Florida Indian Tribes
Meaning unknown (acu
signifies "and" and also "moon").
tribe belonged to the Timucuan or Timuquanan linguistic division of the
Muskhogean linguistic family.
Apparently about the headwaters of the Ocklawaha River.
History. The Acuera were
first noted by De Soto in a letter written at Tampa Bay to the civil
cabildo of Santiago de Cuba. According to information transmitted to him
by his officer Baltazar de Gallegos, Acuera was "a large town where with
much convenience we might winter," but the Spaniards did not in fact pass
through it, though, while they were at Ocale, they sent to Acuera for
corn. The name appears later in Laudonniere's narrative of the second
French expedition to Florida, 1564-65 (1586), as a tribe allied with the
Utina. It is noted sparingly in later Spanish documents but we learn that
in 1604 there was an encounter between these Indians and Spanish troops
and that there were two Acuera missions in 1655, San Luis and Santa Lucia,
both of which had disappeared by 1680. The inland position of the Acuera
is partly responsible for the few notices of them. The remnant was
probably gathered into the "Pueblo de Timucua," which stood near St.
Augustine in 1736, and was finally removed to the Mosquito Lagoon and
Halifax River in Volusia County, where Tomoka River keeps the name alive.
Population. This is
nowhere given by itself. (See Utina.)
Meaning unknown; there is
no basis for Romans' (1775) derivation from the Choctaw word "isi" (deer).
Jece, form of the name given by Dickenson (1699).
See Ais Location
A tribe or band perhaps connected with the Yamasee, placed in a mission on
the Apalachee coast in 1674 with two others, Chine, and Caparaz (q. v.). The three
together had 300 souls.
At times some of the Apalachicola
Indians lived south of the present Florida boundary line and they gave their
name to the great river which runs through the panhandle of that State. (See
A small tribe or band placed in 1674 in connection with a doctrina called San
Luis on the Apalachee coast along with two other bands called Amacano and Chine.
Possibly they may have been survivors of the Capachequi encountered by De
Soto in 1540. The three bands were estimated to contain 300 people.
Meaning unknown, but the forms of this
word greatly resemble the synonyms of the name Choctaw.
Connections. The language
spoken by this tribe belonged, undoubtedly, to the southern division of
the Muskhogean stock.
Location. West of
Apalachicola River, perhaps near the middle course of the Chipola. (See
also Georgia, Alabama, and Louisiana).
Villages. From the names
of two Spanish missions among them it would appear that there were at
least two towns in early times, one called Chacato, after the name of the
tribe, and the other Tolentino.
History. The Chatot are
first mentioned in a Spanish document of 1639 in which the governor of
Florida congratulates himself on having consummated peace between the
Chatot, Apalachicola, and Yamasee on one side and the Apalachee on the
other. This, he says, "is an extraordinary thing, because the aforesaid
Chacatos never maintained peace with anybody." In 1674 the two missions
noted above were established among these people, but the following year
the natives rebelled. The disturbance was soon ended by the Spanish
officer Florencia, and the Chatot presently settled near the Apalachee
town of San Luis, mission work among them being resumed. In 1695, or
shortly before, Lower Creek Indians attacked this mission, plundered the
church, and carried away 42 Christianized natives. In 1706 or 1707,
following on the destruction of the Apalachee towns, the Chatot and
several other small tribes living near it were attacked and scattered or
carried off captive, and the Chatot fled to Mobile, where they were well
received by Bienville and located on the site of the present city of
Mobile. When Bienville afterward moved the seat of his government to this
place he assigned to them land on Dog
River by way of compensation. After Mobile was ceded to the English in
1763 the Chatot, along with a number of other small tribes near that city,
moved to Louisiana. They appear to have settled first on Bayou Boeuf and
later on Sabine River. Nothing is heard of them afterward though in 1924
some old Choctaw remembered their former presence on the Sabine. The
remnant may have found their way to Oklahoma.
Population. I would
estimate a population of 1,200-1,500 for the Chatot when they were first
missionized (1674). When they were settled on the site of Mobile,
Bienville (1932, vol. 3, p. 536) says that they could muster 250 men,
which would indicate a population of near 900, but in 1725-26 there were
but 40 men and perhaps a total population of 140. In 1805 they are said to
have had 30 men or about 100 people. In 1817 a total of 240 is returned by
Morse (1822), but this figure is probably twice too large.
