Extracted from The principal navigations, voyages, traffiques, and discoveries of the English nation / collected by Richard Hakluyt, and edited by Edmund Goldsmid. Volume XIII/XIV. 1889
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Preface by Richard Hakluyt.
This worke, right Honourable, right Worshipfull, and the rest, though small in shew, yet great in substance, doth yeeld much light to our enterprise now on foot: whether you desire to know the present and future commodities of our countrie; or the qualities and conditions of the Inhabitants, or what course is best to be taken with them.
Chap. 35. Touching the commodities, besides the generall report of Cabeça de Vaca to Charles the Emperour (who first trauelled through a great part of the Inland of Florida, next adioyning vpon our Virginia) That Florida was the richest countrie of the world; and that after hee had found clothes made of cotton wooll, he saw gold and siluer, and stones of great value: I referre you first to the rich mines of gold reported to be in the prouince of Yupaha, and described in the twelfth Chapter of this Treatise to come within our limits: And againe, to the copper hatchets found in Cutifachiqui, standing vpon the Riuer of Santa Helena, which were said to haue a mixture of gold. Decad. 3. lib. 8. cap. 8. It seemeth also that the last Chronicler of the West Indies, Antonio de Herrera,124 speaking of the foresaid Riuer of Santa Helena, which standeth in 32. degrees and an halfe, alludeth to the prouince of Yupaha, in these words: Y el oro, y plata, que hailaron, no era de aquella tierra, sino de 60. leguas, adentro al norte, de los pueblos dichos Otapales y Olagatanos, adonde se intiende, que ay minas de oro, plata, y cobre. That is to say, that the gold and siluer which they found, was not of that countrie (of Santa Helena) but 60. leagues distant toward the North, of the townes called Otapales and Olagatanos, where we vnderstand that there are mines of gold, siluer, and copper. By which reckoning these rich mines are in the latitude of 35. degrees and an halfe. Chap. 15. I desire you likewise to take knowledge of the famous golden prouince of Chisca, stretching further to the North, whereof the Cacique of Coste gaue notice to Ferdinando de Soto in the towne of Chiaha, affirming, that there were mines of copper, and of another mettall of the same colour, saue that it was finer, and of a farre more perfect lustre, and farre better in sight, and that they vsed it not so much, because it was softer. And the selfsame thing was before told the Gouernour in Cutifachiqui: who sent two Christians from Chiaha with certaine Indians which knew the countrie of Chisca, and the language thereof, to view it, and to make report of that which they should find. Chap. 23. We likewise reade not long after, that the Gouernour set forward to seeke a prouince called Pacaha, which hee was informed to bee neere vnto Chisca where the Indians told him, that there was gold. Chap. 24. And in another place hee saith: That from Pacaha hee sent thirtie horsemen and fiftie footmen to the prouince of Caluça, to see if from thence he might trauell to Chisca, where the Indians said, there was a worke of gold and copper. So that here is fours times mention, and that in sundrie places, of the rich and famous golden mines of Chisca, and that they lie beyond the mountaines toward the North, ouer which they were not able to trauell for the roughnes thereof. But what neede I to stand vpon forren testimonies, since Master Thomas Heriot, a man of much iudgement in these causes, signified vnto you all, at your late solemne meeting at the house of the right honourable the Earle of Exeter, how to the Southwest of our old fort in Virginia, the Indians often informed him, that there was a great melting of red mettall, reporting the manner in working of the same. Besides, our owne Indians haue lately reuealed either this or another rich mine of copper or gold in a towne called Ritanoe, neere certaine mountaines lying West of Roanoac.
Chap. 14. Another very gainfull commoditie is, the huge quantitie of excellent perles, and little babies and birds made of them; that were found in Cutifachiqui. The abundance whereof is reported to be such, that if they would haue searched diuers graues in townes thereabout, they might haue laded many of their horses. Neither are the Turkie stones and cotton wooll found at Guasco to be forgotten, nor passed ouer in silence.
But that, which I make no small account of, is, the multitude of Oxen, which, from the beginning of the 16. to the end of the 26. Chapter, are nine seuerall times made mention of, and that along from Chiaha, Coste, Pacaha, Coligoa, and Tulla, still toward the North, to wit, toward vs, there was such store of them, that they could keepe no corne for them: and that the Indians liued vpon their flesh. The haire of these Oxen is likewise said to be like a soft wooll, betweene the course and fine wooll of sheepe: and that they vse them for couerlets, because they are very soft and woolled like sheep: and not so onely, but they make bootes, shooes, targets and other things necessarie of the same. Besides the former benefits, their young ones may be framed to the yoke, for carting and tillage of our ground. And I am in good hope, that ere it be long we shall haue notice of their being neerer vs, by that which I reade in the Italian relation of Cabeça de Vaca, the first finder of them; which writeth, That they spread themselues within the countrie aboue foure hundred leagues. Moreouer, Vasquez de Coronado, and long after him, Antonio de Espejo (whose voiages are at large in my third volume) trauelled many leagues among these herds of Oxen, and found them from 33. degrees ranging very farre to the North and Northeast.
A fourth chiefe commoditie wee may account to be the great number of Mulberrie trees, apt to feede Silke-wormes to make silke: whereof there was such plentie in many places, that, though they found some hempe in the countrie, the Spaniards made ropes of the barks of them for their brigandines, when they were to put to sea for Noua Hispania.
A fifth is the excellent and perfect colours, as blacke, white, greene, yellow, and red, and the materials to dye withall, so often spoken of in this discourse: among which I haue some hope to bring you to the knowledge of the rich graine of Cochonillio, so much esteemed, and of so great price. I speake nothing of the seuerall sorts of passing good grapes for Wine and Raisons.
Chap. 31 and 32. Neither is it the least benefit, that they found salt made by the Indians at Cayas, and in two places of the prouince of Aguacay: the manner also how the Inhabitants make it, is very well worth the obseruation.
Chap. 31 and 32. One of the chiefest of all the rest may be the notice of the South Sea, leading vs to Iapan and China, which I finde here twice to be spoken of. Whereof long since I haue written a discourse, which I thinke not fit to be made ouer common.
For closing vp this point, The distances of places, the qualities of the soiles, the situations of the regions, the diuersities and goodnesse of the fruits, the seuerall sorts of beasts, the varietie of fowles, the difference betweene the Inhabitants of the mountaines and the plaines, and the riches of the Inland in comparison of the Sea coast, are iudicially set downe in the conclusion of this booke, whereunto for mine owne ease I referre you.
To come to the second generall head, which in the beginning I proposed, concerning the manners and dispositions of the Inhabitants: among other things, I finde them here noted to be very eloquent and well spoken, as the short Orations, interpreted by Iohn Ortiz, which liued twelue yeeres among them, make sufficient proofe. And the author, which was a gentleman of Eluas in Portugall, emploied in all the action, whose name is not set downe, speaking of the Cacique of Tulla, saith, that aswell this Cacique, as the others, and all those which came to the Gouernour on their behalfe, deliuered their message or speech in so good order, that no Oratour could vtter the same more eloquently. But for all their faire and cunning speeches, they are not ouermuch to be trusted: for they be the greatest traitors of the world, as their manifold most craftie contriued and bloody treasons, here set down at large, doe euidently proue. They be also as vnconstant as the wethercock, and most readie to take all occasions of aduantages to doe mischiefe. They are great liars and dissemblers; for which faults often times they had their deserued paiments. And many times they gaue good testimonie of their great valour and resolution. To handle them gently, while gentle courses may be found to serue, it will be without comparison the best: but if gentle polishing will not serue, then we shall not want hammerours and rough masons enow, I meane our old soldiours trained vp in the Netherlands, to square and prepare them to our Preachers hands. To conclude, I trust by your Honours and Worships wise instructions to the noble Gouernour, the worthy experimented Lieutenant and Admirall, and other chiefe managers of the businesse, all things shall be so prudently carried, that the painfull Preachers shall be reuerenced and cherished, the valiant and forward soldiour respected, the diligent rewarded, the coward emboldened, the weake and sick relieued, the mutinous suppressed, the reputation of the Christians among the Saluages preserued, our most holy faith exalted, all Paganisme and Idolatrie by little and little vtterly extinguished. And her reposing and resting my selfe vpon this sweete hope, I cease, beseeching the Almightie to blesse this good work in your hands to the honour and glorie of his most holy name, to the inlargement of the dominions of his sacred Majestie, and to the generall good of all the worthie Aduenturers and vndertakers. From my lodging in the Colledge of Westminster this 15. of Aprill, 1609.125
By one publikely and anciently deuoted to Gods seruice, and all yours in this so good action, RICHARD HAKLUYT.
Chap. i. Which declareth who Don Ferdinando de Soto was, and how he got the gouernment of Florida.
Captaine Soto was the son of a Squire of Xerez of Badaioz. He went into the Spanish Indies, when Peter Arias of Auila was Gouernour of the West Indies: And there he was without any thing else of his owne, saue his sword and target: and for his good qualities and valour, Peter Arias made him Captaine of a troope of horsemen, and by his commandement hee 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 citie of Cusco, and in all other places where they found resistance, wheresoeuer hee was present, hee parted all other Captaines and principall persons. For which came, besides his part of the treasure of Atabalipa, he had a good share: whereby in time he gathered an hundred and foure score thousand Duckets together with that which fell to his part: which he brought into Spaine: whereof the Emperour borrowed a certaine part, which he repaied againe with 60000 Rials of plate in the rent of the silkes of Granada, and all the rest was deliuered him in the Contractation house of Siuil. He tooke seruents, to wit, a Steward, a Gentleman Vsher, Pages, a Gentleman of the House, a Chamberlaine, Lakies, and al other officers that the house of a Noble man requireth. From Siuil hee went to the Court, and in the Court, there accompanied him Iohn Doierces of Siuil, and Lewis Moscoso D’Aluarado, Nuncio de Tetuan, and John Rodriguez Lobillo. Except Iohn D, all the rest came with him from Peru: and euery one of them brought fourteene or fifteene thousand Duckets: all of them went well and costly apparelled. And although Soto of his owne nature was not liberall, yet because that was the first time that hee was to showe himselfe in the Court, he spent frankely and went accompanied with those which I haue named, and with his seruants, and many other which resorted vnto him. Hee married with Donna Isabella en Bouadilla, daughter of Peter Arias de Auila. Farie of Punno de Rostro. The Emperour made him the Gouernour of the Isle of Cuba, and Adelantado or President of Florida, with a title of Marques of certaine part of the lands which he should conquer.
Chap. II. How Cabeça de Vaca came to the Court and gave relation of the Countrie of Florida: And of the Companie that was assembled in Siuil to goe with Ferdinando de Soto.
When Don Ferdinando had obtained the gouernment, there came a Gentle man from the Indies to the Court, named Cabeça de Vaca, which had been with the gouernour Pamphilo de Naruaez which died in Florida, who reported that Naruaez was cast away at sea with all the companie that went with him. And how he with foure more escaped and arrived in Nueua Espanna: Also he brought a relation in writing of that which he had seene in Florida; which said in some places: In such a place I haue seene this; and the rest which here I saw, I leaue to conferre of betweene his Majestie and my selfe. Generally he reported the miserie of the Countrie, and the troubles which hee passed: and he tolde some of his kinsfolke, which were desirous to goe into the Indies, and vrged him very much to tell them whether he had seene any rich country in Florida, that he might not tell them, because hee and another, whose name was Orantes, (who remained in Nueua Espanna with purpose to returne into Florida: for which intent hee came into Spaine to beg the gouernment thereof of the Emperour) had sworne not to discouer some of those things which they had seene, because no man should preuent them in begging the same: And hee informed them, that it was the richest Countrie of the world. Don Ferdinand de Soto was very desirous to haue him with him, and made him a fauourable offer: and after they were agreed, because Soto gaue him not a summe of money which he demanded to buy a ship they broke off againe. Baltasar de Gallégos, and Christopher de Spindola, the kinesmen of Cabeça de Vaca, told him, that for that which hee had imparted to them, they were resolued to passe with Soto into Florida, and therefore they prayed him to aduise them what they were best to doe. Cabeça de Vaca told them, that the cause why he went not with Soto was, because hee hoped to beg another gouernment, and that hee was loth to goe vnder the command of another: and that hee came to beg the conquest of Florida: but seeing Don Ferdinando de Soto had gotten it alreadie, for his others sake hee might tell them nothing of that which they would know: but he counselled them to sell their goods and goe with him, and that in so doing they should doe well. As soone as he had opportunitie hee spake with the Emperour, and related vnto him whatsoeuer hee had passed and seene, and come to vnderstand. Of this relation made by word of mouth to the Emperour, the Marques 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 themselues, to wit, Francis Osorio, and Garcia Osorio. Don Antonio dispossessed himselfe of 60000 Rials of rent which hee held by the Church: and Francis Osorio of a town of Vassals, which he had in the Countrie de Campos. And they made their Rendezuous with the Adelantado in Siuil. The like did Nunnez de Tonar, and Lewis de Moscoso, and Iohn Rodriguez Lobillo, each of whom had brought from Peru fourteene or fifteene thousand Duckets. Lewis de Moscoso carried with him two brethren: there went also Don Carlos, which had married the Gouernours Neece, and tooke her with him. From Badaioz there went Peter Calderan, and three kinsemen of the Adelantado, to wit, Arias Tinoco, Alfonso Romo, and Diego Tinoco. Eluas is a Citie in Portugal. And as Lewis de Moscoso passed through Eluas, Andrew de Vasconselos spake with him, and requested him to speake to Don Ferdinando de Soto concerning him, and deliuered him certaine warrants which he had receiued from the Marques of Villa real, wherein he gaue him the Captaineship of Ceuta in Barbarie, that he might shew them vnto him. And the Adelantado saw them; and was informed who hee was, and wrote vnto him, that hee would fauour him in all things, and by al meanes, and would giue him a charge of men in Florida. And from Eluas went Andrew de Vasconselos, and Fernan Pegado, Antonio Martinez Segurado, Men Roiz Fereira, Iohn Cordero, Stephen Pegado, Benedict Fernandez, and Aluaro Fernandez. And out of Salamanca and Iaen, and Valencia, and Albuquerque, and from other partes of Spaine, many people of Noble birth assembled at Siuil: 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 Emperour, and informed such persons as hee had conference withall touching the State of that Countrie. Soto made him great offers: and being agreed to goe with him (as I haue said before) because he would not giue him monie to pay for a ship, which he had brought, they brake off, and he went for Gouernour to the Riuer of Plate. Cabeça de Vaca was the Gouernour of the Riuer of Plate. His kinsemen Christopher de Spindola, and Báltasar de Gallégos went with Soto. Baltasar de Gallégos sold houses and vineyards, and rent corne, and ninetie rankes of Oliue trees in the Xarafe of Siuil: Hee had the office of Alcalde Mayor, and tooke his wife with him: and there went also many other persons of account with the President, and had the officers following by great friendship, because they were officers desired of many: to wit, Antonie de Biedma was Factor, Iohn Danusco was Auditor, and Iohn Gaytan nephew to the Cardinall of Ciguenza had the office of Treasurer.
Chap. iii. How the Portugales went to Siuil, and from thence to S. Lucar: he appointed Captaines ouer the ships, and distributed the people which were to goe in them.
The Portugales departed from Eluas the 15. of Ianuarie, and came to Siuil the 19. of the same moneth, and went to the lodging of the Gouernour, and entred into a court, ouer the which were certaine galleries where hee was, who came downe and receiued them at the staires, whereby they went vp into the galleries: when he was come vp, he commanded chaires to be giuen them to sit on. And Andrew de Vasconcellos told him who hee and the other Portugales were, and how they all were come to accompany him, and serue him in his voiage. He gaue him thanks and made shew of great contentment for his comming and offer. And the table being alreadie laid he inuited them to dinner. And being at dinner he commanded his steward to seeke a lodging for them neere vnto his owne, where they might bee lodged. The Adelantado departed from Siuil to Saint Lucar with al the people which were to goe with him: And he commanded a muster to be made, at the which the Portugales shewed themsetues armed in verie bright armour, and the Castellans very gallant with silke vpon silke, with many pinkings and cuts. The Gouernour, because these brauaries in such an action did not like him, commanded that they should muster another day, and euery one should come foorth with his armour: at the which the Portugales came as at the first armed with very good armour. The Gouernour placed them in order neere vnto the standard which the ensigne-bearer carried. The Castellanes for the most part did weare very bad and rustie shirts of maile, and all of them head peeces and steele cappes, and very bad lances. And some of them sought to come among the Portugales. Sixe hundred men went with Soto into Florida. So those passed and were counted and enroled, which Soto liked and accepted of, and did accompanie him into Florida; which were in all sixe hundred men. He had alreadie bought seuen ships, and had all necessarie prouision aboord them: he appointed Captaines, and deliuered to euery one his ship, and gaue them in a role what people euery one should carrie with them.
Chap. IV. How the Adelantado with his people departed from Spaine, and came to the Canaries, and afterward to the Antiles.
In the yeere of our Lord 1538. in the moneth of Aprill, the Adelantado deliuered his shippes to the Captaines which were to goe in them: and tooke for himselfe a new ship, and good of saile, and gaue another to Andrew de Vasconcelos in which the Portugales went: hee went ouer the barre of S. Lucar on Sunday being S. Lazarus day, in the morning, of the moneth and yeere aforesaid, with great ioy, commanding his trumpets to be sounded, and many shots of the ordinance to be discharged. Hee sailed foure daies with a prosperous wind: and suddenly it calmed: the calmes continued eight daies with swelling seas, in such wise, that wee made no way. The 15th day after his departure from S. Lucar, hee came to Gomera, one of the Canaries, on Easter day in the morning. The Earle of that Island was apparrelled all in white, cloke, ierkin, hose, shooes, and cappe, so that hee seemed a Lord of the Gypses. He receiued the Gouernour with much ioy: hee was well lodged, and all the rest had their lodgings gratis, and gat great store of victuals for their monie, as bread, wine and flesh: and they tooke what was needfull for their ships: and the Sunday following, eight daies after their arriuall, they departed from the Isle of Gomera. The Earle gaue to Donna Isabella the Adelantados wife a bastard daughter that hee had to bee her waiting maid. They arriued at the Antilles, in the Isle of Cuba, at the port of the City of Sant Iago vpon Whitsunday. Assone as they came thither, a Gentleman of the Citie sent to the sea side a very faire roan horse and well furnished for the Gouernour, and a mule for Donna Isabella: and all the horsemen and footemen that were in the towne came to receiue him at the sea side. The Gouernour was well lodged, visited, and serued of all the inhabitants of that Citie, and all his companie had their lodgings freely: those which desired to goe into the countrie, were diuided by foure and foure, and sixe and sixe in the farmes or granges, according to the abilitie of the owners of the farmes, and were furnished by them with all things necessarie.
Chap. V. Of the inhabitants which are in the Citie of S. Iago, and in the other townes of the Island: and of the qualitie of the soile, and fruites that it yeeldeth.
The Citie of S. Iago hath fourescore houses which are great and well contriued. The most part haue their walls made of bords, and are couered with thatch; it hath some houses builded with lime and stone, and couered with tiles. Great figges. It hath great Orchards and many trees in them, differing from those of Spaine: there be figgetrees which beare figges as big as ones fist, yellow within, and of small taste; and other trees which beare a fruit which they call Ananes, in making and bignes like to a small Pineapple: it is a fruite very sweete in taste: the shel being taken away, the kernel is like a peece of fresh cheese. In the granges abroad in the countrie there are other great pineapples, which grow on low trees, and are like the Aloe tree: Erua babosa Mameia, an excellent fruite. they are of a very good smell and exceeding good taste. Other trees do beare a fruit, which they call Mameis of the bignes of Peaches. This the Islanders do hold for the best fruit of the country. There is another fruit which they call Guayahas like Filberds, as bigge as figges. There are other trees as high as a iaueline, hauing one only stocke without any bough, and the leaues as long as a casting dart: and the fruite is of the bignesse and fashion of a Cucumber, one bunch beareth 20. or 30. and as they ripen, the tree bendeth downeward with them: they are called in this countrie Plantanos; and are of a good taste, and ripen after they be gathered, but those are the better which ripen vpon the tree it selfe: they beare fruite but once: and the tree being cut downe, there spring vp others out of the but, which beare fruite the next yeere. Batatas, or Potatos. There is another fruit; whereby many people are sustained, and chiefly the slaues, which are called Batatas. These grow now in the Isle of Terçera, belonging to the Kingdome of Portugal, and they grow within the earth, and are like a fruit called Iname, they haue almost the taste of a chestnut. The Cassaui root. The bread of this countrie is also made of rootes which are like the Batatas. And the stocke whereon those rootes doe grow is like an Elder tree: they make their ground in little hillocks and in each of them they thrust 4. or 5. stakes; and they gather the rootes a yeere and an halfe after they set them. If any one, thinking it is a Batata or Potato roote, chance to eate of it neuer so little, he is in great danger of death: which was seene by experience in a souldier, which assone as hee had eaten a very little of one of those rootes, hee died quicklie. They pare these rootes and stamp them and squese them in a thing like a presse: the iuyce that commeth from them is of an euill smell. The bread is of little taste and lesse substance. Of the fruits of Spaine, there are Figges and Oranges, and they beare fruite all the yeere, because the soile is very ranke and fruitfull. Store of good horses. In this countrie are many good horses, and there is greene grasse all the yeere. There be many wild oxen and hogges, whereby the people of the Island is well furnished with flesh: Without the townes abroad in the Countrie are many fruites. And it happeneth sometimes that a Christian goeth out of the way and is lost 15. or 20. daies, because of the many paths in the thicke groues that crosse too and fro made by the oxen: and being thus lost, they sustaine them selues with fruites and palmitos: for there be many great groues of Palme trees through all the Island: they yeeld no other fruite that is of any profit. The length and breadth of Cuba. The Isle of Cuba is 300. leagues long from the East to the West, and in some places 30. in others 40. leagues from North to South. It hath 6. townes of Christians: to wit, S. Iago, Baracôa, Bayamo, Puerto de Principes, S. Espirito, and Hauana. Euery one hath betweene 30. and 40. households, except S. Iago and Hauana, which hath about 60. or 80. houses. They haue Churches in each of them, and a Chaplen which confesseth them and saith Masse. In S. Iago is a Monasterie of Franciscan Friars: it hath but few Friers, and is well prouided of almes, because the countrie is rich: The Church of S. Iago hath honest reuenew, and there is a Curat and Prebends and many Priests, as the Church of that Citie, which is the chiefe of all the Island. There is in this countrie much gold, and few slaues to get it: For many haue made away themselues, because of the Christians euill vsage of them in the mines. A wittie stratagem. A steward of Vasques Porcallo, which was an inhabitour in that Island, vnderstanding that his slaues would make away themselues, staid for them with a cudgill in his hand at the place where they were to meete, and told them, that they could neither doe nor thinke any thing, that hee did not know before; and that hee came thither to kill himselfe with them, to the end, that if hee had vsed them badly in this world, hee might vse them worse in the world to come: And this was a meane that they changed their purpose, and turned home againe to doe that which he commanded them.
Chap. VI. How the Gouernour sent Donna Isabella with the ships to Hauana, and he with some of his people went thither by land.
The Gouernour sent from S. Iago his Nephew Don Carlos with the ships in company of Donna Isabella to tarrie for him at Hauana, which is an hauen in the west part toward the head of the Island, 180. leagues from the Citie of Saint Iago. The Gouernour and those which staied with him bought horses and proceeded on their iournie. The first towne they came vnto was Bayamo: they were lodged foure and foure, and sixe and sixe, as they went in company, and where they lodged they tooke nothing for their diet, for nothing cost them ought saue the Maiz or corne for their horses, because the Gouernour went to visit them from towne to towne, and seased them in the tribute and seruice of the Indians. Bayamo is 25. leagues from the Citie of S. Iago. Neere vnto the towne passeth a great Riuer, which is called Tanto; it is greater then Guadiana, and in it be very great Crocodiles, which sometimes hurt the Indians, or the cattell which passeth the Riuer. In all the countrie are neither Wolfe, Foxe, Beare, Lion, nor Tiger. There are wild dogges which goe from the houses into the woods and feed vpon swine. There be certaine Snakes as bigge as a mans thigh or bigger, they are very slow, they doe no kind of hurt. From Bayamo to Puerto dellos principes are 50. leagues. In al the Iland from towne to towne, the way is made by stubbing vp the vnderwood: and if it bee left but one yeere vndone, the wood groweth so much, that the way cannot be seene, and the paths of the oxen are so many, that none can trauell without an Indian of the Countrie for a guide: for all the rest is very hie and thicke woods. From Puerto dellos principes the Gouernour went to the house of Vasques Porcallo by sea in a bote, (for it was neere the sea) to know there some newes of Donna Isabella, which at that instant (as afterward was knowne) was in great distresse, in so much 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 storme was ouer, they met together, without knowing where they were: in the end they descried the Cape of S. Anton, a countrie not inhabited of the Island of Cuba: there they watered; and at the end of 40. daies, which were passed since their departure from the City of S. Iago, they arriued at Hauana. The Gouernour was presently informed thereof, and went to Donna Isabella. And those which went by land which were one hundred and fiftie horsemen, being diuided into two parts, because they would not oppresse the inhabitants, trauelled by S. Espirito, which is 60. leagues from Puerto dellos 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 qualitie, that if it be wet, it breaketh presently, whereby it happened to some to eate flesh without bread for many daies. They carried dogges 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 hogges as they needed. In this iourney they were well prouided of beefe and porke: And they were greatly troubled with Muskitos, especially in a lake, which is called the mere of Pia, which they had much adoe to passe from noone till night, the water might be some halfe league ouer, and to be swome about a crosse bowe shot, the rest came to the waste, and they waded vp to the knees in the mire, and in the bottome were cockle shels, which cut their feete very sore; in such sort, that there was neither boote nor shoe sole that was hole at halfe way. Their clothes and sandels were passed in baskets of Palme trees. Passing this lake, stripped out of their clothes, there came many muskitos, vpon whose bitting there arose a wheale that smarted very much: they strooke them with their hands, and with the blow which they gaue they killed so many, that the blood did runne downe the armes and bodies of the men. That 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 towne of thirtie houses; there passeth by it a little Riuer: it is very pleasant and fruitfull, hauing great store of Oranges and citrons, and fruites of the Countrie: One halfe of the companie were lodged here, and the rest passed forward 25. leagues to another towne called la Trinidad of 15 or 20 households. Here is an hospitall for the poore, and there is none other in all the Island. And they say, that this towne was the greatest of all the Countrie and that before the Christians came into this land, as a ship passed along the coast, there came in it a very sicke man which desired the Captaine to set him on shore: and the Captaine did so, and the ship went her way: The sicke man remained set on shore in that countrie, which vntill then had not bene haunted by Christians; wherevpon the Indians found him, carried him home, and looked vpon him till he was whole; and the Lord of that towne maried him vnto a daughter of his, and had warre withall the inhabitants round about, and by the industrie and valour of the Christian, he subdued and brought vnder his command all the people of that Island. A great while after, the Gouernour Diego Velasques went to conquer it, and from thence discouered new Spaine: And this Christian which was with the Indians did pacifie them, and brought them to the obedience and subiection of the Gouernour. From this towne della Trinidad vnto Hauana are 80. leagues, without any habitation, which they trauelled. They came to Hauana in the end of March; where they found the Gouernor, and the rest of the people which came with him from Spaine. The Gouernour sent from Hauana Iohn Danusco with a carauele and two brigantines with 50. men to discouer the hauen of Florida; and from thence hee brought two Indians, which he tooke vpon the coast, wherwith (aswell because they might be necessarie for guides and for interpretours, as because they said by signes that there was much gold in Florida) the Gouernour and all the companie receiued much contentment, and longed for the houre of their departure, thinking in himselfe that this was the richest Countrie, that vnto that day had been discouered.
Chap. vii. How we departed from Hauana, and ariued in Florida, and of such things as happened vnto vs.
Before our departure, the Gouernour depriued Nunno de Touar of the office of Captaine Generall, and gaue it to Porcallo de Figueroa, an inhabitant of Cuba, which was a meane that the shippes were well furnished with victuals: for he gaue a great many loads of Casabe bread, and manie hogges. The Gouernour tooke away this office from Nonno de Touar, because he had fallen in loue with the daughter of the Earle of Gomera, Donna Isabellas waighting maid, who, though his office were taken from him, (to returne againe to the Gouernours fauour) though she were with child by him, yet tooke her to his wife, and went with Soto into Florida. The Gouernour left Donna Isabella in Hauana; and with her remained the wife of Don Carlos, and the wiues of Baltasar de Gallégos, and of Nonno de Touar. And hee left for his lieutenant a Gentleman of Hauana, called Iohn de Roias, for the gouernment of the Island.
