Historic Markers Across Florida



Plot Exposed



Marker ID:  
Location: 1201 Silas Drive SW, Live Oak, FL
County: Suwannee
Coordinates: N 30° 16.625    W 083° 0.075
  30.27708333    -83.00125
Style: Interpretative Sign **
Waymark: None
 



Text:

Plot Exposed
Florida De Soto Trail

—September 15, 1539 —


It’s September 15, 1539…

Hernando de Soto and his army have arrived at the nearby village of Napituca. His interpreter, Juan Ortiz, later recounts –

Upon our arrival, De Soto met with several chiefs who demanded the release of our captive Chief Aguacalequen. In secret, one chief, Napituca, told our Indian interpreters that he planned to ambush us and kill De Soto. Fearing reprisal, the interpreters told me of the plot.

This morning another meeting took place, just outside the village. In the surrounding woods, over 400 Indian warriors waited, ready to attack. Napituca signaled the ambush, but we were prepared. Our trumpeter sounded a charge, and we attacked. One hundred of Napituca’s warriors were killed. The rest were captured and will be used as slaves.

”Before the trumpet could sound, the maestro de campo, Luis de Moscoso, struck his legs to his horse saying ‘come on, men, Santiago, Santiago and at them.’ And thus all of a sudden, the people on horseback went lancing many Indians, and the Strategem only gained them the upper hand, allowing our men to strike first; notwithstanding they [the Indians] defended themselves and fought like men of great spirit.”
- Account by Rodrigo Rangel

The De Soto Chronicles

The Native Path
Indian captives did not give up their freedom peacefully. One warrior broke free from his guards and attacked De Soto, breaking his nose. This prompted a revolt. Several warriors seized Spanish weapons and attacked. They were quickly subdued and shackled with neck and leg irons. Those who had actively participated were ordered executed by De Soto’s Indian allies.

The Conquistador Trail
The Spanish often chained their Indian captives to prevent them from escaping while in their own tribal lands. They were unchained once De Soto’s army moved into neighboring chiefdoms. Most chose to stay with their captors rather than face their tribal enemies alone and unarmed.


Florida De Soto Trail, Florida Department of Transportation, the Florida Park Service, and the National Park Service.



Notes:

City: Live Oak, FL