THE ANCIENT ONES

Florida's First People were probably the first natives of North America to make contact with the invading forces of Europeans at the beginning of the 16th Century. Although they and their ancestors had lived upon and cared for this land for more than 12 thousand years; by the time Spain turned Florida over to the Britain in 1763-64, these Ancient Ones had ceased to exist as a people.

At the beginning of the 16th century, more than 250,000 Native people were living in small villages throughout the state. Approximately 80% of the native population succumbed to diseases introduced from Europe. Epidemics of smallpox, measles, pneumonic plague, chickenpox, scarlet fever, bubonic plague, influenza, typhus, diphtheria, malaria, typhoid, dysentery, and yellow fever swept through the villages. The survivors of these epidemics were either killed or captured by invading armies and slave traders. The last recorded survivor of the Timucua speakers was Juan Alonso Cabale, of Timucuan and Spanish decent. He was born in 1709 a the Mission Senora de la Leche, St. Augustine, FL and died in Guanabacoa, Cuba on Nov. 14, 1767. With his passing, we lost forever a link to our past. However, he and his ancestors are not truly gone unless they are forgotten.