Schneider's account of this indeed-brutal journey describes the misadventures of a group of erstwhile Spanish conquerors who were licensed by the King to explore and colonize the land North of Cortes's Mexico. The effort ended in failure when the four survivors of the original 300-plus who landed on the west coast of Florida in 1528 staggered out of the wilderness on the Pacific coast of Northwestern Mexico nine years later!
The story is inevitably episodic, as it relies on the only two first-hand accounts of the journey, one of which was written years later with royal patronage in mind, the other available only in a paraphrase in a contemporary history, as the original has been lost to history. Schneider does a nice job of calling on archaeological studies and secondary sources to plug as many of the gaps as possible.
This book shows to the modern reader what can happen when an expedition of exploration and exploitation is lead by a person who has very little sense, and who just goes and follows his own ideas. The Spanish folks involved in this journey were initially going to colonize the west coast of Florida, but a series of stupid decisions by their leader ended up costing all but 4 of the approximately 400 men (and their leader) their lives. We are shown how near starvation and deprivation leads to unusual … more
I love reading and writing about what I have read, making the connections and marking the comparisons and contrasts. God has given man the amazing power to invent language and the means to record it which … more
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