xt7t4b2x4465 https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7t4b2x4465/data/mets.xml Milburn, William Henry, 1823-1903. 1860  books b92f351m642009 English Derby & Jackson : New York Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Mississippi River Valley --History. The pioneers, preachers, and people of the Mississippi Valley. text The pioneers, preachers, and people of the Mississippi Valley. 1860 2009 true xt7t4b2x4465 section xt7t4b2x4465 






derby & jack six s-.v.          

18G0.   . . 
   kg 917.7 M589

Milburn, William Henry, 1823-The pioneers, preachers, and F351 .M64

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year I860, by WILLIAM   HENRY MILBURN, In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, for the Southi District of New York.

Geo. Rubbkll k Co., Printer! 

It is now nearly two and twenty years since my father pitched his tent in Prairie-land. I was then a lad. The broad savannas, clad with flowers; the emerald groves, that seemed like islands of the deep ; the Father of Waters; the Mother of Floods; the Beautiful River; the fierce, ostrich-like Piasau, whose outline on the bluffs of the Mississippi above Alton commemorates the Indian's dread of the terrible being: these soon took a strong hold of my imagination. From that day to this, the West has been to me a land half of dream and half of reality. To read and hear everything connected with its history became a passion.

I have sought in this book to set in order the results of this reading and hearing. It would be almost impossible for me to say what parts came to me from tradition and what from the written page.



Only I must be allowed to mention two books which have been particularly serviceable. The one is the work of my friend, Francis G. Parkman, Esq., the " History of the Conspiracy of Pontiac," one of the most picturesque and vivid books of history that has ever fallen in my way; the second is the work of another of my friends, Albert J. Pickett, Esq., the " History of Alabama," naive as it is entertaining.

I have sought to follow the pilgrimage of the plumed cavaliers of De Soto in their quest of the Great River, and the gold which they fondly hoped was to be found upon its banks; I have floated with Marquette in his bark canoe as he went upon his gentle embassy to the Indians; I have wandered with La Salle as he vainly strove to found a French Empire in the West, and mourned by the Texan grave of one of the most unfortunate but heroic of men; I have sat down with the kindly French in their Paradise of Kaskaskia, and enjoyed the spell of their idyllic life; I have trudged with our own pioneers, as with stout hearts they crossed the Cumberland Gap and entered the Dark and Bloody Ground; I have stood with them at their guns in their blockhouses, have slept on their raw-hide 

beds, and shared their jerked meat and " dodger;" and I have sought to appreciate the development of Saxon sense under the tuition of the wilderness, and to trace the schooling of the mind under the auspices of social life, in application to the needs of self-government. I have travelled the circuit with the first preachers, sat in the congregation as they expounded the doctrines of eternal life, and welcomed them for their works' sake; and last, I have summed up in a few words what has been done, since the acquisition of Louisiana in 1803, in the way of exploration and development, on the other side of the Great River.

To me it has been a pleasant labor; I hope that the reading will be as pleasant.

Brooklyn, February, i860.




DeSoto,......t      .      . 13

LECTURE II. Marquette and La Salle,......67

LECTURE III. The French in Illinois,......127

LECTURE IV. The Red Men and the War of Pontiac,      .      . .163


The Cabin Homes of the Wilderness, at the beginning

of the Revolution, 2  3 
   xu contents.



The Cabin Homes of the Wilderness during the American Revolution,      .      .      .      .      . .251


Sketches of Character and Adventure in the West, to

the Failure of Burr's Expedition, 1806,       .      . 303


Manna in the Wilderness j or, the old Preachers and

their Preaching,        ...... 345

LECTURE IX. Western Mind; its Manifestations, Eloquence and Humor, 389

LECTURE X. The Great Valley; its Past, its Present, and its Future, 429 
   Lecture I. D E SOTO- 