Connection in which they have
become noted. The Chatot are noted because at one time they occupied
the site of Mobile, Ala., and because Bayou Chattique, Choctaw Point, and
Choctaw Swamp close by that city probably preserve their name. The
Choctawhatchee, which is near their former home, was probably named for
A few Creeks of this tribe
emigrated from their former towns to Florida before the Creek-American War and
after that encounter may have been joined by others. In an early list of
Seminole settlements they are credited with one town on "Beech Creek," and this
may have been identical with Fulemmy's
Town or Pinder Town located on Suwanee River in 1817, which was said to be
occupied by Chiaha Indians. The Mikasuki are reported to have branched off
from this tribe. (See Georgia.)
A tribe mentioned in an enumeration of the Indians in Florida missions made
in 1726. Possibly the name is derived from Muskogee chiloki, "people of a different
speech," and since one of the two missions where they are reported was San
Buenaventura and elsewhere that mission is said to have been occupied by
Mocama Indians, that is, seacoast Timucua, a Timucuan connection is
indicated. In the list mentioned, 70 Chilucan were said to be at San
Buenaventura and 62 at the mission of Nombre de Dios.
A small tribe or band associated
with two others called Amacano and Caparaz (q. v.) in a
doctrina established on the coast of the Apalachee country called San
Luis. Other evidence suggests that Chine may be the name of a Chatot
chief. Later they may have moved into the Apalachee country, for in a
mission list dated 1680 there appears a mission called San Pedro de los
Chines. This tribe and the Amacano and Caparaz were said to number 300
individuals in 1674.
Oconee, Sawokli, Tawasa, and
Indians. A name applied to the people of seven to nine neighboring towns,
and for which there is no native equivalent. See
Fresh Water Location
Connections. On the
evidence furnished by place names in this section, the tribe is classified
with the south Florida peoples.
Location. On or near
Saint Lucie River in Saint Lucie and Palm Beach Counties.
History. The Guacata are first
mentioned by Fontaneda (1854), who in one place speaks of them as on Lake
Mayaimi (Okeechobee), but this probably means only that they ranged across
to the lake from the eastern seacoast. Shortly after his conquest of
Florida Menendez left 200 men in the Ais country, but the Indians of that
tribe soon rose against them and they moved to the neighborhood of the
Guacata, where they were so well treated that they called the place Santa
Lucia. Next year, however, these Indians rose against them and although
they were at first defeated the Spaniards were so hard pressed that they
abandoned the place in 1568. They were still an independent body in the
time of Dickenson, in 1699, but not long afterward they evidently united
with other east coast bands, and they were probably part of those who
emigrated to Cuba in 1763.
Population. No separate
estimate has ever been made. (See
Ais.) Guale. In relatively late times
many of these Indians were driven from their country into Florida. (See
The ancient home of the Hitchiti
was north of Florida but after the destruction of the earlier tribes of the
peninsula, in which they themselves participated, Hitchiti-speaking peoples
moved in in great numbers to take their places, so that up to the Creek-American
War, the Hitchiti language was spoken by the greater number of
Seminole. The later immigration, as we have indicated above, reduced
the Hitchiti element to a minority position, so that what we now call the
Seminole language is practically identical with Muskogee. True Hitchiti as
distinguished from Hitchiti-speaking peoples who bore other names, do not
appear to have been very active in this early movement though Hawkins
(1848) mentions them as one of those tribes from which the Seminole were
made up. The Hitchiti settlement of Attapulgas or Atap'halgi and perhaps
other of the so-called Fowl Towns seem to represent a later immigration
into the peninsula. (See
Connections. They were
undoubtedly of the Timucuan group though they seem to have been confused
at times with a tribe called Cascangue which may have been related to the
Muskogee or Hitchiti. On the other hand, Cascangue may have been another
name of this tribe, possibly one employed by Creeks or Hitchiti.
Location. On the mainland
and probably in southeastern Georgia near the border between the Timucua
and the strictly Muskhogean populations.
Villages. Seven or eight
towns are said to have belonged to this tribe but the names of none of
them are known with certainty.
