La Florida


Cacica María Menéndez

Female chief of the Timucua village, Nombre de Dios. She became a Spanish ally and one of the most powerful Indian chiefs in north Florida. She assisted the Spanish on numerous occasions, providing food, shelter, and military support.


Letter from the Governor to King Philip II of Spain

"The chiefs and Indians come here [to St Augustine] to stay at her inn and doña María spends what little she has on giving them gifts and urging them to be obedient. Her mother was a very good Indian as well… If your majesty sees fit to send her assistance for her expenses, she is worthy of this favor".


Nombre de Dios

Nombre de Dios, founded in 1587, was the site of the first permanent Franciscan mission in the USA.


Indian settlement "Nombre de Dios", located 1,000 steps from St Augustine Fort. Details from the "Map of the settlement, fort and channel of San Agustín of Lla Florida and of the settlement and channel of San Sebastián", 1595.

Archivo General de Indias, Sevilla.