BLTC Press Titles


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Paradoxes of the Highest Science

Eliphas Levi


Knowledge of Higher Worlds and its Attainment

Rudolf Steiner


The Bhagavad Gita

Anonymous


The Secret Doctrine, Volume II Anthropogenesis

H. P. Blavatsky


Early history of the Creek Indians and their neighbors

by John Reed Swanton

Excerpt:

The linguistic position of the Tamahita Indians is uncertain, but there is some reason to think that their name will prove to be another synonym for Yuchi. This possibility will be discussed at length when we come to consider the history of that tribe.

THE CUSABO 'History

Little as we know about these people, it is a curious fact that their territory was one of the first in North America on which European settlements were attempted, and these were of historical importance and even celebrity. They were made, moreover, by three different nations, the Spaniards, French, and English.

The first visitors were the Spaniards, who made a landing here in 1521, only eight years after Ponce de Leon's assumed2 discovery of Florida. Accounts of this voyage, more or less complete, have been given by Peter Marytr,1 Gomara,2 Oviedo,3 and Herrera,4 and in more recent times by Navarrete,5 Henry Harrisse," John Gilmary Shea,7 and Woodbury I^owery.8 That of Shea is based largely on original manuscripts, and, as it contains all of the essential facts, I will quote it in full.

'Fontaneda in Col. Doc. Ined., v., p. 539; see pp. 331-333.

• See p. 333.

'The Spanish orthography of this word is retained: it wits pronounced something like lieaga.

In 1520 Lucas Vasquez de Ayllon, one of the auditors of the Island of St. Domingo, though possessed of wealth, honors, and domestic felicity, aspired to the glory of discovering some new land, and making it the seat of a prosperous colony. Having secured the necessary license, he despatched a caravel under the command of Francisco Gordillo, with directions to pail northward through the Bahamas, and thence strike the shore of the continent. Gordillo set out on his exploration, and near the Island of Lucayoneque, one of the Lucayuelos, descried another caravel. His pilot, Alonzo Fernandez Sotil, proceeded toward it in a boat, and soon recognized it as a caravel commanded by a kinsman of his, Pedro de Quexos, fitted out in part, though not avowedly, by Juan Ortiz de Matienzo, an auditor associated with Ayllon in the judiciary. This caravel was returning from an unsuccessful cruise among the Bahamas for Caribs—the object of the expedition being to capture Indians in order to sell them as slaves. On ascertaining the object of Gordillo's voyage, Quexos proposed that they should continue the exploration together. After a sail of eight or nine days, in which they ran little more than a hundred leagues, they reached the coast of the continent at the mouth of a considerable river, to which they gave the name of St. John the Baptist, from the fact that they touched the coast on the day set apart to honor the Precursor of Christ. The year was 1521, and the point reached was, according to the estimate of the explorers, in latitude 33° 30'.

Boats put off from the caravels and landed some twenty men on the shore; and while the ships endeavored to enter the river, these men were surrounded by Indians, whose good-will they gained by presents.

Some dayB later, Gordillo formally took possession of the country in the name of Ayllon, and of his associate Diego Caballero, and of the King, as Quexos did also in the name of his employers on Sunday, June 30, 1521. Crosses were cut on the trunks of trees to mark the Spanish occupancy.

Although Ayllon had charged Gordillo to cultivate friendly relations with the Indians of any new land he might discover, Gordillo joined with Quexos in seizing some seventy of the natives, with whom they sailed away, without any attempt to make an exploration of the coast.

On the return of the vessel to Santo Domingo, Ayllon condemned his captain's act; and the matter was brought before a commission, presided over by Diego Columbus, for the consideration of some important affairs. The Indians were declared free, and it was ordered that they should be restored to their native land at the earliest possible moment. Meanwhile they were to remain in the hands of Ayllon and Matienzo.7


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