Volume 2 Chapter Preface

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L O U I S I A N A,












Member of the Louisiana Historical Society; of the American

Association for the Advancement of Science;

Honorary Member of the Historical Society of

Pennsylvania; Corresponding Member of the Academy of

Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, etc. etc.





New York, G P. Putman; Boston, LITTLE AND BROWN;

New Orleans, B.M.




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ENTERED according to the Act Of Congress,

in the year 1850, by


in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Eastern

District of Pennsylvania.




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IN preparing this volume for the press, it has been my object to

clear up as much as possible, by the publication of important narratives,

all doubts respecting the claim of Spain to the first discovery, and of

France to the first settlement and exploration of the Mississippi River.

In the sixteenth century, the name of Florida was given to all that

country lying south of Virginia, and extending westward to the Spanish

possessions in Mexico, including, of course, the present State of

Louisiana. It was inhabited by several powerful tribes of warlike

Indians, who subsequently resisted every attempt of England, France and

Spain, to subjugate them. In 1512, Ponce de Leon, a companion of

Columbus, sailed for Florida, and effected a landing near the present town

of St. Augustine. He was attacked by the natives, and driven back with

severe loss to his ships, mortally wounded. He returned with the wreck of

his expedition to Cuba, where he shortly afterwards died.

In 1520, Vasquez de Ayllon fitted out another expedition to take

possession of Florida, but he was slain by the Indians, and his fleet

returned to Cuba. In 1528, Pamfilo de Narvaez sailed from Cuba with four

ships and a strong military force to conquer the country. He arrived in

tbe Bay of Espiritu Santo (Tampa Bay), on the 12th of April, where he

landed his army. After penetrating the country some hundreds of miles,

and suffering severe loss and incredible hardships, he returned to the

sea-coast, and embarked the miserable remnant of his army in five frail

vessels for Cuba. During his voyage a severe storm arose, in which he

suffered shipwreck, and only a portion of his army ultimately reached

Mexico in 1537.

In 1539, Hernando de Soto, the companion of Pizarro in the conquest

of Peru, obtained permission of Charles the Fifth to conquer the country,

and the title of governor and captain-general was conferred upon him.

After nearly fourteen months spent in preparation, he set sail from Spain

on the 6th of April, 1538, and on the 31st May, 1539, he arrived in the

bay of Espiritu Santo, where he landed his army. He penetrated the

interior of the country, and passed down the valley of the Coosa River.

He marched from thence to Alabama river, where he fought a great battle

with the Indians. Leaving Mauvila, he marched northward and westward, and

spent the second winter in Mississippi, where he lost a part of his army

in a battle with the Chickasaws. Thence he bent his course to the

Mississippi River, which he crossed in the latitude of the Chickasaw

Bluffs, and


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spent the next winter in the mountainous region of Arkansas. In the

following spring he returned to the Mississippi River, where he died. The

account of this famous expedition was written by Garcilaso de la Vega, and

a gentleman of Elvas, and published in Spain some years afterwards. "It

may be doubted," says Mr. Sparks, "whether either of these works can be

trusted as affording genuine historical materials. They have been cited

by respectable writers in default of other authorities; but they border so

closely upon the regions of romance that they may as justly be ranked in

this class of compositions as in that of history. This is generally

conceded in regard to Garcilaso de la Vega, but his predecessor, the

gentleman of Elvas, is thought to have higher claims."

Since the above was written by Mr. Sparks, another account of this

expedition into Florida and Louisiana has been found in manuscript, in

Spain, written by Luis Hernandez de Biedma (facteur de sa Majesté), and

presented by him to the king in 1544, which seems to have furnished the

materials for these histories, and establishes beyond a doubt the claim of

Spain to the discovery of the Mississippi River, and the extensive country

lying on both sides of it. It is written in a plain and unpretending

style, and gives apparently a faithful account of the countries traversed

by De Soto-- the manners and customs of the Indians--their towns and

villages--the mountains, rivers, and valleys--the currents, islands, and

other physical features of the great Mississippi valley and river; and

finally the preparation and departure of his successor Luis de Moscoso,

from the mouth of the Arkansas, until his arrival in the river of Panuco

in 1543. A translation of this rare and curious manuscript, together with

an autograph letter of the Adelantado de Soto is now published for the

first time in this volume. After the death of Hernando de Soto, more than

a century elapsed before any further attempt was made to explore the

Mississippi. In 1673, M. Talon, the French governor of Canada, took

measures to secure the dominion of France over all the countries lying

south and west of the Canadian lakes; and, anxious to discover the

sources, course, and direction of the great river which had been mentioned

to the French missionaries by the Indians of the west, to flow towards the

south, he sent Marquette and Joliet to explore it to the sea. They

embarked in May, and proceeded down the river as far as the Arkansas, from

whence they returned to Canada, and published an account of their voyage

in the French language several years after. But it was left for the

greatest traveler of his age, the Sieur Robert Cavalier de la Salle, to

finish what they had begun. He set out from Canada in 1682, and reached

its mouths on the 9th of April, and took possession of the country in the

name of his sovereign, and called it Louisiana. The valuable and rare map

accompanying this volume is a well- executed fac simile of the original.

It aspires to a degree of accuracy that is of great importance both to the

historian and antiquarian. It preserves not only the Indian names of the

lakes and rivers, but traces the routes of the early explorers, and lays

down the localities of the numerous Indian tribes who once held sway over

this extensive country.


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An Account of the Louisiana Historical Society . . . . . . . . l

A Discourse on the Life, Writings, and Character of

the Hon. Francis X. Marlin, LL. D., first President of

the Louisiana Historical Society, . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

An Analytical Index of all the public documents in Paris

relating to the Discovery and early Settlement of

Louisiana, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .43

A Translation of an original letter of Hernando de Soto on

the Conquest of Florida . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .91

A Translation of a recently-discovered manuscript Journal

of the Expedition of Hernando de Soto into Florida, by

Luis Hernandez de Biedma . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .97

A Narrative of the Expedition of Hernando de Soto into

Florida, by a Gentleman of Elvas, translated from the

Portuguese by Richard Hackluyt, in 1609 . . . . . . . . . . 114

A description of the English province of Carolana, by the

Spaniards called Florida, and by the French la Louisiane.

As also of the great and famous river Meschacebe or

Mississippi, the five vast navigable lakes of fresh water,

and the parts adjacent. Together with an account of

the commodities of the growth and production of the said

province, by Daniel Coxe, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 223

A TranslatIon of Marquette and Joliet's account of a Voyage

to Discover the Mississippi River, in 1673 . . . . . . . . .279


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Volume 2 Chapter 1

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New Orleans, May 1, 1850. To B. F.

French, Esq.

Dear Sir:--

Agreeably with your request, I hand you the following paper, showing

the progress as well as origin of our Historical Society, which you are at

liberty to publish in the forthcoming volume of your Historical

Collections of our State.

The Society was originally established in 1836, as appears from some

of its records delivered to me by its then Secretary, Louis Janin, Esq.,

of this city. The first President was Hon. H. Bullard. Secretaries, Mr.

Harrison, a prominent young lawyer of that time, and editor of " Louisiana

Condensed Reports," and Mrs Janin. Among the officers are recorded the

names of Martin, Porter Romac Canonge, Barton; and among tile members,

Clapp, Gray, Eustis, McCaleb, Ingalls, Winthrop, Rost, Watts, Deblieux,

Leonard, etc. The papers of the old Society which are preserved are very

few among them the able address of Judge Bullard, which you have published

in the first volume of your Collections, and the Constitution. We extract

this from its preamble.


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"The undersigned, citizens of Louisiana, wishing to unite their

labors in investigating the history and geography of the country formerly

possessed by France and Spain, under the name of Louisiana, being

assembled in New Orleans on the 15th day of January, 1836, and having

agreed to associate themselves together, to adopt, &c. &c. &c."

Among old memoranda, I find a resolution to inquire of Hon. John

Dutton relative to settlement of Acadian Coast and Indian tribes; of Dr.

Sibley, Bullard and Carr, about Natchitoches; of Sir William Dunbar's

representatives, about old papers, and in regard to late Historical

Society at Baton Rouge; of Mr. Taylor relative to Lafourche and the little

colony of Spaniards; of Col. Skipwith about Baton Rouge Convention, etc.


The Society appears soon after to have fallen into decay, for some

reason or other, and become almost entirely extinct.

In June, 1846, the Society was again revived by a meeting of the

following gentlemen, at the State House, New Orleans.







Gen. Walker was called to the chair, and J. D. B. De Bow appointed

Secretary. A committee to draft Constitution, consisting of Dr. Hawkes,

Alfred Hennen, and J. D. B. De Bow, reported the following, which was



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The preservation of books, pamphlets, manuscripts, and records

containing historical facts, biographical anecdotes, temporary projects,

and beneficial speculations, conduces to mark the genius, delineate the

manners, and trace the progress of society in the United States, and must

always have a useful tendency to rescue the true history of the country

from the ravages of time, and the effect of ignorance or neglect. A

collection of observations and descriptions in natural history and

topography, together with specimens of natural and artificial curiosities,

and a selection of everything which can improve and promote the historical

knowledge of our country, either in a physical or political view, has long

been considered as a desideratum. Such is the introductory language of

the Massachusetts Historical Society, the oldest association of the kind

in any of the States of the Union, and in no language more forcible and

comprehensive, it is conceived, can the objects of the Society we are

about to organize be expressed.


This Society shall be called the Historical Society of Louisiana.


It shall consist of resident and honorary members, the former to be

of the State of Louisiana, the latter of other States.


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The officers of the Society shall be a President, six Vice-

Presidents, two Secretaries, whereof one shall be a recording, and the

other a corresponding Secretary, a Treasurer and Librarian elected

annually, and by ballot.


There shall be an Executive Committee consisting of seven members

appointed annually by the President, whose duty it shall be to solicit and

receive donations, to recommend plans for promoting the ends of the

Society, to digest and prepare business, and to execute such other duties

as may be entrusted to them from time to time, reporting the result at the

regular meetings of the Society.


The Society shall meet regularly on the first Wednesday evening of

each month.


All resident members shall contribute for the use of the Society five

dollars annually, to be paid over to the Treasurer.


Members shall be elected by ballot, on their names being presented to

the Society, but no individual can be elected a member without receiving

the votes of four-fifths of those present.


This Constitution shall not be altered, or amended, or abrogated,

without a vote of four-fifths of the members present, previous notice of

one month having been given.

An election for officers resulted in Hon. François Xavier Martin

being elected the President.

J. D. B. De Bow, from the Executive Committee, reported the following

circular letter :--


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For the purpose of eliciting information in relation to the various

subjects proper for the cognizance of Historical Associations, the

following queries are published. They will be sent to the members of the

Society at large, and it is to be hoped will receive a due portion of

regard. A general invitation is, however, extended to all persons who may

have it in their power, in any manner, to promote the objects of the

association. If the Louisiana Historical Society does not publish its

"Collections" as other societies have, much will have been gained by

preserving them among its archives as subjects for the future historian.

Letters on any and every subject interesting to the Society will be

received with pleasure, and they may either be addressed to the President,

to the Executive Committee, or to the Secretary.



J. P. Benjamin, Alfred Hennen,

E. J. Forstall, L. Janin,

Dr. Hawkes, Prof. J. L. Riddell,

J. D. B. De Bow.


1. Time of settlement of your parish; dates of oldest land grants;

number and condition first settlers; whence emigrating; other facts

relating to settlement and history?

2. Indian name parish; what tribes originally; what relics or

monuments of them; if Indians still, in what condition?

3. Biography, anecdotes, &c., of individuals distinguished in your

vicinity in the past for ingenuity, enterprise, literature, talents, civil

or military, &c. ?

4. Topographical descriptions of your parish, mountains, rivers,

ponds, animals, vegetable growth, rocks, minerals, sands, clays, chalk,

flint, marble, pitcoal, pigments, medicinal and poisonous substances, &c.?


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5. Former and present state of cultivation in parish; changes taking

place; introduction of cotton, sugar and rice; what lands occupied and

unoccupied; quality of soil; improvements suggested in cultivation and new

growths; improvements ill communication, roads, bridges, canals, &c.;

value of land; kind and qualities of timber; density of population,

capacity of raising stock, &c.?

6. Instances of longevity and fecundity; observations on diseases in

your section; on the weather, climate, healthy or otherwise on the

necessity of summer seats, &c. ?

7. Increase and progress of population in your parish, distinguishing

blacks and whites; advantages of schools and libraries enjoyed; proportion


8. Churches or chapels in the parish; when and by whom erected; how

supplied with clergy; how supported and attended; oldest interments,

church vaults, &c.?

9. Date, extent, consequences and other circumstances of droughts,

freshets, whirlwinds, storms, lightning, hurricanes, or other remark-able

physical events in your section, from remote periods other meteorological


10. Literary productions emanating from your neighborhood; your

literary, scientific or art associations, if any; what manuscripts,

private records, letters, journals, &c., or rare old books, interesting in

their relation to the history of Louisiana, are possessed by individuals

within your knowledge state any other matters of interest?

Judge Martin, who has writtten the history of the State, and was a

curious collector of old documents, stated in some of his remarks before

the Society, the following, which was noted by the Secretary.

There was an old Spanish book or manuscript regarding Louisiana, its

physical history, &c., once consulted by him, having borrowed it from the

owner, Don Seriaco de Ceraos, who died in 1515. The daughter of a

physician sent out by the King of France to this city, married Judge

Watts. He may have left some papers. Hon. Edward Everett was chairman of

a committee of Congress to purchase the French and Spanish books collected

by the Spanish


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consul. Bishop Blanc might obtain from the curates of our parishes much

valuable information. Sir William Dunbar left valuable papers,

information of which might be had from Mr. Robert Ogden.

In the fall of 1846, the Hon. B. F. Porter of Alabama delivered a

public address before the Society.

In December of the same year, our venerable President, Judge Martin,

died at his residence in this city. An eulogium was pronounced over his

remains by the Hon. H. A. Bullard.

The Society has received interesting letters from Hon. Joel R.

Poinsett, and Wm. Gilmore Simms, of South Carolina; Hon. Thomas H. Benton,

Missouri; Hon. Lewis Cass, Michigan; Hon. H. Clay, Kentucky; Professor

Stephens, of Georgia; Mr. Greenhow, of Washington, D. C.; Judge Bry,

Ouachita, &c.

Dr. Wurdeman, of South Carolina, presented the Society a few books

relating to Cuba; and Senator Johnson, of Louisiana, has regularly

furnished Congressional and other documents.

In the summer of 1847 the Society was incorporated, and Hon. H.

Bullard elected President. The Secretaries, John Perkins and J. D. B. De

Bow, were appointed to visit the various societies at the north, and open

interchanges of documents and correspondence. This duty they regularly


Hon. T. H. McCaleb was requested to correspond with the heirs of the

late Judge Porter about documents; and Judge Bullard, with Mr. Bouligny,

about his papers regarding the landing of O'Reilly.

Hon. Charles Gayarré was elected to deliver the annual address, which

he did, upon the "Romance of the History of Louisiana."


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Under the auspices of the Society, the legislature, in 1847, made an

appropriation of two thousand dollars, to procure copies of original

documents from Spain.

The agent employed was Sr. Pascual de Gayangos, and he seems to have

entered upon his duties and prosecuted them with much disinterested zeal.

His labors were mainly directed to the archives in the city of Seville,

whither they had been transported from the city of Madrid in 1828. Some

researches were made in Madrid. The papers in both places were found to

be in extreme disorder, tied up in bundles, not even labelled, and without

classification. The time allowed for examination was very small, the

archives being opened only three hours in the day, for five days in the

week. It is not permitted to make extracts, except by the officers of the

establishment, and this increased the delay and the expense, as the rates

were high. Besides, the offices are closed on every holiday--and

sometimes for long vacations. There appears to have been a further

embarrassment in the refusal of the Duke of Sotomayor to permit the

examination of the papers of his father, while Minister to the United

States, on the ground that he was concerned in secret correspondence for

the separation of a part of the United States. Mr. Saunders made a

personal representation, which obtained an order that Mr. Gayangos might

examine all the papers in the office of Grace and Justice, where all that

relates to Louisiana is said to be, but have no Copies without the consent

of the Minister. Mr. Saunders, in his letter to Mr. Gayangos, expresses

the opinion that the important secret papers had been taken away. In a

subsequent letter, the agent states that he has been unable to find the

secret papers relating to the correspondence of Gen. Wilkinson with the

Consul of Spain.

In another letter, he speaks of having obtained proofs by their own

correspondence, of the intrigue in which Wilkinson and others were

concerned, to separate Kentucky, Ohio, and other States from the Union.

It seems, at this day, that men must have been crazy to entertain such a

notion, but nevertheless, the charge has been often made, and now appears

to be susceptible of documentary evidence.

Sr. Gayangos has sent to Mr. Gayarré several bundles of important

documents, derived from these sources. He has not yet had access to the

Foreign Office, nor quite completed his examinations into the office of

Grace and Justice--Gracia y Justicia.


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The papers received are in the custody of the Secretary of State, and

have not yet been examined.

The State has purchased about a thousand pages of manuscripts (in two

quarto volumes,) being principally short extracts taken from memoirs,

letters, reports, &c., by Mr. Magne, one of the editors of the

"L'Abeille," during his residence in Paris.

Mr. Forstall has also given a full and elaborate index and analysis

of the documents relating to Louisiana, in Paris.

In the summer of 1848, John Perkins, Esq., was delegated by the

Society to make researches in Europe for interesting matter relative to

Louisiana. What he has yet achieved will appear from the following most

interesting letter.

Paris, March 24, 1849. Sir:-I

owe you an apology for the little allusion I have heretofore made to the

historical researches in which you feel so much interest. I assure you

they have not been out of my mind; but my health was so delicate for the

first three months after my arrival at Paris, that I seldom left my room,

except for a ride, and was never free from pain. Of course, work was out

of the question. I, however, through the kindness of our Consul, Mr.

Walsh, made the acquaintance of a gentleman who, writing the history of La

Salle, had occasion thoroughly to examine all the papers relating to the

early settlement of our State, and I found from him that the field was

much wider than I expected. Not only is the Marine Department rich in

materials of historical interest to Louisiana, but there are also in the

War and Foreign Departments, the archives and different public libraries

of Paris, many documents of a most interesting kind, that seem to have

escaped the attention of Mr. Forstall, and even of Mr. Gayarré.

I have now, through the assistance of our Minister, Mr. Rush, and the

courtesy of the gentlemen at the head of the different departments, been

permitted unrestricted examination of these papers, and their value cannot

be exaggerated. The want of system, and the


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loose manner in which they were thrown together, complained of by Mr.

Forstall, and that rendered Mr. Broadhead's researches for the State of

New York so laborious, are only to a certain extent remedied. There are

still mingled in large volumes papers without order of date, and some of

no date, whose epoch can be assigned only by a knowledge of the date of

the events to which they refer. The present Government has, however,

appointed a commission to classify and arrange, with a view to future

publication, the most important papers touching French colonial

settlements in America, and it is expected that by the end of another

year, there will be published all that relates particularly to Louisiana,

up to the period of the discovery by sea of the mouth of the Mississippi,

by D'Iberville, in 1697, and the first establishment of Louisiana, in

accordance with the project of M. De Rémonville. M. Margry expects to

publish his life of La Salle about the same time. These two publications

will cover everything of interest up to that date. The period of

sixty-six years, that extends from that time to the termination of the

French rule in 1763, the epoch of the cession of Louisiana to Spain, is

full of interest; and the documents derive more than merely historical

interest from the minute details given of the agriculture, climate, and

diseases of the new settlement.

From that date to the sale of Louisiana to Jefferson, the papers are

less numerous, and treat of circumstances more generally known. There are

a few, however, even of this epoch, of much interest. Under the

circumstances, I conclude it would most subserve the purposes of our

Historical Society to begin with a transcript of the papers where the

publication on the part of the French Government ceases. Accordingly, I

hope to send you during the ensuing season a digest, chronologically

arranged, of all the papers in the different archives of the French

Government referring to Louisiana, from the date of D'Iberville landing in

1697, down to its final acquisition in 1803 by the United States. The

labor of this composition has been great much more than I could have

achieved even with health by myself. I have been fortunate in securing

the services of Mr. Margry, to whose minute familiarity with the archives

of the Government and the early history of our State must be ascribed any

merit that the digest may be found to possess.

When I tell you that it fills a large quarto of 500 closely written

pages, you will see how impossible the idea I first conceived of sending

home certified copies of the documents themselves. Louisiana


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ought to have them. She owes it to herself to collect this proper

patrimony of her sons, in the record of an early history abounding in

vivid incident, and illustrated with a display of the noblest traits of

man's nature. New York has set a good example in the large appropriation

that enabled our present Secretary of Legation, Mr. Brodhead, to pursue

his researches for four years in France, England, and the Hague. He who

would now write a history of that State must begin by complimenting the

enlightened spirit that places all his materials in the hall of her

Historical Society. Massachusetts two years since made a similar

collection at the instance of Messrs. Sparks and Everett, whose personal

examination of the different foreign archives taught them the value of

manuscripts, now fortunately within the reach of every student of Harvard.

If the memoranda I send can assist in anyway the Historical Society of

Louisiana, in accomplishing the purpose of its institution, and in

attracting attention to the interest of our early history, I shall be

gratified, and shall feel that I have acknowledged in some sort, the

politeness of Gov. Johnson's note calling my attention to the subject.

With much regard, your friend,


J. D. B. De Bow, Esq.

The Louisiana Historical Society has yet scarcely more than passed

its infancy. It will be for those who come after us to adorn and complete

the edifice whose foundation we have but barely laid.

I annex a list of regular and honorary members, but few of whom have

taken any active part in the business of the Society.

Your obedient servant,

J. D. B. DE BOW,



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Hon. H. A. Bullard, President, New Orleans.

J. D. B. De Bow, Esq., Secretary, "

Hon. F. X. Martin, "

Hon. Isaac Johnson, "

Hon. Joseph Walker, "

Hon.Solomon W.Downs, "

Henry Johnson, "

Hon. George Eustis, "

Hon. Thomas Slideil, "

Hon. Geo. Strawbridge, "

Hon. C. Gayarré, "

Hon. Charles Watts, "

Rev. Dr. F. L. Hawks, "

Benj. F. French, Esq. "

E. J. Forstall, Esq. "

Miles Taylor, Esq. "

Seth Lewis, Esq. "

Professor C. J. Forshey, "

A. M. Michel, Esq. "

Bernard Marigny, Esq. "

E. Mazureau, Esq. "

Lucius Duncan, Esq. "


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Alexander Gordon, Esq. New Orleans.

Hon. Seth Barton, Esq. "

Maunsel White, Esq. "

J. Nicholson, Esq. "

Sidney Johnson, Esq. "

Hon. A. B. Roman, "

Hon. Trasimond Lundry, "

Hon. Isaac Preston, "

Hon. P. A. Rost, "

Hon. Henry Bry, Monroe.

Hon. Pierre Soule New Orleans.

Hon. Henry Carleton, "

David Randall, Esq. Donaldsonville.

Lafayette Saunders, Esq. Feliciana.

Thomas Beatty, Esq. Thibodeaux.

Judge Butler Feliciana.

John Dutton, Esq. Plaquemines.

J. Winchester, Esq. St. James.

Judge Jones Tammany.

G. Walterston, Esq. Livingston.

Col. Nicholas, Ascension.

Judge Guion, La Fourche.

C. Morgan, Esq. Point Coupée.

J. B. Carr, Esq. Natchitochcs.

Dr. R. H. Sibley, Rapides.

Dr. W. Davidson, "

Judge King, St. Landry.

J. K. Elgee, Esq. Rapides.

Hon. B. F. Porter, Alabama.

Samuel J. Peters, Esq. New Orleans.

Dr. W. Kennedy, "

Dr. T. Clapp, "

Dr. Weddersfrandt, "

Dr. W. M. Carpenter, "

Dr. A. B. Cenas, "

Dr. F. Lebeau, "

Dr. F. A. Jones, "

Dr. Harrison, "

Dr. W. B. Hart, "

Dr. C. Luzenberg "


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Dr. F. Axson, New Orleans.

Dr. W. McCauley, "

Dr. E. H. Barton, "

Dr. J. L. Riddell, "

Judge Deblieux, "

Judge Leonard, "

John R. Grimes, Esq. "

Hon. R. H. Wilde, "

Hon. T. H. McCaleb, "

Judge Morphy, "

Thomas J. Duraut, Esq. "

Judge Labranche, "

H. B. Cenas, Esq. "

J. L. Sigur, Esq. "

W. E. Elmore, Esq. "

Professor Dimitry, "

M. M. Cohen, Esq. "

B. M. Norman, Esq. "

E. A. Bradford, Esq. "

General Planche, "

Bishop Leonidas Polk, "

Bishop Blanc, "

Judge Canonge, "

Martin Blache, Esq. "

Edward Simon, Esq. "

J. Dunbar, Esq. "

W. Micon, Esq. "

Levi Pierce, Esq. "

A. Moise, Esq. "

Gustavus Schmidt, Esq. "

C. Roselius, Esq. "

A. Maybin, Esq. "

R. Ogden, Esq. "

W. Relf, Esq. "

Charles Derbigny, Esq. "

H. Bullard, Jr., Esq. "

W. Walker, Esq. "

L. Janin, Esq. "

A. Hennen, Esq. "

J. Perkins, Esq. "

J. Winthrop, Esq. "


Page 15


W. Gilmore Simms, South Carolina.

Joel R. Poinsett, "

Thomas Benten, Missouri.

Lewis Cass, Michigan.

Henry Clay, Kentucky.


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[Page 17]












It has been the usage of most polished nations, on the demise of men

who had become eminent in any of the departments of public affairs, to set

apart a short time to be devoted to the consideration of their merits and

their services. If they had deserved well of their country--if they had

left their impress on the generation in which they flourished, it is

proper that their memory should go down to posterity accompanied by the

testimonials of their cotemporaries. This is less important in relation

to the successful soldier who has fought the battles of his country, and

the distinguished statesman who has skillfully piloted the vessel of

state, because history is almost exclusively devoted to recount their

exploits and blazon their triumphs; but those whose fame is to be measured

by their usefulness, during a long and noiseless career, in the more

tranquil and less ambitious pure suits of life, and especially in the

magistracy, ought not to be permitted to pass off the stage without

dwelling for a few moments upon their merits, and holding them up as

examples worthy of being followed by the generation which is to succeed



Page 18

It was in compliance with this usage that the Bar of New Orleans, on

the demise of François Xavier Martin, did me the honor, as the oldest of

the late colleagues of the deceased, to request me to pronounce, on this

occasion, a discourse upon his life and character. Of a man whom I have

known for more than thirty years, nearly twelve of which were passed in

the discharge of arduous duties by his side, it is impossible for me to

speak in the set phrase of common-place eulogium--such language would be

unsuited to the occasion--unworthy of him and of myself. I shall endeavor

rather, by spreading before you what he has accomplished, and what he has

written, to let him portray himself, and thereby show you what eminent

qualities he possessed as a scholar, a jurist, and a man.

Judge Martin was born at Marseilles, in France, on the 17th of March,

1762, and descended from one of the most ancient and respectable families

of Provençe. His father was a merchant of high standing, a man of piety

and extreme exactness in the management of his business. He was the third

of a large number of children. His early education was strictly domestic,

and his studies were conducted by a learned ecclesiastic, who acted at the

same time as chaplain of the family. Under his tuition he acquired a

critical knowledge of the Latin language, and the elements of the English

and Italian. As he was destined for commercial pursuits, his education, up

to the age of seventeen, was such as to qualify him for that profession.

So exact was his knowledge of Latin, and his recollection of some of the

classics, that he was fond of reciting, at a very advanced age, long

passages from Horace, who was his favorite author.

He had one uncle, who was connected with the French army in Canada,

in the commissary department, about the time of the conquest of that

province by Great Britain; and another in Martinique, who had the supply

of provisions from the French navy in those seas, and who had amassed a

considerable fortune. He was a bachelor, and somewhat advanced in years.

Young Martin, at the age of about seventeen or eighteen years, sailed for

Martinique, with a view of joining his uncle, and going into business

under his auspices, and by his assistance. He had not been long there,

before his uncle concluded to return to France, where he died soon

afterwards. He withdrew his capital from business, but left his nephew

the means of commencing an establishment on his own account; but through

youth and inexperience, he was unsuccessful. How long he remained in the

island, I have not been able to learn with much precision--it is supposed

about three or four years. Having been interested in


Page 19

commercial adventures to the Carolinas, where the person concerned with

him had died, he embarked on board a schooner bound for North Carolina, in

hopes of recovering something which was due to him. In this also he was

unsuccessful. It was under such circumstances that the subject of this

memoir found himself in Newbern, North Carolina, at the age of about

twenty, destitute of resources, among strangers whose language he

understood imperfectly, if he could speak it at all. But he did not

suffer himself to despair; ashamed to return to his native place, he

determined to employ to the best account the means which his early

education had furnished him. He engaged in various pursuits, and among

others the teaching of the French language. It occurred to him that

something might be done in the printing business, of which be was at that

time entirely ignorant. He offered himself to the only master printer

then in Newbern, by the name of James Clark, a kind-hearted man, who gave

him employment in his office. But finding that young Martin knew nothing

of the practical business of a compositor, he made the remark to him. The

excuse given by Martin was that the types are distributed in the boxes

differently in France, and that it would take some time to get the run of

them. The good easy man was patient with him, until he became a very

expert compositor, and continued for some time in his employment. In the

mean time, he became more generally known, acquired a better knowledge of

English, and wherever he was known was respected for his industry and

diligence. He finally either bought out his first employer, or with the

assistance of friends purchased an old font of types and a press, and set

up for himself as a printer. He published a newspaper, school books,

almanacs, the journals and acts of the general assembly, and did other

jobs of that kind, until his establishment became somewhat lucrative.

His connection with the press inspired him with the idea of devoting

himself to the study of the law. In this he was encouraged by several

friends, but especially by one who was at the same time eminent in the

profession, and possessed a liberal mind. That man was Abner Nash, who

had become acquainted with him, discovered his capacity, his classical

attainments, and his constancy in adverse fortune. It was under the

auspices, and with the assistance of Mr. Nash, that he prosecuted his

legal studies. Judge Martin always spoke of that gentleman as his early

benefactor and friend.

He was of course first educated in the common law, and at that time

acquired the accurate and extensive knowledge of its principles which

marked his whole future career in his profession. He was a great admirer

of those strong barriers


Page 20

which that system of laws throws around the personal rights of the

citizen, against the invasions of arbitrary power--of its broad

distinctions, the flexibility with which it adapts itself to the

progressive changes of society, and the complex transactions of man.

Hence he sometimes felt himself cramped by the restraints of a written

code--and I remember that perhaps on more than one occasion, when reminded

by counsel of that injunction of the Louisiana code which forbids the

judge disregard the words of a law under the pretext of pursuing its

spirit, he replied, "Certainly never under the pretext of pursuing its

spirit; but if in the sincere desire to ascertain the will of the

lawgiver, you discover that it would be violated by giving a literal

interpretation to the words he has employed to express it, you are bound

to give those words a reasonable interpretation, rather than that which

corrodes the text and frustrates in truth the will of the legislator."

I have not been able to ascertain precisely at what period he was

admitted to the bar. But it is certain that he engaged in practice to a

considerable extent, became extensively known as a sound and able lawyer,

and one of the most distinguished sons of North Carolina. William Gatson,

who at different periods of his life was remarkable for his eloquence as a

member of Congress, and his ability and learning as a judge of the Supreme

Court of float State, was a student in his office.

During the earlier part of his career as a lawyer, he prepared and

published a small treatise on the duties of sheriffs, and another relating

to the duties of justices of the peace, and a third upon executors and

administrators. These works were useful compilations to that class of

public officers. They were prepared by him partly to profit by the

printing of them himself, but principally with a view of impressing more

deeply on his own mind the principles and rules of those branches of the

law. It was indeed his favorite mode of study, and one which he

frequently recommended to young men to pursue.

At a later period, he was encouraged by the legislature of North

Carolina to prepare a compilation of the British statutes which were in

force in that State at the period of the revolution. It was a work of

immense labor to examine critically the whole body of British statutory

law, with a view of ascertaining which of them were applicable to that

colony. I have often heard him express his surprise at finding how very

few acts of Parliament existed which had any relation to the general

principles of the English law, which appear to have been left almost

exclusively to the courts of justice. Most of them


Page 21

related to mere fiscal regulations, and there was not to be found a single

enactment which related to the order of descent and the distribution of

estates. The whole rested upon immemorial usage. We certainly did not

inherit from our English ancestors our rage for excessive legislation.

It was while preparing this work that the idea occurred to him of

collecting materials for the history of North Carolina, which was not,

however, published until 1827, but may as well be mentioned in this

connection. As early as 1791 his attention was turned to that subject;

but having been employed in 1803, by the legislature of North Carolina, to

publish a revisal of the acts of the General Assembly, passed during the

proprietary, royal, and state governments, he acquired in carrying out the

views of the legislature such information as suggested to him the idea of

collecting more ample material for such a history. Having been afterwards

elected a member of the House of Commons, as the representative of the

town of Newbern, he had access to the records of the State. These

materials, so far as they related to transactions before the revolution,

he had already arranged before he came to Louisiana. The history was

published in New Orleans, in two volumes, octavo. It relates to the

history of the Carolinas before the revolution, preceded by a sketch of

the discovery and first settlement of the other British colonies in North

America. This work evinces great labor and research. It appears from the

preface that the author had prepared ample notes and materials for a

continuation of his history through the war of the revolution, and

bringing it down to the year 1810, when he left North Carolina. But the

continuation of the work never was written out.

In the year 1802, Judge Martin gave to the profession the first

translation into English of the treatise of Pothier on Obligations. Its

publication preceded by about four years the appearance of that of Evans,

in England, with ample and useful notes--and its circulation, though

extensive in the United States, was probably curtailed by that

circumstance. While the publication of this work in English was a

valuable addition to the library of the American bar, as it embodies the

quintessence of the law of contracts and obligations in general, equally

authoritative wherever the written reason of the Roman law is respected,

the preparation of it for the press tended to imprint more deeply on the

mind of the translator the principles of that branch of the civil law, and

to direct his attention to the original sources from which they flowed.

He thus became thoroughly acquainted with that great work, the masterpiece

of its author--and


Page 22

so completely master of the subject, that it appeared to have become a

part of the texture of his own mind--and to the fast he exhibited a

surprising familiarity with the principles which it unfolds with equal

simplicity and precision.

It was thus that François Xavier Martin, thrown in his youth among

strangers, with whose language he was imperfectly acquainted, by unwearied

diligence and rigid economy, uniting the study and practice of the law,

with the superintendence of a printing press, not only emerged from

poverty to an easy competency, but became the associate of the ablest men

of his day in North Carolina, and acquired those stores of knowledge, both

of the civil and the common law, which prepared him for eminence and

usefulness in the new and more extended theatre to which he was soon

afterwards called.

Those who have experienced in themselves that sinking of the heart,

that utter solitude of soul, which is produced by being cast in youth,

destitute and among strangers, without a profession--far from the

endearments of home-- without experience--without a guide--without a

patron--chilled by the cold indifference of the surrounding crowd--even

although those among whom he is thrown may be connected with him by the

sympathies of a common language and a kindred origin, may form some

conception of that firmness of purpose, that energy of character, which

enabled the subject of this notice, under circumstances still more

discouraging, to triumph over "the slings and arrows of outrageous


So favorably was Mr. Martin known at that time to the public, that as

early as the winter of 1809, towards the close of Mr. Jefferson's

administration, he was designated as a proper person to be appointed one

of the Judges of the Superior Court of the Territory of Mississippi. His

commission was issued under the signature of Mr. Madison, on the 7th of

March, 1809, three days after his inauguration as President of the United

States. He continued but a short time in that Territory, and on the death

of Judge Thompson he was commissioned on the 21st of March, 1810, a Judge

of the Superior Court of the Territory of Orleans, and shortly afterwards

entered upon the duties of that office in this city.

Before I proceed to detail the labors of the deceased in Louisiana,

let us pause for a few moments and consider the condition of things here

at that time, and especially the state of our Jurisprudence.

Seven years before the period of which I am speaking, Louisiana was a

Spanish Province; governed by a system of laws written in a language

understood by only a small part of the population, and which

Select Picture 6 to view Page 22



Page 23

had been forced upon the people at the point of the bayonet by O'Reilly,

and which superseded the ancient French laws by which the Province had

been previously governed. Upon the change of Government, the writ of

habeas corpus, that great bulwark of personal liberty, had been

introduced, together with the system of proceedings in criminal cases, and

the trial by Jury, according to the principles of the Common Law. In 1808

was promulgated the Digest of the Civil Laws, then in force in Louisiana,

commonly called the Old Code. That compilation was little more than a

mutilated copy of the Code Napoleon. But instead of abrogating all

previous laws, and creating an entire system, as had been done in France

by the Code Napoleon, superseding the discordant customs, ordinances and

laws in the different departments, our code was considered as a

declaratory law, repealing such only as were repugnant to it, and leaving

partially in force the voluminous codes of Spain. The Superior Court had

already been organized for some years, and was composed of three Judges,

any one of whom formed a quorum: and as the several Judges then sat

separately in the different Districts, each could pronounce a judgment in

the last resort. There was no means of establishing uniformity of

decision: no publicity had been given to the decisions, and the public was

without any guarantee for their uniformity. The law was wholly unsettled,

and in a state of chaos. The Court of Cassation in France had begun, it

is true, to fix the interpretation of their Code, but the rules applicable

to ours were obviously different in many respects, in consequence of the

manifest difference in their creating and repealing clauses. It became

necessary to study and compare the French and the Spanish Codes, and

although the Roman Law never had, proprio vigore, any binding force here,

yet in doubtful cases, or in cases in which the positive law was silent,

it might well be consulted as the best revelation of the principles of

eternal justice, and, as it were, an anticipated commentary upon the Code.

Judge Martin felt at once the difficulty of the task before him, and

be determined to commence without delay the publication of Reports of

cases decided by the Superior Court. He was induced to undertake that

labor for the double purpose of giving publicity to the decisions of the

Court, in the nature of a compte rendu to the people, and thus guarding

against misrepresentations or misapprehensions, and to insure to a certain

extent uniformity of decision. The first volume appeared in the spring of

1811, and a second in 1813, bringing down the decisions of the Court from

1809 to the establishment of the State Government.


Page 24

At that period, a Supreme Court was created, having appellate

jurisdiction only. That Court was at first composed of Judges Hall,

Matthews and Derbigny, and Judge Martin was appointed the first

Attorney-General of the State, on the 19th of February, 1813. He was an

able criminal lawyer; and although it has been said he was not eloquent,

yet he is admitted to have discharged the duties of that office with zeal

and ability. After the resignation of Hall, he was appointed a Judge of

the Supreme Court on the first of February, 1815. From that period he

continued in office until the 18th of March, 1846--a period of more than

thirty-one years. He entered on his eighty-fifth year on the very day he

was superseded by the appointments under the new constitution.

The time at which Judge Martin was appointed to the Supreme Court,

will ever form a memorable epoch in the history of Louisiana. A powerful

invading army menaced the Capital: the citizens were in arms: Martial law

had been proclaimed by the General in command, and by an act of the

Legislature passed on the 18th of December previous, all judicial

proceedings in civil cases were suspended until the first of May: no

business was transacted at the January and February terms of the Court.

In the mean time, the enemy had been repulsed and peace restored.

Official information, however, had not yet reached here of the treaty of

Ghent, and when the Court met early in March, martial law was still in

force. A motion was then made that the Court should proceed to the trial

of a particular case then pending. This motion was resisted on two

grounds: first, that the city and its environs were, by general orders of

the officer commanding the Military District, put, on the 15th of December

previous, under strict Martial Law; and secondly, that by the third

section of an act of Assembly, approved on the 18th of December, all

proceedings in any civil case were suspended.

It was upon this occasion that Judge Martin pronounced his first

opinion as a Judge of the Supreme Court, and the judgment of that Court

upon these two important questions of Constitutional Law. In answer to

the bold and novel assertion that by the proclamation of martial law the

officer who issued it had conferred upon himself, over all his

fellow-citizens within the space he had described, a supreme and unlimited

authority, which being incompatible with the exercise of the functions of

Civil Magistrates, necessarily suspends them, he declared that the

exercise of an authority vested by law in that Court could not be

suspended by any man. He then went into the question as to the power of

the Executive, or any subordinate


Page 25

acting under his authority, to suspend the regular operation of the laws,

aid the writ of habeas corpus; and he demonstrated by unanswerable

arguments, and by the highest authority both in the United States and in

England, that it can only be done by Legislative authority. He showed

that in England, martial law could not be declared to the extent contended

for but by the authority of Parliament, and that even during the invasion

of the Pretender, the Crown did not assume that power, but referred it to

the decision of Parliament. The second point involved also an important

question of constitutional law, and the application of that clause in the

Constitution of the United States, which prohibits the State Legislatures

from passing any law impairing the obligation of contracts. Upon this

part of the case, he argued that the obligation of the contract referred

to in the Constitution consisted in the necessity every man is under, in

foro legis, to do or not to do a particular thing: that the Constitution

spoke of the legal obligation rather than the moral, and that any law

assuming to interfere between the debtor and the creditor, and absolutely

recalling the power which the creditor enjoys of compelling his debtor, in

foro legis, to perform his contract, would be a law impairing its

obligation: and that a law destroying or impairing the remedy is as

unconstitutional as one affecting the right in the same manner. He goes on

to show that a law procrastinating the creditor in his remedy, generally

speaking, destroys a part of the right, on the principle that he who pays

later pays less--mimus solvit que serius solvit. But he continues: "It

does not necessarily follow that an act called for by other circumstances

than the apparent necessity of relieving debtors, one of the consequences

of which is nevertheless to work some delay in the prosecution of suits,

and consequently to retard the recovery and payment of debts, must always

be declared unconstitutional. In making a contract, each party must know

that his legal remedy must depend on the laws of the country in which he

may institute his suit. That the lex loci as to his remedy, even in the

States that compose the Federal Union, is susceptible of juridical

improvement. That the number of Courts of original and appellate

jurisdiction, the nature and extent of the respective jurisdiction of

these, the number, time and duration of their sessions, must from time to

time, especially in new and growing settlements, be regulated by the

Legislature, according to the wants and exigencies of the country." He

adds that in times of war, domestic commotion or epidemy, circumstances

may imperiously demand for a while even a total suspension of judicial

proceedings: that under such circumstances, the


Page 26

Courts might of their own authority be justified in adjourning, and that

the Legislature might well declare the necessity of such an adjournment,

and, with a view to that order and regularity which uniformity produces,

fix a day on which judicial business might be resumed, without impairing

the obligation of contracts. The act of the Legislature was therefore

declared to be of binding force.

These two great principles, that the habeas corpus cannot be

constitutionally suspended by any Executive or Military authority, and

that the Legislative power is itself incapable of impairing the obligation

of private contracts, form the very basis of constitutional freedom in a

government of laws. Without the first there would be no guard against

arbitrary imprisonment--no safety for personal liberty; and without the

second, private rights would be at the mercy of arbitrary legislation.

The Courts, governed by the Constitution as the supreme and paramount law,

are guardians of both.

The elaborate treatises and numerous adjudged cases published since

that day have thrown but little additional light upon that part of

Constitutional Law. These principles have been, it is believed, uniformly

recognized as sound, and especially by very recent decisions of the

Supreme Court of the United States. Indeed, it may be asserted without

hesitation that Judge Martin was an able constitutional lawyer, well

acquainted with the complex machinery of our American Governments. It is

a branch of public law, with which the Jurists of England and of the

Continent are very imperfectly acquainted, because it is here alone that a

great central power exists, round which numerous co-ordinate, though

limited sovereignties, revolve, in well defined orbits, and their

centrifugal tendencies are controlled and counteracted by the insensible

attraction of the great centre; and where the Judicial tribunals are

invested with the power of pronouncing, in all cases assuming a Judicial

form, upon the validity of acts of ordinary legislation emanating from

either, and thus maintaining the harmony and regularity of the whole


And here let me remark, once for all, that Judge Martin exhibited on

that occasion, as well as every other, during his long Judicial career,

the highest degree of moral courage and firmness of purpose. Nothing could

deter him from the fearless expression of his opinion, without the

slightest regard to persons. To him, it was quite immaterial who the

parties were; as much so as it is to the Geometrician by what letters may

happen to be designated the angle he is about to measure. The first

opinion pronounced by him affords also a fair sample of


Page 27

his style as a writer. It is true his style underwent a great change at a

more advanced period of life--but at the time I am speaking of, it was

plain and strong, and free from ambiguity, and much more copious than in

after life. He came at last to pride himself upon the terseness of his

style and his great brevity, and often repeated the injunction of the


"Sæpe stylum vertas, iterum quæ digna legi sint


though he sometimes appears to have forgotten another caution of the same


"Brevis esse laboro, obscurus fio."

Judge Martin did not lose by removing to Louisiana his

fondness for book-making. Besides other publications which I shall have

occasion to mention, he published in 1816 his Digest of the Territorial

and State Statutes up to that time, called "Martin's Digest," in two

volumes, in French and English. This work was undertaken under a

resolution of the General Assembly. It is, mentioned mainly to show with

what indefatigable industry he pursued his labors, besides those of the

Bench, and his constant devotion to studies connected with his profession.

His Digest was in constant use by the profession for many years.

He continued to publish his Reports of the Decisions of the

Supreme Court until 1830, and, including the two small volumes containing

the Decisions of the Superior Court, already mentioned, he produced twenty

volumes, embracing the entire period from 1809 to 1830. During nearly all

that time from 1810 he was one of the Judges, and performed his full share

of the labor of the Court. The opinions prepared by him exhibit evidences

of deep learning and extensive research, while at the same time he

superintended himself the printing and publication of his Reports.

But what is most surprising is that, while thus engaged in groping

his way with his colleagues through the labyrinth of our earlier law,

often bewildered by the cross-lights of conflicting codes and discordant

commentators--while thus assiduously employed, and doing his full share in

reducing it to something like a regular system--he should have found time

to collect, from various sources, both public and private, very ample

materials for a History of Louisiana. His History was put to press in

1827, and narrates the principal events in the Province, Territory and

State, from its first settlement down to the Treaty of Ghent. It contains

many curious and interesting statistical


Page 28

tables, showing the comparative state of commerce, agriculture, and

population, at different periods. Its pages exhibit to the young

Louisianian, to use the language of the author in his preface, his remote

progenitors--a handful of men, left on the sandy shore of Biloxi, harassed

during the day by the inroads, disturbed at night by the yells, of hostile

Indians--the incipient state of civil government under the authority of

the Crown--the tardy progress of agriculture and trade under the

monopolies of Crozat and the Western Company--the massacre of the French

among the Natchez--the destruction of that nation and the subsequent war

with the Chickasaws--the slow advances of the Colony after the Crown

resumed its government--the cession to Spain, and the languishing state of

his country while a Colony of that Kingdom--and may afterwards behold the

dawn of liberty on his natal soil under the Territorial Government of the

United States, and finally the rise of Louisiana to the rank of a

sovereign State. The subject is one full of romantic interest, and though

not treated by our author in the most attractive form, yet the work is

always referred to with entire confidence in the historical accuracy of

its statements, and of the events which it records. It is faithful

repository of materials for a more extended and elaborate history. It is,

however, upon the juridical labors of Judge Martin that his fame must

hereafter rest. He became, at the same time, so extensively and favorably

known as a jurist and a scholar, that he was elected in 1817, a member of

the Academy of Marseilles, his native place. Some years afterwards the

University of Nashville, in Tennessee, conferred on him the degree of

Doctor of Laws; and in 1841, the University of Cambridge, the oldest

College in North America, honored him with the same degree.

It is manifestly impossible to speak of the judicial labors

of Judge Martin, without embracing a view of those of his colleagues, at

least as low down as 1834, when Judge Porter retired. It was during that

period the greatest changes took place in our positive Legislation, and in

the development of our Jurisprudence. In 1825 the Code was amended, and

among the amendments were embraced many of the principles already settled

by the Supreme Court. About the same period, the Code of Practice was

promulgated; and its first effect was to unsettle the practice, and to

give rise to an infinite numher of intricate and difficult questions; and

finally, in 1828, all the old Civil Laws of the country were abrogated.

From that period the Spanish Law ceased to have any force here, and it was

no longer necessary to recur to it as the guide of decision, except in the

few cases which


Page 29

arose before that period. The study of the Spanish law was no longer

prosecuted, except as a matter of curiosity, and the adjudged cases, which

turned upon some principle or exception of the Spanish law, could not

always be safely followed under the new legislation of the State. The new

Code introduced many important modifications, particularly relating to

restrictions upon testamentary dispositions--changing the rules of

inheritance--providing something like a regular administration of estates,

and in other respects profiting by the able commentaries which had already

appeared in France upon the Napoleon Code. The system was much more

complete, though not entirely free from provisions--apparently

contradictory--but it was certainly a great approximation to what Lord

Bacon in one of his aphorisms regards as the best law--that which leaves

the least room for the discretion to the Judge.

It cannot be expected that I should enter on this occasion much at

large on the labors of the Court during the period I have mentioned. There

is, however, one class of cases depending upon that branch of

international Jurisprudence, called the conflict of laws, which engaged

its attention more frequently than perhaps any other Court is the United

States. This arose from our peculiar position. This great commercial

emporium, having relations with most of the States of the Union, and most

of the nations of Europe, which are governed by different laws, and many

emigrants being married abroad and under other Regimes, and acquiring

property here, innumerable questions arose touching the rights of the

parties, and the construction of contracts executed abroad, or entered

into here, to have their effect elsewhere. These questions were often

perplexing, and it is generally conceded that the decisions of that Court

threw great light upon the subject, and satisfactorily solved most of the

questions thus presented. Such at least is the opinion of Judge Story, as

expressed by him in perhaps the most learned, though not the most

satisfactory of his able Treatises upon different branches of the law--I

mean his Commentaries on the Conflict of Laws. There is one opinion,

however, delivered by Judge Martin, upon which a single remark may not be

amiss--I allude to the case of Humphreys & Dupau. The question was

whether a promissory note, made here and payable in New York, bearing a

rate of interest not permitted by the laws of New York, was valid or

usurious. The Judge put forth on that occasion all hid learning,

ingenuity, and even subtlety, to show that the validity of the contract,

though to be executed in New York, was to be tested by the laws of

Louisiana. The decision did not escape the censure of


Page 30

Judge Story, who, in his first edition of his Conflict of Laws, comments

on it somewhat at length, and endeavors to show that it is erroneous in

itself, and even unsupported by the authorities cited in support of it.

Judge Martin never possessed any improper obstinacy or pride of opinion;

on the contrary, he was always open to conviction, and often yielded his

first conclusions to the force of argument and authority. But on that

occasion he was tenacious of his opinion--so much so that when he visited

the North some years afterwards, he repaired to Cambridge for the purpose

principally of discussing with his critic the doctrines maintained by him

in the case above alluded to. He thought he had on the way enlisted

Chancellor Kent as an ally in the Controversy; whether it was so is

questionable. He, however, repaired to Cambridge, and a long discussion

ensued. As usual among lawyers, each maintained his ground, and each was

confirmed in his opinion by his own arguments. In the next edition of the

Conflict of Laws, the learned author returns to the charge, and combats,

at much greater length, the soundness of that decision. Under such

circumstances, it may well be doubted, to say the least of it, but it will

depend on others whether it shall be ultimately overruled.

"Non nostrum est tantas componere lites."

Not only was Judge Martin aided in moulding into form and

symmetry our system of Jurisprudence, by the quick perception of what is

just, and the instinctive sense of equity of Mathews, and the more ardent

industry and extensive research and erudition of Porter, and previously by

the unpretending but extensive learning of Derbiguy, but the period

between the organization of the Territorial Government and the repeal of

the Spanish Law was the classical age of the Bar of Louisiana. The Court

was assisted in its researches, and enlightened in its path, by the

various learning and elegant scholarship, and profound knowledge of

different systems of Jurisprudence of Livingston and Brown, Workman and

Moreau Lisbet, and Duncan and numerous others. It does not become me to

speak of the survivors of that distinguished corps. They form the living

and brilliant link which connects that generation of lawyers with the

present. It was then the source of the Roman, Spanish, and French laws

were extensively explored, and a taste for comparative Jurisprudence was

created for the first time in the United States. The principles of the

common, the customary, and the Roman laws were invoked together, and

placed in juxtaposition. The illustrious writers on


Page 31

Jurisprudence of the 16th century in France, Spain, Italy, and Germany

were consulted and compared. The most antiquated of the Gothic Codes were

studied, not as monuments of literary curiosity, but as fragments of

pre-existing systems of human laws, originating either with the Romans or

their barbarian conquerors. The whole of these various and often

discordant materials were fused into one mass, and the Court left to

select such principles as appeared most consonant with the general scope

and enactments of the Codes. Whoever has read the first twenty- five

volumes of our Reports cannot fail to have observed what vast stores of

legal erudition were brought to light in the discussion of leading cases,

and how much the range has been narrowed since our jurisprudence has

become better settled, under the more full and explicit text of the new


It is thus we have witnessed the formation, even its process of

crystallization, as it were, of the existing Jurisprudence of Louisiana.*

*The jurisprudence of Louisiana is a mixture of the Roman, French, and

Spanish law, tinctured with no inconsiderable portion of the common law of

England, as understood and expounded in the sister States of the Union,

especially in criminal and commercial matters. These different elements

of law are, however, blended in so confused a manner, that it is often

extremely difficult to trace the lines of demarcation, or to determine

what the law is on any given subject.

When the province of Louisiana was transferred to the United States,

the colonial laws of Spain did, at least to a certain extent, govern the

country, although in point of fact, beyond the precincts of the capital,

the military posts scattered far apart over its immense territory, and the

settlements contiguous to and dependent on them, there were neither

judges, nor any regular administration of justice.

The indolent, arbitrary, and yet paternal government of Spain felt

really little interest in the prosperity of the colony, from which it

derived no revenue, and which it had acquired and preserved, rather with a

view of debarring all foreign access to New Spain, than from any desire of

enriching itself by the productions of the soil, or to profit by the

exhaustless resources of the country, which the industry and enterprise of

its present possessors have so successfully explored. Spain, nevertheless,

with its habitual love of display, had established a colonial government,

surrounded with the insignia of royalty, and having an administrative

hierarchy dependent on it, which, though of little practical utility, and

attended with much useless expense, still gave to the whole a semblance of

power and regularity, which was sufficient, under ordinary circumstances,

to inspire respect on the part of the colonists.

When the United States had acquired possession of Louisiana, this

form of government necessarily disappeared, and the new one introduced was

framed with the simplicity and economy suited to republican habits and


Changes in the legislation, as well as in the administration of the

laws of the country, became of course indispensable but they were made

with great


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Its ingredients are derived from various sources, and after being filtered

through numerous codes, meet in one harmonious mass. The

caution, and care was taken neither to shock received opinions, nor to

change abruptly institutions which had the sanction of long usage, and to

which the inhabitants had become attached. Notwithstanding all these

precautions, murmurs and discontents were often heard shortly after the

cession of the colony, which the firm and conciliating conduct of Congress

and of Mr. Jefferson soon succeeded in appeasing, and which a few years of

increasing prosperity wholly effaced.

In the meantime, the territory of Orleans was severed from the rest

of the ancient French colony of Louisiana, and erected into a distinct

portion of the Union, the executive department of which was under the

direction of a governor, the legislative in the hands of a council, and

the judiciary under the direction of three judges, elected every four

years, and certain inferior magistrates.

The highest court of judicature, called the Superior Court of the

territory of Orleans, was composed of three judges, of which one

constituted a quorum, and was invested with original and appellate

jurisdiction in criminal and civil causes.

The criminal law, which had governed Louisiana prior to its transfer,

was entirely abolished, and in its place were substituted certain penal

statutes providing for the punishment of offences, which they did not

define, but left the definitions to be sought for at common law, in

reference to which all future criminal proceedings were to be conducted.

Civil suits were brought by petition, and the practice was simple.

In relation to the civil jurisprudence of the country, the necessity

was immediately felt of reducing it to some sort of order, to enable those

who had been appointed to govern, as well as to judge, to know what it

was, a fact of which, at the time of their appointment, they were

profoundly ignorant. The legislative council, having made a vain attempt

to "procure a civil and criminal code for the "territory," to use the

language of Judge Martin, the first territorial legislature appointed, in

the year 1806, Messrs. James Brown and Moreau Lislet, two members of the

bar, to prepare a digest of the laws in force in the territory. These

gentlemen, having finished the task imposed on them in 1505, reported "a

Digest of the civil laws now in force in the Territory of Orleans, with

alterations and amendments, adapted to the present form of government,"

which was adopted by the Legislature, and constitutes what is at present

called the old Civil Code.

The gentlemen thus appointed to prepare a digest of the laws in force

in Louisiana, instead of looking to the Spanish colonial law, and

consulting exclusively the Partidas and the Recopilacion de las Indias,

&c., as they surely would have done had the Spanish law alone been in

force, transcribed literally, and incorporated into their Digest large

portions of the projét of the Code Napoleon. The reasons assigned for this

by Judge Martin is, that no copy of the Code Napoleon, although

promulgated in 1804, had as yet reached New Orleans. The same learned,

and we must add, accurate writer, in all which concerns contemporaneous

events, speaks of this conduct on the part of the compilers of the Digest

as praiseworthy, adding that, "although the project is necessarily much


Page 33

protection of wives, incautiously engaged for the contracts of their

husbands, rests upon a Roman Senatus Consultum--their ultimate rights in

the property acquired during the marriage, upon the customs of the erratic

tribes that overrun Gaul, and were carried by the Visigoths across the

Pyrenees. The wisdom of Alphonso is found infused into many of the

institutions which owe their origin to Alfred the Great. The common law

has paid back a part of what it had borrowed from the Roman Jurisprudence.

The commercial law, standing out almost independently of the Code, rests

in a great measure more imperfect than the Code, it was far superior to

anything that any two individuals could have produced early enough to

answer the expectations of those who employed them."

Judge Martin says-- "The Fuero Viejo, Fuero Juzgo, Partidas,

Recopilaciones, Leyes de las Indias, Autos Acordados, and Royal Schedules

remained part of the written law of the territory, when not repealed

expressly, or by a necessary implication." And he adds:--

"Of these musty laws the copies were extremely rare; a complete

collection of them was in the hands of no one, and of very many of them

not a single copy existed in the province."

"To explain them, Spanish commentators were consulted, and the Corpus

Juris Civilis, and its own commentators were resorted to, and to eke out

any deficiency, the lawyers, who came from France or Hispaniola, read

Pothier D'Aguesseau, Dumoulin," &c.

The result of the labors of Messrs. Brown and Moreau Lislet was a

Digest, containing upwards of 500 pages, printed in English and French,

and divided into three books, of which the first treats of persons; the

second of things or estates; and the third of the different manner of

acquiring the property of things. Each book is subdivided into titles,

and each title into chapters and articles. This Digest is the groundwork

of the Civil Code actually in force in Louisiana, from which it does not

differ very essentially.

Louisiana having become a State in 1812, organized in 1813 a Supreme

Court, composed of three judges, which, in conformity with the 2d section

of the 4th article of the Constitution of the State, had "appellate

jurisdiction only, which jurisdiction shall extend to all civil cases,

when the matter in dispute shall exceed the sum of three hundred dollars."

It is from this period that the jurisprudence of the State began to assume

some definite form, and to extend itself so as to embrace the numerous

controversies which soon arose among an intelligent, commercial, and

litigious population.

The Supreme Court thus formed and constituted, had most arduous and

difficult duties to perform--duties which required, besides the patience,

learning and integrity always requisite to discharge the functions of a

judge, incessant and laborious researches into the ancient jurisprudence

of Rome, France and Spain, joined to a through knowledge of constitutional

law, and an intimate acquaintance with the habits and wants of the people,

on whom the decisions were to operate.


Page 34

upon the usages of commercial States, but more especially of the United

States and Great Britain, but slightly modified by positive local

legislation. The whole body of our law thus forms a system, most admired

by those who understand it best, and who can trace back its principles to

the sources from which they originally flowed. Of the spring-heads of our

law it may be said, as it has been of the waters of Castalia:

"There shallow drafts intoxicate the brain,

But drinking deeply sobers us again." If I might be allowed to

enlarge still further upon this interesting topic, I would say that the

same process of the formations of laws has been going on in all ages, and

in every region within the range of history. Conquest, and commerce, and

the migration and intermingling of races have everywhere brought about

changes of laws. The oracular obscurities of the twelve tables were

brought by the Decemvirs from Greece. At a later period, the same laws,

developed and improved, were disseminated everywhere by the victorious

legions of the Republic. They became mingled with local usages, which

were respected by the conquerors. The migratory Germanic tribes carried

with them their customs, which acquired the force of laws--and hence many

of the different customs and fueros which prevailed in France and in

Spain. The Norman conquest introduced into England many of the customs of

that province, and the law itself was administered by Normans in Norman

French. Hence we may trace to the customs of Normandy the widow's third,

and other peculiarities of the English Law. The Military Feudality of the

middle ages upset the whole system of land titles and tenures, and

established that relation of lord and vassal, a fruitful source of

innumerable laws and customs. In Rome, not only the edicts of the Prætor

often modified the existing laws, but the wildest decrees of the plebeian

order were respected, even under the reign of the Caesars. The Saracen

conquest of Spain left indelible impressions on the laws and institutions

of the peninsula and the Alcalde of the present day derives his name from

and exercises similar functions to those of the Cadis of Bagdad. Even

among ourselves, local usages, and the usages of trade are referred to in

order to aid in the construction of local contracts. Law is not, then,

always the solemn expression of Legislative will. The whole doctrine of

Bills of Exchange originated in, and is based upon, the customs of

merchants, and the Maritime Law upon the practice of States and Towns

engaged in navigation and trade. The customs of Paris


Page 35

became the law of Louisiana by the charter of Crozat, and were swept away

in their turn by the ordinance of O'Reilly. Indeed, the internal history

of the law--that is to say, a history of its different elements, tracing

them from their origin through the successive and often insensible

modifications to their amalgamation as they are now found, combined and

harmonizing together--such an analysis, I say, constituting the chemistry

of legal science, would require almost endless research and labor. The

same process of fusion and diffusion is still going on under the auspices

of the great principle of the comity of nations. The able and learned

works upon most of the branches of Jurisprudence by Story and Kent, tend

to demonstrate to what extent the Roman is blended with the common law,

and to what extent both have been improved by the mutual infusion of

principles. Whenever the municipal law has not expressly provided for a

particular case, a principle in itself reasonable is sometimes adopted

from a foreign system by the tribunals, and thus becomes at last an

element of our own Jurisprudence. The whole law of Evidence, with the

exception of a few elementary principles, is borrowed from the common law.

The practice of the Federal tribunals, professing to be governed by State

laws, threatens us with alarming innovations, by introducing among us the

discretion of a Master in Chancery, to decide upon important interests,

and by their forms of execution menacing the overthrow, in favor of

foreign creditors, of our equitable system of distribution of a debtor's

effects, and making his property anything but the common pledge of his

creditors. How far such innovations can be tolerated it is not for me to


I have entered into these details principally with a view of enabling

you to form a more just estimate of the intricacy of the subject, and of

the great labor and research required by the Court in the administration

of justice under laws so unsettled, and of such various origin and

discordant materials, and especially to fix the just value of the services

of Judge Martin, who during that entire period, and even as late as 1846,

continued to labor with unmitigated zeal and industry, combining all the

learning required for such a task with a constant devotion to public


He almost always enjoyed a vigorous health, maintained by great

temperance and daily exercise. His temperance was indeed remarkable.

Though a native of the country of the vine, he never had tasted wine, as

he has often assured me, until approaching the age of sixty, and then in

great moderation, and never in his whole life had he tasted ardent spirits

of any kind. Being a bachelor, he was


Page 36

undisturbed by domestic cares and duties. All the powers of his mind were

devoted to the law, rather as a profound thinker than a great reader. He

investigated particular subjects deeply, rather than attempting to keep up

by regular reading with the legal erudition of the day. He rarely

indulged even in a momentary flirtation with the Muses, and I have never

heard him speak of any other poets than Virgil, Horace, and Boileau. With

works of imagination his acquaintance was extremely limited, and he never

enjoyed the romantic literature of the age, though cotemporary with Sir

Walter Scott, and the great writers of the French school. The law had no

such rival in his affections, and all the rays of a vigorous intellect

were converged to one focus. He enjoyed at the same time a constant

serenity of mind, and possessed an equanimity at all times, and under all

circumstances, most remarkable. He was never querulous nor petulant, and

even in the ardor of debate in consultation with his colleagues he

possessed the most perfect self-control, and never became angry or

impatient. It was perhaps on such occasions that he displayed to the

greatest advantage all the vigor and acuteness of his mind, and the

resources of his learning. Those who have contended with him best know

how expert and powerful a wrestler he was--and yet he often detected the

fallacy of his own reasoning, and convinced himself that he had been

originally wrong. His great peculiarity was in pushing first principles

to their most remote, ultimate consequences, let them end where they

might. His method of reasoning was sometimes eminently Socratic, and it

was necessary in discussions with him to be extremely cautious how you

admitted his premises. If you answered unguardedly a series of questions

affirming the remote principle from which he started, you ran the risk of

finding yourself involved at last in a mesh of sophisms, and convicted on

your own confessions. It often happened that he would return the next day

after a protracted discussion, and say, "Well, I have consulted my pillow

on that question, and after all I believe I was wrong."

Judge Martin was an agreeable companion. His conversation was

always amusing and entertaining. He was uniformly calm and quiescent, and

never querulous or garrulous, notwithstanding his very advanced age and

its increasing infirmities. He was sometimes facetious, and many of you

probably remember the case in which he spoke of the violent proceedings of

a mob, to tear down a house in order to get rid of the obnoxious tenants,

as the service of the frontier writ of ejectment. Never disposed to be

censorious, he was, when the occasion required it, inexorable in his

denunciation of the fraudulent conduct


Page 37

of parties litigant before the Court, exposing their turpitude to public

censure with an unsparing severity. This he could do with great propriety

and consistency, for he felt the full force of, and himself acted up to

the great precepts of the law--"honesté vivere"--"alterum non

loedere"--"et suum cuique tribuere."

Judge Martin's general health continued in a great measure unimpaired

to a good old age. He rarely lost a single day in his attendance at

Court, or at the stated times for consultation. But his eyesight began to

fail many years ago, and as early as 1836 he became so blind as to be no

longer capable of writing his opinions, and from that period he dictated

to an amanuensis. But he bore this great privation with remarkable

fortitude, and it did not seem to disturb the habitual serenity and

cheerfulness of his disposition. He continued, however, to hope for the

restoration of his sight; consulted numerous oculists, but never found but

one disposed to attempt an operation, and he promised too much, and was

distrusted. To the last, even at the age of 84, he never exhibited any of

the usual marks of extreme old age- -although his memory was somewhat

impaired, his reasoning powers were still vigorous; he had none of the

garrulity of age, and his existence closed without the usual evening

twilight of intellect.

In the summer of 1844, he visited his native France, for the first

time since he had left there in his youth. He remained in Paris some

weeks, and his eyes were examined by the ablest oculists of that capital.

But they declined attempting an operation, it having been well ascertained

that the case was hopeless--a confirmed gutta serena. He Returned to

Louisiana in the autumn of the same year, and resumed his duties on the


The long and painful struggle of Judge Martin in his youth against

poverty exerted a great influence upon his habits and turn of mind through

life. The accumulation of wealth by constant economy became habitual with

him, at the same time that he was scrupulously honest and fair in all his

dealings. Indeed, he had always a strong and abiding sense of what is

just, which showed itself in his conduct, both as a man and as a judge.

His reports form the most useful of his works. They constitute the

first chart of a coast at that time in a great measure unexplored--and

although not complete, and leaving much for his successors to supply, yet

they served at least to show the intricacy of the navigation, and to point

out many of its difficulties and dangers. Such a publication was a

novelty at the time in this State, and the


Page 38

want of it could not have been supplied by the Reports of any other State

or country. While it tended to produce uniformity of decision at home, it

made our peculiar jurisprudence better known abroad. It exhibited some of

its peculiarities and excellencies in such strong light that it has

contributed in some particulars, and especially that part of our system,

which guards so effectually the rights of married women, to recommend in

several of the States the adoption of similar provisions.

There are some strong points of resemblance between Judge Martin and

Peter Stephen Duponceau, who declined the appointment of Judge in the

Territory of Orleans, about the time that office was accepted by Judge

Martin. Both were Frenchmen by birth, and arrived at an early period in

the United States, and identified themselves with the country; both wrote

in the English language; both were jurists and civilians of eminence; each

gave to the profession a translation of a foreign work of great merit--

Martin, the Treatise of Pothiers on Obligations--Duponceau, that of

Binkersh k on Public Law, and both contributed to create a taste for such

studies. Martin was more exclusively a lawyer, although, as we have seen,

he published two works of History. Duponceau was the more elegant and

accomplished scholar, and particularly distinguished as a Philologist, and

so thoroughly versed in the aboriginal languages of this continent as to

have received the reward of the French Institute for the best essay on

that subject. He published also an original Treatise on the Constitution

of the United States, and another on the Jurisdiction of the Federal

Courts. The style of Martin was more wrote with great purity in a

language which was not their vernacular pointed and brief--that of

Duponceau more polished and copious. Both wrote with great purity in a

language which was not their vernacular tongue. While Martin was

satisfied with usefulness on the Bench, Duponceau prosecuted a more

extensive line of studies and pursuits, and was assiduous and useful,

among other things, in his efforts to introduce the culture of silk in the

United States. Both lived to a very advanced age, were respected and

honored by the public for the purity of their lives, and their profound

learning and usefulness, and both in turn reflected honor on the land of

their adoption.

A great majority of the most eminent lawyers in the United States and

in England have passed through the same severe ordeal of early poverty.

It is a stern but salutary discipline. Few professional men, who were

born to affluence and nurtured in luxury and ease, have made a

distinguished figure in after life. It is adversity which teaches us the

importance of relying upon ourselves, and draws out


Page 39

all the energies and resources of the mind. Nothing discourages and

nothing daunts such men. They feel that time and perseverance will not

fail to reward their solitary studies, and gratify their long deferred

hopes of distinction. The lives of such men are without any striking

event or incidents on which the attention of the biographer is fixed;

they pursue the even tenor of their way, contented with the cultivation of

the intellectual powers, and the distinction which their profession gives

them in society.

