John E. Worth


The well-known relation of Hernando de Escalante Fontaneda, the Spanish sailor shipwrecked on the Florida coast in the mid sixteenth century, has correctly been described by David O. True as a document that “should share the top rank of Florida source records.“1 It constitutes one of the earliest descriptions of the Indians of Florida and is rich in ethnographic detail. Although the text of the body of Fontaneda’s account (the Memoir) and a separate fragment associated with it (the Memoranda) have been published by True in both transcribed and translated form, this published version came from Buckingham Smith’s transcription of an earlier transcription by Juan Bautista Muñoz and a more recent but incomplete transcription by Jeannette Thurber Connor.2 As a consequence, True’s edition is not a direct examination of the original documents but instead relies upon the work of earlier researchers.