The De Soto (Footnote) Trail – Bibliographic Essay

Jerald T. Milanich and Charles Hudson painstakingly reconstruct the expedition’s path in Hernando de Soto and the Indians of Florida (1993). On the archeology of Tatham Mound and the Cove of the Withlacoochee, see Jeffrey M. Mitchem and Brent R. Weisman, “The Cove of the Withlacoochee: A First Look at the Archeology of an Interior Florida Wetland” (1986). My research into the history of the trail draws from personal archives of Professors Milanich and Weisman, who graciously shared their records on the subject. The emphasis upon route studies has come at the expense of broader contextualization within Spanish and imperial discourse. On the debate over the status of Native Americans, I have found particularly useful Lewis Hanke, The Spanish Struggle for Justice in the Conquest of America (1965).

The standard edition of the De Soto expedition, with exhaustive documentation and critical introductions is the two-volume The De Soto Chronicles: The Expedition of Hernando de Soto to North America in 1539-1543 (1993), edited by Lawrence A. Clayton, et al. Although The De Soto Chronicles includes a complete translation of The Florida of the Inca in volume two, the 1980 translation by John Grier Varner and Jeannette Johnson Varner is the more fluid. The standard Spanish-language volume of La Florida del Inca was edited by Emma Susana Speratti-Piñero (1956).

The neglect of La Florida del Inca by literary critics in the United States speaks to the boundary crisis in U.S. letters, for while the work is widely discussed among critics of colonial Spanish literature, it remained largely unread by Anglophone teacher-scholars. The tide is now turning. Raquel Chang-Ródriguez offers an outstanding introduction with the beautifully illustration volume, Beyond Books and Borders: Garcilaso de la Vega and La Florida del Inca (2006). The standard biography in English John Grier Varner’s El Inca: The Life and Times of Garcilaso de la Vega (1968). More recently, hemispheric turns in early American scholarship show an increasing concern with books like La Florida del Inca. Lisa Voigt, bridging the De Soto accounts ties with peninsular Spanish literature, argues that captivity as a potential source of empowerment; see Writing Captivity in the Early Modern Atlantic: Circulations of Knowledge and Authority in the Iberian and English Imperial Worlds (2009).

Rolena Adorno emphasizes intertextuality in the Spanish literature of discovery in “Discourses on Colonialism: Bernal Diáz, Las Casas, and the Twentieth-Century Reader” (1988); Adorno returns to that point in “El Inca Garcilaso: Writer of Hernando de Soto, Reader of Cabeza de Vaca” (2006). Amy Turner Bushnell discusses the tidal change that led to less recognition for conquistadors by the late fifteenth century in “A Requiem for Lesser Conquerors: Honor and Oblivion on a Maritime Periphery” (2006). Criticism on La Florida del Inca has been particularly well served by post-colonial and deconstructive readings. Hybridity figures largely in the criticism about the author for obvious reasons; see Bernard Lavelle, “El Inca Garcilaso de la Vega” (1992). Critics often point to the importance of the book’s composition history of the work: see Aurelio Miró Quesada, “Creación y Elaboración de La Florida del Inca” (1989). The focus upon the composition has in turn supported very strong deconstructive readings, for example, by Susan Jákfalvi-Leiva, Traducción, escritura y violencia colonizadora: un estudio de la obra del Garcilaso (1984); and Enrique Pupo-Walker, Historia, Creación y Profecía en los Textos del Inca Garcilaso de la Vega; and Pupo-Walker, “La Florida del Inca Garcilaso: notas sobre la problematización del discurso histórico en los siglos XVI y XVII” (1985). On La Florida del Inca within the context of Renaissance history, see David Henige, “‘So Unbelievable It Has to be True’: Inca Garcilaso in Two Worlds” (1997). Walter D. Mignolo clarifies the aims of Renaissance history more broadly, with less immediate discussion of La Florida del Inca, in “El Metatexto Historiografico y la Historiografia Indiana” (1981). Lee Dowling, finally, reviews the literary context in an attempt to reconcile differences between positivist historians and those cultural critics who are more interested in discursive formations in “La Florida del Inca: Garcilaso’s Literary Sources” (1993).

Further Reading

Adorno, Rolena. “Discourses on Colonialism: Bernal Díaz, Las Casas, and the Twentieth-Century Reader.” Modern Language Notes 103, no. 2 (March 1988): 239-58.

__________ . ”The Discursive Encounter of Spain and America: The Authority of Eyewitness Testimony in the Writing of History.” The William & Mary Quarterly 3rd Series 49, no. 2 (1992): 210-28.

_________ . “Reconsidering Colonial Discourse from Sixteenth- and Seventh-Century Spanish America.” Latin American Research Review 28, no. 3 (1993): 135-45.

Anadón, José. Garcilaso Inca de la Vega: An American Humanist, A Tribute to José Durand. South Bend, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1998.

Anthony, Piers. Tatham Mound. New York: Morrow, 1991.

Behrendt, Laura [?]. “Graham unveils first de Soto Marker.” Citrus Times. May 4, 1985.

Bodmer, Elizabeth, Pastor. The Armature of Conquest: Spanish Accounts of the Discovery of America, 1492-1589. Translated by Lydia Longstreth Hunt. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 1992.

Chang-Rodríguez, Raquel, ed. Beyond Books and Borders: Garcilaso de la Vega and La Florida del Inca. Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press, 2006.

_________ . Violencia y Subversión en la Prosa Colonial Hisapanoamericana, Siglos XVI y XVII. Madrid: José Porrúa Turanzas, 1982.

Duncan, David Ewing. Hernando de Soto: A Savage Quest in the Americas. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1997.

