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Articles About Storytelling

Bearded White Man
By:

There was a day that a bearded white man appeared to some of the elders of many clans and nations. This man came to give a message, his message was a warning for my people. You see, my people lived on “Turtle Island”, you know it today as North America. Turtle Island is, as a large sea turtle, on the surface of a great sea. Some 2000 years ago, the bearded white man dawned before us to deliver a message to the elders.

The bearded white man stated; “You are of good works”, he said. “The Creator has been watching, your people are doing the ‘great works’. The Creator is pleased. Yes, the Creator is very pleased with Turtle Island. Your people..., many families..., many clans..., many nations…, you are not free from conflict, hardship, or sorrow, however..., you are in the circle of life, doing the ‘great works’. The Creator is happy with your works. ”

The story has been told many times, passed from one generation to another. Some listeners ask, “Did the bearded white man have a name?” If so, the elders never said. It was told that the bearded white man was here when the cold days were turning to cool days and the daylight and darkness were equal. This white man loomed before many of the elders and continued the to tell the story. Some elders said that he spoke as if he was related to the Creator. Over and over again, the bearded man would say; “The Creator is happy with your works.” He said that he was sent to talk to the people of a far off land, across the sea of the rising sun of Turtle Island. The Creator is not pleased with those people.

Many of the elders wanted to know more about this bearded white man, however, he did not speak much of himself. He would say to the elders; “You are doing the ‘great works’, the Creator is happy with your work. Your people are in the Circle of Life, and, our paths will cross again.” With this being said, this bearded white man gave his warning:

“Be very watchful..., beware..., beware of the day when another bearded white man will appear. The next time you see a bearded white man, he will perhaps, be carrying a cross. If it is a cross within a circle - You will live in harmony, your days with the white men and women, will be with great joy for Turtle Island, and for all of the new people that come here. You will become like one people..., there will still be many families..., many clans..., Perhaps even several nations. You will not be completely free of conflict, hardship or sorrow. However, those people from the far off land, and the indigenous people of this land will live with the truth of the circle of life and a new message. There will be a new Kinship - Good for people - Good for Turtle Island.”

“However..., the next time that you see a bearded white man, perhaps carrying a cross..., a cross without a circle. Your days will be numbered..., that bearded white man and his people, are without the knowledge of the circle of life. They will have forgotten what I had tried to teach them. Look for armor, if the man is wearing an armor plate upon his chest, their hearts will be hardened. Your days will be fewer, you will not live long in harmony, and, your days will be without joy, Turtle Island will no longer be peaceful. There will not be a new Kinship and your nations will be overtaken, your culture will be destroyed, and, your spirit and mine will be tested.”

The bearded white man’s stay was short. Some elders said he was here for fewer than three days. Some described it as a manifestation. His message; Do not harden your heart, his message is to be taken to heart. Yes, that was some 2000 years ago, the elders passed the story from one generation to another, from the elder to the next teller of stories. In hopes of keeping the traditions of oral history alive, in this story and others. What was this bearded white man saying? Do not let the written word of God, harden your heart.

Several hundred years had passed..., when the day came..., the white men did step upon Turtle Island..., they carried a cross..., a cross without a circle. There was a bearded white man with them..., they had armor..., they wore an armor plate upon their chests. There were more than a few..., they were many - One of them you know by name.

Who was the bearded white man? He claimed that he was immortal. Where did he come? Spain - he was appointed by the King of Spain to be the Governor of Cuba and of what we know today to be Florida. His name? De Soto - yes - Hernando De Soto (1500?-1542?)

End of Story: Now the rest of the story - What happened? Hernando De Soto (1500?-1542?)

In 1537 Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, who was also king of Spain, named de Soto governor of Cuba and Florida. De Soto claiming to be immortal.

In May 1539 de Soto sailed from Havana, Cuba, for Florida with a force of about 600. He landed near Tampa Bay and marched north along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. For nearly four years, de Soto and his soldiers explored some 350,000 sq. miles in what is now the southeastern United States. They went north to Georgia cris-crossed to the northern boundary of Arkansas and as far west as Texas. In May 1541 they were reported to be the first Europeans to see the Mississippi River, probably near the site of Memphis, Tennessee. De Soto made enemies of the indigenous people by seizing grain, burning villages, and enslaving villagers. The cost was high, many of de Soto’s soldiers were lost in battles and ambushes. The army spent the winter of 1541 to 1542 near the junction of the Canadian and Arkansas rivers in Oklahoma. In the spring they returned to the Mississippi, where de Soto died of a fever on May 21. His aide, Luis de Moscoso, sank de Soto’s body in the river to keep his death a secret. Moscoso did not want the local people to find out that de Soto was not immortal, as he had claimed to be. He may also have been afraid of retaliation by the towns people of nearby Anilco, where de Soto had ordered a massacre from his deathbed. Moscoso and his soldiers built barges and sailed down the river to the Gulf of Mexico, then southwest along the coast until they reached Pánuco, Mexico, in September 1543. Only about half of the expedition survived. They had found no gold or treasure except a chest of poor-quality pearls, and even that they lost. They left behind many dead comrades and some deserters. More important, they left behind European diseases that were new to the western hemisphere, resulting in the many deaths of the indigenous people, who lacked resistance to them. The De Soto National Memorial, established in 1948 near Saint Petersburg, commemorates the explorer’s landing in Florida.

There is more to the Story

Pedro Menéndez (1519-74) A Spanish naval officer, has been recorded as the founder of Saint Augustine, Florida. In 1565, he was ordered by Philip II of Spain to expel the French Huguenot colony on Fort Caroline on the north Florida coast. Menéndez established a colony on Saint Augustine Bay and massacred the inhabitants of nearby Fort Caroline.

Many have claimed that the very first Christian worship service on the North American continent was held on the banks of that inlet waterway. Today, there is a large cross, a cross without a circle marking the place of the first “Christian” worship service.

Is the Creator happy?

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