Richard Thornton | Jun 3, 2017 | 15
First St. Augustine in Georgia
The Spanish archives put first St. Augustine in Georgia. Same document confirms POOF location for Fort Caroline. French eyewitness says that Jean Ribault was executed at Fort Caroline in Georgia.
Y’all are going to love this one. It is one thing for archaeologists and historians to squabble about whether some pile of earth is a Spanish fort, an Indian mound or a pile of dirt. Being a Rambling Wreck from Georgia Tech, I like hard numbers and crisp satellite images. That we got.
All along there was a letter written by the big butcher himself, Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, where he stated that St. Augustine was established on a site with a latitude of 30 ½ degrees. It was about 21 miles south of Fort Caroline. Most Florida authors and web sites changed the number to 29 ½ degrees to match St. Augustine. However, trente y media grados is 30 ½ degrees in every Spanish speaking nation in the world, except South Miami Beach. He also said that there was a roundish island the diameter of Sapelo Island in the mouth of the May River. None of the other river candidates have islands in their mouths but the Altamaha River with its Sapelo Island.
There is also a French archive by a survivor of Fort Caroline that states that most of the French fleet was sunk or floundered about 50 miles south of Fort Caroline. They struggled back northward through the Georgia Coast’s maze of rivers, tidal creeks and marshes in order to surrender at Fort Caroline to the Spanish, and then be promptly butchered.
For 500 years, a parade of conquistadors, Catholic priests, Protestant missionaries, soldiers, politicians, historians, eggheads, anthropologists, New Agers and archaeologists have been telling the Southeastern indigenous peoples what their history was. Now the moccasins are on the other foot.
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Richard Thornton is a professional architect, city planner, author and museum exhibit designer-builder. He is today considered one of the nation’s leading experts on the Southeastern Indians. However, that was not always the case. While at Georgia Tech Richard was the first winner of the Barrett Fellowship, which enabled him to study Mesoamerican architecture and culture in Mexico under the auspices of the Institutio Nacional de Antropoligia e Historia. Dr. Roman Piňa-Chan, the famous archaeologist and director of the Museo Nacional de Antropologia, was his fellowship coordinator. For decades afterward, he lectured at universities and professional societies around the Southeast on Mesoamerican architecture, while knowing very little about his own Creek heritage. Then he was hired to carry out projects for the Muscogee-Creek Nation in Oklahoma. The rest is history.Richard is the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the KVWETV (Coweta) Creek Tribe and a member of the Perdido Bay Creek Tribe. In 2009 he was the architect for Oklahoma’s Trail of Tears Memorial at Council Oak Park in Tulsa. He is the president of the Apalache Foundation, which is sponsoring research into the advanced indigenous societies of the Lower Southeast.
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