Archaeology and History of the Granada Site

 

Volume II

 

Where the River Found the Bay

 

 

Historical Study of the Granada Site, Miami, Florida

 

Arva Moore Parks

 

 

Prepared under contract for

The City of Miami

 

 

by

 

 

Division of Archives, History and Records lanagement

Florida Department of State

George Firestone, Secretary of State


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It has even seen an injustice against future generations carelessly to consign to oblivion the deeds of worthy men.  For these excellent individuals have been led by their courage and greatness of spirit to perform acts deserving a better fate than to be lost through the action of invidious time. When heroic deeds are forgotten, the example is lost which should inspire other heroes on other occasions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bartolome Barrientos

1567

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

 

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION ......................................1

 

PREFACE ...........................................7

 

PART I:     Miami's First People ..................13

 

PART II:    Permanent Settlement ..................73

 

PART III:  The Ups and Downs of Fort

Dallas Park ..........................135

 

APPENDICES ......................................164

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

 

 

 

 

 


Figure 1.


Coast Survey Map of Mouth of Miami

River .....................................99


Figure

2.

The Long Building During J.W. Evan's

Occupancy ................................120

Figure

3.

Two-story Stone Building, Circa 1884 .....122

Figure

4.

Granada site, circa 1894 .................124

Figure

5.

1910 Plat of Fort Dallas Park ............137

Figure

6.

Granada Site When Robert Clay Hotel

Was Under Construction ...................147

Figure

7.

Tuttle House at Time of Demolition .......151

Figure

8.

Granada Site, 1930's .....................153

Figure

9.

Granada Site, 1930's .....................154

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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INTRODUCTION

 

 

 

It was December 13, 1978, one of those special warm and sunny December days that made everyone feel good about being in Miami.  A boat pulled up to the north bank of the Miami River and a group stepped ashore to join several hundred others who had gathered to witness the official groundbreaking of the City of Miami/University  of Miami's new James L. Knight  Interna­ tional Conference and Convention Center.

It was a "rah-rah" kind of event with straw hats, blea­ chers and marching bands.  Dignitaries gathered on the stage of the City of Miami's showmobile, eager to begin. Everyone knew that underneath  all the hoopla something very important was about to happen to Miami.

Few people realized what had already happened on that very

 

plot of land.  The land itself gave no clue to past events. Huge earth-moving equipment had recently turned the site into high "mountains" and deep valleys as the contractors prepared the ground to accept the deep foundations of the impressive new structure that would soon rise skyward.

A   few months earlier, a different type of activity had

 

taken place here.  Archaeologists  from the Florida Department of State, Division of Archives, History and Records Management came to painstakingly extricate the earth's secrets before the layers    of  history  were  forever  rearranged  and  destroyed. Slowly, carefully, in marked contrast to the huge machines, the


archaeologists and their assistants sifted through four thou­ sand years of man's leavings, right down to the beginning of human activity on the river bank.

This scientific study resulted from the City's application for a Federal Economic Development Grant to help fund the Convention Center project.  Pursuant to the approval of this application, the Florida Division of Archives, History and Records Management was notified for review and comment.  The Division in turn notified the City of Miami that as a precon­ dition for qualification for this grant the City was required by law to assess the archaeological value of the site.  Sub­ sequently, the City entered into an agreement with the Division of Archives, History and Records Management to conduct a pre­ liminary survey and to supervise the salvage excavation of the site.

The archaeologists were hampered because a thorough his­ torical study of the area had never been done.  Therefore, in January 1978, the Division engaged this writer as research historian for the project.

The role of the research historian was to collect, docu­ ment and analyze primary and pertinent secondary sources that directly or indirectly related to the site. Because the his­ tory of the site spanned more than four centuries and involved many areas that had never been previously researched, the final report is much longer and more involved than had been antici­ pated at the outset.

 

 

 

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The following historical study is divided into a preface and three chronological sections.

The Preface deals with the natural features of the site. No attempt has been made to describe the scientific geological aspects except as background for the historical material that follows. The major emphasis in the Preface was to locate his­ torical description that could verify the existence of certain

natural features that are now obliterated.

 


-Part-I:


"Miami's  First People"  (1513-1763) covers the


native people of the Miami area and their contact with Euro- peans.  Because little historical material was available on this subject, this section presented the most serious research problems.  These problems were alleviated by the generous assistance of Dr. Eugene Lyon, who provided this researcher with a bibliography of pertinent and generally unused Spanish sources that he had uncovered in his continuing study of the First Spanish Period.

Dr. John Hann was hired to locate and translate the docu- ments cited in Dr. Lyon's bibliography. Dr. Hann spent several weeks  in Gainesville, locating the primary material in the Stetson Collection at the P.K. Younge Library of Florida History.  Further, at Dr. Lyon's suggestion, Dr. Hann trans- lated the valuable documents found in the Monumenta Antiquae Floridae by Felix Zubillaga, as well as the 1571-74 work of Juan Lopez de Velasco.  Although this material was readily available in Spanish, it had not been translated into English and was not in general use.

 

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Dr. Hann was more than just a translator.  His background in history, his familiarity with church records and his inter­ est in the project made his translations and comments extremely valuable.

In addition to the new primary material that was located for Part 1_,   research also included a study of important sec- ondary works.  Where possible, the primary sources quoted by well-known scholars, such as Woodbury Lowery and John swanton, were located and reviewed in full.  Most of these documents were found in the Abby Brooks and Woodbury Lowery Collections at the Library of Congress, Washington.

