THE ADVENTURES OF HERNANDO DESOTO AS TOLD BY SURVIVOR JUAN RODRIGUEZ
SS3H2a, SSH2b, SSH2c, ELAGSE3R11, ELAGSE3SL1, TAES3.11
Prepared by Cathy Kaemmerlen
Andrew Crigler is a poet, teaching artist, director, and actor from Atlanta. He received his BA in Theatre and Performance studies from Kennesaw State University with a minor in dance. He works as a freelance theatre professional and has performed with the Alliance Theatre, Theatrical Outfit, Serenbe Playhouse, Collective Project Inc, and Telltale Theatre. He has taught theatre classes at the Alliance, GA Ensemble Theatre, GA Shakespeare, Fabrocation Theatre Co, Forefront Arts, and Jitterbug Performing Arts. He is currently the backstage director at Dad’s Garage Theatre.
This is a true adventure story of Conquistador Hernando de Soto’s exploration of La Florida, into Georgia, the entire Southeastern United States, and ending at the mouth of the Mississippi River where he met his death. Told by survivor, Juan Carlos Rodriguez, one of fourteen on the expedition who made it back to Spain, Rodriguez looks back on his times with de Soto, interactions with the Native Americans, and search for gold and glory for Spain. With slides, audience participation, authentic chain mail and a conquistador helmet, learn what it was like to spend over four years of your life, facing dangers and the unknown in conquering and exploring the southeastern part of the United States.
.To learn why the Spanish wanted to explore, conquer, and settle La Florida and the Southeastern United States
. To learn what de Soto and his 700 men accomplished during their four year journey
.To learn about their dealings with the Native cultures
.To learn about the discovery of the Mississippi River
.To learn about the adventures and dangers of being a conquistador and an explorer of the New World
BEFORE THE SHOW:
.Read a biography of Hernando de Soto.
.List four of his accomplishments
.List two of his failures.
AFTER THE SHOW QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION:
.Why was de Soto’s exploration considered to be a failure?
.Talk about the treatment by de Soto and his men of the Native Americans. Would you have treated them differently?
.What were some of the consequences of the treatment by de Soto and his men of the Native peoples?
.How did what de Soto and his men do affect you?
cavalry: soldiers who fight on horseback
chain mail: a kind of protective clothing or armor made up of many tiny rings linked together
chieftain: the leader of a group of people
colonize: to move into another place and set up settlements
conquistador: a conqueror, especially one of the Spanish conquerors of Mexico and Peru in the 1500’s
empire: a large area ruled over by one person
expedition: a journey or exploration taken on by a group of persons for a specific purpose
feral: a wild animal, especially one who escapes from captivity
hidalgo: a cross between a medieval night and a country squire, of modest wealth.
hostages: people taken captive until a certain condition is fulfilled
immortal: living forever, as a Greek god like Zeus
interpreter: a person who translates language as it is spoken
legacy: something handed down; what you leave behind after death; your claim to fame
malaria: a fever sometimes deadly caused by the bite of a certain type of mosquito
Mutiny: a rebellion by soldiers against their commanding officers
noble: belonging to the aristocracy or ruling order
palisades: fences made of wooden stakes
Ransom: money that is demanded for the release of a prisoner
Shipwright: someone who builds ships
Smallpox: a contagious disease causing fevers and postules
Tack: equipment used to ride a horse, such as bridles, stirrups, and saddles
Travel with the Great Explorers: Hernando de Soto by Rachel Stuckey, Crabtree Pubs
The DeSoto Chronicles: The Expedition of Hernando de Soto to North America in 1539-1543, The University of Alabama Press, 1993.
Georgia Historical Society website: Hernando de Soto’s Featured Historical Figure page: www.georgia history.com
Knights of Spain, Warriors of the Sun by Charles Hudson, UGA Press, 1997
Catholic Encyclopedia: Hernando de Soto-NEW ADVENT www.newadvent.org/cathen/o4753a.htm
1492: Christopher Columbus reaches North America and claims the land for Spain
1496: Hernando de Soto was born in Jerez de Cabrello, Spain
1513: Ponce de Leon explores La Florida in search of the Fountain of Youth
1514: Pedro Arias Davila leaves Spain on an expedition to Panama
1519: De Soto particpates in the conquest of Panama
1520: De Soto’s shipping company builds ships for Pizzaro’s conquest of Peru
1524: De Soto helps Cordosa conquer Nicaragua and leads own expedition to El Salvador
1525: De Soto elected mayor of Nicaragua
1527: Albar Nunez de Vaca sails with the La Florida expedition of de Narvaez. De Vaca is one of four survivors of the expedition.
1528: De Soto and Ponce de Leon become two of the wealthiest men in Central America
1531: De Soto is a Lieutenant in Pizzaro’s expedition to Peru
1532: De Soto leads the expedition to the Incan capital of Calamarca
1535: De Soto returns to Spain
1536: De Soto marries Isabel de Bobadilla
1537: King of Spain grants de Soto the rights to explore and settle La Florida; named Governor of Cuba
1539: De Soto and his men set sail for La Florida from Cuba
1540: De Soto and his men travel through Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Alabama. Several violent encounters with the Native Americans.
1541: De Soto and his men become the first Europeans to cross the Mississippi River
1542: De Soto dies from a fever, probably malaria
1543: Alvardo and the remaining men sail down the Mississippi River eventually ending up in Texas and in Mexico. Only half are still alive.
around 1548: Juan Rodriguez, one of 14 survivors, returns to Spain