Copyright Date: 2000
Pages: 416
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    Book Description:

    This powerful novel tells the story of Hinachuba Lucia, a Native American wise woman caught in the rapidly changing world of the early colonial South. With compelling drama and historical accuracy, Apalachee portrays the decimation of the Indian mission culture of Spanish Florida by English Carolina during Queen Anne's war at the beginning of the eighteenth century and also portrays the little-known institution of Indian slavery in colonial America. The novel recounts the beginnings of the colony of South Carolina and the struggle between the colonists and the Indians, who were at first trading partners-bartering deerskins and Indian slaves for guns and cloth-and then enemies in the Yamasee War of 1715. When the novel opens, Spanish missionaries have settled in the Apalachee homeland on what is now the eastern Florida panhandle, ravaging the native population with disease and altering its culture with Christianity. Despite these changes, the Apalachees maintain an uneasy coexistence with the friars. Everything changes when English soldiers and their Indian allies from the colony of Carolina invade Spanish Florida. After being driven from her Apalachee homeland by the English, Lucia is captured by Creek Indians and sold into slavery in Carolina, where she becomes a house slave at Fairmeadow, a turpentine plantation near Charles Town. Her beloved husband, Carlos, is left behind, free but helpless to get Lucia back. Swept by intricate and inexorable currents, Lucia's fate is interwoven with those of Juan de Villalva, a Spanish mission priest, and Isaac Bull, an Englishman in search of fortune in the New World. As the three lives unfold, the reader is drawn into a morally complex world where cultures meet and often clash. Both major and minor characters come alive in Hudson's hands, but none so memorably as the wise woman Lucia-beautiful, aristocratic, and strong. Informed by the author's extensive research, Apalachee is an ambitious, compelling novel that tells us as much about the ethnic and social diversity of the southern colonies as it does about the human heart.

    eISBN: 978-0-8203-4256-6
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. [i]-[vi])
    (pp. [vii]-[viii])
    (pp. [ix]-[x])

    The Apalachee people were the aboriginal inhabitants of that part of the eastern Florida panhandle that includes and surrounds the present-day capital city of Tallahassee. Although their homeland was not extensive, their reputation was, and their name was conferred to several geographical features in eastern North America: to Apalachee Bay, south of Tallahassee; to the Apalachee River in Georgia; to the Appalachicola River, which empties into the Gulf of Mexico near the town of Appalachicola in Florida’s western panhandle; and to the faraway Appalachian Mountains.

    The Apalachees reached the apex of their cultural achievement in the fifteenth century, when an...

  4. Part One MISSION APALACHEE: 1704

      (pp. 1-11)

      In the Apalachee mission town of San Lorenzo de Ivitachuco, in a small, round Indian house that stood close beside the convento of the resident Spanish priest, Hinachuba Lucia knelt beside the low-burning fire in the open hearth. Death had now come so near that she could feel the boundaries dissolving between This World and the next. Time had ceased to move. Stirring up the coals, she added more wood against the winter wind. Firelight rose and illuminated her face, its high cheekbones and brown skin framed by a black sweep of hair knotted behind her neck. Her skirt was...

      (pp. 11-22)

      Lucia led the way along the edge of the field until she came to the faint animal trail that ran into the woods. She stopped and glanced back at Isabel. “It is in here,” she said, motioning toward the trees.

      The old woman came up beside her and looked dubiously at the heavy undergrowth that screened the entrance of the forest. Then she looked back toward the town, a long distance behind them. The field was green with Father Juan’s crop of winter wheat. Above, the sun shone brightly in a clear blue sky, warming the open air. But the...

      (pp. 22-32)

      Father Juan de Villalva faced his flock from the altar of the chapel of San Lorenzo, a looming barn-like structure with vertical plank walls and a thatched roof. He held his arms out in a gesture that he had once meant as an invitation to worship but that now was no more than an habitual stance before the beginning of a mass. For a moment he gazed out at the ragged, dark-haired young people who were the bulk of his congregation. All felt the absence of the boy who had been captured last night, who only yesterday had been standing...

      (pp. 33-45)

      Father Juan de Villalva lay awake in the darkness, unable to sleep, yet too exhausted to be up and about like Solana, who was out with the men in the stockade. Thank God for Solana. Thank the Blessed Jesus and his Holy Mother and all the saints of heaven.

