Barnard Shipp.

The history of Hernando de Soto and Florida; or, Record of the events of fifty-six years, from 1512 to 1568 online

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Online LibraryBarnard ShippThe history of Hernando de Soto and Florida; or, Record of the events of fifty-six years, from 1512 to 1568 → online text (page 53 of 75)
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like cattle, in great herds ; for we saw the steps of Indians who fol-
lowed them.*

The cliannel and depth of the river Seine is on that side of the
meadow which is in the Isle of May.

After returning to onr ships we continued to sail along the coast,
as near the'shore as we could, to know more and more of the coast.
And, after we had sailed six or seven leagues more, there appeared
. unto us another bay, whera we cast anchor and stopped all night ;
in the morning we went thither, and finding, by our sounding, at
the entry, many banks, we durst not enter there with our great
ship, having named the river Somme, which is eight, nine, ten,
eleven fathoms deep, dividing itself into many great islands and
small meadow grounds and pastures ; and on the northwest side
there is a great river that cometh from the country of great extent,
and another on the east side which returneth into the sea, so that it
is a country full of haVens, rivers, and islands of the greatest fer-
tility, t

From thence we sailed about six leagues, and discovered another
river which, after we had viewed, was named by us Loire ; and sub-
sequently we discovered five others, whereof the first was named
Charenle ; the second, Garonne ; the third, Oironde ; the fourth.
Belle ; the fifth, Grande ; which being well discovered, with such
things as were in them ; by this time, in less than sixty .leagues, we
had found out many singularities along nine rivers.J Nevertheless,
not fully satisfied, we sailed yet further towards the north, following
the course that might bring us to the river Jordan, one of the fair-
est rivers of the north, and holding our wonted course, great fogs
and tempests came upon us, which compelled us to leave the coast
to bear toward the main sea, which was the Cause that we lost
sight of our pinnace a whole day and night, until the next day in
the morning, which time the weather being fair, and the sea calm,

* When Virginia was first visited, the Indians raised and kept tame deers
near their dwellings.

t Ribault's Narrative in "Historical Collections of Louisiana and Florida,"
by B. F. French. What follows is from Laudonniere.

t The following, from a note to Ribault's Narrative, will give probably a cor-
rect idea of the rivers that now correspond with those discovered by Ribault,
viz : " May, to the St. John's ; 'Seine, the St. Mary's ; Somme, the Santilla ;
Loire, the Altaraaha ; Charante, the Newport ; Garonne, the Ogechee ; Gironde,
the Savannah ; Bellevoir, the May in South Carolina ; Grande, the Broad ; Poi-t
Royal, the Port Royal." The Broad river is supposed by some to be the Jordan.
Ribault was of that belief. But see Jacobo Le Moyne's map of Florida, opposite
page 495. /


WB discovered a river, which we called Bellevoir. After we had
sailed three or four leagues, we began to espy oiir pinnaces which
came straight toward us, and at their arrival they reported, to the
captain, that while the foul weather and fogs endured, they harbored
tliemselves in a miglity river, which in bigness and beauty exceeded
the former ; wherewith the captain was exceedingly joyful, for his
chief desire was to find a haven to harbor his ships, and there to
refresh ourselves awhile. ' Thus making thitherward, we arrived
athwart the same river (which, because of the fairness and the big-
ness thereof, we named Port Royal), struck our sails, and cast
anchor in ten fathoms of water; for the depth is such that when
the tide rises, the largest ships of France may enter there.

Having cast anchor, the captain with his soldiers went on shore.
It was all covered over with mighty high oaks and infinite store of
cedars, and with lentiskes growing underneath them, smelling so
sweetly that the very fragrant odor only made the i^lace to seem
exceedingly pleasant.

