Group Title: Florida : from the beginning to 1992 : a Columbus jubilee commemorative
Title: Florida
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00025122/00001
 Material Information
Title: Florida from the beginning to 1992 : a Columbus jubilee commemorative
Physical Description: xii, 204 p. : ill. (some col.), maps ; 29 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Coker, William S
Shofner, Jerrell H., 1929-
Morris, Joan Perry, 1935-
Malone, Myrtle Davidson
Publisher: Pioneer Publications
Place of Publication: Houston Tex. (12345 Jones Rd. Suite 103 Houston 77070-4843)
Publication Date: c1991
 Subjects
Subject: Industries -- Florida   ( lcsh )
History -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. 201-203) and index.
Statement of Responsibility: by William S. Coker and Jerrell H. Shofner ; Joan Perry Morris, photo editor ; edited by Myrtle D. Malone.
Funding: Funded by a grant from the Florida Humanities Council
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00025122
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: Board of Trustees of the University of Florida on behalf of authors and contributors. All rights reserved.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 001747568
oclc - 25790765
notis - AJG0402
lccn - 91066897

Full Text





Chapter 1
From the Beginning to 1526



Millions of years ago the Florida peninsula consisted of a series of
volcanic islands. At one time, exotic animals roamed the land. But what about
the presence of humans in Florida? Who were the first people to arrive and
what do we know about them? Which European first landed on Florida's
shores? How many expeditions reached Florida between 1513 and 1526?
Our story of Florida's early history begins with an examination of these and
related questions.















Map showing the general territory of the chiefdoms of the Apalachee, the Timucua, and the Calusa
around 1560 A.D. The Timucua-speaking people of central and northern Florida are well known from
the prints of Theodore de Bry and the paintings of Jacque LeMoyne. In this print, men and women of
the Saturiwa, a chiefdom of Timucua, are preparing for a feast.


The Florida Natives

People have lived in the Florida peninsula for at least 12,000 years. At
first, people lived in widely scattered groups, moving about to hunt. Over
time, people established villages, fishing communities, hunting camps, and
eventually farmlands and towns with large earthen mounds. We know that
many early peoples excelled at weaving and woodcarving, although only a
few examples of their work have survived to the present time. By the time
Christopher Columbus began exploring the Caribbean islands in 1492 and
1493, there were about 45 tribes and chiefdoms of people in Florida. That


1
From:
Coker, William S., et al. Florida :from the beginning to 1992. Houston, TX : Pioneer
Publications, C 1991.
All rights reserved. Reprinted here with the permission of the authors. Intended for
educational use only.









number refers only to the area included in Florida today. If we include
present-day Georgia (once known as Guale), South Carolina (Orista) and
North Carolina (Chicora), which were all within the boundaries of what the
Spanish called La Florida, then the number of tribes would increase
significantly. Most of the Florida tribes had very close connections
linguistically or otherwise, with certain major nations such as the Apalachee,
Calusa and Timucua (see map, below). Many of them spoke Muskhogean,
Hitchiti, or Timucuan.

Estimates of the native population at the time of European contact have
been growing over the years and the numbers vary greatly. Early studies
suggested a very small number, perhaps as few as 10,000. But more recent
estimates are as high as 750,000 or more. We know that the spread of
diseases from Europe to the Americas, especially measles and smallpox,
decimated the native population. Within a hundred or so years after European
contact, only a fraction of the pre-Columbian population still existed.

In The Only Land They Knew, J. Leitch Wright, Jr. identified five cultural
periods for the native peoples of Florida. The oldest period, known as "Early
Man," is just beginning to emerge from archaeological work at Warm Mineral
Springs (dating from roughly 10,000 years ago). But little is known about this
period. The next oldest cultural period is "Paleo Man," when people were
nomadic hunters. They killed mastodons, saber-toothed tigers and other large
animals. Hunters used stone-tipped spears to kill some of them and
stampeded others into traps.

In the "Archaic" period that followed, the native peoples were less
dependent on hunting large animals. They were also more concerned with
their environment. Hunters and gatherers, they killed small animals with darts
and spears and gathered the produce of the land and sea. They roamed less,
staying in camps and villages along the lakes and rivers, and began to make
and use pottery to store and cook their food.

During the "Woodland Period," from roughly 1,000 B.C. to 700 A.D.,
villagers started to farm. Often their crops were small-more like gardens-
near their houses. People from different areas visited and traded with one
another, traveling by canoe on the rivers. This was also the beginning of the
era of the mound-builders, when we find large mounds of shell and earth
constructed all over Florida.




