The Florida of the Inca

Paperback | January 1, 1981

byGarcilaso De La VegaTranslated byJohn Varner, Jeannette Varner

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Perhaps the most amazing thing of all about Garcilaso de la Vega's epic account of the De Soto expedition is the fact that, although it is easily the first great classic of American history, it had never before received a complete or otherwise adequate English translation in the 346 years which have elapsed since its publication in Spanish. Now the Inca's thrilling narrative comes into its own in the English speaking world.

Hernando de Soto's expedition for the conquest of North America was the most ambitious ever to brave the perils of the New World. Garcilaso tells in remarkably rich detail of the conquistadors' wanderings over half a continent, of the unbelievable vicissitudes which beset them, of the Indians whom they sought to win for King and Church and by whose hands most of them died, of De Soto's death, and of the final pitiful failure of the expedition.

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Perhaps the most amazing thing of all about Garcilaso de la Vega's epic account of the De Soto expedition is the fact that, although it is easily the first great classic of American history, it had never before received a complete or otherwise adequate English translation in the 346 years which have elapsed since its publication in Spa...

Born in Cuzco, Peru, the son of a Spanish conquistador and an Incan princess, Garcilaso de la Vega is often considered the first spokesperson for the South American mestizo. Garcilaso spent much of his youth listening to stories of the culture and glories of his mother's civilization and the heroics of his father's conquering comrades....

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:708 pages, 9 × 6 × 2 inPublished:January 1, 1981Publisher:University Of Texas Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0292724349

