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Theodor de Bry's Engravings of the Timucua

Theodor de Bry's Engravings of the Timucua


Plate IX
The French Select a Place for Building a Fort

Having explored the numerous rivers of this region, it was decided that it would be better to build on the river of May than on any other. It had, in fact, been noticed that millet and maize were more abundant there than elsewhere, and besides, gold and silver had been found there during the first voyage. The French went, therefore, to this river and while sailing upstream they arrived at a place, close to a mountain, which seemed to them, of all the places they had seen up till then, the most fitting for the establishment of a fort. The next day, at sunrise, they prayed to God and gave thanks for their fortunate arrival in this province and they all went to work with a will. The outline of a triangle was measured on the ground and everyone got to work; some dug the soil, some put up wood fences, and other made entrenchments. Each person had his tool, spade, saw, axe, bill-hook and hatchet for cutting the trees and raising the fort. They put so much zeal into this work that it was finished in a short time.

All transcriptions are taken from Discovering the New World, Based on the Works of Theodore de Bry, edited by Michael Alexander (New York: Harper & Row, 1976).