Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The History of South Carolina, From Its First European Discovery to Its Erection into a Republic >> Chapter III >> Page 31

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Page 31

History | S. Babcock & Co. | 1840
drain upon their limited resources, which would follow
the coming of the French. Simple and uncalculating,
they did not reflect how inadequate would be the supplies
of their little corn crops, to meet the wants of so many
additional mouths ; and it was only when their own utter
impoverishment and famine ensued from their unwise
hospitality, that they became conscious of their error.
When they withheld their stores, the necessities of the
strangers overcame all their scruples. Laudonniere took
an unbecoming part in their petty wars, robbed their
granaries, and made enemies of all around him.
The inevitable consequences of such a condition of
things, ensued among the colonists. Disaffection follow-
ed, the authority of their leader was defied, and mutinous
disorders became frequent. The emigrants to a new
country, at its first settlement, are generally of a desperate
complexion. Those under Laudonniere were particularly
so. The civil wars through which they had just passed
in France, had given them a taste for insubordination ;
and appreciating their wants and habits, one La Roquette,
a common soldier, conceived the idea of deposing his
commander. He claimed to be a magician, and pretended,
by reason of his art, to have discovered a mine of gold
or silver, at no great distance up the river. He invited
his comrades to join with him in effecting this discovery.
He pledged his life on the issue. Some trifling ac-
quisitions of silver which they had made, by trade among
the Indians, strengthened his assurances, which soon
became generally believed. He found an active coad-
jutor in another soldier, named La Genre, who had taken
offence at Laudonniere, because he had been denied the