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

 


First Thanksgiving in Chattanooga (Civil War)

By “first Thanksgiving Day”, no, I do not mean the harvest thanksgiving meal which the Separatist colonists of New Plymouth shared uncomfortably with their Wampanoag neighbors.   Nor do I mean any of the thanksgivings proclaimed on a one-time basis by a U.S. President after that.   In this case, the “First Thanksgiving Day” means the inaugural event of those that have ... (click for more)

Chester Martin Remembers Larry V. Myers And His Explorer Scouts

I can't believe that it has been over 40 years since Larry Myers of the Chattanooga Fire Department was active here in Chattanooga. He was a very well-known professional fireman   who also took great interest in our local youth, organizing some of them into a group of re-enactors. I was fortunate to see them in action, especially at Fort Loudoun, where their authentic ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Council Looking Into Taking Over Schools

A new group of Signal Mountain Town Council members is looking into taking over county schools within the town boundaries.   Two newly elected board members, Amy Speek and Dan Landrum, joined the council Friday afternoon at the first work session after the election. The election of mayor and vice mayor for the next two years came first on the agenda. Dick Gee, mayor ... (click for more)

Curtis Coleman Sentenced To 144 Months For Dealing Heroin

Curtis Allen Coleman, 41, of Dayton, Ohio, was sentenced to serve 144 months in prison by Federal Judge Travis R. McDonough for heroin distribution in Chattanooga. Coleman pleaded guilty in August to a federal indictment charging him with, among other things, conspiracy to distribute heroin.  According to information on file with the United States District ... (click for more)

Tennessee River Gorge Trust Trail Warriors Make You Want To Take A Hike

Trail warriors of the Tennessee River Gorge Trust make you want to take a hike.  The Tennessee River Gorge Trust staff and volunteers make a huge difference in the Chattanooga community and have been making the outdoor areas around the River Gorge clean and protected for more than 30 years.  They deserve to be recognized and praised for all of the hard work they have ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Why Our Schools Stink

Cheryl Roddy has spent her lifetime, for the biggest part, as a teacher for the Hamilton County Department of Education and, more specifically, at East Ridge High School. She has loved teaching there for nearly 40 years and is hardly “average;” she has her master's degree in education, was twice East Ridge’s teacher of the year, was the first teacher at East Ridge to reach the first ... (click for more)