History. Icafui seems to
be mentioned first by the Franciscan missionaries who occasionally passed
through it on their way to or from interior peoples. It was a "visita" of
the missionary at San Pedro (Cumberland Island). Otherwise its history
differed in no respect from that of the other Timucuan tribes. (See
figures regarding this tribe are wanting. (See
Connections. The Jeaga are classed on the basis of place names and
location with the tribes of south Florida, which were perhaps of
the Muskhogean division proper.
Location. On the present Jupiter Inlet, on the east coast of Florida.
Between this tribe and the Tequesta the names of several settlements are
given which may have belonged to one or both of them, viz: Cabista,
History. The Jeaga tribe is mentioned by Fontaneda (1854) and by many
later Spanish writers but it was of minor importance. Near Jupiter Inlet
the Quaker Dickenson (1803), one of our best informants regarding the
ancient people of the east coast of Florida, was cast
ashore in 1699. In the eighteenth century, this tribe was probably merged
with the Ais, Tequesta, and other tribes of this coast, and removed with
them to Cuba. (See Ais.)
Population. No separate enumeration is known. (See
Appearance of a "Coosada Old Town" on the middle course of
Choctawhatchee River on a map of 1823 shows that a band of Koasati Indians
joined the Seminole in Florida, but this is all we know of them. (See
Meaning unknown. A small tribe which was brought to the St. Augustine
missions in 1726 along with some Pohoy, and so
apparently from the southwest coast. There were only 24, part of whom died
and the rest returned to their old homes before 1728.
Connections. These Indians belonged to the Hitchiti-speaking
branch of the Muskhogean linguistic family. They are said by some
to have branched from the true Hitchiti, but those who claim that
they were originally Chiaha are probably correct.
earliest known home was about Miccosukee Lake
in Jefferson County. (See also Oklahoma.)
Alachua Talofa or John Hick's Town, in the Alachua Plains, Alachua County.
New Mikasuki, near Greenville in Madison County.
Old Mikasuki, near
History. The name Mikasuki appears about 1778 and therefore we know that
their independent status had been established by that date whether they
had separated from the Hitchiti or the Chiaha. They lived first at Old
Mikasuki and then appear to have divided, part going to New Mikasuki and
part to the Alachua Plains. Some writers denounce them as the worst of all
Seminole bands, but it is quite likely that, as a tribe differing in
speech from themselves, the Muskogee element blamed them for sins they
themselves had committed. Old Mikasuki was burned by Andrew Jackson in
1817. Most Mikasuki seem to have remained in Florida where they still
constitute a distinct body, the Big Cypress band of Seminole. Those who
went to Oklahoma retained a distinct Square Ground as late as 1912.
Population. Morse (1822) quotes a certain Captain Young to the effect that
there were 1,400 Mikasuki in his time, about 1817. This figure is probably
somewhat too high though the Mikasuki element is known to have been a
large one. They form one entire band among
the Florida Seminole.
Connection in which they have become noted. The Mikasuki
attained prominence in the Seminole War. In the form Miccosukee their name
has been applied to a lake in Jefferson and Leon Counties, Fla., and a
post village in the latter county. In the form Mekusuky it has been given
to a village in Seminole County, Okla.
Connections. They belonged with little doubt to the Timucuan division of
the Muskhogean linguistic stock.
Location. About the head of Hillsboro
Villages. None are mentioned under any other than the tribal name.
History. The chief of this tribe gave asylum to a Spaniard named Juan
Ortiz who had come to Florida in connection with the expedition of Narvaez.
When De Soto landed near the Mocogo town its chief sent Ortiz with an
escort of warriors to meet him. Ortiz afterward became De Soto's principal
interpreter until his death west of the Mississippi, and the Mocogo chief
remained on good terms with the Spaniards as long as they stayed in the
neighborhood. There are only one or two later references to the tribe.
Connection in which they have become noted. The contacts of the Mocogo
with De Soto and his followers constitute their only claim to distinction.
A small Creek town whose
inhabitants were probably related by speech to the Alabama and Koasati. They are
said to have gone to Florida after the Creek War. (See
The first true Creeks or Muskogee
to enter Florida seem to have been a body of Eufaula Indians who made a
settlement called Chuko tcati,
Red House, on the west side of the peninsula some distance north of Tampa
Bays This was in 1761. Other Muskogee drifted into Florida from time to
time, but the great immigration took place after the Creek-American War.