The example of such men is cheering in the highest degree to whose who

are just entering on a professional career. Let them learn never to

despair. If true to themselves, and devoted to their studies, under

whatever disadvantages of early fortune they may labor--however hard the

struggle with want, and competition, it will come at last the noblest and

purest of all triumphs, that of an innate energy of soul over adversity

and want and neglect. If their studies are commensurate with the almost

boundless field of the science to which they are devoted, embracing, in

the language of Justinian, "divinarum atque humanarum rerum notitia--

justi atque injusti scientia," they are prepared to act a distinguished

part in any of the departments of public affairs to which they may be

called in after life. The profession in the United States has always been

the high road to honorable distinction. Many of those who by their

intelligence, influence and eloquence prepared the public mind for

revolution to resist the encroachments of power, were lawyers who had

studied deeply the true theory of popular government. They afterwards

were lawyers who prepared and sustained the Declaration of

Independence--and especially those who devised the admirable Constitution

under which we live and prosper, and who were among its first expounders.

The profession here deals not only with private rights, and the

controversies between man and man--their studies embrace the great

relations of the governed with the governor--they regard public offices as

public trusts--and discuss freely the limitations of delegated power, and

the duties and attributes of restricted sovereignty. The lawyer who

fearlessly and boldly advocates such principles is already half a

statesman. The profession in this country have always been, and from the

nature of their studies must always be, the advocates and supporters of

free government and popular institutions.

François Xavier Martin, let it not be forgotten, was a foreigner by

birth, and a naturalized citizen of the United States. He was received as

a brother--became early identified with the country, and had no connection

for more than sixty years with the political vicissitudes


Page 40

of his native land. He was thoroughly American in his feelings and

opinions. He was an American lawyer and an American magistrate. If

strict integrity of life--if a love of truth, for the sake of truth and

justice--if a fearless independence and impartiality in the discharge of

public duties--if a profound knowledge of law and the most exemplary

devotion to duty during a long life constitute the elements of greatness,

surely he may well be pronounced great.

What a commentary this upon the liberal institutions of this widespread

Republic, and the generous spirit of a vast majority of its citizens! It

opens wide its arms to receive and cherish all those who, driven by

political calamities, or impelled by a hope of ameliorating their

condition in life, are wafted to our shores. They bring with them the

arts and industry and learning of their country. It matters not what may

have been the land of their nativity--it matters not what may have been

the religion of their fathers or their own, or in what language their

first thoughts may have been uttered--they are welcomed as men and as

brothers--they become gradually assimilated to the common mass of

citizens, and their origin is perhaps forgotten in a second generation. We

become one in feeling--one in opinion, and participators in and

contributors to the common renown of our great Republic. The Bar of New

Orleans, at whose request I appear before you, is at this moment composed

of men who were born in most of the polished nations of the globe--France,

Germany, Belgium, England, the United States, Ireland, and Sweden. They

all contribute to the stock of learning for which the Bar is so eminently

distinguished. In proportion as our country spreads itself, wider and

wider, by the peaceful conquests of civilization, those who take refuge

here from other countries, forgetting their native land for that of

citizens; and if a frenzy for foreign conquest by arms should seize us, it

may be pleaded at least as an excuse for us that we are influenced by no

selfish and narrow views; but those conquests will extend still further

the influence of free institution, and furnish a refuge and a home for the

oppressed of other lands. It is thus our government is destined to

illustrate the noble thought of a living poet:

"Man is one;

And he hath one great heart. It is thus we feel,

With a gigantic throb athwart the sea,

Each other's rights and wrongs; thus are we men."--Festus.


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1st. Remarks on the province of Louisiana, 5th August, 1751--depth of

water at the Balize 14 feet--war with Indians--mode of warfare required:

detachment from the main body, always within reach of assistance, and the

main body always within reach of supplies, &c.

2d. 1716, 11th February--memorial of the regency

council--advantages of New Orleans developed--proximity to Vera Cruz and

Havana--river courses and latent wealth of the interior--fertility of the

soil, favorable to tobacco, rice, and cacao--only issue to the Gulf of

Mexico--party of twenty Canadians exploring the Red River--voyage

performed in three months--their visit to the province of Leon in

Mexico-copper mines discovered--iron, lead, gold and silver found in

abundance--plan of colonization presented-this memorial is signed by L. A.

de Bourbon and the Marshall d'Estrées, and is approved by the "conseil de


3d. Statistical account by Mr. de Kerlerec of the Indians inhabiting

the Mississippi and the Missouri--prospects of the colony--this report is

signed Kerlerec, 12th December, 1758.

4th. 1712--memorial respecting the situation of Louisiana--project to

deepen the pass from the river to the lake Maurepas, from Tunicas, about

seventy-three leagues from New Orleans, by cutting a point of

land--pirogues are stated as being then in communication with the lakes

through that pass. This memorial is signed "Dartagnette."

5th. 1712-1726--laws and ordinances relative to Louisiana.


Page 44

6th. History of the irruptions of the North Americans upon the lands

of Louisiana. This document is signed by "Villars, Favre Daunoy," April,


7th. Account of the death of Lasalle.

8th. 1680--memorial explaining the reasons which led France in 1680,

to undertake the colonization of the country north of the Gulf of Mexico.

This memorial is signed by "De la Boulay."

9th. l725--questions propounded to Mr. de la Chaise by the "Copaganie

des Indes"--and his answers thereto.

10th. 1740--memoir of the Engineer Duvergés recommending certain

works at the Balize.

11th. 1748--Letter from Mr. de Vaudreuil respecting the Balize

--depth of the water at one of the passes 18 feet.

12th. Letter to the French minister respecting wax from a certain

tree, 1748.

13th. 7, Dec. 1759--Letter to the French minister from Mr. de

Richemore, recommending two financial plans.

14th. Letter from Mr. de Richemore to ministers, containing an

account of all the officers and cadets in service.

15th. April, 1764--memorial from Mr. Brand, praying for an exclusive

privilege to establish a printing office in New Orleans.

16th. April, 1764--letter from Mr. d'Abaddie to the Duke of Choiseul,

showing the advantages of the colony--speaking of the first experiments in

the culture of the cane, and forwarding samples of sugars from the estate

of Chevalier de Masan.

17th. June, 1764--letter from the same, complaining of the

demoralization produced by the circulation of depreciated paper, and the

immoderate use of ardent spirits, even by the higher class of society.

18th. Memorial of the merchants of New Orleans to Mr. d'Abaddie,

"Directeur General Commandant la Province de la Louisiana."

19th. 4th Dec. 1768--letter from Gov. Ulloa to the Marquis de

Grimaldi, announcing the revolution in Louisiana-his expulsion and his

arrival at Havana.

20th. Statement by Gov. Ulloa of the events in Louisiana--a document

containing about 300 hundred pages, very full and very well drawn up;

whereby it is clearly demonstrated that Aubry in the whole matter was the

principal informer. That the plan was not for the purpose of remaining

under a kingly dominion, but that the end was freedom--that for that

purpose Messrs. Noyan and Masan were deputed to the English Governor of

Florida, then residing at Pensacola, for the purpose of securing the

protection of the British Government


Page 45

in behalf of the intended Republic. That the Governor of Florida having

refused all aid, the address to France was resorted to by the rebels as

the means of concealing their plan. That the leaders were Mr. de

Lafrenière, a creole, Mr. Foucault, Mr. Villeré, brother-in-law of

Lafrenière; Mr. Heri, Messrs. Noyan, Verret, Marquis; four brothers, Le-

Roy, who have since assumed the name of Lafrenière; Lere, Banlieu and

Chauvain, Judice, de Lery, Darimsbourg, Hardi de Boisblanc, Thomassin,

Fleurian, Cabaré, Ducros and Millet--that their place of meeting was at a

Mad. Pradel's, near the city of New Orleans, where they collected to the

number of 500. The plan embraced the whole of Louisiana. This document

is full of interest, and shows the cause of the lukewarmness of the French

Government in the whole matter. The whole statement of Gov. Ulloa is

corroborated by the French Gov. Aubry, who it appears, with the French

troops under his command, was treated as an enemy as well as Ulloa. Thus

Lafrenière, his brother-in-law Villeré, Marquis, and their associates,

died victims of their love for liberty, and not of their love for France,

as generally believed.

21st. Memorial of the inhabitants and merchants of Louisiana to the

King of France, explaining the causes which led to the expulsion of Ulloa.

This document, penned by Lafrenière, was drawn up it appears after the

failure of the application to the British Government for protection, on

the standard of liberty being raised-it is couched in fine language,

contains valuable statistical information, and shows that Louisiana in its

infancy contained talented men and noble souls.

22d. Letter from the Marquis de Grimaldi to the Count of Fuentes,

then Ambassador to the Court of France, giving an account of a council of

state, wherein the whole matter of the Louisiana Rebellion is taken

up--the council having with only one dissenting voice decided to consider

Louisiana as a Spanish possession. The Marquis announces the appointment

of Gen. O'Reilly with extraordinary powers, modified, however, by the King

of Spain, so as confine to expulsion all cases deserving greater

punishment. The Ambassador in the same letter is desired to demand of the

King of France to disapprove the conduct of his subjects in Louisiana.*

23d. Letter from Aubry to the Duke of Choiseul, wherein he tries to

show that to France Louisiana can be of no advantage-and that

* The ministers who met to decide upon the fate of Louisiana, after

the expulsion of Ulloa, were the Dukes d'Alba, Munian, the Counts

d'Aranda, Musquir, Arriega, and the Marquis de Grimalda.


Page 46

to Spain it can be of no other advantage than to protect its Mexican

possessions against smuggling. This letter bears date 1768.

24th. Letter from the same to the same, bearing date 24th August,

1769-- referring to his former accounts of the doings of the rebels from

29th Oct. 1768, to 20th May, 1769--confirming all the statements of

Ulloa--he announces the arrival, at a moment when he considered all lost,

of a liberator, Gen. O'Reilly, with 3000 troops--he gives an account of

the transfer of the government to that general--he appears then to have

considered the whole matter as ended, and that the past would have been

forgotten--the leaders having by his advice quietly submitted.

25th. 1765--16th Nov. Decree prohibiting the introduction of slaves

from Martinique, on account of their propensity to poisoning.

26th. 1766, 29th Sept.--letter from Aubry and Foucault, notifying the

refusal of the French troops to enter into the service of Spain.

27th. 1716--letter from Mr. Duclos to the French minister relative to


28th. No date--finances of Louisiana--first account of the

introduction of government paper money in Louisiana by Ordinance of the

King of France, bearing date 14th Sept. 1735-amount issued 200,000 livres.

The reasons alleged for this issue are the same which were given by some

of our modern financiers, to justify their application to the Bank of the

United States for their depreciated paper, to enable the New Orleans banks

to resume specie payment. At that epoch the King of France was a

merchant, had public stores, and the circulation of his paper money was to

have been obtained by its being made legal tender for all goods purchased

from the public stores. This document is not dated, and appears to have

been written in 1744-5.

29th. No date--opinion of Messrs. Bienville and Salmon regarding the

emission of paper money, which they recommend.

30th. Statistics of the Indian nations from Mobile to Carolina--plan

presented to secure the trade then carrying on between the Indians and

Carolina. This document is without date, and appears to have been drawn

up under the administration of Gov. de Kerlerec.

31st. 1740--Muster roll of all the officers and cadets in Louisiana.

32d. 1710, 13th May-instruction of the King of France to Mr. De la

Mothe Cadillac, as Governor of Louisiana. This document shows the great

difficulties the first inhabitants had to labor under.

33d. 1743, 21st July--letter from Vaudreuil Salmon, touching the


34th. Memorial of Dr. Brat on the same subject.


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35th. Memorial on Natchitoches. This document is interesting; that

country is there represented as favorable to all the agricultural products

of Europe, and to cotton, tobacco, &c. It bears no date, and appears to

have been drawn up by Mr. St. Denis.

36th. 1765--report of the arrival of 193 Acadians sent to Opelousas.

37th. 1764, 7th June--memorial of the merchants of New Orleans to Mr.

d'Abbadie, depicting the wretched condition of the colony produced by

depreciated paper money. This document contains a practical refutation of

the credit system as eulogized by our present chamber of commerce in their

pamphlet entitled "Credit System." It shows the demoralizing effects

produced by the shadow being mistaken for the substance.

38th. 1764, 10th April--letter to Mr. d'Abaddie, respecting 3000

Indians collected in Mobile--the advantages of the colony, and the

progress in the manufacture of sugar.

39th. 1764--letter from Mr. d'Abaddie to the Duke of Choiseul

announcing the establishment at Lafourche Chetimaches, of about 200

Indians from Mobile--the Teansas.

40th. 1704--statistics of the colony-population including the

garrison, 180 men.

27 families--3 girls and 7 boys from 1 to 10 years.

80 houses covered with lataniers, laid out in straight streets.

190 acres land cleared for the building of the city.

9 oxen, of which 5 belong to the King.

14 cows.

4 bulls belonging to the King. This document is signed "Lasalle."

41st. 1702--letter from De Lasalle, announcing his arrival at

Pensacola and Mobile. This document is interesting.

42d. 1702, 11th Dec.--letter from De Lasalle to the minister, stating

that he has been compelled to dispatch a vessel to Vera Cruz to inform the

Viceroy of Mexico of the siege of St. Augustine by the English and

Indians, with 16 ships.

Pensacola appears to have been founded four years after the discovery

of Louisiana.

43d. 1729-36--history of the wars in Louisiana--Dartaguette was

killed in battle with the Indians.


Page 48


44th. 1769--remarks of Mr. Aubry on the rebellion in Louisiana.

45th. Memorial on the finances of Louisiana posterior to 1731.

46th. 1697, 14th Oct.--Quebec, letter touching information required

about the Spanish possessions in Mexico bordering the tributaries of the

Mississippi: this document is interesting; it speaks of Lasalle, and

presents some remarks on the mines.

47th. 26th July--Dartaguette in Louisiana speaks of the inundation by

the Mississippi; its waters having risen to the garrets of houses in New


48th. 22d February, 1759--survey of the domains of the King adjoining

Mrs. Pradel's plantation.

49th. 1748, 21st May--memorial of Mr. Gradesfils in Louisiana,

showing the great advantages of that colony.

50th. Project of colonization for Louisiana, demand of a large tract

of land on condition of its being cultivated in tobacco, cotton,

sugar-cane and indigo. This project, drawn up in Versailles, bears no


51st. 1717--memorial of Mr. Hubert on Louisiana, attempting to show

that the colonization of that country, if energetically pursued, would

gradually lead to the conquest of the whole of North America.

52d. Memorial to show that Louisiana might become as important as


53d. 1719--memorial of Mr. Bienville announcing the fall of Pensacola

into his hands, and the events ensuing the same.

54th. 1738--insignificant letter respecting the Jesuits.

55th, 1754, 20th Sept.--letter from Mr. de Kerlerec to Dauberville,

on the necessity of military station at the Balize. This letter contains

an interesting account of the mouth of the river, and a proposal to

establish there a floating battery with heavy guns.

56th. Statement of occurrences in Biloxi.

57th. Project to restore confidence in Louisiana destroyed by

irredeemable paper money; proposal to make the King's paper legal tender;

form of an dict. This document must have been written some time about


58th. Memorial on Louisiana, representing the necessity of retaining

that colony, in order to prevent the English becoming masters of not only

the whole of North America, but also of Mexico. By this


Page 49

document it appears that Mr. St. Denis headed the 20 Canadians on the

exploring expedition from the Red River to the province of Leon in Mexico;

it appears to have been written about the year 1715.

59th. Memorial on the same subject at the same epoch.

60th. do. do.

61st. 1692, 14th Sept.--account of the attack by five 60 gun vessels

of the Fort Louis in Louisiana, under the command of Mr. de Bouillon,

Governor of Newfoundland.

62d. 1700--memorial for the colonization of the Mississippi.

63d. List of the officers under the command of Dartaguette, and in


64th. 1749, 17th Dec.--memorial of Mr. Le Bailly Messager, on

Louisiana. This document is interesting; a central power is proposed to

be established on the Wabash--fertility of the soil, &c.

65th. 1750--memorial of the same, on the same subject.

66th. 1754, 6th March--memorial on Louisiana; by Mr. Colom, to

increase the commerce of Louisiana with the Islands and the metropolis;

the plan embraces the whole of the basin of the Mississippi, and is


67th. No date--report of three commissioners touching an interview

with the Governor of Pensacola, de Galve, for the purpose of devising the

means to prevent the English taking possession of that post. Determination

on the part of the Governor of Pensacola to rely upon the Bull of Pope

Alexander the VI., conceding the line 180 to the Catholic Kings, the power

of the Pope to grant crowns repudiated by the commissions. This document

is curious, and appears to have been written in 1700.

68th. 1709--observations on the Bull of Pope Alexander; development

of the immense advantages to be derived by France from the possession of


69th. 1701, 17th July--memorial on Louisiana; advice to the King as

to the measures to be adopted for its welfare.

70th. 1709, 27th April--memorial. on Louisiana; situation of the


71st. 1712, June--memorial of Mr. Tions de Gouville, on the

advantages of Louisiana, and the causes which have checked all progress in

that country.

72d. No date--memorial on fortifications required.

73d. 1738, 10th May--Hubert's memorial on Louisiana. This document

is very interesting for its statistical information.


Page 50

74th. 1714--memorial to show the necessity of inviting emigration to

Louisiana. This document is interesting, and contains extracts of letters

from Crozat.

75th. 1716--great and masterly development of the destinies of


76th. 1714, 17th April--memorial on the wretched condition of the


77th. 1716--a memorial is to be found on Louisiana after Lasalle's

discovery, in the registers of the navy department, 8 f, 123 vo. (This is

a memorandum in this portfolio.)

78th. 1720--memorial on the fortifications of Pensacola, and of the

impossibility on account of the nature of the soil to establish good


79th. 1723--letter and memorial of Mr. Hubert on the advantages of


80th. 1753--prohibition by the Marquis Duquesne against the

exportation of grain from Canada; he styles himself Governor of "la

Nouvelle France, and of all the lands and countries of Louisiana."

81st. 1755--Quebec, Canada, proces verbal of a voyage to the river


82d. 1751, Tombeckbé, 18th June--letter announcing the capture of

five deserters; speeches of the Indians who brought them back, to obtain

their pardon.

83d. 1787--extract of a letter from Mr. de Villiers on the subject of

a tobacco contract with the King of Spain.

84th. Canada, 1753--ordinance of the Marquis Duquesne, fixing the

maximum of wheat to 3 livres per minot on plantations, and 3 livres 10

sols in town.

85th. 1716--memorial of Mr. Crozat on Louisiana, important


86th. 1751, 15th July--accusation of Mr. Michel against Mr.

Fleurian, procureur-general, and Captain Derneville.

87th. No date--memorial explanatory of patent letters proposed to the


88th. 1769--grievances against Governor Ulloa and Aubry. The

document is not signed.

89th. 1745--interesting memorial on the administration of Louisiana.

By this document it appears that the Ursulines are bound to attend to the

hospital, and to educate 30 orphan girls.

90th. 1716--letters patent projected for Louisiana.


Page 51

91st. 1662--memorials respecting the doings of the West India

Company; forms of concessions.

92d. 1723--memorial on the rivers, lands and Indians of Missouri.

This document is interesting, and shows that there was a traffic then

carrying on between Missouri and Mexico.

93d. No date--memorial for a concession of lands from Manchac to New


94th. No date--memorial on the subject of Father Beaubois, superior

of the "Missionnaires Jesuites" in Louisiana. This document appears to

have been addressed to Governor Bienville.

95th. 1738--memorial of Governor Bienville, touching his intended

operations against the Chicacas.

96th. 1735--opinion of Mr. Bienville in case of war.

97th. 1785, 25th August--Mr. Bienville sends an account on Georgia;

of their system of colonization, &c. This document is interesting.

98th. 1735, 20th Sept.--Mr. de Bienville on the Chicachas.

99th. 1735, 14th April--Mr. de Bienville on the Indians.

100th. 1739, 25th March-- do. do.

l01st. No date--report on the necessity of separating the government

of Louisiana from that of Canada, to which under the West India Company it

was attached. This document was evidently written in 1731; recommends a

new organization.

102d. 1731, 25th March--Mr. Paria advises the minister of the defeat

of the Renards, by the Illinois and other Indians living on the borders of

Canada; he enters into some details respecting Indian warfare. Speaks of

one of the passes at the Balize having 17 feet water, which shortly before

had only 12; is of opinion that two vessels employed three months each

year, say April, May and June, would give 22 feet on the bar. Speaks of a

report by him on the Balize which I have not yet found. This document is

very interesting.

103d. 20th August--account of the Natchez war, by Mr. D'Iron, 1731.

104th. 1735--Mr. de Bienville on Louisiana in case of war; its

relation with the Indians.

105th. 1737, 20th Dec.--Mr. Bienville's report of two expeditions of

the Chactaws against the Chicachas.

106th. 1738, 13th August--Mr. Bienville's report of deserters brought

back by the Alibamous.

107th. 1738, 26th April--Mr. Bienville's report on the interior of

Illinois and Ohio, and of the Indians there.


Page 52

108th. 1738, 22d March--Mr. Bienville's report of an exploring voyage

to the river Jachoux (Yazoo), details on those countries; discovery of the

Chicachas road which led to the voyage.

109th. 1738, 29th May--Mr. Bienville's report of the voyage of

exploration on the Wabash; interesting account of the adjoining country.

110th. 1702, 20th June--memorial of Mr. d'Iberville on the

Mississippi, the Mobile, and surrounding countries; their inhabitants,

latitudes of many places taken by him; statistics of all the Indian

nations, including the Illinois and Ohio. He states the number of

families at 21,860; plan of action proposed. This document is ably drawn

up and full of interest; it bears the signature of Mr. d'Iberville.

111th. 1708, 25th Feb.--memorial of Mr. Dartaguette, giving an

account of the information received by him from Mr. Demny of the fort of

Louisiana; statistical report on Mobile.

112th. Letter from Bienville, with a full account of the doings in

Mobile and Louisiana; represents the country in a state of great poverty;

contains interesting information on the Indians and the English.

113th. 1731--letter from Mr. de St. Denis to Mr. Salmon, giving an

account of a battle with the Indians.

114th. 1763--evacuation of Louisiana. It is proposed to send to St.

Domingo the troops in Louisiana; this plan is approved.

115th. 13 Fructidor An 10, General Milford Tastanagy proposes to

answer the application made by the American minister for the purchase of

Louisiana; General Milford promises to prove to the first consul that a

cession would be fatal to France.

116th. 1747, Feb.--Governor Vandreuil states his preparations in case

of attack by the English; sends a plan of the mouth of the Mississippi

(not yet found); says that the bar at the Balize contains 11 or 12 feet,

mud and sandy bottom, and 15, 16 and 17 feet on the eastern pass, and a

shorter bar.

117th. 1712, 8th Sept.--memorial to prevent debauchery (libertinage)

in Louisiana.

118th. 1762, 13th Nov.--cession of Louisiana to Spain; ratification

by the King of Spain.

119th. Questions by General Victor to the First Consul regarding

Louisiana and his answers.

120th. 1753--Mr. de Kerlerec, suit of André Barri.

121st. 1701--memorial of Mr. d'Iberville on Pensacola.


Page 53

122d. 1703--project to take Charleston and to burn it.

123d. 1750, 1st Feb.--letter of Pierre Rigaut, Marquis de Vaudreuil,

informing the King of the necessity he had been under of issuing paper


124th. Memorandum to show in what light the West India Company ought

to have been considered by the French Government.

125th. No date--memorial of the West India Company.

126th. 1685--memorial of the West India Company.

127th. 1753, 8th March--Mr. Kerlerec announcing his arrival in

Louisiana, he gives an account of his reception, and some statistical


128th. 1770, 16th June--memorial of Mr. Robé; Ordonnateur of


129th. 1715--instructions of the King to Messrs. Lamothe, Cadillac

and Duclos, Governor and Ordonnateur of Louisiana.

130th. 1752--three tables to carry on the official correspondence

between the colony and its metropolis by the means of ciphers, and the key

for the same.

NO. 520 St. Yago; NO. 530 lui; NO. 540 ab; NO. 550 Croix; No 460

beau; 400 Canada, &c.

131st. 1732, 9th May--proces verbal of Messrs. Perrier and Salmon

respecting the arrival of 146 Swiss soldiers.

132d. 1760, 2d June--result of the sitting at the government house

respecting certain works to be undertaken.

133d. 1707, 22d June--proposals of Mr. le Count de Ponchartrain for

the formation of a Company in Louisiana.

134th. 1733--Mr. de Bienville announces his arrival at the Cape

Francois; hopes to be in New Orleans 30 days after.

135th. 1732,12th May--letter from Mr. Salmon touching the condition

of Louisiana and Mobile.

136th. 1715--extract of a letter written at Caskasias, a village in

Illinois, sometimes called l'Immaculée conception de la Ste. Vierge, dated

9th Nov. 1712, by Father Gabriel Marest, a Jesuit residing since several

years in that country as a missionary. This letter was printed in 1715 in

the "Lettres édifiantes;" it is full of interest, and contains great

statistical information.

137th. 1761, 12th Dec.--letter of Mr. Thiton de Sileque in behalf of

Mr. de Kerlerec, stating his services for the King.

138th. No date--picture of the troubles in Louisiana, and of the

demoralization occasioned by paper money; plan to restore confidence;

means recommended; "to coerce forthwith the withdrawal of paper


Page 54

money and its payment in full." This document appears to have been written

in 1760.

No date--Mr. de Kerlerec asks the cordon rouge and sends his "feuille

de service."

139th. No date--remarks on the commerce of Louisiana and its cession

to Spain. This document must have been written in 1770.

140th. 1764, May--memorial of Mr. de Kerlerec on the advantages of a

commercial treaty with Spain, with a view of establishing an entrepot in

New Orleans.

141st. 1764, May--letter of Mr. de Kerlerec enclosing the above


142d. No date--extracts of all the letters of Mr. de Kerlerec on the

demoralized condition of Louisiana. This document must have been written

in 1764.

143d. No date--memorial of the corps of engineers; the artillery and

cadets of Louisiana.

144th. No date--memorial on the population of Louisiana; Paris and

other large cities of the kingdom had been sending to Louisiana their

debauched women; fortunately for the colony, says the paper, the women

died as they arrived; recommends colonization on a more respectable plan.

145th. No date--memorial on Louisiana, from which it appears that the

Capucins established themselves there in 1722; that their establishment

obtained the royal sanction on the 15th July, 1725. That the first treaty

between the Jesuits and the West India Company was entered into in 1721;

and that they obtained the royal sanction to their establishment on the

20th February and 17th August, 1726; that their ecclesiastical functions

were subject to the control of the Superior of the Capucins.


146th. 1765-1767--correspondence of Aubry and Foucault with the

government touching the administration of the country.

147th. 1763--project of evacuation of Louisiana by the French on the

cession to Spain.

148th. No date--memorial on Louisiana. This document appears to have

been written towards the year 1730; it is remarkable for its extensive

views; it treats of the country of Mobile, of the Balize, of its passes,

of the country between the Balize and New Orleans, of the


Page 55

neighborhood of this city, of Pointe Coupée, of Natchez, or Arkansas, of

Illinois; it contains 40 pages, and concludes by offering a plan of

colonization for the whole. On the passes it states :--

"River St. Louis (Mississippi) throws itself into the sea by five

mouths, thus distinguished: eastern pass, south-cast pass, south pass,

south-west pass, and the Balize. In 1720 the south pass was the only one


"It has been observed since these passes have been used that only one

or two can be navigated at the same time, and that even then they have

only 10 to 12 feet water on their bars, which vary each year according to

the violence of the winds," &c. &c.

"Besides these five passes, the river throws its waters through

smaller issues forced by it, and called Bayous. If three of the above

passes were closed, as also the bayous, all the waters would be forced

into the two passes situated in opposite directions, such as the pass of

the east and the south-west pass; the current being increased there would

be less deposits; besides the wind from the sea, which would stem the

current of one pass, by throwing a greater bulk of water in the other

would increase its current, whereby the bar thereof would clear itself of

mud deposits, &c. &c. These passes and bayous may be easily closed by

three or four rows of pilotis placed close to each other, and at a

distance of about 150 to 200 toises from the mouth of the Mississippi to

the pass. The interval would serve as a bed for the drift wood, which

being thus stopped would soon be covered with the deposits of the river.

I believe that such a work would soon afford a great protection against

the river."

At the time this memorial was written, the sugar-cane was producing

2500 pounds of sugar, besides the molasses.

A plan is presented for the employment of 325 white families, and

19,000 blacks, in the cultivation of the sugar cane and tobacco.

149th. 1710--memorial on the advantages to Louisiana of inviting the

Acadians established at Detroit to return to this colony.

150th. 1778--memorial of Mad. Dubreuil, praying for a pension from

the French Government, as daughter of Mr. Delachaise, director of the West

India Company, who was the first administrator of Louisiana, whose wisdom

and activity tended to consolidate the colony.

151st. No date--memorial of the citizen Bounevie to the citizen

Decres, minister of marine and the colonies, proposing to undertake an

exploring voyage from the western part of Louisiana to the Pacific Ocean.

152d. 1754--expose by Mr. Colon of the advantages to France of


Page 56

the possession of Louisiana. This paper is highly interesting and full of

statistical information; it treats fully of the agriculture of the


153d. 1754--memorial of Mr. Colon on the commerce of Louisiana.

154th. 1754--project of association for Louisiana by Mr. Colon.

155th. No date--picture of the wretched condition of the colony

produced by the depreciated currency; plan to restore confidence. This

document must have been penned about the year 1765 or'6

156th. An 12, Frimaire 20--proces verbal of the "prise de possession"

of Louisiana by France. This document is signed Laussat, and is addressed

to the citizen Decrès, minister of marine and the colonies.

157th. 1766 to 1768--private letters of Mr. Foucault to the French

minister, NO. 1 to 70.

158th. Paris--29 Fructidor--An 9-memoranda on Louisiana by Mr. Joseph

Pontalba, of Louisiana. Its position as to the United States; its

population; the character of its inhabitants; its culture; its commerce;

its resources; the importance it might acquire and the means to obtain the

same. Speaks of a plan proposed by a rich inhabitant of Ohio (evidently

Gen. Wilkinson), to detach the whole of the western country from the east,

to form an independent government with Louisiana, &c. &c. This document,

dated "Croissy, near Chalons," is addressed to the minister Decrès.

159th. 1803, 20th Dec.--" the Moniteur," containing the Proclamation

of Wm. C. C. Claiborne, announcing the "prise de possession" of Louisiana.

This paper, NO. 378, gives a full account of all the events accompanying

this change: the new organization and the appointments made.

160th. l709--extract of a memorial by Mr. Mandeville, ensign of the

Vaubant Company in Louisiana.

161st. No date--memorial praying the King to commute the penalty

incurred by smugglers to transportation to Louisiana.

162d. No date--memorial on Louisiana after the treaty of peace of


163d. Correspondence of Messrs. de Kerlerec and Foucault on the

disordered state of the administration in Louisiana; complaints of the

quality of the goods from France for the King's stores; insubordination of

the officers.

164th. 1752, 30th Sept.--important observation on the commerce of

Louisiana, which Mr. Dubreuil takes the liberty of submitting to the King.


Page 57

165th. 1794--An 2--16 Floreal--Paris--letter from the American

citizen Mountflorence, to the "Comité de Salut Public," handing extracts

from a Boston paper, announcing that there was a revolution preparing in

Louisiana to shake off the Spanish yoke, and to follow the impulsion given

by North America.

166th. 1763, 10th June--Messrs. Bienville and Salmon, on the commerce

with Spain and the cultures of the colony.

167th. 1701--account by Mr. Lamothe de Cadillac respecting the

destruction of the Indians on the Huron and Erie.

168th. 1761, 10th Sept.--letter from Mr. de Kerlerec complaining of

the insubordination of certain officers, &c.

169th. 1716--memorial on Louisiana; means to take for protecting

Louisiana against the English and the Spaniards.

170th. No date--project of letters patent of the King, granting a

concession to the West India Company, for thirty years of the commerce of

Louisiana discovered by Mr. Delasalle. This document must have been

written in 1711 or 12; it grants great privileges to the company, and is

divided by articles.

171st. No date--articles rejected from the above project of letters

patent prayed for by Mr. Duche.

172d. 1708--memorial on the formation of a commercial company in


173d. 1733--letter of Messrs. de Bienville and Salmon respecting a

Mr. Claude Jausset dit Laloire; the first born Louisianian.

174th. 1733--Messrs. Bienville and Salmon on the interdiction of the

Jesuits in New Orleans; they remonstrate against such interdiction, and

regret that virtuous men should be removed to make room for the dissolute.

175th. 1733, 6th March--letter from Mr. Perrier announcing the

transfer by him of the government of Louisiana.

176th. 1733, 28th July--letter of Messrs. Bienville and Salmon

advising the receipt of the classing of officers by the minister.

177th. 1733, 22d Sept.--letter from the same, relative to the

marriage of an officer, Mr. Buissonnière, with a Miss Trudeau, in defiance

of his superiors.

178th. 1733--letter from Messrs. Bienville and Salmon, relative to

the "Conseil Supérieur"

179th. 1733, 30th Sept.--memorial complaining of the irredeemable

paper money left by the West India Company, and of the loss sustained by

the widow of a Mr. Elias, director of the "concession of law."


Page 58

180th. 1734, April 3d--Messrs. de Bienville and Salmon, their answer

to the proposal of a paper emission; are of opinion that the King's paper

would enjoy a better credit than that of the West India Company, but that

the inhabitants had lost so heavily by the emissions of that company, that

much time would be required before paper currency could again obtain

general circulation, and that to attain such an end it would be requisite

that the contemplated issues should carry with them undoubted guarantees.

181st. 1734, 28th April--Mr. de Bienville on the subject of a

petition against him.

182d. 1734, 26th April--letter of Mr. de Bienville and Salmon, On the

subject of difficulties regarding the rank of officers.

183d. No date--necessity for a larger force in Louisiana; proposal to

increase the number of soldiers in the same proportion as the English, in

time of peace as well as in time of war, observing that the increase of

the French navy was only a casus belli with the English.

184th. 1761, Madrid 8th and 10th Dec.--letter from the Marquis

d'Ossun to Mr. de Kerlerec, on the preparations to be made in case of

attack by the English.

185th. Without date--memorial on the disastrous effects of the

monopole granted to the West India Company.

186th. No date-pro formâ expenses to be incurred by the King in

taking back Louisiana.

187th. No date--memorial representing the increase of population of

the English in Canada, and the necessity from its neighborhood to

Louisiana, to take the necessary measures to prevent its loss.

188th. 1731, 23d June--retrocession by the West India Company of its

privileges to the King. The concession extended to Illinois. By this

document it appears that the letters patent were granted by

Edicts in August and September, 1717

" May, 1719

" July, 1720

" and June, 1725

189th. No date--proposal by the syndics and directors of the West

India Company.

190th. No date--project of ordinance to accept the retrocession by

the West India Company.

191st. Project of deliberation by the syndics and directors of the


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West India Company, for the retrocession of the privileges of the company.

192d. 1760, 7 Dec.--Mr. de Rochemore, attributing to the agio of

depreciated currency the wretched condition of Louisiana.

193d. 1788, 27th March--document whereby it would appear that Mr. de

Villars, Commissioner of Louisiana for the King, had addressed him to the

following effect under date of 27th March, 1788. "That General Wilkinson,

one of the largest proprietors in the new State of Kentucky, had come down

to Louisiana, giving to understand to the administrators of the colony,

that the adjoining United States had come to the determination of forcing

a passage through, the Mississippi, the navigation of which to remain

hereafter open to both countries, but that he had obtained of them to

suspend their movements until his return."

On the other hand, Messrs. Vincent and Marbois observe that people

are in great error if they think that Congress can entertain such ideas,

that the population of the western country can only increase at the

expense of the 13 Eastern States, these States possessing really only a

border Country of about 100 leagues on the ocean.

194th. 1772, 13th Feb.--claims of the "Fermiers Généraux" on the

merchants of Louisiana for arrears of duties.

195th. 1716--instructions of the King to Messrs. l'Espinoy and

Hubert, "commissaire ordonnateur," respecting Louisiana.

196th. 1723, Paris--letter of Mr. de Purry to the Duke of Bourbon, on

Louisiana. Mr. de Purry, from Neufchatel, Switzerland, had been

Director-general of the West India Company, in whose service he remained

for five years; he had come to France on the invitation of Law. This

letter is full of interest, and shows great ability; he presents a plan of

colonization which would have been admirable; places great stress upon the

culture of the silk worm, &c.

197th. No date--answer to the observations made on Mr. Purry's



198th. 1769, 1st Sept.--Statement by Aubry of the rebellion in

Louisiana; copy of his correspondence with O'Reilly, whereby it is evident

that it was on his information that the following gentlemen were arrested,

to wit :--

Messrs. de la Frenière, Procureur-Général.


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Mr. Hardy, Assesseur an Conseil.

Mr. Mazan, a reformed captain, and Chevalier de St. Louis.

Mr. Marquis, reformed Commandant of the Swiss Company.

Mr. Noyan, reformed Captain of Cavalry.

Mr. Caresse, Captain of Militia.

Mr. Milhet, Captain of Militia.

Mr. Milhet, Lieutenant of Militia.

Mr. Poupet, Merchant.

Mr. Petit, Merchant.

Mr. Doncet, Lawyer.

Mr. Foucault, Ordonnateur.

Aubry hands to the French minister a copy of his letter to Governor

O'Reilly, under date 20th August, 1769, denouncing the above-named

persons, as also Mr. Villeré, who he states had joined the rebels on the

29th with 400 men from the Acadian coast, thereby increasing the force in

the city to 1000 men, under the direction of La Freniére. "Mille

projects," says Mr. Aubry, "se sont succédés les uns aux autres; on a eu

le dessein d'ériger le pays en Republique; on a présenté au conseil une

requête pour y établir une Banque, à l'imitation de celle d'Amsterdam et

de Venise; car ce sont les propres termes dont ils se sont servis."

199th. August 28th, 1769--proces verbal of the arrest of Foucault by

Messrs. Aubry and B. de Grand Maison; F. E. de Mazillière and John

Trudeau; seals affixed by the Notary Garic on all effects be-longing to

said Foucault; papers relative to the conspiracy delivered to Governor


200th. Proces verbal by the Notary Garic of the estate of Foucault.

201st. 27th August, 1769--proclamation of General O'Reilly,

announcing the promulgation of the Black Code or Edict of the King, for

the government and administration of justice, police and discipline, and

the commerce of black slaves in Louisiana. In the same proclamation,

Messrs. Fleurian and Ducros are presented as judges.

202d. 1769, 21st August--General O'Reilly announces a general pardon,

save the chiefs of the rebellion, who are to undergo their trial.

203d. 1769, 19th August--copy of a letter from General O'Reilly to

Governor Aubry, asking information on the rebellion; the names of the

chiefs, &c. &c.

204th. 1769, 23d August--letter from the same to the same, asking all

information and papers of whatsoever nature in his possession, in order

that the chiefs of the rebellion might he convicted.


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205th. 1769, 24th August--copy of the answer of Mr. Aubry to governor

O'Reilly, giving all the information required, together with he names of

the leaders. The Chevalier d'Arinsbourg, commandant of the Acadian coast

was among the number.

(N. B. Mr. d'Arinsbourg was saved through the intercession of Mr.

Forstall, under whose uncle General O'Reilly had served in the regiment of

Hibernia in Spain.)

206th. 1750--discovery in Louisiana of a flint mine (crystal); he

place made a secret.

207th. 1766, 7th Sept.--ordinance of Governor Aubry in the name of

Governor Ulloa, ordering all invoices of goods to be delivered, that the

value of such goods might be regulated; and making paper money legal


208th. 1766, 12th Sept.--protest of the merchants and inhabitants of

Louisiana against the above ordinance, signed as follows: B. Duplessis,

Moulin, Jean Mercier, Jr., Petit, J. Vienne, Blache, Toutant Beauregard,

Durel, Rose, J. Senilh, Duprest, Bienvenu, Goumigu, Revoil, Voix, L.

Ducrest, D. Brand, Guezille, Braquier, Papion, Braquier Jeune, J. Boudet,

Doraison, St. Anne, P. Caresse, Cavelier Frères, Hinard, P. Poupet,

Broussard, Revoise, Durand, Estebe, J. Lafitte, cadet, Jean Souvaistre, A.

Bodaille, Cantrelle, Astura, Brunet, Fournier and St. Pé, Dumas and

Gricunnard, Rodrigue, fils ainé, Louis Ransom, Testas, Moullineau, P.

Segond, P. Guignam, A. Boisdoré, L. Boisdoré, G. Guignam, Chateau, Sarpy,

Détouvit, Villefranche, Salomon, P. Simon, E. Hughes, Macmara, J. Arnoult,

J. Sarrou, Dubourg, Durand, Cadet, Ducarpe, B. Gaillardié, Raguet, J.

Nicolas, Jh. Millet, Delapize, Brion, Bertrémieux Ainè, Blandin Dulestre,

A. Reynard, Fortier, Blaignad, Bijon, L. Daubech, Langlois, M. Duralde,

Bourjeaux, M. Bonnemaison, Joly, F. Hery, Forstall, B. Lenfant, A.

Olivier. This protest, certified by Foucault, is couched in most

energetic language.

209th. 10th Sept. 1766-protest of the captains of vessels against

Aubry's ordinance.

210th. 28th August,1766--memorial of Foucault to Governor Ulloa.

211th. 20th Jan. 1768--letter of Governor Aubry, giving an account of

his government jointly with Governor Ulloa, who for want of troops cannot

take possession of the country.

212th 1768, 20th Jan.--letter of Mr. Aubry on the same subject.

213th. 1768, 4th Jan.--copy of a letter from Mr. Aubry to his


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Excellency General Hardiman, Governor of Pensacola, for his Britannic

Majesty, demanding 20 Spanish deserters.

214th. 1768, 14th Nov.--remarks of Mr. Aubry on the rebellion of


215th. 1768, 14th Dec.--protest of Gov. Aubry against the ordinances

of the superior council.

216th. 1738--memorial respecting marriages between Indians and


217th. 1726--memorial on Louisiana, pointing out the manner of

placing the colony on solid foundations. This paper signed by Messrs.

Drouot and Valentin, contains valuable statistical information.

218th. 1724--memorial on the culture of tobacco.

219th. No date--memorial suggesting the establishment of a floating

battery at the Balize, signed "Bertrand."

220th. 1719, 10th July--details of a mining expedition in the

neighborhood of Kaskasias. This paper is signed "Perry."

221st. 1723--memorial on the means of upper Mississippi.

222d. 1763--correspondence between Colonel Robertson, commanding

Mobile for his Britannic Majesty, and Governor d'Abaddie. This part of

Louisiana was ceded to England by the treaty of Paris, of 10th February,

1763, the seventh article of which reads thus :-

ART. 7.--The river and the port of Mobile, and the left bank of the

Mississippi, New Orleans, and the islands on which it is situated

excepted, are ceded, &e.

223d. 20th Dec.--letter from Governor Aubry to his government

respecting the Louisiana rebellion; he states that he cannot express

himself freely, that he can trust no one, not even his own Secretary, lest

he should be treated in the same manner as Ulloa.

224th. 1768, 28th Dec.--remarks of Aubry on the Louisiana rebellion.

225th. 1768, 8th March--letter of Mr. Aubry on the rebellion,

enclosing copy of a letter by him addressed to Mr. Baccalary, Governor of


226th. 1763, 20th Oct.--proces verbal of the transfer of Mobile by

the French government to the English government. This document is signed

"Derville, Farende, Robert Fannar."

227th, 1763, Oct. 20th.--proclamation of Robert Fannar, on his taking

possession of Mobile, and of all that part of Louisiana situated on the

left hand or eastern bank of the river Mississippi, from its source down

to the river d'Iberville, thence across Lakes Maurepas and Pontchartrain

to the sea.


Page 63


228th. 1721, 5th Sept.--by.laws of the West India Company, for the

government of Louisiana, approved by the King.

229th. 1721, 2d Sept.--rules by the same company to encourage the

culture of tobacco, rice, and the introduction and education of


230th. No date--report on the Indians; extracts from Governor de

Vandreuille's correspondence, announcing a treaty of peace with the

Chactas, a nation counting 4000 warriors, and occupying an extent of

country exceeding 40 leagues. This document must have been written about

the close of 1739.

23lst. 1761, 6th March--extract of a letter from Mr. de Kerlerec to

the Marquis d'Ossun, complaining of the conduct of the government of

Campeachy towards French vessels that had entered that port in distress,

whilst on a voyage from New Orleans to Havana, for assistance on behalf of

the colony.

232d. 1761, Oct. 3d, St. Ildephonse--letter from the Marquis d'Ossun,

informing Mr. de Kerlerec of instructions given to the government of

Mexico, Havana, Pensacola, and of all other Spanish pos. sessions in

behalf of all French vessels; speaks of the projects of England to obtain

possession of Mexico, and of the necessity of retaining Louisiana as the

best means of defeating their plans.

233d. 1761, 10th Jan.--letter from Mr. de Kerlerec to the Marquis

d'Ossun complaining of the silence of his Court; proposes to use ciphers

for their correspondence.

234th. 1761, 31st Oct. Escurial--memorial from the French ambassador

respecting the impossibility to supply Louisiana with the assistance

needed, all French vessels being captured by the English; points out the

common interest of Spain and France in retaining Louisiana; suggests a

depot in Havana, Campeachy, and other neigh. boring ports, of provisions,

fire-arms, and munitions of war, to be within reach of New Orleans

whenever required. All such provisions and other articles required, to be

paid for by the French government.

235th. 1763, 9th July--decree by the "conseil supérieur de la

Louisiane," forbidding the introduction of slaves from St. Domingo,

poisoning being common in that island among the negroes.


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236th. 1752, 12th Sept.--letter from Mr. Michel "Ordonnateur" to the

minister, complaining of the want of proper officers for the "conseil

supérieur," and begging the government to supply the colony with two young

engineers and one surveyor.

237th. 1752, Feb.--letter from Mr. de Vaudreuil to the minister

advising the capture by a Spanish "Garde Cote," of the French vessel

"l'Etoile," and demanding her restitution.

238th. 1754, 4th July--letter from Mr. de Kerleree and d'Auberville,

announcing the arrival of families from Lorraine, sent by government;

speaks favorably of those families whom they advise having placed in the

parish "des Allemands."

239th. 1754, 9th July--Mr. d'Auberville to the minister with the

budget of the colony for 1754, and a list of all officers employed.

240th. 1754, 21st Sept.--Messrs. de Kerlerec and d'Auberville to the

minister, requesting the government to send two miners to work the mines

discovered in Illinois, lead and copper.

241st. 1652, 22d Sept.--Mr. Michel to the minister with full reports

on the condition of the country; gives interesting details on the culture

of cotton; the difficulties to separate the seed from the wool; of a gin

invented by Mr. Dubreuil; the culture of tobacco, rice, indigo and the

commerce of peltries; the advantages that might be obtained by irrigation

of the land, in dry seasons, and the renovation of the fields by

introducing the water of the Mississippi on old lands, &c. &c.

242d. 1753, 9th March--Mr. d'Auberville to the minister, showing the

necessity of rebuilding the government house; announcing the death of Mr.

Michel, and the situation of the treasury on that day.

243d. 1735, 31st August--Messrs. Bienville and Salmon, improvement in

the management of the militia hospital since placed under the care of the

Ursulines; complains of medicines furnished by government.

244th. 1731, 10th Jan.--letter from Mr. Dirou d'Artaguette to the

minister defending himself against charges brought by Governor Perrier;

interesting details of his wars with the Indians.

245th. 1728, 8th Dec.--Mr. Dirou to the minister, on the situation of

the country of Mobile.

246th. 1739--Chicachas war; details of the forces sent from France.

247th. 1736, 28th June--Messrs. de Bienville and Salmon, interesting

details on the Chicachas campaign; the retreat of Mr. de Bienville with

544 men under his command.


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248th. 1751, 12th Jan.--Mr. de Vaudreuil to the minister, announcing

the termination of the war with the Chactas; begs for the cross of St.

Louis for Captain de Grandpré, as a reward for the services rendered by

him during the last campaign.

249th. 1729, 22d Sept.--Chicachas war; expedition from France. 500

men; detail on the projected campaign.

250th. 1731, 5th Dec.--Messrs. Perrier and Salmon, announcing the

recording in the minutes of the "conseil supérieur," of the letters patent

of the King respecting the retrocession by the West India Company of all

their privileges in Louisiana; interesting statistical statements and

other documents, showing the true condition of the colony at that epoch.

251st. 1736, 9th June--Mr. Dirou d'Artaguette, announcing the failure

of the expedition of Mr. de Bienville, at the bead of 1500 men including

his allies, against the Chicachas.

252d. 1731, 20th April--Mr. Dirou d'Artaguette, details on the Indian

war; calls for aid.

253d. 1762, Jan.--letter from the King of France to Mr. de Kerlerec,

in which he states "by the preliminaries of peace agreed upon at

Fontainbleau on the 3d Nov. last, having ceded part of the province of

Louisiana to the King of England, I have resolved upon ceding the other

part to my cousin, the King of Spain." Then follows an order for the

delivery to England and Spain of the whole of the province, in accordance

with the limits fixed upon in the said preliminaries.

254th. 1762--instructions of the King to Mr. d'Abbadie regarding the

delivery of Louisiana to England and Spain.

255th. 1731, 24th June--Dirou d'Artaguette, announcing new disorders

among the Natchez; the murder of two officers near the Arkansas;

destruction of the Tunicas by the Natchez; calls for assistance.

256th.--No date-instructions of the King to Mr. d'Abbadie, regarding

the artillery and munitions of war at Mobile. This letter must have been

written in 1762.

257th. 1721, 13th Sept.--instructions from the West India Company to

the directors and sub-directors in Louisiana, for their guidance in the

management of the affairs of the Company.

258th. 1719, 28th Oct.--report of Mr. Hubert on Pensacola; Dauphin

Island; Ship Island and l'Ozage; recommends Ship Island as the best harbor

for men-of-war.

259th. 1721,31st Sept.--instructions by the West India Company


Page 66

to the directors and sub-directors in Louisiana, signed in Paris by

"Demachault and Dedune."

260th. 1713, 15th July--interesting memorial by Mr. Duclos on

Louisiana, including the country of Mobile, addressed to Count


261st. 1718, 21st June, Paris--memorial on Louisiana, signed "L. A.

de Bourbon, le Marechal d'Estrées," par le conseil "Lachapelle."

This memorial is full of interest. France had then in view the

possession of the whole of North America; to attain such an end Louisiana

was considered as the basis of the whole plan, and a colonization upon a

large plan was recommended. A naval depot was suggested on Ship Island; a

general plan of fortifications was proposed from Pensacola to the "Baie

St. Bernard." The English plan of colonization was strongly recommended,

to wit: 500 to 600 families at a time provided by government with all the

necessary utensils, cattle, &c. &c., and provisions for one year. The

whole to be returned by the parties when in a situation to do so; none but

good peasants to be sent; the plan comprehendng the Wabash, the Illinois,

the Yazoo, the Missouri and Natchitoches; the working of the mines of

Missoun proposed; the memorial is thus concluded: "A large commerce can

be carried on between Mexico and Missouri. Missouri has another branch

nearly as important; its source is said to be from the same mountain; it

is believed that this branch empties itself in the South Sea. The

Canadians invited in those parts would soon create establishments for a

commerce with Japan and China. Such would be the importance of such a

trade that the truth of these reports is worthy the attention of


262d. No date-report from la Rochelle, announcing the departure of

the frigates "la Victoire et la Duchesse de Noailles," with 570 men for


263d. 1718, 21st July--incomplete memoranda concerning Mr. de St.

Denis' journey through the Red River to Mexico.

264th. 1713--Mr. Crozat informs the government of the efforts of the

British to seduce the Indians on the upper Mississippi and in the Natchez

country; applies for two officers and 40 men for Illinois.

265th. 1716, 7th Sept.--incomplete memoranda on certain changes

proposed for Dauphin Island, and the Fort St. Louis of Mobile ;

instructions to be given to the military posts in Louisiana, and

particularly to that of Alibamons.


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266th. 1714, 27th Dec.--military establishments (posts) in Louisiana

ordered by the King in a letter under this date.

267th. 1716 21st July--memorandum on the morus tobacco, and a leaf

named Appalachine, considered a specific for the gout and for the stone,

and other diseases, by the Indians of Appalache. These memorandas are by

Mr. Lamothe, who strongly recommends the in introduction of silk worms.

268th. 1716--instructions to Mr. de la Mothe, respecting the works on

Dauphin Island, &c. &e.

269th. 1716, 21st Feb.--Mr. de la Mothe on the discovery of certain


270th. 1718, March lst--inventory of the public stores, &c. &c., in

the King's warehouses in Dauphin Island and in Mobile.

271st. 1721, 2d Sept.--appointment by the King of the Chevalier Le

Blond de la Tour, as Lieutenant-general of the province of Louisiana.

272d. Petition of the West India Company to the King, praying that by

letters patent of the 15th January, 1724, Mr. Delachaise having been made

a member of the supreme council, although deputed by the King with

extraordinary powers to investigate the affairs of the company in

Louisiana, by decree of his Majesty's council of 8th December, 1722, that

the said Delachaise be permitted to act as honorary counsellor in the

"Conseil de Régie Générale," and in that capacity to serve the company in

the furtherance of the welfare of the colony. This petition is signed by

the directors of the West India Company in Paris.

273d. 1723, 24th April--letter from Mr. de Bienville, dated 20th

June, 1722, announcing the order of the Viceroy of Mexico for (he cession

of Pensacola to Spain. This letter is accompanied by the order of the

King of France.

274th. 1724, 26th Oct.--prices fixed for merchandize tendered by the

inhabitants in payment of debts to the West India Company.

275th. 1721--documents relative to the beaver trade in Canada;

petition against the monopoly of that trade.

276th. 1725--sundry letters relative to the war with the "Renards."

277th. 1743--Mr. de Vaudreuil's account of the situation of the

colony respecting the Indians.

278th. 1726, 7th August--ordinance by Messrs. de Boisbriant,

Commander-General of the province of Louisiana, and Delachaise,

"Commissaire du Roi," and first Counsellor of his Majesty in the


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"Conseil Supérieur de la Régie;" measures to be adopted in consequence of

the rupture between England and Spain.

279th. 1765, 1st June--printed extracts from the minutes of the

"Conseil Supérieur" relative to the Abbot de l'Isle Dieu.

280th. 1755, Paris, 2d Sept.--printed treaties on the patent letters

to the Capuchins of Champagne, concerning the missions through Louisiana.

281st. 1726, 13th Sept.--articles of agreement between the Ursulines

and the West India Company, for the service of a military hospital in New

Orleans. These articles, to the number of 28, containing all the

conditions attached to certain grants; are signed by " l'Abbé Ragolet."

282d. No date-project for the retrocession of Louisiana by the West

India Company to the King.

283d. 1739, 25th Oct.--memorial of the Chevalier de Fabrau on

Louisiana, without interest.

284th. 1742--agreements consequent to the retrocessiou of Louisiana

by the West India Company on the 27th March, 1731.

285th. No date--memorial on the same subject.

286th. 1759, 6th March-- Mr. Rochimore, complaining of ,the

insubordination of officers.


287th. 1731, Oct. 30th--Ursuline Convent founded in 1727; memorial of

Father d'Avangeon on the advantages of that institution; the object is

represented to have been the education of young girls, the nursing of the

sick as "hospitalières;" the service of the military hospital; prays for

aid in order to increase the number of sisters, originally 6 to 12, and

the confirmation in "franc alleu" of the lands granted in New Orleans, and

that they may be permitted to enjoy the privileges belonging to their

order in France.

288th. 1764, 15th Feb.--instructions to Mr. d'Abbadie respecting the

Jesuits, which instructions are stated to have been carried into effect,

the company having been dissolved and their estates having been sold

previous to the receipt of the letters patent of the King bearing date the

3d June, 1763.

289th. 1724, August--inspection by the Louisiana committee, of the

different military posts of that colony, to wit: New Orleans, the Balize,

Biloxi, Dauphin Island, Mobile, Alibamons, Natchez, Natchitoches,


Page 69

Yazoo, Arkansas, Illinois. The committee recommend the giving up of the

military posts of Biloxi, Dauphin Island, and Arkansas.

290th. 1741, 30th April--Mr. de Bienville, interesting account

relative to the Indians.

291st. 15th Sept.--report of Mr. Duvergé, concerning different

operations intrusted to him for the improvement of the colony; presents a

plan for an establishment at Ship Island, at Alibamons, and on the Wabash;

also, but on a smaller scale, at Biloxi and in Illinois; recommends the

clearing of the Manchac of trees impeding the navigation of that rivulet;

proposes a road from Biloxi to the Illinois by land; submits a plan for

the raising of silk worms; speaks of a military post on the St. Bernard,

&c. &c. This report embraces a complete organization for the government

of Louisiana, and is highly interesting, presenting large views on the

commerce and agriculture of the country, and was approved by the directors

of the West India Company in Paris, on the 15th September, 1720.

292d. 1727, 24th April--missions to be supplied by the Capuchins

throughout Louisiana.

293d. 1733, 15th Jan.--plan of the fort of Natchitoches, (signed)


294th. 1734, 25th July--plan of a large portion of the city of New

Orleans, (signed) Broutin, including Toulouse, St. Peter, St. Anne, and

Dumaine, Levée and Condé streets; on this plan are indicated the following

buildings to be undertaken during 1734, to wit: barracks, fronting the

river between St. Anne and Dumaine; government house, fronting the levee,

between St. Peter and Toulouse; the custom house, (Intendance,) also

fronting the levee between Dumaine and St. Anne.

295th. 1733--plan (signed) "Broutin," elevation of a building to be

placed on the top of a wine cellar in the custom built in 1732.

296th. 1733, 15th Jan.--(signed) "Broutin," plan of the powder

magazine; on this plan are seen the dresses of the inhabitants of that


297th. 1733, 15th Jan.--plan (signed) "Broutin," of the wall

surrounding the powder magazine.

298th. 1733, 15th Jan.--plan (signed) "Broutin," side view of the

powder magazine built in 1732.

299th. 1734, 12th July--proces verbal of Messrs. de Bienville and

Salmon accompanying the above plans.

300th. 1734, 25th July--plan (signed) "Broutin," of barracks,


Page 70

&c; to be erected during 1734, between St. Anne and Dumaine streets.

301st. 1733, 15th May--Mr. de Bienville relative to the Indians;

interesting details respecting the Natchez, the Chicachas, &c.; original

letters from persons inhabiting among those nations and the Illinois; the

Alibamons, the Natchitoches, the Talapenches, the Chitimachas, the

Attakapas, and the Loupelousas.

302d. 1734, 27th July--Mr. de Bienville on the Chicachas, Natchez and

Chactas; interesting details; a few speeches by the Indian chiefs.

303d. 1734, 25th Jan.--Mr. de Bienville on the Indians.

304th. 1733, 26th July--the same on the same subject.

305th. 1716, 8th Oct.--memorial on the importance of colonizing

Louisiana; an armed colonization is recommended instead of soldiers, as

being less costly and more useful.

306th. 1733, 15th May--plan (signed) "Devin," of the Fort Condo at


307th. 1734--memorial on the necessity of colonization in Louis-

iana; void of interest.

308th. 1734, 6th April--Mr. Perrier on the movements of the Indians.

309th. 1734, 26th April--Mr. de Bienville on the Indians; ac- count

of a battle, &e.

310th. 1732, 14th May.--Mr. Perrier on the Indians; and of the

missionaries among them.

311th. 1731, 10th Dec.--Mr. Perrier on the war with the Natchez; the

situation of the colony, and the budget for 1732, &c. &c.

312th. 1772--petition from the commerce of Bordeuux, claiming a

continuation of franchise on goods from Louisiana on the following


1st. Because although the cession of Louisiana to Spain by treaty

took place in 1762; it was only publicly known in France in 1765.

2d. Because the King of Spain only took possession of that colony in

March, 1766.

3d. Because the Revolution of 1768 and 1769 in that country, was the

cause of most of the agents of the Bordeaux merchants being either shot or

sent to the mines.

313th. 1747, Feb.--Mr. de Vaudreuil, murder of a cadet and of a

soldier by the Chatas; details on the Indians.

314th. 1747, Jan.--Mr de Vaudreuil, on the Indians and the doings of

the English.


Page 71

315th. 1736; 18th June--Mr. de Beauchamp calls for a corps of miners

and bombardiers to carry on the war with the Chicachas, whom he represents

as living like weazels, in cabins resembling ovens partly under ground,

and communicating with each other.

316th. 1626, 29th March--memorial of Mr. de merveilleux on the

erection of a fort at Pascagoula, recommended by Mr. Delachaise.

317th. 1759, 5th July--proces verbal of the confiscation of the

English schooner the "Three Brothers," commanded by Joseph Boull, aged 36

years, belonging to Rhode Island, (signed) Rochemore.

318th. 1750, 11th June-extract of a letter from Mr. Durand to the

Marquis of Puyzenet, dated London, speaking of the Quakers and of the

Moravians, in the highest terms; recommends them for the colonization of

Louisiana; and adds, "it appears that Admiral Anson was intrusted with a

project, which not having received, its execution cannot now be fully

ascertained. A plan found in the papers of King William the Third shows,

however, that that prince bad conceived the idea of taking possession of

the Isthmus of Darien, and by the means of the river running nearly

through from one sea to the other, to open communications between the

fleets in the Atlantic and South Seas, granting at the same time,

commissions to all privateers, for the purpose of annoying the French and

Spanish commerce, and of gradually keeping the latter power in the

dependence of England."

319th. 1722, 6th Nov.--Mr. de Bienville, handing a speech made by him

to the Indians.

320th. No date--coup d'oeil on Louisiana, by Mr. Roquevante, wherein

he endeavors to show the advantage of the fur trade on the Canadian plan.

321st. No date--project for the guidance of the military

"commandants" towards the Indians in Louisiana.

322d. 1740, 28th June--memorial of Mr. Duvergé relating to the

discovery of the road from New Orleans to the upper country, through the

Chicachas; the whole is very interesting and contains about 100 pages.

323d. 1731, 16th March--letter from Mr. Regis a Roullet on the Indian


324th. 1733, 19th March--plan (signed) "Broutin," elevation of the

Ursulines Convent.

325th. 1733, 19th March--other view of the same building.

326th. 1733, 1st May--plan of a military hospital.


Page 72

327th. 1731, 21st Feb.--letter of Mr. Regis de Roullet on the Indian


328th. 1723, 3d May--interesting documents, containing the speeches

of several of the leading Indian warriors, asking the pardon of a soldier

condemned to death.

329th. 1732, 9th July--plan of the parish church of New Orleans,

bricks between posts, (signed) "De Bat."

330th. 1726, 22d Jan.--discussions between the Jesuits and the West

India Company, void of interest.

331st. 1719--history of a journey in the interior of Louisiana, by

Bernard de la Harpe, containing a memorial for assistance.

332d. 1740--paper on the Indians.

333d. 1730--project of a private letter from the West India Company

to Mr. Perrier, respecting the English and Spaniards in Louisiana.

334th. 1740, 29th August--Mr. de Bienville on the Chicachas war.

335th. 1740, 31st Oct.--Mr. de Bienville on the same subject.

336th. 1733, 8th Sept.--Mr. de Bienville renders an account of the

situation in which he has found the colony respecting the Indians.

337th. 1733, 25th Jan.--Mr. de Bienville on the Indians.

338th. 1731, 25th March--relation by Mr. Perrier of the defeat of the


339th. 1717--memorial on Louisiana, of little interest.

340th. 1721, 4th Oct.--letter from Messrs. de Bienville, Le Blond,

Latour and Duverge respecting Mr. Laharpe's relation of his voyage to the

Bay of St. Bernard.

341st. 1720--letter from Mr. de la Harpe, accompanying the history of

his discoveries. This letter is dated Dauphin Island.

342d. 1759, Jan. 3d--memorial on the functions of Civil Engi- neer

and General Surveyor.

343d. 1766, July 9th--letter from Mr. Aubry explaining the reasons

which have induced Governor Ulloa to delay taking possession of Louisiana.

344th. 1767, 11th Jan.--letter from the Duke of Choiseul to Mr.

Aubry, approving the continuation of his government for the King, of

Spain; the latter paying all expenses.

345th. 1749, 2d Jan., Paris--copy of a letter from the Count de

Maurepas to Messrs. de Vaudreuil and Michel, on the culture of indigo.


Page 73

346th. 1730, 1st August--Mr. Perrier on the Indian war.

347th. 1726--discussions between the Jesuits and the West India


348th. 1768, 22d Jan.--Foucault to the minister, complaining of the

difficulty of his position, and referring to his joint communications with


349th. 1735, 15th April--Messrs. de Bienville and Salmon, on commerce

and agriculture.

350th. 1744, 10th Feb.--paper on the Indians.

351st. 1743, August--Mr. de Vaudreuil report on Mobile.

352d. No date--memorial on Louisiana, disapproving the emission of

paper money by the administrators of the colony; demoralization which must

flow from such emissions.

353d. 1754, 6th Nov.--Mr. de Kerlerec on the Indians.

354th. 1748, 1st Oct.--Mr. de Vaudreuil on the same subject.

355th. 1743, Dec.--Loubrey, Commandant of Mobile, on the Indians.

356th. 1743, July--Mr. de Bienville on the Indians.

357th. 1714--memorial of Mr. Crozat for the raising of troops for


358th. 1767, 25th Oct.--pamphlet containing extracts on the following


NO. 1. America civilized.

Nos. 2 to 7. Prophecy on America; the manufactures of North America

destined to destroy the supremacy of Great Britain.


359th. 1768, 20th Jan.--letter from Mr. Aubry explaining the extreme

difficulty of his position, compelled as he was, being a French Governor,

to govern for the King of Spain; Governor Ulloa with only ninety soldiers

not deeming it prudent to receive possession of the colony.

360th. 1767, 29th Jan.--agreement between Aubry and Ulloa, by which

the former consents to defer the delivery of Louisiana to the latter, both

in the mean time governing the colony.

361st. 1767, 30th March--Mr. Aubry expressing his desire for the

arrival of Spanish troops in order to give up the government of Louisiana;

states his joint action with Ulloa ia all necessary measures; complains of

Ulloa's quick temper, &c. &c.


Page 74

362d. 1766, 20th April--instructions to Mr. Aubry for the cession of


363d. 1765, 30th Sept.--Aubry announces some disturbances among the

Pakanas in the neighborhood of Illinois, and an expedition headed by Mr.

de Lavilleboeuvre, an officer well acquainted with the Indian language,

against a party of Indians who had made themselves masters of property and

cabins belonging to the English on the Iberville. The delivery of the

property by the Indians to Mr. de Lavilleboeuvre; speaks of the

difficulties arising from the occupation by three nations of the same


364th. 1765, 16th Sept.--letter from Aubry to Governor Johnston of

Mobile; explaining his difficult position regarding the Indians; promises

his best efforts to maintain peace.

365th. 1765, 31st August--instructions of Mr. Aubry to Mr. de

Lavilleboeuvre as commandant of an expedition against the Alibamons, for

the purpose of demanding property seized by them on the Iberville, and

belonging to the English.

366th. 1764, 15th Jan.--Mr. Aubry, explaining tho difficulties

encountered by Mr. d'Abbadie on the part of the English at Tombeckbe and

Alibamons, &c. &c.

367th. 1764--copies of speeches of Messrs. d'Abbadie and Farmer to

the Indians.

368th. 1765--words of the Troquois, Loups, and Chonans from Fort

Duquesne (Pitt), by a Loup chief accompanied by two warriors carrying 25

scalps, (English.)

369th. 1769--answer of Mr. de Noyan.

370th. 1763, 3d Sept.--Black Code of France put in operation.

371st. 1776, Madrid, 8th July--instructions respecting the per-

mission granted for the exportation of timber, provisions, &c. &c., for

the relief of the French Islands.

372d. 1777, 26th April--letter from Messrs. d'Aunoy and Villars to

the French government, announcing the seizure by Governor Galvez of 11

English ships richly laden and moored opposite to some of the plantations,

and his defence to the planters under heavy penalties to carry on any

traffic with the English.

373d. 1777, 17th Oct.--answer of the minister-to Messrs. d'Aunoy and

Villars inviting them to continue their communications.

374th. 1786, Versailles, 10th Feb.--letter from Mr. de Vergusnes on

the subject of a French vessel seized in the Mississippi, and

correspondence with the Spanish government to the same effect.

375th. An 10th, Paris, 8th Thermidor--refutation by General


Page 75

Milford Tartamgy of an article in the Gazette de France, recommending the

cession of Louisiana to the United States. Louisiana being there

represented as a narrow strip of moving sands, marshes, and bogs, etc.


376th. No date--memorial on Lower Louisiana, from Iberville to the

sea. Void of interest.

377th. 1769, 23d May--Mr. Aubry on the rebellion and the

demoralization produced by paper money; states the interference of Mr.

Lafreniere to prevent further disturbances; hands the following documents.

378th. 1769, Feb.--extract from the registers of the "conseil

supérieur" containing transcript of a letter dated Port au Prince, 9th

February, 1769, and signed St. Leger, in the name of the "conseil

souverain" of that place, approving the rebels in driving out of the

country Governor Ulloa, and of another letter from the Doyen of the

council of Port au Prince couched in nearly the same words.

379th. An 10th, 27th Fructidor, Paris--letter from Mr. Laussat,

Colonial Prefect of Louisiana, submitting several questions to the


380th. No date--sounding of the coast of Florida; the Tortugas; of

St. Rose Island; of Pensacola and of Mobile, by Mr. de Iberville, from

1698 to 1699; at the Balize in 1733 to 6 and 7; passe à la Loutre 15 ½

feet; soundings of Ship Island in 1798 by Mr. de Iberville, also of the

Chandleur Islands; bay of St. Bernard in 1720, &c. &c.

381st. Paris--questions upon which the attention of the government is

particularly called. They appear to have been propounded by Mr. Laussat;

the reimbursement to the planters of paper money issued by the Spanish

government, and amounting to $800,000, form part of these queries.

382d. No date--memorial advising the French republic to demand the

session of Louisiana.

383d. 1759, 28th March--memorial on Louisiana; project proposed for

the colonization of that province by Bertrand Duvernet, on condition of a

grant of 40 Leagues of land on both sides of the river from the city of

New Orleans up.

384th. 1751, August--observations on two circumstances considered as

favorable to the improvement of Louisiana; this document is not without


385th. 1765 to 1768, NO. 1 to 170--letters of Mr. Foucault to the

ministers, relative to the administration.


