a transcription by Dr. Jon Muller, SIU, of
The Account of Elvas
as translated by Buckingham Smith
with notes by Edward Gaylord Bourne

Page numbers of actual publication are in RED
Editorial comments and (modernized) Portuguese in GREEN
A Table of Contents, pp. xxi-xxvii, follows the end of the text.

EDITED With An Introduction by Edward Gaylord Bourne
Professor of History in Yale University




HERNANDO DE SOTO was the son of an esquire of Xeréz de Badejóz, and went to the Indias of the Ocean Sea, belonging to Castilla, at the time Pedrárias Davila was the Gov\4\ernor. He had nothing more than blade and buckler: for his courage and good qualities Pedrarias appointed him to be captain of a troop of horse, and he went by his order with Hernando Pizarro to conquer Peru. According to the report of many persons who were there, he distinguished himself over all the captains and principal personages present, not only at the seizure of Atabalipa, lord of Peru, and in carrying the City of Cuzco, but at all other places wheresoever he went and found resistance. Hence, apart from his share in the treasure of Atabalipa, he got a good amount, bringing together in time, from portions falling to his lot, one hundred and eighty thousand cruzados, which he brought with him to Spain. Of this the Emperor borrowed a part, which was paid; six hundred thousand reals in duties on the silks of Granada, and the rest at the Casa de Contratacion.

In Sevilla, Soto employed a superintendent of household, an usher, pages, equerry, chamberlain, footmen, and all the other servants requisite for the establishment of a gentleman. Thence he went to Court, and while there was accompanied by Juan de Añasco of Sevilla, Luis Moscoso de Alvarado, Nuño de \5\ Tobár, and Juan Rodriguez Lobillo. All, except Añasco, came with him from Peru; and each brought fourteen or fifteen thousand cruzados. They went well and costly apparelled; and Soto, although by nature not profuse, as it was the first time he was to show himself at Court, spent largely, and went about closely attended by those I have named, by his dependents, and by many others who there came about him. He married Dona Ysabel de Bobadilla, daughter of Pedrarias Davila, Count of Punonrostro. The Emperor made him Governor of the Island of Cuba and Adelantado of Florida, with title of Marquis to a certain part of the territory he should conquer.


AFTER Don Hernando had obtained the concession, a fidalgo arrived at Court from the Indias, Cabeça de Vaca by name, who had been in Florida with Narvaez; and he stated how he with four others had escaped, taking the way to New Spain; that the Governor had been lost in the sea, and the rest were all dead.


He brought with him a written relation of adventures, which said in some places: Here I have seen this; and the rest which I saw I leave to confer of with His Majesty: generally, however, he described the poverty of the country, and spoke of the hardships he had undergone. Some of his kinsfolk, desirous of going to the Indias, strongly urged him to tell them whether he had seen any rich country in Florida or not; but he told them that he could not do so; because he and another (by name Orantes, who had remained in New Spain with the purpose of returning into Florida) had sworn not to divulge certain things which they had seen, lest some one might beg the government in advance of them, for which he had come to Spain; nevertheless, he gave them to understand that it was the richest country in the world.

Don Hernando de Soto was desirous that Cabeça de Vaca should go with him, and made him favourable proposals; but after they had come upon terms they disagreed, because the Adelantado would not give the money requisite to pay for a ship that the other had bought. Baltasar de Gallegos and Cristobal de Espindola told Cabeça de Vaca, their kinsman, that as they had made up their minds to go to Florida, in consequence of what he had told them, they besought him to counsel them; to \7\ which he replied, that the reason he did not go was because he hoped to receive another government, being reluctant to march under the standard of another; that he had himself come to solicit the conquest of Florida, and though he found it had already been granted to Don Hernando de Soto, yet, on account of his oath, he could not divulge what they desired to know; nevertheless, he would advise them to sell their estates and go-that in so doing they would act wisely.