The contrast is most striking between the Spaniard of to-day, and the Spaniard of three hundred years ago. Now, he is indolent, often apathetic, grave, reserved, and whatever his inward capacity of passion or of exertion, an inefficient and idle man. But in those old days, the Spanish race was filled and inspired with a wild and tireless fourfold energy of avarice, religion, ambition and adventure, which swept them round and round the world in a long resistless bloody storm of conquest, conversion and slaughter, gained them their vast colonial realms and wealth, and brought to pass a panorama of achievements, miseries, cruelties and crimes whose very representations, in the antique wood-cuts of De Bry, are horrible to look upon. Governor Galvano quaintly says, sj>eaking of the craze which fell upon Spain in consequence of the early American discoveries, that they " were ready to leap into the sea to swim, if it had been possible, into those new-found parts."

There is no stronger or stranger exemplification of

the steady obstinacy with which this insane chase

:   : :\ie.: 

pioneers, pkeachers and people

after riches and glory was pursued than the long chapter of disastrous Spanish inroads upon the territory of the southern half of the United States, then called Florida, which took place between 1512 and the foundation of St. Augustine in 1565.

The earliest European name associated with the southern coast of the United States is that of Juan Ponce de Leon, a brave old warrior, whose early manhood had been passed in hunting the Moors from Granada and in acquiring that inflexibility of purpose and hardiness of character, which enabled him to play his distinguished part as a conqueror in the New World. Sailing with Columbus on his second voyage, spending most of his remaining life in the West Indies, subjugating Porto Pico, where he ruled with an iron sway as governor, superseded in his command, thirsting ever for gold and glory, and yearning for a renewed life in which to enjoy the fruits of his valor, he turned his prow to the northward, in search of the land where the crystal waters of the fountain of youth washed those yellow sands of price, the discovery and possession of which would give the happy voyager the realization of the twin dream of Alchemy   gold arid immortality. Fables were the faith of the time. Why not ? Could credulity cherish a wilder phantasy than the Genoese mariner's ? Yet this had been fulfilled. Might not De Leon's,too ?  So the stout old cavalier took his

   of the mississippi.


way to the north. Aged Indians had told him that in that direction lay the objects of his search. His many fights had left him full of wounds and scars ; age was bending his manly form, weakness was creeping on apace. No matter, for the Fountain shall give him immortal youth, and with it, health and beauty.

Land was made Palm Sunday   Pascua Florida    1512, near St. Augustine. Beautiful enough for the shore of the Immortals was this which now rose before his eyes, covered with rich greensward, dappled with flowers of unnumbered dyes, overshadowed by giant trees clad with summer leaves, glorious with a rainbow garniture of tropic blossoms, over which hung long pendulous veils as if of silver tissue   spectral veils like Mokanna's, hiding the hideous face of the swamp miasma   veils which a sad experience has taught men now to call the " Curtains of Death." Softly came the land breeze freighted with the breath of flowers, upon that triumphal Sabbath morning, and it came   so thought the Spaniard   straight from that fabled spring, and with the fever of excitement in his veins, and the throb of rapture at his heart, " Florida," he cried, " is it not the land of flowers!" In honor of the festival, and in honor of the blossom-clad coast, he named a name which it bears to this day.

But alas for the hopes of Ponce de Leon !  It was 
   18 pioneers, peeachers and people

no morning land of immortality to him, save as the name he bestowed preserves for us and after-times the dim shadow of his antique renown. Upon his second voyage, a poisonous arrow from an Indian's bow brought him his message of doom. Hastening to Cuba, he breathed his last, leaving his Flower-land a fatal legacy to Spain for many a sad year to come.

In those old days of S|>anish rule, there was but one step from the Quixotic to the Satanic, and that step was taken by Vasquez De Ayllon, the next adventurer whose keels furrowed the waves of our coast. This monster came for slaves to work the mines of the "West Indies, where the atrocities of the Spaniards had in less than thirty years well-nigh exterminated a numerous and happy people.

