To Tulla To Death (We Too Followed De Soto Book 6)


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CHAPTER II: ABORIGINES OF ALABAMA AND SURROUNDING STATES

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Doctor De Soto - English (Fairy Tale and Bedtime) Stories for Children

This item has not been rated yet. This is the 5th book in this series "We Too Followed De Soto" as we reach the ancinet land of the twin brothers tribe "Chaktah and Chickasah" who resided near present day, Tuscalusa and Mobile, Alabama. Disheartened in not finding vast treasures in this La Florida territory and facing a fearful battle with hostile natives, those in the expedition were ready to return home, but their destiy was not completed as they near the great river we call the Mississippi. Add to Cart. Log in to rate this item. You must be logged in to post a review. Please log in.

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Address Address is required. Phone Number. Pickett, Esq. I have sought to follow the pilgrimage of the plumed cavaliers of De Soto in their quest of the Great River, and the gold which they fondly hoped was to be found upon its banks; I have floated with Marquette in his bark canoe as he went upon his gentle embassy to the Indians; I have wan dered with La Salle as he vainly strove to found a French Empire in the West, and mourned by the Texan grave of one of the most unfortunate but heroic of men; I have sat down with the kindly French in their Paradise of Kaskaskia, and enjoyed the spell of their idyllic life ; I have trudged with our own pioneers, as with stout hearts they crossed the Cumberland Gap and entered the Dark and Bloody Ground; I have stood with them at their guns in their blockhouses, have slept on their raw-hide PEEFACE.

IX beds, and shared their jerked meat and " dodger ;" and I have sought to appreciate the development of Saxon sense under the tuition of the wilderness, and to trace the schooling of the mind under the auspices of social life, in application to the needs of self-government. I have travelled the circuit with the first preachers, sat in the congregation as they expounded the doctrines of eternal life, and welcomed them for their works sake ; and last, I have summed up in a few words what has been done, since the acquisition of Louisiana in , in the way of exploration and development, on the other side of the Great River.

To me it has been a pleasant labor ; I hope that the reading will be as pleasant. The Red Men and the War of Pontiac,. The Cabin Homes of the Wilderness, at the beginning of the Revolution,. Manna in the Wilderness ; or, the old Preachers and their Preaching,. THE contrast is most striking between the Span iard of to-day, and the Spaniard of three hundred years ago. Now, he is indolent, often apathetic, grave, reserved, and whatever his inward capacity of passion or of exertion, an inefficient and idle man.

But in those old days, the Spanish race was filled and inspired with a wild and tireless fourfold energy of avarice, religion, ambition and adventure, which swept them round and round the world in a long resistless bloody storm of conquest, conversion and slaughter, gained them their vast colonial realms and wealth, and brought to pass a panorama of achieve ments, miseries, cruelties and crimes whose very representations, in the antique wood-cuts of De Bry, are horrible to look upon.

Governor Galvano quaintly says, speaking of the craze which fell upon Spain in consequence of the early American dis coveries, that they " were ready to leap into the sea to swim, if it had been possible, into those new-found parts. Augustine in The earliest European name associated with the southern coast of the United States is that of Juan Ponce de Leon, a brave old warrior, whose early manhood had been passed in hunting the Moors from Granada and in acquiring that inflexibility of purpose and hardiness of character, which enabled him to play his distinguished part as a conqueror in the "New World.


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Sailing with Columbus on his second voyage, spending most of his remaining life in the "West Indies, subjugating Porto Rico, where he ruled with an iron sway as governor, superseded in his command, thirsting ever for gold and glory, and yearning for a renewed life in which to enjoy the fruits of his valor, he turned his prow to the north ward, in search of the land where the crystal waters of the fountain of youth washed those yellow sands of price, the discovery and possession of which would give the happy voyager the realization of the twin dream of Alchemy gold and immortality.

Fables were the faith of the time. Why not? Could cre dulity cherish a wilder phantasy than the Genoese mariner s? Yet this had been fulfilled. Might not De Leon s, too? Aged Indians had told him that in that direction lay the objects of his search. His many fights had left him full of wounds and scars ; age was bending his manly form, weakness was creeping on apace. No matter, for the Fountain shall give him immortal youth, and with it, health and beauty.

Beautiful enough for the shore of the Immortals was this which now rose before his eyes, covered with rich greensward, dap pled with flowers of unnumbered dyes, over shadowed by giant trees clad with summer leaves, glorious with a rainbow garniture of tropic blossoms, over which hung long pendulous veils as if of silver tissue spectral veils like Mokanna s, hiding the hideous face of the swamp miasma veils which a sad experience has taught men now to call the " Cur tains of Death. But alas for the hopes of Ponce de Leon! Upon his second voyage, a poisonous arrow from an Indian s bow brought him his message of doom.

Hastening to Cuba, he breathed his last, leaving his Flower- land a fatal legacy to Spain for many a sad year to come. In those old days of Spanish rule, there was but one step from the Quixotic to the Satanic, and that step was taken by Yasquez De Ayllon, the next adventurer whose keels furrowed the waves of our coast. This monster came for slaves to work the mines of the West Indies, where the atrocities of the Spaniards had in less than thirty years well-nigh exterminated a numerous and happy people.