Page 76

386th. 1760, 22d Dec.--reports of Mr. Duverger, chief engineer, to

Mr. Andry on fortifications directed by him.

387th. 1761,8th Jan.--letter from Mr. Rochemore inclosing copy of the

instructions to Mr. Aubry, and reporting on the fortifications intrusted

to that officer.

388th. 1766, 1st August--memorial on Louisiana; mutility of that

colony for France.

389th. 1731, Jan.--Mr. de Perrier, movement of the Indians in

Louisiana since the capture of the Natchez Fort.

390th. 1759--trial and confiscation of the English schooner "Three

Brothers," to be continued.

391st. 1768, 16th Dec 9.--Mr. Aubry speaks of the disturbances in

Louisiana, and expresses his fears.

392d. No date--memorial touching the retrocession by the West India

Company, to the King of France. Uninteresting.

393d. 1760, 1st June--Rochimore, Conveying statements of presents

made to the Indians.

394th. 1768, 20th Jan.--Mr. Aubry respecting the cession to Spain;

incloses copy of correspondence between Governor Ulloa and him. Void of


395th. 1753--extracts of letters from Messrs. de Kerlerec and

Foucault to the government, uninteresting; matters of administration.

396th. 1753, 23d Nov.--project of alliance with the Canices submitted

to Mr. de Kerlerec.

397th. 1716--journal of the expedition against the Natchez. Very

interesting; the expedition was headed by Mr. de Bienville.

398th. 1712--different projects granting to Mr. Crozat the exclusive

commerce of Louisiana during 15 years.

399th. 1752, 30th Sept.--memorial of Mr. Dubreuil Villars relative to

the agriculture of Louisiana.

400th. 1772, 13th Seat.--letter from Mr. Fazende to ministers stating

the reasons which had prevented his accompanying the accounts rendered by


401st. 1741, 17th March--memorial on tobacco.

402d. 1750--memorial on Louisiana, and project for the cultivation of

tobacco on a large scale.

403d. 1763, 23d Nov.--process verbal of the delivery of the military

post of Tombeckbé to Lieutenant Thomas Ford.

404th. 1764, 10th Jan.--Mr. d'Abbadie advises the delivery to the

English government of Mobile, &c.


Page 77


405th. No date--memorial containing the history of Louisiana since

its discovery by Lasalle in 1682. It appears that nothing was done until

after the peace of Berwick. Mr. d'Iberville at that epoch was intrusted

with a new expedition, and was accompanied by his brother, Mr. de

Bienville, who remained in that colony as Lieutenant-Governor until 1712,

when Mr. de la Mothe Cadillac took charge of the government, having been

appointed Governor in the room of Mr. Dumerry, who had died during his

passage from France. Mr. Crozat on the 14th September, 1712, obtained by

letters patent of the King, the exclusive privilege of the commerce of the

colony; this privilege Mr. Crozat gave up in 1717, and in August of the

same year, the same exclusive privilege was granted by letters patent to

the West India Company, that company having been established by an edict

of the King at the same time; this latter privilege was granted for 25

years, to wit: from the 1st January, 1718, to the first December, 1842,

and included the fur trade. The whole of this document, which appears to

have been written about the year 1730, is interesting.

406th. No date--memorial on the same subject showing the necessity of

a retrocession of the privileges of the West India Company to the King.

407th. 23d Nov. 1732--highly interesting letter from the

"missionnaire," Mr. R. P. Baudoin, on the Tchactas nation, dated from

their village of Tchicachee.

408th. No date--memorial on Louisiana; Indian war; miserable

condition of the colony.

409th. 1740, 28th June--memorial of Mr. Dubreuil on the subject of a

canal undertaken by him one league above New Orleans, and of the great

advantages that may be derived from the whole of the Barrataria district.

410th. No date--uninteresting memorial on Louisiana.

411th. No date-- do. do. do.

412th. 1757, 1st June--memorial on Louisiana, showing its advantages

to France.

413th. No date--notes on the preceding memoir.

414th. No date--memorial on the Indians of Louisiana; their number,

and the commerce that can be carried on with them.

415th. No date--memorial on the same subject, and very full.


Page 78

416th. No date--memorial containing a description of Louisiana, of

its ports, of its soil, of its rivers, of the Indian nations, and pointing

out the great advantages to be derived by colonization. This paper is

evidently of a very ancient date.

417th. No date--general idea touching the mode of creating a commerce

for Louisiana; the author refers to Mr. de Bienville, then in Paris.

418th. No date--memorial on Louisiana, to render that colony

flourishing; this paper appears to have been drawn up for the West India

Company; it is interesting.

419th. No date--memorial to induce France to retain Louisiana; speaks

of the several climates, and of the facilities with which it might be made

to supply France with silk, tobacco, &c. &c., and cotton.

420th. Memorial on the importance of Louisiana; void of interest.

421st. No date--letter from Mr. Baron, complaining of Governor


422d. No date--memorial on Louisiana; contains some interesting

details. This paper appears to have been written by Mr. de Kerlerec.

423d. 1749--project for the cultivation of tobacco in Louisiana, and

the trade in timber, by Mr. Faby.

424th. No date--memorial pointing out the necessity of fixing the

limits between Canada and Louisiana.

425th. 1748, 2d Nov.--Mr. Michel opposing the reunion of Canada and


426th. 1746, 28th August--journal of the voyage of a Major Beauchamp

of Mobile, to the Tchactas nation, by order of Mr. de Vaudreuil, to demand

satisfaction for the murder of three Frenchmen.

427th. 1747, 28th March--observations of Mr. Augeas on the different

soils bordering on the Mississippi.

428th. 1746--memorial on the situation of the colony. This paper is

drawn up with a good deal of care.

429th. 1754--memorial from Messrs. Kerlerec and d'Auberville,

recommending a floating battery at the Balize.

430th. 1750--memorial on the situation of the inhabitants of

Louisiana, and of the advantages to be derived by an importation of

negroes to be employed in the cultivation of tobacco.

43lst.--1749--situation of Louisiana; a poor production.

432d. 1750, 12th Oct.--letter from Mr. Livaudais on the changes

produced in the passes by equinoxial gales; in the month of July


Page 79

this engineer states the passes to have been S. S. E., and N. N. W., and

at the time he was penning his report they were E. and W.

433d. 1731, 15th Nov.--Mr. de la Boulage on Louisiana.

434th. 1754, 13th Sept.--paper from Mr. Duvergé pointing out the

necessity of having landmarks at the Balize for vessels coming in; plan

proposed by him and approved by Mr. de Kerlerec.

435th. 1738, 15th August, Paris--Mr. Courtuzur to Count de Maurepas,

proposing the formation of a company in Louisiana.

436th. 1789--very able memorial on the culture of tobacco.

437th. 1741--paper relative to the advantages the public service

might derive from the timber on the Barrataria

438th. No date--memorial of what would be required by Louisiana; void

of interest

439th. 1764, 7th April--Mr. Aubry announcing the delivery to Great

Britain of the portion of Louisiana ceded, and mentioning the failure of

an expedition to Illinois by the English.

440th. 1761, 15th Dec.--letters in cipher of Mr. de Kerlerec

representing the miserable condition of the colony.

441st. 1762, 10th Feb.-- do. do.; giving an account of the


442d. 1761, 8th June-- do. do. do.

443d. 1761, 8th March-- do. do. do.

444th. 1760, 21st Dec.-- do. do. do.

445th. 1762, 28th April--letter from Mr. de Kerlerec on the

difficulty of this position with the English Indians.

446th. 1763, 23d Oct.--letter from de Kerlerec on the formalities

required for the evacuation of Mobile.

447th. 1763, 2d May--Mr. de Kerlerec acknowledging receipt of the

King's ordinance announcing cessation of hostilities with the English;

speaks of the Indians who have sacrificed their all to the French, and who

will find themselves deprived of presents.

448th. 1762, 24th June--Mr. de Kerlerec, letter in ciphers

complaining of frauds by the persons supplying the King's stores.

449th. 1st March, 1765--Mr. Aubry, on the conduct of the Indians

towards the English; copy of a speech of the Chaouanan chief named Charlot

to Mr. d'Abbadie.

450th. 1765, 12th March--Mr. Aubry on the difficulty of his position,

it being impossible to satisfy at the same time the Indians, the English,

the Spaniards, and the French congregating in New Orleans.

451st. 1765, 6th May--copy of a letter from Mr. St. Ange, commandant


Page 80

of Illinois, regarding the bad disposition of the Indians towards the

English; incloses several Indian speeches.

452d. 1765, 16th May--Mr. Aubry, inclosing copy of Mr. St. Ange's


453d. 1765, 10th July--Mr. Aubry speaks of a cessation of hostilities

between the English and Indians at Illinois; inclosing several Indian


454th. 1762, 26th July--Mr. de Kerlerec in ciphers, speaks of the

difficulty of his position with the Cherokee Indians.

455th. 1767, 27th Jan.--Mr. Aubry states that the British have taken

possession of Illinois; proces verbal of the delivery of that section of


456th. 1713, 25th Oct.--memorial submitted to the Count de

Pontchartrain by Mr. Duclos on Louisiana; this paper contains a good deal

of statistical information, and a historical account of the beginning of

the colony; 100 pages.


457th. 1759, 27th Jan.--memorial on Louisiana, proposing to favor the

emigration from Canada.

458th. 1741, 4th Oct.--Messrs. de Bienville and Salmon, handing the

report of Mr. Duvergé on the Balize; of the changes at different epochs;

refers to several charts I have not been able to discover; this document

is interesting.

459th. 1725--memorial on the navigation of Illinois.

460th. 1728--extract of a letter from Mr. Perrier, regarding the

munitions of war supplied by him to the Spaniards of St. Augustine, and

the means by him taken to prevent the English interrupting cultivation.

461st. 1760, 17th Dec.--Mr. de Rochemore, on the sugar.cane,

cultivated by the Jesuits in 1744, in their gardens.

462d. 1724, 20th May--report on the mine "de Lamothe," distant 14

leagues from Kaskassia.

463d. 1780, 13th Feb.--letter from Mr. Fabre Daunoy to the French

government, announcing the expedition of Mr. de Galvez at the head of two

thousand men for Mobile, where lie is said to expect a reinforcement of

two thousand more front Havana, the whole of the force then to march

against Pensacola; advising the capture of the British possessions on the



Page 81

464th. 1752--preliminary articles of peace between the French and the

Cherokees, prepared by Mr. de Kerlerec.

465th. No date--speech of Poudiak, an Indian chief, to Mr. de Noyau;

in the same paper are several other speeches.

466th. 1764, 15th Jan.--correspondence of Mr. d'Abbadie on the

cession of Mobile.

467th. 1760--complaints of Mr. Rochemore against Messrs. de Kerlerec

and de Macarty.

468th. 1760-- do. do.

469th. 1737, 21st Feb.--letter from Mr. de Cremont announcing his

arrival, and giving some details on the colony.

470th. 1763--correspondence of Mr. d'Abbadie on the difficult

position of Mobile towards the Indians.

471st. 1763, 13th Dec.--project of operations between Louisiana and

Canada; void of interest.

472d. 1764--four dispatches from Mr. d'Abbadie, on the difficulties

encountered in Mobile with the Indians; correspondence on this subject.

473d. 1764--correspondence of Mr. d'Abbadie on the same subject;

encloses copy of a letter from Mr. John Stuart of Illinois, complaining of

munitions of war being supplied the Indians.

474th. 1727, 15th Nov.--Mr. Perrier on the situation of the Colony.

475th. 1702--Memorial on Mobile and the Mississippi plan of


476th. 1749--Mr. de Vaudreuil renders an account of the situation of

the Colony.

477th. 1741, 25th Jan.--Mr. de Beauchamp on the Indian wars.

478th. 1742, 15th March--M. Duvergé handing his "feuille de service."

479th. 1742, 18th February and 28th March--Mr. de Bienville giving an

account of the situation of the Colony.

480th. 1742, 13th Feb.--Mr. Salmon announces the attack on a convoy

ascending the Illinois, by the Indians.

481st. No date--Mr. Perrier announces the defeat of the Natchez.

482d. 1731, 5th Dec.--Messrs. Perrier and Salmon, on Louisiana and

Illinois, details on the mines and agriculture.

483d. 1697--project of colonization on the Mississippi. This

document is highly interesting.

484th. 1759--Mr. Rochemore, relative to his administration.


Page 82

485th. 1742, 24th March--Messrs. de Bienville and Salmon. Report on

the waxtree.

486th. 1765, 2d Aug.--Mr. Foucault regarding reproaches addressed to

Mr. d'Abbadie for having granted an exclusive privilege to five or six

merchants of trading with the Indians. States the reasons which had

induced Mr. d'Abbadie to introduce letters of Exchange on France; adds

that he had approved both measures which the miserable condition of the

Colony had rendered of an absolute necessity that a friendly intercourse

might be kept up with the Indians.

487th. 1731, 24th June--Mr. Diron Dartaguette giving an account of an

attack by the Natchez on barges ascending to the Arkansas and of the

destruction of the Tonicas on the 13th June by the Natchez.

488th. No date--memorial on Louisiana, showing that the first

establishment in Louisiana was at Mobile, where a fort was built; the next

at Biloxi, where are two copper mines; and then at New Orleans.

Barrataria is represented as a valuable section for its timber. The

author says that at Natchitoches near the village of Caddaquioux is to be

found a very rich silver mine, the produce of which had been tried by a

Portuguese, named Antoine, a miner from Mexico. He speaks of the

emigration to Louisiana of Canadian families in 1686; states that in 1699,

Mr. d'Iberville arrived with another colony of Canadians, which was

followed by other families headed by a Mr. Du Tessenet; the emigrants came

by land, first ascending the St. Laurent to the lake Erie, then ascending

a small river emptying itself in that lake, to the portage des miamis;

their effects being thence transported by the Indians to the river Miamis,

where pirogues, out of a single tree, and large enough to contain 30

persons, were built for the voyage down the Mississippi, first descending

the Oyo. The author further points out the high lands of Manchac as the

best place for a city, and New Orleans as a place of deposit; the whole of

the document is interesting.

489th. 1759, 13th Oct.--Mr. Rochemore, giving an account of the trial

of the English sloop Texel, from Jamaica with a rich cargo, and of her

condemnation; states that Mr. de Kerlerec had notwithstanding this trial

released the vessel.

490th. 1759, 13th Oct.--the same subject.

491st. 1685, August--Mr. de Beaujeu, on the expedition of Lasalle

which terminated his life; advises the minister to apply to Mr. Demanille,

a priest of the Seminary of St. Sulpice, for information he as well as

himself having formed part of Lasalle's expedition.

492d. No date--account of the defeat of Major Dartaguette, of


Page 83

his death and of that of 45 of his men; among whom there were 17 or 18

officers; the French detachment was composed of 130 men, 38 Iroquois, 38

Arkansas, 190 Illinois and Miami, in all 396 men. The expedition left

Illinois on the 20th February, 1736, reached the Chicachas country on the

24th March, and attacked them on the same day; they were abandoned by the

Illinois and Miami, which compelled Dartaguette to retreat, hence the

defeat and heavy loss sustained.

493d. 1736, 26th May--interesting account by Du Tertre of the attack

of the French to the number of 7 to 800 men of the fortified village of

the Chicachas, on a hill at about 250 leagues from New Orleans. The

French being defeated with a loss of 120 men; fortifications described;

surrounded by timber one cubic foot placed circularly with three rows of

loopholes; the Chicachas were bedded to the stomach in the earth, observed

the greatest silence, and suffered the French to approach within good

musket shot before firing; their first fire killed 50 men, the second 30,


494th. 1733, 19th March--plan of the Ursulines Convent, (signed)


495th. 1734, 15th March--plan of Mobile, (signed) "Devin."

496th. 1702--objections to plan proposed by Mr. d'Iberville, to

invite the Illinois and Scioux to emigrate to the Mississippi.

497th. 1702--memorial on the Mississippi and Mobile; reasons Of Mr.

d'Iberville for giving the preference to Mobile; among others the

impossibility of forming a military establishment at the mouth of the

Mississippi; population of Mobile 139, to wit: 9 officers, 24 sailors, 2

couriers, 14 workmen, 64 Canadians, 26 soldiers.

498th. 1741, 5th May--interesting report of Mr. Duvergé civil


499th. 1740, 5th May--Mr. Duvergé on his discovery of a road from New

Orleans to Illinois, through the Chicachas nation; complains of the

treatment of certain officers towards him.

500. 1738, 26th April--journal of Mr. Duvergé during his voyage to

recognize the Chicachas road; accompanied by a plan, which is not to be


501st. 1736, 19th Sept.--Mr. Duvergé complaining of the conduct of

the government towards him.

502d. 1734, 4th May--Mr. Duvergé complaining of being without

commission as engineer.

503d. 1733, 9th August--Mr. Duvergé on the same subject; all his

letters possess more or less information.


Page 84

504th. 1736, 13th Sept.--Mr. de Bienville on the Indians.

505th. 1731, 30th Nov.--memorial of Mr. St. Denis, on the means to

protect the country against the insults of the Indians, &c.; void of


506th. 1731, 30th Nov.--Mr. St. Denis, bitter complaints of the

abandonment of the colony by the government.

507th. 1736, 29th May--Mr. de Bienville on the Indians.

508th. 1735, 16th Sept.--Messrs. de Bienville and Salmon on the


509th. 1736--do. do. on the Chicachas.

510th. 1745, 1st April--Mr. de Laye, presenting a plan of campaign

against the Chicachas, and to destroy their fort.

511th. 1750--memoranda for the King, extracted from the

correspondence of Mr. de Vaudreuil on the Indians.

512th. 1759, 30th June--correspondence between Messrs. Rochemore and

de Kerlerec, on the necessity of emitting paper money to pay the officers

of the King.

513th. No date--miserable condition of the colony, plans proposed;

mere repetitions.

514th. 1726--agreement with Mr. Basin, a miner and a drawer;

memoranda of tools required to work the mines.

515th. 1729--memorial on the changes it would be advisable to make in

the administration of the West India Company; this document is

interesting, as it shows the whole organization of the company.

516th. 1722, 1st July--Mr. Chassin, of Illinois, interesting details

on the mines; speaks of siver coins and plates brought by the Indians

trading with Mexico.

517th. 1723, 21st Sept.--Mr. Furry to the Duke d'Orleans, praying

that he be permitted to have his memoir on Louisiana printed, and offering

to prove that there is no country in France or Europe equal to Louisiana,

and that none but ignorants and traitors can have a different opinion.

518th. 1725--memorial of Hubert on Louisiana, drawn up by order of

the Duke of Noailles.

519th. 1722, 9th Dec.--memorial of Drouet de Valdeterre on Louisiana,

presents a complete organization.

520th. 1720, 25th Dec.--interesting memorial on Louisiana, Bernard de

la Harpe.

521st. 1717, 5th July--propositions by the West India Company to the

navy council, and memorial to that effect.


Page 85

Three large and well bound minute books, to wit: Vol. I., 1712 to

1720, contents:

1st. Letters patent granted by the King to Mr. Crozat for the

exclusive commerce of Louisiana, dated "Fontainebleau, 14th September,

1712." Privileges of Mr. Crozat, returned to the King 23d August, 1717.

Letters patent in the form of an edict creating the West India Company in

August, 1717; exclusive privileges granted to that company for 25 years,

to begin 1st January, 1718, and to close in December, 1742.

Instructions by the company; its administrative acts; organization

prepared in Paris; appointments by the King of officers recommended by the


This book of record was kept by the company.

Vol. II. 1721 to 1731, contents:

1st September, 1721, concession of lands to Mr. de Boisbriant.

16th May, 1722, ordinance in behalf of the Capuchins for an

establishment in Louisiana.

19th December, 1722, ordinance relative to the Capuchins.

December, 1722, Mr. Delachaise appointed by the King with

extraordinary powers, to investigate the whole of the West India Company's

affairs in Louisiana.

January, 1724, presentation by the King of Mr. Delachaise to fulfill

the functions of first counselor in the conseil supérieur of Louisiana.

January 11th, 1724, letters patent giving admission to Mr.

Dela-chaise in the conseil snpérieur of Louisiana.

February, 1724, Brevet permitting Mr. Delachaise to accept the

appointment of honorary counselor in the "conseil de la Régie of


July 5th, 1725, Brevet permitting the establishment of the Capuchins

in Louisiana.

September 13th, 1726, treaty with the Ursulines.

September 18th, 1726, Brevet in favor of the Ursulines. Decree

regulating the concessions granted, and to be hereafter granted in

Louisiana, &c. &c.

Vol. III., contents:

Edicts; letters patent; declarations; decrees; ordinances and rules

concerning Louisiana.

From 24th September, 1712, to 27th August, 1746, edicts, letters

patent, declarations, ordinances and decrees of the council of state,

ordinances and rules of governors, and decrees and rules of the "conseil


Page 86

supérieur" concerning Louisiana, from 23d January, 1731, on which day the

West India Company surrendered its government to the King, to 27th August,


Declaration of the King of 17th July, 1743, regarding the judgments

to be rendered in land contestations, and on the subject of land

concessions to be granted in the colony.

In the "BIBLIOTHEQUE DU ROI," Paris, NO. 650. "Relation ou annale

véritable de ce qui s'est passé dans le Pays de la Louisiane, pendant 22

années, par Perricaul," (from 1700 to 1722,) small quarto, methodically

written and divided into chapters, 374 pages.

NO. 1074. "Journal du voyage de la Louisiane, fait par le Sr.

Bernard de la Harpe, et des découvertes qu'il a faites dans la partie de

l'ouest de cette colonie," (in the year from 1718 to 1722 inclusive.)

Large folio, 160 pages.

NO. 628. Sup. fi. (same volume as the above.) "Journal du voyage fait

par deux frégates du Roy, la Pradine commandée par Mr. d'Iberville, et le

Marin par Mr. le Chevalier de Surgères, qui partirent de Brest le 24 Oct.

1698." Large folio, 86 pages.

There are several other interesting letters and papers relating to

Louisiana, in the same volume, and at the same period; also a manuscript

map of the Mississippi river, dated 1700.

In this map the Red river is called, Sablonnière, the Arkansas,

Tonti, and the Missouri, Rivière des Osages. You will also receive by

this opportunity copies of two very interesting documents.

1st. 1st September, 1769, letter of Governor Aubry to his government,

giving a full account of the occurrences in New Orleans on the arrival of

Governor O'Reilly, of his participation in the arrest and condemnation of

Messrs. de la Frenière and others; of the means used to bring the

conspirators together at the government house, where they suddenly found

themselves surrounded by a body of grenadiers, at the close of a speech of

Governor O'Reilly, which is given at full length in said letter.

2d. Records of the trial and condemnation of Messrs. Nicolas

Lafrenière, Jean Baptiste Noyan, Balthazar Mazan, Pierre Marquis, Joseph

Villeré, Pierre Carrère, Pierre Hardi de Boisblanc, Joseph Petit, Jean

Milhet, Joseph Milhet, Pierre Poupet, Julien Jerome Doucet, Foucault et

Bienville, whereby it appears that Pierre Marquis was commander-in-chief:

that his project was to establish a Republic similar to that of

Switzerland, and a bank under the name of the "Mont de piété;" that this

bank was put in operation under the direction of Mr. Hardy de Boisblanc;

that a form of government


Page 87

had been prepared; that previous to his arrest, Marquis had thrown it into

the fire; that on the 20th Oct. 1769, the accused were found guilty of

high treason; that on the 24th Governor O'Reilly approved the sentence,

condemning Messrs. Nicolas Chauvin Lafrenière, Jean Baptiste Noyan, Pierre

Carrere, Pierre Marquis and Joseph Milhet, to be hung. And declaring

infamous the memory of Mr. Villeré, (killed in prison.) Also condemning

Mr. Joseph Petit to perpetual imprisonment in one of the strong castles of

his Catholic Majesty. Messrs. Balthazar Mazan and Julien Jerome Doucet, to

10 years' imprisonment; and Messrs. Pierre Hardy de Boisblanc, Jean

Milhet et Pierre Poupet to six years' imprisonment; ordering all the

papers, documents, &c., found in the possession of the conspirators to be

burned upon the public place by the public executioner, and confiscating

the whole of their property in favor of the crown. That on the 25th Oct.

the Licentiate Felix del Rey informed Governor O'Reilly officially that

the above sentence could not be carried into execution because a hangman

was not to be found in the country. That on the same day Governor

O'Reilly ordered the conspirators condemned to death to be shot. That on

the 26th October, 1769, at 3 o'clock P. M., Messrs. Nicolas Chauvin

Lafrenière, Pierre Marquis, Joseph Mllhet, Jean Baptiste Noyan, and Pierre

Carrere, with their arms well secured by ropes, were taken out of the

barracks of the Regiment of Lisbon, where they had been imprisoned, and

conducted under a strong escort of officers and grenadiers, to the place

designated for their execution, where a large number of troops had been

formed into a square, that their sentence was there read to them in the

French language, immediately after which they were shot. That on the same

day all the seditious papers found among the conspirators were burned on

the public square. That on the following day Messrs. Joseph Petit,

Balthazar Mazan, Julien Jerome Doucet, Pierre Hardy de Boisblanc, Jean

Milhet, et Pierre Poupet, were shipped to the Havana to be confined in the

Moro Castle.


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Since my arrival in this country, I have written three letters by

different opportunities to Havana, and without being honored with a reply

to either, I embrace this occasion to address you another, believing it

will always be agreeable to you to hear from me. I sailed from Havana

with my fleet on Sunday, May 18th,* although I had written you I would not

weigh anchor before the 25th. I set sail sooner than I had intended, in

order to profit by a favorable wind. We had no sooner, however, entered

the Gulf than we were becalmed, which prevented us from reaching this

coast before Whitsunday the 25th. We missed our port by five or six

leagues through the carelessness of the pilots, which obliged me to embark

on board of one of the brigantines to go in search of it, which detained

me three days more. But another cause of this delay was my ignorance of

the channel, which led me into a bay some twelve leagues or more inland,

from which I found it difficult to extricate myself. This loss of time,

therefore, obliged me to send Vasco Parcallo de Figueroa, my

lieutenant.general, with the brigantines to take possession of a village

at the foot of the bay, and I ordered him to land all the troops and

horses there, where I afterwards joined him, with some difficulty, on

Trinity Sunday. The Indians became frightened, and deserted the

Garcilaso de la Vega, the Inca, says the 25th of May, 1539.


Page 92

country, so that in a distance of thirty leagues or more we did not meet

with a human being.

As soon as I landed I was informed that a Christian was in the power

of a cacique of the country. I accordingly dispatched Baltasar de

Gallegos with forty horsemen and as many foot soldiers, to bring him into

camp. After marching a day's journey he overtook the Christian in company

with eight or ten Indians, who were coming to me. I was much pleased with

this good fortune, for this man knew the language of the country, although

he had almost forgotten his own. His name is Juan Ortiz, a gentleman of

Seville. I afterwards went in person to the cacique of this province, and

learned from him that his intentions were entirely pacific. I then

dispatched Baltasar de Gallegos with eighty lancers and one hundred foot

soldiers, to reconnoitre the country. He found it cultivated with fields

of Indian corn, beans, pumpkins, and other vegetables, sufficient for the

supply of a large army. Having arrived at a cacique's called

Hurripacuxi,* who is the chief of several provinces, I negotiated with him

a treaty of peace, which he broke very soon after. I had him immediately

arrested, with seventeen others, among whom were several old men, who were

influential with the Indians, and acquainted with the interior of the

country. They told me that after three days' journey I would come to a

country well peopled and cultivated, and to a large city called Aquerra;

and after two more days' we should reach another city called Ocale, where

it would be pleasant for us to spend the winter.

They related to me so many improbable things about its magnificence,

that I dare not repeat them all to you. They said we should find here all

kinds of poultry, and deer Guayhacos enclosed in parks. Besides persons

who carried on a brisk trade with them in gold and pearls, which were

found in their province in great quantities. I trust in God it may be so,

for I have threatened to punish them if they attempt to deceive me. The

Christian has so far rendered me very important services. Indeed I do not

know what would have become of us if we had not been so fortunate as to

have met with him. I constantly return thanks to God for his watchful

care over us. There are still at sea eighty foot soldiers in the

brigantines. My general has taken forty horsemen with him, for the purpose

of assisting Juan d'Anasco, who has surprised a large body of Indians.

When he returns I shall go into winter quarters at Ocale, where I

The Urribacuxi of Vega.


Page 93

hope to find all that my army should stand in need of. I hope that God

will prosper this expedition for his service, and that I may ever be found

useful to my country. In spite of the arduous duties I have to perform, I

can never forget my country, and the many obligations I am under to my

friends. I am indeed sorry it is not in my power to greet them in person.

I beg of you to continue to govern the country well, for which I shall

never cease to thank you. As it regards the fort which was commenced

before my departure, I wish you to have it finished, as the time may come

when it will be useful for the defence of the city. I now pray God to

keep your lordships from all harm, and prosper your undertakings. I

subscribe myself in this city and port of Saint Esprit, in the province of

Florida, this ninth day of July, 1539,

Your lordships' obedient servant,



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(Facteur de sa Majesté.)


HAVING arrived at the Port of Baya Honda,+ we landed six hundred and

twenty men, and two hundred and twenty-three horses. As soon as we had

done so, we were informed by one of the Indians we had captured, that a

Christian++ was living a few leagues off, who had served in the expedition

of Pamfile de Narvaez. The cacique of this province on hearing we had

landed, asked the Christian if he wished to return to us. He answered him

in the affirmative, and immediately sent him, with nine Indians, to our

camp. His body was naked, and in his hand he had a bow and arrows. As

soon as we perceived them coming we took them for spies, and marched out

to meet them, but they fled in every direction. The horsemen dashed after

them and wounded one of the Indians, and would have killed the Christian

if he had not invoked "the Virgin Mary;" and made signs that he was a

Christian, for he had almost forgotten to speak our language. He was

immediately conducted to the governor. He

* This narrative was presented, says Munoz, to the King and

Council of the Indies in 1544, by Luis Hernandez de Biedma, who

accompanied the expedition in the capacity of "Facteur de sa Majesté," and

has been but very recently discovered in Spain.

+ The Espiritu Santo of Vega, and now called Tampa Bay.

++ Juan Ortiz, a gentleman of Seville.


Page 98

stated that he had been twelve years among the Indians, and spoke their

language perfectly; but that he was unacquainted with the country, and was

unable to tell us anything about it, except that there was no gold in it.

We now set out from the Port of Baya Honda, to penetrate the interior

of the country, with all the troops except twenty-six horsemen and sixty

foot soldiers, which we left behind to defend the fort, until they should

receive orders from the governor to join him. We marched in a westerly

direction, and then north-east. We heard of a cacique who received

tribute from all the nations. His name was Hurripacuxi,* and lived about

twelve leagues from the coast. We continued to march across swamps and

rivers for fifteen or twenty leagues, and reached a village about which we

had been told strange stories. Among others, they pretended that when the

inhabitants shouted aloud, the birds flying in the air would fall dead to

the ground. We arrived at a small village called Eto-cale.+ Here we found

some Indian corn, beans, and little dogs, which was not a meal for our

hungry army. We remained here seven or eight days, during which time we

made an attempt to entrap some Indians, to serve us as guides to the

province of Apalache. We then set out in the direction of New Spain,

marching ten or twelve leagues from the coast. After five or six days'

journey, we passed some hamlets, and arrived at a village called

Aquacalecuen, when we found the Indians had fled to the woods.

We remained here five or six days to procure guides, and took with us

ten or twelve women, one of whom informed us that she was the daughter of

a cacique, who afterwards joined us. After six or seven days' journey, we

met a hundred and fifty Indians armed with bows and arrows, who were

watching an opportunity to rescue the cacique we had brought with us. We

killed a few and captured others; among the latter were some who were

acquainted with the interior of the country. We then passed a river, and

crossed a country called Veachile, where we found a great many deserted

villages. We came to a village called Aquile,++ on the frontier of the

province of Apalache, and separated from Veachile by a river,§ over which

we threw a bridge of rafts tied together. We crossed it with difficulty,

for the Indians had posted themselves on the opposite bank, and fought

with great

* The Urriba cuxi of Vega.

+ Near the Suwanee.

++ Supposed to he a village of that name now south of the Allachua


§ Supposed to be the Suwanee River.


Page 99

bravery. We marched to the village of Ivi-ta-chuco,* but as soon as the

Indians saw us, they set fire to their village and fled. The province of

Apalache contains many villages, but we found provisions very scarce

there. From Apalache we marched to the province of Yustaga. The governor

now thought it time to hear from those he had left behind at Baya Honda,

as it was not his intention to advance so far into the country as to

render it impossible to have any communication with them.

We had now traveled one hundred and ten leagues. The governor went

in search of the sea, which was nine leagues distant. We had now come to

that part of the coast where Pamfile de Narvaez had built his vessels. We

recognized the spot on which he had built his smithy, and saw a great

quantity of horses' bones scattered about.+ The Indians told us the

Christians had built their vessels here. As soon as Juan d'Anasco had

marked the trees on the shore, the governor ordered him to go to Baya

Honda, and send forward the troops he had left there, and to return

himself by sea with the brigantines to Apalache. As soon as the

brigantines had arrived, the governor sent them again to sea, under the

command of the Chevalier Francisco Maldonado de Salamanca, to find a port

to the East. He coasted along shore until he reached a bay++ which had a

good harbor. On the bank of a river was an Indian village, some of whom

came to trade with him. He spent two months in making this exploration.

As soon as he returned, the governor ordered him to take the brigantines,

on board of which was Donna Isabella de Bobadilla, to Havana, and on his

arrival there, to set sail again with them to the river Saint Esprit,

where he agreed to meet him in six months, if he should not hear from him


As soon as the brigantines had set sail for Cuba, we began our march

to the north, and journeyed five days through a desert until we came to a

large and rapid river, which we crossed over in boats.

This province is called Acapachiqui.** We observed some

* The Vitachuco of Vega.

+ Supposed to be the site of the present town of St. Marks, where

Pamfile de Narvaez embarked the miserable remnant of his troops, on the

22d September, 1525, to return to Spain.

++ Supposed to be Pensacola Bay, the Achusi of Vega.

§ In the following year (1542) Maldonado returned to the Port of Achusi

(Pensacola), to communicate with De Soto, but not finding him there he

returned to Havana.

** The Capachiqui of Yoga.


Page 100

villages, but as the country was covered with very extensive swamps, we

could not explore them. The Indian huts in this province were differently

constructed from those we had previously seen. They were dug in the

ground, and resembled caverns, while those we had passed were above

ground, and covered with branches of palm trees and straw. We continued

our march until we came to two rivers, which we crossed by making rafts of

pine trees, and entered a province called Otoa,* where we found a much

larger village than we had yet seen. We captured some Indians, to serve us

as guides and interpreters. We took five or six days to cross this

country to a province called Chisi.+ From Chisi we went to a province

called Attapaha. Here we found a river which flowed towards the south,

like those we had already passed, and emptied into the sea where Vasquez

de Ayllon had landed. This province is well peopled. The governor

questioned the Indians about the province of Cafitachiqui.++ They told

him it was impossible to get there, as there were no roads, nor provisions

of any kind which he could obtain, and that he must die of hunger if he

attempted it.

Nevertheless, we continued our march until we came to some caciques

(Ocute and Cofoque), who gave us some provisions, and told us that if we

would declare war against the Queen of Cafitachiqui,§ they would furnish

us with all that we needed on the road, and warned us that they had no

communication with her, as they were at war with her. Seeing that we were

resolved on going there, they furnished us with eight hundred Indians to

carry our provisions and baggage, and guides who took us in an easterly

direction, but after three days we found them deceiving us, nor did we

know which road to take to this province. The governor sent men in

different directions to find a road, and gave them each ten days to go and

come, with orders to report any villages which they might see. Those who

went in the direction of south, and south-east, returned four days after,

and reported they had found a little hamlet, and some provisions. They

brought with them some Indians, who understood our guides, which was very

fortunate for us, as we had but few interpreters. We immediately marched

for this hamlet, to wait there until the messengers who had gone in the

other direction could join us. Here we found fifty fanegas of Indian

* The Aute of Vega.

+ The Chisca of Vega.

++ Supposed to be about the head waters of the Savannah River.

§ The Copachiqui of Vega.


Page 101

corn, some wheat, and a great many mulberry trees, and other wild fruit.

As soon as the other messengers came we set out for the village of

Cofitachiqui, which was twelve days' journey from this hamlet, situated on

the banks of a river, which we took for the Saint Helene.*

When we arrived, the queen sent us one of her nieces, in a litter

carried by Indians. She sent the governor a present of a necklace of

beads, canoes to cross the river with, and gave us half the village to

lodge in. The governor opened a large temple built in the woods, in which

was buried the chiefs of the country, and took from it a quantity of

pearls, amounting to six or seven arrobes, which were spoiled by being

buried in the ground. We dug up two Spanish axes, a chaplet of wild olive

seed, and some small beads, resembling those we had brought from Spain for

the purpose of trading with the Indians. We conjectured they had obtained

these things by trading with the companions of Vasquez de Ayllon. The

Indians told us the sea was only about thirty leagues distant. They also

informed us that Vasquez de Ayllon had not penetrated far into the

country, but had mostly followed the sea shore, until his death. That a

large number of his soldiers died of hunger, and out of six hundred who

had landed in this country with him, only fifty-seven had escaped.

We remained ten or twelve days in the queen's village, and then set

out to explore the country. We marched in a northerly direction eight or

ten days, through a mountainous country, where there was but little food,

until we reached a province called Xuala,+ which was thinly inhabited.++

We then ascended to the source of the great river, which we supposed was

the Saint Espirit. At the village of Guasuli, they gave us a great many

dogs, and some corn to eat, which served us until we reached a village

called Chisca,§ where we found an abundance of provisions. It is built on

an island in the Saint Esprit river, and near its source.** The Indians

live here in walled villages, and make a great deal of oil from nuts. We

remained here twenty-six or seven days, to rest our horses, which had

become very

* Supposed to be in the Cherokee country, and probably the Hiwassee or

Tennessee River.

+ The most northern point of De Soto's travels, and probably in the

latitude of 35 N.

++ Supposed to be the mountainous country of the Cherokees.

§ Supposed to be in the country of the Chicachas.

** Supposed to be the Flint or Apalachicola River.


Page 102

thin. We continued our march along this river,* until we arrived in the

province of Costehe, where the villages were likewise built on the islands

of the river. The province of Coca is one of the best countries we have

seen in Florida. The cacique came to meet us, borne in a litter, and

accompanied by a numerous train. But the next morning his followers

deserted him. We kept the cacique a prisoner until he agreed to furnish

us with Indians to carry our baggage. In this country we found prunes

resembling those of Spain, and vines which produced excellent grapes.

Leaving this province we marched west and south-west, for five or six

days. We passed a great number of villages, and at the end of that time

we entered the province called Italisi. The inhabitants fled in every

direction; but the cacique came soon after, and presented us with

twenty-six or seven women, and some deer skins. We then proceeded south,

and passing through some villages, we arrived in the province of

Tascalusa,+ whose cacique was of such a height that we took him for a

giant. On arriving at his village we gave him a tournament, and offered

him other amusements, of which he took no notice. We requested him to give

us some Indians to carry our baggage, which he refused with a sneer. The

governor then took him a prisoner, which greatly enraged him; and was the

cause of his treachery to us afterwards. He told us that he could not

give us anything here, but we must go to his village, called Mavila, where

he would furnish him with all the provisions we stood in need of. We came

to a large river which empties into the bay called Chuse.++ The Indians

informed us that Narvaez's vessels had touched here for water, and left a

Christian called Teodoro, who was still among the Indians. They showed us

a poignard which had belonged to him. We took two days to construct a raft

to cross the river. In the meantime the Indians killed one of the

governor's guard. The governor punished the cacique for it, and threatened

to burn him alive if he did not deliver up the murderers. He then

promised to deliver them up at Mavila. This cacique had a number of

servants with him. He had one to brush off the flies, and another to

carry a sunshade.

We arrived at Mavila§ at nine o'clock in the morning. It was a

* Probably the Coosa River.

+ This province probably gave name to the River Tuscaloosa in


++ Pensacola Bay, the Achusi of Vega.

§ This town, the Mauvila of Vega, is supposed to have stood on the

north side of the Alabama, about the junction of that river with the

Tombecbe, about


Page 103

village built on a plain, and surrounded by strong walls. On the outside

the Indians had pulled down their huts; so as not to embarrass them. Some

of the chiefs met us and told us we could encamp on the plain, but the

governor preferred going with them into the town. We saw only three or

four hnndred Indians, who entertained us with dancing and feasting, but

there was hid in the town five or six thousand men, to surprise us. After

the dancing was over the cacique retired into one of his huts. The

governor requested him to come out, which he refused to do. The captain

of the governor's guard went in after him, and found it filled with

warriors, armed with bows and arrows. He reported to the governor what he

had seen, and told him that he suspected they were going to commit some

treason. The governor then sent for another cacique, who also refused to

come. The Indians now began to shoot their arrows from the loopholes in

their houses, while others discharged them from the outside. We were not

upon our guard, as we had supposed them friends, and consequently we

suffered severely. We retreated to the outside of the village. Our

baggage remained where it had been thrown down, and as soon as the Indians

discovered we had fled, they shut the gates of the village, and commenced

to pillage our baggage.

The governor ordered sixty or eighty horsemen to arrange them-selves

into four platoons, and attack the village in four different places. He

directed the first who should enter the village to set fire to the houses,

while the rest of the soldiers were ordered not to let any escape. We

fought from morning till night, without a single Indian asking for

quarters. When night came, only three Indians were found left guarding

the twenty women who had danced before us. Two of these were killed, and

the other, ascending a tree, took the string from his bow and hung himself

from one of the limbs. We lost twenty men killed, and had two hundred and

fifty wounded.* During the night we dressed the wounded with the fat of

the slain Indians, because our medicine was burnt with the baggage. We

remained here twenty-seven or eight days, until the wounded could recover.

We then departed, taking with us the women, whom we distributed among the

wounded to nurse them.

The Indians had told us we were more than forty leagues from the

one hundred miles from Pensacola. There is little doubt that it gave the

name to the present river and bay of Mobile.

* Garcilaso de la Yega states the loss of the Spaniards to be

eighty-two, and the Indians above eleven thousand.


Page 104

sea. We desired the governor to approach it, so that we might get some

news from the brigantines, but he dared not do it, as it was now already

in the middle of November, and he wished to find a country where there

were provisions, and could go into winter quarters. We marched north ten

or twelve days, suffering intensely from the cold, until at length we

reached a fertile province, where we went into winter quarters. The cold

here is greater than in Spain. This province is called Chicaca.* The

Indians defended the rivers we had to cross, but afterwards they fled to

the woods. In seven or eight days after, the cacique sent envoys to the

governor. They were well received by him, and he sent word to the cacique

to present himself. The cacique came in a litter, and brought with him

rabbits, and whatever he could procure in the country, to give us to eat.

At night we surprised some Indians who pretended they had come into our

camp to see how we slept. Suspecting their motives we increased our

guards. As these Indians knew how we had placed our guards, three hundred

entered the village and set fire to it. They killed fifty-seven horses,

three hundred hogs, and thirteen or fourteen of our men, and afterwards


We remained here the next day, in a very bad condition. We had a few

horses left, but we had no saddles, lances, or shields, for all had been

burnt. In five days after, the Indians renewed the attack. They marched to

battle in great order, and attacked us on three sides. We went out to meet

them, and put them to flight. We sojourred here two months, during which

time we made saddles, lances, and shields, after which we marched to the

north-west, until we reached the province of Alibamo.+ Here the Indians

had built a strong palisade, and had three hundred men to defend it, with

orders to die rather than to let us pass through. As soon as we perceived

the warriors behind the palisade, we thought they had provisions, or

something valuable behind it. We were in great want of provisions, and

knew that we had to cross a great desert before we could find any. We,

therefore, arranged ourselves into two divisions, and attacked the enemy.

We carried the palisade, but we lost seven or eight men, and had

twenty-five wounded. We found enough provisions behind the palisade to

last us our journey of ten or twelve days through the desert. The wounded

and sick gave us a great deal of trouble, and on the last day we very

unexpectedly entered a village called Quiz Quiz.++

* Supposed to be the country of the Chicasaws.

+ This province gave its name to the Alabama River.

++ The Chisca of Garcilaso de la Vega.


Page 105

The people here were poor and miserable, and were working their corn

fields when we entered it. The village was built on the banks of the

Saint Esprit. It was tributary, like many others, to the sovereign of


We left the village to encamp on the banks of the river. Here we

found the Indians had gathered to dispute our passage. They had with them

a great number of canoes. We remained here twenty- eight or nine days,

and built four large pirogues, capable of containing seventy or eighty men

each, and five or six horses. In the meantime, every day at three o'clock

in the afternoon, the Indians got into two hundred and fifty canoes,

dressed with flags, and approached our side of the river to shoot their

arrows at us, but as soon as we had finished our pirogues they made a

precipitate retreat. The river* here was about a league wide, and from

nineteen to twenty fathoms deep. We ascended this river to the province

of Pacaha, but before we arrived there we came to another province, whose

sovereign was named Yeasqui. He came to us and professed a great deal of

friendship, but he was at war with the nation we had just left. He was

well received by the governor, and that night we encamped on a plain in

sight of his village, where we remained two days. The caciques of this

country make a custom of raising, near their dwellings, very high hills,

on which they sometimes build their huts. On one of these we planted the

Cross, and went with much devotion on our knees to kiss the foot of it.

On the same evening we returned to our camp, and on the following morning

we set out for Pacaha. We journeyed two days, and reached a village in

the midst of a plain surrounded by walls, and a ditch filled with water,

which had been made by the Indians. We approached it cautiously, and when

we got near it, we saw the inhabitants going off. We entered it without

any trouble, and took a few Indians. While we remained here the cacique

whom we left behind us joined us, with a numerous troop of Indians, and

offered to assist us. The governor received him graciously, and presented

him with all the treasures we had found in the village, after which he

went away quietly.

We remained at this village twenty-six or seven days, anxious to

learn if we could take the northern route, and cross to the South Sea. We

then marched north-east, where we were told we would find large towns. We

traveled eight days through swamps, after which we met a troop of Indians,

who lived under movable tents. They informed

* The Mississippi River.


Page 106

us that there were other tribes like themselves, who pitched their tents

wherever they found deer, and carried their tents and provisions with them

on their backs from place to place. We next came to the province of

Calusi. The natives attend but little to the cultivation of land, and

live principally on fish and game. Seeing there was no way of reaching

the South Sea, we returned towards the north, and afterwards in a south-

west direction, to a province called Quigata,* where we found the largest

village we had yet seen in all our travels. It was situated on one of the

branches of a great river. We remained here six or eight days to procure

guides and interpreters, with the intention of finding the sea. The

Indians informed us there was a province eleven days off, where they

killed buffaloes, and where we could find guides to conduct us to the sea.

We set out for this province, which they called Coligua.+ There was

no road leading to it, and every day brought us to a swamp, where we

feasted on fish. We then crossed vast plains and high mountains, when

suddenly we came to the town of Coligua, where we found an abundance of

provisions, and a quantity of dry hides. We inquired here for other

villages, and they directed us to go west and south-west, and we should

find them. We accordingly followed their direction, and came to some

scattered villages bearing the name of Tatel Coya. Here we found a large

river,++ emptying into the Rio Grande. We were told that if we were to

ascend this river we should find a large province called Cayas.§ We

repaired thither, and found it a mountainous country, and composed of

populous villages. We then set out for the province of Tula** winter

quarters. But before reaching it, we had to cross very high mountains.

We came to an Indian village, where they defended themselves so bravely

that we lost seven or eight men, and as many horses. The following morning

the governor took guides, and ordered the troops to be in readiness to

march to the next province, which the Indians called Quipana, situated at

the foot of very high mountains. From thence we turned towards the east,

and crossing these mountains we descended into an inhabited plain,

favorable to our designs, and where there was a large

* Supposed to be near Little Rock, Arkansas.

+ The Coligoa of Vega, supposed to have been situated towards the

sources of the St. Francis, or the hills of the White River.

++ Probably the St. Francis.

§ Supposed to have been the country of the Quapaws.

** Supposed to have been the country between the Washita and the Little



Page 107

village built on the banks of a river,* which emptied into the great river

we had passed. This province was called Vicanque. Here we went into

winter quarters, and suffered so much from the cold and snow that we

thought we should all have perished.

The Christian+ whom we took, and who had served us as an interpreter,

died in this place. In the beginning of March we descended this river,

passing through populous provinces, until we came at last to a country the

Indians called Anicoyanque. A cacique called Guachoyanque came to see us.

He lived on the banks of the Great River. The governor set out immediately

with the Cacique for the village of Guachoyanque.++ His village was

fortified and well surrounded by walls. At this place the governor had

determined to build some brigantines to send to Cuba, to let them know

that he was still alive. He sent his captain to find out the direction of

the sea. He returned back in a few days, saying that the vast swamps

which the Great River had formed, prevented him from doing so. At length

the governor, finding his situation becoming every day more embarrassing,

and his affairs going wrong, fell sick and died.§ He appointed Luis de

Moscoso his successor. Not finding any way of reaching the sea by the

Great River, Luis de Moscoso determined on going by land to Mexico. When

we set out, we traveled twenty-seven days in a westerly direction to the

province of Chaviti, where the Indians made salt.** From thence we went

in three days to the province of Aquacay.

The Indians told us here that the country beyond was a wilderness and

uninhabited. That to find villages we must go towards the south-east. We

then came to a province called Nissione, then to

* Supposed to be the Arkansas.

+ Juan Ortiz.

++ Supposed to be situated a short distance from the Mississippi, the

Guachoya of Vega.

§ Thus died at the age of forty-two, Hernando de Soto, one of the

bravest of the many leaders who figured in the first discoveries of the

Western world. No one was better qualified to rule the hardy spirits

under him. He was stern in command; agreeable in his common intercourse,

gentle and courteous in his manners; patient and persevering under all

difficulties. His body was enclosed in the trunk of a green oak, and

conveyed to the middle of the Mississippi, where it was sunk in nineteen

fathoms water. Thus the first discoverer of the Mississippi River made

his grave in the bosom of its waters. ** Supposed to be the salines of

the Washita River.



Page 108

Naudacho,* and Lacame. We made inquiries here about the province of

Xuacatino. The cacique of Naudacho gave us a guide to conduct us through

the country. He led us accordingly into a wilderness, and when we got

there he told us that his master had ordered him to take us to a country

where we should die with hunger. We now took another guide, who conducted

us to the province of Hais, where we saw buffaloes, but the Indians

prevented us from killing them. We came to Xuacatin, and passed some

small villages, without finding any provisions. We then returned towards

the south, determined to die or reach New Spain. We continued to march in

this direction eight or nine days more, hoping to provide ourselves with

provisions for the journey.+ We arrived at last at some miserable huts,

where the Indians lived by hunting and fishing, and finding that our corn

must soon give out, we resolved to return to the village where Governor

Soto had died, to build some vessels to return to our country. But when we

arrived there we did not find the facilities we had expected, and were

obliged to seek another place, to go into winter quarters, and build our


God permitted us to find two villages to suit our purposes,++ upon

the Great River.§ These villages were fortified. We remained here six

months to build seven brigantines. We launched them on the river, and it

was a miracle they did not leak. They sailed well, although they were

calked with the thin bark of mulberry trees. When we embarked the troops

we intended if we could find a village on the seashore to stop there,

until we could send two brigantines with dispatches to the Viceroy of New

Spain, to send us vessels to return it to Spain. On the second day out, as

we were descending the river, some forty or fifty canoes came towards us,

in one of which were eighty warriors. They shot arrows at us, and

captured some of the small canoes we had taken with us, in which were

twelve of our best soldiers. The current of the river was so rapid that

we could not go to their assistance. Encouraged by this victory, the

Indians continued to harass us until

* Nagodoches.

+ The march of Moscoso west of the Mississippi was evidently on the

hunting-grounds of the far west, and got upon the prairies, where in many

parts they were little better than deserts.

++ Aminoya and----, supposed to have been situated in the neighborhood

of the present town of Helena, a few miles above the mouth of the Arkansas


§ Moscoso and his followers committed themselves to the Mississippi on

the second of July, 1543.


Page 109

we reached the sea, which took us nineteen days. They soon discovered

that we had neither arquebuses nor cross-bows to reach them. The only arms

we had were some swords and shields, consequently they had nothing to fear

from us. We entered the sea through one of the mouths of the river,* and

for three days and nights we could not see land, but after that we came in

sight of it, and took in some water to drink. At length we perceived

towards the west some small islands, which we followed, keeping close to

the shore, to find something to eat, until we entered the River Panuco,

where we were kindly received by the inhabitants.


(Facteur de sa Majesté.)

* The Mississippi. The Indian name of this river, says de la Vega, on

the authority of Juan Coles, one of De Soto's followers, was Chucagua. In

one place they called it Tamalisen, in another Tapata, and where it enters

the sea, River. The Spaniards called it "La Pallisade," "Rio Escondido,"

or the lost river.

+ The Spaniards went to sea on the 18th July, and arrived in the river

Panuco on the 10th September, 1543. The inhabitants of Panuco, says

Garcilaso de la Vega, were all touched with pity at beholding this forlorn

remnant of the gallant armament of the renowned Hernando de Soto. They

were blackened, haggard, shriveled, and half naked, being clad only with

the skins of deer, buffaloes, bears, and other animals, looking more like

wild beasts than human beings.


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Volume 2 Chapter 6

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LONDON, 1609.


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[Page 113]






CAPTAIN SOTO was the son of a squire of Xerez of Badajoz. He went

into the Spanish Indies, when Peter Arias of Avila was Governor of the

West Indies. And there he was without anything else of his own, save his

sword and target: and for his good qualities and valor, Peter Arias made

him captain of a troop of horsemen, and by his commandment he went with

Fernando Pizarro to the conquest of Peru: where (as many persons of

credit reported, which were there present) as well at the taking of

Atabalipa, Lord of Peru, as at the assault of the city of Cusco, and in

all other places where they found resistance, wheresoever he was present,

he passed all other captains and principal persons. For which cause,

besides his part of the treasure of Atabalipa, he had a good share;

whereby in time he gathered a hundred and four score thousand ducats

together, with that which fell to his part; which he brought into Spain;

whereof the Emperor borrowed a certain part, which he repaid again with

60,000 rials of plate in the rent of the silks of Granada, and all the

rest was delivered him in the contractation house of Seville. He took

servants to wit, a steward, a gentleman usher, pages, a gentleman of the

horse, a chamberlain, lackeys, and all other officers that the house of a

noble may require. From Seville he went to the court, and in the

court, there accompanied him John Danusco of Seville, and Lewis Moscoso

D'Alvarado, Nuño de Touar, and John Rodriquez Lobillo.


Page 114

Except John Danusco, all the rest came with him from Peru: and every one

of them brought fourteen or fifteen thousand ducats: all of them went well

and costly appareled. And although Soto of his own nature was not

liberal, yet because that was the first time that he was to show himself

in the court, he spent frankly, and went accompanied with those which I

have named, and with his servants, and many others which resorted unto

him. He married with Donna Isabella de Bobadilla, daughter of Peter Arias

of Avila, Earl of Punno en Rostro. The Emperor made him the Governor of

the Isle of Cuba, and Adelantado or President of Florida; with a title of

Marquis of certain part of the lands that he should conquer.

When Don Ferdinando had obtained the government, there came a

gentleman from the Indies to the court, named Cabeça de Vaca, which had

been with the Governor Pamphilo de Narvaez which died in Florida, who

reported that Narvaez was cast away at sea with all the company that went

with him. And how he with four more escaped and arrived in Nueva España.

Also he brought a relation in writing, of that which he had seen in

Florida; which said in some places: In such a place I have seen this; and

the rest which here I saw, I leave to confer of between his Majesty and

myself. Generally he reported the misery of the country, and the troubles

which he passed: and he told some of his kinsfolk, which were desirous to

go into the Indies, and urged him very much to tell them whether he had

seen any rich country in Florida, that he might not tell them, because he

and another, whose name was Orantes, (who remained in Nueva España with

purpose to return into Florida: for which intent he came into Spain to beg

the government thereof of the Emperor) had sworn not to discover some of

those things which they had seen, because no man should prevent them in

begging the same. And he informed them that it was the richest country of

the world. Don Ferdinando de Soto was very desirous to have him with him,

and made him a favorable offer: and after they were agreed, because Soto

gave him not a sum of money which he demanded to buy a ship, they broke

off again. Baltasar de Gallegos, and Christopher de Spindola, the kinsmen

of Cabeça de Vaca, told him, that for that which he had imparted to them,

they were resolved to pass with Soto into Florida, and therefore they

prayed him to advise them what they were best to do. Cabeça de Vaca told

them, that the cause why he went not with Soto, was because he hoped to

beg another government, and that he was loth to go under the command of

another: and that he came to beg the conquest


Page 115

of Florida: but seeing Don Ferdinando de Soto had gotten it already, for

his oath's sake he might tell them nothing of that which they would know:

but he counseled them to sell their goods and go with him, and that in so

doing they should do well. As soon as he had opportunity, he spake with

the Emperor, and related unto him whatsoever he had passed and seen, and

come to understand. Of this relation, made by word of mouth to the

Emperor, the Marquis of Astorga had notice, and forthwith determined to

send with Don Ferdinando de Soto his brother Don Antonio Osorio: and with

him two kinsmen of his prepared themselves, to wit, Francis Osorio, and

Garcia Osorio. Don Antonio dispossessed himself of 60,000 rials of rent

which he held by the church; and Francis Osorio of a town of vassals,

which he had in the country de Campos. And they made their rendezvous

with the Adelantado in Seville. The like did Nuñez de Touar, and Lewis de

Moscoso, and John Rodriguez Lobillo, each of whom had brought from Peru

fourteen or fifteen thousand ducats. Lewis de Moscoso carried with him

two brethren; there went also Don Carlos, which had married the governor's

niece, and took her with him. From Badajoz there went Peter Calderan, and

three kinsmen of the Adelantado, to wit, Arias Tinoco, Alfonso Romo, and

Diego Tinoco. And as Lewis de Moscoso passed through Elvas* Andrew de

Vasconcelos spake with him, and requested him to speak to Don Ferdinando

de Soto concerning him, and delivered him certain warrants which he had

received from the Marquis of Villa Real, wherein he gave him the

captainship of Ceuta in Bararie, that he might show them unto him. And

the Adelantado saw them; and was informed who he was, and wrote unto him,

that he would favor him in all things, and by all means, and would give

him a charge of men in Florida. And from Elvas went Andrew de

Vasconcelos, and Fernan Pegado, Antonio Martinez Sequrado, Men Roiz

Pereira, John Cordero, Stephen Pegado, Benedict Fernandez, and Alvaro

Fernandez. And out of Salamanca, and Jean, and Valencia, and Albuquerque,

and from other parts of Spain, many people of noble birth, assembled at

Seville, insomuch that in Saint Lucar many men of good account, which had

sold their goods, remained behind for want of shipping, whereas for other

known and rich countries, they are wont to want men: and this fell out by

occasion of that which Cabeça de Vaca+ told the Emperor, and informed such

persons as he had conference

* Elvas is a city in Portugal.

+ Cabeça de Vaca was the Governor of the River of Plate.


Page 116

withal touching the state of that Country. Soto made him great offers,

and being agreed to go with him (as I have said before) because he would

not give him money to pay for a ship, which he had bought, they brake off,

and he went for governor to the river of Plate. His kinsmen, Christopher

de Spindola and Baltasar de Gallegos, went with Soto. Baltasar de

Gallegos sold houses and vineyards, and rent corn, and ninety ranks of

olive trees in the Xarafe of Seville. He had the office of Alcalde Mayor,

and took his wife with him. And there went also many other persons of

account with the President, and had the offices following by great

friendship, because they were offices desired of many, to wit, Antonie de

Biedma was factor, John Danusco was auditor, and John Gayton, nephew to

the Cardinal of Ciguenza, had the office of treasurer.

The Portuguese departed from Elvas the 15th of January, and came to

Seville the 19th of the same month, and went to the lodging of the

Governor, and entered into a court, over the which were certain galleries

where he was, who came down and received them at the stairs, whereby they

went up into the galleries. When he was come up, he commanded chairs to

be given them to sit on. And Andrew de Vasconcelos told him who he and

the other Portuguese were, and how they all were come to accompany him,

and serve him in his voyage. He gave him thanks, and made show of great

contentment for his coming and offer. And the table being already laid,

he invited them to dinner. And being at dinner, he commanded his steward

to seek a lodging for them near unto his own, where they might be lodged.

The Adelantado departed from Seville to Saint Lucar with all the people

which were to go with him. And he commanded a muster to be made, at the

which the Portuguese showed themselves armed in very bright armor, and the

Castellans very gallant with silk upon silk, with many pinkings and cuts.

The Governor, because these braveries in such an action did not like him,

commanded that they should muster another day, and every one should come

forth with his armor; at the which the Portuguese came as at the first

armed with very good armor. The Governor placed them in order near unto

the standard, which the ensign bearer carried. The Castellans, for the

most part, did wear very bad and rusty shirts of mail, and all of them

head- pieces and steel caps, and very bad lances. Some of them sought to

come among the Portuguese. So those passed and were counted and enrolled

which Soto liked and accepted of, and did accompany him into Florida;

which were in all six hundred men. He had already bought seven ships, and

had all necessary provision


Page 117

aboard them. He appointed captains, and delivered to every one his ship,

and gave them in a roll what people every one should carry with them.

In the year of our Lord 1538, in the month of April, the Adelantado

delivered his ships to the captains which were to go in them; and took for

himself a new ship, and good of sail, and gave another to Andrew de

Vasconcelos, in which the Portuguese went; he went over the bar of St.

Lucar on Sunday, being St. Lazarous on Sunday, in the morning of the month

and year aforesaid, with great joy, commanding his trumpets to be sounded,

and many shots of the ordnance to be discharged. He sailed four days with

a prosperous wind, and suddenly it calmed; the calms continued eight days

with swelling seas, in such wise that we made no way. The fifteenth day

after his departure from St. Lucar, he came to Gomera, one of the

Canaries, on Easter day in the morning. The Earl of that island was

appareled all in white, cloak, jerkin, hose, shoes and cap, so that he

seemed a Lord of the Gipsies. He received the Governor with much joy; he

was well lodged, and all the rest had their lodgings gratis, and got great

store of victuals for their money, as bread, wine, and flesh; and they

took what was needful for their ships, and the Sunday following, eight

days after their arrival, they departed from the Isle of Gomera. The Earl

gave to Donna Isabella, the Adelantado's wife, a bastard daughter that he

had, to be her waiting-maid. They arrived at the Antilles, in the Isle of

Cuba, at the port of the city of St. Jago, upon Whit-Sunday. As soon as

they came thither, a gentleman of the city sent to the sea-side a very

fair roan horse, and well furnished, for the Governor, and a mule for

Donna Isabella, and all the horsemen and footmen that were in the town

came to receive him at the seaside. The Governor was well lodged,

visited, and served of all the inhabitants of the city, and all his

company had their lodgings freely: those which desired to go into the

country, were divided by four and four, and six and six, in the farms or

granges, according to the ability of the owners of the farms, and were

furnished by them with all things necessary.

The city of St. Jago hath fourscore houses, which are great and well

contrived. The most part have their walls made of boards, and are covered

with thatch; it hath some houses built with lime and stones, and covered

with tiles. It hath great orchards and many trees in them, differing from

those of Spain: there be fig trees which bear figs as big as one's fist,

yellow within, and of small taste; and other trees which bear a fruit

which they call Ananes, in making and bigness like to a small pineapple:

it is a fruit very sweet in taste: the shell being taken


Page 118

away, the kernel is like a piece of fresh cheese. In the granges abroad

in the country there are other great pineapples, which grow on low trees,

and are like the Aloe tree: they are of a very good smell and exceeding

good taste. Other trees do bear a fruit which they call Mameis, of the

bigness of peaches. This the islanders do hold for the best fruit of the

country. There is another fruit which they call Guayabas, like filberts,

as big as figs. There are other trees as high as a javelin, having one

only stock without any bough, and the leaves as long as a casting dart;

and the fruit is of the bigness and fashion of a cucumber; one bunch

beareth twenty or thirty, and as they ripen the tree bendeth downward with

them: they are called in this country Plantanos, and are of a good taste,

and ripen after they be gathered; but those are the better which ripen

upon the tree itself; they bear fruit but once, and the tree being cut

down, there spring up others out of the but, which bear fruit the next

year. There is another fruit, whereby many people are sustained, and

chiefly the slaves, which are called Batatas. These grow now in the Isle

of Terçera, belonging to the kingdom of Protugal, and they grow within the

earth, and are like a fruit called Iname; they have almost the taste of a

chestnut. The bread of this country is also made of roots which are like

the Batatas.* And the stock whereon those roots do grow is like an elder

tree: they make their ground in little hillocks, and in each of them they

thrust four or five stakes; and they gather the roots a year and a half

after they set them. If any one, thinking it is a batata or potato root,

chance to eat of it never so little, he is in great danger of death: which

was seen by experience in a soldier, which as soon as he had eaten a very

little of one of those roots, he died quickly. They pare these roots and

Stamp them, and squeeze them in a thing like a press: the juice that

cometh from them is of an evil smell. The bread is of little taste and

less substance. Of the fruits of Spain, there are figs and oranges, and

they bear fruit all the year, because the soil is very rank and fruitful.

In this country are many good horses, and there is green grass all the

year. There be many wild oxen and hogs, whereby the people of the island

are well furnished with flesh. Without the towns abroad in the Country are

many fruits. And it happeneth sometimes that a Christian goeth out of the

way and is lost fifteen or twenty days, because of the many paths in the

thick groves that cross to and fro made by the oxen; and being thus lost

they sustain themselves with fruits and palmîtos--for there be many

* The Cassavi root.


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great groves of palm trees through all the island--they yield no other

fruit that is of any profit. The Isle of Cuba is three hundred leagues

long from the east to the west, and is in some places thirty, in others

forty leagues from north to south. It hath six towns of Christians, to

wit, St. Jago, Baracôa, Bayamo, Puerto de Principes, S. Espirito, Havana.

Every one hath between thirty and forty households, except St. Jago and

Havana, which have about sixty or eighty houses. They have churches in

each of them, and a chaplain which confesseth them and saith mass. In St.

Jago is a monastery of Franciscan friars; it hath but few friars, and is

well provided of alms, because the country is rich. The Church of St.

Jago hath honest revenue, and there is a curate and prebends, and many

priests, as the church of that city, which is the chief of all the island.

There is in this country much gold and few slaves to get it; for many have

made away themselves, because of the Christians' evil usage of them in the

mines. A steward of Casquez Porcallo, which was an inhabitor in that

island, understanding that his slaves would make away themselves, stayed

for them with a cudgel in his hand at the place where they were to meet,

and told them that they could neither do nor think anything that he did

not know before, and that he came thither to kill himself, with them, to

the end, that if he had used them badly in this world, he might use them

worse in the world to come: and this was a means that they changed their

purpose, and turned home again to do that which he commanded them.

The Governor sent from St. Jago his nephew Don Carlos, with the ships

in company of Donna Isabella to tarry for him at Havana, which is a haven

in the west part toward the head of the island, one hundred and eighty

leagues from the city of St. Jago. The Governor, and those which stayed

with him, bought horses and proceeded on their journey. The first town

they came unto was Bayamo: they were lodged four and four, and six and

six, as they went in company, and where they lodged, they took nothing for

their diet, for nothing cost them aught save the maize or corn for their

horses, because the Governor went to visit them from town to town, and

seized them in the tribute and service of the Indians. Bayamo is

twenty-five leagues from the city of St. Jago. Near unto the town passeth

a great river which is called Tanto; it is greater than Guadiana, and in

it be very great crocodiles, which sometimes hurt the Indians, or the

cattle which passeth the river. In all the country are neither wolf, fox,

bear, lion, nor tiger. There are wild dogs which go from the houses into

the woods and feed upon swine. There be certain


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snakes as big as a man's thigh or bigger; they are very slow, they do no

kind of hurt. From Bayamo to Puerto de los Principes are fifty leagues.

In all the island from town to town, the way is made by stubbing up the

underwood; and if it be left but one year undone, the wood groweth so much

that the way cannot be seen, and the paths of the oxen are so many, that

none can travel without an Indian of the country for a guide: for all the

rest is very high and thick woods. From Puerto de los Principes the

Governor went to the house of Vasquez Porcallo by sea in a boat (for it

was near the sea) to know there some news of Donna Isabella, which at that

instant (as afterwards was known) was in great distress, insomuch that the

ships lost one another, and two of them fell on the coast of Florida, and

all of them endured great want of water and victuals. When the storm was

over, they met together without knowing where they were: in the end they

descried the Cape of St. Anton, a country not inhabited of the island of

Cuba; there they watered, and at the end of forty days, which were passed

since their departure from the city of St. Jago, they arrived at Havana.

The Governor was presently informed thereof, and went to Donna Isabella.

And those which went by land, which were one hundred and fifty horsemen,

being divided into two parts, because they would not oppress the

inhabitants, traveled by St. Espirito, which is sixty leagues from Puerto

de los Principes. The food which they carried with them was Caçabe bread,

which is that whereof I made mention before: and it is of such a quality

that if it be wet it breaketh presently, whereby it happened to some to

eat flesh without bread for many days. They carried dogs with them, and a

man of the country, which did hunt; and by the way, or where they were to

lodge that night, they killed as many hogs as they needed. In this

journey they were well provided of beef and pork, and they were greatly

troubled with musquitoes, especially in a lake, which is called the mere

of Pia, which they had much ado to pass from noon till night. The water

might be some half league over, and to be swam about a crossbow shot; the

rest came to the waist, and they waded up to the knees in the mire, and in

the bottom were cockle shells, which cut their feet very sore, in such

sort that there was neither boot nor shoe sole that was whole at half way.

