A New World: The Peoples of La Florida

The Land and the People


The term La Florida signifies not only the present state of Florida, but a much larger area. Under the term we include, in addition to the territory which still retains the name, most of the state of Georgia and a significant coastal area of the present state of South Carolina.


At the period which is the focus of our study, roughly the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, various groups ofaboriginal native Americans – the so-called Indians – inhabited the territory. Perhaps we may accept as being a balanced appraisal the figure given by Robert Allen Matterin his The Spanish Missions of Florida, who concludes his discussion of the topic by saying: "Possibly only 30,000 Indians occupied all of Spanish Florida in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries."1

The native people of La Florida were generally fierce and warlike and their cultural heritage did not approach that which flourished in Mexico – geographically not too distant – or in Peru. Against adverse natural conditions they struggled to wrest a living from an inhospitable land. Intertribal warfare was constant. Life was hard and scarcely calculated to inspire or further any incipient urge toward developing a sense of the True and the Beautiful. The native people have left few evidences of distinctive creations of artistic inspiration.

Robert Allen Matter, "The Spanish Missions of Florida: The Friars versus the Governors in the 'Golden Age,' 1606-1690," (Ph.D. diss., University of Washington, 1972) 15. See below, 14, 48.

CREDIT: REPORTATIO SUPER MARTYRIO SERVORUM DEi PETRI DE CORPA ET SOCIORUM EJUS ANNO DOMINI 1597 IN FLORIDA OCCISORUM (Editio Tertia "Positionis", 7 Maii 2002)
Contact Information
  • General Contact

  • Press Inquiries

    Barbara D. King // Email // (912) 201-4051

Credits/External Links
REPORTATIO SUPER MARTYRIO SERVORUM DEi PETRI DE CORPA ET SOCIORUM EJUS ANNO DOMINI 1597 IN FLORIDA OCCISORUM (Editio Tertia "Positionis", 7 Maii 2002)
The First Georgia Missions: Our Southern Catholic Heritage, Dr. Paul Thigpen and Katherine Ragan. Illustrations by Pamela Gardner, based on the retablo by Dan Nichols. This retablo is part of the parish patrimony of Our Lady of the Mountains Catholic Church in Jasper, Georgia

Join the Cause!

Donate

Children's Resources

Copyright © 2018 The Roman Catholic Diocese of Savannah
2170 East Victory Drive, Savannah, GA 31404-3918
site by Sans Sheriff Studio