On Sunday the 18. of May, in the yeere of our Lord, 1539. the Adelantado or president departed from Hauana in Cuba with his fleete, which were nine vessels, fiue great ships, two carauels, and two brigantines: They sailed seuen daies with a prosperous wind. The 25. day of May, the day de Pasco de Spirito Santo, (which we call Whitson Sonday,) they saw the land of Florida; and because of the shoalds, they came to an anchor a league from the shore. This place was called Baya de Sirito Sancto, being on the West side of Florida, in 29 degrees. 1/2. On Friday the 30. of May they landed in Florida, two leagues from a towne of an Indian Lord, called Vcita. They set on land two hundred and thirteene horses, which they brought with them, to vnburden the shippes, that they might draw the lesse water. Hee landed all his men, and only the sea men remained in the shippes, which in eight daies, going vp with the tide euery day a little, brought them vp vnto the towne. The ships came vp to the towne of Vcita. Assoone as the people were come on shore, hee pitched his campe on the sea side, hard vpon the Bay which went vp vnto the towne. And presently the Captaine generall Vasques Porcallo with other 7. horsemen foraged the Countrie halfe a league round about, and found sixe Indians, which resisted him with their arrowes, which are the weapons which they vse to fight withall: The horsemen killed two of them, and the other foure escaped; because the countrie is cumbersome with woods and bogs, where the horses stacke fast, and fell with their riders, because they were weake with trauelling vpon the sea. The same night following the Gouernour with an hundred men in the brigantines lighted vpon a towne, which he found without people, because, that assoone as the Christians had sight of land, they were descried, and saw along the coast many smokes, which the Indians had made to giue aduice the one to the other. The next day Luys de Moscoso, Master of the Campe set the men in order, the horsemen in three squadrons, the Vantgard, the Batallion, and the Rerewarde: and so they marched that day, and the day following, compassing great Creekes which came out of the Bay: They came to the towne of Vcita, where the Gouernour was, on Sunday the first of Iune, being Trinitie Sunday. The towne was of seuen or eight houses. The Lordes house stoode neere the shore vpon a very hie mount, made by hand for strength. At another ende of the towne stood the Church, and on the top of it stood a fowle made of wood with gilded eies. Heere were found some pearles of small valew, spoiled with the fire, which the Indians do pierce and string them like beades, and weare them about their neckes and hand wrists, and they esteeme them very much. The houses were made of timber, and couered with Palme leaues. The Gouernour lodged himselfe in the Lords houses, and with him Vasques Porcallo, and Luys de Moscoso: and in others that were in the middest of the towne, was the chiefe Alcalde or Iustice, Baltasar de Gallégos lodged; and in the same houses was set in a place by it selfe, al the prouision that came in the ships: the other houses and the Church were broken down, and euery three or foure souldiers made a little cabin wherein they lodged. The Countrie round about was very fennie, and encombred with great and hie trees. The Gouernor commanded to fel the woods a crossebow shot round about the towne, that the horses might runne, and the Christians might haue the aduantage of the Indians, if by chance they should set vpon them by night. In the waies and places conuenient, they had their Centinelles of footemen by two and two in euery stand, which did watch by turnes, and the horsemen did visit them, and were readie to assist them, if there were any alarme. The Gouernour made foure Captaines of the horsemen, and two of the footemen. The Captaines of the horsemen were, one of them Andrew de Vasconcelos, and another Pedro Calderan de Badaioz: and the other two were his kinsemen, to wit, Arias Tinoco, and Alfonso Romo, borne likewise in Badaioz. The Captaines of the footemen, the one was Francisco Maldonado of Salamanca, and the other Iuan Rodriguez Lobillo. While wee were in this towne of Vcita, the two Indians, which Iohn Danusco had taken on that coast, and the Gouernor caried along with him for guides and interpretours, through carelessnes of two men, which had the charge of them, escaped away one night. For which the Gouernour and all the rest were very sorie, for they had alreadie made some roades, and no Indians could bee taken, because the countrie was full of marish grounds, and in many places full of very hie and thicke woods.
Chap. viii. Of some inrodes that were made into the Countrie: and how there was a Christian found, which had bin long time in the power of an Indian Lord.
From the towne of Vcita, the Gouernour sent the Alcalde Mayor, Baltasar de Gallégos with 40. horsemen and 80. footemen into the Countrie to see if they could take any Indians: and the Captaine Iohn Rodriguez Lobillo another way with 50. footemen, the most of them were swordmen and targettours, and the rest were shot and crossebowmen. They passed through a countrie full of bogges, where horses could not trauell. Halfe a league from the campe, they lighted vpon certaine cabins of Indians neere a Riuer: The people that were in them leaped into the Riuer; yet they tooke foure Indian women; And twentie Indians charged vs, and so distressed vs, that wee were forced to retire to our campe, being, as they are, exceeding readie with their weapons. It is a people so warlike and so nimble, that they care not awhit for any footemen. For if their enemies charge them, they runne away, and if they turne their backs, they are presently vpon them. And the thing that they most flee, is the shot of an arrow. They neuer stand still, but are alwaies running and trauersing from one place to another: by reason whereof neither crossebow nor arcubuse can aime at them: and before one crossebowman can make one shot, an Indian will discharge three or foure arrowes; and he seldome misseth what hee shooteth at. An arrow, where it findeth no armour, pierceth as deeply as a crossebow. Their bowes are very long, and their arrowes are made of certaine canes like reedes, very heauie, and so strong, that a sharpe cane passeth thorow a target: Some they arme in point with a sharpe bone of a fish like a chisel, and in others they fasten certaine stones like points of Diamants. For the most part when they light vpon an armour, they breake in the place where they are bound together. Those of cane do split and pierce a coate of maile, and are more hurtfull then the other. Iohn Rodriguez Lobillo returned to the campe with sixe men wounded, whereof one died; and brought the foure Indian women which Baltasar Gallégos had taken in the cabins or cotages. Two leagues from the towne, comming into the plaine field, he espied ten or eleuen Indians, among whom was a Christian, which was naked, and scorched with the Sunne, and had his armes razed after the manner of the Indians, and differed nothing at all from them. And assoone as the horsemen saw them they ran toward them. The Indians fled, and some of them hid themselues in a wood, and they ouertooke two or three of them, which were wounded: and the Christian, seeing an horseman runne vpon him with his lance, began to crie out, Sirs, I am a Christian, slay me not, nor these Indians, for they haue saued my life. And straightway he called them, and put them out of feare, and they came foorth of the wood vnto them. The horse men tooke both the Christian and the Indians vp behind them; and toward night came into the Campe with much ioy; which thing being known by the Gouernour, and them that remained in the Campe, they were receiued with the like.
Chap. IX. How this Christian came to the land of Florida, and who he was: and what conference he had with the Gouernour.
Iohn Ortiz liued 12. yeeres, among the Floridians of Vcita and Mocoço. This Christians name was Iohn Ortiz, and he was borne in Siuil, of worshipful parentage. He was 12. yeeres in the hands of the Indians. He came into this Countrie with Pamphilo de Naruaez, and returned in the ships to the Island of Cuba, where the wife of the Gouernour Pamphilo de Naruaez was: and by his commandement with 20. or 30. other in a brigandine returned backe againe to Florida: and comming to the port in the sight of the towne, on the shore they saw a cane sticking in the ground, and riuen at the top, and a letter in it: and they beleeued that the Gouernour had left it there to giue aduertisement of himselfe, when he resolued to goe vp into the land: and they demanded it of foure or fiue Indians, which walked along the sea shore: and they had them by signes to come on shore for it: which against the will of the rest Iohn Ortiz and another Mocoço dwelleth two daies iournie from Vcita. did. And assoone as they wereon land, from the houses of the towne issued a great number of Indians, which compassed them about, and tooke them in a place where they could not flee: and the other which sought to defend himselfe, they presentlie killed vpon the place, and tooke Iohn Ortiz aliue, and carried him to Vcita their Lord. And those of the brigandine sought not to land, but put themselues to sea, and returned to the Island of Cuba. Vcita commaunded to bind Iohn Ortiz hand and foote vpon foure stakes aloft vpon a raft, and to make a fire vnder him, that there he might bee burned: But a daughter of his desired him that he would not put him to death, alleaging, that one only Christian could do him neither hurt nor good, telling him, that it was more for his honor to keepe him as a captiue. And Vcita granted her request, and commaunded him to be cured of his wounds: and assoone as he was whole, he gaue him the charge of the keeping of the Temple: because that by night the wolues did cary away the dead corpse out of the towne, who commended himselfe to God and tooke vpon him the charge of his temple. One night the wolues gatte from him the corpse of a little child, the sonne of a principal Indian: and going after them he threw a darte at one of the wolues and wounde him that carried away the corps, who feeling himselfe wounded, left it, and fell downe dead neere the place: and hee not seeing what he had done, because it was night, went backe againe to the Temple: the morning being come, and finding not the bodie of the child, he was very sad. Assoone as Vcita knew therof, he resolued to put him to death; and sent by the track, which he said the wolues went, and found the bodie of the child and the wolfe dead a little beyond: whereat Vcita was much concerned with the Christian, and with the watch which hee kept in the Temple, and from thence forward esteemed him much. Three yeeres after he fell into his hands there came another Lord called Mocoço, who dwelleth two daies iourney from the Port, and burned his towne. Vcita fled to another towne that he had in another sea port. Thus Iohn Ortiz lost his office and fauour that he had with him. These people being worshippers of the deuill, are wont to offer vp vnto him the liues and blood of their Indians, or of any other people they can come by: and they report, that when he will haue them doe that sacrifice vnto him, he speaketh with them, and telleth them, that he is athirst, and willeth them to sacrifice vnto him. Iohn Ortiz had notice by the damsell that had deliuered him from the fire, how her father was determined to sacrifice him the day following, who willed him to flee to Mocoço: for shee knew that he would vse him wel: for she heard say, that he had asked for him, and said hee would bee glad to see him: and because he knew not the way, she went with him halfe a league out of the towne by night, and set him in the way, and returned, because she would not be discouered. Iohn Ortiz trauailed all that night, and by the morning came vnto a Riuer, which is in the territorie of Mocoço: and there he saw two Indians fishing; and because they were in war with the people of Vcita, and their languages were different, and hee knew not the language of Mocoço, he was afraid, because he could not tell them who hee was, nor how hee came thither, nor was able to answer any thing for himselfe, that they would kill him, taking him for one of the Indians of Vcita; and before they espied him he came to the place where they had laid their weapons: and assoone as they saw him, they fled toward the towne, and although he willed them to stay, because he meant to do them no hurt, yet they vnderstood him not, and ran away as fast as euer they could. And assone as they came to the towne with great outcries, many Indians came forth against him, and began to compasse him to shoote at him: Iohn Ortiz seeing himselfe in so great danger, sheilded himselfe with certaine trees, and began to shreeke out, and crie very loud, and to tell them that he was a Christian, and that he was fled from Vcita, and was come to see and serue Mocoço his Lord. It pleased God that at that very instant there came thither an Indian that could speake the language and vnderstood him; and pacified the rest; who told them what hee said. Then ran from thence three or foure Indians to beare the newes to their Lord: who came foorth a quarter of a league from the towne to receiue him; and was very glad of him. He caused him presently to sweare according to the custome of the Christians, that hee would not run away from him to any other Lord: and promised him to entreate him very well; and that if at any time there came any Christians into that countrie, he would freely let him goe, and giue him leaue to goe to them: and likewise tooke his oth to performe the same according to the Indian custome. Mocoço his towne within 2. leagues of the sea. About three yeeres after certaine Indians, which were fishing at sea two leagues from the towne, brought newes to Mocoço that they had seene ships: and hee called Iohn Ortiz, and gaue him leaue to go his way: who taking his leaue 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 learne his mind. So he dwelt with Mocoço nine yeeres, with small hope of seeing any Christians. Assoone as our Gouernour arriued in Florida, it was knowne to Mocoço, and straightway he signified to Iohn Ortiz, that Christians were lodged in the towne of Vcita: And he thought he had iested 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 serue him. But he assured him that it was so, and gaue him licence to goe vnto them: saying vnto him, that if hee would not doe it, and if the Christians should goe their way, he should not blame him, for hee had fulfilled that which he had promised him. The ioy of Iohn Ortiz was so great, that he could not beleeue that it was true: notwithstanding he gaue him thankes, and tooke his leaue of him: and Mocoço gaue him tenne or eleuen principall Indians to beare him companie: and as they went to the port where the Gouernour was, they met with Baltasar de Gallégos, as I haue declared before. Paracossi 30. leagues from Puerto de Spirito Santo. Assoone as he was come to the campe, the Gouernour commanded to giue him a suite of apparell, and very good armour, and a faire horse: and enquired of him, whether hee had notice of any countrie, where there was any gold or siluer: He answered, No, because he neuer went ten leagues compasse from the place where he dwelt: But 30. leagues from thence dwelt an Indian Lord, which was called Parocossi, to whom Mocoço and Vcita, with al the rest of that coast paied tribute, and that hee peraduenture might haue notice of some good countrie: and that his land was better then that of the sea coast, and more fruitfull and plentifull of maiz. Whereof the Gouernour receiued great contentment: and said that he desired no more then to finde victuals, that hee might goe into the maine land, for the land of Florida, was so large, that in one place or other there could not chuse but bee some rich Countrie. The Cacique Mocoço came to the Port to visit the Gouernor and made this speech following.
Right hie and mightie Lord, I being lesser in mine owne conceit for to obey you, then any of those which you haue vnder your command; and greater in desire to doe you greater seruices, doe appeare before your Lordship with so much confidence of receiuing fauour, as if in effect this my good will were manifested vnto you in workes: not for the small seruice I did vnto you touching the Christian which I had in my power, in giuing him freely his libertie, (For I was bound to doe it to preserue mine honour, and that which I had promised him:) but because it is the part of great men to vse great magnificences: And I am perswaded, that as in bodily perfections, and commanding of good people, you doe exceede all men in the world, so likewise you doe in the parts of the minde, in which you may boast of the bountie of nature. The fauour which I hope for of your Lordship is, that you would hold mee for yours, and bethinke your selfe to command me any thing, wherein I may doe you seruice.
The Gouernour answereth him, That although in freeing and sending him the Christian, he had presented his honour and promise, yet he thanked him, and held it in such esteeme, as it had no comparison; and that hee would alwaies hold him as his brother, and would fauour him in all things to the vtmost of his power. Then he commanded a shirt to be giuen him, and other things, where with the Cacique being verie well contented, tooke his leaue of him, and departed to his owne towne.
Chap. X. How the Gouernour sent the ships to Cuba: and left an hundred men at the Hauen de Spirito Santo, and himself with the rest of his people went into the maine land.
From the Port de Spirito Santo where the Gouernour lay, he sent the Alcalde Mayor Baltasar de Gallégos with 50. horsemen, and 30. or 40. footemen to the prouince of Paracoussi, to view the disposition of the countrie, and enforme himselfe of the land farther inward, and to send him word of such things as he found. Likewise he sent his shippes backe to the Iland of Cuba, that they might returne within a certaine time with victuals. Vasques Porcallo de Figueroa, which went with the Gouernour as Captaine Generall, (whose principall intent was to send slaues from Florida, to the Iland of Cuba, where he had his goods and mines;) hauing made some inrodes, and seeing no Indians were to be got, because of the great bogs and thicke woods that were in the Countrie, considering the disposition of the same, determined to returne to Cuba. And though there was some difference between him and the Gouernour, whereupon they neither dealt nor conuersed together with good countenance, yet notwithstanding with louing words he asked him leaue and departed from him. Baltasar de Gallégos came to the Paracossi: There came to him 30. Indians from the Cacique, which was absent from his town, and one of them made this speech:
Paracossi, the Lord of this prouince, whose vassals we are sendeth vs vnto your worship, to know what it is that you seeke in this his countrie, and wherein he may doe you seruice.
Baltasar de Gallégos said vnto him, that hee thanked them very much for their offer, willing them to warne their Lord to come to his towne, and that there they would talke and confirme their peace and friendship, which he much desired. The Indians went their way, and returned the next day, and said, that their Lord was ill at ease, and therefore could not come, but that they came on his behalfe to see what he demanded. He asked them if they knew or had notice of any rich Countrie where there was gold or siluer. They told them, they did: and that toward the West, there was a prouince which was called Cale; and that others that inhabited other Countries had warre with the people of that Countrie, where the most part of the yeere was sommer, and that there was much gold: and that when those their enemies came to make ware with them of Cale, these inhabitants of Cale did weare hats of gold, in manner of head peeces. Baltasar de Gallégos, seeing that the Cacique came not, thinking all that they said was fained, with intent that in the meane time they might set themselues in safetie, fearing, that if he did let them goe, they would returne no more, commanded the thirty Indians to be chained, and sent word to the Gouernour, by eight horsemen, what had passed: whereof the Gouernour and al that were with him, at the Port de Spirito Santo receiued great comfort, supposing, that that which the Indians reported, might be true. Hee left Captaine Calderan at the Port, with thirtie horsemen, and seuentie footemen, with prouision for two yeeres, and himselfe with all the rest marched into the maine land, and came to the Paracossi, at whose towne Baltasar de Gallégos was: and from thence with all his men tooke the way to Cale. He passed by a little towne called Acela, and came to another called Tocaste: and from thence he went before with 30 horsemen, and 50 footemen toward Cale. And passing by a towne, whence the people were fled, they saw Indians a little from thence in a lake; to whom the Interpreter spake. They came vnto them and gaue them an Indian for a guide: and hee came to a Riuer with a great current, and vpon a tree, which was in the midst of it, was made a bridge, whereon the men passed: the horses swam ouer by a hawser, that they were pulled by from the otherside: for one, which they droue in without it, was drowned. From thence the Gouernour sent two horsemen to his people that were behind, to make haste after him; because the way grew long and their victuals short. Hee came to Cale, and found the towne without people. He tooke three Indians, which were spies, and tarried there for his people that came after, which were sore vexed with hunger and euill waies, because the Countrie was very barren of Maiz, low, and full of water, bogs, and thicke woods; and the victuals, which they brought with them from the Port de Spirito Santo, were spent. Whersoeuer any towne was found, there were some beetes, and hee that came first gathered them, and sodden with water and salt, did eate them without any other thing: and such as could not get them, gathered the stalkes of Maiz and eate them, which because they were young, had no Maiz in them. When they came to the Riuer which the Gouernour had passed, they found palmitos vpon lowe Palmetrees like those of Andaluzia. There they met with the two horsemen which the Gouernour sent vnto them, and they brought newes that in Cale there was plentie of Maiz: at which newes they all reioyced. Assoone as they came to Cale, the Gouernour commanded them to gather all the Maiz that was ripe in the field, which was sufficient for three moneths. At the gathering of it the Indians killed three Christians and one of them which were taken told the Gouernour that within seuen dayes iournie, there was a very great Prouince, and plentifull of Maiz, which was called Apalache. And presently he departed from Cale with 50 horsemen and 60. footemen. He left the master of the Campe Luys de Moscoso with all the rest of the people there, with charge that hee should not depart thence vntill hee had word from him. And because hitherto none had gotten any slaues, the bread that euery one was to eate, he was faine himselfe to beate in a morter made in a piece of timber with a pestle, and some of them did sift the flower through their shirts of maile. They baked their bread vpon certaine tileshares which they set ouer the fire, in such sort as heretofore I haue said they vse to doe in Cuba. It is so troublesome to grind their Maiz, that there were many that would rather not eate it, then grind it: and did eate the Maiz parched and sodden.
Chap. XI. How the Gouernour came to Caliquen, and carrying from thence the Cacique with him went to Napetuca, where the Indians sought to haue taken him from him, and in an assault many of them were slaine, and taken prisoners.
The 11. day of August 1539, the Gouernour departed from Cale: hee lodged in a little town called Ytara, and the next day in another called Potano, and the third day at Vtinama, and came to another towne, which they named the towne of Euil peace; because an Indian came in peace, saying, That he was the Cacique, and that he with his people would serue the Gouernour, and that if he would set free 28. persons, men and women, which his men had taken the night before, he would command prouision to be brought him, and would giue him a guide to instruct him in his way: The Gouernour commanded them to be set at libertie, and to keepe him in safegard. The next day in the morning there came many Indians, and set themselues round about the towne neere to a wood. The Indian wished them to carrie him neere them; and that he would speake vnto them, and assure them, and that they would doe whatsoeuer hee commanded them. And when he saw himselfe neere vnto them he brake from them, and ran away so swiftly from the Christians, that there was none that could ouertake him, and all of them fled into the woods. The Gouernour commanded to loose a grayhound, which was alreadie fleshed on them, which passing by many other Indians, caught the counterfait Cacique, which had escaped from the Christians, and held him till they came to take him. From thence the Gouernour lodged at a towne called Cholupaha: and because it had store of Maiz in it, they named it Villa farta. Beyond the same there was a Riuer, on which he made a bridge of timber, and trauelled two daies through a desert. The 17. of August, he came to Caliquen, where he was informed of the Prouince of Apalache: They told him that there Pamphilo de Naruaez had bin there, and that hee tooke shipping, because hee could find no way to goe forward: that there was none other towne at al; but that on both sides was all water. The whole companie were very sad for these newes: and counselled the Gouernour to goe backe to the Port de Spirito Santo, and to abandon the Countrie of Florida, lest hee should perish as Naruaez had done: declaring, that if he went forward, he could not returne backe when he would, and that the Indians would gather vp that small quantitie of Maiz which was left. Whereunto the Gouernour answered, that he would not go backe, till he had seene with his eies that which they reported: saying, that he could not beleeue it, and that wee 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 here. Luys de Moscoso and many others thought, that from Apalache they should returne backe; and in Cale they buried their yron tooles, and diuers other things. They came to Caliquen with great trouble; because the Countrie, which the Gouernour had passed by, was spoiled and destitute of Maiz. After all the people were come together, hee commanded a bridge to bee made ouer a Riuer that passed neere the towne. Hee departed from Caliquen the 10. of September, and carried the Cacique with him. After hee had trauelled three daies, there came Indians peaceably, to visit their Lord, and euery day met vs on the way playing vpon flutes: which is a token that they vse, that men may know that they come in peace. They said, that in our way before there was a Cacique, whose name was Vzachil, a kinseman of the Cacique of Caliquen their Lord, waiting for him with many presents, and they desired the Gouernour that he would loose the Cacique. But he would not, fearing that they would rise, and would not giue him any guides, and sent them away from day to day with good words. He trauelled fiue daies, he passed by some smal townes, he came to a towne called Napetuca, the 15. day of September. Thither came 14. or 15. Indians, and besought the Gouernor to let loose the Cacique of Caliquen their Lord. He answered them that he held him not in prison, but that hee would haue him to accompanie him to Vzachil. The Gouernour had notice by Iohn Ortiz, that an Indian told him how they determined to gather themselues together, and come vpon him, and giue him battell, and take away the Cacique from him. The day that it was agreed vpon, the Gouernour commanded his men to bee in a readines, and that the horsemen should bee readie armed and on horsebacke euery one in his lodging, because the Indians might not see them, and so more confidently come to the towne. There came four hundred Indians in sight of the campe, with their bowes and arrowes, and placed themselues in a wood, and sent two Indians to bid the Gouernour to deliuer them the Cacique. The Gouernour with sixe footemen 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 towne in the houses, both horse and foot, set vpon 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 Gouernours, and hee was presently horsed againe vpon another. There were 30. or 40. Indians slaine. 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 caliuermen and crossebowmen shot at them from the banke: but the distance being great and shooting afarre off, they did them no hurt. The Gouernour commanded that the same night they should compasse one of the lakes, because they were so great, that there were not men enow to compasse them both: being beset, assoone as night shut in, the Indians, with determination to runne away, came swimming very softly to the banke; and to hide themselues, they put a water lillie leafe on their heads. The horsemen assoone as they perceiued it to stirre, ran into the water to the horses breasts, and the Indians fled againe into the lake. So this night passed without any rest on both sides, Iohn Ortiz perswaded them, that seeing they could not escape, they should yeeld themselues to the Gouernour: which they did, enforced thereunto by the coldnes of the water; and one by one, hee first whom the cold did first ouercome, cried to Iohn Ortiz desiring that they would not kill him, for he came to put himselfe into the hands of the Gouernour. By the morning watch they made an end of yeelding themselues: only 12. principall men, being more honorable and valorous then the rest, resolued rather to die then to come into his hands. And the Indians of Paracossi, which were now loosed out of chaines, went swimming to them, and pulled them out by the haire of their heads, and they were all put in chaines; and the next day were diuided among the Christians for their seruice. Being thus in captiuitie, they determined to rebell; and gaue in charge A new conspiracie. to an Indian, which was interpretour, and held to be valiant, that assoone as the Goueruour did come to speak with him, hee should cast his hands about his necke, and choke him: Who, when he saw opportunitie, laid hands on the Gouernour, and before he cast his hands about his necke, he gaue him such a blow on the nostrils, that hee 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 Maiz, sought to kill his master, or the first hee met before him: and hee that could get a lance or sword at hand, bestirred himselfe in such sort with it, as though he had vsed it all his life time. One Indian in the market place enclosed betweene 15. or 20. footemen, made a way like a bull with a sword in his hand, till certaine halbardiers of the Gouernour came, which killed him. Another gat vp with a lance to a left made of canes, which they build to keep their Maiz in, which they call a Barbacoa, and there hee made such a noise, as though tenne men had been there defending the doore: they slew him with a partisan. Two hundred Indians taken. The Indians were in all about two hundred men. They were all subdued. And some of the youngest the Gouernour gaue to them which had good chaines, and were carefull to looke to them that they gat not away. Al 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 shoote them to death.
Chap. xii. How the Gouernour came to Apalache, and was informed, that within the land, there was much gold.
The Gouernour departed from Napetuca the 23. of September: he lodged by a Riuer, where two Indians brought him a buck from the Cacique of Vzachil. The next day he passed by a great towne called Hapaluya and lodged at Vzachil, and found no people in it, because they durst not tarrie for the notice the Indians had of the slaughter of Napetuca. He found in that towne great store of Maiz, French beanes, and pompions, which is their foode, and that wherewith the Christians there sustained themselues. The Maiz is like course millet, and the pompions are better and more sauorie than those of Spaine. From thence the Gouernour sent two Captaines each a sundry way to seeke the Indians. They tooke an hundred men and women: of which aswel there as in other places where they made any inrodes, the Captaine chose one or two for the Gouernour, and diuided the rest to himselfe, and those that went with him. They led these Indians in chaines with yron collars about their neckes: and they serued to carrie their stuffe, and to grind their Maiz, and for other seruices that such captiues should doe. Sometimes it happened that going for wood or Maiz with them, they killed the Christian that led them, and ran away with the chaine: others filed their chaines by night with a peece of stone, wherewith they cut them, and vse it in stead of yron. Those that were perceiued paid for themselues, and for the rest, because they should not dare to doe the like another time. The women and young boyes, when they were once an hundred leagues from their Countrie, and had forgotten things, they let goe loose, and so they serued; and in a very short space they vnderstood the language of the Christians. From Vzachil the Gouernour departed toward Apalache, and in two daies iournie, hee came to a towne called Axille, and from thence forward the Indians were carelesse, 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 bee made ouer a Riuer which hee was to passe. The deepe of the Riuer where the bridge was made, was a stones cast, and forward a crossebow shot the water came to the waste; and the wood, whereby the Indians came to see if they could defend the passage, and disturbe those which made the bridge, was very hie and thicke. The crossebow men so bestirred themselues that they made them giue back: and certaine plancks were cast into the Riuer, whereon the men passed, which made good the passage. The Gouernour passed vpon Wednesday, which was S. Francis his day, and lodged at a towne which was called Vitachuco, subiect to Apalache: he found it burning; for the Indians had set it on fire. From thence forward the countrie was much inhabited, and had great store of Maiz. Hee passed by many granges, like hamlets. On Sunday the 25. of October, he came to a towne, which is called Vzela, and vpon Tuesday to Anaica Apalache, where the Lord of all that Countrie and Prouince was resident: in which towne the Campemaster, whose office it is to quarter out, and lodge men, did lodge all the companie round about within a league, and halfe a league of it. There were other townes, where was great store of Maiz, Pomions, French Beanes, and Plummes of the Countrie, which are better then those of Spaine, and they grow in the fields without planting. The victuals that were thought necessarie to passe the winter, were gathered from these townes to Anaica Apalache. The Gouernour was informed, that the sea was ten leagues from thence. Hee presently sent a Capiaine thither with horsemen and footemen: And sixe leagues on the way, he found a towne, which was named Ochete, and so came to the Sea: and found a great tree felled, and cut into peeces, with stakes set vp like mangers, and saw the skulles of horses. Hee returned with this newes. And that was held for certaine, which was reported of Pamphilo de Naruaez, that there hee had builded the barkes wherewith he went out of the land of Florida, and was cast away at sea. Presently the Gouernour sent Iohn Danusco with 30. horsemen to the port de Spirito Santo, where Calderan was, with order, that they should abandon the port, and all of them come to Apalache. Hee departed on Saturday the 17 of Nouember. In Vzachil and other townes that stood in the way he found great store of people already carelesse. Hee would take none of the Indians, for not hindring himselfe, because it behoued him to giue them no leasure to gather themselues together. Hee passed through the townes by night, and rested without the townes three or foure houres. In tenne daies he came to the Port de Spirito Santo. Hee carried with him 20. Indian women which hee tooke in Ytara, and Potano, neere vnto Cale, and sent them to Donna Isabella in the two carauels, which hee sent from the Port de Spirito Santo to Cuba. And he carried all the footemen in the brigandines, and coasting along the shore, came to Apalache. And Calderan with the horsemen, and some crossebowmen on foot went by land; and in some places the Indians set vpon him, and wounded some of his men. Assoone as he came to Apalache presently the Gouernour sent sawed plankes and spikes to the sea side, wherewith was made a piragua or barke, wherein were embarked 30. men well armed; which went out of the Bay to the Sea, looking for the brigandines. Sometimes they fought with the Indians, which passed along the harbour in their canoes. Vpon Saturday the 29. of Nouember, there came an Indian through the Watch vndiscouered, and set the towne on fire, and with the great wind that blew, two parts of it were consumed in a short time. On Sonday the 28. of December came Iohn Danusco with the brigandines. The Gouernour sent Francisco Maldonado a captaine of footemen with 50 men to discouer the coast Westward, and to seeke some Port, because he had determined to goe by land, and discouer that part. That day there went out eight horsemen by commandement of the Gouernour into the field, two leagues about the towne to seeke Indians: for they were now so emboldened, that within two crossebow shot of the camp, they came and slew men. They found two men and a woman gathering French Beanes: the men, though they might haue fled, yet because they would not leaue the woman, which was one of their wiues, they resolued to die fighting: and before they were slaine, they wounded three horses, whereof one died within a few daies after. Calderan going with his men by the Sea-coast, from a wood that was neere the place, the Indians set vpon him, and made him forsake his way, and many of them that went with him forsooke some necessarie victuals, which they carried with them. Three or foure daies after the limited time giuen by the Gouernour to Maldonado for his going and comming, being alreadie determined and resolued, if within eight daies he did not come to tarrie no longer for him, he came and brought an Indian from a Prouince, which was called Ochus, sixtie leagues Westward from Apalache; where he had found a good Port of good depth and defense against weather. And because the Gouernour hoped to find a good countrie forward he was well contented. And he sent Maldonado for victuals to Hauana, with order, that he should tarrie for him at the Port of Ochus, which hee had discouered, for hee would goe seeke it by land: and if he should chance to stay, and not come thither that summer, that then he should returne to Hauana, and should come again the next summer after and tarrie for him at that port, for he said hee would doe none other thing but goe to seeke Ochus. Francisco Maldonado departed, and in his place for captaine of the footemen remained Iohn de Guzman. Chap. 11. Of those Indians which were taken in Napetuca, the treasurer Iohn Gaytan had a young man, which said, that he was not of that countrie, but of another farre off toward the Sunrising, and that it was long since he had trauelled to see countries; and that his countrie was called Yupaha, and that a woman did gouern it; and that the towne where she was resident was of a wonderfull bignesse, and that many lords round about were tributaries to her; and some gaue her clothes, and others gold in abundance; and hee told, how it was taken out of the mines, and was moulten and refined, as if hee had seene it done, or the diuel had taught it him. So that all those which knew anything concerning the same, said that it was impossible to giue so good a relation, without hauing seene it; And all of them, as if they had seene it, by the signes that he gaue, beleeued all that hee said to be true.