Their clothes and saddles were passed in baskets of palm trees. Passing

this lake, stripped out of their clothes, there came many mosquitoes, upon

whose biting there arose a wheal that smarted very much; they struck them

with their hands, and with the blow which they gave they killed so many

that the blood did run down the arms and bodies of the men. That


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night they rested very little for them, and other nights also in the like

places and times. They came to Santo Espirito , which is a town of thirty

houses; there passeth by it a little river; it is very pleasant and

fruitful, having great store of oranges and citrons, and fruits of the

Country. One-half of the company were lodged here, and the rest passed

forward twenty-five leagues to another town called la Trinidad, of fifteen

or twenty househo]ds. Here is an hospital for the poor, and there is none

other in all the island. And they say that this town was the greatest in

all the country, and that before the Christians came into this land, as a

ship passed along the coast there came in it a very sick man, which

desired the captain to set him on shore, and the captain did so, and the

ship went her way. The sick man remained set on shore in that country,

which until then had not been haunted by Christians; whereupon the Indians

found him, carried him home, and looked unto him till he was whole; and

the lord of that town married him unto a daughter of his, and had war with

all the inhabitants round about, and by the industry and valor of the

Christian, he subdued and brought under his command all the people of that

island. A great while after, the Governor Diego Velasques went to conquer

it, and from thence discovered New Spain. And this Christian which was

with the Indians did pacify them, and brought them to the obedience and

subjection of the governor. From this town de la Trinidad unto Havana are

eighty leagues, without any habitation, which they traveled. They came to

Havana in the end of March, where they found the Governor, and the rest of

the people which came with him from Spain. The Governor sent from Havana

John Dannusco with a caravele and two brigantines with fifty men to

discover the haven of Florida, and from thence he brought two Indians

which he took upon the coast, wherewith (as well because they might be

necessary for guides and for interpreters, as because they said by signs

that there was much gold in Florida) the Governor and all the company

received much contentment, and longed for the hour of their departure,

thinking in himself that this was the richest country that unto that day

had been discovered.

Before our departure the Governor deprived Nuño de Touar of the

office of Captain-general, and gave it to Porcallo de Figueroa, an

inhabitant of Cuba, which was a mean that the ship was well furnished with

victuals; for he gave a great many loads of Casabe bread and many hogs.

The Governor took away this office from Nuño de Touar, because he had

fallen in love with the daughter of the


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Earl of Gomera, Donna Isabella's waiting- maid, who, though his office

were taken from him (to return again to the Governor's favor), though she

were with child by him, yet took her to his wife, and went with Soto into

Florida. The Governor left Donna Isabella in Havana, and with her

remained the wife of Don Carlos, and the wives of Baltasar de Gallegos,

and of Nuño de Touar. And he left for his lieutenant a gentleman of

Havana, called John de Poias, for the government of the island.

On Sunday the 18th of May, in the year of our Lord 1539, the

Adelantado or president departed from Havana in Cuba with his fleet, which

were nine vessels, five great ships, two caravels, and two brigantines.

They sailed seven days with a prosperous wind. The 25th day of May, the

day de Pasca de Spirito Santo* (which we call Whitson Sunday), they saw

the land of Florida, and because of the shoals, they came to an anchor a

league from the shore. On Friday the 30th of May they landed in Florida,

two leagues from a town of an Indian lord called Ucita. They set on land

two hundred and thirteen horses, which they brought with them to unburden

the ships, that they might draw the less water. He landed all his men,

and only the seamen remained in the ships, which in eight days, going up

with the tide every day a little, brought them up unto the town. As soon

as the people were come on shore, he pitched his camp on the sea-side,

hard upon the bay which went up unto the town. And presently the

Captain-general, Vasquez Porcallo, with other seven horsemen foraged the

country half a league round about, and found six Indians, which resisted

him with their arrows, which are the weapons which they used to fight

withal. The horsemen killed two of them, and the other four escaped;

because the country is cumbersome with woods and hogs, where the horses

stuck fast, and fell with their riders, because they were weak with

traveling upon the sea. The same night following, the Governor with an

hundred men in the brigantines lighted upon a town, which he found without

people, because that as soon as the Christians had sight of land, they

were descried, and saw along the coast many smokes, which the Indians had

made to give advice the one to the other. The next day Luys de Moscoso,

master of the camp, set the men in order, the horsemen in three squadrons,

the vanguard, the battalion, and the rereward; and so they marched that

day and the day following, compassing great creeks which came out of the

bay. They came to the town of Ucita,

* Tampa Bay, on the west side of Florida.


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where the Governor was on Sunday the first of June, being Trinity Sunday.

The town was of seven or eight houses. The lord's house stood near the

shore upon a very high mount, made by hand for strength. At another end

of the town stood the church, and on the top of it stood a fowl made of

wood with gilded eyes. Here were found some pearls of small value,

spoiled with the fire, which the Indians do pierce and string them like

beads, and wear them about their necks and handwrists, and they esteem

them very much. The houses were made of timber, and covered with palm

leaves. The Governor lodged himself in the lord's houses, and with him

Vasquez Porcallo, and Luys de Moscoso; and in others that were in the

midst of the town, was the chief Alcalde or justice, Baltasar de Gallegos

lodged; and in the same houses was set in a place by itself all the

provision that came in the ships; the other houses and the church were

broken down, and every three or four soldiers made a little cabin wherein

they lodged. The Country round about was very fenny, and encumbered with

great and high trees. The Governor commanded to fell the woods a crossbow

shot round about the town, that the horses might run, and the Christians

might have the advantage of the Indians, if by chance they should set upon

them by night. In the ways and places convenient they had their sentinels

of footmen by two and two in every stand, which did watch by turns, and

the horsemen did visit them, and were ready to assist them if there were

any alarm. The Governor made four captains of the horsemen and two of the

footmen. The captains of the horsemen were one of them Andrew de

Masconcelos, and another Pedro Calderan de Badajoz; and the other two were

his kinsmen, to wit, Arias Timoco, and Alfonso Romo, born likewise in

Badajoz. The captains of the footmen, the one was Francisco Maldonado of

Salamanca, and the other Juan Rodriquez Lobillo. While we were in this

town of Ucita, the two Indians which John Danusco had taken on that coast,

and the Governor carried along with him for guides and interpreters,

through carelessness of two men which had the charge of them escaped away

one night; for which the Governor and all the rest were very sorry, for

they had already made some roads, and no Indians could be taken, because

the country was full of marsh grounds, and in some places full of very

high and thick woods.

From the town of Ucita the Governor sent the Alcalde mayor, Baltasao

de Gallegos, with forty horsemen and eighty footmen into the country to

see if they could take any Indians; and the Captain John Rodriquez Lobillo

another way with fifty footmen: the most of


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them were swordsmen and targeters, and the rest were shot and crossbowmen.

They passed through a country full of hogs, where horses could not travel.

Half a league from the camp they lighted upon certain cabins of Indians

near a river. The people that were in them leaped into the river, yet they

took four Indian women. And twenty Indians charged us and so distressed

us, that we were forced to retire to our camp, being, as they are,

exceeding ready with their weapons. It is a people so warlike and so

nimble, that they care not a whit for any footmen. For if their enemies

charge them they run away, and if they turn their backs they are presently

upon them. And the thing that they most flee is the shot of an arrow.

They never stand still, but are always running and traversing from one

place to another, by reason whereof neither crossbow nor arquebuss can aim

at them; and before one crossbowman can make one shot an Indian will

discharge three or four arrows, and he seldom misseth what he shooteth at.

An arrow where it findeth no armor, pierceth as deeply as a crossbow.

Their bows are very long, and their arrows are made of certain canes like

reeds, very heavy, and so strong that a sharp cane passeth through a

target. Some they arm in the point with a sharp bone of a fish like a

chisel, and in others they fasten certain stones like points of diamonds.

For the most part when they light upon an armor they break in the place

where they are bound together. Those of cane do split and pierce a coat

of mail, and are more hurtful than the other. John Rodriquez Lobillo

returned to the camp with six men wounded, whereof one died; and brought

the four Indian women which Baltasar Gallegos had taken in the cabins or

cottages. Two leagues from the town, coming into the plain field, he

espied ten or eleven Indians, among whom was a Christian, which was naked

and scorched with the sun, and had his arms razed after the manner of the

Indians, and differed nothing at all from them. And as soon as the

horsemen saw them they ran toward them. The Indians fled, and some of them

hid themselves in a wood, and they overtook two or three of them which

were wounded; and the Christian seeing a horseman run upon him with his

lance, began to cry out, "Sirs, I am a Christian, slay me not, nor these

Indians, for they have saved my life." And straight-way he called them and

put them out of fear, and they came forth of the wood unto them. The

horsemen took both the Christian and the Indians up behind them, and

toward night came into the camp with much joy; which thing being known by

the Governor, and them that remained in the camp, they were received with

the like.

This Christian's name was John Ortiz, and he was born in Seville,


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of worshipful parentage. He was twelve years in the hands of the Indians.

He came into this country with Pamphilo de Narvaez, and returned in the

ships to the Island of Cuba, where the wife of the Governor Pamphilo de

Narvaez was, and by his commandment with twenty or thirty others in a

brigantine returned back again to Florida, and coming to the port in the

sight of the town, on the shore they saw a cane sticking in the ground,

and riven at the top, and a letter in it; and they believed that the

governor had left it there to give advertisement of himself when he

resolved to go up into the land, and they demanded it of four or five

Indians which walked along the sea-shore, and they bade them by signs to

come on shore for it, which against the will of the rest John Ortiz and

another did. And as soon as they were on land, from the houses of the

town issued a great number of Indians, which compassed them about and took

them in a place where they could not flee; and the other, which sought to

defend himself, they presently killed upon the place, and took John Ortiz

alive, and carried him to Ucita their lord. And those of the brigantine

sought not to land, but put themselves to sea, and returned to the Island

of Cuba. Ucita commanded to bind John Ortiz hand and foot upon four

stakes aloft upon a raft, and to make a fire under him, that there he

might be burned. But a daughter of his desired him that he would not put

him to death, alleging that one only Christian could do him neither hurt

nor good, telling him that it was more for his honor to keep him as a

captive. And Ucita granted her request, and commanded him to be cured of

his wounds; and as soon as he was whole he gave him the charge of the

keeping of the temple, because that by night the wolves did carry away the

dead corpses out of the same--who commended himself to God and took upon

him the charge of his temple. One night the wolves got from him the

corpse of a little child, the son of a principal Indian, and going after

them he threw a dart at one of the wolves, and struck that carried away

the corpse, who, feeling himself wounded left it, and fell down dead near

the place; and he not woting what he had done, because it was night, went

back again to the temple; the morning being come and finding not the body

of the child, he was very sad. As soon as Ucita knew thereof he resolved

to put him to death, and sent by the track which he said the wolves went,

and found the body of the child, and the wolf dead a little beyond,

whereat Ucita was much contented with the Christian, and with the watch

which he kept in the temple, and from thenceforward esteemed him much.

Three years after he fell into his hands there came another lord called


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Mocoça, who dwelleth two days' journey from the port, and burnt his town.

Ucita fled to another town that he had in another sea-port. Thus John

Ortiz lost his office and favor that he had with him. These people being

worshipers of the devil, are wont to offer up unto him the lives and blood

of their Indians, or of any other people they can come by; and they report

that when he will have them do that sacrifice unto him, he speaketh with

them, and telleth them that he is athirst, and willeth them to sacrifice

unto him. John Ortiz had notice by the damsel that had delivered him from

the fire, how her father was determined to sacrifice him the day

following, who willed him to flee to Mocoço, for she knew that he would

use him well; for she heard say that he had asked for him and said he

would be glad to see him, and because he knew not the way she went with

him half a league out of the town by night and set him in the way, and

returned because she would not be discovered. John Ortiz traveled all

that night, and by the morning came to a river which is the territory of

Mocoço, and there he saw two Indians fishing; and because they were in war

with the people of Ucita, and their languages were different, and he knew

not the language of Mocoço, he was afraid, because he could not tell them

who he was, nor how he came thither, nor was able to answer anything for

himself, that they would kill him, taking him for one of the Indians of

Ucita, and before they espied him he came to the place where they had laid

their weapons; and as soon as they saw him they fled toward the town, and

although he willed them to stay, because he meant to do them no hurt, yet

they understood him not, and ran away as fast as ever they could. And as

soon as they came to the town with great outcries, many Indians came forth

against him, and began to compass him to shoot at him. John Ortiz seeing

himself in so great danger, shielded himself with certain trees, and began

to shriek out and cry very loud, and to tell them that he was a Christian,

and that he was fled from Ucita, and was come to see and serve Mocoço his

lord. It pleased God that at that very instant there came thither an

Indian that could speak the language and understood him, and pacified the

rest, who told them what he said. Then ran from thence three or four

Indians to bear the news to their lord, who came forth a quarter of a

league from the town to receive him, and was very glad of him. He caused

him presently to swear according to the custom of the Christians, that he

would not run away from him to any other lord, and promised him to entreat

him very well; and that if at any time there came any Christians into that

country, he would freely let him go, and give him leave to go to


Page 127

them; and likewise took his oath to perform the same according to the

Indian custom. About three years after certain Indians, which were

fishing at sea two leagues from the town, brought news to Mocoço that they

had seen ships, and he called John Ortiz and gave him leave to go his way,

who taking his leave of him, with all the haste he could came to the sea,

and finding no ships he thought it to be some deceit, and that the cacique

had done the same to learn his mind. So he dwelt with Mocoço nine years,

with small hope of seeing any Christians. As soon as our Governor arrived

in Florida, it was known to Mocoço, and straightway he signified to John

Ortiz that Christians were lodged in the town of Ucita; and he thought he

had jested with him as he had done before, and told him that by this time

he had forgotten the Christians, and thought of nothing else but to serve

him. But he assured him that it was so, and gave him license to go unto

them, saying unto him that if he would not do it, and if the Christians

should go their way, he should not blame him, for he had fulfilled that

which he had promised him. The joy of John Ortiz was so great, that he

could not believe that it was true; notwithstanding he gave him thanks,

and took his leave of him, and Mocoço gave him ten or eleven principal

Indians to bear him company; and as they went to the port where the

Governor was, they met with Baltasar de Gallegos, as I have declared

before. As soon as he was come to the camp, the Governor commanded to

give him a suit of apparel, and very good armor, and a fair horse; and

inquired of him whether he had notice of any country where there was any

gold or silver. He answered, No, because he never went ten leagues

compass from the place where he dwelt; but that thirty leagues from

thence* dwelt an Indian lord, which was called Paracossi, to whom Mocoço

and Ucita, with all the rest of that coast paid tribute, and that he

peradventure might have notice of some good country, and that his land was

better than that of the sea-coast, and more fruitful and plentiful of

maize. Whereof the Governor received great contentment, and said that he

desired no more than to find victuals, that he might go into the main

land, for the land of Florida was so large, that in one place or other

there could not choose but be some rich country. The Cacique Mocoço came

to the port to visit the Governor, and made this speech following.

"Right high and mighty lord, I being lesser in mine own conceit for

to obey you, than any of those which you have under your command,

* From Spirito Santo or Tampa Bay.


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and greater in desire to do you greater services, do appear before your

lordship with so much confidence of receiving favor, as if in effect this

my good will were manifested unto you in works; not for the small service

I did unto you touching the Christian which I had in my power, in giving

him freely his liberty (for I was bound to do it to preserve mine honor,

and that which I had promised him), but because it is the part of great

men to use great magnificences. And I am persuaded that as in bodily

perfections, and commanding of good people, you do exceed all men in the

world, so likewise you do in the parts of the mind, in which you may boast

of the bounty of nature. The favor which I hope for of your lordship is,

that you would hold me for yours, and bethink yourself to command me

anything wherein I may do you service."

The Governor answered him, "That although in freeing and sending him

the Christian, he had preserved his honor and promise, yet he thanked him,

and held it in such esteem as it had no comparison; and that he would

always hold him as his brother, and would favor all things to the utmost

of his power." Then he commanded a shirt to be given him, and other

things, wherewith the cacique being very well contented, took his leave of

him, and departed to his own town.

From the Port de Spirito Santo where the Governor lay, he sent the

Alcalde Mayor Baltasar de Gallegos with fifty horsemen, and thirty or

forty footmen to the province of Paracossi, to view the disposition of the

country, and inform himself of the land farther inward, and to send him

word of such things as he found. Likewise he sent his ships back to the

Island of Cuba, that they might return within a certain time with

victuals. Basque Porcallo de Figueroa, which went with the Governor as

Captain-general, (whose principal intent was to send slaves from Florida

to the Island of Cuba, where he had his goods and mines,) having made some

inroads, and seeing no Indians were to be got, because of the great hogs

and woods that were in the country, considering the disposition of the

same, determined to return to Cuba. And though there was some difference

between and the Governor, whereupon they neither dealt nor conversed

together with good countenance, yet notwithstanding with loving words he

asked him leave and departed from him. Baltasar de Gallegos came to the

Paracossi. There came to him thirty Indians from the cacique, which was

absent from his town, and one of them made this speech:

"Paracossi, the lord of this province, whose vassals we are, sendeth


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us unto your worship, to know what it is that you seek in this his

country, and wherein he may do you service."

Baltasar de Gallegos said unto him that he thanked them very much for

their offer, willing them to warn their lord to come to his town, and that

there they would talk and confirm their peace and friendship, which he

much desired. The Indians went their way and returned next day, and said

that their lord was ill at ease, and therefore could not come; but that

they came on his behalf to see what he demanded. He asked them if they

knew or had notice of any rich country where there was gold or silver.

They told him they did, and that towards the west there was a province

which was called Cale; and that others that inhabited other countries had

war with the people of that country, where the most part of the year was

summer, and that there was much gold; and that when those their enemies

came to make war with them of Cale, these inhabitants of Cale did wear

hats of gold, in manner of head-pieces. Baltasar de Gallegos seeing that

the cacique came not, thinking all that they said was feigned, with intent

that in the meantime they might set themselves in safety, fearing that if

he did let them go, they would return no more, commanded the thirty

Indians to be chained, and sent word to the Governor by eight horsemen

what had passed; whereof the Governor with all that were with him at the

Port de Spirito Santo received great comfort, supposing that that which

the Indians reported might be true. He left Captain Calderan at the port,

with thirty horsemen and seventy footmen, with provision for two years,

and himself with all the rest marched into the main land, and came to the

Paracossi, at whose town Baltasar de Gallegos was; and from thence with

all his men took the way to Cale. He passed by a little town called

Acela, and came to another called Tocaste; and from thence he went before

with thirty horsemen and fifty footmen towards Cale. And passing by a

town whence the people were fled, they saw Indians a little distance from

thence in a lake, to whom the interpreter spoke. They came unto them and

gave them an Indian for a guide; and he came to a river with a great

current, and upon a tree which was in the midst of it, was made a bridge,

whereon the men passed; the horses swam over by a hawser, that they were

pulled by from the other side; for one, which they drove in at the first

without it, was drowned. From thence the Governor sent two horsemen to his

people that were behind, to make haste after him; because the way grew

long, and their victuals short. He came to Cale, and found the town

without people. He took three Indians which were spies, and tarried


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there for his people that came after, which were sore vexed with hunger

and evil ways, because the country was very barren of maize, low, and full

of water, bogs, and thick woods; and the victuals which they brought with

them from the Port de Spirito Santo, were spent. Wheresoever any town was

found, there were some beets, and he that came first gathered them, and

sodden with water and salt, did eat them without any other thing; and such

as could not get them, gathered the stalks of maize and eat them, which

because they were young had no maize in them. When they came to the river

which the Governor had passed, they found palmitos upon low palm trees

like those of Andalusia. There they met with the two horsemen which the

Governor sent unto them, and they brought news that in Cale there was

plenty of maize, at which news they all rejoiced. As soon as they came to

Cale, the Governor commanded them to gather all the maize that was ripe in

the field, which was sufficient for three months. At the gathering of it

the Indians killed three Christians, and one of them which were taken told

the Governor, that within seven days' journey there was a very great

province, and plentiful of maize, which was called Apalache. And

presently he departed from Cale with fifty horsemen, and sixty footmen.

He left the master of the camp, Luys de Moscoso, with all the rest of the

people there, with charge that he would not depart thence until he had

word from him. And because hitherto none had gotten any slaves, the bread

that every one was to eat he was fain himself to beat in a mortar made in

a piece of timber, with a pestle, and some of them did sift the flour

through their shirts of mail. They baked their bread upon certain

tileshares which they set over the fire, in such sort as heretofore I have

said they used to do in Cuba. It is so troublesome to grind their maize,

that there were many that would rather not eat it than grind it; and did

eat the maize parched and sodden.

The second day of August, 1539, the Governor departed from Cale; he

lodged in a little town called Ytara, and the next day in another called

Potano, and the third day at Utinama, and came to another town which they

named the town of Evil peace; because an Indian came in peace, saying,

that he was the cacique, and that he with his people would serve the

Governor, and that if he would set free twenty-eight persons, men and

women, which his men had taken the night before, he would command

provision to be brought him, and would give him a guide to instruct him in

his way. The Governor commanded them to be set at liberty, and to keep

him in safeguard. The next day in the morning there came many Indians, and



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themselves round about the town near to a wood. The Indian wished them to

carry him near them, and that he would speak unto them, and assure them,

and that they would do whatsoever he commanded them. And when he saw

himself near unto them he broke from them, and ran away so swiftly from

the Christians that there was none that could overtake him, and all of

them fled into the woods. The Governor commanded to loose a greyhound,

which was already fleshed on them, which passing by many other Indians,

caught the counterfeit cacique which had escaped from the Christians, and

held him till they came to take him. From thence the Governor lodged at a

town called Cholupaha, and because it had store of maize in it, they named

it Villa farta. Beyond the same there was a river, on which he made a

bridge of timber, and traveled two days through a desert. The 17th of

August he came to Caliquen, where he was informed of the province of

Apalache. They told him that Pamphilo de Narvaez had been there, and that

there he took shipping, because he could find no way to go forward. That

there was none other town at all; but that on both sides was all water.

The whole company were very sad for this news, and counseled the Governor

to go back to the Port de Spirito Santo, and to abandon the country of

Florida, lest he should perish as Narvaez had done; declaring that if he

went forward, he could not return back when he would, and that the Indians

would gather up that small quantity of maize which was left. Whereunto

the Governor answered that he would not go back, till he had seen with his

eyes that which they reported; saying that he could not believe it, and

that we should be put out of doubt before it were long. And he sent to

Luys de Moscoso to come presently from Cale, and that he tarried for him

there. Luys de Moscoso and many others thought that from Apalache they

should return back; and in Cale they buried their iron tools, and divers

other things. They came to Caliquen with great trouble; because the

country which the Governor had passed by, was spoiled and destitute of

maize. After all the people were come together, he commanded a bridge to

be made over a river that passed near the town. He departed from Caliquen

the 10th of September, and carried the cacique with him. After he had

traveled three days, there came Indians peaceably to visit their lord, and

every day met us on the way playing upon flutes; which is a token that

they use, that men may know that they come in peace. They said that in

our way before there was a cacique whose name was Uzachil, a kinsman of

the cacique of Caliquen their lord, waiting for him with many presents,

and they


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desired the Governor that he would loose the cacique. But he would not,

fearing that they would rise, and would not give him any guides, and sent

them away from day to day with good words He traveled five days; he passed

by some small towns; he came to a town called Napetuca, the 15th day of

September. Thither came fourteen or fifteen Indians, and besought the

Governor to let loose the cacique of Caliquen, their lord. He answered

them that he held him not in prison, but that he would have him to

accompany him to Uzachil. The Governor had notice by John Ortiz, that an

Indian told him how they determined to gather themselves together, and

come upon him, and give him battle, and take away the cacique from him.

The day that it was agreed upon, the Governor commanded his men to be in

readiness, and that the horsemen should be ready armed and on horse-back

every one in his lodging, because the Indians might not see them, and so

more confidently come to the town. There came four hundred Indians in

sight of the camp with their bows and arrows, and placed themselves in a

wood, and sent two Indians to bid the Governor to deliver them the

cacique. The Governor with six footmen leading the cacique by the hand,

and talking with him, to secure the Indians, went toward the place where

they were. And seeing a fit time, commanded to sound a trumpet; and

presently those that were in the town in the houses, both horse and foot,

set upon the Indians, which were so suddenly assaulted, that the greatest

care they had was which way they should flee. They killed two horses; one

was the Governor's, and he was presently horsed again upon another. There

were thirty or forty Indians slain. The rest fled to two very great

lakes, that were somewhat distant the one from the other. There they were

swimming, and the Christians round about them. The calivermen and

crossbowmen shot at them from the bank; but the distance being great, and

shooting afar off, they did them no hurt. The Governor commanded that the

same night they should compass one of the lakes, because they were so

great, that there were not men enough to compass them both; being beset,

as soon as night shut in, the Indians, with determination to run away,

came swimming very softly to the bank; and to hide themselves they put a

water lily leaf on their heads. The horsemen, as soon as they perceived

it to stir, ran into the water to the horses' breasts, and the Indians

fled again into the lake. So this night passed without any rest on both

sides. John Ortiz persuaded them that seeing they could not escape, they

should yield themselves to the Governor; which they did, enforced

thereunto by the coldness of the water; and one by one, he first whom the

cold did


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first overcome, cried to John Ortiz, desiring that they would not kill

him, for he came to put himself into the hands of the Governor. By the

morning watch they made an end of yielding themselves; only twelve

principal men, being more honorable and valorous than the rest, resolved

rather to die than to come into his hands. And the Indians of Paracossi,

which were now loosed out of chains, went swimming to them, and pulled

them out by the hair of their heads, and they were all put in chains, and

the next day were divided among the Christians for their service. Being

thus in captivity, they determined to rebel; and gave in charge to an

Indian which was interpreter, and held to be valiant, that as soon as the

Governor did come to speak with him, he should cast his hands about his

neck, and choke him: who, when he saw opportunity, laid hands on the

Governor, and before he cast his hands about his neck, he gave him such a

blow on the nostrils, that he made them gush out with blood, and presently

all the rest did rise. He that could get any weapons at hand, or the

handle wherewith he did grind the maize, sought to kill his master, or the

first he met before him; and he that could get a lance or sword at hand,

bestirred himself in such sort with it, as though he had used it all his

lifetime. One Indian in the market-place enclosed between fifteen or

twenty footmen, made a way like a bull, with a sword in his hand, till

certain halbardiers of the Governor came, which killed him. Another got

up with a lance to a loft made of canes, which they build to keep their

maize in, which they call a barbacoa, and there he made such a noise as

though ten men had been there defending the door; they slew him with a

partizan. The Indians were in all about two hundred men. They were all

subdued. And some of the youngest the Governor gave to them which had good

chains, and were careful to look to them that they got not away. All the

rest he commanded to be put to death, being tied to a stake in the midst

of the market-place; and the Indians of the Paracossi did shoot them to


The Governor departed from Napetuca the 23d of September; he lodged

by a river, where two Indians brought him a buck from the cacique of

Uzachil. The next day he passed by a great town called Hapaluya, and

lodged at Uzachil, and found no people in it, because they durst not tarry

for the notice the Indians had of the slaughter of Napetuca. He found in

that town great store of maize, French beans, and pompions, which is their

food, and that wherewith the Christians there sustained themselves. The

maize is like coarse millet, and the pompions are better and more savory

than those of


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Spain. From thence the Governor sent two captains each a sundry way to

seek the Indians. They took an hundred men and women; of which as well

there as in other place where they made any inroads, the captain chose one

or two for the Governor, and divided the rest to himself, and those that

went with him. They led these Indians in chains with iron collars about

their necks; and they served to carry their stuff, and to grind their

maize, and for other services that such captives could do. Sometimes it

happened that going for wood or maize with them, they killed the Christian

that led them, and ran away with the chain; others filed their chains by

night with a piece of stone, wherewith they cut them, and use it instead

of iron. Those that were perceived paid for themselves, and for the rest,

because they should not dare to do the like another time. The women and

young boys, when they were once an hundred leagues from their country, and

had forgotten things, they let go loose, and so they served; and in a very

short space they understood the language of the Christians. From Uzachil

the Governor departed toward Apalache, and in two days' journey he came to

a town called Axille, and from thence forward the Indians were careless,

because they had as yet no notice of the Christians. The next day in the

morning, the first of October, he departed from thence, and commanded a

bridge to be made over a river which he was to pass. The depth of the

river where the bridge was made, was a stone's cast, and forward a

cross-bow shot the water came to the waist; and the wood whereby the

Indians came to see if they could defend the passage, and disturb those

which made the bridge, was very high and thick. The crossbowmen so

bestirred themselves that they made them give back; and certain planks

were cast into the river, whereon the men passed, which made good the

passage. The Governor passed upon Wednesday, which was St. Francis' day,

and lodged at a town which was called Vitachuco, subject to Apalache: he

found it burning, for the Indians had set it on fire. From thence forward

the country was much inhabited, and had great store of maize. He passed

by many granges like hamlets. On Sunday, the 25th of October, he came to

a town which is called Uzela, and upon Tuesday to Anaica Apalache, where

the lord of all that country and province was resident; in which town the

camp master, whose office is to quarter out, and lodge men, did lodge all

the company round about within a league, and half a league of it. There

were other towns, where was great store of maize, pompions, French beans,

and plums of the country, which are better than those of Spain, and they

grow in the fields without planting.


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The victuals that were thought necessary to pass the winter, were gathered

from these towns to Anaica Apalache. The Governor was informed that the

sea was ten leagues from thence. He presently sent a captain thither with

horsemen and footmen. And six leagues on the way he found a town which

was named Ochete, and so came to the sea; and found a great tree felled,

and cut into pieces, with stakes set up like mangers, and saw the skulls

of horses. He returned with this news. And that was held for certain,

which was reported of Pamphilo de Narvaez, that there he had built the

barks wherewith he went out of the land of Florida, and was cast away at

sea. Presently the Governor sent John Danusco with thirty horse-men to

the Port de Spirito Santo where Calderan was, with order that they should

abandon the port, and all of them come to Apalache. He departed on

Saturday the 17th of Novemher. In Uzachil and other towns that stood in

the way he found great store of people already careless. He would take

none of the Indians, for not hindering himself, because it behooved him to

give them no leisure to gather themselves together. He passed through the

towns by night, and rested without the towns three or four hours. In ten

days he came to the Port de Spirito Santo. He carried with him twenty

Indian women, which he took in Ytara, and Potano, near unto Cale, and sent

them to Donna Isabella in the two caravels, which he sent from the Port de

Spirito Santo to Cuba. And he carried all the footmen in the brigantines,

and coasting along the shore came to Apalache. And Calderan, with the

horsemen, and some crossbowmen on foot, went by land; and in some places

the Indians set upon him, and wounded some of his men. As soon as he came

to Apalache, presently the Governor sent sawed planks and spikes to the

seaside, wherewith was made a piraqua or bark, wherein were embarked

thirty men well armed, which went out of the bay to the sea, looking for

the brigantines. Sometimes they fought with the Indians, which passed

along the harbor in their canoes. Upon Saturday, the 29th of November,

there came an Indian through the watch undiscovered, and sat the town on

fire, and with the great wind that blew two parts of it were consumed in a

short time. On Sunday the 28th of December, came John Danusco with the

brigantines. The Governor sent Francisco Maldonado, a captain of footmen,

with fifty men to discover the coast westward, and to seek some port,

because he had determined to go by land, and discover that part. That day

there went out eight horsemen by commandment of the Governor into the

field, two leagues about the town, to seek Indians; for they were


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now so emboldened, that within two crossbow shot of the camp, they came

and slew men. They found two men and a woman gathering French beans; the

men, though they might have fled, yet because they would not leave the

woman, which was one of their wives, they resolved to die fighting; and

before they were slain, they wounded three horses, whereof one died within

a few days after. Calderan going with his men by the sea-coast, from a

wood that was near the place, the Indians set upon him, and made him

forsake his way, and many of them that went with him forsook some

necessary victuals, which they carried with them. Three or four days

after the limited time given by the Governor to Maldonado for his going

and coming, being already determined and resolved, if within eight days he

did not come, to tarry no longer for him, he came, and brought an Indian

from a province which was called Ochus, sixty leagues westward from

Apalache; where he had found a port of good depth, and defence against

weather. And because the Governor hoped to find a good country forward,

be was very well contented. And he sent Maldonado for victuals to Havana,

with order that hem should tarry for him at the port of Ochus, which he

had discovered, for he would go seek it by land; and if he should chance

to stay, and not come thither that summer, that then he should return to

Havana, and should come again the next summer after, and tarry for him at

that port; for he said he would do none other thing but go to seek Ochus

Francisco Maldonado departed, and in his place for captain of the footmen

remained John de Guzman. Of those Indians which were taken in Napetuca,

the Treasurer John Gayton had a young man, which said that he was not of

that country, but of another far off toward the sun rising, and that it

was long since he had traveled to see countries; and that his country was

called Yupaha, and that a woman did govern it; and that the town where she

was resident was of a wonderful bigness, and that many lords round about

were tributaries to her; and some gave her clothes, and others gold in

abundance; and he told how it was taken out of the mines, and was molten

and refined, as if he had seen it done, or the devil had taught it him.

So that all those which knew anything concerning the same, said that it

was impossible to give so good a relation, without having seen it; and all

of them, as if they had seen it, by the signs that he gave, believed all

that he said to be true.

On Wednesday, the third of March, of the year 1540, the Governor

departed from Anaica Apalache to seek Yupaha. He commanded his men to go

provided with maize for sixty leagues of desert.


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The horsemen carried their maize on their horses, and the foot men at

their sides; because the Indians that were for service, with their

miserable life that they led that winter, being naked and in chains, died

for the most part. Within four days' journey they came to a great river;

and they made a piragua or ferry boat, and because of the great current,

they made a cable with chains, which they fastened on both sides of the

river; and the ferry boat went along by it, and the horses swam over,

being drawn with capstans. Having passed the river in a day and a half,

they came to a town called Capachiqui. Upon Friday the 11th of March, they

found Indians in arms. The next day five Christians went to seek mortars,

which the Indians have to beat their maize, and they went to certain

houses on the back side of the camp environed with a wood. And within the

wood were many Indians which came to spy us; of the which came other five

and set upon us. One of the Christians came running away, giving an alarm

unto the camp. Those which were most ready answered the alarm. They

found one Christian dead, and three sore wounded. The Indians fled unto a

lake adjoining near a very thick wood, where the horses could not enter.

The Governor departed from Capachiqui and passed through a desert. On

Wednesday, the twenty-first of the month, he came to a town called Toalli;

and from thence forward there was a difference in the houses. For those

which were behind us were thatched with straw, and those of Toalli were

covered with reeds, in manner of tiles. These houses are very cleanly.

Some of them had walls daubed with clay, which showed like a mud-wall. In

all the cold country the Indians have every one a house for the winter

daubed with clay within and without, and the door is very little; they

shut it by night, and make fire within; so that they are in it as warm as

in a stove, and so it continueth all night that they need not clothes; and

besides these they have others for summer; and their kitchens near them,

where they make fire and bake their bread; and they have barbacoas wherein

they keep their maize; which is a house set up in the air upon four

stakes, boarded about like a chamber, and the floor of it is of cane

hurdles. The difference which lords or principal men's houses have from

the rest, besides they be greater, is, that they have great galleries in

their fronts, and under them seats made of canes in manner of benches; and

round about them they have many lofts, wherein they lay up that which the

Indians do give them for tribute, which is maize, deers' skins, and

mantles of the country, which are like blankets; they make them of the

inner rind of the barks of trees, and some of a kind of grass like unto

nettles, which being


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beaten, is like unto flax. The women cover themselves with these mantles;

they put one about them from the waist downward, and another over their

shoulder, with their right arm out, like unto the Egyptians. The men wear

but one mantle upon their shoulders after the same manner; and have their

secrets hid with a deer's skin, made like a linen breech, which was wont

to be used in Spain. The skins are well curried, and they give them what

color they list, so perfect, that if it be red, it seemeth a very fine

cloth in grain, and the black is most fine, and of the same leather they

make shoes; and they dye their mantles in the same colors. The Governor

departed from Toalli the 24th of March; he came on Thursday at evening to

a small river, where a bridge was made whereon the people passed, and

Benit Fernandez, a Portuguese, fell off from it, and was drowned. As soon

as the Governor had passed the river, a little distance thence he found a

town called Achese. The Indians had no notice of the Christians: they

leaped into a river: some men and women were taken, among which was one

that understood the youth which guided the Governor to Yupaha; whereby

that which he had reported was more confirmed. For they had passed through

countries of divers languages, and some which he understood not. The

Governor sent by one of the Indians that were taken to call the cacique,

which was on the other side of the river. He came, and made this speech


"Right high, right mighty, and excellent lord, those things which

seldom happen do cause admiration. What then may the sight of your

lordship and your people do to me and mine, whom we never saw? especially

being mounted on such fierce beasts as your horses are, entering with such

violence and fury into my country, without my knowledge of your coming. It

was a thing so strange, and caused such fear and terror in our minds, that

it was not in our power to stay and receive your lordship with the

solemnity due to so high and renowned a prince as your lordship is. And

trusting in your greatness and singular virtues, I do not only hope to be

freed from blame, but also to receive favors; and the first which I demand

of your lordship is, that you will use me, my Country, and subjects as

your own; and the second, that you will tell me who you are, and whence

you come, and whither you go, and what you seek, that I the better may

serve you therein."

The Governor answered him, that he thanked him as much for his offer

and good-will as if he had received it, and as if he had offered him a

great treasure; and told him that he was the son of the Sun, and came from

those parts where he dwelt, and traveled through that


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country, and sought the greatest lord and richest province that was in it.

The cacique told him that farther forward dwelt a great lord, and that his

dominion was called Ocute. He gave him a guide and an interpreter for

that province. The Governor commanded his Indians to be set free, and

traveled through his country up a river very well inhabited. He departed

from his town the first of April; and left a very high cross of wood set

up in the midst of the market-place; and because the time gave no more

leisure, he declared to him only that that cross was a memory of the same

whereon Christ, which was God and man, and created the heavens and the

earth, suffered for our salvation; therefore he exhorted them that they

should reverence it, and they made show as though they would do so. The

fourth of April the Governor passed by a town called Altamaca, and the

tenth of the month he came to Ocute. The cacique sent him two thousand

Indians with a present, to wit, many conies and partridges, bread of

maize, two hens, and many dogs; which among the Christians were esteemed

as if they had been fat wethers, because of the great want of flesh meat

and salt, and hereof in many places, and many times was great need; and

they were so scarce, that if a man fell sick, there was nothing to cherish

him withal; and with a sickness, that in another place easily might have

been remedied, he consumed away till nothing but skin and bones were left;

and they died of pure weakness, some of them saying, "If I had a slice of

meat or a few corns of salt, I should not die. The Indians want no flesh

meat; for they kill with their arrows many deer, hens, conies, and other

wild fowl, for they are very cunning at it, which skill the Christians had

not; and though they had it, they had no leisure to use it; for the most

of the time they spent in travel, and durst not presume to straggle aside.

And because they were thus scanted of flesh, when six hundred men that

went with Soto came to any town, and found thirty or forty dogs, he that

could get one and kill it thought himself no small man; and he that killed

it and gave not his captain one quarter, if he knew it he frowned on him,

and made him feel it in the watches, or in any other matter of labor that

was offered, wherein he might do him a displeasure. On Monday, the twelfth

of April, 1540, the Governor departed from Ocute. The cacique gave him

two hundred Tamenes, to wit, Indians to carry burdens; he passed through a

town, the lord whereof was named Cofaqui, and came to a province of an

Indian lord called Patofa, who because he was in peace with the lord of

Ocute, and with the other bordering lords, had many days before notice of

the Governor, and desired to see him. He came to visit him, and made this

speech following.


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"Mighty lord, now with good reason I will crave of fortune to requite

this my so great prosperity with some small adversity; and I will count

myself very rich, seeing that I have obtained that which in this world I

most desired, which is to see and be able to do your lordship some

service. And although the tongue be the image of that which is in the

heart, and that the contentment which I feel in my heart I cannot

dissemble, yet is it not sufficient wholly to manifest the same. Where

did this your country, which I do govern, deserve to be visited of so

sovereign and so excellent a prince, whom all the rest of the world ought

to obey and serve? And those which inhabit it being so base, what shall

be the issue of such happiness, if their memory do not represent unto them

some adversity that may betide them, according to the order of fortune?

If from this day forward we may be capable of this benefit, that your

lordship will bold us for your own, we cannot fail to be favored and

maintained in true justice and reason, and to have the name of men. For

such as are void of reason and justice, may be compared to brute beasts.

For mine own part, from my very heart with reverence due to such a prince,

I offer myself unto your lordship, and beseech you, that in reward of this

my true good will, you will vouchsafe to make use of mine own person, my

Country, and subjects."

The Governor answered him, that his offers and good-will declared by

the effect, did highly please him, whereof he would always be mindful to

honor and favor him as his brother. This country, from the first

peaceable cacique, unto the province of Patofa, which were fifty leagues,

is a fat country, beautiful, and very fruitful, and very well watered, and

full of good rivers. And from thence to the Port de Spirit Santo, where

we first arrived in the land of Florida (which may be three hundred and

fifty leagues, little more or less), is a barren land, and the most of it

groves of wild pine trees, low and full of lakes, and in some places very

high and thick groves, whither the Indians that were in arms fled, so that

no man could find them, neither could any horses enter into them, which

was an inconvenience to the Christians, in regard of the victuals which

they found conveyed away; and of the troubles which they had in seeking of

Indians to be their guides.

In the town of Patofa the youth which the Governor carried with him

for an interpreter and a guide, began to foam at the mouth, and tumble on

the ground, as one possessed with the devil: they said a gospel over him,

and the fit left him. And he said, that four days' journey from thence

toward the sun rising, was the province that he


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spoke of. The Indians of Patofa said, that toward that part they knew no

habitation; but that toward the north- west, they knew a province which

was called Coça, a very plentiful country, which had very great towns in

it. The cacique told the Governor that if he would go thither, he would

give him guides and Indians for burdens; and if he would go whither the

youth spake of, that he would likewise give him those that he needed; and

so with loving words and offers of courtesy, they took their leaves the

one of the other. He gave him seven hundred Indians to bear burdens. He

took maize for four days' journey. He traveled six days by a path which

grew narrow more and more, till it was lost altogether. He went where the

youth did lead him, and passed two rivers, which were waded: each of them

was two crossbow shots over; the water came to the stirrups, and had so

great a current, that it was needful for the horseman to stand one before

another, that the footmen might pass above them, leaning unto them. He

came to another river of a great current and largeness, which was passed

with more trouble, because the horses did swim at the coming out, about a

lance's length. Having passed this river, the Governor came to a grove of

pine trees, and threatened the youth, and made as though he would have

cast him to the dogs, because he had told him a lie, saying, it was but

four days' journey, and they had traveled nine, and every day seven or

eight leagues, and the men by this time were grown weary and weak, and the

horses lean through the great scanting of the maize. The youth said that

he knew not where he was. It saved him that he was not cast to the dogs,

that there was never another whom John Ortiz did understand. The

Governor, with them two, and with some horsemen and footmen, leaving the

camp in a grove of pine trees, traveled that day five or six leagues to

seek a way, and returned at night very comfortless, and without finding

any sign of way or town. The next day there were sundry opinions

delivered, whether they should go back, or what they should do; and

because backward the country whereby they had passed was greatly spoiled,

and destitute of maize, and that which they brought with them was spent,

and the men were very weak, and the horses likewise, they doubted much

whether they might come to any place where they might help themselves.

And besides this, they were of opinion, that going in that sort out of

order, that any Indians would presume to set upon them, so that with

hunger or with war, they could not escape. The Governor determined to send

horsemen from thence every way to seek habitation; and the next day he

sent four captains, every one a sundry way with eight horsemen. At night

they came again, leading


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their horses, or driving them with a stick before; for they were weary,

that they could not lead them, neither found they any way or sign of

habitation. The next day the Governor sent other four with as many

horsemen that could swim, to pass the swamps and rivers which they should

find, and they had choice horses, the best that were in the camp. The

captains were Baltasar de Gallegos, which went up the river; and John

Danusco down the river; Alfonso Roma and John Rodriquez Lobillo went into

the inward parts of the land. The Governor brought with him into Florida

thirteen sows, and had by this time three hundred swine. He commanded

every man should have half a pound of hog's flesh every day, and this he

did three or four days after the maize was all spent. With this small

quantity of flesh, and some sodden herbs, with much trouble the people

were sustained. The Governor dismissed the Indians of Patofa, because he

had no food to give them; who desiring to aceompany and serve the

Christians in their neeessity, making show that it grieved them very much

to return until they had left them in a peopled country, returned to their

own home. John Danusco came on Sunday late in the evening, and brought

news that he had found a little town twelve or thirteen leagues from

thence: he brought a woman and a boy that he took there. With his coming

and with those news, the Governor and all the rest were so glad that they

seemed at that instant to have returned from death to life. Upon Monday,

the twenty-sixth of April, the Governor departed to go to the town, which

was called Aymay; and the Christians named it the town of Relief. He left

where the camp had lain at the foot of a pine free, a letter buried, and

letters carved in the bark of the pine, the contents whereof was this:

Dig here at the foot of this pine, and you shall find a letter. And this

he did, because when the captains came, which were sent to seek some

habitation, they might see the letter, and know what was become of the

Governor, and which way he was gone. There was no other way to the town,

but the marks that John Danusco left made upon the trees. The Governor,

with some of them that had the best horses, came to it on the Monday; and

all the rest inforcing themselves the best way they could, some of them

lodged within two leagues of the town, some within three and four, every

one as he was able to go, and his strength served him. There was found in

the town a store-house full of the flour of parched maize; and some maize,

which was distributed by allowance. Here were four Indians taken, and

none of them would confess any other thing, but that they knew of none

other habitation. The Governor commanded one of them to be burned; and



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another confessed that two days' journey from thence, there was a province

that was called Cutifachiqui. Upon Wednesday came the captains Baltasar

de Gallegos, Alfonso Romo, and John Rodriquez Lobillo, for they had found

the letter, and followed the way which the Governor had taken toward the

town. Two men of John Rodriquez's company were lost, because their horses

tired; the Governor checked him very sore for leaving them behind, and

sent to seek them; and as soon as they came he departed toward

Cutifachiqui. In the way three Indians were taken, which said that the

lady of that country had notice already of the Christians, and stayed for

them in a town of hers. The Governor sent by one of them to offer her his

friendship, and to advertise her how he was coming thither. The Governor

came unto the town, and presently there came four canoes to him; in one of

them came a sister of the lady, and approaching to the Governor she said

these words:

"Excellent lord, my sister sendeth unto you by me to kiss your

lordship's hands, and to signify unto you that the cause why she came not

in person, is, that she thinketh to do you greater service staying behind,

as she doth, giving order that with all speed all her canoes be ready,

that your lordship may pass the river, and take your rest, which shall

presently be performed."

The Governor gave her thanks, and she returned to the other side of

the river. Within a little while the lady (Cutifachiqui) came out of the

town in a chair, whereon certain of the principal Indians brought her to

the river. She entered into a barge which had the stern tilted over, and

on the floor her mat ready laid with two cushions upon it one upon

another, where she sat her down; and with her came her principal Indians

in other barges, which did wait upon her. She went to the place where the

Governor was, and at her coming she made this speech following:

"Excellent lord, I wish this coming of your lordship into these your

countries to be most happy; although my power be not answer-able to my

will, and my services be not according to my desire, nor such as so high a

prince as your lordship deserveth; yet since the good-will is rather to be

accepted than all the treasures of the world, that without it are offered

with most nnfailable and manifest affection, I offer you my person, lands,

and subjects, and this small service."

And therewithal she presented unto him great store of clothes of the

country, which she brought in other canoes, to wit, mantles and skins; and

took from her own neck a great cordon of pearls, and cast it about the

neck of the Governor, entertaining him with very gracious


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speeches of love and courtesy, and commanded canoes to be brought thither,

wherein the Governor and his people passed the river. As soon as he was

lodged in the town, she (Cutifachiqui) sent him another present of many

hens. This country was very pleasant, fat, and hath goodly meadows by the

rivers. Their woods are thin, and full of walnut trees and mulberry

trees. They said the sea was two days' journey from thence. Within a

league and half a league about this town were great towns dispeopled, and

overgrown with grass; which showed that they had been long without

inhabitants. The Indians said that two years before there was a plague in

that country, and that they removed to other towns. There was in their

storehouses great quantity of clothes, mantles of yarn made of the barks

of trees, and others made of feathers, white, green, red, and yellow, very

fine after their use, and profitable for winter. There were also many

deer's skins, with many compartments traced in them, and some of them made

into hose, stockings, and shoes. And the lady perceiving that the

Christians esteemed the pearls, advised the Governor to send to search

certain graves that were in that town, and that he should find many; and

that if he would send to the dispeopled towns he might load all his

horses. They sought the graves of that town, and there found fourteen

rows of pearls (three hundred and ninety-two pounds), and little babies

and birds made of them. The people were brown, well made, and well

proportioned, and more civil than any others that were seen in all the

country of Florida, and all of them went shod and clothed. The youth told

the Governor that he began now to enter into the land which he spoke of;

and some credit was given hint that it was so, because he understood the

language of the Indians; and he requested that he might be christened, for

he said he desired to become a Christian. He was christened, and named

Peter; and the Governor commanded him to be loosed from a chain, in which

until that time he had gone. This country, as the Indians reported, had

been much inhabited, and had the fame of a good country. And as it

seemeth, the youth, which was the Governor's guide, had heard of it, and

that which he knew by hearsay, he affirmed that he had seen, and augmented

at his pleasure. In this town was found a dagger, and beads that belonged

to Christians. The Indians reported that Christians had been in the haven

(St. Helena), which was two days' journey from this town, many years ago.

He that came thither was the Governor, the Licentiate Lucas Vasquez de

Ayllon, which went to conquer this country, and at his coming to the port

he died (1525);


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and there was a division, quarrels and slaughters between some principal

men which went with him, for the principal government. And without

knowing anything of the country, they returned home to Hispaniola. All

the company thought it good to inhabit that country, because it was in a

temperate climate (32 30'). And that if it were inhabited, all the ships

of New Spain, of Peru, Santa Martha, and Terra Firma, in their return for

Spain might well touch there, because it was in their way, and because it

was a good country, and sited fit to raise commodity. The Governor, since

his intent was to seek another treasure, like that of Atabalipa, Lord of

Peru, was not contented with a good country, nor with pearls, though many

of them were worth their weight in gold. And if the country had been

divided among the Christians, those which the Indians had fished for

afterwards would have been of more value; for those which they had,

because they burned them in the fire, did lessen their color. The

Governor answered them that urged him to inhabit, that in all the country

there were not victuals to sustain his men one month; and that it was

needful to resort to the Port of Ocus, where Maldonado was to stay for

them: and that if no richer country were found, they might return again

to that whensoever they would; and in the meantime the Indians would sow

their fields, and it would be better furnished with maize. He inquired of

the Indians whether they had notice of any great lord farther into the

land. They told him that twelve days' journey from thence* there was a

province called Chiaha, subject to the Lord of Coça. Presently the

Governor determined to seek that land. And being a stern man, and of few

words, though he was glad to sift and know the opinion of all men, yet

after he had delivered his own, he would not be contraried, and always did

what liked himself, and so all men did condescend unto his will. And

though it seemed an error to leave that country (for others might have

been sought round about, where the people might have been sustained until

the harvest had been ready there, and the maize gathered), yet there was

none that would say anything against him, after they knew his resolution.

The Governor departed from Cutifachiqui the third day of May. And

because the Indians had revolted, and the will of the lady was perceived,

that if she could, she would depart without giving any guides or men for

burden, for the wrongs which the Christians had done to the Indians (for

there never want some among many of a

* Twelve days from St. Helena, and Coste seven days' journey from



Page 146

base sort, that for a little gain do put themselves and others in danger

of undoing), the Governor commanded her to be kept in safeguard, and

carried with him, not with so good usage as she deserved for the good-will

she showed, and good entertainment that she had made him. And he verified

that old proverb which saith: "For well-doing I receive evil." And so he

carried her on foot with his bondwomen to look unto her. In all the towns

where the Governor passed, the lady commanded the Indians to come and

carry the burdens from one town to another. We passed through her country

an hundred leagues, in which, as we saw, she was much obeyed, for the

Indians did all that she commanded them with great efficacy and diligence.

Peter, the youth that was our guide, said that she was not the lady

herself, but a niece of hers, which came to that town to execute certain

principal men by commandment of the lady, which had withheld her tribute;

which words were not believed, because of the lies which they had found in

him before; but they bare with all things because of the need which they

had of him to declare what the Indians said. In seven days' space the

Governor came to a province called Chalaque, the poorest country of maize

that was seen in Florida. The Indians feed upon roots and herbs, which

they seek in the fields, and upon wild beasts, which they kill with their

bows and arrows, and are a very gentle people. All of them go naked, and

arc very lean. There was a Lord (Cutifachiqui), which for a great

present, brought the Governor two deer skins; and there were in that

country many wild hens. In one town they made him a present of seven

hundred hens, and so in other towns they sent him those which they had or

could get. From this province to another, which is called Xualla, he

spent five days. Here he found very little maize, and for this cause,

though the people were wearied, and the horses very weak, he staid no more

but two days. From Ocute to Cutifachiqui, may be some hundred and thirty

leagues, whereof eighty are wilderness. From Cutifachiqui to Xualla two

hundred and fifty, and it is a hilly country. The Governor departed from

Xualla towards Guaxule passed very rough and high hills. In that journey,

the lady of Cutifachiqui (whom the Governor carried with him, as is

aforesaid, with purpose to carry her to Guaxule, because her territory

reached thither), going on a day with the bondwomen which led her, went

out of the way, and entered into a wood, saying she went to ease herself,

and so she deceived them, and hid herself in the wood; and though they

sought her they could not find her. She carried away with her a little

chest made of


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canes in manner of a coffer, which they call petaca, full of unbored

pearls. Some which could judge of them, said that they were of great

value. An Indian woman that waltzed on her did carry them. The Governor,

not to discontent her altogether, left them with her, making account that

in Guaxule he would ask them of her, when he gave her leave to return;

which coffer she carried away and went to Xualla with three slaves which

fled from the camp, and one horseman which remained behind, who, falling

sick of an ague, went out of the way and was lost. This man, whose name

was Alimamos, dealt with the slaves to change their evil purpose, and

return with him to the Christians, which two of them did; and Alimamos and

they overtook the Governor fifty leagues from thence in a province called

Chiaha; and reported how the lady remained in Xualla with a slave of

Andrew de Vasconcellos, which would not come back with them; and that of a

certainty they lived as man and wife together, and meant to go both to

Cutifachiqui. Within five days the Governor came to Guaxule. The Indians

there gave him a present of three hundred dogs, because they saw the

Christians esteem them, and sought them to feed on them; for among them

they are not eaten In Guaxule, and all that way, was very little maize.

The Governor sent from thence an Indian with a message to the cacique of

Chiaha, to desire him to gather some maize thither, that he might rest a

few days in Chiaha. The Governor departed from Guaxule, and in two days'

journey came to a town called Canasagua. There met him on the way twenty

Indians, every one loaded with a basketful of mulberries; for there be

many, and those very good, from Cutifachiqui, and so forward in other

provinces, and also nuts and plums. And the trees grow in the fields

without planting or dressing them, and as big and as rank as though they

grew in gardens digged and watered. From the time that the Governor

departed from Canasagua, he journeyed five days through a desert; and two

leagues before he came to Chiaha, there met him fifteen Indians loaded

with maize, which the cacique had sent; and they told him on his behalf,

that he walted his coming with twenty barns full of it; and further, that

himself, his country, and subjects, and all things else were at his

service. On the fifth day of June, the Governor entered into Chiaha. The

cacique voided his own houses, in which he lodged, and received him with

much joy, saying these words following

"Mighty and excellent lord, I hold myself for so happy a man, in that

it hath pleased your lordship to use me; that nothing could have


Page 148

happened unto me of more contentment, nor that I would have esteemed so

much. From Guaxule your lordship sent unto me, that I should prepare

maize for you in this town for two months. Here I have for you twenty

barns full of the choicest that in all the country could be found. If

your lordship be not entertained by me in such sort as is fit for so high

a prince, respect my tender age, which excuseth me from blame, and receive

my good-will, which with much loyalty, truth and sincerity, I will always

show in anything which shall concern your lordship's service."

The Governor answered him that he thanked him very much for his

service and offer, and that he would always account him as his brother.

There was in this town much butter in gourds melted like oil--they said it

was the fat of bears. There was found, also, great store of oil of

walnuts, which was clear as butter, and of a good taste, and a pet full of

honey of bees, which neither before nor afterward was seen in all the

country. The town was an island between two arms of a river, and was

seated nigh one of them. The river divideth itself into those two

branches, two crossbow shots above the town, and meeteth again a league

beneath the same. The plain between both the branches is sometimes one

crossbow shot, sometimes two crossbow shots over. The branches are very

broad, and both of them may be waded over. There were along them very

good meadows, and many fields sown with maize. And because the Indians

staid in their town, the Governor only lodged in the houses of the

cacique, and his people in the fields; where there was ever a tree every

one took one for himself. Thus the camp lay separated one from another,

and out of order. The Governor winked at it, because the Indians were in

peace, and because it was very hot, and the people should have suffered

great extremity if it had not been so. The horses came thither so weak,

that for feebleness they were not able to carry their masters; because

that from Cutifachiqui, they always traveled with very little provender,

and were hunger- starved and tired ever since they came from the desert of

Ocute. And because the most of them were not in case to use in battle,

though need should require, they sent them to feed in the night a quarter

of a league from the camp. The Christians were there in great danger,

because that if at this time the Indians had set upon them, they had been

in evil case to have defended themselves. The Governor rested there

thirty days, in which time, because the country was very fruitful, the

horses grew fat. At the time of his departure, by the importunity of


Page 149

some, which would have more than was reason, he demanded of the cacique

thirty women to make slaves of. He answered that he would confer with his

chief men. And before he returned an answer, one night all of them with

their wives and children forsook the town, and fled away. The next day,

the Governor proposing to go to seek them, the cacique came unto him, and

at his coming used these words unto the Governor:--

"Mighty lord, with shame and fear of your lordship, because my

subjects against my will have done amiss in absenting themselves, I went

my way without your license; and knowing the error which I have committed,

like a loyal subject, I come to yield myself into your power, to dispose

of me at your own pleasure. For my subjects do not obey me, nor do

anything but what an uncle of mine commandeth, which governeth this

country for me, until I be of a perfect age. If your lordship will pursue

them, and execute on them that, which for their disobedience they deserve,

I will be your guide, since at this present my fortune will not suffer me

to perform any more."

Presently, the Governor with thirty horsemen, and as many footmen,

went to seek the Indians, and passing by some towns of the principal

Indians which had absented themselves, he cut and destroyed great fields

of maize; and went up the river, where the Indians were in an island,

where the horsemen could not come at them. There he sent them word by an

Indian to return to their town and fear nothing, and that they should give

his men to carry burdens, as all those behind had done; for he would have

no Indian women, seeing they were so loth to part with them. The Indians

accepted his request, and came to the Governor to excuse themselves; and

so all of them returned to their town. A cacique of a province called

Coste, came to this town to visit the Governor. After he had offered

himself, and passed with him some words of tendering his service and

courtesy, the Governor asking him whether he had notice of any rich

country? he said yea: to wit, that toward the north there was a province

named Chisca:* and that there was a melting of copper, and of another

metal of the same color, save that it was finer, and of a far more perfect

color, and far better to the sight; and that they used it not so much,

because it was softer. And the self same thing was told the Governor in

Cutifachiqui, where we saw some little hatchets of copper, which were said

to have a mixture of gold. But in that part

* Chisca is directly north from Cutifachiqui, which is within two

days of St. Helena.


Page 150

the country was not well peopled, and they said there were mountains,

which the horses could not pass: and for that cause, the Governor would

not go from Cutifachiqui directly thither: and he made account, that

traveling through a peopled country, when his men and horses should be in

better plight, and he were better certified of the truth of the thing, he

would return toward it, by mountains, and a better inhabited country,

whereby he might have better passage. He sent two Christians from Chiaha

with certain Indians which knew the country of Chisca, and the language

thereof, to view it, and to make report of that which they should find;

where he told them that he would tarry for them.

When the Governor was determined to depart from Chiaha to Coste, he

sent for the cacique to come before him, and with gentle words took his

leave of him, and gave him certain things, wherewith he rested much

contented. In seven days he came to Coste. The second of July he

commanded his camp to be pitched two crossbow shots from the town: and

with eight men of his guard he went where he found the cacique, which to

his thinking received him with great love. As he was talking with him,

there went from the camp certain footmen to the town to seek some maize,

and not contented with its they ran-sacked and searched the houses, and

took what they found. With this despite, the Indians began to rise and to

take their arms: and some of them, with cudgels in their hands, ran upon

five or six Christians, which had done them wrong, and beat them at their

pleasure. The Governor seeing them all in an uproar, and himself among

them with so few Christians, to escape their hands used a stratagem, far

against his own disposition, being, as he was, very frank and open: and

though it grieved him very much that any Indian should be so bold, as with

reason, or without reason to despise the Christians, he took up a cudgel,

and took their parts against his own men; which was a means to quiet them.

And presently he sent word by a man very secretly to the camp, that some

armed men should come toward the place where he was; and he took the

cacique by the hand, using very mild words unto him, and with some

principal Indians that did accompany him, he drew them out of the town

into a plain way, and unto the sight of the camp, whither by little and

little with good discretion the Christians began to come and to gather

about them. Thus the Governor led the cacique and his chief men until he

entered with them into the camp: and near unto his tent he commanded them

to be put in safe custody; and told them that they should not depart


Page 151

without giving him a guide and Indians for burdens, and till certain sick

Christians were come, which he had commanded to come down the river in

canoes from Chiaha; and those also which he had sent to the province of

Chisca: (for they were not returned; and he feared that the Indians had

slain the one, and the other.) Within three days after, those which were

sent to Chisca returned, and made report that the Indians had carried them

through a country so poor of maize, and so rough, and over so high

mountains, that it was impossible for the army to travel that way; and

that seeing the way grew very long, and that they lingered much, they

consulted to return from a little poor town, where they saw nothing that

was of any profit, and brought an ox hide, which the Indians gave them, as

thin as a calf's skin, and the hair like a soft wool, between the coarse

and fine wool of sheep. The cacique gave a guide, and men for burdens,

and departed with the Governor's leave. The Governor departed from Coste

the ninth of July, and lodged at a town called Tali. The cacique came

forth to receive him on the way, and made this speech:--

"Excellent lord and prince, worthy to be served and obeyed of all the

princes in the world; howsoever for the most part by the outward

physiognomy the inward virtue may be judged, and that who you are, and of

what strength, was known unto me before now: I will not infer hereupon how

mean I am in your presence, to hope that my poor services will be grateful

and acceptable: since whereas strength faileth, the will doth not cease to

be praised and accepted. And for this cause I presume to request your

lordship, that you will be pleased only to respect the same, and consider

wherein you will command my service in this your country."

The Governor answered him, that his good-will and offer was as

acceptable unto him as if he had offered him all the treasures of the

world, and that he would always entreat, favor, and esteem him as if he

were his own brother. The cacique commanded provision necessary for two

days, while the Governor was there, to be brought thither: and at the

time of his departure, he gave him four women and two men, which he had

need of to bear burdens. The Governor traveled six days through many

towns subject to the cacique of Coça: and as he entered into his country

many Indians came unto him every day from the cacique, and met him on the

way with messages, one going, and another coming. He came to Coça upon

Friday, the 26th of July. The cacique came forth to receive him two

crossbow shots from the town in a chair, which his principal men carried

on their shoulders,


Page 152

sitting upon a cushion, and covered with a garment of marterns, of the

fashion and bigness of a woman's huke: he had on his head a diadem of

feathers, and round about him many Indians playing upon flutes, and

singing. As soon as he came unto the Governor, he did his obeyance, and

uttered these words following:--

"Excellent and mighty lord, above all them of the earth, although I

come but now to receive you, yet I have received you many days ago in my

heart, to wit, from the day wherein I had first notice of your lordship:

with so great desire to serve you, with so great pleasure and contentment,

that this which I make show of, is nothing in regard of that which is in

my heart, neither can it have any kind of comparison. This you may hold

for certain, that to obtain the dominion of the whole world, would not

have rejoiced me so much as your sight, neither would I have held it for

so great a felicity. Do not look for me to offer you that which is your

own, to wit, my person, my lands, and subjects; only I will busy myself in

commanding my men with all diligence and due reverence to welcome you from

hence to the town with playing and singing, where your lordship shall be

lodged and attended upon by myself and them; and all that I possess your

lordship shall use as it were your own. For your lordship shall do me a

very great favor in so doing."

The Governor gave him thanks, and with great joy they both went

conferring together till they came to the town; and he commanded his

Indians to void their houses, wherein the Governor and his men were

lodged. There was in the barns and in the fields great store of maize and

French beans. The country was greatly inhabited with many great towns,

and many sown fields, which reached from the one to the other. It was

pleasant, fat, full of good meadows upon rivers. There were in the fields

many plum trees, as well of such as grow in Spain as of the country; and

wild tall vines, that run up the trees; and besides these there were other

low vines with big and sweet grapes; but for want of digging and dressing,

they had great kernels in them. The Governor used to set a guard over the

caciques, because they should not absent themselves, and carried them with

him till he came out of their countries; because that carrying them along

with him, he looked to find people in the towns, and they gave him guides,

and men to carry burdens; and before he went out of their countries, he

gave them license to return to their houses, and to their porters

likewise, as soon as he came to any other lordship where they gave him

others. The men of Coça seeing their lord detained, took it in evil


Page 153

part, and revolted, and hid themselves in the woods, as well those of the

town of the cacique, as those of the other towns of his principal

subjects. The Governor sent out four captains, every one his way, to seek

them. They took many men and women, which were put into chains. They

seeing the hurt which they received, and how little they gained in

absenting themselves, came again, promising to do whatsoever they were

commanded. Of those which were taken prisoners, some principal men were

set at liberty, whom the cacique demanded; and every one that had any,

carried the rest in chains like slaves, without letting them go to their

country. Neither did any return, but some few, whose fortune helped them

with the good diligence which they used to file off their chains by night,

or such as in their traveling could slip aside out of the way, seeing any

negligence in them that kept them; some escaped away with the chains, and

with the burdens and clothes which they carried.

The Governor rested in Coça twenty-five days. He departed from

thence the twentieth of August, to seek a province called Tascaluca; he

carried with him the cacique of Coça. He passed that day by a great town

called Tallimuchase; the people were fled; he lodged half a league

further, near a brook. The next day he came to a town called Ytaua,

subject to Coça. He stayed[cr] there six days, because of a river that

passed by it, which at that time was very high; and as soon as the river

suffered him to pass, he set forward, and lodged at a town named

Ullibahali. There came to him on the way, of the caciques in behalf of

that province, ten or twelve principal Indians to offer him their service;

all of them had their plumes of feathers, and bows and arrows. The

Governor coming to the town with twelve horsemen, and some footmen of his

guard, leaving his people a crossbow shot from the town, entered into it;

he found all the Indians with their weapons, and as far as he could guess,

they seemed to have some evil meaning. It was known afterwards that they

were determined to take the cacique of Coça from the Governor, if he had

requested it. The Governor commanded all his people to enter the town,

which was walled about, and near unto it passed a small river. The wall,

as well of that as of others, which afterwards we saw, was of great posts

thrust deep into the ground, and very rough; and many long rails, as big

as one's arm, laid across between them, and the wall was about the height

of a lance, and it was daubed within and without with clay, and had

loopholes. On the other side of the river was a town, where at that

present the cacique was. The Governor sent to call him,


Page 154

and he came presently. After he had passed with the Governor some words

of offering his services, he gave him such men for his carriages as he

needed, and thirty women for slaves. In that place was a Christian lost,

called Mançano, born in Salamanca, of noble parentage, which went astray

to seek for grapes, whereof there is great store, and those very good. The

day that the Governor departed from thence, he lodged at a town, subject

to the lord of Ullibahali; and the next day he came to another town called

Toasi. The Indians gave the Governor thirty women, and such men for his

carriages as he needed. He traveled ordinarily five or six leagues a day,

when he traveled through peopled countries; and going through deserts, he

marched as fast as he could, to eschew the want of maize. From Toasi,

passing through some towns subject to a cacique, which was lord of a

province called Tallise, he traveled five days. He came to Tallise the

18th of September. The town was great, and situated near unto a main

river. On the other side of the river were other towns, and many fields

sown with maize. On both sides it was a very plentiful country, and had

store of maize; they had voided the town. The Governor commanded to call

the cacique; who came, and between them passed some words of love and

offer of his services, and he presented unto him forty Indians. There

came to the Governor in this town, a principal Indian in the behalf of the

cacique of Tascaluca, and made this speech following :-

"Mighty, virtuous, and esteemed lord, the great cacique of Tascaluca,

my lord, sendeth by me to kiss your lordship's hands, and to let you

understand that he hath notice how you justly ravish with your perfeetions

and power, all men on the earth; and that every one by whom your lordship

passeth, doth serve and obey you, which he acknowledgeth to be due unto

you, and desireth, as his life, to see and to serve your lordship. For

which cause by me he offereth himself, his lands and subjects, that when

your lordship pleaseth to go through his country, you may be received with

all peace and love, served and obeyed; and that in recompense of the

desire he hath to see you, you will do him the favor to let him know when

you will come; for how much the sooner, so much the greater favor he shall


The Governor received and dispatched him graciously, giving him

beads, which among them were not much esteemed, and some other things to

carry to his lord. And he gave license to the Cacique of Coça to return

home to his own country. The Cacique of Tallise gave him such men for

burdens as he needed. And after he had


Page 155

rested there twenty days, he departed thence towards Tascaluca. That day

when he went from Tallise, he lodged at a great town called Casiste. And

the next day passed by another, and came to a small town of Tascaluca; and

the next day he camped in a wood, two leagues from the town where the

cacique resided, and was at that time. And he sent the master of the

camp, Luys de Moscoso, with fifteen horsemen, to let him know he was

coming. The cacique was in his lodgings under a canopy; and without

doors, right against his lodgings, in a high place, they spread a mat for

him, and two cushions one upon another, where he sat him down, and his

Indians placed themselves round about him, somewhat distant from him, so

that they made a place, and a void room where he sat; and his chiefest men

were nearest to him, and one with a shadow of deer skin, which kept the

sun from him, being round and of the bigness of a target, quartered with

black and white, having a rundle in the midst; afar off it seemed to be of

taffeta, because the colors were very perfect. It was set on a small

staff stretched wide out. This was the device which he carried in his

wars. He was a man of a very tall stature, of great limbs, and spare, and

well proportioned, and was much feared of his neighbors and subjects. He

was lord of many territories and much people. In his countenance he was

very grave. After the master of the camp had spoken with him, he and

those that went with him coursed their horses, prancing them to and fro,

and now and then towards the place where the cacique was, who, with much

gravity and dissimulation now and then lifted up his eyes, and beheld

them, as it were, with disdain. At the Governor's coming, he made no

offer at all to rise. The Governor took him by the hand, and both of them

sat down together on a seat which was under the cloth of state. The

cacique said these words unto him:-

"Mighty lord, I bid your lordship right heartily welcome. I receive

as much pleasure and contentment with your sight, as if you were my

brother, whom I dearly loved; upon this point it is not needful to use

many reasons; since it is no discretion to speak that in many words, which

in few may be uttered. How much the greater the will is, so much more

giveth it name to the works, and the works give testimony of the truth.