      The convento was quiet. He could hear voices from the stockade and from the fires close around its walls and around the church. He could hear the cattle in the churchyard and a child crying. Everyone was waiting. In a few hours, when the night was almost over, they would pack...

      (pp. 45-52)

      Once again dawn came to Ivitachuco without bringing the enemy. Yet another runner appeared, a boy this time, and he carried a letter in his hand. The people greeted this new development with silence, exhausted now by the long ordeal. Carlos himself felt numb as he led the boy to the barracks room where Father Juan, Don Manuel Solana, and Don Patricio were waiting to receive him.

      “What is this?” the priest asked the boy, holding out his hand for the letter.

      The young messenger did not give it to him but held it firmly down at his side. He...

      (pp. 52-58)

      It was scarcely a league from Ivitachuco to Oldfield Creek, the place appointed by the Englishman Moore for the rendezvous, yet the weight of the journey was as heavy upon the priest as a trek of many days. The road seemed to go on forever beside green fields of winter wheat and brown fields of last year’s corn. The homesteads scattered through the fields were empty, their occupants still keeping refuge in the town. Only the dogs were there, more gaunt and hungry than usual as they barked at the procession of four men and ten pack horses—Father Juan...

      (pp. 58-64)

      The news came with the morning light that the Englishman Moore was taking his army west to raid towns on the road to San Luís, leaving Ivitachuco untouched as he had promised. Solana, hearing the news, rose from his chair at the table in the convento and began to get ready to leave. The priest watched him soberly.

      “You move with too much haste,” Juan said. “There will be pagans on the way. Stay with us until it is safe.”

      “It is safe enough,” said Solana. “The scouts say the enemy is taking the lower road. God help all the...

      (pp. 64-69)

      It had been one of those days of early spring when the fragile sun soaks the open places with its warmth and yet remains too weak to take away the chill from the cool, closed places. And now in the dusk the inside chill sharpened, and Carlos moved quickly about his little room, piling his few belongings on an old deerskin that was spread open on his bed. He heard footsteps come onto the porch outside his door, but recognizing them as Lorenzo’s, he did not bother to look around until he had finished tying up the bundle. When he...

      (pp. 70-75)

      Father Juan de Villalva pushed back his blanket, which was making him too hot now that the sun was streaming in through the open window. The fresh smell of the outside air invigorated him. Moving slowly, he swung his feet to the floor and sat for a moment on the side of his bed, then rose and walked on unsteady legs to the window and leaned on the sill to look out. His strength was returning. For more than a week now he had felt the improvement. Soon he would begin to get out, a little each day, and by...

      (pp. 75-90)

      Never had they worked like this, not in all of Lucia’s life, never under such a relentless driver nor with so much weariness and despair. Work in the mission fields had always been hard, but the discipline had been restrained by others above Lorenzo who would hear about it if he drove the workers with too much cruelty. The priest and the chief had a measure of concern for the people. But here there was no concern but for the land, for the planting to be done, for the time slipping away. The whip was the way of the overseer,...

      (pp. 90-93)

      As he walked among the people in the meadow by the town, Father Juan felt strengthened by the night’s festivities, by the laughter and the dancing and the plentitude of summer. It was the Feast of Saints John and Peter, and his Indians were celebrating with as much joy and revelry as he had ever seen among Spaniards in the streets of Seville. It was good to be up from his bed. He felt better than he had in months. Perhaps good health was returning at last.

      He stood and watched the dancing, the women shuffle-stepping in their circle around...

      (pp. 94-99)

      The priest rode beside Don Patricio at the head of fifty warriors, who moved on foot through the silence of the pre-dawn darkness. His body ached almost beyond endurance and he clung to the saddle with both hands, while Carlos walked before him leading the horse. Through the last part of the festival night, and through the next broiling day of summer heat, and now through another long night, they had marched continuously, stopping but a few times to rest. Juan closed his eyes and struggled with his breath. If only he could lie down. Anywhere. The hardest ground would...

      (pp. 99-110)

      Don Patricio returned to Ivitachuco with only a handful of men, Carlos not among them. Some said Carlos died in the battle. Some claimed to have seen him escape into the woods. But if Carlos escaped, he also deserted, for he did not seek refuge inside the fort at San Luís where Don Patricio regrouped his small force of survivors before finally bringing them home again, leaving behind the priest, who was too ill to travel. The Creeks had defeated the last army that Apalachee could muster, and the Spanish forces were confined now to their two strongholds: San Luís...