Chap. xiii. How the Gouernour departed from Apalache to seeke Yupaha, and of that which happened vnto him.
On Wednesday the third of March, of the yeere 1540. the Gouernor departed from Anaica Apalache to seeke Yupaha. He commanded his men to goe prouided with Maiz for sixtie leagues of desert. The horsemen carried their Maiz on their horses, and the footemen at their sides; because the Indians that were for seruice, with their miserable life that they lead that winter, being naked and in chaines, died for the most part. Within foure daies iournie they came to a great Riuer: and they made a piragua or ferrie bote, and because of the great current, they made a cable with chaines, which they fastened on both sides of the Riuer; and the ferrie bote went along by it; and the horses swam ouer, being drawne with capstans. Hauing passed the Riuer, in a day and an halfe, they came to a towne called Capachiqui. Vpon Friday the 11. of March, they found Indians in armes. The next day fiue Christians went to seeke morters, which the Indians haue to beate their Maiz, and they went to certaine houses on the backside of the Campe enuironed with a wood: And within the wood were many Indians which came to spie vs; of the which came other fiue and set vpon vs. One of the Christians came running away, giuing an alarme vnto the Campe. Those which were most readie answered the alarme. They found one Christian dead, and three sore wounded. The Indians fled vnto a lake adioyning neere a very thicke wood, where the horses could not enter. The Gouernour departed from Capachiqui, and passed through a desert. On Wednesday the 21. of the moneth he came to a towne called Toalli. And from thence forward there was a difference in the houses. For those which were behind vs were thatched with straw, and those of Toalli were couered with reeds in manner of tiles. These houses are verie cleanly. Some of them had walles daubed with clay, which shewed like a mudwall. In all the cold countrie the Indians haue euery one a house for the winter daubed with clay within and without, and the doore is very little: they shut it by night, and make fire within; so that they are in it as warme as in a stoue: and so it continueth all night that they need not clothes: and besides these, they haue others for summer; and their kitchins neere them, where they make fire and bake their bread: and they haue barbacoas wherein they keepe their Maiz; which is an house set vp in the aire vpon foure stakes, boorded about like a chamber, and the floore of it is of cane hurdles. The difference which Lords or principall mens houses haue from the rest, besides they be greater, is, that they haue great galleries in their fronts, and vnder them seates made of canes in manner of benches: and round about them they haue many lofts, wherein they lay vp that which the Indians doe giue them for tribute, which is Maiz, Deeres skins, and mantles of the Countrie, which are like blankets: they make them of the inner rinde of the barke of trees, and some of a kind of grasse like vnto nettles, which being beaten, is like vnto flaxe. The women couer themselues with these mantles; they put one about them from the wast downeward; and another ouer their shoulder, with their right arme out, like vnto the Egyptians. The men weare but one mantle vpon their shoulders after the same manner: and haue their secrets hid with a Deeres skin, made like a linen breech, which was wont to be vsed in Spaine. The skins are well corried, and they giue them what colour they list, so perfect, that if it be red, it seemeth a very fine cloath in graine, and the blacke is most fine: and of the same leather they make shooes; and they die their mantles in the same colours. The Gouernour departed from Toalli the 24. of March: he came on Thursday at euening to a small Riuer, where a bridge was made whereon the people passed, and Benit Fernandez a Portugall fell off from it, and was drowned. Assoone as the Gouernour had passed the Riuer, a little distance thence he found a towne called Achese. The Indians had no notice of the Christians: they leaped into a Riuer: some men and women were taken; among which was one that vnderstood the youth which guided the Gouernour to Yupaha: whereby that which he had reported was more confirmed. For they passed through Countries of diuers languages, and some which he vnderstood not. The Gouernour sent by one of the Indians that were taken to call the Cacique, which was on the other side of the Riuer. Hee came and made this speech following:
Right high, right mightie, and excellent Lord, those things which seldome happen doe cause admiration. What then may the sight of your Lordship, and your people doe to mee and mine, whom we neuer saw? especially being mounted on such fierce beasts as your horses are, entring with such violence and furie into my Countrie, without my knowledge of your comming. It was a thing so strange, and caused such feare and terrour in our mindes, that it was not in our power to stay and receiue your Lordship with the solemnitie due to so high and renowmed a Prince, as your Lordship is. And trusting in your greatnesse and singular vertues, I doe not onely hope to be freed from blame, but also to receiue fauours: and the first which I demand of your Lordship is, that you will vse me, my Countrie, and subiects as your owne; and the second, that you will tell mee who you are, and whence you come, and whither you goe, and what you seeke, that I the better may serue you therein.
The Gouernour answered him that hee thanked him as much for his offer and good will, as if hee had receiued it, and as if hee had offered him a great treasure; and told him that he was the sonne of the Sun, and came from those parts where he dwelt, and trauelled through that Countrie, and sought the greatest Lord, and richest Prouince that was in it. The Cacique told him; that farther forward dwelt a great Lord, and that his dominion was called Ocute. He gaue him a guide, and an interpretour for that Prouince. The Gouernour commanded his Indians to bee set free, and trauelled through his Countrie vp a Riuer very well inhabited. He departed from his towne the first of Aprill; and left a very high crosse of Wood set vp in the middest of the market place: and because the time gaue no more leasure, hee declared to him onely, that that crosse was a memorie of the same, whereon Christ, which was God and man, and created the heauens and the earth, suffered for our saluation: therefore he exhorted them that they should reuerence it: and they made shew as though they would doe so. The fourth of Aprill the Gouernour passed by a towne called Altamaca, and the 10. of the moneth he came to Ocute. The Cacique sent him two thousand Indians with a present, to wit, many conies, and partridges, bread of Maiz, 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 meate and salt, and hereof in many places, and many times was great need; and they were so scarse, that if a man fell sicke, there was nothing to cherish him withall: and with a sicknesse, that in another place easilie might haue been remedied, he consumed away till nothing but skinne and bones were left: and they died of pure weaknes, some of them saying, If I had a slice of meate, or a few cornes of salt, I should not die. The Indians want no fleshmeat; for they kill with their arrowes many deere, hennes, conies, and other wild fowle: for they are very cunning at it: which skill the Christians had not: and though they had it, they had no leasure to vse it: for the most of the time they spent in trauell, and durst not presume to straggle aside. And because they were thus scanted of flesh, when sixe hundred men that went with Soto, came to any towne, and found 30. or 40. dogs, he that could get one and kill it, thought himselfe no small man: and he that killed it, and gaue not his Captaine one quarter, if he knew it, he frowned on him, and made him feele it, in the watches, or in any other matter of labour that was offered, wherein hee might doe him a displeasure. On Monday the 12. of Aprill, the Gouernour departed from Ocute. Cosaqui. Patofa. The Cacique gaue him two hundred Tamenes, to wit, Indians to carrie burdens: hee passed through a towne, the Lord whereof was named Cofaqui, and came to a prouince 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 daies before notice of the Gouernour, and desired to see him: He came to visit him, and made this speech following.
Mightie Lord, now with good reason I will craue of fortune to requite this my so great prosperitie with some small aduersitie; and I will count my selfe verie rich, seeing I haue obtained that, which in this world I most desired, which is, to see, and bee able to doe your Lordship some seruice. And although the tongue bee the image of that which is in the heart, and that the contentment which I feele in my heart I cannot dissemble, yet is it not sufficient wholly to manifest the same. Where did this your countrie, which I doe gouerne, deserue to be visited of so soueraigne, and so excellent a Prince, whom all the rest of the world ought to obey and serue? And those which inhabite it being so base, what shall be the issue of such happines, if their memorie doe not represent vnto them some aduersitie 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 hold vs for your owne, we cannot faile to be fauoured and maintained in true iustice and reason, and to haue the name of men. For such as are void of reason and iustice, may be compared to brute beastes. For mine owne part, from my very heart with reuerence due to such a Prince, I offer my selfe vnto your Lordship, and beseech you; that in reward of this my true good will, you will vouchsafe to make vse of mine owne person, my countrie and subiects.
The Gouernour answered him, that his offers and good wil declared by the effect, did highly please him, whereof he would alwaies be mindfull to honour and fauour him as his brother. This countrie, from the first peaceable Cacique, vnto the Prouince of Patofa, which were fiftie leagues, is a fat countrie, beautifull, and very fruitfull, and very well watered, and full of good Riuers. And from thence to the Port de Spirito Santo, where wee first arriued in the land of Florida, (which may bee 350. leagues little more or lesse) is a barren land, and the most of it groues of wild Pine-trees, low and full of lakes, and in some places very hie and thicke groues, whither the Indians that were in armes fled, so that no man could finde them, neither could any horses enter into them. Which was an inconuenience to the Christians, in regard of the victuals which they found conueied away: and of the trouble which they had in seeking of Indians to bee their guides.
Chap. xiiii. How the Gouernour departed from the Prouince of Patofa, and went through a desert, where he and all his men fell into great distresse, and extreme miserie.
In the towne of Patofa the youth, which the Gouernour carried with him for an interpretour and a guide, began to fome at the mouth, and tumble on the ground, as one possessed with the diuell: They said a Gospell ouer him; and the fit left him. And he said, that foure daies iournie from thence toward the Sunne rising, was the Prouince that he spake of. The Indians of Patofa said, that toward that part they knew no habitation; but that toward the Northwest, they knew a Prouince which was called Coça, a verie plentifull countrie, which had very great townes in it. The Cacique told the Gouernour, that if he would go thither, he would giue him guides and Indians for burdens; and if he would goe whither the youth spake of, that he would likewise giue him those that he needed: and so with louing words and offers of courtesie, they tooke their leaues the one of the other. Hee gaue him seuen hundred Indians to beare burdens. He tooke Maiz for foure daies iournie. Hee trauelled sixe daies by a path which grew narrow more and more, till it was lost altogether: Two swift Riuers. He went where the youth did lead him, and passed two Riuers which were waded: each of them was two crossebowshot ouer: the water came to the stirrops, and had so great a current, that it was needfull for the horsemen to stand one before another, that the footemen might passe aboue them leaning vnto them. Another greater Riuer. He came to another Riuer of a greater current and largenes, which was passed with more trouble, because the horses did swim at the comming out about a lances length. Hauing passed this Riuer, the Gouernor came to a groue of pinetrees, and threatned the youth, and made as though hee would haue cast him to the dogges, because he had told him a lie, saying it was but foure daies iournie, and they had trauelled nine, and euery day 7. or 8. leagues, and the men by this time were growne wearie and weake, and the horses leane through the great scanting of the Maiz. The youth said, that hee knew not where hee was. It saued him that he was not cast to the dogges, that there was neuer another whom Iohn Ortiz did vnderstand. The Gouernour with them two, and with some horsemen and footemen, leauing the Campe in a groue of pinetrees, trauelled that day 5. or 6. leagues to seek a way, and returned at night very comfortlesse, and without finding any signe of way or towne. The next day there were sundrie opinions deliuered, whether they should goe backe, or what they should doe: and because backward the Countrie whereby they had passed was greatly spoiled and destitute of Maiz, and that which they brought with them was spent, and the men were very weake, and the horses likewise, they doubted much whether they might come to any place where they might helpe themselues. And besides this, they were of opinion, that going in that sort out of order, that any Indians would presume to set vpon them, so that with hunger, or with warre, they could not escape. The Gouernour determined to send horsemen from thence euery way to seeke habitation: and the next day he sent foure Captaines, euery one a sundrie way with eight horsemen. At night they came againe, leading their horses, or driuing them with a sticke before; for they were so wearie, that they could not lead them; neither found they any way nor signe of habitation. The next day, the Gouernour sent other foure with as many horsemen that could swim, to passe the Ose and Riuers which they should find, and they had choice horses the best that were in the Campe. The Captaines were Baltasar de Gallégos, which went vp the Riuer; and Iohn Danusco, downe the Riuer: Alfonso Romo, and Iohn Rodriguez Lobillo went into the inward parts of the land. The great increase of swine. The Gouernour brought with him into Florida thirteene sowes, and had by this time three hundred swine: He commanded euery man should haue halfe a pound of hogs flesh euery day: and this hee did three or foure daies after the Maiz was all spent. With this small quantitie of flesh, and some sodden hearbs, with much trouble the people were sustained. The Gouernour dismissed the Indians of Patofa, because hee had no food to giue them; who desiring to accompanie and serue the Christians in their necessitie, making shew that it grieued them very much to returne, vntill they had left them in a peopled Countrie, returned to their owne home. Iohn Danusco came on Sunday late in the euening, and brought newes that he had found a little towne 12. or 13. leagues from thence: he brought a woman and a boy that he tooke there. With his comming and with those newes, the Gouernour and all the rest were so glad, that they seemed at that instant to haue returned from death to life. Vpon Monday the twentie sixe of Aprill, the Gouernour departed to goe to the towne, which was called Aymay; and the Christians named it the towne of Reliefe. He left where the Camp had lien at the foote of a Pinetree a letter buried, and letters carued in the barke of the pine, the contents whereof was this: Dig heere at the foot of this pine, and you shal find a letter. And this he did, because when the Captaines came, which were sent to seeke some habitation, they might see the letter, and know what was become of the Gouernour, and which way he was gone. There was no other way to the town, but the markes that Iohn Danusco left made vpon the trees. The Gouernour with some of them that had the best horses came to it on the Monday: And all the rest inforcing themselues the best they could, some of them lodged within two leagues of the towne, some within three or foure, euery one as he was able to goe, and his strength serued him. There was found in the towne a storehouse full of the flowre of parched Maiz; and some Maiz, which was distributed by allowance. Here were foure Indians taken, and none of them would confesse any other thing, but that they knew of none other habitation. An Indian burned for his falsehood. The Gouernour commanded one of them to be burned; and presently another confessed, that two daies iourney from thence, there was a Prouince that was called Cutifa Chiqui. Vpon Wednesday came the Captaines Baltasar de Gallégos, Alfonso Romo, and Iohn Rodriguez Lobillo: for they had found the letter, and followed the way which the Gouernour had taken toward the towne. Two men of Iohn Rodriguez companie were lost, because their horses tired: the Gouernour checked him very sore for leauing them behind, and sent to seeke them: and assoone as they came, he departed toward Cutifa Chiqui. In the way three Indians were taken, which said, that the Ladie of that Countrie had notice alreadie of the Christians, and staied for them in a towne of hers. The Gouernour sent by one of them to offer her his friendship, and to aduertise her how he was comming thither. The Gouernour came vnto the towne: and presently there came foure canoes to him; in one of them came a sister of the Ladie, and approching to the Gouernour she said these words:
Excellent Lord, my sister sendeth vnto you by me to kisse your Lordships hands, and to signifie vnto you, that the cause why she came not in person, is, that she thinketh to do you greater seruice staying behind, as she doth, giuing order, that with all speed, al her canoes be readie, that your Lordship may passe the Riuer, and take your rest, which shall be presentlie performed.
The Gouernour gaue her thankes, and she returned to the other side of the Riuer. Within a little while the Ladie came out of the towne in a Chaire, whereon certaine of the principall Indians brought her to the Riuer. She entred into a barge, which had the sterne tilted ouer, and on the floore her mat readie laied with two cushions vpon it one vpon another, where she sate her downe; and with her came her principall Indians in other barges, which did wait vpon her. She went to the place where the Gouernour was, and at her comming she made this speech following:
Excellent Lord, I wish this comming of your Lordship into these your Countries, to be most happie: although my power be not answerable to my wil, and my seruices be not according to my desire, nor such as so high a Prince, as your Lordship, deserueth; yet since the good will is rather to be accepted, then all the treasures of the world, that without it are offered, with most vnfaileable and manifest affection, I offer you my person, lands, and subiects, and this small seruice.
And therewithal she presented vnto him great store of clothes of the Countrie, which shee brought in other canoes; to wit, mantles and skinnes; and tooke from her owne necke a great cordon of perles, and cast it about the necke of the Gouernour, entertaining him with very gracious speeches of loue and courtesie, and commanded canoes to be brought thither, wherein the Gouernour and his people passed the Riuer. Cutifa-Chiqui. Assoone as hee was lodged in the towne, she sent him another present of many hens. This Countrie was verie pleasant, fat, and hath goodly meadows by the Riuers. Their woods are thin, and ful of Walnut trees and Mulberrie trees. They said the sea was two daies journey from thence. Within a league, and a halfe a league about this towne, was great townes dispeopled, and ouergrowne with grasse; which shewed, that they had been long without inhabitants. The Indians said, that two yeere before there was a plague in that countrie, and that they remooued to other townes. There was in their storehouses great quantitie of clothes, mantles of yarne made of the barkes of trees, and others made of feathers, white, greene red, and yellow, very fine after their vse, and profitable for winter. There were also many Deeres skinnes, with many compartiments traced in them, and some of them made into hose, stockings and shooes. And the Ladie perceiuing, that the Christians esteemed the perles, aduised the Gouernour to send to search certaine graues that were in that towne, and that hee should find many: and that if hee would send to the dispeopled townes, hee might load all his horses. They sought the graues of the towne, and there found fourteene rooues of perles, and little babies and birdes made of them. The people were browne, well made, and well proportioned, and more ciuill then any others that were seene in all the countrie of Florida, and all of them well shod and clothed. The youth told the Gouernour, that hee began now to enter into the land which hee spake of: and some credit was giuen him that it was so, because hee vnderstood the language of the Indians: and hee requested that hee might bee christened, for hee said he desired to become a Christian: Hee was christened, and named Peter; and the Gouernour commanded him to be loosed from a chaine, in which vntill that time he had gone. This countrie, as the Indians reported, had beene much inhabited, and had the fame of a good countrie. And, as it seemeth, the youth which was the Gouernours guide, had heard of it, and that which he knew by heresay, hee affirmed that hee had seene, and augmented at his pleasure. In this towne was found a dagger, and beades, that had belonged to Christians. This towne was but two daies iourney from the hauen of Santa Helena. In the yeere 1525. It is 32 degrees 1/2. The Indians reported that Christians had been in the hauen, which was two daies iourney from this towne, many yeeres agoe. Hee that came thither was the Gouernour, the Licenciate Lucas Vasquez de Ayllon, which went to conquer this countrie, and at his comming to the Port hee died; and there was a diuision, quarrels and slaughters betweene some principall men which went with him, for the principall gouernment: And without knowing anything of the countrie they returned home to Hispaniola. All the company thought it good to inhabite that countrie, because it was in a temperat climate: And that if it were inhabited, al the shippes of New Spaine, of Peru, Santa Martha, and Tierra firme in their returne for Spaine, might well touch there: because it was in their way; and because it was a good countrie, and sited fit to raise commoditie. The Gouernour, since it was his intent to seeke another treasure, like that of Atabalipa Lord of Peru, was not contented with a good countrie, nor with perles, though many of them were worth their weight in gold. And if the countrie had been diuided among the Christians, those which the Indians had fished for afterward, would haue been of more value; for those which they had, because they burned them in the fire, did leese their colour. The Gouernour answered them, that vrged him to inhabit, That in all the countrie there were not victuals to susteine his men one moneth; and that it was needfull to resort to the Port of Ocus, where Maldanado was to stay for them: and that if no richer Countrie were found, they might returne againe to that whensoeuer they would: and in the meane time the Indians would sow their fields, and it would be better furnished with Maiz. He inquired of the Indians, whether they had notice of any great Lord farther into the land. They told him, that 12. daies iournie from thence, there was a Prouince called Chiaha, subiect to the Lord of Coça. Presently the Gouernour determined to seeke that land. And being a sterne man, and of few words, though he was glad to sift and know the opinion of all men, yet after hee had deliuered his owne, he would not be contraried, and alwaies did what liked himselfe, and so all men did condescend vnto his will. And though it seemed an errour to leaue that Countrie, (for others might haue been sought round about, where the people might haue been sustained, vntill the haruest had been readie there, and the Maiz gathered) yet there was none that would say any thing against him, after they knew his resolution.
Chap. XV. How the Gouernour departed from Cutifa–Chiqui to seeke the Prouince of Coça; and what happened vnto him in the way.
The Gouernour departed from Cutifa–Chiqui the third day of May. And because the Indians had reuolted, and the will of the Ladie was perceiued, that if she could, she would depart without giuing any guides or men for burdens, for the wrongs which the Christians had done to the Indians: (for there neuer want some among many of the base sort, that for a little doe put themselues and others in danger of vndoing.) The Gouernour commanded her to be kept in safegard, and carried with him, not with so good vsage as she deserued for the good wil she shewed and good entertainment that she had made him. And he verified that old prouerb which saith; For weldoing I receiue euill. And so he carried her on foot with his bondwomen to looke vnto her. In all the townes where the Gouernour passed, the Ladie commanded the Indians to come and carrie the burdens from one towne to another. We passed through her Countrie an hundred leagues, in which, as we saw, she was much obeyed; For the Indians did all that she commanded them with great efficacie and diligence. Peter the youth that was our guide, said, that she was not the Ladie her selfe, but a neece of hers, which came to that towne to execute certaine principal men by commandement of the Ladie, which had withheld her tribute: which words were not beleeued, 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. Chalaque seuen daies iournie from Cutifa-Chiqui. In seuen daies space the Gouernour came to a Prouince called Chalaque, the poorest Country of Maiz that was seene in Florida. The Indians fed vpon rootes and herbes which they seeke in the fields, and vpon wild beasts, which they kil with their bowes and arrowes: and it is a verie gentle people. All of them goe naked, and are very leane. There was a Lord, which for a great present, brought the Gouernour two Deeres skins: and there were in that Countrie many wild hennes. In one towne they made him a present of 700. hennes, and so in other townes they sent him those which they had or could get. From this Prouince to another, which is called Xualla, he spent fiue daies: here he found very little Maiz; and for this cause, though the people were wearied, and the horses very weake, he staied no more but two daies. From Ocute to Cutifa-chiqui, may bee some hundred and thirtie leagues, whereof 80. are wildernesse. From Cutifa-chiqui to Xualla, two hundred and fiftie, and it is an hillie Countrie. The Gouernour departed from Xualla toward Guaxule: he passed very rough and hie hilles. In that iournie, the Ladie of Cutifa-chiqui (whom the Gouernour carried with him, as is afore said, with purpose to carrie her to Guaxule, because her territorie reached thither) going on a day with the bondwomen which lead her, went out of the way, and entred into a wood, saying, she went to ease her selfe, and so she deceiued them, and hid her selfe in the wood; and though they sought her they could not find her. She carried away with her a little chest made of canes in manner of a coffer, which they call Petaca, full of vnbored perles. Some which could iudge of them, said, that they were of great value. An Indian woman that waited on her did carrie them. The Gouernour not to discontent her altogether, left them with her, making account that in Guaxule he would ask them of her, when he gaue her leaue to returne: which coffer she carried away, and went to Xualla with three slaues which fled from the Campe, and one horseman which remained behind, who falling sicke of an ague went out of the way, and was lost. This man, whose name was Alimamos, dealt with the slaues to change their euill purpose, and returne with him to the Christians: which two of them did; and Alimamos and they ouertooke the Gouernour 50. leagues from thence in a Prouince called Chiaha; and reported how the Ladie remained in Xualla with a slaue of Andrew de Vasconcellos, which would not come backe with them, and that of a certaintie they liued as man and wife together, and meant to goe both to Cutifa-chiqui. Within fiue daies the Gouernour came to Guaxule. The Indians there gaue him a present of 300 dogges, because they saw the Christians esteeme them, and sought them to feed on them: for among them they are not eaten. In Guaxule, and all that way was very little Maiz: The Gouernour sent from thence an Indian with a message to the Cacique of Chiaha, to desire him to gather some Maiz thither, that he might rest a few daies in Chiaha. The Gouernour departed from Guaxule, and in two daies iournie came to a towne called Canasagua. There met him on the way 20. Indians euery one laden with a basket full of Mulberries: for there be many, and those very good, from Culifa-chiqui thither, and so forward in other Prouinces, and also nuts and plummes. And the trees grow in the fields without planting or dressing them, and are as big and rancke, as though they grew in gardens digged and watered. From the time that the Gouernour departed from Canasagua, hee iournied fiue daies through a desert; and two leagues before hee came to Chiaha, there met him 15. Indians loaded with Maiz, which the Cacique had sent; and they told him on his behalfe that he waited his comming with 20. barnes full of it; and farther that himselfe his countrie, and subiects, and al things els were at his seruice. On the 5. day of Iune, the Gouernour entred into Chiaha: The Cacique voided his owne houses, in which he lodged and receiued him with much ioy, saying these words following:
Mightie and excellent Lord, I hold my selfe for so happie a man, in that it hath pleased your Lordship to vse me, that nothing could haue happened vnto me of more contentment, nor that I would haue esteemed so much. From Guaxule your Lordship sent vnto me, that I should prepare Maiz for you in this towne for two moneths: Here I haue for you 20. barnes full of the choisest that in all the countrie could be found. If your lordship bee not entertained by mee in such sort, as is fit for so hie a Prince, respect my tender age, which excuseth me from blame, and receiue my good will, which with much loyaltie, truth, and sinceritie, I will alwaies shew in any thing, which shall concerne your Lordships seruice.
The Gouernour answered him, that he thanked him very much for his seruice and offer, and that he would alwaies account him as a brother. There was in this towne much butter in gourds melted like oile: they said it was the fat of beares. There was found also great store of oile of walnuts, which was cleare as butter, and of good taste, and a pot full of honie of bees, which neither before or afterward was seene in all the countrie. The towne was in an Island betweene two armes of a Riuer, and was seated nigh one of them. The Riuer diuided it selfe into those two branches two crossebow shot aboue the towne, and meeteth againe a league beneath the same. The plaine betweene both the branches is sometimes one crosse-bowe shot ouer. The branches are very broad, and both of them may be waded ouer. There were all along them verie good meadowes, and many fields sowne with Maiz. And because the Indians staid in their towns the Gouernour only lodged in the houses of the Cacique, and his people in the fields; where there was euer a tree, euerie one tooke one for himselfe. Thus the camp lay separated one from another, and out of order. The Gouernour winked at it, because the Indians were in peace, and because it was very hot, and the people should haue suffered great extremities, if it had not bin so. The desert of Ocute, chap. 14. The horses came thither so weake, that for feeblenesse, they were not able to carrie their masters: because that from Cutifa-chiqui, they alwaies trauelled with very little prouender, and were hunger-starued and tired euer since they came from the desert of Ocute. And because the most of them were not in case to vse in battell, 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 vpon them, they had been in euill case to haue defended themselues. The Gouernour rested there thirtie daies, in which time, because the Countrie was very fruitfull, the horses grew fat. At the time of his departure, by the importunitie of some, which would haue more then was reason, hee demanded of the Cacique 30. women to make slaues of. Hee answered that hee would conferre with his chiefe men. And before hee returned answere, one night all of them with their wiues and children forsooke the towne, and fled away. The next day the Gouernour purposing to goe to seeke them, the Cacique came vnto him, and at his comming vsed these words vnto the Gouernour:
Mightie Lord, with shame and feare of your Lordship, because my subiects against my will haue done amisse in absenting themselues, I went my way without your license; and knowing the errour which I haue committed, like a loyall subiect, I come to yeeld my selfe into your power, to dispose of mee at your owne pleasure. For my subiects do not obey mee, nor do any thing but what an Vncle of mine commandeth, which gouerneth this Countrie for me, vntill I be of a perfect age. If your lordship will pursue them, and execute on them that, which for their disobedience they deserue, I will be your guide, since at this present my fortune will not suffer me to performe any more.
Certaine townes. Presently the Gouernour with 30. horsemen, and as many footmen, went to seeke the Indians, and by passing by some townes of the principall Indians which had absented themselues, hee cut and destroyed great fields of Maiz; and went vp the Riuer, where the Indians were in an Island, where the horsemen could not come at them. There he sent them word by an Indian to returne to their towne and feare nothing, and that they should giue him men to carrie burdens, as al those behind had done; for he would haue no Indian women, seeing they were so loth to part with them. The Indians accepted his request, and came to the Gouernour to excuse themselues; and so all of them returned to their towne. A Cacique of a Prouince called Coste, came to this towne to visit the Gouernour. Mines of copper and gold in Chisca toward the North. After hee had offered himselfe, and passed with him some words of tendring his seruice and curtesie; the Gouernour asking him whether he had notice of any rich Countrie? he said, yea: to wit, “that toward the North, there was a Prouince named Chisca: and that there was a melting of copper, and of another metall of the same colour, saue that it was finer, and of a farre more perfect colour, and farre better to the sight and that they vsed it not so much, because it was softer.” And the selfe same thing was told the Gouernour in Cutifa-chiqui; where we saw some little hatchets of copper, which were said to haue a mixture of gold. Chisca is directly North from Cutifa-Chiqui which is within two daies of Santa Helena. But in that part the Countrie was not well peopled, and they said there were mountaines, which the horses could not passe: and for that cause the Gouernour would not goe from Cutifa-chiqui directly thither: And hee made account, that trauelling through a peopled Countrie, when his men and horses should be in better plight, and hee were better certified of the truth of the thing, he would returne toward it, by mountaines, and a better inhabited Countrie, whereby hee might haue better passage. Two Christians sent from Chiaha to seeke Chisca. He sent two Christians from Chiaha with certain Indians which knew the Countrie 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 tarrie for them.
Chap. xvi. How the Gouernour departed from Chiaha, and at Coste was in danger to haue been slaine by the hands of the Indians, and by a stratageme escaped the same: And what more happened vnto him in this iourney, and how he came to Coça.
