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San Miguel de Gualdape

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1526 San Miguel de Gualdape
(Spanish Florida, Victorious)
c. 1570 Gaspar Yanga's Revolt
(Veracruz, New Spain, Victorious)
1712 New York Slave Revolt
(British Province of New York, lost)
1733 St. John Slave Revolt
(Danish Saint John, Suppressed)
1739 Stono Rebellion
(British Province of South Carolina, Suppressed)
1741 New York Conspiracy
(Province of New York, Suppressed)
1760 Tacky's War
(British Jamaica, Suppressed)
1791 Mina Conspiracy
(Louisiana (New Spain), Suppressed)
1795 Pointe Coupée Conspiracy
(Louisiana (New Spain), Suppressed)
1791–1804 Haitian Revolution
(French Saint-Domingue, Victorious)
1800 Gabriel Prosser
(Virginia, Suppressed)
1803 Igbo Landing
(Georgia, Suppressed)
1805 Chatham Manor
(Virginia, Suppressed)
1811 German Coast Uprising
(Territory of Orleans, Suppressed)
1815 George Boxley
(Virginia, Suppressed)
1816 Bussa's Rebellion
(British Barbados, Suppressed)
1822 Denmark Vesey
(South Carolina, Suppressed)
1831 Nat Turner's rebellion
(Virginia, Suppressed)
1831–1832 Baptist War
(British Jamaica, Suppressed)
1839 Amistad, ship rebellion
(Off the Cuban coast, Victorious)
1841 Creole case, ship rebellion
(Off the Southern U.S. coast, Victorious)
1842 Slave Revolt in the Cherokee Nation
(Indian Territory, Suppressed)
1859 John Brown's Raid
(Virginia, Suppressed)

San Miguel de Gualdape was the first European settlement in the North American continent, founded in 1526 by Spanish explorer Lucas Vázquez de Ayllón.[1][2] The settlers lasted only through three months of winter before abandoning the site in early 1527.


  • History 1
    • Slavery and rebellion 1.1
    • First Catholic Mass in the United States 1.2
  • References 2
  • External links 3


Records show that in 1521, de Ayllón, a wealthy sugar planter of Santo Domingo, had sent Francisco Gordillo northward to explore the continent. Upon reaching the Bahamas, he ran into his cousin, slave trader Pedro de Quexos (Pedro de Quejo), and the two set out together. They landed at the "River of St. John the Baptist", possibly the Pee Dee River, where they kidnapped 70 natives to sell in Hispaniola. One, whom they named Francisco de Chicora, provided some ethnological information about his province of Chicora, and the neighboring provinces. Chicora was evidently one of several Carolina Siouan-speaking territories subject to their king, Datha of Duahe (also recorded in Spanish as Duarhe). Spanish records described the Siouan captives as white, dressed in skins, and larger than the average Spaniard.

Ayllón obtained a patent from Charles V in 1523. In 1525 he sent Quexos to explore the coastline further. The trader made peace with the natives and explored as far north as the Delaware Bay.[3] He persuaded two natives from each district to return with him to learn Spanish, and thereafter act as interpreters for the colonists.

By mid-July 1526, Ayllón was ready to establish a colony with 600 settlers and 100 horses. He lost one of his three ships at a river he named the Jordan, probably the Feast of Archangels). Francisco de Chicora left the group 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, as related by Peter Martyr. They reached another river, which they named the Gualdape, where they built the mission San Miguel de Gualdape on October 8.

The location of this colony has been disputed by scholars, 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,[4] claimed that Ayllón in 1526 had landed on the James somewhere near where Jamestown developed in the future.[5] 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 Sapelo Island; they believe that scholarly speculation to locate the San Miguel settlement (Tierra de Ayllón) any farther to the north is unsubstantiated conjecture.[7]

The colony was a failure; Ayllón died there, purportedly in the arms of a Dominican friar. His small settlement endured about a total of three months, through a severe winter. Settlers suffered from the scarcity of supplies, hunger, disease, and troubles with the local natives. In the spring of 1527, Francis Gomez returned the 150 survivors to Hispaniola, sailing on two of the original three vessels. One of the two sank, resulting in survivors crowding on one vessel to return.[8]

Slavery and rebellion

Ayllón had brought a group of Africans to labor at the mission, to clear ground and erect the buildings. This was the first time that Spanish colonists had used African slaves on the North American continent. During a period of internal political disputes among the settlers, the slaves rebelled.[9] This 1526 incident is the first documented slave rebellion in North America.

First Catholic Mass in the United States

Dominican friars Fr. Antonio de Montesinos and Fr. Anthony de Cervantes were among the San Miguel de Gualdape colonists. 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.[10]


  1. ^ Ponce de Leon in early 1522 had made a poorly documented, disastrous attempt to plant a colony in the area of Florida he had explored in 1513, probably near Charlotte Harbor, but was unable owing to the hostility of natives. Around 80 of his men, and twice as many natives were killed in a skirmish, after which he returned to Havana. See Ponce de Leon Source Records.
  2. ^ Douglas T. Peck (Summer 2001). "Lucas Vásquez de Ayllón's Doomed Colony of San Miguel de Gualdape". The Georgia Historical Quarterly 85 (2): 183–198.  
  3. ^ "Francisco Gordillo and Pedro de Quejo". Retrieved 2008-12-29. 
  4. ^ Peter Cooper Mancall (2007). The Atlantic World and Virginia, 1550-1624. UNC Press Books. pp. 534–540.  
  5. ^ Magri, Francis Joseph. "Diocese of Richmond", The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 13. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. 23 Nov. 2013
  6. ^ Swanton, 1922, Early History of the Creek Indians and their Neighbors p. 32-48
  7. ^  
  8. ^ Charles A. Grymes, "The Spanish in the Chesapeake Bay", Virginia Places
  9. ^ Margaret F. Pickett; Dwayne W. Pickett (15 February 2011). The European Struggle to Settle North America: Colonizing Attempts by England, France and Spain, 1521-1608. McFarland. p. 26.  
  10. ^ Schroeder, Henry Joseph. "Antonio Montesino", The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 10. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. 23 Nov. 2013

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