The newcomers were from many towns, but more particularly those on the
Tallapoosa River. They gave the final tone and the characteristic language
to the Florida emigrants who had before been dominantly of Hitchiti
connection, and therefore the so-called Seminole language is Muskogee,
with possibly a few minor changes in the vocabulary. (See
Ocale, or Etocale
Meaning unknown, but perhaps connected with Timucua tocala, "it is more than," a comparative verb.
A possible exception to this statement was the temporary entrance of a
small body of Coweta Indiana under Secoffee, or the Cowkeeper.
Location. In Marion County or Levy County north of the bend of the Withlacoochee River.
Uqueten (first village approaching from the south), and perhaps
History. This tribe is first mentioned by the chroniclers of the De Soto
expedition. He passed through it in 1539 after crossing Withlacoochee
River. Fontaneda also heard of it, and it seems to appear on De Bry's map
of 1591. This is the last information that has been preserved.
Population. Unknown. (See
Acuera and Utina.)
Connection in which they have
become noted. Within comparatively modern
times this name was adopted in the form Ocala as that of the county seat
of Marion County, Fla. There is a place so called in Pulaski County, Ky.
leaving the Chattahoochee about 1750 the Oconee moved
into Florida and established themselves on the Alachua
Plains in a town which Bartram calls Cuscowilla. They
constituted the first large band of northern Indians to
settle in Florida and their chiefs came to be recognized
as head chiefs of the Seminole. One of these, Mikonopi, was
prominent during the Seminole War, but the identity of the tribe itself is
lost after that struggle. Another part of them seem to have settled for a
time among the Apalachee. (See
In the narratives of Laudonni6re and Le Moyne this
appears as one of the two main Timucua tribes in the
northwestern part of Florida, the other being the
Hostaqua (or Yustaga). Elsewhere I have suggested that
it may have covered the Indians afterward gathered into
the missions of Santa Cruz de Tarihica, San Juan de Guacara, Santa Catalina, and Ajoica,
where there were 230 Indians in 1675, but that is uncertain. (See
division thought to have originated in Florida. (See
Connections. They were probably affiliated either with the Tawasa or the
Alabama. In any case there is no reason to doubt that they spoke a
Muskhogean dialect, using Muskhogean in the extended sense.
Location. The earliest known location of the Pawokti seems to have been
west of Choctawhatchee River, not far from the shores of the Gulf of
Mexico. (See also Alabama.)
History. Lamhatty (in Bushnell, 1908) assigns the Pawokti
the above location before they were driven away by northern Indians,
evidently Creeks, in 1706-7. Although the name does not appear in any
French documents known to me, they probably settled near Mobile along with
the Tawasa. At any rate we find them on Alabama River in 1799 a few miles
below the present Montgomery and it is assumed they had been there from
1717, when Fort Toulouse was established. Their subsequent history is
merged in that of the Alabama.
Meaning "hair people," probably from their own tongue,
which in that case was very close to Choctaw.
Connections. The name itself, and other bits of circumstantial evidence,
indicate that the Pensacola belonged to the Muskhogean stock and, as above
noted, probably spoke a dialect close to Choctaw.
Location. In the neighborhood of Pensacola Bay. (See also
History. In 1528 the survivors of the Narvaez expedition had an encounter
with Indians near Pensacola Bay who probably belonged to this tribe. It is
also probable that their territory constituted the province of Achuse or
Ochus which Maldonado, the commander of De Soto's fleet, visited in 1539
and whence he brought a remarkably fine "blanket of sable fur." In 1559 a
Spanish colony under Tristan de Luna landed in a port called "the Bay of
Ichuse," (or "Ychuse") undoubtedly in the same province, but the
enterprise was soon given up and the colonists returned to Mexico. The
Pensacola tribe seems to be mentioned first by name in Spanish letters
dated 1677. In 1686 we learn they were at war with the Mobile Indians.