The river, at the mouth thereof, from cape to cape, is not less
than three French leagues broad ; it is divided into two great arms,
whereof one runneth toward tlie west, and the other toward the
north, and I believe that the arm wliieli stretclieth toward the north
runneth up into the country as far as the river Jordan; the
other arm runneth into the sea, as it was known by those of our
company which were left behind to dwell in this place. These two
arms are two great leagues broad, and in the midst of them there is
an isle which is pointed towards the opening of the great river.
Seeing the evening approach, and that the captain determined to re-
turn unto the ships, we prayed him to suffer ns to pass the night in
this place. .In our absence the pilots and mariners advised the captain
that it was needful to bring the ships further up within the river,
to avoid the dangers of tiie winds which might annoy us by reason
of our being so near the mouth of the river, and for this cause the
captain sent for us. Being come to our ships, we sailed three
leagues further up within the river, and there we cast anchor. A
little while after, John Ribault, accompanied by a good number of
soldiers, embarked himself, desirous to sail further up in the arm
which runneth toward the west, and to search the commodities of
the place. Having sailed at least twelve leagues, we perceived a
troop of Indians, who, as soon as they espied the pinnaces, fled into
the wood, leaving behind them a young lucerne which they were
turning on a spit, for which cause the place was called Cape Lu-
cerne. Proceeding on our way, we found another arm of the river
which ran towards the east, by which the captain determined to


sail and to leave the great current. A little while after, tliey began
to espy divers other Indians. At our coming on shore divers of
them came to salute our general; some of them gave him deer-
skins; some presented iiira with pearls, but no great number.
Afterwards they went about to make an arbor to defend us from
the parching heat of the sun. But we would not stay then ; where-
fore the captain thanked them, and gave them presents. Tliey
wished him to stay a little longer, showing him by sighs tliat they
desired to advise a great lord which had pearls in gi'eat abundance.
Notwithstanding, we returned to our ships, where, after 'we had
been but one night, the captain in the morning commanded to. be
put into the pinnace a pillar of hard stone fashioned like a column,
whereon the arms of the king of France were engraven, to plant the
same in the fairest place that we could find.* Tliis done, we em-
barked ourselves, and sailed three leagues towards the west, where
we discovered a little river, up which we sailed so long that in the
end we found that it returned into the great current, and, in its
return, to make a little island, separated from the firm land, where
we went ashore; and there, " on the 30th of May, on the south side,
at the entrance of a great river, which we called Libourne, where
there is a lake of fresh water, very good, and on the same side, a
little lower down towards the entrance of the iiarbor, one of tlie
fairest fountains that men may drink of, wliieh rushes down to the
river from a liigh bank out of a red sandy soil,"* we planted the
pillar npon a liillock open round about to the view ; on which island
we saw two stags of exceeding bigness. Before our dej)arture we
named tiie little river that environed this isle tlie River of Libourne.
Afterwards we embarked to searcli anotlierisle not far distant from
the former, wherein, after we had gone on land, we found nothing
but tall cedars, the fairest that were seen in this country. For this
cause we named it the Isle of Cedars ; so we returned into our pin-
nace to go towards our ships.

A few days afterwards John Ribault determined to return once
again towards the Indians who inhabited the arm of the river that
runneth towards the west, and to ta;ke with him a good number of
soldiers ; for his design was to take two Indians of this place to
carrj' them to France, as the queen had commanded him. With this
intention we again took our former course so far north that at last
we came to the selfsame place where at the first we found the In-
dians ; from thence we took two Indians, by the permission of the
king. As soon as we were come to our ships, every one thought to

* Eibault.

Missing Page

Missing Page


be made, in length, but sixteen fatlioms, and thirteen in breadth,
with flanlts according to the proportions thereof. The measure be-
ing taken by me and Captain Salles, we sent unto the ships for
men, and to bring shovels, pick-axes, and other instruments neces-
sary to make the fortification. We labored so diligently that in a
sliort space the fort was made in some sort defensible ; in which,
meantime, John Ribault caused victuals and warlike munitions
to be brought for the defence of the place. After he had furnished
them with, all such things as they had need of, he determined to
take his leave of them ; but before his departure he addressed Cap-
tain Albert, whom he left in this place.