Reaching the coast of South Carolina, De Ayllon entered a river, called, in honor of the captain who discovered it, the Jordan; known to us by its Indian name, the Cumbahee. Landing on a pleasant shore, which the natives called Chicora   Mocking-bird    they were hospitably welcomed and entertained. But the Christian white man's return for the red heathen's courtesy was betrayal, outrage, and death. Having laid in his supplies, De Ayllon invited the Indians aboard his vessels; an invitation gladly accepted by the unsuspecting red men. While crowds of them were below, the hatches were closed, 
   of tile mississippi.


nil sail made, and away over the blue waters sped the winged monsters with their prey. But did not that wild, despairing cry from ship and shore, of husbands and wives, parents and children, thus ruthlessly torn from each other, reach the ear of God ? He heard and he avenged. One of the ships foundered, and all on board perished. The remaining Indians refused food, and thus died. The aborigines of this country could not be reduced to slavery.

Again De Ayllon came with three vessels and many men to conquer Chicora. The natives masked their purpose of revenge, received him kindly, lulled his suspicions into fatal security, and he dreamed the goodly land already his own. They made a great feast for their guests some leagues in the interior. Two hundred of De Ayllon's men attended   he with a small party remaining to guard the ships. Three days the banquet lasted. The third night the Indians arose and 6mote their treacherous invaders and slew them, so that not one of the two hundred was left to tell the terrible tale to his companions on the beach. But the Indians themselves bore the tidings, for they fell upon the guard, killed some, and wounded others, so that but a handful reached their ships and bore away for St. Domingo. De Ayllon himself seems to have died, either of his wounds, or shame, or both, at the port in Chicora.

A few years later Painphilo de Narvaez, in com 

riONEEKS, peeacheb3 AND people

maud of a splendid armament, undertook the subjugation of Florida. At an earlier date he had been sent by the governor of Cuba to arrest the victorious progress of Hernan Cortez in Mexico. Losing an eye, and failing in the attempt, he was conducted to the presence of Cortez, whom he complimented by informing that he must be a remarkable man, as he had succeeded in vanquishing him. " That," replied the redoubtable conqueror of the Montezumas, "is the least thing I have done in Mexico."

Lauding at Tampa Lay, 12th April, 1528, with four hundred men and forty-five horses, Narvaez immediately dispatched his vessels to Cuba for fresh supplies, paying no regard to the prudent entreaties of the treasurer of the expedition, Alvar Nunez. They soon roused the relentless hostility of the valiant Seminoles by their gratuhws barbarities, and every rood of their toilsome march, through tangled forests and endless quagmires, was rendered doubly difficult by ambuscades and attacks. Inspirited, however, by the stories of some captives, acting as guides, to the effect that in Appalache they would find a fertile province, abounding with gold, the object of their eager quest, they urged their way onward. On reaching the land of promise, Narvaez, who had pictured to himself another Mexico, was bitterly undeceived, finding only a rude village of two hundred and fifty cabins.   They took possession unopposed, 
   of tiie mississippi.


for the inhabitants had fled to the woods. Twenty-five days were passed here; but the army, now more clamorous for bread than for gold, learning that the sea lay nine days' march to the southward, bent its weary steps toward the village of Aute, where, it was said, were plenty of provisions and a harmless people. Their path, however, was beset by yet greater natural obstacles, and by the implacable fury of the savages. At length reaching Aute, not far from the present St. Marks, they found the village burned by the retreating inhabitants, but esteemed the discovery of a plentiful supply of maize, ample compensation.

What was to be done ? Their hopes of conquest and treasure were gone; to remain in the land was impossible; to traverse the shore in search of their ships might be fruitless, and would needlessly expose them to the sleepless ferocity of the Indians. Many of their horses were slain ; so were not a few of their bravest companions.