As the project progressed, much new historic material was becoming  available.   At the same time, the site itself was beginning to yield a wealth of prehistoric cultural material. The decision was made, therefore, to expand the original scope of this section of the study to include all historical material available on the native Indians of the Miami area, not just their activity on the site itself.

Although a great deal of historic documentation has been

 

uncovered, this researcher knows that much more is to be found. It is hoped that Dr. Lyon's continued research in the archives in Spain, as well as the eventual reopening of research oppor­ tunities in Cuba, will bring new facts to light in the years to come.

As a result of the tremendous change that has occurred in

 

Miami in the last twenty years due to the influx of Cuban refu-

 

 

 

 

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gees and to the growing commerce with Latin America, knowledge of the Hispanic roots of Dade County is even more valuable and

.further research should be encouraged.

 

Part II:  "Permanent Settlement" (1763-1898) covers the first real non-Indian settlement of the Miami area. Because much of the development occurred on the north bank of the Miami River, every effort was made to document the exact location of as many of the structures as possible.

Because Fort Dallas, a Second and Third Seminole War fort, was known to have been built on the north bank of the Miami River, many conflicting facts needed to be untangled concerning its size, location and period of occupancy. Although a few unanswered questions still remain, much new information has been located.

One additional fact emerged.  Fort Dallas during the Second Seminole War, especially after 1840, was more important than has been previously recognized. Because this study was primarily concerned with the specific site, an indepth study on the war was not pursued and awaits further research.

Most of the primary source material for Section II came from the National Archives, Washington. Some important manu- script material was also located in the Library of congress and

in several Florida collections.

 


-Part III:


"The Ups and Downs of Fort Dallas Park" (1898-


1978) covers the Twentieth Century developments on the site. In this section, most primary material was uncovered in Miami.

 

 

 

 

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Both  Dade  county   and  City   of    Miami    public   records   were used extensively.   Pertinent  newspaper  articles were  found  in clip­ ping files  at  the  Charlton W.   Tebeau Library  of  Florida  His­ tory,  Historial   Association of     Southern Florida,   and in  the Florida  Room   of    the   Miami-Dade Main   Library.    Microfilmed se­ ries  of the Miami    Herald,  the  Miami   News   and   the Miami   Metrop­ olis  were also heavily utilized.    Finally,  personal interviews and    correspondence were especially  revealing  and   proved to  be valuable sources for Part  III.

This  researcher   would like   to  thank the  following people who  helped in the preparation of   this report:  Dr.  Eugene Lyon; Becky   Smith,    librarian   at   the  Historial   Association;  Sam Boldrick,  Florida  Room,    Main    Library;  Dr.  Thelma Peters;   Jim Connolly,  City  of    Miami's Project  Director  for  the  Convention center;  and  Margaret   Bauer  of   commonwealth Title.    I  am   also indebted  to   my    typists,   Susan   Schwartz,    Judy   Thompson and Darlene  Quintana,   and    to  Glenda Epting  for her valuable edi­ torial  assistance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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PREFACE:  The Land

 

 

 

The peninsula of Florida is the emerged part of a much wider continental mass of North America known as the Floridan Plateau.  This plateau separates the deep water of the Atlantic Ocean from the deeper parts of the Gulf of Mexico.  The Miami area occupies the southeastern corner of this plateau, which extends out a few miles off the Atlantic coast, sweeps near the arc of the Florida Keys and continues many miles to the west of the Gulf coast.

It can be said that Florida actually emerged from the sea. There were five major stages of low sea level during the Pleis­ tocene epoch.  At that time, the shoreline lay off shore of its present location.  Between these low-level stages were several high-water periods when some of the present land was actually underwater.  During the time that parts of the Floridan Plateau were submerged, the bedrock that makes up the coastal ridge of Miami was formed under water as loose sand grains filtered down

to the bottom  and formed layer after layer of deposits.l/

 

These grains, made of calcareous limestone, are known as ooids, and the rock made up of layers of them is known as oolite. These ooids were deposited in layers in a north-south pattern until the oolitic marine mound, known as the Atlantic coastal

 

y   Garland G. Parker and c. Wythe Cooke, "Late Cenozoic Geology of Southern Florida, with a Discussion of the Ground Water,"  (Tallahassee,  Florida:   Florida  Geological  survey,

1944), pp. 18-19.

 

 

 

 

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ridge, was formed.   This ridge, sometimes called the rim of the

 

Everglades, lies between the Everglades and the sea. /

 

Channels or glades were cut into the coastal ridge by the action of the dammed-up water in the Everglades and by chemical changes in that water.  Some of these channels developed into rivers like the Miami, which emptied the waters of the Ever- glades into Biscayne Bay.

After the present land mass developed, vegetation ap- peared.  In certain places depressions in the rock gradually filled in with an abundance of humus, forming a rich, sandy loam. This type of soil formation became a proper host for the type of vegetation known as hammocks.

In South Florida, hammocks appeared almost as "islands" within the larger and more typical pineland that developed on most of the thin-soiled high land.l/ At one time, there was a great deal of hammock vegetation on the banks of the Miami River.  Although most of the hammocks were in narrow strips near the shore, some included several acres.

