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Timeline / Colonizers and Resistance / AD 1566: The Calusa battle Spain over conversion

AD 1566: The Calusa battle Spain over conversion

The Calusa Indians, who live in southwest Florida, are weakened by epidemics. They are attacked by Spain, which in 1566 had established St. Augustine in the north. The Calusa leader, Calus (called Carlos II by the Spaniards), agrees to accept a Jesuit missionary among his people, but the Calusa refuse to convert. Spain beheads Calus and 20 of his warriors. The Calusa retaliate by burning the fort that the Spanish had established in their capital.

Epidemics, Native Rights

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Map of Saint Augustine, showing European settlement,1589

Courtesy of the State Archives of Florida

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Plan of the Spanish fort at St. Augustine, Florida, built on the site of the Native village of Seloy. The pen and ink sketch was drawn from memory in the late 16th century by a European artist.

Courtesy Bettmann/Corbis