A day's march brought them to the banks of the river, which widened into a bay. Here they resolved to build them such boats as they might, and in them seek their ships or attempt a return to Cuba. Right vigorously did they ply their work; and at length five frail barks were launched, in each of which on the 20th of September, 1528, were crowded from forty to fifty miserable souls: crowded so that the gunwales 
   22 pioneees, pkeacheks and people

were almost even with the water. Tims along that tropic shore did they hope to coast in the season of storms. Narvaez, remaining one day in one of his boats with a sailor and a sick page as a guard, while his crew went ashore to pillage for food, was driven out to sea by a tempest and never heard of more. The only survivors of this ill-starred expedition were Alvar Nunez and four companions, who, after incredible wanderings along the northern shore of the Gulf of Mexico, westward through Texas to the Rocky Mountains, and thence to Mexico, exposed to every species of hardship and peril   after passing from tribe to tribe of Indians, sometimes starved as slaves, sometimes, we may believe, Avorshipped as demi-gods, in 1537   nearly ten years from the time of their sailing, finally reached Spain.

Such experiences and failures might have caused reflection. The adventurous Spaniards even might have questioned themselves what would be the probable best result even of success. Old Governor Galvano, in his history of the discoveries of the world, says, with rare good sense for that day, "I cannot tell how it commeth to passe, except it be by the iust judgement of God, that of 60 much gold and precious stones as haue been gotten in the Antiles by so manny Spaniards, little or none remaineth, but the most part is spent and consumed, and no good thing done." It seems as if these chivalrous aspirants for wealth and 
   of the mississippi.


glory must Lave observed the same. And if not, still the sad fate of the jnoneers in Florida, one would think, were enough to dishearten and deter any who might thereafter dream of its exploration and conquest. Not so.

A little before this time, in 1537, there had appeared at the court of Charles Y. a renowned captain, adorned with laurels from the conquest of Peru, and enriched by 180,000 golden crowns, his share of the plundered treasure of Atahualpa. A gentleman by four descents, and therefore entitled to membership of the uoble order of Santiago, he had nevertheless commenced life as a private soldier of fortune; his sword and target his only possessions. And thus far fortune and deeds of prowess had won him great success. His lance was said to have been equal to any ten in the army of Pizarro. In the saddle his match was not to be found. Prudent in counsel as he was brave in the field, he was no less knightly in denouncing what he esteemed the wrong   boldly withstanding his commander to the face, and charging home upon him the wickedness as well as bad policy of the Inca's murder.

He was proud, determined and reserved; as the Portuguese narrator describes him, " a sterne man and of few words; though he was glad to sift and know the opinion of all men, yet after bee had delivered his owne hee would not be contraried." A 
   pioneers,  preachers and people

recently published lac-simile of his signature, a large and strong autograph, as by a powerful hand more used to wield sword and spear than the pen of the writer, corresjionds well with his stately and haughty character. Although not naturally liberal, he was profuse and magnificent in his expenditure in this his first appearance at court, and was attended by a troop of gallant knights who had fought under him in Peru, and had brought back each a fortune from the treasure of the Incas. Luis de Moscoso de Alvarado, John Danusco, and a long list of others, with names equally claiming attention, did their histories come within our design, spent their wealth, acquired in soldierly wise, upon soldier's luxuries, mettled barbs and splendid armor; but Hernando de Soto surpassed in magnificence all the courtiers of the Emperor. Only five and thirty years of age, tall, handsome, commanding in presence and action, was it marvellous that Donna Isabella de Bobadilla, though the daughter of the very earl under whose banner he had first enlisted in the ranks, one of the fairest ladies of Spain, of one of the proudest and most powerful families, should yield her heart to the irresistible soldier ? So fortune and his merit won him his best   alas, that it was also his latest boon !   a loving, prudent and faithful wife.