In the early Twentieth Century, scientists from the Wagner Free Institute of Science studied an undisturbed hammock on the south fork of the Miami River and reported on the type of vegetation growing there.  (See Appendix I)

 

y      John Edward Hoffmeister, Land From the Sea, (Coral

Gables, Florida:   University of Miami   7  p  33-34.


3/ South-of delphia:


John w. Harshberger, "The Vegetation of South Florida,

27¡ 31' North, Exclusive of the Florida Keys," (Phila­

Wagner Free Institute of Science, 1912), pp. 118-139.

 

 

 

 

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Some early descriptive material can help document the natural features of the Miami River and its banks. The most useful comes from three late Eighteenth Century surveyors. In

1775, Bernard Romans described:

 

the River Rattones [Miami River], being a fine stream, and pretty considerable, with a little good rich soil on its banks, where many tropical plants grow.!(

 

Another surveyor, William Gerard DeBrahm, included a map of the Miami area in the final report of his survey. It showed heavy vegetation on the north bank of the Garbrand River (Miami River) at its mouth.

Andrew Ellicott, the third surveyor to publish his find­

 

ings in that era, wrote that the:

 

Fresh Water River [Miami] is said to be no more than the outlet to a large lake, but a few leagues distance from the coast.       At the mouth, it is not more than five or six perches wide, and ten or twelve feet deep and middling rapid.  The sides are nearly perpendicular, and composed of calcarious stone or rock, similar to that described at Apalachy.      This stratum of stone appeared to  be   very extensive and    horizontal.¤/

 

Another good early description of the Miami River came from Dr. Benjamin Strobel, who came to South Florida in 1836

 

!I     Bernard   Romans,   A Concise Natural History of East

;;a n':d'::-iWC.:efs:-t:::....:..F.=li;o':=r'7i':'d a-,     A facism reprod. of 1775 ed., (Gainesville, Flor da: Unversity of Florida Press,   1962), pp.     288-289.

 

Y   William Gerard DeBrahm, "Plan of Dartmouth Inlet and Stream", in Louis Devorsey, Jr., DeBrahm's Report on the Gen­ eral survey in the Southern District of North America, (Colum­ bia, S.C.: University of South Carolina Press, 1971), p. 209.

 


¤_/

Bartram,

79.


Andrew  Ellicott,  Journal,  (Philadelphia:   Rudd and

1803), reprinted in Tequesta, XXXVIII (1978), pp. 78-

 

 

 

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and    published        an     account    of    his     findings      in     the     Charleston

 

Courier.      He  wrote:

 

On  the  margin of  the  river  Miami,  there is some   live oak  hammock, but   I   am  inclined to think  that   the  soil  would  very   soon  be exhausted  by    cultivation,   as  it consists almost entirely   of vegetable matter,  par­ tially decayed,  and    of  no    great  depth,  as will  be illustrated in  the  following anec­ dote:   A   gentleman at  Cape Florida  [Strobel called   the  mainland Cape Florida]   informed me   that  he    had  cut   down    trees   with  the intention  of clearing  a   field  to plant.   In order  to  get  rid  of     the  trees   which had been felled,   in  an    expeditious   manner, he set  fire  to  them,   and   on    the   following morning  was   greatly surprised to find that he  had not  only destroyed the  trees,   but had also  burnt  off  the  whole of    the soil, and     left   nothing but  the  bare  rocks.2f

 

At     another     time  he   wrote     of     a trip  up     the  Miami     River.

 

This river  empties itself   at  or near Cape Florida   and     arises    from the  Everglades. Its  course was   about North-East,  its depth from six  to  ten  feet,   the bottom, hard and sandy.    The    banks  were  elevated   from six to  eight  feet  above the level.    It must be recollected,   however, that   the  water was low:  ...on  either  side of the river I  saw some    small live  oak   hammocks.    The    trees were neither   very  large  or  majestic.    The higher   points    of   land  which  were  sandy, contained    a   growth  of     pines   and     of   saw palmetto.y

 

As   will  be seen in  the  report  that   follows,  man   cleared the   north   bank of  the  Miami    River at  an   early  date.   Appar- ently,   as  is   typical   in  subtropical  climates,  the  natural growth took over each time the  land was   neglected  or  abandoned.

 

21  E.A.  Hammond,      "Dr. Strobel  Reports on   Southeast Flor­

ida,  1836," Tequesta, XXI    (1961),  pp.  67-68.

 

ij       Ibid.,  p.  70.

 

 

 

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Therefore,  as  late  as 1895, man's impact was   only  minimal  and a   fringe  of  hammock    land  survived behind the  clearing  on   the riverfront.V   Once    workmen  began    building  the  new    City   of Miami,  trees were felled,  the ground was   leveled and the debris was    burned off.    Development   also  affected  the  Miami     River. It was    deepened,   widened  and  its banks eventually  bulkheaded. Bridges were built   across it, and  sewage  was    dumped  into it. Once     all   this   occurred, all   visual  clues  to  the  beautiful natural   features   of  the  north  bank of  the  Miami     River   were destroyed forever.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9/         John    Sewell,        Memoirs   and     History  of     Miami,      (Miami, Florida:   Franklin Press,  1933), pp.  146-156.

 

 

 

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BIBLIOGRAPHY: BOOKS:

Devorsey, Louis Jr., DeBrahm's Report on the General survey in the Southern District of North America.   Columbia, S.C.: University of south Carolina Press, 1971.

 

Harshberger, John W., ""The Vegetation of South Florida, South of 27¡ 31' North, Exclusive of the Florida Keys." Phila­ delphia:   Wagner Free Institute of Science, 1914.

