Second Mission Period 1587
29. SANTA CLARA DE TUPIQUI
Santa Clara was established in 1595, presumably by Fray Bias Rodriguez, who was killed there in 1597. As noted in item #10, Tupiqui was the site of Jesuit activity in 1569-1570. In 1595 Tupiqui was on the mainland three leagues north of Tolomato. During his 1597 punitive expedition, Governor Canzo went to Tupiqui from the Asopo mission on St. Catherine's Island and found the church, friary, and council house all burned. Lanning remarked that his above-mentioned "Mansfield Place" has "sometimes been mistakenly identified as the Tupique mission" because the old Tupiqui mission of 1597 was not rebuilt, arid the chief of Tupique for want of a church in his own community, repaired to the new Tolomato mission in the village of Espogache. Mary Ross, however, noted that when Canzo made his 1603 visitation of Guale Province, after he left Talaxe the next council was held at Tu piqui where Mico Espagache (sic) and Chief Tupiqui readily promised to rebuild their old town. Ross seems to imply that the two towns had occupied the same site in 1597, and at the very least she seems to state that during this rebuilding Tupiqui and Espogache were melded. In her account of the bishop's visitation three years later, she spoke of the bishop's coming to a mainland town, the residence of Chief Tupiqui and Mico Espogache, six leagues north of Talaxe. Tupiqui in 1606, Ross noted, lacked a resident friar, being served by Fray Diego Delgado who was based at Talaxe. More recently Grant Jones observed that the meetings between the mico of Espogache and Tupiqui for the restoration of friendly relations with the Spaniards were usually held at Tupiqui possibly because of its greater accessibility. Jones seems to imply that the sites of Tupiqui and Espogache were distinct. In any event, Lanning not withstanding, a church presumably was built in Tupiqui by 1616 as Fray Antonio de San Francisco was stationed at the convent of Santa Clara de Tupiqui in that year. Tupiqui does not appear on the 1655 list or on either of the lists for 1675. This probably indicates that the people of Tupiqui had left the mainland for one of the island missions. At the end of 1677, Ana Estasia, mica of Tupiqui, and Alonso, her nephew and heir, were living at San José de Zapala. That they may not have been accompanied by many of their Indians is suggested by the mica request that the people of Zapala be required to sow a field for her as her vassals. Bolton affirmed that during the turmoil of the early 1680s many of the Tupiqui were among the Guale and Yamasee who fled to British territory at that time. Some Tupiqui remained loyal nonetheless, as a mission identified as Asao or Tupiqui that possessed twenty-five families appears on the 1689 mission list. These Tupiqui were already domiciled, probably, at the new Santa Clara de Tupiqui mission at the northern end of Amelia Island that appears in the 1695 visitation record. No site has been identified definitely as that of the Tupiqui of the 1595-1616 listings, but the site may be one of a number that have been found in what is believed to have been the territory of the Espogache-Tupiqui chiefdom around the estuaries of the South Newport River.
REFERENCES Dr. John H. Hann
"Summary Guide to Spanish Florida Missions and Vistas with Churches in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries"
© Copyright. John P. Walsh. April 24, 2002