xt7dnc5s7z0t https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7dnc5s7z0t/data/mets.xml Conover, James F. 1835  books b92-244-31440888 English Pub. by the Society [etc.] : Cincinnati : Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Mississippi River Valley History.Shreve, Thomas Hopkins, 1803-1853. Oration on the history of the first discovery and settlement of the new world  : with especial reference to the Mississippi Valley, etc. : delivered before the Cincinnati Literary Society at its fourth anniversary celebration / an ode, delivered on the same occasion, by Mr. Thomas H. Shreve. text Oration on the history of the first discovery and settlement of the new world  : with especial reference to the Mississippi Valley, etc. : delivered before the Cincinnati Literary Society at its fourth anniversary celebration / an ode, delivered on the same occasion, by Mr. Thomas H. Shreve. 1835 2002 true xt7dnc5s7z0t section xt7dnc5s7z0t 


                 ON THE







                 AT ITS




        AN ODE,




           1 835.



Mirror Press-
      Corner of Walnut and Fifth streets.



               Hdll of the Cincinnati Literary Society,
                                      January 16, 1835.
  At a regular meeting of the society, held this evening,
time following resolutions were ofrered, and unanimously
  JResolved, That the thanks of this society be presented to
J. F. Coilover, esq., and Mr. T. H. Shreve, for the ora-
tion and poemn delivered this evening; and that a copy of
each be requested for publication.
  Resolted, That a committee of three be appointed to carry
into eflect the above resolution.
  Whereupon Messieurs Frazer, Wheeler and Semmes, were
appointe(d said committee; who, in obedience to the above
resolution, addressed letters to Messieurs Conover and Shreve,
who politely consented to comply with the request of the
society .

 This page in the original text is blank.



  The blow by which Hercules despatched the Nmeinean lion,
was not more fatal to its victim, than the glimmnieringJ torch
bursting upon the enraptured vision of Columbus onl the night
of the eleventh of October 1492, was destructive of the wel-
fare of the credulous Aboriginals of the New World, then first
unfolded" to the delighted wonder of that intrepid mariner
and his brave associates. Little did those Aborig(,inals ima-
gine, in that night of unsuspecting security-then most prob-
ably enwrapped on the cold bosom of their native land in
slumber as profound as the darkness of the forests that sur-
rounded them-that that torch, (listlessly kindled, by one
more wakeful than the rest,) was the hapless beacon which
lighted the way, to the speedy injury, consum-ing wretched-
ness, and final extinction of their race.
  When we specially contemplate the vast results of that
seemingly trifling event, our inmagination runs riot on the
boundless field which lies open before us. and we are irresisti-
blv reminded of all analagous, though infinitely more imnpor-
tant and sublime event, the kindling of that other flame, when
the Omnipotent fiat -went forth in those words of fire, "let
there be light!"  Both events discovered to mnan a world;
yet with this wide distinction, the one taught him his weak-
ness, tihe other his power. And though the blaze of that poor
Indian's torch, must, to the remnant of that miserable race
which still lingers amongst us, seem to have been friniged
with blood and streaming with tears, yet by the white man,
it has ever been hailed as the glorious flame w-hich directed
him to a new world, to wealth, happiness and renown.
  On the succeeding morn, the sun rose in his usual splendor,
and poured upon the scene his beneficent rays-for the -white
man had yet been guiltless of wvrong to the Indian. Column-
bqjs, then, arrayed in gorgeous robes. and brandishing in his
hand a naked sword, accomlnpanlied by his attendant-, procee(e-
-Rohertson's America, p. 55.-Irving's Columbus, vol. 1, p. 100, new edition.