 


Hoffmeister, Florida:


John   Edward.    Land From the Sea. University of M1am1, 1974.


coral Gables,


 

Parker, Garland G. and Cooke, c. Wythe.  "Later Cenozoic Geo­ logy of Southern Florida, With a Discussion of the Ground Water."   Tallahassee, Florida: Florida Geological Survey,

1944.

 

Romans, Bernard.  A Concise Natural History of East and West Florida.       A facsim. reprod. of 1775 ed., Gainesville, Flor1da:   University of Flori'da Press, 1962.

 


Sewell, John.    Mem irs and History of Miami.

Franklin Press, 1933.


Miami,  Florida:


 

 

 


JOURNALS:

 

Ellicott, Andrew.    Journal.    Philadelphia:

1803.   Reprinted 1n Tequesta, XXXVIII


 

 

Rudd and Bartram,

(1978), pp. 78-79.


Hammond,   E.A.    "Dr.   Strobel   Reports   on   Southeast   Florida,

1836."   Tequesta, XXI (1961), pp. 67-68.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I.   MIAMI'S FIRST PEOPLE

 

 

 

In April 1513, during the Catholic Feast of the Flowers,


 

Juan Ponce de Leo'


n, sailing under the flag of Spain, discovered


a new land that he called La Florida. After his .initial land- fall,  somewhere between  Jacksonville  and St. Augustine,  he again set out by sea to explore what he believed was a large island.  Between April and July he sailed south along the east coast of Florida down the Keys (that he named Los Martires), around the Dry Tortugas, then north to the southwest coast. Two weeks later he returned to the east coast and then proceed­ ed on to the Bahamas.

During  this history-making  voyage, Ponce de Leon dis­ covered the native people of Florida.  He was probably not the first white man to make contact with them, however, because he was met with hostility, indicating that the natives had some prior knowledge of the European.  From Ponce's voyage, however, we have the earliest documented meeting of European and native Floridians, first on the east coast south of Cape Canaveral and then on the southwest coast in the vicinity of Estero Bay or Charlotte Harbor.  Although the first meeting was brief, the second was long enough for Ponce to gain a great deal of know-

ledge.

 

/

Ponce de Leon and his men spent nine hectic days with the

 

Indians of the southwest coast.  Between attacks, the Indians came to trade.  One Spanish-speaking Indian, who Ponce believed

 

 

 

 

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to have come from another Spanish island J.n  the Caribbean, offered to set up a meeting with his cacique (chief) to trade and arrange a peace. While Ponce was waiting to meet with him, eighty Indian braves unleashed another assault. There was no reason to tarry.  Sails were set and Ponce and his men sailed away with four Indian captives.

One of the most important results of Ponce 1 s nine days with the Indians was his identification of the cacique Carlos. This name was the first given any Indian group in Florida and was also used as a geographic place name for the southwest coast. The practice of naming the Indians and their settlement by the Spanish perception of the name of each chief continued throughout the First Spanish Period.

on the return voyage, Ponce de Leon sailed through the Keys, skirted the northwest coast of Cuba and then came into what is now called Biscayne Bay.  On July 3, 1513, he "reached Chequescha,"Y the first recorded place name given to southeast Florida.

The name Chequescha is significant for several reasons. Later Spanish explorers called the area Tequesta, after the Indian leader who lived there.  The similarity in names seems to indicate that Ponce called it Chequescha because he either met or was told about the cacique Chequescha. It is important

 

Y     AntonJ.o Herrera   y Tordesilla, Historia   General  de


los hechos de los Castella nos en


las Islasi tJ.erra firme del


Mar oceano, ])ecada I, Libro Ix,-caps. X&XI, 1603, pp. 301-305, as quoted in Frederick T. Davis, "Juan Ponce de Leon1 s Voyage to  Florida," Florida Historical Quarterly, XIV (July, 1935) pp. 16-23.

 

 

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to note that this name was not used to describe the southeast coastal area on Ponce's first passing, although he sailed into an unnamed bay (Biscayne Bay) and found water on an island he named Santa Marta (Key Biscayne). The name Chequescha was only used after he met the Indians at Carlos and made his return trip with the Indian prisoners.  Unfortunately, there are no specifics about Chequescha, so the question of whether or not Ponce actually came ashore on the mainland of southeast Florida may never be answered. The fact that two weeks elapsed between reaching Chequescha and his next recorded landfall, at what he called La Vieja (Bimini), indicates that in all probability he did explore the Miami area.£/

Ponce de Leon did not return to Florida until 1521. The purpose of this expedition was to actually plant a colony somewhere on the south coast of Florida. Again, Ponce and his men were met by warlike Indians. This time Ponce was seriously wounded in the skirmish, forcing the Spanish to retreat. Ponce died in Cuba a short time later. Although there is no record of where Ponce hoped to start a settlement, many scholars believe that it was at Carlos.

Ponce1  s violent death did not stop Spanish interest in

 

Florida.  In the years that followed the Crown gave many other men contracts to explore and settle the territory, which at this time was a loose geographic area that included most of

 

/    Ib1d., p. 21.

 

Ibid., pp. 59-63.

 

 

 

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the eastern United States and points north as far as Newfound­ land. Lucas Vazquez de Ayllon, Panfilo de Narvaez, Hernando de Soto, Tristan de Luna and others all failed in their attempts to settle this difficult land.  Many lost their lives in the process.  Apparently, none of these men was interested in settling the southeast coast of Florida although they all were aware of its strategic location.

