The Search for Mablia: The Decisive Battle between Hernando de Soto and Chief Tascalusa / Edition 2

The Search for Mablia: The Decisive Battle between Hernando de Soto and Chief Tascalusa / Edition 2

by Vernon J. Knight
     
 

ISBN-10: 0817355421

ISBN-13: 9780817355425

Pub. Date: 06/28/2009

Publisher: University of Alabama Press

One of the most profound events in sixteenth-century North America was a ferocious battle between the Spanish army of Hernando de Soto and a larger force of Indian warriors under the leadership of a feared chieftain named Tascalusa. The site of this battle was a small fortified border town within an Indian province known as Mabila. Although the Indians were

Overview

One of the most profound events in sixteenth-century North America was a ferocious battle between the Spanish army of Hernando de Soto and a larger force of Indian warriors under the leadership of a feared chieftain named Tascalusa. The site of this battle was a small fortified border town within an Indian province known as Mabila. Although the Indians were defeated, the battle was a decisive blow to Spanish plans for the conquest and settlement of what is now the southeastern United States. For in that battle, De Soto’s army lost its baggage, including all proofs of the richness of the land—proofs that would be necessary to attract future colonists. Facing such a severe setback, De Soto led his army once more into the interior of the continent, where he was not to survive. The ragtag remnants of his once-mighty expedition limped into Mexico some three years later, thankful to be alive. The clear message of their ordeal was that this new land, then known as La Florida, could not be easily subjugated.
 
But where, exactly, did this decisive battle of Mabila take place? The accounts left by the Spanish chroniclers provide clues, but they are vague, so lacking in corroboration that without additional supporting evidence, it is impossible to trace De Soto’s trail on a modern map with any degree of certainty. Within this volume, 17 scholars—specialists in history, folklore, geography, geology, and archaeology—provide a new and encouragingly fresh perspective on the current status of the search for Mabila. Although there is a widespread consensus that the event took place in the southern part of what is now Alabama, the truth is that to this day, nobody knows where Mabila is—neither the contributors to this volume, nor any of the historians and archaeologists, amateur and professional, who have long sought it. One can rightfully say that the lost battle site of Mabila is the predominant historical mystery of the Deep South.
 

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780817355425
Publisher:
University of Alabama Press
Publication date:
06/28/2009
Edition description:
1
Pages:
344
Sales rank:
453,221
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix

Introduction Vernon James Knight Jr. 1

Part I Background

1 An Account of the Battle of Mabila, by an Eyewitness Luys Hernandez de Biedma John E. Worth 13

2 The Battle of Mabila in Historical Perspective Lawrence A. Clayton 17

3 How Historical Are the De Soto Chronicles? George E. Lankford 31

4 The De Soto Map and the Luna Narratives: An Overview of Other Sixteenth-Century Sources Kathryn E. Holland Braund 45

5 A Review of De Soto's Itinerary between Talisi and Apafalaya Vernon James Knight Jr. 64

6 The Village of Mabila: Archaeological Expectations Ned J. Jenkins 72

7 What Indian Pottery of Sixteenth-Century Central Alabama Looks Like and Why It Matters Amanda L. Regnier 83

8 What Do Spanish Expeditionary Artifacts of Circa 1540 Look Like and How Often Are They Preserved? Gregory A. Waselkov 94

9 The Present State of Archaeological Survey and Site File Data for the Alabama River and Adjacent Regions Craig T. Sheldon Jr. 107

10 The United States and Alabama De Soto Commissions Douglas E. Jones 129

11 Seeking Methods That Work Vernon James Knight Jr. 139

Part II Conference Results

12 A Comparative Analysis of the De Soto Accounts on the Route to, and Events at, Mabila Robbie Ethridge Kathryn E. Holland Braund Lawrence A. Clayton George E. Lankford Michael D. Murphy 153

13 The Battle of Mabila: Competing Narratives Kathryn E. Holland Braund 182

14 Tracing De Soto's Trail to Mabila Eugene M. Wilson Douglas E. Jones Neal G. Lineback 193

15 The Archaeology of Mabila's Cultural Landscape Gregory A. Waselkov Linda Derry Ned J. Jenkins 227

Postscript Vernon James Knight Jr. 245

Bibliography 247

Contributors 267

Index271

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