edl, under the roll of the drum, and in martial pomp, to effect
a landing.  On reaching the shore, they prostrated them
selves upon the earth in humble thankfulness for their success.
The untutored Indians, who had there congregated in great
numbers, beheld this scene with astonishment and timidity,
and supposing their new visitors to be children of the sun,
knelt in adoration. No manifestations of hostility were dis-
played by the red men, but, on the contrary, with signs and
gestures they presently endeavored to indicate a cordial wel-
come to the mysterious strangers.t Columbus then exhibited
to them tokens of pacific intentions, and presented them
with glass beads an(l other trifling gew-gaws, with which they
were delighted; and soon the two parties iningled with each
other in the confidence of social friendship. Such was the
first interview between the- people of the two hemispheres;
and would to God, that the white man, from that hour to
the present, could bury the injuries of the Indian in eternal
  Before I proceed farther with the remarks, which, on this
occasion, I intend ofibring to your consideration, it may be
well to disclose to You ihe topics on which it is my purpose
chiefly to dwell. It is not nay design to confine my observa-
tions exclusively to any particular subject, but I shall attempt
to sketch some of the most important and interesting inci-
dents in the history of the discovery and primitive settlement
of the New World. and especially of the MIississipfi Valley.
In doing this I shall ailn to illustrate that whatevet of injury
the white inan has received from the Indian, has been the re-
sult of the cruel aggiressisons of the former upon the latter in
the earls intercourse of the two races; and that, therefore,
the responsibility of all the horrid butcheries of each other,
which have been so often witnessed on this continent, rests
upon the conscience of the white man. I shall also, as I
progress, remark upon the character and motives of some of
the leading personages identified with that history, and shall
intersperse the whole with such general observations relative
to the rise, character and prospects of the Mississippi Valley,
as may seeni to me useful and interesting. As mutual imi-
provement and instnuction are among the paramount objects
of our society, an examination of the foregoing topics, ap-
pears to me, to comne within the legitimate scope of the task
you have d(one me the honor to confide to my performance.
  Wre have seen that the first interview between the white

t lb. 56. Irving's Columbus, vol. 1., p. 103, new ed

.Rob. Am., p. 55.


and red men, on this Hemisphere, was pacific and friendly,
and especially so on the part of the latter. In that interview
however, Columbus did every thing in his powter to inspire
the natives of the New World with sentiments of awe for
his character, and a sense of their own inferiority. Nor did
lie hesitate to overreach their ignorance by giving them in ex-
change for their gems and precious inetals, useless toys and
valueless baubles. Observing that most of his new acquaint-
ances wore small plates of gold pendant from their nostrils,
Columbus eagerly interrogated them  as to the place whence
they were acquired. They directed his attention to the south,
where, by signs, they gave him to understand, gold abounded.
This intelligence fired his imagination with the hope of soon
reaching a region of exceeding opulence, and thither he im-
mediately resolved to direct his course. Ere he departed
he gave to the place of his landing the name of "San Salva-
dor, now known as one of the Lucayo or Bahama islands,
and proclaimned himself admiral and viceroy. Taking with
him seven of the deluded natives, lie set sail for his anticipat-
ed Eldorado, and in his progress south, saw a number of isl-
ands, at several of which he touched. But finding them to
correspond in all their general characteristics with his first
landing place, and their inhabitants possessing the same
firiendly dispositions with those of San Salvador, and alike
pointing to the south ill answer to all his ardent inquiries for
gold, his stay at each of them was of short duration. Pur-
suing his golden delusion, his ship, through the carelessness of
his helmsman, struck on a rock, in the night, near the island
of St. Thomas.t

          "Her giant bulk the dread concussion feels,
          "And quivering with the wound, in torment reels.
          "At length asunder torn, her frame divides,
          "And crushing, spreads in ruin o'er the tides."t

The sea being smooth, the crew were safely. rescued by the
boats of the Nigna, one of the accompanying vessels. In
this season of calamity, the natives of tne island, instead of
taking advantage of the misfortunes of the Spaniards, speedi-
ly repaired to their assistance, and lamented their distress
with "4tears of sincere condolence."Il Through the instru-
mentality of this benevolent interference, every thing of value
was saved from the wreck.

  Rob. Amer., p. 56. Irving's Columbwi, vol. 1., p. 138, new ed. tlb. p. 59. tFal
roner's Shipwreck. IlRob. Amcr., p.59.


  Columbus now determined to bend his course homeward;
and leaving upon the island thirty-eight of his crew, and tak-
ing with him several of the natives from the different islands
he had discovered, he, on the 16th of January, 1493, unfolded
his canvass to the breeze, on his return voyage.