And now could he not rest in that pleasant palace at Seville, and buy him cornfields and vineyards and 


olive plantations, and become a great lord ? "With houses and lands and servants, friends and honor, great connections and a good and noble wife, had he not wherewith to be content? But when did the lust of fame or power or gold ever allow a man to be content ? Here they united their spells, and De Soto must find new worlds to conquer. Find them he did    but finding and conquering are two things. So he sought for and obtained the magnificent appointment of captain-general for life of Cuba, Adclantado (civil and military governor) of Florida ; and a marquisate of thirty leagues by fifteen, in any part of the to-be-conquered country. He is to undertake the conquest at his own expense, and to pay to the crown one fifth of the treasure found.

And now comes the wonderful story of Alvar Nunez Cabeca de Vaca, like an additional demoniac spell, to tempt this goodly knight. To be sure, the treasurer of Narvaez brought home no treasure; but he threw out dark hints of the great wealth of the land he had explored, and had indeed intended to apply for the very adelantadoship which De Soto had obtained. In default of this, he asked and received the government of La Plata.

The imagination of De Soto, and of Spain, took new fire.

The triumphs and trophies of Cortez and Pizarro shall be as nothing to his; for what are Mexico and

' 2 

Peru to Florida! Poor Ponce de Leon ! thy fatal legacy hath fallen to another heir!

Florida at that day embraced all the country lying north of Mexico, extending upon its eastern coast from Key "West to the banks of Newfoundland ; so that it embraced what we know as the United States of America. Need we bo sad that it was a woeful heritage to the sons of Spain ? This land was held in reserve for the scions of a nobler stock than Charles V. governed, and for a sublimer civilization than Castile and Arragon were able to bestow upon the world.

In fourteen months the armament is ready to wei"rh anchor. Nine hundred and fiftv men, the best blood and chivalry of Spain, gay young knights thirsting for distinction and wealth, well tried warriors from the fields of Africa and Peru, stout men at arms, halberdiers, cross-bow men and arquebusiers    more have come than the general can take. Men have sold their patrimonial acres to furnish themselves for the campaign. Shall not every such receive a hundred fold? One disposed of 60,000 reals * of rent; one of a town of vassals; Baltasar do Gallegos, of " houses, and vineyards, and rent corne, and ninetie rankes of Olive trees in the Xarafe of Siuil."   The usual difficulty in fitting out an expedi-

* Real, the Spanish silver coin, worth an eighth of a dollar. 


tion to well-known and rich countries was to find men. De Soto, bound to an unknown wilderness, was unable to find vessels for the multitude of volunteers, and many of those who had sold their estates for the sake of joining him, unable to find room on board the fleet, were forced to stay behind.

Amid the braying of trumpets and the roar of artillery, the vivas of the beholders and the shouts of the campaigners, the fleet of ten sail left the port of San Lucar de Barrameda, April 6th, 1538. They reached Cuba about the last of May, and here De Soto spent a year in organizing the government, and making preparations for his enterprise.

Cuba was noted for its noble breed of horses, wherewith our gay cavaliers supplied themselves amply; and by way of putting themselves in trim for the work before them, spent much time in tournaments and bull-fights. The inhabitants of the island, well-nigh crazed by excitement and the brave show, flocked in throngs to the standard of De Soto. At their head was Don Yasco Porcallo de Figueroa, a doughty old warrior who had seen much severe service in many parts of the world, and had now settled down as a wealthy proprietor in the Queen of the Antilles. As the horse smelleth the battle from afar, so did this veteran. To show him clue honor, the Adelantado appointed him his lieutenant general.

The Portuguese narrator states that Don Yasco's 

object was not glory, but Indians; whom he desired to obtain in order to supply the places of those whom toil and cruelty had slain in his mines and upon his estates in Cuba. This purpose seems, at least, consonant with the character of a Spanish Cuban proprietor; and that his treatment of his slaves was such as to require reinforcements to their numbers, may appear from a quaint old story of his steward. This steward, it seems, discovered that certain of the Indian slaves, as was the sad custom of their race, had agreed to meet at an appointed place and kill themselves, to escape from their tormenting taskmasters. So he repaired with a cudgel to the rendezvous, and when .the miserable heathen had assembled, suddenly stepped among them and told them that they could neither plan nor do anything which he did not know before ; and that he had now come to kill himself with them, in order that, in the next world, he might treat them worse than in this. The poor wretches believed him, and returned quietly to their labor.