Beaching the coast of South Carolina, De Ayllon entered a river, called, in honor of the captain who discovered it, the Jordan ; known to us by its Indian name, the Cumbahee. Landing on a pleasant shore, which the natives called Chicora Mocking-bird they were hospitably welcomed and entertained. But the Christian white man s return for the red heathen s courtesy was betrayal, outrage, and death. Having laid in his supplies, De Ayllon invited the Indians aboard his vessels; an invitation gladly accepted by the unsuspecting red men.

But did not that wild, despairing cry from ship and shore, of husbands and wives, parents and children, thus ruth lessly torn from each other, reach the ear of God? He heard and he avenged.


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One of the ships foun dered, and all on board perished. The remaining Indians refused food, and thus died. The aborigines of this country could not be reduced to slavery. Again De Ay lion came with three vessels and many men to conquer Chicora. The natives masked their purpose of revenge, received him kindly, lulled his suspicions into fatal security, and he dreamed the goodly land already his own. They made a great feast for their guests some leagues in the interior. Two hundred of De Ay lion s men attended he with a small party remaining to guard the ships.

Three days the banquet lasted. The third night the Indians arose and smote their treacherous invaders and slew them, so that not one of the two hundred was left to tell the terrible tale to his companions on the beach. But the Indians themselves bore the tidings, for they fell upon the guard, killed some, and wounded others, so that but a handful reached their ships and bore away for St.

De Ayl- lon himself seems to have died, either of his wounds, or shame, or both, at the port in Chicora. At an earlier date lie had been sent by the governor of Cuba to arrest the victorious progress of Hernan Cortez in Mexico. Losing an eye, and failing in the attempt, he was conducted to the presence of Cortez, whom he complimented by informing that he must be a remarkable man, as he had succeeded in vanquishing him.

They soon roused the relentless hostility of the valiant Seminoles by their gratuitous barbarities, and every rood of their toilsome march, through tangled forests and endless quagmires, was rendered doubly difficult by ambuscades and attacks. Inspirited, however, by the stories of some captives, acting as guides, to the effect that in Appalache they would find a fertile province, abounding with gold, the object of their eager quest, they urged their way onward. On reaching the land of promise, Narvaez, who had pic tured to himself another Mexico, was bitterly unde ceived, finding only a rude village of two hundred and fifty cabins.

Twenty- five days were passed here ; but the army, now more clamorous for bread than for gold, learning that the sea lay nine days march to the southward, bent its weary steps toward the village of Ante, where, it was said, were plenty of provisions and a harmless people. Their path, however, was beset by yet greater natural obstacles, and by the implacable fury of the savages.

At length reaching Ante, not far from the present St. Marks, they found the village burned by the retreating inhabitants, but esteemed the discovery of a plentiful supply of maize, ample compensation. Their hopes of conquest and treasure were gone ; to remain in the land was impossible ; to traverse the shore in search of their ships might "be fruitless, and would needlessly expose them to the sleepless ferocity of the Indians.

Many of their horses were slain ; so were not a few of their bravest companions. A day s march brought them to the banks of the river, which widened into a bay. Here they resolved to build them such boats as they might, and in them seek their ships or attempt a return to Cuba. Thus along that tropic shore did they hope to coast in the season of storms. Narvaez, remaining one day in one of his boats with a sailor and a sick page as a guard, while his crew went ashore to pillage for food, was driven out to sea by a tempest and never heard of more.

The only survivors of this ill-starred expedition were Alvar! Nunez and four companions, who, after incredible wanderings along the northern shore of the Gulf of Mexico, westward through Texas to the Rocky Mountains, and thence to Mexico, exposed to every species of hardship and peril after passing from tribe to tribe of Indians, sometimes starved as slaves, sometimes, we may believe, worshipped as demi-gods, in nearly ten years from the time of their sailing, finally reached Spain.

Such experiences and failures might have caused reflection. The adventurous Spaniards even might have questioned themselves what would be the pro bable best result even of success. Old Governor Galvano, in his history of the discoveries of the world, says, with rare good sense for that day, " I cannot tell how it commeth to passe, except it be by the iust judgement of God, that of so much gold and precious stones as haue been gotten in the Antiles by so manny Spaniards, little or none remaineth, but the most part is spent and consumed, and no good thing done.

And if not, still the sad fate of the pioneers in Florida, one would think, were enough to dishearten and deter any who might thereafter dream of its exploration and conquest. Not so. A little before this time, in , there had appeared at the court of Charles Y. A gentleman by four descents, and therefore entitled to member ship of the noble order of Santiago, he had neverthe less commenced life as a private soldier of fortune ; his sword and target his only possessions. And thus far fortune and deeds of prowess had won him great success.

His lance was said to have been equal to any ten in the army of Pizarro. In the saddle his match was not to be found. Prudent in counsel as he was brave in the field, he was no less knightly in denouncing what he esteemed the wrong boldly withstanding his commander to the face, and charging home upon him the wickedness as well as bad policy of the Inca s murder. He was proud, determined and reserved ; as the Portuguese narrator describes him, " a sterne man and of few words ; though he was glad to sift and know the opinion of all men, yet after hee had delivered his owne hee would not be contraried.