ISBN - 13:9780292724341

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Table of Contents

PrefaceIntroductionThe Inca’s DedicationThe Inca’s PrefaceThe First Book: Of the History of Florida by the Inca presents a description of the land and the customs of its natives; a record of its first explorer and of those explorers who went there afterward; an account of the people who accompanied Hernando de Soto in his expedition; the strange events that occurred on their voyage, the supplies which the Governor ordered and provided in Havana, and his embarkation for Florida. It contains fifteen Chapters, which are as follows.Chapter I—Hernando de Soto requests permission of Emperor Charles the Fifth to make a conquest of Florida. His Majesty grants him this favorChapter II—A description of Florida and an account of the first, second, and third explorers of that landChapter III—Other explorers who have gone to FloridaChapter IV—Still others who have made the same journey to Florida. The customs and common weapons of the natives of that countryChapter V—Both the writs authorizing the conquest and the great preparations for carrying it forward are made known in SpainChapter VI—The number of men and officers who embarked for FloridaChapter VII—What happened to the armada on the first night of its navigationChapter VIII—The armada arrives at Santiago de Cuba; what happened to the flagship at the entrance to that portChapter IX—A four day naval battle between two ships in the harbor of Santiago de CubaChapter X—A continuation of the incident of the sea fight until its closeChapter XI—The festivities given in honor of the Governor at Santiago de CubaChapter XII—The supplies that the Governor procured in Santiago de Cuba. One notable circumstance concerning the natives of those islandsChapter XIII—The Governor goes to Havana. The preparations which he makes there for the conquestChapter XIV—A ship arrives at Havana with Hernán Ponce, a companion of the GovernorChapter XV—The issues between Hernán Ponce de León and Hernando de Soto. How the Governor embarked for FloridaThe First Part of the Second Book: Of the History of Florida by the Inca treats of the Governor’s arrival in that land and his discovery there of traces of Pámphilo de Narváez; his finding of a Christian captive who describes the tortures and cruelties imposed upon him by the Indians as well as the hospitalities extended him by a certain Indian lord of vassals; the further preparations which the Spaniards made for the expedition and the events that occurred in the first eight provinces they explored; and the extraordinary bravery in both words and deeds of a bold cacique. It contains thirty Chapters, which are as follows.Chapter I—The Governor arrives in Florida and finds traces of Pámphilo de NarváezChapter II—The tortures which an Indian chief inflicted upon a Spaniard who was his slaveChapter III—A continuation of the miserable life of the captive. How he fled from his masterChapter IV—The magnanimity of the Curaca or Cacique Mucozo to whom the captive was entrustedChapter V—The Governor sends for Juan OrtizChapter VI—What happened between Juan Ortiz and the Spaniards who were seeking himChapter VII—The entertainment which the whole army gave Juan Ortiz. How Mucozo came to visit the GovernorChapter VIII—The mother of Mucozo arrives in great anxiety concerning her sonChapter IX—The preparations which were made for the exploration. How the Indians seized a SpaniardChapter X—How the exploration was begun. The entrance of the Spaniards into the interior of the landChapter XI—What happened to the Lieutenant General while on his way to seize a curacaChapter XII—The account which Baltasar de Gallegos sent of what he had discoveredChapter XIII—They fail twice to cross the great swamp. The Governor sets out to search for a passage and finds itChapter XIV—What the two Spaniards experienced on their journey before coming to the campChapter XV—Thirty lancers with a supply of biscuits set out in pursuit of the GovernorChapter XVI—The insolent reply of the lord of the province of AcueraChapter XVII—The Governor arrives at the province of Ocali. What befell him thereChapter XVIII—Other events which occurred in the province of OcaliChapter XIX—The Spaniards construct a bridge and cross the Ocali river. They come to the province of OchileChapter XX—The brother of the Curaca Ochile comes in peace. They send ambassadors to VitachucoChapter XXI—The arrogant and foolish reply of Vitachuco. How his brothers go to persuade him to peaceChapter XXII—Vitachuco comes out in peace. He plans a betrayal of the Spaniards and confides in the interpretersChapter XXIII—Vitachuco commands his captains to conclude the betrayal, and he begs the Governor to come out and review his peopleChapter XXIV—How they seized Vitachuco. The outbreak of the battle which occurred between the Spaniards and the IndiansChapter XXV—The gradual surrender of the conquered Indians, and the constancy of seven of themChapter XXVI—What the Governor did with the three Indians, lords of vassals, and with the Curaca VitachucoChapter XXVII—An objection or counter-view is answeredChapter XXVIII—A foolhardy action which Vitachuco ordained for the purpose of destroying the Spaniards, and which resulted instead in his own deathChapter XXIX—The strange battle which took place between the captive Indians and their mastersChapter XXX—The Governor continues to Osachile. Herein is described the manner in which the Indians of Florida build their townsThe Second Part of the Second Book: Of the History of Florida by the Inca wherein will be seen the many fierce struggles that occurred under difficult circumstances between the Indians and the Spaniards in the great province of Apalache; the hardships the Spaniards suffered in finding the sea; the events and incredible anxieties experienced in the going and coming of thirty cavaliers who returned for Pedro Calderón; and the fierceness of the Indians of Apalache, the capture and strange flight of their Cacique, and the fertility of that great province. It contains twenty-five Chapters, which are as follows.Chapter I—The Spaniards come to the famous province of Apalache. The resistance of the IndiansChapter II—The Spaniards gain the passage to the swamp. The great and fierce struggle which occurred thereinChapter III—The continuous fighting which lasted until the arrival at the principal town of ApalacheChapter IV—Three captains go to explore the province of Apalache. The report which they bringChapter V—The hardships which Juan de Añasco experienced in his effort to find the seaChapter VI—Captain Juan de Añasco arrives at the Bay of Aute. What he found thereChapter VII—Thirty lancers make preparations to return to the Bay of the Holy SpiritChapter VIII—What the thirty cavaliers did before arriving at Vitachuco and what they found thereChapter IX—The journey of the thirty lancers continues to the River of OchileChapter X—The Governor seizes the Curaca of ApalacheChapter XI—The Cacique of Apalache goes by order of the Governor to subdue his IndiansChapter XII—The Cacique of Apalache, being handicapped, flees from the Spaniards on hands and kneesChapter XIII—An account of the journey of the thirty cavaliers until they reach the great swampChapter XIV—The intolerable hardships that the thirty cavaliers experienced in crossing the great swampChapter XV—An account of the journey of the thirty cavaliers until their arrival a half-league from the village of HirrihiguaChapter XVI—The thirty cavaliers come to where Captain Pedro Calderón is. The manner in which they were receivedChapter XVII—The things that Captains