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maize, which is like to coarse millet. And in all the Islands and West Indies from the Antiles forward there is this maize.
Likewise in Florida there be many walnuts, plums, mulberries, and grapes. They sow their maize, and gather it, every man his own crop. The fruits are common to all men, because they grow abundantly in the fields without planting or dressing. In the mountains there grow chestnuts: they are somewhat smaller than the chestnuts of Spain, which are called collarinnas. From Rio Grande toward the west, the walnuts are differing from the other, for they are softer and round like bullets, and from Rio Grande toward Puerto del Spirito Santo eastward, for the most part they are harder, and the trees and nuts are like in fashion unto those of Spain. There is in all the country a fruit which groweth upon an herb or plant like to the herb called dogstongue, which the Indians do sow. The fruit is like unto the Peres rial; it is of a very good relish, and of a pleasant taste. Another herb groweth in the fields, which beareth a fruit near the ground like a strawberry, very pleasant in taste. The plums are of two sorts, red and gray, in fashion and bigness of walnuts, and have three or four stones in them. These are better than any in Spain, and they make better prunes of them. The want of dressing is perceived only in the grapes : which although they be great yet they have a great kernel. All the rest of the fruits are very perfect, and less hurtful than those of Spain. There are in Florida many bears, lions, stags, roebucks, wild cats, and conies,
There be many wild hens as big as peacocks, small partridges like those of Africa, cranes, ducks, rolas, black birds, and sparrows. There be certain black birds bigger than sparrows and lesser than stares.
There be low bawks, falcons, goshawks, and all fowls of prey that are in Spain.
The Indians are well proportioned. Those of the plain countries are taller of stature and better proportioned than those of the mountains. Those of the inland are better furnished with corn and wealth of the country, than those of the sea coast. The country on the sea coast toward the Gulf of Mexico is barren and poor, and the people more
warlike. The coast beareth from Puerto del Spirit Santo unto Apalache, and from Apalache to Rio de Palmas almost from east to west; from Rio de Palmas unto Nova Hispaniola it runneth from north to south. It is a gentle coast, but it hath many shoals and banks or shelves of sand.
A Note of such Commodities as are found in Florida nert
adjoining unto the South Part of Virginia, taken out of the Description of the said Country written by Monsieur Rene Laudonniere, who inhabited there two Summers and one Winter.
The country of Florida is flat, and divided with divers rivers, and therefore moist, and is sandy towards the sea shore.
There groweth in those parts great quantity of pine trees, which have no kernels in the apples that they bear.
Their woods are full of oaks, walnut trees, black cherry trees, mulberry trees, lentiskes which yield mastich, and chestnut trees, which are more wild than those of France.
There is great store of cedars, cypresses, bays, palm trees, grapes : There is there a kind of medlars, the fruit whereof is better than that of France and bigger. There are also plum trees, which bear very fair fruit, but such as is not very good.
There are raspberries, and a little berry which we call among us blues, which are very good to eat.
There grow in that country a kind of roots, which they call in their language hazes whereof in necessity they make bread.
There is also the tree called esquine (which I take to be the sassafras) which is very good against the pocks and other contagious diseases.
The beasts best known in this country are stags, roes, deer, goats, leopards, ounces, lucerns, divers sorts of wolves, wild dogs, hares, conies, and a certain kind of beast that differeth little from the lion of Africa.
The fowls are turkey-cocks, partridges, parrots, pigeons, ring-doves, turtles, black birds, crows, tercels, falcons, leonards, herons, cranes, storks, wild geese, mallards, cormorants,
herneshaws, white, red, black, and gray, and an infinite sort of all wild fowl. There is such abundance of crocodiles that oftentimes in swimming, men are assailed by them ; of serpents there are many sorts.
There is found among the savages good quantity of gold and silver, which is gotten out of the ships that are lost upon the coast : Nevertheless they say, that in the mountains of Apalatcy, there are mines of copper, which I think to be gold.