Now touching my will, by it you shall know how certain and manifest it is,

and how pure inclination I have to serve you. Concerning the favor which

you did me, in the things which you sent me, I make as much account of

them as is reason to esteem them, and chiefly because they were yours.

Now see what service you will command me."


Page 156

The Governor satisfied him with sweet words and with great brevity.

When he departed from thence he determined to carry him along with him for

some cause, and at two days' journey he came to a town called Piache, by

which there passed a great river. The Governor demanded canoes of the

Indians; they said they had them not, but that they would make rafts of

canes and dry timber, on which he naight well enough. And they made them

with all diligence and speed, and they governed them; and because the

water went very slow, the Governor and his people passed very well.

From the Port de Spirito to Apalache, which is about an hundred

leagues, the Governor went from east to west; and from Apalache to

Cutifachiqui, which are four hundred and thirty leagues from the

south-west to the northeast; and from Cutifachiqui to Xualla, which are

about two hundred and fifty leagues from the south to the north; and from

Xualla to Tascaluca, which are two hundred and fifty leagues more, an

hundred and ninety of them he traveled from east to west, to wit, to the

province of Coça, and the other sixty from Coça to Tascaluca from the

north to the south.

Having passed the river of Piache, a Christian went from his company

from thence to seek a woman slave that was run away from him, and the

Indians either took him captive, or slew him. The Governor urged the

cacique that he should give account of him, and threatened him that if he

were not found he would never let him loose. The cacique sent an Indian

from thence to Mavilla, whither they were traveling, which was a town of a

principal Indian and his subject, saying that he sent him to advise them

to make ready victuals, and men for carriages. But (as afterwards

appeared) he sent him to assemble all the men of war thither that he had

in his country. The Governor traveled three days, and the third day he

passed all day through a peopled country, and he came to Mavilla upon

Monday the 18th of October, 1540. He went before the camp with fifteen

horsemen and thirty footmen. And from the town came a Christian, whom he

had sent to the principal man, three or four days before, because he

should not absent himself, and also to learn in what sort the Indians

were; who told him that he thought they were in an evil purpose; for while

he was there, there came many people into the town, and many weapons, and

that they made great haste to fortify the walls. Luys de Moscoso told the

Governor that it would be good to lodge in the field, seeing the Indians

were of such disposition; and he answered, that he would lodge in the

town, for he was weary of


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lodging in the field. When he came near unto the town, the cacique came

forth to receive him with many Indians playing upon flutes and singing.

And after he had offered himself, he presented him with three mantles of

marterns. The Governor, with both the caciques, and seven or eight men of

his guard, and three or four horsemen, which alighted to accompany him,

entered into the town, and sat him down under a cloth of state. The

cacique of Tascaluca requested him that he would let him remain in that

town, and trouble him no more with traveling. And seeing he would not

give him leave, in his talk he changed his purpose, and dissemblingly

feigned that he would speak with some principal Indians, and rose up from

the place where he sat with the Governor, and entered into a house, where

many Indians were with their bows and arrows. The Governor when he saw he

returned not, called him, and he answered that he would not come out from

thence, neither would he go any farther than that town, and that if he

would go his way in peace, he should presently depart, and should not seek

to carry him perforce out of his country and territory.

The Governor seeing the determination and furious answer of the

cacique, went about to pacify him with fair words; to which he gave no

answer, but rather with much pride and disdain, withdrew himself where the

Governor might not see him nor speak with him. As a principal Indian

passed that way, the Governor called him, to send him word that he might

remain at his pleasure in his country, and that it would please him to

give him a guide, and men for carriages, to see if he could pacify him

with mild words. The Indians answered with great pride, that he would not

hearken unto him. Bal-tasar de Gallegos, which stood by, took hold of a

gown of marterns which he had on, and he cast it over his head, and left

it in his hands: and because all of them immediately began to stir,

Baltasar de Gallegos gave him such a wound with his cutlass, that he

opened him down the back, and presently all the Indians with a great cry

came out of the houses shooting their arrows. The Governor considering

that if he tarried there, he could not escape, and if he commanded his men

to come in, which were without the town, the Indians within the houses

might kill their horses, and do much hurt, ran out of the town, and before

he came out, he fell twice or thrice, and those that were with him did

help him up again; and he and those that were with him were sore wounded;

and in a moment there were five Christians slain in the town. The

Governor came


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running out of the town, crying out that every man should stand farther

off; because from the wall they did them much hurt. The Indians seeing

that the Christians retired, and some of them, or the most part, more than

an ordinary pace, shot with great boldness at them, and struck down such

as they could overtake. The Indians which the Christians did lead with

them in chains, had laid down their burdens near unto the walls; and as

soon as the Governor and his men were retired, the men of Mavilla laid

them on the Indians'backs again, and took them into the town, and loosed

them presently from their chains, and gave them bows and arrows to fight

withal. Thus they possessed themselves of all the clothes and pearls, and

all that the Christians had, which their slaves carried. And because the

Indians had been always peaceable until we came to this place, some of our

men had their weapons in their fardels, and remained unarmed. And from

others that had entered the town with the Governor they had taken swords

and halberds, and fought with them. When the Governor was gotten into the

field, he called for a horse, and with some that accompanied him, he

returned and slew two or three Indians. All the rest retired themselves to

the town, and shot with their bows from the wall. And those which

presumed of their nimbleness, sallied forth to fight a stone's cast from

the wall. And when the Christians charged them, they retired themselves

at their leisure into the ton. At the time that the broil began, there

were in the town a friar and a priest, and a servant of the Governor, with

a woman slave; and they had no time to come out of the town, and they took

a house, and so remained in the ton. The Indians being become masters of

the place, they shut the door with a field gate; and among them was one

sword which the Governor's servant had, and with it he set himself behind

the door, thrusting at the Indians which sought to come into them; and the

friar and the priest stood on the other side, each of them with a bar in

their hands to beat him down that first came in. The Indians seeing they

could not get in by the door, began to uncover the house top. By this

time all the horsemen and footmen which were behind, were come to Mavilla.

Here there were sundry opinions, whether they should charge the Indians to

enter the town, or whether they should leave it, because it was hard to

enter; and in the end it was resolved to set upon them.

As soon as the battle and the rereward were come to Mavilla, the

Governor commanded all those that were best armed to alight, and made four

squadrons of footmen. The Indians, seeing how he was


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setting his men in order, concluded with the cacique, that he should go

his way, saying unto him, as after it was known by certain women that were

taken there, that he was but one man, and could fight but for one man, and

that they had there among them many principal Indians, very valiant and

expert in feats of arms, that any one of them was able to order the people

there; and forasmuch as matters of war were subject to casualty, and it

was uncertain which part should overcome, they wished him to save himself,

to the end, that if it fell out that they should end their days there, as

they determined rather than to be overcome, there might remain one to

govern the country. For all this he would not have gone away; but they

urged him so much, that with fifteen or twenty Indians of his own, he went

out of the ton, and carried away a scarlet cloak, and other things of the

Christians' goods, as much as he was able to carry, and seemed best unto

him. The Governor was informed how there went men out of the town, and he

commanded the horsemen to beset it, and sent in every squadron of footmen

one soldier with a firebrand to set fire on the houses, that the Indians

might have no defence; all his men being set in order, he commanded an

arquebuss to be shot off. The sign being given, the four squadrons, every

one by itself with great fury, gave the onset, and with great hurt on both

sides they entered the town. The friar and the priest, and those that

were with them in the house were saved, which cost the lives of two men of

account, and valiant, which came thither to succor them. The Indians

fought with such courage, that many times they drove our men out of the

town. The fight lasted so long, that for weariness and great thirst many

of the Christians went to a pool that was near the wall, to drink, which

was all stained with the blood of the dead, and then came again to fight.

The Governor seeing this, entered among the footmen into the town on

horseback, with certain that accompanied them, and was a mean that the

Christians came to set fire on the houses, and broke and overcame the

Indians, who running out of the town from the footmen, the horse-men

without drove in at the gates again, where being without all hope of life,

they fought valiantly, and after the Christians came among them to handy

blows, seeing themselves in great distress, without any succor, many of

them fled into the burning houses, where one upon another they were

smothered and burnt in the fire. The whole number of the Indians that

died in this town, were two thousand and five hundred, little more or

less. Of the Christians there died eighteen; of which one was Don Carls,

brother-in-law to the Governor,


Page 160

and a nephew of his, and one John de Gamez, and Men Rodriquez, Portuguese,

and John Vasquez de Villanova de Barca Rota, all men of honor, and of much

valor; the rest were footmen. Besides those that were slain, there were a

hundred and fifty wounded, with seven hundred wounds of their arrows: and

it pleased God that of very dangerous wounds they were quickly healed.

Moreover there were twelve horses slain, and seventy hurt. All the

clothes which the Christians carried with them to clothe themselves

withal, and the ornaments to say mass, and the pearls, were all burnt

there; and the Christians did set them on fire themselves; because they

held for a greater inconvenience, the hurt which the Indians might do them

from those houses, where they had gathered all those goods together, than

the loss of them. Here the Governor understood that Francisco Maldonado

waited for him at the Port of Ochuse, and that it wow six days' journey

from thence (Mavilla), and he dealt with John Ortiz to keep it secret,

because he had not accomplished that which he determined to do; and

because the pearls were burnt there, which he meant to have sent to Cuba

for a show, that the people hearing the news, might be desirous to come to

that country. He feared also, that if they should have news of him without

seeing from Florida neither gold nor silver, nor anything of value, it

would get such a name, that no man would seek to go thither, when he

should have need of people. And so he determined to send no news of

himself until he had found some rich country.

From the time that the Governor entered into Florida, until his

departure from Mavilla, there died a hundred and two Christians, some of

sickness, and others which the Indians slew. He stayed in Mavilla,

because of the wounded men, eight and twenty days; all which time he lay

in the field. It was a well inhabited and a fat country, there were some

great and walled towns, and many horses scattered all about the fields, to

wit, a crossbow shot or two, the one from the other. Upon Sunday, the

eighteenth of November (1540), when the hurt men were known to be healed,

the Governor departed from Mavilla. Every one furnished himself with

maize for two days, and they traveled five days through a desert: they

came to a province called Pafallaya, unto a town named Taliepatava: and

from thence they went to another, called Cabusto: near unto it ran a great

river. The Indians on the other side cried out, threatening the Christians

to kill them, if they sought to pass it. The Governor commanded his men

to make a barge within the town, because the Indians should not


Page 161

perceive it: it was finished in four days, and being ended, he commanded

it to be carried one night upon sleds half a league up the river. In the

morning there entered into it thirteen men well armed. The Indians

perceived what was attempted, and those which were nearest, came to defend

the passage. They resisted what they could, till the Christians came near

them; and seeing that the barge came to the shore, they fled away into the

groves of canes. The Christians mounted on horseback, and went up the

river to make good the passage, whereby the Governor and his company

passed the river. There were along the river some towns well stored with

maize and French beans. From thence to Chicaça the Governor traveled five

days through a desert. He came to a river, where on the other side were

Indians to defend the passage. He made another barge in two days; and

when it was finished, the Governor sent an Indian to request the cacique

to accept of his friendship, and peaceably to expect his coming: whom the

Indians that were on the other side the river slew before his face, and

presently making a great shout went their way. Having passed the river,

the next day, being the 17th of December, the Governor came to Chicaça, a

small town of twenty houses. And after they were come to Chicaça, they

were much troubled with cold, because it was now winter and it snowed,

while most of them were lodged in the field, before they had time to make

themselves houses. This country was very well peopled, and the houses

scattered like those of Mavilla, fat and plentiful of maize, and the most

part of it was fielding: they gathered as much as sufficed to pass the

winter. Some Indians were taken, among which was one whom the cacique

esteemed greatly. The Governor sent an Indian to signify to the cacique

that he desired to see him and to have his friendship. The cacique came

unto him, to offer him his person, country and subjects, and told him that

he would cause two other caciques to come to him in peace; who within a

few days after came with him and with their Indians. The one was called

Alimamu, the other Nicalasa. They gave a present unto the Governor of a

hundred and fifty coneys, and of the country garments, to wit, of mantles

and skins. The Cacique of Chicaça came to visit him many times; and

sometimes the Governor sent to call him, and sent him a horse to go and

come. He complained unto him that a subject of his was risen against him

and deprived him of his tribute, requesting his aid against him, for he

meant to seek him iu his country, and to punish him according to his

desert. Which was nothing else but a feigned plot. For they determined,


Page 162

as soon as the Governor was gone with him, and the camp was divided into

two parts, the one part of them to set upon the Governor and the other

upon them that remained in Chicaça. He went to the town where he used to

keep his residence, and brought with him two hundred Indians with their

bows and arrows. The Governor took thirty horsemen and eighty footmen,

and they went to Saquechuma (for so was the province called of that chief

man, which he said had rebelled). They found a walled town, without any

men: and those which went with the cacique set fire on the houses, to

dissemble their treason. But by reason of the great care and heedfulness,

that was as well in the Governor's people which he carried with him, as of

those which remained in Chicaça, they dare not assault them at that time.

The Governor invited the cacique, and certain principal Indians, and gave

them hog's flesh to eat. And though they did not commonly use it, yet

they were so greedy of it, that every night there came Indians to certain

houses a crossbow shot from the camp, where the hogs lay, and killed, and

carried away as many as they could. And three Indians were taken in the

manner. Two of them the Governor commanded to be shot to death with

arrows; and to cut off the hands of the other; and he sent him so handled

to the cacique. Who made as though it grieved him; yet they had offended

the Governor, and that he was glad that he had executed that punishment on

them. He lay in a plain country, half a league from the place where the

Christians lodged. Four horsemen went a straggling thither, to wit,

Francisco Osorio, and a servant of the Marquis of Astorga, called Reynoso,

and two servants of the Governor, the one his page, called Ribera, and the

other Fuentes, his chamberlain: and these had taken from the Indians some

skins, and some mantles, wherewith they were offended, and forsook their

houses. The Governor knew of it, and commanded them to be apprehended; and

condemned to death Francisco Osorio, and the chamberlain as principals,

and all of them to loss of goods. The friars and priests and other

principal persons were earnest with him to pardon Francisco Osorio his

life, and to moderate his sentence, which he would not grant for any of

them. While he was ready to command them to be drawn to the market-place

to cut off their heads, there came certain Indians from the cacique to

complain of them. John Ortiz, at the request of Baltasar de Gallegos and

other persons, changed their words, and told the Governor, that the

cacique said, he had notice how his lordship held those Christians in

prison for his sake, and that they


Page 163

were in no fault, neither had they done him any wrong, and that if he

would do him any favor, he should set them free. And he told the Indians,

that the Governor said he had them in prison, and that he would punish

them in such sort, that they should be an example to others. Hereupon the

Governor commanded the prisoners to be loosed. As soon as March was come,

he determined to depart from Chicaça, and demanded of the cacique two

hundred men for carriages. He sent him answer that he would speak with his

principal men. Upon Tuesday, the eighth of March, 1541, the Governor went

to thc town where he was, to ask him for the men: he told him he would

send them the next day. As soon as the Governor was come to Chicaça, he

told Luys de Moscoso, the camp-master, that he misliked the Indians, and

that he should keep a strong watch that night, which he remembered but a

little. The Indians came at the second watch in four squadrons, every one

by itself, and as soon as they were descried, they sounded a drum, and

gave the assault with a great cry, and with so great celerity, that

presently they entered with the scouts, that were somewhat distant from

the camp. And when they were perceived of them which were in the town,

half the houses were on fire, which they had kindled. That night three

horsemen chanced to be scouts; two of them were of base calling, and the

worst men in all the camp, and the other, which was a nephew of the

Governor, which until then was held for a tall man, showed himself there

as great a coward as any of them: for all of them ran away. And the

Indians without any resistance came and set the town on fire; and tarried

without behind the doors for the Christians, which ran out of thc houses,

not having any leisure to arm themselves; and as they ran hither and

thither amazed with the noise, and blinded with the smoke and flame of the

fire, they knew not which way they went, neither could they light upon

their weapons, nor saddle their horses, neither saw they the Indians that

shot at them. Many of the horses were burned in the stables, and those

which could break their halters got loose. The disorder and fight was

such that every man fled which way he could, without leaving any to resist

the Indians. But God (which chastiseth his according to his pleasure, and

in the greatest necessities and dangers sustaineth them with his hand) so

blinded the Indians, that they saw not what they had done, and though it

that the horses which ran loose, were men on horseback, that gathered

themselves together to set upon them. The Governor only rode on

horseback, and with him a soldier called Tapia, and set upon the


Page 164

Indians, and striking the first he met with his lance, the saddle fell

with him, which with haste was evil girded, and so he fell from his horse.

And all the people that were on foot were fled to a wood out of the town,

and there assembled themselves together. And because it was night, and

that the Indians thought the horses were men on horseback which came to

set upon them, as I said before, they fled; and one only remained dead,

and that was he whom the Governor slew with his lance. The town lay all

burnt to ashes. There was a woman burned, who, after she and her husband

were both gone out of their house, went in again for certain pearls which

they had forgotten, and when she would have come out, the fire was so

great at the door that she could not, neither could her husband succor

her. Other three Christians came out of their lodgings so cruelly burned,

that one of them died within three days, and the other two were carried

many days each of them upon a couch between staves, which the Indians

carried on their shoulders, for otherwise they could not travel. There

died in this hurlyburly eleven Christians, and fifty horses; and there

remained a hundred hogs, and four hundred were burned. If any perchance

had saved any clothes from the fire of Mavilla, here they were burned, and

many were clad in skins, for they had no leisure to take their coats.

They endured much cold in this place, and the chiefest remedy were great

fires. They spent all night in turnings without sleep: for if they warmed

one side, they freezed on the other. Some invented the weaving of certain

mats of dry ivy, and did wear one beneath, and another above: many laughed

at this device, whom afterward necessity enforced to do the like. The

Christians were so spoiled, and in such want of saddies and weapons which

were burned, that if the Indians had come the second night, they had

overcome them with little labor. They removed thence to the town where

the cacique was wont to lie, because it was in a champaign country.

Within eight days after, there were many lances and saddles made. There

were ash-trees in those parts, whereof they made as good lances as in


Upon Wednesday, the 15th of March, 1541, after the Governor had

lodged eight days in a plain, half a league from the place which he had

wintered in, after he had set up a forge, and tempered the swords which in

Chicaça were burned, and made many targets, saddles, and lances; on

Tuesday night, at the morning watch, many Indians came to assault the camp

in three squadrons, every one by themselves. Those which watched gave the

alarm. The Governor


Page 165

with great speed set his men in order in other three squadrons, and

leaving some to defend the camp, went out to encounter them. The Indians

were overcome and put to flight. The ground was champaign and fit for the

Christians to take the advantage of them; and it was now break of day.

But there happened a disorder, whereby there were not past thirty or forty

Indians slain: and this it was: that a friar cried out in the camp without

any just occasion, "To the camp, to the camp." Whereupon the Governor and

all the rest repaired thither, and the Indians had time to save

themselves. There were some taken, by whom the Governor informed himself

of the country through which he was to pass. The 25th of April, he

departed from Chicaça, and lodged at a small town called Alimamu. They

had very little maize, and they were to pass a desert of seven days'

journey. The next day, the Governor sent three captains, every one his

way, with horsemen and footmen to seek provisions to pass the desert. And

John Dannusco the Auditor went with fifteen horsemen and forty footmen

that way that the Governor was to go, and found a strong fort made, where

the Indians stayed for him, and many of them walked on the top of it with

their weapons, having their bodies, thighs, and arms ochred and dyed with

black, white, yellow and red, striped like unto panes, so that they showed

as though they went in hose and doublets: and some of them had plumes, and

others had horns on their heads, and their faces black, and their eyes

done round about with steaks of red, to seem more fierce. As soon as they

saw that the Christians approached, with a great cry sounding two drums

with great fury they sallied forth to receive them. John Dannusco and

those that were with him thought good to avoid them, and to acquaint the

Governor therewith. They retired to a plain place, a crossbow-shot from

the fort, in sight of it: the footmen, the crossbow-men, and targeters

placed themselves before the horsemen, that they might not hurt the

horses. The Indians sallied out by seven and seven, and eight and eight,

to shoot their arrows, and retired again: and in sight of the Christians

they made a fire, and took an Indian, some by the feet, and some by the

head, and made as though they went to cast him into the fire, and gave him

first many knocks on the head: signifying that they meant so to handle the

Christians. John Dannusco sent three horsemen to advertise the Governor

hereof. He came presently: for his intent was to drive them from thence,

saying, that if he did it not, they would be emboldened to charge him

another time, when they might do him more harm. He made the horsemen to


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alight, and set his men in four squadrons. The sign being given, they set

upon the Indians, which made resistance till the Christians came near the

fort, and as soon as they saw they could not defend themselves, by a place

where a brook passed near the fort, they ran away, and from the other side

they shot some arrows; and because at that instant we knew no ford for the

horses to pass, they had time enough to get out of our danger. Three

Indians were slain there, and many Christians were hurt, whereof within

few days, there died fifteen by the way. All men thought the Governor to

be in fault, because he sent not to see the disposition of the place on

the other side of the river, and to know the passage before he set upon

them. For with the hope they had to save themselves by flight that way,

when they saw none other means, they fought till they were broken, and it

was an encouragement to defend themselves until then, and to offend the

Christians without any danger to themselves.

Three days after they had sought some maize, whereof they found but

little store, in regard of that which was needful, and that for this

cause, as well for their sakes that were wounded, it was needful for them

to rest, as for the great jonrney they were to march to come where store

of maize was: yet the Governor was enforced to depart presently toward

Quizquiz. He traveled seven days through a desert of many marshes and

thick woods: but it might all be traveled on horseback, except some lakes

which they swam over. He came to a town of the province of Quizquiz

without being descried, and took all the people in it before they came out

of their houses. The mother of the cacique was taken there: and he sent

unto him by an Indian, that he should come to see him, and that he would

give him his mother, and all the people which he had taken there. The

cacique sent him answer again, that his lordship should loose and send

them to him, and that he would come to visit and serve him. The Governor,

because his people for want of maize were somewhat weak and weary, and the

horses also were lean, determined to accomplish his request, to see if he

could have peace with him, and so commanded to set free his mother and all

the rest, and with loving words dismissed them and sent them to him. The

next day, when the Governor expected the cacique, there came many Indians

with their bows and arrows with a purpose to set upon the Christians. The

Governor had commanded all the horsemen to be armed, and on horseback, and

in readiness. When the Indians saw that they were ready, they stayed a

crossbow-shot from the place where the Governor was, near a brook. And



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half an hour that they had stood there still, there came to the camp six

principal Indians, and said, "they came to see what people they were, and

that long ago, they had been informed by their forefathers that a white

people should subdue them; and that therefore they would return to their

cacique, and bid him conic presently to obey and serve the Governor:" and

after they had presented him with six or seven skins and mantles which

they brought, they took their leave of him, and returned with the others,

which waited for them by the brook side. The cacique never came again nor

sent other message. And because in the town where the Governor lodged,

there was small store of maize, he removed to another half a league from

Rio Grande,* where they fonnd plenty of maize. And he went to see the

river, and found, that near unto it was great store of timber to make

barges, and good situation of ground to encamp in. Presently he removed

himself thither. They made houses, and pitched their camp in a plain

field a crossbow-shot from the river. And thither was gathered all the

maize of the towns which they had lately passed. They began presently to

cut and hew down timber, and to saw planks for, barges. The Indians came

presently down the river: they leaped on shore, and declared to the

Governor, "that they were subjects of a great lord, whose name was Aquixo,

who was lord of many towns, and governed many people on the other side of

the river, and came to tell him on his behalf, that the next day he with

all his men would come to see what it would please him to command him.

The next day, with speed, the cacique came with two hundred canoes full of

Indians with their bows and arrows, painted, and with great plumes of

white feathers, and many other colors, with shields in their hands,

wherewith they defended the rowers on both sides, and the men of war stood

from the head to the stern, with their bows and arrows in their hands.

The canoe wherein the cacique was, had a tilt over the stern, and he sat

under the tilt; and so were other canoes of the principal Indians. And

from under the tilt where the chief man sat, he governed and commanded the

other people. All joined together, and came within a stone's cast of the

shore. From thence the cacique said to the Governor, which walked along

the river's side with others that waited on him, that he was come thither

to visit, to honor, and to obey him; because he knew he was the greatest

and mightiest lord on the earth: therefore he would see what he would

command him to do. The Governor yielded him thanks, and requested him to

* Rio Grande, or Rio de Espiritu Santo.


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come on shore, that they might the better communicate together. And

without any answer to that point, he sent him three canoes, wherein was

great store of fish and loaves, made of the substance of prunes like unto

bricks. After he had received all, he thanked him, and prayed him again

to come on shore. And because the cacique's purpose was, to see if with

dissimulation he might do some hurt, when they saw that the Governor and

his men were in readiness, they began to go from the shore: and with a

great cry, the crossbow-men which were ready, shot at them, and slew five

or six of them. They retired with great order: none did leave his oar,

though the next to him were slain, and shielding themselves, they went

farther off. Afterward they came many times and landed: and when any of

us came toward them, they fled into their canoes, which were very pleasant

to behold: for they were very great and well made, and had their tilts,

plumes, paueses, and flags, and with the multitude of people that were in

them, they seemed to be a fair army of galleys. In thirty days' space,

while the Governor remained there, they made four barges: in three of

which he commanded twelve horsemen to enter, in each of them four. In a

morning, three hours before day, men which he trusted would land in

despite of the Indians, and make sure the passage, or die, and some

footmen, being crossbow-men, went with them, and rowers to set them on the

other side. And in the other barge he commanded John de Guzman to pass

with the foot-men, which was made captain instead of Francisco Maldonado.

And because the stream was swift, they went a quarter of a league up the

river along the bank, and crossing over, fell down with the stream, and

landed right over against the camp. Two stones' cast before they came to

land, the horsemen went out of the barges on horseback to a sandy plot

very hard and clear ground, where all of them landed without any

resistance. As soon as those that passed first were on land on the other

side, the barges returned to the place where the Governor was: and within

two hours after sun rising, all the people were over. The river was

almost half a league broad. If a man stood still on the other side, it

could not be discerned whether he was a man or no. The river was of great

depth, and of a strong current: the water was always muddy: there came

down the river continually many trees and timber, which the force of the

water and stream brought down. There was great store of fish in it of

sundry sorts, and the most of it differing from the fresh water fish of

Spain, as hereafter shall be showed.


Volume 2 Chapter 7

Page 169

Having passed Rio Grande, the Governor traveled a league and a half,

and came to a great town of Aquixo, which was dispeopled before he came

thither. They espied thirty Indians coming over a plain, which the

cacique sent to discover the Christians' determination; and as soon as

they had sight of them, they took themselves to flight. The horsemen

pursued them, and slew ten, and took fifteen. And because the town,

whither the Governor went, was near unto the river, he sent a captain,

with as many men as he thought sufficient, to carry the barges up the

river. And because in his traveling by land many times he went far from

the river to compass the creeks that came from it, the Indians took

occasion to set upon them of the barges, and put them in great danger,

because that by reason of the great current, they durst not leave the

shore, and from the bank they shot at them. As soon as the Governor was

come to the town, he presently sent crossbow-men down the river, which

came to rescue them; and upon the coming of the barges to the town, he

commanded them to be broken, and to save the iron for others, when it

should be needful. He lay there one night, and the day following he set

forward to seek a province, called Pacaha, which he was informed to be

near unto Chisca, where the Indians told him there was gold. He passed

through great towns of Aquixo, which were all abandoned for fear of the

Christians. He understood by certain Indians that were taken that three

days' journey from thence dwelt a great cacique, whose name was Casqui.

He came to a small river, where a bridge was made, by which they passed;

that day till sunset, they went all in water, which in some places came to

the waist, and in some to the knees. When they saw themselves on dry

land, they were very glad, because they feared they should wander up and

down as forlorn men all night in the water. At noon they came to the

first town of Casqui: they found the Indians careless, because they had no

knowledge of them. There were many men and women taken, and store of

goods, as mantles and skins, as well in the first town, as in another,

which stood in a field half a league from thence in sight of it; whither

the horsemen ran. This country is higher, drier, and more champaign, than

any part bordering near the river that until then they had seen. There

were in the fields many walnut trees, bearing soft-shelled walnuts in the

fashion like bullets, and in the houses they found many of them, which the

Indians had laid up in store. The trees differed in nothing else from

those of Spain, nor from those which we had seen before, but only that

they have a smaller leaf. There were many mulberry trees and plum trees,


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which bare red plums like those of Spain, and others gray, somewhat

differing, but far better. And all the trees are all the year so

fruitful, as if they were planted in orchards; and the woods were very

thin. The Governor traveled two days through the country of Casqui,

before he came to the town where the cacique was; and the most of the way

was alway by champaign ground, which was full of great towns, so that from

one town, you might see two or three. He sent an Indian to certify the

cacique that he was coming to the place where he was, with intent to

procure his friendship, and to hold hint as his brother. Whereunto he

answered, that he should be welcome, and that he would receive him with

special good-will, and accomplish all that his lordship would command him.

He sent him a present upon the way; to wit, skins, mantles, and fish: and

after these compliments, the Governor found all the towns, as he passed,

inhabited with people, which peaceably attended his coming, and offered

him skins, mantles, and fish. The cacique, accompanied with many Indians,

came out of the town, and stayed half a league on the way to receive the

Governor, and when he came to him, he spake these words following:--

"Right high, right mighty, and renowned lord, your lordship is most

heartily welcome. As soon as I had notice of your lordship, of your

power, and your perfections, although you came into my country killing and

taking captives the inhabitants thereof and my subjects, yet I determined

to conform my will unto yours, and as your own to interpret in good part

all that your lordship did: believing that it was convenient it should be

so for some just respect, to prevent some future matter revealed unto your

lordship, and concealed from me. For well may a mischief be permitted to

avoid a greater, and that good may come thereof: which I believe will so

fall out. For it is no reason to presume of so excellent a prince, that

the nobleness of his heart, and the effect of his will would permit him to

suffer any unjust thing. My ability is so small to serve you as your

lordship deserveth, that if you respect not mine abundant good-will, which

humbly offereth all kind of service, I deserve but little in your

presence. But if it be reason that this be esteemed, receive the same,

myself, my country, and subjects for yours, and dispose of me and them at

your pleasure. For if I were lord of all the world, with the same

good-will should your lordship by me be received, served and obeyed."

The Governor answered him to the purpose, and satisfied him in few

words. Within a while after both of them used words of great offers and

courtesy the one to the other, and the cacique requested


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him to lodge in his houses. The Governor, to preserve the peace the

better, excused himself, saying that he would lodge in the fields. And

because it was very hot, they camped near certain trees a quarter of a

league from the town. The cacique went to his town, and came again with

many Indians singing. As soon as they came to the Governor, all of them

prostrated themselves upon the ground. Among these came two Indians that

were blind. The cacique made a speech: to avoid tediousness, I will only

tell in a few words the substance of the matter. He said, that seeing the

Governor was the son of the Sun, and a great lord, he besought him to do

him the. favor to give sight to those two blind men. The blind men rose

up presently, and very earnestly requested the same of the Governor. He

answered, that in the high heavens was he that had power to give them

health, and whatsoever they could ask of him; whose servant he was: and

that this Lord made the heavens and the earth, and man after his own

likeness, and that he suffered upon the cross to save mankind, and rose

again the third day, and that he died as he was man, and as touching his

divinity, he was, and is immortal; and that he amended into heaven, where

he standeth with his arms open to receive all such as turn unto him: and

straightway he commanded him to make a very high cross of wood, which was

set up in the highest place of the town; declaring unto him, that the

Christians worshiped the same in resemblance and memory of that whereon

Christ suffered. The Governor and his men kneeled down before it, and the

Indians did the like. The Governor willed him, that from thenceforth he

would worship the same, and should ask whatsoever they stood in need of,

of that Lord that he told him was in heaven. Then he asked him how far it

was from thence to Pacaha. He said, one day's journey, and that at the

end of his country, there was a lake like a brook which falleth into Rio

Grande, and that he would send men before to make a bridge whereby he

might pass. The same day that the Governor departed thence, he lodged at

a town belonging to Casqui; and the next day he passed in sight of other

towns, and came to the lake, which was half a crossbow shot over, of a

great depth and current. At the time of his coming, the Indians had made

an end of the bridge, which was made of timber, laid one tree after

another : and on one side it had a course of stakes higher than the

bridge, for them that passed to take hold on. The Cacique of Casqui came

to the Governor, add brought his people with him. The Governor sent word

by an Indian to the Cacique of Pacaha, that though he were enemy to the

Cacique of


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Casqui, and though he were there, yet he would do him no disgrace nor

hurt, if he would attend him peaceably, and embrace his friendship; but

rather would intreat him as a brother. The Indian, which the Governor

sent, came again, and said that the cacique made no account of that which

he told him, but fled with all his men out at the other side of the town.

Presently the Governor entered, and ran before with the horsemen, that way

by which the Indians fled; and at another town, distant a quarter of a

league from thence, they took many Indians; and as soon as the horsemen

had taken them, they delivered them to the Indians of Casqui, whom,

because they were their enemies, with much circumspection and rejoicing,

they brought to the town where the Christians were: and the greatest

grief they had was this, that they could not get leave to kill them.

There were found in the town many mantles, and deer skins, lion skins, and

bear skins, and many cat skins. Many came so far poorly appareled, and

there they clothed themselves: of the mantles, they made them coats and

cassocks, and some made gowns, and lined them with cat skins; and likewise

their cassocks. Of the deer skins, some made them also jerkins, shirts,

hose and shoes: and of the bear skins, they made them very good cloaks:

for no water could pierce them. There were targets of raw ox hides found

there; with which hides they armed their horses.

Upon Wednesday, the 19th of June, 1541, the Governor entered into

Pacaha. He lodged in the town, where the cacique used to regide, which

was very great, walled, and beset with towers, and many loopholes were in

the towers and wall. And in the town was great store of old maize, and

great quantity of new in the fields. Within a league and half a league

were great towns all walled. Where the Governor was lodged was a great

lake, that came near unto the wall; and it entered into a ditch, that went

round about the town, wanting but a little to environ it around. From the

lake to the great river was made a wear by which the fish came into it;

which the cacique kept for his recreation and sport. With nets that were

found in the town, they took as much as they would; and took they never

so much, there was no want perceived. There was also great store of fish

in many other lakes that were thereabout, but it was soft, and not so good

as that which came from the river, and the most of it was different from

the fresh-water fish of Spain. There was a fish which they called bagres;

the third part of it was head, and it had on both sides the gills, and

along the sides great pricks like very sharp awls. Those of the kind that

were in the lakes were as big as pikes; and in


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the river there were some of an hundred, and of an hundred and fifty

pounds weight, and many of them were taken with the hook. There was

another fish like barbilles, and another like breams, headed like a

delicate fish, called in Spain besugo, between red and gray. This was

there of most esteem. There was another fish called peel fish; it had a

snout of a cubit long, and at the end of the upper lip it was made like a

peel. There was another fish called a western shad; and all of them had

scales, except the bagres, and the peel fish. There was another fish which

sometimes the Indians brought us, of the bigness of a hog; they called it

the pereo fish; it had rows of teeth beneath and above. The Cacique of

Casqui sent many times great presents of fish, mantles, and skins. He

told the Governor that he would deliver the Cacique of Pacaha into his

hands. He went to Casqui, and sent many canoes up the river, and came

himself by land with many of his people. The Governor, with forty

horsemen and sixty footmen, took him along with him up the river. And his

Indians which were in the canoes, discovered where the Cacique of Pacaha

was, in a little island, situated between two arms of the river. And five

Christians entered into a canoe, wherein Don Antonio Osorio went before,

to see what people the cacique had with him. There were in the isle five

or six thousand souls. And as soon as they saw them, supposing that the

Indians which were in the other canoes were also Christians, the cacique,

and certain which were in three canoes, which they had there with them,

fled in great haste to the other side of the river. The rest, with great

fear and danger, leapt into the river, where many people were drowned,

especially women and little children. Presently the Governor, who was on

land, not knowing what had happened to Don Antonio and those that went

with him, commanded the Christians with all speed to enter with the

Indians of Casqui in the canoes, which were quickly with Don Antonio in

the little island, where they took many men and women, and much goods.

Great store of goods, which the Indians had laid upon hurdles of canes and

rafts of timber to carry over to the other side, drove down the river,

wherewith the Indians of Casqui filled their canoes; and for fear lest the

Christians would take it from them, the cacique went home with them down

the river, without taking his leave of the Governor; whereupon the

Governor was highly offended with him, and presently returning to Pacaha,

he overran the country of Casqui the space of two leagues, where he took

twenty or thirty of his men. And because his horses were weary, and he



Page 174

time that day to go any farther, he returned to Pacaha, with determination

within three or four days after to invade Casqui. And presently he let

loose one of the Indians of Pacaha, and sent word by him to the cacique,

that if he would have his friendship, he should repair unto him, and that

both of them would make war upon Casqui. And presently came many Indians

that belonged to Pacaha, and brought an Indian instead of the cacique,

which was discovered by the cacique's brother, which was taken prisoner.

The Governor wished the Indians that their master himself should come; for

he knew very well that that was not he, and told them that they could do

nothing which he knew not before they thought it. The next day the

cacique came, accompanied with many Indians, and with a present of much

fish, skins and mantles. He made a speech that all were glad to hear, and

concluded saying, that though his lordship, without his giving occasion of

offence had done him hurt in his country and subjects, yet he would not

therefore refuse to be his, and that he would always be at his command.

The Governor commanded his brother to be loosed, and other principal

Indians that were taken prisoners. That day came an Indian from the

Cacique of Casqui and said that his lord would come the next day to excuse

himself of the error which he had committed, in going away without license

of the Governor. The Governor willed the messenger to signify unto him,

that if he came not in his own person, he would seek him himself, and give

him such punishment as he deserved. The next day with all speed came the

Cacique of Casqui, and brought a present to the Governor of many mantles,

skins, and fish, and gave him a daughter of his, saying that he greatly

desired to match his blood with the blood of so great a lord as he was,

and therefore he brought him his daughter, and desired him to take her to

his wife. He made a long and discreet oration, giving him great

commendations, and concluded, saying, that he should pardon his going away

without license, for that cross's sake which he had left with him;

protesting that he went away for shame of that which his men had done

without his consent. The Governor answered him that he had chosen a good

patron; and that if he had not come to excuse himself, he had determined

to seek him, to burn his towns, to kill him and his people, and to destroy

his country. To which he replied, saying:

"My lord, I and mine are yours, and my country likewise is yours;

therefore if you had done so, you should have destroyed


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your own country, and have killed your own people; whatsoever shall come

unto me from your hand, I will receive as from my lord, as well punishment

as reward; and know you, that the favor which you did me in leaving me the

cross, I do acknowledge the same to be a very great one, and greater than

I have ever deserved. For you shall understand, that with great droughts

the fields of maize of my country were withered; and as soon as I and my

people kneeled before the cross, and prayed for rain, presently our

necessities were relieved."

The Governor made him and the Cacique of Pacaha friends; and set them

with him at his table to dine with him; and the caciques fell at variance

about the seats, which of them should sit on his right hand. The Governor

pacified them; telling them that among the Christians all was cue to sit

on the one side, or on the other, willing them so to behave themselves,

seeing they were with him, that nobody might hear them, and that every one

should sit in the place that first he lighted on. From thence he sent

thirty horsemen and fifty footmen to the province of Caluça, to see if

from thence he might travel to Chisca, where the Indians said there was a

work of gold and copper. They traveled seven days' journey, through a

desert, and returned very weary, eating green plums, and stalks of maize,

which they found in a poor town of six or seven houses. From

thenceforward towards the north, the Indians said that the country was

very ill inhabited, because it was very cold; and that there was such

store of oxen, that they could keep no corn for them; and that the Indians

lived upon their flesh. The Governor, seeing that toward that part the

country was so poor of maize that in it they could not be sustained,

demanded of the Indians which way it was most inhabited; and they said,

they had notice of a great province, and a very plentiful country, which

was called quigaute, and that it was toward the south.

The Governor rested in Pacaha forty days; in all which time the two

caciques served him with great store of fish, mantles, and skins, and

strove who should do him greatest service. At the time of his departure

the Cacique of Pacaha gave him two of his sisters, saying that in sign of

love that he might remember him, he should take them for his wives: the

one's name was Macanoche, and the other's Mochila: they were well

proportioned, tall of body, and well fleshed. Macanoche was of a good

countenance, and in her shape and physiognomy looked like a lady; the

other was strongly made. The Cacique of Casqui commanded the bridge to be

repaired, and the Governor


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returned through his country, and lodged in the field near his town,

whither he came with great store of fish, and two women, which he

exchanged with two Christians for two shirts. He gave us a guide and men

for carriages. The Governor lodged at a town of his, and the next day at

another near a river, whither he caused canoes to be brought for him to

pass over, and with his leave returned. The Governor took his journey

toward Quigaute. The fourth day of August he came to the town, where the

cacique used to keep his residence: on the way he sent him a present of

many mantles and skins, and not daring to stay for him in the town, he

absented himself. The town was the greatest that was seen in Florida.

The Governor and his people lodged in the one-half of it; and within few

days, seeing the Indians became liars, he commanded the other half to be

burned, because it should not be a shelter for them, if they came to

assault him by night, nor a hinderance to his horsemen for the resisting

of them. There came an Indian very well accompanied with many Indians,

saying that he was the cacique. He delivered him over to the men of his

guard to look unto him. There went and came many Indians, and brought

mantles and skins. The counterfeit cacique, seeing so little opportunity

to execute his evil thought, as he went one day abroad talking with the

Governor, he showed him such a pair of heels, that there was no Christian

that could overtake him, and he leaped into the river, which was a

crossbow shot from the town: and as soon as he was on the other side, many

Indians that were thereabout making a great cry began to shoot. The

Governor passed presently over to them with horsemen and foot-men, but

they durst not tarry for him. Going forward on his way, he came to a town

where the people were fled, and a little further to a lake, where the

horses could not pass, and on the other side were many women. The footmen

passed, and took many of them, and much spoil. The Governor came to the

camp, and that night was a spy of the Indians taken by them of the watch.

The Governor asked him, whether he would bring him where the cacique was?

he said he would. And he went presently to seek him, with twenty horsemen

and fifty footmen; and after he had sought him a day and a half, he found

him in a strong wood: and a soldier, not knowing him, gave him a wound on

the head; and he cried out, that he should not kill him, saying that he

was the cacique; so he was taken, and a hundred and forty of his men with

him. The Governor came again to Quigaute, and willed him to cause his men

to come to serve the


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Christians; and staying some days for their coming, and seeing they came

not, he sent two captains, every one his way on both sides of the river

with horsemen and footmen. They took many men and women. Now seeing the

hurt which they sustained for their rebellion, they came to see what the

Governor would command them, and passed to and fro many times, and brought

presents of cloth and fish. The cacique and his two wives were in the

lodging of the Governor loose, and the halberdiers of his guard did keep

them. The Governor asked them which way the country was most inhabited?

They said, that toward the south down the river, were great towns and

caciques, which commanded great countries, and much people. And that

toward the north-west, there was a province near to certain mountains,

that was called Coligoa. The Governor and all the rest thought good to go

first to Coligoa: saying, that peradventure the mountains would make some

difference of soil, and that beyond them there might be some gold or

silver. As for Quigaute, Casqui, and Pacaha, they were plain countries,

fat grounds, and full of good meadows on the rivers, where the Indians

sowed large fields of maize. From Tascaluca to Rio Grande, or the Great

River, is about three hundred leagues: it is a very low country, and hath

many lakes. From Pacaha to Quigaute may be an hundred leagues. The

Governor left the Cacique of Quigaute in his own town. And an Indian,

which was his guide, led him through great woods without any way, seven

days' journey through a desert, where, at every lodging, they lodged in

lakes and pools in very shoal water; there was such store of fish, that

they killed them with cudgels; and the Indians which they carried in

chains, with the mud troubled the waters, and the fish being therewith, as

it were, astonished, came to the top of the water, and they took as much

as they listed. The Indians of Coligoa had no knowledge of the

Christians, and when they came so near the town that the Indians saw them,

they fled up a river which passed near the town, and some leaped into it;

but the Christians went on both sides of the river, and took them. There

were many men and women taken, and the cacique with them. And by his

commandment within three days came many Indians with a present of mantles

and deers' skins, and two ox hides: and they reported, that five or six

leagues from thence toward the north, there were many of these oxen, and

that because the country was cold, it was evil inhabited; that the best

country which they knew, the most plentiful, and most inhabited, was a

province called Cayas, lying toward the south. From


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Quigaute to Coligoa may be forty leagues. This town of Coligoa stood at

the foot of a hill, on the bank of a mean river, of the bigness of Cayas,

the river that passeth by Estremadura. It was a fat soil and so plentiful

of maize, that they cast out the old, to bring in the new. There was also

great plenty of French beans and pompions. The French beans were greater,

and better than those of Spain, and likewise the pompions, and being

roasted, they have almost the taste of chestnuts. The Cacique of Coligoa

gave a guide to Cayas, and stayed behind in his own town. We traveled

five days, and came to the province of Palisema. The house of the cacique

was found covered with deers' skins, of divers colors and works drawn in

them, and with the same in manner of carpets was the ground of the house

covered. The cacique left it so, that the Governor might lodge in it, in

token that he sought peace and his friendship. But he durst not tarry his

coming. The Governor, seeing he had absented himself, sent a captain with

horsemen and footmen to seek him. He found much people, but by reason of

the roughness of the country, he took none save a few women and children.

The town was little and scattering, and had very little maize. For which

cause the Governor speedily departed from thence. He came to another town

called Tatalicoya; he carried with him the cacique thereof, which guided

him to Cayas. From Tatalicoya are four days' journey to Cayas. When he

came to Cayas, and saw the town scattered, he thought they had told him a

lie, and that it was not the province of Cayas, because they had informed

him that it was well inhabited. He threatened the cacique, charging him

to tell him where he was: and he and other Indians which were taken near

about that place, affirmed that this was the town of Cayas, and the best

that was in that country, and that though the houses were distant the one

from the other, yet the ground that was inhabited was great, and that

there was great store of people, and many fields of maize. This town was

called Tanico; he pitched his camp in the best part of it, near unto a

river. The same day that the Governor came thither, he went a league

farther with certain horsemen, and without finding any people, he found

many skins in a pathway, which the cacique had left there, that they might

be found, in token of peace. For so is the custom in that country.

The Governor rested a month in the province of Cayas. In which time

the horses fattened and thrived more, than in other places in a longer

time, with the great plenty of maize and the leaves thereof


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which I think was the best that has been seen, and they drank of a lake of

very hot water, and somewhat brackish, and they drank so much, that it

swelled in their bellies when they brought them from the watering. Until

that time the Christians wanted salt, and there they made good store,

which they carried along with them. The Indians do carry it to other

places to exchange it for skins and man tIes. They make it along the

river, which when it ebbeth, leaveth it upon the upper part of the sand.

And because they cannot make it, without utuch sand mingled with it, they

throw it into certain baskets which they have for that purpose, broad at

the mouth and narrow at the bottom, and set it in the air upon a bar, and

throw water into it, and set a small vessel under it, wherein it falleth:

Being strained and set to boil upon the fire, when the water is sodden

away, the salt remaineth in the bottom of the pan. On both sides of the

river the country was full of sown fields, and there was store of maize.

The Indians durst not come over where we were; and when some of them

showed themselves, the soldiers that saw them called unto them; then the

Indians passed the river, and came with them where the Governor was. lie

asked them for the cacique. They said that he remained quiet, but that he

durst not show himself. The Governor presently sent him word, that he

should come unto him, and bring him a guide and an interpreter for his

journey, if he made account of his friendship: and if he did not so, he

would come himself to seek him, and that it would be the worse for him.

He waited three days, and seeing he came not, lie went to seek him, and

brought him prisoner with 150 of his men. He asked him, whether he had

notice of any great cacique, and which way the country was best inhabited.

He answered, that the best country thereabout was a province toward the

south, a day ~~nd a half's journey, which was called TuIla; and that he

could give him a guide, but no interpreter, because the speech of that

country was different from his, and because he and his ancestors had

always wars with the lords of that province; therefore they had no

commerce, nor understood one another's language. Immediately the Governor

with certain horsemen, and fifty foottnen, departed towards Tulla, to see

if the country were such, as he might pass through it with all his

company: and as soon as he arrived there, and was espied of the Indians,

the country gathered together, and as soon as fifteen and twenty Indians

could assemble themselves, they set upon the Christians: and seeing that

they did handle them shrewdly, and that the horsemen overtook them when

they fled, they got up into the tops of their houses,


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and sought to defend themselves with their arrows: and being beaten down

from one, they got up upon another. And while our men pursued some,

others set upon them another way. Thus the skirmish lasted so long, that

the horses were tired, and they could not make them run. The Indians

killed there one horse, and some were hurt. There were fifteen Indians

slain there, and forty women and boys were taken prisoners. For

whatsoever Indian did shoot at them, if they could come by him, they put

him to the sword. The Governor determined to return toward Cayas, before

the Indians had time to gather a head; and presently that evening, going

part of the night to leave Tulla, he lodged by the way, and the next day

came to Cayas: and within three days after he departed thence towards

Tulla with all his company. He carried the cacique along with him, and

among all his men, there was not one found that could understand the

speech of Tulla. He stayed three days by the way, and the day that he

came thither, he found the town abandoned: for the Indians durst not

tarry his coming. But as soon as they knew that the Governor was in

Tulla, the first night about the morning watch, they came in two squadrons

two several ways, with their bows and arrows, and long staves like pikes.

As soon as they were descried, both horse and foot sallied out upon them,

where many of the Indians were slain: and some Christians and horses were

hurt. Some of the Indians were taken prisoners, whereof the Governor sent

six to the cacique, with their right hands and noses cut off: and sent

him word, that if he came not to him to excuse and submit himself, that he

would come to seek him, and that he would do the like to him, and as many

of his as he could find, as he had done to those which he had sent him:

and gave him three days' respite for to come. And this he gave them to

understand by signs, as well as he could, for there was no interpreter.

At the three days' end, there came an Indian laden with ox hides. He came

weeping with great sobs, and coming to the Governor cast himself down at

his feet. He took him up, and he made a speech, but there was none that

understood him. The Governor by signs commanded him to return to the

cacique, and to will him to send him an interpreter, which could

understand the men of Cayas. The next day came three Indians laden with

ox hides: and within three days after came 20 Indians, and among them one

that understood them of Cayas; who, after a long oration of excuses of the

cacique, and praises of the Governor, concluded with this, that he and the

other were come thither on the cacique's behalf, to see what his lordship



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command him to do, for he was ready at his commandment. The Governor and

all his company were very glad. For in nowise could they travel without

an interpreter. The Governor commanded him to be kept safe, and bade him

tell the men that came with him, that they should return to the cacique,

and signify unto him, that he pardoned him for that which was past, and

thanked him much for his presents and interpreter, which he had sent him,

and that he would be glad to see him, and that he should come the next day

to talk with him. After three days, the cacique came, and eighty Indians

with him; and himself and his men came weeping into the camp, in token of

obedience and repentance for the error passed, after the manner of that

country. He brought a present of many ox hides: which, because the country

was cold, were very profitable, and served for coverlets, because they

were very soft, and wooled like sheep. Not far from thence toward the

north were many oxen. The Christians saw them not, nor came into the

country where they were, because those parts were evil inhabited, and had

small store of maize where they were bred. The Cacique of Tulla made an

oration to the Governor, wherein he excused himself, and offered him his

country, subjects, and person. As well this cacique as the others, and

all those which came to the Governor on their behalf, delivered their

message or speech in so good order, that no orator could utter the same

more eloquently.

The Governor informed himself of all the country round about; and

understood, that toward the west was a scattered dwelling, and that toward

the southeast were great towns, especially in a province called Autiamque,

ten days' journey from Tulla; which might be about eighty leagues; and

that it was a plentiful country of maize. And because wtater came on, and

that they could not travel two or three months in the year for cold,

waters, and snow: and fearing, that if they should stay so long in the

scattered dwelling, they could not be sustained; and also because the

Indians said, that near to Autiamque was a great water, and according to

their relation, the Governor thought it was some arm of the sea: and

because he now desired to send news of himself to Cuba, that some supply

of men and horses might be sent unto him (for it was about three years

since Donna Isabella, which was in Havana, or any other person in

Christendom had heard of him, and by this time he had lost 250 men, and

150 horses), he determined to winter in Autiamque, and the next spring to

go to the sea coast and make two brigantines, and send one of them to

Cuba, and the other to Nueva Espanna, that that which went in safety,

might give news


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of him: hoping with the goods which he had in Cuba, to furnish himself

again, and to attempt the discovery and conquest toward the west: for he

had not yet come where Cabeça de Vaca had been. Thus having sent away the

two caciques of Cayas and Tulla, he took his journey toward Autiamque: he

traveled five days over rough mountains, and came to a town called

Quipana, where no Indians could be taken for the roughness of the country:

and the town being between hills, there was an ambush laid, wherewith they

took two Indians; which told them, that Autiamque was six days' journey

from thence, and that there was another province toward the south, eight

days' journey off, plentiful of maize, and very well peopled, which was

called Guahate. But because Autiamque was nearer, and the most of the

Indians agreed of it, the Governor made his journey that way. In three

days he came to a town called Annoixi. He sent a captain before with

thirty horsemen and fifty footmen, and took the Indians careless; he took

many men and women prisoners. Within two days after the Governor came to

another town called Catamaya, and lodged in the fields of the town. Two

Indians came with a false message from the cacique to know his

determination. He bade them tell their lord, that he should come and

speak with him. The Indians returned and came no more, nor any other

message from the cacique. The next day the Christians went to the town,

which was without people: they took as much maize as they needed. That

day they lodged in a wood, and the next day they came to Autiamque. They

found much maize laid up in store, and French beans, and walnuts, and

prunes, great store of all sorts. They took some Indians which were

gathering together the stuff which their wives had hidden. This was a

champaign country, and well inhabited. The Governor lodged in the best

part of the town, and commanded presently to make a fence of timber round

about the camp distant from the houses, that the Indians might not hurt

them without by fire. And measuring the ground by paces, he appointed

every one his part to do according to the number of Indians which he had:

presently the timber was brought by them; and in three days there was an

inclosure made of very high and thick posts thrust into the ground, and

many rails laid across. Hard by this town passed a river, that came out

of the province of Cayas; and above and beneath it was very well peopled.

Thither came Indians on the cacique's behalf with a present of mantles and

skins; and an halting cacique, subject to the lord of Autiamque, lord of

a town called Tietiquaquo, came many times to visit the Governor, and to

bring him


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presents of such as he had. The Cacique of Autiamque sent to know of the

Governor, how long time he meant to stay in his country? And

understanding that he meant to stay about three days, he never sent any

more Indians, nor any other message, but conspired with the lame cacique

to rebel. Divers inroads were made, wherein there were many men and women

taken, and the lame cacique among the rest. The Governor respecting the

services which he had received of him, reprehended and admonished him, and

set him at liberty, and gave him two Indians to carry him in a chair upon

their shoulders. The Cacique of Autiamque desiring to thrust the Governor

out of his country, set spies over him. And an Indian coming one night to

the gate of the inclosure, a soldier that watched espied him, and stepping

behind the gate, as he came in, he gave him such a thrust, that he fell

down; and so he carried him to the Governor: and as he asked him

wherefore he came, not being able to speak, he fell down dead. The night

following the Governor commanded a soldier to give the alarm, and to say

that he had seen Indians, to see how ready they would be to answer the

alarm. And he did so sometimes as well there, as in other places, when he

thought that his men were careless, and reprehended such as were slack.

And as well for this cause, as in regard of doing their duty, when the

alarm was given, every one sought to be the first that should answer.

They staid in Autiamque three months, with great plenty of maize, French

beans, walnuts, prunes, and conies: which until that time they knew not

how to catch. And in Autiamque the Indians taught them how to take them;

which was, with great springs, which lifted up their feet from the ground:

and the snare was made with a strong string, whereunto was fastened a knot

of a cane, which ran close about the neck of the cony, because they should

not gnaw the string. They took many in the fields of maize, especially

when it froze or snowed. The Christains stayed there one whole month so

inclosed with snow, that they went not out of the town: and when they

wanted firewood, the Governor with his horsemen going and coming many

times to the wood, which was two crossbow shots from the town, made a

pathway, whereby the footmen went for wood. In this mean space, some

Indians which went loose, killed many conies with their wives, and with

arrows. These conies were of two sorts, some were like those of Spain,

and the other of the same color and fashion, and as big as great hares,

longer, and having greater loins.

Upon Monday the 6th of March, 1542, the Governor departed from


Page 184

Autiamque to seek Nilco, which the Indians said was near the great river,

with determination to come to the sea, and procure some succor of men and

horses; for he had now but three hundred men of war, and forty horses, and

some of them lame, which did nothing but help to make up the number; and

for want of iron they had gone above a year unshod; and because they were

used to it in the plain country, it did them no great harm. John Ortiz

died in Autiamque, which grieved the Governor very much; because that

without an interpreter he feared to enter far into the land, where he

might be lost. From thenceforward a youth that was taken in Cutifachiqui

did serve for interpreter, which had by that time learned somewhat of the

Christians' language. The death of John Ortiz was so great a mischief for

the diseovering inward, or going out of the land, that to learn of the

Indians, that which in four words he declared, they needed a whole day

with the youth; and most commonly he understood quite contrary that which

was asked him; whereby it often happened that the way that they went one

day, and sometimes two or three days, they turned back, and went astray

through the wood here and there. The Governor spent ten days in traveling

from Autiamque to a province called Ayays; and came to a town that stood

near the river that passeth by Cayas and Autiamque. There he commanded a

barge to be made, wherewith he passed the river. When he had passed the

river there fell out such weather, that four days he could not travel for

snow. As soon as it gave over snowing, he went three days' journey

through a wilderness, and a country so low, and so full of lakes and evil

ways, that he traveled a whole day in water, sometimes knee deep,

sometimes to the stirrup, and sometimes they swam. He came to a town

called Tutelpinco, abandoned, and without maize. There passed by it a

lake, that entered into the river, which carried a great stream and force

of water. Five Christians passing over it in a periagua, which the

Governor had sent with a captain, the periagua overset. Some took hold on

it, some on the trees that were in the lake. One Francis Sebastian, an

honest man of Villa Nova de Barca Rota, was drowned there. The Governor

went a whole day along the lake, seeking passage, and could find none, nor

any way that did pass to the other side. Coming again at night to the

town he found two peaceable Indians, which showed him the passage, and

which way he was to go. There they made of canes and of the timber of

houses thathed with cane, rafts, wherewith they passed the lake. They

traveled three days, and came to a town of the territory of Nilco,


Page 185

called Tianto. There they took thirty Indians, and among them two

principal men of this town. The Governor sent a captain, with horsemen

and footmen, before to Nilco, because the Indians might have no time to

carry away the provision. They passed through three or four great towns;

and in the town where the cacique was resident, which was two leagues from

the place where the Governor remained, they found many Indians with their

bows and arrows, in manner as though they would have stayed to fight,

which did compass the town; and as soon as they saw the Christians come

near them, without misdoubting them, they set the cacique's house on fire,

and fled over a lake that passed near the town, through which the horses

could not pass. The next day being Wednesday, the 29th of March, the

Governor came to Nilco; he lodged with all his men in the cacique's town,

which stood in a plain field, which was inhabited for the space of a

quarter of a league: and within a league and half a league were other

very great towns, wherein was great store of maize, of French beans, of

walnuts, and prunes. This was the best inhabited country that was seen in

Florida, and had most store of maize, except Coça and Apalache. There

came to the camp an Indian accompanied with others, and in the cacique's

name gave the Governor a mantle of martens' skins, and a cordon of pearls.

The Governor gave him a few small margarites, which are certain beads much

esteemed in Peru, and other things, wherewith he was very well contented.

He promised to return within two days, but never came again: but on the

contrary the Indians came by night in canoes, and carried away all the

maize they could, and made them cabins on the other side of the river in

the thickest of the wood, because they might flee if we should go to seek

them. The Governor, seeing he came not at the time appointed, commanded

an ambush to be laid about certain store- houses near the lake, whither

the Indians came for maize: where they took two Indians, who told the

Governor, that he which came to visit him, was not the cacique, but was

sent by him under pretence to spy whether the Christians were careless,

and whether they determined to settle in that country or to go forward.

Presently the Governor sent a captain with footmen and horsemen over the

river; and in their passage they were descried of the Indians, and

therefore he could take but ten or twelve men and women, with whom he

returned to the camp. This river, which passed by Nilco, was that which

passed by Cayas and Autiamque, and fell into Rio Grande, or the Great

River, which passed by Pachahas and Aquixo near unto the province of

Guachoya: and the lord thereof came up the river in canoes to make war



Page 186

him of Nilco. On his behalf there came an Indian to the Governor and said

unto him, that he was his servant, and prayed him so to hold him, and that

within two days he would come to kiss his lordship's hands: and at the

time appointed he came with some of his principal Indians, which

accompanied him, and with words of great offers and courtesy he gave the

Governor a present of many mantles and deers' skins. The Governor gave

him some other things in recompense, and honored him much. He asked him

what towns there were don the river? He answered that he knew none other

but his own: and on the other side of the river the province of a cacique

called Quigalta. So he took his leave of the Governor and went to his own

town. Within a few days the Governor determined to go to Guachoya, to

learn there whether the sea were near, or whether there were any

habitation near, where he might relieve his company, while the brigantines

were making, which he meant to send to the land of the Christians. As he

passed the river of Nilco, there came in canoes Indians of Guachoya up the

stream, and when they saw him, supposing that he came to seek them to do

them some hurt, they returned down the river, and informed the cacique

thereof: who with all his people, spoiling the town of all that they

could carry away, passed that night over to the other side of the Rio

Grande, or the Great River. The Governor sent a captain with fifty men in

six canoes down the river, and went himself by land with the rest: he

came to Guachoya upon Sunday, the 17th of April: he lodged in the town of

the cacique, which was enclosed about, and seated a crossbow shot distant

from the river. Here the river is called Tamaliseu, and in Nilco Tapatu,

and in Coça Mico, and in the port or mouth Ri.

As soon as the Governor came to Guachoya, he sent John Danusco with

as many men as could go in the canoes up the river. For when they came

down from Nilco, they saw on the other side of the river new cabins made.

John Danusco went and brought the canoes laden with maize, French beans,

prunes, and many loaves made of the substance of prunes. That day came an

Indian to the Governor front the Cacique of Guahoya, and said that his

lord would come the next day. They next day they saw many canoes come up

the river, and on the other side of the Great River they assembled

together in the space of an hour: they consulted whether they should come

or not; and at length concluded to come, and crossed the river. In them

came the Cacique of Guachoya, and brought with him many Indians, with

great store of fish, dogs, deers' skins, and mantles: and as soon as


Page 187

they landed, they went to the lodging of the Governor, and presented him

their gifts, and the cacique uttered these words:--

"Mighty and excellent lord, I beseech your lordship to pardon me the

error which I committed in absenting myself, and not tarrying in this town

to have received and served your lordship; since, to obtain this

opportunity of time, was, and is as much as a great victory to me. But I

feared that which I needed not to have feared, and so did that which was

not reason to do. But as haste maketh waste, and I removed without

deliberation; so, as soon as I thought on it, I determined not to follow

the opinion of the foolish, which is to continue in their error; but to

imitate the wise and discreet, in changing my counsel, and so I came to

see what your lordship will command me to do, that I may serve you in all

things that are in my power."

The Governor received him with much joy, and gave him thanks for his

present and offer. He asked him, whether he had any notice of the sea.

He answered no, nor of any towns down the river on that side; save that

two leagues from thence was one town of a principal Indian, a subject of

his; and on the other side of the river, three days' journey from thence

down the river, was the province of Quigalta, which was the greatest lord

that was in that country! The Governor thought that the cacique lied unto

him, to rid him out of his own towns, and sent John Danusco with eight

horsemen down the river, to see what habitation there was, and to inform

himself, if there were any notice of the sea. He traveled eight days, and

at his return he said, that in all that time he was not able to go above

fourteen or fifteen leagues, because of the great creeks that came out of

the river, and groves of canes, and thick woods that were along the banks

of the river, and that he had found no habitation. The Governor fell into

great dumps to see how hard it was to get to the sea; and worse, because

his men and horses every day diminished, being without succor to sustain

themselves in the country: and with that thought he fell sick. But before

he took his bed he sent an Indian to the Cacique of Quigalta to tell him,

that he was the child of the sun, and that all the way that he came all

men obeyed and served him, that he requested him to accept of his

friendship, and come unto him; for he would be very glad to see him; and

in sign of love and obedience to bring something with him of that which in

his country was most esteemed. The cacique answered by the same Indian:

"That whereas he said he was the child of the sun, if be would dry up

the river he would believe him: and touching the rest, that he


Page 188

was wont to visit none; but rather that all those of whom he had notice

did visit him, served, obeyed, and paid him tributes willingly or

perforce: therefore, if he desired to see him, it were best he should come

thither: that if he came in peace, he would receive him with special good

will; and if in war, in like manner he would attend him in the town where

he was, and that for him or any other he would not shrink one foot back.

By that time the Indian returned with this answer, the Governor had

betaken himself to bed, being evil handled with fevers, and was much

aggrieved that he was not in case to pass presently the river and to seek

him, to see if he could abate that pride of his, considering the river

went now very strongly in those parts; for it was near half a league

broad, and sixteen fathoms deep, and very furious, and ran with a great

current; and on both sides there were many Indians, and his power was not

now so great, but that he had need to help himself rather by slights than

by force. The Indians of Guachoya came every day with fish in such

numbers, that the town was full of them. The cacique said, that on a

certain night he of Quigalta would come to give battle to the Governor.

Which the Governor imagined that he had devised, to drive him out of his

country, and commanded him to be put in hold: and that night and all the

rest, there was good watch kept. He asked him wherefore Quigalta came

not? He said that he came, but that he saw him prepared, and therefore

durst not give the attempt: and he was earnest with him to send his

captains over the river, and that he would aid him with many men to set

upon Quigalta. The Governor told him that as soon as he was recovered,

himself would seek him out. And seeing how many Indians came daily to the

town, and what store of people was in that country, fearing they should

all conspire together and plot some treason against him; and because the

town had some open gaps which were not made an end of inclosing, besides

the gates which they went in and out by: because the Indians should not

think he feared them, he let them all alone unrepaired; and commanded the

horse-men to be appointed to them, and to the gates: and all night the

horsemen went the round; and two and two of every squadron rode about,

and visited the scouts that were without the town in their standings by

the passages, and the crossbowmen that kept the canoes in the river. And

because the Indians should stand in fear of them, he determined to send a

captain to Nilco, for those of Guachoya had told him that it was

inhabited; that by using them cruelly, neither


Page 189

the one nor the other should presume to assail him; and he sent Nuñez de

Touar with fifteen horsemen, and John de Guzman captain of the footmen,

with his company in canoes up the river. The Cacique of Guachoya sent for

many canoes and many warlike Indians to go with the Christians: and the

captain of the Christians, called Nuñez de Touar went by land with his

horsemen, and two leagues before he came to Nico he stayed for John de

Guzman, and in that place they passed the river by night: the horsemen

came first, and in the morning by break of day in sight of the town they

lighted upon a spy; which as soon as he perceived the Christians, crying

out amain fled to the town to give warning. Nuñez de Touar and his

company made such speed, that before the Indians of the town could fully

come out, they were upon them: it was champaign ground that was

inhabited, which was about a quarter of a league. There were about five

or six thousand people in the town: and, as many people came out of the

houses, and fled from one house to another, and many Indians came flocking

together from all parts, there was never a horseman that was not alone

among many. The captain had commanded that they should not spare the life

of any male. Their disorder was so great, that there was no Indian that

shot an arrow at any Christian. The shrieks of women and children were so

great, that they made the ears deaf of those that followed them. There

were slain a hundred Indians, little more or less: and many were wounded

with great wounds, whom they suffered to eseape to strike a terror in the

rest that were not there. There were some so cruel and butcherlike, that

they killed old and young, and all that they met, though they made no

resistance: and those which presumed of themselves for their valor, and

were taken for such, broke through the Indians, bearing don many with

their stirrups and breasts of their horses; and some they wounded with

their lances, and so let them go: and when they saw any youth or woman

they took them, and delivered them to the foot-men. These men's sins by

God's permission, lighted on their own heads: who, because they would

seem valiant, became cruel; showing themselves extreme cowards in the

sight of all men when as most need of valor was required, and afterwards

they came to a shameful death. Of the Indians of Nilco were taken

prisoners, fourscore women and children, and much spoil. The Indians of

Guachoya kept back before they came at the town, and stayed without,

beholding the success of the Christians with the men of Nilco. And when

they saw them put to flight, and the horsemen busy in killing of them,



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hastened to the houses to rob, and filled their canoes with the spoil of

the goods; and returned to Guachoya before the Christians; and wondering

much at the sharp dealing which they had seen them use toward the Indians

of Nilco, they told their cacique all that had passed with great


The Governor felt in himself that the hour approached wherein he was to

leave this present life, and called for the king's officers, captains, and

principal persons, to whom he made a speech, saying:--

"That now he was to go to give an account before the presence of God of

all his life past: and since it pleased him to take him in such a time,

and that the time was come that he knew his death, that he his most

unworthy servant did yield him many thanks therefore; and desired all that

were present and absent (whom he confessed himself to be much beholding

unto for their singular virtues, love and loyalty, which himself had well

tried in the travels which they had suffered, which always in his mind he

did hope to satisfy and reward, when it should please God to give him

rest, with more prosperity of his estate), that they would pray to God for

him, that for his mercy he would forgive him his sins, and receive his

soul into eternal glory: and that they would quit and free him of the

charge which he had over them, and ought unto them all, and that they

would pardon him for some wrongs which they might have received of him.