As soon as Cabeça de Vaca had an opportunity he spoke with the Emperor; and gave him an account of all that he had gone through with, seen, and could by any means ascertain. Of this relation, made by word of mouth, the Marquis of Astorga was informed. He determined at once to send his brother, Don Antonio Osorio; and with him Francisco and Garcia Osorio, two of his kinsmen, also made ready to go. Don Antonio disposed of sixty thousand reals income that he received of the Church, and Francisco of a village of vassals he owned in Campos. They joined the Adelantado at Seville, as did also Nuño de Tobár, Luis de Moscoso, and Juan Rodriguez Lobillo. Moscoso took two brothers; there went likewise Don Carlos, who had married the Governor's niece, and he carried her with him. From Badajoz went Pedro Calderon, and \8\ three kinsmen of the Adelantado: Arias Tinoco, Alonso Romo, and Diego Tinoco.

As Luis de Moscoso passed through Elvas, André de Vasconcelos spoke with him, and requested him to speak to Don Hernando de Soto in his behalf; and he gave him warrants, issued by the Marquis of Vilareal, conferring on him the captaincy of Ceuta, that he might show them; which when the Adelantado saw, and had informed himself of who he was, he wrote to him that he would favour him in and through all, and would give him a command in Florida. From Elvas went André de ;Vasconcelos, Fernan Pegado, Antonio Martinez Segurado, Men, Royz Pereyra, Ioam Cordeiro, Estevan Pegado, Bento Fernandez, Alvaro Fernandez; and from Salamanca, Jaen, Valencia, Albuquerque, and other parts of Spain, assembled many persons of noble extraction in Sevilla; so much so that many men of good condition, who had sold their lands, remained behind in Sanlucar for want of shipping, when for known countries and rich it was usual to lack men: and the cause of this was what Cabeça de Vaca had told the Emperor, and given persons to understand who conversed with him respecting that country. He went for Governor to Rio de la Plata, but his kinsmen followed Soto.

Baltasar de Gallegos received the appoint\9\ment of chief Castellan, and took with him his wife. He sold houses, vineyards, a rent of wheat, and ninety geiras of olive-field in the Xarafe of Sevilla. There went also many other persons of mark. The offices, being desired of many, were sought through powerful influence: the place of Factor was held by Antonio de Biedma, that of Comptroller by Juan de Añasco, and that of Treasurer by Juan Gayton, nephew of the Cardinal of Ciguenza


THE Portugues left Elvas the 15th day of January, and came to Sevilla on the vespers of Saint Sebastian. They went to the residence of the Governor; and entering the court, over which were some galleries in which he stood, he came down and met them at the foot of the stairs, whence they returned with him; and he ordered chairs to be brought, in which they might be seated. André de Vasconcelos told him who he was, and who the others were; that they had all come to go with him, and aid in his enterprise. The Ade\10\lantado thanked him, and appeared well pleased with their coming and proffer. The table being already laid, he invited them to sit down; and while at dinner, he directed his major-domo to find lodgings for them near his house.

From Sevilla the Governor went to Sanlucar, with all the people that were to go. He commanded a muster to be made, to which the Portugues turned out in polished armour, and the Castilians very showily, in silk over silk, pinked and slashed. As such luxury did not appear to him becoming on such occasion, he ordered a review to be called for the next day, when every man should appear with his arms; to which the Portugues came as at first; and the Governor set them in order near the standard borne by his ensign. The greater number of the Castilians were in very sorry and rusty shirts of mail; all wore steel caps or helmets, but had very poor lances. Some of them sought to get among the Portugues. Those that Soto liked and accepted of were passed, counted, and enlisted; six hundred men in all followed him to Florida. He had bought seven ships; and the necessary subsistence was already on board. He appointed captains, delivering to each of them his ship, with a roll of the people he was to take with him.



IN the month of April, of the year 1538 of the Christian era, the Adelantado delivered the vessels to their several captains, took for himself a new ship, fast of sail, and gave another to André de Vasconcelos, in which the Portugues were to go. He passed over the bar of Sanlucar on Sunday, the morning of Saint Lazarus, with great festivity, commanding the trumpets to be sounded and many charges of artillery to be fired. With a favourable wind he sailed four days, when it lulled, the calms continuing for eight days, with such rolling sea that the ships made no headway.

