Conquest of the River Plate (1535-1555): Translated for the Hakluyt Society with Notes and an Introduction

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The publications of the Hakluyt Society (founded in 1846) made available edited (and sometimes translated) early accounts of exploration. The first series, which ran from 1847 to 1899, consists of 100 books containing published or previously unpublished works by authors from Christopher Columbus to Sir Francis Drake, and covering voyages to the New World, to China and Japan, to Russia and to Africa and India. This 1891 volume contains two sixteenth-century accounts, one Spanish and one German, of the exploration and conquest of the basin of the River Plate, which includes parts of Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay. The account of Ulrich Schmidt was written as a reply to that of Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca, the deposed governor of the area, and presents a radically different version of events. Both narratives reveal that the early Spanish conquerors of South America were riven by dissent and ambition.