         "The natives, while the ship departs the land,
         "Ashore with admiration gazing stand;
         "Majestically slow, before the breeze,
         "In silent pomp she marches on the seas."

  Here, on the billowy wave, let me leave the undaunted mar-
iner, (to whom unquestionably belongs the transcendent glory
of being the first discovered of the New  World,t) while I
turn your attention, for a few nmoenwts, to the first discovery
of this continent, and a few of the earliest adventurers to the
American coast.
  The glorious adventure of Columbus is well known to have
been conducted under the -auspices, and sustained by the cof-
fers of the Spanish monarchyl.  Not so the brilliant enter-
prise of the first discoverers of the American continent. For
this we are indebted to the laudable energy, and private re-
sources of a single family-that of John Cabot, a Venitian
merchant, residing at Bristol, England, at which place we
may date the nativity of his celebrated son Sebastian.t
  Under a patent from Henry VII, dated in March, 1496, and
containing many highly exceptionable restrictions and exac-
tions, but conferring power upon the patentees to take pos-
sesion, as subjects of the English crown, of any islands or
continents they might discover, before unknown to christian
peop!e, John and Sebastian Cabot, in a vessel fitted out at
their own expense, joyously emnbarked on a voyage for the
         "O'er the glad waters of the dark blue sea,
         "Their thoughts as boundless and their souls as free,
         "Far as the breeze can bear the billow's foam,
         "Survey their empire and behold their home."t

Attempts have been made to snatch from the father the honor
of having accompanied the expedition; but his claim is estab-
lished by the most satisfactory authority.
  The son was a youth of transcendent powers, possessing a
rare combination of every qualification that seemed requisite

  Falconer's Shipwreck. tBancroft's U. S., p. 7. lBancroftrs U. S. p. 8 and 12.
Commencement of Byron's Corsair, slightly altered. 9Bancroft's U. S., p. 10.



for a bold and successful navigator. His uno' tentatious be-
nevolence and captivating courtesy, appeared to be equaled
only by his unwonted valor and gigantic wisdom. To such
a mind, the dazzling achievement of Columbus could not have
been revealed in vain.  The path of renown lay open be-
fore him, and it required not the spear of Ithuriel to direct
him to its goal.
  On the 24th of June 1497, therefore, he and his father
found themselves on the coast of Labrador, whose barren
cliffs and dismal glens, gave them ample assurance that a new
continent lay, in its rude majesty, befbre them. It was the
continent of North America; and it had never before been vis-
ited by a white man!
  Welcomed here by nothing but polar bears, Esquimaux In-
dians, and sterile promontories, the intrepid adventurers could
perceive no inducements for a protracted stay, and they con-
sequently, without delay, set sail for the purpose of bearing
the glad tidings of their discovery to their friends, kindred
and king. The noble ship glided gaily on her homeward ca-
reer, and
         "Where'er she moved, the vassal waves were seen,
         "To yield obsequious, and confess their queen."

  Thus the banners of Spain first floated over the islands of
the new hemisphere, and those of England over the cliffs of
the new continent.
  The discovery of the Cabots was effected about fourteen
months anterior to the memorable era, when Columbus, on
his third voyage, hailed the main land-and nearly two years
before Americus Vespucci sailed west of the Canaries.t Is
it not, therefore, truly remarkable, that this latter personage
should have had the courage and address to identify his name
with that of the New World, when the immortality undoubt-
edly belongs to either of the others in preference, but especi-
ally to Columbus
  The success of these voyages having spread with the rapid-
ity of the lightning's flash throughout the whole of Europe,
most of the Christian nations became ambitious to perform
something on the field of discovery that would redound to
their power and glory. With this view, the king of Portugal
took pride and pleasure in patronizing an expedition to the
New World, which, in the year 1500, embarked under the
command of Gaspar Cortereal. Having reached the shores

Falconer's Shipwreck.

