Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Account of an Early Settler

'Account of the discovery of the Buffalo, 1599' is taken from and tells the story of a Spanish expedition searching for herds of cattle in the West of America and their accidental discovery of the buffalo.

This article describes all aspects of their trip including encounters with the natives that allows us to get an idea into the relationships the Spanish tried to develop. The extract below shows how the explorers exploited the knowledge of the land in exchange for western goods.
'The sargento mayor gave presents to all and won them over. He asked them for a guide to the cattle and they furnished one very willingly'.

The explorers also detail how they set up a corral to try and enclosure their new prize but were shocked by the aggressive behaviour by the buffalo which was not seen with western cattle such as cows or goats:
'they killed three of our horses and badly wounded forty, for their horns are sharp and fairly long. They attack from the side putting their head far down, so that whatever they seize they tear very badly'.
This is an example of that parts of America were still unexplored and shows how these journeys into the unknown could be extremely dangerous.

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