San Miguel de Guadalupe
|North American slave revolts|
Two-thirds of the 600 Spanish settlers of San Miguel de Guadalupe died before they reached the end of their three-month winter stay, most of disease.  They also suffered a rebellion by the enslaved Africans and the native Guales before abandoning the site in early 1527, with 100 enslaved Africans escaping to take refuge with the neighboring Guale people. This is the first known such rebellion in the future US, with the enslaved Africans constituting the first non-native settlers.
Records show that in 1521, Lucas Vázquez de Ayllón, a wealthy sugar planter on Española (Hispaniola) and oidor (judge) of the royal Audencia of Santa Domingo, dispatched Francisco Gordillo northward to explore the North American continent. Gordillo sailed north from Hispaniola through the Bahamas, where near the island of Lucayoneque he fell in with a caravel commanded by slave raider Pedro de Quexos (Pedro de Quejo). He was a relative of Gordillo's pilot Alonzo Fernandez Sotil. They joined forces and continued to the coast of present-day South Carolina, sailed into Winyah Bay just north of the mouth of the South Santee River.
There they captured 70 natives to sell in Hispaniola, one of whom was baptized with the name "Francisco de Chicora" and later served as a translator for the Spanish. Ayllón took the young Native American back with him to Spain and presented him to the royal court, where he recounted exaggerated stories about his homeland and the neighboring provinces in what is now known as the Carolinas. "Chicora" (the name the Spanish gave to the area) was one of several Siouan-speaking territories subject to the chief Datha of Duahe (also recorded in Spanish as Duhare). According to the historian Paul E. Hoffman, Francisco described the people of Duhare as "white" and having "blond hair to the heels", and told of a gigantic Indian king called Datha. who ruled a race of giants. He also recounted there was another race of men who grew long tails.
In 1523, Ayllón obtained a cédula, or royal patent, from Charles V and the Council of the Indies giving him permission to explore the Atlantic coastline of Chicora and beyond. He was given exclusive rights to establish a settlement there. In 1525 he sent two caravels commanded by Pedro de Quexos to chart the coastline and sound its waters. The slaver explored as far north as Delaware Bay. De Quexos persuaded two natives from each district to return with him to Spain to learn Spanish, and thereafter act as interpreters for the colonists.
By mid-July 1526, Ayllón had organized an expedition of 600 settlers and 100 horses to found a colony. He lost one of his three ships in the river that Capt. Quexos had named the Rio Jordan; whether it was the Santee or the Cape Fear River is still debated by scholars. The remainder of the expedition landed in Winyah Bay, near the site of present-day Georgetown, South Carolina, on 29 September (the "Feast of Archangels"). Francisco de Chicora left and escaped into the woods. Ayllón's party proceeded 40 or 45 leagues, partly overland and partly by boat, visiting the "king" of Duahe en route, according to expedition historian Peter Martyr.
In early October, they reached another river, which they named the Guadalupe, where they founded the mission San Miguel de Guadalupe. Scholars have disputed the location of this colony, since the expedition did not relate in which direction they traveled from the Jordan (Santee). Some historians have asserted that Ayllón went north, reaching the Chesapeake Bay. Francisco Fernández de Écija, chief pilot of Spaniards searching the Chesapeake Bay for English activities in 1609, claimed that Ayllón in 1526 had landed on the James River somewhere near where Jamestown was later developed. Ecija also claimed the natives at the Santee had told him Daxe (Duahe) was a town 4 days to the north.
The 20th-century American ethnologist John Swanton, who studied the southeastern Indian tribes, suggested Ayllón may have gone 45 leagues to the southwest, and that the "Guadalupe" was the Savannah River in present-day Georgia. There the expedition would have interacted with the Guale, a chiefdom that was part of the Mississippian culture.
Since the early 21st century, contemporary American scholars concur that Ayllón probably developed the 1526 settlement at or near present-day Georgia's Sapelo Island. They believe that scholarly speculation suggesting that the San Miguel settlement (Tierra de Ayllón) was founded any farther to the north cannot be substantiated. Archaeological attempts to locate the site have so far been unsuccessful.
The colony was a failure. Ayllón died in October 1526, purportedly in the arms of a Dominican friar. Two-thirds of the settlers died before the three months of severe winter ended, suffering from the scarcity of supplies, hunger, malaria and other diseases. A mutiny took place after Ayllón's death, with some men mistreating the local natives, who attacked the settlers. The mutiny was quelled but problems continued. In the spring of 1527, Francis Gomez sailed two vessels, holding some 150-200 survivors, to Hispaniola. One ship sank on the way, requiring survivors to crowd on the single vessel to reach the island.
Slavery and rebellion
Together with hundreds of settlers, Ayllón had brought a group of roughly 100 "seasoned", enslaved Africans and natives from Hispaniola to labor at the mission, to clear ground and erect the buildings. After Ayllón's death, some of the settlers mutinied against his successor. They mistreated the local Guale people and the enslaved Africans. The natives attacked the settlers and the enslaved Africans rebelled, many of them escaping to take refuge in Guale settlements. This 1526 incident is regarded as the first documented slave rebellion in North America, and the surviving enslaved Africans are considered the first non-native settlers.
First Catholic mass in the United States
Dominican friars Fr. Antonio de Montesinos and Fr. Anthony de Cervantes were among the colonists at San Miguel de Guadalupe. They would have celebrated mass each day, making this the first place in the present-day United States in which mass was celebrated. The specific location and date of the event are not known.
- In early 1521, Ponce de León had made a poorly documented, disastrous attempt to plant a colony near Charlotte Harbor, Florida but was quickly repulsed by the native Calusa. After the attack, the expedition returned to Havana, where Ponce soon died from his wounds. See Ponce de Leon Source Records.Douglas T. Peck (Summer 2001). "Lucas Vásquez de Ayllón's Doomed Colony of San Miguel de Guadalupe". The Georgia Historical Quarterly. 85 (2): 183–198. doi:10.2307/40584407 (inactive 2018-09-19). JSTOR 40584407.
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This despite the fact that in 1526 a joint uprising of native Guales and enslaved Africans imported from Santo Domingo destroyed the Spaniards' first settlement in what would later become the United States of America, San Miguel de Gualdape. Only 150 of the original 500-600 settlers who had left Hispaniola returned, no doubt with horror stories of the Indo-African rebellion.
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San Miguel de Guadalupe