve you.

The Governor responded, that he greatly thanked him
for his good-will, as much so as though he had given him
a great treasure. He told him that he was the child of
the sun, coming from its abode, and that he was going
about the country, seeking for the greatest prince there,
and the richest province. The Cacique stated that far-
ther on was a great lord, whose territory was called
Ocute. He gave him a guide, who understood the lan-
guage, to conduct him thither; and the Governor com-
manded his subjects to be released. A high cross, made
of wood, was set up in the middle of the town-yard; and,
as time did not allow more to be done, the Indians were
instructed that it was put there to commemorate the suf-
fering of Christ, who was God and man; that he had
created the skies and the earth, and had suffered for the
salvation of all, and therefore that they should revere
that sign; and they showed by their manner that they
would do so.


The Governor set out on the first day of April, and
advanced through the country of the Chief, along up a
river, the shores of which were very populous. On the
fourth he went through the town of Altamaca, and on
the tenth arrived at Ocute. The Cacique sent him a
present, by two thousand Indians, of many conies and
partridges, maize bread, many dogs, and two turkeys.
On account of the scarcity of meat, the dogs were as
much esteemed by the Christians as though they had
been fat sheep. There was such want of salt also, that
oftentimes, in many places, a sick man having nothing
for his nourishment, and was wasting away to bone, of
some ail that elsewhere might have found a remedy,
when sinking under pure debility he would say: Now,
if I had but a slice of meat, or only a few lumps of salt,
I should not thus die."
The Indians never lack meat. With arrows they
get abundance of deer, turkeys, conies, and other wild
animals, being very skilful in killing game, which
the Christians were not; and even if they had been,
there was not the opportunity for it, they being on the
march the greater part of their time; nor did they, be-
sides, ever dare to straggle off. Such was the craving
for meat, that when the six hundred men who followed
Soto arrived at a town, and found there twenty or thirty
dogs, he who could get sight of one and kill him, thought
he had done no little; and he who proved himself so
active, if his Captain knew of it, and he forgot to send
him a quarter, would show his displeasure, and make



him feel it in the watches, or in any matter of labour that
came along, with which he could bear upon him.
On Tuesday, the twelfth of April, the Governor took
his departure, the Cacique of Ocute giving him four
hundred tamemes, the Indians that carry burdens. He
passed through a town, the lord of which was called
Cofaqui, and came to the province of another, named
Patofa, who, being at peace with the Chief of Ocute and
other neighboring lords, had heard of the Governor for
a long time, and desired to see him. He went to call
on him, and made this speech:-

Not without reason, now, will I ask that some light mishap befall
me, in return for so great good fortune, and deem my lot a happy
one; since I have come to what I most wished in life, to behold and
have the opportunity in some way to serve you. Thus the tongue
casts the shadow of the thought; but I, nevertheless, am as unable
to produce the perfect image of my feelings as to control the ap-
pearances of my contentment. By what circumstance has this
your land, which I govern, deserved to be seen by one so superior
and excellent that all on earth should obey and serve as prince?
and those who here inhabit being so insignificant, how can they
forget, in receiving this vast enjoyment, that, in the order of things,
will follow upon it some great adversity ? If we are held worthy of
being yours, we can never be other than favoured, nor less than
protected in whatsoever is reasonable and just; for they that fail of
deserving either, with the name of men can only be considered
brutes. From the depth of my heart, and with the respect due
to such a chief, I make mine offer; and pray that, in return for so
sincere good-will, you dispose of me, my country, and my vassals.

The Governor answered that his offers and good-will,
shown in works, would greatly please him, and which he
should ever bear in memory, to honour and favour him as
he would a brother. From this Province of.Patofa, back



to the first Cacique we found at peace, a distance of fifty
leagues, the country is abundant, picturesque, and luxuri-
ant, well watered, and having good river margins; thence
to the harbour of Espiritu Santo, where we first arrived,
the land of Florida, which may be three hundred leagues
in length, a little more or less, is light, the greater part
of it of pine-trees, and low, having many ponds; and in
places are high and dense forest, into which the Indians
that were hostile betook themselves, where they could
not be found; nor could horses enter there, which, to the
Christians, was the loss of the food they carried away,
and made it troublesome to get guides.




