*Thematic Florida Native American lesson plan, that incorporates WebQuest, to be posted. In progress as of 3/22/16.
- 1200 B.C. The first people move into Florida. Referred to today as PaleoIndians, they moved into the peninsula in search of new food sources. These sources included mastodons, giant armadillos and horses. At that time, the end of the last ice Age, Florida was twice the size it is today.
- 1500: There were three large Native American cultures in Florida: the Timucua in Northeast and Central Florida, the Apalachee in the Big Bend area, and the Calusa in South Florida.
- 1509: Columbus's son, Diego Cólon, becomes governor of the new Spanish empire in the Carribean. He soon complains that Native American slaves do not work hard enough.
- 2 April 1513: Juan Ponce de Leon becomes the first European to reach the coast of what is now the United States of America (modern Florida) He landed on the East Coast, near present-day St. Augustine. Ponce de León named the peninsula "Florida" as the season was "Pascua Florida" (Flowery Easter). He then sailed to South Florida, where he was wounded in a fight with the members of the Calusa.
- 1521: After serving time as governor of Puerto Rico, Ponce de León returns to Florida in search of gold. Contracted by the Spanish crown to colonize and Christianize the native peoples, Ponce de León was killed in South Florida.
- 1527-1536: Spanish explorer Pánfilo de Narváez led a second expedition into Florida. Numbering over 600, the expedition was a notorious failure. Alienating Florida's native cultures, the expedition was repeatedly attacked. By 1528, Narváez was dead, and the expedition was grounded due to hurricanes. Four survivors eventually walked to Mexico City, arriving in 1536. Despite the failure, their fantastical tales of mythical cities of gold inspired future expeditions to North America.
- 1540s: European diseases decimate Florida's native peoples. Within a century 90% had died.
- 1600: King Philip III of Spain outlaws the use of Native American slaves in Spanish colonies.
- 1633: Missions established in Apalachee territory.
- 1656: Timucua peoples rebel against Spanish authority; Mission San Luis established in what is today Tallahassee.
- 1672-1695: Castillo de San Marcos built by Spanish in St. Augustine, using native and slave labor.
Teacher Quick Comparison of Florida’s Early Cultures:
Timucua vs. Calusa vs. Apalachee
- Timucua: SE Georgia, NE Florida, and Central Florida
- Calusa: SW Florida, near Fort Myers
Apalachee: NW Florida, near the Tallahassee area
- Timucua: Land & water animals, shellfish, forest plants, some crops
- Calusa: Water animals, shellfish, & plants, some land resources, few crops
- Apalachee: Mostly land animals and crops, some water resources
- Timucua: Regional headchiefs ruled 30–40 villages. Headchiefs were not united into one government and often fought each other.
- Calusa: All villages were united under one Paramount Chief. This chief was strong enough to rule SW FL villages that were not Calusa.
- Apalachee: All villages were loosely united. During times of war and peace, they had different rulers.
- Timucua: Held a deer ceremony to thank the sun for its bounty
- Calusa: Believed in three gods and that each person has three souls
- Apalachee: Played the ball game to honor the thunder god and bring rain for their crops.
WHAT HAPPENED TO THEM?
- Timucua: Missionized. Killed by disease, warfare, & slavery. The last few were evacuated to Cuba in 1763. The culture disappeared.
- Calusa: Never missionized. Killed by disease & warfare. The culture disappeared in the early 1700’s.
- Apalachee: Missionized. Killed by disease, warfare, & slave raids. The culture disappeared by 1713. One group of Apalachee escaped and survives today in Louisiana."