Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The History of South Carolina, From Its First European Discovery to Its Erection into a Republic >> Chapter V >> Page 46

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 46

History | S. Babcock & Co. | 1840
each. He became the captive of the Spaniards, while
fighting against them in Italy ; and his obstinate valor,
which would have met with the admiration of a generous
enemy, received but chains from his Spanish captors.
He was consigned to the gallies, and was rescued from its
oars only to fall into another form of bondage. The prize
in which he rowed was taken by a Turkish corsair.
Redeemed from Algerine slavery, he returned to his
country in season to revenge its wrongs. His own
treatment at the hands of his Spanish captors, may have
helped to warm his indignation.
By the sale of his property, and the voluntary contribu-
tions of his friends, he found means for the equipment
of a small fleet of three vessels. With a crew of one
hundred and fifty men, he sailed from Bordeaux, on the
22nd of August, 1567, disguising his real purposes from
the public, by the avowed intention of engaging in the
slave trade on the coast of Africa.
Such was the nature of the commission under which
he sailed ; and the object which he afterwards pursued,
seems to have remained entirely unsuspected. De Gour-
gues, however, had contrived to secure the services of
one of the soldiers who had escaped with Laudonniere
from Florida. When fairly at sea, he declared his true
purpose to his soldiers. He painted, in glowing language,
the wrongs of his countrymen the brutality of the Span-
iards�the cries of the thousand widows and orphans
which they had made in France their prayers unheeded
�their injuries unredressed. His speech, which is pre-
served, is a fine specimen of manly eloquence and pat-
riotism. It had the desired effect upon his men. With