In 1743, some forty-five years after the Franciscans abandoned their disastrous mission to the Calusa, Jesuit Fathers Joseph Maria Monaco and Francisco Xavier Alaiia proposed Christianizing the Indians of the South Florida Keys.1 The natives had previously indicated that they wanted instruction, but when the priests arrived, the Indians rejected educational efforts and asked instead for supplies and whiskey. Despite the less than warm reception given the two priests, a fort was built for their protection. Alana returned to Havana to report on the expedition, leaving Monaco behind with twelve soldiers. The Governor of Cuba ordered their immediate return, however, and the stone, wood, and earthen fort was leveled to the ground so that the English could not appropriate it. In February of 1744, the Council of the Indies approved the leveling of the stockades arguing that a fort and mission would be too exposed and too expensive. Consequently, there appears to have been no more missions sent to these South Florida Indians.2
Childers, R. Wayne
"Historic Notes and Documents: Life in Miami and the Keys: Two Reports and Map from the Monaco-Alana Mission, 1743,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 82:
1, Article 6.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol82/iss1/6