Ulele statue at Ulele restaurant in Tampa, Florida. Also known as Princess Uleyli

Princess Ulele is a Tampa History Mystery

Editor’s Note: While writing my new book Uleyli- The Princess & Pirate: The True Story of Florida’s Pocahontas I did a lot of research about her origins. One question I always had was where did the name “Ulele” come from. In reading the original Spanish source materials I never found that name mentioned anywhere. This […]
Ulele statue in Tampa

Tampa rips out Ulele statue in the dark of night

Editor’s Note: Ulele was a Native American princess who rescued a Spanish captive named Juan Ortiz from execution by her father, Chief Ucita. These events are believed to have taken place in Tampa, Florida. Tampa has repaid this kindness by removing a beautiful statue of Ulele from its riverwalk erected by a local business owner […]

Typical 16th-Century Florida Native American Village

Editor’s Note: The Spanish chroniclers of the Hernando de Soto expedition give us the first European eyewitness accounts of the architecture and town planning of Native American villages in Florida in the 1500s. By the time the British arrived two hundred years later, these civilizations were destroyed, their inhabitants dead from warfare and disease, and […]

Florida’s Native American Archers

Editor’s Note: The Spanish chroniclers of the first European expeditions in Florida and the southeast made constant mention of the skill and accuracy of Native American archers. It’s clear from their writings that they both feared and greatly respected these expert marksmen and warriors. The following account comes from Florida of the Inca by Garcilaso […]

Merchant-Traders of Florida

Editor’s Note: This Spanish eyewitness account from Garcilaso de la Vega’s Florida of the Inca reveals two different types of Native American traders that existed in Florida in 1539. The first was a more localized merchant who traded for everyday goods. The second was a more long-distance merchant who traded in high-value goods including precious […]
native american history for kids

New Book About Princess Ulele and Juan Ortiz

Uleyli: The Princess & Pirate is a new book about Ulele (respelled Uleyli) known as Florida’s Pocahontas because of her rescue of a Spanish captive, Juan Ortiz, from execution by her father, Chief Ucita of Hirrihigua province in modern-day Tampa Bay, Florida. Juan Ortiz was captured in 1528 and eventually rescued by the Hernando de […]

Fort Caroline at Evelyn Plantation in GA?

In the mid 1700s English naturalist William Bartram described visiting the ruins of an old French or Spanish fort along the Altamaha River in Georgia. He described these ruins as a “tetragon terrace” surrounded by a moat. Could these ruins be the remains of the French Fort Caroline later renamed San Matteo by the Spanish […]

Utina Lost, Now Found Proves Fort Caroline in GA

Three Indian tribes that the French interacted with on the May River provide further evidence that the Altamaha River in Georgia, not the St. John’s River in Florida, was one-in-the-same as the May. These villages were Utina, Patica, and Alecamani. All are shown on maps dating back to at least 1591 as being on the […]

Bartram’s Fevertree Helps Pinpoint Fort Caroline Location?

Does the discovery of the fevertree along the Altamaha River in Georgia by English naturalist William Bartram in 1775 help in the location of the lost French settlement of La Caroline? In 1564 a young Frenchman living at the new settlement of La Caroline wrote a letter home describing the voyage and establishment of the […]

Letter of Hernando de Soto at Tampa Bay

LETTER OF HERNANDO DE SOTO, in Florida, to the Justice and Board of Magistrates in Santiago de Cuba. VERY NOBLE GENTLEMEN: The being in a new country, not very distant indeed from that where you are, still with some sea between, a thousand years appear to me to have gone by since any thing has […]

Archaeologists find elusive 16th-century Spanish Fort San Marcos

Nearly 40 years after finding the remains of the 16th-century town of Santa Elena on present-day Parris Island in Beaufort County, South Carolina, archaeologists have discovered San Marcos, one of five Spanish forts that operated during the town’s 21-year history. University of South Carolina archaeologist Chester DePratter and anthropologist Victor Thompson of the University of Georgia have conducted research […]

UWF archaeology program discovers third shipwreck from Luna fleet

The University of West Florida archaeology program announced today the discovery of a third shipwreck from the Spanish fleet linked to Tristán de Luna y Arellano’s 16th century expedition to modern-day Pensacola. The discovery comes less than one year after UWF archaeologists identified the terrestrial site of Luna’s colony in a developed neighborhood in Pensacola, marking […]
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