And to avoid some division, which upon his death might fall out upon the

choice of his successor, he requested them to elect a principal person,

and able to govern, of whom all should like well; and when he was

elected, they should swear before him to obey him: and that he would

thank them very much in so doing; because the grief that he had, would

somewhat be assuaged, and the pain that he felt, because he left them in

so great confusion, to wit, in leaving them in a strange country, where

they knew not where they were. Baltasar de Gallegos answered in the name

of all the rest. And first of all comforting him, he set before his eyes

how short the life of this world was, and with how many troubles and

miseries it is accompanied, and how God showed him a singular favor which

soonest left it: telling him many other things fit for such a time. And

for the last point, that since it pleased God to take him to himself,

although his death did justly grieve them much, yet as well he, as all the

rest, ought of necessity to conform themselves to the will of God. And

touching the Governor which he commanded they should elect, he besought

him, that it would please his lordship to name him which


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he thought fit, and him they would obey. And presently he named Luys de

Moscoso de Alvarado, his captain-general. And presently he was sworn by

all that were present, and elected for governor. The next day, being the

21st of May, 1542, departed out of this life, the valorous, virtuous, and

valiant Captain, Don Fernando de Soto, Governor of Cuba, and Adelantado of

Florida: whom fortune advanced, as it useth to do others, that he might

have the higher fall. He departed in such a place, and at such a time, as

in his sickness he had but little comfort: and the danger wherein all his

people were of perishing in that country, which appeared before their

eyes, was cause sufficient why every one of them had need of comfort, and

why they did not visit nor accompany him as they ought to have done. Luys

de Moscoso determined to conceal his death from the Indians, because

Ferdinando de Soto had made them believe that the Christians were

immortal; and also because they took him to be hardy, wise, and valiant:

and if they should know that he was dead, they would be bold to set upon

the Christians, though they lived peaceably by them. In regard of their

disposition, and because they were nothing constant, and believed all that

was told them, the Adelantado made them believe, that he knew some things

that passed in secret among themselves, without their knowledge, how, or

in what manner he came by them: and that the figure which appeared in a

glass, which he showed them, did tell him whatsoever they practiced and

went about: and therefore neither in word nor deed durst they attempt

anything that might be prejudicial unto him.

As soon as he was dead, Luys de Moscoso commanded to put him secretly

in the house, where he remained three days; and removing him from thence,

commanded him to be buried in the night at one of the gates of the town

within the wall. And as the Indians had seen him sick, and missed him, so

did they suspect what might be. And passing by the place where he was

buried, seeing the earth moved, they looked and spake one to another.

Luys de Moscoso understanding of it, commanded him to be taken up by

night, and to cast a great deal of sand into the mantles, wherein he was

wound up, wherein he was carried in a canoe, and thrown into the midst of

the river. The Cacique of Guachoya inquired for him, demanding what was

become of his brother and lord, the Governor: Luys de Moscoso told him

that he was gone to heaven, as many other times he did: and because he

was to stay there certain days he had left him in his place. The cacique

thought with himself that he was dead; and commanded two young


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and well-proportioned Indians to be brought thither; and said, that the

use of that country was, when any lord died, to kill Indians to wait upon

him, and serve him by the way, and for that purpose by his commandment

were those come thither: and prayed Luys de Moscoso to command them to be

beheaded, that they might attend and serve his lord and brother. Luys de

Moscoso told him, that the Governor was not dead, but gone to heaven, and

that of his own Christian soldiers, he had taken such as he needed to

serve him, and prayed him to command those Indians to be loosed, and not

to use any such had custom from thenceforth: straightway he commanded

them to be loosed, and to get them home to their houses. And one of them

would not go; saying, that he would not serve him, that without desert

had judged him to death, but that he would serve him as long as he lived,

which had saved his life.

Luys de Moscoso caused all the goods of the Governor to be sold at an

outcry: to wit, two men slaves and two women slaves, and three horses,

and seven hundred hogs. For every slave or horse, they gave two or three

thousand ducats: which were to be paid at the first melting of gold or

silver, or at the division of their portion of inheritance. And they

entered into bonds, though in the country there was not wherewith, to pay

it within a year after, and put in sureties for the same. Such as in

Spain had no goods to bind, gave two hundred ducats for a hog, giving

assurance after the same manner. Those which had any goods in Spain,

bought with more fear, and bought the less. From that time forward, most

of the company had swine, and brought them up, and fed upon them; and

observed Fridays and Saturdays, and the evenings of feasts, which before

they did not. For some times in two or three months they did eat no

flesh, and whensoever they could come by it, they did eat it.

Some were glad of the death of Don Ferdinando de Soto, holding for

certain that Luys de Moscoso (which was given to his case), would rather

desire to be among the Christians at rest, than to continue the labors of

the war in subduing and discovering of countries; whereof they were

already weary, seeing the small profit that ensued thereof. The Governor

commanded the captains and principal persons to meet to consult and

determine what they should do. And being informed what peopled habitation

was round about, he understood that to the west, the country was most

inhabited, and that down the river beyond Quigalta was uninhabited, and

had little store of food. He desired them all, that every one would give

his opinion in writing,


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and set his hand to it: that they might resolve by general consent,

whether they should go down the river, or enter into the main land. All

were of opinion, that it was best to go by land toward the west, because

Nueva España was that way; holding the voyage by sea more dangerous, and

of greater hazard, because they could make no ship of any strength to

abide a storm, neither had they master, nor pilot, compass, nor chart,

neither knew they how far the sea was off, nor had any notice of it; nor

whether the river did make any great turning into the land, or had any

great fall from the rocks, where all of them might be cast away. And some

which had seen the seachart, did find, that from the place where they were

by the sea-coast to Nueva España, might be four hundred leagues, little

more or less; and said, that though they went somewhat about by land in

seeking a peopled country, if some great wilderness which they could not

pass did hinder them, by spending that summer in travel, finding provision

to pass the winter in some peopled country, that the next summer after

they might come to some Christian land, and that it might fortune in their

travel by land to find some rich country, where they might do themselves

good. The Governor, although he desired to get out of Florida in shorter

time, seeing the inconveniences they lald before him, in traveling by sea,

determined to follow that which seemed good to them all. On Monday, the

fifth day of June, he departed from Guachoya. The cacique gave him a

guide to Chaguate, and stayed at home in his own town. They passed

through a province called Catalte: and having passed a wilderness of six

days' journey, the twentieth day of the month he came to Chaguate. The

cacique of this province had visited the Governor Don Ferdinando de Soto

at Autiamque, whither he brought him presents of skins, and mantles, and

salt. And a day before Luys de Moscoso came to his town, we lost a

Christian that was sick; which he suspected that the Indians had slain.

He sent the cacique word, that he should command his people to seek him

up, and send him unto him, and that he would hold him, as he did, for his

friend; and if he dld not, that neither he, nor his, should escape his

hands, and that he would set his country on fire. Presently the cacique

came unto him, and brought a great present of mantles and skins, and the

Christian that was lost, and made this speech following:

"Right excellent lord, I would not deserve that conceit which you had

of me, for all the treasure of the world. What enforced me to go to visit

and serve the excellent Lord Governor your father in Autiamque, which you

should have remembered, where I offered my


Page 194

self with all loyalty, faith and love, during my life to serve and obey

him? What then could be the cause, I having received favors of him, and

neither you nor he having done me any wrong, that should move me to do the

thing which I ought not? Believe this of me, that neither wrong, nor any

worldly interest, was able to make me to have done it, nor shall be able

to blind me. But as in this life it is a natural course, that after one

pleasure many sorrows do follow: so by your indignation, fortune would

moderate the joy, which my heart conceiveth with your presence; and that

I should err, where I thought surest to have hit the mark; in harboring

this Christian which was lost, and using in such manner, as he may tell

himself, thinking that herein I did you service, with purpose to deliver

him unto you in Chaguate, and to serve you to the uttermost of my power.

If I deserve punishment for this, I will receive it at your hands, as from

my lord, as if it were a favor. For the love which I did bear to the

excellent Governor, and which I bear to you hath no limit. And like as

you give me chastisement, so will you also show me favor. And that which

now I crave of you is this, to declare your will unto me, and those things

wherein I may be able to do you the most and best service."

The Governor answered him, that because he did not find him in that

town, he was incensed against him, thinking he had absented himself, as

others had done: but seeing he now knew his loyalty and love, he would

always hold him as a brother, and favor him in all his affairs. The

cacique went with him to the town where he resided, which was a day's

journey from thence. They passed through a small town, where there was a

lake, where the Indians made salt: and the Christians made some one day

while they rested there, of a brackish water, which sprang near the town

in ponds like fountains. The Governor stayed in Chaguate six days. There

he was informed of the habitation towards the west. They told him, that

three days' journey from thence was a province called Aguacay. The day

that he departed from Chaguate, a Christian, called Francisco de Guzman,

the base son of a gentleman of Seville, stayed behind, and went to the

Indians, with an Indian woman which he kept as his concubine, for fear he

should be punished for gaming debts that he did owe. The Governor had

traveled two days before he missed him; he sent the cacique word to seek

him up, and to send him to Aguacay, whither he traveled: which he did not

perform. From the Cacique of Aguacay, before they came into the country,

there met him on the way fifteen Indians with a present of skins, fish,

and roasted venison. The Governor


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came to this town on Wednesday, the fourth of July. He found the town

without people, and lodged in it: he stayed there about a day; during

which, he made some roads, and took many men and women. There they had

knowledge of the South Sea. Here there was great store of salt made of

sand, which they gather in a vein of ground like pebble stones. And it

was made as they made salt in Cayas.

The same day that the Governor departed from Aguacay, he lodged in a

small town subject to the lord of that province. The camp was pitched

hard by a lake of salt water; and that evening they made some salt there.

The day following he lodged between two mountains in a thin grove of wood.

The next day he came to a small town called Pato. The fourth day after

his departure from Aguacay he came to the first habitation of a province

called Amaye. There an Indian was taken, which said that from thence to

Naguatex was a day and a half's journey; which they traveled, finding all

the way inhabited places. Having passed the peopled country of Amaye, on

Saturday, the twentieth of July, they pitched their camp at noon between

Amaye and Naguatex along the corner of a grove of very fair trees. In the

same place certain Indians were discovered, that came to view them. The

horsemen went out to them, and killed six, and took two, whom the Governor

asked, wherefore they came? They said, to know what people he had, and

what order they kept; and that the Cacique of Naguatex, their lord, had

sent them, and that he, with other caciques which came to aid him,

determined that day to bid him battle. While they were occupied in these

questions and answers, there came many Indians by two ways in two

squadrons: and when they saw they were descried, giving a great cry they

assaulted the Christians each squadron by itself; but seeing what

resistance the Christians made them, they turned their backs and betook

themselves to flight, in which many of them lost their lives; and most of

the horsemen following them in chase, careless of the camp, other two

squadrons of Indians, which lay in ambush, set upon the Christians that

were in the camp, which also they resisted, who also had their reward as

the first. After the flight of the Indians, and that the Christians were

retired, they heard a great noise a crossbow shot from tide place where

they were. The Governor sent twelve horsemen to see what it was. They

found six Christians, four footmen and two horsemen, among many Indians;

the horsemen defending the footmen with great labor. These being of them

that chased the first two squadrons, had lost themselves, and coming to

recover the camp fell among those with whom they were fighting: and so

they, and those


Page 196

that came to succor them, slew many of the Indians, and brought one alive

to the camp: whom the Governor examined, who they were that came to bid

him battle. He told him, that they were the Cacique of Naguatex, and of

Amaye, and another of a province called Hacanac, a lord of great countries

and many subjects; and that the Cacique of Naguatex came for captain and

chief of them all. The Governor commanded his right arm and nose to be

cut off, and sent him to the Cacique of Naguatex, charging him to tell

him, that the next day he would be in his country to destroy him; and if

he would withstand his entrance, he should stay for him. That night he

lodged there; and the next day he came to the habitation of Naguatex,

which was very scattering: he inquired where the cacique's chief town

was? They told him that it was on the other side of a river, that passed

thereby: he traveled thitherward, and came unto it: and on the other

side he saw many Indians, that tarried for him, making show as though they

would defend the passage. And because he knew not whether it could be

waded, nor where the passage was, and that some Christians and horses were

hurt, that they might have time to recover, he determined to rest certain

days in the town where he was. So he pitched his camp a quarter of a

league from the river, because the weather was very hot, near unto the

town, in a thin grove of very fair and high trees near a brook's side:

and in that place were certain Indians taken; whom he examined, whether

the river were wadeable or no? They said yea, at some times, and in some

places. Within ten days after he sent two captains with fifteen horsemen

a piece upward and down the river with Indians to show them where they

should go over, to see what habitation was on the other side. And the

Indians withstood them both, defending the passage of the river as far as

they were able, but they passed in despite of them: and on the other side

of the river they saw great habitation, and great store of victuals; and

with these news returned to the camp.

The Governor sent an Indian from Naguatex where he lay, to command

the cacique to come to serve and obey him, and that he would I forgive him

all that was past; that if he came not, that he would seek him, and give

him such punishment as he had deserved for that which he had done against

him. Within two days the Indian returned, and said that the cacique would

come the next day; which, the same day when he came, sent many Indians

before him, among whom there were some principal men: he sent them to see

what countenance they found in the Governor, to resolve with himself

whether he should go or not. The Indians let him understand, that he was


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coming, and went away presently: and the cacique came within two hours

accompanied with many of his men: they came all in a rank one before

another on both sides, leaving a lane in the midst where he came. They

came where the Governor was, all of them weeping after the manner of

Tulla, which was not far from thence toward the east. The cacique made his

due obedience, and the speech following:

"Right high and mighty lord, whom all the world ought to serve and

obey, I was bold to appear before your lordship, having committed so

heinous and abominable an act, as only for me to have imagined, deserved

to be punished; trusting in your greatness, that although I deserve to

obtain no pardon, yet for your own sake only you will use clemency toward

me, considering how small I am in comparison of your lordship; and not to

think upon my weaknesses, which, to my grief and for my greater good, I

have known. And I believe that you and yours are immortal; and that your

lordship is lord of the land of nature, seeing that you subdue all things,

and they obey you, even the very hearts of men. For when I beheld the

slaughter and destruction of my men in the battle, which, through mine

ignorance, and the counsel of a brother of mine, which died in the same, I

gave your lordship, presently I repented me in my heart of the error,

which I had committed; and desired to serve and obey you: and to this

end I come, that your lordship may chastise and command me as your own."

The Governor answered him, that he forgave him all which was past,

that from thenceforth he should do his duty, and that he would hold him

for his friend, and that he would favor him in all things. Within four

days he departed thence, and coming to the river he could not pass,

because it was grown very big; which seemed to him a thing of admiration,

being at that time that it was, and since it had not rained a month

before. The Indians said, that it increased many times after that manner

without raining in all the country. It was supposed, that it might be the

tide that came into it. It was learned that the flood came alway from

above, and that the Indians of all that country had no knowledge of the

sea. The Governor returned unto the place where he had lodged before:

and understanding within eight days after that the river was passable, he

departed. He passed over and found the town without people: he lodged in

the field, and sent the cacique word to come unto him, and to bring him a

guide to go forward. And some days being past, seeing the cacique came

not, nor sent anybody, he sent two captains sundry ways to burn


Page 198

the towns, and to take such Indians as they could find. They burnt:

great store of victuals, and took many Indians. The cacique seeing the

hurt that he received in his country, sent six principal Indians with

three men for guides, which knew the language of the country through which

the Governor was to pass. He departed presently from Naguatex, and within

three days' journey came to a town of four or five houses, which belonged

to the cacique of that province, which is called Nissoone: it was evil

inhabited, and had little maize. Two days' journey forward the guides

which guided the Governor, if they were to go westward, guided him to the

east; and sometimes went up and down through very great woods out of the

way. The Governor commanded them to be hanged upon a tree: and a woman

that they took in Nissoone guided him, and went back again to seek the

way. In two days he came to another miserable town called Lacane: an

Indian was taken in that place, that said, that the country of Nondacao

was a country of great habitation, and the houses scattering the one from

the other, as they used to be in mountains, and had great store of maize.

The cacique came with his men weeping, like them of Naguatex: for this is

their use in token of obedience: he made him a present of much fish, and

offered to do what he would command him. He took his leave, and gave him

a guide to the province of Soacatino. The Governor departed from Nondacao

towards Soacatino, and in five days' journey came to a province called

Aays. The Indians which inhabited it had no notice of the Christians:

but as soon as they saw that they entered into their country, they

assembled them-selves: and as they came together fifty or a hundred, they

came forth to fight. While some fought, others came and charged our men

another way, and while they followed some, others followed them. The

fight lasted the greatest part of the day, till they came to their town.

Some horses and men were wounded, but not to any hurt of their traveling:

for there was no wound that was dangerous. There was a great spoil made

of the Indians. That day that the Governor departed from thence, the

Indian that guided him said that in Nondacao he had heard say, that the

Indians of Soacatino had seen other Christians, whereof they all were very

glad: thinking it might be true, and that they might have entered into

those parts by Nueva España; and that if it were so, it was in their own

hand to go out of Florida, if they found nothing of profit: for they

feared they should lose themselves in some wilderness. This Indian led

him two days out of the way. The Governor commanded to torture him.


Page 199

He said, that the Cacique of Nondacao, his lord, had commanded him to

guide them so because they were his enemies, and that he was to do as his

lord commanded him. The Governor commanded him to be cast to the dogs:

and another guided him to Soacatino, whither he came the day following.

It was a very poor country: there was great want of maize in that place.

He asked the Indians whether they knew of any other Christians. They said

that a little from thence toward the south they heard they were. He

traveled twenty days through a country evil inhabited, where they suffered

great scarcity and trouble; for that little maize which the Indians had,

they had hidden and buried in the woods, where the Christians, after they

were well wearied with their travel, at the end of their journey went to

seek by digginwhat theg y should eat. At last, coming to a province that

was called Guasco, they found maize, wherewith they loaded their horses

and the Indians that they had. From thence they went to another town

called Naquiscoça. The Indians said they had no notice of any other

Christians. The Governor commanded to torment them. They said, that they

came first to another lordship which was called Naçacahoz, and from thence

returned again to the west from whence they came. The Governor came in

two days to Naçacahoz. Some women were taken there: among whom there was

one which said that she had seen Christians and had been taken by them,

and had run away. The Governor sent a captain with fifteen horsemen to

the place where the woman said she had seen them, to see if there was any

sign of horses, or any token of their being there. After they had gone

three or four leagues, the woman that guided them said that all that she

had told them was untrue. And so they held all the rest that the Indians

had said of seeing Christians in the land of Florida. And, because the

country that way was poor of maize, and toward the west there was no

notice of any habitation, they returned to Guasco. The Indians told them

there, that ten days' journey from thence toward the west, was a river

called Daycao, whither they went sometimes a hunting and killing of deer:

and that they had seen people on the other side, but knew not what

habitation was there. There the Christians took such maize as they found

and could carry, and going ten days' journey through a wilderness, they

came to the river which the Indians had told them of. Ten horsemen, which

the Governor had sent before, passed over the same and went in a way that

led to the river, and lighted upon a company of Indians that dwelt in very

little cabins: who as soon as they saw them took themselves to flight,

leaving that which they had; all which was nothing but misery and



Page 200

The country was so poor, that among them all there was not found half a

peck of maize. The horsemen took two Indians, and returned with them to

the river, where the Governor stayed for them. He sought to learn of them

what habitation was toward the west. There was none in the camp that

could understand their language. The Governor assembled the captains and

principal persons to determine with their advice what they should do. And

the most part said that they thought it best to return back to Rio Grande,

or the Great River of Guachoya; because that in Nilco and thereabout was

store of maize; Saying, that they would make pinnaces that winter, and

the next summer pass down the river to the seaward in them, and coming to

the sea they would go along the coast to Nueva España. For though it

seemed a doubtful thing and difficult, by that which they had already

alleged, yet it was the last remedy they had. For by land they could not

go for want of an interpreter. And they held, that the country beyond the

River of Daycao, where they were, was that which Cabeca de Vaca mentioned

in his relation that he passed of the Indians which lived like the

Alarbes, having no settled place, and fed upon Tunas and roots of the

fields, and wild beasts that they killed. Which if it were so, if they

should enter into it and find no victuals to pass the winter, they could

not choose but perish, for they were entered already into the beginning of

October: and if they stayed any longer they were not able to return for

rain and snows, nor to sustain themselves in so poor a country. The

Governor (that desired long to see himself in a place where he might sleep

his full sleep, rather than to conquer and govern a country where so many

troubles presented themselves) presently returned back that same way that

he came.

When that which was determined was published in the camp, there were

many that were greatly grieved at it: for they held the sea voyage as

doubtful, for the evil means they had, and of as great danger as the

traveling by land: and they hoped to find some rich country before they

came to the land of the Christians, by that which Cabeca de Vaca had told

the Emperor: and that was this: That after he had found clothes made of

cotton wool, he saw gold and silver, and stones of great value. And they

had not yet come where he had been. For until that place he always

traveled by the sea-coast: and they traveled far within the land; and

that going towards the west, of necessity they should come where he had

been. For he said that in a certain place he traveled many days, and

entered into the land to ward the north. And in Guasco they had already

found some Turkey


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stones, and mantles of cotton wool: which the Indians signified by signs

that they had from the west: and that holding that course they should

draw near to the land of the Christians. But though they were much

discontented with it, and it grieved many to go backward, which would

rather have adventured their lives and have died in the land of Florida,

than to have gone poor out of it; yet were they not a sufficient part to

hinder that which was determined, because the principal men agreed with

the Governor. And afterward there was one that said, he would put out one

of his own eyes, to put out another of Luys de Moscoso; because it would

grieve him much to see him prosper: because as well himself as others of

his friends had crossed that which he durst not have done, seeing that

within two days he should leave the government. From Daycao, where now

they were, to Rio Grande, or the Great River, was one hundred and fifty

leagues: which unto that place they had gone westward. And by the way as

they returned back they had much ado to find maize to eat: for where they

had passed the country was destroyed; and some little maize that was left

the Indians had hidden. The towns which in Naguatex they had burned

(whereof it repented them) were repaired again, and the houses full of

maize. This country is well inhabited and plentiful. In that place are

vessels made of clay, which differ very little from those of Estremoz, or

Montemor. In Chaguate the Indians by commandment of the cacique came

peaceably, and said, that the Christian which remained there would not

come. The Governor wrote unto him, and sent him ink and paper that he

might answer. The substance of the words of the letter was to declare

unto him his determination, which was to go out of the land of Florida,

and to put him in remembrance that he was a Christian, that he would not

remain in the subjection of infidels, that he pardoned him the fault which

he had done in going away to the Indians, that he should come unto him:

and if they did stay him, that he would advertise him thereof by writing.

The Indian went with the letter, and came again without any more answer,

than, on the back side, his name and seal, that they might know he was

alive. The Governor sent twelve horsemen to seek him: but he, which had

his spies, so hid himself, that they could not find him. For want of

maize the Governor could not stay any longer to seek him. He departed

from Chaguate, and passed the river by Aays; going down by it he found a

town called Chilano, which as yet they had not seen. They came to Nilco,

and found so little maize, as could not suffice till they made their

ships; because the Christians, being in Guachoya in the seed time, the

Indians for


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fear of them durst not come to sow the grounds of Nilco: and they knew

not thereabout any other country where any maize was: and that was the

most fruitful soil that was thereaway, and where they had most hope to

find it. Every one was confounded, and the most part thought it bad

counsel to come back from the river of Daycao, and not to have followed

their fortune, going that way that went over land. For by sea it seemed

impossible to save themselves, unless God would work a miracle for them:

for there was neither pilot, nor sea- chart, neither did they know where

the river entered into the sea, neither had they notice of it, neither had

they anything wherewith to make sai]s, nor any store of enequem, which is

a grass whereof they make oakum, which grew there; and that which they

found they saved to caulk the pinnaces withal; neither had they anything

to pitch them withal; neither could they make ships of such substance, but

that any storm would put them in great danger: and they feared much it

would fall out with them, as it did with Pamphilo de Narvaez, which was

cast away upon that coast. And above all other it troubled them most,

that they could find no maize: for without it they could not be

sustained, nor could do anything that they had need of. All of them were

put to great confusion. Their chief remedy was to commit themselves to

God, and to beseech him that he would direct them the way that they might

save their lives. And it pleased him of his goodness, that the Indians of

Nilco came peaceably, and told them, that two days' journey from thence,

near unto the Great River, were two towns, whereof the Christians had no

notice, and that the province was called Minoya, and was a fruitful soil:

that, whether at this present there was any maize or no, they knew not,

because they had war with them: but that they would be very glad with the

favor of the Christians to go and spoil them. The Governor sent a captain

thither with horsemen and footmen, and the Indians of Nilco with him. He

came to Minoya, and found two great towns seated in a plain and open soil,

half a league distant, one in sight of another, and in them he took many

Indians, and found great store of maize. Presently he lodged in one of

them, and sent word to the Governor what he had found: wherewith they

were all exceeding glad. They departed from Nilco in the beginning of

December; and all that way, and before from Chilano, they endured much

trouble: for they passed through many waters, and many times it rained,

with a northern wind, and was exceeding cold, so that they were in the

open field with water over and underneath them: and when at the end of

their day's journey, they found dry ground to rest upon, they gave great

thanks to


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God. With this trouble almost all the Indians that served them died. And

after they were in Minoya, many Christians also died: and the most part

were sick of great and dangerous diseases, which had a spice of the

lethargy. At this place died Andrew de Vasconcelos, and two Portuguese of

Elvas, which were very near him: which were brethren, and by their

surname called Sotis. The Christians lodged in one of the towns which

they liked best, which was fenced about, and distant a quarter of a league

from the Great River. The maize that was in the other town was brought

thither; and in all it was esteemed to be six thousand hanegs or bushels.

And there was the best timber to make ships that they had seen in all the

land of Florida; wherefore all of them gave God great thanks for so

singular a favor, and hoped that that which they desired would take

effect, which was, that they might safely be conducted into the land of

the Christians.

As soon as they came to Minoya, the Governor commanded them to gather

all the chains together, which every one had to lead Indians in; and to

gather all the iron which they had for their provision, and all the rest

that was in the camp: and to set up a forge to make nails, and commanded

them to cut down timber for the briguntines. And a Portuguese of Ceuta,

who having been a prisoner in Fez, had learned to saw timber with a long

saw, which for such purposes they had carried with them, did teach others,

which helped him to saw timber. And a Genevese, whom it pleased God to

preserve (for without him they had never come out of the country, for

there was never another that could make ships but he), with four or five

other Biscayan carpenters, which hewed his planks and other timbers, made

the brigantines: and two calkers, the one of Geneva, the other of

Sardinia, did calk them with the tow of an herb like hemp, whereof before

I have made mention, which there is named enequen. And because there was

not enough of it, they calked them with the flax of the country, and with

the mantles, which they raveled for that purpose. A cooper which they had

among them fell sick, and was at the point of death: and there was none

other that had any skill in that trade: it pleased God to send him his

health. And albeit he was very weak, and could not labor, yet fifteen

days before they departed, he made for every brigantine two half

hogsheads, which the mariners call quarterets, because four of them hold a

pipe of water. The Indians which dwelt two days' journey above the river

in a province called Taguanate, and likewise those of Nilco and


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Guacoya, and others their neighbors seeing the brigantines in making,

thinking, because their places of refuge are in the water, that they were

to go to seek them, and because the Governor demanded mantles of them, as

necessary for sails, came many times, and brought many mantles, and great

store of fish. And for certain it seemed that God wad willing to favor

them in so great necessity, moving the minds of the Indians to bring them:

for to go to take them, they were never able. For in the town where they

were, as soon as winter came, they were so enclosed and compassed with

water, that they could go no farther by land, than a league, and a league

and a half. And if they would go farther, they could carry no horses, and

without them they were not able to fight with the Indians, because they

were many: and so many for so many on foot they had the advantage of them

by water and by land, because they were more apt and lighter, and by

reason of the disposition of the country, which was according to their

desire for the use of their war. They brought also some cords, and those

which wanted for cables were made of the barks of mulberry trees. They

made stirrups of wood, and made anchors of their stirrups. In the month

of March, when it had rained a month before, the river grew so big that it

came to Nilco, which was nine leagues of: and on the other side, the

Indians said, that it reached other nine leagues into the land. In the

town where the Christians were, which was somewhat high ground, where they

could best go, the water reached to the stirrups. They made certain rafts

of timber, and laid many boughs upon them, whereon they set their horses,

and in the houses they did the like. But Seeing that nothing prevailed,

they went up to the lofts: and if they went out of the houses, it was in

canoes, or on horseback in those places where the ground was highest. So

they were two months, and could do nothing, during which time the river

decreased not. The Indians ceased not to come unto the brigantines as

they were wont, and came in canoes. At that time the Governor feared they

would set upon him. He commanded his men to take an Indian secretly of

those that came to the town, and to stay him till the rest were gone: and

they took one. The Governor commanded him to be put to torture, to make

him confess whether the Indians did practice any treason or no. He

confessed that the caciques of Nilco, Guachoya, and Taguanate, and others,

which in all were about twenty caciques, with a great number of people,

determined to come upon him; and that three days before, they would send

a great present of fish to cover their great treason and malice, and on

the very day they would send some Indians before


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with another present. And these, with those which were our slaves, which

were of their conspiracy also, should set the houses on fire, and first of

all possess themselves of the lances which stood at the doors of the

houses; and the caciques, with all their men, should be near the town in

ambush in the wood, and when they saw the fire kindled, should come, and

make an end of the conquest. The Governor commanded the Indian to be kept

in a chain, and the selfsame day that he spoke of, there came thirty

Indians with fish. He commanded their right hands to be cut off, and sent

them so back to the Cacique of Guachoya, whose men they were. He sent him

word that he and the rest should come when they would, for he desired

nothing more, and that he should know, that they thought not anything

which he knew not before they thought of it. Hereupon they all were put

in a very great fear: and the caciques of Nilco and Taguanate came to

excuse themselves: and a few days after came he of Guachoya, and a

principal Indian, and his subject, said, he knew by certain information,

that the caciques of Nilco and Taguanate were agreed to come and make war

upon the Christians. As soon as the Indians came from Nilco, the Governor

examined them, and they confessed it was true. He delivered them

presently to the piincipal men of Guachoya, which drew them out of the

town and killed them. Another day came some from Taguanate, and confessed

it likewise. The Governor commanded their right hands and noses to be cut

off, and sent them to the cacique, wherewith they of Guachoya remained

very well contented: and they came oftentimes with presents of mantles and

fish, and hogs, which bred in the country of some swine that were lost by

the way the last year. As soon as the waters were slaked, they persuaded

the Governor to send to Taguanate. They came and brought canoes, wherein

the footmen were conveyed down the river, and a captain with horsemen went

by land; and the Indians of Guachoya, which guided him till they came to

Taguanate, assaulted the town, and took many men and women, and mantles,

which with those that they had already were sufficient to supply their

want. The brigantines being finished in the month of June, the Indians

having told us that the river increased but once a year, when the snows

did melt, in the time wherein I mentioned it had already increased, being

now in summer, and having not rained a long time, it pleased God that the

flood came up to the town to seek the brigantines, from whence they

carried them by water to the river. Which, if they had gone by land, had

been in danger of breaking and splitting their keels, and to be all

undone; because that for want of


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iron, the spikes were short, and the planks and timber were very weak.

The Indians of Minoya, during the time that they were there came to serve

them (being driven thereunto by necessity) that of the maize which they

had taken from them, they would bestow some crumbs upon them, and because

the country was fertile, and the people used to feed of maize, and the

Christians had gotten all from them that they had, and the people were

many, they were not able to sustain themselves. Those which came to the

town were so weak and feeble, that they had no flesh left on their bones:

and many came and died near the town for pure hunger and weakness. The

Governor commanded upon grievous punishments to give them no maize. Yet,

when they saw that the hogs wanted it not, and that they had yielded

themselves to serve them, and considering their misery and wretchedness,

having pity of them, they gave them part of the maize which they had. And

when the time of their embarkment came, there was not sufficient to serve

their own turns. That which there was, they put into the brigantines, and

into great canoes tied two and two together. They shipped twenty-two of

the best horses that were in the camp, the rest they made dried flesh of;

and dressed the hogs which they had in like manner. They departed from

Minoya the second day of July, 1543.

The day before they departed from Minoya, they determined to dismiss

all the men and women of the country, which they had detained as slaves to

serve them, save some hundred, little more or less, which the Governor

embarked, and others whom it pleased him to permit. And because there

were many men of quality, whom he could not deny that which be granted to

others, he used a policy, saying, that they might serve them as long as

they were in the river, but when they came to the sea, they must send them

away for want of water, because they had but few vessels. He told his

friends in secret, that they should carry theirs to Nueva España: and all

those whom he bare no good- will unto (which were the greater number)

ignorant of that which was hidden from them, which afterward time

discovered, thinking it inhumanity for so little time of service, in

reward of the great service that they had done them, to carry them with

them, to leave them slaves to other men out of their own countries, left

five hundred men and women; among whom were many boys and girls, which

spake and understood the Spanish tongue. The most of them did nothing but

weep; which moved great compassion; seeing that all of them with

good-will would have become


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Christians, and were left in state of perdition. There went from Minoya

three hundred and twenty-two Spaniards in seven brigantines, well made,

save that the planks were thin, because the nails were short, and were not

pitched, nor had any decks to keep the water from coming in. Instead of

decks they laid planks, whereon the mariners might run to trim their

sails, and the people might refresh themselves above and below. The

Governor made his captains, and gave to every one his brigantine, and took

their oath and their word, that they would obey him, until they came to

the land of the Christians. The Governor took one of the brigantines for

himself, which he best liked. The same day that they departed from

Minoya, they passed by Guachoya, where the Indians tarried for them in

canoes by the river. And on the shore, they had made a great arbor with

boughs. They desired him to come on shore; but he excused himself, and

so went along. The Indians in their canoes accompanied him; and coming

where an arm of the river declined on the right hand, they said that the

Province of Quigalta was near unto that place, and importuned the Governor

to set upon him, and that they would aid him. And because they had said

that he dwelt three days' journey down the river, the Governor supposed

that they had plotted some treason against him, and there left them; and

went down with the greatest force of the water. The current was very

strong, and with the help of oars, they went very swiftly. The first day

they landed in a wood on the left hand of the river, and at night they

withdrew themselves to the brigantines. The next day they came to a town

where they went on shore, and the people that was in it durst not tarry.

A woman that they took there being examined, said, that the town belonged

to a cacique named Huasene, subject to Quigalta, and that Quigalta tarried

for them below in the river with many men. Certain horsemen went thither,

and found some houses, wherein was much maize. Immediately more of them

went thither and tarried there one day, and which they did beat out, and

took as much maize as they needed. While they were there, many Indians

came from the nether part of the river, and on the other side right

against them somewhat carelessly set themselves in order to fight. The

Governor sent in two canoes the crossbowmen that he had, and as many more

as could go in them. They ran away, and seeing the Spaniards could not

overtake them, they returned back, and took courage; and coming nearer,

making an outcry, they threatened them: and as soon as they departed

thence, they went after them, some in canoes, and some


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by land along the river; and getting before, coming to a town that stood

by the river's side, they joined altogether, making a show that they would

tarry there. Every brigantine towed a canoe fastened to their sterns for

their particular service. Presently there entered men into every one of

them, which made the Indians to fly, and burned the town. The same day

they presently landed in a great field, where the Indians durst not tarry.

The next day there were gathered together an hundred canoes, among which

were some that carried sixty and seventy men, and the principal men's

canoes had their tilts, and plumes of white and red feathers for their

ensigns: and they came within two crossbow shots of the brigantines, and

sent three Indians in a small canoe with a feigned message to view the

manner of the brigantines, and what weapons they had. And coming to the

side of the Governor's brigantine, one of the Indians entered, and said:

"That the Cacique of Quigalta, his lord, sent him his commendations,

and did let him understand, that all that the Indians of Guachoya had told

him concerning himself, was false, and that they had incensed him, because

they were his enemies; that he was his servant, and should find him so."

The Governor answered him, that he believed all that he said was

true, and willed him to tell him that he esteemed his friendship very

much. With this answer they returned to the place where the rest in their

canoes were waiting for them, and from thence all of them fell down, and

came near the Spaniards, shouting aloud, and threatening of them. The

Governor sent John de Guzman, which had been a captain of footmen in

Florida, with fifteen armed men in canoes to make them give way. As soon

as the Indians saw them come towards them, they divided themselves into

two parts, and stood still till the Spaniards came nigh them, and when

they were came near them, they joined together on both sides, taking John

de Guzman in the middle, and them that came first with him, and with great

fury boarded them: and as their canoes were bigger, and many of them

leaped into the water to stay them, and to lay hold on the canoes of the

Spaniards, and overwhelm them; so presently they overwhelmed them. The

Christians fell into the water, and with the weight of their armor sunk

down to the bottom; and some few, that by swimming or holding by the

canoe could have saved themselves, with oars and staves which they had,

they struck them on the head and make them sink. When they of the

brigantines saw the overthrow, though they went about to succor them, yet

through the current of


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the river they could not go back. Four Spaniards fled to the brigantine

that was nearest to the canoes; and only these escaped of those that came

among the Indians. There were eleven that died there among whom John de

Guzman was one, and a son of Don Carlos, called John de Vargas: the rest

also were persons of account and men of great courage. Those that escaped

by swimming said that they saw the Indians enter the canoe of John de

Guzman at the stern of one of their canoes, and whether they carried him

away dead or alive they could not certainly tell.

The Indians, seeing that they had got the victory, took such courage,

that they assaulted them in the brigantines, which they durst not do

before. They came first to that brigantine wherein Calderon went for

captain, and was in the rearward: and at the first volley of arrows they

wounded twenty-five men. There were only four armed men in this

brigantine; these did stand at the brigantine's side to defend it. Those

that were unarmed, seeing how they hurt them, left their oars and went

under the deck: whereupon the brigantine began to cross, and to go where

the current of the stream carried it. One of the armed men seeing this,

without the commandment of the captain, made a footman to take an oar and

steer the brigantine, he standing before him and defending him with his

target. The Indians came no nearer than a bowshot, from whence they

offended and were not offended, receiving no hurt: for in every

brigantine was but one crossbow, and those which we had were very much out

of order. So that the Christians did nothing else but stand for a butt to

receive their arrows. Having left this brigantine they went to another,

and fought with it half an hour; and so from one to another they fought

with them all. The Christians had mats to lay under them, which were

double, and so close and strong, that no arrow went through them. And as

soon as the Indians gave them leisure, they fenced the brigantines with

them. And the Indians seeing that they could not shoot level, shot their

arrows at random up in the air, which fell into the brigantines, and hurt

some of the men: and not therewith contented, they sought to get to them

which were in the canoes with the horses. Those of the brigantines

environed them to defend them, and took them among them. Thus seeing

themselves much vexed by them, and so wearied that they could no longer

endure it, they determined to travel all the night following, thinking to

get beyond the country of Quigalta, and that they would leave them: but

when they thought least of it, supposing that they had now left them, they



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very near them so great outcries, that they made them deaf, and so they

followed us all that night, and the next day till noon, by which time we

were come into the country of others, whom they desired to use us after

the same manner; and so they did. The men of Quigalta returned home;

and the other in fifty canoes fought with us a whole day and a night; and

they entered one of the brigantines, that came in the rearward, by the

canoe which she had at her stern, and took away a woman which they found

in it, and afterwards hurt some of the men in the brigantines. Those

which came with the horses in the canoes, being wearied with rowing night

and day, lingered behind; and presently the Indians came upon them, and

they of the brigantines tarried for them. The Governor resolved to go on

shore and kill the horses, because of the slow way which they made because

of them. As soon as they saw a place convenient for it, they went thither

and killed the horses, and brought the flesh of thcm to dry it on board.

Four or five of them remained on shore alive; the Indians went unto them,

after the Spaniards were embarked. The horses were not acquainted with

them, and began to neigh, and run up and down in such sort, that the

Indians, for fear of them, leaped into the water; and getting into their

canoes went after the brigantines, shooting cruelly at them. They

followed us that evening and the night following till the next day at ten

of the clock, and then returned up the river. Presently from a small town

that stood upon the river came seven canoes, and followed us a little way

down the river, shooting at us: but seeing they were so few that they

could do us but little harm, they returned to their town. From thence

forward, until they came to the sea, they had no encounter. They sailed

down the river seventeen days: which may be two hundred and fifty

leagues' journey, little more or less: and near unto the sea, the river

is divided into two arms; each of them is a league and a half broad.

Half a league before they came to the sea, they came to anchor to

rest themselves there about a day; for they were very weary with rowing,

and out of heart. For by the space of many days they had eaten nothing

but parched and sodden maize; which they had by allowance every day an

headpiece full by strike for every three men. While they rode there at

anchor seven canoes of Indians came to set upon those which they brought

with them. The Governor commanded armed men to go aboard them, and to

drive them farther off. They came also against them by land through a

thick wood, and


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a moorish ground, and had staves with very sharp forked heads made of the

bones of fishes, and fought very valiantly with us, which went out to

encounter them. And the other that came in canoes with their arrows staid

for them that came against them, and at their coming both those that were

on land, and those in the canoes wounded some of us: and seeing us come

near them, they turned their backs, and like swift horses among footmen

got away from us; making some returns, and reuniting themselves together,

going not past a bow shot off: for in so retiring they shot, without

receiving any hurt of the Christians. For though they had some bows, yet

they could not use them; and brake their arms with rowing to overtake

them. And the Indians easily in their compass went with their canoes,

staying and wheeling about as it had been in a skirmish, perceiving that

those that came against them could not offend them. And the more they

strove to come near them, the more hurt they received. As soon as they

had driven them farther off, they returned to the briguntines. They

stayed two days there: and departed from thence unto the place where the

arm of the river entereth into the sea. They sounded in the river near

unto the sea, and found forty farthoms water. They staid there. And the

Governor commanded all and singular persons to speak their minds touching

their voyage, whether it were best to cross over to Nueva España,

committing themselves to the high sea, or whether they should keep along

the coast. There were sundry opinions touching this matter: wherein John

Danusco, which presumed much, and took much upon him in the knowledge of

navigation, and matters of the sea, although he had but little experience,

moved the Governor with his talk: and his opinion was seconded by some

others. And they affirmed, that it was much better to pass by the high

sea, and cross the gulf, which was three of four parts the lesser travel,

because in going along the coast, they went a great way about, by reason

of the compass which the land did make. John Danusco said, that he had

seen the sea-card, and that from the place, where they were, the coast ran

east and west unto Rio de las Palmas, and from Rio de las Palmas to Nueva

España from north to south: and therefore in sailing always in sight of

land would be a great compassing about and spending of much time; and

that they would be in great danger to be overtaken with winter before they

should get to the land of the Chrtstians: and that in ten or twelve days'

space, having good weather, they might be there in crossing over. The

most part were against this opinion, and said that it was more safe to go

along the coast, though they staid the longer: because their ships were



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weak and without decks, so that a very little storm was enough to cast

them away: and if they should be hindered with calms, or contrary

weather, through the small store of vessels which they had to carry water

in, they should likewise fall into great danger: and that although the

ships were such as they might venture in them, yet having neither pilot

nor sea-card to guide themselves, it was no good counsel to cross the

gulf. This opinion was confirmed by the greatest part: and they agreed

to go along the coast. At the time wherein they sought to depart from

thence, the cable of the anchor of the Governors brigantine brake, and the

anchor remained in the river. And albeit they were near the shore, yet it

was so deep, that the divers diving many times could never find it; which

caused great sadness in the Governor, and in all those that went with him

in his brigantine: but with a grindstone which they had, and certain

bridles which remained to some of the gentlemen, and men of worship which

had horses, they made a weight which served instead of an anchor. The

18th of July (1543) they went forth to sea with fair and prosperous

weather for their voyage. And seeing that they were gone two or three

leagues from the shore, the captains of the other brigantines overtook

them, and asked the Governor, wherefore he did put off from the shore? and

that if he would leave the coast, he should say so; and he should not do

it without the consent of all: and that if he did otherwise, they would

not follow him, but that every one would do what seemed best unto himself.

The Governor answered, that he would do nothing without their counsel, but

that he did bear off from the land to sail the better and safer by night;

and that the next day when time served, he would return to the sight of

land again. They sailed with a reasonable good wind that day and the

night following, and the next day till evening song, always in fresh

water; whereat they wondered much: for they were very far from land.

But the force of the current of the river is so great, and the coast there

is so shallow and gentle, that the fresh water enters far into the sea.

That evening on their right hand they saw certain creeks, whither they

went, and rested there that night: where John Danusco with his reasons won

them at last, that all consented and agreed to commit themselves to the

main sea, alleging, as he had done before, that it was a great advantage,

and that their voyage would be much shorter. They sailed two days, and

when they would have come to sight of land they could not, for the wind

blew from the shore. On the fourth day, seeing their fresh water began to

fail, fearing necessity and danger, they all complained of John Danusco,

and of the Governor


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that followed his counsel: and every one of the captains said, that they

would no more go from the shore, though the Governor went whither he

would. It pleased God that the wind changed, though but a little: and at

the end of four days after they had put to sea, being already destitute of

water, by force of rowing they got within sight of land, and with great

trouble recovered it, in an open road. That evening the wind came to the

south, which on that coast is a cross wind, and drove the brigantines

against the shore, because it blew verv hard, and the anchors were so

weak, that they yielded and began to bend. The Governor commanded all men

to leap into the water, and going betweeen them and the shore, and

thrusting the brigantines into the sea as soon as the wave was past, they

saved them till the wind ceased.

In the bay where they rode, after the tempest was passed, they went

on shore, and with mattocks,which they had, they digged certain pits,

which grew full of fresh water, where they filled all the casks thcy had.

The next day they departed thence, and sailed two days, and entered into a

creek like unto a pool, fenced from the south wind, which then did blow,

and was against them; and there they stayed four days, not being able to

get out; and when the sea was calm they rowed out. They sailed that day,

and towards evening the wind grew so strong that it drove them on the

shore, and they were sorry that they had put forth from the former harbor;

for as soon as night approached, a storm began to rise in the sea, and the

wind still waxed more violent with a tempest. The brigantines lost one

another. Two of them, which bare more into the sea, entered into an arm

of the sea, which pierced into the land two leagues be yond the place

where the others were that night. The five which stayed behind, being

always a league and half a league the one from the other, met together,

without any knowledge the one of the other, in a wild road, where the wind

and the waves drove them on shore; for their anchors did straighten and

came home, and they could not use their oars, putting seven or eight men

to every one, which rowed to seaward; and all the rest leaped into the

water, and when the wave was passed that drave the brigantine on shore,

they thrust it again into the sea with all the diligence and might that

they had. Others, while another wave was incoming, with bowls laved out

the water that came in overboard. While they were in this tempest, in

great fear of being cast away in that place, from midnight forward they

endured an intolerable torment of an infinite swarm of mosquitoes which

fell upon them, which as soon as they had stung the flesh, it so


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infected it, as though they had been venomous. In the morning the sea was

assuaged and the wind slacked, but not the mosquitoes; for the sails,

which were white, seemed black with them in the morning. Those which

rowed, unless others kept them away, were not able to row. Having passed

the fear and danger of the storm, beholding the deformities of their

faces, and the blows which they gave themselves to drive them away, one of

them laughed at another. They met all together in the creek where the two

brigantines were which outwent their fellows. There was found a scum

which they call copee, which the sea casteth up, and it is like pitch,

wherewith in some places, where pitch is wanting, they pitch their ships;

there they pitched their brigantines. They rested two days, and then

eftsoons proceeded on their voyage. They sailed two days more, and landed

in a bay or arm of the sea, where they stayed two days. The same day that

they went from thence six men went up in a canoe toward the head of it,

and could not see the end of it. They put out from thence with a south

wind, which was against them; but because it was little, and for the great

desire they had to shorten their voyage, they put out to sea by the force

of oars, and for all that made very little way, with great labor, in two

days, and went under the lee of a small island into an arm of the sea,

which compassed it about. While they were there, there fell out such

weather, that they gave God many thanks that they found out such an

harbor. There was great store of fish in that place, which they took with

nets, which they had, and hooks. Here a man cast an hook and a line into

the sea, and tied the end of it to his arm, and a fish caught it, and drew

him into the water unto the neck; and it pleased God that he remembered

himself of a knife that he had, and cut the line with it. There they abode

fourteen days; and at the end of them it pleased God to send them fair

weather, for which, with great devotion, they appointed a procession, and

went in procession along the strand, be seeching God to bring them to a

land where they might serve him in better sort.

In all the coast wheresoever they digged they found fresh water;

there they filled their vessels, and the procession being ended, embarked

themselves, and going always in sight of the shore they sailed six days.

John Danusco said that it would do well to bear out to seaward; for he

had seen the sea- card, and remembered that from Rio de las Palmas

forward, the coast did run from north to south, and thitherto they had run

from east to west, and in his opinion, by his reckoning, Rio de las Palmas

could not be far off from where they


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were. That same night they put to sea, and in the morning they saw palm

leaves floating, and the coast which ran north and south. From midday

forward they saw great mountains, which until then they had not seen; for

from this place to Puerto de Spiritu Santo, where they first landed in

Florida, was a very plain and low country; and therefore it cannot be

descried, unless a man comes very near it. By that which they saw, they

thought they had overshot Rio de las Palmas that night, which is sixty

leagues from the river Panuco, which is in Nueva España. They assembled

all together, and some said it was not good to sail by night, lest they

should overshoot the river of Panuco; and others said, it was not well to

lose time while it was favorable, and that it could not be so near that

they should pass it that night; and they agreed to take away half the

sails, and so sail all night. Two of the brigantines, which sailed that

night with all their sails, by break of day had overshot the river of

Panuco without seeing it. Of the five that came behind, the first that

came unto it was that wherein Calderan was captain. A quarter of a league

before they came at it, and before they did see it, they saw the water

muddy, and knew it to be fresh water; and coming right against the river,

they saw where it entered into the sea, that the water broke upon a shoal.

And because there was no man there that knew it, they were in doubt

whether they should go in, or go along; and they resolved to go in; and

before they came into the current, they went close to the shore, and

entered into the port. And as soon as they were come in, they saw Indian

men and women apparcled like Spaniards, whom they asked in what country

they were? They answered in Spanish, that it was the river of Panuco,

and that the town of the Christians was fifteen leagues up within the

land. The joy that all of them received upon this news cannot

sufficiently be expressed; for it seemed unto them that at that instant

they were born again. And many went on shore and kissed the ground, and

kneeling on their knees, with lifting up their hands and eyes to Heaven,

they all ceased not to give God thanks. Those which came after, as soon

as they saw Calderan come to an anchor with his brigantine in the river,

presently went thither, and came into the haven. The other two

brigantines which had overshot the place, put to sea to return back to

seek the rest, and could not do it, bccause the wind was contrary and the

sea grown; they were afraid of being cast away, and recovering the shore

they cast anchor. While they rode there a storm arose, and seeing that

they could not abide there, much less


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endure at sea, they resolved to run on shore; and as the brigantines were

but small, so did they draw but little water; and where they were it was a

sandy coast. By which occasion the force of their sails drove them on

shore, without any hurt of them that were in them. As those that were in

the port of Panuco at this time were in great joy; so these felt a double

grief in their hearts, for they knew not what was become of their fellows,

nor in what country they were, and feared it was a country of Indian

enemies. They landed two leagues below the port; and when they saw

themselves out of the danger of the sea, every one took of that which he

had, as much as he could carry on his back, and they traveled up into the

country, and found Indians, which told them where their fellows were, and

gave them good entertainment; wherewith their sadness was turned into joy,

and they thanked God most humbly for their deliverance out of so many


From the time that they put out of Rio Grande to the sea, at their

departure from Florida, until they arrived in the river of Panuco, was

fifty-two days. They came into the river of Panuco the tenth of

September, 1543. They went up the river with their brigantines. They

traveled four days; and because the wind was but little, and many times

it served them not because of the many turnings which the river maketh,

and the great current drawing them up by towing, and that in many places;

for this cause they made very little way and with grcat labor; and seeing

the execution of their desire to be deferred, which was to come among

Christians, and to see the celebration of divine service, which so long

time they had not seen, they left the brigantines with the mariners, and

went by land to Panuco. All of them were apparcled in deers' skins tanned

and dyed black, to wit, coats, hose, and shoes. When they came to Panuco,

presently they went to the church to pray and give God thanks that so

miraculously had saved them. The townsmen which before were advertised by

the Indians, and knew of their arrival, carried some of them to their

houses, and entertained them whom they knew and had acquaintance of, or

because they were their countrymen. The Alcalde Mayor took the Governor

home to his house: and commanded all the rest, as soon as they came, to be

lodged six and six and ten and ten, according to the ability of every

townsman. And all of them were provided for by their hosts of many hens,

and bread of maize, and fruits of the country, which are such as be in the

Isle of Cuba, whereof before I have spoken. The town of Panuco may

contain about seventy families; the most of their houses are of lime and


Page 217

stone, and some made of timber, and all of them are thatched. It is a

poor country, and there is neither gold nor silver in it. The inhabitants

live there in great abundance of victuals and servants. The richest have

not above five hundred crowns rent a year, and that is in cotton cloths,

hens, and maize, which the Indians their servants do give them for

tribute. There arrived there of those that came out of Florida, three

hundred and eleven Christians. Presently the Alcalde Mayor sent one of

the townsmen in post to advertise the Viceroy, Don Antonio de Mendoça,

which was resident in Mexico, that of the people that went with Don

Ferdinando de Soto to discover and conquer Florida three hundred and

eleven men were arrived there, that seeing that they were employed in his

majesty's service he would take some order to provide for them. Whereat

the Viceroy, and all the inhabitants of Mexico wondered; for they thought

they were miscarried because they had traveled so far within the main land

of Florida, and bad no news of them for so long a time: and it seemed a

wonderful thing unto them, how they could save themselves so long among

infidels, without any fort, wherein they might fortify themselves, and

without any other succor at all. Presently the Viceroy sent a warrant

wherein he commanded, that whithersoever they sent they should give them

victuals, and as many Indians for their carriages as they needed: and

where they would not furnish them, they might take those things that were

necessary perforce without incurring any danger of law. This warrant was

so readily obeyed that by the way before they came to the towns they came

to receive them with hens and victuals.

From Panuco to the great city of Temistitan, Mexico, is sixty

leagues; and other sixty from Panuco to the port Port de Vera Cruz, where

they take shipping for Spain, and those that come from Spain do land to go

for Nueva España. These three towns stand in a triangle: to wit, Vera

Cruz to the south, Panuco to the north, and Mexico to the west sixty

leagues asunder. The country is so inhabited with Indians that from town

to town those which are farthest are but a league and half a league

asunder. Some of them that came from Florida stayed a month in Panuco to

rest themselves, others fifteen days, and every one as long as he listed:

for there was none that showed a sour countenance to his guests, but

rather gave them anything that they had, and seemed to be grieved when

they took their leave. Which was to be believed; for the victuals which

the Indians do pay them for tribute, are more than they can spend: and in

that town is no Commerce; and there dwelt but few Spaniards there, and

they were


Page 218

glad of their company. The Alcalde Mayor divided all the Emperor's

clothes which he had (which there they pay him for his tribute) among

those that would come to receive them. Those which had shirts of mail

left were glad men; for they had a horse for one shirt of mail. Some

horsed themselves; and such as could not (which were the greatest part)

took their journey on foot: in which they were well received of the

Indians that were in the towns, and better served than they could have

been in their own houses, though they had been well to live. For if they

asked one hen of an Indian, they brought them four: and if they asked any

of the country fruit though it were a league off, they ran presently for

it. And if any Christian found himself evil at ease, they carried him in

a chair from one town to another. In whatsoever town they came, the

cacique, by an Indian which carried a rod of justice in his hand, whom

they call Tapile, that is to say a sergeant, commanded them to provide

victuals for them, and Indians to bear burdens of such things as they had,

and such as were needful to carry them that were sick. The Viceroy sent a

Portuguese twenty leagues from Mexico with great store of sugar, raisins

of the sun, conserves, and other things fit for sick folks, for such as

had need of them: and had given order to clothe them all at the Emperor's

charge. And their approach being known by the citizens of Mexico, they

went out of the town to receive them: and with great courtesy, requesting

them in favor to come to their houses, every one carried such as he met

home with him, and clothed them every one the best they could: so that he

that had the meanest apparel, it cost about thirty ducats. As many as

were willing to come to the Viceroy's house he commanded to be appareled,

and such as were persons of quality sate at his table: and there was a

table in his house for as in any of the meaner sort as would come to it:

and he was presently informed who every one was, to show him the courtesy

that he deserved. Some of the conquerors did set both gentlemen and

clowns at their own table, and many times made the servant sit cheek by

cheek by his master: and chiefiy the officers and men of base condition

did so: for those which had better education did inquire who every one

was, and made difference of persons: but all did what they could with a

good will: and every one told them whom they had in their houses, that

they should not trouble themselves, nor think themselves the worse, to

take that which they gave them: for they had been in the like case, and

had been relieved of others, and that this was the custom of that country.

God reward them all: and God grant that those which it pleased him to

deliver out of Florida, and


Page 219

to bring again into Christendom, may serve him: and into those that died

in that country, and unto all that believe in Him and confess his holy

faith, God for his mercy's sake grant the kingdom of heaven. Amen.

From the Port de Spiritu Santo, where they landed when they entered

into Florida, to the Province of Ocute, which may be 400 leagues, little

more or less, is a very plain country, and has many lakes and thick woods,

and in some places they are of wild pine-trees; and is a weak soil. There

is in it neither mountain nor hill. The country of Ocute is more fat and

fruitful; it has thinner woods, and very goodly meadows upon the rivers.

From Ocute to Cutifachiqui may be 130 leagues: 80 leagues thereof are

desert, and have many groves of wild pine trees. Through the wilderness

great rivers do pass. From Cutifachiqui to Xuala, may be 250 leagues: it

is all an hilly country. Cutifachiqui and Xuala stand both in plain

ground, high, and have goodly meadows on the rivers. From thence forward

to Chiaha, Coça, and Tascaluça, is plain ground, dry and fat, and very

plentiful of maize. From Xuala to Tascaluça may be 250 leagues. From

Tascaluça to Rio Grande, or the Great River, may be 300 leagues: the

country is low, and full of lakes. From Rio Grande forward, the country

is higher and more champaign, and best peopled of all the land of Florida.

And along this river from Aquixo to Pacaha, and Coligoa, are 150 leagues:

the country is plain, and the woods thin, and in some places champaign,

very fruitful and pleasant. From Coligoa to Autiamque are 250 leagues of

hilly country. From Autiamque to Aguacay, may be 230 leagues of plain

ground. From Aguacay to the river of Daycao 120 leagues, all hilly


From the Port de Spiritu Santo unto Apalache, they traveled from

east to west, and northwest. From Cutifachiqui to Xuala from south to

north. From Xuala to Coça from east to west. From Coça to Tascaluca, and

to Rio Grande, as far as the provinces of Quizquiz and Aquixo, from east

to west. From Aquixo to Pacaha to the north. From Pacaha to Tulla from

east to west: from Tulla to Autiamque from north to south, to the

province of Guachoya and Daycao. The bread which they ate in all the land

of Florida is of maize, which is like coarse millet. And this maize is

common in all the islands, and from the Antilles forward. There are also

in Florida great store of walnuts, plums, mulberries, and grapes. They

sow and gather their maize every one their several crop. The fruits are

common to all, for they grow abroad in the open fields in great abundance,



Page 220

out any need of planting or dressing. Where there be mountains, there be

chestnuts; they are somewhat smaller than the chestnuts of Spain. From

Rio Grande westward, the walnuts differ from those that grow more

eastward; for they are soft, and like unto acorns; and those which grow

from Rio Grande to Puerto del Spiritu Santo for the most part are hard;

and the trees and walnuts in show like those of Spain. There is a fruit

through all the country which groweth on a plant like Ligoacan, which the

Indians do plant. The fruit is like unto Peares Riall; it has a very

good smell, and an excellent taste. There groweth another plant in the

open field, which beareth a fruit like unto strawberries, close to the

ground, which has a very good taste. The plums are of two kinds, red and

gray, of the making and bigness of nuts, and have three or four stones in

them. These are better than all the plums of Spain, and they make far

better prunes of them. In the grapes there is only want of dressing; for

though they be big, they have a great kernel. All other fruits are very

perfect, and less hurtful than those of Spain.

There are in Florida many bears and lions, wolves, deer, dogs, cats,

martens, and conies. There be manywild hens as big as turkeys, partridges

small, like those of Africa, cranes, ducks, pigeons, thrushes, and

sparrows. There are certain black birds bigger than sparrows, and lesser

than stares. There are goshawks, falcons, gerfalcons, and all fowls of

prey that are in Spain.

The Indians are well proportioned. Those of the plain countries are

taller of body, and better shaped, than those of the mountains. Those of

the inland have greater store of maize, and commodities of the country,

than those that dwell upon the sea-coast. The country along the sea-coast

is barren and poor, and the pcople more warlike. The coast runneth from

Puerto del Spiritu Santo to Apalache, east and west; and from Apalache to

Rio de las Palmas from east to west; from Rio de las Palmas unto Nueva

España from north to south. It is a gentle coast, but it hath many

shoals, and great shelves of sand.

Deo gratias.


Volume 2 Chapter 8

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CAROLANA and Carolina are two distinct though bordering provinces,

the east of Carolana joining to the west of Carolina. The former was

granted by patent unto Sir Robert Heath, in the beginning of the reign of

King Charles I., which said Sir Robert was then Attorney-General, and by

him conveyed unto the Earl of Arundel, from whom it came by mean

conveyances unto the present proprietary.

This province of Carolana is extended north and south from the river

St. Mattheo, lying according to the patent in thirty-one degrees (though

by later and more accurate observations, it is found to lie exactly in

thirty degrees and ten minutes) unto the river Passo Magno, which is in

thirty-six degrees of northern latitude; and in longitude from the

Western or Atlantic Ocean unto New Mexico, now in possession of the

Spaniards, which is in a direct line above one thousand miles, and where

not inhabited by them, unto the South Sea. It comprehends within its

bounds, the greatest part of the province of Carolina, whose proprietors

derive their claim and pretensions thereto,

* This account of Louisiana has been very carefully drawn up from

Memoirs and Journals kept by various persons sent into the Valley of the

Mississippi, by D. Coxe. The expedition fitted out by him, consisting of

two ships, commanded by Capt. Barr, were the first to sail up the

Mississippi. (1598.)


Page 224

by charters from King Charles II. about thirty years after the

abovcmentioned grant to Sir Robert Heath.

The great River Meschacebe runs through the midst of this country,

having a course almost directly north and south from its first fountains,

in about fifty degress of north latitude, to its disemboguing into the

middle of the Gulf of Mexico. The rivers that make this, which the

Spaniards called Rio Grande del Norte, proceed about one-half from the

west, the other from the east, so that the whole country may be almost

entirely visited by navigable rivers, without any falls or cataracts,

which are usual in most of the northern rivers of America, and in all

rivers of long course, even in Carolina (though to this country

contiguous), and thence northward to the grcat river of St. Lawrence or

Canada, and other rivers northward innumerable. The excellent and

convenient situation of this country for inland trade and navigation, and

for trade with the Spaniards in New Mexico, the whole Gulf of Mexico, and

the South Sea (which I shall hereafter demonstrate), will be greatly for

the advantage, and not in the least to the prejudice of our home

plantation trade, as will appear more evident by the description of this

great River Meschacebe, and those rivers that enter into it, together with

the vast navigable lakes of fresh water adjoining thereunto.

We will for good reasons begin our description of it from its

entrance into the sea, ascending up unto its source; and from very good

journals both by sea and land, give an account of the chief rivers that

run into it from the east and west, as we find them in our ascent,

together with their course, length and bigness, the nature of the

countries, and the names of the nations through which they pass.

The River Meschacebe is so called by the inhabitants of the north;

cebe being the name for a river, even as far as Hudson's Bay; and mescha,

great, which is the Great River; and by the French, who learned it from

them, corruptly, Mississippi; which name of Meschacebe it doth retain

among the savages during half its course. Afterwards some call it

Chucagua, others Sassagoula, and Malabanchia, as it fares with the

Danubius, which four hundred miles before it enters the Euxine Sea, is

styled the Iser; and the like happens to all the rivers of long course in

America, as Oronogue, the river of the Amazons, and Rio de la Plata. This

river enters the Gulf of Mexico one hundred and forty leagues from the

north-west part of the peninsula of Florida, keeping along the coast in

thirty degrees north latitude, and one hundred and twenty leagues from the

most westerly part of


Page 225

the said gulf, in about twenty-nine degrees the same latitude; and thence

the coast extends S. and by W. to the river Panuco, which is under the

tropic of Cancer in twenty-three and a half degrees, the utmost part

inhabited by the Spaniards towards the and N. E. on the Gulf of Mexico.

The province of Carolana, from the conjunction with the peninsula of

Florida, for two hundred and fifty leagues, is situated about the

thirtieth degree of north latitude, and seldom varies ten leagues north or

south from the same; excepting the entrance of the river Meschacebe,

which I am now about to describe from the mouth unto its first fountains.

The river Meschacebe empties itself into the Gulf of Mexico by seven

channels, like the river Nile, of which Herodotus, the father of history,

and who lived long in Egypt, affirms in his time three were always

navigable, and the others only so during the inundations of the said

river, which were made by art and labor, though our modern navigators

allow only two; but our river hath seven navigable at all times; the

three great ones by ships, the four smaller, two on each side (as appears

by the chart), by boats and sloops, especially during the time of the

waters rising, or the freshes, as they call them, which are always

constant, and return in the spring, and sometimes happen in the summer

upon the great rains, which is not frequent.

The three great branches always navigable by shipping are situated

about six miles distant from each other, and unite all at one place with

the main river, about twelve miles from their mouths.

There is not above fourteen feet on the bar at low-water in

neeptides, excepting when the freshes come down in the spring or upon

great rains; but when you are over the bar, which is not in many places

above a ship's length broad, you enter immediately into deep water the

least five fathom, which increases to ten fathom before you come to the

main river. After that it deepens gradually to above thirty, and you have

nowhere less than twenty fathoms for one hundred miles, and little less

for one hundred leagues, and afterwards from ten to seventeen for one

hundred leagues more: then from six to ten two hundred leagues further;

thence to the great cataract or fall, which is sixteen hundred miles from

its entrance into the sea, from three fathoms to six. Its breadth is

generally during its great depth scarce a mile, but as it lessens in depth

it increases in breadth, and is in most places of its course two miles

broad, and where it makes islands (as it does very frequently), from the

middle of its course two or three leagues. The banks in most places are

no more than five or


Page 226

six feet above the river, and ships may almost in all places lie by the

side of the shore, there being generally from three to six fathoms, and

deepens gradually as you approach the middle of the river, which has

mostly a pretty strong current; but there are divers promontories, under

which you may anchor, where there is good shelter from winds and curious


When you are ascended the river four or five leagues, it is bordered

on each side with high trees of divers sorts, from half a mile to two

miles deep into the country; very little underwoods; no trouble in

traveling, besides what proceeds from the vines ramping upon the ground.

Divers others surround and mount up the trees, almost unto their tops,

which are seldom less than one hundred feet from their roots, and often

thirty or forty feet more. When you come out of the agreeable shade, you

see a most beautiful level country, only about six or eight miles

distance; there are collins or gentle ascents, for the most part round or

oval, crowned with stately trees, which looks more like a work of

laborious consummate art than of mere nature; and this on both sides the

river, so far as the acutest sight can reach; in which meadows the wild

bulls and kine, besides other beasts, graze, and in the heat of the day

retire into these woods for shelter, where they chew the cud.

There is no considerable river empties itself into the Meschacebe

from the mouths until you come about twelve miles above the Bayogola and

Mougolaches, two nations who dwell together on the west side thereof, two

hundred miles from the sea; then on the east side there falls out of the

Meschacebe a branch which after a course of one hundred and sixty miles

empties itself into the N. E. end of the great Bay of Spirito Santo. It

is not above forty or fifty yards broad and two or three fathoms deep at

its beginning, but soon enlarges in breadth and depth by the accession of

divers rivers and rivulets, and is a most lovely river, making pleasant

lakes, and passing, during its whole course, through a country exactly

like that we have formerly described. It is navigable by the greatest

boats, sloops, and small ships of English building; and by large ones if

built after the Dutch manner with flat bottoms.

On the north side of one of the above-mentioned lakes, called by the

French Lake Pontchartrain, they have erected a small fort, and

storehouses, whither after unloading their large vessels at Isle aux

Vaisseaux, or Ship's Island, they bring their goods in sloops or shallops,

and from thence disperse them by their traders amongst their own

settlements and the several nations of Indians inhabiting on and about


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the Meschacebe, and the rivers which enter it, both from the east and


About fifty miles above the place where this river is dismissed from

the Meschacebe, on the other side, viz., the west, enters the river of the

Houmas (Red River), so named from a considerable nation who inhabit upon

it in the country, six or eight miles from its mouth. This is a mighty

river, deep and broad, and comes from the mountains of New Mexico; its

course is mostly N. W., and is navigable by large vessels above three

hundred miles, and thence by large boats and sloops, almost unto its

fountains. By this river, you may have communication with above forty

nations who live upon it or its branches; and also with the Spaniards of

New Mexico, from whom its furthest heads are not above an easy day's

journey. Upon this river and most of its branches are great herds of wild

kine, which bear a fine wool, and abundance of horse, both wild and tame,

of the Spanish breed, on which the Indians ride with almost as much skill

as the Europeans, though their bridles, saddles and stirrups are somewhat

different from ours, yet not the less commodious.

Twelve leagues higher upon the river Meschacebe is the river of the

Naches (Washita), which ten or twelve leagues above its mouth divides

itself into two branches, and forms an island (Sicily) about thirty miles

in circumference, very pleasant and fertile. Thc south branch is

inhabited by the Corroas, the north by the Naches, both considerable

nations, abounding in all necessaries for human life. Some leagues above

thc division is a pretty large lake (Tensas), where there is a great

fishery for pearl, large and good, taken out of a shellfish of a middle

nature between an oyster and a muscle.

About twelve or fourteen leagues higher on the same, that is, the

west side, the Meschacebe makes a little gulf (Petit Gtilf) about twenty

miles long and three or four broad, upon which inhabit in many towns the

populous and civilized nation of the Tahensa (Taensas), who also abound in

pearls, and enjoy an excellent country; are very hospitable to strangers,

and though, as most Indian nations, at war with their neighbors, yet

together with the three last mentioned, and those to be hereafter named,

joyfully receive and kindly entertain all with whom they have not actual


Fourteen or flfteen leagues higher on the east side of the Mcschacebe

is the nation and river of Yasoue (Yazoo), which comes two or three

hundred miles out of the country, on which dwell the nations in order

mentioned after, the Yassouees, the Tounicas, Kourouas, Tihiou, Samboukia,

and Epitoupa.