      (pp. 110-118)

      The camp of Salvador lay deep within a forest laced with animal trails. Only because Carlos had been there before did they know which trails to follow. Near the camp, however, the human trail became more distinct and Lucia herself could pick it out. She joked with Carlos, saying she would lead the way, and so he stopped and let her go in front of him.

      She found it good to walk ahead, almost like being alone. For two days she had walked beside Carlos or behind him through the woods and fields, and the sight of him was such...

      (pp. 118-126)

      It was the middle of the night, almost a month after they had come to Salvador’s camp. Lucia awoke suddenly in a fright, her heart pounding, her eyes wide and searching the darkness. She reached out and felt Carlos in the bed beside her and then lay still for a moment, trying to collect herself. What had it been? She had no memory of a dream. A sound, perhaps, but all was silent now. The town was still, like any other night. Out in the darkness there were sentries guarding. There was nothing to fear. But her heart would not...

      (pp. 126-129)

      Lucia felt at peace as she walked with Carlos along the forest path toward the camp of Salvador. The four days away had been good for her and she did not mind so much going back to be the White Sun Woman again. Perhaps it was true what Salvador had told her, that in time she would get used to her new life. Certainly if she could get away like this whenever she wanted, things would not be so bad. Next time they went out, they would have better hunting, and they would take some game to the old woman....

      (pp. 129-135)

      The day was overcast, as if a blanket of gray had been draped across the sky. Later there would be the misery of rain, but for now Father Juan de Villalva welcomed the relief from the beating sun. He lay on the jolting litter, his head turned to one side as he listlessly watched his people in their flight. Two men carried him, two Spaniards from San Luís who could have been put to better use carrying precious food that all these people would need when they reached San Augustín. That city was already starving even without this new burden...

      (pp. 135-145)

      The priest lay struggling for breath in the stifling heat of the temporary Convento de San Francisco, near Matanzas Bay. The old convento had been a substantial building worthy to be headquarters for the Franciscan mission in Florida, but it—and most of the rest of San Augustín—had been burned to the ground two years earlier when the Englishman Moore made his siege. The new convento was a collection of wretched wooden huts thatched with straw, overflowing with refugee friars who had fled their missions in the ravaged provinces. Many complained of the abysmal conditions, but Juan himself was...

      (pp. 145-154)

      In the Apalachee shantytown, Lucia lay awake, listening to the wind blowing in the night, feeling its icy breath as it seeped through the thatch of the hut. The three of them were huddled together for warmth, Carlos on one side of her, Ana on the other. She thought it likely that both of the others were also awake, and yet she lay very still in case at least one of them might have found some sleep. The night was nearly over. She felt as if she had not slept at all, though surely she had—there must have been...

  5. Part Two CAROLINA: 1704–1705

      (pp. 155-170)

      The Jamaica sky was bright blue, the air hot and humid as the coach carrying Isaac Bull rolled out of Kingston into the green countryside. Perspiration trickled down his skin beneath his clothes, soaking into his linen shirt to the very ruffles that hung limply from the wide sleeves of his full-skirted coat. He took off the coat, folded it, and laid it on the seat beside him. Even his cravat, stylishly twisted with its ends stuck through a buttonhole of his embroidered waistcoat, felt damp and heavy. He shed the waistcoat and then fumbled through the pockets of his...

      (pp. 171-182)

      Isaac left Jamaica in December on the sloop Fair Hope, her hold filled with sugar and rum. It was a small vessel and he was the only passenger aboard. He shared the captain’s cabin. As they sailed north past Cuba and then up the long eastern coast of Florida, the air gradually cooled until at last, as they drew near Carolina, they felt the chill of winter. Isaac rejoiced in the cold weather as he stood on the deck and watched the coast grow larger. This new land had seasons closer to the ones he had known in England. A...

      (pp. 182-198)

      The trail could scarcely be seen on the littered floor of the great pine forest, and Henry Hawkins had strayed from it more than once. Now, as before, Hawkins pulled slowly to a halt because the next blaze-marked tree had failed to appear. Behind him Isaac Bull reined in his horse and turned about his two packhorses with their jingling bells and led the way back to the last blaze mark, where Henry stopped for a moment to study the situation and then chose another course, one that soon led to the next blaze.

      From Charles Town they had taken...