Twelve years afterward, when the Spanish post of Pensacola was
established, it is claimed that the tribe had been exterminated by other
peoples, but this is an error. It had merely moved farther inland and
probably toward the west. They are noted from time to time, and in 1725-6
Bienville (1932, vol. 3, p. 535) particularly describes the location of
their village near that of the Biloxi of Pearl River. The last mention of
them seems to be in an estimate of Indian population dated December 1,
1764, in which their name appears along with those of six other small
tribes. They may have been incorporated finally into the
Choctaw or have accompanied one of the smaller Mobile tribes into
Louisiana near the date last mentioned.
Population. In 1725 (or 1726) Bienville (1932, vol. 3, p. 535) says that
in the Pensacola village and that of the Biloxi together, there were not
more than 40 men. The enumeration mentioned above, made in 1764, gives the
total population of this tribe and the
Chatot, Capinans, Washa, Chawasha, and Pascagoula collectively as 251 men.
Connection in which they have become noted. Through the adoption of their
name first for that of Pensacola Bay and secondly for the port which grew
up upon it, the Pensacola have attained a fame entirely disproportionate
to the aboriginal importance of the tribe. There are places of the name in
Yancey County, N. C., and Mayes County, Okla.
Pooy, or Posoy. Meaning unknown.
Connections. They were evidently closely connected with the
Timucuan division of the Muskhogean linguistic stock. (See
Location. On the south shore of Tampa Bay.
Towns. (See History.)
History. This tribe, or a part of the same, appears first in history under
the names Ošita or Ucita as a "province" in the territory of which
Hernando de Soto landed in 1539. He established his headquarters in the
town of the head chief on June 1, and when he marched inland on July 15 he
left a captain named Calder6n with a hundred men to hold this place
pending further developments. These were withdrawn at the end of November
to join the main army in the Apalachee country. In 1612 these Indians
appear for the first time under the name Pohoy or Pooy in the account of
an expedition to the southwest coast of Florida under an ensign named
Cartaya. In 1675 Bishop Calder6n speaks of the "Pojoy River," and in 1680
there is a passing reference to it. Some time before 1726 about 20 Indians
of this tribe were placed in a mission called Santa Fe, 9 leagues south of
St. Augustine, but they had already suffered from an epidemic and by 1728
the remainder returned to their former homes. (See
Population. In 1680 the Pohoy were said to number 300.
Connection in which they have become noted. The only claim of the Pohoy to
distinction is derived from their contacts with the expedition of De Soto.
Location. In the, territory of the present Alachua County.
The following places named in the De Soto narratives probably belonged to
this tribe: Itaraholata or Ytara, Potano, Utinamocharra or Utinama,
and a town they called Mala-Paz.
A letter dated 1602 mentions five towns,
and on and after 1606, when missionaries reached the tribe, stations were
established called San Francisco, San Miguel, Santa Anna, San
Buenaventura, and San Martin(?). There is mention also of a mission
station called Apalo.
History. The name Potano first appears as that of a
province through which De Soto passed in 1539. In 1564-65 the French
colonists of Florida found this tribe at war with the Utina and a assisted the
latter to win victory over them. After the Spaniards had supplanred
the French, they also supported the Utina in wars between them and the
Potano. In 1584 a Spanish captain sent to invade the Potano country was
defeated and slain. A second expedition, however,
killed many Indians and drove them from their town. In 1601 they
asked to be allowed to return to it and in 1606 missionary work
undertaken among them resulting in their conversion along with most of th
eother Timucua peoples. Their mission was known as San Francisco de
POotano and it appears in the mission lists of
1680. In 1656 they took part in a general Timucuan uprising which
lasted 8 months. In 1672 a pestilence carried off many and a the chief of Potano does not appear as signatory
to a letter written to
Charles II by several Timucua chiefs in 1688, it is possible their separate
identity had come to an end by the date. Early in the 18th century the Timucua along with
the rest of Spanish Indians of Florida were decimated rapidly and the
remnant of the
Potano must have shared their fate. (See
Population. Mooney (1928) estimates the number of Potano Indians at at
3,000 in 1650 and this is probably fairly accurate, as the
Franciscan missionaries state that they were catechizing 1,100 persons
in the 5 towns belonging to the tribe in 1602. In 1675 there were about 160 in the
2 Potano missions (See Acera and
Connections in which they
have become noted. The Potano tribe was anciently celebrated as, with
one or two possible exceptions, the most powerful of all the Timucua
Location. About the mouth of St. Johns River.
