Hernando DeSoto


This translation of De Soto’s letter, doubtless the first letter ever written with a Florida date line, has been made for the Quarterly by James A. Robertson, managing editor of Hispanic American Historical Review and editor of the series of volumes on Florida’s history published by the Florida State Historical Society. These include a facsimile of the first edition of the Elvas Narrative with a new translation of that early classic by Dr. Robertson himself. As De Soto’s letter bears so important a relation to our knowledge of the beginning of his exploration here in Florida, Dr. Robertson has made a literal translation for students instead of one of the more free style of those heretofore published. As the only available copy of the original appears to be imperfect, he believes that the full meaning of the letter may not have been caught in every respect.