Saving ended his exhortation we took our leave of each of them,
and sailed towards our ships, calling the fort Charles Fort, and the
river we named Chenonceau.(3o)

The next day [9th of June, 1562], we determined to depart from
this place to discover perfectly the river Jordan. For this purpose
we hoisted our sails about ten o'clock in the morning. After we
were ready to depart Captain Ribault commanded to shoot off our
ordnance to give a farewell to our P'renchmen, who failed not to do
the same on their part. This being done, we sailed toward the
north, and then we named this river Port Royal, because of the
largeness and excellent fairness of the same. After we had sailed
about fifteen leagues from thence we espied a river, whereupon we
sent Our pinnace thither to discover it. At their return they
brought us word that they found not more than half a fathom of
water in the mouth thereof, which when we understood, we con-
tinued on our way and called it Bas [^ShaJlovf] River. As we still
went on sounding we found not more than five or six fathoms of
water, although we were six good leagues from the shore. At length
we found not more than three fathoms, wliich gave us occasion
greatly to muse, and without making any further way, we struck our
sails, partly because we wanted water, and partly because night
approached. The morning being come. Captain Ribault proposed
to all the companj' that every man should deliver his opinion what
was best to be done, which thing being well and at large debated, we
resolved to leave the coast, forsalcing the north to take our way
toward the east, which is the right way and course to our France,
where we happily arrived the 20th of July, 1562.


Our men after our departure never rested, but night and day did
fortify themselves, being in good hope that after Charles Fort was


flnished, they woulrl begin to discover furtlier up the river. It hap-
pened one day, as certain of tliem were cutting roots in the groves,
that they espied an Indian, who followed them totliefort. Captain
Albert asked him of his dwelling. The Indian replied that it was
further up within the river, and that he was a vassal of king Audusta.
Certain daj's after, the captain determined to sail towards Audusta,
where being arrived, he was so well received that the king told him
he should have the amity of four other kings, Wayon, Hoya, Touppa,
and Stalame, and prayed him to vouchsafe to visit them. The cap-
tain willingly consented. Therefore they departed the next morn-
ing very earl}', and first arrived at the house of Touppa, and after-
wards at the other kings' houses, except that of Stalame. After he
had remained certain days with these strange kings, he determined
to return to the house of Audusta, and having arrived there, he
commanded all his men to go aboard llieir pinnaces, for he was a
mind to go towards the couptry of king Stalame, who dwelt toward
the north, the distance of fifteen leagues from Charles Fort. There-
fore as the}' sailed up the river they entered a great current which
they followed so far till they came at last to the house of Stalame.
He immediately presented Captain Albert his bows and arrows,
which is a sign and confirmation of alliance between them. The
Captain seeing the best part of the day past, took his leave and re-
turned to Charles Fort, where he arrived the day following.

When the time drew near for celebrating the feast of Toya, Au-
dusta sent ambassadors to our men to request them to be present;
whereupon they consented most willingly. They embarked there-
fore and sailed towards the king's house, where he sought to enter-
tain them the best he cculd. When the feast -was finished, our men
returned unto Charles Fort, where having remained a while, their
victuals began to wax short, which forced them to have recourse to
their neighbors, who gave them part of all the victuals which they
had, and kept rio more than would serve to sow their fields. Tliey
gave them counsel to go to the countries of king Conexis, but before
they came to his territories, they were to repair to Oude, the brother
of Conexis. Our men, perceiving the good relation which the In-
dians made of these two kings, resolved to go thither ; wherefore,
they put to sea, and sailed so far that they came into the country
of Oude, which they found to be on the river Belle. Being there
arrived, they perceived a company of Indians. As soon as they
were come near them, their guides showed them by signs that Oude
was in this company, wherefore our men went forward to salute
him. He led them to his home, where he sought to treat them
very courteously. His house was hung round with tapestry of