When the Gouernour was determined to depart from Chiaha to Coste, he sent for the Cacique to come before him, and with gentle words tooke his leaue of him, and gaue him certaine things, wherewith he rested much contented: In seuen daies he came to Coste. The second of Iulie he commanded his campe to be pitched two crossebow shot from the towne: and with eight men of his guard he went where he found the Cacique, which to his thinking receiued him with great loue. As hee was talking with him, there went from the campe certaine footemen to the towne to seeke some Maiz, and not contented with it, they ransacked and searched the houses, and tooke what they found. With this despite the Indians began to rise and take their armes: and some of them with cudgils in their hands, ran vpon fiue or sixe Christians, which had done them wrong, and beat them at their pleasure. A wise strategem. The Gouernour seeing them al in an vprore, and himselfe among them with so few Christians, to escape their hands vsed a stratagem, farre against his owne disposition, being as hee was very francke and open: and though it grieued him very much that any Indian should be so bold, as with reason, or without reason to despise the Christians, he tooke vp a cudgel, and tooke their parts against his owne men; which was a meanes to quiet them: And presently he sent word by a man very secretly to the Campe, that some armed men should come toward the place where he was; and hee tooke the Cacique by the hand, vsing very mild words vnto him, and with some principall Indians that did accompanie him, he drew them out of the towne into a plaine way, and vnto the sight of the Campe, whither by little and little with good discretion the Christians began to come and to gather about them. Thus the Gouernour led the Cacique, and his chiefe men vntill he entred with them into the Campe: and neere vnto his tent, hee commanded them to be put in safe custodie: and told them, that they should not depart without giuing him a guide and Indians for burthens, and till certaine sicke Christians were come, which he had commanded to come downe the Riuer in canoes from Chiaha; and those also which he had sent to the Prouince of Chisca: (for they were not returned; and he feared that the Indians had slaine the one, and the other.) Within three daies after, those which were sent to Chisca returned, and made report, that the Indians had carried them through a countrie so poore of Maiz, and so rough, and ouer so hie mountaines, that it was impossible for the armie to trauell that way; and that seeing the way grew very long, and that they lingered much, they consulted to returne from a little poore towne, where they saw nothing that was of any profit, and brought an oxe hide, which the Indians gaue them, as thinne as a calues skinne, and the haire like a soft wool, betweene the course and fine wooll of sheepe. The Cacique gaue a guide, and men for burdens, and departed with the Gouernours leaue. The Gouernour departed from Coste the ninth of Iulie, and lodged at a towne called Tali: the Casique came foorth to receiue him on the way, and made this speech:
Excellent Lord and Prince, worthie to be serued and obeyed of all the Princes in the world; howsoeuer for the most part by the outward phisiognomie, the inward vertue may bee iudged, and that who you are, and of what strength was knowne vnto mee before now: I will not inferre hereupon how meane I am in your presence, to hope that my poore seruices will be gratefull 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 onely to respect the same, and consider wherein you will command my seruice in this your countrie.
The Gouernour answered him, that his good will and offer was as acceptable vnto him, as if he had offered him all the treasures of the world, and that hee would alwaies intreate, fauour, and esteeme him as if he were his owne brother. The Cacique commanded prouision necessarie for two daies, while the Gouernour was there, to be brought thither: and at the time of his departure, he gaue him foure women and two men, which hee had need of to beare burthens. The Gouernour trauelled sixe daies through many townes subiect to the Cacique of Coça: and as he entred into his Countrie many Indians came vnto him euery day from the Cacique, and met him on the way with messages, one going, and another comming. Hee came to Coça vpon Friday, the 26. of Iulie. The Cacique came foorth to receiue him two crossebow shot from the towns in a chaire, which his principall men carried on their shoulders, sitting vpon a cushion, and couered with a garment of Marterns, of the fashion and bignes of a womans huke: hee had on his head a diadem of feathers, and round about him many Indians playing vpon flutes, and singing. Assoone as he came vnto the Gouernour, he did his obeysance, and vttered these words following:
Excellent and mightie Lord, aboue all them of the earth; although I come but now to receiue you, yet I haue receiued you many daies agoe in my heart, to wit, from the day wherein I had first notice of your Lordship; with so great desire to serue you, with so great pleasure and contentment, that this which I make shew of is nothing in regard of that which is in my heart neither can it haue any kind of comparison. This you may hold for certaine, that to obtaine the dominion of the whole world, would not haue reioyced me so much, as your sight, neither would I haue held it for so great a felicitie. Doe not looke for me to offer you that which is your owne: to wit, my person, my lands, and subiects: onely I busie my selfe in commanding my men with all diligence and due reuerence to welcome you from hence to the towne with playing and singing, where your Lordship shall be lodged and attended ypon by my selfe and them: and all that I possesse, your Lordship shall vse as it were your owne. For your Lordship shall doe mee a verie great fauour in so doing.
The Gouernour gaue him thankes, and with great ioy they both were conferring together, till they came to the towne: and he commanded his Indians to void their houses, wherein the Gouernour and his men lodged. There was in the barnes, and in the fields, great store of Maiz and French Beanes: The Country was greatly inhabited with many great townes, and many sowne fields, which reach from the one to the other. It was pleasant, fat, full of good meadowes vpon Riuers. There were in the fields, many Plum trees, aswell of such as grow in Spaine, as of the Countrie: and wild tall vines, that runne vp 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 kirnels in them. The Gouernour vsed to set a guard ouer the Caciques, because they should not absent themselues, and carried them with him, till he came out of their Countries, because that carrying them along with him, hee looked to find people in the townes, and they gaue him guides, and men to carrie burdens: and before hee went out of their Countries, he gaue them licence to returne to their houses, and to their porters likewise, assoone as he came to any other Lordship, where they gaue him others. The men of Coça seeing their Lord detained, tooke it in euill part, and reuolted and hid themselues in the woods, aswell those of the towne of the Cacique, as those of the other townes of his principall subjects. The Gouernour sent out foure Captaines, euery one his way to seeke them. They tooke many men and women, which were put into chaines: They seeing the hurt which they receiued, and how little they gained in absenting themselues, came againe, promising to do whatsoeuer they were commanded. Of those which were taken prisoners, some principall men were set at libertie, whom the Cacique demanded: and euery one that had any, carried the rest in chaines like slaues, without letting them goe to their Countrie: neither did any returne, but some few, whose fortune helped them with the good diligence which they vsed to file off their chaines by night, or such as in their trauelling could slippe aside out of the way, seeing any negligence in them that kept them: some escaped away with the chaines, and with the burdens, and clothes which they carried.
Chap. xvii. How the Gouernour went from Coça to Tascaluca.
The Gouernour rested in Coça 25. daies. He departed from thence the 20. of August to seeke a Prouince called Tascaluca: hee carried with him the Cacique of Coça. He passed that day by a great towne called Tallimuchase, the people were fled: he lodged halfe a league farther neere a brooke. The next day he came to a towne called Ytaua, subiect to Coça. Hee staied there sixe daies because of a Riuer that passed by it, which at that time was very hie; and assoone as the Riuer suffered him to passe, he set forward, and lodged at a towne named Vllibahali. There came to him on the way, on the Caciques behalfe of that Prouince, ten or twelue principall Indians to offer him his seruice; all of them had their plumes of feathers, and bowes and arrowes. The Gouernour comming to the towne with twelue horsemen, and some footemen of his guard, leauing his people a crossebow shot from the towne, entred into it, hee found all the Indians with their weapons: and as farre as he could ghesse, they seemed to haue some euill meaning. It was knowne afterward, that they were determined to take the Cacique of Coça, from the Gouernour, if hee had requested it. Vllibahali walled about. The Gouernour commanded all his people to enter the towne, which was walled about, and neere vnto it passed a small Riuer. The wall, aswell of that, as of others, which afterward wee saw, was of great posts thrust deepe into the ground and very rough, and many long railes as big as ones arme laid acrosse between them, and the wall was about the height of a lance, and it was daubed within and without with clay, and had loope holes. On the other side of the Riuer was a towne, where at that present the Cacique was. The Gouernour sent to call him, and hee came presently. After he had passed with the Gouernour some words of offering his seruices, he gaue him such men for his cariages as he needed, and thirtie women for slaues. In that place was a Christian lost, called Mançano, home in Salamanca, of noble parentage, which went astray to seeke for grapes, whereof there is great store, and those very good. The day that the Gouernour departed from thence, he lodged at a towne subiect to the Lord of Vllibahali: and the next day hee came to another towne called Toasi. The Indians gaue the Gouernour thirtie women, and such men for his cariages as he needed. Hee trauelled ordinarily 5. or 6. leagues a day when he trauelled through peopled Countries: and going through deserts, he marched as fast as he could, to eschew the want of Maiz. From Toasi, passing through some townes subiect to a Cacique, which was Lord of a prouince called Tallise, hee trauelled fiue daies: He came to Tallise the 18. of September: The towne was great, and situated neere vnto a maine Riuer. On the other side of the Riuer were other townes, and many fields sowne with Maiz. On both sides it was a very plentifull Countrie, and had store of Maiz: they had voided the towne. The Gouernour commanded to call the Cacique; who came, and betweene them passed some words of loue and offer of his seruices, and hee presented vnto him 40. Indians. There came to the Gouernour in this towne a principall Indian in the behalfe of the Cacique of Tascaluca, and made this speech following:
Mightie, vertuous, and esteemed Lord, the great Cacique of Tascaluca my Lord, sendeth by me to kisse your Lordships hands, and to let you vnderstand, that he hath notice, how you iustly rauish with your perfections and power, all men on the earth; and that euerie one by whom your Lordship passeth doth serue and obey you; which he acknowledgeth to be due vnto you, and desireth, as his life, to see, and to serue your Lordship. For which cause by me he offereth himselfe, his lands and subiects, that when your Lordship pleaseth to go through his Countrie, you may be receiued with all peace and loue, serued and obeyed; and that in recompence of the desire he hath to see you, you will doe him the fauour to let him know when you will come: for how much the sooner, so much the greater fauour he shall receiue.
The Gouernour receiued and dispatched him graciously, giuing him beades, which among them were not much esteemed, and some other thinges to carrie to his Lord. And he gaue licence to the Cacique of Coça to returne home to his owne Countries. The Cacique of Tallise gaue him such men for burthens as he needed. And after he had rested there 20. daies, hee departed thence toward Tascaluca. That day when he went from Tallise, hee lodged at a great towne called Casiste. And the next day passed by another, and came to a small towne of Tascaluca; and the next day hee camped in a wood two leagues from the towne where the Cacique resided, and was at that time. And he sent the Master of the Camp, Luys de Moscoso, with 15. horsemen, to let him know how hee was comming. The Cacique was in his lodgings vnder a Canopie: and without doores, right against his lodgings, in an high place, they spread a mat for him, and two cushions one vpon another, where he sat him downe, and his Indians placed themselues round about him, somewhat distant from him, so that they made a place, and a void roome where he sate: and his chiefest men were neerest to him, and one with a shadow of Deeres skinne, which keept the Sunne from him, being round, and of the bignes of a target, quartered with black and white, hauing a rundell in the middest: a farre off it seemed to be of taffata, because the colours were very perfect. It was set on a small staffe stretched wide out. This was the deuice which hee carried in his warres. He was a man of a very tall stature, of great limmes, and spare, and well proportioned, and was much feared of his neighbours and subiects. He was Lord of many territories and much people: In his countenance hee was very graue. After the Master of the Campe had spoken with him, hee and those that went with him coursed their horses, pransing them to and fro, and now and then toward the place where the Cacique was, who with much grauitie and dissimulation now and then lifted vp his eies, and beheld them as it were with disdaine. At the Gouernours comming, hee made no offer at all to rise. The Gouernour tooke him by the hand, and both of them sate downe together on a seate which was vnder the cloth of estate. The Cacique said these words vnto him:
Mighty Lord, I bid your Lordship right hartily welcome. I receiue as much pleasure and contentment with your sight, as if you were my brother whom I dearly loued: vpon this point it is not needfull to vse many reasons; since it is no discretion to speake that in many wordes, which in few may be vttered. How much the greater the will is, so much more giueth it name to the workes, and the workes giue testimonie of the truth. Now touching my will, by it you shall know, how certaine and manifest it is, and how pure inclination I haue to serue you. Concerning the fauour which you did me, in the things which you sent me, I make as much account of them as is reason to esteeme them: and chiefly because they were yours. Now see what seruice you will command me.
The Gouernor satisfied him with sweet words, and with great breuitie. When hee departed from thence he determined to carrie him along with him for some causes, and at two daies iournie he came to a towne called Piache, by which there passed a great Riuer. The Gouernour demanded canoes of the Indians: they said, they had them not, but that they would make rafts of canes and drie timber, on which he might passe well enough. And they made them with all diligence and speed, and they gouerned them; and because the water went very slow, the Gouernour and his people passed very well.
From the Port de Spirito Santo to Apalache, which is about an hundred leagues, the Gouernour went from East to West: And from Apalache to Cutifa-chiqui, which are 430. leagues, from the Southwest to the Northeast: and from Cutifa-chiqui to Xualla, which are about two hundred and fiftie leagues, from the South to the North: And from Xualla to Tascaluca, which are two hundred and fiftie leagues more, an hundred and ninetie of them he trauelled from East to West, to wit, to the Prouince of Coça: and the other 60. from Coça to Tascaluca from the North to the South.
Hauing passed the Riuer of Piache, a Christian went from his companie from thence to seeke a woman slaue that was runne away from him, and the Indians either tooke him captiue, or slue him. The Gouernor vrged the Cacique that he should giue account of him, and threatened him, that if he were not found, he would neuer let him loose. The Cacique sent an Indian from thence to Mauilla, whither they were trauelling, which was a towne of a principall Indian and his subiect, saying, that he sent him to aduise them to make readie victuals, and men for carriages. But, (as afterward appeared) hee sent him to assemble all the men of warre thither, that hee had in his Countrie. The Gouernour trauelled three daies; and the third day he passed all day through a peopled Countrie: and he came to Mauilla vpon Monday the 18. of October. He went before the Camp with 15. horsemen and 30. footemen. And from the towne came a Christian, whom he had sent to the principall man, three or foure daies before, because he should not absent himselfe, and also to learne in what sort the Indians were: who told him that hee thought they were in an euill purpose: for while hee was there, there came manie people into the towne, and many weapons, and that they made great haste to fortifie the wall. Luys de Mauilla walled. Moscoso told the Gouernour, that it would bee good to lodge in the field, seeing the Indians were of such disposition: and hee answered, that he would lodge in the towne, for hee was wearie of lodging in the field. When hee came neere vnto the towne, the Cacique came foorth to receiue him with many Indians playing vpon flutes and singing: And after hee had offered himselfe, hee presented him with three mantels of marterns. The Gouernour, with both the Caciques, and seuen or eight men of his guard, and three or foure horsemen which alighted to accompanie him, entred into the towne, and sat him downe vnder a cloth of estate. The Cacique of Tascaluca requested him, that hee would let him remaine in that towne, and trouble him no more with travelling: And seeing he would not giue him leaue, in his talke he changed his purpose, and dissemblinglie fained that he would speake with some principall Indians, and rose vp from the place where hee sate with the Gouernour, and entred into a house, where many Indians were with their bowes and arrowes. The Gouernour when he saw he returned not, called him, and he answered, that he would not come out from thence, neither would he goe any farther then that towne, and that if he would goe his way in peace, hee should presently depart, and should not seeke to carrie him perforce out of his Countrie and territorie.
Chap. xviii. How the Indians rose against the Gouernour, and what ensued thereupon.
The Gouernour seeing the determination, and furious answere of the Cacique, went about to pacifie him with faire words: to which he gaue no answere, but rather with much pride and disdaine, withdrew himselfe where the Gouernor might not see him, nor speake with him. As a principall Indian passed that way, the Gouernor called him, to send him word, that hee might remaine at his pleasure in his Countrie, and that it would please him to giue him a guide, and men for carriages, to see if he could pacifie him with mild words. The Indians answered with great pride, that hee would not hearken vnto him. Baltasar de Gallégos, which stood by tooke hold of a gowne of marternes which hee had on; and he cast it ouer his head, and left it in his hands: and because all of them immediatly began to stirre, Baltasar de Gallégos gaue him such a wound with his coutilas, that hee opened him downe the backe, and presently all the Indians with a great crie came out of the houses shooting their arrowes. The Gouernour considering, that if hee tarried there, hee could not escape, and if hee commanded his men to come in, which were without the towne, the Indians within the houses might kill their horses, and doe much hurt, ranne out of the towne, and before hee came out, hee fell twice or thrice, and those that were with him did helpe him vp againe; and he and those that were with him were sore wounded: and in a moment there were fiue Christians slaine in the towne. The Gouernour came running out of the towne, crying out, that euery 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 then an ordinary pase, shot with great boldnesse at them, and strooke downe such as they could ouertake. The Indians which the Christians did lead with them in chaines, had laid downe their burthens neere vnto the wall: and assoone as the Gouernour and his men were retired, the men of Mauilla laid them on the Indians backs againe, and tooke them into the towne, and loosed them presently from their chaines, and gaue them bowes and arrowes to fight withall. Al the clothes and perles of the Christians were lost. Thus they possessed themselues of al the clothes and perles, and all that the Christians had, which their slaues carried. And because the Indians had been alwaies peaceable vntill wee came to this place, some of our men had their weapons in their fardels and remained vnarmed. And from others that had entred the towne with the Gouernour they had taken swords and halebards, and fought with them. When the Gouernour was gotten into the field, hee called for an horse, and with some that accompanied him, hee returned and slew two or three Indians: All the rest retired themselues to the towne, and shot with their bowes from the wall. And those which presumed of their nimblenes, sallied foorth to fight a stones cast from the wall: And when the Christians charged them, they retired themselues at their leasure into the towne. At the time that the broile began, there were in the towne a Frier, and a Priest, and a seruant of the Gouernour, with a woman slave: and they had no time to come out of the towne: and they tooke an house, and so remained in the towne. The Indians beeing become Masters of the place, they shut the doore with a field gate: and among them was one sword which the Gouernors seruant had, and with it he set himselfe behind the doore, thrusting at the Indians which sought to come into them: and the Frier and the Priest stood on the other side, each of them with a barre in their hands to beate him downe that first came in. The Indians seeing they could not get in by the doore, began to vncouer the house top. By this time, all the horsemen and footemen which were behind, were come to Mauilla. Here there were sundrie opinions, whether they should charge the Indians to enter the towne, or whether they should leaue it, because it was hard to enter: and in the end it was resolued to set vpon them.
Chap. xix. How the Gouernour set his men in order, and entred the towne of Mauilla,
Assoone as the battell and the rereward were come to Mauilla, the Gouernour commanded all those that were best armed to alight, and made foure squadrons of footmen. A consultation of the Indians to send away their Cacique. The Indians, seeing how he was setting his men in order, concluded with the Cacique, that hee should goe his way, saying vnto him, as after it was knowne by certaine 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 principall Indians verie valiant and expert in feates of armes, that any one of them was able to order the people there; and forasmuch as matters of warre were subiect to casualtie, and it was vncertaine which part should overcome, they wished him to saue himselfe, to the end, that if it fel out that they should end their daies there, as they determined, rather then to be ouercome, there might remaine one to gouerne the Countrie. For all this hee would not haue gon away: but they vrged him so much, that with fifteene or twentie Indians of his owne, hee went out of the towne, and carried away a skarlat cloke, and other things of the Christians goods; as much as hee was able to carrie, and seemed best vnto him. The Gouernour was informed how there went men out of the towne, and hee commanded the horsemen to beset it, and sent in euery squadron of footemen one souldier with a firebrand to set fire on the houses, that the Indians might haue no defense: all his men being set in order, hee commanded an harcubuz to bee shot off. The signe being giuen, the foure squadrons, euery one by it selfe with great furie, gaue the onset, and with great hurt on both sides they entred the towne. The Frier and the Priest, and those that were with them in the house were saued, which cost the liues of two men of account, and valiant, which came thither to succour them. The Indians fought with such courage, that many times they draue our men put of the towne. The fight lasted so long, that for wearinesse and great thirst many of the Christians went to a poole that was neere the wal, to drink, which was all stained with the blood of the dead, and then came againe to fight. Thie Gouernour seeing this, entred among the footemen into the towne on horseback, with certaine that accompanied him, and was a meane that the Christians came to set fire on the houses, and brake and ouercame the Indians, who running out of the towne from the footemen, the horsemen without draue in at the gates again, where being without all hope of life, they fought valiantly, and after the Christians came among them to handy blowes, seeing themselues in great distresse without any succour, many of them fled into the burning houses, where one vpon another they were smothered and burnt in the fire. The death of 2500. Indians. The whole number of the Indians that died in this towne, were two thousand Indians and fiue hundred, little more or lesse. Of the Christians there died eighteene; of which one was Don Carlos, brother in law to the Gouernour, and a nephew of his, and one Iohn de Gamez, and Men Rodriguez Portugals, and Iohn Vasquez de Villanoua de Barca Rota, all men of honour, and of much valour: the rest were footemen. Besides those that were slaine, there were an hundred and fiftie wounded with 700. wounds of their arrowes: and it pleased God that of very dangerous wounds they were quickly healed; Moreouer, there were twelue horses slaine, and seuentie hurt. All the clothes which the Christians carried with them to clothe themselues withall, and the ornaments to say Masse, and the perles, were all burnt there: and the Christians did set them on fire themselues; because they held for a greater inconuenience, the hurt which the Indians might doe them from those houses, where they had gathered all those goods together, then the losse of them. Here the Gouernour vnderstood, The Port of Ochuse sixe daies iournie from Mauilla. that Francisco Maldonado waited for him at the Port of Ochuse, and that it was sixe daies iournie from thence; and he dealt with Iohn Ortiz to keepe it secret, because he had not accomplished that which he determined to doe; and because the perles were burnt there, which he meant to haue sent to Cuba for a shew, that the people hearing the newes, might be desirous to come to that Countrie. He feared also, that if they should haue newes of him without seeing from Florida neither gold nor siluer, nor any thing of value, it would get such a name, that no man would seeke to goe thither, when he should haue neede of people. And so he determined to send no newes of himselfe, vntill hee had found some rich Countrie.
Chap. XX. How the Gouernour departed from Mauilla toward Chicaça, and what happened vnto him.
From the time that the Gouernour entred into Florida, vntill his departure from Mauilla, there died an hundred and two Christians, some of sicknesse, and others which the Indians slew. He staied in Mauilla, because of the wounded men, eight and twentie daies: all which time he lay in the field. It was a well inhabited and a fat countrie, there were some great and walled townes: and many houses scattered all about the fields, to wit, a crossebow shot or two, the one from the other. Vpon Sonday, the eighteenth of Nouember, when the hurt men were knowne to bee healed, the Gouernour departed from Mauilla. Euery one furnished himselfe with Maiz for two daies, and they trauelled fiue daies through a desert: they came to a Prouince called Pafallaya, vnto a towne, named Taliepataua: and from thence they went to another, called Cabusto: neere vnto it ran a great Riuer. The Indians on the other side cried out, threatning the Christians to kill them, if they sought to passe it. The Gouernour commanded his men to make a barge within the towne, because the Indians should not perceiue it: it was finished in foure daies, and being ended, he commanded it to be carried one night vpon sleds halfe a league vp the Riuer. In the morning there entred into it thirtie men well armed. The Indians perceiued what was attempted, and those which were neerest, came to defend the passage. They resisted what they could, till the Christians came neere them; and seeing that the barge came to the shore, they fled away into the groues of canes. The Christians mounted on horsebacke, and went vp the Riuer to make good the passage, whereby the Gouernour and his companie passed the Riuer. There was along the Riuer some townes well stored with Maiz and French Beanes. From thence to Chicaça the Gouernour trauelled fiue daies through a desert. Hee came to a Riuer, where on the otherside were Indians to defend the passage. He made another barge in two daies; and when it was finished, the Gouernour sent an Indian to request the Cacique to accept of his friendship, and peaceably to expect his comming: whom the Indians that were on the other side the Riuer slew before his face, and presently making a great shout went their way. Hauing passed the Riuer, the next day, being the 17. of December, the Gouernour came to Chicaça, a small towne of twentie 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 themselues houses. This countrie was very well peopled, and the houses scattered like those of Mauilla, fat and plentifull of Maiz, and the most part of it was fielding: they gathered as much as sufficed to passe the winter. Some Indians were taken, among which was one whom the Cacique esteemed greatly. The Gouernour sent an Indian to signifie to the Cacique, that he desired to see him and to haue his friendship. The Cacique came vnto him, to offer him his person, countrie and subiects, and told him, that he would cause two other Caciques to come to him in peace; who within few daies after came with him, and with their Indians: the one was called Alimamu, the other Nicalasa. They gaue a present vnto the Gouernour of an hundred and fiftie conies, and of the countrie garments, to wit, of mantles and skinnes. The Cacique of Chicaça came to visit him many times; and sometimes the Gouernour sent to call him, and sent him a horse to goe and come. He complained vnto him, that a subiect of his was risen against him, and depriued him of his tribute, requesting his aide against him, for he meant to seeke him in his countrie, and to punish him according to his desert. An Indian stratagem. Which was nothing els but a fained plot. For they determined assoone as the Gouernour was gone with him, and the campe was diuided into two parts, the one of them to set vpon the Gouernour, and the other vpon them that remained in Chicaça. Hee went to the towne where he vsed to keepe his residence, and brought with him two hundred Indians with their bowes and arrowes. The Gouernour tooke thirtie horsemen, and eightie footemen, and they went to Saquechuma (for so was the Prouince called of that chiefe man, which he said had rebelled.) They found a walled towne, 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 heedfullnesse, that was as well in the Gouernors people which hee carried with him, as of those which remained in Chicaça, they durst not assault them at that time. The Gouernour inuited the Cacique, and certaine principall Indians, and gaue them hogges flesh to eate. And though they did not commonly vse it, yet they were so greedie of it, that euery night there came Indians to certaine houses a crossebow shot from the Camp, where the hogges lay, and killed, and carried away as many as they could. And three Indians were taken in the manner. Two of them the Gouernour commanded to be shot to death with arrowes; and to cut off the hands of the other; and he sent him so handled to the Cacique. Who made as though it grieued him that they had offended the Gouernor, and that he was glad that he had executed that punishment on them. He lay in a plaine countrie half a league from the place, where the Christians lodged. Foure horsemen went a straggling thither, to wit Francisco Osorio, and a seruant of the Marques of Astorga, called Reynoso, and two seruants of the Gouernour, the one his page called Ribera, and the other Fuentes his Chamberlaine: and these had taken from the Indians some skinnes, and some mantles, wherewith they were offended and forsooke their houses. The Gouernour knew of it, and commanded them to be apprehended; and condemned to death Francisco Osorio, and the Chamberlaine as principalls, and all of them to losse of goods. The Friers and Priests and other principall persons were earnest with him to pardon Francisco Osorio his life, and to moderate his sentence, which hee would not grant for any of them. While he was readie to command them to be drawne to the market place to cut off their heads, there came certaine Indians from the Cacique to complaine of them. Iohn Ortiz, at the request of Baltasar de Gallégos and other persons changed their words, and told the Gouernour that the Cacique said he had notice how his Lordship held those Christians in prison for his sake, and that they were in no fault, neither had they done him any wrong, and that if he would do him any fauour he would set them free. And he told the Indians; That the Gouernour said, he had them in prison, and that he would punish them in such sort, that they should bee an example to others. Hereupon the Gouernour commanded the prisoners to be loosed. March, 1541. Assoone as March was come, hee determined to depart from Chicaça, and demanded of the Cacique two hundred men for cariages. He sent him answere, that hee would speake with his principall men. Vpon Twesday the eight of March, the Gouernour went to the towne where he was, to aske him for the men; Hee told him, he would send them the next day. Assoone as the Gouernour was come to Chicaça, he told Luys de Moscoso the Camp-master, that hee misliked the Indians, and that he should keepe a strong watch that night, which hee remembred but a little. The Indians came at the second watch in foure squadrons, euery one by it selfe, and assoone as they were descried, they sounded a drum, and gaue the assault with a great cry, and with so great celeritie, that presently they entred with the scoutes, that were somewhat distant from the Campe. Chicaça set on fire by the Indians. And when they were perceiued of them which were in the towne, halfe the houses were on fire, which they had kindled. That night three horsemen chanced to bee skouts, two of them were of base calling, and the worst men in all the Camp, and the other, which was a nephew of the Gouernour, which vntill then was held for a tall man, shewed himselfe 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 towne on fire; and taried without behind the doores for the Christians, which ran out of the houses, not hauing any leasure to arme themselues: 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 vpon their weapons, nor saddle their horses, neither saw they the Indians that shot them. Manie of the horses were burned in the stables, and those which could breake their halters gat loose. The disorder and flight was such, that euery man fled which way he could, without leauing 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 thought that the horses which ran loose, were men on horsebacke, that gathered themselues together to set vpon them. The Gouernour only rod on horsebacke, and with him a souldier called Tapia, and set vpon the Indians, and striking the first he met with his lance, the saddle fell with him, which with haste was euill girded, and so hee fell from his horse. And all the people that were on foote were fled to a wood out of the towne, and there assembled themselues together. And because it was night, and that the Indians thought the horses were men on horsebacke which came to set vpon them, as I said before, they fled; and one onely remained dead, and that was he whom the Gouernour slew with his lance. The towne lay all burnt to ashes. There was a woman burned, who, after shee and her husband were both gone out of their house, went in againe for certaine perles, which they had forgotten and when she would haue come out, the fire was so great at the doore that shes could not, neither could her husband succour her. Other three Christians came out of their lodgings so cruelly burned, that one of them died within three daies, and the other two were carried many daies each of them vpon a couch betweene staues, which the Indians carried on their shoulders, for otherwise they could not trauell. There died in this hurlieburlie eleuen Christians, and fiftie horses; and there remained an hundred hogges, and foure hundred were burned. If any perchance had saued any clothes from the fire of Mauilla, here they were burned, and many were clad in skinnes, for they had no leasure to take their coates. They endured much cold in this place, and the chiefest remedie were great fires. They spent all night in turnings without sleepe: for if they warmed one side, they freesed on the other. Some inuented the weauing of certaine mats of drie iuie, and did weare one beneath, and another aboue: many laughed at this deuice, whom afterward necessitie inforced to doe the like. The Christians were so spoiled, and in such want of saddles and weapons which were burned, that if the Indians had come the second night, they had ouercome them with little labour. They remooued thence to the towne where the Cacique was wont to lie, because it was in a champion countrie. Within eight daies after, there were many lances and saddles made. There were ash trees in those parts, whereof they made as good lances as in Biscay.
