John H. Hann


When the first Europeans arrived off Florida’s coasts the land was not uninhabited virgin territory but was occupied by many distinct peoples organized into flourishing, complex, chiefdom-level societies of a non-egalitarian nature. Those societies included the Calusa of the Gulf coast from the Charlotte Harbor area southward to the tip of the Florida peninsula; Tocobaga and others who occupied the shores of Tampa Bay and their hinterland; Ais of the Indian River area and its hinterland; various autonomous Timucua-speaking groups of south Georgia and north Florida from the east coast westward to the Aucilla, Withlacoochee, and Oklawaha rivers; Apalachee whose domain extended from the Aucilla to just beyond the Ochlockonee River; Guale of coastal Georgia from the Altamaha River northward; and the Escamacu-Orista and Cayagua along the South Carolina coast from the Savannah River north to the Charleston region.