The goal of planting a permanent settlement in La Florida eluded the Spanish for forty-two years.  In 1565, another adelantado (someone who had a contract with the King to repre­ sent him in a frontier area in exchange for settlement rights and other concessions), Pedro Menendez de Aviles received a settlement contract for the land that even Menendez had de­ scribed as a "graveyard of hopes".  Spurred by a report that the French had succeeded in establishing a fort near what is now Jacksonville (Fort Caroline), Menendez rushed his prepar­ ations.  He now had the added responsibility of expelling the French from Florida.

Pedro Menendez de Aviles's initial expedition to Florida was a success.              In September 1565, he established St. Augus­ tine, the first permanent settlement in what is now the United States.      That same month      (September 20th) he captured Fort Caroline and renamed it San Mateo. Nine days later over a hun­ dred shipwrecked Frenchmen from Fort caroline surrendered south of St. Augustine.          He decided to take no prisoners so he killed the Frenchmen.        Menendez repeated this scenario a short time

 

 

 

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later when another group of French refugees were found, includ­

 

ing the French leader Jean Ribault.!/

 

These incidents and the leyenda negra (Black Legend) that followed damaged Menendez's reputation to such an extent that future French, English and American historians generally over- looked his role as the founder of the first permanent settle­ ment.  Because of this Hispanophobia, Menendez's many positive accomplishments were almost forgotten.

After   Menendez's   victory   over   the   French, he   went   to

 

Havana, the closest Spanish settlement to Florida, to prepare for the next phase of conquest.    His plan was specific.         He wanted     to      search the lower Keys            for a passage east of the Tortugas to help homebound ships from New Spain reach Havana. Because he believed that the St. John's River emptied into the Gulf of Mexico, he was anxious to prove this theory and find a short-cut across Florida.     Like all the other Spanish adelan- tados, he also wanted to spread the Catholic faith to the hea- thens.           Finally, he hoped to find shipwrecked Spanish sailors among the Indians, including his own son, Juan, who was lost in

a storm several years earlier.

 

/

With all this in mind, on February 10, 1566, the Menendez

 

expedition left Havana.  It included seven ships with over five hundred soldiers.  He quickly found the passage he was looking for east of the Tortugas and sailed through it to the southwest

 

4/   Eugene Lyon, The Enterprise of Florida, (Gainesville, Florida:  University Presses of Florida, 1976), pp. 112-157.

 

 

 

 

 

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coast.       Menendez      hoped     to     find      the     same   Indians     Ponce     had encountered     who,  some  said,               had                  held                 a  number                    of                    Christians captive           for  over twenty years.           After             eight  days  the      Spanish spotted  an Indian  canoe not  far  from shore.                       As   the  canoe came

closer  they were surprised  to  see a   "naked  and painted Christ-

 


ian"  holding     a     crucifix

 

Escalante  de Fontaneda


above his      head.       It  was    Spaniard Don

 

who   had been shipwrecked  on   the south-


west Florida  coast  seventeen years  earlier and had been  living with  the   Indians   of  Carlos   (now known as Calusas).    Escalante de Fontaneda reported  that  through the  years  over two    hundred and   fifty  Christians   had been  shipwrecked in  South Florida. All  but  twenty had been killed  by the  Indians during various feasts   and dances.   Escalante  de Fontaneda was    a  great asset to   Menendez because   he  knew the   Indians   of  Carlos,    and  had traveled   to  other  Indian settlements  as  well.    Through Esca- lante,  Menendez   receivedá first-hand  knowledge  of   the  Indians prior  to  contact  and used him    as his  emissary.   From  Escalante Menendez    learned   that    Carlos  dominated the   Indians  on    the southwest coast,  in  the Keys, in  the scattered  villages  around the   Lake  of  Mayaimi (Okeechobee) and  in  the   area  now    called Miami.    In  fact,  Escalante reported that  Carlos controlled over fifty  villages and  the   caciques   of   these   Indian  groups  were often  related   to  Carlos.    Although they  spoke different  lan- guages,  the  Indians were culturally related.

 

Dr.   Eugene  Lyon was    the first  to identify the "naked and painted   Christian"   as  Escalante  de  Fontaneda.     See  Lyon, The   Enterprise  of Florida,  p.  148.

 

 

 

-18-


Mene'ndez sent Fontaneda to arrange a meeting with Carlos. The following day, Carlos and three hundred  Indian archers, lured by a promise of great gifts, came to the water's edge to


 

meet with the Spanish.


/

Menendez had prepared for this historic


 

occasion by building a platform on the shore.  On this dais high off the ground, Indian chief and Spanish conquistador came together for the first time.

After an exchange of gifts, Menendez convinced Carlos to come aboard his ship where more gifts were waiting.   Once Carlos came aboard, Menendez pulled the anchor with the inten-

tion of holding Carlos captive until the Christians were re-


 

leased.


/

Menendez held Carlos until five Christian women and


three men were brought to the ship.

 

For some reason, Menendez's trick did not halt negoti­ ations.  A few days later, Carlos invited Menendez to join him at his house, which was described as being large enough to hold two thousand people!  The Menendez entourage included two hun- dred arquebusiers, two fifers and drummers, three trumpeters, one harpist, one violinist, one psalterer, a dwarf, a singer and a dancer. Clearly, he was interested in making a dramatic entrance at the august occasion.

