RCC Honors History Project

Hernando de Soto and his slave Gomez

Posted by creyes24 on October 1, 2009

llegas; and there was also left a slave belonging to Don Carlos, a Berber, well versed in Spanish; and also Gomez, a negro belonging to Vasco Gonzalez who spoke good Spanish. That Rodriquez was the first, and the rest deserted further on from Xalaque. The next day they passed the night in an oak grove, and the day following along a large stream, which they crossed many times. The next day messengers of peace appeared and they arrived early at Guasili, and they gave them many tamemes, many little dogs and corn; and since this was a fine stopping place, the soldiers afterwards in throwing dice called out ” the house of Guasuli,” or, a good throw.

Monday, which was the last day of May, the Governor left Guasili and came with his army to an oak wood along the river; and the next day they crossed by Canasoga, and at night they slept in the open country. Wednesday they slept near a swamp, and that day they ate an enormous amount of mulberries. The next day, Thursday, they went along a large stream near the river which they had crossed in the plain where the woman chief went off. It was now very large. The next day, Friday, they came to a pine wood on the stream, where appeared peaceful Indians fom Chiaha and brought corn. The next day, Saturday, in the morning the Spaniards crossed one arm of the river, which was very broad, and went into Chiaha, which is on an island in the same river.

It was Saturday, the 5th of June, that they entered Chiaha,8 and since all the way from Xuala had been mountainous and the horses were tired and thin, and the Christians were also themselves worn out, it seemed best to tarry there and rest themselves; and they were given an abundance of corn, of which there was plenty of good quality, and they were also given an abundance of corn cakes,9 and no end of oil from walnuts and acorns, which they knew how to extract very well,10 which was very good and contributed much to their diet. Yet some say that the oil from nuts produces flatulence.

This is just an exert from the narrative of Heranando de Soto’s exploration of the Southeast.  If you’d like to read more go to:

http://books.google.com/books?id=x4dJAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA106&dq=gomez,+a+negro+belonging+to+vasco+Gonzalez+who+spoke+good+spanis.&lr=#v=onepage&q=&f=false

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