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A Creek Indian cacique, the territory of whose people in Florida was early invaded by De Soto. The cruelties of Narvaez and De Soto in Florida aroused among the native tribes feelings of the bitterest hatred. Narvaez caused a captive cacique, or chief, to be mutilated after the first engagement with the hostile Indians. His nose was cut off, and he was otherwise disfigured; and the invader caused fierce blood-hounds to tear the chief's mother in pieces in the Presence of her children. Narvaez supposed this would strike terror, and make conquest easy; but he was mistaken. De Soto had blood-hounds, iron neck-collars, handcuffs, chains, and instruments of torture, wherewith to subdue the barbarians, who were really less barbarous than he. He loaded his captives with chains, and made beasts of burden of them, regardless of age or sex. After some acts of this kind, he sought to conciliate Acuera, whose territory he had invaded, for he was powerful, and commanded many warriors. De Soto invited the dusky sovereign to a friendly interview. when he received from Acuera this haughty reply: “Others of your accursed race [Narvaez and his men] have. in years past, disturbed our peaceful shores. They have taught me what you are. What is your employment? To wander about like vagabonds from land to land; to rob the poor and weak: to betray the confiding: to murder the defenceless in cold blood. No! with such a people I want neither peace nor friendship. War — never-ending, exterminating war — is all I ask. You boast yourself to be valiant — and so you may be; but my faithful warriors are not less brave, and of this you shall one day have proof. for I have sworn to maintain an unsparing conflict while one white man remains in my borders; not openly in the battle-field, though even thus we fear not to meet you, but by stratagem, ambush, and midnight surprisal.” D)e Soto then demanded that Acuera should yield obedience to the Spanish monarch. “I am a king in my own land.” said the cacique, “and will never become the vassal of a mortal like myself. Vile and pusillanimous is he who submits to the yoke of another when he may be free! As for me and my people, we prefer death to the loss of liberty and the subjugation of our country.” De Soto could never pacify Acuera. and during the twenty days that he remained in the cacique's dominions his command suffered dreadfully. A Spaniard could not go 100 paces from his camp without being slain and his severed head carried in triumph to Acuera. Fourteen Castilians so perished, and many were severely wounded. “Keep on! Robbers and traitors!” said the cacique. “In my province and in Apalacha you will be treated as you deserve. We will quarter and hang every captive on the highest tree.” And they did so. See De Soto and Narvaez.

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De Soto, Jefferson County, Missouri (Missouri, United States) (5)
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Panfilo Narvaez (4)
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