On this date… October 4, 1597… Georgia

The Guale began their uprising against the Spanish priests on the Sea Islands.  They began by killing the friar of Tolomato.  Over his body, the cacique’s son gave this speech:

“Now the friar is dead.  This would not have happened if he had allowed us to live according to our pre-Christian manner.  Let us return to our ancient customs.

They take away from us our women, allowing us but one, and that, in perpetuity, forbidding us to exchange them for others.  They prohibit us from having our dances, banquets, feasts, celebrations, games and wars, in order that, being deprived of these, we might lose our ancient valor and skill, which we have inherited from our ancestors.  They persecute our old men, calling them wizards.  They are not satisfied with our labor and hinder us from performing it on certain days.  Even when we are willing to do all they tell us, they remain unsatisfied.  All they do, is to reprimand us, treat us in an injurious manner, oppress us, preach to us and call us bad Christians.  They deprive us of every vestige of happiness which our ancestors obtained for us…

If we kill them all now, we will throw off this intolerable yoke without delay.”

Within days, five friars were dead and Christian Indians were forced to evacuate to St. Augustine under the protection of Spain.

The Spanish responded.  Between October 24 and November 6, they burned the Guale towns of Ospo, Zapala, Tolomato, Asao, and Talaxe.  They burned all the houses and all the food stockpiled for the winter.

Geiger, Maynard 1937. The Franciscan Conquest of Florida.      Image

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