EXCERPT/LINK: — Coosa and Their Descendants

“(…) Coosa is a large village, the largest to be met after leaving Santa Elena on the road we took from there. It may contain about 150 people – that is, judging by the size of the village. It seems to be a wealthier place than all the others; there are generally a great many Indians in it. It is situated in a valley at the foot of a mountain. All around it at one-quarter, one-half, and one league there are very many big places. It is a very fertile country; its situation is at midday’s sun or perhaps a little less than midday.19

Fear of this tribe, allied with the “Chisca, Carrosa, and Costehe,” was what decided Pardo to turn back to Santa Elena.20 While Vandera seems to say that Coosa had 150 inhabitants, he must mean neighborhoods, otherwise it certainly would not be the largest place the Spaniards had discovered. Garcilasso says that in Coosa there were 500 houses, but he is wont to exaggerate.21 At the same time, if Vandera means 150 neighborhoods and Garcilasso counted all classes of buildings, the two statements could be reconciled very well.

And now, after enjoying such early prominence, the Coosa tribe slips entirely from view, and when we next catch a glimpse of it its ancient importance has gone. Adair, the first writer to notice the town particularly, says:

In the upper or most western part of the country of the Muskohge there was an old beloved town, now reduced to a small ruinous village, called Koosahy which is still a place of safety to those who kill undesignedly. It stands on commanding ground, overlooking a bold river.22

The name appears in the enumerations of 1738, 1750,23 and 1760,24 and a part at least in the enumeration of 1761.25 In 1796 John O’ Kelly, a half-breed, was trader there, having succeeded his father.26[…]”

via Coosa and Their Descendants.

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