The de Soto Chronicles: The Expedition of Hernando de Soto to North America in 1539-1543 - Vol. 2

The de Soto Chronicles: The Expedition of Hernando de Soto to North America in 1539-1543 - Vol. 2

The de Soto Chronicles: The Expedition of Hernando de Soto to North America in 1539-1543 - Vol. 2

The de Soto Chronicles: The Expedition of Hernando de Soto to North America in 1539-1543 - Vol. 2

Synopsis

These documents, available here in a two volume set, are the only detailed eyewitness records of the most advanced native civilization in North America--the Mississippian culture--a culture that vanished in the wake of European contact.

Excerpt

Conversing many times and in various places with a gentleman, a great friend of mine, who was on this expedition, and hearing from him of the many and very great feats that Spaniards and Indians alike performed in the course of it, it seemed to me an unbecoming thing and a great pity that deeds as heroic as any that have taken place in the world should remain in perpetual oblivion. I myself, therefore, being obligated to both nations, because I am the son of a Spaniard and an Indian woman, importuned that gentleman many times that we write this history, I serving him as amanuensis. And although this end was desired by both of us, it was prevented by the times and occasions that arose, now of war, to which I went, now of long periods when we were apart, in the course of which more than twenty years passed. With time, however, my desire increased, and on the other hand the fear that if one of us should die our purpose would never be fulfilled, because, I being dead, he would have no one to encourage him and act as clerk; and he being lost to me, I would not know from whom to obtain the account that he could give me. I determined to make an end of the impediments and delays that existed by leaving the establishment and ease I had in a pueblo where I was living, and go to his. There we busied ourselves with care and diligence in writing down everything that took place on this expedition from its beginning to its end, for the honor and fame of the Spanish nation, which has done such great things in the New World, and no less for that of the Indians, who in this history show themselves and appear worthy of the same honor.

In this history, besides the exploits and hardships the Christians performed and passed through, singly and in common, and besides the notable things that were found among the Indians, an account is given of the many and very large provinces the governor and adelantado Hernando de Soto and many other gentlemen—Extremadurans, Portuguese, Andalusians, Çastilians, and those from all the other provinces of Spain—discovered in the great kingdom of La Florida, in order that henceforth (the bad name that . . .

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