Chap. xxi. How the Indians set againe vpon the Christians, and how the Gouernour went to Alimamu, beyond which towne in warlike sort they tarried for him in the way.
Vpon Wednesday the 15. of March 1541. after the Gouernour had lodged 8. daies in a plaine, halfe a league from the place which he had wintered in, after he had set vp 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 Campe in three squadrons, euery one by themselues: Those which watched gaue the alarme. The Gouernour with great speed set his men in order in other three squadrons, and leauing some to defend the Campe, went out to incounter them. The Indians were ouercome and put to flight. The ground was champion and fit for the Christians to take the aduantage of them; and it was now breake of day. But there happened a disorder, whereby there were not past thirtie or fortie Indians slaine: and this it was: that a Frier cried out in the Campe without any iust occasion, To the Campe, To the Campe: Whereupon the Gouernour and all the rest repaired thither, and the Indians had time to saue themselues. There were some taken, by whom the Gouernour informed himselfe of the Countrie, through which he was to passe. The 25. of Aprill, he departed from Chicaça, and lodged at a small towne called Alimamu. They had very little Maiz, and they were to passe a desert of seuen daies iournie. The next day, the Gouernour sent three Captaines euerie one his way with horsemen and footemen to seeke prouision to passe the desert. And Iohn Dannusco the Auditor went with fifteene horsemen, and 40. footemen that way that the Gouernour was to goe, and found a strong fort made, where the Indians staied for him, and many of them walked on the top of it with their weapons, hauing their bodies, thighes and armes okered and died with blacke, white, yellow and red, striped like vnto paines, so that they shewed as though they went in hose and doublets: and some of them had plumes, and others had hornes on their heads, and their faces blacke, and their eies done round about with strakes of red, to seeme more fierce. Assoone as they saw that the Christians approched, with a great crie sounding two drummes with great furie they sallied foorth to receiue them. Iohn Dannusco and those that were with him, thought good to auoid them, and to acquaint the Gouernour therewith. They retired to a plaine place, a crossebowshot from the fort in sight of it, the footemen, the crossebowmen, and targetters placed themselues before the horsemen, that they might not hurt the horses. The Indians sallied out by seuen and seuen, and eight and eight to shoote their arrowes, and retired againe: and in sight of the Christians they made a fire, and tooke an Indian, some by the feete, and some by the head, and made as though they went to cast him into the fire, and gaue him first many knocks on the head: signifying, that they meant so to handle the Christians. Iohn Danusco sent three horsemen to aduertise the Gouernour hereof. He came presently: for his intent was to driue them from thence, saying, that if he did it not, they would be emboldened to charge him another time, when they might doe him more harme. He made the horsemen to alight, and set his men in foure squadrons: The signe being giuen, they set vpon the Indians, which made resistance till the Christians came neere the fort, and assoone as they saw they could not defend themselues, by a place where a brooke passed neere the fort, they ran away, and from the otherside they shot some arrowes: and because at that instant we knew no ford for the horses to passe, they had time enough to get out of our danger. Three Indians were slaine there, and many Christians were hurt, whereof within few daies, there died fifteene by the way. All men thought the Gouernour to bee in fault, because he sent not to see the disposition of the place on the other side of the Riuer, and to know the passage before hee set vpon them. For with the hope they had to saue themselues by flight that way, when they saw none other meanes, they fought til they were broken, and it was an incouragement to defend themselues vntill then, and to offend the Christians without any danger to themselues.
Chap. xxii. How the Gouernour went from Alimamu to Quizquiz, and from thence to Rio Grande, or the great Riuer.
Three daies after they had sought some Maiz, whereof they found but little store, in regard of that which was needfull, and that for this cause, as well for their sakes that were wounded, it was needfull for them to rest, as for the great iournie they were to march to come where store of Maiz was: yet the Gouernour was inforced to depart presentlie toward Quizquiz. He trauelled seuen daies through a desert of many marishes and thicke woods: but it might all be trauelled on horseback, except some lakes which they swamme ouer. Hee came to a towne of the Prouince of Quizquiz without being descried, and tooke all the people in it before they came out of their houses. The mother of the Cacique was taken there: and he sent vnto him by an Indian, that he should come to see him, and that he would giue him his mother, and al the people which he had taken there. The Cacique sent him answere againe, that his Lordship should loose and send them to him, and that he would come to visit and serue him. The Gouernour, because his people for want of Maiz were somewhat weake and wearie, and the horses also were leane, determined to accomplish his request, to see if hee could haue peace with him, and so commanded to set free his mother and all the rest, and with louing words dismissed them and sent them to him. The next day, when the Gouernour expected the Cacique, there came many Indians with their bowes and arrowes with a purpose to set vpon the Christians. The Gouernour had commanded all the horsemen to be armed, and on horsebacke, and in a readines. When the Indians saw that they were readie, they staied a crossebowe shot from the place where the Gouernour was neere a brooke. An olde prophecie. And after halfe an houre that they had stood there stil, there came to the Camp sixe principall Indians, and said, they came to see what people they were, and that long agoe, they had been informed by their forefathers, “That a white people should subdue them: and that therefore they would returne to their Cacique, and bid him come presently to obey and serue the Gouernour:” and after they had presented him with sixe or seuen skinnes and mantles which they brought, they tooke their leaue of him, and returned with the other, which waited for them by the brookeside. The Cacique neuer came againe nor sent other message. Another towne, Rio Grande, or Rio de Espiritu Santo. And because in the towne where the Gouernour lodged, there was small store of Maiz, he remooued to another halfe a league from Rio Grande, where they found plentie of Maiz: And he went to see the Riuer, and found, that neere vnto it was great store of timber to make barges, and good situation of ground to incampe in. Presently he remooued himselfe thither. They made houses, and pitched their Campe in a plaine field a crossebow shot from the Riuer. And thither was gathered all the Maiz of the townes, which they had lately passed. They began presently to cut and hew down timber, and to saw plankes for barges. Aquixo, a great Lord on the West side of Rio grande. The Indians came presently down the Riuer: they leaped on shore, and declared to the Gouernor, That they were subiects of a great Lord, whose name was Aquixo, who was Lord of many townes, and gouerned many people on the other side of the Riuer, and came to tell him on his behalfe, that the next day he with al 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 bowes and arrowes, painted, and with great plumes of white feathers, and many other colours, with shields in their hands, wherewith they defended the rowers on both sides, and the men of warre stood from the head to the sterne, with their bowes and arrowes in their hands. The canoe wherein the Cacique was, had a tilt ouer the sterne, and hee sate vnder the tilt; and so were other canoes of the principall Indians. And from vnder the tilt where the chiefs man sat, hee gouerned and commanded the other people. All ioyned together, and came within a stones cast of the shore. From thence the Cacique said to the Gouernour, which walked along the Riuers side with others that waited on him, that he was come thither to visit, to honour, 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 doe. The Gouernour yeelded him thankes, and requested him to come on shore, that they might the better communicate together. And without any answere to that point, hee sent him three canoes, wherein was great store of fish and loaues, made of the substance of prunes like vnto brickes. After he had receiued al, he thanked him, and prayed him againe to come on shore. And because the Caciques purpose was, to see if with dissimulation he might doe some hurt, when they saw that the Gouernour and his men were in readinesse, they began to goe from the shore: and with a great crie, the crossebowmen which were ready, shot at them, and slue fiue or sixe of them. They retired with great order: none did leaue his oare, though the next to him were slaine; and shielding themselues, they went farther off. Afterward they came many times and landed: and when any of vs came toward them, they fled vnto their canoes, which were verie pleasant to behold: for they were very great and well made, and had their tilts, plumes, paueses, and flagges, and with the multitude of people that were in them, they seemed to be a faire armie of gallies. In thirtie dayes space, while the Gouernour remained there, they made foure barges: In three of which hee commanded twelue horsemen to enter, in each of them foure; in a morning, three houres before day, men which hee trusted would land in despight of the Indians, and make sure the passage, or die, and some footemen being crossebowmen went with them, and rowers to set them on the other side. And in the other barge he commanded Iohn de Guzman to passe with the footemen, which was made Captaine in stead of Francisco Maldonado. And because the streame was swift, they went a quarter of a league vp the Riuer along the bancke, and crossing ouer, fell downe with the streame, and landed right ouer against the Camp. They passe ouer Rio Grande. Two stones cast before they came to land, the horsemen went out of the barges on horsebacke to a sandie plot very hard and cleere ground, where all of them landed without any resistance. Assoone as those that passed first, were on land on the other side, the barges returned to the place where the Gouernour was: and within two houres after Sunnerising, all the people were ouer. The Riuer was almost halfe a league broad. If a man stood still on the other side, it could not be discerned, whether he were a man or no. The Riuer was of great depth, and of a strong current: the water was alwaies muddie: there came downe the Riuer continually many trees and timber, which the force of the water and streame brought downe. There was great store of fish in it of sundrie sorts, and the most of it differing from the freshwater fish of Spaine, as hereafter shall be shewed.
Chap. xxiii. How the Gouernour departed from Aquixo to Casqui, and from thence to Pacaha: and how this Countrie differeth from that which we had passed.
Hauing passed Rio grande, the Gouernour trauelled a league and an halfe, and came to a great towne of Aquixo, which was dispeopled before hee came thither. They espied thirtie Indians comming ouer a plaine, which the Cacique sent, to discouer the Christians determination: and assoone as they had sight of them, they tooke themselues to flight. The horsemen pursued them, and slue tenne, and tooke fifteene. And because the towne, whither the Gouernour went, was neere vnto the Riuer, he sent a Captaine, with as many men as he thought sufficient to carrie the barges vp the Riuer. And because in his trauelling by land many times he went farre from the Riuer to compasse the creekes that came from it, the Indians tooke occasion to set vpon them of the barges, and put them in great danger, because that by reason of the great current, they durst not leaue the shore, and from the bancke they shot at them. Assoone as the Gouernour was come to the towne, hee presently sent crossebow men downe the Riuer, which came to rescue them; and vpon the comming of the barges to the towne, hee commanded them to bee broken, and to saue the iron for others, when it should bee needfull. Hee lay there one night, and the day following, hee set forward to seeke a Prouince, called Pacaha: which hee was informed to bee neere vnto Chisca, where the Indians told him there was gold. He passed through great townes of Aquixo, which were all abandoned for feare of the Christians. Hee understood by certaine Indians that were taken, that three daies iournie from thence dwelt a great Cacique, whose name was Casqui. Hee came to a small Riuer, 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 waste, and in some to the knees. When they saw themselues on dry land, they were very glad, because they feared they should wander vp and downe as forlorne men al night in the water. At noone they came to the first towne of Casqui: they found the Indians carelesse, because they had no knowledge of them. There were many men and women taken, and store of goods, as mantles and skinnes, as well in the first towne, as in another, which stood in a field halfe a league from thence in sight of it; whither the horsemen ran. This Countrie is higher, drier, and more champion, than any part bordering neere the Riuer, that vntill then they had seene. There were in the fields many Walnut trees, bearing soft shelled Walnuts in fashion like bullets, and in the houses they found many of them, which the Indians had laid vp in store. The trees differed in nothing else from those of Spaine, nor from those which we had seene before, but onely that they have a smaller leafe. There were many Mulberrie trees and Plum trees, which bare red plums like those of Spaine, and other gray, somewhat differing, but farre better. And all the trees are all the yeere so fruitfull, as if they were planted in orchards: and the woods were verie thinne. The Gouernour trauelled two daies through the Countrie of Casqui, before hee came to the towne where the Cacique was: and most of the way was alway by champion ground, which was full of great townes, so that from one towne, you might see two or three. He sent an Indian to certifie the Cacique, that hee was comming to the place where he was, with intent to procure his friendship, and to hold him as his brother. Whereunto he answered, That he should be welcome, and that he would receiue him with speciall good wil, and accomplish all that his Lordship would command him. Hee sent him a present vpon the way; to wit, skinnes, mantles, and fish: And after these complements, the Gouernour found all the townes, as he passed, inhabited with people, which peaceablie attended his comming, and offered him skinnes, mantles, and fish. The Cacique accompanied with many Indians came out of the towne, and staied halfe a league on the way to receiue the Gouernour, and when hee came to him, he spake these words following:
Right high, right mighty, and renowned Lord, your Lorship is most hartilie welcome. Assoone as I had notice of your Lordship, of your power, and your perfections, although you came into my Countrie, killing and taking captiues the inhabitants thereof and my subiects: yet I determined to conforme my will vnto yours, and as your owne to interpret in good part all that your Lordship did: beleeuing, that it was conuenient it should be so for some iust respect, to preuent some future matter reuealed vnto your Lordship, and concealed from me. For well may a mischiefe be permitted to auoid a greater, and that good may come thereof: which I beleeue will so fall out. For it is no reason to presume of so excellent a Prince, that the noblenesse of his heart, and the effect of his will would permit him to suffer any vniust thing. My abilitie is so small to serue you as your Lordship deserueth, that if you respect not mine abundant good will, which humblie offereth all kind of seruice, I deserue but little in your presence. But if it bee reason that this be esteemed, receiue the same; my selfe, my Countrie, and subiects 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 receiued, serued and obeyed.
The Gouernour answered him to the purpose, and satisfied him in few words. Within a while after both of them vsed words of great offers and courtesie the one to the other, and the Cacique requested him to lodge in his houses. The Gouernour, to preserue the peace the better, excused himselfe, saying, that hee would lodge in the fields. And because it was very hot, they camped neere certaine trees a quarter of a league from the towne. The chiefe towne of the Cacique of Casqui. The Cacique went to his towne, and came againe with many Indians singing. Assoone as they came to the Gouernour, all of them prostrated themselues vpon the ground. Among these came two Indians that were blind. The Cacique made a speech: to auoid tediousnesse, I will onely tell in few words the substance of the matter. Hee said, that seeing the Gouernour was the sonne of the Sunne, and a great Lord, he besought him to doe him the fauour to giue sight to those two blind men. The blind men rose vp presently, and very earnestly requested the same of the Gouernour. He answered, That in the high heauens was he that had power to giue them health, and whatsoeuer they could aske of him, whose seruant he was: And that this Lord made the heauens and the earth, and man after his owne likenesse, and that he suffered vpon the crosse to saue mankind, and rose againe the third day, and that he died as he was man, and as touching his diuinitie, he was, and is immortall; and that he ascended into heauen, where he standeth with his armes open to receiue all such as turne vnto him: and straightway he commanded him to make a verie high crosse of wood, which was set vp in the highest place of the towne; declaring vnto him, that the Christians worshipped the same in resemblance and memorie of that whereon Christ suffered. The Gouernour and his men kneeled downe before it, and the Indians did the like. The Gouernour willed him, that from thencefoorth hee should worship the same, and should aske whatsoeuer they stood in need of, of that Lord that he told him was in heauen. Then he asked him how far it was from thence to Pacaha: He said, one daies iournie, and that at the end of his Countrie, there was a lake like a brooke which falleth into Rio Grande, and that hee would send men before to make a bridge whereby he might passe. The same day that the Gouernour departed thence, he lodged at a towne belonging to Casqui: and the next day hee passed in sight of other townes, and came to the lake, which was halfe a crossebow shot ouer, of a great depth and current. At the time of his comming, 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 then the bridge, for them that passed to take hold on. The Cacique of Casqui came to the Gouernour, and brought his people with him. The Gouernour sent word by an Indian to the Cacique of Pacaha, that though hee were enemie to the Cacique of Casqui, and though hee were there, yet he would doe him no disgrace nor hurt, if he would attend him peaceablie, and embrace his friendship; but rather would intreate him as a brother. The Indian, which the Gouernour sent, came againe, and said, that the Cacique made none account of that which hee told him, but fled with all his men out at the other side of the towne. Presentlie the Gouernour entred, and ran before with the horsemen, that way, by which the Indians fled; and at another towne distant a quarter of a league from thence, they tooke many Indians: and assoone as the horsemen had taken them, they deliuered them to the Indians of Casqui, whom, because they were their enemies, with much circumspection and reioycing, they brought to the towne where the Christians were: and the greatest griefe they had, was this, that they could not get leaue to kill them. There were found in the towne many mantles, and Deere skinnes, Lions skins, and Beares skinnes, and many Cats skins. Many came so farre poorely apparrelled, and there they clothed themselues: of the mantles, they made them cotes and cassocks, and some made gownes, and lined them with Cats skins; and likewise their cassocks. Of the Deeres skinnes, some made them also ierkins, shirts, hose and shooes: and of the Beare skinnes, they made them verie good clokes: for no water could pierce them. There were targets of raw oxe hides found there; with which hides they armed their horses.
Chap. xxiiii. How the Cacique of Pacaha came peaceablie to the Gouernour, and the Cacique of Casqui absented himselfe, and came againe to make his excuse, and how the Gouernour made them both friends.
Vpon Wednesday, the 19. of Iune, the Gouernour entred into Pacaha: He lodged in the towne, where the Cacique vsed to reside, which was very great, walled, and beset with towers, and many loopeholes were in the towers and wall. And in the towne was great store of old Maiz, and great quantitie of new in the fields. Within a league and halfe a league were great townes all walled. Where the Gouernour was lodged, was a great lake, that came neere vnto the wall: and it entred into a ditch that went round about the towne, wanting but a little to enuiron it round. From the lake to the great Riuer was made a weare by the which the fish came into it; which the Cacique kept for his recreation and sport: with nets, that were founde in the towne, they tooke as much as they would: and tooke they neuer so much, there was no want perceiued. 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 Riuer, and the most of it was different from the fresh water fish of Spaine. There was a fish which they call Bagres: the third part of it was head, and it had on both sides the gilles, and along the sides great pricks like very sharpe aules: those of this kind that were in the lakes were as big as pikes: and in the Riuer, there were some of an hundred, and of an hundred and fiftie pounds weight, and many of them were taken with the hooke. There was another fish like barbilles; and another like breames, headed like a delicate fish, called in Spaine besugo,127 betweene red and gray. This was there of most esteeme. There was another fish called a pele fish: it had a snout of a cubit long, and at the end of the vpper lip it was made like a peele. There was another fish like a Westerne shad; And all of them had scales, except the bagres, and the pele fish. There was another fish, which sometimes the Indians brought vs, of the bignes of a hog, they call it the Pereo fish: it had rowes of teeth beneath and aboue. The Cacique of Casqui sent many times great presents of fish, mantles, and skinnes. Hee told the Gouernour that he would deliuer the Cacique of Pacaha into his hands. He went to Casqui, and sent many canoes vp the Riuer, and came himselfe by land with many of his people. The Gouernour with 40. horsemen and 60. footemen tooke him along with him vp the Riuer. And his Indians which were in the canoes, discouered where the Cacique of Pacaha was in a little Island, situated betweene two armes of the River. And fiue Christians entred into a canoe, wherein Don Antonio Osorio went before, to see what people the Cacique had with him. There were in the Isle fiue or six thousand soules. And assoone as they saw them, supposing that the Indians which were in the other canoes were also Christians, the Cacique, and certaine which were in three canoes, which they had there with them, fled in great haste to the other side of the Riuer: The rest with great feare and danger, lept into the Riuer, where much people was drowned, especially women and little children. Presently the Gouernour which was on land, not knowing what 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 tooke many men and women, and much goods. Great store of goods, which the Indians had lain vpon hurdles of canes, and rafts of timber to carrie ouer to the other side, draue downe the river, wherewith the Indians of Casqui filled their canoes: and for feare lest the Christians would take it from them, the Cacique went home with them downe the Riuer, without taking his leave of the Gouernour: whereupon the Gouernour was highly offended with him: and presently returned to Pacaha, he ouerran the Countrie of Casqui the space of two leagues, where hee tooke twentie or thirtie of his men. And because his horses were wearie, and he wanted time that day to goe any farther, hee returned to Pacaha, with determination within three or four daies after to inuade Casqui. And presently hee let loose one of the Indians of Pacaha, and sent word by him to the Cacique, that if hee would haue his friendship, he should repaire vnto him, and that both of them would make warre upon Casqui. And presently came many Indians that belonged to Pacaha, and brought an Indian, in stead of the Cacique, which was discouered by the Caciques brother which was taken prisoner. The Gouernour wished the Indians that their Master himselfe should come: for hee knew very well that that was not hee, and told them, that they could doe nothing which he knew not before they thought it. The Cacique of Pacaha cometh to the Gouernour. The next day the Cacique came, accompanied with many Indians, and with a present of much fish, skinnes and mantles. He made a speech that all were glad to heare, and concluded, saying, That though his Lordship, without his giuing occasion of offence had done him hurt in his Countrie and subiects; yet hee would not therefore refuse to bee his, and that he would alwaies be at his commandement. The Gouernour commanded his brother to be loosed, and other principall 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 himselfe of the error which he had committed, in going away without licence of the Gouernour. The Gouernour willed the messenger to signifie vnto him that if he came not in his owne person, hee would seeke him himselfe, and giue him such punishment as he deserued. The next day with all speede came the Cacique of Casqui, and brought a present to the Gouernour of many mantles, skinnes, and fish, and gaue 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. Hee made a long and discreet oration, giuing him great commendations, and concluded, saying, that hee should pardon his going away without licence, for that Crosses sake, which he had left with him: protesting that hee went away for shame of that which his men had done without his consent. The Gouernour answered him, that hee had chosen a good patrone; and that if hee had not come to excuse himselfe, hee had determined to seeke him, to burne his townes, to kill him and his people, and to destroy his countrie. To which he replied saying:
My Lord, I and mine are yours, and my countrie likewise is yours: therefore if you had done so, you should haue destroyed your owne countrie, and haue killed your owne people: whatsoeuer shall come vnto me from your hand, I will receiue as from my Lord, as well punishment as reward: And know you, that the fauour which you did me in leauing me the Crosse, I do acknowledge the same to be a very great one, and greater then I haue euer deserued. For you shall vnderstand, that with great droughts, the fields of Maiz of my countrie were withered; and assoone as I and my people kneeled before the Crosse, and prayed for raine, presently our necessitie was relieued.
The Gouernour 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 Gouernour pacified them; telling them that among the Christians, all was one to sit on the one side or on the other, willing them so to behaue themselues, seeing they were with him, that no bodie might heare them, and that euery one should sit in the place that first hee lighted on. From thence he sent thirtie horse men, and fiftie footemen to the Prouince of Caluça, to see if from thence hee might trauel to Chisca, where the Indians said, there was a worke of gold and copper. They trauelled seuen daies iournie through a desert, and returned verie wearie, eating greene plummes and stalkes of Maiz, which they found in a poore towne of sixe or seuen houses. From thence forward toward the North; the Indians said, That countrie was very ill inhabited, because it was very cold: Great store of Oxen toward the North of Pacaha. This is like Quiuira. And that there were such store of Oxen, that they could keep no corne for them: that the Indians liued vpon their flesh. The Gouernour seeing that toward that part the countrie was so poore of Maiz, 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 Prouince, and a verie plentifull countrie, which was called Quigaute, and that it was toward the South.
127 “Pez muy comun en los mares setentrionales de Espana, de un pie de largo, comprimido, de color por el lomo azul claro, y por el vientre bianco.” (Diccionario de la Academia.)— Probably the Sparus of Pliny.
Chap. xxv. How the Gouernour departed from Pacaha to Quigaute, and to Coligoa, and came to Cayas.
The Gouernour rested in Pacaha fortie daies. In all which time the two Caciques serued him with great store of fish, mantles and skinnes, and stroue who should doe him greatest seruice. At the time of his departure, the Cacique of Pacaha gaue him two of his sisters, saying that in signe of loue that hee might remember him, he should take them for his wiues: the ones name was Macanoche, and the others Mochila; they were well proportioned, tall of bodie, and well fleshed. Macanoche was of a good countenance, and in her shape and physiognimie looked like a Ladie; the other was strongly made. The Casiqui of Casqui commanded the bridge to be repaired, and the Gouernour returned through his Country, and lodged in a field neere his towne, whither hee came with great store of fish, and two women, which hee exchanged with two Christians for shirts. He gaue vs a guide and men for carriages. The Gouernour lodged at a towne of his, and the next day at another neere a Riuer, whither he caused canoes to be brought for him to passe ouer, and with his leaue returned. The Gouernour tooke his iourney toward Quigaute. The fourth of August, he came to the towne, where the Cacique vsed to keepe his residencie: on the way he sent him a present of many mantles and skinnes, and not daring to stay for him in the towne, he absented himselfe. The towne was the greatest that was seene in Florida. The Gouernour and his people lodged in the one halfe of it; and within few daies, seeing the Indians became liars, he commanded the other halfe to be burned, because it should not bee a shelter for them, if they came to assault him by night, nor an hindrance 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 deliuered him ouer to the men of his guard to look vnto him. There went and came many Indians, and brought mantles and skinnes. The counterfeit Cacique, seeing so little opportunitie to execute his euill thought, as hee went one day abroad talking with the Gouernour, he shewed him such a paire of heeles, that there was no Christian that could ouertake him, and he leaped into the Riuer, which was a crossebow shot from the towne: and assoone as hee was on the other side, many Indians that were thereabout making a great crie began to shoote. Coligoa neere to certaine mountaines Northwest. The Gouernour passed presently ouer to them with horsemen and footemen, but they durst not tarrie for him. Going forward on his way, hee came to a towne where the people were fled, and a little further to a lake, where the horses could not passe, and on the otherside were many women. The footemen passed, and tooke many of them, and much spoile. The Gouernour came to the Camp: And that night was a spie of the Indians taken by them of the watch. The Gouernour asked him, whether he would bring him where the Cacique was? he said, he would. And he went presently to seeke him with twentie horsemen, and fiftie footemen: and after he had sought him a day, and an halfe, hee found him in a strong wood: And a souldiour not knowing him, gaue 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 an hundred and fortie of his men with him. The Gouernour came againe to Quigaute, and willed him to cause his men to come to serue the Christians: and staying some daies for their comming, and seeing they came not, he sent two Captaines, euery one his way on both sides of the Riuer with horsemen and footemen. They tooke many men and women. Now seeing the hurt which they sustained for their rebellion, they came to see what the Gouernour would command them, and passed to and fro many times, and brought presents of cloth and fish. The Cacique and his two wiues were in the lodging of the Gouernour loose, and the halbardiers of his guard did keepe them. The Gouernour asked them which way the Countrie was most inhabited? They said, that toward the South downe the Riuer, were great townes and Caciques, which commanded great Countries, and much people: And that toward the Northwest there was a Prouince neere to certaine mountaines, that was called Coligoa. The Gouernour and all the rest thought good to goe first to Coligoa: saying, that peraduenture the mountains would make some difference of soile, and that beyond them there might be some gold or siluer: As for Quigaute, Casqui, and Pacaha, they were plaine Countries, fat grounds, and full of good medowes on the Riuers, where the Indians sowed large fields of Maiz. From Tascaluca to Rio grande, or the great Riuer, is about 300. leagues: it is a very low Countrie, and hath many lakes. From Pacaha to Quigaute may bee an hundred leagues. The Gouernour left the Cacique of Quigaute in his owne towne: And an Indian, which was his guide, led him through great woods without any way seuen daies iournie through a desert, where, at euery lodging, they lodged in lakes and pooles in verie shold water; there were such store of fish, that they killed them with cudgils; and the Indians which they carried in chaines, with the mud troubled the waters, and the fish being therewith, as it were astonied, came to the top of the water, and they tooke as much as they listed. The Indians of Coligoa had no knowledge of the Christians, and when they came so neere the towne, that the Indians saw them, they fled vp a Riuer, which passed neere the towne, and some leaped into it; but the Christians went on both sides of the Riuer, and tooke them. There were many men and women taken, and the Cacique with them. And by his commandement within three daies came many Indians with a present of mantles and Deeres skinnes, and two oxe hides: And they reported, that 5. or 6. leagues from thence toward the North, there were many of these oxen, and that because the Countrie was cold, it was euill inhabited. That the best Countrie which they knew, the most plentifull, and most inhabited, was a Prouince called Cayas, lying toward the South. From Quiguate to Coligoa may be 40. leagues. This towne of Coligoa stood at the foote of an hill, on the bank of a meane Riuer, of the bignesse of Cayas, the Riuer that passeth by Estremadura. It was a fat soile and so plentifull of Maiz, that they cast out the old, to bring in the new. There was also great plentie of French beanes and pompions. The French beanes were greater, and better than those of Spaine, and likewise the pompions, and being roasted, they haue almost the taste of chesnuts. The Cacique of Coligoa gaue a guide to Cayas, and staied behind in his owne towne. Wee trauelled fiue daies, and came to the Prouince of Palisema. The house of the Cacique was found couered with Deeres skinnes of Diuers colours and works drawne in them, and with the same in manner of carpets was the ground of the house couered. The Cacique left it so, that the Gouernour might lodge in it, in token that he sought peace and his friendship. But hee durst not tarrie his comming. The Gouernour, seeing he had absented himselfe, sent a Captaine with horsemen and footemen to seeke him. Hee found much people, but by reason of the roughnesse of the Countrie, he tooke none saue a few women and children. The towne was little and scattering, and had very little Maiz. For which cause the Gouernour speedilie departed from thence. Hee came to another towne called Tatalicoya, hee carried with him the Cacique thereof, which guided him to Cayas. From Tatalicoya are foure daies iournie to Cayas. When hee came to Cayas, and saw the towne scattered; hee thought they had told him a lie, and that it was not the Prouince of Cayas, because they had informed him that it was well inhabited: He threatned the Cacique, charging him to tell him where hee was: and he and other Indians which were taken neere about that place, affirmed that this was the towne of Cayas, and the best that was in that Countrie, 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 Maiz. The towne was called Tanico: he pitched his Campe in the best part of it neere vnto a Riuer. The same day that the Gouernour came thither, he went a league farther with certaine horsemen, and without finding any people, hee found many skinnes in a pathway, which the Cacique had left there, that they might bee found, in token of peace. For so is the custome in that Countrie.
