Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The History of South Carolina, From Its First European Discovery to Its Erection into a Republic >> Chapter IV >> Page 43

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 43

History | S. Babcock & Co. | 1840
to their place of partial refuge. From this they were
driven, and flying to an elevated piece of ground, they
prepared for the last conflict, resolved to sell their lives
dearly if they could not repulse their foe. Their desper-
ate demeanor and unyielding aspect, together with the
advantage of their position, compelled Melendez to abate
something of his inveteracy and hate. A negotiation
was opened, and they received a solemn assurance of
security and kind treatment´┐Żan assurance which, in this
case, was followed by no breach of good faith. But no
assurance, however solemn, from those who had been so
faithless before, could satisfy the commander of this little
party. His name is not given us, but his unbending
resolution of character merits every encomium. He
resolved rather to trust the forest thickets, with their
troops of savage men and savage beasts, than such mon-
sters as the Spaniands had shown themselves. With
twenty followers, who felt like himself, he separated from
his company, and disappeared from sight. The Span-
iards hunted them in vain. They were never heard
of more. Those who received the protection of Melen-
dez, either established themselves in Florida, or found
their way, at a remote period after, to their several
The French writers assert, that Ribault was flayed
alive, his body burnt, and his stuffed skin sent to Europe
as a worthy trophy of the conqueror, and a fitting tribute
to the Christian and throned barbarians who then ruled
over half the world. The number of the victims is com-
puted at nine hundred. The Spanish authorities dimin-
ish this number, but not the atrocity of the deed. Me-