Although not naturally liberal, he was profuse and magnificent in his expenditure in this his first appearance at court, and was attended by a troop of gallant knights who had fought under him in Peru, and had brought back each a fortune from the treasure of the Incas.

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Luis de Moscoso de Alvarado, John Danusco, and a long list of others, with names equally claiming attention, did their histories come within our design, spent their wealth, acquired in soldierly wise, upon soldier s luxuries, mettled barbs and splendid armor ; but Hernando de Soto surpassed in magnificence all the courtiers of the Emperor. Only five and thirty years of age, tall, handsome, commanding in presence and action, was it marvellous that Donna Isabella de Bobadilla, though the daughter of the very earl under whose banner he had first enlisted in the ranks, one of the fairest ladies of Spain, of one of the proudest and most powerful families, should yield her heart to the irresistible soldier?

So fortune and his merit won him his best alas, that it was also his latest boon! But when did the lust of fame or power or gold ever allow a man to be content? Here they united their spells, and De Soto must find new worlds to conquer. Find them he did but finding and conquering are two things. So he sought for and obtained the magnificent appointment of captain-general for life of Cuba, Adelantado civil and military governor of Florida ; and a marquisate of thirty leagues by fifteen, in any part of the to-be- conquered country.

He is to undertake the conquest at his own expense, and to pay to the crown one fifth of the treasure found. And now comes the wonderful story of Alvar iNunez Cabeca de Yaca, like an additional demoniac spell, to tempt this goodly knight. To be sure, the treasurer of ISTarvaez brought home no treasure ; but he threw out dark hints of the great wealth of the land he had explored, and had indeed intended to apply for the very adelantadoship which De Soto had obtained.

In default of this, he asked and received the government of La Plata. The imagination of De Soto, and of Spain, took new fire. Poor Ponce de Leon! Florida at that day embraced all the country lying north of Mexico, extending upon its eastern coast from Key West to the banks of Newfoundland ; so that it embraced what we know as the United States of America.

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Need we be sad that it was a woeful heritage to the sons of Spain? This land was held in reserve for the scions of a nobler stock than Charles Y. In fourteen months the armament is ready to weigh anchor. Nine hundred and fifty men, the best blood and chivalry of Spain, gay young knights thirsting for distinction and w r ealth, well tried war riors from the fields of Africa and Peru, stout men at arms, halberdiers, cross-bow men and arquebusiers more have come than the general can take.

Men have sold their patrimonial acres to furnish them selves for the campaign. Shall not every such receive a hundred fold? De Soto, bound to an unknown wilderness, was unable to find vessels for the multitude of volun teers, and many of those who had sold their estates for the sake of joining him, unable to find room on board the fleet, were forced to stay behind. Amid the braying of trumpets and the roar of artillery, the vivas of the beholders and the shouts of the campaigners, the fleet of ten sail left the port of San Lucar de Barrameda, April 6th, They reached Cuba about the last of May, and here De Soto spent a year in organizing the government, and making preparations for his enterprise.

Cuba was noted for its noble breed of horses, wherewith our gay cavaliers supplied themselves amply ; and by way of putting themselves in trim for the work before them, spent much time in tourna ments and bull-fights. The inhabitants of the island, well-nigh crazed by excitement and the brave show, flocked in throngs to the standard of De Soto. At their head was Don Yasco Porcallo de Figueroa, a doughty old warrior who had seen much severe ser vice in many parts of the world, and had now settled down as a wealthy proprietor in the Queen of the Antilles.

As the horse smelleth the battle from afar, so did this veteran. To show him due honor, the Adelantado appointed him his lieutenant general. This purpose seems, at least, consonant with the character of a Spanish Cuban proprietor; and that his treatment of his slaves was such as to require reinforcements to their numbers, may appear from a quaint old story of his steward.

This steward, it seems, discovered that certain of the Indian slaves, as was the sad custom of their race, had agreed to meet at an appointed place and kill themselves, to escape from their tormenting taskmasters. So he repaired with a cudgel to the rendezvous, and when the miserable heathen had assembled, suddenly stepped among them and told them that they could neither plan nor do anything which he did not know before ; and that he had now come to kill himself with them, in order that, in the next world, he might treat them worse than in this.

The poor wretches believed him, and returned quietly to their labor. All things were at last settled, and leaving his noble wife Donna Isabel to govern the island, De Soto sailed from Havana, with mirthful pomp, May 18th, Already Juan de Anasco had made two cruises, to discover an harbor in which to land.

A point was selected, and thither the fleet sailed. Whitsunday, JVIay 25th, they made a convenient bay on the western or Gulf coast of Florida, which, in honor of the day, was named Espiritu Santo : it is now called Tampa Bay. ISTo sooner had they iieared the shore than bale-fires were seen blazing, far as the eye could reach : vast columns of black smoke ascending, in token that the Indians were preparing to receive them. Eight days were taken to sound the bay, and then the debarka tion commenced.

A slight skirmish, in which the natives were soon dispersed, was all that occurred to impede them. A march of two leagues brought them to the deserted village of a chief named Hirrihigua, where, on the capture of some of the natives, De Soto was made acquainted with the horrible atrocities prac tised by his predecessor, ISTarvaez. That worthy hav ing entered into solemn covenant with the cacique, suddenly became enraged, at what no one could tell, ordered the dogs to be let loose on the mother of Hirrihigua, who was soon torn to pieces, and then commanded the nose of the chief to be cut off.