IN the town of Patofa, the youth, whom the Governor
brought with him for guide and interpreter, began to froth
at the mouth, and threw himself on the ground as if he
were possessed of the Devil. An exorcism being said over
him, the fit went off. He stated that four days' journey
from there, towards the sunrise, was the Province he spoke
of: the Indians at Patofa said that they knew of no
dwellings in that direction, but that towards the north-
west there was a province called Coga, a plentiful country
having very large towns. The Cacique told the Governor
that if he desired to go thither he would give him a guide
and Indians to carry burdens, and if he would go in the
direction pointed out by the youth, he would furnish him
with every thing necessary for that also.
With words of love, and tendering each other services,
they parted, the Governor receiving seven hundred ta-
memes. He took maize for the consumption of four days,
and marched by a road that, gradually becoming less, on
the sixth day it disappeared. Led by the youth, they



forded two rivers, each the breadth of two shots of a
crossbow, the water rising to the stirrups of the saddles,
and passing in a current so powerful, that it became neces-
sary for those on horseback to stand one before another,
that they on foot, walking near, might cross along above
them: then came to another of a more violent current,
and larger, which was got over with more difficulty, the
horses swimming for a lance's length at the coming out,
into a pine-grove. The Governor menaced the youth,
motioning that he would throw him to the dogs for having
lied to him in saying that it was four days' journey,
whereas they had travelled nine, each day of seven or eight
leagues; and that the men and horses had become very
thin, because of the sharp economy practised with the
maize. The youth declared that he knew not where he
was. Fortunately for him, at the time, there was not an-
other whom Juan Ortez understood, or he would have
been cast to the dogs.
The Governor, leaving the camp among the pine-trees,
marched that day, with some cavalry and infantry, five or
six leagues, looking for a path, and came back at night
very cast down, not having found any-sign of inhabitants.
The next day there was a variety of opinion about the
course proper to take, whether to return or do otherwise.
The country through which they had come remained
wasted and without maize; the grain they had so far
brought with them was spent; the beasts, like the men, were
become very lean; and it was held very doubtful whether
relief was anywhere to be found: moreover, it was the
opinion that they might be beaten by any Indians what-



soever who should venture to attack them, so that' con-
tinuing thus, whether by hunger or in strife, they must in-
evitably be overcome. The Governor determined to send
thence in all directions on horseback, in quest of habita-
tions; and the next day he dispatched four captains to as
many points, with eight of cavalry to each. They came
back at night leading their beasts by the bridle, unable to
carry their masters, or driven before them with sticks,
having found no road, nor any sign of a settlement. He
sent other four again the next day, with eight of cavalry
apiece, men who could swim, that they might cross any
ponds and rivers in the way, the horses being chosen of
the best that were; Baltasar de Gallegos ascending by the
river, Juan de Anasco going down it, Alfonso Romo and
Juan Rodriguez Lobillo striking into the country.
The Governor had brought thirteen sows to Florida,
which had increased to three hundred swine; and the
maize having failed for three or four days, he ordered to
be killed daily, for each man, half a pound of pork, on
which small allowance, and some boiled herbs, the people
with much difficulty lived. There being no food to give
to the Indians of Patofa, they were dismissed, though they
still wished to keep with the Christians in their extremity,
and showed great regret at going back before leaving them
in a peopled country. Juan de Aiasco came in on Sun-
day, in the afternoon, bringing with him a woman and a
youth he had taken, with the report that he had found a
small town twelve or thirteen leagues off; at which the
Governor and his people were as much delighted as though
they had been raised from death to live.


