Second Mission Period 1587
27. SANTO DOMINGO DE ASAO or ASAHO
A mission founded on St. Simons Island was described in that year by Pedro de Arcos as six leagues from Sapala and two leagues from the pagan village of San Simon, one of two other villages with which it then shared the island. Fray Juan de Useda then served its thirty people. Bishop Calderón gave its name as Santo Domingo de Asaho, making no mention of the island's other two settlements of San Simon and Ocotonico. Lanning reduced the three distinct settlements to two by identifying Asao with San Simon thus. There is also still hope of finding the crumbling wails of two sustation missions, one Asao or San Simon, near the ruins of the Fort of Frederica, and the other Ocotonico. Then, after identifying Asao and San Simon, he specu lated that there was perhaps a third, halfway inland from the junction of the Frederica and Hampton Rivers near Butler's Point-all on St Simon Island. In 1678 the visitor gave the mission's name as SaI1to Domingo de Asajo, making no mention of other settlements on the island. Bolton mentioned natives of Asao as among those who fled with the heathen Yamassees to the Scotch colony at Santa Elena during the turmoil of the 16805.120 But that some remained loyal and migrated to Amelia Island is suggested by the reference to one of the villages there as Asao or Tupique with twenty-five families or 125 individuals more or less.' In 1695 this mission was referred to exclusively as Santa Clara de Tupique and there was no mention of leaders from Asao being there or in either of the other two Guale remnant villages. Some possible sites for the Asao Talaje mission both on the mainland and on St. Simons Island have been identified by archaeologists and additional sites that may correspond to the other two island settlements have been found.
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