2
From:
Coker, William S., et al. Florida :from the beginning to 1992. Houston, TX : Pioneer
Publications, C 1991.
All rights reserved. Reprinted here with the permission of the authors. Intended for
educational use only.































These two prints show
an Indian town of
Northeastern Florida
around the time that
the French and Spaniards
first tried to colonize the
area in the 1560s.

Most large towns had
a ball court at their
e m. S-, center (top) where people
held important feasts.

The last of the cultural periods, the "Mississippian Tradition," began after
700 A.D. and lasted until roughly the time of European contact. Peoples of
this period constructed great pyramid mounds, some as high as 100 feet, by
carrying thousands of baskets of dirt to the mound site. These were not
isolated mounds. Several were built in the same general location, a town or
village. On top of the mounds the natives erected their most important
buildings-temples and houses for chiefs. All around these towns was
farmland planted in corn and other crops. Mounds from this time period can
still be seen near Tallahassee. In Southwest Florida, the ancestors of the
Calusa became an ocean-going society who lived on islands, and connected
streams and lagoons by canals in order to move about easily by boat. It was




3

From:
Coker, William S., et al. Florida :from the beginning to 1992. Houston, TX : Pioneer
Publications, C 1991.
All rights reserved. Reprinted here with the permission of the authors. Intended for
educational use only.









these societies, ruled by chiefs, that the first explorers from Spain met when
they landed in Florida.

The Native Americans most closely associated with Florida today-the
Seminoles and Miccosukees-arrived fairly late in history. They came in the
mid-1700s from lands in Georgia. The name Seminoles probably came from
the Spanish word cimarrones, or runaways, and included a diverse number of
natives, but most prominently Creeks. But we are getting ahead of our story.

(For more information on the native peoples of Florida and their cultures,
visit Exploring Florida's Then and Now at
http://fcit.coedu.usf.edu/florida/lessonslesson s.htm, Florida Facts and History
(http://dhr.dos.state.fl.us/facts/) at the Department of Historical Resources,
and the Florida Museum of Natural History's "Teachers Guide" on this subject
at http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/education/resources.htm).

Before Ponce de Le6n

For several reasons, Juan Ponce de Le6n should be identified as the
"official discoverer" of La Florida in 1513, even though he was probably not
the first European to see the peninsula. Although experts have argued about
the details, there are at least four pre-1513 maps which some believe show
the Florida peninsula: the Juan de la Cosa map of 1500, the Alberto Cantino
map of 1502, the Nicolo Caveri (Canerio) world chart of 1504-05, and the
Martin Waldseemuller world map of 1507. Thus it seems obvious that
someone before Ponce de Le6n knew about Florida.

Spaniards made expeditions to the Bahamas and Florida before 1513.
Usually, these trips were made as slave-raids and were carried out by men
who wanted to capture natives and to carry them back to the islands of
Hispaniola and Puerto Rico. Historical records show that the indigenous
people of Florida were usually curious about Europeans and friendly to them
the first time they met. But if the Europeans demanded food or carried away
people as prisoners, then native tribes reacted with great hostility the next
time any European entered their territory.

Ponce de Le6n's Voyage of 1513

Juan Ponce de Le6n made his first trip to Florida in 1513 from Puerto
Rico. His contract with the Spanish Crown called for him to "discover and



4
From:
Coker, William S., et al. Florida :from the beginning to 1992. Houston, TX : Pioneer
Publications, C 1991.
All rights reserved. Reprinted here with the permission of the authors. Intended for
educational use only.









settle the island of Bimini (today's Andros Island in the Bahamas). He was not
searching for a Fountain of Youth.

Departing Puerto Rico on March 4, Ponce de Le6n sailed around the
Bahamas. On March 27, Easter Sunday, he passed by Abaco Island. During
the following week, he sailed on in a northwesterly direction, encountering the
northward flowing Gulf Stream. On April 2, he landed at Mosquito Inlet (today
we call it Ponce de Le6n Inlet, located at New Smyrna Beach). Because it
was still Easter week, Pascua Florida, or the Passover of Flowers, Ponce de
Le6n called the land La Florida.