      (pp. 199-203)

      Lucia turned her head away and would not watch while they did to Ana what they had just done to her. Trying not to listen as they told Ana to jump, she looked down at the ground, pulling at the new green grass and breaking it off in her fingers. The woman Margarita moved closer to her and put a hand on her knee. Margarita herself would be next after Ana, and her hand, though trembling, was meant to give comfort. She was older than Lucia and had a half-grown son named Pablo, a thin, sad little boy who had...

      (pp. 204-213)

      The trip downriver to Charles Town from the backcountry went much faster than had the earlier, upriver journey. In little more than a week Isaac and The Panther were paddling their canoeload of slaves into the bay at Charles Town. This was no longer the quiet harbor into which Isaac had sailed when he had first arrived in Carolina in the dead of winter. A number of ships now lay at anchor in the roadstead, and periagos lined the wharves, rocking in the spring winds as their cargoes of deerskins and slaves were unloaded. The Panther deftly maneuvered the dugout...

      (pp. 213-220)

      Lucia made herself pay attention to her surroundings as they walked along. She noted the buildings they passed and the turns they made away from the street that fronted the bay. She noted alleys and places where there were people who appeared to be poor, some of them white-skinned, others swarthy, a mixture of bloods. Such people might hide a runaway, just as in San Augustín such people would trade with Carlos for his stolen goods. But they might just as likely turn in a runaway to claim the reward. She would have to be careful, wait, take time to...

      (pp. 221-228)

      Isaac Bull wandered through the gathering of bewigged men and richly-dressed women who milled about in the candlelight of John Hawkins’ hall. He felt serene, warmed by the brandy he had downed, and he smiled amiably as he paused at the edges of conversations, pretending to listen while his eyes returned continually to the group of young ladies across the room where Charity Hawkins was talking and laughing, playing hostess in her uncle’s home. Her drab mourning garb had been put aside for a gown of emerald silk, her light brown hair tied prettily with a matching ribbon. Isaac was...

      (pp. 228-237)

      Lucia drew the brush through Charity’s hair, concentrating on making the crown smooth without destroying the curl beneath, trying to do it as she had seen Venus do it. Charity was paying little attention in the mirror, but Venus was standing by watching intently, waiting for the slightest excuse to criticize. Lucia pinned the hair carefully at the nape of Charity’s neck, then reached for the blue ribbon on the dressing table. Venus shifted slightly, and Lucia stiffened. She stood for a moment, holding the ribbon, studying the job she had done so far. Unable to see anything wrong with...

      (pp. 237-240)

      Charity came into the parlor of her uncle’s house and curtsied before the Reverend Jonathan Clark, minister of the Presbyterian church that she and her father attended when they visited Charles Town.

      “How good of you to call, Brother Clark,” she said. Glancing over her shoulder, she saw that her father, who had ushered her downstairs, had not come with her into the room. “I’m sure Father will join us in a moment. He told you, did he not, that Uncle and Cousin Henry are out for the afternoon?”

      “Seeing to business at the counting house, I believe,” said Clark,...

      (pp. 241-244)

      Isaac Bull was met by his landlady as he came into his lodging house. He was perspiring heavily from the noon heat, his shirt clinging to his body, his waistcoat soaked through.

      “Mr. Bull,” she said, taking the letter from her pocket, a trace of chagrin on her face. “This letter,” she said hesitantly. “It came two days ago. I put it into my apron pocket, you see. It was my intention to give it to you when you came in, you see, but you were late and I was sleeping. And the next day I put on a fresh...

      (pp. 244-250)

      Lucia worked contentedly, folding gowns and petticoats, packing them away in a wooden trunk. For almost a month now she had been in good spirits, patient and full of hope. The ship had sailed away to Boston with no one aboard from this house except Abraham, and now in a few days’ time Henry would be taking Charity and Lucia and Cajoe to his plantation near the Indian country. They would travel the same course Lucia had traveled when brought to Charles Town, in a boat that would weave its way through the marshy waterways among the coastal islands. She...

  6. Part Three FAIRMEADOW: 1714–1715

      (pp. 251-262)

      Kneeling before the fireplace, Lucia opened the little cloth bundle and looked for a moment at the four herbal medicines that were inside it, then blew her breath on them and dropped them into the kettle of simmering water.

      “Why did you do that?” asked Grace Hawkins. The girl stood beside Lucia, watching, asking the questions of an eight-year-old.