The fifteenth day after our departure we came to Gomera, one of the Canaries, on Easter Sunday, in the morning. The Governor of the Island was apparelled all in white, cloak, jerkin, hose, shoes, and cap, so that he looked like a governor of Gypsies. He received the Adelantado with much pleasure, lodging him well and the rest with him gratuitously. To Dona Ysabel he gave a natural daughter of his to be her waiting-maid. For \12\ our money we got abundant provision of bread, wine, and meats, bringing off with us what was needful for the ships. Sunday following, eight days after arrival, we took our departure.

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


THE City of Santiago consists of about eighty spacious and well-contrived dwellings. Some are built of stone and lime, covered with tiles: the greater part have the sides of board and the roofs of dried grass. There are ex\13\tensive country seats, and on them many trees, which differ from those of Spain. The figtree bears fruit as big as the fist, yellow within and of little flavour: another tree with a delicious fruit, called anane, is of the shape and size of a small pine-apple, the skin of which being taken off, the pulp appears like a piece of curd. On the farms about in the country are other larger pines, of very agreeable and high flavour, produced on low trees that look like the aloe. Another tree yields a fruit called mamei, the size of a peach, by the islanders more esteemed than any other in the country. The guayaba is in the form of a filbert, and is the size of a fig. There is a tree, which is a stalk without any branch, the height of a lance, each leaf the length of a javelin, the fruit of the size and form of a cucumber, the bunch having twenty or thirty of them, with which the tree goes on bending down more and more as they grow: they are called plantanos in that country, are of good flavour, and will ripen after they are gathered, although they are better when they mature on the tree. The stalks yield fruit but once, when they are cut down, and others, which spring up at the butt, bear in the coming year. There is another fruit called batata, the subsistence of a multitude of people, principally slaves, and new grows in the Island of Ter\14\ceira, belonging to this kingdom of Portugal. It is produced in the earth, and looks like the ynhame, with nearly the taste of chestnut. The bread of the country is made from a root that looks like the batata, the stalk of which is like alder. The ground for planting is prepared in hillocks; into each are laid four or five stalks, and a year and a half after they have been set the crop is fit to be dug. Should any one, mistaking the root for batata, eat any of it, he is in imminent danger; as experience has shown, in the case of a soldier, who died instantly from swallowing a very little. The roots being peeled and crushed, they are squeezed in a sort of press; the juice that flows has an offensive smell; the bread is of little taste and less nourishment. The fruit from Spain are figs and oranges, which are produced the year round, the soil being very rich and fertile.

There are numerous cattle and horses in the country, which find fresh grass at all seasons. From the many wild cows and hogs, the inhabitants everywhere are abundantly supplied with meat. Out of the towns are many fruits wild over the country; and, as it sometimes happens, when a Christian misses his way and is lost for fifteen or twenty days, because of the many paths through the thick woods made by the herds traversing to and \15\ fro, he will live on fruit and on wild cabbage, there being many and large palm-trees everywhere which yield nothing else available beside.

The Island of Cuba is three hundred leagues long from east to southeast, and in places thirty, in others forty leagues from north to south. There are six towns of Christians, which are, Santiago, Baracoa, the Bayamo, Puerto Principe, Sancti Spiritus, and Havana They each have between thirty and forty householders, except Santiago and Havana, which have some seventy or eighty dwellings apiece. The towns have all a chaplain to hear confession, and a church in which to say mass. In Santiago is a monastery of the order of Saint Francis; it has few friars, though well supported by tithes, as the country is rich. The Church of Santiago is endowed, has a cura, a prebend, and many priests, as it is the church of the city which is the metropolis.

Although the earth contains much gold, there are few slaves to seek it, many having destroyed themselves because of the hard usage they receive from the Christians in the mines. The overseer of Vasco Porcallo, a resident of the Island, having understood that his slaves intended to hang themselves, went with a cudgel in his hand and waited for them in the \16\ place at which they were to meet, where he told them that they could do nothing, nor think of any thing, that he did not know beforehand; that he had come to hang himself with them, to the end that if he gave them a bad life in this world, a worse would he give them in that to come. This caused them to alter their purpose and return to obedience.