Chap. xxvi. How the Gouernour discouered the Prouince of Tulla, and what happened vnto him.
The Gouernour rested a moneth in the Prouince of Cayas. In which time the horses fattened and thriued more, then in other places in a longer time, with the great plentie of Maiz and the leaues thereof, which I thinke was the best that hath been seene, and they dranke of a lake of very hot water, and somewhat brackish, and they dranke so much, that it swelled in their bellies when they brought them from the watering. Vntill that time the Christians wanted salt, and there they made good store, which they carried along with them. The Indians doe carrie it to other places to exchange it for skinnes and mantles. They make it along the Riuer, which when it ebbeth, leaueth it vpon the vpper part of the sand. And because they cannot make it, without much sand mingled with it, they throw it into certaine baskets which they haue for that purpose, broad at the mouth, and narrow at the bottom, and set it in the aire vpon a barre, and throw water into it, and set a small vessell vnder it, wherein it falleth: “Being strained and set to boile vpon the fire, when the water is sodden away, the salt remaineth in the bottome of the pan.” On both sides of the Riuer the Countrie was full of sowne fields, and there was store of Maiz. The Indians durst not come ouer where wee were: and when some of them shewed themselues, the souldiers that saw them called vnto them; then the Indians passed the Riuer, and came with them where the Gouernor was. He asked them for the Cacique. They said, that he remained quiet, but that he durst not shew himselfe. The Gouernour presently sent him word, that he should come vnto him, and bring him a guide and an interpretour for his iournie, if he made account of his friendship: and if he did not so, he would come himselfe to seeke him, and that it would be the worse for him. Hee waited three daies, and seeing he came not, he went to seeke him, and brought him prisoner with 150. of his men. He asked him whether hee had notice of any great Cacique, and which way the Countrie was best inhabited. Hee answered, that the best Countrie thereabout was a Prouince toward the South, a day and an halfes iournie, which was called Tulla; and that he could giue him a guide, but no interpretour, because the speech of that Countrie was different from his, and because he and his ancestors had alwaies warres with the Lords of that Prouince: therefore they had no commerce, nor vnderstood one anothers language. Immediatly the Gouernour with certaine horsemen, and 50. footemen, departed toward Tulla, to see if the Countrie were such, as hee might passe through it with all his companie: and assoone as hee arriued there, and was espied of the Indians, the Countrie gathered together, and assoone as 15. or 20. Indians could assemble themselues, they set vpon the Christians: and seeing that they did handle them shrewdly, and that the horsemen ouertooke them when they fled, they gat vp into the tops of their houses, and sought to defend themselues with their arrowes: and being beaten downe from one, they gat vp vpon another. And while our men pursued some, others set vpon them another way. Thus the skirmish lasted so long, that the horses were tired, and they could not make them runne. The Indians killed there one horse, and some were hurt. There were 15. Indians slaine there, and 40. women and boies were taken prisoners. For whatsoeuer Indian did shoot at them, if they could come by him, they put him to the sword. The Gouernour determined to returne toward Cayas, before the Indians had time to gather a head; and presently that euening, going part of the night to leaue Tulla, he lodged by the way, and the next day came to Cayas: and within three daies after he departed thence toward Tulla with all his companie: He carried the Cacique along with him, and among all his men, there was not one found that could vnderstand the speech of Tulla. He staied three daies by the way, and the day that he came thither, he found the towne abandoned: for the Indians durst not tarrie his comming. But assoone as they knew that the Gouernour was in Tulla, the first night about the morning watch, they came in two squadrons two seuerall waies, with their bowes and arrowes, and long staues like pikes. Assoone as they were descried, both horse and foot sallied out vpon them, where many of the Indians were slaine: And some Christians and horses were hurt: Some of the Indians were taken prisoners, whereof the Gouernour sent sixe 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 himselfe, that hee would come to seeke him, and that hee would doe the like to him, and as many of his as hee could find, as hee had done to those which hee had sent him: and gaue him three daies respit for to come. And this he gaue them to vnderstand by signes, as well as hee could, for there was no interpretour. At the three daies end, there came an Indian laden with Oxe hides. He came weeping with great sobs, and comming to the Gouernour cast himselfe downe at his feet: He tooke him vp, and he made a speech, but there was none that vnderstood him. The Gouernour by signes commanded him, to returne to the Cacique, and to will him, to send him an interpretor, which could vnderstand the men of Cayas. The next day came three Indians laden with oxe hides; and within three daies after came 20. Indians, and among them one that vnderstood them of Cayas: Who, after a long oration of excuses of the Cacique, and praises of the Gouernour, concluded with this, that he and the other were come thither on the Caciques behalfe, to see what his Lordship would command him to doe, for he was readie at his commandement. The Gouernour and all his companie were verie glad. For in no wise could they trauell without an interpretour. The Gouernour commanded him to be kept safe, and bad him tell the men that came with him, that they should returne to the Cacique, and signifie vnto him, that he pardoned him for that which was past, and thanked him much for his presents and interpretour, which he had sent him, and that he would bee glad to see him, and that he should come the next day to talke with him. The Cacique of Tulla. After three daies, the Cacique came, and 80. Indians with him: and himselfe and his men came weeping into the Camp, in token of obedience and repentance for the errour passed, after the manner of that Countrie: He brought a present of many oxe hides: which, because the Countrie was cold, were verie profitable, and serued for couerlets, because they were very soft, and wolled like sheepe. Not farre from thence toward the North were many oxen. Gomara Histor. Gener. cap. 215. The Christians saw them not, nor came into the Countrie where they were, because those parts were euil inhabited, and had small store of Maiz where they were bred. The Cacique of Tulla made an oration to the Gouernour, wherein he excused himselfe, and offered him his Countrie, subiects, and person. Aswell this Cacique as the others, and all those which came to the Gouernour on their behalfe, deliuered their message or speech in so good order, that no oratour could vtter the same more eloquentlie.
Chap. xxvii. How the Gouernour went from Tulla to Autiamque, where he passed the winter.
The Gouernour enformed himselfe of all the Countrie round about: and vnderstood, that toward the West was a scattered dwelling, and that toward the Southeast were great townes, especially in a Prouince called Autiamque, tenne daies iournie from Tulla; which might be about 80. leagues; and that it was a plentifull Countrie of Maiz. And because winter came on, and they could not trauell two or three moneths in the yeere for cold, waters, and snow: and fearing, that if they should stay so long in the scattered dwelling, they could not be susteined; and also because the Indians said, that neere to Autiamque was a great water, and according to their relation, the Gouernour thought it was some arme of the Sea: And because he now desired to send newes of himselfe to Cuba, that some supplie of men and horses might be sent vnto him: (for it was aboue three yeeres, since Donna Isabella, which was in Hauana, or any other person in Christendome 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 goe to the sea coast, and make two brigantines, and send one of them to Cuba, and the other to Nueua Espanna, and that which went in safetie, might giue newes of him: Hoping with the goods which he had in Cuba, to furnish himselfe againe, and to attempt the discouery and conquest toward the West: for he had not yet come where Cabeça de Vaca had been. Quipana, fiue daies iournie from Tulla. Thus hauing sent away the two Caciques of Cayas and Tulla, he tooke his iournie toward Autiamque: Hee trauelled fiue daies ouer very rough mountaines, and came to a towne called Quipana, where no Indians could be taken for the toughnesse of the Countrie: and the towne being betweene hilles, there was an ambush laid, wherewith they tooke two Indians; which told them, that Autiamque was sixe daies iournie from thence, and that their was another Prouince toward the South, eight daies iournie off, plentiful of Maiz, and very well peopled, which was called Guahate. But because Autiamque was neerer, and the most of the Indians agreed of it, the Gouernour made his iournie that way. In three daies he came to a towne called Anoixi. He sent a Captaine before with 30. horsemen, and 50. footemen, and tooke the Indians carelesse, hee tooke many men and women prisoners. Within two daies after the Gouernour came to another towne called Catamaya, and lodged in the fields of the towne. Two Indians came with a false message from the Cacique to know his determination. Hee bad them tell their Lord, that hee should come and speake with him. The Indians returned and came no more, nor any other message from the Cacique. The next day the Christians went to the towne, which was without people: they tooke as much Maiz as they needed. That day they lodged in a wood, and the next day they came to Autiamque. Autiamque sixe daies iournie from Quipana. They found much Maiz laid vp in store, and French beanes, and walnuts, and prunes, great store of all sorts. They tooke some Indians which were gathering together the stuffe which their wiues had hidden. This was a champion Countrie, and well inhabited. The Gouernour lodged in the best part of the towne, and commanded presently to make a fense of timber round about the Campe distant from the houses, that the Indians might not hurt them without by fire. And measuring the ground by pases, hee appointed euery one his part to doe according to the number of Indians which he had: presently the timber was brought by them: and in three daies there was an inclosure made of very hie and thicke posts thrust into the ground, and many railes laid acrosse. Hard by this towne passed a Riuer, that came out of the Prouince of Cayas: and aboue and beneath it was very well peopled. Thither came Indians on the Caciques behalfe with a present of mantles and skinnes; and an halting Cacique, subiect to the Lord of Autiamque, Lord of a towne called Tietiquaquo, came many times to visit the Gouernour, and to bring him presents of such as hee had. The Cacique of Autiamque sent to know of the Gouernour, how long time hee meant to stay in this Countrie? And vnderstanding that he meant to stay aboue three daies, he neuer sent any more Indians, nor any other message, but conspired with the lame Cacique to rebell. Diuers inrodes were made, wherein there were many men and women taken, and the lame Cacique among the rest. The Gouernour respecting the seruices which he had receiued of him, reprehended and admonished him, and set him at libertie, and gaue him two Indians to carrie him in a chaire vpon their shoulders. The Cacique of Autiamque desiring to thrust the Gouernour out of his Countrie, set spies ouer him. And an Indian comming one night to the gate of the inclosure, a soldier that watched espied him, and stepping behind the gate, as he came in, he gaue him such a thrust, that he fell downe; and so he carried him to the Gouernour: and as he asked him wherefore he came, not being able to speake, hee fell downe dead. Great prouidence. The night following the Gouernour commanded a souldiour to giue the alarme, and to say that he had seene Indians, to see how ready they would be to answere the alarme. And hee did so sometimes as well there, as in other places, when he thought that his men were carelesse, and reprehended such as were slacke. And as well for this cause, as in regard of doing their dutie, when the alarme was giuen, euery one sought to be the first that should answere. They staied in Autiamque three moneths with great plentie of Maiz, French beanes, Walnuts, Prunes, and Conies: which vntill that time they knew not how to catch. And in Autiamque the Indians taught them how to take them: which was, with great springes, which lifted vp their feete 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 conie, because they should not gnaw the string. They tooke many in the fields of Maiz, especiallie when it freesed or snowed. The Christians staied there one whole moneth so inclosed with snow, that they went not out of the towne: and when they wanted firewood, the Gouernour with his horsemen going and coming many times to the wood, which was two crossebow shot from the towne, made a pathway, whereby the footemen went for wood. In this meane space, some Indians which went loose, killed many conies with their giues, and with arrowes. These conies were of two sorts, some were like those of Spaine, and the other of the same colour and fashion, and as big as great Hares, longer, and hauing greater loines.
Chap. xxviii. How the Gouernour went from Autiamque to Nilco, and from thence to Guacoya.
Vpon Monday the sixt of March 1542, the Gouernour departed from Autiamque to seeke Nilco, which the Indians said was neere the Great riuer, with determination to come to the Sea, and procure some succour of men and horses: for hee had now but three hundred men of warre, and fortie horses, and some of them lame, which did nothing but helpe to make vp the number: and for want of iron they had gone aboue a yeere vnshod: and because they were vsed to it in the plaine countrie, it did them no great harme. The death of Iohn Ortiz, and the great misse of him being their interpretour. Iohn Ortiz died in Autiamque; which grieued the Gouernour very much: because that without an Interpretour hee feared to enter farre into the land, where he might be lost. From thence forward a youth that was taken in Cutifachiqui did serue for Interpretour, which had by that time learned somewhat of the Christians language. The death of Iohn Ortiz was so great a mischiefe for the discouering inward, or going out of the land, that to learne of the Indians, that which in foure words hee declared, they needed a whole day with the youth: and most commonly hee vnderstood quite contrarie that which was asked him: whereby it often happened that the way that they went one day, and sometimes two or three daies, they turned backe, and went astray through the wood here and there. The Gouernour spent ten daies in trauelling from Autiamque to a prouince called Ayays; and came to a towne that stood neere the Riuer that passeth by Cayas and Autiamque. There hee commanded a barge to be made, wherewith he passed the Riuer. Great snow about the twentieth of March. When he had passed the Riuer there fell out such weather, that foure daies he could not trauell for snow. Assoone as it gaue ouer snowing, hee went three daies iourney through a Wildernesse, and a countrie so low, and so full of lakes and euill waies, that hee trauelled one time a whole day in water, sometimes knee deepe, sometimes to the stirrup, and sometimes they swamme. He came to a towne called Tutelpinco, abandoned, and without Maiz: there passed by it a lake, that entered into the riuer, which carried a great streame and force of water. Fiue Christians passing ouer it in a periagua, which the Gouernour had sent with a Captaine, the periagua ouerset: some tooke hold on it, some on the trees that were in the lake. One Francis Sebastian, an honest man of Villa noua de Barca Rota, was drowned there. The Gouernour went a whole day along the lake seeking passage, and could finde none, nor any way that did passe to the other side. Comming againe at night to the towne hee found two peaceable Indians, which shewed him the passage, and which way hee was to goe. There they made of canes and of the timber of houses thatched with canes, rafts wherewith they passed the lake. They trauelled three daies, and came to a towne of the territorie of Nilco, called Tianto. There they tooke thirtie Indians, and among them two principall men of this towne. The Gouernour sent a Captaine with horsemen and footmen before to Nilco, because the Indians might haue no time to carrie away the provision. They passed through three or foure great townes; and in the towne where the Cacique was resident, which was two leagues from the place where the Gouernour remained, they found many Indians with their bowes and arrowes, in manner as though they would haue staied to fight, which did compasse the towne; and assoone as they saw the Christians come neere them without misdoubting them, they set the Caciques house on fire, and fled ouer a lake that passed neere the towne, through which the horses could not passe. The next day being Wednesday the 29. of March the Gouernour came to Nilco: he lodged with all his men in the Caciques towne, which stood in a plaine field, which was inhabited for the space of a quarter of a league: and within a league and halfe a league were other very great townes, wherein was great store of Maiz, of French beanes, of Walnuts, and Prunes. The best Countrie of Florida. This was the best inhabited countrie, that was seene in Florida, and had most store of Maiz, except Coca, and Apalache. There came to the campe an Indian, accompanied with others, and in the Caciques name gaue the Gouernour a mantle of Marterns skinnes, and a cordon of perles. The Gouernour gaue him a few small Margarites, which are certaine beades much esteemed in Peru, and other things, wherewith he was very well contented. He promised to returne within two daies, but neuer came againe: but on the contrarie the Indians came by night in canoes, and carried away all the Maiz they could, and made them cabins on the other side of the Riuer in the thickest of the wood, because they might flee if wee should goe to seeke them. The Gouernour seeing hee came not at the time appointed, commanded an ambush to be laid about certaine store-houses neere the lake, whither the Indians came for Maiz: where they tooke two Indians, who told the Gouernour, that hee which came to visit him, was not the Cacique, but was sent by him vnder pretence to spie whether the Christians were carelesse, and whether they determined to settle in that country or to goe forward. Presently the Gouernour sent a Captaine with footmen and horsemen ouer the riuer; and in their passage they were descried of the Indians, and therefore he could take but tenne or twelue men and women, with whom hee returned to the campe. This Riuer which passed by Nilco, was that which passed by Cayas and Autiamque, and fell into Rio grande, or the Great Riuer, which passed by Pachaha and Aquixo neere vnto the prouince of Guachoya: and the Lord thereof came vp the Riuer in canoes to make warre with him of Nilco. On his behalf there came an Indian to the Gouernour and said vnto him, That he was his seruant, and prayed him so to hold him, and that within two daies hee would come to kisse his Lordships hands: and at the time appointed he came with some of his principal Indians, which accompanied him, and with words of great offers and courtesie hee gaue the Gouernour a present of many mantles and Deeres skinnes. The Gouernour gaue him some other things in recompense, and honoured him much. Hee asked him what townes there were downe the Riuer? He answered that he knew none other but his owne: and on the other side of the Riuer a prouince of a Cacique called Quigalta. So hee tooke his leaue of the Gouernour and went to his owne towne. Within few daies the Gouernour determined to goe to Guachoya, to learne there whether the Sea were neere, or whether there were any habitation neere, where hee might relieue his companie, while the brigantines were making, which he meant to send to the land of the Christians. As he passed the Riuer of Nilco, there came in canoes Indians of Guachoya vp the streame, and when they saw him, supposing that he came to seeke them to doe them some hurt, they returned downe the Riuer, and informed the Cacique thereof: who with all his people, spoiling the towne of all that they could carrie away, passed that night ouer to the other side of Rio grande, or the Great Riuer. The Foure names of Rio grande. Gouernour sent a Captaine with fiftie men in sixe canoes downe the Riuer, and went himselfe by land with the rest: hee came to Guachoya vpon Sunday the 17. of April: he lodged in the towne of the Cacique, which was inclosed about, and seated a crossebow shot distant from the Riuer. Here the Riuer is called Tamaliseu, and in Nilco Tapatu, and in Coça Mico, and in the port or mouth Ri.
Chap. xxix. Of the message which the Gouernour sent to Quigalta, and of the answere which he returned; and of the things which happened in this time.
As soone as the Gouernour come to Guachoya, hee sent Iohn Danusco with as many men as could goe in the canoes vp the Riuer. For when they came downe from Nilco, they saw on the other side the Riuer new cabins made. Iohn Danusco went and brought the canoes loden with Maiz, French beanes, Prunes, and many loaues made of the substance of prunes. That day came an Indian to the Gouernour from the Cacique of Guachoya, and said, that his Lord would come the next day. The next day they saw many canoes come vp the Riuer, and on the other side of the great Riuer, they assembled together in the space of an houre: they consulted whether they should come or not; and at length concluded to come, and crossed the Riuer. In them came the Cacique of Guachoya, and brought with him manie Indians with great store of Fish, Dogges, Deeres skinnes, and Mantles: And assoone as they landed, they went to the lodging of the Gouernour, and presented him their gifts, and the Cacique vttered these words:
Mightie and excellent Lord, I beseech your Lordship to pardon mee the errour which I committed in absenting my selfe, and not tarrying in this towne to haue receiued and serued your Lordship; since, to obtaine this opportunitie of time, was, and is as much as a great victorie to me. But I feared that, which I needed not to haue feared, and so did that which was not reason to do; But as haste maketh waste, and I remoued without deliberation; so, as soone as I thought on it, I determined not to follow the opinion of the foolish, which is, to continue in their errour; but to imitate the wise and discreet, in changing my counsell, and so I came to see what your Lordship will command me to doe, that I may serue you in all things that are in my power.
The Gouernour receiued him with much ioy, and gaue him thankes for his present and offer. He asked him, whether hee had any notice of the Sea. Hee answered, no, nor of any townes downe the Riuer on that side; saue that two leagues from thence was one towne of a principall Indian a subiect of his; and on the other side of the Riuer, three daies iourney from thence downe the Riuer, was the Prouince of Quigalta, which was the greatest Lord that was in that Countrie. The Gouernour thought that the Cacique lied vnto him, to rid him out of his owne townes, and sent Iohn Danusco with eight horsemen downe the Riuer, to see what habitation there was, and to informe himselfe, if there were any notice of the Sea. Hee trauelled eight daies, and at his returne hee said, that in all that time he was not able to go aboue 14. or 15. leagues, because of the great creekes that came out of the Riuer, and groues of canes, and thicke woods that were along the banks of the Riuer, and that hee had found no habitation. The Gouernor falleth sick of thought. The Gouernour fell into great dumps to see how hard it was to get to the Sea: and worse, because his men and horses euery day diminished, being without succour to sustaine themselues in the country: and with that thought he fell sick. But before he tooke his bed hee sent an Indian to the Cacique at Quigalta to tell him, that hee was the Childe of the Sunne, and that all the way that hee came all men obeyed and serued him, that he requested him to accept of his friendship, and come vnto him; for he would be very glad to see him; and in signe of loue and obedience to bring something with him of that which in his countrie was most esteemed. The Cacique answered by the same Indian:
A most wittie and stout answere of the Cacique of Quigalta. That whereas he said he was the Child of the Sunne, if he would drie vp the Riuer he would beleeue him: and touching the rest, that he was wont to visit none; but rather that all those of whom he had notice did visit him, serued, obeyed and paid him tributes willingly or perforce: therefore if hee desired to see him, it were best he should come thither: that if hee came in peace, he would receiue him with speciall good will; and if in warre, in like manner hee would attend him in the towne where he was, and that for him or any other hee would not shrinke one foote backe.
By that time the Indian returned with this answere, the Gouernour had betaken himselfe to bed, being euill handled with feuers, and was much agrieued, that he was not in case to passe presently the Riuer and to seeke him, to see if he could abate that pride of his, considering the Riuer went now very strongly in those parts; for it was neere halfe a league broad, and 16. fathomes deep, and very furious, and ranne with a great current; and on both sides there were many Indians, and his power was not now so great, but that hee had need to helpe himselfe rather by slights then by force. The Indians of Guachoya came euery day with fish in such numbers, that the towne was full of them. The Cacique said, that on a certaine night hee of Quigalta would come to giue battell to the Gouernour. Which the Gouernour imagined that he had deuised, to driue him out of his countrey, and commanded him to bee put in hold: and that night and all the rest, there was good watch kept. Hee asked him wherefore Quigalta came not? He said that hee came, but that he saw him prepared, and therefore durst not giue the attempt: and hee was earnest with him to send his Captaines ouer the Riuer, and that he would aide him with many men to set vpon Quigalta. The Gouernour told him that assoone as he was recouered, himselfe would seeke him out. And seeing how many Indians came daily to the towne, and what store of people was in that countrie, fearing they should al conspire together and plot some treason against him; and because the towne 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 thinke he feared them, he let them all alone vnrepaired; and commanded the horsemen to be appointed to them, and to the gates: and all night the horsemen went the round; and two and two of euery squadron rode about, and visited the skouts that were without the towne in their standings by the passages, and the crossebowmen that kept the canoes in the Riuer. And because the Indians should stand in feare of him, hee determined to send a Captaine to Nilco, for those of Guachoya had told him that it was inhabited; that by vsing them cruelly, neither the one nor the other should presume to assaile him; and hee sent Nunnez de Touar with fifteene horsemen, and Iohn de Guzman Captaine of the footmen with his companie, in canoes vp the Riuer. The Cacique of Guachoya sent for many canoes and many warlike Indians to goe with the Christians: and the Captaine of the Christians, called Nunnez de Touar, went by land with his horsemen, and two leagues before he came to Nilco hee staied for Iohn de Guzman, and in that place they passed the Riuer by night: the horsemen came first, and in the morning by breake of day in sight of the towne they lighted upon a spie; which assoone as he perceiued the Christians, crying out amaine fled to the towne to giue warning. Nunnez de Touar and his companie made such speed, that before the Indians of the towne could fully come out, they were vpon them: it was champion ground that was inhabited, which was about a quarter of a league. Five or sixe thousand people in Nilco. There were about fiue or sixe thousand people in the towne: 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 neuer a horseman that was not alone among many. The Captaine 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 shreekes of women and children were so great, that they made the eares deafe of those that followed them. There were slaine an hundred Indians, little more or lesse: and many were wounded with great wounds, whom they suffered to escape to strike a terror in the rest that were not there. There were some so cruell and butcherlike, that they killed old and young, and all that they met, though they made no resistance: and those which presumed of themselues for their valour, and were taken for such, brake through the Indians, bearing downe many with their stirrops and brests of their horses; and some they wounded with their lances, and so let them goe: and when they saw any youth or woman they tooke them, and deliuered them to the footmen. “These mens sinnes by Gods permission lighted on their own heads: who, because they would seeme valiant, became cruell; shewing themselues extreme cowards in the sight of all men, when as most neede of valour was required, and, afterward1 they came to a shameful death.” Of the Indians of Nilco were taken prisoners, fourescore women and children, and much spoile. The Indians of Guachoya kept back before they came at the towne, and staied without, beholding the successe of the Christians with the men of Nilco. And when they saw them put to flight, and the horsemen busie in killing of them, they hastened to the houses to rob, and filled their canoes with the spoile of the goods; and returned to Guachoya before the Christians; and wondring much at the sharpe dealing which they had seene them vse toward the Indians of Nilco, they told their Cacique all that had passed with great astonishment.
1 Chap. 37.
Chap. xxx. Of the death of the Adelantado Fernando de Soto: And how Aluarado was elected Gouernour in his stead.
The Gouernour felt in himselfe that the houre approched, wherein hee was to leaue this present life, and called for the Kings officers, Captaines and principall persons, to whom he made a speech, saying:
That now he was to goe to giue 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 vnworthie seruant did yeeld him many thankes therefore; and desired all that were present and absent (whom he confessed himselfe to be much beholding vnto for their singular vertues, loue and loyaltie, which himselfe had well tried in the trauels, which they had suffered, which alwaies in his mind he did hope to satisfie and reward, when it should please God to giue him rest, with more prosperitie of his estate,) that they would pray to God for him, that for his mercie he would forgiue him his sinnes, and receiue his soule into eternall glorie: and that they would quit and free him of the charge which hee had ouer them, and ought vnto them all, and that they would pardon him for some wrongs which they might haue receiued of him: And to auoid some diuision, which vpon his death might fall out vpon the choice of his successour, he requested them to elect a principall person, and able to gouerne, of whom all should like well; and when he was elected, they should sweare before him to obey him: and that he would thanke them very much in so doing; because the griefe that he had, would somewhat be asswaged, and the paine that he felt, because he left them in so great confusion, to wit, in leauing them in a strange Countrie, 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 eies how short the life of this world was, and with how many troubles and miseries it is accompanied, and how God shewed him a singular fauor 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 himselfe, although his death did justly grieue them much, yet as wel he, as al the rest, ought of necessitie to conforme themselues to the will of God. And touching the Gouernour which he commanded they should elect, he besought him, that it would please his Lordship to name him which he thought fit, and him they would obey. And presently he named Luys de Moscoso de Aluarado his Captaine generall. And presently he was sworne by all that were present and elected for Gouernour. The death of Don Ferdinando de Soto the 21. of May, 1542 at Guacoya. The next day, being the 21. of May, 1542. departed out of this life, the valorous, virtuous, and valiant Captaine, Don Fernando de Soto, Gouernour of Cuba, and Adelantado of Florida: whom fortune aduanced, as it vseth to doe others, that hee might haue the higher fal. He departed in such a place, and at such time, as in his sicknesse he had but little comfort; and the danger wherein all his people were of perishing in that Countrie, which appeared before their eies, was cause sufficient, why euery one of them had need of comfort, and why they did not visit nor accompanie him as they ought to haue done. Luys de Moscoso determined to conceale his death from the Indians, because Ferdinando de Soto had made them beleeue, That the Christians were immortall; and also because they tooke him to be hardie, wise, and valiant: and if they should know that he was dead, they would bee bold to set vpon the Christians, though they liued peaceablie by them. A wittie stratagem. In regard of their disposition, and because they were nothing constant, and beleeued all that was tolde them, the Adelantado made them beleeue, that he knew some things that passed in secret among themselues, without their knowledge, how, or in what manner he came by them: and that the figure which appeared in a glasse, which he shewed them, did tell him whatsoeuer they practised and went about: and therefore neither in word nor deed durst they attempt any thing that might bee preiudiciall vnto him.
Assoone as he was dead, Luis de Moscoso commanded to put him secretly in an house, where hee remained three daies: and remoouing him from thence, commanded him to bee buried in the night at one of the gates of the towne within the wall. And as the Indians had seene him sick, and missed him, so did they suspect what might bee. And passing by the place where hee was buried, seeing the earth mooued, they looked and spake one to another. Luys de Moscoso vnderstanding of it, commanded him to be taken vp, by night, and to cast a great deale of sand into the mantles, wherein he was winded vp, wherein hee was carried in a canoe, and throwne into the middest of the Riuer. The Cacique of Guachoya inquired for him, demanding what was become of his brother and Lord, the Gouernour: Luys de Moscoso told him, that hee was gon to heauen, as many other times hee did: and because hee was to stay there certaine daies hee had left him in his place. The Cacique thought with himselfe that he was dead; and commanded two young and well proportioned Indians to be brought thither; This is also the costome of the old Tartars. and said, that the vse of that Countrie was, when any Lord died, to kill Indians to wait vpon him, and serue him by the way: and for that purpose by his commandement were those come thither: and prayed Luys de Moscoso to command them to be beheaded, that they might attend and serue his Lord and brother. Luys de Moscoso told him, that the Gouernour was not dead, but gone to heauen, and that of his owne Christian souldiers, he had taken such as he needed, to serue him, and praied him to command those Indians to be loosed and not to vse any such bad custome from thencefoorth: straightway hee commanded them to be loosed, and to get them home to their houses. And one of them would not goe; saying, that hee would not serue him, that without desert had judged him to death, but that hee would serue him as long as hee liued, which had saued his life. Seven hundred hogges. Luys de Moscoso caused all the goods of the Gouernor to be sold at an outcrie: to wit, two men slaues, and two women slaues, and three horses, and 700. hogges. For euery slaue or horse, they gaue two or three thousand ducats: which were to be paied at the first melting of gold or siluer, or at the diuision of their portion of inheritance. And they entered into bonds, though in the Countrie there was not wherewith, to pay it within a yeere after, and put in sureties for the same. Such as in Spaine had no goods to bind, gaue two hundred ducats for an hog, giuing assurance after the same maner. Those which had any goods in Spaine, bought with more feare, and bought the lesse. From that time forward, most of the companie had swine, and brought them vp, and fed vpon them; and obserued Fridaies and Saturdaies, and the euenings of feasts, which before they did not. For sometimes in two or three moneths they did eate no flesh, and whensoeuer they could come by it, they did eate it.
Chap. xxxi. How the Gouernour Luys de Moscoso departed from Guachoya, and went to Chaguate; and thence to Aguacay.
