The Florida of the Inca: A History of the Adelantado, Hernando de Soto, Governor and Captain General of the Kingdom of Florida, and of Other Heroic Spanish and Indian Cavaliers

The Florida of the Inca: A History of the Adelantado, Hernando de Soto, Governor and Captain General of the Kingdom of Florida, and of Other Heroic Spanish and Indian Cavaliers

The Florida of the Inca: A History of the Adelantado, Hernando de Soto, Governor and Captain General of the Kingdom of Florida, and of Other Heroic Spanish and Indian Cavaliers

The Florida of the Inca: A History of the Adelantado, Hernando de Soto, Governor and Captain General of the Kingdom of Florida, and of Other Heroic Spanish and Indian Cavaliers

Excerpt

Early in the month of April of the year fifteen hundred and thirty-eight, a fleet of tall-masted ships slid over the treacherous sand bar at San Lúcar de Barrameda and turned its prows toward a fabulous kingdom in the west which Ponce de León had poetically dubbed La Florida or the land of flowers. Hernando de Soto, swollen with the riches of Cajamarca and hon- ored with a writ from his Caesarean Majesty, Charles the Melancholy, had set forth to explore and exploit the unlimited reaches of the North American continent. Never previously had there been assembled such an impressive array of ships, men, dogs and horses for any expedition to the Indies, and the hearts of these cavaliers burned with expectancy, for rumor persisted that this new kingdom would yield more gold, silver and precious gems than had all the lands of either Mexico or Peru. Moreover, for those fired with a messianic zeal, there was additional temptation since the pagan domains of the Indies offered unlimited possibilities for the enrichment of the hurch as well as the Crown.

But once again the hardships of the great North American wilderness were to convert a resplendent dream of exploration and conquest into a doleful reality; De Soto's vast enterprise was destined for dismal failure. By the year fifteen hundred and forty-three, the deep forests and broad savannas of Florida were strewn with Spanish dead; the fever-ridden body of De Soto himself had been lowered to a watery sepulchre in the depths of the Mississippi; and the last of that gallant band of horses, the very sinew of the Spanish . . .

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.