Leaving all but fifty of his men outside, with fuses lit, Menendez joined Carlos and what he believed to be his wife on a raised platform inside the house.     After much ceremony and Indian singing and dancing, Menendez, with a master stroke of diplomacy, read a statement prepared by one of the Christian

 

 

 

 

-19-


captives 1n the Indian language.   Before long Menendez realized that the woman on the platform, who was about thirty-five and described as being   rather homely, was not Carlos' principal wife, but his sister.   At that point Carlos' beautiful twenty- year-old wife, adorned in a collar of pearls and stones and a necklace of gold beads and little else, joined the group on the platform.              Menendez             gave both the Indian women chemises and beautiful green taffeta gowns, beads, scissors, knives, bells and               mirrors    in which to view the transformation.   Both the

women   as   well   as the other   Indians were greatly  impressed.

 

/

 
After Menendez presented gifts to the principal Indians, the feast began.  It consisted of many kinds of roasted and boiled fish, as well as raw and cooked oysters. The Spanish added biscuits and honey, sweetmeats and quince preserves and set a table with tablecloths, plates, and napkins.  During dinner, it was the Spaniards turn to entertain the Indians. The dwarf danced, soldiers sang, the fiddlers fiddled and the pipers piped.

At the end of the evening, Menendez discovered that Carlos planned to honor him by giving him his sister for a wife.  This gift put Menendez in an awkward position because he already had a wife in Spain.  There was no way Menendez could gracefully extricate himself from the situation. After consultation with his officers, who were greatly influenced by Carlos' pronounce­ ment that he wanted to become a Christian, Menendez decided to baptize the Indian woman and take her for a "wife." Thus, the

 

 

 

-20-


sister of Carlos was christened Dona Antonia, and Menendez became Carlos' brother-in-law.

Before Menendez departed from Carlos, he erected a large cross in the village and left instructions for worship.  He sent Dona Antonia, three Indian men, four Indian women, and seven Christian men and women (two other Christian women chose to remain with their children) on to Havana in one ship and then proceeded on to St. Augustine, a happy man.Y   After so many years of failure it seemed that Menendez had succeeded in turning enemies into friends, at least for the time being.

After Menendez's return to st. Augustine, his optimism was

 

undoubtedly cooled by news of several mutinies at San Mateo. Over a hundred soldiers, discouraged by lack of food and other difficulties, commandeered a French ship and took off for Havana.  The ship stopped for water at the head of the Keys and sent twenty unarmed soldiers ashore at Tequesta to explore. When a strong wind forced the frigate out to sea, the twenty men were left stranded.  Everyone assumed that the hapless mutineers would not last long on this inhospitable shore peo­

pled by bloodthirsty Indians.ZI

 

les,

 
¤/        Gonzalo Sol "' s de Mera; 's, Pedro Mene/ ndez de Av .    ,    A

facsim. reprod. of 1567 ms., trans. by Jeannette Thurber Connor

(Gainesville, Florida:  University of Florida Press, 1964), pp.

138-152.

 

Z!      Letter, Pedro Menendez de Aviles to the King, october

20, 1566, Archivo General de Indias-seville A.G.I. 54-1-31/176

(All A.G.I. references in photostat or microfilm, P.K. Younge

Library of Florida History trans. by John Hann).

 

 

 

 

 

 

-21-


This incident added to Menendez's curiosity about Tequesta.  In October 1566, he wrote that there were rumors of a French fort there as well as many Spanish mutineers. He believed that the river (port) at Tequesta was somehow con­ nected to the great Laguna Mayaimi (Lake Okeechobee). He wrote that he regretted that he did not explore this river (lake) all the way to the sea. He surmised that it had several outlets on the west, as well as the east, coast and was anxious "to learn the secret of Tequesta."Y  He rescued Tequesta's daughter from Carlos, whom he described as Tequesta's enemy, with the idea of using her to court Tequesta. He sent her to Spain to live with a countess so she could be educated and tell her parents of the Spanish and Catholic way of life.

In another letter, bearing the same date but probably written after the first, he wrote of a surprising turn of events. His nephew Pedro Menendez Marquez reported that he had picked up twelve mutineers at Tequesta.  Surprisingly, the soldiers had received good treatment and great friendship from the Indians who were aware of Menendez's "marriage" to Dona Antonia, who was related to the cacique Tequesta.  Because of this relationship, all the mutineers had been spared.V   In fact, the historian Barcia, writing at the time, said that Tequesta had even protected the mutineers from Carlos, refusing

 

8/    Letter, Pedro Menendez de Aviles to the King, October

20, 1566, A.G.I. 54-1-31/167.

 

2.1      Letter, Pedro Menendez de Aviles to the King, October

20, 1566, A.G.I. 54-1-31/176.

 

 

 

 

-22-


 

to send them to him  as tribute as he had   in the past when

Carlos sent men to kill the mutineers, Tequesta defended them and    killed     two   Calusas.  Tequesta   honored   Pedro      Menendez

 

/

Marquez with gifts, offered to become a Christian and wanted

a cross erected at Tequesta where many   of the   Indians were already wearing a     red   cross      at    their     throats.                    When Pedro

/                                                                               /

 
Menendez Marquez prepared to leave, Tequesta sent his brother and    three Indian men and women with him to Havana, where, Barcia reported, all were met with great courtesy.101

 

After Pedro Menendez de Aviles heard of the situation at Tequesta, he sent a present to the chief and a letter to the seven mutineers that remained there, telling them that if they stayed in Tequesta for a certain period of time (parts of the letter are illegible) to help Christianize the Indians, learn their language and cement their friendship, he would intercede

for them and seek pardons from the King for their treasonous

acts.111  He was greatly encouraged about the prospect of set- ting up a mission at Tequesta.