This brutality had implanted in the breast of the Semi- nole an undying hatred toward the Spaniard. To all of De Soto s overtures he returned at first disdain and then evasion. A thousand knights and soldiers, twelve priests, eight other ecclesiastics, and four monks ; workers in wood and iron, miners and assayers ; then three hundred and fifty thorough-bred horses, three hundred hogs to stock the country, and packs of bloodhounds to hunt the natives.

There were matchlocks and cross bows, pikes, lances, and swords ; one piece of ord nance ; manacles and iron collars for their prisoners ; and a store of baubles, as presents for those whom they might wish to propitiate. Stately knights, clad cap-a-pie in burnished armor, bestrode their prancing steeds, while all the com monalty were well protected with breast-plates, bucklers, and helmets. There had been no stint of money to supply all that experience could suggest or that taste could hint as necessaries or luxuries in the enterprise of conquest and colonization.

Kumors having reached the camp that a Spaniard was living in a neighboring village, Baltazar Gal- legos, a dauntless officer, was dispatched at the head of sixty horsemen to secure him for an interpreter and guide. As Baltazar and his troopers were rapidly pushing on, they espied a company of In dians on the verge of a plain. One of these two was wounded ; the other, at whom Alvaro Nieto, one of the boldest troopers, was spur ring, danced from side to side, seeking to parry Nieto s thrust with his bow, shouting the while, " Seville, Seville!

Reining up his horse, Alvaro caught the other by the arm, raised him to the croup of his saddle, and hurried in triumph to Baltazar. The story of Ortiz deserves a brief recital. Born at Seville, u of worshipful parentage," he had joined the expedition of ISTarvaez, had returned to Cuba with his vessels, and had accompanied the expedition which, ten years before, had put in at the bay of Espiritu Santo, in search of his commander. It was not long after the departure of that barbarian, and while Hirrihigua was in the agony of his recent wrongs, that, as the expedition was coasting along the shore, a few Indians appeared, pointing to a let ter in a cleft reed, evidently left by ]STarvaez.

The Spanirads invited them to bring it aboard. This they refused ; but four of them, entering a canoe, came off as hosta,ges for any of the crew who might go to fetch it. Four of the whites accordingly landed, and were instantly set upon by a crowd of savages who had been concealed in the thicket. The crew, anticipating the fate of their companions, and fearing the like for themselves, made sail with all speed. The captives w T ere conveyed to the village, and condemned to be shot, one at a time. Three were thus dealt with, and the fourth, Juan Ortiz, was being led forth, when the wife and daughters of the cacique, touched with compassion at sight of his youth and comeliness, interceded with Tlirrihigua, and gained a respite.

His life was still a wretched one, softened only by the watchful kindness of the women, who once even rescued him after he had been half burnt alive by order of his implacable captor. At length, through their aid, he succeeded in escaping to the village of Mocoso, a neighboring chief, who treated him as if he had been a brother, and protected him from all danger. Here he had remained ever since, and was now residing ; nearly naked, browned, painted, with a headdress of fea thers, so that one might not know him from a savage, on an embassy from Mocoso to the camp of De Soto.

Great was the joy of the camp at the recovery of Ortiz. The Adelantado received him as a son, gave him all that heart could wish, and thenceforth lie became the interpreter of the expedition. Despite monitions, he sets off, dashes forward, and is only arrested by a quagmire, where himself and horse are in imminent jeopardy of being smothered. Con quered by the mire, he returns crestfallen to head quarters, venting curses upon the country, natives and expedition.

As for me, I have enough of both to last me. So I will back to Cuba, and let the hot bloods see it out. As they left the coast, the country improved, and their way lay by pleasant cornfields, over grassy plains, and through forests where the eye detected many a tree familiar to them in the sunny groves of dear old Castile. The wild grapes, too, whose clam bering vines festooned the branches, were grateful to men who had grown up among vineyards.

A pass was at length discovered, and after immense trouble, the army was conveyed across. But here they were effectually checked by deep lagoons and bayous that seemed interminable. Recrossing the swamp, in order to find a better line of march for the army, De Soto, who was ever in the van when difficulty pressed or danger threat ened, at the head of a picked corps made an exten sive tour of observation, and found what he sought.

But himself and men were near starving ; for three days and nights they had little rest and less food. Supplies must be had, and the army brought up. Calling to him Gonzalo Silvestre, a bold young sol dier, " To you," he said, " belongs the best horse, therefore the harder work. Away, and hold not bridle until you have reached the camp. Bring us what we need and order the forces to join us. Be back by to-morrow night. Neither of these stout youths was one and twenty. Away over the twilight plain they sped. Fifteen leagues, tired as they and their steeds were, must be ridden that night.

If morning found them in the swamp, almost certain death awaited them. The passage of a southern swamp is no easy feat at any time ; but at night, by two youths, surrounded by hundreds of savage foes, it was an exploit worthy the hardiest. I mention it here to show the mettle of De Soto s troops. Silvestre had nothing for it but to submit. Falling asleep himself in the saddle, he awoke to find it broad day. Hastily rousing his companion they started, but there was yet a league before them, and the Indians were not long in descrying the two horsemen and sounding the alarm.

