Rotor was a great aid to De Sot seeing that he had lived among the Indians for so long that he became n almost perfect interpreter. Rotor unfortunately wasn’t able to give them much information of the country fifty or sixty miles from his own village. Once De Sot found out that Rotor nor the Indians could give him much information about cities filled with gold he sent out a reconnaissance party to scout out the land. All they were able to find was more country that was “low, very wet, pond, and thickly covered with trees”.
Through the travels of which was probably the Polk County Lakes, east of Tampa, De Sot’s troops were short on food since De Sot was saving his pigs. The men ended up eating water reuses, corn, and cabbage palm. There were not enough pigs even if De Sot was willing to slaughter them to feed his army. Some of them were even “eating herbs and roots roasted and other boiled without salt, and what was worst, without knowledge what they were. ” They probably must have feared that the herbs were poisonous, but were so hungry that they ate them anyways.
They did eventually find the “very’ delicious wild chestnuts,” which the Spaniards found to be “rich and good of flavor. ” Following the trail of Narrate expedition, De Sot headed to the Avalanche. At time they were introduced by the Indians by flute playing and at other times they fought. They would capture Indians and use them as slaves to carry baggage. De Sot had noticed that the Indians were raising corn, beans, cucumbers, and plums. In October they found the place where Narrate had built his boats near SST. Marks.
He found remnants of the mangers and skulls of the horses that had eaten from them. De Sot started for Georgia in March, 1540, reaching the Blue Ridge near the headwaters of the Broad River, and pushing on in the direction of Augusta, toward the South Carolina border. While marching wrought Georgia, the Spaniards found the country to be “abundant, picturesque, and luxuriant, well watered, and having good river margins. ” Most of their route from Road and far into Georgia and into the Carolinas was covered with longlegs pine.
They had described it as “well-proportioned and as tall as the tallest in Spain. ” The country in Georgia and especially Florida was “low having many ponds. ” Elsewhere there was “high and dense forests” where the horses could not enter. Northern Georgia and South Carolina was “delightful and fertile, having good internal lands upon the dreams; the forest was open, with abundance of walnut and mulberry trees. ” De Sot’s secretary noted that they were “quite like those of Spain, just as tall and larger”. They were frequently a great advantage to the Spaniards for food.
During their travels hey would encounter large empty spaces where towns had once stood. Abandoned now, the Indians explained, because of pestilence two years before in which they would leave their land in ruin. Though the Indians there “never lacked meat, killing dear, wild turkeys, rabbits, and other game,” De Sot’s men were often glad to eat dogs, since De Sot was still saving his pigs for emergencies. Turkeys had flourished in the prehistoric South and were remarkably good eating to the Spaniards. Wild turkeys then were about as large as the biggest modern domesticate fowl.
It was hard to understand why the Spaniards fail to mention the dawn-gobbling of the turkeys. It was certain that they had heard it regularly. The calls would start at the first hint of dawn and continue until the sun was over the horizon. “The high forests ring with the noise, like the crowing of the domestic coco, of those social sentinels,” William Bertram an American naturalist wrote. When De Sot exited Florida and entered Georgia, he went into the territory of the Creek Confederacy, a group of tribes which had achieved civilization like status and a life of great security and comfort.
They Were a well-developed agriculture which lived in comfortable thatched cabins. Their houses were whitewashed with ground oyster shells and they had mattresses filled with splinters of cane. They had different outfits for the year varying in types of animal skins and materials. The southern tribes had an advanced agriculture, cultivating “many fine fields,” which raised the usual Indian crops. Everyone including the most distinguished chiefs and warriors, turned out to help with the planting. It seemed that everyone worked from one field to another till the seed was all in.
It was said that the Creeks also raised “dogs of a small size that do not bark,” by which confused the Spaniards apparently meant domesticated opossums. According to Roding Randal they were “good eating”. Game was especially a common in the southern states, where winter did not slow down the exhaust of animals. There were deer, bear, squirrels, rabbits, waterfowl, and turkeys; and streams were full offish. While passing he country in the spring the Spaniards were able to see the South at its best. They found there were along the trails countless roses growing wild like those of Spain” De Sot admired the great forests of southern longlegs pine. They were impressed by the wild strawberries, savory, palatable, and fragrant,” rather than those in Europe. The plants grew in a thickness inconceivable today. One traveler noted that the strawberries of large size “covered the ground as with a red cloth. ” Wild potatoes and nuts varied to the diet of the Spaniards. All of those been supplemented to green salad herbs or others, of which the American woodlands and meadows consisted an abundance of.
Thus far, De Sot had not been doing really badly. He has not been able to find any golden empires as he imagined he would. De Sot decided it was time to move on. There has been no sign of treasure, besides fresh-water pearls, extracted from river mussels, but there were plenty of those. Men of De Sot were beginning to doubt they would find much. But those men were a minority. Most of the Spaniards still had the prospect of cities filled with gold still glimmered. The Indians for some time had been ailing De Sot about “a province called Car a plentiful country having very large towns. Reaching Coca,June 16, 1540, De Sot was greeted outside the town by the chief. He was covered with a mantle of marten-skins, of size and shape of a women’s shawl and on his head he wore a diadem. ” He was surrounded by many attendants’ playing upon flutes and singing” the usual ceremonial of formal addresses. “The country was thickly settled in numerous and large towns, with fields between extending from on to another, was pleasant, and had a rich soil with fair margins” described how well off the Indian civilization was. For nearly a month, the expedition rested in this pleasant region.