Durand, José. “La Redaccíon de La Florida del Inca. Cronología.” Revista Histórica 21 (1954): 288-302.

Ellis, Gary D, Russell A. Dorsey and Robin Denson. Archaeological Study: Citrus County, Florida, volume 1. (June 1993).

Garcilaso de la Vega, El Inca. The Florida of the Inca. Translated by John Varner and Jeannette Johnson Varner. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1980.

_________ . Obras Completa, edited by P. Carmelo Saénz de Santa Maria. Madrid: Biblioteca de Autores Españoles, 1965.

Hanke, Lewis. The Spanish Struggle for Justice. New York: Little, Brown, 1949.

Henige, David. “The Content, Context, and Credibility of La Florida del Ynca.” The Americas 43 (1986): 1-23.

Hudson, Charles. Knights of Spain, Warriors of the Sun: Hernando de Soto and the South’s Ancient Chiefdoms. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1997.

Hutchinson, Dale. L. Tatham Mound and the Bioarchaeology of European Contact: Disease and Depopulation in Central Gulf Coast Florida. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2006.

Jákfalvi-Leiva, Susana. Traduccíon, Escritura, y Violencia Colonizadora: Un Estudio de la Obra del Inca Garcilaso. Syracuse, N.Y.: Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, 1984.

Lavalle, Bernard. “El Inca Garcilaso de la Vega.” Historia de la Literatura HispanoamericanaÉpoca Colonial. Madrid: Catedra, 1992. 1:135-43.

Milanich, Jerald T. and Charles Hudson. Hernando de Soto and the Indians of Florida. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1993.

Miró Quesada Sosa, Aurelio. “Creacíon y Elaboracíon de La Florida del Inca.” Cuadernos Americanos 3, no. 18 (1989): 152-71.

__________ . El Inca Garcilaso de la Vega. Lima: Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, 1994.

__________ . Prologue to La Florida del Inca by Garcilaso de la Vega, ix-lxxvvi. Mexico City: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1956.

Mitchem, Jeffrey M. “Initial Spanish-Indian Contact in West Peninsular Florida: The Archeological Evidence. Columbian Consequences. Vol. 2. Archeological and Historical Perspectives on the Spanish Borderlands East, edited by David Hurst Thomas, 49-59. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian, 1990.

Mitchem, Jeffrey W., Brent R. Weisman et al. “Preliminary Report in Excavations at the Tatham Mound (8-Ci-203). ” Florida State Museum Miscellaneous Project Report. Series 23 (1985).

Mora, Carmen de. “Introduction” to La Florida del Inca, El Inca Garcilaso de la Vega19-81. Madrid: Alianza, 1988.

__________ . “El Discurso sobre la Mujer Indígena en La Florida del Inca Garcilaso. In Espacio geográfico. Espacio imaginario, 165-74. Cáceres: Universidad de Extremadura, 1993.

Morelli, Keith. “Graham Dedicates De Soto Marker.” Ocala Star Ledger. May 4, 1985.

Ortega, Julio. “El Inca Garcilaso y el discurso de la cultura.” Revista Iberoamericana 44, nos. 104-05 (1978): 507-13. Accessed Sept. 20, 2020.

Prince, Henry. Amidst a Storm of Bullets: The Diary of Lt. Henry Prince in Florida, 1836-1842. Edited by Frank Laumer. Tampa, Fl.: University of Tampa Press, 1998.

Pupo-Walker, Enrique. Historia, Creacion y Profecía en los Textos del Inca Garcilaso de la Vega. Madrid: José Porrúa Turanzas, 1982.

Quesada, Aurelio Miró. “Creación y Elaboración de La Florida del Inca.” Cuadernos Americanos 18, Nueva Epoca 3, no. 6 (Nov.-Dec. 1989): 152-71.

Rabasa, José. Writing Violence on the Northern Frontier: The Historiography of Sixteenth-Century New Mexico and Florida and the Legacy of Conquest. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2000.

Rodríguez-Vecchini, Hugo. “Don Quijote La Florida del Inca.” Revista Iberoamericana 48 (1982): 587-620. Accessed Sept. 20, 2020.

Garcilaso de la Vega, El Inca. Obras Completa, edited by P. Carmelo Saénz de Santa MariaMadrid: Biblioteca de Autores Españoles, 1965.

Steigman, Jonathan D. La Florida del Inca and the Struggle for Social Equality in Colonial Spanish America. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2005.

Turner, Amy Bushnell. “A Requiem for Lesser Conquerors: Honor and Oblivion on a Maritime Periphery.” In Beyond Books and Borders: Garcilaso de la Vega and La Florida del Inca, edited by Raquel Chang-Rodriguez, 66-72. Lewisburg, Pa.: Bucknell University Press, 2006.

Varner, John Grier. El Inca: The Life and Times of Garcilaso de la Vega. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1968.

Weisman, Brent. “The Cove of the Withlacoochee: A First Look at the Archeology of an Interior Florida Wetland.” The Florida Anthropologist 39, no. 2 (March-June 1986): 4-24. Accessed Sept. 20, 2020.

Wey-Gómez, Nicolás. “ʖDonde está Garcilaso? La Oscilación del Sujeto Colonial en la Formación de un Discurso Transcultural.” Revista de Crítica Latinoamericana 17, no. 34 (1991): 7-31.

Wilkens, George. “Graham Dedicates route followed in 1539.” The Citrus Tribune. May 4, 1985.

Williams, Lindsey. “A Charlotte Harbor Perspective on De Soto’s Landing Site.” Florida Anthropologist 47, no. 3 (Sept. 1989): 280-94.

Zamora, Margarita. Authority, and Indigenous History in the Commentarios Reales de los IncasNew York: Cambridge University Press, 1988.