THE Governor sent Don Carlos with the ships, in company with Dona Ysabel, to tarry for him at Havana, a port in the eastern end of the Island, one hundred and eighty leagues from Santiago. He and those that remained, having bought horses, set out on their journey, and at the end of twenty-five leagues came to Bayamo, the first town. They were lodged, as they arrived, in parties of four and six, where their food was given to them; and nothing was paid for any other thing than maize for the beasts; because the Governor at each town assessed tax on the tribute paid, and the labour done, by the Indians.

A deep river runs near Bayamo, larger than \17\ the Guadiana, called Tanto. The monstrous alligators do harm in it sometimes to the Indians and animals in the crossing. In all the country there are no wolves, foxes, bears, lions, nor tigers: there are dogs in the woods, which have run wild from the houses, that feed upon the swine: there are snakes, the size of a man's thigh, and even bigger; but they are very sluggish and do no kind of injury. From that town to Puerto Principe there are fifty leagues. The roads throughout the Island are made by cutting out the undergrowth, which if neglected to be gone over, though only for a single year, the shrubs spring up in such manner that the ways disappear; and so numerous likewise are the paths made by cattle, that no one can travel without an Indian of the country for a guide, there being everywhere high and thick woods.

From Puerto Principe the Governor went by sea in a canoe to the estate of Vasco Porcallo, near the coast, to get news of Dona Ysabel, who, at the time, although not then known, was in a situation of distress, the ships having parted company, two or them being driven in sight of the coast of Florida, and all on board were suffering for lack of water and subsistence. The storm over, and the vessels come together, not knowing where they had \18\ been tossed, Cape San Antonio was described, an uninhabited part of the Island, where they got water; and at the end of forty days from the time of leaving Santiago, they arrived at Havana The Governor presently received the news and hastened to meet Dona Ysabel. The troops that went by land, one hundred and fifty mounted men in number, not to be burdensome upon the Islanders, were divided into two squadrons, and marched to Sancti Spiritus, sixty leagues from Puerto Principe. The victual they carried was the caçabe bread I have spoken of, the nature of which is such that it directly dissolves from moisture; whence it happened that some ate meat and no bread for many days. They took dogs with them, and a man of the country, who hunted as they journeyed, and who killed the hogs at night found further necessary for provision where they stopped; so that they had abundant supply, both of beef and pork. They found immense annoyance from mosquitos, particularly in a lake called Bog of Pia, which they had much ado in crossing between midday and dark, it being more than half a league over, full half a bow-shot of the distance swimming, and all the rest of the way the water waist deep, having clams on the bottom that sorely cut the feet, for not a boot nor shoe sole was left entire at half way. The \19\ clothing and saddles were floated over in baskets of palm-leaf. In this time the insects came in great numbers and settled on the person where exposed, their bite raising lumps that smarted keenly, a single blow with the hand sufficing to kill so many that the blood would run over the arms and body. There was little rest at night, as happened also afterwards at like seasons and places.

They came to Sancti Spiritus, a town of thirty houses, near which passes a little river. The grounds are very fertile and pleasant, abundant in good oranges, citrons, and native fruit. Here one half the people were lodged; the other half went on twenty-five leagues farther, to a town of fifteen or twenty householders, called Trinidad. There is a hospital for the poor, the only one in the Island. They say the town was once the largest of any; and that before the Christians came into the country a ship sailing along the coast had in her a very sick man, who begged to be set on shore, which the captain directly ordered, and the vessel kept on her way. The inhabitants, finding him where he had been left, on that shore which had never yet been hunted up by Christians, carried him home, and took care of him until he was well. The Chief of the town gave him a daughter; and being at war with the country round about, through \20\ the prowess and exertion of the Christian he subdued and reduced to his control all the people of Cuba. A long time after, when Diego Velasquez went to conquer the Island, whence he made the discovery of New Spain, this man, then among the natives, brought them, by his management, to obedience, and put them under the rule of that Governor.