Ten or twelve leagues higher on the west side is the river


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Natchitock (Arkansas), which has a course of many hundred miles; and after

it is ascended about one hundred, there are many springs, pits, and lakes,

which afford most excellent common salt in great plenty, wherewith they

trade with neighboring nations for other commodities they want, and may be

of great service to the European inhabitants of this country, to preserve

flesh and fish for their own use, and exportation to natives, Spaniards,

and our islands, to the great profit of them who have not stock to engage

in greater and more beneficial undertakings. Upon this river inhabit not

only the Natchitocks, Naguateeres, Natsohocks, but higher several other

nations. Sixteen leagues further upon the west side, enter the Meschacebe

two rivers, which unite about ten leagues above, and make an island called

by the name of the Torimans, by whom it is inhabited.

The southerly of these two rivers is that of the Ousoutiwy, upon

which dwell first the Arkansas, a great nation, higher upon the same river

the Kansae, Mintou, Erabacha and others.

The river to the north is named Niska, upon which live part of the

nation of the Ozages; their great body inhabiting a large river which

bears their name, and empties itself into the Yellow River, as will be

hereafter mentioned: and upon this river near the mouth is the nation

Tonginga, who with the Torimas are part of the Arkansas.

Ten leagues bigher is a small river named Cappa, and upon it a people

of the same name, and another called Ouesperies, who fled, to avoid the

persecution of the Irocois, from a river which still bears their name, to

be mentioned hereafter.

Ten miles higher on the same side of the Meschacebe, is a little

river named Matchicebe upon which dwell the nations Mitchigamia and

Epiminguia; over against whom is the great nation of the Chicazas

(Chickasaws), whose country extends above forty leagues to the river of

the Cheraquees (Tennessee), which we shall describe when we come to

discourse of the great river Hohio.

Ten leagues higher, on the east side, is the river and nation of

Chongue, with some others to the cast of them.

Fifteen leagues higher, on the west side, is the river and nation of


Thirty leagues higher on the east side is the opening of a river that

proceeds out of a lake twenty miles long, which is about ten miles from

the Meschacebe. Into this lake empty themselves four large rivers. The

most northerly, which comes from the north-east, is called Ouabachicou or

Ouabache, upon which dwelt the nations


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Chachakingua, Pepepicokia, Pianguichia. The next south of this is the

vast river Hohio (Ohio), which comes from the back of New York, Maryland,

and Virginia, and is navigable 600 miles. Hohio in the Indian language

signifies the fair river; and certainly it runs from its heads through

the most beautiful fertile countries in the universe, and is formed by the

confluence of ten or twelve rivers, and innumerable rivulets. A town

settled upon this lake, or the entrance of the river Hohio thereinto,

would have communication with a most lovely fruitful country 600 miles

square. Formerly, divers nations dwelt on this river, as the Chawanoes

(Shawanees), a mighty and very populous people, who had above fifty towns,

and many other nations, who were totally destroyed or driven out of their

country by the Irocois, this river being their usual road when they make

war upon the nations who lie to the south or to the west.

South of the Hohio is another river, which about thirty leagues above

the lake is divided into two branches; the northerly is called Ouespere,

the southerly the Black River; there are very few people upon either, they

having been destroyed or driven away by the aforementioned Irocois. The

heads of this river proceed from the west side of the vast ridge of

mountains, which run on the baek of Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland; on

whose opposite or east side are the sources of the great river Potomack,

which by a mouth of some leagues broad, disgorges itself into the middle

of the Bay of Chesepeack, and separates tbe two last mentioned provinces

from each other. The mountains afford a short passage or communication

between those two rivers, which the Indians are well acquainted with, and

by which, in conjunction with the French of the Meschacebe, they may in

time insult and harass those colonies.

The most southerly of the above said four rivers, which enter into

the lake, is a river some call Kasqui, so named from a nation inhabiting a

little above its mouth; others call it the Cusates, or the river of the

Cheraquees (Tennessee), a mighty nation, among whom it hath its chief

fountains; it comes from the south-east, and its heads are among the

mountains, which separate this country from Carolina, and is the great

road of the traders from thence to the Meschacebe, and intermediate

places. Above 200 miles up this river to the southeast is the great and

powerful nation of the Chicazas, good friends to the English, whose

dominions extend thence to the Meschacebe. Before you come at them is a

small fall or cataract, the only one I have yet heard of in any of the

rivers that enter the Meschacebe, either


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from the east or from the west. Thirty or forty leagues above the

Chicazas, this river forms four delicate islands, which have each a nation

inhabiting them, viz., Tahogale, Kakigue, Cochali, and Tali. Sixty

leagues above the island and nation of the Tali inhabits the

aforementioned nation of the Cheraques (Cherokees), who have at least

sixty towns, some of which are not above sixty miles from Carolina. They

have great friendship with the English of that province, who from thence

carry on a free trade with and are always very kindly entertained by them.

Fifteen leagues above the Hohio, or the river coming out of the lake

aforementioned, to the west, is the river Honabanou, upon which dwells a

nation of the same name, and another called Amicoa; and ten leagues above

that is the great island of the Tamaroas, and over against it, on the east

side, a nation which goes by its name, and another by that of Cahokia, who

dwell on the banks of the rivcr Chepusso.

Fifteen leagues above which to the west is the Great Yellow

(Missouri*) River, so named because it is yellowish, and so muddy that

though the Meschacebe is very clear where they meet, and so many great

rivers of crystaline water below mix with the Meschacebe, yet it discolors

them all even unto the sea. When you are up this river sixty or seventy

miles, you meet with two branches. The lesser, though large, proceeds

from the south, and most of the rivers that compose it fall from the

mountains, which separate this country from New Mexico; notwithstanding

which, there is a very easy communication between them. This is called

the river of the Ozages, from a numerous people, who have sixteen or

eighteen towns seated thereupon, especially near its mixing with the

Yellow River. The other, which is the main branch, comes from the

north-west, most of whose branches descend likewise from the mountains of

New Mexico, and divers' other large provinces which are to the north of

New Mexico, wholly posesessed by Indians, who are said to be very

numerous, and well policed. They are all at war with the Spaniards, from

whom they have defended their countries above 150 years, and have rather

recovered than lost ground. They are likewise at war, as generally the

Indians are, amongst themselves. The most northerly branches of this

river are interwoven with other branches, which have a contrary course,

proceeding to the west, and empty themselves into a vast lake, whose

waters by means of another great river (Columbia) disembogues into

* The first explorer of this river and the St. Peter's was

La Hontan.


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the South Sea. The Indians affirm they see great ships sailing in that

lake, twenty times bigger than their canoes. The Yellow is called the

river of the Massorites, from a great nation inhabiting in many towns near

its junction with the river of the Ozages. There are many other nations

upon the same, little inferior to them in extent of territories or number

of towns, as the Panimahas, Pancassas, Panas, Panelogas, Matotantes, few

of them having less than twenty towns, scarce any of which count less than

200 cabins.

Forty miles above the Yellow River, on the east side, is the river

Chicagou, or the river of the Alinouecks, corruptly by the French called

Illinois, which nation lived upon and about this river, having above sixty

towns, and formerly consisted of 20,000 fighting men, but are now almost

totally destroyed by the Irocois, or driven beyond the Meschacebe

westward. This is a large pleasant river; and about 250 miles above its

entrance into the Meschacebe, it is divided into two branches; the lesser

comes from north and by east, and its head is within four or five miles of

the great lake of the Alinouecks (Michigan) on its west side; the other

comes almost directly from the east, and proceeds from a morass within two

miles of the river Miamiha, which empties itself into the same lake. On

the south-east side, there is an easy communication between these two

rivers, by a land carriage of two leagues, about fifty miles to the

south-east of the forementioned lake. The course of this river from its

head exceeds 400 miles, navigable above half way by ships, and most of the

rest by sloops and large boats or barges. Many small rivers run into it,

and it forms two or three lakes; but one mightily extolled, called

Pimiteouiii (Peoria), which is twenty miles long and three miles broad;

it affords great quantities of good fish, and the country round about it

abounds with game, both fowls and beasts. Besides the Illinoueck are the

nations Peronaria (Peoria), the great nation Cascasquia and Caracantanon;

and on the northern branch inhabit part of the nation of the Mascontens.

On the south-east bank of this river, Monsieur de la Sale erected a

fort in the year 1680, which he named Creve-coeur, from the grief which

seized him on the loss of one of his chief trading barks richly laden, and

the mutiny and villainous intrigues of some of his company, who first

attempted to poison and afterwards desert hiin. This fort stands about

half way between the bay of Mexico and Canada, and was formerly the usual

route of the French in going to or returning from either of those places;

but since, they have discovered a nearer and easier passage by the

Ouabache and Ohio, the sources of both


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which rivers are at a shall distance from the Lake Erie, or some rivers

which empty into it.

Forty leagues higher on the west side is a fair river, which our

people were at the mouth of, but could not learn its name. I suppose it's

the same the French call Moingona. Some make it to proceed from the

Mitchayowa or long river, as may be discerned in the annexed map; but as

all our journals are silent in that matter, so shall I, till some more

perfect discoveries thereof afford us further light and certainty therein.

When you are ascended about forty leagues more, then on the east side

falls into the Meschacebe the river Misconsing. This is much of the same

nature with that of the Alinouecks, whether you consider its breadth,

depth and course, as also the pleasantness, and fertility of the country

adjacent unto all its branches. After you have rowed or sailed up it

sixty miles, joins with it the river of the Kikapouz, which is also

navigable, and comes a great way from the north-east. Eighty miles

further, almost directly east, there is a ready communication, by a

carriage of two leagues, with the river of Misaouaqui, which bath a quite

contrary course, running to the northeast, and empties itself, after a

passage of 150 miles from the land carriage, into the great bay of the

Pouteouotamis, or the Puans, which joins, on the north-west, with the

great lake of the Alinouecks. This river and bay I shall have occasion to

mention when I come to describe the vast lakes or seas of fresh water

which are to the east of the Meschacebe.

Forty leagues higher, on the same side, is the fair large river

Mitchaoywa, which is the same the Baron le Hontan calls the long river,

and gives a very particular description thereof, having navigated it

almost to its heads. It has a course of above five hundred miles, and the

southern rivers, of which it is composed, are near the northern heads of

the river of the Messourites, both taking their original from the

mountains which divide this country from that which leads to the South

Sea. Several rivers proceed from the other side of the mountains, which

are easily passed in less than one day, and fall into the same lake above

mentioned, which discharges itself by a great river into the aforesaid

sea. As you ascend this river from the Meschacebe, you meet with the

nations Eokoros, Essanape, Gnasitaries, who have each many towns, and very

populous. And the said Baron acquaints us, from very good information,

that beyond these hills are two or three mighty nations, under potent

kings, abundantly more civilized, numerous, and warlike than their



Page 233

differing greatly in customs, buildings, and government from all the other

natives of this northern continent; that they are clothed, and build

houses and ships like Europeans, having many of great bigness, in length

120 or 130 feet, and carry from 200 to 300 men, which navigate the great

lake, and it is thought the adjacent parts of the ocean. And Herrera,

Gomora, and some other Spanish historiographers assert that the Spaniards

saw upon that coast such ships, which they apprehended came from Japan or


A little higher up is the river Chabadeda, above which the Meschacebe

makes a fine lake, twenty miles long and eight or ten broad.

Nine or ten miles above that lake, on the east side, is a large fair

river, called the river of Tortoises, after you have entered a little way,

which leads far into the country to the north-east, and is navigable by

the greatest boats forty miles. About the same distance further up, the

Meschacebe is precipitated from the rocks about fifty feet, but is so far

navigable by considerable ships, as also beyond, excepting another fall,

eighty or ninety miles higher, by large vessels, unto its sources, which

are in the country of the Sieux, not at a very great distance from

Hudson's Bay. There are many other smaller rivers which fall into the

Meschacebe, on both sides of it, but being of little note, and the

description of them of small consequence, I have passed over them in


I now proceed to describe that part of this province which is to the

east of the Meschacebe; the rivers which pass throngh it having no

communication therewith. From the Peninsula of Florida, where this

country begins, to the south-east, there are only two large rivers: the

first, that of Palache, the true Indian name, by the Spaniards called the

river of Spirito Santo, or of Apalache, adding an A, after the Arabian

manner, from which a great part of their language is derived; as in the

provinces of Nilco, Minoia, they pronounce Anilco, Aminoia, and so in

divers others. This river enters the Gulf of Mexico about 100 miles from

the Cod of the Bay of Palache, at the north-west end of the Peninsula of

Florida, in thirty degrees of north latitude, and some few minutes. It is

somewhat bard to find, by reason of the isles and lagunes before it; and

though a stately river, and comes far out of the country, hath not above

two fathoms and a half or three fathoms water at most on the bar, as the

people sent on discovery found; but that being passed, it is very deep and

large; and the tide flows higher than into any river upon all the coast,

some affirm fifty miles, which is no wonder, the country being a perfect

level, and the river having a double current; one from the south, all


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along the peninsula, from twenty-five degrees to thirty. The other from

the west. Near it, on both sides towards the sea- coast, dwell divers

nations, Palachees, Chattoes, Sulluggoes, Tommakees, &c.; who are

generally called by one name of Apalatchy Indians. This river proceeds

chiefly from rivers which have their origin on the south or south-west

side of the great ridge of hills that divides this country from Carolina,

and is supposed to have a course of about 400 miles. Upon or near the

middle of it live the great nations of the Cusshetaes, Tallibousies and


To the west of this is the famous Coza (a branch of the Mobile), or,

as ours call it, the Coussa River, and the French Mobile, the biggest,

next unto Meschacebe and Hohio, of any in this or the neighboring

provinces. Its first heads are likewise from the aforesaid Palachean

Mountains--the most northerly being at Guaxula town and province, near the

foot of the mountain. Many rivulets uniting, after a course of eighty

miles, form a river bigger than the Thames at Kingston, making several

delicous isles, some three or four miles long, and half a mile broad; the

country is wonderfully pleasant and fertile. The first considerable town

or province is Chicha, famous for its pearl fishing, there being

thereabouts, in the river and little lakes it makes, a sort of shell-fish,

the ancients named pinna, between a muscle and oyster; concerning which I

have diseoursed in the account of the produces or commodities of this

country. From thence the river grows larger and deeper, by accession of

others from the mountains, and from the West, until it enters the province

of Coza, or Coussa, which is reckoned one of the most pleasant and

fruitful parts of this country, and very populous. Through this,

Ferdinando Soto passed, and resided therein a considerable time; and all

the Spanish writers of this famous expedition extol them above any other

nation for extent of territory, the pleasantness, healthfulness,

fruitfulness thereof, and the good disposition of the inhabitants. The

faithful and judicious Portuguese unknown author of that expedition, in a

few words thus describes this province:--

"It consists of hills and valleys between. Their granaries were full

of Indian corn, and other edibles; so populous that their towns and

fields, sowed with corn, touched each other; the country is very

agreeable, by reason of many rivulets, which make lovely meadows. There

grow, naturally in the fields, prunes, better than we can in Spain produce

by culture, even in our gardens. Vines mount, in almost all places near

the rivers, to the tops of the trees. There are


Page 235

divers other sorts of vines which are low, and some run upon the ground,

and by cultivating might be wonderfully improved, though very good and

pleasant as they are in their natural state."

Below these, on the same river, are the Ullibalies, or as some, the

Olibahalies, and according to the French the Allibamons. And below them

the Tallises, who dwell upon a fair river which enters that of Coza from

the cast, thence to the once great province of Tasculuza (Tuscltloosa),

almost destroyed by Ferdinando Soto; but the chief city Mauvilla, which

the English call Maubela, and the French Mobile, is yet in being, though

far short of its former grandeur. About one hundred miles from hence, it

enters the Gulf of Mexico, being first increased, as by many small rivers

and rivulets, so by the fair river of the Chattas, which is made by a

collection of several other little streams and rivers, and which at length

form a fine river, that would seem considerable, if it were not obscured

by the great river in which it is lost. This mighty nation of the Chattas

(Choctaws), consisting of near three thousand fighting men, live chiefly

about the middle of the river, and is not far from the Chicazas, whom I

mentioned to inhabit thirty or forty towns, in the description of the

Casqui or Cusntes river, and speak the same language. And to the east,

between them and the Cozas, are the Becaes or Abecaes, who have thirteen

towns, and dwell upon divers smail rivers, which run into the Coussa. It

is a very pleasant country, like that of the Coza, full of hills and

valleys; their ground is generally more marly, or fatter than many other

provinces, which are mostly of a lighter mould. And a little more to the

south-west, between the Becaes and Chattas, dwell in divers towns, being

five hundred fighting men, the Ewemales, upon a fair river of their name,

which coming from the east, mixes with the Coussa. This mighty river

enters the Gulf of Mexico, about fifteen leagues to the west of the great

Bay of Nassau or Spirito Santo, or from the N. E. cape of Mirtle Isle,

which is the South Land, between which and the continent to the north is

the entrance of that vast inlet. The river runs into a kind of a lagune

or bay, which is barred four miles from the mouth of the river, supposed

to be occasioned, as the Meschacebe, in long process of time, by the silt

or sediment of the water, this being almost as muddy, coming, for the most

part, through a rich clay or marl; so that at the bar, when it is low

water (and it flows little there excepting the south wind drive in a great

sea), there is not above fourteen or fifteen feet; but the mouth being

some miles broad, and our people not having leisure to


Page 236

examine nicely, perhaps there may be found deeper places upon other parts

of the bar; but so soon as you are over it, there is a most noble harbor,

very large, from four to six fathoms deep. Near the mouth of this river

the French have lately made a new settlement, called Fort Louis, which is

the usual residence of the Chief Governor of Louisiana, who is

nevertheless subordinate to him of Canada. Th this fort are some

companies of soldiers, and from thence detachments are sent to secure the

several stations they have amongst the Indians in the inland parts.

As the Ullibalys or Allibamons, Chicazas, and Chattas (Choctaws), are

the most populous and potent nations upon and between this river and the

Meschacebe, the English for several years resided peaceably amongst,

carried on a considerable trade with, and were as friends kindly

entertained by them, till about the year 1715, by the intrigues and

practices of the French, they were either murdered, or obliged to retire

and make room for those new intruders, who have since unjustly possessed

and fortified the very same stations, in order to keep the natives in awe

and subjection, and to cut off the communication of the English traders

with the Indians thereabouts, and as far as and beyond the Meschacebe;

whereby they have secured to themselves an extensive and profitable trade

of above 500 miles, which the subjects of Great Britain were a few years

ago the sole masters of.

Besides the French settlement above mentioned on the continent, they

have another small town and fort in the isle Dauphine, formerly called

Slaughter Island, from a great number of men's bones found there on its

first discovery, the remains, as is said, of a bloody battle fought

between two nations of Indians. This island lies about nine leagues south

of Fort Louis, and fourteen leagues west of Pensacola. It is inhabited and

fortified only on account of its harbor, it being the first place the

French shipping usually touch at in their voyage from France. The

distance between this river and that of Palache or Spirito Santo to the

east is about 190 miles. The coast between them is very.deep and bold,

contrary to all former maps; for those sent upon discovery sounded several

times every day, and found it so, as by the journals will appear.

Between those two great rivers are divers harbors; the chief, and

indeed the best, upon all the coast of the Gulf of Mexico is Pensicola, a

large harbor, and very safe from all winds; has four fathoms at the

entrance, and deepens gradually to seven or eight. To the east of the

harbor enters a fine river, which comes about 100 miles out of the

country, and is made of two rivers, which unite some miles above.


Page 237

This harbor or bay lies ninety lcagues west from the upper part of the

peninsula of Florida. On the larboard or west side of the harbor stands a

poor town, containing about forty Palmetto houses, with a small stockadoed

fort of twelve or fourteen guns, but of little moment; because all their

soldiers, and the majority of the inhabitants, are forc'adoes, or forced

people, having been malefactors in some parts of Mexico, thereforc are

confined in that place for a number of years, according to the nature of

their crimes. In short, they are not unlike our felons, whfch are

transported from the jails in England to the plantations. The French, in

the year 1719, took this fort with small loss from the Spaniard, who, in a

few months, retook it again. The first of these made themselves masters

thereof a second time, but whether they have deserted it, or keep it still

in their possession, I know not.

If the French secure this port and harbor, which is not above

fourteen leagues cast of their chief settlement at Mobile, they may with

ease, at all seasons, infest, with large men of war and privateers, the

navigation of the English and Spaniards in the Bay of Mexico, by lying in

wait for and intercepting their fleets and private ships, trading to and

from Panuco, Vera Cruz, Campeche, Porto Bello, Jamaica, and the Havana.

Thirty leagues to the east is Apalatchy-Cola, which is also a good

harbor, and west of Apalatchy River thirty leagues.

The Bay of Nassau or Spirito Santo is made by four islands, which run

almost due south, a little inclining to the west. The most northerly,

between which and the main is the entrance of the bay, being eight leagues

long, our people called Mirtle Island, from the great quantity of that

tree or shrub which grows there, where digging they found excellent good

water very plentifully. This island in some places is very narrow.

Whether it be the same the French call Isle aux Vaisseaux, or Ship's

Island, I can't tell; but its situation, distance from isle Dauphine, or

Slaughter Island, and its commodiousness for sheltering ships from the

wind, creates a probability of its being so. The bay is fifteen miles

broad, from Mirtle Island to a row of islands which run parallel with the

main, and another bay or lagune between them, within which they did not

go. These islands stretch southward fifty or sixty miles, as far as one

of the smaller mouths of the Meschacebe; and doubtless there must be very

good harbors, being defended from the sea and winds by a double row of

islands, and having probably good depths. Our people visited only the

most northerly, which they named Rose Island, a most fragrant smell coming

from it three leagues off, which exceeded all perfumes; it is about



Page 238

miles long, and two leagues or more from the northern or western main.

Between this and Mirtle Island, the depths of water were four, five, six,

five, four fathoms. Rose Island is a brave island, and full of wood.

They found it somewhat difficult to go down the bay between the islands,

meeting with some shoals, where they had not much above two fathoms water.

They turned round Mirtle Island into the main sea, and coasted the east

side, which is very bold. Over against Mirtle Island to the north, about

five leagues distance, on the main land, is a high point of woods, where

is the entrance of Little Meschacebe, or the East Branch, which I

mentioned in my description of the great river. And about fifteen leagues

to the north-east of this branch of the Meschacebe is the Bay of Bilocohy

(Biloxi), which is, within, a fair harbor, with a small river falling into

or near it, called Passagoula, bordering on which and the aforesaid bay is

a fine country, but on the bar there is not above seven or eight feet

water. It was on the continent, lying, I think, on the easterly part of

this bay, that Monsieur d'Iberville, in the beginning of the year 1700,

built a small sconce, and left therein about forty men, well provided with

necessaries. He afterwards returned twice to France for further

reinforcements, but on his third voyage back to Bilocohi (Biloxi) he died.

The French being about that time hotly enguged in a war with the English

and their confederates in Europe, this and another small settlement they

had thereabouts were deserted, for want of timely and necessary supplies.

Our ship passed on the east side of Mirtle Island, which is

twenty-four miles long, and three other islands, there being openings

between, a mile or two over. The fourth and last island is the broadest

and highest, and a good mark to find the Meschacebe. These islands lie

altogether in a direct line south and by west, east and by north, at least

fifty miles, and have all along, two leagues off, from five to nine fathom

water. When you come to the Fourth Isle you must be cautious, the

sounding being uncertain; for some points of sand stretch out into the sea

three leagues, and varies the depths from nine fathoms to four, then

eight, nine, all at once. Between this island and the main is a passage

two leagues broad, which leads into the great bay from which they came.

The length of the bay from north to south is one entire degree. They went

divers leagues up it, and found deep water; but afterwards it shoaling,

they came down south, and doubled the cape, where the most easterly of the

three great branches of the Meschacebe entered the sea, which, with the

two others to the west, I described before, when I gave an account of the

mouths of that river.


Page 239

Although the latitude and longitude of the mouth of the Meschacebe

were perfectly known, yet it is almost impossible, in the common way of

sailing, to come at them; for if you go never so little to the south, you

will be driven by a very strong current to the south-west, two miles an

hour, till you come to the bottom or west end of the Gulf of Mexico; to

prevent which you must make the main of Florida in about thirty degrees of

latitude. The land is so very low you can scarcely see it, at four

leagues distance, where there is forty-five and fifty fathom, but ten

leagues off, there is no ground at one hundred fathom. Pensacola is the

most convenient place to fall in withal; and to be sure of that, your best

way is to make the Tortuga Islands, which are seven, and but few leagues

distance to the north-west from the Cape of Florida, and the little

islands which lie before it, called Los Martyres. The Tortuga Islands lie

between the latitude of twenty-four degrees and from thirty- five to fifty

minutes. They are not in a round, as commonly represented by the charts,

but bear almost north and south. If you come there in the month of April,

May, or the beginning of June, you will find great numbers of turtle,

which are then in good plight, extraordinary good food, both fresh and

salted, and a wholesome change of diet for seamen; afterwards they will

not well take salt, decaying and running into a jelly or water, and before

July is expired quite leave the islands until the next year. The course

from the Tortuga Islands to Pensacola is N. 44 W. distance one hundred and

fifty-eight leagues, the shore bold, bearing east and west. Nine leagues

from the land you will have thirty-three fathoms water, but if you make

the river of the Cozas or Coussas, which is one hundred and sixty-seven

leagues, and a very remarkable place, being a spacious large opening,

having a sin all sandy isle in the middle, you will find the land stretch

east and west, and within about eighteen leagues you will fall in with

Mirtle Island, which, with the Main, makes the entrance into the great Bay

of Spirito Santo; in which isle, as I said before, is very good fresh

water. This with five or six other low isles, run a range fourteen

leagues, and S. W. from them, about five leagues, are high woods: stand

over for the south part of these woods, until you come to four fathoms,

there cast your anchor, and send your boat to a low point along the shore

to the southward. In five foot water you will find a small branch of the

river; row up it; the current will carry you to the bar, where you may

take your marks for the entrance into it. Perhaps sometimes the waters

may be so low that you cannot pass this channel. In case this should



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(which I suppose it seldom or never does), then run by the soundings of

the shore, in five or six feet water, and keep that depth till you come to

the pitch of the East Cape, where you will find the easterly branch in

fourteen or fifteen feet water: then row up, take your marks, return, and

place two buoys, and you may carry your ship into the river very safely,

as you may perceive by the draught. The same or like caution must be used

for entering into either of the other mouths, to keep near the shore, and

by anchoring stop the tide of ebb. There is a bay, which our men in the

ship called Salt-Water Bay; they who went to the head of it, Fresh-Water

Bay; a seeming contradiction, but thus easily reconciled. This bay lies

between the east and middle great branch of the river: the great branches

bring down so considerable a quantity of water, at the ebb, with a strong

current, that then the fresh water enters the sea two or three leagues,

and between them the sea enters this bay, not mixing with the waters of

the rivers, which are ten miles distant; so that ships who anchor at the

lower end of the bay find the water salt. But there is a creek, at the N.

W. end of the bay, which comes out of the middle branch, and a little

before it enters the bay is divided. This creek bath from eight feet at

the shallowest to nine, ten and eleven feet water, by which they entered,

out of Salt-Water Bay, into the river.

Having made a faithful narrative, from good journals and itineraries

by sea and land, of the great river Meschacebe, the rivers increasing it,

the countries adjacent, and inhabitants thereof, as also of the countries,

people, rivers and harbors towards the cast belonging unto this province,

which do not communicate with it, I shall give a brief relation of what I

have learncd concerning the sea and coast thereof beyond the Meschacebe,

to the west, the rivers belonging to this province, their heads and

courses, which enter not thee Meschacebe.

When you are passed the third or westerly branch of the Meschacebe,

there presents itself a fair bay going to the north, into which empty

themselves two of the smaller branches of the great river, as may be

discerned in the chart. This bay is between twenty and thirty miles deep,

and very bold to the east, having from the entrance unto the bottom, from

twenty-five to six fathom; but is not in those depths above seven or

eight miles broad, a sand running from the main thirty miles south into

the sea, upon which there is not above three fathoms, which yet our ship

passed, going and returning. At the north-east end of the bay, the great

river runs parallel with it for some miles, from a mile to a mile and a

half distance from it, and two fair, large deep creeks enter it, almost in

the middle, out of the westerly great


Page 241

branch of the river. Having passed this shoal to the main, the land runs

almost due east and west, having a bold coast, for a hundred miles until

you come to a great shoal, where there is not above two or three fathoms

water, with several breakers. Our people sailed on the south side of this

great shoal, always out of the sight of land, therefore knew not the

breadth. They kept near the latitude of 29 degrees, the depth generally

as follows, seven, eight, nine, eight, seven, six fathoms. At length they

came to the bottom of the bay or gulf, from whence they returned unto the

westerly branch of the Meschacebe.

From the river Meschacebe unto the bottom of the bay, are innumerable

fine small rivers, vcry pleasant. Great store of buffaloes or wild kine

frequent them to the very sea-side, as also deer of divers sorts, wild

turkeys, and many other large water and sea-fowl; the coast abounds with

good fish; but I cannot learn there are above four very large rivers, and

of long course.

The first and greatest is that of the Quonoatinnos, or of the Coenis,

a great and populous nation, who dwell in forty or fifty villages upon the

middle of this river, and others which run into it. They are about five

days' journey distant from the habitations of the Spaniards, and near 200

miles from the sea, into which the river empties itself, about eighty

leagues to the west of the Meschacebe; it is broad, deep, and navigable

almost to its heads, which chiefly proceed from the ridge of hills that

separate this province from New Mexico. And its north-west branches

approach near the south-west branches of the river of the Houmas. There

dwell upon it, more towards its mouth, divers others nations, whose names

are unknown, excepting the Tarahas, Tycappans, Paloguessens and Palonnas.

All these nations have good horses.

About thirty leagues further-to the south of the west is the river of

the Kirononas, who with divers other nations dwelt thereupon. It is

little less than that of the Konoatinnos, and as that hath its sources in

the mountains of New Mexico, the course of this is likewise from the

north-west, until it enters the sea.

Between this and the aforesaid river of Quonoatinnos or Coenis lies

the Bay of St. Bernard, called by Monsieur de la Salle the Bay of St.

Louis, and a river that falls into it he named the River of Vaches. The

the year 1685 he built there a fort (after he had purposely, as it is

said, overshot the mouth of the river Meschacebe), having formed a design

from thence to visit the mines of St. Barbe in New Biscay, which were not

much above 300 miles distant. But


Page 242

one of his vessels returning to France, and the other three being lost

with great part of his stores, ammunition and provisions, withal failing

in his attempt to engage the Indians in his party and interest, who,

instead of friends, proved his mortal enemies, continually skulking about

his infant settlement and destroying many of his people, he was obliged to

desist from that enterprise. He afterwards with twenty chosen men went by

land in search of the river Meschacebe, in which attempt he lost his life,

being barbarously murdered by some of his own followers. This fort was

soon after taken and destroyed by the Spaniards and Indians, all the

French remaining therein being either killed or made prisoners.

About the same distance further S. W. is the river of the

Biscaterongs, which is of the same magnitude with the former, hath the

same course from the north-west to the sea, and its heads from the same


The last river of note is a river of much the same bigness with the

two preceding, and enters the Bay of Mexico at the north-west end, between

the degrees of 27 and 28; it is named Abotas.

It may not be amiss to mention another river, which, although it may

not be within the bounds of this colony, may be of great use, when it is

well established, by reason of the conveniency of traffic with the

Spaniards, it being near the aforesaid famous mines of New Biscay, a large

province lying between Mexico and New Mexico. This stately river hath its

fountains in the most northerly parts of New Mexico, in the latitude of 38

degrees, and being gradually increased by the conflux of many small

waters, becomes large and navigable, till it approaches the 30th degree;

then it turns to the S. E. and enters a parcel of high mountains; from

whence it is no fnrther navigable; it is called by the Spaniards Rio

Bravo. They differ in their accounts hereof; some affirming it is here

swallowed up in a hideous gulf, aad passes three days' journey under the

earth, like their great river Guadiana in Spain, of which their famous

ambassador Gundamore said, when asked whether his master could show such a

bridge as that over the Thames at London, that he had a bridge upon which

many hundred thousand sheep daily fed. Others write that the river doth

not dive underground, but passes among rocks full of straight passages,

with many cataracts; that after it has broke its way through, it glides

very placidly cross a level country for a hundred and fifty miles, being

both large and deep, and at length empties itself into a broad and long

lagune, which is navigable, with two or three passges into it, between the

islands that form it, and whose


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entrances are at least between three and four fathom deep. I have a

journal of Capt. Parker, who in the year 1688 was there with two ships:

one very large, in search of a Spanish wreck, but will not trouble my

reader with the relation of what there happened to them. All accounts

agree this country is well watered, that it abounds with vast quantities

of wild kine, the Spaniards call Cibolas, and is fruitful, pleasant and


I think it not inexpedient to give an account of the great seas or

lakes of fresh water which are to the north of this country, on the east

side of the Meschacebe, which though not in the bounds of this province,

may prove very beneficial, both to the inhabitants of this and our

colonies of New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia, who are not

very remote from some of them, and may have an easy access thereunto, and

consequently by navigation with those that are more remote, they having

all communications with each other, as may be presently discerned by the


The seas or lakes are five. First, the superior lake before

mentioned, it being of all most northerly, and is called by most of the

savages the Lake of the Nadouessons (Superior), the greatest and most

valiant nation of the north, divided into several tribes, who go by divers

names. This lake is esteemed at least 150 leagues in length, sixty

leagues in breadth, and 500 in circumference. The south side, which we

reckon its length, is all along situated in very near forty-eight degrees

of latitude from the east end to the west. The north side where it is

broadest, is in about fifty-one degrees. It is all over navigable, hath

some isles; but one especially called Minong, above sixty miles in

compass, wherein, both Indians and French affirm, is a great mine of very

pure copper, which from the ore affords, without any preparation besides

melting, above three- fifths fine metal. It is very remarkable of this

sea, that on all the south side upon the shore, it is not above four or

five fathoms deep, and gradually increasing as you pass over to the north,

until you cannot find bottom with 150 fathoms of line. It is most

wonderfully stored with admirable fish, and the land about it with deer

and elk, or moose, especially the north side. With this latter and some

islands, the French drive a considerable trade among the natives, for

skins and furs; and of late years have intercepted a great part of the

more remote Indians, who used formerly to traffick with the English in

Hudson's Bay, at Port Nelson and New Severn. This lake or sea is made up

of innumerable small rivers and rivulets, and three large rivers, all on

the north side of the lake, entering at the N. E. end thereof, whose

names are Lemipissaki


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Michipiketon and Nemipigon, which last proceeds out of a lake of the same

name, full of islands; at the upper end whereof enters a river, which

comes from the north, and bath its origin from divers small lakes and

marshes. The lake of Nemipigon is above 200 miles in compass. The Baron

le Hontan is certainly mistaken about the original of this river, and

makes it vastly bigger than it is; he accounts it the head of the great

river of Canada or St. Lawrence, and to come out of the lake of the

Assenipouvals; but I have been informed by a person who lived two years in

those parts, and had often been upon these two lakes, that the lake of the

Assinepoualaos (for that is the true name), which is considerable to the

N. W., and, as the Indians often assured, was the biggest lake in all this

northern continent, had no communication with that of Nemipigon. The N.

W. of this Lake Superior or of the Nadeuessons, is not above thirty

leagues in a straight line from the Lake of Nemipigon; but the

communication by land is difficult, by reason the earth abounds with bogs

and marshes.

The great or superior lake empties itself into that of Karegnondi or

the deep lake, it being in most parts more profound than the three we

shall hereafter mention. Formerly it was called the lake Hounondate, from

a great nation who inhabited on its cast side, named from their bristly

hair on their head, Hourons, since totally destroyed or dispersed into

very remote parts by the Irocois.

This lake is much of the figure of an equilateral triangle, whose

basis is to the north. It abounds with divers sorts of excellent fish,

great and small, especially a large fish named Assihendo, of the bigness

of Newfoundland cod. This fish is the manna of most of the nations which

inhabit about the lake, being half their subsistence. And Europeans of

all nations, who have eaten thereof, agree that there is not in seas or

rivers a better tasted, more wholesome fish, and the numbers are such as

of codon the Bank of New Foundland, and never to be lessened. Besides

these, there is abundance of good sturgeons, salmon or salmon trout,

weighing from twenty to fifty pounds, large carps, and many other kinds of

fish, small and great, not inferior to any in Europe. The inhabitants

almost round this lake are mostly destroyed by the Irocois (Iroquois),

except a small remnant of two or three nations, who have, with the help of

the French, erected a strong fort near another built by that nation for a

refuge to their allies and traders, when the Irocois happen to invade this

or the adjacent parts. This lake hath many islands, especially on the

north side, where the greatest fishery is for the Assihendo, but


Page 245

none at Maintoualin, which is twenty leagues long and ten broad, lying

directly over against the continent, from which it is only six or seven

leagues distant.

The north side of the country bordering upon this lake, is not so

pleasant in most places as the south, east, and west; but to make amends,

it abounds with all sorts of skins and furs, and hath these great

conveniences, that by the river of the Nepiserini, there is a

communication with all the French of Canada, and many nations bordering

thereupon; for ascending this river, you enter into a large lake of the

same name, which is made by divers small, and one large river coming far

from the north-west. Near this lake passes the great river of the

Outouacks (Ottocs), once a great nation, but now almost extirpated by the

aforesaid Irocois, which, after a course of one hundred leagues, brings

you to the Island and city of Montreal, the next for bigness and strength

to Quebec, the capital of Canada, and there joins with the great river of

St. Lawrence; from the juncture of these two rivers to Quebec is sixty

leagues. Both sides of the river are inhabited all the way in plantations

very little remote from each other; besides two or three small towns and

fortifications. Such another communication there is, though much more

easy, of which I shall discourse at large when I come to describe the

lovely peninsula of Erie.

Towards the lower end of the south-west continent is the large and

fair bay of Sakinam, which is about fifty miles deep and eighteen wide,

and in the middle of the opening are two isles, very advantageously

situated for sheltering boats or other vessels that happen to be surprised

with a storm, there being no other harbor within divers leagues. Into the

bottom of this bay empties itself, after a course of sixty leagues, a very

still, quiet stream, excepting three small falls, passed easily and

without the least danger. On this river, and the branches thereof, is one

of the greatest beaver-huntings in America. Twenty leagues from this bay

to the south-east, this lake, which is above four hundred leagues in

circumference, empties itself into the Lake Erie, by a channel which I

shall describe, when I have given an account of the lake of the

Illinouecks, which is to the west of Karegnondi, and communicates

therewith, towards the N. W. end, by a strait, nine or ten miles long and

three or four broad. The breadth of it on the north coast is forty

leagues, but it increases gradually in breadth till you come to the bottom

of the bay. The north side is in the latitude of forty-six and thirty

minutes; the south in almost forty-three degrees. Forty leagues from the

entrance due west, it


Page 246

makes the great bay Of the Poutouatamis, a nation who inhabit a large

country upon and to the south of this bay, which is eight leagues broad,

and thirty leagues deep, south and by west, the entrance being full of

islands. And into the bottom comes the fair River Miscouaqui, after a

course of two hundred miles. This river is remarkable upon diverse

accounts: first, when you are ascended it fifty leagues, there is a

carriage of a little above a league and a half; afterwards you meet with

the lovely River Mesconsing, which carries you down into the Meschacebe,

as I before declared. Next upon this river, especially near the carriage,

is a country famous for beaver-hunting like that of Sakinam. You must

know that most parts of North America have beavers; you shall scarce meet

with a lake where there are not some of their dams and huts. But these

two places I have mentioned, and others I shall speak of hereafter, are

countries forty or fifty miles long, abounding with small rivers and

rivulets, wherewith they make their dams or causeways; and consequently

small lakes, seated opportunely for wood to build, and produces

plentifully such plants and young trees, upon which they mostly subsist.

This is chiefly possessed by the industrious and valiant nation of the

Outogamis. Thirdly, this river and others entering thereinto abound in

that corn called malomin, which grows in the water and marshy wet places,

as rice in the Indies, Turkey, and Carolina, &c. But much more like our

oats, only longer, bigger and better, than either that, or Indian corn,

and is the chief food of many nations hereabouts and elsewhere. The

nations who dwell on this river are Outogamis, Malominis, Nikic,

Oualeanicou, Sacky, and the Poutouatamis before mentioned.

On the east side of this lake, about twenty leagues from the strait

by which it enters Karegnondi, is a bay called Bear Bay, and a river of

the same name, because of great numbers of those animals who haunt those

parts. This river comes out of a ridge of hills near a hundred leagues

long, beginning almost at the north end of this peninsula, out of which

flow abundance of small rivers; those whose course is to the east empty

themselves into the lake Karegnondi (Huron), those to the west into that

of the Alinouecks. The top of this ridge of hills is flat, from whence

there is a delicious prospect into both lakes, and level as a tarasse

walk. There is a great beaver-hunting, like those I formerly mentioned,

upon Bear River, which hath a course of forty or fifty leagues. On the

west side of the lake, before you come to the bottom, is a harbor capable

of small ships; and there enters into it a small river, which at two



Page 247

distance approaches the River Chicagou, the north branch of the river of

the Allinouecks, which is from the main branch of the said river fifty

miles. Near the bottom of the bay, on the east side, is the fair river of

the Miamihas (so called because upon it lives part of a nation bearing the

same name), which in its passage comes within two leagues of the great

easterly branch of the river of the Allinouecks, and its springs are very

near the heads of some rivers which enter the Ouabachi. Monsieur de la

Salle on his first arrival in this river, which was about the year 1679,

finding it admirably well situated for trade, and the country surrounding

it extremely pleasant and fertile, artfully gained the perniission of the

natives to build a fort therein, under the specious pretence of protecting

them from the insults of the English and Irocois, whom he represented as

cruel and treacherous enemies, continually plotting the destruction of

them and all the Indians round about. In this fort was formerly a great

magazine and storehouse for all sorts of European goods, and hither the

traders and savages continually resorted to purchase them. It commanded

the entrance into the lake, and kept all the neighboring Indians in awe

and subjection. Nations to the west of this lake, besides the before

mentioned, are part of the Outogamis, Mascoutens and Kikpouz; then the

Ainoves, the Cascaschia, and a little to the south-west of the bottom of

this lake, and more to the north, the Anthontans, and part of the

Mascoutens, near the river Misconsing (Wisconsin). The countries

surrounding this lake, especially towards the south, are very charming to

the eye, the meadows, fruit trees and forests, together with the fowls,

wild beasts, &c., affording most things necessary for the support and

comfort of life, besides Indian corn, with which the natives abound; and

European fruits, grains, and all other useful vegetables, by reason of the

goodness of the soil, and mildness of the climate, would certainly thrive

there, as well as in their native countries. But, above all, the south

parts of the countries bordering on this lake seem naturally disposed to

produce admirable vines, which being duly cultivated, excellent wines

might be made of the fruits thereof, they growing naturally in vast

numbers of divers sorts, some ramping up to the tops of the highest trees;

others running upon the ground. The grapes are some very small, others

wonderfully large, big as damsons, and many of a middle size, of divers

colors and tastes. They are all good to eat, only some, which otherwise

promise very well, have great stones or kernels and tough skins, which

certainly would be remedied by due culture. But of the worst, doubtless,


Page 248

good brandy might be made, were there artists and convenient vessels for

pressing, fermenting and distilling.

There ramble about in great herds, especially about the bottom of

this lake, infinite quantities of wild kine, some hundreds usually

together, which is a great part of the subsistence of the savages, who

live upon them while the season of hunting lasts; for at those times they

leave their towns quite empty. They have a way of preserving their flesh

without salt six or eight months, which both looks and eats so fresh,

strangers apprehend the cattle had not been killed one week. Besides,

they use the hair, or rather wool, cut off their hides, for garments and

beds, and spin it into yarn, of which they make great bags, wherein they

put the flesh they kill, after they have cured it, to bring it home to

their houses; for their huntings are from the latter end of autumn, when

the cattle are fat, to the beginning of the spring; and of the hides

dressed they make shoes à la savage.

But it's time we should return to the Lake Karegnondi (Huron), which

emptics itself into the Lake Erie, by a channel thirty leagues long, and

where narrowest a league broad; in the middle whereof is a small lake,

called by the Indians Otseka, ten leagues long, and seven or eight over,

being of an oval figure. In this lake and channel are divers small

islands, exceedingly pleasant and fruitful, in which, and all the country,

on both sides of them, are great quantities of beasts and fowl, as deer of

several kinds, wild turkeys, pheasants, and a large excellent fowl, which

they call dindo's. The Lake Erie is about a hundred leagues long, and

almost equally forty broad. Eight leagues from its mouth are eight or ten

islands, most of them small; one in the middle is five or six miles in

circumference, and all very agreeable. Near the mouth on the west side is

a large harbor for ships, defended from most winds, made like our downs by

a great bank of sand; though winds seldom infest this lake, in respect of

the others, where sometimes they rage as in the main ocean, so that it may

be deservedly called the Pacific Lake. And if we may give credit to the

relation of the English who have long frequented it, and unanimously agree

herein, there is not a more pleasant lake or country surrounding it in the

universe. It is not indeed so deep as the others, yet is in all places

navigable by the greatest ships, there being seldom less than ten or

twelve fathom water. The land round about it is perfectly level,

abounding with trees, both for timber and fruit; so happily placed that

one would be apt to apprehend it to be a work of great art, and contrived

to declare the grandeur and magnificence of some mighty emperor, and not

of nature. Abundance of small


Page 249

petty rivers discharge themselves thereinto, amongst which are four very

considerable and remarkable. One about ten leagues from the entrance of

the canal, in the bottom of the west end of the lake, that hath a course

of sixty leagues, and its head very near the river of the Miamihas, which

runs into the S. E. side of the Lake of the Illinouecks, by means whereof

there is a short and easy communication therewith, which by water is above

six hundred miles.

Fifty miles further to the south, at the same west end of this lake,

is another river much of the same bigness and length; and about and

between these two rivers, evcry year in the season, are multitudes of the

wild kine called Cibolas.

At the S. E. end of the lake there is a third river, which has its

rise very near the great Susquehanna river, which waters part of

Pennsylvania, and afterwards empties itself into the north end of the Bay

of Chesapeake in Maryland. And twenty leagues south- westerly is another

fair river which comes near fifty leagues out of the country; from whose

head, which issues from a lake, is but a short cut to the River Ohio, from

whence to a branch of the aforesaid Susquehanna River is about one league.

By these two last-mentioned rivers, the English may have a ready and

easy communication with this and consequently with all the other lakes.

If the French should ever settle thereon, which for above twenty years

they have endeavored, but have been, in great measure, wonderfully

frustrated by the Irocois, our subjects or allies, they might greatly

molest, by themselves and their Indians, the colonies of New York,

Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia; which, I hope, by the wisdom and

care of his majesty and ministry, will be speedily prevented.

At the north-east end of this lake is another canal forty miles long,

and in most places a league broad, called by the natives Niagara, having a

delicate, level, beautiful, fertile country on each side of it; but being

passed about two-thirds of the way, it is straitened by mighty rocks, and

precipitates itself several hundred fcct, being the greatest cataract that

hath ever yet come to our knowledge, in the whole world. This lying

within five or six days' journey of Albany and Schenecteda (two remarkable

towns and fortifications of New York), and adjacent unto our confederates

or subjects the Five Nations, (by the French called Irocois), especially

the Sonnontovans (by some named Senecas), the most populous of the five, I

have received an account from divers persons, who have with great

attention and curiosity


Page 250

viewed it, suiting very well with the description Hennepin gives thereof,

who had been there several times. The noise of such a multitude of waters

falling from so great a height is so extraordinary, that although the

country is very pleasant, level, and fruitful below the fall, yet the

Sonnontovans were not able to bear it, but were forced to remove, and

settle two leagues lower. I have had it from very credible people that,

when the wind sets due south, they have heard it distinctly above thirty

miles. The river, as may be easily imagined, below this cataract, is very

rapid for the space of three or four miles; then for six or eight is more

placid and navigable, until it enters the Lake Ontario, which is eighty

leagues long, and in the middle twenty-five or thirty broad, being of an

oval figure. The name of this lake in the Irocois language, that nation

bordering upon it to the south, siguifies the pleasant or beautiful lake,

as it may be deservedly styled; the country round it being very

champaign, fertile, and every two or three miles watered with fine

rivulets. It has on the south side three fair rivers; that next the fall

coming out of the country of the Sonnontovans, the middle one from the

Onontages, and its origin from a lake within a league of their capital

town, Onontague, made up with many little rivers and rivulets, being forty

miles in circumference, abounding with fish of divers sorts with some salt

springs entering into it. After the river hath passed a mile from the

lake, it receives another coming from the west, out of the province of the

Onioiens or Oiongouens, who are neighbors of the Sonnontovans, in whose

country the head of this river springs. About ten miles lower it is

increased by a fair deep river, which comes from the east, out of the

country of the Oneiouks (Oneidas), one of the five nations, situated

between the Onontages (Onondagas) and the Mohachs (Mohawks), who dwell in

three towns on a fair river, which runs, after a course of one hundred

miles, into Hudson's River near Albany. The river of the Onontagues

enters the Lake Ontario fifty miles from the little lake whence it derives

its origin.

Twenty leagues to the east is another river, somewhat less, but

navigable by sloops and large boats a considerable way into the country.

About the same distance, likewise to the east, the lake forms a great

river, which the French call the river of the Irocois, but the natives

Kanadari, which for the space of sixty miles is very broad, full of fine

islands, and runs quietly; then is interrupted in its course by divers

falls successively, some very deep and long, for above a hundred miles,

until it meets with the great river of the Outouacks


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at the end of the island and city of Montreal, and together with that

makes the river of Canada or St. Lawrence, so named by the French because

discovered on the day dedicated to his memorial.

The north part of the Lake Ontario was formerly possessed by two

tribes of the Irocois, who were, in time of perfect peace, without the

least provocation, but only to get their country dcstroyed, enslaved, or

sent to France, and put into the galleys; of which you may read at large

in the journals of the Baron la Hontan, an impartial and judicious author,

who saw and relates that tragedy with much indignation.

The nation of the Irocois, as they are called by the French, for what

reason I could never learn, who inhabit the south part of the country, are

styled by the English the Five Nations, being so many distinct in name and

habitations from each other; but leagued by a most strict confederacy,

like the Cantons of Switzerland, which they frequently in a very solemn

manner renew, especially since the French grew powerful in their

neighborhood. They have always been an excellent and useful barrier

between us and them, being ready, on all occasions, upon the most slender

invitations and the least assistnnce, to molest and invade them, unto whom

they are the most irreconcilable enemies, and I think upon good grounds;

although the French say the hardest things imaginable against them; but I

believe unto any impartial judges, they will appear more blameable

themselves. The original of this enmity proceeded from the French, who

about one hundred years since settled at the place, now their capital,

called Quebeck. The Irocois knowing of the little French habitation

(where were not above forty men), came according to their usual manner,

being about 200 of their prime youth, under an esteemed captain, to war

against the Algonquins, then a very populous nation; and to show their

contempt of them, made a fort on the south side of the river, before they

who dwelt OR the north side could gather into a body, their habitations or

villages being somewhat remote from each other. But having drawn their

forces together in great numbers, they attacked the Irocois, who always

valiantly repulsed them, with great losses to their enemies and little

unto themselves. Whereupon the Algonquins had recourse unto the French,

desiring they would assist them with their thunder and lightning-darting

engines. They readily complied, and did such execution with their guns

(which being altogether new and very surprising, or rather astonishing),

that the Irocois were discomfited, not above two or three escaping to give

an account thereof to their own countrymen, who by tradition have



Page 252

the story to posterity; which may, in some measure, excuse the

irreconcilable enmity this nation hath conceived against the French,

between whom there have been formerly almost constant wars, accompanied

with various events--the French with their allies endeavoring to extirpate

them, who have hitherto bravely defended themselves; the English for

their furs supplying them with ammunition, and during time of war with the

French powerfully assisting them. They have been a very usefull barrier,

and without their help New York, and probably other neighboring provinces,

had long since been possessed by the French, having been bery slenderly

aided from England.

The French in all their writings concerning Canada make many tragical

relations of and exclamations against the barbarous cruelties of this

nation excercised upon them, and the Indians their allies; but seldom

tell us that the very same things are practiced by themselves and their

Indians against the Irocois, and often during time of peace. For when the

Irocois or Five Nations, as we call them, were abandoned by order of King

Charles II. towards the latter end of his reign of King James, and

obnoxious unto the resentments of the French (the English being strictly

forbidden any ways to assist them), they were under a necessity of making

a very disadvantageous peace, which how perfidiously it was brokin bay be

seen at large in that faithful and judicious history of the Baron la

Hontan. And had it not been for the revolution in England, the Irocois

had been totally destroyed or subjected unto the French, which, as I

hinted before in the preface, would have been of dreadful consequence to

divers of our Englich colonies on the continent. 'Tis true, the Irocois

(Iroquois) have extirpated or subjected several nations of Indians round

about them, but it hath been either because they were in confederacy with

their enemies, destroyed their country, murdered their people, hindered

them in their beaver-hunting (without which they could not subsist), or

furnished their enemies with furs, which occasioned the increasing the

numbers of the French from France, and consequently threateded them with

utter ruin, when Canada shall be more populated from Europe; so that

certainly the measures they take for their ouwn preservation and security

are more innocent and excusable then those have been by the French, forty

years last past, exercised in Europe, whose wars have, according to a

modest calculation, occasioned the death of above two millions of their

own country people, and other Europeans, and most unjustly invaded or

grievokusly oppressed their neighbors; desire of increasing their wealth,

enlarging their territories, or advancing the glory of their


Page 253

great monarch being the chief causes, though some other slender and easily

confuted pretences have sometimes been alleged.

But to return unto the Irocois, whom we call subjects of the crown of

England, they only style themselves brethren, friends, allies, being a

people highly tenacious of their liberty, and very impatient of the least

encroachments thereon. These five cantons or nations have sold, given,

and, in a very formal public manner, made over and conveyed to the English

divers large countries conquered from the Indians, upon the south side of

the great lakes, as far as the Meschacebe, and the noble, beautiful,

fertile peninsula situated between the three middle lakes, that of Hurons

to the west, Ontario to the east, and Erie to the south; a country almost

as large as England, without Wales, admirably seated for traffick,

pleasant, healthful and fertile as any part of North America; and the

territory to the south is of the same nature, and confines with the

borders of our province of Carolana, which extends to all the north side

of the Gulf of Mexico.

It will be one great convenieney of this country, if ever it comes to

be settled, that there is an easy communication therewith and the South

Sea, which lies between America and China, and that two ways-by the north

branch of the great Yellow River, by the natives called the River of the

Massorites (Missouri), which hath a course of 500 miles, navigable to its

heads or springs, and which proceeds from a ridge of hills somewhat north

of New Mexico, passable by horse, foot, or wagon in less than half a day.

On the other side are rivers which run into a great lake, that empties

itself by another great navigable river into the South Sea.* The same may

be said of the river Meschaouay, up which our people have been, but not so

far as the Baron le Houtan, who passed on it above 300 miles almost due

west, and declares it comes from the same ridge of hills above mentioned;

and that divers rivers from the other side soon make a large river, which

enters into a vast lake, on which inhabit two or three great nations, much

more populous and civilized than other Indians; and out of that lake a

great river disembogues into the South Sea, which is doubtless the same

with that before mentioned, the heads of the two rivers being little

distant from each other.

About twelve or fourteen years since, I had imparted unto me a

journal from a gentleman admirably well skilled in geography, who

*The Lewis and Yellow Stone Rivers head together within tome miles of

each otber, a fact however not proven for more than a century after this

account was written.


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had made divers voyages from England to all our English plantations in

America, and visited most parts of the Gulf of Mexico, where he became

acquainted we Captain Coxton, a famous privateer, who was towards the

latter end of he reign of King Charles II. entertained in his majesty's

service. But whether he was disobliged, or that his genius prompted him

to follow his old trade, having with his co-partners fitted up a ship of

twenty-six guns, he sailed to the South Sea, with a design to take the

ship which comes annually from the Manillias, or Philippine Islands, in

the East Indies, to Acapulco, the chief port of Mexico; which ship, as he

had been well informed, usually made that part of the continent that lies

between Japan and America, at a famous port in forty-two degrees. But

when he came to the head of the Islands or Peninsula of California (it

being too soon by some months for the putting in execution his intended

design), romaging the coast, he discovered a great river in about forty-

four degrees north latitude, which entered a great lake, near the mouth

whereof he found a very convenient island, where he staid two or three

months to refit himself, happening to have a man on board who understood

the language of the country. The natives finding he was engaged in an

expedition against the Spaniards, treated him very kindly, supplied him

very cheerfully with whatsoever he wanted, and he contracted great

friendship with them. He calls them the nation of Thoya. The Spaniards,

as I find in divers of their expeditions, call at Thoyago, sometimes

Tejago. They are often at war with the Spaniards, who have been always

repulsed by them. They bring thirty or forty thousand men in one body

into the field. These and two other nations neighboring, and not much

inferior unto them, are accounted the most sensible and civilized Indians

in America.

When the season came fit for their expedition, they sailed west and

by south, and happened to stop upon some occasion at an island called

Earinda or Carinda; there were five in all near each other, like the

Canary Islands, but lay rounder, and were one with another about fifty or

sixty miles in compass. The inhabitants were not shy of them, but

supplied them with provisions, and brought them gold to barter for such

commodities of ours as they liked, and in three or four days they

purchased eighty-six pounds weight of that metal. The natives told them

they were sorry they had no more, they taking care to provide only against

a certain time of the year, for persons who came from the sun-setting at a

particular season, and bartered divers commodities with them for gold.

These traders or merchants must certainly be inhabitants of Japan, which I

gather from a large relation


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in the history of that island, published by the Dutch, and translated into

our tongue, and makes the sixth volume of Ogleby's Collections. They

therein declare that they sent from Batavia two ships (as they pretended),

to discover a passage from the north-east part of Japan, round Tartary to

Europe; though it is very probable they had other views. These ships

were separated a little east of Japan by a storm; the Castrilome

proceeded, and found the strait entering into the Gulf of Tartary or

Jesso, and searched the coast on the west side to forty-nine degrees; the

other ship, the Blefkins, having suffered much by the storm, put into the

port of Namboe, near the N. E. end of Japan, not doubting they should be

kindly received, being in league, and having a free trade with that

empire; but while they were refitting, they were unexpectedly surprised

by the Japanese, sent to court, and very strictly examined, whither they

had not been at, or went not to discover the Gold Islands (as they called

them), to the east, of which traffick the emperor is so jealous that it is

capital for any to go thither except by his permission, or to declare to

others the distance and situation thereof; and had not the Dutch given

uncontrollable evidence that they had not been, nor were they going

thither, but only upon the forementioned discovery, they had been all


There are upon the coast between America and Japan divers very large

and safe harbors, and a very good climate, the coast stretching

south-west, mostly from forty to degrees of north latitude. These seas

abound with fish, and the land with fowl and venison. The inhabitants are

sociable and hospitable. I have a draught and journals of all the coast

from America, with those of divers harbors, until you are within about one

hundred leagues of the Strait of Uries, which the Dutch discovered about

sixty or seventy years since, and which is the entrance of the sea or gulf

of Tartary, lying one hundred and twenty leagues north-east from Namboe,

the most northerly haven and promontory of Japan. This strait, or rather

these straits (there being two made by a long island), are the inlets into

a great sea or bay, into which disembogues a vast river, on the west side

of it, between forty-nine and fifty degrees of north latitude, navigable

many hundred miles by the biggest ships, and is made by the conflux of

divers great rivers, some of which come from the south-west, as Chingola,

Hilum, 0la, Sungoro, and their fountains, near the great wall of China,

and run through the dominions of the Eastern Tartars, who are now masters

of China. Other rivers from the north-west,


Page 256

proceed from the territories of the Czar of Muscovy, who hath built divers

large and well fortified cities on the main river of Yamour, and several

of its branches, as Negovim, Nepehou, Albazin, Argun, Nertzinskoy, &c.

This river of Yamour or Amura hath a course from its furthest

fountains above twelve hundred miles, without any interruption by

cataracts, so frequent in all the other great rivers in Muscovy, as the

Oby, Jenisseg or Jenisca, &c. By this river you may trade with the

inhabitants of Jedso for furs, who have great store, and those very rich.

They inhabit all the coast on both sides of the mouth of the river, and a

considerable way up it. You may likewise traffick with the Muscovites for

the same commodities, who sell them there for a fourth part of what they

yield in Muscow or Archangel; these parts being above four thousand miles

almost due east from Muscow, their capital city, a most prodigious,

tedious and difficult journey, as appears by divers large and accurate

journals, which have been many years published in print. And by means of

the rivers which come from the south- west, you may correspond with the

Eastern Tartars, Chinese, and the great rich kingdom of Tanguth, all now

unifed under one and the same emperor, being very civilized nations, and

kind to strangers. To say nothing of the great and rich peninsula of

Corea, which is contiguous to one or two branches of this river, was once

a province of China, both the same manners and language, and is now

tributary to the present emperor. This river and its branches are in a

good climate never varying above two or three degrees from a due easterly

course. Three or more ships may be sent every year, who may part at the

straits of the Tartarian gulf or sea; one for Yedzo and the river;

another for Japan; and a third for North China to the great city Tunxo,

the port of Pekin, the capital of that kingdom, from which it is not above

one day's journey by land or water. And there is not a better commodity,

or of which more profit may he made, than of the furs, which are so easily

procured, and so soon brought into that imperial city, where, in the court

and amongst the grandees, there is a prodigious consumption of them, and

most extravagant prices given for them, especially those of the better

sort, though even the meanest come to an extraordinary good market.

Thus, after a thorough search and discovery both by sea and land,

have I given the reader a topographical description of a country, the

timely possession and due improvement whereof by the English may be more

beneficial to them than all the other colonies they are at


Page 257

present possessed of; besides that they will thereby secure forever all

the rest of our plantations upon the continent of America, which if this

country be by them neglected, and suffered to remain in the hands of any

ambitious, politic and powerful prince or potentate, may be distressed,

conquered, or utterly exterminated.

In a new colony, the first care is to provide food for their

subsistence. The Great Duke of Rohan, famous for wisdom and valor, who

hath written so many celebrated treatises, especially relating to military

affairs and politics, advances it as a maxim, that he who will be a great

warrior must, in the first place, make provision for the belly; and, in

the late war with the French, our seasonable and plentiful supplies of the

soldiers hath not a little contributed to our wonderful successes, and

both strengthened and animated our troops to perform snch acts of valor as

will be celebrated in future ages. The Spaniards tell a pretty, nnd I

think instructive story; that upon the discovery of the immense riches

contained in the mountain Potosi, in Peru, two Spaniards resorted thither.

The one bought slaves, hired servants, overseers, and found a rich vein of

silver ore. The other (land being then common in the neighborhood) fed

sheep. The mine master wanting wool for the clothing of his servants

(that place being much colder than others in the same latitude), and food

for his overseers (who could not be satisfied, being Spaniards, with the

poor fare of the Indians and negroes), bought flesh and wool of the

shepherd; and, after some few years, the shepherd grew rich and the

master-miner poor. If the Spaniards had further improved this notion, the

English, Dutch, and French had not exchanged so many of their manufactures

for gold and silver; so that they are the richest and poorest nation in

the southern part of Europe.

And even our own nation hath not totally escaped this misfortune;

for how many have I known that carried competent estates to North America,

neglecting tillage and breeding cattle; in a few years their servants have

been their equals, and sometimes superiors: such is the force of prudence

and industry. But as for our country of Carolana, if persons who carry

over effects and servants be not sottishly foolish, or supinely negligent,

they cannot fail of improving their own fortunes, and, without injury to

themselves, contribute to make others easy and comparatively happy.

I will not say that masters and superintendents of any sort or kind

need take nothing with them, but that they will find all things necessary

and convenient to their hands. Doubtless common sense will teach them,

they ought to have at least half a year's provisions of


Page 258

things necessary, until they are acquainted with the natives, and have

established a friendship and correspondence with them. But abundance of

trouble and expense will be saved in planting this country, which could

not be well avoided in those the English have hitherto settled on the

continent or in their islands. For bread in this country, we have a great

advantage at first coming. They may have Indian corn of the inhabitants,

who have almost everywhere two, and in some places three, crops in a year;

and I have been very credibly informed that, when the new comes in, they

cast away a great part of the old to make room in their little granaries.

Besides, all along the coast, and two or three hundred miles up the

country from the sea, they have the root Mandihoca-whereof Cassavi bread

and flour is made- whereupon almost all America between the tropics doth

subsist (excepting what is brought them at great expense from Europe, or

our northern plantations), and which many esteem as good a nourishment as

our manchet, and six times cheaper.

Besides, this country naturally affords another sort of excellent

corn, which is the most like oats of any European grain, but longer and

larger; and I have been assured by many very credible persons, who often,

out of curiosity, had divers ways prepared it, that it far exceeds our

best oatmeal. This is not sown and cultivated by the Indians, but grows

spontaneously in marshy places, in and by the sides of rivers, like reeds

or rushes. The Indians, when it is ripe, take handfulls, and shake them

into their canoes; what escapes them falling into the water, without any

further trouble, produces the nest year's crop. Rice may be there raised

in as great plenty as in Carolina. For fruits, they have not divers

growing in Europe, which were once strangers to us, and by art and

industry in some measure naturalized; but they have others little if at

all inferior; such as most excellent limes or wild lemons, and prunes,

growing in the open fields, without culture, which they eat plentifully,

immediately from the trees, and keep dry for winter provision. Many who

have tasted both, unanimously affirm, they never did meet with either sort

in Europe comparable thereunto: and those dried will not prove a

contemptible commodity, when we contract friendship with the natives, who

being directed by us how to gather and order them, would supply us with

great quantities, not only for own subsistence and delight, but even for

exportation. Besides, the tunas a most delicious fruit, especially in hot

weather, and also not only agreeable to the palate, but salubrious, and as

our Europeans call it, when in maturity, their cordial julep.


Page 259

I now come to that tree, I mean the vine, which a great part of the

world almost idolizes. I know there have been great disputes amongst the

learned (and positively determined by Mahomet and the Mahometans all over

the world), whether it had not been better for mankind it had never

existed, considering how much that noble juice hath been abused, and how

often it has been the cause of numberless calamities. For my own

particular, I must own it is my opinion, that, next to bread, which is the

staff of life, it is one of the greatest, merely material comforts we in

these northern climates enjoy; and having been long thereunto accustomed,

when transplanted into a more southern country, we shall banker after it.

And if we cannot have good of our own produce, we shall certainly have

recourse to foreigners, and purchase it at any rate, and thereby

impoverish our infant colony. But thanks to Almighty God, who hath not

only so long, so wonderfully favored the English nation in their own

island, but takes care even of them, who some account their outcasts,

though they have the true English courage, love to their country, and

contribute, perhaps as much to its wealth and welfare by their industry,

as any equal number of their rank and quality they have left behind. But

to put a period to this digression, vines of divers sorts and kinds, grow

naturally in this country. We have already discovered and distinguished

five or six sorts very different from each other; but in such great

plenty, that in a thousand places, either upon the continent or in the

islands, especially in or near the great river, they make your journeys

shorter by entangling your legs, it being natural for them to run upon the

ground, unless they meet with trees, up which they creep, loaded with

clusters of grape, of some sorts, commonly half a yard, sometimes two foot

long. It is true some of these grapes, for want of culture, though large

as damsons, have great stones and a tough skin; yet they might be easily

meliorated by European skill; though as they are, especially two or three

sorts of the smaller kind, are as grateful to the palate as most we have

in England; but the very worst duly managed, produces brandy hardly

inferior to any in Europe; so that had we vessels to distil, and skillful

operators, we might soon abate the price of that liquor in England, and

our plantations, and keep a sufficient reserve for ourselves.

And further, when we have once obtained the skill of meliorating the

grapes, we shall also produce not only as good wine, but also as good

raisins, as in most countries of Europe; the climate being admirably

adapted thereunto; and thereby not only supply ourselves and


Page 260

neighboring colonies, but somewhat abate the expense of our mother, good

Old England, from whom we proceed, and upon whom we and (I hope and

believe) all our other colonies, will not only acknowledge their sole

dependence, but ever desire, with the uttermost of their power, to

manifest, upon all occasions, their love and gratitude.

But corn and drink are not sufficient for Englishmen, who are used to

feed upon good beef, mutton, bacon, veal, and pork; therefore for the

encouragement of such as shall hereafter inhabit this province, they will

find good beef, and consequently veal, there being a sort of kine natural

to this country, which, though they differ a little in shape from ours

(having a bunch upon their shoulders, which is delicious food) yet

otherways are not in the least inferior to our bulls and cows, and they

may make them oxen when they please; and by dry fodder stall oxen like

those in England; but as they are without art and care, they almost equal

our grass cattle. There are also sheep of the Spanish breed in good

numbers, whose flesh is as good as ours, and their wool better; as also

hogs very plentiful, on the sea- coast especially, and some within land,

though not so numerous, acorns, chestnuts, and other masts abounding in

this country, render them more grateful food (as all who have fed upon

them affirm) than ours in England; and fit for exportation for the


Next to food we are to consider a very material circumstance, and

that is, cattle for draught, and horses for riding, which are carried into

the plantations, whether on the continent, or in the islands. These are

already prepared into your hands, with no great trouble and expense. For

horses, they are commonly used among the Indians on the west side of the

Great River for riding and burdens, as amongst us, though they have not

improved them for draughts, being totally ignorant of coaches, wains,

carts, or ploughs, unto all which they may soon by care and skill be

adapted. And the price of a good horse will not amount unto above five

shillings of our European commodities at first cost, as I am well assured

by traders, who have been offered a very good one for a very ordinary

hatchet. And as for oxen for plough and cart when their young males are

castrated, they will be as tame and as serviceable as our oxen; though

amongst the Tartars, from whom these kine originally came, the great bulls

of almost twice the strength and bigness of ours, are by them so far tamed

that they employ them to draw their houses or huts put upon carts many

hundred miles, as they have occasion to remove their habitations, which is

only for convenient pasture, marching in the winter to the outh, in the

summer to the north. This sort of cattle are not only


Page 261

useful for food and labor, but also for their hair, or rather wool, which

is very long, very thick, and very fine; and I think, as do many others

who understand the use of it, for hats, clothing, and divers other

necessaries, with some small suitable addition or mixtures, is preferable

to common wool. Their skins may be partly imported to England, and partly

employed in our own colony for harness, boots, shoes, and many other uses.