The same brig that went to Tequesta to deliver the letters to the mutineers continued on to Carlos with Captain Francisco Reynoso and twelve soldiers, (Sol{s de Meras says thirty, p.

219), six farmers and six nobles, along with Carlos' heir (Don

 

 

10/    "BarcJ.a" (carbal1ido y Zuniga, Andres Gonzalez deL Chronological      History    of    the   Continent of    Florida,           (first printed 1723) trans. by Andrew Kerrigan (Gainesville, Florida: University of Florida Press, 1951), pp. 134-135.

 


11/

20, 1566,


Letter, Pedro Menendez de Aviles to the King, October

A.G.I. 54-1-31/176.

 

 

 

-23-


 

 

Pedro) who was now a Christian.  This information is contained in one of Menendez's October letters to the King which has many illegible places that make it difficult to get the complete story. Parts indicate, however, that Escalante de Fontaneda, and one other Christian rescued from Carlos, also accompanied

this group to help communicate with the Indians and retain their friendship.121

on the last day of February 1567, Menendez and his nephew Pedro Menendez Marquez left Cuba with seven ships to go to Carlos and Tequesta.  Included in the party were two Jesuit clerics, Father Juan Rogel and Brother Francisco Villareal, Dona Antonia and her servants and some of the Tequesta Indians

picked up with the mutineers.  Soon after their arrival at

,


Carlos,


Menendez,  through Tequesta's brother,  arranged peace


between Carlos and Tequesta.  He also built a house for Dona Antonia, a chapel where Father Rogel could say Mass, and houses for the Christians.

Menendez also desired to get Carlos and the cacique Toco­ baga, whose territory was near Tampa Bay, to stop fighting. Carlos, on the other hand, wanted the Spanish to destroy Toco­ baga and was not interested in peace. When Menendez persisted, the two chiefs agreed to a treaty, but had no intention of honoring it.

Menendez left a group of soldiers at Tocobaga and returned

 

with Carlos to his village. Menendez's insistence on the peace

 

 

12/    Ibid.

 

 

 

-24-


 

treaty between the two recalcitrant Indian chiefs angered Car­ los and Dona Antonia to such an extent that the tentative rela- tionship that Menendez had so carefully nourished was irrepar- ably damaged.  Menendez,  however, hoping for the best,  left Father Rogel  and an extra  group of soldiers at Carlos and headed for Tequesta.

In the middle of March 1567, the   ship left Carlos for

Tequesta.    A  short time after departure,  however,  Menendez sighted another ship of mutineers and sent his nephew Menendez

 

/

Marquez,  along with Brother Villareal  and the Christianized

 

Indians to Tequesta without him..!.2/    Everyone had high hopes for the mission at Tequesta because they believed the Indians

to be very peaceful, humble and affable people, and well dis­

14


posed   to   receive the faith of the Lord,


/ especially when


 

compared to the "aggressive, turbulent and restless"121 Indians of Carlos.

What were the people of Tequesta really like on the eve of the first Spanish settlement on their shores?  The best des- cription of the Indians of Tequesta is found in Escalante de Fontaneda's Memoirs.  He wrote that:

Toward the north of the Martires and near a place of the Indians called Tequesta, situ-

 

 


.!.21

232.


Salls de Meras, Pedro Menendez de Aviles, pp. 221-


lif       Letter, Father Juan Rogel to Father Francisco Borgia, July 25, 1568, in Felix Zubillaga, Monumenta Antiquae Floridae, (Rome:    Monumenta Historica Societatis Iesu, 1946), p. 317 (all Zubillaga references trans. by John Hann).

 

15/    Ibid.

 

 

-25-


ate  on    the  bank  of  a   river   which extends into   the  country  the  distance  of  fifteen leagues,   and  issues   from another  lake  of fresh  water, which is  said by   some   Indians who   have traversed  it more than   I   to  be an arm   of  the  Lake of  Mayaimi.   On  this  lake, which lies  in the midst of the country are many towns,   of  thirty  or forty inhabitants each;  and as  many   more  places there are in which  people   are   not   so   numerous.     They have  bread  of  roots   which is   the  common food the  greater  part   of  the  time and be­ cause  of   the  lake,   which rises   in  some seasons  so  high  that   the  roots  cannot be reached  in  consequence of  the  water,   they are    for    some  time   without   eating   this bread.     Fish   is   plenty   and  very   good. There is   another  root,   like  the  truffle over  here,   which  is   sweet  and there  are other  different   roots  of  many    kinds;  but when    there   is   hunting,   either   deer  or birds,   they prefer  to  eat  meat or fowl.   I will   also  mention that   in  the  rivers   of fresh  water  are  infinite   quantities   of eels, very  savory  and enormous trout.   The eels  are nearly the size  of a  man,    thick  as the   thigh   and  some    of   them  are  smaller. The    Indians also eat lagartos  (alligators), and   snakes   and   animals   like  rats,   which live  in  the  lake,  fresh-water tortoises, and many   more  disgusting reptiles  which, if we   were to  continue  enumerating, we   should never be through.