From Trinidad they travelled a distance of eighty leagues without a town, and arrived at Havana in the end of March. They found the Governor there, and the rest of the people who had come with him from Spain. He sent Juan de Añasco in a caravel, with two pinnaces and fifty men, to explore the harbour in Florida, who brought back two Indians taken on the coast. In consequence, as much because of the necessity of having them for guides and interpreters, as because they said, by signs, that there was much gold in Florida, the Governor and all the company were greatly rejoiced, and longed for the hour of departure--that land appearing to them to be the richest of any which until then had been discovered.



BEFORE our departure, the Governor deprived Nuño de Tobár of the rank of Captain General, and conferred it on a resident of Cuba, Vasco Porcallo de Figueroa, which caused the vessels to be well provisioned, he giving a great many hogs and loads of caçabe bread. That was done because Nuño de Tobár had made love to Doña Ysabel's waiting-maid, daughter of the Governor of Gomera; and though he had lost his place, yet, to return to Soto's favour, for she was with child by him, he took her to wife and went to Florida. Dona Ysabel remained, and with her the wife of Don Carlos, of Baltasar de Gallegos, and of Nuño de Tobár. The Governor left, as his lieutenant over the Island, Juan de Rojas, a fidalgo of Havana

On Sunday, the 18th day of May, in the year 1539, the Adelantado sailed from Havana with a fleet of nine vessels, five of them ships, two caravels, two pinnaces; and he ran seven days with favourable weather. On the 25th of the month, being the festival of Espiritu Santo, the land was seen, and anchor cast a league from shore, because of the shoals. On \22\ Friday, the 30th, the army landed in Florida, two leagues from the town of an Indian chief named Ucita. Two hundred and thirteen horses were set on shore, to unburden the ships, that they should draw the less water; the seamen only remained on board, who going up every day a little with the tide, the end of eight days brought them near to the town.

So soon as the people were come to land, the camp was pitched on the sea-side, nigh the bay, which goes up close to the town. Presently the Captain-General, Vasco Porcallo, taking seven horsemen with him, beat up the country half a league about, and discovered six Indians, who tried to resist him with arrows, the weapons they are accustomed to use. The horsemen killed two, and the four others escaped, the country being obstructed by bushes and ponds, in which the horses bogged and fell, with their riders, of weakness from the voyage. At night the Governor, with a hundred men in the pinnaces, came upon a deserted town; for, so soon as the Christians appeared in sight of land, they were descried, and all along on the coast many smokes were seen to rise, which the Indians make to warn one another. The next day, Luis de Moscoso, Master of the Camp, set the men in order. The horsemen he put in three squadrons--the vanguard, battalion, \23\ and rearward; and thus they marched that day and the next, compassing great creeks which run up from the bay; and on the first of June, being Trinity Sunday, they arrived at the town of Ucita, where the Governor tarried.

The town was of seven or eight houses, built of timber, and covered with palm-leaves. The Chief's house stood near the beach, upon a very high mount made by hand for defence [O povo era de sete ou oito casas; a casa do senhor estava junto à praia em um outeiro muito alto, feito à mão por fortaleza]; at the other end of the town was a temple [mesquita], on the top of which perched a wooden fowl with gilded eyes, and within were found some pearls of small value, injured by fire, such as the Indians pierce for beads, much esteeming them, and string to wear about the neck and wrists. The Governor lodged in the house of the Chief [casas do senhor], and with him Vasco Porcallo and Luis de Moscoso; in other houses, midway in the town, was lodged the Chief Castellan, Baltasar de Gallegos, where were set apart the provisions brought in the vessels. The rest of the dwellings, with the temple, were thrown down, and every mess of three or four soldiers made a cabin, wherein they lodged [as mais casas e mesquita foram desbaratadas e cada três e quatro companheiros faziam uma casa pequena em que se recolhiam]. The ground about was very fenny, and encumbered with dense thicket and high trees. The Governor ordered the woods to be felled the distance of a crossbow-shot around the place, that the horses might run, \24\ and the Christians have the advantage, should the Indians make an attack at night. In the paths, and at proper points, sentinels of foot soldiers were set in couples, who watched by turns; the horsemen, going the rounds, were ready to support them should there be an alarm.