feathers of divers colors, the height of a pilce ; moreover, the place
where the king took his rest was covered with white coverlets em-
broidered with devices of very witty and fine workmanship, and
fringed round about with a fringe dyed in the color of scarlet.
This good Indian commanded his subjects to fill our pinnaces with
corn and beans. Afterwards he caused them to bring him six pieces
of his tapestry, made like little coverlets, and gave them to our
men. This being done, our men took leave of the king, and sailed
towards Charles Fort, which from this place might be some twenty-
five leagues distant. But as soon as our men thought themselves
at their ease, and free from the dangers whereunto they had exposed
themselves night and day in gathering together victuals here and
there ; lo ! even as they were asleep, the fire caught in their lodgings
with such fury, being increased by the wind, that the room was con-
sumed in an instant, without them being able to save anything ex-
cept a little of their victuals. The next day by times in the morning,
Audusta and Maccon came thither, accompanied with a very good
company of Indians, who, knowing the misfortune, were very sorry
for it, and every man began to exert himself in such sort, that in
less than twelve hours they had begun and finished a house very
near as great as the former, which being ended, they returned home,
fully contented with a few cutting-hooks and hatchets wliich they
вЦ† received from our men.

Within a short time after this mischance, their victuals began to
wax short ; and after our men had taken good deliberation, they
found there was no better way for them, than to return to the king
Oude, and Conexis his brother. Wherefore they resolved to send
thither some of their company the next day following, who, with an
Indian canoe, sailed up into the country about ten leagues. After-
wards they found a very fair and great river of ft-esh water, which
they failed not to search out. Thej' found thei'ein a great number
of crocodiles which iy greatness surpass those of the river Nilus.
Moreover all along the banks thereof, there grew mighty high cy^
presses. After thej' had staid a short while in this place, they fol-
lowed their journey, helping themselves so well with the tides that
without putting themselves in danger of the continual perils of the
sea, they came to the country of Oude, by whom they were most
courteously received. When they had related to him the occasion
of their coming, and the misfortunes they had suffered, he sent mes-
sengers unto his brother Conexis, to request him to send him some
of his corn and beans, which he did, and the next morning they were
come again with victuals, which the king caused to be borne unto
their canoe. Our men would now have taken their leave of him,


finrling themselves more than satisfied with his liberality, but for
that day he would not suffer them, and made them the best cheer
he could devise. The next day, very early in the morning, he took
them with him to show them the place where his corn grew, and
said unto them they should not want as long as all that corn did
last. After that he gave them a number of exceeding fair pearls
and two stones of fine crystals, and certain silver ore. Our men
forgot not to give him certain trifles in recompense for these pres-
ents, and inquired of him the place whence the silver ore and the
-crystal came. He answered it came ten days' journey from his
habitation up within the country, and that the inhabitants of the
country did dig the same at the foot of certain high mountains,
where they found it. in verj' good quantity. Being joyful to learn
this good news, they took leave of the king and returned by the
way they had come.

But misfortune would have it that those who could not be over-
come by fire nor water should be undone by themselves. They
entered into partialities and dissensions, which began about a soldier,
who, as I was told, was vei-j- cruelly hanged by his own captain,
and for a small fault ; which captain, also, accustomed to threaten
the rest of his soldiers which staid behind under his command was
the cause why they fell into a mutiny, because that many times he
put his threats into execution, whereupon they put him to death.
And the principal occasion that moved them thereunto was because
he degraded another soldier named Le Chere (whom he had ban-
ished) and because he had not performed his promise ; for he had
promised to send him victuals every eigjith day, which he did not,
but said, on the contrary, that he would be glad to hear of his death.
He said, moreover, he would chastise others also. The soldiers,
seeing his tyrannj' increase daily, and fearing to fall into the
dangers of the other, resolved to kill him. Having executed their '
purpose they went to seek the soldier that was banished, who was
on a small island, distant from Charles Fort about three leaigues,
where they .found him almost half dead from hunger. When they
came home again, they assembled themselves together and chose
Nicholas Barre to be governor over them.

During this time they began to build a pinnace, with the hope
of returning to France, if no succors came to them. After it was
finished, they thought of nothing else, save how to furnish it with
all things necessary to undertake the voyage. As they were in these
perplexities, King Audusta and Maccou came to them, accompanied
with at least two hundred Indians, to whom they showed in what
need of cordage they stood, who promised them to return within two


days and bring as much as should suffice to furnish the pinnace
with taclfling.