There is also in this country, great store of grains and herbs, whereof might be made excellent good dyes and paintings of all kind of colors.
They sow their maize or corn twice a year, to wit, in March and in June : and all in one and the same soil. The said maize from the time that it is sowed, unto the time that it is gathered, is but three months in the ground. They have also fair pumpkins and very good beans. They have certain kinds of oil, wherewith they use to anoint themselves.
A brief Extract of the merchantable Commodities found in the
South part of Virginia, Anno 1585 and 1586, gathered out of the learned Work of Master Thomas Herriot, which was there remaining the space of eleven months.
Silk of grass, or grass silk, the like whereof groweth in Persia, whereof I have seen good grograine made.
Wapeih, a kind of earth so called by the natural inhabitants, very like to terra sigillata, and by some of our physicians found more effectual.
Pitch, tar, rosin, and turpentine; there are those kinds of trees that yield them abundantly and in great store.
Sassafras, called by the inhabitants wynauk: of whose sovereign and manifold virtues, réad Monardes, the physician of Sicily, in his books entitled in English, The joyful news from the West Indies.
Oil: there are two sorts of walnuts, both holding oil. Furthermore, there are three several kinds of berries, in the form of oak acorns, which also by the experience and use of the inhabitants, we find to yield very good and sweet oil. There are also bears, which are commonly very fat, and in some places there are many, their fatness, because it is so liquid, may well be termed oil, and hath many special uses.
Copper. The aforesaid copper, we also found by trial to hold silver.
Pearl. One of our company, a man of skill in such matters, had gathered together from the savages, above five thousand.
Sweet gums, of divers kinds, and many other apothecary drugs.
Dyes, of divers kinds.
There is sumach, well known and used in England for black: the seed of an herb called wasebur, little small roots called chappacor, and the bark of a tree called by the inhabitants, tangomockonomindge, which dyes are for divers sorts of red.
Commodities in Virginia known to yield victuals. Pagatour, or mays, which is their principal corn. Okindgier, called by us beans. Wickonzour, called by us pease. Macocquer, called by us pumpkins, melons and gourds.
An herb which in Dutch is called melden, being a kind of orage, &c.
An herb in form of a marigold, six feet in height, taken to be planta solis.
Oppowoc, or tobacco, of great estimation among the savages.
Roots. Openauck, a kind of roots of round form, as big as wal
nuts, some far greater. Monardes calleth them beads, or pater nostri of Sancta Helena, and Master Brereton groundnuts.
Okeepenauk, are roots of round shape found in dry grounds, the inhabitants use to boil and eat many of them.
Tsinaw, a kind of root much like unto that which in England is called the China root, brought from the East Indies.
Coscushaw, a root taken to be that which the Spaniards in the West Indies do call cassavy.
Habascon, a root of hot taste, almost of the form and bigness of a parsnip.
Leekes, differing little from ours in England.
Chestnuts there are in divers places great store, used divers ways for food.
Walnuts, there are two kinds, and of them infinite store in many places, where are very great woods for many miles together; the third part of the trees are walnut trees; they use them for meat, and make a milk of them of very pleasant taste and wholesome.
Medlers, a kind of very good fruit; they are as red as cherries, and very luscious sweet.
Mutaquesunnauk, a kind of pleasant fruit almost of the shape and bigness of English pears, but they are of a perfect red color, as well within as without; they grow on a plant whose leaves are very thick and full of prickles, as sharp as needles: some which have been in Nova Hispania, where they have seen that kind of red dye of exceeding great price, which is called cochineal, to grow, do describe this plant right like unto this of mutaquesunnauk, howbeit the cochineal is not the fruit, but a grain found on the leaves of the plant, and stricken off upon sheets, and dried in the sun.
Grapes there are of two sorts, which I mentioned in the merchantable commodities.
Strawberries there are, as good and as great as in any English garden.
Mulberries, apple-crabs, hurts or whortleberries, such as we have in England.