The Governor made four captains of horsemen and two of footmen: those of the horse were André de Vasconcelos, Pedro Calderon of Badajoz, and the two Cardenosas his kinsmen (Arias Tinoco and Alfonso Romo), also natives of Badajoz; those of the foot were Francisco Maldonado of Salamanca, and Juan Rodriguez Lobillo. While we were in this town of Ucita, the Indians which Juan de Añasco had taken on that coast, and were with the Governor as guides and interpreters, through the carelessness of two men who had charge of them, got away one night. For this the Governor felt very sorry, as did every one else; for some excursions had already been made, and no Indians could be taken, the country being of very high and thick woods, and in many places was marshy.



FROM the town of Ucita the Governor sent the Chief Castellan, Baltasar de Gallegos, into the country, with forty horsemen and eighty footmen, to procure an Indian if possible. In another direction he also sent, for the same purpose, Captain Juan Rodriguez Lobillo, with fifty infantry: the greater part were of sword and buckler; the remainder were crossbow and gun men. The command of Lobillo marched over a swampy land, where horses could not travel; and, half a league from camp, came upon some huts near a river. The people in them plunged into the water; nevertheless, four women were secured; and twenty warriors, who attacked our people, so pressed us that we were forced to retire into camp.

The Indians are exceedingly ready with their weapons, and so warlike and nimble, that they have no fear of footmen; for if these charge them they flee, and when they turn their backs they are presently upon them. They avoid nothing more easily than the flight of an arrow. They never remain quiet, but are continually running, traversing from place \26\ to place, so that neither crossbow nor arquebuse can be aimed at them. Before a Christian can make a single shot with either, an Indian will discharge three or four arrows; and he seldom misses of his object. Where the arrow meets with no armour, it pierces as deeply as the shaft from a crossbow. Their bows are very perfect; the arrows are made of certain canes, like reeds, very heavy, and so stiff that one of them, when sharpened, will pass through a target. Some are pointed with the bone of a fish, sharp and like a chisel; others with some stone like a point of diamond: of such the greater number, when they strike upon armour, break at the place the parts are put together; those of cane split, and will enter a shirt of mail, doing more injury than when armed.

Juan Rodriguez Lobillo got back to camp with six men wounded, of whom one died, and he brought with him the four women taken in the huts, or cabins. When Baltasar de Gallegos came into the open field, he discovered ten or eleven Indians, among whom was a Christian, naked and sun-burnt, his arms tattooed after their manner, and he in no respect differing from them. As soon as the horsemen came in sight, they ran upon the Indians, who fled, hiding themselves in a thicket, though not before two or three of \27\ them were overtaken and wounded. The Christian, seeing a horseman coming upon him with a lance, began to cry out: " Do not kill me, cavalier; I am a Christian! Do not slay these people; they have given me my life! " Directly he called to the Indians, putting them out of fear, when they left the wood and came to him. The horsemen took up the Christian and Indians behind them on their beasts, and, greatly rejoicing, got back to the Governor at nightfall. When he and the rest who had remained in camp heard the news, they were no less pleased than the others


THE name of the Christian was Juan Ortiz, a native of Sevilla, and of noble parentage. He had been twelve years among the Indians, having gone into the country with Panphilo de Narvaez, and returned in the ships to the Island of Cuba, where the wife of the Governor remained; whence, by her command, he went back to Florida, with some twenty or thirty others, in a pinnace; and coming to the port in sight of the town, they saw a cane \28\ sticking upright in the ground, with a split in the top, holding a letter, which they supposed the Governor had left there, to give information of himself before marching into the interior. They asked it, to be given to them, of four or five Indians walking along the beach, who, by signs, bade them come to land for it, which Ortiz and another did, though contrary to the wishes of the others. No sooner had they got on shore, when many natives came out of the houses, and, drawing near, held them in such way that they could not escape. One, who would have defended himself, they slew on the spot; the other they seized by the hands, and took him to Ucita, their Chief. The people in the pinnace, unwilling to land, kept along the coast and returned to Cuba.