tBancroft's United States, pago 11



of North America, Cortereal ranged the coast for a distance
of six or seven hundred miles, making strict scrutiny of the
country and its inhabitants. Hie attained a point as far north
as the fiftieth degree. A portion of the country along which
he passed, challenged his admiration for its luxuriant display
of fresh verdure and floweriyg forests. Previous to his depar-
ture, with a heart alike rapacious of avarice and indifferent to
cruelty and crime, he freighted his vessel with fifty of the
innocent natives, whom, on his return he basely sold to slave-
ry. His avaricious propensities being highly gratified by this
profitable trafic in human flesh, he soon determined upon an-
other voyage. From this expedition, however, he never re-
turned. Retributive justice seemed to have overtaken him
at the very culmination of his crime. During a combat with
the natives, whom he was attempting to kidnap, he fell a vic-
tim to their just vengeance. And this, "perhaps, is the only
permanent trace of Portuguese adventure within the limits
of North America."t
  Exaggerated reports of the beauty and fertility of the
American soil, and of the rich mineral treasures contained
within its bosom, having now become widely disseminated,
numerous adventurers, from the different European states,
entered the field of competition for the wealth of the new
  The French were among those who essayed with alacrity
upon this new theater of glory. So early as the year 1505,
the fisheries of Newfoundland were known to the rugged
mariners of Brittany and Normandy ;t and in 1506, a map of
the gulf of St. Lawrence, was drawn by John Denys, a na-
tive of Rouen. Two years afterwards Thomas Aubert, from
Dieppe, made an expedition to the country now denominated
Lower Canada, and, on his return to France, carried with him
a number of the Aboriginals.ll A few years subsequently to
this period, a celebrated Florentine, John Varrazani, under
the patronage of Francis firstlikewise embarked for the West.
He landed on the coast of North Carolina, near the present
site of Wilmington. As he approached the shore, his eyes
dilated with gladness at the beauty and richness of its groves:
Shrubs and flowers redolent with exquisite odors, yielded
their perfumes in grateful profusion: Flora seemed to
be abroad with all her blandishments! Hummingbirds, in
their gaudiest plumage, buzzed near his vessel's prow, and
amid the trees, at a distance, was heard the cooing of the
1Ban. U.S. p. 16  tDarby's 1-. S. p. 17.  lar. 9L ., p.1(  i.  Par. U.S., p. 17. 4n 15-'24,


1 1

forest-dove.  These fired his imagination with delightful an-
ticipations of a new Eden, and seemed to afford him felicitous
tokens of a cordial welcome. The natives, in great numbers,
pressed forward to meet hin with friendly salutations-and a
    sailor, who had been nearly drowned, aas resuscitated
by their courtesy and kiniclness.  They had not yet learned
to fear and hate the strangers; and therefore met them with
their native hospitality. Yet these voyagers, ere they depart-
ed, with fiendish rapacity, robbed one of the Indian mothers of
her child, and attempted to kidnap a youing woman whose
simplicity and beauty specially attracted their cupidity.
  On another occasion, worthy of particular notice, the hos-
pitality of tie Aboriginals was requited by a kindred, but yet
more scandalous outra(ge. An expedition under the command
of a distinguished Spaniard, Lucas Vasquez de Ayllon, was
fitted outt by a company of seven, for the )purpose of procu-
ring slaves for their plantations at St. Domingo.  Vasquez
directed his vessels to the southern border of South Carolina,
where the natives had not yet learned to dread the chicanery
and merciless avarice of the Europeans. Their home and
firesides had not yet been remorselessly invaded. When they
sunk to repose at night, they did so in the full confidence of
rising with the morning's dawn to pursue their accustomed
avocations. When they wvent forth with the sun, his setting
rays, they did not doubt, would find them securely surround-
ed by their family and friends. It they fled as the ships of
the strangers approached, "it was rather from timid wonder,
than firom a sense of peril.'I The Spaniards, however, had
scarcely landed, ere the natives manifested towards them a
"liberal hospitality." By courteous attentions, gifts of tinsel,
and other devices, the strangers soon succeeded in ingratia-
ting themselves into the confidence of the savages. This ac-
comnplished, the Indians were alluringly invited to visit the
ships, which they cheerfully did in multitudes. Soon as the
decks were filled, the anchors were weighed, and, with de-
moniac exultation, the Spaniards unfurled their sails, and bent
their course to St. Domingo. Alas! what consternation and
wretchedness were now concomitants of the scene. With
hideous lamentations, the natives implored their liberty.
"Husbands were torn from their wives and children from their
parents," and all the endearing ligaments that bind kindred and
friends together, were, by this cruel stratagem, relentlessly
sundered. "Thus," says an excellent historian, "the seeds of

