Narrative of Le Moyne

While all this was taking place, there came to the fort a young gentleman of Poitiers, named De Groutaut, sent by M. La Roche Ferriere, one of whose companions he had always been, even during his expedition to the three kings near the Apalatcy Mountains. He brought word to M. de Laudonnifere, that one of these three chiefs was taken with a great affection for the Christians ; that he was powerful and wealthy, having always on foot a military force of four thousand men ; and that he had requested M. La Roche Ferriere to signify to M. de Laudonniere that he offered to conclude a perpetual league with him ; and that, as he understood that we were searching for gold, he would bind himself by any conditions we might require ; that, if a hundred arquebusiers should be supplied him, he would certainly render them victorious masters of the Apalatcy Mountains. La Roche Ferrifere, knowing nothing of the troubles at the fort, had promised that this should be arranged ; nor is there any doubt that, had we not been so shamefully deserted by the greater part of our men, the experiment would have been tried, on the information of the remarkable liking which this chief had conceived for us. But M. de Laudonniere, considering that if he should send away a hundred men, he would not have force enough left to defend the post, deferred the expedition until re-enforcements should arrive from France ; and at the same time he did not feel entire confidence in the Indians, particularly since the time when he was cautioned on the subject by the Spaniards. It will not be foreign to my purpose to insert here something on this point, taken from the ” History of Florida,” written and published by M. de Laudonniere.

“While” (says he) “the Indians were visiting me, always bringing some gift or other, as fishes, deer, turkeys, leopards, bear’s whelps, and other productions of the country, I, on my part, compensated them with hatchets, knives, glass beads, combs, and mirrors. Two Indians came one day to salute me in the name of their king, Marracon, who lived about forty miles southward from the fort.

They informed me that there was living in the family of King Onachaquara a person called The Bearded; and that there was another with King Mathraca, whose name they did not know, both foreigners. It occurred to me that these men might be Christians ; and I therefore sent notice to all the chiefs in the vicinity, that if they had any Christians in their power, if they would bring them in to me, I would reward them double. Under this inducement, such efforts were made that both the persons referred to were brought to me at the fort. They were naked, and their hair hung down to their hams, in the Indian fashion. They were Spaniards by birth, but had become so accustomed to the manners of the natives that at first our ways seemed to them like those of foreigners. After talking with them I gave them some clothes, and directed their hair to be cut. This was done; but they kept it, putting, it up in cotton cloth, saying that they would carry it back home with them as a testimony of the hardships which they had experienced in India. In the hair of one of them was found hidden a bit of gold, worth about twenty-five crowns, which he gave me. On my inquiring about the countries they had travelled through, and how they had made their way to this province, they replied that about fifteen years before, three ships, aboard one of which they were, had been cast away near Calos, on the rocks called The Martyrs ; that King Calos had saved and kept for himself the greater part of the riches with which these ships were laden ; that such efforts were made that the greater part of the crew were saved, as were many women, of whom three or four were noble ladies, married, and who with their children were still living with this King Calos. On being asked who this king was, they said he was the handsomest and largest Indian of all that region, and an energetic and powerful ruler. They also reported that he possessed a great store of gold and silver, and that he

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3 thoughts on “Narrative of Le Moyne

  1. […] Narrative of Le Moyne (1859 English translation of Le Moyne’s writings about Florida) Learn more about the ancient Native American civilizations of Florida at our sister site, Learn more about Le Moyne and the French explorations in the southeastern U.S. with the following books & videos: […]

  2. […] likelihood that Fontaneda actually visited Fort Caroline. Le Moyne includes in his accounts an episode where he has two Spanish castaways living among the Indians brought to the fort. They stated they […]

  3. […] “All the troops being now on board, a fair wind for an hour or two was all that was needed to bring us up with the enemy ; but just as the anchors were about to be weighed the wind changed, and blew directly against us, exactly from the point where the enemy were, for two whole days and nights, while we waited for it to become fair.” Narrative of Le Moyne […]