Forthwith the woods swarmed with painted furies. Knowing there was no resource left them but resolution and their horses, they pushed on at a gallop, their mail defend ing them from the shafts of their enemies. Thus did these brave youths reach their goal in safety. Taking scarce an hour for rest, Silvestre was again in the saddle at the head of thirty lancers conveying two horseloads of supplies to the general; and not long after nightfall had reached the spot where he had left his commander the evening before.

Here they rested after their late privations. The Seminoles had now commenced hostilities in good earnest ; not indeed by pitched battle in the open field, but by ambuscades lurking in every thicket, picking off every little knot of Spaniards incautious enough to stray from the camp or line of march. Nevertheless they were all ardor to proceed, for some natives whom they had captured, in reply to their eager questions concerning the precious me tals, assured them that in Ocali, a country to the northward, gold was so plenty that in war the people wore head-pieces of it.

But Ocali is reached, and no gold is found ; only a poor small town, empty of people. After brief delay, they press forward to the domi nions of Vitachuco, a powerful chieftain, whose terri tories are fifty leagues across. After some days of amity the Spaniards discover a perfidious plot to destroy them. Yitachuco has ordered a grand review of his warriors, ten thousand strong.

At a signal twelve of his braves are to seize De Soto and the massacre is to commence. Trusting to take the Span iards unaware, they deem their destruction easy. But forewarned, forearmed. Yitachuco is seized and the Spaniards charge the hordes of natives with head long valor, mowing hundreds of them down upon the plain, whilst masses fly to adjoining lakes to swim for their lives. One of these lakes, wherein is the flower of Yitachuco s army, is surrounded by the troops, and although they offer quarter, not a savage will submit.

Night comes on ; the lake shore is vigilantly patrolled. By daylight fifty have yielded ; and at ten o clock of the morning, after they had been in the water twenty- four hours, all the rest save seven come ashore. These hold out until three o clock, when De Soto, un willing that such steadfast valor should find a watery grave, sends twenty expert swimmers after them, who drag them to land more dead than alive.

The other three, neither of whom was over eighteen years of age, replied that they were sons of neighboring caciques, and would be caciques themselves some day, and that it did not behoove such to be guilty of cowardice. This was the indomitable spirit of the men De Soto came to con quer. The warriors of Yitachuco were reduced to slavery; still the untamed spirit of that chief revolved a plan for the extermination of the hated invaders.

Com municating his scheme secretly, it was soon known to all his braves. On the third day, while the Indians were waiting on their masters at dinner, at the sound of his war-whoop they were to attack their oppressors with whatever they could lay hands on, and at once destroy them. At the appointed time, Yitachuco, who was seated near De Soto, sprang upon him and bore him to the earth, dealing him such a blow in the face as brought the blood in streams from nose, mouth, and eyes.

At that critical moment a dozen swords and lances pierced him, and he fell lifeless to the earth. At the signal, his warriors fell upon their masters with pots, kettles, pestles and stools, and such arms as they could seize. Thus per ished Yitachuco, and with him, in all, thirteen hundred of his brave warriors. Some of those slain performed extraordinary feats of valor. One, who was being led to the market-place to be murdered after the fight, first lifted up his master above his head and flung him down so that he was stunned, then seized his sword, and, in the words of the Portuguese narrative, though " inclosed between fifteen or twenty footmen, made way like a bull, with the sword in his hand, until certain halberdiers of the governor came, which killed him.

And here it may be well to say a word, once for all, of the treatment of the Indians by De Soto and his men. This was such as excuses these high-spi rited barbarians a thousand times over for their con stant and unflinching enmity to the Spaniards, and for all the savage arts used to oppose the invaders. As De Soto went from nation to nation, he was ac customed to demand the services of large numbers of Indians as porters. Four thousand at one time were thus employed in transporting the baggage. But the Christians were ac customed to make occasional expeditions for the ex press purpose of procuring, not friendly porters, but slaves to labor in chains.

A hundred, including men and women, were thus taken in a single expedition, a little after the death ofYitachuco. These were led by irons about their necks, and were made to carry bag gage, grind maize, and serve their Spanish masters in all things which a captive might do. Although the superior arms of the Spaniards enabled them to retain many of these captives, of w T hora some even accom panied the remains of the expedition to Mexico, yet their stubborn and revengeful spirit gave their cap tors constant annoyance. Sometimes, as one was led in chains to labor, he slew the Christian w r ho led him and ran away with his gyves ; others filed their fet ters through by night with a stone, and thus escaped.

De Soto, after the death of Vitachuco, bent his steps westward through the province of Osachile, where they still found their path infested by hostile savages, w T ho stoutly contested every step of the way. The path downward through the tangled, swampy forest, would admit of but two abreast, and was cleared under water to the same breadth, until the lagoon was too deep to be forded. This deep centre was passed by a slender and perilous bridge of logs tied together, and on the other side the same narrow, dangerous path ascended through another tangled, swampy forest.

