Florida History




Missions were first established by the Spanish to convert the Indians to Christianity.  Florida's missions were begun during the mid 16th Century.  The Spanish claimed much of the Souteastern United States and also used these missions to control the area, keeping out colonization from France and England principally.  The main area they wished to claim was Florida and southern Georgia .  The first recorded attempt to build a mission was in the Tampa Bay area in 1549 but it met with almost immediate failure when Father Luis de Cancer was killed at the hands of the Tocobaga natives.  

The first successful mission was begun in St. Augustine in 1565.  There were 10 prescidios which were fortified bases established between 1565 and 1567  at major harbors.  Most of them were unsustainable.  By 1573 there were only two left.  St. Augustine and Santa Elena.

Santa Elena 1566-1587
Ochuse Mission 1559-1561 by Tristan DeLuna by Pensacola
San Juan Del Puerto 1567
Nombre De Dios 1565, San Agustin
Tequesta 1567, Southern end of Florida
San Antonio 1567

The missions were divided into four provinces 

Apalachee     eastern part of the Florida Panhandle.
Timcua         from the St. Johns river westward to the Suwannee River.
Mocama       the coastal areas east of the St. Johns Running north to the Altmaha River
Guale            North of the Altamaha River along the coast to the Georgia Sea Islands.
A plaque has been erected in St. Augustine May 5 1996, the 125th anniversary year of the Diocese of St. Augustine through the generous assistance of the Florida Sate Council Knights of Columbus, The Most Reverend John J. Snyder D.D. Bishop of Saint Augustine. which shows the Florida Missions of the First Spanish Period 1565-1763.  By clicking in the lower right hand corner you can see an enlargement of the plaque.   source: Wikipedia

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September 7 2014