Narrative of Le Moyne

cate to him a certain matter. All being assembled, M. de Laudonnifere appeared with his second in command, M. d’Ottigny ; and, silence being proclaimed, Capt. La Caille proceeded to speak as follows : —

” Sir, we all, who are here, in the first place protest that we recognize you as the lieutenant of the king, our supreme lord in this province, where our present settlement has been founded in his name ; and that we will obey your orders in this very honorable expedition, even though for his majesty’s sake our lives shall be poured out before you, as you have already known by experiment in the case of great part of those who are here present, among whom are many of noble rank, who to the neglect of their own advantage have followed you as volunteers at their own expense. In the next place, they would now with all due respect remind you, that, before leaving France, pledges were given to each of them that provisions sufficient for one whole year should be brought over, and that additional supplies should be at hand before those were exhausted ; while so far was this from being the case the provisions brought were scarcely one month’s supply.

” The Indians, after a time, began to be slow in bringing in supplies, because they found that most of us had no longer any thing to give for them ; and it is not unknown to you that these savages do not give any thing without getting something for it. When after this they found that no commodities at all were forthcoming from any of us, and when the soldiers undertook to extort supplies from them by blows (as some of them began to do, to the great grief of the wiser among them), they deserted the whole neighborhood ; so that we lost even those sources of supply which we had, and even with the continued aid of which we had nothing better to expect than the extremity of hunger. In order, therefore, to remedy these difficulties, those present most urgently beseech you to cause the third of the ships which brought us from France, now lying in the river, to be repaired and fitted out ; to man her with such persons as you may see fit; and to send her to New Spain, which is not far from this province, to obtain supplies by purchase or otherwise ; not doubting that this measure will relieve us. Or, if any better measures shall be suggested, they are ready to acquiesce in them.” This was the substance of the address at this assembly.

M. de Laudonniere’s reply was brief : that they had no title to require an account from him of his actions ; that, as to supplies, he would provide for them, as he still had several casks full of merchandise which he would put into the common stock in order that they might trade with the Indians for provisions ; that, as to sending to New Spain, he never would do it ; but that instead he would let them take the two shallops that had been begun, for coasting-voyages within two or three hundred miles, by which they would be able to collect provisions enough and to spare. With this reply, the assembly was dismissed.

M. de Laudonniere had been sending out men to explore the remoter parts of the country, more particularly those in the vicinity of the great King Outina, the enemy of our own neighbor, and from whom, by the channel of some of our Frenchmen who had got into relations with him, a good deal of gold and silver had been sent to the fort, as well as pearls, and other valuable articles. But this duty was not allotted to everybody ; and, as those employed on it were supposed to be growing rich very fast, many began to be envious of them ; and, although M. de Laudonniere promised that every thing should be distributed equally to all, many were dissatisfied. For there was one La Roche Ferrifere, who being a talkative person, and pretending to know every thing, had become so influential with M. de Laudonniere, as to be considered by him almost an oracle. I do not deny that he was a man of ability, and eminently useful in establishing this new acquisition of ours, or that it was due to his con-

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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 […]