Just beyond this morass, the Indians had impeded a large extent of woods by felling logs and tying and interlacing them among the standing trees, upon a piece of ground very near where, ten years before, they had defeated JSTarvaez. After three days of dangerous and most fatiguing fighting, up to their waists in water, and afterward in the barricaded forests filled with their yelling, invisible foes, the wearied Spaniards forced a way through into a region less beset, and at length reached the chief village in the fertile and populous province of Appalache, near Tallahassee, where they took up their winter quarters.

A scouting party dis covered the sea at no great distance, and found the bay of Aute, from which the unfortunate Narvaez had embarked. On the solitary coast were yet to be seen the coals of his forges, the skulls of his horses, and the troughs where he had fed them. The enterprise was beset with difficulties from which the boldest might shrink. To traverse a country peopled by a warlike race, whose undying antipathy to the Spaniards had been aroused, to thread a maze which had well-nigh proved fatal to the main army, was a task which might well have made the stout est quail.

But, notwithstanding incredible hard ships and peril, the dauntless Juan succeeded. Pe dro Calderon joined the army, and the two brigan- tines were brought around from Espiritu Santo to the Bay of Aute. These, exploring the coast west ward, discovered the bay of Achusi, now Pensacola. Appointing this as a rendezvous, De Soto ordered Maldinado to sail for Cuba, and to return with supplies. At Appalache, or as it is also named, Anaica Appa- lache, not far from Tallahassee, De Soto went into quarters for the winter.

The number of his men, his careful strengthening of his defences, and the pre cautions which he took, enabled him to repel the in cessant attacks of the natives, who, however, kept him in constant watchfulness, and picked off every Spaniard who strayed from the camp. The hardy and fearless Spaniards, however, now well experienced in Indian warfare, kept watch and ward, repelled all attacks, and maintained themselves through the winter in comparative comfort.

And now the second year of the expedition opens upon them. The land is in the bloom of spring. The new-born leaves seem to clap their hands in joy, as they dally with the soft south breeze ; the sward is tuft ed with flowers of every hue ; the air is flooded with the mocking-bird s rich and ever changeful song ; the tender blade cleaves the mold ; and all the land is gay in the garments of the opening tropic year. Will not this man take her as a bride from God? A yel low grave shalt thou have, Hernando de Soto! The captives tell them of Cofachiqui, a region to the northeast, where the precious earth can be had in plenty ; their reports, doubtless, referring to the Geor gia and South Carolina gold fields, which other au thorities prove to have been early worked by the In dians.

Accompanied on part of their route by four thou sand friendly Indians sent by the chief of Cofaqui to carry the baggage, and by as many more, under Patofa, the war-chief of Cofaqui, as escort ; with vari- 44 PIONEERS, PEEACHEES AND PEOPLE ous lot of hospitable welcome from friendly natives, and threatened starvation in immense pine barrens ; now in lonely devouring bogs, and then in fertile and cultivated tracts; here feasting in the midst of plenty, there famishing in deserts of sand under the pine trees, that offer them nothing but a tomb thus they cross the present State of Georgia diagonally from southwest to northeast, until they strike the Savan nah Kiver at Silver Bluff.

On the opposite side was the town of Cofachiqui, where ruled a youthful queen of rare grace and beauty. Gliding across the river in a canoe, attended by her principal men, she gave the strangers a courteous welcome, presenting to De Soto a pearl necklace a yard and a half in length. Commanding her subjects to provide canoes and rafts, the army was transported across the river. Here the host remained encamped for some weeks, in friendly intercourse with this peaceful and hospit able nation.

In the tombs of their ancestors the Indians showed them vast treasures of pearls, com puted to be not less than fourteen bushels, of which De Soto, though invited to take them all, preferred to select only a small number, leaving the remainder for a subsequent expedition. After a time, there came rumors of gold from the west ; and bearing their specimen pearls, and inhos pitably rewarding good with evil by seizing their beautiful and generous young hostess, in order that her authority might secure them good treatment and safety on the road, they march across the southern end of the Alleghany range to northwestern Georgia.

On the road, the princess of Cofachiqui escaped, carrying a little treasure of valuable pearls. Travel ling onward, they arrive at Chiaha, where they find a pot of honey, the first and last seen by the expedi tion, and the only honey mentioned, it is believed, as existing within the limits of the United States before its settlement by the whites, who are usually sup posed to have introduced the bee. De Soto sends two envoys with Indian guides to find the place ; but they return with no gold, and with news of none, bearing a buffalo hide for their only prize.

Next they travel through the great province of Cosa, supplied by the inhabitants with porters for the baggage, and with provisions. Decades of the Ocean, Dec. Tuscaloosa, or Black "Warrior, a chieftain of a tribe probably the Choctaws, was the mightiest cacique in all this region ; ruling apparently over a great part of the present States of Alabama and Mississippi. He was so tall that when mounted upon the largest horse in the army, his feet nearly touched the ground. He was eminently handsome, although grave, stern, haughty and repel- lant in demeanor.

This magnificent chief, who was born to rule, received De Soto, sitting upon a simple wooden throne, and shaded by the broad round standard of painted deerskin which was his ensign in war. With a laconic welcome, he set out to guide the Spanish commander to his capital, Mauvila, or Maubila, situated ten days march to the southward ; a reminiscence of whose name exists in that of the city of Mobile. To insure good treatment from the natives, after his custom, De Soto surrounded the Black Warrior with a guard, professedly of honor, but really to hold him as a hostage.

