Posted 9/15/2020 22:27 (#8498086 - in reply to #8497854) Subject: RE: De Soto's conquest history
This is a quote I read that pretty much says they where there too pillage and loot looking for gold causing as much confusion and distrust as they could among the different tribes. This is in the Rangel accounts for Alabama.
The historian asked a well-informed gentleman who found himself present with this Governor and who went with him all through that northern land, why, in each place that this Governor and his army arrived, they asked for those tamemes or burden-bearing Indians, and why they took so many women, and these not old nor the most ugly; and after giving them what they had, why they detained the caciques and principal Indians, and why, where they went, they never halted or settled anywhere; saying that was neither to populate nor to conquer, but rather to disturb and devastate the land and take away the liberty of all the natives, and not to convert or make one Indian a Christian or a friend. He responded and said: that they took those burden-bearing Indians or tamemes in order to have more slaves and servants, and to carry their supplies, and whatever they stole or what they gave them; and that some died and others fled or weakened, and thus they had need to renew and take more; and that they wanted the women also in order to make use of them and for their lewdness and lust, and that they baptized them more for their carnal intercourse than to instruct them in the faith; and that if they detained the caciques and principal Indians, this was advisable so that the others, their subjects, would be quiet and not obstruct their thefts and prevent what they might wish to do in their land. As to where they were going, neither the Governor nor they knew, except that his intent was to find some land so rich that it might sate his greed, and to find out about the great secrets that the Governor said that he had heard about those places, according to many reports that had been given to him. And that as regards disturbing the land and not settling it, nothing else could be done until they came upon a site that would satisfy them. Oh, lost people; oh, diabolical greed; oh, bad conscience; oh, unfortunate soldiers; how you did not understand in how much danger you walked, and how wasted your lives and without tranquility your souls! Why did you not remember that truth that the glorious St. Augustine, deploring of the present misery of this life, says: "This life is a life of misery, decrepit and uncertain, a toilsome and unclean life, a life, my Lord, of evils, queen of the proud, filled with miseries and with dread; this is not life, nor can it be called that, but rather death, since in a moment it is finished by various mutations and diverse kinds of death"? Listen well, Catholic reader, and do not lament any less the conquered Indians than their Christian conquerors, or killers of themselves and of those others, and attend to the incidents of this ill-governed Governor, instructed in the school of Pedrarias de Avila, in the dissipation and devastation of the Indians of Castilla de Oro, graduate in the killing of the natives of Nicaragua and canonized in Peru, according to the Order of the Pizarros. And freed from all those hellish passages, and having gone to Spain loaded with gold, neither as a bachelor nor a married man could he rest, nor did he know how to, without returning to the Indies to spill human blood, not content with that already spilled, and to depart this life in the manner that farther on will be related; and giving cause for so many sinners, deceived by his vain words, to be lost with him. See how much more he wanted than what that queen or cacica of Cofitachequi, lady of Talimeco, offered him, where she told him that in that place of hers he would find so many pearls that all the horses of his army would not be able to carry them; and receiving him with such humanity, see how he treated her. Let us go on, and do not forget this truth that you have read, how in proof of how many pearls she offered him, this Governor and his people now carried eight or nine arrobas of pearls, and you will see what enjoyment they got of them in what follows.