Some were glad of the death of Don Ferdinando de Soto, holding for certaine, that Luys de Moscoso (which was giuen to his ease) would rather desire to be among the Christians at rest, then to continue the labours of the warre in subduing and discouering of Countries; whereof they were alreadie wearie, seeing the small profit that insued thereof. The Gouernour commanded the Captaines and principall persons to meet to consult and determine what they should doe. And being informed what peopled habitation was round about, he vnderstood that to the West, the Countrie was most inhabited, and that downe the Riuer beyond Quigalta was vninhabited, and had little store of food. He desired them all, that euerie one would giue his opinion in writing, and set his hand to it: that they might resolue by generall consent, whether they should goe downe the Riuer, or enter into the maine land. Their general resolution to trauell by land Westward. All were of opinion, that it was best to go by land toward the West, because Nueua Espanna 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 storme, neither had they Master, nor Pilot, Compasse, nor Chart, neither knew they how farre the sea was off, nor had any notice of it: nor whether the Riuer did make any great turning into the land, or had any great fall the rocks, where all of them might be cast away. And some which had seene the sea-chart, did find, that from the place where they were by the sea coast to Noua Espanna, might bee 400. leagues, little more or lesse; and said, that though they went somewhat about by land in seeking a peopled Countrie, if some great wildernesse which they could not passe did not hinder them, by spending that sommer in trauell, finding prouision to passe the winter in some peopled Countrie, that the next summer after they might come to some Christian land, and that it might fortune in their trauel by land to find some rich Countrie, where they might doe themselves good. The Gouernour, although he desired to get out of Florida in shorter time, seeing the inconueniences they laid before him in trauelling by sea, determined to follow that which seemed good to them all. On Monday the fifth of Iune, he departed from Guachoya. The Cacique gaue him a guide to Chaguate, and staied at home in his owne towne. They passed through a prouince called Catalte: and hauing passed a wildernesse of sixe daies iournie, the twentieth day of the moneth he came to Chaguate. The Cacique of this Prouince had visited the Gouernour Don Ferdinando de Soto at Autiamque, whither he brought him presents of skinnes, and mantles and salt. And a day before Luys de Moscoso came to his towne, we lost a Christian that was sicke; which hee suspected that the Indians had slaine. Hee sent the Cacique word, that he should command his people to seeke him vp, and send him vnto him, and that he would hold him, as he did, for his friend: and if he did not, that neither he, nor his, should escape his hands, and that hee would set his Countrie on fire. Presently the Cacique came vnto him, and brought a great present of mantles and skinnes, and the Christian that was lost, and made this speech following:
Right excellent Lord, I would not deserue that conceit which you had of me, for all the treasure of the world. What inforced me to goe to visit and serue the excellent Lord Gouernour your father in Autiamque, which you should haue remembred, where I offered my selfe with all loyaltie, faith and loue, during my life to serue and obey him? What then could be the cause, I hauing receiued fauours of him, and neither you nor he hauing done me any wrong, that should mooue me to doe the thing, which I ought not? Beleeue this of mee, that neither wrong, nor any worldly interest, was able to make me to haue done it, nor shall be able to blind me. But as in this life it is a naturall course, that after one pleasure, many sorrowes doe follow: so by your indignation, fortune would moderate the ioy, which my heart conceiueth with your presence; and that I should erre, where I thought surest to haue hit the marke; in harboring this Christian which was lost, and vsing him in such manner, as he may tell himselfe, thinking that herin I did you service, with purpose to deliuer him vnto you in Chaguate, and to serue you to the vttermost of my power. If I deserue punishment for this, I will receiue it at your hands, as from my Lord, as if it were a fauour. For the loue which I did beare to the excellent Gouernour, and which I beare to you hath no limit. And like as you giue me chastisement, so will you also shew me fauour. And that which now I craue of you is this, to declare your will vnto me, and those things, wherein I may bee able to doe you the most and best seruice.
The Gouernour answered him, that because he did not find him in that towne, hee was incensed against him, thinking he had absented himselfe, as others had done: But seeing he now knew his loyaltie and loue, he would alwaies hold him as a brother, and fauour him in all his affaires. The Cacique went with him to the towne where he resided, which was a daies iournie from thence. Salt made of salt springs of water. They passed through a smal 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 neere the towne in ponds like fountaines. The Gouernour staied in Chaguate sixe daies. There he was informed of the habitation that was toward the West. They told him, that three daies iournie from thence was a Prouince called Aguacay. The day that he departed from Chaguate, a Christian, called Francisco de Guzman, the base sonne of a Gentleman of Siuill, staied behind, and went to the Indians, with an Indian woman which he kept as his concubine, for feare he should be punished for gaming debts, that he did owe. The Gouernor had trauelled two daies before he missed him; hee sent the Cacique word to seeke him vp, and to send him to Aguacay, whither he trauelled: which hee did not performe. From the Cacique of Aguacay, before they came into the Countrie, there met him on the way 15. Indians with a present of skinnes, fish and rosted venison. The Gouernour came to his towne on Wednesday, the fourth of Iulie. He found the towne without people, and lodged in it: he staied there about a day; during which, he made some roades, and tooke 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 vaine of ground like peeble stones. And it was made as they make salt in Cayas.
Chap. xxxii. How the Gouernour went from Aguacay to Naguatex, and what happened vnto him.
The same day that the Gouernour departed from Aguacay he lodged in a small towne subiect to the Lord of that prouince. The Campe pitched hard by a lake of salt water; and that euening they made some salt there. The day following hee lodged betweene two mountaines in a thinne groue of wood. The next day hee came to a small towne called Pato. The fourth day after his departure from Aguacay he came to the first habitation of a prouince called Amaye. There an Indian was taken, which said that from thence to Naguatex was a day and a halfes iourney: which they trauelled, finding all the way inhabited places. Hauing passed the peopled countrie of Amaye, on Saturday the 20. of Iulie they pitched their Campe at noone betweene Amaye and Naguatex along the corner of a groue of very faire trees. In the same place certaine Indians were discouered, which came to view them. The horsemen went out to them, and killed six, and tooke two; whom the Gouernour asked, wherefore they came? They said, to know what people hee 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 aide him, determined that day to bid him battell. While they were occupied in these questiones and answeres, there came many Indians by two waies in two squadrons: and when they saw they were descried, giuing a great crie they assaulted the Christians each squadron by it selfe: but seeing what resistance the Christians made them, they turned their backes and betooke themselues to flight, in which many of them lost their liues: and most of the horsemen following them in chase, carelesse of the Camp, other two squadrons of Indians, which lay in ambush, set vpon the Christians that were in the Campe, 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 crossebow shot from the place where they were. The Gouernour sent twelue horsemen to see what it was. They found sixe Christians, foure footemen and two horsemen, among many Indians; the horsemen defending the footemen with great labour. These being of them that chased the first two squadrons, had lost themselues, and comming to recouer the Campe fell among those with whom they were fighting: and so they, and those that came to succour them, slew many of the Indians, and brought one aliue to the Campe: whom the Gouernour examined, who they were that came to bid him battell. He told him, that they were the Cacique of Naguatex, and of Amaye, and another of a prouince called Hacanac, a Lord of great Countries and many subiects: and that the Cacique of Naguatex came for Captaine and chiefest of them all. The Gouernour commanded his right arme and nose to be cut off, and sent him to the Cacique of Naguatex, charging him to tell him, that the next day hee would be in his countrey to destroy him; and if hee would withstand his entrance, hee should stay for him. That night he lodged there; and the next day hee came to the habitation of Naguatex, which was very scattering: he inquired where the Caciques chiefe towne was? They told him that it was on the other side of a Riuer, that passed thereby: hee trauelled thitherward, and came vnto it: and on the other side he saw many Indians, that taried for him, making shew as though they would defend the passage. And because hee knew not whether it could bee waded, nor where the passage was; and that some Christians and horses were hurt; that they might haue time to recouer, he determined to rest certaine daies in the towne where he was. So hee pitched his campe a quarter of a league from the Riuer, because the weather was very hot, neere vnto the towne, in a thinne groue of very faire and hie trees neere a brookes side: and in that place were certaine Indians taken; whom hee examined, whether the Riuer were wadeable or no? They said, yea, at some times, and in some places. August. They passe the Riuer. Within ten daies after he sent two Captaines with fifteene horsemen a peece vpward and downe the Riuer with Indians to shew them where they should goe ouer, to see what habitation was on the other side: And the Indians withstood them both, defending the passage of the Riuer as farre as they were able, but they passed in despite of them: and on the other side of the Riuer they saw great store of victuals; and with these newes returned to the Camp.
Chap. xxxiii. How the Cacique of Naguatex came to visite the Gouernour: and how the Gouernour departed from Naguatex and came to Nondacao.
The Gouernour sent an Indian from Naguatex where hee lay, to command the Cacique to come to serue and obey him, and that hee would forgiue him all that was past; and if he came not, that he would seeke him, and giue him such punishment as he had deserued for that which he had done against him. Within two daies 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 principall men: hee sent them to see what countenance they found in the Gouernour, to resolue with himselfe whether hee should goe or not. The Indians let him vnderstand, that he was comming, and went away presently: and the Cacique came within two houres accompanied with many of his men: they came all in a ranke one before another on both sides, leauing a lane in the middest where hee came. Tulla not far from Naguatex, Eastward. They came where the Gouernour was, all of them weeping after the manner of Tulla, which was not farre from thence toward the East. The Cacique made his due obedience, and this speech following:
Right high and mightie Lord, whom all the world ought to serue and obey, I was bold to appeare before your Lordship, hauing committed so heinous and abominable an act, as only for me to haue imagined, deserued to be punished; trusting in your greatnes, that although I deserue to obtaine no pardon, yet for your owne sake only you will vse clemencie toward me, considering how small I am in comparison of your Lordship; and not to think vpon my weaknesses, which, to my griefe and for my greater good, I haue knowne. And I beleeue that you and yours are immortall; and that your Lordship is Lord of the land of nature, seeing that you subdue all things, and they obey you, euen the very hearts of men. For when I beheld the slaughter and destruction of my men in the battell, which, through mine ignorance, and the counsell of a brother of mine, which died in the same, I gaue your Lordship, presently I repented me in my heart of the error, which I had committed; and desired to serue and obey you: and to this end I come, that your Lordship may chastise and command mee as your owne.
The Gouernour answered him, that he forgaue him all which was past, that from thenceforth hee should do his dutie, and that he would hold him for his friend, and that he would fauour him in all things. The Riuer growne vnpassable in August, at Naguatex. Within foure daies hee departed thence, and comming to the Riuer he could not passe, because it was growne very bigge; which seemed to him a thing of admiration, being at that time that it was, and since it had not rained a moneth before. The Indians said, that it increased many times after that manner without raining in all the countrie. Coniectures of a Sea to the Northward. It was supposed, that it might be the tide that came into it. It was learned that the flood came alway from aboue, and that the Indians of all that countrie had no knowledge of the Sea. The Gouernour returned vnto the place where he had lodged before: and vnderstanding within eight daies after that the Riuer was passable, he departed. He passed ouer and found the towne without people: he lodged in the field, and sent the Cacique word to come vnto him, and to bring him a guide to goe forward. And some daies being past, seeing the Cacique came not, nor sent any bodie, hee sent two Captaines sundrie waies to burne the townes, and to take such Indians as they could finde: They burnt great store of victuals, and took many Indians. The Cacique seeing the hurt that he receiued in his countrie, sent sixe principall Indians with three men for guides which knew the language of the countrie, through which the Gouernour was to passe. Hee departed presently from Naguatex, and within three daies iourney came to a towne of foure or fiue houses, which belonged to the Cacique of that prouince, which is called Nissoone: it was euill inhabited and had little Maiz. Two daies iourney forward the guides which guided the Gouernour, if they were to goe Westward, guided him to the East; and sometimes went vp and downe through very great woods out of the way. The Gouernour commanded them to bee hanged vpon a tree: and a woman that they tooke in Nissoone guided him, and went backe againe to seeke the way. In two daies he came to another miserable towne called Lacane: an Indian was taken in that place, that said, that the countrie of Nondacao was a countrie of great habitation, and the houses scattering the one from the other, as they vse to bee in mountains, and had great store of Maiz. The Cacique came with his men weeping, like them of Naguatex: for this is their vse in token of obedience: hee made him a present of much fish, and offered to doe what he would command him. Hee tooke his leaue, and gaue him a guide to the prouince of Soacatino.
Chap. xxxiv. How the Gouernour went from Nondacao to Soacatino and Guasco, and passed through a desert, from whence, for want of a guide, and an interpretour, he returned to Nilco.
The Gouernour departed from Nondacao toward Soacatino, and in fiue daies iournie came to a Prouince called Aays. The Indians which inhabited it, had no notice of the Christians: but assoone as they saw that they entred into their country, they assembled themselues: and as they came together 50. or 100. they came foorth 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 towne. Some horses and men were wounded, but not to any hurt of their trauelling: for there was no wound that was dangerous. There was a great spoile made of the Indians. That day that the Gouernour departed from thence, the Indian that guided him said, that in Nondacao he had heard say, that the Indians of Soacatino had seene other Christians, whereof they all were very glad: thinking it might be true, and that they might haue entred into those parts by Nueua Espanna; and that if it were so, it was in their owne hand to goe out of Florida, if they found nothing of profit: for they feared they should lose themselues in some wildernes. This Indian led him two daies out of the way. The Gouernour commanded to torture him. He said, that the Cacique of Nondacao, his Lord, had commanded him to guide them so, because they were his enemies, and that hee was to doe as his Lord commanded him. The Gouernour commanded him to be cast to the dogs: and another guided him to Soacatino, whither hee came the day following. It was a verie poore Countrie: there was great want of Maiz in that place. Hee asked the Indians, whether they knew of any other Christians. They said, that a little from thence toward the South they heard they were. 20. daies trauell toward the South. He trauelled 20. daies through a Countrie euill inhabited, where they suffered great scarcitie and trouble. For that little Maiz which the Indians had, they had hidden and buried in the woods, where the Christians, after they were well wearied with their trauell, at the end of their iournie went to seeke by digging what they should eat. Guasco: here they found some Turkie stones and mantles of cotton wooll. Chap. 35. At last, comming to a Prouince that was called Guasco, they found Maiz, wherewith they loaded their horses, and the Indians that they had. From thence they went to another towne called Naquiscoça. The Indians said, they had no notice of any other Christians. The Gouernor 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 Gouernour came in two daies to Naçacahoz: Some women were taken there: among whom there was one, which said, that she had seene Christians, and had been taken by them, and had run away. The Gouernour sent a Captaine with 15. horsemen to the place where the women said she had seene them, to see if there were any signe of horses, or any token of their being there. After they had gone three or foure leagues the woman that guided them said, that all that she had told them was vntrue. And so they held all the rest that the Indians had said, of seeing Christians in the land of Florida. And, because the Countrie that way was poore of Maiz, and toward the West, there was no notice of any habitation, they returned to Guasco. The Indians told them there, that 10. daies iournie from thence toward the West, was a Riuer called Daycao; whither they went sometimes a hunting and killing of Deere: and that they had seene people on the other side, but knew not what habitation was there. The Riuer of Daycayo: which seemeth to be the Rio del oro. There the Christians tooke such Maiz as they found and could carrie, and, going 10. daies iournie through a wildernesse, they came to the Riuer which the Indians had told them of. Ten horsemen, which the Gouernour had sent before, passed ouer the same, and went in a way that led to the Riuer, and lighted vpon a companie of Indians that dwelt in verie little cabins: who, assoone as they saw them, tooke themselues to flight, leauing that which they had; all which was nothing but miserie and pouertie. The Countrie was so poore, that among them all there was not found halfe a peck of Maiz. The horsemen tooke two Indians, and returned with them to the Riuer, where the Gouernour staied for them. He sought to learne of them what habitation was toward the West. There was none in the Camp that could vnderstand their language. The Gouernour assembled the Captaines and principall persons, to determine with their aduice what they should doe. And the most part said, that they thought it best to returne backe to Rio grande, or the Great Riuer of Guachoya; because that in Nilco and thereabout was store of Maiz: saying, that they would make pinaces that winter, and the next sommer passe down the Riuer to seaward in them, and comming to the Sea they would goe along the coast to Nueua Espanna. For though it seemed a doubtfull thing and difficult, by that which they had already alleaged, yet it was the last remedie they had. No trauelling by land without an interpretour. For by land they could not goe for want of an Interpretour. And they held, that the countrie beyond the Riuer of Daycao, where they were, was that which Cabeça de Vaca mentioned in his relation that he passed of the Indians, which liued like the Alarbes, hauing no setled place, and fed vpon Tunas and rootes of the fields, and wilde beasts that they killed. Which if it were so, if they should enter into it and finde no victuals to passe the winter, they could not chuse but perish. For they were entred alreadie into the beginning of October: and if they staied any longer, they were not able to returne for raine and snowes, nor to sustaine themselues in so poore a countrey. The Gouernour (that desired long to see himselfe in a place where hee might sleepe his full sleep, rather then to conquer and gouerne a countrie where so many troubles presented themselues) presently returned back that same way that he came.
Chap. xxxv. How they returned to Nilco, and came to Minoya, where they agreed to make ships to depart out of the land of Florida.
When that which was determined was published in the Campe, there were many that were greatly grieued at it: for they held the Sea voyage as doubtfull, for the euill meanes they had, and of as great danger, as the trauelling by land: and they hoped to finde some rich countrie before they came to the land of the Christians, by that which Cabeça de Vaca had told the Emperour: and that was this; Gold, siluer, and precious stones in Florida. That after hee had found clothes made of cotton wooll, hee saw gold and siluer, and stones of great value. And they had not yet come where hee had been. For vntill that place hee alwaies trauelled by the Sea coast: and they trauelled farre within the land; and that going toward the West, of necessitie they should come where hee had been. For he said, That in a certain place he trauelled many daies, and entred into the land toward the North. Turkie stones and mantles of cotton wooll found in Guasco. And in Guasco they had alreadie found some Turkie stones, and mantles of cotton wooll: which the Indians signified by signes that they had from the West: and that holding that course they should draw neere to the land of the Christians. But though they were much discontented with it, and it grieued many to goe backward, which would rather haue aduentured their liues and haue died in the land of Florida, then to haue gone poore out of it: yet were they not a sufficient part to hinder that which was determined, because the principall men agreed with the Gouernour. And afterward there was one that said, hee would put out one of his owne eyes, to put out another of Luis de Moscoso; because it would grieue him much to see him prosper: because aswell himself as others of his friends had crossed that which he durst not haue done, seeing that within two daies hee should leaue the gouernment. 150. leagues betweene the Riuer of Daycao, and Rio grande. From Daycao, where now they were, to Rio grande, or the Great Riuer, was 150. leagues: which vnto that place they had gone Westward. And by the way as they returned backe they had much adoe to find Maiz to eate: for where they had passed, the countrey was destroyed: and some little Maiz that was left the Indians had hidden. The townes which in Naguatex they had burned (whereof it repented them) were repaired againe, and the houses full of Maiz. Fine earthen vessels. This countrie is well inhabited and plentifull. In that place are vessels made of clay, which differ very little from those of Estremoz, or Monte-mor. In Chaguate the Indians by commandement of the Cacique came peaceably, and said, that the Christian which remained there would not come. The Gouernour wrote vnto him, and sent him inke and paper that he might answere. The substance of the words of the letter was to declare vnto him his determination, which was, to goe out of the land of Florida, and to put him in remembrance that he was a Christian, that hee would not remaine in the subiection of Infidels, that he pardoned him the fault which he had done in going away to the Indians, that hee should come vnto him: and if they did stay him, that hee would aduertise him thereof by writing. The Indian went with the letters and came again without any more answere, then, on the back side, his name and his seale, that they might know he was aliue. The Gouernour sent twelue horsemen to seeke him: but he, which had his spies, so hid himselfe, that they could not find him. For want of Maiz the Gouernour could not stay any longer to seeke him. Hee departed from Chaguate, and passed the Riuer by Aays; going downe by it hee found a towne called Chilano, which as yet they had not seen. They came to Nilco, and found so little Maiz, as could not suffice till they made their ships; because the Christians, being in Guachoya in the seede time, the Indians for feare of them durst not come to sow the grounds of Nilco: and they knew not thereabout any other countrie where any Maiz was: and that was the most fruitfull soile that was thereaway, and where they had most hope to finde it. Euery one was confounded, and the most part thought it bad counsell to come backe from the Riuer of Dacayo, and not to haue followed their fortune, going that way that went ouer land. For by Sea it seemed impossible to saue themselues, vnlesse God would worke a miracle for them: for there was neither Pilot, nor Sea-chart, neither did they know where the Riuer entred into the Sea, neither had they notice of it, neither had they any thing wherewith to make sailes, nor any store of Enequem, which is a grasse whereof they make Okam, which grew there: and that which they found they saued to calke the Pinaces withall, neither had they any thing to pitch them withall: neither could they make ships of such substance, but that any storme would put them in great danger: and they feared much it would fall out with them, as it did with Pamphilo de Naruaez, which was cast away vpon that coast: And aboue all it troubled them most, that they could find no Maiz: for without it they could not bee sustained, nor could doe any thing that they had neede of. All of them were put to great confusion. Their chiefe remedy was to commit themselues to God, and to beseech him that he would direct them the way that they might saue their liues. And it pleased him of his goodnesse, that the Indians of Nilco came peaceablie, and told them, that two daies iourney from thence, neere vnto the Great Riuer, were two townes, whereof the Christians had no notice, and that the prouince was called Minoya, and was a fruitfull soile: that, whether at this present there was any Maiz or no, they knew not, because they had warre with them: but that they would be very glad with the fauour of the Christians to goe and spoyle them. The Gouernour sent a Captaine thither with horsemen and footmen, and the Indians of Nilco with him. Hee came to Minoya, and found two great townes seated in a plaine and open soile, halfe a league distant, one in sight of another, and in them hee tooke many Indians, and found great store of Maiz. Presently he lodged in one of them, and sent word to the Gouernour what hee 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 Northren winde, and was exceeding cold, so that they were in the open field with water ouer and vnderneath them: and when at the end of their daies iourney they found drie ground to rest vpon, they gaue great thanks to God. With this trouble almost all the Indians that serued them died. And after they were in Minoya, many Christians also died: and the most part were sicke of great and dangerous diseases, which had a spice of the lethargie. At this place died Andrew de Vasconcelos, and two Portugals of Eluas, which were very neere him: which were brethren, and by their surname called Sotis. The Christians lodged in one of the townes, which they liked best: which was fensed about, and distant a quarter of a league from the Great Riuer. The Maiz that was in the other towne was brought thither; and in all it was esteemed to bee 6000. hanegs or bushels. And there was the best timber to make ships, that they had seene in all the land of Florida: wherefore all of them gaue God great thankes for so singular a fauour, and hoped that that which they desired would take effect, which was, that they might safely bee conducted into the land of the Christians.
Chap. xxxvi. How there were seuen Brigandines builded, and how they departed from Minoya.
Assoone as they came to Minoya, the Gouernor commanded them to gather all the chaines together, which euerie one had to lead Indians in; and to gather all the yron which they had for their prouision, and al the rest that was in the Camp: and to set vp a forge to make nailes, and commanded them to cut downe timber for the brigandines. And a Portugall of Ceuta, who hauing bin 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 Genowis, whom it pleased God to preserue (for without him they had neuer come out of the countrie: for there has neuer another that could make ships but hee) with foure or fiue other Biscaine carpenters, which hewed his plancks and other timbers, made the brigandines: And two calkers, the one of Genua, the other of Sardinia did calke them with the tow of an hearb like hempe, whereof before I haue made mention, which there is named Enequen. And because there was not enough of it, they calked them with the flaxe of the Countrie, and with the mantles, which they rauelled for that purpose. A cooper which they had among them fell sicke, 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 verie weake, and could not labour; yet 15. daies before they departed, he made for euery brigandine two halfe hogs heads, which the mariners call quarterets, because foure of them hold a pipe of water. Taguanate two daies iourney aboue Minoya. The Indians which dwelt two daies iournie aboue the Riuer in a Prouince called Taguanate, and likewise those of Nilco and Guacoya, and others their neighbours seeing the brigandines in making, thinking, because their places of refuge are in the water, that they were to goe to seeke them: and because the Gouernour demanded mantles of them, as necessarie for sailes, came many times, and brought many mantles, and great store of fish. And for certaine it seemed that God was willing to fauour them in so great necessitie, moouing the minds of the Indians to bring them: for to goe to take them, they were neuer able. For in the towne where they were, assoone as winter came in, they were so inclosed and compassed with water, that they could go no farther by land, then a league, and a league and an half. The great vse of horses. And if they would go farther, they could carrie no horses, and without them they were not able to fight with the Indians, because they were many: and so many for so many (numbers being equal) on foote they had the aduantage of them by water and by land, because they were more apt and lighter, and by reason of the disposition of the Countrie, which was according to their desire for the vse of their warre. They brought also some cords, and those which wanted for cables were made of the barkes of Mulberrie trees. They made stirrops of wood, and made ankers of their stirrops. The mightie increasing of the Riuer for two moneths space, to wit, all March and April. In the moneth of March, when it had not rained a moneth before, the Riuer grew so big, that it came to Nilco, which was nine leagues off: and on the other side, the Indians said, that it reached other nine leagues into the land. In the towne where the Christians were, which was somewhat high ground, where they could best goe, the water reached to the stirrops. They made certaine rafts of timber, and laid manie boughes vpon them, wheron they set their horses, and in the houses they did the like. But seeing that nothing preuailed, they went vp 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 hiest. So they were two moneths, and could doe nothing, during which time the Riuer decreased not. The Indians ceased not to come vnto the brigantines as they were wont, and came in canoes. At that time the Gouernour feared they would set vpon him. Hee commanded his men to take an Indian secretly of those that came to the towne, and to stay him till the rest were gone: and they tooke one. The Gouernour commanded him to bee put to torture, to make him confesse, whether the Indians did practise any treason or no. The grand conspiracie of the Indians against the Christians. Hee confessed that the Caciques of Nilco, Guachoya, and Taguanate, and others, which in al were about 20. Caciques, with a great number of people, determined to come vpon him; and that three daies before, they would send a great present of fish to colour their great treason and malice, and on the verie day they would send some Indians before with another present. Note well. And these with those which were our slaues, which were of their conspiracie also, should set the houses on fire, and first of all possesse themselues of the lances which stood at the doores of the houses; and the Caciques with all their men should bee neere the towne in ambush in the wood, and when they saw the fire kindled, should come, and make an end of the conquest. The Gouernour commanded the Indian to be kept in a chaine, and the selfesame day that he spake of there came 30. Indians with fish. Thirtie Indians of the Cacique of Guachoya haue their right hands cut off. He commanded their right hands to be cut off, and sent them so backe 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 hee should know, that they thought not any thing which he knew not before they thought of it. Hereupon they all were put in a very great feare: And the Caciques of Nilco and Taguanate came to excuse themselues: and a few daies after came he of Guachoya, and a principall Indian and his subiect, said, he knew by certaine information, That the Caciques of Nilco and Taguanate were agreed to come and make warre vpon the Christians. Assoone as the Indians came from Nilco, the Gouernour examined them, and they confessed it was true. Hee deliuered them presently to the principall man of Guachoya, which drew them out of the towne and killed them. Another day came some from Taguanate, and confessed it likewise. The right hands and noses of traitours cut off. The Gouernour 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 Countrie of some swine that were lost by the way the last yeere. Assoone as the waters were slaked, they perswaded the Gouernour to send men to Taguanate: They came and brought canoes, wherein the footemen were conueied downe the Riuer, and a Captaine with horsemen went by land; and the Indians of Guachoya, which guided him, till they came to Taguanate, assaulted the towne, and tooke many men and women, and mantles, which with those that they had alreadie were sufficient to supplie their want. The Riuer increaseth but once a yeere when the snowes doe melt in March and Aprill. The brigandines being finished in the moneth of Iune, the Indians hauing told vs, That the Riuer increased but once a yeere, when the snowes did melt, in the time wherein I mentioned it had alreadie increased, being now in sommer, and hauing not rained a long time, it pleased God, that the flood came vp to the towne to seeke the brigandines, from whence they carried them by water to the Riuer. A miraculous accident. Which, if they had gone by land, had been in danger of breaking and splitting their keeles, and to bee all vndone; because that for want of iron, the spikes were short, and the planckes and timber very weake. The Indians of Minoya, during the time that they were there, came to serue them (being driuen thereunto by necessity) that of the Maiz which they had taken from them they would bestow some crummes vpon them. And because the Countrie was fertill, and the people vsed to feed of Maiz, and the Christians had gotten all from them that they had, and the people were many, they were not able to sustaine themselues. Those which came to the towne were so weake and feeble, that they had no flesh left on their bones: and many came and died neere the towne for pure hunger and weaknesse. The Gouernour commanded vpon grieuous punishments to giue them no Maiz. Yet, when they saw that the hogges wanted it not, and that they had yeelded themselues to serue them, and considering their miserie and wretchednes, hauing pity of them, they gaue them part of the Maiz which they had. And when the time of their embarkment came, there was not sufficient to serue their own turnes. That which there was, they put into the brigandines, and into great canoes tied two and two together. They shipped 22. of the best horses, that were in the Camp, the rest they made dried flesh of; and dressed the hogges which they had in like manner. They departed from Minoya the second day of Iulie, 1543.
Chap. xxxvii. As the Christians went downe the great Riuer on their voyage, the Indians of Quigalta did set vpon them, and what was the successe thereof.