This the proud chief at once discovered; but betrayed no sign of dis pleasure. The Adelantado apprehended that danger threatened at JMauvila, and was in haste to resolve his doubt. Reaching the town early in the morning, he found it a walled place. A stockade of great tree trunks had been formed, transverse beams had been lashed to these by means of vines, and over all was a stucco of mud hardened in the sun. At every fifty paces were towers on the walls, capable of holding eight bowmen. Many of the trees in the stockade had survived transplanting, and were in full leaf, giving to the fortification a strange beauty.

The houses were built on broad streets, and although but eighty in number were yet so large that each would hold a thousand persons. In the centre was a great public square. The town was built in the midst of a plain, finely situated upon a noble bluff of the Ala bama Hiver, whose peaceful current was seen in the distance gliding between beautiful banks. The other margin of the plain was skirted by a forest. Near the western wall was a beautiful limpid lake. In obedience to the orders of Tuscaloosa, booths had been erected outside the walls for the accommo dation of the army, while the chief house of the town, had been set apart for De Soto and his officers.

Not returning, and the houses seeming to be filled with warriors and young girls many of whom were exceedingly beautiful but no old people or children appearing, De Soto s apprehensions were quickened. Desirous of regain ing the person of Tuscaloosa, he sent Juan Ortiz to announce that the Adelantado was waiting breakfast for the chief. Thrice was the message sent, but no chief appeared. At last a warrior, quitting one of the houses, shouted a threatening defiance to the Spaniards.

Baltazar de Gallegos, who was near at hand, cut him down. The warrior s son attempting to avenge him, shared his fate. And now began the fight in frightful earnest. Indians swarmed from every lodge, and the earth seemed suddenly covered with them. De Soto and his men, fighting despe rately, fell back outside the walls to where the horses were picketed.

Graining these, they flung themselves into the saddle and fiercely charged the foe. Back ward and forward swept the tide of battle. Some times, driven by flights of deadly arrows, the Span iards retreat to the edge of the forest. Then rallying, they come thundering down, with the war cry " San tiago and our Lady," upon the hordes of naked savages awaiting them. Hour after hour does the bat tle rage. The mail, the weapons and the discipline of the Spaniards give them a fearful advantage against the naked bodies and undrilled array of the savages ; but the odds of numbers are overwhelming, two hundred against thousands for Moscoso has not arrived.

He and his men loiter in the shady glades, picking grapes and flowers, singing songs of dear old Castile, light of heart that they shall soon hear news from Cuba and receive abundant supplies for it is now October, the month in which Maldiriado is to be at Pensacola, and hence to that place is less than thirty leagues. As thus they loiter through the plea sant woods, the sunny river peeping every now and then between the branches, the land seemed as lovely as the valley of the Xenil, outspread beneath the towers of the Alhambra.

But suddenly the distant sound of trumpet-calls, and shouts and savage war-cries are faintly heard, far in front ; and soon they discern a column of smoke slowly rising into the air in the distance. There is a battle! The word is passed along the line ; stragglers fall in, and at a rapid pace come up the reinforcements. The battle rages with redoubled fury ; the Spaniards dash at the gates and force them. The streets and the square are filled with combatants and corpses.

They fall like grain before the mower s scythe under the swords and lances of their foemen ; yet no one cries for quarter. The only tar gets which the steel clad Spaniards offer the Indian archers is mouth and eyes and the joints of the armor. The Indian women join their husbands and lovers in the fight, and are the fiercest of the throng.

Everywhere De Soto is seen in the thickest of the melee. Rising in his stirrups to deal a fatal blow, an arrow strikes him in the thigh through the openings of his armor. Thenceforth he fights standing in his stir rups. But the Spaniards have fired the town, and the flames spread fearfully, enwrapping every dwelling. As their forked tongues lapped up Maubila and its brave people, the sun, hidden by clouds of smoke, was casting a sickly glare from behind the tree-tops.

The tragedy is finished, Nine hours did the battle rage. At least five thousand Indians are slain. Nor is the plight of the Spaniards envi able. Eighty-two of their best warriors have fallen, while among the survivors seventeen hundred griev ous wounds are distributed, and there is but one surgeon in the camp, and he unskilled. Forty -two horses, mourned as companions and friends, are slain.

A dismal night, indeed, was that after the battle of Maubila. Numbers of the wounded died before their hurts could be attended to. Eight days they remained, attending on the disabled, in wretched sheds within the town ; and then, carrying them to huts constructed on the open ground without, they remained twenty days longer, ere the troops are in marching order, having recovered from the wounds of the battle, and measurably from a strange disease, occasioned by want of salt.

This commenced with fever and speedily corrupted the whole body, end- ing, after three or four days, in a fatal mortification of the intestines. The use of the ashes of a certain plant was a preventive of this disorder ; yet it de stroyed, says Garcilasso de la Yega, as many as sixty of the Spaniards in one year.

But whither shall they go? Intelligence has reached the camp that Arias and Maldinado are arrived at Ochus, their appointed rendezvous, but seven days march to the southeast, with provisions and supplies for founding a colony. At first, De Soto is filled with joy, for he sees at hand the means of establishing the settlement which he has always designed to make the headquarters for his further search after gold. There is gold for him who can win it ; here are only toil, wounds, danger, disease, death. The Adelantado sees that, once at the seacoast, his army will desert him.