By command of Ucita, Juan Ortiz was bound hand and foot to four stakes, and laid upon scaffolding, beneath which a fire was kindled, that he might be burned; but a daughter of the Chief entreated that he might be spared. Though one Christian, she said, might do no good, certainly he could do no harm, and it would be an honour to have one for a captive; to which the father acceded, directing the injuries to be healed. When Ortiz got well, he was put to watching a temple, that the wolves, in the night-time, \29\ might not carry off the dead there, which charge he took in hand, having commended himself to God. One night they snatched away from him the body of a little child, son of a principal man; and, going after them, he threw a dart at the wolf that was escaping, which, feeling itself wounded, let go its hold, and went off to die; and he returned, without knowing what he had done in the dark. In the morning, finding the body of the little boy gone, he became very sober; and Ucita, when he heard what had happened, determined he should be killed; but having sent on the trail which Oritz pointed out as that the wolves had made, the body of the child was found, and a little farther on a dead wolf; at which circumstance the Chief became well pleased with the Christian, and satisfied with the guard he had kept, ever after taking much notice of him.

Three years having gone by since he had fallen into the hands of this Chief, there came another, named Mocoço, living two days' journey distant from that port, and burnt the town, when Ucita fled to one he had in another seaport, whereby Ortiz lost his occupation, and with it the favour of his master. The Indians are worshippers of the Devil, and it is their custom to make sacrifices of the blood and bodies of their people, or of those of any \30\ other they can come by; and they affirm, too, that when he would have them make an offering, he speaks, telling them that he is athirst, and that they must sacrifice to him. The girl who had delivered Ortiz from the fire, told him how her father had the mind to sacrifice him the next day, and that he must flee to Mocoço, who she knew would receive him with regard, as she had heard that he had asked for him, and said he would like to see him: and as he knew not the way, she went half a league out of town with him at dark, to put him on the road, returning early so as not to be missed.

Ortiz travelled all night, and in the morning came to a river, the boundary of the territory of Mocoço, where he discovered two men fishing. As this people were at war with those of Ucita, and their languages different, he did not know how he should be able to tell them who he was, and why he came, or make other explanation, that they might not kill him as one of the enemy. It was not, however, until he had come up to where their arms were placed that he was discovered, when they fled towards the town; and though he called out to them to wait, that he would do them no injury, they only ran the faster for not understanding him. As they arrived, shouting, many Indians came out of the town, \31\ and began surrounding, in order to shoot him with their arrows, when he, finding himself pressed, took shelter behind trees, crying aloud that he was a Christian fled from Ucita, come to visit and serve Mocoço. At the moment, it pleased God that an Indian should come up, who, speaking the language, understood him and quieted the others, telling them what was said. Three or four ran to carry the news, when the Cacique, much gratified, came a quarter of a league on the way to receive him. He caused the Christian immediately to swear to him, according to the custom of his country, that he would not leave him for any other master; and, in return, he promised to show him much honour, and if at any time Christians should come to that land, he would let him go freely, and give him his permission to return to them, pledging his oath to this after the Indian usage [in this section, the word cacique is used for the first time in the Portuguese].

Three years from that time, some people fishing out at sea, three leagues from land, brought news of having seen ships; when Mocoço, calling Ortiz, gave him permission to depart, who, taking leave, made all haste possible to the shore, where, finding no vessels, he supposed the story to be only a device of the Cacique to discover his inclination. In this way he remained with him nine years, having little hope of ever seeing Christians \32\ more; but no sooner had the arrival of the Governor in Florida taken place, when it was known to Mocoço, who directly told Ortiz that Christians were in the town of Ucita. The captive, thinking himself jested with, as he had supposed himself to be before, said that his thoughts no longer dwelt on his people, and that his only wish now was to serve him. Still the Cacique assured him that it was even as he stated, and gave him leave to go, telling him that if he did not, and the Christians should depart, he must not blame him, for he had fulfilled his promise.