All things were at last settled, and leaving his noble wife Donna Isabel to govern the island, De Soto sailed from Havana, with mirthful pomp, May 18th, 1539. Already Juan de Anasco had made two cruises, to discover an harbor in which to land. A point was selected, and thither the fleet sailed. It consisted of eight large vessels, a caravel, and two 
   of the mississippi.


brigantines, and contained a thousand men, besides .the sailors. "Whitsunday, May 25th, they made a convenient bay on the western or Gulf coast of Florida, which, in honor of the day, was named Espiritu Santo: it is now called Tampa Bay. lSTo sooner had they neared the shore than bale-fires were seen blazing, far as the eye could reach : vast columns of black smoke ascending, in token that the Indians were preparing to receive them. Eight days were taken to sound the bay, and then the debarkation commenced. A slight skirmish, in which the natives were soon dispersed, was all that occurred to impede them.

A march of two leagues brought them to the deserted village of a chief named Hirrihigua, where, on the capture of some of the natives, De Soto was made acquainted with the horrible atrocities practised by his predecessor, Narvaez. That worthy having entered into solemn covenant with the cacique, suddenly became enraged, at what no one could tell, ordered the dogs to be let loose on the mother of Hirrihigua, who was soon torn to pieces, and then commanded the nose of the chief to be cut off. This brutality had implanted in the breast of the Seminole an undying hatred toward the Spaniard. To all of De Soto's overtures he returned at first disdain and then evasion. At this village, the stores for the campaign were landed, and at the gathering of the 


forces a strange medley did the muster show. A thousand knights and soldiers, twelve priests, eight other ecclesiastics, and four monks; workers in wood and iron, miners and assayers; then three hundred and fifty thorough-bred horses, three hundred hogs to stock the country, and packs of bloodhounds to hunt tke natives. There were matchlocks and crossbows, pikes, lances, and swords; one piece of ordnance ; manacles and iron collars for their prisoners ; and a store of baubles, as presents for those whom they might wish to propitiate. Wine, bread, and flour for the mass, were there; and, lastly, cards for gambling   which, by the way, was carried to excess, men often losing the last article they possessed. Stately knights, clad cap-d-pie in burnished armor, bestrode their prancing steeds, while all the commonalty were well protected with breast-plates, bucklers, and helmets. There had been no stint of money to supply all that experience could suggest or that taste could hint as necessaries or luxuries in the enterprise of conquest and colonization.

Rumors having reached the camp that a Spaniard was living in a neighboring village, Baltazar Gal-legos, a dauntless officer, was dispatched at the head of sixty horsemen to secure him for an interpreter and guide. As Baltazar and his troopers were rapidly pushing on, they espied a company of Indians on the verge of a plain.   The Spaniards, 


anxious for a brush with the natives, manoeuvred to attack them ; but all save two fled to the forest. One of these two was wounded ; the other, at whom Alvaro Kioto, one of the boldest troopers, was spurring, danced from side to side, seeking to parry Nieto's thrust with his bow, shouting the while, " Seville, Seville !" hearing which, the trooper cried, " Is your name Juan Ortiz ?" " Yes," was the reply. Reining up his horse, Alvaro caught the other by the arm, raised him to the croup of his saddle, and hurried in triumph to Baltazar.

