Thursday, November 12, 2015
Check out the brand new video Cheaha State Park courtesy of www.twoegg.tv!
Friday, October 16, 2015
Here is a bizarre story from Washington County, FL about a woman who was accidentally buried alive only to be exhumed by grave robbers! She then went on to live 35 more years and have 3 children.
Wednesday, October 14, 2015
Sunday, October 4, 2015
Thursday, October 1, 2015
Friday, January 9, 2015
|Fanciful drawing of the capture of the Prophet Francis in 1818|
Over the next couple of days I will share some little known bits of history associated with the battle that I think you might fight to be of interest. Be sure to watch for them on the main page at http://southernhistory.blogspot.com.
While much has been written about the significance of the monumental battle, few historians have done more than note that a delegation of Seminole and Red Stick Creek chiefs and warriors were among those that observed the fighting from behind the British lines.
|Lt. Col. Edward Nicolls, Royal Marines|
He accompanied the chiefs and warriors at New Orleans.
The Royal Navy had transported the American Indians to New Orleans from the Apalachicola River in Florida, believing that it would impress upon them the might of the King's forces if they could view firsthand the expected destruction of Jackson's army and the capture of the city. Things did not go as anticipated, with the British suffering more than 3,200 casualties compared to only 19 by Jackson's army (yes, that's 19). Please click here to learn more.
Among the Florida chiefs and warriors watching the battle were the Seminole leaders Cappachimico and Hopoi Micco of Miccasukee and the Red Stick Creek prophet, Josiah Francis. Several other chiefs and warriors were also there. While he never specified which of these individuals spoke with him about the battle, U.S. Agent for Indian Affairs Benjamin Hawkins described a conversation with one of them in a letter to Governor Peter Early of Georgia:
|Living history demonstrators Christopher Kimbell (L) and|
Lionel Young (R) represent the Prophet Francis and Col.
Bennjamin Hawins at a recent marker unveiling.
An Indian I know a “Red Stick” chief sent me word he was with the British in their battles against Jackson. “They were beaten in every battle by night and by day. Their large Vessels could not come near the land, they sent their troops in barges who were attacked as they were landing, and at night after landing. He saw the decisive battle on the 8th. The Americans had double ditches which were not discovered til they got up to the first, the first who attempted to storm the works were driven back with great loss. A second attempt was made, which met a similar fate, when the Commander in Chief went forward with his best troops, who met with a greater loss, he was killed and the next in command. The ground appeared to him covered with dead wounded and the British had many wounded who retreated in action or were carried off. - Col. Benjamin Hawkins to Gov. Peter Early, February 12, 1815.
The British brought the stunned chiefs and warriors back to the Apalachicola River after the battle. They had witnessed a slaughter even greater than the one Jackson had inflicted on their own countrymen at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, Alabama.
They remained loyal to the British during the months following the Battle of New Orleans, but with less enthusiasm than before.
Please click here to learn more about the Battle of New Orleans: http://www.exploresouthernhistory.com/neworleansbattle.html.
Sunday, January 4, 2015
|St. Augustine, Florida|
St. Augustine and Pensacola, both in Florida, engage in a bit of friendly rivalry over which is the nation's oldest city. The first settlement at Pensacola Bay, the remains of which have yet to be found, was planted by Tristan de Luna in 1559. The colony was a disastrous failure and was soon abandoned, with the modern city of Pensacola dating from a second more successful attempt in 1699. St. Augustine, meanwhile, was founded by Pedro Menendez in 1565 and has been there ever since. At 450 years old, the historic old city has been occupied for about 134 years longer than Pensacola.
Reconstructed French fort in Jacksonville, FL
Finally there is Jamestown. Established in 1607 it was the first permanent English settlement in the United States. The Pilgrims of Plymouth Rock were latecomers among early settlers, not arriving in Massachusetts until 1620.
|The Georgia Coast|
There were American Indians here for thousands of years before the arrival of the first European explorers, of course. Others believe that Vikings visited New England or even made it as far inland as Minnesota and Oklahoma! There is a popular old legend in Alabama and other states that Prince Madoc of Wales explored and planted settlements long before Juan Ponce de Leon discovered the land that would become the United States in 1513.
Named San Miguel de Gualdape, the colony was founded by Spanish explorer and slave trader Lucas Vasquez de Ayllon some four decades before either Pensacola or St. Augustine.
Ayllon had heard glowing reports of a wonderful land somewhere northwest of the Bahamas that was ideal for settlement and populated by American Indians of giant stature that would make desirable slaves for the Spanish. He sent an exploring party of two ships to find this land and report back. The scouts sailed north from Great Abaco Island in the Bahamas and reached land on June 24, 1521, at a place they called the Jordan River.
|Coxspur Lighthouse with Tybee Island in the distance|
Lucas Vazquez de Ayllon signed a contract with the King of Spain in 1523, agreeing to settle this new land. He second a second exploring party out in 1525 as he assembled the people, livestock and materials needed to found a permanent colony.
|San Miguel was somewhere in the marshes|
and islands of the Georgia coast.
The ships set sail in mid-July 1526 and reached land on August 9. The flagship Capitana immediately ran aground and went to the bottom, taking with it vital supplies for the success of the colony.
Ayllon was disappointed with the true appearance of the coast, which differed dramatically from the glowing descriptions provided by his exploring parties. Quickly deciding that the Jordan River was not suitable for permanent settlement, the conquistador sent out additional scouting parties to find a better place. Based on the reports of these explorers, he ordered a move south to the coast of what is now Georgia.
|Looking downstream toward Sapelo Sound at Darien, Georgia.|
The situation quickly became desperate. The loss of so many supplies in the sinking of the Capitana doomed the colony and the settlers were stalked by hunger and disease. The local Guale Indians decided they didn't like the Spanish and soon started to attack them. The African slaves joined in, staging uprisings and setting fire to the homes of colonists. Ayllon died of an unknown illness and the town descended into chaos.
Unable to feed themselves or withstand the cold winter, the colonists gave up. They began to evacuate San Miguel in late October and the last of them sailed away in November 1526. The city of San Miguel de Gualdape, the first Spanish settlement in the continental United States, lasted only two months.
The site that caused such difficulty for Ayllon and his colonists is somewhere in the coastal islands and marshes of Georgia. The entire coast is now a major tourist destination that is noted for its historic sites, beautiful vistas and eco-tourism opportunities. Savannah and the islands of the Georgia Coast are widely regarded as one of the most beautiful places in the world.
To read more about some of the locations mentioned in this post, please follow these links:
- St. Augustine, Florida
- Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park in St. Augustine, Florida
- Pensacola, Florida
- Fort Caroline in Jacksonville, Florida
- Ribault Monument in Jacksonville, Florida
- Savannah, Georgia
- Tybee Island, Georgia
- Golden Isles of Georgia
- Jamestown, Virginia
- Heavener Runestone in Heavener, Oklahoma