Bancroft's U. S.. p. 18.  tIn 1520. Bancroft's U. S., p. 4.



war were lavishly scattered, where peace only had prevailed,
and enmity was spread through the regions where friendship
had been cherished.'"  The justice of Heaven would not
suffer this deed of wickedness to go unavenged. One of the
returning ships foundered at sea, and with it the guiltless and
the guilty sunk to a conmmon grave; many of the captives in
the other, sickened and died.t But what freeman would not
prefer death to a master's chains
  I shall now pass to the first discovery and settlement of the
Mississippi Valley. This was eflected by Juan Polnce (le LeonI
an aged Spaniard, who in his youth had distinguished himself
in the military service of Spain: and in his riper years, had
the good fortune to be one of the prominent companions of
Columbus, in his second voyage. For his gallantry in the
wars of Hispaniola, he had been rewarded with the govern-
ment of one of the provinces of that island. Subsequently
he was appointed governor of the island of Porto Rico.
Here he amassed great wealth, but his severity and oppres-
sions rendered him detestable to the people; and his connnis-
sion being thought to conflict with the claims of the farmily
of Columbus, policy and justice seemed to require his remo-
val.91 He was accordingly displaced. His ambitious spirit
did not permit this disa-ppointnient to drive him into retire-
m-ent; nor had age yet (quenched his indomitable love for dan-
gerous adventures.  He had heard of a tradition, prevalent
among the natives of Porto Rico, that in one of the Lucayo
islands, there was a fountain of such transcendent virtue
as to renew the youth and renovate the vigor of every
person who should bathe in its stream, or drink of its saluta-
ry waters.1 This tradition, to us so idle and visionary, seems
to have been fully accredited in Spain by the people of every
rank and condition. His mind had also become tinctured
with the mania for gold, which so generally prevailed among
the Spaniards, whose enthusiastic imaginations had pictur-
ed it to lie in profusion upon the surface of the soil, and which,
though undiscovered, they vainly believed was nearly within
their grasp.  Imbued with these fascinating hallucinations,
Ponce de Leon longed to embark in pursuit of those invalua-
ble treasures; and fitting out, at his own expense, a squadron,
of three ships, he set sail from  Porto Rico for his fairy-land
Ranging from island to island without finding any trace
Bancroft's U. 8.,p. 42. tib. tRob.Amer. p. 101.-Flint's Geog., p. 159.-Darby's U.
S., p. 28-.Irving's Companions of Columbus, p. 315. IlBancroft's U. 8.. p. 36. The
island of Bimint. tRob. Am. p. 101. Bancroft's U. S. p. 37. Irving's Companions of
Columbus, page 312.



