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French Exploration of the Southeast in the Sixteenth Century

This interim report will give you a fascinating glimpse of Native American societies in the South Atlantic Coastal Plain during the late 16th century. They were far more ethnically diverse than most anthropologists have assumed. In the coming months, we plan to reinforce it with research papers based on the analysis of surviving Spanish letters and reports from that era.

Using French colonial archives, memoirs and maps, interpolated with satellite infrared imagery, we think we may have found the real location of Fort Caroline on the Altamaha River. It is more inland that probably most people suspected. Captain René de Laudonniére did say that he chose a location with sufficient potable, fresh water for a large town. By September 22, 1565 he WOULD have had about 1000 colonists at Fort Caroline, had not a hurricane and the Spanish intervened on September 21. The site appears to be on land owned by the State of Georgia, but this is not certain yet.

The following interim report is an analysis of the French archives, reinforced with the on-going Native American historical research by several People of One Fire members:

Laissez les bons temps rouler!

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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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The Information World is changing!

People of One Fire needs your help to evolve with it.

We are now celebrating the 11th year of the People of One Fire. In that time, we have seen a radical change in the way people receive information. The magazine industry has almost died. Printed newspapers are on life support. Ezines, such as POOF, replaced printed books as the primary means to present new knowledge. Now the media is shifting to videos, animated films of ancient towns, Youtube and three dimensional holograph images.

During the past six years, a privately owned business has generously subsidized my research as I virtually traveled along the coast lines and rivers of the Southeast. That will end in December 2017. I desperately need to find a means to keep our research self-supporting with advertising from a broader range of viewers. Creation of animated architectural history films for POOF and a People of One Fire Youtube Channel appears to be the way. To do this I will need to acquire state-of-art software and video hardware, which I can not afford with my very limited income. Several of you know personally that I live a very modest lifestyle. If you can help with this endeavor, it will be greatly appreciated.

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Richard Thornton . . . the truth is out there somewhere!

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