On Monday, the twenty-sixth of April, the Governor
set out for Aymay, a town to which the Christians gave
the name of Socorro. At the foot of a tree, in the camp,
they buried a paper, and in the bark, with a hatchet, they
cut these words: Dig here; at the root of this pine you
will find a letter;" and this was so fixed that the Captains,
who had gone in quest of an inhabited country, should
learn what the Governor had done and the direction he
had taken. There was no other road than the one Juan
de Anasco had made moving along through the woods.
On Monday the Governor arrived at the town, with
those the best mounted, all riding the hardest possible;
some sleeping two leagues off, others three and four, each
as he was able to travel and his strength held out. A
barbacoa was found full of parched meal and some maize,
which were distributed by allowance. Four Indians were
taken, not one of whom would say any thing else than
that he knew of no other town. The Governor ordered
one of them to be burned; and thereupon another said,
that two days' journey from there was a province called
On Wednesday the three Captains came up: they had
found the letter and followed on after the rest. From the
command of Juan Rodriguez two men remained behind,
their horses having given out, for which the Governor
reprimanded him severely, and sent him to bring them.
While they should be coming on he set out for Cutifachi-
qui, capturing three Indians in the road, who stated that
the mistress of that country had already information of
the Christians, and was waiting for them in a town. He



sent to her by one of them, offering his friendship, and
announcing his approach. Directly as the Governor ar-
rived, four canoes came towards him, in one of which was
a kinswoman of the Cacica, who, coming near, addressed
him in these words:-

My sister sends me to salute you, and to say, that the reason
why she has not come in person is, that she has thought to serve you
better by remaining to give orders on the other shore; and that, in a
short time, her canoes will all be here, in readiness to conduct you
thither, where you may take your repose and be obeyed.

The Governor thanked her, and she returned to cross
the river. After a little time the Cacica came out of the
town, seated in a chair, which some principal men having
borne to the bank, she entered a canoe. Over the stern
was spread an awning, and in the bottom lay extended a
mat where were two cushions, one above the other, upon
which she sate; and she was accompanied by her chief
men, in other canoes, with Indians. She approached the
spot where the Governor was, and, being arrived, thus
addressed him:-

Be this coming to these your shores most happy. My ability can
in no way equal my wishes, nor my services become the merits of
so great a prince; nevertheless, good wishes are to be valued more
than all the treasures of the earth without them. With sincerest
and purest good-will I tender you my person, my lands, my people,
and make you these small gifts.

The Cacica presented much clothing of the country,
from the shawls and skins that came in the other boats;
and drawing from over her head a large string of pearls,


she threw them about his neck, exchanging with him
many gracious words of friendship and courtesy. She
directed that canoes should come to the spot, whence the
Governor and his people passed to the opposite side of
the river. So soon as he was lodged in the town, a great
many turkeys were sent to him. The country was
delightful and fertile, having good interval lands upon
the streams; the forest was open, with abundance of
walnut and mulberry trees. The sea was stated to be
distant two days' travel. About the place, from half a
league to a league off, were large vacant towns, grown
up in grass, that appeared as if no people had lived
in them for a long time. The Indians said that, two
years before, there had been a pest in the land, and the
inhabitants had moved away to other towns. In the
barbacoas were large quantities of clothing, shawls of
thread, made from the bark of trees, and others of
feathers, white, gray, vermilion, and yellow, rich and
proper for winter. There were also many well-dressed
deer-skins, of colors drawn over with designs, of which
had been made shoes, stockings, and hose. The Cacica,
observing that the Christians valued the pearls, told the
Governor that, if he should order some sepulchres that
were in the town to be searched, he would find many;
and if he chose to send to those that were in the
uninhabited towns, he might load all his horses with
them. They examined those in the town, and found
three hundred and fifty pounds' weight of pearls, and
figures of babies and birds made of them.
The inhabitants are brown of skin, well formed and