of his rejuvenating fountain, he directed his course to the
south-west, and, on easter-Sunday, March 27, 1512, dis-
covered land hitherto unknown. The Spaniards call this day
Pascua Florida, in honor of which, and froin the gay and
magnificent appearance of the forests, ws hich were then pro-
fusely decorated with delicate blossoms and ambrosial flow-
ers, the veteran commander gave to the new territory the
name of Florida.4 The Indian name was Cautio.t lie at-
tempted to disembark at several places, but the natives had
learned that the track of the white man was stained with
blood and desolation, and they, therefore, opposed ws itlh vio-
lence, the landing of the strangers.  At length, however,
Ponce de Leon succeeded in making a lodgnientT near
the present site of St. Augustine, and took possession of
the territory in the name of Spain. Here he remained for
several weeks for the purposes of o1)servation, and establish-
ing, a settlement.  But finding the Indians decidedly hostile,
and despairing, with his slender force, of accomplishing all he
had anticipated, lie returned to Porto Rico, leavinig one of his
most intrepid followers to pursue the search for his inmagina-
tive treasures.
  The Spanish monarch was highly gratified at the opening
of this new avenue for the commerce of his subjects, anad con-
ferred on Ponce de Leon the government of Florida, in requi-
tal for its discovery.  The dignity was granted,.however,
upon condition that Iconce should colonize the country over
which lie was appointed to preside. Unavoidable circum-
stances creatingf a considerable delay, it was not until the
year 1521 that lie accomplished his return to the Floridian
coast. Disembarking from his two ships for the purpose of
taking possession of his new province, and of selecting a
site for a colony, his company wXvere assailed, by, the natives,
with invincible fury, and were driven back to their ships with
great slaughter and precil)itation. Ponce de Leon, himself,
was severely wounded by an arrow, and with difficulty was
enabled to reach the island of Culha to (die.11 Thus ended the
ambitious discoverer of the Mississippi Valley. How illuso-
ry and vain were his dreams of per)Ctual y outh, and inmmea-
surable wealth!
  During the interval betws een the two voyages of Ponce de
Leon, several other adventurers succeeded in descrying land
and touching at ditlerent points in the regions of the Gulf
  Bob. Amer., p. 101. Ban. U. S., p. 37. Darby's U. S., p. 28. Flint's Geography,
p.159, new ed. tirving's voyages and discoveries of Com. of Columbus, page 316. tOn
April 2, 1512.  Illrving's Voy. and Dis. of Com. of Columbus, p. 321.  Ban. U. S. p. 39.



of Florida and Mexico; but without any important results.
And in the year 1513, the momentous discovery of that por-
tion of the Southern or Pacific ocean, which forms the gulf
of St. Michael, was accomplished by the celebrated Balboa,
whose remarkable perseverance, bravery and toil, in crossing
the isthmus of I)arien, in furtherance of that discovery, are
well knownm, and have never failed to excite universal com-
  But let us turn to the adventure of Pamphilo de Narva-
ez, whose expedition to Floridat with permission of the
Spanish monarch to invade that territory, forms the next
interesting page in the history of the Mississippi Valley.
This adventurer, though not remarkable for either virtue
or talents, is somewhat distiniguished for the ludicrous re-
sult of his attempt to make a prisoner of the renowned
Cortes. Sent for that especial purpose by the governor of
Cuba, Narvaez himself, fell an easy prey to the conqueror of
Mexico. When brought before the man he had boastingly
promised to capture, lhe remarked to him, "esteem it great
good fortune that you have taken me captive." Cortes re-
plied with cutting indiflerence, "It is the least of the things
I have done in Mexico. +
  The present expedition of Narvaez was as replete with dis-
appointment as his essay against Cortes. Its disasters rend-
er it alike interesting and memorable. He landed with his
party near the bay of Apalachee, and in eager search for the
precious mnetals, immediately struck into the interior. Wan-
dering through the forests, without any definite knowledge
where they were or whither they were going, they blindly
followed the directions of the natives, who, with sagacious
caution, in order to rid themselves of danger, adroitly repre-
sented the distant territory as abounding in gold. Thither
the Spaniards bent their course, with hearts gladdened at the
prospect of accumulating amazing riches. Alas! how tran-
sitory the delightful anticipation! And, 0, God! how melan-
choly thy inscrutable dispensation! Soon the gnawings of
famine and the ravages of pestilence thinned their ranks; the
want of concert with the ships, and the errors of judgment
in the commander, contributed to melt away their now ema-
ciated numbers; and the hostility of the natives found no dif-
ficulty in acceleratingtr the work of desolation. After ram-
bling about in forlorn wretchedness for seven or eight hun-
dred miles, the miserable remnant of this unfortunate expedi-
eRob. America, p. 103. Irving's Corn. of Columbus, p. 184.  tin 1526.  tBancroft's
U. B., p. 44.