      “To bring the medicine into the water,” said Lucia. “So Abe can drink it.”

      “No, why did you blow on it?”

      Lucia turned and looked at her. The girl had her mother’s light brown hair, though not her fine features; her...

      (pp. 263-276)

      Isaac Bull awoke with the first faint light of dawn and for a moment could not recall where he was. Then he knew. He was in the parlor bed at Fairmeadow, his back aching from the sag of the feather mattress. He had lost his liking for this way of sleeping, having grown accustomed over the years to a hard cane bed in the Indian fashion with mats and skins spread on it. He sat up, rubbing his back with both hands. There was enough light to make out the shapes of things. He got up and found his clothes...

      (pp. 276-282)

      It was Christmas and the big house was full, a festival for all but the house slaves. From the quarters came the sound of drums and singing, three days free of toil for the hands. In the big house the music came from a fiddle played by a black slave brought along by the Stanhopes from Stanfield Plantation. No holiday for the fiddler, either.

      Lucia moved continuously from room to room, attending to the guests. The women were gathered in the parlor, where at night they all slept together in the parlor bed and on pallets on the floor. The...

      (pp. 283-290)

      Lucia sat up suddenly, pushing back the blanket that covered her where she lay on the mat outside the door of Charity’s chamber. The house was dark, the shuttered windows closing out the moonlight. Her heart pounded with fright. Her dream had been so vivid that she could still see it—flames shooting up, a sphere of fire with Moon and Basey enclosed in it, silent as they looked at her, surprise on their faces. She rubbed her hand over her face, trying to shake off the dream. Then she lay down again, pulling the blanket back up, and closed...

      (pp. 290-297)

      Lucia walked out from the big house to the landing, seeking the warmth of the afternoon sun. Peter and the blacksmith Will and his son, Little Will, were fishing from the riverbank near the wharf. In addition to Sundays the slaves now had Saturday afternoons to themselves, more time for getting their own food, for hunting and fishing and tending their gardens. Sam Clutterbuck had given them that, one of the first changes he made when he became the new overseer of the place. This new freedom was not yet approved by Henry, who had been gone to Charles Town...

      (pp. 298-308)

      Lucia stood at the corner of the house and watched Henry Hawkins climb out of the boat onto the landing. He was thin, his face hollow and drawn. She thought to herself that he must have spent the entire two months in Charles Town swilling rum and eating no solid food. But he seemed to be sober now, his movements steady and sure. He helped lift his baggage from the periago and then turned and stood looking up toward the house, waiting for some sort of greeting. Grace and Robin burst out of the front door and raced each other...

      (pp. 308-318)

      Lucia lay on a mat in the loft above the kitchen. It was Doll’s room, a small space pinched in by the angles of the roof. She lay on her stomach with her arms folded under her head and stared into the dark recesses, her mind drifting slowly from one dreary thought to another. Her back hurt too much to lie on it, but it was not so terribly bad. She had seen worse whippings. Timboe’s had been worse, on that night she buried the poison root. She understood more than ever the change in him after that, why he...

  7. Part Four THE UPRISING: 1715–1716

      (pp. 319-331)

      Isaac Bull stood at Yamassee landing and watched Thomas Nairne’s periago cross the broad expanse of the Coosaw River from Port Royal Island. The houses and outbuildings of the nearest plantation on the great island were barely visible in the distance, the flat land stretching away in the warm April sun. An osprey dove down to the water’s surface near the periago and rose again with a fish in its talons. Isaac felt more at ease than he had in months. Governor Craven had finally been brought to his senses, Sam Warner’s warning having been confirmed by yet another warning...

      (pp. 331-336)

      A dog barked in the first light of dawn, rousing Lucia from sleep. She rolled onto her back and opened her eyes. The kitchen loft was dark, only a faint gray light coming up from below.

      “What dog was that?” Doll said from her mat. “Not one of ours.”

      “Did you hear it, too?” Lucia asked softly, rising up on her elbow. She had not heard it clearly herself, coming as it had in her sleep, waking her with only an impression that must have been shaped by her dreaming.

      But now it came again, and the sound jolted through...

      (pp. 336-345)

      Lucia sat with Daphne and Juba just outside the tiny, bark-shingled lean-to that they shared in the hidden camp of the Yamasee women. Nearby were the shelters of the other Fairmeadow slaves. The mosquitoes from the swamp swarmed thickly in the spring heat, and Lucia concentrated on the basket she was weaving, trying to ignore them.