Juan de Añasco and Pedro Calderón ordained in fulfillment of what the General had commanded themChapter XVIII—Pedro Calderón sets out with his men. The events of his trip until he comes to the great swampChapter XIX—Pedro Calderón crosses the great swamp and arrives at the swamp of ApalacheChapter XX—Pedro Calderón continues along the way, fighting constantly with the enemyChapter XXI—By persisting in the struggle, Pedro Calderón comes to where the Governor isChapter XXII—Juan de Añasco arrives at Apalache. The provisions the Governor made for finding a port along the coastChapter XXIII—The Governor sends an account of his discovery to Havana. The temerity of an Indian is describedChapter XXIV—Two Indians offer to guide the Spaniards to a place where they may find much gold and silverChapter XXV—Some dangerous fighting which occurred in Apalache. The fertility of that provinceThe Third Book: Of the History of Florida by the Inca tells of the departure of the Spaniards from Apalache; the fine reception offered them in four provinces; the hunger they suffered in some of the uninhabited lands; the infinity of pearls and other grandeurs and riches which they found in a temple; the generosities of the Lady of Cofachiqui and of other caciques, lords of vassals; a very bloody battle which the Indians under the guise of friendship perpetrated upon the Spaniards; a mutiny which certain Castilians discussed; the laws of the Indians against adulteresses; and another very fierce battle which was waged at night. It contains thirty-nine Chapters, which are as follows.Chapter I—The Governor leaves Apalache. There is a battle of seven against sevenChapter II—The Spaniards arrive in Altapaha. The manner in which they were receivedChapter III—The province of Cofa, its Cacique and a piece of artillery which the Spaniards left for him to guardChapter IV—Treats of the Curaca Cofaqui and the great hospitality he offered the Spaniards in his landChapter V—Patofa promises his Curaca vengeance. A strange story is told about what happened to an Indian guideChapter VI—The Governor and his army find themselves in great confusion on seeing that they are lost and without food in some uninhabited landsChapter VII—Four captains go out to explore the land. Patofa inflicts a strange punishment upon an IndianChapter VIII—A special story about the hunger the Spaniards suffered. How they found foodChapter IX—The army comes to a place where there are provisions. Patofa returns home; and Juan de Añasco goes out to explore the landChapter X—The mistress of Cofachiqui comes to talk with the Governor, offering him both provisions and passage for his armyChapter XI—The army crosses the river of Cofachiqui and is quartered in the town. Juan de Añasco is sent to fetch a widowChapter XII—The Indian ambassador destroys himself, and Juan de Añasco continues on his wayChapter XIII—Juan de Añasco returns to the army without the widow. What happened concerning the gold and silver of CofachiquiChapter XIV—The Spaniards visit the burial place of the nobles and later that of the curacas of CofachiquiChapter XV—The splendors found in the temple and burial place of the lords of CofachiquiChapter XVI—The riches of the burial place and the store of arms that was in itChapter XVII—The army leaves Cofachiqui in two sectionsChapter XVIII—What occurred to the three captains on their journey. How the army came to XualaChapter XIX—Some of the great spiritual endowments of the Señora of Cofachiqui are describedChapter XX—Events which occurred in the army until its arrival at Guaxule and at YchiahaChapter XXI—How they extract the pearls from their shells. The report brought by those who went to seek the gold minesChapter XXII—The army leaves Ychiaha and enters Acoste and Coza. The hospitality offered them in these provincesChapter XXIII—The Cacique Coza offers his lands to the Governor to settle and populate. How the army leaves that Curaca’s provinceChapter XXIV—The fierce Curaca Tascaluza, who was almost a giant, and the manner in which he received the GovernorChapter XXV—The Governor arrives in Mauvilla where he finds indications of treasonChapter XXVI—Tascaluza’s council resolves to kill the Spaniards. Herein is told the beginning of the battle which occurredChapter XXVII—The events of the first third of the battle of Mauvila are relatedChapter XXVIII—A continuation of the battle of Mauvila through the second third of itChapter XXIX—The end of the battle of Mauvila and the lamentable condition in which the Spaniards were leftChapter XXX—The efforts that the Spaniards made to aid themselves, and two strange occurrences that took place in the battleChapter XXXI—The number of Indians who died in the battle of MauvilaChapter XXXII—What the Spaniards did after the battle of Mauvila. An insurrection that was discussed among themChapter XXXIII—The Governor makes certain of the insurrection, and alters his plansChapter XXXIV—Two laws that the Indians of Florida observe in regard to adulteressesChapter XXXV—The Spaniards leave Mauvila and enter Chicaza. They construct boats to cross a great riverChapter XXXVI—Our men camp in Chicaza. The Indians inflict upon them a sudden and very cruel nocturnal battleChapter XXXVII—A continuation of the battle of Chicaza until its closeChapter XXXVIII—Notable deeds that occurred in the battle of ChicazaChapter XXXIX—A protection which a Spaniard devised against the cold suffered at ChicazaThe Fourth Book: Of the History of Florida by the Inca treats of the battle at the fort of Alibamo; the death of numerous Spaniards for want of salt; the arrival at Chisca and the crossing of the Great River; the solemn procession made by both the Indians and Spaniards to adore the cross and beseech God’s mercy; the cruel war and pillage between Capaha and Casquin; the Spaniards’ discovery of a means for making salt; the fierceness of the Tulas both in stature and in arms; and the comfortable winter which the Castilians passed in Utiangue. It contains sixteen Chapters, which are as follows.Chapter I—The Spaniards leave the camp at Chicaza and attack the fort of AlibamoChapter II—A continuation of the battle of the fort of Alibamo until its closeChapter III—Many Spaniards die for lack of salt. How they arrive at ChiscaChapter IV—The Spaniards return what they have pillaged to the Curaca Chisca and are happy to be at peace with himChapter V—The Spaniards leave Chisca and construct barges to cross the Great River. They arrive at CasquinChapter VI—A solemn procession of Indians and Spaniards is made to adore the crossChapter VII—Both Indians and Spaniards go against Capaha. The location of this town is describedChapter VIII—The Casquins sack the town and the burial place of Capaha, and then go in search of the Cacique himselfChapter IX—The Casquins flee from the battle and Capaha petitions the Governor for peaceChapter X—The Governor twice supports Casquin and makes the two Curacas friendsChapter XI—The Spaniards send men out to seek salt and gold mines; and they come to QuiguateChapter XII—The army arrives at Colima, discovers a process for making salt and passes on to the province of TulaChapter XIII—The strange fierceness of spirit of the Tulas, and the battles that the Spaniards fought with themChapter XIV—A fight between a Tula Indian and four Spaniards, three of whom were on foot and one on horsebackChapter XV—The Spaniards leave Tula and enter Utiangue where they encamp for the winterChapter XVI—The good winter passed in Utiangue. A treason committed against the SpaniardsThe First Part of the Fifth B

Editorial Reviews

A distinguished and beautiful book, greatly translated.