No new troops will undertake an enterprise already branded with failure ; and he has no second vast fortune to embark in the undertaking. He has staked his all on this one throw fortune, fame, hope, honor, life. Shall he now slink back to Cuba, a hundred of his brave companions dead, poor in purse, vanquished by the poverty and the savage- ness of these wild forests and grassy savannas? These bitter reflections drive him to a desperate resolution, which he seems here deliberately to have formed, and silently to have adhered to until just before his death ; namely, to send home no news of himself until he had found the rich regions which he had set out to seek.

And, as if he had at the same time been hopeless of success, and acted merely in shame and desperation, his demeanor was thence forth changed. Always stern and reserved, he grows now moody, silent, savage. The word of command is given, and the line of march resumed to the north west, back into the wild forests, away from ships and home. Crossing the Black "Warrior and Tombigbee rivers, they at length reached the heart of the Chickasaw country, in the northwestern part of Mississippi, where it was determined to winter in a village called Chicasa.

De Soto, on one occasion, treated the natives to hog meat, whereupon they acquired such a taste for it that his pig-pens were constantly invaded. He punished some of the hog-thieves severely, and this, together with the robberies and assaults committed upon the persons and property of the Chickasaws, kindled the wrath of that warlike people, and they determined upon summary revenge. They attacked the village at night, firing the houses, and succeeded for a time in throwing the Spaniards into confusion. Many of the latter were slain, together with a number of horses, which were more dreaded than the Spaniards themselves.

But the natives were routed, with great loss, before daylight. It was, however, a victory dearly purchased, for the Spaniards lost forty men, fifty horses, and three hundred of their four hundred swine, besides nearly all their remaining clothes and effects ; and were left in such evil plight, that, had the Indians attacked them again the next night, they must have won an easy victory. Kemoving to Chie- kasilla, a league distant, the Spaniards erected a forge, and re-tempered their swords which had been much injured by the fire, made saddles, horse-furni ture, and lances, and wove mats of the long grass to shield them from the cold, which in March was still piercing.

These mats, in their future wayfarings, served a valuable purpose, as bucklers, to protect them from the arrows of their enemies. At Chicka- silla they wintered, amid cold and snow, and in great want of clothing. As the spring of the third year of the expedition opened, the fierce Chickasaws renewed their attacks, but were repulsed ; and on the 25th of April, the army set forward for a third summer of wandering after gold, marching northwestward. At the for tress of Alibamo, on one of the head branches of the Tazoo, the Indians made a resolute stand.

But the invincible Spaniards took it by storm, and put to the sword all who fell into their hands. Hence to the northwestern corner of Mississippi, or the south western of Tennessee, they journeyed, through dark forests and deep swamps, until they struck a mighty river, which they named Rio Grande. Rio Grande. In April, , they stood upon the bluffs which overlook that sublime stream, rushing from the icy regions of the north to a summer sea. This was the pioneer pilgrimage of European civilization to its banks, the advanced guard of that innumerable mul titude which was here to be gathered together to make another attempt at solving the problem of man s relation, to the earth, his neighbor and his God.

Building boats, they crossed the river, and after four days march into the wilderness beyond, came to the village of Casqui, or Casquin, supposed to have been inhabited by the Kaskaskias Indians, afterward settled in Illinois. This village was in a province also called Casqui, and governed by a cacique of the same name.

webmail.lauren.reclaim.hosting/poor-fellow-my-country.php The chief inhabited a village about seven leagues further on, where he hospitably received the army, and provided it with provisions and quarters. During the encampment here, the chief suppli cated De Soto to pray to his God for rain, which was much needed. Hereupon the Spanish commander caused a vast cross to be erected, in a commanding situation, on a lofty hill near the river, and conse crated it by a solemn religious ceremony, in which both Spaniards and Indians joined.

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As the intonations of the Litany, and the solemn strains of Te Deum laudamus rose upon the air, the children of the forest took up the strain, with plain tive voice and uplifted eyes, invoking the white man s God. Here, then, upon the shore of the Father of Waters, in the northeastern corner of Ar kansas, was the symbol of our religion first planted, eighty years before a Puritan had touched the rock at Plymouth.

And as if to substantiate the instructions of the Spanish commander, a plenteous shower of rain came down that very night. De Soto delayed some days in the village of Cas qui, and then set out northward, for the village of Pacaha or Capaha, who was at feud with Casqui, and whom the latter trusted to destroy by means of the Spaniards. He accompanied the latter, with his warriors, for that purpose ; and did actually destroy numbers of his people, and laid waste his town.

But De Soto, on his arrival, at once put a stop to these proceedings, and, after considerable difficulty, induced Pacaha to return home, and issued orders that none should do any injury to the inhabitants of the province or to their possessions.

To Tulla To Death (We Too Followed De Soto Book 6)
To Tulla To Death (We Too Followed De Soto Book 6)
To Tulla To Death (We Too Followed De Soto Book 6)
To Tulla To Death (We Too Followed De Soto Book 6)
To Tulla To Death (We Too Followed De Soto Book 6)
To Tulla To Death (We Too Followed De Soto Book 6)

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