The story of Ortiz deserves a brief recital. Born at Seville, " of worshipful parentage," he had joined the expedition of JSTarvaez, had returned to Cuba with his vessels, and had accompanied the expedition which, ten years before, had put in at the bay of Espiritu Santo, in search of his commander. It was not long after the departure of that barbarian, and while Hirrihigua was in the agony of his recent wrongs, that, as the expedition was coasting along the shore, a few Indians appeared, pointing to a letter in a cleft reed, evidently left by Narvaez. The Spanirads invited them to bring it aboard. This they refused ; but four of them, entering a canoe, came off as hostages for any of the crew who might go to fetch it. Four of the whites accordingly landed, and were instantly set upon by a crowd of savages who had been concealed in the thicket.   The four 

hostages sprang into the sea, and swam ashore. The crew, anticipating the fate of their companions, and fearing the like for themselves, made sail with all speed. The captives were conveyed to the village, and condemned to be shot, one at a time. Three were thus dealt with, and the fourth, Juan Ortiz, was being led forth, when the wife and daughters of the cacique, touched with compassion at sight of his youth and comeliness, interceded with Hirrihigua, and gained a respite. His life was still a wretched one, softened only by the watchful kindness of the women, who once even rescued him after he had been half burnt alive by order of his implacable captor. At length, through their aid, he succeeded in escaping to the village of Mocoso, a neighboring chief, who treated him as if he had been a brother, and protected him from all danger. Here he had remained ever since, and was now residing; nearly naked, browned, painted, with a headdress of feathers, so that one might not know him from a savage, on an embassy from Mocoso to the camp of De Soto. Great was the joy of the camp at the recovery of Ortiz. The Adelantado received him as a son, gave him all that heart could wish, and thenceforth he became the interpreter of the expedition.

Meanwhile, Lieutenant-General Don Yasco Por-callo, whom we picked up in Cuba, testy and withal vain-glorious, yet longing to distinguish himself, en- 
   of ttie Jiississirri.


treats to be sent in pursuit of Hirrihigua, that he may ferret him out of his swampy fastness, and bring him, friend or prisoner, to camp. Despite monitions, he sets off, dashes forward, and is only arrested by a quagmire, where himself and horse are in imminent jeopardy of being smothered. Conquered by the mire, he returns crestfallen to headquarters, venting curses upon the country, natives and expedition. " May the devil fly away with the country where they have such names!" quoth he. " Let those tight in this accursed place for fame and wealth who will. As for me, I have enough of both to last me. So I will back to Cuba, and let the hot bloods see it out." Thus does Don Yasco Porcallo de Figueroa disappear from this story ; for, at his request, De Soto sent him home. " The prudent man foreseeth the danger, and hidefh himself."

A strong garrison was left to protect the stores, and the march commenced toward the northeast. As they left the coast, the country improved, and their way lay by pleasant cornfields, over grassy plains, and through forests where the eye detected many a tree familiar to them in the sunny groves of dear old Castile. The wild grapes, too, whose clambering vines festooned the branches, were grateful to men who had grown up among vineyards. Fifty leagues brought them, however, to the marge of a morass a league in width, and apparently impassable ;


pioneeks, pkeacheks and people

and hereabouts the natives, although not attacking, had concealed themselves, and were Waiting opportunities for opening the Avar. A pass was at length discovered, and after immense trouble, the army was conveyed across. But here they were effectually checked by deep lagoons and bayous that seemed interminable.

Kecrossing the swamp, in order to find a better line of march for the army, De Soto, who was ever in the van when difficulty pressed or danger threatened, at the head of a picked corps made an extensive tour of observation, and found what he sought. But himself and men were near starving; for three days and nights they had little rest and less food. Supplies must be had, and the army brought up. Calling to him Gonzalo Silvestre, a bold young soldier, " To you," he said, " belongs the best horse, therefore the harder Work. Away, and hold not bridle until you have reached the camp. Bring us what we need and order the forces to join us. Be back by to-morrow night." Without a word Silvestre mounted and spurred away, calling to Juan Lopez, De Soto's page, to follow. Neither of these stout youths was one and twenty. Away over the twilight plain they sped. Fifteen leagues, tired as they and their steeds were, must be ridden that night. If morning found them in the swamp, almost certain death awaited them.   Trusting more to t