Great was the joy of Ortiz at this news, though still doubtful of its truth; however, he thanked Mocoço, and went his way. A dozen principal Indians were sent to accompany him; and on their way to the port, they met Baltasar de Gallegos, in the manner that has been related. Arrived at the camp, the Governor ordered that apparel be given to him, good armour, and a fine horse. When asked if he knew of any country where there was either gold or silver, he said that he had not been ten leagues in any direction from where he lived; but that thirty leagues distant was a chief named Paracoxi, to whom Mocoço, Ucita, and all they that dwelt along the coast paid tribute, and that he perhaps had knowledge of some good country, as his land \33\ was better than theirs, being more fertile, abounding in maize. Hearing this, the Governor was well pleased, and said he only desired to find subsistence, that he might be enabled to go inland with safety; for that Florida was so wide, in some part or other of it, there could not fail to be a rich country. The Cacique of Mocoço came to the port, and calling on the Governor, he thus; spoke:


Though less able, I believe, to serve you than the least of these under your control, but with the wish to do more than even the greatest of them can accomplish, I appear before you in the full confidence of receiving your favour, as much as though I deserved it, not in requital of the trifling service I rendered in setting free the Christian while he was in my power, which I did, not for the sake of my honour and of my promise, but because I hold that great men should be liberal. As much as in your bodily perfections you exceed all, and in your command over fine men are you superior to others, so in your nature are you equal to the full enjoyment of earthly things. The favour I hope for, great Lord, is that you will hold me to be your own, calling on me freely to do whatever may be your wish.

The Governor answered him, that although it were true, in freeing and sending him the Christian, he had done no more than to keep \34\ his word and preserve his honour, nevertheless he thanked him for an act so valuable, that there was no other for him that could `be compared to it, and that, holding him henceforth to be a brother, he should in all, and through all, favour him. Then a shirt and some other articles of clothing were directed to be given to the Chief, who, thankfully receiving them, took leave and went to his town [povo].


FROM the port of Espiritu Santo, where the Governor was, he sent the Chief Castellan, with fifty cavalry and thirty or forty infantry, to the Province of Paracoxi, to observe the character of the country, inquire of that farther on, and to let him hear by message of what he should discover; he also sent the vessels to Cuba, that, at an appointed time, they might return with provisions. As the principal object of Vasco Porcallo de Figueroa in coming to Florida had been to get slaves for his plantation and mines, finding, after some incursions, that no seizures could be made, because of dense forest and extensive \35\ bogs, he determined to go back to Cuba; and in consequence of that resolution, there grow up such a difference between him and' Soto, that neither of them treated nor spoke to the other kindly. Still, with words of courtesy, he asked permission of him to return, and took his leave.

Baltasar de Gallegos, having arrived at Paracoxi, thirty Indians came to him on the part of the absent Cacique, one of whom said: " King Paracoxi, lord of this Province, whose vassals we are [Rei Paracoxi, Senhor desta Província, cujos vassalos somos], sends us to ask of you what it is you seek in his country, and in what he can serve you; " to which the Chief Castellan replied, that he much thanked the Cacique for his proffer, and bade them tell him to return to his town, where they would talk together of a peace and friendship he greatly desired to establish. They went off, and came again. the next day, reporting that as their lord could not appear, being very unwell, they had come in his stead to see what might be wanted. They were asked if they had knowledge or information of any country where gold and silver might be found in plenty; to which they answered yes; that towards the sunset was a Province called Cale, the inhabitants of which were at war with those of territories where the greater portion of the year was summer, and where there was so much gold, that when \36\ the people came to make war upon those of Cale, they wore golden hats like casques.

Part 2

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Dr. Jon Muller
Professor Emeritus
Department of Anthropology
Southern Illinois University, Carbondale