This first volume of John Worth's substantial two-volume work studies the assimilation and eventual destruction of the indigenous Timucuan societies of interior Spanish Florida near St. Augustine, shedding new light on the nature and function of La Florida's entire mission system.
Beginning in this volume with analysis of the late prehistoric chiefdoms, Worth traces the effects of European exploration and colonization in the late 1500s and describes the expansion of the mission frontier before 1630. As a framework for understanding the Timucuan rebellion of 1654 and its pacification, he explores the internal political and economic structure of the colonial system. In volume 2, he shows that after the geographic and political restructuring of the Timucua mission province, the interior of Florida became a populated chain of way-stations along the royal road between St. Augustine and the Apalachee province. Finally, he describes rampant demographic collapse in the missions, followed by English-sponsored raids, setting a stage for their final years in Florida during the mid-1700s.
The culmination of nearly a decade of original research, these books incorporate many previously unknown or little-used Spanish documentary sources. As an analysis of both the Timucuan chiefdoms and their integration into the colonial system, they offer important discussion of the colonial experience for indigenous groups across the nation and the rest of the Americas.
A volume in the Florida Museum of Natural History: Ripley P. Bullen Series