Slave Revolt Led to Failure of Spanish Colony on Sapelo Island, Georgia

Friday, February 28, 2014 - by Chuck Hamilton

While it is still Black History Month, I thought it would be appropriate to add to the information in my earlier article on the brouhaha over the multi-lingual rendition of “America the Beautiful” in Coca-Cola’s Superbowl commercial.

First, a bit of correction.  The Spanish were indeed the first European power to plant a colony in the land of the later United States of America, but their first effort was not the colony of Santa Cruz on the Alabama River founded by Tristan de Luna in 1559.

In 1526, Luca Vazquez de Ayllon established the colony of San Miguel de Gualdape at or near Sapelo Island, Georgia, with 600 settlers.  However, hardships including a harsh winter and trouble with natives led to the effort being deserted after three months.  They did, however, bequeath a lasting legacy in that they were the first to name the region Carolina, for Charles I & V of Spain and the Holy Roman Empire.

More notable were events connected to a portion of the San Miguel de Gualdape population.

A hundred of the settlers in De Ayllon’s colony were slaves brought from Africa to help build the colony.  One of the main reasons for the colony’s failure was a slave revolt.

The first slave revolt in American history.  By its first African slaves. 

Victorious, the slaves faded into the forest and from history.  There is no record of what became of them, but those who survived, wherever they ended up, are the first non-native Americans in the later United States, the remainder of the colony returning to the Spanish West Indies.

 Chuck Hamilton
natty4bumpo@gmail.com

 


James County Historical Society Meeting May 1

The meeting is Sunday, May 1st at the Ooltewah Methodist Church at 2:30 pm. Dennis Billings will present "Early Times in Old Jim County"  I hope to see everyone there. (click for more)

Chester Martin Remembers Jay Craven, Musician

No history of the music scene in Chattanooga could be written without Jay Craven appearing as a central figure. He has assumed so many titles and roles as a   musician here as to be synonymous with the entire musical genre. We can thank an early childhood illness for helping to shape Jay's musical career, and we can also thank Jay's brother, Roy, for inadvertently directing ... (click for more)

Teen Shot Multiple Times On Wilson Street On Wednesday Night; Injuries "Life-Threatening"

A teenager was shot multiple times on Wilson Street on Wednesday night. The incident was in the 1900 block around 6:30 p.m. The 911 caller said the victim was on her porch. The shooter was said to be in a silver vehicle. Chattanooga Police arrived on the scene, initiated first aid and attempted to locate a crime scene. Hamilton County EMS transported the victim to ... (click for more)

Woman Tells Of Having Shots Fired At Her When She Walked Into Disorder At South Germantown Road Apartment Complex

Officer Joel Gunn of the Chattanooga Police Department and a woman who was fired at after she walked into the scene of a shooting testified in court Wednesday concerning the shooting at the Chateau Royale Apartments on South Germantown Road on April 22. Coy Sims, 48, was arrested by Officer Gunn after police were called by residents of the apartment complex. On the night of the ... (click for more)

Thankful For The Vital Role Teachers Played In My Life

Re: Roy Exum: Teachers Day Tomorrow Roy, I am especially appreciative of your poignant column written in tribute to teachers.  It made me tear up, as I have encountered both as a student and a career educator-- teachers like the second-grade teacher who said, "I wish you were my little girl" and teachers like Mrs. Poindexter.   My teachers have played such a vital ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The DA’s Cold-Case Quest

It is clearly a job nobody can do for over an hour or two, but Neal Pinkston, working in hand with precise professionals from the county’s auditing department, is intent on doing the right thing. As I watched a revolving team of four people at a time open and study envelopes of autopsy photographs on Tuesday, the scene would have made a fascinating television documentary. But ... (click for more)