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 behavior, but are heartened by the hospitality shown to the survivors by many of the Indian tribes which they encountered on their trek back to Mexico. Along the way these 4 men crossed much of the southern part of what is now our country, and amazingly survived. It's a true epic or courage under duress that should be must reading for all interested in this period of our history.
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 … more
I'm a small town general practice attorney in the hard coal region of Pennsylvania. Books are my passion, andI read as many of them asI can. Being the President of the local library board for over … more
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