Narrative of Le Moyne

time La Croix the other leader, also armed, and with fifteen men, entered the lodging of M. d’Ottigny, whom, however, they did not otherwise injure than to take away his arms, and forbid him, on pain of death, from leaving the house until daylight; which order he promised to obey. The same was done by Stephen the Genoese at the lodgings of the ensign, M. d’Arlac, who was obliged to take a similar oath. At the same time Capt. Seignore, with the rest of the soldiers who had joined the conspiracy, came to Capt. La Caille*s, intending to kill him because he had openly opposed their undertaking after they had informed him of it ; but, though they sought everywhere, they could neither find him nor his two brothers. They, however, carried away all their arms, as they also did mine ; and an order was given that I should be carried a prisoner to the soldiers’ quarters. At the intercession, however,of several gentlemen of high character, who, without any clear understanding of the affair, had been induced by others to go into it, my weapons were restored to me, on condition, however, that I should not leave the house until daylight ; which I promised. He then went to the quarters of those soldiers who had not joined, and took possession of their arms ; and thus the control of affairs was completely secured.

M. de Laudonniere being confined in chains as above related, his Lieutenant d’Ottigny, and his Ensign d’Arlac being disarmed and confined at home, Capt. La Caille being a wanderer among the wild beasts in the woods, and the rest of the true men being disarmed, the conspirators proceeded to upset the whole constitution of affairs, abusing, however, the name and authority of M. de Laudonniere, for the easier attaining of their objects. De Fourneaux, the chief of the conspiracy, caused a diploma or license to be drawn out on parchment, in the name of M. de Laudonniere, in which, as lieutenant of the king of France, he authorized the greater part of his force, in consequence of the scarcity of provisions, to proceed to New Spain to obtain supplies, and requesting all governors, captains, and others holding any office under the king of Spain, to aid them in this business. This document, which they themselves drafted, they forced M. de Laudonniere to sign. They then fitted out the two shallops that were before mentioned, taking the requisite armament and provisions from the king’s stores, and selected the pilots and crews for the voyage to New Spain. They made the old man Michael Le Vasseur of Dieppe pilot of one, appointing to the other one Trenchant ; and, thus prepared, they set sail from Carolina on the 8th December, calling us cowards and green hands, and threatening that if, on their return from New Spain with the wealth they proposed to acquire, we should refuse to admit them into the fort, they would tread us under foot.

But, while these are in the pursuit of wealth by piracy, let us return to La Roche Ferriere, who, having reached the mountains, succeeded by prudence and assiduity in placing himself on a friendly footing with the three chiefs before mentioned, the most bitter enemies of King Outina. He was astonished at their civilization and opulence, and sent to M. de Laudonniere at the fort many gifts which they bestowed upon him. Among these were circular plates of gold and silver as large as a moderate-sized platter, such as they are accustomed to wear to protect the back and breast in war ; much gold alloyed with brass, and silver not thoroughly smelted. He sent also some quivers covered with very choice skins, with golden heads to all the arrows ; and many pieces of a stuff made of feathers, and most skilfully ornamented with rushes of different colors ; also green and blue stones, which some thought to be emeralds and sapphires, in the form of wedges, and which they used instead of axes, for cutting wood. M. de Laudonnifere sent in return such commodities as he had, such as some thick rough cloths, a few axes and saws, and other cheap Parisian goods, with which they were perfectly satisfied.

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  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 […]