During the next several months Ponce de Le6n sailed down the east coast
and around and through the keys, finally landing at a bay south of Tampa Bay
- exactly which bay is still a matter of conjecture. In this vicinity he contacted
the Calusa Indians and a fight ensued. Following this encounter, he sailed
southward and visited the Dry Tortugas where his crew caught 170 sea
turtles. From there, he traveled on to Cuba and, aided by the strong current in
the Bahama Channel, finally made it back to Puerto Rico.

What had Ponce de Le6n accomplished? Ponce de Le6n is considered
the "official discoverer" of Florida, the Gulf Stream, the Florida Keys, the Dry
Tortugas and the Bahama Channel. But he believed that La Florida was an
island. Ponce de Le6n would return to Florida in 1521.


Pedro de Salazar's Voyage, ca. 1514-1516

In the meantime, several other expeditions not so well known as those of
Ponce de Le6n reached either the Atlantic or the Gulf coasts of Florida. Paul
Hoffman, in "A Voyage to the Island of Giants," tells of Capt. Pedro de
Salazar's expedition to the Atlantic coast sometime between August 1514 and
November 1516. Salazar was primarily interested in trying to capture people
as slaves. He intended to sell them to Spanish settlers on the island of
Hispaniola. Salazar landed on one of the barrier islands off the Carolina
coast. There he found the natives friendly until he tried to carry some of them
away. These natives were taller and bigger than those of the Caribbean and
so the Spaniards described them as "giants." Salazar reportedly captured 500
people but on the trip back to Hispaniola, about 350 of his prisoners died,
apparently of starvation. Those natives who survived were tattooed and either
sold or given to Salazar's sponsors and partners in the Spanish West Indies.
Thus began nearly 50 years of slave raids on Florida.



5
From:
Coker, William S., et al. Florida :from the beginning to 1992. Houston, TX : Pioneer
Publications, C 1991.
All rights reserved. Reprinted here with the permission of the authors. Intended for
educational use only.











Diego Miruelo's Voyage, 1516?


The next voyage to La Florida is quite controversial did it, or did it not
take place? Diego Miruelo supposedly sailed up the Florida gulf coast about
1516, looking for slaves. Very little is known about this trip, if indeed it really
took place. The name Miruelo was given to a bay on the northern gulf coast,
perhaps Apalachee Bay, and subsequently there were a number of
references to Miruelo Bay.

Francisco Hernandez de Cordoba's Voyage, 1517

The next visit by Spaniards to La Florida was an accident. In 1517,
Francisco Hernandez de Cordoba landed on the southwest coast of Florida.
He had visited the Yucatan area of eastern Mexico and may have been blown
off course by a storm on his return trip to Cuba.

Alvarez de Pineda's Circumnavigation of the Gulf, 1519

Two years later, in 1519, an expedition authorized by Gov. Francisco de
Garay of Jamaica tried to find a water route between the Gulf of Mexico and
the Pacific Ocean. Alonso Alvarez de Pineda headed the four-ship expedition,
which was gone for nine months. He and his crews circumnavigated the Gulf
of Mexico and, among other things, discovered the mouth of the Mississippi
River, which they named the Rio de Espiritu Santo, the River of the Holy
Spirit. In 1520, a map prepared as a result of this expedition showed that
Florida was a peninsula and not an island. It also gave the first reasonably
good outline of the Gulf of Mexico and the Yucatan peninsula, and proved
that there was no water route to the Pacific Ocean via the Gulf of Mexico.


Ponce de Le6n's Second Trip to La Florida, 1521

By the following year, 1521, Ponce de Le6n was finally able to carry out
his 1514 contract with the crown to return to Florida and to establish a
permanent settlement on the southwest coast. He departed with two ships
and some 200 colonists and landed near Charlotte Harbor. The Calusa
Indians attacked and severely wounded Ponce de Le6n. The Spaniards
quickly departed for Cuba, where Ponce de Le6n died. This first attempt to
establish a permanent Spanish colony in Florida failed.



6
From:
Coker, William S., et al. Florida :from the beginning to 1992. Houston, TX : Pioneer
Publications, C 1991.
All rights reserved. Reprinted here with the permission of the authors. Intended for
educational use only.




















.. de Leon from Antonio de Herrera's
"History" of the Spanish Conquest.
The left-hand panel shows Ponce
Jaw i,. _de Leon fighting against the Calusa
of southern Florida in 1521.


