Archive for the ‘Spanish Records/Biogrpahical Sketches’ Category

EXCERPT/INTRO./LINK: — Coosa and Their Descendants

November 13, 2014 Leave a comment

“The whole province was called Coza, taking its name from the most famous city within its boundaries. It was God’s will that they should soon get within sight of that place which had been so far famed and so much thought about and, yet, it did not have above thirty houses, or a few more. There were seven little hamlets in its district, five of them smaller and two larger than Coza itself, which name prevailed for the fame it had enjoyed in its antiquity. It looked so much worse to the Spaniards for having been depicted so grandly, and they had thought it to be so much better. Its inhabitants had been said to be innumerable, the site itself as being wider and more level than Mexico, the springs had been said to be many and of very clear water, food plentiful and gold and silver in abundance, which, without judging rashly, was that which the Spaniards desired most. Truly the land was fertile, but it lacked cultivation. There was much forest, but little fruit, because as it was not cultivated the land was all unimproved and full of thistles and weeds. Those they had brought along as guides, being people who had been there before, declared that they must have been bewitched when this country seemed to them so rich and populated as they had stated. The arrival of the Spaniards in former years had driven the Indians up into the forests, where they preferred to live among the wild beasts who did no harm to them, but whom they could master, than among the Spaniards at whose hands they received injuries, although they were good to them. Those from Coza received the guests well, liberally, and with kindness, and the Spaniards appreciated this, the more so as the actions of their predecessors did not call for it. They gave them each day four fanegas6 of corn for their men and their horses, of which latter they had fifty and none of which, even during their worst sufferings from hunger, they had wanted to kill and eat, well knowing that the Indians were more afraid of horses, and that one horse gave them a more warlike appearance, than the fists of two men together. But the soldiers did not look for maize; they asked most diligently where the gold could be found and where the silver, because only for the hopes of this as a dessert had they endured the fasts of the painful journey. Every day little groups of them went searching through the country and they found it all deserted and without news of gold. From only two tribes were there news about gold – one was the Oliuahali which they had just left; the others were the Napochies, who lived farther on . Those were enemies to those of Coza, and they had very stubborn warfare with each other, the Napochies avenging some offense they had received at the hands of the people of Coza.[…]”

via Coosa and Their Descendants.

EXCERPT/LINK: — Coosa and Their Descendants

November 13, 2014 Leave a comment

“(…) 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.