Some early writers
seem to include Cumberland Island in their jurisdiction.
LaudonniÚre (1586) says that the chief of this tribe ruled over 30 sub-chiefs,
but it is uncertain whether these subchiefs represented villages
belonging allied tribes, or both.
The Spaniards give the following:
Juan dell Puerrto, the
main mission for this province under which were Vera Cruz, Arratbo, Potaya,
San Matheo, San Pablo, Hicachirico ("Little Town"), Chinisca,
San Diego de Salamototo, near the site of Picolata, on which no villages
seem have depended; and Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe, 3 leagues from
may be classed here somewhat uncertainly.
History. The Saturiwa were visited by Jean Ribault in 1562 and probably by
earlier explorers, but they appear first under their proper name in the
chronicles of the Huguenot settlement of Florida of
1564-5. Fort Caroline was built in the territory of the Saturiwa and
intimate relations continued between the French and Indians until the
former were dispossessed by Spain. The chief, known as Saturiwa at this
time, assisted De Gourgues in 1567 to avenge the destruction of his
countrymen. It is perhaps for this reason that we find the Spaniards
espousing the cause of Utina against Saturiwa 10 years later. The tribe
soon submitted to Spain, however, and was one of the first missionized,
its principal mission being San Juan del Puerto. There labored Francisco
de Pareja to whose grammar and religious works we are chiefly indebted for
our knowledge of the Timucua language (Pareja, 1612, 1613, 1856). Like the
other Florida Indians, they suffered severely from pestilence in 1617 and
1672. The name of their chief appears among those involved in the Timucua
rebellion of 1656, and the names of their missions appear in the list of
Bishop Calder6n and in that of 1680. We hear nothing more of them, and
they evidently suffered the same fate as the other tribes of the group.
Population. No separate figures for the Saturiwa have been preserved,
except that a missionary states in 1602 that there were about 500
Christians among them and in 1675 San Juan del Puerto contained "about
thirty persons" and Salamototo "about forty." (See
Connection in which they have become noted. The prominence of the Saturiwa
was due to the intimate dealings between them and the French colonists.
Later the same people, though not under the same name, became a main
support of the Spanish missionary movement among the Florida Indians.
A division of Creek Indians belonging to the Hitchiti
speaking group. Anciently it seems to have lived entirely in Florida, but later
it moved up into the neighborhood of the Lower Creeks. (See
Connections. Somewhat doubtful, but they were probably of the Timucuan
linguistic group. (See Utina.)
Location. At or' very close to Cape Canaveral.
History. The Surruque appear first in history as the "Sorrochos" of Le
Moyne's map (1875,) and his "Lake Sarrope" also probably derived its name
from them. About the end of the same century, the sixteenth, trouble arose
between them and the Spaniards, in consequence of which the Spanish
governor fell upon a Surruque town, killed 60 persons and captured 54.
Later they probably united with the Timucua people and shared their
Population. No estimate is possible. (See
The meaning is unknown, though it seems to
have something to do with "fire" (taca).
Location. On Cumberland Island to which the name Tacatacuru
It is probable that the same name was used for its chief town, which was
missionized by the Spaniards under the name of San Pedro Mocama. Under
this mission were those of Santo Domingo and Santa Maria de Sena.
History. The chief of Tacatacuru (now Cumberland Island), or of the
neighboring mainland, met Jean Ribault in 1562 and seems to have remained
on good terms with the French during their occupancy of Fort Caroline in
1564-65. He, or a successor, is mentioned among those who joined De Gourgues in his attack upon the Spaniards in 1567, but soon afterward they
made peace with Spain and one chief, Don Juan, was of great assistance to
the white men in many ways, particularly in driving back the Guale Indians
after their rising in 1597. This chief died in 1600, and was succeeded by
his niece. The church built by these Indians was said to be as big as that
in St. Augustine. The good relations which subsisted between the
Tacatacuru Indians and the Spaniards do not appear to have been broken by
the Timucua rebellion of 1656. By 1675 the tribe had abandoned Cumberland
Island and it was occupied by Yamasee. The mission of San Pedro Mocama
consequently does not appear in tho mission list of 1680, although it is
in that of 1655.' The tribe was subsequently amalgamated with the other
Timucua peoples and shared their fortunes. (See
Population. There is no estimate of the number of Tacatacuru distinct from
that of the other Timucua. The missionary stationed among them in 1602
notes that there were then 8 settlements and 792 Christianized Indians in
his province, but this province may not have been confined to the tribe.