      “No good,” said Daphne, brushing the mosquitoes from her face. “This place is no good. How far to Saint Augustine?”

      “There are mosquitoes there, too,” said Lucia.

      “Mosquitoes like this? I never hear that.”

      “Not like this,” said Juba, who was sitting on the...

      (pp. 345-351)

      It was summer in the Creek country and the war dragged on. Raiding parties were going out continually against the English settlements. Lucia stood at the edge of the stream in the first light of dawn and sang her song of greeting to the Sun. Behind her Carlos, home from a raid, sat against a tree and watched her. The day would be another hot one, the summer past its solstice now, the heat unrelenting. But toward evening another shower would come, enough to sustain the corn and cool the air for a little time. It was a good summer...

      (pp. 352-361)

      Isaac Bull opened his eyes to curtained daylight and pushed back the sheet, seeking relief from the late summer heat. He was in one of the bed chambers of Charity Hawkins’ house in Charles Town. The bed was damp from the sweat of his bedfellow, a Combahee River planter suffering from fever and ague. Isaac lay still, reluctant to disturb what little peace the man might be finding in his sleep. His wife and children had been murdered by the Yamasees on the first day of the war, the same day Isaac had suffered his wound.

      Isaac gingerly stretched the...

      (pp. 361-368)

      Lucia walked with Peeper and Blue down the path through the winter cornfield. The sky was gray overhead, threatening rain or even snow. Twice already in this season it had snowed, though only once did it stay on the ground long enough to make a wispy whiteness, and then it was gone. Both times the sky had been as it was today, heavy and flat, like a great, extended field turned upside down. They walked with their blankets wrapped snugly against the cold, and the two women carried water jars. Blue ran before them rolling a little wheel from a...

      (pp. 368-378)

      In the high hills of the Cherokee country, frigid with the cold of January, Isaac Bull walked against the falling snow, his shoulders hunched, his chin pulled down into the collar of his greatcoat. The snow had brought silence, muffling the sound of footsteps on the path, his own and those of the soldier he followed. They were walking from the small Cherokee town where his company was quartered to the main town of Tugaloo. The countryside through which they traveled was almost empty, though when they had first set out over an hour ago, the snow had not yet...

      (pp. 378-381)

      Lucia lay awake listening to the wolves in the fields beyond the town. Their thin, tremulous howls sounded like grieving. They came every night now, the cold making them so hungry and daring that some had been coming up to the very yards of the houses to nose about for food. They seemed to know the men were gone. She turned over and closed her eyes, pulling her blanket over her head to muffle their wailing. She wanted very much to sleep, to shorten the long night and quiet her gloomy thoughts. She lay absolutely still, her breath warm in...

      (pp. 381-390)

      Lucia sat on a bench in the sun, leaning back against a high paling fence, watching Blue as she played with the other children in the slave pen. Three sides of the pen were formed by the walls of surrounding buildings, all with their windows barred, and the fourth side, facing the back alley, was closed in by the fence against which she leaned. The building on the opposite side of the yard from the fence belonged to the merchant who owned the slaves, and the man who tended the slaves for him lived in the upper story, where there...

      (pp. 390-392)

      Dawn rose in a spreading arch above the sea, casting its red light over the brooding surface of the dark water. Lucia sat on the deck of the rolling ship, her blanket wrapped around both herself and the child, who sat between her legs, leaning back against her, slumped down in sleep. As the light rose, Lucia could see the land behind them, a thin strip of darkness barely visible above the western horizon. Her initial fear had subsided, the terror she had felt in the moonlight as the ship had crossed the bar and moved out onto the open...

    (pp. 393-396)

    In 1539, at the beginning of his trek though southeastern North America, the Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto wintered in Anhayca, the principal town of Apalachee. At that time the Apalachees were a powerful agricultural chiefdom. Although no generally accepted population estimates exist for aboriginal Apalachee, their numbers must have been many tens of thousands.

    In 1565 the Spaniards founded Saint Augustine, and in 1608 Franciscan friars made their first visit to the Apalachee country and estimated the population at that time to be only around 25,000. This sharp population decline in the seventy years since De Soto’s entrada had...

    (pp. 397-398)
    (pp. 399-400)