Our men, being pleased with these good news and promises, be-
stowed upon them certain cutting hooks and shirts. After their
departure, our men sought all means to get rosin in the woods,
wherein they cut the pine trees round about, and out of which they
drew a sufficient quantity to pitch their vessel. Also they gathered
a kind of moss which groweth on the trees of this country, to serve
to calk the same withal. They now wanted nothing but sails,
which they made of their own shirts and of their sheets. Within a
few days after, the Indian king returned to Charles Port with so
good store of cordage that there was found sufficient for the tackling
of the small pinnace. They, therefore, went forward to finish the
brigantine, and a short time afterward the}' made it ready, furnished
with all things. In the mean time the wind came so fit for their
purpose, that thej' put to sea after they had put all things in order.
But before they departed they embarked all their artillery and other
munitions of war. They put themselves to sea wii.h so slender
victuals that the end of their enterprise became unfortunate.
For, after they had sailed a third part of the vvay, they were
surprised by calms, which did so much hinder them, that in three
weeks they sailed not over twenty-five leagues. Their victuals
failed them altogether at once, and they had nothing for their more
assured refuge but their shoes and leather jerkins, which they did
eat. Touching their beverage, some of them drink the sea-water, ,
others did drink their own urine, and they remained in such
desperate necessity a very long space, during which a part of them
died of hunger. Besides this extreme famine they fell every minute
out of all hope of ever seeing France again. And every day they
fared worse and worse ; for, after they had eaten up their boots and
their leather jerkins, there arose so boisterous a wind, and so con-
trary to their course, that in the turning of a hand, the waves fl,lled
their vessel half full of water, and injured it upon one side.

One of them having a little stronger heart than the others declared
unto them how little way they had to sail, assuring them that if the
wind held they should see land within three days. This man did so
encourage them that, after they had thrown the water out of the pin-
nace, they remained three days without eating or drinking, except it
were the sea-water. When the time of his promise was expired, they
were more troubled than ever, seeing that they could not descry any
land ; wherefore, in this extrenie despair, some among them made
this motion : that it was better that one man should die than that
so many men should perish. They therefore agreed that one should


die to sustain the others ; which thing was executed in the person
of Le Chere, of whom we have spoken heretofore, whose flesh was
divided equally among his fellows.

After so long a time and tedious travel, God of his goodness,
using his accustomed favor, changed their sorrows into joy and
showed unto them the sight of land, whereof they were so exceeding
glad that the pleasure caused them to remain a long time as men
without sense, whereby they let the pinnace float this and that way
without holding any right way or course. But a small English
hark hoarded the vessel, in which there was a Frenchman who had
been in the first voyage into Florida,* who easily knew them, and
spake unto them, and afterwards gave them meat and drink. Im-
mediately they recovered their natural courage, and declared unto
him, at large, all their navigation. The Englishmen consulted a
long time what were best to be done ; and finally they resolved to
put on land those who werejmost feeble, and to carr^^ the rest unto
the queen of England [Elizabeth], who proposed at that time to
send into Florida. Thus, in brief, you see what happened unto
them whom Captain John Ribault had left in Florida.

* That is, had returned to France with Ribault.





After our arrival at Dieppe from our first voyage, we found that
civil war had begun, which was in part the cause whj' our men were
not succored as Captain Ribault had promised them. After peace
was made in France, ray Lord Admiral de Chastillon [ColigiiyJ
showed unto the king that he had heard no news at all of the men
whom Captain John Rihault had left in Florida, and that it were a
pity to suffer them to perish. The king was content that he should
cause three ships to be furnished, tlie one of one hundred and
twenty tons, and the other of one hundred, and the third of sixty,
to seek them out and to succor them.

My lord admiral, therefore, being well informed of the faithful ser-
vices which I had done, as well unto his majesty as to his prede-
cessors, kings of France, advised the king how able I was to do him
service in this voyage, wliich was the cause that he made me [R^ne

Online LibraryBarnard ShippThe history of Hernando de Soto and Florida; or, Record of the events of fifty-six years, from 1512 to 1568 → online text (page 53 of 75)