In that year Santo Domingo served 180 Christians and Santa Maria de Sena
Connections. They spoke a dialect belonging to the Timucuan division of
the Muskhogean linguistic family, intermediate between Timucua proper and
Choctaw, Hitchiti, Alabama, and Apalachee.
Location. In 1706-7 in west Florida about the latitude of the
junction of the Chattahoochee and Flint Rivers; at an earlier time and
again later they were on the Alabama near the present Montgomery. (See
I have stated elsewhere (Swanton, 1946, p. 187) that the name of this
mission was wanting in the list drawn up in 1656. I should have given the
date as 1680.
They usually occupied only one town but Autauga on Autauga Creek in the
southeastern part of Autauga County, Ala., is said to have belonged to
History. De Soto found the Tawasa near the Montgomery site in 1540. Some
time during the next century and a half they moved to the neighborhood of
Apalachicola River, but in 1707 they were attacked by the Creeks, who
captured some of them, while the greater part fled to the French and were
by them given lands near the present Mobile. They occupied several
different sites in that neighborhood but in 1717 they moved back to the
region where De Soto found them, their main village being in the
northwestern suburbs of the present Montgomery. After the Treaty of Fort
Jackson in 1814, they were compelled to abandon this place and move into
the Creek territories between the Coosa and Talapoosa Rivers, where they
remained until the main migration beyond the Mississippi. Previous to
this, some of them had gone with other Alabama into Louisiana and they
followed their fortunes. The name was remembered by Alabama in Polk
County, Tex., until within a few years.
Population. The French census of 1760 returned 40 Tawasa men and the
Georgia census of 1792 "about 60." The census of 1832-33 gives 321 Indians
in towns called Tawasa and Autauga, but all of these were quite certainly
not Tawasa Indians in the strict application of that term. (See
Connection in which they have become noted. The Tawasa tribe will be
remembered ethnologically on account of the rescue of so much important
information regarding the early history of themselves and their neighbors
through the captive Indian Lamhatty (in Bushnell,
1908), who made his way into Virginia in 1708, and on account of the still
more important vocabulary obtained from him.
Connections. The language of this tribe was probably connected with the
languages of the other peoples of the southeast coast of Florida and with
that of the Calusa, and may have been Muskhogean.
Location. In the neighborhood of Miami.
Besides Tekesta proper, the main town, four villages are mentioned between
that and the next tribe to the north, the Jeaga, to whom some of the
have belonged. These were, in order from south to north: Tavuacio, Janar,
Cabista, and Custegiyo.
History. The Tekesta do not appear in history much before the time of Fontaneda, who was a captive among the Calusa from 1551 to 1569. In 1566
we learn that they protected certain Spaniards from the Calusa chief,
although the latter is sometimes regarded as their overlord. A post was established in their country
in 1566 but abandoned 4 years later. Attempts made to convert them to
Christianity at that time were without success. In 1573 they are said to
have been converted by Pedro Menendez Marques, but later they returned to
their primitive beliefs. It was these Indians who, according to Romans
(1775), went to Cuba in 1763 along with some others from this coast.
Population. Mooney (1928) estimates that in 1650 there were 1,000 Indians
on the southeast coast of Florida. According to Romans those who went to
Cuba in 1763 had 30 men. Adair (1775) says there were 80 families.
Connection in which they have become noted. Although the name has found no
topographical lodgement, the Tekesta may be remembered as the earliest
known body of people to occupy the site of Miami.
Meaning unknown, though toco means in Timucua "to come out," "to
Connections. (See Mina.)
Location. About Old Tampa Bay.
The main town was at or near Safety Harbor at the head of Old Tampa Bay.
