In 1599, Garcilaso de la Vega published his account of Hernando de Soto's journey through what is today the southeastern United State. Based on th author's romantie perceptions of North America and dubious evidence provided by expedition members, the work's factual validity is questionable in many regards.1 Nevertheless, Garcilaso's interpretation provides valuable information pertaining to the imagee of the Florida created and perpetuated by European visitors during the sixteenth century.2 In particular, one passage attributed to Hernando de Soto encapsulated general colonist opinions regarding native peoples. The explorer concluded that "all of the land of this realm is practically identical in kind and quality...[and] its inhabitants live, dress, eat and drink in somewhat the same manner. Even in their idols and their rites and ceremonies of paganism...and in their weapons, their social distinctions and their ferocity, they differ little or nothing from each other."3 Garcilaso's report revealed an intrinsic characteristic of cultural interaction in th New World: settlers tended to envision the region's natives itself as one, as the same.
Murphree, Daniel S.
"Constructing Indians in the Colonial Floridas: Origins of European-Floridian Identity, 1513-1573,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 81:
2, Article 3.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol81/iss2/3