Gordillo's and Quejo's Voyage of 1521

After this, there were more expeditions to capture people as slaves.
Lucas Vazquez de Ayll6n, a judge of the court on Santo Domingo
(Hispaniola), sent out on an expedition to search the Bahama Islands for
Indians to be sold as slaves. If that failed, the slavers were supposed to go
back to the coastal area that Salazar had called the "land of giants."

Vazquez de Ayll6n gave this task to Francisco Gordillo, who departed in
early 1521. He sailed to the Bahamas, but found no natives. Previous slave-
hunters had visited these islands on numerous occasions and had captured
so many people that few remained. Gordillo unexpectedly met another slave-
raider, Pedro de Quejo. The two joined forces at Andros Island and sailed
north and then west. After about 10 days, they finally landed near the mouth
of the South Santee River (South Carolina), named by the Spaniards the Rio
Jordan.

Among the 60 or more Indians kidnapped by Gordillo and Quejo from that
area was a young Indian boy whom they named "El Chicorano," or Francisco
Chicora. Francisco was a marvelous storyteller and after his arrival in
Hispaniola, he entertained Vazquez de Ayll6n and his friends with his tales.
Ayll6n later took Francisco to Spain, where he continued his storytelling.
Although Ayll6n had plans to return some natives to their homeland, most of
them died not long after reaching Hispaniola.





7
From:
Coker, William S., et al. Florida :from the beginning to 1992. Houston, TX : Pioneer
Publications, C 1991.
All rights reserved. Reprinted here with the permission of the authors. Intended for
educational use only.









In 1523, Vazquez de Ayll6n returned to Spain and announced that he had
discovered a "new" Andalusia across the ocean at the same latitudes as the
province of Andalusia in Spain. He proposed taking settlers there where they
could grow the same crops (grapes, olives, etc.) that were grown in Spain.
According to Paul Hoffman, in A New Andalusia, Vazquez de Ayll6n's
description of these new lands played an important role in encouraging later
expeditions to the Atlantic coast of North America, including Quejo in 1525
and Vazquez de Ayll6n's own expedition in 1526.


Quejo Returns to La Florida, 1525

In 1525, Vazquez de Ayll6n sent Quejo to the area which Quejo and
Gordillo had previously explored, the "Land of Chicora." Quejo explored the
coast from about 30 to 40 degrees north latitude, and managed to establish
good relations with most of the natives. He took formal possession of the land
and erected stone markers with the date engraved to confirm his claim. He
gave the natives seeds and instructions for planting, and hoped they would
grow crops.


Vazquez de Ayll6n's Expedition, 1526


In 1526, Vazquez de
Ayll6n decided to
make the trip to these
lands himself. He
departed about the
middle of July 1526
with six ships and
about 600 people.
After three weeks at
sea, they landed on
the coast at the Rio
Jordan. Francisco
Chicora, the Indian
who had been taken
to Spain,
accompanied Ayll6n,
but later deserted.


The settlers under Vazquez de Ayll6n fight against Indians in the
vicinity of Port Royal Sound.
Reproduction of Seth Eastman's "Ally6n and the Chicoras".


From:
Coker, William S., et al. Florida :from the beginning to 1992. Houston, TX : Pioneer
Publications, 1991.
All rights reserved. Reprinted here with the permission of the authors. Intended for
educational use only.


**-."-'^^f '









Ayll6n and his party explored the coast for some distance and reached
Port Royal Sound on August 18. Ayll6n eventually established a colony, San
Miguel de Gualdape, today's Sapelo Sound. He died there on October 18,
1526. The survivors, their numbers seriously depleted because of a shortage
of food, contaminated drinking water and fights with hostile Indians, began
quarreling among themselves. They abandoned San Miguel about mid-
November and left Ayll6n's body buried there. Only about 150 persons
survived the expedition.

As you can see, by 1526, the Spaniards had a pretty good idea of the
general geographic area of La Florida, and of the Atlantic coast all the way up
to South Carolina. Some of them were convinced that the land had good
agricultural prospects. They had not found any riches: gold, silver, etc. of any
consequence. They also knew that many of the Indians were hostile. But
many looked upon Florida as a land of opportunity and there were those who
wanted to explore it. They hoped that they could still find that elusive "pot of
gold" under the distant Florida rainbow.




























9
From:
Coker, William S., et al. Florida :from the beginning to 1992. Houston, TX : Pioneer
Publications, C 1991.
All rights reserved. Reprinted here with the permission of the authors. Intended for
educational use only.




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