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The Last Mission: The Aggregation and Demise of the Mocama Missions

In 1587 San Juan del Puerto was established by Franciscan missionaries on Fort George Island near the mouth of the St. Johns River. As Georgia’s coastal missions retreated towards St. Augustine during the seventeenth century, San Juan, the southernmost mission of the Mocama province, became the destination for withdrawing Mocama speaking mission populations. By 1702 San Juan del Puerto was the last remaining Mocama mission, representing the sole remains of a people. This paper discusses the consolidation of the missions Santa Maria de Sena, San Pedro de Mocama and San Buenaventura de Guadalquini with San Juan del Puerto, and how these populations became one in a fractured and unstable religious and colonial landscape.

Rebecca D. Gorman, University of Florida