Besides, we are near New Mexico, all which country generally employ

for carriage mighty great and strong mules, produced by Assinegos, or male

asses, many of which there are of abundantly greater bigness, strength and

mettle than in Europe, which, with the mares of that country would produce

an excellent breed, if it be thought advantageous to raise them.

There are several tracts of land in this country that would suit very

well with camels,* many of which are employed by the Spaniards, especially

in Peru and Terra Firma, or the south part of the Gulf of Mexico. They

have them mostly from the Canary Islands, and some from Africa. They

stand well in America, are very usefull, and a very little trouble and

charge will subsist them.

The wild animals of this country, besides the elk or buffalo above

mentioned, are panthers, bears, wolves, and wild cats, none of which are

hurtful to mankind; deer of divers sorts, beaver, otter, fox, raccoons

squirrels, martens, and conies between ours and hares in great abundance;

as likewise a rat with a bag under its throat, wherein it conveys its

young when forced to fly. All these are useful for their furs or skins,

and some for food; but I think it not material nor consistent with my

designed brevity to enter into a particular description of them: No more

than of the following bird or wild fowl found all over the country, sea

shore and rivers, such as eagles, goshawks, falcons, gerfalcons, and most

other birds of prey that are in Europe; great companies of turkeys,

bustards, pheasants, partridges, pigeons, thrushes, blackbirds, snipes,

cranes, swans, geese, ducks, teal, pelicans, parrots, and many other sorts

of curious birds differing from ours.

For clothing, though we may reasonably suppose that by our

correspondence with our native country we may be supplied therewith, as

also with beds, carpets, coverlets, &c., yet it would not be amiss, if in

the infancy of this colony, the poorer sort were encouraged to

*A caravan of these animals has been lately imported (1850) to

establish a communication (across the deserts) between the city of St.

Louis and St. Francisco, California.


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manufacture the wool of sheep and kine, as also cotton, to supply their

urgent necessities. Hats may be made of the long soft hair of the kine

mixed, if need be, with a little of the hair or wool of beaver, both which

are in great plenty, and easily procured, and nothing wanting but a few

artists to manufacture them as in England.

I have received information from divers persons who unanimously

affirm, that some of the most civilized nations in this country,

especially of the better sort, are clothed with a substance like good

coarse serviceable linen, very white. Upon inquiry, they found it was

made with the inward bark of trees, which grow plentifully there, and is

as becoming as most of the ordinary linen of Europe; and by the relation

of the natives no less durable. Of the same and other barks they make

thread, cords and ropes, of divers lengths and magnitudes, which might be

greatly improved by our English planters.

Olives would certainly grow here as well as in New Spain, where they

thrive, especially in those parts contiguous to our country, and are not

inferior, either for eating or making oil, to those of Spain and Portugal;

as also almonds, several affirining, particularly, I remember, the famous

Acosta writes concerning the productions of the West Indies, where he long

resided, that they far exceed those of Spain or any other part of Europe.

But, for political reasons, both they and vines are forbidden to be used

for the production of oil or wine.

Currants also would probably prosper in this country, the climate

being much of the same nature and latitude with the islands of Zante and

Cephalonia, from whence we now do generally bring them; and the famous

city of Corinth, from which they derive their name, and from whence they

were transplanted to the fore-mentioned islands; the Latin name being

Uvae Corinthiacae, or grapes of Corinth, which we corruptly call currants,

instead of Corinths. These three commodities were thought so needful that

King Charles II., with the advice of his council, gave great

encouragement, in his patent for Carolina, to the proprietors, planters,

or any others who should produce and import them to England; as also

capers and some other commodities there mentioned.

Cotton grows wild in the pod and in great plenty; may be managed and

improved as in our islands, arid turn to as great account; and in time

perhaps manufactured either in the country or in Great Britain, which will

render it a commodity still more valuable.*

* The author here displays a wonderful sagacity as to the importance of

this couniry for the cultivation of a plant which now makes Europe our

debtor, and is the great regulator of our exchanges.


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Pearls are to be found in great abundance in this country; the

Indians put some value upon them, but not so much as on the colored beads

we bring them. On the whole coast of this province, for two hundred

leagues, there are many vast beds of oysters which breed pearls, as has

been found in divers places. But, which is very remarkable, far from the

sea, in fresh water rivers and lakes, there is a sort of a shell fish,

between a muscle and a pearl oyster, wherein are found abundance of

pearls, and in any of an unusual magnitude. The Indians, when they take

the oysters, broil them over the fire till they are fit to eat, keeping

the large pearls they find in them, which, by the heat, are tarnished and

lose their native lustre; but, when we have taught them the right method,

doubtless it would be a very profitable trade. There are two places we

already know within land, in each of which there is a great pearl fishery.

One about one hundred and twenty leagues up the River Meschacebe, on the

west side, in a lake made by the river of the Naches, about forty miles

from its mouth, where they are found in great plenty and many very large.

The other on the River Chiaha, which runs into the Coza or Cussaw River

(as our English calls it), and which comes from the north-east, and, after

a course of some hundred miles, disembogues into the Gulf of Mexico, about

one hundred miles to the east of the Maschacebe.

The judicious and faithful writer of the famous expedition of

Ferdinando Soto, who was therein from the beginning unto the end,

acquaints us that, when they came to Cutifachia, the chief of that

country, finding they valued pearl, offered to load all their horses

therewith, which were at least two hundred. And, to confirm them in the

belief of what they advanced, carried them unto two of their chief

temples, where they found vast quantities, but took only fourteen bushels

for a show to the Havana, and other of the Spanish dominions, to encourage

the peopling of this colony, not being willing to encumber their horses

with more, their welfare and success depending much upon their

horsemen-the Indians being abundantly more afraid of them than the foot,

whose guns being useless after a short time, for want of powder, they only

made use of cross-bows. And Garcilasso, who was not with Soto, but writ

only upon memoirs he received from divers who were present, gives a more

full account of the prodigious quantity of pearls in that country,

affirming the Spaniards calculated them to amount unto a thousand bushels.

And afterwards, when the Spaniards at Chiaha were gathering oysters for

their food, they found many large pearls, and one particularly that was

prized at four


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hundred ducats, not having lost the least of its lustre, being taken out

of a raw oyster. And that one Terron, a Spaniard, had above six pounds

weight of pearl, very large, and mostly of a beautiful lustre, and were

valued at six thousand ducats.

It need not seem incredible that pearl should be taken in fresh water

lakes and rivers, there being many relations of unquestionable reputation,

which declare, very good and large pearls are found in divers parts of

China, and the countries to the west and south-west of their great wall

(with which quotations I will not enlarge this discourse), as will appear

by reading the China Atlas of Martinius, Marcus Paulus Venetus, and other

credible writers on lakes and fresh water rivers.

Cochineal is a commodity of great value, very necessary as the world

goes, and costs this nation annually great sums of money, which may be all

saved, there being in this province sufficient to furnish both us and our

neighbors, who are no less fond of it than ourselves. There have been

great inquiries, and many disputes, about the original of this commodity,

which is the famous ingredient for dyeing in grain, the purple and scarlet

colors, generally esteemed by opulent and civilized nations.

This noble ingredient for dyeing, is produced by a tree or shrub

called the Tunal or Tuna, of which there are divers sorts; some bearing an

excellent fruit, very pleasant and wholesome. It is made of certain

insects breeding in the fruit of this plant, when it is well husbanded,

and are thereunto fastened, covered with a dainty fine web, which doth

compass them about, and when come to maturity they eat through it, fall

off the tree, and being carefully gathered, dried, and curiously put up,

are sent to Spain, and thence distributed to most civilized parts of

Europe and Asia. Acosta tells us, that in the fleet wherein he returned

from Mexico, that province only, shipped 5677 arobes, each whereof is 25l.

weight, and valued at 283,750 pieces of eight. The cochineal is of two

sorts, one growing wild, which they call silvester. This, though it gives

a good price, is far short of that which is duly cultivated in gardens and

fields, much after the manner the English do tobacco in their plantations.

This province, both on the east and west side of the Meschacebe, from the

Gulf of Mexico some hundred miles up the country, abounds with all sorts

of Tunals, or Tunas (as some style them), usually found in the province of

Mexico, which borders upon it, and is only divided by an imaginary line,

from the degrees of thirty to thirty-six. When this country is


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settled, and we set upon this manufacture, the Indians may be very helpful

unto us, it being easy labor, and wherein we need only employ their women

and young people, if their men, who are generally very lazy, decline it.

The plant of which indigo is made, is very frequent in most of the

southern parts of this country, and may possibly produce better than that

made in our Islands of Jamaica, &c., this province being in the same

latitude with Agra and Byana, territories in the great Mogul's country,

whose indigo is accounted the best of its kind in the world, and is double

the price of ours. It is easily made, and the Indians may be assisting to

us herein, if we think fit to undertake it. Besides, if we believe that

judicious natural historian Hernando, there is in Mexico, and consequently

here (being much the same climate) a plant or little shrub, which produces

an indigo abundantly more noble, and the color more lively, than that

which is the common indigo. This the Spaniards call azul, as being like


Ambergris or gray amber, is often found upon this coast, from the

Cape of Florida to Mexico, which is of great value. The best (for there

are divers sorts) is of equal worth to its weight in gold. This is agreed

upon by the learned, to be a bitumen or naphtha, which comes from certain

springs or fountains, that empty themselves into the sea, and is

coagulated by the salt water, as succinum, commonly called amber, from

another sort of bitumen or naphtha, and in storms cast upon the coast.

The same ambergris is also found upon the east side of the Cape or

Peninsula of Florida, the Bahama Islands, in the East Indies, and Brazil,

and sometimes great lumps, even upon the coast of Cornwall and Ireland.

And among others, I have read of a piece weighing eighty pounds, cast upon

the coast of Cornwall, in the reign of King Charles I., which was bigger,

till diminished by the countryman who found it, by greasing his

cart-wheels, and boots, but discovered accidentally by an intelligent

gentleman, who riding by one of his carts, and perceiving a very grateful

smell, inquired of the man whence it proceeded; he told him he had found

a nasty grease on the shore, which he hoped would have saved him the

expense of kitchen stuff and tar for carts, harness, and boots, but it was

of so poisonous a smell, that they were not able to endure it. The

gentleman desiring to see the remainder, found it what he expected,


*The cultivation of indigo was commenced in Louisiana in 1726. As a

crop it was uncertain, but it was not abandoned untii 1794, when it was

succeeded by the more general cultivation of sugar, cotton, and tobacco.


Page 266

it at a very easy rate, presented it unto the queen, and was requited in

places or employments far beyond the value of it.

There is found in great quantities upon the same coast, on the shore

to the east and west of the Meschacebe, especially after high south winds,

a sort of stone pitch, by the Spaniards called copec, which they likewise

find in the South Sea, upon the coast of Peru. They mix it with grease to

make it more liquid, and use it as pitch for their vessels, and affirm it

to be better in hot countries, not being apt to melt with the heat of the

sun or weather. And at Trinidad, a large island over against the great

river of Oronoque, there is a mountain of the said substance, of which Sir

Walter Raleigh gives an account in his expedition, so fatal unto him, of

the discovery of the said river; and several navigators since have done

the same. Acosta, the famous author of the natural history of the West

Indies, affirms it to be generated of an oil, which empties itself, he

knows not how, into several parts of the ocean, in so great quantities,

that the sailors, when at a loss, know where they are by its floating on

the sea, or the smell thereof, which, he says, they scented at a

considerable distance. The English sent to discover the River Meschacebe,

affirm the same, and that they found it in two places, which I have well

marked. Moreover, that the sea was covered with an oil or slime, as they

style it, which had a very strong smell for many leagues together. I

suppose they had much the same conceptions with the countryman before

mentioned, and therefore their curiosity did not prompt them to take it up

and examine its qualities; though probably it might be of the same nature

and use with that of divers wells in the province of Adierbigian in

Persia, near the Caspian Sea, whence they fetch it many hundred miles on

camels, being used to burn it in lamps instead of oil, it emitting a most

grateful and wholesome odor. I might add spermaceti whales, out of which

that substance is extracted, are sometimes killed by the natives, and

sometimes by storms, as it were, shipwrecked on the shore; but either of

these seldom happening, there can be no great dependence or expectation

from them.

Salt is of great use, especially unto Europeans, without which they

cannot well subsist, being accustomed thereunto from their infancy, and

without which food has no relish. Besides, it is supposed that it

prevents putrefaction and innumerable diseases; and in foreign couutries

where it hath been wanting they have greatly suffered. It is moreover

necessary to preserve fish and flesh, which without it cannot be long kept

sweet. In this country it may be easily and abundantly


Page 267

procured.* We know divers places, on both sides of the river, where there

are many springs and lakes, producing plentifully excellent salt; and

also one mine of rock-salt, almost clear as crystal, and probably there

may be many more of the same. By these, we may not only supply ourselves

with what is necessary for our ordinary daily food, during the winter or

other seasons, but also furnish our (I may call then neighbor) plantations

in the islands (we not being very remote from them) with fish, flesh, and

salt; when by reason of war, or other sinister accidents, they cannot

receive due and expected recruits from England or elsewhere.

Silk is a commodity of great use in England for many manufactures, it

being imported to us from France, Italy, Sicily, Turkey, and the East

Indies: and there is no foreign commodity which exhausts more of our

treasure. I am not so vain as to promise this country can furnish Great

Britain with so much silk as is therein manufactured, which would amount

to above half a million or a million sterling annually; but if this

province is ever settled (it abounding in most parts with forests of

mulberry trees, both white and red), and we keep a good correspondence

with the natives, which is both our duty and interest, certainly a

considerable quantity of silk may be here produced.+ It hath been already

experimented, in South Carolina, by Sir Nathaniel Johnston and others,

which would have returned to great account, but that they wanted hands,

laborers being not to be hired but at a vast charge. Yet if the natives

or negroes were employed, who delight in such easy light labors, we could

have that done for less than one shilling, which costs them more than six.

Now I appeal to all good Englishmen, if we can raise only a tenth part of

the silk expended in Great Britain, &e., and perhaps half an age hence the

fifth, whether it would not be very beneficial to our native country, and

a little check upon others, with whom we deal in that commodity, by

letting them know, if they are unreasonable and exorbitant in their

demands, that we may in a short time supply ourselves, in a great measure,

from our own plantations? I am not ignorant there are several sorts of

silks, proper for divers distinct uses, as of China, Bengal, and other

parts of the East Indies, Persia, Turkey, Naples, and Sicily; for what

manufactures ours is most proper, I

* On the head waters of the Arkansas and Red Rivers.

+ There is no climate in the world more favorable for the cultivation

of silk than Louisiana. And the time is fast approaching when it will be

one of the staples of the country.


Page 268

know not; but it hath given a good price, and experience may teach us to

raise for more uses than one. I would advise my countrymen when they set

up this manufacture to imitate the Chinese, who sow the mulberry seeds as

we do pot-herbs, and to mow those of one year's growth for the young

silkworms, the leaves being short and tender, fit food for them when fresh

hatched; and the second for them when in their infancy, as I may

deservedly style it. When grown strong, they may be supplied with leaves

from the trees; which method secures them from the diseases, whereunto

they are obnoxious, when fed from the beginning with great rank leaves,

saves much trouble, and lessens the number of hands to attend them, which

is the greatest expense.

Hemp and flax are not only materials for divers manufactures in

England, but exceedingly useful, and indeed almost necessary in a new

colony, to supply them with coarse linens of divers kinds, whereof, if we

made much and finer, it would be no injury to our mother England, who hath

most from foreign parts; as also cordage, thread, twine for nets, and

other uses. The plants which produce hemp and flax are very common in

this country, and abundantly sufficient to supply not only the necessities

thereof, but likewise of the whole British nation. Besides, we have a

grass, as they call it, silk grass, which makes very pretty stuffs, such

as come from the East Indies, which they call Herba stuffs, whereof a

garment was made for Queen Elizabeth, whose ingredient came from Sir

Walter Raleigh's colony, by him called Virginia, now North Carolina, a

part of this province, which, to encourage colonies and plantations, she

was pleased to wear for divers weeks.

This country affords excellent timber for building ships, as oak,

fir, cedar, spruce, and divers other sorts; and, as I said before, flax

and hemp for cordage and sails, as likewise iron for nails and anchors.

But without tar, pitch, and rosin, a ship can never be well equipped;

wherefore there are divers places in this country* near the sea and great

rivers, which were otherwise useless, being the most sandy barren parts of

the country, wherein that tree grows which produces all those materials

for naval architecture; the same tree likewise produces turpentine, which

is no contemptible commodity. This tree being pierced, and a vessel

conveniently fastened unto or placed under the aperture, the turpentine

distils plentifully into it. If cut, and a hole made under the tree in

the sand (for in that soil it generally

* Lower Louisiana is celebrated for iis forests of live oak and pine



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grows), the turpentine, by the influence of the air and sun, without any

further trouble, becomes good rosin. Pitch and tar are made by cutting

the dry trees into scantlings, and taking the knots of old trees fallen,

and the rest of the wood rotted, burning, as you here make charcoal,

covering with turf, and leaving orifices for as much air as will keep the

fire from extinguishing. The moisture, partly aqueous, partly bituminous,

runs by a gentle descent into a pit; what swims is tar, which, inflamed

to a certain degree and extinguished, is pitch.

I suppose it will not seem a grievance for us to build ships in this

country to bring home our native commodities, when it is allowed in other

plantations, and supposed to save us a vast expense of boards, masts,

yards, &c., which were formerly brought us from Norway and Sweden, where

it is well known that three parts in four are payed for in ready money,

and not a fourth in our own native commodities or manufactures. Besides

the pitch, tar, rosin, and turpentine, the prodnce of the trees before

mentioned, the ashes which remain, with a very small accession, and little

trouble, will make potash, no contemptible commodity, and which costs

England every year to foreign parts (as I have been informed by competent

judges) above fifty thousand pounds. But I will not insist further here

on, or manifest what great quantities hereof may easily be made, and how

much stronger than most of that we import from Russia, Livonia, Courland,

Prussia, Sweden, Norway, and other countries, we having so many other

valuable commodities to employ our time and labor about.

The mention of potash, so much used by soap-boilers and dyers, brings

to mind several materials for dyeing. This country affords logwood,

otherwise called Campeachy wood, and many other dyeing woods, fustic, &c.,

which, divers who tried them, affirm are not inferior to those growing on

the opposite side of the gulf, in the Spanish dominions, whence we have

hitherto received them, with much charge, hazard, and trouble. There are

besides the woods in this country, divers shrubs and plants, whose roots,

even as used by the Indians, dye the finest and most durable colors,

black, yellow, blue, and especially red; which if planted and cultivated,

as mather wood and saffron amongst us, might probably be beneficial unto

the undertakers.

Some persons are very inquisitive whether this country produces gems.

I pretend not to the knowledge of diamonds, rubies and balasses,

sapphires, emeralds or chrysolites; all that have come to my knowledge

are amethysts, of which there are very fine and large, and to the west,

turkoises, thought to be as large and good as any in the


Page 270

known world; and possibly upon inquiry and diligent search, others may be


We have an account of lapis lazuli, which is an indication, as my

masters generally affirm, that gold is not far off. I never did see or

hear of any lapis lazuli extraordinarily good, but had visible streaks or

veins of pure gold. But though it is not ordinarily reckoned amongst

precious stones, yet, if good in its kind, it is sold for its weight in

gold, to make that glorious azure called ultramarine, without which no

marvelous and durable painting can be made. And Monsieur Turnefort, in

his voyage to the Levant, observes that besides that lazuli is found in

gold mines, there seems to be in this stone some threads of gold as it

were still uncorrupted.

I had almost forgotten to communicate two commodities, one for the

health, the other for the defence of our bodies. The former is a shrub

called Cassine, much used and celebrated by the natives, the leaves where

of dried will keep very long, of which several people have had many years'

experience. The Indians drink plentifully thereof (as we do tea in

Europe, and the Chinese, from whom it is exported), more especially when

they undertake long and dangerous expeditions against their enemies,

affirming it takes away hunger, thirst, weariness, and that tormenting

passion, fear, for twenty-four hours. And none amongst them are allowed

to drink it but those who have well deserved by their military

achievements, or otherwise obtained the favor of their petty roytelets.

The latter is saltpetre, which may probably be here procured cheap

and plentifully, there being at certain seasons of the year most

prodigious flights of pigeons, I have been assured by some who have seen

them, above a league long, and half as broad. These come, many flocks

successively, much the same course, roost upon trees in such number that

they often break the boughs and leave prodigious heaps of dung behind

them; from which, with good management and very little expense, great

quantities of the best saltpetre may be extracted.

Having given an account of the most valuable animals and vegetables

this country produces, for food and other uses, as well as materials for

trade and manufacture, some who have heard or read of the immense riches

in gold and silver that are annually exported from Peru, Mexico, and other

territories of the Spaniards in America to Spain, and of the incredible

quantities of gold that have been imported from Brazil into Portugal for

above thirty years past (the


Page 271

benefit of which all the world knows we have shared in), will be ready to

inquire whether the like mines exist in this country? Whereunto it may be

answered, were there no such mines, yet where there is so good, rich,

fertile land, so pure and healthful an air and climate, such an abundance

of all things for food and raiment, valuable materials for domestic and

foreign trade, these advantages alone, if industriously improved, and

prudently managed, will in the event bring in gold and silver, by the

balance of trade, as in the case of England and Holland; who, without

mines of gold or silver, are perhaps the richest nations, for the quantity

of land they possess, and number of inhabitants, in the whole commercial

world. And it is well known, that we, and some other industrious

Europeans receive, in exchange for our commodities, the greatest part of

the wealth which comes in bullion from the West Indies, either to Spain or

Portugal. But not to discourage any whose genius inclines them to the

discovery and working of mines, I will add, who knows but we may have here

as rich as any in the known world? Who both searched? as Tacitus said of

Germany in the height of the Roman empire. I mean the reign of the great

Trajan, sixteen hundred years since. Yet afterwards there were found

gold, silver, lead, tin, copper, quicksilver, spelter, antimony, vitriol,

the best in the world, blue, green, and white; besides many other mineral

productions, which are now wrought to the great advantage of divers

sovereign princes and their subjects.

But to make a more particular reply to such suggestions, they may be

assured that copper is in abundance, and so fine that it is found in

plates, bits, and pieces very pure without melting, of which considerable

quantities have been gathered on the surface of the earth. And they who

have tried some of the ore, affirm by common methods it gives above forty

percent. The famous Alonzo Barba, who bath given an admirable account of

the mines* the Spaniards have discovered in America, and the ways of

working them, assures us that besides the mines abounding in that metal

near the surface of the earth, they found, digging deeper, that they

proved the richest silver mines they have hitherto discovered. And all

agree, the gold extracted out of copper is finer, of a higher tincture, or

more carats, than that extracted from silver or any other metal, and that

without the tedious process of burning several times before melting,

employed constantly,

* Silver, copper, and lead mines abound in Texas, Louisiana., and

Missouri; gold and quicksilver in California.


Page 272

in order to the extracting copper, by Swedes and other European nations.

Lead is there in great quantities. What has already been discovered

is more than sufficient for common use, and the ore affords sixty per


I need not perhaps mention coal, the country so much abounding in

wood. But because in some cases that may be more useful and proper than

wood, I will add that in many places there are known to be mines of pit

coal, like that we have from Scotland, Wales, and some of our inland

countries in England.

Iron ore is in abundance of places near the surface of the earth;

and some parts produce iron little inferior to steel in goodness, and

useful in many cases wherein steel is commonly employed, as divers attest

who have made trials thereof.

This country affords another profitable commodity or mineral, which

is quicksilver. We have knowledge of two mines, one on the west, the

other on the east of the Great River, and doubtless many more might be

found if inquired after. The natives make no other use thereof than to

paint their faces and bodies therewith in time of war, and great

festivals. This we call quicksilver is the mother of quicksilver, or the

mineral out of which it is extracted, and is a rock of a scarlet or purple

color; which being broke and distilled into earthen pots, the necks

whereof are put into others almost full of water, the latter for the

greater part of each of them in the ground, then are placed in rows,

almost contiguous, covered with spray wood, which burning drives the

quicksilver by descent out of the mineral into the water. Three or four

men will tend some thousands of these pots. The great trouble is in

digging; all the expense not amounting unto a tenth part of the value of

the produce.

And it is generally observed by all who write well on mines, metals,

and minerals, that though silver be often found where there is no cinnabar

of quicksilver in its neighborhood, yet cinnabar is rarely found but

silver mines are near. This cinnabar or vermilion, though a good

commodity in itself in Europe and among the savages, for some picked

chosen pieces, is chiefly valuable for the quicksilver it produces,

especially if we ever obtain a free trade with the Spaniards, and will be

beyond all exception for our and their mutual benefit; for most of the

silver ore in America, mixed with quicksilver, produces almost double the

quantity of metal it would do only by melting; so that the Spaniards have

annually six or eight thousand quintals or hundred


Page 273

weight, brought unto them from the bottom of the Adriatic Gulf out of the

territories of the Emperor, and the Venetians, viz: from Istria, Styria,

Carinthia, Carniola, Friuli, and Dalmatia. We can sell it them, and

deliver it for half what that costs which comes from Europe, they being

within six or eight days' sail of the place where it is produced. And for

Mexico we can deliver it for the mines in New Biscay, &e., in the River of

Palms or Rio Bravo, otherwise called the River of Escondido: as also by

the River of the Houmas (Red River), which enters the Meschacebe, one

hundred leagues from its mouth, on the west side, after a course of above

five hundred miles It is a very large deep river, navigable at least three

hundred miles by ships; afterwards unto its heads by barques and flat

bottomed boats, having no falls. It proceeds from that narrow ridge of

low mountains which divides this country and the Province of Mexico. The

hills may be passed not only by men and horses but also by wagons, in less

than half a day. On the other side are small navigable rivers, which

after a short course of thirty or forty miles, empty themselves into the

abovesaid Rio Bravo, which comes from the most northerly part of New

Mexico, in thirty-eight degrees of latitude, and enters the sea at the N.

W. end of the Gulf of Mexico, in twenty-seven degrees of latitude.

There is also another easy passage, to the northern part of New

Mexico, by the Yellow River, which about sixty miles above its mouth, is

divided into two great branches; or rather those two branches form that

great river, which is no less than the Meschacebe, where they are united.

The north branch proceeds from the north-west, and is called the River of

the Massorites (Missouri), from a great nation who live thereon. The

other, which comes from the west and by south, is named the River of the

Ozages, a populous nation of that name inhabiting on its banks; and their

heads proceed from the aforesaid hills, which part the Province of New

Mexico from Carolana, and are easily passable; as are those forementioned

of the River of the Houmas, which may be plainly discerned by the map or

chart hereunto annexed.

But all this is insignificant to our Plutonists, whom nothing will

satisfy besides gold and silver; I will therefore here declare all I

know, or have received from credible persons, and will not add a title.*

I am well informed of a place, from whence the Indians have

* The early French explorers sent to Louisiana were among the first to

write on the mineral regions of this province and Lake Superior.


Page 274

brought a metal (not well indeed refined), and that divers times, which,

purified, produced two parts silver. And I have an account from another,

who was with the Indians, and had from them inform masses of such like

silver, and very fine pale copper, though above two hundred miles from the

country where the forementioned was found. I have by me letters from New

Jersey, written many years since by a person very well skilled in the

refining of metals, signifying, that divers years successively, a fellow

who was there of little esteem, took a fancy to ramble with the Indians

beyond the hills which separate that colony and New York from this

cenutry; he always brought home with him a bag, as heavy as he could well

carry, of dust, or rather small particles of divers sorts of metals, very

ponderous. When melted, it appeared a mixture of metals, unto which they

could assign no certain denomination; but perceived by many trials that

it contained load, copper, and when refined, above a third part silver and

gold; for though the gold was the least in quantity, yet it was

considerable in value; which is easy discovered by any tolerable artist

of a refiner, who knows how to separate gold and silver, and what

proportion the mass contains of each. There were great pains taken to

bring this fellow to discover where he had this, I may call, treasure, it

serving him to drink and sot till he went on another expedition; but

neither promises nor importunities would prevail. Some made him drunk,

yet he still kept his secret. All they could ever fish out of him was,

that about three hundred leagues south-west of Jersey, at a certain season

of the year, there fell great torrents of water from some mountains--I

suppose from rains--which being passed over, the Indians washed the sand

or earth some distance below the falls, and in the bottom remained this

medley of metals. Which brings to mind what happened lately in Brazil.

Several Portuguese being guilty of heinous crimes, or afraid of the

resentment of powerful enemies, retreated frorn their habitations to the

mountains of St. Paul, as they called them, lying in between twenty and

thirty degrees of south latitude, above two hundred miles from their

nearest plantations, and yearly increasing, at length formed a government

amongst themselves. Some inquisitive person perceiving, in divers places,

somewhat glister, after the canals of the torrents produced by great

rains, at a certain time of the year, were dry, upon trial found it (the

sand and filth being washed away) very fine gold. They having, upon

consultation, amassed a good quantity thereof, made their peace with the

King of Portugal, and are a peculiar jurisdiction, paying


Page 275

the King his quint or fifth, which is reserved in all grants of the Crown

of Spain and Portugal; and are constantly supplied by the merchants for

ready money with whatsoever commodities they want. And I am informed by

divers credible persons, who have long lived in Portugal, that from this

otherwise contemptible useless country, is brought by every Brazil fleet

above twelve hundred and fifty thousand pounds sterling, only in gold.

Who knows but what happened to them, may one time or other, in like

manner, happen to the future inhabitants of this country, not yet

cultivated, fully discovered or ransacked by Europeans?

There are in divers parts of this province, orpiment, and sandaracha

in great quantity; and all the writers on metals and minerals affirm,

they not only contain gold, but where they are found they are generally

the covering of mines of gold or silver.

But suppose all that preceded is conjecture, imposture, or visionary,

what I now suggest deserves great attention, and when the country is

settled, may invite the best heads and longest purses to combine, at

least, to make a fair trial of what the Spaniards attempted upon naked


The mines of New Biscay,* Gallicia and New Mexico, out of which such

vast quantities of silver is yearly sent to Spain, besides what is

detained for their domestic utensils, wherein they are very magnificent,

lie contiguous to this country--to say nothing of gold, whereof they have

considerable quantities, though not proportionable in bulk or value to the

silver. But there is a ridge of hills which run almost due north and

south between their country and ours, not thirty miles broad, and in

divers places, for many miles, abounding with silver mines, more than they

can work, for want of native Spaniards, and Negroes. And, which is very

remarkable, they unanimously affirm, the further north, the richer the

mines of silver are. Which brings to mind what Polybius, Livy, Pliny, and

many other of the Greek and Roman historians, and writers of natural

history unanimously report; that the rich mines in Spain, upon which the

Cathaginians so much depended, and which greatly enriched them, were in

the Asturias and Pyrenean mountains, the most northerly part of Spain, and

in a much greater northern latitude than the furthest mines of New Mexico,

near their capital city Santa Fee, situate in about thirty-six degrees.

Not but that there are more and richer mines more

* The silver mines of St. Barbé, in the Guadaloupe mountains, are said

by travelers to be among the richest in the world.


Page 276

northerly than Santa Fee, but they are hindered from working them by three

or four populous and well policed nations, who have beat the Spaniards in

many rencounters, not to say battles; and for a hundred years they have

not been able, by their own confession, to gain from them one inch of


Pliny in particular affirms, that every year twenty thousand pounds

of gold were brought from their mines in Spain: and that one mine called

Bebello, from the first discoverer, yielded to Hannibal every day three

hundred pounds weight of silver, besides a very rich copious mine of

minium, cinnabaris, or vermilion, the mother of quicksilver, out of which

only it is extracted. He adds, that the Romans continued to work these

mines unto his time, which was about three hundred years; but they were

not then so profitable, by reason of subterraneal waters, which gave them

much trouble, they having then digged fifteen hundred paces into the

mountain. But what is very remarkable and to our present purpose, these

mines were not in the most southerly or middle parts of Spain, but as

above to the northward. Now I desire any intelligent person, skillful in

mineral affairs, to assign a probable reason why we, who are on that side

of the ridge of hills obverted to the rising sun, which was always (how

justly I know not) reckoned to abound in metals and minerals, more than

those exposed to the setting sun, may not hope for and expect as many and

as rich mines, as any the Spaniards are masters of, on the other or west

side of these mountains? Especially since several of the Spanish

historians and naturalists observe, that the mines on the eastern side of

the mountain of Potosi in Peru, are much more numerous and rich than those

on the western.

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Volume 2 Chapter 9

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IN 1673,





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IN 1673,



I EMBARKED with M. Joliet, who had been chosen to conduct this

enterprise, on the 13th May, 1673, with five other Frenchmen, in two

* Father Joseph Marquette, an illustrious French Missionary, of noble

birth was born in Picardy, France. Previous to his discovery of the

Mississippi he had resided in Canada, where he acquired a knowledge of the

languages of the principal Indian tribes who lived in the regions about

the lakes.

These Indians had given him from time to time accounts of a Great

River of the West, which they called Meschacebe or the Great river,

Namese-sipou, or the River of the Fishes. While others called it Chuca-

gua, Sassa-goula, and Mala-banchi. It has been subsequently called by the

Spaniards La Palissade, Rio Escondido; and by tbe French Colbert, and

sometimes St. Louis. It soon became a matter of curious speculation what

course this river pursued, and at what place it disembogued itself into

the sea. In order, therefore, to establish this point, as well as to

close his career with some brilliant discovery before be returned to

France, M. Talon planned an expedition to explore it to its mouth. For

this purpose be selected M. Joliet, a merchant of Quebec, to conduct the

enterprise; a man of intelligence, of great experienoe in Indian affairs,

and who possessed a bold and energetic spirit. He also associated with

him Father Marquette, who had been long and favorably known to the Indians

by his missionary labors. They accordingly set out on a voyage of

discovery on the 13th May, 1673. On


Page 280 .

bark canoes.* We laid in some Indian corn and smoked beef for our voyage.

We first took care, however, to draw from the Indians all the information

we could, concerning the countries through which we designed to travel,

and drew up a map, on which we marked down the rivers, nations, and points

of the compass to guide us in our journey. The first nation we came to

was called the Folles-Avoines,+ or the nation of wild oats. I entered

their river to visit them, as I had preached among them some years before.

The wild oats, from which they derive their name, grows spontaneously in

their country. They grow in marshy ground, and are not unlike our

European oats. The grain is not thicker than ours, but it is twice as

long, and therefore it yields much more meal. It makes its appearance in

June and does

his return Father Marquette wrote an account of his voyage, which he sent

to France, where it was published in 1651. In every point of view this

narrative is one of the most authentic and interesting which can

illustrate the early history of Louisiana. It is related of the Sieur

Joliet that he also kept a journal of this expedition, which was

afterwards lost by the upsetting of his canoe in the river St. Lawrence,

as he was returning to Montreal. The French Government some years

afterwards rewarded the Sieur Joliet for this service, by a grant of the

island of Anticosti, in the St. Lawrence.

Nothing is known of Marquette exoept what is related of him by

Charlevoix. After returning from this expedition, he took up his

residence and pursued the vocation of a missionary among the Miamies, in

the neighborhood of Chicago. While passing by water along the eastern

shore of Lake Michigan, towards Michilimackinac, be entered a small river

on the 15th May, 1675. Having landed he constructed an altar performed

mass, and then retired a short distance into the wood, requesting the two

men who had charge of his canoe to leave him alone for half an hour. When

the time had elapsed the men went to seek for him, and found him dead.

They were greatly surprised at this event, but they remembered that when

he was entering the river he expressed a presentiment that his life would

end here. To this day the river retains the name of Marquette. His

remains were removed, the year after his death, to the Catholic cemetery

at Michilimackinac.

* Marquette and Joliet's point of departure to discover the

Mississippi River was the French post at Michilimackinac, from whence they

proceeded to Fox River, which falls into Green (Potawotamie) Bay. Fifteen

years afterwards, the celebrated traveler, La Hontan, set out from the

same post to explore the Missouri and St. Peters Rivers.

+ Folles-Avoines was the name given by the French to the

"Menomonies," who lived to the north of the Bay of Puans or Green Bay.

They were bounded on the north by the Chippeways; on the south by the

Winnebagoes; on the west by the Sauks and Sioux Dahcota; and east by the

Miamies and Illinois Indianas.


Page 281

not ripen until September. In this month the Indians go to shake the

grain off the ears in their canoes, which easily falls if it be ripe, and

which afterwards serves them for food. They dry it over a fire, then pack

it away in a kind of sack made of the skins of animals, and having made a

hole in the ground they put the sacks therein, and tread upon it until the

chaff is separated from the grain, and then winnow it. Afterwards they

pound it in a mortar to reduce it into meal; they then boil it in water,

and season it with grease, which makes it very palatable.

I acquainted them with my design of discovering other nations, to

preach to them the mysteries of our holy religion, at which they were much

surprised, and said all they could to dissuade me from it. They told me I

would meet with Indians who spare no strangers, and whom they kill without

any provocation or mercy; that the war they have one with the other would

expose me to be taken by their warriors, as they are constantly on the

look-out to surprise their enemies. That the Great River was exceedingly

dangerous, and full of frightful monsters who devoured men and canoes

together, and that the heat was so great that it would positively cause

our death. I thanked them for their kind advice, but told them I would

not follow it, as the salvation of a great many souls was concerned in our

undertaking, for whom I should be glad to lose my life. I added that I

defied their monsters, and their information would oblige us to keep more

upon our guard to avoid a surprise. And having prayed with them, and

given them some instructions, we set out for the Bay of Puan (Green Bay),

where our missionaries had been successful in converting them. The name

they give to this bay is preferable in the Indian language to ours; for,

according to the word they make use of, it signifies Salt Bay. It is the

name they give to the sea. This obliged us to inquire whether there were

any salt springs in their country, as among the Iroquois, but they could

not tell us of any.

This bay (Green Bay) is about thirty leagues long, and eight broad in

the greatest breadth; for it grows narrower and forms a cone at the

extremity. It has tides that flow and ebb as regular as the sea. We left

this bay to go into a river (Fox River) that discharges itself therein,

and found its mouth very broad and deep. It flows very gently, but after

we had advanced some leagues into it we found it difficult to navigate, on

account of the rocks and the currents; we fortunately overcame all these

difficulties. It abounds in bustards, ducks, and other birds, which are

attracted there by the wild oats, of which


Page 282

they are very fond. We next came to a village of the Maskoutens,* or

nation of fire. Here I had the curiosity to taste some mineral water

which came from a spring on the banks of the river, and to examine a plant

which the Indians had told Father Allouez was a specific for the bite of

snakes. The root of this plant is very hot, and tastes like gunpowder;

they chew it, and apply it to the part of the body that has been stung.

This cures the wound. The snakes have such an antipathy to this plant,

that they run away from a man who has his body rubbed with it. It has

several stalks about a foot in length; the leaves are somewhat long; the

flower is white, and the whole looks like our gilliflower. I put one into

our canoe to examine it at my leisure.

The French have never before passed beyond the Bay of Puans (Green

Bay). This Bourg consists of three several nations, viz., Miamies,+

Maskoutens, and Kickapoos. The first are more docile than the others,

better formed, and more liberal. They wear long hair over their ears,

which gives them a good appearance. They are esteemed good warriors, and

so cunning that they never return from their warlike excursions without

booty. They are quick to learn anything. Father Allouez++ told me that

they were so desirous to be instructed that they would never give him any

rest at night. The

* The word Maskoutens means a "prairie." Their country lies on the

south side of Fox River.

+ The Miamies and the Illinois have been considered tbe same people,

from the great affinity between their languages. The Illinois consisted

of five tribes vix., Cahokias, Kakaskias, Tamaroas, Peorias, and


++ Father Claude Allouez, a distinguished French missionary, came to

Canada in 1665. In 1667 he oommenced his missionary labors among the

Chippeways, and formed a treaty of commerce and mutual defence with the

Chippeways, Potawatomies, Sacs, and Foxes, against the Iroquois. In 1669

he learned from the remote tribes of the West the existence of the Great

River, Mississippi, and returned to Quebec to urge the establishment of

permanent missions among them, as well as to send out a party to explore

the Great River. As yet no Frenchman had advanced beyond Fox River of

Green Bay. All beyond was a region of romance, unknown, or mystified by

Indian tradition. The unwearied Jesuits of the Catholic church were

always in advance of civilization. The history of their labors is

connected with the origin of every celebrated town in the annals of French

America; not a river was entered, not a cape was turned, but a Jesuit led

the way. The rites and ceremonies of the Catholic church were extended to

the remote West. The Franciscan, as a mendicant order being excluded from

the newly-discovered world, the office of oonverting the natives of New

France was entrusted to the Jesuits. They plunged into the affairs of

men, to maintain the interests of the church.


Page 283

Maskoutens and Kickapoos are more robust, and resemble our peasants more

than the former. As the bark of the birch tree is scarce in this country,

they are obliged to make their wigwams with rushes, which serve as well

for covering them as for walls. It must be owned that they are

convenient, for they take them down and carry them wherever they please,

without any trouble.

When I arrived there I was very glad to see a great cross, set up in

the middle of the village, adorned with several white skins, red girdles,

bows and arrows, which the converted Indians had offered to the great

Manitou, to return him their thanks for the care he had taken of them

during the winter, and granting them a prosperous hunting. Manitou is the

name they give in general to all spirits whom they think to be above the

nature of man. I took pleasure in looking at this bourg. It is

beautifully situated on an eminence, from whence we look over an extensive

prairie, interspersed with groves of trees. The soil is very fertile, and

produces large crops of corn. The Indians also gather large quantities of

grapes and plums. As soon as we had arrived we assembled the chiefs

together, and informed them that we had been sent by our governor to

discover new countries, and teach them the knowledge of their Creator, who

being absolute master of all his creatures will have all nations to know

him, and that therefore to comply with his will we did not value our

lives, and were willing to subject ourselves to every kind of danger,

adding that we wished them to furnish us with two guides, and enforced our

request with some presents, which were kindly accepted by them, in return

for which they gave us mats, with which we made our beds during the

voyage. They also furnished us with two guides to accompany us for some


The next day, being the 10th of June, the two guides (Miamies)

embarked with us in sight of all the village, who were astonished at our

attempting so dangerous an expedition. We were informed that at three

leagues from the Maskoutens, we should find a river which runs into the

Mississippi, and that we were to go to the west-southwest to find it, but

there were so many marshes and lakes, that if it had not been for our

guides we could not have found it. The river upon which we rowed and had

to carry our canoes from one to the other, looked more like a cornfield

than a river, insomuch that we could hardly find its channel. As our

guides had been frequently at this portage, they knew the way, and helped

us to carry our canoes overland into the other river, distant about two

miles and a half; from whence they returned home, leaving us in an

unknown country,


Page 284

having nothing to rely upon but Divine Providence. We now left the waters

which extend to Quebec, about five or six hundred leagues, to take those

which would lead us hereafter into strange lands.

Before embarking we all offered up prayers to the Holy Virgin, which

we continued to do every morning, placing ourselves and the events of the

journey under her protection, and after having encouraged each other, we

got into our canoes. The river upon which we embarked is called Mesconsin

(Wisconsin); the river is very wide, but the sand bars make it very

difficult to navigate, which is increased by numerous islands covered with

grape vines. The country through which it flows is beautiful; the groves

are so dispersed in the prairies that it makes a noble prospect; and the

fruit of the trees shows a fertile soil. These groves are full of walnut,

oak, and other trees unknown to us in Europe. We saw neither game nor

fish, but roebuck and buffaloes in great numbers. After having navigated

thirty leagues we discovered some iron mines, and one of our company who

had seen such mines before, said these were very rich in ore. They are

covered with about three feet of soil, and situate near a chain of rocks,

whose base is covered with fine timber. After having rowed ten leagues

further, making forty leagues from the place where we had embarked, we

came into the Mississippi on the 17th June (1673).

The mouth of the Mesconsin (Wisconsin) is in about 42½ N. lat.

Behold us, then, upon this celebrated river, whose singularities I have

attentively studied. The Mississippi takes its rise in several lakes in

the North. Its channel is very narrow at the mouth of the Mesconsin, and

runs south until it is affected by very high hills. Its current is slow,

because of its depth. In sounding we found nineteen fathoms of water. A

little farther on it widens nearly three-quarters of a league, and the

width continues to be more equal. We slowly followed its course to the

south and south-east to the 42 N. lat. Here we perceived the country

change its appearance. There were scarcely any more woods or mountains.

The islands are covered with fine trees, but we could not see any more

roebucks, buffaloes, bustards, and swans. We met from time to time

monstrous fish, which struck so violently against our canoes, that at

first we took them to be large trees, which threatened to upset us. We

saw also a hideous monster; his head was like that of a tiger, his nose

was sharp, and somewhat resembled a wildcat; his beard was long; his

ears stood upright; the color of his head was gray; and his neck black.

He looked upon us for some time, but as we came near him our oars

frightened him away.


Page 285

When we threw our nets into the water we caught an abundance of sturgeons,

and another kind of fish like our trout, except that the eyes and nose are

much smaller, and they have near the nose a bone like a woman's busk,

three inches broad and a foot and a half long, the end of which is flat

and broad, and when it leaps out of the water the weight of it throws it

on its back.

Having descended the river as far as 41 28', we found that turkeys

took the place of game, and the Pisikious that of other animals. We call

the Pisikious wild buffaloes, because they very much resemble our domestic

oxen; they are not so long, but twice as large. We shot one of them, and

it was as much as thirteen men could do to drag him from the place where

he fell. They have an enormous head, their forehead is broad and flat,

and their horns, between which there is at least a foot and a half

distance, are all black and much longer than our European oxen. They have

a hump on the back, and their head, breast, and a part of the shoulders

are covered with long hair. They have in the middle of their, forehead an

ugly tuft of long hair, which, falling down over their eyes, blinds them

in a manner, and makes them look hideous. The rest of the body is covered

with curled hair, or rather wool like our sheep, but much thicker and

stronger. They shed their hair in summer, and their skin is as soft as

velvet, leaving nothing but a short down. The Indians use their skins for

cloaks, which they paint with figures of several colors. Their flesh and

fat is excellent, and the best dish of the Indians, who kill a great many

of them. They are very fierce and dangerous, and if they can hook a man

with their horns, they toss him up and then tread upon him. The Indians

hide themselves when they shoot at them, otherwise they would be in great

danger of losing their lives. They follow them at great distances till,

by loss of blood, they are unable to hurt or defend themselves. They

graze upon the banks of rivers, and I have seen four hundred in a herd


We continued to descend the river, not knowing where we were going,

and having made an hundred leagues without seeing anything but wild beasts

and birds, and being on our guard we landed at night to make our fire and

prepare our repast, and then left the shore to anchor in the river, while

one of us watched by turns to prevent a surprise. We went south and

south-west until we found ourselves in about the latitude of 40 and some

minutes, having rowed more than sixty leagues since we entered the river.

On the 25th June we went ashore, and found some traces of men upon the

sand, and a path which led into a


Page 286

large prairie. We judged it led to an Indian village, and concluded to

examine it. We therefore left our canoes in charge of our men, while M.

Joliet and I went to explore it; a bold undertaking for two men in a

savage country. We followed this little path in silence about two

leagues, when we discovered a village on the banks of a river, and two

others on a hill about half a league from the first. We now commended

ourselves to God, and having implored his help, we came so near to the

Indians that we could hear them talk. We now thought it time to make

ourselves known to them by screaming aloud. At the sound of our voices,

the Indians left their huts, and probably taking us for Frenchmen, one of

is having a black robe on, and seeing but two of us, and being warned of

our arrival, they sent four old men to speak to us, two of whom brought

pipes, ornamented with different colored feathers. They marched slowly,

without saying a word, but presenting their pipes to the sun, as if they

wished it to smoke them.

They were a long time coming from their village, but as soon as they

came near, they halted to take a view of us, and seeing the ceremonies

they performed, and especially seeing them covered with cloth, we judged

that they were our allies. I then spoke to them, and they said that they

were Illinois, and as a sign of friendship they presented us their pipes

to smoke. They invited us to their village, where all the people had

impatiently waited for us. These pipes are called by the Indians

calumets, and as this word is so common among them, I shall make use of it

in future, when I want to speak of pipes. At the door of the cabin in

which we were to be received, we found an old man in a very remarkable

posture, which is the usual ceremony in receiving strangers. He was

standing up, all naked, with his hands lifted up to Heaven, as if he

wished to screen himself from the rays of the sun, which nevertheless

passed through his fingers to his face. When we came near to him, he

said, "What a fair day, Frenchmen, this is to come to visit us! All our

people have waited for thee, and thou shalt enter our cabin in peace." He

then took us into his, where there were a crowd of people who devoured us

with their eyes, but who kept a profound silence. We only occasionally

heard these words in a low voice, "These are our brothers who have come to

see us."

As soon as we sat down, they presented us, according to custom, their

calumet, which one must accept, or he would be looked upon as an enemy,

and it is sufficient to place it only to your mouth, and pretend to smoke.

While the old men smoked in our cabin to entertain us, the great chief of

the Illinois sent us word to come to his village,


Page 287

where he wished to hold a council with us. We went accordingly to him,

and were followed by all the people of this village, for they had never

seen any Frenchmen before. They never appeared tired of gazing at us.

They went backwards and forwards to look at us, without making any noise,

and this they esteemed as a mark of respect. Having arrived at the

borough of the chief, we espied him at the door of his cabin, between two

old men, who were likewise naked, and standing, holding the calumet

towards the sun. He made us a short speech, to congratulate us on our

arrival in his country, and presented us with his calumet, which we had to

smoke before we could enter into his cabin. This ceremony being over, he

conducted us and desired us to sit down upon a mat, and the old men of the

nation being present, I thought fit to acquaint them with the subject of

our voyage, and therefore I told them, 1st, that we designed to visit all

nations that were on the river, down to the sea. 2d. That God, who had

created them, took pity on them, and had sent me to bring them to a

knowledge of Him, and to repent. 3d. That the great captain of the French

had commanded me to tell them that he had conquered the Iroquois, and

wished to live in peace with them. 4th. And lastly, that we desired them

to tell us all about the sea and the nations we were to pass through

before we arrived there.

After we sat down, the chief placed a slave near us, and made us a

present of the mysterious calumet, which he thought more valuable to us

than the slave. He showed to us by this present his respect for our great

captain, and he begged us to remain among them, because of the dangers to

which we were exposed in our voyage. I told him that we did not fear

death, and that I would esteem it a happiness to lose my life in the

service of God, at which he seemed to be much surprised. The council

being over, we were invited to a feast, which consisted of four dishes.

The first was a dish of sagamite, that is some Indian meal boiled in

water, and seasoned with grease; the master of ceremonies holding a

spoonful of it, which he put thrice into my mouth, and then did the like

to M. Joliet. The second dish consisted of three fish, where of he took a

piece, and having taken out the bones, and blown upon it to cool it, he

put it into my mouth. The third dish was a large dog, which they had

killed on purpose, but understanding that we did not eat this animal they

sent it away. The fourth was a piece of buffalo meat, of which they put

the fattest pieces into our mouths.

As soon as we had feasted, we were taken to a village of three

hundred cabins, attended by an officer, who kept the people from crowding


Page 288

upon us. They presented us with belts, garters, and other articles made

of the hair of bears and buffaloes. We slept in the chief's hut, and, on

the following morning, we took leave of him, promising to return to his

village in four moons. He escorted us to our canoes with nearly six

hundred persons, who saw us embark, evincing in every way the pleasure our

visit gave them. It will not be improper for me to relate here, what I

observed of the customs and manners of this people, which are very

different from any I have ever before visited. The word llinois in their

language signifies men; as if they looked upon all other Indians as

beasts. And truly it must be confessed that they are more humane than any

others I have ever seen. The short time I remained with them did not

permit me to inform myself of their customs and manners as much as I

desired. They are divided into several villages, some of which I have not

seen. They live so remote from other nations, that their language is

entirely different. They called themselves "Perouarca." Their language

is a dialect of the Algonquin. They are very mild in their dispositions.

They keep several wives, of whom they are very jealous, and watch them

closely. If they behave unchastely, they cut off their ears or nose, of

which I saw several who carried those marks of their infidelity.

The Illinois are well formed and very nimble. They are skillful with

their bows and rifles, with which they are supplied by the Indians who

trade with our Frenchmen. This makes them formidable to their enemies,

who have no firearms. They make excursions to the west to capture slaves,

which they barter with other nations for the commodities they want. Those

nations are entirely ignorant of iron tools; their knives, axes, and

other instruments, are made of flint and other sharp stones. When the

Illinois go upon a war expedition, the whole village is notified by an

outcry at the door of their huts the morning and evening before they set

out. Their chiefs are distinguished from the soldiers, by red scarfs made

of the hair of buffaloes, curiously wrought, which are taken only a few

days' journey from their village. They live by hunting, and on Indian

corn, of which they always have a plenty. They sow beans and melons,

which are excellent, especially those whose seed is red. They dry them,

and keep them till the winter and spring.

Their cabins are large; they are covered and carpeted with rushes.

Their dishes are of wood, but their spoons are made with the bones of the

buffalo, which they cut so as to make them very convenient to eat their

sagamite with. They have physicians among them to whom, in


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cases of sickness, they are very liberal. Their clothing consists of the

skins of wild animals, which serve to clothe their women, who dress very

modestly, while the men go most of the year almost naked. Some of the

Illinois and Nadonessians wear women's apparel, and when they put it on in

their youth, they never leave it off. There must certainly be some

mystery* in this. They never marry, but work in the cabins with the

women, which the other men think it beneath them to do. They assist in

all the juggleries and the solemn dance in honor of the calumet, but they

are not permitted either to dance or sing. They are called to their

councils, and nothing is determined without their advice; for because of

their extraordinary manner of living, they are looked upon as manitous or

persons of consequence.

It now only remains for me to speak of the calumet, the most

mysterious thing in the world. The sceptres of our kings are not so much

respected; for the Indians have such a deference for it, that one may call

it "The God of Peace and War, and the arbiter of life and death." One

with this calumet may venture amongst his enemies, and on the hottest

battles they lay down their arms before this sacred pipe. The Illinois

presented me with one of them, which was very useful to us in our voyage.

Their Calumet of Peace is different from the Calumet of War; they make

use of the former to seal their alliances and treaties, to travel with

safety, and receive strangers; and the other is to proclaim war. It is

made of a red stone, and smooth as marble. The head is like our common

tobacco pipe, but larger, and fixed to a hollow reed, to hold it for

smoking. They ornament it with the head and neck of different birds, to

which they add large feathers of different colors, and call it The Calumet

of the Sun, to whom they present it when they want fair weather, or rain,

believing that this planet cannot have less respect for it than they

themselves, and therefore they will obtain their wishes. They do not dare

to wash themselves in the rivers in the beginning of summer, or eat new

fruit, before they have danced the calumet.

This dance of the calumet is a solemn ceremony among the Indians,

which they only perform on important occasions, such as to confirm an

alliance, or make peace with their neighbors. They also use it to

entertain any nation that comes to visit them; and in this case we may

consider it as their grand entertainment. They perform it in winter time

in their cabins, and in the open field in summer. They

* See Hennepin's account of this custom in his "Voyage en un pays

plus grand gue L'Europe entre la mer glaciale and le nouveau Mexique."


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choose for that purpose a place under the trees, to shelter themselves

against the heat of the sun, and lay in the middle of it a large mat, to

place the god of the chief of the company upon, who gives the

entertainment. For every one has his peculiar god, whom they call

manitoa. It is sometimes a stone, a bird, a serpent, or anything else

that they dream of in their sleep. They believe that this manitoa will

prosper their sports, of fishing, hunting, and other enterprises. To the

right of their manitoa they place the calumet, their great deity, making

round about it a kind of trophy with their arms, namely, their clubs,

axes, bows, quivers, and arrows.* Things being thus arranged, and the

hour for dancing having arrived, the men and women who are to sing take

the most honorable seats under the trees or arbors. Every one, then, who

comes in afterwards sits down, in a ring, as they arrive, having first

saluted the manitoa, by puffing tobacco smoke upon it, which signifies as

much as making it an offering of incense.

Then the Indians, one after the other, take the calumet, and, holding

it with both hands, dances with it, following the cadence of the songs, by

making different attitudes, turning from side to side, and showing it to

the whole assembly. This being over, he who is to begin the dance appears

in the middle of the assembly, and having taken the calumet, presents it

to the Sun, as if he would invite him to smoke. Then he places it in an

infinite number of positions, sometimes laying it near the ground, then

stretehing its wings, as if he wanted it to fly, and afterwards presents

it to the spectators, who smoke it, one after another, dancing all the

time, as in the first scene of a ballet. The second scene is a combat,

accompanied with vocal and instrumental music, for they have a large drum

which agrees pretty well with their voices. The person who dances with

the calumet gives a signal to one of their warriors, who takes a bow and

arrows from the mat, already mentioned, and fights the other, who defends

himself with the calumet alone, both of them dancing all the while. This

spectacle is very amusing, especially when it is done in time, for the one

attacks, and the other defends; the one thrusts, and the other parries;

the one runs, and the other pursues; which is all done so well, with

measured steps, and at the regular sound of voices and drums, that it

would easily pass for a French ballet.

The fight being over, the third scene consists of a speech made by

him who holds the calumet, relating the battles he has been in, the

* These weapons are still used in war by the Indians west of the



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victories he has won, and the scalps he has taken; and to reward him, the

chief presents him with a buffalo robe, and, having received it, he then

goes and presents the calumet to another, and this one to a third, and so

on until they all make speeches, when the head chief presents it to the

nation that has been invited to the feast as a mark of their friendship,

and a continuation of their alliance. There is a song they sing, to which

they give a certain turn of expression which is extremely agreeable, and

which begins thus:--

"Ninahani, Ninahani, Ninahani,

Nane ango."

We took leave of our guides about the end of June, and embarked in

presence of all the village, who admired our birch canoes, as they had

never before seen anything like them. We descended the river, looking for

another called Pekitanoni (the Missouri), which runs from the north-west

into the Mississippi, of which I will speak more hereafter.

As we followed the banks, I observed on the rocks a medicinal plant

which had a remarkable shape. Its root is like small turnips linked

together by small fibres which had the taste of carrots. From the root

springs a leaf as wide as the hand, about an inch thick, with spots in the

middle, from whence shoot other leaves, each of them bearing five or six

yellow flowers of a bell shape. We found a quantity of mulberries as

large as those of France, and a small fruit which we took at first for

olives, but it had the taste of an orange, and another as large as a hen's

egg. We broke it in half, and found the inside was divided into two

divisions, in each of which were eight or ten seeds shaped like an almond,

and very good to eat when ripe; the tree nevertheless gives out a bad

odor, and the leaves are shaped like that of the walnut tree. We saw also

in the prairies a fruit like our filberts.

As we were descending the river we saw high rocks with hideous

monsters painted on them, and upon which the bravest Indians dare not

look. They are as large as a calf, with head and horns like a goat; their

eyes red; beard like a tiger's; and a face like a man's. Their tails are

so long that they pass over their heads and between their fore legs, under

their belly, and ending like a fish's tail. They are painted red, green,

and black. They are so well drawn that I cannot believe they were drawn

by the Indians. And for what purpose they were made seems to me a great

mystery. As we fell down the river, and while we were discoursing upon

these monsters, we


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heard a great rushing and bubbling of waters, and small islands of

floating trees coming from the mouth of the Pekitanoni (the Missouri),

with such rapidity that we could not trust ourselves to go near it. The

water of this river is so muddy that we could not drink it. It so

discolors the Mississippi as to make the navigation of it dangerous. This

river comes from the north-west, and empties into the Mississippi, and on

its banks are situated a number of Indian villages. We judged by the

compass, that the Mississippi discharged itself into the Gulf of Mexico.

It would, however, have been more agreeable if it had discharged itself

into the South Sea or Gulf of California.

The Indians told us that by ascending the Peketanoni, about six days'

journey from its mouth, we would find a beautiful prairie twenty or thirty

which is not difficult to navigate. This river runs towards the

South-west for ten or fifteen leagues, after which it enters a small lake,

which is the source of another deep river, running to the West, where it

empties into the sea. I do not doubt that this is the Vermilion sea, and

hope I shall have, one time or other, the oppurtunity of undertaking its

discovery, and instructing the poor Indian who has been so long groping

his way in heathen darkness. But leaving this digression, and now having

escaped the dangers of being swamped by the current and floating timber of

this rapid river, I return to the subject or our voyage. After having

gone about tewnty leagues to the South, and alittle less to the

South-east, we met another river called Ouabouskigou (the Ohio), which

runs into the Mississippi in the latitude of 36 N. But before we arrived

there, we passed through a most formidable passage to the Indians, who

believe that a manitoa or demon resides there, to devour travelers, and

which the Indians told us to make us abandon our voyage.

This demon is only a bluff of rocks, twenty feet high, against which

the river runs wiht great violence, and being thrown back by the rocks and

island near it, the water makes a great noise and flows with great

rapidity through a narrow channel, which is certainly dangerous to canoes.

The Ouabouskigou (the Ohio) comes from the East. The Chouanous (the

Shawanese) live on its banks, and are so numerous that I have been

informed there are thirty-eight villages of that nation situated on this

river: they are a very harmless people. The Iroquois are constantly

making war upon them, without any provocation, because they have no

firearms, and carrying them into captivity. At a little distance above

the mouth of this river, our men discoverd some


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banks of iron ore, of which they brought several specimens into our canoe.

There is also here a kind of fat earth, of three different colors, purple,

red, and yellow, which turns the water of the river into a deep-blood

color. We also discovered a red sand which is very heavy. I put some of

it upon my oar, which dyed it red. We had seen no reeds, or canes, but

they now began to make their appearance, and grew so thick that cattle

could not make their way through them. They are of an agreeable green

color, and grow very high. Their tops are crowned with long and sharp


Up to the present time we had not seen any mosquitoes, but they now

began to be very troublesome. The Indians who live in this part of the

country, in order to protect themselves from the mosquitoes, are obliged

to build their huts differently from other Indians. They drive into the

ground long poles, very near one another, which support a large hurdle,

upon which they lie, instead of a floor, and under which they make a fire.

The smoke passes through it, and drives away the mosquitoes. The roof of

the hurdle is covered with skins and bark, which protects them from rain,

and the insupportable heat of their summers. For the same reason we were

also obliged to make an awning over our canoes with our sails. As we were

gliding along with the force of the current we perceived Indians on land

armed with guns, waiting for us to come ashore. Our men prepared

themselves to fight, and it was resolved to let them fire first. As we

came near, I spoke to them in the language of the Hurons, and showed them

my calumet of peace; but they would not answer me, which we took for a

declaration of war.

We resolved, however, to pass them, and as we came nearer, they

desired us, in a friendly manner, to come ashore. We therefore

disembarked, and went to their village. They entertained us with buffalo

and bear's meat, and white plums, which were excellent. We observed they

had guns, knives, axes, shovels, glass beads, and bottles in which they

put their powder. They wear their hair long as the Iroguois, and their

women are dressed as the Hurons. They told us that they were only within

ten days' journey of the sea; that they bought their goods from the

Europeans, who live towards the east, that they had images and chaplets,

and played upon musical instruments. That they were clothed as I was, and

were very kind to them. However, I did not see anything about them that

could persuade me that they had received any instructions about our holy

religion. I endeavoured to give them a general idea of it, and presented



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with some medals to remind them of it. The account the Indians gave us of

the sea was very encouraging, and therefore we applied our oars with great

vigor, in hopes of seeing it very soon. The banks of the river began to

be covered with high trees, which hindered us from observing the country

as we had done all along. The elm, cotton, and cypress trees are

beautiful on account of their size and height. We judged, from the

bellowing of the buffaloes, that some prairies were near. We saw quails,

and shot a parrot which had half of his head red, the neck yellow, and the

rest of the body green. We soon descended to latitude 33 north, and

found ourselves at a village on the river side called Mitchigamea.*

The Indians made a great noise, and appeared in arms, dividing

themselves into three parties, one of which stood on the shore, while the

others went into their canoes to intercept our retreat, and prevent our

escape. They were armed with bows and arrows, clubs, axes, and bucklers,

and commenced attacking us. Notwithstanding these preparations we invoked

our patroness, the Holy Virgin, and rowed directly for the shore. As we

came near, two young men threw themselves into the water to board my

canoe, which they would have done had not the rapidity of the current

prevented them; so they returned to the shore and threw their clubs at

us, which passed over our heads. It was in vain I showed them the

calumet, and made signs to them that we had not come to fight; they

continued to surround us, and were about to pierce us on all sides with

their arrows, when God suddenly touched their hearts, and the old men who

stood upon the bank stopped the ardor of their young men, and made signs

of peace, and came down to the shore, and throwing their bows and arrows

into our canoes, made signs for us to come ashore, which we did, not,

however, without some suspicions on our part.

I spoke to them in six different languages, but they did not

understand any one of them. At last they brought to us an old man who

spoke the Illinois, whom we told that we wished to go as far as the sea,

and then made them some presents. They understood what I meant, but I am

not sure they understood what I said to them of God, and things concerning

their salvation. It was, however, seed thrown on ground which would in

time become fruitful. They told us that at the next great village, called

Arkansea, eight or ten leagues farther down the river, we could learn all

about the sea. They feasted us

* An Indian village on the Mississippi, and supposed to be the site

of the present town of Helena.


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with sagamite and fish, and we passed the night with them, not, however,

without some uneasiness. We embarked early next morning with our

interpreters and ten Indians, who went before us in a canoe. Having

arrived about half a league from Arkansea, we saw two canoes coming

towards us. The captain of one was standing up holding the calumet in his

hand, with which he made signs, according to the custom of the country.

He afterwards joined us, inviting us to smoke, and singing pleasantly. He

then gave us some sagamite and Indian bread to eat, and going before made

signs for us to follow him, which we did, but at some distance. They had

in the meantime prepared a kind of scaffold to receive us, adorned with

fine mats, upon which we sat down with the old men and warriors. We

fortunately found among them a young man who spoke Illinois much better

than the interpreter whom we brought with us from Mitchigamea.* We made

them some small presents, which they received with great civility, and

seemed to admire what I told them about God, the creation of the world,

and the mysteries of our holy faith, telling us, by the interpreter, that

they wished us to remain with them for the purpose of instructing them.

We then asked them what they knew of the sea, and they said we were

within ten days' journey of it, but we might perform it in five. That

they were unacquainted with the nations below, because their enemies had

prevented them from visiting them. That the hatchet, knives and beads had

been sold to them by the nations of the East, and were in part brought by

the Illinois, who live four days' journey to the West. That the Indians

whom we had met with guns were their enemies, who hindered them from

trading with the Europeans, and if we persisted in going any farther, we

would expose ourselves to other nations who were their enemies. During

this conversation they continued all day to feast us with sagamite, dog

meat, and roasted corn out of large wooden dishes. These Indians are very

courteous, and give freely of what they have, but their provisions are but

indifferent, because they are afraid to go a hunting on account of their

enemies. They make three crops of Indian corn a year. They roast and

boil it in large earthen pots very curiously made. They have also large

baked earth on plates, which they use for different purposes. The men go

naked and wear their hair short. They pierce their noses and ears, and

wear rings of glass beads in them.

* This name is still applied to a lake a little to the north of the

river St. Francis.


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The women cover themselves with skins, and divide their hair into two

tresses, which they wear behind their back without any ornament. Their

feasts are without any ceremony, they serve their meats in large dishes,

and every one eats as much as he pleases. Their language is extremely

difficult, and although I tried, I never could pronounce a word of it.

Their cabins are made with the bark of trees, and are generally very wide

and long. They lie at both ends on mats raised on a platform two feet

higher than the floor. They keep their corn in panniers made of rushes.

They have no beavers, and all their commodities are buffalo hides. It

never snows in this country, and they have no other winter than continued

heavy rains, which makes the difference between their summer and winter.

They have no other fruit but watermelons, though their soil might produce

any other, if they knew how to cultivate it. In the evening the chiefs

held a secret council, wherein some proposed to kill us; but the great

chief opposed this base design, and sent for us to dance the calumet,

which he presented us with to seal our common friendship. M. Joliet and I

held a council, to deliberate upon what we should do-whether to proceed

further, or return to Canada, content with the discoveries we had made.

Having satisfied ourselves that the Gulf of Mexico was in latitude

31 40', and that we could reach it in three or four days' journey from

the Akansea (Arkansas River), and that the Mississippi discharged itself

into it, and not to the eastward of the Cape of Florida, nor into the

California Sea, we resolved to return home. We considered that the

advantage of our travels would be altogether lost to our nation if we fell

into the hands of the Spaniards, from whom we could expect no other

treatment than death or slavery; besides, we saw that we were not

prepared to resist the Indians, the allies of the Europeans, who

continually infested the lower part of this river; we therefore came to

the conclusion to return, and make a report to those who had sent us. So

that having rested another day, we left the village of the Akansea, on the

seventeenth of July, 1673, having followed the Mississippi from the

latitude of 42 to 34, and preached the Gospel to the utmost of my power,

to the nations we visited. We then ascended the Mississippi with great

difficulty against the current, and left it in the latitude of 38 north,

to enter another river (Illinois), which took us to the lake of the

Illinois (Michigan), which is a much shorter way than through the River

Mesconsin (Wisconsin), by which we entered the Mississippi.


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I never saw a more beautiful country than we found on this river.

The prairies are covered with buffaloes, stags, goats, and the rivers and

lakes with swans, ducks, geese, parrots, and beavers. The river upon

which we sailed was wide, deep and placid for sixty-five leagues, and

navigable most all the year round. There is a portage of only half a

league into the lake of the Illinois (Michigan). We found on the banks of

this river, a village called Kuilka, consisting of seventy-four cabins.

They received us very kindly, and we promised to return to instruct them.

The chief, with most of the youth of this village, accompanied us to the

lake, from whence we returned to the Bay of Puans (Green Bay), about the

end of September.* If my perilous journey had been attended with no other

advantage than the salvation of one soul, I would think my perils

sufficiently rewarded. I preached the Gospel to the Illinois of Perouacca

for three days together. My instructions made such an impression upon

this poor people, that as soon as we were about to depart they brought to

me a dying child to baptize, which I did, about half an hour before he

died, and which, by a special providence, God was pleased to save.

* The following table of distances offer the best means of forming

some idea of the whole distance passed over by Marquette and Joliet in

this tour.


From Green Bay (Puans) up Fox River to the portage, 175

From the portage down the Wisconsin to the Mississippi, 175

From the mouth of the Wisconsin to the mouth of the Arkansas, 1087

From the Arkansas to the Illinois River, 547

From the mouth of the Illinois to Chicago, 305

From Chicago to Green Bay by the lake shore, 260




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