The day before they departed from Minoya, they determined to dismisse al the men and women of the Countrie, which they had detained as slaues to serue them, saue some hundred, little more or lesse, which the Gouernour embarked, and others whom it pleased him to permit. And because there were many men of qualitie, whom he could not deny that which he granted to others, he vsed a policy, saying, that they might serue them as long as they were in the Riuer, 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 carrie theirs to Nueua Espanna: And all those whom hee bare no good will vnto (which were the greater number) ignorant of that which was hidden from them, which afterward time discouered, thinking it inhumanitie for so little time of seruice, in reward of the great seruice that they had done them, to carrie them with them, 500. Slaues left in the Countrie. to leaue them slaues to other men out of their owne Countries; left fiue hundred men and women: among whom were many boies and girles, which spake and vnderstood the Spanish tongue. The most of them did nothing but weepe: which mooued great compassion; seeing that all of them with good will would haue become Christians, and were left in state of perdition. They sailed down Rio Grande from Minoya 17. daies before they came to the mouth thereof. There went from Minoya 322. Spaniards in seuen brigandines, well made, saue that the plankes were thin, because the nailes were short, and were not pitched, nor had any decks to keep the water from comming in. In stead of decks they laid planks, whereon the mariners might runne to trim their sailes, and the people might refresh themselues aboue and below: The Gouernour made his Captaines, and gaue to euery one his brigandine, and took their oth and their word, that they would obey him, vntill they came to the land of the Christians. The Gouernour tooke one of the brigandines 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 Riuer. And on the shore, they had made a great arbour with boughes: They desired him to come on shore; but he excused himselfe, and so went along: The Indians in their canoes accompanied him; and comming where an arme of the Riuer diclined on the right hand, they said, that the Prouince of Quigalta was neere vnto that place, and importuned the Gouernour to set vpon him, and that they would aide him. And because they had said, that he dwelt three daies journie down the Riuer, the Gouernour supposed that they had plotted some treason against him, and there left them; and went downe with the greatest force of the water. The current was very strong, and with the helpe of ores, they went very swiftly. The first day they landed in a wood on the left hand of the Riuer, and at night they withdrew themselues to the brigandines. The second day. The next day they came to a towne, where they went on shore, and the people that was in it durst not tarrie. A woman that they tooke there being examined, said, that that towne belonged to a Cacique named Huasene, subiect to Quigalta, and that Quigalta tarried for them below in the Riuer with many men. Certaine horsemen went thither, and found some houses, wherein was much Maiz. Immediately more of them went thither and tarried there one day, Another day. in which they did beate out, and tooke as much Maiz as they needed. While they were there, many Indians came from the nether part of the Riuer, and on the other side right against them somewhat carelessely set themselues in order to fight. The Gouernour sent in two canoes the crossebowmen that he had, and as many more as could goe in them. They ran away, and seeing the Spaniards could not ouertake them, they returned backe, and tooke courage; and coming neerer, making an outcrie, they threatned them: and assoone as they departed thence, they went after them, some in canoes, and some by land along the Riuer; and getting before, comming to a towne that stood by the Riuers side, they ioyned al together, making a shew that they would tarrie there. Euerie brigandine towed a canoe fastened to their sternes for their particular seruice. A town burned. Presently there entred men into euerie one of them, which made the Indians to flie, and burned the town. The same day they presently landed in a great field, where the Indians durst not tarrie. The third day. A fleet of an hundred faire and great canoes. The next day there were gathered together an hundred canoes, among which were some that carried 60. and 70. men, and the principall mens canoes had their tilts, and plumes of white and red feathers for their ensignes: and they came within two crossebow shot of the brigandines, and sent three Indians in a small canoe with a fained message to view the manner of the brigandines, and what weapons they had. And comming to the side of the Gouernours brigandine, one of the Indians entred, and said:
That the Cacique of Quigalta his Lord, sent him his commendations, and did let him vnderstand, that all the Indians of Guachoya had told him concerning himselfe, was false, and that they had incensed him, because they were his enemies; that he was his seruant, and should find him so.
The Gouernour answered him, that he beleeued 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 downe, and came neere the Spaniards, shouting aloud, and threatning of them. The Gouernour sent Iohn de Guzman, which had been a Captaine of footemen in Florida, with 15. armed men in canoes to make them giue way. Assoone as the Indians saw them come towards them, they diuided themselues into two parts, and stood still till the Spaniards came nie them, and when they were come neere them, they ioyned together on both sides, taking Iohn de Guzman in the middest, and then they came first with him, and with great furie borded 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 ouerwhelme them; so presently they ouerwhelmed them. The Christians fell into the water, and with the weight of their armour sunke downe to the bottome: and some few, that by swimming or holding by the canoe could haue saued themselues, with oares and staues, which they had, they strooke them on the head and made them sinke. When they of the brigandines saw the ouerthrow, though they went about to succour them, yet through the current of the Riuer they could not goe backe. Foure Spaniards fled to the brigandine that was neerest to the canoes; and only these escaped of those that came among the Indians. Eleven Spaniards drowned. They were eleuen that died there: among whom Iohn de Guzman was one, and a sonne of Don Carlos, called Iohn 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 sterne of one of their canoes, and whether they carried him away dead or aliue they could not certainly tell.
Chap. xxxviii. Which declareth how they were pursued by the Indians.
The Indians, seeing that they had gotten the victorie, tooke such courage, that they assaulted them in the brigandines, which they durst not doe before. 25. Spaniards wounded. They came first to that brigandine wherein Calderon went for Captaine, and was in the rereward: and at the first volie of arrowes they wounded 25. men. There were only foure armed men in this brigandine: these did stand at the brigandines side to defend it. Those that were vnarmed, seeing how they hurt them, left their oares and went vnder the deck: whereupon the brigandine began to crosse, and to goe where the current of the streame carried it. One of the armed men seeing this, without the commandement of the Captaine, made a footman to take an oare and stirre the brigandine, hee standing before him and defending him with his target. The great vse of large targets. The Indians came no neerer then a bowshot, from whence they offended and were not offended, receiuing no hurt: for in euery brigandine was but one crossebow, and those which wee had were very much out of order. So that the Christians did nothing else but stand for a butte to receiue their arrowes. Hauing left this brigandine they went to another, and fought with it halfe an houre; and so from one to another they fought with them all. Strong mats a good defence against arrowes. The Christians had mattes to lay vnder them, which were double, and so close and strong, that no arrow went thorow them. And assoone as the Indians gaue them leisure, they fensed the brigandines with them. And the Indians seeing that they could not shoote leuell, shot their arrowes at random vp into the aire, which fell into the brigandines, 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 brigandines enuironed them to defend them, and tooke them among them. Thus seeing themselues much vexed by them, and so wearied that they could no longer endure it, they determined to trauell all the night following, thinking to get beyond the countrie of Quigalta, and that they would leaue them: but when they thought least of it, supposing they had now left them, they heard very neere them so great outcries, that they made them deafe, and so they followed vs all that night, and the next day till noone, by which time we were come into the countrie of others, whom they desired to vse vs after the same manner; and so they did. The men of Quigalta returned home; and the other in fiftie canoes fought with vs a whole day and a night: and they entred one of the brigandines, that came in the rereward by the canoe which she had at her sterne, and tooke away a woman which they found in it, and afterward hurt some of the men of the brigandines. Those which came with the horses in the canoes, being wearie with rowing night and day, lingered behind; and presently the Indians came vpon them, and they of the brigandines tarried for them. The Gouernour resolued to goe on shore and to kill the horses, because of the slow way which they made because of them. Assoone as they saw a place conuenient for it, they Dried horseflesh for food. went thither and killed the horses, and brought the flesh of them to drie it aboord. Foure or fiue of them remained on shore aliue: The Indians went vnto them, after the Spaniards were embarked. The horses were not acquainted with them, and began to neigh, and runne vp and downe, in such sort, that the Indians, for feare of them, leaped into the water: and getting into their canoes went after the brigandines, shooting cruelly at them. They followed vs that euening and the night following till the next day at tenne of the clocke, and then returned vp the Riuer. Presently from a small towne that stood vpon the Riuer came seuen canoes, and followed vs a little way downe the Riuer, shooting at vs: but seeing they were so few that they could do vs but little harme, they returned to their towne. From thence forward, vntill they came to the Sea, they had no encounter. They sailed downe the Riuer seuenteene daies, which may be two hundred and fifty leagues iourney, little more or lesse: and neere vnto the Sea the Riuer is diuided into two armes; each of them is a league and an halfe broad.
Chap. xxxix. How they came vnto the sea: and what happened vnto them in all their voiage.
Halfe a league before they came to the sea, they came to anker to rest themselues there about a day: for they were very weary with rowing and out of heart. For by the space of many daies they had eaten nothing but parched and sodden Maiz; which they had by allowance euery day an headpeece ful by strike for euery three men. While they rode there at anker seuen canoes of Indians came to set vpon those, which they brought with them. The Gouernor commanded armed men to go aboord them, and to driue them farther off. They came also against them by land through a thick wood, and a moorish ground, and had staues with very sharp forked heads made of the bones of fishes, and fought verie valiantly with vs, which went out to encounter them. And the other that came in canoes with their arrowes staid for them that came against them, and at their comming both those that were on land, and those in the canoes wounded some of vs: And seeing vs come neere them, they turned their backs, and like swift horses among footemen gat away from vs; making some returnes, and reuniting themselues together, going not past a bow shot off: for in so retiring they shot, without receiuing any hurt of the Christians. For though they had some bowes, yet they could not vse them; and brake their armes with rowing to ouertake them. And the Indians easily in their compasse went with their canoes, staying and wheeling about as it had been in a skirmish, perceiuing that those that came against them could not offend them. And the more they stroue to come neere them, the more hurt they receiued. Assoone as they had driuen them farther off they returned to the brigandines. They staied two daies there: And departed from thence vnto the place, where the arme of the Riuer entreth into the sea. They sounded in the Riuer neere vnto the Sea, and found 40. fathoms water. They staid there. And the Gouernour commanded al and singular persons to speake their minds touching their voiage, whether it were best to crosse ouer to Nueua Espanna, committing themselues to the hie sea, or whether they should keepe along the coast. There were sundry opinions touching this matter; wherein Iohn Danusco, which presumed much, and tooke much vpon him in the knowledge of nauigation, and matters of the sea, although hee had but little experience, mooued the Gouernour with his talke: and his opinion was seconded by some others. And they affirmed, that it was much better to passe by the hie sea, and crosse the gulfe, which was three of foure parts the lesser trauell, because in going along the coast, they went a great way about, by reason of the compasse, which the land did make. Iohn Danusco said, that he had seene the seacard, and that from the place where they were, the coast ran East and West vnto Rio de las Palmas; and from Rio de las Palmas to Nueua Espanna from North to South: and therefore in sailing alwaies in sight of land would bee 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 Christians: and that in 10. or 12. daies space, hauing good weather, they might bee there in crossing ouer. The most part were against this opinion, and said, that it was more safe to go along the coast, though they staied the longer: because their ships were very weake and without decks, so that a very little storme was enough to cast them away: and if they should be hindred with calmes, or contrarie weather, through the small store of vessels which they had to carrie water in, they should likewise fall into great danger: and that although the ships were such as they might venture in them, yet hauing neither Pilot nor Seacard to guide themselues, it was no good counsell to crosse the gulfe. 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 anker of the Gouernours brigandine brake, and the anker remained in the Riuer. And albeit, they were neere the shore, yet it was so deepe, that the Diuers diuing many times could neuer find it: which caused great sadnes in the Gouernour, and in all those that went with him in his brigandine: But with a grindstone which they had, and certaine bridles which remained to some of the Gentlemen, and men of worship which had horses, they made a weight which serued in stead of an anker. They landed the 30. of May, 1539. Chap. 7. they went foorth to sea Iuly 18, 1543. The 18. of Iuly, they went foorth to sea with faire and prosperous weather for their voiage. And seeing that they were gone two or three leagues from the shore, the Captaines of the other brigandines ouertooke them, and asked the Gouernour, wherefore he did put off from the shore: and that if hee would leaue the coast, he should say so; and he should not do it without the consent of all: and that if hee did otherwise, they would not follow him, but that euery one would doe what seemed best vnto himselfe. The Gouernour answered, that hee would doe nothing without their counsell, but that hee did beare off from the land to saile the better and safer by night; and that the next day when time serued, he would returne to the sight of land againe. They sailed with a reasonable good wind that day and the night following, and the next day till euening song, alwaies in fresh water: whereat they wondred much: for they were very farre from land. But the force of the current of the Riuer is so great, and the coast there is so shallow and gentle, that the fresh water entreth farre into the Sea. That euening on their right hand they saw certaine creekes, whither they went, and rested there that night: where Iohn Danusco with his reasons wonne them at last, that all consented and agreed to commit themselues to the maine Sea, alleaging, as he had done before, that it was a great aduantage, and that their voyage would be much shorter. They sailed two daies, and when they would haue come to sight of land they could not, for the winde blew from the shore. On the fourth day, seeing their fresh water began to faile, fearing necessitie and danger, they all complained of Iohn Danusco, and of the Gouernour that followed his counsell: and euery one of the Captaines said, that they would no more goe from the shore, though the Gouernour went whither he would. It pleased God that the winde changed though but a little: and at the end of foure daies after they had put to sea, being alreadie destitute of water, by force of rowing they got within sight of land, and with great trouble recouered it, in an open roade. That euening the winde came to the South, which on that coast is a crosse winde, and draue the brigandines against the shore, because it blew very hard, and the anchors weake, that they yeelded and began to bend. The Gouernour commanded all men to leape into the water, and going between them and the shore, and thrusting the brigandines into the Sea assoone as the waue was past, they saued them till the winde ceased.
Chap. xl. How they lost one another by a storme, and afterward came together in a creeke.
Fresh water is commonlie found by diging in the sands on the sea side. In the bay where they rode, after the tempest was past, they went on shore, and with mattockes, which they had, they digged certain pits, which grew full of fresh water, where they filled all the casks which they had. The next day they departed thence, and sailed two daies, and entred into a creeke like vnto a poole, fenced from the South winde, which then did blow, and was against them: and there they staied foure daies, not being able to get out: and when the Sea was calm they rowed out: they sailed that day, and toward euening the winde grew so strong that it draue them on the shore, and they were sorie that they had put foorth from the former harbour: for assoone as night approched a storme began to rise in the Sea, and the winde still waxed more and more violent with a tempest. The brigandines lost one another: two of them, which bare more into the Sea, entred into an arme of the Sea, which pearced into the land two leagues beyond the place where the other were that night. The fiue which staied behinde, being alwaies a league, and halfe a league the one from the other, met together, without any knowledge the one of the other, in a wilde roade, where the winde and the waues droue them on shore: for their anchors did strengthen and came home; and they could not rule their oares, putting seuen or eight men to every oare, which rowed to seaward: and all the rest leaped into the water, and when the waue was past that draue the brigandine on shore, they thrust it againe into Sea with all the diligence and might that they had. Others, while another waue was in comming, with bowles laued out the water that came in ouerboord. A swarme of grieuous Moskitoes. While they were in this tempest in great feare of being cast away in that place, from midnight forward they endured an intollerable torment of an infinite swarme of Moskitoes which fell upon them, which assoone as they had stung the flesh, it so infected it, as though they had bin venomous. In the morning the Sea was asswaged and the wind slaked, but not the Muskitoes: the sailes which were white seemed blacke with them in the morning. Those which rowed, vnless others kept them away, were not able to row. Hauing passed the feare & danger of the storme, beholding the deformities of their faces, and the blows which they gaue themselves to driue them away, one of them laughed at another. They met all together in the creek where the two brigandines were, which outwent their fellowes. There was found a skumme, which they call Copee, which the Sea casteth vp, and it is like pitch, wherewith in some places, where pitch is wanting, they pitch their ships: there they pitched their brigandines. They rested two daies, and then eftsoones proceeded on their voyage. They sailed two daies more, and landed in a Bay or arme of the Sea, where they staied two daies. The same day that they went from thence sixe men went vp in a canoe toward the head of it, and could not see the end of it. They put out from thence with a South winde, 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 force of oares, and for all that made very little way with great labour in two daies, and went under the lee of a small Island into an arme of the Sea, which compassed it about. While they were there, there fell out such weather, that they gave God many thankes, that they had found out such an harbour. There was great store of fish in that place, which they tooke with nets, which they had, and hookes. Heere a man cast an hooke and a line into the Sea, and tied the end of it to his arme, and a fish caught it, and drew him into the water vnto the necke: and it pleased God that he remembred himselfe of a knife that he had, and cut the line with it. There they abode fourteen daies: and at the end of them it pleased God to send them faire weather, for which with great deuotion they appointed a procession, and went in procession along the strand, beseeching God to bring them to a land, where they might serue him in better sort.
Chap. xli. How they came to the Riuer of Panuco in Nueua Espanna.
In all the coast wheresoeuer they digged they found fresh water: there they filled their vessels; and the procession being ended, embarked themselues, and going alwaies in sight of the shore they sailed sixe daies. Iohn Danusco said that it would doe well to beare out to seaward: for he had seene the Seacard, and remembred that from Rio de las Palmas forward the coast did runne from North to South, and thitherto they had runne from East to West, and in his opinion, by his reckoning, Rio de las Palmas could not be farre off, from where they were. At the Northside of the Gulfe of Mexico is verie low land, saue in this one place. That same night they put to sea, and in the morning they saw Palme leaues floting, and the coast, which ranne North and South: from midday forward they saw great Mountaines, which vntill then they had not seene: for from this place to Puerto de Spiritu Santo, where they first landed in Florida, was a very plaine and low countrey: and therefore it cannot be descried, vnlesse a man come very neere it. By that which they saw, they thought that they had ouershot Rio de Palmas that night, which is 60. leagues from the Riuer of Panuco, which is in Nueua Espanna. They assembled all together, and some said it was not good to saile by night, lest they should ouershoot the Riuer of Panuco: and others said, it was not well to lose time while it was fauourable, and that it could not be so neere that they should passe it that night: and they agreed to take away halfe the sailes, and so saile all night. Two of the brigandines, which sailed that night with all their sailes, by breake of day had ouershot the Riuer of Panuco without seeing it. Of the fiue that came behind, the first that came vnto it was that wherein Calderan was Captaine. A quarter of a league before they came at it, and before they did see it, they saw the water muddie, and knew it to be fresh water: and comming right against the Riuer, they saw, where it entred into the Sea, that the water brake vpon a shold. And because there was no man there that knew it, they were in doubt whether they should goe in, or goe along, and they resolued to goe in: and before they came vnto the current, they went close to the shore, and entred into the port: and assoone as they were come in, they saw Indian men and women apparelled like Spaniards: whom they asked in what countrey they were? The Riuer of Panuca: the towne 15. leagues from the mouth of the Riuer. They answered in Spanish, that it was the Riuer of Panuco, and that the towne of the Christians was 15. leagues vp within the land. The ioy that all of them receiued vpon these newes cannot sufficiently be expressed: for it seemed vnto them, that at that instant they were borne again. And many went on shore and kissed the ground, and kneeling on their knees, with lifting vp their hands and eyes to heauen, they all ceased not to giue God thankes. Those which came after, assoone as they saw Calderon come to an anchor with his brigandine in the Riuer, presently went thither, and came into the hauen. The other two brigandines which had ouershot the place, put to sea to returne backe to seeke the rest, and could not doe it, because the wind was contrarie and the Sea growne: they were afraid of being cast away, and recouering the shore they cast anchor. While they rode there a storme arose: and seeing that they could not abide there, much lesse endure at Sea, they resolued to runne on shore; and as the brigandines were but small, so did they draw but little water; and where they were it was a sandie coast. By which occasion the force of their sailes draue 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 ioy, so these felt a double griefe in their hearts: for they knew not what was become of their fellowes, nor in what countrey they were, and feared it was a countrey of Indian enemies. They landed two leagues below the port: and when they saw themselues out of the danger of the Sea, euery one tooke of that which he had, as much as he could carrie on his backe: and they trauelled vp into the countrey, and found Indians, which told them where the fellowes were; and gaue them good entertainement: wherewith their sadnes was turned into ioy, and they thanked God most humbly for their deliuerance out of so many dangers.
Chap. xlii. How they came to Panuco, and how they were receiued of the inhabitants.
From the time that they put out of Rio Grande to the sea, at their departure from Florida, vntil they arriued in the Riuer of Panuco, were 52 daies. They arriued in the Riuer of Panuco, 1543. Septem. 10. They came into the Riuer of Panuco the 10. of September 1543. They went vp the Riuer with their brigandines. They trauelled foure daies; and because the wind was but little, and many times it serued them not, because of the many turnings which the Riuer maketh, and the great current, drawing them vp by towing, and that in many places: for this cause they made very little way, and with great labour; and seeing the execution of their desire to be deferred, which was to come among Christians, and to see the celebration of diuine seruice, which so long time they had not seene; they left the brigandines with the mariners, and went by land to Panuco. All of them were apparrelled in Deeres skins tanned and died blacke, to wit, cotes, hose, and shooes. When they came to Panuco, presently they went to the Church to pray and giue God thankes, that so miraculously had saued them. The townesmen which before were aduertised by the Indians, and knew of their arriual, caried some of them to their houses, and entertained them, whom they knew, and had acquaintance of, or because they were their Countrimen. The Alcalde Mayor tooke the Gouernour home to his house: and commanded al the rest, assoone as they came, to be lodged 6. & 6. and 10. & 10. according to the habilitie of euery townesman. And all of them were prouided for by their hostes of many hennes and bread of Maiz, and fruites of the Countrie, which are such as be in the Isle of Cuba, whereof, before I haue spoken. The description of Panuco. The towne of Panuco may containe aboue 70 families; the most of their houses are of lime and stone, and some made of timber, and all of them are thatched. It is a poore Countrie, and there is neither gold nor siluer in it: The inhabitants live there in great abundance of victuals and seruants. The richest haue not aboue 500. crownes rent a yeere, and that is in cotton clothes and hennes and Maiz, which the Indians there seruants doe giue them for tribute. 311. Christians arriued at Panuco. There arriued there; of those that came out of Florida, three hundred and eleuen Christians. Presently the Alcalde Mayor sent one of the townesmen in post to aduertise the Viceroy, Don Antonio de Mendoça, which was resident in Mexico, that of the people that went with Don Ferdinando de Soto to discouer and conquer Florida, three hundred and eleuen men were arriued there, that seeing they were imploied in his Maiesties seruice, he would take some order to prouide for them. Whereat the Viceroy, and all the inhabitants of Mexico wondred. For they thought they were miscarried, because they had trauelled so farre within the maine land of Florida, and had no newes of them for so long a time: and it seemed a wonderfull thing vnto them, how they could saue themselues so long among Infidels, without any fort, wherein they might fortifie themselues, and without any other succour at all. Presently the Viceroy sent a warrant, wherein hee commanded, that whithersoeuer they went, they should giue 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 necessarie perforce without incurring any danger of law. This warrant was so readilie obeyed, that by the way before they came to the townes, they came to receiue them with hennes, and victuals.
Chap. xliii. Of the fauour which they found at the hands of the Viceroy, and of the inhabitants of the Citie of Mexico.
From Panuco to the great Citie Temistitan Mexico is 60. leagues; and other 60. from Panuco to the Port de Vera Cruz, where they take shipping for Spaine, and those that come from Spaine do land to go for Nueua Espanna. These three townes stand in a triangle: to wit, Vera Cruz, to the South, Panuco to the North, and Mexico to the West, 60. leagues assunder. The Countrie is so inhabited with Indians, that from towne to towne, those which are farthest, are but a league, and halfe a league assunder. Some of them that came from Florida, staied a moneth in Panuco to rest themselues, others fifteene daies, and euery one as long as he listed: for there was none that shewed a sower countenance to his guests, but rather gaue them any thing that they had, and seemed to be grieued when they took their leaue. Which was to be beleeued. For the victuals, which the Indians doe pay them for tribute, are more than they can spend: and in that towne is no commerce; and there dwelt but few Spaniards there, and they were glad of their companie. The Alcalde Mayor diuided all the Emperours clothes which he had (which there they pay him for his tribute) among those that would come to receiue them. Those which had shirts of maile left, were glad men: for they had a horse for one shirt of maile: Some horsed themselues: and such as could not (which were the greatest part) tooke their iournie on foote: in which they were well receiued of the Indians that were in the townes, and better serued, then they could haue been in their owne houses, though they had been well to liue. For if they asked one hen of an Indian, they brought them foure: and if they asked any of the Countrie fruit, though it were a league off, they ran presently for it. This is the manner of China to carrie men chaires. And if any Christian found himselfe euill at ease, they carried him in a chaire from one towne to another. In whatsoeuer towne they came, the Cacique, by an Indian which carried a rod of Iustice in his hand, whom they call Tapile, that is to say, a sergeant, commanded them to prouide victuals for them, and Indians to beare burdens of such things as they had, and such as were needfull to carrie them that were sicke. The Viceroy sent a Portugall 20. leagues from Mexico, with great store of sugar, raisons of the Sunne, and conserues, and other things fit for sicke folkes, for such as had neede of them: and had giuen order to cloth them all at the Emperours charges. And their approch being knowne by the citizens of Mexico, they went out of the towne to receiue them: and with great courtesie, requesting them in fauour to come to their houses, euery one carried such as hee met home with him, and clothed them euery one the best they could: so that he which had the meanest apparrell, it cost aboue 30. ducats. As many as were willing to come to the Viceroyes house he commanded to be apparelled, and such as were persons of qualitie sate at his table: and there was a table in his house for as many of the meaner sort as would come to it: and he was presently informed who euery one was, to shew him the courtesie that he deserued. Some of the Conquerors did set both gentlemen and clownes at their owne table, and many times made the seruant sit cheeke by cheeke by his master: and chiefly the officers and men of base condition did so: for those which had better education did enquire who euery one was, and made difference of persons: but all did what they could with a good will: and euery one told them whom they had in their houses, that they should not trouble themselues, nor thinke themselues the worse, to take that which they gaue them: for they had bin in the like case, and had bin relieued of others, and that this was the custome of that countrey. God reward them all: and God grant, that those which it pleased him to deliuer out of Florida, and to bring againe into Christendome, may serue him: and vnto those that died in that countrey, and vnto all that beleeue in him and confesse his holy faith, God for his mercie sake grant the kingdome of heauen. Amen.
Chap. xliv. Which declareth some diuersities and particularities of the land of Florida: and the fruites, and beasts, and fowles that are in that Countrie.
Port de Spiritu Santo is in 29. degrees 1/2 on the West side of Florida. From the Port de Spiritu Santo, where they landed when they entred into Florida, to the Prouince of Ocute, which may bee 400. leagues, little more or lesse, is a verie plaine Countrie, and hath many lakes and thicke woods, and in some places they are of wild pine trees; and is a weake soile: There is in it neither Mountaine nor hill. The Countrie of Ocute is more fat and fruitfull; it hath thinner woods, and very goodly medows vpon the Riuers. From Ocute to Cutifachiqui may be 130. leagues; 80. leagues thereof are desert, and haue many groues of wild Pine trees. Through the wildernesse great Riuers doe passe. From Cutifachiqui to Xuala, may be 250. leagues: it is al an hilly Countrie. Cutifachiqui and Xuala stand both in plaine grounds, hie, and haue goodly medows on the Riuers. From thence forward to Chiaha, Coça, and Talise, is plaine ground, dry and fat, and very plentifull of Maiz. From Xuala to Tascaluça may be 250. leagues. From Tascaluça to Rio Grande, or the Great Riuer, may be 300. leagues: the Countrie is low, and full of lakes. From Rio Grande forwarde, the Countrie is hier and more champion, and best peopled of all the land of Florida. And along this Riuer from Aquixo to Pacaha, and Coligoa, are 150. leagues: the Countrie is plaine, and the woods thinne, and in some places champion, very fruitfull and pleasant. From Coligoa to Autiamque are 250. leagues of hillie Countrie. From Autiamque to Aguacay, may be 230. leagues of plaine ground. From Aguacay to the Riuer of Daycao 120. leagues, all hillie Countrie.
Pagina 27. From the Port de Spiritu Santo vnto Apalache, they trauelled 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 Tascaluça, and to Rio Grande, as far as the Prouinces of Quizquiz and Aquixo from East to West. From Aquixo to Pacaha to the North. From Pacaha to Tulla from East to West: and from Tulla to Autiamque from North to South, to the Prouince of Guachoya and Daycao.
The bread which they eate in all the land of Florida is of Maiz, which is like course millet. And this maiz is common in all the Islandes and West Indies from the Antiles forward. There are also in Florida great store of Walnuts and Plummes, Mulberries, and Grapes. They sow and gather their Maiz euery one their seuerall crop. The fruits are common to all: for they grow abroad in the open fields in great abundance, without any neede of planting or dressing. Where there be Mountaines, there be chestnuts: they are somewhat smaller then the chestnuts of Spaine. Soft Walnuts Eastward from Rio Grande. Hard Walnuts Westward from Rio Grande. From Rio Grande Westward, the Walnuts differ from those that grow more Eastward: for they are soft, and like vnto Acornes: And those which grow from Rio Grande to Puerto del Spiritu Santo for the most part are hard; and the trees and Walnuts in shew like those of Spaine. There is a fruit through all the Countrie which groweth on a plant like Ligoacan, which the Indians doe plant. The fruit is like vnto Peares Riall: it hath a verie good smell, and an excellent taste. There groweth another plant in the open field, which beareth a fruit like vnto strawberries, close to the ground, which hath a verie good taste. The Plummes are of two kindes, red and gray, of the making and bignesse of nuts, and haue three or foure stones in them. These are better than all the plummes of Spaine, & they make farre better Prunes of them. In the Grapes there is onelie want of dressing: for though they bee big, they have a great Kirnell. All other fruits are very perfect, and lesse hurtfull than those of Spaine.
Beasts. There are in Florida many Beares, and Lyons, Wolues, Deere, Dogges, Cattes, Marterns, and Conies. Fowles. There be many wild Hennes as big as Turkies, Partridges small like those of Africa, Cranes, Duckes, Pigeons, Thrushes and Sparrowes. There are certaine Blacke birds bigger then Sparrowes, and lesser then Stares. There are Gosse Hawkes, Falcons, Ierfalcons, and all Fowles of prey that are in Spaine.
The Indians are well proportioned. Those of the plaine Countries are taller of bodie, and better shapen, then those of the Mountaines. Those of the Inland haue greater store of Maiz, and commodities of the Countrie, then those that dwell vpon the sea coast. The Countrie along the sea coast is barren and poore: and the people 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 vnto Nueua Espanna from North to South. It is a gentle coast, but it hath many sholdes, and great shelues of sand.
This relation of the discouerie of Florida was printed in the house of Andrew de Burgos, Printer and Gentleman of the house of my Lord Cardinall the Infante.
It was finished the tenth of Februarie in the yeere one thousand, fiue hundred, fiftie and seuen, in the noble and most loyall citie of Euora.
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