--Bartolome de las Casas, “History of the Indies” Barbarians on the Shore: Hernando de Soto

For the next 4 years, De Soto butchered his way up the Mississippi Valley. He took armored trained-to-kill war-dogs, horses and even cannon. He traveled on well-used roads and paths and enslaved the locals, forcing them to act as guides and translators. De Soto was disappointed because the natives didn't have great collections of (useless) gold or European luxuries, but seemed overly concerned with real wealth, such as food, necessities and art. He burnt and outright destroyed many of the great cultural centuries in the American mid-west. The historical documents from the period are extensive and excellent. His chroniclers painted a portrait of a collection of wandering butchers and a savage mercenary army, merciless, greedy, remorseless, bent on pillage and plunder.


What items are the Spaniards hoping to obtain from the Native Americans?

What is the author’s opinion of De Soto and his group?



Illustration by Theodore de Bry for a German edition of
Brevisima Relacion de la destruycion de las Indias ("A Brief Relation of the destruction of the Indies")
By Bartolome de las Casas, 1552. "Knights of Spain, Warriors of the Sun: Hernando de Soto and the South's Ancient Chiefdoms", by Charles Hudson
Courtesy of Craig Space

How many groups of people can you identify in this picture?

How would you describe the European treatment of Native Americans?



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Submitted by:
Mrs. Kane's Seventh Grade Class
Period 5
JFK Middle School
Port Jefferson Station, New York

STANDARD 1: History of the United States and New York

Students will use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their under-standing of major ideas, eras, themes, developments, and turning points in the history of the United States and New York.