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A RELATION OF SVCH THINGS, AS Don FERDINANDO DE SOTO, the Adelantado of Florida passed in seeking to conquer the said Countrey : wherein is declared who he was, and what some of them were that went with him: and some particulars and diuersities of the Countrie, and whatsoeuer they saw and happened
vnto them in the same.
how he got the gouernment of Florida.
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 passed all other Captaines and principall persons. For which cause, 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 delivered him in the Contractation house of Siuil. He tooke servants, to wit, a Steward, a Gentleman Vsher, Pages, a Gentleman of the Horse, a Chamberlaine, Lakies, and al other officers that the house of a Noble mā requireth. From Siuil hee went to the Court, and in the Court, there accompanied him lohn Danusco of Siul, and Lewis Moscoso D'aluarado, Nunno de Touar, and lohn Rodriguez Lobillo. Except lohn Danusco, all the rest came with bim from Peru: and euery one of them brought fourteene or fisieene thousand Duckets: all of them went well and costly apparrel. led. And although Soto of his owne nature was not liberall, yet because that was the first time that hee was to shew himselfe in the Court, he spent frankely, and went accompanied with those which I baue named, and with his seruanis, and many other which resorted vnto him. Hee married with Donna Isabella de Bouadilla, daughter of Peter Arias of Auila, Earle of Punno en Rostro. The Emperour made bim the Governor of the Isle of Cuba, and Adelantado or President of Florida; with a title of Marques of certaine part of the lands, that he should conquer.
CHAP. II. How Cabeça de Vaca came to the Court, and gaue relation
of the Countrie of Florida : And of the Companie that was assembled in Siuil to goe with Don Ferdinando de Soto.
Hen Don Ferdinando bad obtained the gouernment, there came a Gentleman from the Indies to the Court, named Cabeça de Vaca, which had been with the Gouernor Pamphilo de Naruaez which
died in Florida, who reported that Naruaez was cast away at sea with all the companie y' went with him. And how he with foure more escaped and arriued in Nueua Espanna: Also he brought a relation in writing of that which hee had seene in Florida ; which said in some places: In such a place I have seene this; and the rest which here I saw, 1 leaue to conferre of betweene his Maiestie and my selse. Generally he reported the miserie of the Countrie, and the troubles which hee passed : and hee told 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 goviernment 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: Aud hee informed them, That it was the richest Countrie of Florida is tho the world. Don Ferdinando de Soto was very trie
of tho desirous to haue him with bion, and made him a fa- world. uourable offer: and after they were agreed, because Soto
gaue bim not a summe of money which he demanded 10 buy a ship, they broke off againe. Baltasar de Gallegos, and Christopher de Spindola, the kinsemen 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 bad gotten it alreadie, for bis othes sake hee might tell them nothing of that which they would know: but hee counselled them to sell their goods and goe with him, and that in so doing they should doe well. Assoone as he had opportunitie hee spake with the Emperour, and related vnto hiin 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 bad notice, and forthwith determined to send with Don Ferdinando de Soto his brother Don Antonio Osorio: & 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 towne 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 Touar, and Lewis de Moscoso, and Iohn Rodriguez Lobillo, each of who 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 1 inoco, Alfonso Romo, and Diego Tinoco. And as Lewis de Moscoso passed through * Eluas, Andrew de Vasconcelos spake with him, and re
Eluas is a citie
in Portugal. quested him to speake io Don Ferdinando de Soto concerning him, and delivered him certaine warrants which he had received from the Marques of Villa real, wherein
be gaue him the Captainesbip 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 bim in all things, and by al meanes, and would giue him a charge of men in Florida. And from Eluas went Andrew de Vasconcelos, and Fernan Pegado, Antonio Martinez Segurado, Men Roiz Pereira, Iohn Cordero, Stephen Pegado, Benedict Fernandez, and Aluaro Fernandez. And out of Salamanca, and laen, 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 bebind for want of shipping, wheras 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 Cabeça de Vaca
he would not give him monie to pay for a ship, was the Go- which he had bought, they brake off, & he went uernour of the for Gouernour to the Riuer of Plate. His kinseRiver of Plate.
men Christopher de Spindola, and Baltasar de Gallegos went with Soto. Baltasar de Gallegos 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 offices following by great friendship, because they were offices desired of many: to wit, Antonie de Biedma was Factor, lohn Danusco was Auditor, and lohn 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. (He Portugales departed from Eluas the 15. of Ianua
rie, and came to Siuil the 19. of the same moneth, T
and went to the lodging of the Gouernor, 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 Vasconcelos 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 bim : And he commanded a muster to be made, at the which the Portugales shewed themselues 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 carne as at the first armed with very good armour. The Gouernour placed them in order neere vnio the standard wbich the ensigne-bearer carried. The Castellanes for the most part did weare very bad and rustie shirts of maile, and all of them headpeeces and steele cappes, and very bad lances. And some of them sought to come among the Portugales. 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
Sixe hundred had alreadie bought seuen ships, and had all ne-men went with cessarie prouision aboord them: He appointed Soto into Flo
rida. Captaines, and deliuered to every 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.
N 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