 

These  Indians   occupy a  very  rocky  and a   very  marshy country.     They have no   pro­ duct  of  mines or  things  that   we   have   in this  part  of the world.   The   men   go   naked, and the  women   in a   shawl  made   of  a  kind of palm-leaf,  split   and    woven.      They    are subjects   of  Carlos  and pay him    tribute  of all  the   things    I   have  before   mentioned, food  and  roots,    the   skins   of   deer,   and other articles.l¤;

 

 

1.¤1       Hernando  d 1        Escalante  Fontaneda,  Memoir of  Hernando d 1        Escalante Fontaneda, (c.  1575) trans.  by  Buckingham  Sm1. th, ed.  by    David 0.   True  (Coral  Gables,  Florida:     University  of Miami  Press,   1944), pp.  27-28.

 

 

 

 

 

 

-26-


 

While   Fontaneda 1 s  description   does not  give  a  specific location   of  the  exact  spot  of  the  major Tequesta village,   the Spanish geographer Juan L6pez de Velasco describes  the  site  as follows:

... at    the  same    point     of    Tequesta,     there enters  into  sea a fresh water river,  which comes  from  the interior  and appears  to  run from west to  east  in  which are a   great many fish  and eels;                      along side  it on   the north side  is  the      Indian village               that is called Tequesta  from which the  site takes its name. A  village     of    Spanish  was         established  here in    1 6 7       which  was      abandoned  in         1 70.    In the   name                        of          the     adelantado  the  said  Pedro Menendez          Marques   made           a           settlement  on    the point      of  Tequesta with  twenty-eight  houses

enclosed      by       their       stockaded     fort ...lZ/

 

There   is      one other   important source,   also    attributed  to

 

Velasco,     that     provides    additional      information.      It    has      been

 


called      the    "Notes


and    Annotations     of    Juan  Lo' pez   de  Velasco,


1569."      This     document    was     used extensively   by Lowery       and  by Swanton                     and     is         the                    most            frequently    quoted          material         used      by later writers.        The   material was    located  in Manuscript Division of the  Library  of Congress in  both the Woodbury   Lowery   and   Abby Brooks    Collections .             On   the original, someone has          noted  that the      signature  looked            like  the                signature  of       Escalante  de Fon­ taneda that  is  found at  the end of the  original  manuscript of his        Memoirs.                 When             these      signatures    were   compared,      they         ap- peared     to be the same.             If                     Fontaneda    gave   these            notes                      to Velasco, which is  plausible  because Velasco left for Florida ln

,                  '                    ' /                                  .

171        Juan     Lopez   de  Velasco,         Geografla   y   descrlpclon unl-

versal  de las  Indias,           ( 1571-1574)         (Madrid:       D.   Justo  Zaragoza,

1893), pp.  84-86 (all  Velasco references trans.  by   John Hann).

 

 

 

-27-


1570 and would have been anxious to learn everything he could before he left Spain, then these notes, along with Fontaneda's Memoirs, may be the most valuable Sixteenth Century source on the habits and customs of the native people of South Florida. Because this source is quoted extensively and is not generally available, it will be included here in its entirety.

THE WORSHIP OF THE DEVIL

 

The Worship  of the Devil occupied a prominent place in the American theoganies. Fernandez Gonzales de Ovido in his report to King Charles the Fifth, already expressed himself in this manner.    "They make it of gold in relief or carved in wood and very frightful and ugly  and is different from the way the painters used to paint it at the feet of St. Michael the Archangel, or Saint   Bartholomew.         After       he          adds,    and likewise when the devil wants to frighten them, he promises them a hurricane, which means a tempest, and which is so violent as to blow down houses and even large trees.

 

By this it can be seen that the Devil he     speaks    of has many points of contact with the representation of the Idol which I now describe.   Upon certain determined days the           Indians used   to    celebrate feasts at which ceremonies they always left an open space  for the        figure of the  Idol, which they worshiped.      And although this appears to have been done at some feasts and at others not, yet it remains written   (the) dates       (of) all       the  feasts or where they had taken place,   and the manner in which those who paid tribute to it.  And also how the young used to carry in procession those who were inspired by the craze.     And of the miracles they used to perform by the trans­ formation of some spirits into Bats, who used to appear sent by the Gods, so they could        vex  other    Gods, undoubtedly   when they were in humus.    The details of which modesty forbids me to continue.  The author must have recorded them during the days of the conquest, at least I so think, judging

 

 

 

-28-


from some notes   I  have  found  1n one of  his papers.

 

August,  1569 Feast of St.  Hypoles

 

MEMOIRS

 

Of    what happens    in  Florida      among  the

Indians of that  land.

 

The       Indians   of   "Carlos"  have  the following  customs:

First:   Every time that  the  son of  a   Caci­ que dies,   each neighbor kills  his sons or daughters   who     have   accompanied  the   dead body of the Cacique's  son.

Second:    When    the  cacique himself  or  the Caclqua, (his  wife)  dies,   every servant  of his  or  hers  as the  case may   be, is  put to death.

Third:     Every  year   they  kill  a  Christian capt1ve to  feed their   Idol with which they adore,   and  they   say  that    it has to  eat every  year  the   eyes  of  a    human man,   and then they  all   dance  around  the   deadman's head.

Fourth:    Every year  after  the summer,