De Soto And The Golden Road

Some men see the beginnings. The conquistador who first saw the Mississippi also took the Inca highway to fabulous Cuzco.


Hernando de Soto, so the chronicler said, first came upon Cuzco at sunset.

The great wheel of the sun, sinking with an enormous burst of reddened glory, lighted up the city so that even the poorer buildings took on a burnished golden look. As the retreating rays touched the beaten gold plates that decorated its walls, the pyramided Sun Temple, towering over the lower buildings around it, gleamed as if it were cased in golden metal.

Read more »

The Passion Of Hernando De Soto

In Florida the great conquistador hoped to find a Golconda. Instead, he found a Golgotha.
An American Heritage Book Selection

Before the days of the explorers, the Mississippi was an Indian river. Spreading in a vast belt from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico was a multitude of tribes—Fox, Potawatomi, Kickapoo, Iowa, Illinois, Winnebago, Miami, Masouten, Chickasaw, Oto, Quapaw, and others. These Indians were in a constant state of turmoil, fighting one another and moving up and clown the river. Even the Sioux, now associated with the Great Plains, were once a river tribe and paddled fleets of war canoes on the upper Mississippi.Read more »