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Second Mission Period 1587 - 1616

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31. OSPO or TALAPO

The mission had only Guale mission of 1597 whose friar survived the revolt. The Ospo mission of 1597, where Fray Francisco Dávila was taken prisoner by the rebels and carried into servitude in the hinterland, appears to have been in northern Guale rather than on Jekyl Island where most authorities, following Bolton and Lanning, have placed it. Lanning specified the site of Dávila's mission additionally as Tulapo, locating Tulapo on the southern end of Jekyl Island in the text and on his map. On the map Lanning portrayed a village of Ospo as well, on the island's northern shore. Barcia, on the other hand, placed Dávila in the village of Ospo without indicating the village's location. Many factors point to a more northerly location for Tulapo. Lanning's Tulapo is clearly the Talapo of other sources, which was in the northern constellation of Guale villages. Lanning himself acknowledged Tulapo's northern affiliations in 1606 during the bishop's visitation. Talapo's chief was confirmed at the Santa Catalina mission rather than at one of the bishop's stops farther south. Talapo's northern ties appeared even more strongly two years earlier. During 1barra visitation of Santa Catalina, the cacique of Aluete complained that the caciques of Talapo, Ufa lague, and Orista, who were his vassals, had thrown off their allegiance to him and withdrawn to the territory of the mico of Asao. When the governor returned to Asao, Talapo's chief informed him that he had merely transferred his allegiance to Orista (who was Aluete's heir) because the cacique of Aluete was a bad Indian. Swanton identified Aluete, Talapo, Orista, and Ufalague as Cusabo. That the name Guadaiquini was never used in any of the accounts of the revolt and the subsequent punitive expeditions would seem to rule out Jekyl Island, as does Canzo's having gone directly from San Pedro to a point 16 leagues to the north rather than to nearby Jekyl Island, a logical move if it were then the site of a mission. On learning from a captured native that the rebels had assembled at Ospo, Canzo went there. After a brief encounter with the natives, the soldiers burned Ospo and it food stores but left its church standing. Although Ospo's chief was among tbose asking Canzo for reconciliation early in 1600, he was not among the chiefs mentioned by Ibarra in 1604 or con firmed by the bishop in 1606 and there is no further mention of an Ospo or Talapo mission after 1606. Talapo, however, was mentioned by Ibarra in 1604 and confirmed by the bishop. But a cacique Hospo named Antonio, living among the loyal Guale remnant on Amelia Island in 1695, could represent the earlier Ospo possibly.

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REFERENCES Dr. John H. Hann
"Summary Guide to Spanish Florida Missions and Vistas with Churches in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries"


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© Copyright. John P. Walsh. April 24, 2002