tion finally succeeded in again reaching the coast near the bay
of Pensacola, then called Ochus. "Here they, manufactured
rude boats, in which none but desperate men wvould have em-
barked; and Narvaez, and most of his remaining companions,
after having passed nearly six months in Florida, perished in a
storm, near the mouth of the iMississirpi.'  Of. three hun-
dred robust men, who composed the expedition, onl- four or
five succeeded in returning to their liOhiis; and these, with
romantic exagtggerations published an account of their adven-
tures, in which they perfidiously persisted in representing the
country they had visited, as the richest and most beautiful in
the world.
  To their tales of marvel, no one, perhaps, gave a more fa-
tal and credulous ear, than Ferdinand de Soto, a native of
Xeres. This individual had been a prominent and successful
actor in the conquest of Peru; and had, in that achievement,
not only the good fortune of becoming the favorite of Pizarro,
but of acquiring, by his discretion and valor, an enviable por-
tion of affluence and renown. On his return to Spain fironm
his Peruvian triumphs, his reception wras such aswould indi-
cate the progress of an inlperial conqueror.  Loaded with
riches and honors, he was the favorite of the great, the learn-
ed and the gay, and all classes bowed to him. in humble deler-
  In addition to the universal belief in the existence of great
mineral wealth in Florida, there was a very general impres-
sion among the Spaniards, that in the interior of that region,
there lay concealed gorgeous palaces and extensive cities, out-
stripping in magnificence and opulence, any of which they
had before heardl.t These romn-antic visions were not too clhi-
merical for the credulity of the chivalrous Soto; but, on the
contrary, yielding to them a ready acquiescence, his ima-
gination became kindled with such schemes of glory, as he
confidently believed, would elevate his faine much beyond
its already dazzling altitude. Not even the aspirations of
Alexander could have been more extravarant than were those
of our hero.  Thrones, kingdoms, and masses of gold, his
feverish fancy pictured to be awvaiting him in the -New World,
as a portion of his destiny.
  Flushed with these delusive conceptions, he repaired to
Charles V, from  whom he solicited permission to conquer
Florida at his own expense.
  At this early period, the whole of the Atlantic coast, in

-Bancroft'I U. S., page45. tBancroft's U. S. page 47.



America, was known only by the names of Newfoundland,
and Florida; and the entire south-western portion of it was
designated by the latter term, in which was included the
interior territory to an indefinite extent. Kentucky and
Ohio, therefore, at that time, formed a part of Florida.
  The request of so distinguished a commander as Soto, was
rea(lilv granted by the Sl)anish monarch, and the government
of the island of Cutiba, with absolute powers over the im-
mense country beleore referred to, was accordingly conceded
to his char-eJt So brilliant were the prospects of the enter-
prise, that thousands flocked to the newv governor, anxiously
desiring permission to enroll themselves under his banner, as
volunteers. Anmong these were men of high distinction, no-
ble birth, and rich inheritance. From the multitude who pre-
sented themselves, Soto selected for his companions, six hun-
dred in the primne of manhood, and full of enthusiastic ardor
for the adventure.
  The fleet set sail amid the joyous acclamations of the cheer-
filu party, and as the land faded in the distance, the eves of
Soto were intently turned towards his happy home. Though
his imagination glowed with pleasurable anticipations, yet, at
this juncture, he could not repress an unwelcome sigh, which
seemed to escape from his bosom with prophetic sadness, and
whisper in his ear something of evil. A slight cloud, for an
instant, threw a shade of gloom over his countenance.

         "'Farewell! my Spain, a long farewell,' he cried,
           4 Perhaps I may revisit thee no more,
           'But die, as many an exiled heart liath died,
           " 'Of its own thirst to see again thy shore.' "  

But quickly rousing himself from this uncongenial fancy, he
again participated in the general gaiety. Propitious gales
soon wafted his ships to Cuba. Here he was welcomed with
luxurious festivals and protracted rejoicings.
  At length, everv thing being in readiness, the expedition
weighed anchor, and in a lortnightll arrived in safety at the
destined harbor. Transported with joy, the whole party
speedily disembarked, and stood on the shores of Florida. As
if in welcome of their landing, the redolent breath of the
wild flowers seemed to lavish upon the air its delicious per-
fumeand they inhaled its sweetness in grateful ecstacies. The
horses, of which there were nearly three hundred, appeared
Darby's UJ.S., p. 17, note, and p. 28. tBan. U. S. p. 48. JlDon