The Natives of Florida Worship the Column Erected by the Commander on his First Voyage
During the second voyage in Florida under Laudonnière's command, that leader went ashore with twenty-five arquebusiers. He was greeted by the Indians who had gathered in crowds to see the new arrivals. Their king, Athore, who lived five or six miles inland from there, welcomed them with great kindness and presented Laudonnière with gifts. He then gave the French to understand that he wished to show them something remarkable and begged them to follow him. They agreed, but seeing how many natives surrounded them, proceeded with caution. He conducted them to the island where Ribaut had erected on a hillock the tone column engraved with the arms of the king of France. On approaching the French saw the Indians worshipping the stone as an idol. The chief, having saluted it with the respect that his subjects were used to accord him, kissed it and the other Indians did likewise. Afterwards the French were encouraged to do the same. Before the monument lay baskets filled with the country's fruit, vases full of perfumed oils, roots both edible and medicinal, and a bow and arrows. From top to bottom the stone was wreathed with flowers of all kinds and branches of the rarest trees. After watching the rituals of these wretched barbarians, the French rejoined their companions in looking for the most suitable place to build a small fort. The king, Athore, is a handsome man, wise, honourable and strong, more than half a foot taller than even the tallest of our men. His modest gravity lends majesty to his already noble bearing. He married his mother and had by her several children of both sexes whom he proudly introduced to us, striking his thigh as he did so. It might be added that after he married his mother his father, Satourioua, ceased to live with her.
All translations are taken from Discovering the New World, Based on the Works of Theodore de Bry, edited by Michael Alexander (New York: Harper & Row, 1976).