History. Narvaez probably landed in the territory of this tribe in 1528,
but his chroniclers speak of meeting very few Indians. Eleven years later
De Soto's expedition disembarked just south in Tampa Bay but came into
little contact with this tribe. Two years after driving the French from
St. Johns River in 1565, Menendez visited Tocobaga, and left a captain and
30 soldiers among them, all of whom were wiped out the year following. In
1612 a Spanish expedition was sent to punish the chiefs of Pohoy and
Tocobaga because they had attacked Christian Indians, but spent little
time in the latter province. There is no assured reference to a mission
nearer than Acuera, nor do the Tocobaga appear among the tribes which
participated in the great Timucua revolt of 1656. Ultimately it is
probable that they joined the other Timucua and disappeared with them,
though they may have united with the Calusa. It is also possible that they
are the "Tompacuas" who appear later in the Apalachee country, and if so
they may have been the Indians placed in 1726 in a mission near St.
Augustine called San Buenaventura under the name "Macapiras" or
"Amacapiras." (See Utina.)
Population. Unknown. (See
Connection in which they have become noted. The principal claim to
notoriety on the part of the Tocobaga is the fact that Narvaez landed in
their country in.1528.
The first name, which probably
refers to the chief and means "powerful," is perhaps originally from uti,
"earth," while the second name, Timucua, is that from which the linguistic
stock, or rather this Muskhogean subdivision of it, has received its name. See
Some tribes affiliated with the
Yamasee settled in the Apalachee country in the latter part of the seventeenth
century. The great body came to Florida from South Carolina after their war with
the English colonists in 1715, and most of them remained in the northeastern
part of the peninsula. Their final appearance is as the Ocklawaha band of
Seminole. Part of them moved west, however, and settled near Mobile, and either
this or a third party lived among the Creeks for a time, after which they seem
to have returned to west Florida, where they were represented by the "Yumersee" town of the Seminole. A considerable number of them were
captured by the Creek Indians and incorporated with them.
In the seventeenth century a body
of Yuchi established themselves west of Apalachicola River, but moved north to
join the Upper Creeks before 1761. At a much later date a body of eastern Yuchi
joined the Seminole and in 1823 had a settlement called Tallahassee or Spring
Gardens 10 miles from Volusia. They probably moved to Oklahoma at the end of the
last Seminole war. (See Georgia.)
This is the name of a town or group of towns reported as located somewhere
inland from Cumberland Island, and perhaps in the present territory of Georgia.
The name is derived through Timucua informants but it may have referred to a
part of the Muskogee tribe called Eufaula.
Meaning unknown. Connections. (See
Location. On the mainland 14 leagues inland from Cumberland Island and
probably in the southeastern part of the present state of Georgia.
They had five villages but the names of these are either unknown or
History. The name of the Yui appears first in Spanish documents. They were
visited by the missionary at San Pedro (Cumberland Island) and appear to
have been Christianized early in the seventeenth century. No individual
mission bore their name and they are soon lost sight of, their history
becoming that of the other Timucua tribes.
Population. The missionaries estimated more than 1,000 Indians in this
province in 1602. (See Utina.)
Connections. No words of the Yustaga language have been preserved but
circumstantial evidence indicates they belonged to the Timucuan branch of
the Muskhogean linguistic stock, although occasionally the provinces of
Timucua and Yustaga are spoken of as if distinct.
Location. Approximately between Aucilla and Suwannee Rivers, somewhat
toward the coast.
The Yustaga villages cannot be satisfactorily identified though the
missions of Asile, San Marcos, Machaba, and San Pedro seem to have
belonged to it.
History. The Yustaga are first mentioned by Biedma (in Bourne, 1904), one
of the chroniclers of De Soto, who gives the title to a "province" through
which the Spaniards marched just before coming to Apalachee. While the
French Huguenots were on St. Johns River, some of them visited this tribe,
and later it is again mentioned by the Spaniards but no mission bears the
name. Its history is soon merged in that of the Timucuan peoples
generally. The last mention of the name appears to be in 1659. It is of
particular interest as the province from which the Osocbi Indians who
settled among the Lower Creeks probably emigrated in 1656 or shortly
Population. In 1675, 40 Indians were reported in the mission of Asile and
300 in each of the others, giving a total very close to Mooney's (1928)
estimate of 1,000 as of the year 1600.
Notes About the Book:
Source: The Indian Tribes of North America, by John R. Swanton, 1953, Bureau of
American Ethnology, Bulletin 145, US Government Printing Office, Washington DC.
Online Publication: The manuscript was scanned and then ocr'd. Minimal editing
has been done, and readers can and should expect some errors in the textual